Thursday, August 20, 2015

17 Things I Love About Us

Look at those two innocent 20-somethings. The world before them all bright and glorious. The sweetness of young love . . .

Fast forward a few years to today . . . . Mr. Ferguson and I celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary. To mark the occasion, I thought I'd make a list. Mr. Ferguson and I love lists.


17 Things I Love About Us

17.  The Real Us. On the way to school today, my daughter asked if we could listen to a song on my iPod. It was actually back at home, so we decided to try the radio. A song came on I never heard before, but part of the lyrics jumped out and grabbed me.

"If I showed you my flaws, If I couldn't be strong, Would you still love me the same?"

Other than God, my hubby is the only person I've ever been able to share the real me with. My weird quirks, annoying traits, etc.  It was a gradual thing, little bit by little bit when we were dating. He was the first guy I felt like I could be honest with who didn't get scared away. He stuck. Now I tease him that he's mega super glued to me and is never allowed to unstick.  =)

16.  Talk, Talk, Talk. We don't really fight - as in yell at each other.  We just talk. Sometimes we get annoyed with each other and need to take a short break. But then we come back together to talk some more until we figure things out.

15. Listen, Listen, Listen. I am so totally not a computer person, but Mr. Ferguson is the geek of geeks. He works all day with technology I can't even begin to understand, but we still share our day with each other. I may not understand the ins and outs of his job, but I get that he has deadlines, projects, and coworkers. I listen, ask questions, and yes, he can totally tell when he's gotten too techy and my mind went mushy. He just smiles, dials the tech talk back and hugs me. I love that.

14. Giving Advice . . . Or Not. Mr. Ferguson listens to me too. All. Day. Long. Oh the joys of working from home together. Something will happen - an email from a reader, the kids forgot their lunch again, someone annoyed me, a hilarious video I discovered on Facebook, and the list goes on. I pop into his office to see if he's on a conference call. If he's not, then he's fair game for a quick conversation. Usually, it's a fast "Guess what?" or "Watch this!" But when I'm annoyed, he patiently sits, lets me vent, then evaluates my openness about receiving advice or staying quiet until later. It took several years to fine tune this amazing gift, but master it he has. Note: Reining in my tidbits of wisdom is still a work in progress. It may take another ten or so years.

13. Staying Connected.  Speaking of working from home together - I absolutely adore it. We've worked this way through most of our marriage. When he actually has to go into the office, I miss him dreadfully. When the kids were still at home, he took lots of 10 minute play breaks throughout the day to spend time with us. Once the munchkins were all in school, we started using the breaks to go on walks, have lunch together, and just chat for a few minutes here and there.

12. PDA. I love that my hubby gets embarrassed by PDA (public displays of affection - outside of our home). Holding hands, hugs, arms around the waist - that's all okay. I give him a kiss and the man is on the verge of blushing. Of course, I take advantage of that and tease him as sneakily as I can, as often as possible.

11. Teasing Our Children. Yep, this counts as things I love about us. When it comes to teasing, we keep it gentle and follow up with hugs. Lately, my teens think affection between mom and dad is gross. Which totally means we do things like, "Oh sweetie, come here. I need a big smoochy kiss," while the kids cover their eyes, gag or melt to the floor in agony. Parenting together is so much fun. (Well, most of the time.)

10. Hey You Sexy Thang! I'm no longer the little 96 lb, size two, 20-something from the day we got married. In fact, I haven't seen that size since about six months after our wedding when I was prego. Over the years, I've fluctuated up to size 20 and down and up and down. It's a never ending battle of frustration, health and fitness. The one thing that's helped me to stay positive is my hubby consistently telling me that I'm beautiful and sexy. The number on the pants don't matter to him. He loves my smile, my hugs, and yes, everything about my body. I thank God for Mr. Ferguson's attitude every single day.

9. Chasing Dreams. When hubby wanted to run his own software contracting company, we figured out how and made it work. When I wanted to go back to college, he adjusted his work schedule so I could attend classes and he could take care of the kids. One year, Mr. Ferguson did a themed Christmas. He had been thinking about the things I loved to do, but gave up when our oldest son was diagnosed with autism so I could be active in therapy programs, etc. The theme he chose was writing. He wrote me a beautiful letter, gave me all sorts of supplies and even a briefcase to organize it all into. Then he pushed me back into my love of writing. Look where we are today. We're each doing work we love, with people we admire. We wouldn't be here without the dreams, and most especially, each other's support.

8. Play Time. Board games have always been a big part of our marriage. As newlyweds, we didn't have a kitchen table, chairs or a couch. So we cooked dinner, then sat on the living room floor and played Sorry or card games. And let me tell you, I'm competitive. We weren't allowed to stop playing until I sufficiently kicked his butt. Mr. Ferguson was competitive enough to not give in and let me win, no matter how late it got. We had so much fun in that little living room. Our game collection has expanded and our kids share our love of board games with us. It's not an every day thing, but school breaks are guaranteed to be kicked off with a huge stack of games to make our way through.

7. Try New Things. Over the years, we've tried a lot of new things together. 5K's with the kids (he ran, I jogged down the hills and walked the rest), home projects, planting flower beds (sadly, my black thumb caused my plant deaths), geek cons, writing conferences, pallet projects and so much more. Last year, it was a Jane Austen ball. Mr. Ferguson was hesitant at first, but we both had a fabulous time! We keep a running list of things we think would be interesting to learn about, travel to, or try. Some turn out to be one time disasters, others we enjoy and do again. But I really like that we do it together.

6. Holding Hands. We dated for a while before Mr. Ferguson first asked if he could hold my hand. When our hands met, they shifted one way, then another, until they settled together into an unique lock, with our pinky fingers twined around each other. It makes me feel safe and loved and just ours.

5. Mr. Ferguson Cooks and Does Laundry. 'Nuff said.

4. Sense of Humor. It's gotten us through A LOT of rough times. For instance, one year just before Thanksgiving and in the middle of NaNoWriMo (I was less than 5K words from finishing), Mr. Ferguson's appendix decided it was done with his body and wanted out. Right before going into surgery, Mr. Ferguson said 2 things - 1) Go to the waiting room, get to work on your book and finish your word count before I'm done, and 2) I always thought it would be cool to have your author friends kill me off in all sorts of interesting ways in their books. We could have a "John got killed off" bookshelf collection. Yeah. I think the drugs had kicked in by then. But I did go to the waiting room and write. Then I sat in his hospital room and wrote a whole bunch more. He'd wake up for a few minutes, ask about my word count, then conk back out. A very stressful time for us both, but is something we laughed about then and now. Looking for a different point of view than the most obvious really does help in tough situations.

3. Praying Together. There's nothing sweeter than hearing your spouse pray for you, your family, and specific things we need help with or that he wishes for us. Prayer also helps us to find calm when we aren't connecting and are annoyed with each other. It heals and brings us together.

2. Ending the Day Together. Each night, we fall asleep holding hands. I hope we're still doing that when he's lost every single hair on his head and I'm a chubby, wrinkly gray haired grandma.

1. Forever. I'm grateful we have a perspective of loving each other and being best friends so that we want to be together forever.




I'm so grateful for the 17 years that have turned our initial sweet young love into a stronger, more enduring love filled with friendship, respect, laughter, hugs, empathy and support. We've shared many beautiful moments, a bucketful of challenges I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, and oh so many tears, laughter, and joy. Neither of us are perfect, but together we are an incredible team. I can't help but think that this is what love really is. But there's a little niggling something in my mind that says after another 17 years of life together, I'll say again, "This is what love really is."

1 comment:

Heidi Eljarbø Morrell Andersen said...

True love! Thank you for sharing, for being honest and for encouraging a healthy, happy relationship.

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