I wake up before you, I always do. And in between giving thanks for everything from the roof over our heads to the golden fluff ball on the floor to the way my toes feel in our clean sheets, I look over at you…and I smile. You look really peaceful when you sleep, like someone on a Sleepy’s mattress ad. Or a Nyquil commercial. And this makes me laugh because I know, from pictures that you’ve taken, that I furrow my brow and crinkle my eyes when i sleep. But that’s just so us. I worry enough for the both of us, so much so that I worry in my sleep. And you’re the one, day & night, who always keeps us calm.
I kiss your face, right in that soft spot by the corner of your eyes. And without opening them, you just say “Snooooze.” So I just curl closer to you and we put off the world a little longer. Pretty soon Cooper will stand & stretch, and go stare out the window. He’ll pad around there for a few minutes making sure he knows everything that’s going on in the neighborhood, and then he’ll stand at the end of the bed and whimper slightly until I say “come on up.” Then, like clockwork, he’ll take take three good running starts before finally making the leap. He’ll start to curl up at the end of the bed, but I’ll tug on his collar until he lays down right between us. And then he’ll stare down at us with his giant lion head and lick our hands if we stop petting him for a second. And that right there, is how we start our days.
Later I’ll make you oatmeal and you’ll make me coffee, even though you hate the smell of it and don’t drink it yourself. We’ll settle in to the work to be done, and there will be files to be uploaded and emails to answer. But somewhere in the space between, we’ll find each other. With a passing hug in the kitchen or a kiss on the forehead when I don’t even look up. Even when we’re busy, I know you’re right there.
By evening, we’ll stand side by side and chop things together. You’ll tell me I’m using the wrong knife, and I’ll say “good, you can show me how then.” Then I’ll sit on the counter and watch you while you finish the job. I’ll pour a glass of wine and ask if you want any, and you always answer the same, “just a little.” Then we’ll take our place on the couch, me on the left & you on the right, and turn on the first inevitably gory scene of Bones. Then ask ourselves for the 5,000th time why on earth we would ever watch this show while eating dinner. We hit pause and pray together, always with me ending in “And please God don’t let my cooking give us food poisoning. Amen.” It’s one of those super weird things we do, that anybody else would think was strange, that just makes us….us.
At the end of the night, I climb the two flights of stairs up to the third floor. And once again I’ll give thanks again for the roof and the floors and the walls in between. For a husband and a golden retriever and the chance to do work that matters. You’ll come up a few minutes later after taking Coop out and you’ll bring with you a glass of water. Because you know I get thirsty in the middle of the night. Cooper will roll around on his bed until he gets comfortable, and we’ll spoon for all of about three minutes before we both get hot and turn over. I’ve often wondered if it says something really bad about us that we don’t spoon all night like they do on tv. But then I remember that they lie on tv. Before I let you go, I grab your arm and remind you of the sign that hangs in our room, “Always kiss me goodnight.” You laugh and roll your eyes and do. And then just like that, you’re off to that mattress ad worthy peaceful sleep again. And I know that I’ll miss you until morning.
When it will start all over again.
These things that I’m writing feel like nothing. They feel so small. And yet for us, I know they are our everything.
The million, tiny, little, what’s it matter, who’s to say, ordinary, extraordinary moments that make up our whole world. Together.
And for that, I am thankful.
And as promised, we are also ready to announce the winners of our “J&M Newbie Soiree”!! Counting the husband & wife teams, we had 42 incredible entries come in. Seriously, each and every one of them was ahhmazing, and as I was reading through them one by one I just kept saying to Justin, “how are we EVER going to choose?!!” Then we started thinking about it….and the whole point of the get together was to make sure that people didn’t feel left out their first year. So how on earth were we going to tell some people that they then couldn’t come?? It kind of goes against everything we were going for!
So we talked it over and what we’ve decided is…..ALL of you who signed up by the deadline are going to get to come!! :) Wooo hoo! Hopefully it will still be small enough that we’ll get to meet everybody & chat one on one, but this way we don’t have to turn anybody away. The contest is closed now, so unfortunately we won’t be able to take anyone else. But to all of you who were brave enough to put it out there by the deadline… you are IN!! We’ll be emailing you all over the weekend with the details on where the soiree will be taking place. Can’t WAIT to see you all in Vegas, baby!!! xo