Just wanted to share another exciting tidbit. This isn't the big news I've been teasing you all with. Still a few weeks away from full disclosure on that one ;)
BUT.... today Rick, the kids and I met Rick's parents at Gahanna Lincoln High School (Rick's Alma mater.) We were there to honor my husband who was chosen to be inducted into their Alumni Hall of Fame. I am very proud. I had never heard of this honor before. Likely because of my mediocre appearance for a couple years at MY Alma mater. Pretty sure I would only get that call if I discovered something of great importance in the world, or wrote the next great American novel. And then... well I'm sure they might actually call after they got done saying, "She went to school here????? Really???? I don't remember her at all!!!!!"
This is the picture (taken of him in Kuwait) that I picked to send in to have on his plaque in their Hall of Fame. It is one of my favorites.
Ironically, it is also the one that he had on his yahoo personals ad that made me originally put him directly into my delete bin when he first contacted me. That was the liberal theatre major in me. In the Army???? DELETE. Do not pass go-do not collect two hundred dollars. Of course once I started dating him this was one of the pics I proudly displayed on my desk at work because it was the envy of every single well.... um... SINGLE woman there. And let me just say that one day, after we were dating just a couple weeks, he wore a similar uniform (minus the helmet) into my place of employment to say hi to me, and all my co-workers came running back to the tech station saying, "SOMEONE has a really hot Army Major here to see them and Jill (front desk girl) is SOOOO JEALOUS!!!
But I digress....
Oh- before I move past digressing. That picture is actually one of Rick and his brother Dave (who was stationed in Iraq at the same time.) If you squint and look really hard you can see a piece of Dave's sleeve beside Rick. So Dave's sleeve made it into the Gahanna Lincoln High School Hall of Fame. Not bad since they moved and Dave didn't end up graduating from there himself anyway (Neither did his sleeve for that matter.) Man I'm tired.
Here's the WHOLE pic...
Now this is a really cool pic on many levels. First of all, to have them both over there at the same time (which is scary yes, but a cool photo op) and for them to be able to link up for fifteen minutes (a nearly impossible accomplishment) and get a photo this good are all pretty amazing feats in and of themselves. And how about the fact that they both came back from scary assignments unscathed. Of courseTHAT'S the best part.
BUT here's the next best part. In this first pic Rick and Dave had their helmets on.
That's how they had greeted each other after not seeing each other in a while. They had someone take picture number one. Then, Rick said, "Let's get one without our helmets on."
When they removed them Rick was shocked to see Dave had shaved his head!!! He had done so on a bet of some kind for his troops. Once it was done he decided he liked it (as his hair was slightly receding anyway.) So he kept it.
Now he looks like Chris Daughtry
from American Idol (last year) who is pictured below.
And here's a closeup of Dave. No jazz patches allowed when you're a major in the Army.
Just as cute as Daughtry in my opinion (even though seeing his younger brother bald still makes Rick giggle like a teenager with some good ammo to pull out anytime he needs a quick and painful hit.) Only unlike Mr.Daughtry, Dave doesn't sing as far as I have heard. He can Dance though.
Here are some pix of him at our wedding dancing VERY well.
And by the way, for all of you women out there who aren't familiar with our family, that beautiful woman he's dancing so very well with in the picture is Shannon. His WIFE. So you'll have to stick to dreaming of Chris Daughtry instead. Because your chances are better with a famous rock star than my brother-in-law :)
OK.... back to the wonderful event TODAY :)
Rick gave a wonderful and witty speech the likes of which I had never heard from him in his Major days. Although I admit I entered the picture when he only had a few speeches left as an ROTC instructor at Kent.
Rick also gave me a beautiful and sentimental thank-you in his speech and had the boys bring flowers to me, his mom, Adri and Anna. I wondered what he was up to because the day was already several hours long for all of us and I was planning on taking Anna out of the auditorium for his speech if she were to become fussy (which, of course, she did.) But Rick was suspiciously insistent that I stay for his speech.
Anna ended up being very good for most of it, at least until the flowers came and Adri wouldn't let her rip hers up. Anna even tossed in a loud "Hi!" right on cue when she heard Rick mention her name (wonder where she gets that????) Rick improvised, shouting "Hi!"right back to her. Of course the audience liked that a lot. Way to go Anna.
Rick got a lot of laughs from the house as well. Especially when he told the story of how he helped win a football game. After the third time Rick tripped a player twice his size and therefore too big to tackle outright, that player growled at Rick when waiting for the next snap. So while still waiting in position, Rick asked him, "What's the matter? Don't you like playing with the 'big boys?' In response the huge player opposite Rick picked him up and THREW him... FAR. In front of an official who called a penalty which put them at first down and in position to score the tying touchdown which brought the eventual overtime win. (Wow... I just now realized the effect Rick's presence in my life has had on my football vocabulary. EEK. Note to self- read more spirituality and theatre books TOMORROW!)
The point of the football story? There are many different ways to utilize your assets to assist others in winning. The students dug it.
Anna got pretty fussy at that point and I started to head out as he wrapped up his speech. He mentioned a really difficult and unpopular teacher who's class he struggled through. This teacher's name resulted in a huge moan combined with laughter from the students. Evidently, she retired many years ago, but still tortures Gahanna Lincoln Lions students as a substitute.
Imagine... you find out your teacher's sick and are thinking "FREE DAY!!!!" only to find out this mean, older than dirt teacher has come back from the depths of retirement to wreak havoc on more students!!!! Because she didn't get enough of it the first FORTY-some years she did it. Of course the reaction could have simply been to Rick's having had the teacher in the first place. As in, "Man... that OLD guy had her????? And she's still ALIVE?"
You know we are in our mid-late 30's now. That's like 100 in adolescent years. (There's some ammo for you Dave :)
After the event we went out to dinner with a former guidance counselor of Rick's, as well as his high school football coach (who was the one who nominated him for the Hall of Fame.) We went to a really cool restaurant called Cap City Fine Diner. It was very good and kid friendly. And I must put in a mom plug for this place too. I think whenever I discover a place that not only has baby changing stations in the restrooms, but also stocks them with the sanitary changing pads they're ALL supposed to have but most do not... I must honor them with my "mama's favorite baby spots" label . OK enough on that. The food was slightly expensive but they weren't stingy with a "plate charge" when we shared, so we ate better portions and spent less than we would have. It was excellent tasting too. Which I'm sure is what they are most interested in me passing along your way.
Before heading home, we made one last stop by a pizza joint called the Big Cheese. Oh- and just in case anyone from said "joint" is reading, that's the term I use for the cool places where the locals eat, but try to keep a secret from the tourists so they can keep it to themselves.
Oh and no we weren't still hungry. We were stuffed non-stop all day as it was. The reason we stopped there is that it's owned by some ex-inlaws of Rick's, who he hasn't seen in a few years. I wasn't sure how they'd react to Rick showing up with me, the boys, and Anna given the circumstances. But I have already had the chance to get to know one of Rick's ex's sisters, and she has been incredibly nice to me and has a very soft spot for Anna in particular. So I hoped for the best and was not at all uncomfortable. They warmly greeted us and were very friendly toward me. They seemed very gracious people that I am very pleased to have met. It was just like meeting any other old friends of Rick's :)
And the grand finale to our day? Had a "lovely" drive home with an EXHAUSTED baby who had missed not one but TWO of her daily naps, and arrived home well past her bedtime. The other three hoodlums were not completely well-behaved on the ride back either, which only contributed to Anna's inability to fall asleep (why can't babies DO THAT when they're tired???) And the older kids can help it and should know better. Oh well. Tomorrow night (I mean tonight by the time I post this!) it will be just Anna and us.
With just Anna home and her off to bed by 8:30, it's almost like having a built in date night every other week! People who think having to share your kids with their other parents once and a while as "missing out" have no idea what they're REALLY missing out on! (That will irritate my kids nicely and pay them back for their behavior on the drive back today ;)
So after all that digressing I have my own thank-you to post.
Rick, thank-you for making me first on your list of those you wished to thank, for an honor that you earned well before we even met :) As one person said to me after the ceremony, "Wow...you have some sweet husband there!"
I do. I know it. And don't any of you ever think I don't revel daily in my luck finding him on life's journey. Sometimes I revel more than once or twice in one day :)
Well... off to bed I go. Rick was exhausted from the events of today and headed up hours ago. I'm fading fast. Please excuse any grammer/mispellings. I will surely find ten of each tomorrow. Especially when DG reads this fills me in on them :)