Archive | September, 2013

365 reasons why i love you

12-25-11photos 067For Hanukkah in 2011, Squirmy, Squeaky and I gave Greg a jar filled with little pieces of paper filled with 365 reasons why we loved him.

I have never seen him so excited about a gift. He held onto that jar and carried it with him for days, like a little kid. It ended up on his nightstand and he would, for months and months, open up that jar in the morning while we snuggled in bed, to start reading. The girls would help him pick them out and he’d read each one out loud…well, not the x-rated ones! They would get so excited when one was from them.

I spent a lot of time on this long list. I thought about all the obvious reasons I loved Greg which was a long list but I was struggling to not repeat myself after 250 or something like that. Then I started thinking about the things that made him who he is, his quirks and even things that annoyed me about him! And it was ALL of these little things, rolled into one that made him HIM and acknowledging them to him was probably why this gift meant so much.

Here are some of my favorites (sorry, it got kind of long…at least I’m not making you read all 365!):

  • I love you because…you think that ‘getting up’ in the morning is having your eyes open. – Red
  • I love you because…not only do you NOT leave the toilet seat up, you even put the cover down.  – Red
  • I love you because…you do funny dances.  – Red
  • I love you because…you are good-hearted.  – Red
  • I love you because…you always make me laugh when I’m supposed to be mad at you!  – Red
  • I love you because… you don’t care what others think of you.  – Red
  • I love you because…you have a soothing voice. – Red
  • I love you because…you have a martial arts background and would beat someone up for me…if needed. – Red
  • I love you because…you don’t mind when your mother-in-law stays with us.  – Red
  • I love you because…you almost destroy clothing in order to get rid of a visible brand name.  – Red
  • I love you because…you never yell.  – Red
  • I love you because…if I don’t know where you are, you are most likely in bed or on the toilet!  – Red
  • I love you because…you think and act like Larry David…and you’re proud of it!  Sigh.  – Red
  • I love you because…you drive with the sunroof open even when it’s freezing outside! – Red
  • I love you because…you put your hand on my leg when we drive.  – Red
  • I love you because…you comfort our children. – Red
  • I love you because… when you have a chore to do, you go balls to the walls like you’re being timed.  – Red
  • I love you because…you like perfume only 1 squirt at at time…or less.  – Red
  • I love you because…you need to choose the perfect playlist for every, I mean EVERY task. – Red
  • I love you because…you yell goodbye and I love you and wave out your sunroof every day when you leave for work.  – Squirmy and Squeaky
  • I love you because…you throw pizza dough into the air.  – Squirmy
  • I love you because…you stood on your head in Squeaky’s room one time…a long, long time ago.  – Squirmy
  • I love you because… you draw silly faces on my check-in sheet at preschool.  – Squirmy
  • I love you because…you explain things to me. -Squirmy
  • I love you because…you wear your Uffington horse and robot shirts.  – Squirmy
  • I love you because…you don’t discount anything I say.  – Squirmy
  • I love you because…you put a sock on your nose like a nose.  – Squeaky and Squirmy
  • I love you because…you always have time for us. – Squirmy, Squeaky and Red

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe following year, Greg made a jar for me. I have our two jars next to each other and will keep them together. It’s another comforting reminder of what we shared.

I highly recommend doing this or something like it for someone you love. It takes a lot of thought, but it’s worth it. It’s worth it for the recipient but it will probably also help you remember the reasons you fell in love. It may even help you discover some things you truly love about that person that you may not have ever realized.

xxx,

Mariah

1

for the record

A few weeks ago, I received a summons to report for jury duty. Sigh. Why am I being called for jury duty for the first time NOW?  Well, I think I might know why.

I had to go through a little paperwork to be excused for jury duty this time. But in the process, I was put in touch with the jury clerk in Madison…someone I needed to talk to in order to get the following information…

Back up to spring of 2012…When Greg was summoned for jury duty, I remember he had a good time and was excited to tell me all about it. On some questionnaire he wrote out his age in days instead of years, which is SO Greg! I also remember a story he was very proud to tell me. The judge was asking questions during jury selection and Greg got something about ME put on the record. I have a horrible memory and that’s all I remember about it, but getting my own summons for jury duty brought it back up.

As I was making my case to be excused (I’m moving), I decided to ask the jury clerk if she could look into the records for me, to find anything from the day Greg was there.  I had JUST come across a paper with Greg’s jury pool number and ID on it about a month ago. She told me there is not usually a transcript routinely prepared unless there is a request for one or an appeal but that she would look into it. Twenty minutes later, she called me back and said that she talked to the court reporter and they both remembered Greg and this certain instance in the courtroom. AND SHE FOUND THE TRANSCRIPT. She said, “I’m folding it up right now and sending it to you.” And then I could hear her start to cry. She managed to get the words out, “It’s really nice.” And then I started crying. And then we were both sobbing and I hope she heard me say thank you about ten times before I finally hung up. I felt a little rude but it seemed silly to stay on the phone crying!

It turns out the part about me was what Greg had written on that form, my occupation. So here it is:

for the record_2

Just another example of what a sweetie Greg was. Thank you for this, Baby.

And thank you to the Dane County jury clerk, Maureen, for treating this as an important matter and finding it for me.

xxx,

Mariah

2

carrot soup

This soup is so good that I usually want to put it in a mug and drink it! We call it our slurping soup. It’s a simple recipe but so good. I grabbed it out of a children’s book, called Carrot Soup by John Segal.

We don’t own this book, just checked it out from the library. I’m the mom who checks out 20-30 books at a time. I see other moms telling their kids that they can pick 1 or 2 books and I look at my girls and say, “You can have a hundred books!”. And Squirmy looks at me with a big-eyed, raised-eyebrow smile like we’re doing something so naughty.  That’s as bad as we get!

carrot soup

Carrot Soup

2 lbs carrots, shredded (Sometimes this doesn’t seem like enough so I add 1 or 2 or 10 more carrots! And use a food processor if you don’t want a sore arm – ouch.)
4-14 oz cans chicken broth (if you make your own broth, bless you)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 lg onion, chopped
1/4 C butter
5 sprigs fresh dill, chopped (more or less, depending on how dilly you want it)
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion and celery in butter until celery is getting soft. Add carrots and broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Let cool and blend in batches. Add salt, pepper and dill. Slurp.

This carrot soup is delicious any time of year but it really needs fresh dill so whenever you can get that, MAKE this! While it is a simple recipe to follow, it can get a bit sloppy. I always make a mess and my kitchen is covered with bright orange splotches after all the shredding, pureeing and pouring of the beautiful carrots. I have a mound of dirty dishes from pouring from this pan to that, but with some fabulous soup to slurp up, I don’t even care.

Greg used to add Sriracha and would always offer it to Squirmy and Squeaky too. They still pay homage to Daddie by adding one drop of hot sauce to their soup.

And if you check this book out from our library, the orange splotches on the recipe page may or may not have been from me! I should probably buy my own copy.

Slurp.

xxx,

Mariah

2

tremble before greg’s high score

Greg loved video games. He played a lot growing up and was brilliant at Robotron. A friend told us about a Vintage Arcade Week at the Wisconsin Historical Society back in 2007. So of course he went and he won two t-shirts for getting the highest score on Robotron and another game. The girls (especially Squirmy) loved it when he wore one of his “robot shirts” and would always want him to name all the characters. He knew all of them and would list them off one by one!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One of the places Greg loved going to was Rossi’s Pizza in Monona, WI. When he had the chance to do something by himself (because his wife is not a fan of video games), he’d head to Rossi’s for a slice of  “pie” and some arcade games.

Rossi's pizza

When Greg got sick, we talked a lot about making a list of things that made him happy and he loved; things he could do one last time. But he got so sick, so quickly, he wasn’t able to even start that list.

After a long morning at the hospital sometime in April, Greg was feeling okay, even though he had to wear a mask because of the neutropenia he had developed after chemotherapy. We were planning on getting something to eat on the way home and I asked him if he wanted to go to Rossi’s. He lit up and said, “Really?” like we were going to play hooky or something.  It was so hard during that time because we were gone from Squirmy and Squeaky so much, we were usually so anxious to get back home to them. So this was a big deal, especially since I was the one suggesting it.

Robotron

Greg played two or three games but got really tired out from them. While I’ve never really liked video games I have played Ms. Pac Man a few times. So, I played Ms. Pac Man while he leaned back on a stool and watched me. He was impressed that I was getting so into it. Ha! He was happy, doing something he loved. And it was nice that we could share that happy moment together, one last time.

And before we left, I wrote something like, “I love my hubby forever!” on the chalkboard wall in the bathroom.  :)

xxx,

Mariah

 

1

what he left behind

After Greg died and I started going through some of his things, thoughts would run through my mind like, “This shirt is still here? How could he leave his sushi shirt behind? He loved this shirt! And this Fawlty Towers episode book? He needs this where he is!” And then I’d realize how silly those thoughts are. But I still go through that thought process. Now that I’m going to sell his car, I keep thinking, “How is he just letting me sell this car that he loved?” It’s like a joke and he’s just dead until he realizes he left his car or that sushi shirt and he’s going to come back to claim it, like “Just kidding! You really think I was going to die without bringing my sushi shirt?”

9-11-11photos 209

Greg in his sushi shirt with Squirmy at her 3rd birthday party. He had just finished being a clown. :) This shirt is definitely a keeper!

I even laughed to myself over getting rid of a couple things that he loved and I did NOT. There was one shirt that we’d laugh about because he loved it and I hated it. I’m sure this is a universal husband/wife thing, is it not? If Greg ever put it on for something that I thought was important, I’d have to plead with him to change. I imagined that his ghost was trying to wrestle me to the ground because I was getting rid of that ugly zippered shirt with the collar that had a permanent, dirty crease in it. I’m not sure he really loved it all that much, more that he loved laughing at my reaction to it!

10-6-11photos 112

I have saved a lot of Greg’s things, all I have left of him that I can actually touch. Things that remind me of him, things that I can feel and imagine he’s still wearing. I page through a book that he loved, hoping that doing so will make him walk back into the room. I realize that thinking he misses these things is completely ridiculous. But his things that meant so much to him when he was alive, have become so important to me now. And of course, I know the only thing in this life that really mattered to him was his girls.  We are what he would come back for…if only that was possible.

xxx,

Mariah

2

slow cooker chicken tikka masala

I’m going to lighten things up a bit with a recipe. I feel nostalgic posting a recipe from life with Greg since I haven’t really cooked (thoughtful meals, like I used to) since Greg died…and probably even since he got sick. That means the last day I cooked was February 23rd, 2013. But before that, I cooked a lot. I used to plan out our meals for the entire week. I have a binder full of recipes that I miss making. Every Sunday night, I’d go through my recipes, make the menu and write a grocery list. Maybe this will inspire me to start cooking again. Especially with a meal this easy.

slowcooker-chicken_300

 

This is a slow cooker recipe that I pulled out of a Real Simple magazine a year or two ago. Greg and I used to love going out for Indian food. He would always choose the spicier dishes – he tried everything (well, everything without mammal!) but I remember seeing a lot of green on his plate, like the Mahttar Paneer or Saag Paneer dishes. I always got the Chicken Tikka Masala. All the time! So this recipe isn’t exactly like the dish in an Indian restaurant but it’s still yummy.

The only thing I think I changed on it was to double (or maybe even triple?) the garam masala. Plus, it was never hot enough for Greg so he always had to add something to his to make it spicy. Oh and I never let the cucumber and cilantro sit with lemon juice for 8 hours because I always forgot about that part. So I’d chop them up just before serving and I’ve never used the lemon juice…still great! Actually, I think the cucumber and cilantro  makes the dish so don’t skip that part…unless you hate cilantro. Because I think cilantro is possibly a love/hate herb, isn’t it? Then I will let you skip it. But don’t skip the cucumber! If you hate cucumber, well, then don’t even make this!

Anyway, you can get this recipe over at Real Simple HERE.

xxx,

Mariah

P.S. Do you think it’s funny when you look at websites with recipes and there is a looooong list of people adding their details on how they changed the recipe and who ate it? That’s annoying to me. But I think I just did that in this post. I am annoying to me. :)

2

our wedding anniversary

Today would have been our seven year wedding anniversary. As I was getting ready for our wedding, I remember thinking to myself, “How can anyone have doubts on their wedding day?” And as it turns out, I don’t think I’ve ever been so sure about anything in my life.

Wedding

 

What I loved the most about our time on this earth together is how much Greg absolutely adored me, and me, him. Our love for each other was never off balance – we were always pulling each other closer, equally. I am so thankful that he was here to show our girls what a pure, sincere and loving a relationship looks like…how men and women should treat each other. How, if a couple is a true team, they will never fail each other.

We packed a lifetime of love into almost seven years.

Happy Anniversary, Baby.

xxx,

Mariah

 

1

my husband just died

I want to say it all the time. Everywhere we go where people don’t know our situation. I’ll get a comment on my wedding ring, on how sweet the girls are, asked if I know what aisle the couscous is in, and I tell them. I have Greg’s picture taped on the inside of my wallet so when I open it up, I can see him. Sometimes I think I put it there so that other people can see it too and if they make any sort of comment on it, I can just blurt out, “That’s my husband and he just died!” I just want to get it out. Not because I want to shock them or get sympathy but because that is our life right now and you just can’t tell from the outside. We’re in pain. Lots of pain. And I want people to know.

honeymoon

I’ve been trying to pay attention to other things going on in the world, right in front of me, but I still seem to be in a fog. All I know is my husband just died. It’s still hard to think about much else. Slowly, it is becoming more about the day-to-day…4k and preschool and blogs and selling cars and houses and stuff on craigslist and jury duty. Yes, jury duty…sigh. But I have to just say it because that’s the truth. And maybe every time I say it helps me to move forward just a little.

Our whole situation may be shocking right now but in time, I guess it won’t be. I’ll say, “My husband died last year…five years ago…ten years ago…twenty years ago.” and people will just nod, because that happens. And then I’ll just nod. And then hopefully I’ll smile – or maybe even laugh…and think of a funny story about him and how much I loved kissing him. And it’ll feel good to be able to just smile.

xxx,

Mariah

8

why kissing glue?

Welcome to my blog. A blog about me and my family. Why kissing glue?  When Greg and I were married in our front yard, there was a song that we chose as we walked in our front door and took a few moments to make-out (ha!) as a new, married couple. The song was “I’d Like That” by XTC, Greg’s absolute favorite band. It’s a lovely song. A line in the song that I’ve always liked sings,

“I’d smile so much my face would crack in two,
and you could fix it with your kissing glue.”

In the spirit of healing, what this blog is all about, a little kissing glue might help. That’s why kissing glue.

xxx,

Mariah

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