Anyone who knows me knows I am a total goober when it comes to my wife, Christina. I make no bones about the fact that I am crazy about her and that she does so much to make my life fantastic. Is it always picture perfect? Of course not, but then, nothing in life ever is, and wouldn't life be horribly boring if it was? We are two dynamic people and we work together to build a life and a family (and I do emphasize “work”; these things don’t happen all by themselves, they require effort from both sides to make for a happy and healthy marriage).
This post is a total rip-off from Trent Hamm, the author of “the Simple Dollar”. He posted this first, and indeed, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Trent, consider yourself *WAY* flattered (LOL!)
Anyway, here are Eleven Ways that Christina helps us (and me) reach ever forward and upward…
She listens to me. Realize this in and of itself is no small feat, I tend to be a rather wordy fellow. Still, she listens to what my thoughts are, my crazy musings about some thing or another, and she is willing to and able to offer constructive feedback. Christina is in no way a rubber stamp on my opinions or thoughts, but she does help me look at other avenues I may have not considered.
She rarely holds onto anger. In the event that things do get heated, we both have the attitude that, no matter what the misgiving, or the issue, if the voices get raised or if argument ensues, she is able to stop it and get us back to dealing with the important issue. I greatly appreciate this, and I try to reciprocate as much as I can.
She takes care of things when I am not or cannot be around. Whether it be work, or Scouts or some other thing I’m involved in, Christina can be counted on to hold down the fort or help me in whatever is needed, so long as she can do anything about it.
She barters for time. This is the flip side of the last item… if she wants time away or wants to go spend time with friends, we make an equitable split so that we can go and do the things that we like to do or need to do. I like the fact that we do this instead of letting resentments build up over one person doing things while the other isn’t.
She’s a total goof, in the best possible ways. Christina likes to crack corny jokes, and she’ll crack up over the silliest things at times. Sometimes I roll my eyes, sometimes I play along, sometimes I’m the instigator of it all, but all of the time, I appreciate this fact about her :).
She’s the Co-CFO for our family. We share a lot in this department and we work together to make sure that we are living within our means and that we stay committed to a life with no debt. Christina’s a superstar at the day to day details; she commits to making sure that we come out a little bit ahead each month, which lately has taken some considerable precision and deft execution in the past few months. She’s able to be realistic about what we can and cannot do, and often seeks to find ways that we can get better in many areas. To that, I am given the long view, and my job is to make sure that retirement, education, missions, emergency funds and opportunity funds are being balanced appropriately and meet our overall objectives. Each month we share where we are at, if we have made progress, and look to see if everything is where we expect it to be, and if not, we work together to make a game plan for where we need to go next.
She is fiercely protective of our kids. It’s cute to see Christina’s reaction when one of the kids has had a bad day, or if someone is treating one of the kids in a mean or unfair manner. She’s like a wolf in that, and she’ll often leap to that child’s defense and Heaven help the person on the receiving end (many times this is rhetorical if it’s a child or a person outside our four walls, as it only gets discussed with me and the kids, but you don’t doubt for a second, if the situation warranted it, that she would not pull punches if she had to directly confront a person or an issue).
She encourages me to do the things that matter to me, but reels me in if I overextend. Christina knows that I am afflicted with “Helium Hand Syndrome”. Often when there is a nee for volunteers, or there are activities that need assistance or help, I’m the first to step (make that “dive”) in and get involved. She encourages me to do the things that matter to me, but at the same time, she’s also there with the reality expectations; reminding me that “there are only 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 30 odd days in a month and 12 months in a year”. Sometimes I have to pull back from the brink of commitments if they will overrun me. She knows when that potential exists, usually far more often than I do.
She likes to spend as much time with the kids as possible, and is genuinely their friend. I think I can safely say that all three of our kids have an awesome relationship with Christina, and that they view her as a confidant and friend as well as Mom. Christina knows the difference between being a friend and being a “pal”, and to that end she is definitely not the kid’s “pal”; she can be blunt and direct when she feels the kids need to hear the truth about something, and she makes sure that the kids know that, while she is their friend, she’s their Mother first, and she rarely loses sight of that.
She met and loved me when I was a pauper, and has been with me through all of the ups and downs. Christina hitched her wagon to the erratic rocket that has been my life, and never once has she backed away or held back. She’s enjoyed the flush and full times, and has weathered the lean and mean times. We met nearly 19 years ago, and she’s been a constant source of love, help and inspiration to me for the vast majority of that time (we took it slow in the beginning :) ).
She doesn’t need extravagance to be happy. Christina will be the first to admit it, but she has simple tastes, and she is generally easy to please and amuse. While she certainly delights in good food, good music, and enjoys traveling and doing fun things, those things are not required for her to be happy. A family walk around our neighborhood with our dog often gets the biggest smiles of a day, or sitting down with our kids to draw pictures, or cut out shaped to make things. She often says she doesn’t need much to smile, and many times when I may feel like we are not getting where we should be as fast as I want to be, she can often be heard saying (about our house, about or kids, and sometimes even about me (LOL!).. “You know what? I love my life!”
These are some of the reasons why I’m glad that a cute, big-haired, rocked-out girl at The Stone nearly 19 years ago stuck her leg out and blocked me from walking through the door, prompting me to have to introduce myself. I’m glad she did, and I’m glad I did, and to steal and modify a line from Butch Walker… “if the last nineteen years could be seen as a bore, the God, please grant me nineteen more”… and nineteen more after that, and… :).