Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A hidden benefit of having an engineer in the house

Being married to a civil engineer definitely has its benefits. You never know when bridge construction experience might come in handy.

The previous owners of our home took down a few light fixtures before they listed the house for sale. They left us with nothing but wires.

We knew that we'd have to replace them, and our realtor was kind enough to buy the entry fixture and dining room fixture for us as a housewarming gift.

Steve installed the dining room fixture months ago. It is beautiful.

The entry fixture was on backorder...first for a month, then two, then 4. It came in this past weekend. Because of the ceiling height (28'), we faced a small problem when figuring out how to get it up in place. Steve is just over 6' tall and has an arm reach of approximately 8'. We have an 8' ladder. Add those together, and you're about 12' too short for where he needed to be. That, coupled with the weight of the fixture, posed a slight dilemma.

So for the last few months, Steve has been scheming in his mind how we would get the light up. Pully systems, circus clowns, and trapeze artists were all considered, but quickly shot down due to logistical issues.

Saturday morning, Steve looked at me, looked at the entryway, and said "I think I'll build a bridge."

He went to Home Depot and bought (2) 14' long 2"x8"s and (1) 2"x4". He guided them from one side of the second story landing to the other, feeding them through the banister railings for support.

Then he screwed down plywood onto the framework, added the 2x4 as a hand rail for support, and was ready to go.

(The naked mural is next to go...)

I was a nervous wreck. Just looking at his contraption made me queasy. It certainly wouldn't win any awards for architectural design. But when he stepped out on it the first time, he gave a little bounce. The bridge didn't even budge.

I handed him pieces, and methodically and carefully he first got the electrical wired, then assembled the fixture.

When it was complete and working, he carefully dis-assembled his bridge.

When he was safely on solid ground again, we both breathed a sigh of relief (I think mine was louder).

The light is stunning and a perfect accent to the entryway.

I can sleep easier at night knowing that if ever there is a river to be crossed (or entry height to be overcome), Steve will get us across. One way or another.

Monday, October 18, 2010

May I have this dance?

On Friday night, Olivia attended her first middle school dance. Steve and I debated about whether or not to let her go. In the end, we decided it was okay. Her school is very small. The middle school has approximately 60 kids, and we figured only about half would show up. She's gone to school with most of these kids since kindergarten, and the relationships are more like siblings than anything else. We figured it was pretty harmless.

Two boys had asked her to "go with them" to the dance (by go with them, they meant arrive and leave alone, but maybe dance together once). She responded that her parents wouldn't allow her to go with them, but that "maybe she would see them there". Smart girl.

She went to a friend's house after school to hang out and get ready.

I was stunned when I saw this photo of her. She seems to have grown up in an instant.

I'm not entirely ready to have a daughter this old. There are all sorts of roads ahead that we will have to navigate together. But at the same time, it is exciting to watch her, on the cusp of stepping over the ledge of childhood and into the next stage of life.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The best choice I ever made...

Thirteen years ago today, I made the wisest decision of my life. I said "I Do" to Steve.

It's been a wild ride, with lots of ups, and a few downs too. We've shared sadness and loss, we've shared joy and success. We've disagreed (though not too often), and compromised. We've said "I'm sorry", and we've forgiven. We've gained weight, lost weight, counted gray hairs, and gotten older together (though I'll always be younger!).

To commemorate this day, here is a chronicle of our life in numbers:

4,745 - The number of "I love yous" spoken (this might not be accurate...as there have been many days where we said it more than once)

11 - The number of cars we've owned. This is even more impressive (or depressing, depending on how you look at it) when you consider that we've had our two current vehicles for 6 years.

6 - The number of homes we've lived in together

3 - The number of children who've joined our family, and we now love with all our heart.

0 - The number of time's I've regretted my choice.

Happy Anniversary honey...I love you!