Fourteen Years

In a few weeks, Roger and I will celebrate our 14th year of marriage.

Whoa.



It really feels much longer than that. In a good way, of course. It feels as if his hand has always been just an arm's length away, nowhere far, always available to give mine two short little squeezes "I love you"...

And it has been a long time. Let's be honest. Today, fourteen years is a lifetime for a young marriage. When you're seventeen and eighteen when you say "I do" it's an eternity...and a miracle. But for us, it has been an adventure.

I tend to get sappy with sentiment when we near our anniversary. I suppose most people do. I don't know. But for me, I look back at all the ups and downs and marvel that the man beside me today is the same boy I met in high school. It is not possible. It's hardly even possible that I am that girl...the girl that had one heck of serious crush on the cutest guy in our group.

So, as we draw nearer to the big fourteen, I want to use this blog to pour out all the sentiment and sap, the tears and the giggles, the secrets and the confessions of what fourteen + years of mad love with Roger Cooper has been like.

You interested?

Pffft. Of course you are.

I like to start out my stories about my life with Roger, by telling people about the first time I ever saw him. It's a rather funny story, actually. You see, our co-op was having a school field trip to Washington DC for a week so that we could all get to know each other before my sophomore year of high school began. I was at one of these meetings about the trip, sitting beside my mother, very shy and awkward (I was the most awkward of all human beings when I was a teen), and I hear a boy start cutting up behind me. After a while, I just had to steal a peek and find out who this guy was. So, as quickly as I could, I turned in my seat. The boy was seated on the floor right behind me, wearing cargo shorts, legs apart, elbows on his knees...very casual. But I did not know this before spinning around and looking RIGHT DOWN HIS SHORTS!

Roger likes to tell people this is why I married him because the first glimpse I had of him was down his pants.

Pffft.

But for the record, I saw NOTHING.

So, though this might be the first time I "saw" my future husband, I don't think it counts. So, the second "first" time I saw him was when I arrived at the bus that would hike us all up to the capitol. I was a nervous wreck. When you are painfully shy, why in heaven's name would you want to go away for a week with a bunch of kids you don't know? You wouldn't. This is why the trip was a nightmare for me.

I think my mom had to coax me out of the car, my pillow and suitcase at my feet. There was a huge group of kids by the bus, and in the center of this group was a tall boy (man, he seemed so tall in that moment!) wearing a wife beater and black sunglasses. He had blond hair that looked just like Romeo from the popular Baz Luhrmann flick at the time. No joke. 

                 

But I will be completely honest about myself at the time. I was a lanky blonde girl that was shy and awkward, yes, we have covered that. But added to that mess, I stood in that parking lot with my lioness hair (it was and still is SOOOO thick) pulled into a pony tail held in place with a SCRUNCHIE, wide-legged jeans to hide my chicken legs, and a baggy t-shirt. I really wish I had a photo of this moment; you'd better understand how the two of us never should have ended up together. He was clearly the class cut-up and a bit of a ladies man (though he has always adamantly declared this to be a lie) and I was a skinny little dork. I am serious. Honest.


This is me...on that trip...with my cheeks full of grapes. Oh me. It's a wonder...

There should never have been a reason that Roger and I ended up together, but God knew that we were the only ones that could make the other happy, handle each other, challenge each other. But for a good while, we were not friends. I was a snob. He sat behind me on the bus, leaned around the seat--giving me a good view of those pretty blue eyes--and asked, "What's your name." As stupid as it was, even though I had made eye contact with the poor boy, I pretended that I didn't realize he was speaking to me. But I couldn't answer. No words would come out of my mouth. I felt a blush creeping up my neck because I knew, I JUST KNEW, he was making fun of me. Somehow. He didn't REALLY want to know my name. Right?

What a dufus!

Roger was a flirt. He was a little obnoxious but very funny and somehow found a way to be cool while being obnoxious--that takes talent. And when he started singing on that bus, I was won. That voice...

That's when the crush took root in me.

And so the adventure slowly began. In fourteen years, we've lived an eternity together...messy and beautiful all at the same time. You wouldn't believe all that God has forced us through as friends, as a silly dating couple, as man and wife, and as mommy and daddy. We have become something amazing, captivating, insane, falling apart, stitched back together, mismatched, and perfectly fit.

We've become the coolest couple there ever was. ;P More on this crazy story coming soon.

Now...enjoy the song Roger was singing on that bus. Hahaha! Doesn't this date us?



~Gia




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Poop and Tears :: Nothing To See Here, Folks

When I leave the house, the world is diligent to let me know that my baby is the only one in the world that cries.

I am not joking.

This is not my crying baby, but it is a crying baby...proof that other babies cry.

To be fair, I have had the experience before kids--and maybe even after mine are no longer babies--where I am in the line at the supermarket and the persistent screaming of a little baby makes me think, "For the love that is all good in this world, would someone make that baby stop crying?!?!"

But when it is me and my baby, I just dare you to speak those words to me. I. Just. Dare. You.

The other day, I was struggling through the store with London and the two Bigs. London wanted carried, so I carried her and asked Lucy to push the cart (Lucy is quite capable of this chore). However, she wasn't cooperating and Teddy was no help, either. So, I hold London on my hip and push the cart one-handed. If you've done this, you know it is a HUGE pain in the butt.

Half-way through the shopping trip (Father's Day shopping), London has had enough. She begins to fuss a little before that's not enough to get my attention, and then full out screams bloody murder. So to the check out lane I go.

The two women in front of me have a little baby a bit older than London. The older woman speaks to the baby, as if I have no ears, and says, "Look at that baby! It's not happy! You're ALWAYS a happy baby. Tell that baby! Tell that baby you're always happy and always smile!"

Come on.

Always?!

Another crying baby that is not mine...

But then there's a family behind me. They're a couple--young--and they have one baby. Lucy and Teddy have chosen this moment to start bickering and demanding those stupid over-priced toys the managers put at the checkouts. My blood is starting to boil. I hear the couple talking about me behind my back. Literally. They are talking about me BEHIND my back...

And I have EARS people!!!

This is not my baby, either...

Still, the older woman is talking about my "unhappy" baby and how her's is ALWAYS happy. She rolls her eyes and the cashier joins in on the conversation. I am glaring at this point. I'm almost hoping that the woman dares to make eye contact so I can make it crystal clear that I can hear her and that I am not pleased. But she's smarter than all of that. That's when I realize she knows I can hear. She intends for me to hear.

And now there is smoke coming out my ears.

What I suppose their babies look like when mine is crying...

That same day, we go out to eat. No fast food junk for us, thank you; we want to sit down somewhere and enjoy it. So, we go to our local Mexican place. I am convinced the normal waiter there has us "marked". He barely speaks to us every time we go and never brings us our bill or checks on us. But when you live in a small farm town, they know--and we know--we have few options.

When the dinner is finished and Roger gives up and just goes to pay without our check, I stand to follow. I am so proud of London. She has been good as gold and sung the entire time. I pat her back and whisper, "Thank you, Baby Girl..." and feel something wet on my hand. I pull it away and look...only to find greenish-yellow poop in my palm. A couple guests avert their eyes as I pass them. What they see, and I have not yet discovered, is that the poop is not only in the palm of my hand, but running down my shirt. It is everywhere.



Roger and I haphazardly balance London on my thigh outside the van. We strip her down naked, using baby wipes layer by layer to clean the poop up as we go. She is just smiling, talking, singing at the birds. When she is clean and in a fresh diaper, I'm half tempted to just rip my shirt off, but that won't do. So we drive home with me pretending to have my seat belt on, as not to get poop everywhere else.

 So why am I sharing my rant? I really don't know. I guess it's because I want to whine a little. Maybe it's because I cannot think of anything else to blog about? More so, it's probably just to whine...

Make me feel better, folks! Let me know I am not alone in this craziness! Tell me how your baby cries in public and other humans act like it's a phenomenon. Tell me you've been bathed in beautiful, golden, breastfed baby's poop! Please?!?!

~Gia


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