Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing—Benjamin Franklin

Five years and counting

Whoa. Ok. Sorry for the blog dump for the last few days, but I've been married for five years as of yesterday. Can you believe it?

Bryce and I had date night a while back wherein the challenge was to summarize our story in seven words or less. We started out doing our love story in general, but then it morphed into first date, first kiss, the proposal, our first baby, etc. Needless to say it was one of the funniest date nights we've ever had. We had way too much fun reliving all the memories, so I thought our anniversary is the perfect time to share some of them.

Bryce: "I'm sorry, you have to die."
The line that brought us together. Actually, if we're being completely accurate, it is a quote from the movie we saw when we first met. The three of us--Bryce, myself, and our the friend who introduced us--sat solemnly in our small row, nodding to the ultimate tragedy and truthfulness of what the actors were discussing while everyone else in the theater laughed hysterically. Trust three humanities majors to take it to heart.

Me: "Not a date. None of them."
Bryce swears he took me on tons of dates before we were actually dating, but when he discussed dating me, I had no idea he was even interested. I will argue until my dying day that none of his the "dates" he took me on were legit.

Me: "Fish tank, clean dishes.... had my heart."
Bryce used to come over to my apartment all the time and do the dishes when I had completely given up on salvaging the mess my little roommates had made and I was boycotting the kitchen entirely. He would stand in there and sing his guts out doing the dishes I was too stubborn to do and then offer to clean my giant fish tank as well. Not to mention coming to buy all new fish with me after The Great Boiling. (The Great Boiling being the term we used in our apartment to describe the hottest couple of days of my existence when our air conditioning stopped working and half of the fish went belly up because it was just too hot to live. I didn't blame them.)

Bryce: "Yeah, I kissed her on the forehead."
Said in the most sarcastic voice imaginable because we weren't actually dating (because for the second time I wasn't entirely on board yet), but we were watching a movie with some friends and when he was sure no one was looking, Bryce leaned down and gave me a quick kiss on the forehead. One of our other friends caught a glimpse of it and asked suspiciously if he had just seen Bryce kiss me on the forehead, however Bryce--knowing I didn't want anyone to know yet that I was considering dating him again--answered dripping with sarcasm as if it were the most ridiculous thing in the world for him to kiss me, made our friend doubt it and move on in a hurry. Our friend was awfully upset when he found out that his eyes had not deceived him.

Bryce: "I knew it, but you didn't."
This is the story of our life as Bryce always has a way of knowing what I'm going to do/say/decide long before I myself do and then when I tell him my breakthrough he is already well aware. However, it is especially true of our courtship.
I told him we couldn't date (even though we were practically dating already)... he took me on dates until I admitted it.
I told him I loved him... he said, "I know."
He told me I was going to marry him... I denied it vehemently and then picked a date the next day, which was a good thing because he had already taken my sister and mom ring shopping with him and ordered the ring.

Me: "Surprise. You cheater-pants. Best surprise ever."
After we picked a date, Bryce decided to propose to me properly and thus planned a surprise trip out to see me. I had been calling him all night and hadn't managed to get a hold of him--very unusual since we spoke on the phone every night for three months while he was in a different state. I was getting a bit worried, to the point that I had my sister on the line complaining that he was probably dead somewhere. My sister of course knew exactly what was going on and so wasn't surprised when Bryce finally called on the other line. When he answered, he made his voice sound as scratchy and groggy as he possibly could and claimed that he had fallen asleep and his phone wasn't working quite right so he hadn't heard my call. He neglected to mention that he had been sleeping on an airplane. We had our normal chat, but instead of saying goodnight, he asked what I could see from my front door. He was persistent so finally I stuck my head out and there he was, standing with flowers and a ring box. I ran to hug him, not bothering to look at the ring box until I realized that my parents were sitting in the car staring. Only then was he able to get on one knee and actually ask me.

Bryce: "The crustiest kiss you'll ever get."
On our honeymoon we ended up finding a random monastery around our hotel in Wolf Creek, UT. There lived the cutest old man on the planet, Father Patrick, who after we bought honey from him asked if he could kiss the bride. And boy did he. Best experience of the trip.

Haley (Quoting Bryce): "We're headed right where we're going."
Bryce had a conference in Amsterdam and I decided to tag along. We found out I was pregnant with E just before we left and boy was that fun. In short, Amsterdam has a lot of foreign food (read: a lot of different smells) which made it hard for my baby sick self. In the end, Bryce and I would walk by restaurants so I could briefly stick my head in and see if I could handle it before we could go in. The pastry shop down the road probably saved my life because it was all I could eat. Such a shame to miss all that interesting food. However, the funniest part of the trip came because I had the best sense of direction in the world (which is completely out of the norm for me) and Bryce decided right then that we were having a boy. He figured if I had any idea where we were at any given point it had to be the extra Y chromosome. The quote though actually comes from a day we were wandering around semi-lost and I asked Bryce if he had any idea where we were, to which he answered, "Of course I know where we are. We're headed right where we're going." We've gotten a lot of mileage out of that one.

Bryce: "Barf! You can do it! Barf!"
Bryce's encouraging words to both myself and him as we were trying our best to welcome E into the world. Mine was exhaustion and pitocin, his was food poisoning. We're still not sure who was more sorry for the other. 36+ hours later, it was all worth it.

It has certainly been a great adventure so far. I sometimes can't believe that this is my life. I honestly couldn't have imagined anything better than having two beautiful kids who keep me on my toes every second of every day and a husband who does his best to keep us all alive and sane. Thanks, Wonderful! For five amazing years!

The Great Dismal Pirate Adventure

I just realized that I never blogged our great adventure to the beach. So in the quickest of quick picture posts... Here is our trip:

We headed up to the beach for a bit because our friends needed help moving, so we thought we'd make an adventure of it. Gigi got to see the ocean for the first time and was less than impressed, but E loved it.

Next we headed to the Great Dismal Swamp because honestly, who doesn't love a great dismal swamp?

And finally...
Roanoke Island Festival Park. So fun! E was the most excited about the "pirate ship" and still keeps asking if we can go back to the museum with the ships. 

A realio-trulio-cowardly Haley

As a follow up to the last post...
One of my favorite stories my grandma used tell is The Tale of Custard the Dragon wherein Custard, the realio-trulio-cowardly dragon lives in a house full of bravery and "cries for a nice safe cage" on a regular basis. The poor little thing manages to be quite fierce when a pirate comes "climbing in the winda," but after that he goes right back "crying for a nice safe cage." 
In reading the story to E just a bit ago, I've decided socially speaking, I'm going to embrace the Custard way of life. Yes, more often than not I'm crying for a safe cage of my own--the cage being our nice little family bubble most of the time--but sometimes when I really need it (usually when the mama bear claws are ready to come out), I can buck up and be legitimately brave and do what needs to get done. I can hide in my nice safe cage where I feel comfortable and only bring brave-Haley out to gobble the occasional pirate when I need her. (Only nasty pirates of course as anyone who knows me at all knows that I'd rather join than eat most of them.)

God hath given you one face...

...and you make yourselves another. --Shakespeare

Warning: this post is not an update and it doesn't have any cute kids in it, so for anyone who reads my blog (all three of you =) feel free to skip this one and tune in next week. This one is more for me. 

Having been forced to be somewhat of a recluse--with the baby and moving to a new place where we don't know anyone--has been an interesting experience for me. I'm pretty sure in the last three-or-so months I have thought, "Huh! I didn't know I did that," about 4,000 times. Lots and lots of realizations on my part. 

Preface: When I was a little girl I was painfully shy--hide behind the couch when people knocked on the door kind of shy. A neighbor heard me speak once and she about died of shock because she genuinely thought I couldn't. I would talk non-stop to my family, but in public... not a peep. When we moved to Utah, it got slightly better, but only to the point where I could speak to someone who directly spoke to me. I managed to make some friends, but only a very few I considered close. 

As a result, I had a moment in school where I found myself looking around the group of girls I was hanging around with and realizing I had nothing in common with most of them, nor did I particularly enjoy the things we did together. I decided then and there that I was no longer shy. It took a while to work my way into it, but I started initiating conversations in class, meeting new people, even seeking people out. I went through a tomboy phase, an intellectual phase, a life of the party phase, an apathetic phase... none of them lasted very long (nor, I might add, were they very successful) and finally I settled somewhere in between. 

I started to see myself as an outgoing person, even though I had to force myself into any outgoing tendencies I had created. It became such a habit that I didn't even notice.

Until recently. For the last couple of years, I've been dealing with some anxiety issues (somewhat related to my stress-a-holic tendencies), many of them socially related and not paper bag breathing worthy (usually). As a result I have been dissecting how I went from the person I was to where I am now. Then it hit me: I am shy now because I always have been. And though every other person who knows me may have seen that, I had trained myself to think differently. I tried my best to ignore so many of my tendencies that made life more difficult, but that doesn't mean they weren't there. I am still the painfully shy person that I always have been. I don't run and hide behind the couch anymore when people knock on my door, but that doesn't mean I don't want to. 

I started to think, 'Ugh! Yet another thing to add to the goals list,' but in the end I realized that yes, being shy is problematic in so many ways and I will always have to fight it to some extent because not being able to call and order pizza or be in a room with more than five people at a time is ridiculous. However, there is also absolutely nothing wrong with being shy. It doesn't mean I'm holding myself back or that I love others any less. I am still a friendly and loving person. I still enjoy people. It just means it takes me a bit longer to be comfortable in certain situations and with certain people, and attempting to pretend or force the comfort on myself only serves to make me feel more uncomfortable and take even more time to become legitimately comfortable. 

So in the grand tradition of all silly Haley problems, I helped create this one myself; and it may be a little backwards, but I am shedding my outgoing shell (which more than likely only I thought existed in the first place) and embracing my own shy little self. Welcome back shy Haley, I've strangely missed you.  

E, our master story teller

My Grandma used to tell us stories all the time when we were little and we loved them so much that she put them all in a book for us. E and I have been reading through them and thus he roams around the house telling stories to his animals, to Gigi, or to me. He's actually pretty good at them, only his versions always have different endings. This is my favorite story of late.

Gigi's latest

Basically this is how our little Gigi girl spends most of her time these days:

And I'm barely exaggerating. At least half of her life is spent with her tongue out. So funny. 

And just because he is so darn cute... Here is E singing a song.

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