Meet the parents

Colorado Springs November 2006

Oh how exciting it is to be a crazy young love sick fool… “Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough, ain’t no river wide enough, ain’t no distance FAR enough?” That’s how the song goes, right? The love of a young couple is VERY strong… or so we think…

And so begins my “meet the parents” story…

I met my army boy while he was still active duty Army stationed at Fort Carson. While he hates it when I describe it this way… I was a “crazy college girl on the prowl for a man in uniform” So I went to Colorado Springs with my wonderful cousin (who shall remain nameless because she actually convinced me to move with her using this argument). It was an exciting time. No jobs and no responsibilities… This situation led us quickly to realize that we needed both of those things.

Fast forward two years, I was still crazy, not so fresh out of college, and still in need of a good quality man. Some good friends of mine and army boys decided that we would make a great couple so the “set up” plans began. We met at their Halloween party which was thrown so we could meet. After a wonderful evening of me working VERY hard to impress the wonderful Army boy, he handed me his phone. Ummm… what? What else is a crazy girl to do other than put her number in it, right? Smooth… which is really funny because this army boy is not so smooth. Thus began our two week relationship spending every spare second we could with each other. After this romantic two weeks, he was getting out of the army and off to his homeland Nebraska he would go, back to nursing school leaving me in Colorado Springs. I did my best to convince him to stay with me but the plans had already been made. It was too late to change them now. When we will see each other next? We didn’t know…

After Christmas, I decided it was time to work my schedule out with my boss so I could get a long weekend. I had 2 whole days to do what I pleased. I was working every weekend in the retail business so to get two days off in a row was unheard of! YAY this was the perfect opportunity! I wanted to see the love of my life! I would drive 6 hours by myself, on the back roads, (because he said they were faster), in the dead of winter… Let me say it again… “in the dead of winter”…

(Insert the very dramatic, “Lord of the Rings” –ish music)

After what seemed to be the LONGEST drive of my life, I made it to Elm Creek, NE. I was going to meet him there. Wow I was so excited I could barely contain myself. My romantic story was about to begin! I sat in the parking lot of the gas station for what seemed like another 6 hours waiting for my handsome prince to arrive! Oh joy!

There was a subtle knock on the window… I turned my head fluidly as my hair flowed down my back I gazed up to see my clean cut army man I saw a…a…a…. mountain man? Apparently, when you get out of the army you don’t cut your hair or shave. I was so excited to see him though! I jumped out of my Buick Century and wrapped my arms around him! He was wearing the awful hat and scarf set that I made him for Christmas. Complete with variegated blue yarn and a seam up the back holding my rectangular square together to make it a hat. (not my best work but I was trying) He was there and I loved him soooo much!!! That’s all that mattered…

After working my 8 hour shift in the customer service department at the furniture store, I hopped into my car and drove 6 hours. We met with his brother and had a drink at the local bar following a rousing game of pool, and then it was time to meet his parents. “Umm… Can I just meet them in the morning?” At the time, my army boy was going to school so he was living with his parents. I didn’t receive a response so I proceeded to change into my pajamas and get ready for bed. When I came out of the bathroom to my surprise my army boy woke up his parents! He turned around, zipped up my hooded sweatshirt anther inch so that I wasn’t showing too much cleavage and turned around and said with all the enthusiasm in the world “these are my parents!”I thought, “ummm.. Hi I just started dating your son and spent the evening in a bar, and now you have been rudely awakened in the middle of the night by me. Nice you to meet you!” Not my best foot forward from the beginning. Bathroom bag full of toiletries in one hand and extending my other for a handshake I was greeted with 2 giant monster hugs. “ha ha I’m not wearing a bra” Again I said in my head… “This is uncomfortable”… Out loud I politely stated, “So nice too meet you!” and I was greeted with the same greeting in return. I immediately felt like I was back at my own parent’s house. Considering how awkward I must have looked on the outside and how embarrassed I really was by the situation, I felt remarkably comfortable at that moment. I knew I was about to be welcomed into a wonderful family.

Our wedding June 6th 2009

Now, you may be thinking that this is the worst part of this story… but oh it gets so much better…

I woke up the next morning to the wonderful smell of coffee and a very welcomed greeting. If you know me, you know I am not a morning person. I don’t drink coffee, I don’t talk in the morning, and I’m generally not a very nice person unless I’ve been up for at least 20 minutes. This particular morning was going to be tough for me. “The weather report says freezing rain for the rest of today” reported army boy’s father. “Well, I guess you are stuck with me sticking around inside the house then” I replied. The freezing rain proceeded to fall…and fall…and fall… In fact, it didn’t stop falling for another 3 days! Take a look back and remember how many days I was SUPPOSED to spend in good old Nebraska. I called my boss after the first day of making puzzles and watching movies to let him know my situation. He was very understanding and told me to be safe. In all honesty, I probably should have lost my job over this situation. But Jesus loves me.

I spent the entire day reading “Silence of the Lambs” which my Army Boys mother nicely said was “the spawn of Satan” (Ugh.. another epic fail. I should’ve brought Anne of Green Gables), watching movies, and putting together a puzzle. I learned very quickly that there were “rules” to building puzzles in this house. There were specific piles that all the pieces had to go into and a table that was specially constructed for puzzles by Army boy and his father. It would spin so you wouldn’t have to stand up to see the other side of the puzzle. I quickly learned that Army boy was sucking the fun out of putting a puzzle together so I retreated back to my book.

Zip, zip, ZAP! The power went off. It still hadn’t stopped raining ice. “Whelp, who wants to help me hook up the generator?” asked Army boy’s father. “We will” Army boy and I said eagerly. It would be an awesome adventure to stand outside in the freezing rain and help hook up a generator, right? We put on all kinds of winter gear and headed outside to the old machine shed. “Crunch, crunch, crunch…” went the grass under our feet as we walked across the lawn. The blades of grass were like tiny daggers shooting out of the ground.

We drug the generator from the shed to the side of the house where we fed the wires through the window to army boy’s mother. We stood patiently waiting for the go ahead to turn on the generator. We heard an “OK!” come from inside the house and army boy flipped the switch… Zip zip ZAP! Blue lights starting flashing form inside the house. A wretched scream left his father mouth. His mother ran to the widow waiving her hands yelling “TURN IT OFF!!!! TURN IT OFF!!!” Army boy immediately shut off the generator switch and ran to the window. “What’s going on?” “Your father didn’t have it hooked up yet you almost killed him!!!” screamed his mother.

A few days and a few laughs later, the sun came out and travel was once again advised in the state of Nebraska. Army boy and I went outside and cleaned the 5/8” thick ice off of my Buick Century to reveal a crack that spread across my entire windshield, as well as my heater no longer working, and the handles to my car doors frozen shut. However, I did learn a few things… First, if he’s so excited for you to meet his parents that he would wake them from a dead slumber he might be a keeper. Second, when the power goes off that also means there is no hot water. I can go for days without showering and still look presentable. And finally, a terrible “meet the parents” experience may just mean that you are meant to spend the rest of your lives together. My husband and I will have been married for four years this coming June. We have been together for 6 years in October.

Before I left, my first real experience in the state of Nebraska just wouldn’t be finished without my future Father in law seeing me slip on the ice directly onto my fanny. SO many more stories to share at a later date…

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The Day Before

It was the day before my wedding. Everything was looking bright and sunny. However, there was rain in the forecast which was casting a shadow on my outdoor garden wedding but I tried not to let that bother me. We had a girl’s day planned the day before and it was going to be a glorious day! We were headed to Marshall to get our nails done and have lunch together. We left the boys home to finish setting up the tents and chairs. My mom left them a list of things that needed to get done while we were getting pampered.

I’m not entirely sure how the whole idea morphed into what it became. Our first mistake was leaving the men alone. My sisters in laws were both in my wedding so that left the boys to play without supervision. I assume the idea started with an individual finding a long piece of landscaping plastic that was left over from the preparations of my wedding at my parent’s house. After that, it all went downhill… literally….

The ladies and I had a wonderful day. We got manicures and pedicures and went out for a delicious lunch. We were excited to come home to see all the work the guys had done but we were greeted with something else entirely. As we drove down the driveway I could see my oldest brother (I say oldest because I have 2) standing at the top of a large mound of dirt that was left from digging the pit where my parents burn their garbage. I remember “what the…” coming out of my mouth. He was facing away from us wearing nothing but a pair of shorts. He slowly turned and looked at us sitting in the vehicle. Straight faced, he slowly turned back around… and then FLUNG himself off the mound of dirt hands first!

After that, all the women started talking at the same time, “What was that?” “What have they been doing?” “They better have finished their list!” Upon further inspection and a walk down to where I saw my brother throw himself off the mound of dirt, I saw what they were doing. All the men, including my future beloved, were soaking wet. They had a garden hose hooked up to the barn and were spraying the landscaping plastic with ice cold water. They had made a slip n slide the day before my wedding.

My mom had organized everything down perfectly so there was a little bit of time to kill before the rehearsal started. Time to kill + Family from across the US gathering + 1 Texan+ God given creativity = DANGEROUS! My husband’s friend from Texas that flew up for the wedding suggested that we move the slip n slide to the sledding hill and proceeded to go into town to buy 100 foot landscaping tarp. And so they did… and yes, this is how I spent the day before my wedding. I did not go down the slip n slide for fear of injury but many did and I think it is now a family activity that will be passed on to the generations!

This last summer my nephew who is 4 years old continued the tradition.