In the grand tradition of lists I like to make here are 34 things that I love about Todd:
1. He is even hotter today than he was at 24. And 14. And 4, for that matter. (I know 4 year olds aren't ever hot, but still...) 2. He is ridiculously good at most things he sets his mind on. He decided he wanted to sing an arrangement of a song he liked. So he downloaded some software, listened to the song a million times, and arranged it for the choir to sing. Amazing. 3. I love that after knowing him for most of my life, he is still amazing me. 4. When asked to pick one single word to describe my husband, I pick "integrity". He is good. He just is. He follows through always on the things that he holds dear to him. 5. He does dishes. 6. He got on his hands and knees today and cleaned the dining room floor with a rag while I made dinner in the kitchen. We had a lovely time chatting. 7. He has an excellent eye for color. 8. He can wear orange. 9. And does. 10. His voice. Mmm. His voice. A well sung solo can make me all mushy every time. 11. He likes theater and music and reading and movies. 12. He made "imdb" a verb in our house. 13. And will race me to the computer after every movie to look up who played Busboy #2, because didn't he look sort of familiar? 14. He is always trying to be a better him. 15. And a better Dad. 16. Even though he's pretty darn fabulous as both already. 17. He's a geek. 18. Who reads math books for fun. 19. And refers to computer code as "elegant". 20. He writes poetry. 21. And submits it to journals. 22. And then makes a collection of rejection slips. 23. He is diligent and dedicated about work, but not married to it. 24. He's not perfect, but he's worthy. 25. He's not afraid to try making new recipes. 26. But doesn't like to order new things at restaurants. 27. He laughs at my terrible jokes and puns. 28. And kisses me for them. 29. Except the Ether Bunny jokes. 30. He keeps his work Blackberry turned off all weekend. 31. He can walk into a library and pick something out for me. And is right. Always. 32. He's not afraid to admit he knows nothing and learn something new. 33. Like how to install a toilet. And an electrical outlet. And a sink. And moulding. 34. I love my love because I know my love loves me.
But it had been negative degrees for several days and I was all done with housebound. So, I swept my younger boys up. (Both Todd and J managed to stop short of saying "Hell, no!" when I asked if they wanted to join us, but I really think that's what each of them was tempted to say.)
Still. Worth all $11.50 per ticket. Spending the first 30 years of my life right outside of NYC, it still cracks me up that it's possible to see a professional show in a downtown theater for that little money. In NYC, kid's show or otherwise, you're still looking at $50-$100 a ticket.
Anyway, the music was utterly forgettable. The staging kinda cute. The acting just fine for a kids show. The memories of sitting in the theater with my boys and watching them be excited by each new thing were fabulous.
I get very snobby about theater. But sometimes I need to sit back and watch somebody discovering the joy and wonder of it for the first time to remind me why I keep going to shows.
I am, as a rule, against medleys. When I was selecting music as a choir teacher the songs with the word "medley" in the title immediately went into the NO pile. This is an exception, possibly because it's not trying to stand on it's own. It's all the best lines about love and flows with the story line. It is also my husband's favorite.
Tonight Benjamin was complaining about the fact that J gets more privileges than him. I explained that someday he will be a bigger kid and will get to stay up late watching movies with friends, but right now it's time for him to be a cute and adorable little boy.
To which he replied, "I don't want to be a cute and adorable little boy. I want to be a hulking, surly, teenager."
It was negative temperatures here today. But the sun was out!
I am freezing, but the laptop is keeping me warm, so rather than put it down and do something productive, I will continue with the story of us.
I flew back to NJ after my weekend at BYU and got right back into life, which mostly involved lots of singing and lots of boys. Todd and I continued exchanging a few letters and then I got all caught up in the fact that my family was moving out to WY and I had decided to stay in NJ for college.
I'd dated and broken up with two or three guys that school year, with never more than a week or two in between. I had figured out how dating worked. Long gone were my nervous and shy days around a potential boyfriend. Summer began and I had my sights set on yet another boy, and went off to college the following fall still thinking about him.
Being the loyal creature that I am, about a week into college I tumbled head over heels in love with someone completely different. A dear friend of mine was leaving on a mission for our church, so I was busy writing and receiving letters from him while he was at the Missionary Training Center learning how to speak Spanish. In one of his letters he mentioned that Todd Smith was also there learning Portuguese so he could go to Brasil for two years. I was a little surprised at the news, but thought it was great and immediately thought about how I should write to Todd. All missionaries love letters!
I got busy with school and my boyfriend and my social life, and sort of forgot about it until one day I received a letter from Todd Smith in my mailbox! I was very excited to get it and immediately set out to write a reply. I did, but then when I went to put the address on it, I realized that he'd given me his old home address instead of the mission address. Which was silly. So, I set the letter aside, feeling slightly perturbed at Todd for getting in the way of my good deed for him.
The letter sat there for two years.
To make it worse, he sent me a few more letters. But none with his address included.
I promise that I did try to get his address. But that's a story for tomorrow.
I was so amazingly awful to him. It still shocks me to think about it. I guess there are good things about boys being slightly oblivious. ;)
Heather, the awesome, and family came over for dinner tonight. At her suggestion, we had breakfast for dinner. I was especially excited about the idea because I received the most fabulous waffle iron EVER for Christmas from my MIL.
It makes waffles in the shape of a chicken, cow, pig, and barn. I love it.
After we said a blessing on the food I looked over at J's plate and noticed that the legs were missing from his cow shaped waffle. Noticing my glance, he leaned in and said in a serious voice, "It's so he couldn't get away."
Is it weird that I feel all sorts of sexy after I complete tasks that involve a trip to the hardware store?
It's not just me. Todd fixed the toilet this week and swaggered up to tell me of his amazing accomplishment. Swaggered.
Perhaps it's because the two of us have always been sort of hopeless about fixing/building/home improvement things. When we are actually successful, we feel all sorts of grown up.
I just caught a glimpse of myself. I am still wearing my footsie pjs which are my most favorite thing ever to wear. I have to really push myself to change out of them into other clothes. But I have piano students coming soon, so I probably need to get dressed.
I felt sexy after caulking the sink while wearing my footsie pjs.
Last year in the dead of winter, I made lists of all of my former crushes. And I've updated throughout the year. I figured this winter I would finish writing about the story of me and Todd.
I believe when last I typed, I was being furious with Todd for ruining my chances with the guy that I liked. (Incidentally, that guy joined me in making fun of Todd for the rest of forever. He and I would smirk at one another and refer to irritating Toads for years. It's even mentioned in the High School yearbook. Who knew that would come back to haunt me? The ribbing I received from him when I became engaged to Toad-I mean, Todd- was embarrassing.)
Anyway, life went on.
I was still mean to Todd every time I saw him, but he continued to think of me as a friend. I thought briefly about inviting him to the Junior Prom with me because I knew he'd be good at being friendly to all my friends and he was fun to dance with. But, I didn't want anyone [read: his parents or mine] to think that I liked him again. Because I didn't.
At the end of my Junior year, I realized that Todd Smith was going off to college. I wouldn't have him around to harass anymore at Stake Youth Activities. I was surprised to realize that this made me sad. Actually, it's difficult to say that it was just him. Most of my favorite friends from church were leaving that year, so I was sad and moody in general at the thought of everyone heading off to BYU.
So, I wrote letters. To all of them. Even Todd. And he wrote back. We didn't exchange a lot of letters. But enough that when I went out to audition at BYU my senior year, Todd bounded over to the dorm where I was staying to talk to me. I was too tired to really talk, but the next day he arranged for me to come listen to The BYU Men's Chorus in which he sang tenor.
Let me tell you how it feels to sit in a room full of 300 men with gorgeous singing voices if you are a choir geek. I was Breathless. I was practically swooning before they got through their warm ups. Afterwards, several of my friends came bounding up the stairs to say hello. They hadn't known I was at the school, but being the only girl in a room full of 300 men is a good way to be shown attention. Todd waited patiently as I talked to each of them. As we left, one of the guys that I'd long adored walked with Todd and I for awhile. I adored this guy. If he'd asked me to marry him right then and there, I would have said, "Who needs to graduate High School anyway?" and run off with him. But there was Todd. Still standing there. Right next to us.
After realizing that I'd been ignoring him for more than 15 minutes, Todd announced he had to go and it was nice seeing me, was I busy the next day, etc? I don't even remember what I said, because I was so busy trying to stare at the adorable smile and dimpled cheeks of the guy I really wanted.
Todd left. And I felt relieved.
We did have lunch the next day, though I don't remember any other details. I know we walked around campus a little and talked. About what, I have no idea. But I left thinking that Todd Smith was easy to be around now. And how nice that was...except when I wanted him to go away so I could be swept into the arms of someone else.
There's sort of been a rather large and ignored elephant in the room lately.
And I wasn't quite sure what to do about him until now.
Most of you are aware that our new son is living with us, but he's not technically ours yet and won't be for several months. With that in mind, I've been cautious about sharing stories about him because I don't have full "jurisdiction" over him yet.
But it's time. He's here. And he's ours. But, I will just use one of his initials until it's official, and I will avoid many details.
I hadn't played it in 20 years, so I figured I'd give it another go. I learned that sometimes it's good to go with my first impression. Not so much in the case of my husband (since I thought he was a big crybaby), but with boardgames I know what I like. And it's not Risk.
Is there a girl anywhere who actually likes this game? Not just says she likes it, because she only hangs out with boys and they all like it. But really and truly likes it?
In case you are one of the few people who hasn't yet doubled over laughing while watching "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog", you need to go here immediately. Scroll down to "watch it right now", click, and, um, watch it right now.
It features some of my favorite things. Evil plots, super heroes, silly songs, Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillian, and music and lyrics by Joss Whedon.
Really, you can't go wrong with that combo!
Go. Now. Watch. And then tell me how much you love it.
My Mother called me from a Toys R Us in Utah early in November. She does this around the holiday season. Which is fine because then I can yea or nay her and steer towards things that her grandsons will really love. Except she doesn't need my help. My Mom is good at knowing what my sons like. This year, for instance, she called asking about the item pictured above.
I should tell you right now that I have wanted a Millennium Falcon toy since I was four years old and first discovered Star Wars. I was the only girl on my street, so when we played it I was always Princess Leia. I can still reenact scenes with alarming accuracy. And check out the family Halloween costumes from three years ago: Fabulous, right?! I began to realize that not all girls/women shared my love and adoration of Star Wars when we had a birthday party for Nathaniel a year or two ago. I tried making TIE fighters out of mini bundt cakes. It wasn't my best work, but all of the kids and Dads knew what they were. The other Moms did not. Not even a little bit. I was appalled. How could they not recognize a TIE fighter and then when I told them what it was, how could they not know what a TIE fighter was? Silly women.
Anyway, back to my Mom. I did not get a Millenium Falcon. Ever. Also, Danny Versfeldt stole all of my Star Wars action figures and they were never replaced. The last one I received was Lando Calrissian for Christmas right before I turned 5. That Spring, Danny asked to go into my house to "use the bathroom" and suddenly had to run home right after he came out. My tin of action figures was never seen again.
Todd had ALL the Star Wars figures because his Dad worked for Kenner Toys at the time. His younger siblings destroyed them all. Between Todd and I we have purchased as many Star Wars things for our kids as our wallets and common sense could afford. I asked for the Galactic Heroes Millenium Falcon for Christmas five years ago. And for my birthday. And for Mother's Day. Nobody got it for me. It's still on my amazon.com wishlist, if anyone really feels the need to fill this gaping hole in my life.
I give you all this back story because I want you to understand that when my mother called from Toys R Us in Utah and asked if she could buy the ENORMOUS Millennium Falcon for my boys for Christmas, I said "no". N. O. No. I did mention that her grandson's would love her forever if she did, but that I was not giving it my stamp of approval. I had stood in Target just the previous week lusting after the same toy. The price tag was enough to dissuade me. But also, IT IS TWO AND HALF FEET LONG!!! It is a really big toy, people!! Heather, the Awesome, was sitting in my kitchen with me while I spoke to my Mother and informed me that the right answer was 'yes' because her kids would enjoy it, too, and was my Mom interested in adopting her boys for Christmas? This only fueled my Mother's resolve. I told her that I still wasn't approving the purchase. But, guess what showed up under my tree? Yes. An ENORMOUS box.
And her grandsons were excited. But guess who was more excited? Guess who spent lots of time putting on decals and assembling all two and a half feet worth of pieces? And guess who spent all of the battery power in the camera on Christmas morning taking interior shots of a plastic space ship, instead of pictures of her kids, husband and in-laws?
Princess Leia. That's who.
So, thanks, Mom. I may trip over it on a regular basis. But several of us have been enjoying playing with our fun new toy.