Being married for five years to Shaina has been nothing short of fantastic. We have done a whole lot in that short amount of time. We moved from Spokane, to Soap Lake due to my work, and from there we bought our first house here in Ephrata Washington and are in the process of turning it into a home. We are just starting to learn Russian so we can help out in the territory where we live and preach. We’ve learned ASL to also help in that regard. I love learning with Shaina, she is so fast and sharp, where as I’m more of an intuitive learner. Problem is my intuition can be way off sometimes. We balance each other out though. Where I am weak she is strong and where she is weak I am strong. We’ve also learned how to take turns in that regard. When all in the world seems wrong, and everything I put my hand to seems to fail, she is right there to pick me up, or let me sleep it off, whichever I seem to need. When she feels like the whole world has turned on her, and everything she’s trying to accomplish has gone awry, I get to be the strong one and lift her up.
Here are some specific memories that bring a smile to my face that we haven’t told yet. Here is the exact moment I fell in love with Shaina. We found ourselves at this party in Chelan that turned out just ridiculous. There were minors being given alcohol. People, who were supposed to be setting a good example as Christians, were doing the exact opposite. People who were vulnerable to overuse of alcohol were being negatively affected. Shaina and I looked at each other, and knew we both felt uncomfortable being there. We made our separate excuses and left in separate cars and went to the beach in downtown Chelan. There, sitting at a picnic table we watched the sun set, and talked a long time about what we just saw, how we felt about it, and many other things. From that point on I knew I was in love. I knew I had found the woman I would marry.
Another fun story is, if some of you don’t know, Shaina is deaf in her left ear. That’s not the funny part, of course. The funny thing is of the two of us, I say “WHAT”, way more often. Sometimes I will say back to her what I thought I heard her say, and she gets this look on her face, like: “How did you get that from what I just said?” What’s remarkable about this is they test my hearing at work every year. Every year I score way above average. I have really good hearing; apparently what I hear at times gets scrambled around pretty well. I’ve had to develop the habit of waiting a half a second to unscramble and then respond to what I heard. It doesn’t always work though. For example, once I heard “I would like to buy a stalactite.” What she really said was, “What would you like to eat tonight?” It keeps us laughing, that’s for sure.
In 2008 we bought our first new car. It’s Shaina’s car, and it’s a kiwi green Ford Focus, and her name is Chloe. The Idea of owning a new car was foreign to me. I had never owned a new car, the idea never occurred to me. I had repaired credit, which is almost as bad as no credit, or bad credit. My score was atrocious somewhere in the five hundreds, really bad! It was this however that got the ball rolling in the idea of buying a house. We improved my credit score to up into the mid to high six hundreds in under a year and then the search began, we got a great deal on a little three bedroom, two bath. Brand new stick built home. We love it and it beats the pants off renting. If I have the option, I will never have a landlord again. I love being a homeowner, and I have Shaina to thank for it. She is so good with money, and has taught me so much about controlling my impulsive spending habits, and really taking care of our money. We work as a team on this. We always let each other know if we are going to spend money, and we always save the receipts.
We have learned so much together, and every step has been a joy in retrospect. That’s not to say things haven’t been rough at times. But the one thing I think we have learned that is most useful is that we have each other, no matter what! We are never alone, no matter what distance may separate us, we will find a way to be there for each other. We have developed a mental hug for just such times. When Shaina is having a real rough day at work and I can’t be there physically, I give her a mental hug. I picture her in my mind, and then I picture gently wrapping my arms around her and squeezing. I throw all my mental energy, every ounce of positive energy I have into the mental act. It works. It makes her feel better to know I care enough to pretend to hug her in my mind. I like to imagine that that energy finds its way to her through the phone receiver. It makes me feel good to know that I can help a little. And it pushes me to get back to her as fast as I can, so I can give her the real thing. These are a few of my favorites and I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
PS. I need the mental hug too from time to time and she gives them right back, and I always feel just a little better!
When I stop and think about how fast these last 5 years have gone by it makes me so glad that I’m a blogger and a scrapbooker and a photographer. I have documented so much of our life together in these 3 ways. But for today I just want to share a couple things that I love about our marriage.
We get to spend so much time together. I work in an office by myself most days so when he gets off of work he comes and hangs out with me for the afternoon. This worked when he was driving school bus and now that he drives garbage truck too. I love it. We are best friends and really close companions. We started our relationship long distance and so its foundation is communication. Back then everything we talked about was on the phone and that’s continued to be a way we like to communicate. Because Chris drives garbage truck for work he has a weird schedule and his days start at 3am. That leaves me to wake up alone in bed a few hours later. So we’ve formed a routine where we talk on the phone every morning when I wake up. Sometimes just a few minutes to say good morning, but most days this is when we have our heart to heart conversations. I look forward to our talks every morning and cherish starting my day being reminded of the love we share.
We love to talk to each other, to share our feelings, discuss things and laugh. We laugh a lot. That is something I distinctly remember from every chapter of our lives together…laughing. It helps us to keep a healthy perspective on life and not to take things to seriously. And it always brings us together when we’re going through something hard. We talk together, we laugh together, we pray together and we just are together.
I think that because of how much time we’ve spent together over the years and how well we know each other, its led to our ease in decision making. We are usually “of one mind” on things and can make decisions fast. I remember how surprised our real estate agent was when we were picking out the color to paint our new house. It was literally: “This one?”... “Hmm…What about this one?” … “Nope…this one!” “Yes, that’s the color of our house!” Probably under a minute. I like that about us. We don’t really argue about many things because we feel the same way about most things. And we’ve taken the bits from my way of doing things that work, and the bits from Chris’ way that work and melded them together.
And we both work to our strengths, even though they’re a little different from the norm. For example, Chris does our cooking. He loves to cook, always has. And he developed skill and knowledge from his mother and living on his own before we met. And that’s what works for us. It took me some time to get over feeling like I was less of a wife because I couldn’t really cook. But if he likes to do it and is good at it, then why push to make our lives match a social norm? I do help out a lot in the kitchen, even though I’m not doing the cooking really. Chris calls me his Sous Chef. I’m glad we have a big kitchen in our new house so we can be in there together. Its another time we get to share.
Singing has also been a big part of our life together. We both love to sing! We’ve actually found the best karaoke DJ around in a little dive in Soap Lake called the Del Red. They have karaoke every Thursday and Saturday night. And Chris and I love to go. Since I’ve been sick we haven’t been very often, but when we lived in Soap Lake you could find us there most weeks. I love to sing a little Jewel or KT Tunstel or Adele and Chris sings a mean version of “I believe in a thing called love” by The Darkness. And we do “Falling Slowly” from the movie Once together.
Our love of singing actually led us to get involved with the local community theater. They were putting on a production of “Once Upon A Mattress” which was one of my favorite plays from high school, and so I wanted to try out. Chris came with me and with the encouragement of everyone there, he tried out too. We both got cast, but I was unable to stay on for that show. Chris however, got bitten by the acting bug. He thoroughly enjoyed that first production and together we were able to do 2 other plays, “Razia’s Shadow” in 2010 and “The Doctor In Spite of Himself” last June. We love to support our local theater and go see the plays that are put on, even if we’re not in them. We go and usher for at least one performance and see our theater family again. We’ve made a lot of close friends through the theater, and we’re glad it’s something we did together.
I also fondly remember many road trips. We’ve made the trip up to Northern BC (where I’m from) two times since we’ve been married. That’s a 10 plus hour trip. And we go to see Chris’ family on Whidbey Island too, which is about 7 hours. We got to go to Portland in 2010 which was so much fun. And whenever there is an assembly we travel back and forth from home. I love to travel with Chris. This is getting a tad repetitive, but I like spending the time together. We listen to our favorite songs, or buy a new album and learn all the words. Or we take turns driving and read to each other. Or we just talk. And we take a lot of pictures. In June 2010 when we went up north I was in the middle of my 52weeks project. I had this idea for an image with the fields of small yellow flowers growing alongside the road. So we pulled off the road and Chris helped me make my idea come to life. We love to take pictures on Deception Pass Bridge that leads to Whidbey Island, too. One time we posed by some darling graffiti. I love that Chris gets my love of photography and likes stopping to take pictures on our trips.
These past 5 years have been so good. I love being married to this man and sharing my life with him. We make a great team. I am excited for where the future will take us and the many adventures we have yet to experience. I’m glad my best friend is at my side.