he’s a catch, and he’s mine…

I really did win the jackpot with my hubby. Tad is the hardest worker I know of. Period. The end. His integrity also matches his work ethic, which makes him even more of a catch.

Let’s go back a few years…say 1994. Some of you know this story, but a lot of you don’t. The summer of 94′ I was working in my dad’s onion fields hoeing weeds out of 1/4 acre long rows. It was hot. It was stinky. It was dirty. There were no bathrooms except for 3 sided, old wood, outhouses that were about a half mile away if you were lucky and our day started about 7am. (I’m suddenly feeling old as I tell this story.) One evening Tad called me and I was lucky enough to have a phone in my room. I answered to him asking if I’d like to go to hiking with him at Saddle Mountain. We weren’t yet dating officially, but we were certainly skirting around the idea at this point. We were both 17.

I remember clear as day, running down the stairs and whisper-yelling to my dad, also known as my boss, and asked if I could skip work to go with him. He immediately said no and that I had to work. Dads. I pretty much knew he’d say no, but I still whisper-begged “please, dad” several times. I ran back up to the phone and gave Tad the bad news. “He said I have to work”.

Without skipping a beat he told me to ask my dad if he could work a day for free to make up for the day that I’d be gone hiking. My eyes widened. First in disbelief that he’d actually offer that, then immediately in embarassement that my dad might say yes. I told Tad I would go ask, but that I didn’t think it’d work.

I left the phone again and walked down the stairs a little slower this time. “Hey dad, he says if you let me go with him that he will work for free for a whole day on the farm with me”. A smirk took over my dad’s face and he said, “Oh yeah? for free?…deal”. Oh dear lord. Now I was half excited and half panicked wondering if Tad really knew what he was getting himself into with me.

He seemed sure. And sure enough I looked up from weeding to find his mom driving him down into the fields in her blue, Ford Tauras station wagon that next morning. I tried to keep it cool; to act like this was all perfectly normal when inside I was slowly dying of embarassment. I felt a mixture of, “I’m so sorry my dad made you do this”, and “I’m so flattered that you’d even think this up”.

Long story short, Tad was a champ. He weeded those onions like a boss, with my sister, my bestie and I all giving him pointers like the pros we were. We may have laughed at him when he held up his hands at lunch break, eyeing them, and wondered how he’d clean them before eating. Silly city boy. He also flung himself into the nasty, chemical filled, catfish infested dike to rescue my then 8 year old brother who got too close and fell in.

Boy, did he work for that date.

Anyhow. Nothing has changed. He told me last night that this staying at home ‘rona business is, “his actual dream vacation”, because he’s always wanted uninterrupted time to just work on the house and get all the projects done. That’s right. I’m not the slave driver here. He seriously loves to work and accomplish tasks like no one’s business and I get to benefit from it.

I just figured he needed a shoutout from his number one fan. And honestly, this blog is for our kids anyhow. I want them to have these stories and words to keep and pass on and to remember. He’s a catch and I’m thankful he’s mine; that once upon a time he got dropped off in a stinky, dirty onion field, all for me.

photo by joy prouty

A full day…

Day 2 was fantastic. We played “tourists” all day and it was so great. We learned some super interesting Seattle facts on the Underground Tour. If you ever go, we highly recommend. Just the fact that Seattle is still standing is miraculous! Really.

untitled-74We spent about an hour and a half underneath the city, seeing what used to be the street level shops and businesses.

untitled-62 We went in a group of about 40 and had the privilege of having a guide who had been doing this for 27 years and who is an author, as well as a historian. He knew his stuff!

untitled-63 untitled-67 untitled-69 untitled-72 Things that were still down under. There was a few items that didn’t get stolen, sold or antiqued. I loved all the old gears, the rusty-crusty stuff and the old drawing of the original city.

untitled-73  Next up was walking the boardwalk…and what an amazing, SUNNY day! untitled-80 And of course, THE Pikes Place Market. This place is crazy! It goes on, and on, and on. And I, of course found some fabulous buys.

untitled-85 untitled-90 untitled-93 Gum Alley. This makes me cringe when I look at, let alone step in the gum laden sidewalks that are in this alleyway. But, we had to add our piece…right??

untitled-95 untitled-100untitled-14We ended the evening by going to the Skyview Observatory. Pretty impressive to be up on the 73rd floor looking down on the Seattle Space Needle. Seattle is beautiful with all the water everywhere…but it’s wetter than Portland, which makes it a great place to visit, not live 🙂


It ain’t the size of the rock that matters…

18 years. Yup. We’re just getting started; still learning and growing and changing; loving a little deeper, understanding more about each other. I LOVE that you can be with someone for 20 years and still discover things about them you never knew, fall more in love (though it seems impossible); it just gets better with time.

I came across this quote just yesterday…“Neither the size of your diamond, nor the extravagance of your wedding will make your marriage last. That takes something money cannot buy”.

This is TRUTH. In fact, when we got married 18 years ago, being 19 and having NO money, we were blessed to be able to use my Grandma Sharon’s wedding ring. It is a gorgeous, “vintage type” ring, but it had a diamond that you could literally barely see. I didn’t care. And I still don’t. The size of my “rock” has nothing to do with the success of my marriage. And free is a very good price.

untitled-3This year Tad took over the planning of our anniversary. Last year we adopted Jo, which meant no anniversary. Every penny went to bring her home and we couldn’t be happier. 2 years ago we were still heart-sick about losing our little Gage, which meant we cried a lot and weren’t in a “celebrating” place in our lives.

But this year? We were more than ready to celebrate each other, our 18 years, our 5 children and our wild ride thus far. So, Tad secretly planned something. Told me a week ago to “clear my schedule” for 4 days and had F.I.V.E children all “farmed out” to friends. That deserves a medal. And so do my friends!

So, he tells me how to pack and that our driver would be here soon. And when she arrives, she then takes us to the MAX station, says, “Have fun!” and pulls away. Off to Portland we go and though I have an inkling of where we could be headed, I’m still not 100% sure.

untitled-5Till we get to the train station. Then I know it’s either Seattle or San Francisco. FUN!


And Seattle it is. We get to go be tourists! And I must say…so much more relaxing riding the train that riding thru traffic to Seattle with your husband driving. Love him, but don’t love his driving. Wives…you understand, right? Yes. You do. (TOTAL side note, but you MUST go here and watch a FUNNY about being your “husbands little helper in the car”.

We enjoyed the scenery, I didn’t have to remind him what the speed limit was or to “back off” and it was stress free!

untitled-4We checked into our hotel (which is lovely and in a fabulous location) and headed down to happy hour at the hotel restaurant. Next? Down the road 2 blocks to stock up on some “healthy” snacks. You know. The kind that taste good on the lips, but stick to the hips. Yep. Then it was time to plan out our next 3 days, followed by a few episodes of Parenthood.

untitled-10…and seriously enjoy the view from our hotel window.

Thank you Lord for husbands, for creating us to perfectly match, and for being our Rock these last 18 years. Without God, I-know-that-I-know-that-I-know we would not be here today. It is not because of us that we are “still standing”, but because of His love, his grace and His word working through and in our lives.