Beloved

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When I give thanks for Jac who is more and better than I ever planned on or could have asked for in a husband, right near the top of my list is that he uses Pinterest.

Okay, maybe not that specifically . . . But he communicates.  And in a house where I don't know what the majority of people are saying at any given time, it is a precious commodity.

On Pinterest, he has a board that he made and then shared with me titled "Things Jacques Wants to Eat,"and that makes my heart sing. It makes meal planning and trying new things easier.

Okay, maybe not entirely as we have 7 picky children . . . But it helps!

This week I made steak with gorgonzola butter from a recipe that was pinned.  I baked up a sweet potato for Jac and good ol' russets for the kids and me (the kids take after me in the picky department) and asked the kids 15 times to set the table.

Okay, maybe not that many . . . But it was close.

And then as we waited for Jac to come up and try it out, Lucy yelled.

"Blech!  What smells so stinky? It smells like cowboy poop!"

If you were unaware of what cowboy poop smells like, as I was, now you know. A mixture of grilled steak, gorgonzola, fresh parsley, and carmelized sugar.

Okay, probably not really. . . but it sure was funny.

Jac's board of things he wants to eat is pretty appetizing.  And the steak was delish even if it did smell a little funky.

Just when you think you know somebody . . .

Jac and I were given a morning without the kids so we lived it up and went Easter shopping.  I know - we live on the edge.  P stayed asleep and we stayed chipper even though we were out over lunch.  Miracles DO happen!

Let me say this: Easter basket and Christmas stocking shopping usually ends up with us testy at each other.  I have some firm opinions about necessary candy and Jac is of the opinion that less is more.  It has gotten ugly a few times.  So the fact that we managed to pick out the Easter treats AND stay laughing and good-natured is no small thing.

However . . .

I stood pondering one of the displays.

"Who likes the Cadbury eggs?  I mean besides you?" I asked Jac.

"Definitely not me."

"What?" I asked, because clearly I had misheard him.

"I don't like them." he clarified.

"But I thought you did!  That's why we always get them for you!  We buy them especially for you!" I was shocked.  APPALLED.

"Yeah . . . I actually don't really like candy so . . ."

Seventeen years together and the truth comes out now.  There are surprises around every corner.

Happy Feast of St. Joseph, love of my life.  Thanks for working so hard for us and being the best father I know.  You're pretty great even if you don't like candy.

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This guy.

  
I'm talking about Jac. . . Not Santa.

I asked for help to get the timing of the pie just right and he just did the filling (it's multiple steps and rather messy). He wore a kilt and a tie to supper. He wrangled my afternoon peevishness and made me laugh at myself which is no small feat.

He loves me- loves us all- well.

It truly is the little things that mean the most. This summer, when I was dragging myself through each day, I received a new debit card in the mail. Calling and getting it activated and all that jazz seemed more than I could handle so I just put the envelope away and went on being nauseous and tired. It was two weeks later when I realized while out shopping that my card was different, newer. Jac had, without being asked, set up the new card, disposed of my old one and put the new one in its place without mentioning it to me. I was stunned by it, overwhelmed by his loving care for me.

To say I'm thankful for him and the way he out-loves me is a massive understatement. He inspires me to think beyond myself, to selflessly give, to love big in little ways. On this day of counting blessings, he tops the list. God sure is good!

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Wisdom from Jac:

"Kissing is for men with wives, not men with knives."

Inspired by a conversation with the kids about the scandal MacGyver is considering how many ladies he's locked lips with.  "Is that adultery or something else?"  Oh, the fun we have around the table!

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Dear Jac,

You change the middle of the night diapers every night without me ever asking you to.  You paint the girls' nails like a pro and look up YouTube tutorials about manicure skills to wow them even further.  You have attended at least one meeting a day every day this week and even took over Cubmaster skills for the Pack meeting.  You taught tooth brushing and flossing technique, complete with hand-drawn illustrations on the chalkboard and practice sessions with each of the kids tonight. You make me breakfast every morning - every morning - and even take the time to make it awesome.

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Awesome.

You're pretty great.

Jac,

I'm writing this, a little love note, because while at the moment we are sure we won't forget this last weekend, maybe we will need a reminder of how heroic you were this weekend.

On Saturday night as I prepared hopefully for sleep I texted you from the hotel and shared with you my nerves about the race.  Your response included this: 'You are going to do great.  You are an amazing woman." Etc., etc. My answer was lame especially after your day.  Indeed, you are the one who was amazing.

First, you started the day by going shopping for sunscreen for me and picking up the bachelorette cake and lunch for the kids.  You even took the middle two with you.  Then I was off and you were in charge.  So off you went with all four kiddos in tow to the air show.  You stayed there all afternoon with them.  You had Nate and Bailey over for supper then taught Tess, in that single evening, how to ride a bike.  Then Philip carved up his knee - you sent me a photo and said there was a lot of blood.  Today I noticed drops of dried blood on the porch proving your story.  Later, Max choked on a ring and you performed the Heimlich. You called me then to say you were sure that the house would burn that night.

But you survived any further calamity and managed to get everyone up early and dressed and to the marathon to cheer us on.

And you did it all without complaint or guilt or expectation of payback.  You were supportive of me and super dad to the kids.

I just want you to know that that makes you amazing in my book.

I love you.

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Tonight I made my way home on slick streets after the Ignatian Exercises group.  I was on the phone with Mama Syd getting an update on Nana Joyce - because I can do that here in SD without breaking the law.  We are such rebels.  Anyway, I had considered calling Jac before calling CA to ask our patented "I'm on my way home!" question:

"Do you need anything? Want anything? Wish you had something?'

Clever, huh?

But I thought about it and didn't actually do it. During my chat with mom I heard a beep and it wasn't until I was on our frozen steps that I read Jac's text.

"I think I could go for a "beef" nacho cheese Chalupa - no tomatoes -  and an empanada."

I had opened the door by the time I finished the sentence.  The kids welcomed me like Norm from Cheers and clamored about, updating me on their evening.  When we are together allthetime 3 hours seems like a looooooong hiatus.  Things had happened! There were hugs to receive and questions to answer - namely "How was it?!" from the 3 eldest. Really.  But I needed to know where dad was.

When I found him, I told him I'd be back soon.  He assured me that he didn't really need some Taco Bell, but I over-ruled.  Out into the bitter cold I went, hurrying because each second upped the chance that the empanadas would be gone and then this trip would seem futile.

Glory of glories!  I got to the drive through in time to snag the last empanada and while I victory danced in my mind about that score, I totally forgot the most important detail.

"No tomatoes."

As the guy handed me the bag, I remembered.  Too little, too late.

On the way home, I made up my mind about what to do.  After stomping the snow from my boots, I opened up the paper wrapper and very, very carefully removed every single tomato and trace of tomato for the chalupa. (With a fork, fyi germ police.)

This is important.  First, because Jac HATES raw tomatoes with a fiery passion.  Okay, maybe not "hates" but they make him gag which is pretty close to the same thing.  Two, I am really, REALLY good at picking things out of food.  I'm pretty picky.  Textures do me in.  I can detect a wilty piece of lettuce in a burger or spinach in lasagna like I have an x-ray mouth.  It's true.  Naturally, this has made me very adept at stripping food.

I thought, as I removed the offending fruit for Jac,

'This is love.'

And it is.  Love is giving the very best of yourself for another so that they might have the very best.  Even when you don't "feel" like it or don't want to do it at all but you do it anyway.  THAT is love.

I was feeling mighty fine about myself until I turned to see the kitchen completely cleaned, dishwasher having been unloaded and reloaded and humming it's happy hum.  While I spent the evening away and then 14 seconds picking out tomatoes, he entertained kiddos, put away dinner and scrubbed the kitchen.  Tonight THAT was the best he had to give and I was more than happy to accept it.

He's pretty great like that.  It's why I picked him.