June 29, 2009

10th Anniversary

Tyler here again.

Back on May 29th Melissa posted a very nice letter to me and our first prom picture, celebrating 15 years of being a couple. On June 19th we celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary and I gave her a card with a letter inside it (there wasn't enough room in the card to write). She said it was OK if I shared it.

So, here it is:



What can I say after 10 years of marriage? I guess the easiest thing I can say is that I love you more now than the day I first said, “I love you.” After all these years, I still get excited when I see you in a crowd. Sometimes, I see someone who looks like you and my heart jumps a bit only to let me down when I find out it’s not you. There may not be any way to describe it but there’s something about you that makes me have to be around you. There’s something about you that always draws me in.

I know we say we’ve changed a lot (and we have) but sometimes I still think of us as two kids who fell in love way to early and were just stubborn enough to never call it quits even when people thought we wouldn’t make it. From age 18 and on I never really gave serious thought to us not making it. It wasn’t just me being thick headed; I never wanted anyone more than you. You were always the girl for me, ever since the day we met. True, I saw you first (all of you, eventually) but once I got the nerve to talk to you I noticed that I had never felt that way about another girl. You definitely were different, and I liked it. I would choose you all over again if I had the chance.

Fast-forward almost 17 years from the day we met and I’m so glad that you are a mature, Christian woman who loves the Lord. It was awesome seeing my best friend give her life to Christ, and it was even sweeter that we ended up falling in love. I still look back on those days with great fondness. I also look back on the early days of our marriage with fondness. Although I’d never trade my life I have now with you and Maggie, it was great to live in a tiny condo with you and go anywhere we wanted whenever we felt like it.

Now that we’re not young anymore (but not old either) I look forward to actually becoming responsible adults together. I really felt like a kid for a large part of my twenties but you’ve helped me understand what it means to be a man. Sometimes, I want to wallow in self-pity but you won’t let me. You are truly my helper, in every sense of the word. I can’t imagine what kind of lazy, gluttonous, self-abasing whiner I would be if it weren’t for you. That’s further proof that God knew what he was doing when he put us together. I need you, everyday. I need you for comfort, for support, and love. God knew that Adam needed a mate and he knew I needed one and I believe he made you and shaped you in to the person you are today to compliment me. I can’t imagine my life with anyone else.

I am also very proud that you are the mother of my daughter. Although I’m certain we’ll have more children, I know if Maggie is all the Lord’s blessed us with, then I feel my life is complete. Thank you for taking the time that I don’t have to spend with her and to teach her right from wrong. I know it hurts to discipline someone you love so much but it is for her own good. Every time I think about it, I pray that she will come to know the Lord at an early age. Certainly, God is using you in playing a part in her learning about her sin, the God we serve, and the need to be reconciled to him. That means so much and makes me love you more. I’m glad that we can still have a deep love even with the rigors of raising a child.

Right now, work takes too much of my time and too much of my emotional energy. I know I don’t give you the time and attention you deserve and I don’t spend enough time with Maggie. At the same time, I also fear not being able to provide for the two of you during a difficult time economically. So, I do what I think I have to for the greater good of our entire family. So many other wives would beat me down with guilt but you’ve stood by my side, been my comfort, and stood up for me. Thank you for the support you give, I don’t know how I could get through the day without it. You are such a wonderfully supportive wife; you’ll never know how much it means to me.

I said in the beginning of this letter that I would choose you again if I had the chance. I don’t mean just back in those High School days. If I were a lonely, desperate 31 year old bachelor and I came across you, just as you are now, I know I’d pick you out of a crowd and just have to talk to you. There’s no way I can picture any other woman in my life. You will always be the love of my life, now and always.

Sincerely you affectionate and ever-grateful husband,

Tyler John Spaid

June 28, 2009

Some notes about a certain aspect of our 10th anniversary getaway

This is Tyler here. I don't post much but I wanted to add a little something from our 10th anniversary trip to Chatty, TN and Hotlanta, GA last week. Melissa had to go to the cake store (as she mentioned in a previous post). So, I obliged, imagining this is what it's like for her when I go to Best Buy. I hear this the premier cake decorating shop in the country (it may be the only one -- who knows). Anyway, let me show you a few "decorations" this place has to offer.

Item #1:

In case you couldn't read the label, I put the two packages together and took a close up. Did you catch that? Who wouldn't enjoy a cake with 144 white and 144 black babies on it, huh? Nothin' like a little enlightened diversity on your baby cake. And let me tell you, as a side note, 288 ethnically diverse babies always add a little spice to that dull cake you are used to eating.

Item #2:

Hot hot hula girls! Clothing optional. However, like the babies even these poor girls have been carefully segregated. Affirmative action hasn't reached the cake girl world yet. If you aren't a leg man, don't worry, they included the girl on the right on the second picture with just the torso.

Item #3:

I don't want to leave the ladies out on this post. Here's your Ken doll party cake topper! Wait, why isn't he clothing optional? Sometimes there just isn't justice in the world, sorry ladies.

Item #4:

Only in the South. Need I say more?

Item #5:

The consummate cake topper shopper. Notice the seriousness of the eyes, like a hawk searching for its prey. No time for idle chit-chat this cake artist, she's on a mission. One must be swift and certain to make sure that the super black food coloring lands in the basket first so that the black and white babies don't get smashed.

June 24, 2009

10th Anniversary Getaway

Last weekend Tyler and I went to Chattanooga and Atlanta for our anniversary. It was awesome! Tyler's boss, Carl, let us stay in his brand new, perfectly decorated condo in Chattanooga. We had dinner Friday night in Chattanooga - St. John's - I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who wants a gourmet dining experience. Every bite was so amazing, it was the biggest, best party in my mouth ever. I wish I had taken a picture of my dinner - Kobe beef steak - so I could remember it forever.

Saturday we went to Atlanta. A trip to IKEA, Trader Joe's (bought 9 bottles of wine for $45 - yay!), the Cake Art Party Store (that was my call, Tyler was so kind to accommodate me, anoter post on that is coming) and dinner at Fleming's. Delicious!
Giving the dog statue a high-five. I guess the thing to do when you stay at Carl's condo is to sit on the deck and count how many runners/walkers high-five the dog that sits at the entrance to the walking bridge.
The condo was on the second floor of this building. Directly below: ice cream and coffee shop. The parking garage smelled like waffle cones baking, it was heavenly! The condo is at the best place in town: a block or two up from the aquarium and all the fun in downtown Chattanooga, and right in front of the building entrance is the bridge to the other side of the river, and another bridge over to the Art District. Gorgeous!
Here we are with our iced coffees in a beautiful garden in the Art District.
Tyler at the Good Dog. It's across the Tennessee River from the condo. Amazing hot dogs, I recommend the BBQ dog. And a fun way to end our trip and celebrate Father's Day, too. The anniversary overtook Father's Day this year, but he still got a good gift out of the whole deal: a new lawnmower. Of course, it also counts as his birthday.
It was a really nice little trip for the two of us. Maybe next year we'll do something spectacular, like go to Italy. We'll see.

June 19, 2009

A Whole Decade, Really?

I realize that three weeks ago was our 15-year anniversary of being together. BUT - today is our 10th wedding anniversary. It is sometimes hard to believe it has been that long, and other times I feel like we've been together forever. I said it all three weeks ago, and it still applies, so here are some photos from the big day.

I will ask that you excuse the lame pictures and orange carpeting. Were I to do it all over again, I would've gotten a more artistic photog and done all the pictures in my Mom's garden.

Here's to another 50 lovely, wonderful years my dear. You still sweep me off my feet!

June 17, 2009

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

Saturday night we went to a Nashville Sounds game (minor league). So much fun!

Playing on the bouncy slide before the game, free for the kids. We went with the Dunns and Maggie was so happy that Nyah was there to play with her (Maggie on the left, Nyah on the far right).

Toward the end of the game. They went into one inning of overtime, then -
Fireworks! I think I've figured out the timing with the "fireworks" feature on my camera, but at any rate these ones turned out wonderfully!!!

Maggie really liked the fireworks, even though you can't tell from the picture. At the end they had some that sounded like cannonballs, and she even kept it together through those.

June 13, 2009

Play Time With Daddy

Maggie LOVES LOVES LOVES play time with Daddy. He does so many different, fun things than boring old Mommy. They "play sleeping" - Maggie puts Daddy down for a nap (and more often than not Tyler is able to sneak in a cat nap before she wakes him back up), they play swords with sticks outside, and recently Tyler taught Maggie how to pretend doing the following:
-hunt for a deer
-shoot it with her stick rifle
-haul the carcass
-cut it up
-prepare a fire
-roast some meat on the stick
-eat the meat off the stick
She acted out this entire scenario for me Thursday evening with Daddy. I about died with laughter it was so funny!!! She was so serious about the whole thing, I don't know if she will do it all for the camera... we'll see.

This week he put up the tent in the back yard. Maggie thinks it is the best thing since sliced bread. We invited the neighbor boy over today, and they played in it until they almost sweated to death! Daddy and Maggie are planning to sleep in it overnight at some point, but we'll see about that. Tyler will have to run an extension cord from the shed to the tent and put a fan in there, otherwise it will be too darn hot to sleep in.
After playing in the tent for a while, Maggie wanted to play Sleeping Beauty. Here she is Prince Phillip - using Daddy's t-shirt as her cape. I assure you Tyler was not wearing her shirt, and he was not Aurora. I believe Maggie said he had to be the dragon (Malificent). Like I said, Daddy is so much more fun than Mommy, look at the smile on her face!

So Loving These New Shoes

With Maggie's recent growth spurt she needed some new shoes. First her tennis shoes didn't fit, then her dress shoes, then I noticed her feet almost hanging off the front and back of the flip-flops I got her for Valentine's Day. So early this week we went to Target for new shoes. Here are the tennis shoe replacements. I totally love their retro design. Maggie probably won't wear them a lot this summer at home, but they'll get plenty of use on our trip to Seattle I'm sure - we are so used to the heat now that 70 degrees is chilly. Daddy put these on her for play time the other day, and was thoughtful enough to pick out the beaded socks that matched the shoes. Go Tyler!

June 11, 2009

Remember how I said "undiagnosed health problems"...

Well - they are now diagnosed. Praise the Lord! We found out today that Tyler has a weak lower esophageal gastric sphincter. The sphincter, or valve, doesn't stay shut like it is supposed to and has been the cause of really bad reflux and constant stomach/chest pain for quite some time. We are so relieved that his endoscopy gave us definite answers and his pain is not from an ulcer, hiatal hernia or cancer. We didn't really think about cancer until this morning. OK - I am the one that thought it might be cancer and shared my fear with Tyler as we were in the hospital room getting ready for his endoscopy; not great timing, I know. It has been an eventful year for Tyler, let's hope and pray this is the beginning of a long period of health and wellness.

In the immediate term he is on a medication that will lessen his production of stomach acid so that his reflux will not be so painful and not erode his esophagus. There are some lifestyle changes that have to take place, too. Our hope is that those changes we make will allow him to get off the medication at some point soon in the future. Surgery is a possibility, but we will only go that route as a last resort if the rest of the changes we make and the medication don't help.

Anyway, that's the update on Tyler's health.

June 9, 2009

Nashville Shores

Today Maggie and I joined our friend Lauren, and her kids Jack & Ruby, for some fun at Nashville Shores, a big water park on Percy Priest Lake. The weather was perfect, too.

Maggie has just started swim lessons, so I thought going to a water park would be a fun way to help get her over her fear of water in her face. I was able to get Maggie to blow bubbles in the water any time I asked her, and she did alright floating in my arms but I think swimming independently is a ways off. We'll just have to keep going to the pool or lake as much as we can this summer (once my sunburn heals!).

Purposefully walking to the lounge chairs to store our stuff.
Posing for a picture in her swim gear. I am SO glad I put her in the rash guard today. I put on sunscreen twice, and still got fried. Maggie is barely tan, but no sunburn.
Bravely going to the kiddie pool without me needing to be right by her. She had a great time as long as she was not getting splashed or in too deep.
End of the day, Maggie had just recovered from a bad fall in the kiddie pool, it was past naptime... you get the picture.
We made a quick stop at a nearby gas station for ice cream before we headed home. That made everyone happy!

Concert in the Park Sunday

We just found out about a concert series Williamson County does every Sunday night through the summer. So Sunday afternoon we packed a picnic dinner and hauled Maggie down to Crockett Park. Some sort of cowboy act was there, Disney-affiliated somehow, and we sat with a big group of our friends, ate dinner, talked, and watched our kids mess around. {my descriptions are so awesome sometimes}

Maggie danced to the music the ENTIRE time. Two whole hours. It was great. The walk back to the car, not so great. It was way past her bedtime, she was tired, and did not want to make the trek.

June 4, 2009

When Hot Rollers Go Crazy (Having a Laugh at My Expense)

So I bought some hot rollers (on clearance) to see if curling my hair would make me happier with it. I love my hair shorter with crazy platinum highlights, but with all the gray hair I now produce it requires both coloring it to hide the gray and then the highlights. It's very expensive, and at this point in our lives, frivolous. So I color it at home. Plain brown. Blah Blah Blah.

Here's the hot rollers's result. Sorry. It's scary. It was WORSE before I brushed it. No joke! You can't see that it poofed out about 6-8 inches in the back. Needless to say, that got wet down and redried. Can you tell I thought it was funny? Maggie said "Mommy, your hair is CRAZY!" Then we both giggled ourselves silly.

Maybe I will have to pay for some salon love, those rollers were terrible!

June 2, 2009

Can I still call her my baby ...

... when she is 40 inches tall? I measured her just the other day, and WOW! I can't believe she's so tall now. And just now, she went to put on her Dora slippers, and they no longer fit. Like toes jammed in there like she wants to have Chinese lotus feet don't fit. Let's all remember that at her 3-year check-up she was 37 inches and then a month later when she had a bad cold she measured 38 inches. 3 inches since the end of January. Goodness. Mama's growing girl!

When Chocolate Chip Cookies are Consumed in the Car

Chocolate is likely to be smeared willy-nilly across Maggie's face! She thought it was so funny.

June 1, 2009

An afternoon on the grass

Maggie and I played outside for a while today, until Maggie's allergies kicked up. Bubbles are a REQUIRED activity every time we are outside.
Pretending to sleep.
This recording of her saying "this is how you do it" at the beginning is as close to the normally quite pretentious way she says it that I have gotten on video so far.