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I remember one day riding in the car when Jason and were dating way back when.  I do not remember what we were talking about at the time, but I remember *nearly* freaking out and asking him what if he didn’t really KNOW me?  He of course was a little confused and I was finally able to explain what I was thinking.

“I’m quirky” I said.

” Like the fact that I’m addicted to chapstick and I hate feet.”

Little things like that.  What if several years down the road he decided he didn’t really know all these things about me and what if he decided he was not a fan?  He would be stuck… then what??? He laughed and said he was ok with my quirks- even the ones he would find out later….

Well, we are 6+ years into this marriage and I would say that he has found out about every one of my quirks… *ahem*- I prefer to call them gifts. 😉  Since deciding to move to Colorado and live with my parents, we’ve known that the room we would be staying in will not accommodate our king size bed.

*GASP!*

Deep breath.

Keep breathing.

Yes, I will survive.  But barely.  You see, I love our king size bed.  Mostly because I love the fact that I can sleep with 3+ pillows tucked in all around me each night  (Jason calls it my nest) and I don’t feel bad that he has no room left to sleep. (Totally the case when we have to sleep in a queen bed at his parent’s house.)   This all started when I was pregnant with Johnny and I decided that having all these pillows surrounding me and propping me up here and there was quite comfy.  And I just never got around to letting them go once John Boy was born.  Followed by almost 2 years in there that I was not pregnant… yep, I still had the pillows with me.  Then I got pregnant with Kade and I already had my nest in place.  That kiddo is 2 months old and… well, you guessed it, all those pillows are still in bed with me every night.  And I really really like it.

Which brings me to my conversation with my husband last night as I was whining about the fact that I could not give up my king size bed.  “I don’t need much” I said, “Just my king size bed”.  “And your chapstick”- replied my husband.  Which got me thinking and I went down my list of my needs in order for me to fall asleep each night.  I have never been one of those “I can fall asleep anywhere” people.  It has just never happened.  I’ve always had to be horizontal to sleep.  That means not passing out in a car, no cat nap during the day, no sleeping in planes, ect.  However, as I have aged, things have gotten worse. Way worse.  Here is what needs to happen each night in order for me to eventually (like 45 min later) fall asleep.

-Brush my teeth, take off my make-up and use the restroom

-The lights must be out

-My pillows propped up all around me

-Put on some chapstick

-Turn on my sound machine next to my bed.  Not too loud though- I still have to hear the baby cry 😉

-Turn on the heating pad if my back is tight

-Get a drink

-Pee one more time so I can hopefully go 4 hrs without having to get up – ha!

-One last little drink

-Which means I lost a little chapstick so I better get some more of that because I can not fall asleep with dry lips!

-Kiss my honey goodnight

-Settle in to get all of my pillows propped where they need to be

-Lay  on my side for 45 min *thinking* till my brain shuts off and I can finally go to sleep

I”m exhausted just writing that all down. 😉  That is a ridiculous list.

The only way I can fall asleep right away is watching something on Hulu (episodes of Wipeout seem to do the trick) or hearing my husband read out loud.  For real.  I’m old.  And I didn’t really know I had fallen into such a funk until last night we were talking about it.  Thankfully my honey still appreciates my gifts and tells me if he had to do it all over again, he would still pick me… talk about being a lucky girl! I’m just thankful none of my gifts has driven him crazy yet– which reminds me:

I need to go find some chapstick. 😉

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6 years ago today Mr. Jason Ross Rohlf asked me to marry him!  Wanna hear the story? Good- because I would love to tell it! 🙂

We had a long distance courting/engagement relationship.  He was in Ames and I was in Iowa City.  We had been dating for 4 months (known eachother and watched eachother from a distance for several years though) and I was excited for our 4 month dating anniversary to come along.  Because each month he would send me flowers at work- and my oh my did I love getting those! 

(Let me just start with saying that I had visited his work a few weeks before and noticed on the Beisser work calendar that it said “Jason off- on Sept 22”- 1 day after our dating anniversary.  He had not said anything about it to me, so I assumed he had something up his sleeve so I was on pins and needles all those days leading up to our dating anniversary.)

The morning of September 21st dawned and I went to work anxious for the day to begin.  It went along just as a normal day and I did not end up getting any flowers at work.  I was a little disappointed, but figured he would make up for it later.  I watched as 5pm rolled around and guessed he would show up at my work as a suprise.  Nope.  Then drove home to get some dinner and decided he must be waiting for me at my house with my roomates.  Nope.  Then off to band that night to sing and the entire time I was on stage I was thinking “Surely, he is going to walk through that door and ‘surprise’ me.”  Strike three.  Nothing.  Finally, after that meeting I decided to give up on trying to figure out what was going on and just be content with talking to him later on the phone that nigh.  Maybe his day off that I had seen on the calendar was something work related or with church stuff in Ames.  I had jumped to all sorts of conclusions that it was about me and it seemed at 8:30pm that night it was not about me at all.

I had been talking Mrs. Rachel B. Meyer earlier that week about seeing the paint color they had picked for their walls. She asked if I wanted to come over that night to see real quick after church and I said sure.  We were driving across town and I remember saying in the car something to the affect of “I came to the conclusion this week that if Jason asked me to marry him, I would say yes.”  And I remember her nodding her head and saying something in return.  (Jason and I had decided right away when we started dating to give our relationship about 6 months to see if God was leading us to be married so coming up on 4 months, I knew we were both figuring things out in our own heads.  Anyway, back to the good part. 🙂 )  We walked into her house and we went through the side door which was a little odd, but I didn’t think much of it.  And then I saw that there was a candle lit in the living room and again I thought “Rachel, do you leave candles burning when you are gone?” But didn’t say anything as she was talking and inviting me back to the bedroom to see the paint.  And then she handed me some greeting cards that she had made (and that I had requested she make for me at some point- seemed like a coincidence in my head that they were done that night)  I started slipping through the cards.  The first one looked normal, like some trees or something.  The second and third ones, however, were different.  I don’t entirely remember the details, but it had a picture of Rachel’s couch with some daisies, a picture of Jason and I and a sign that said “Happy Four Month Anniversary” on it.  I remember standing in the back room thinking, “What…..” I walk back down the hallway and to the living room to find 40 tea lights lit in the living room and the pile of stuff is still sitting on the couch.  (Did you ever see the movie Hope Floats?  The pictures she develops leads her to look outside and find her man?*  Yeah, it was just like that.)  Except no man on my part.  I was seriously confused.  I remember thinking “Rachel, I know it is Jason and I’s 4 month anniversary and this is quite romantic, but do you plan on the two of us splitting sandwich on the couch together?” 😉  I’m a little slow… I know.  It seemed like an eternity for my brain to sort things out, but then heard my honey’s voice and turned around to find him decked out in a suit and tie and a very big smile!  AWESOME!  Here I had tried to figure out all day long how he was going to make this day special (we had yet to be able to spend a weekday together since we lived 2 hrs away) so I was thrilled to be with him.  I couldn’t stop smiling!   Somewhere in there Rachel snuck back out of her house and Jason and I just sat on the couch talking and catching up on the day.  I seriously just thought “My boyfriend is here to celebrate our 4 month dating anniversary!”  Little did I know what the next 10 min would bring.

I remember things getting a little more serious as he pulled out his Bible and shared a verse with me.  Yep, I have no idea which one it was, but book was Song of Solomon, but the verse escapes me at the moment. 🙂 But he said something like, “I read that verse a few years ago and decided I would only share it with my wife”.  I stopped and looked at him thinking, “Is he for real?”  For starters he is still sitting on the couch… with no ring.  So this couldn’t be “it”, could it?  Then I took another look at him and the man was breathing so…. hard!  Like he was really nervous!  And I realized he was serious and this man was asking me to marry him!  Again, the details of the conversation are blurry at this point, but he did ask me to marry him (while sitting on the couch with no ring) and I said yes!  Then, he stood up and pulled out the ring and gave it to me.  He said later he didn’t want the ring to distract me, he wanted the answer first. 🙂  And to this day I have no idea why he did not get down on one knee, maybe because we were already sitting?  Not sure.  I will have to ask him about that one!

We continued to just sit together in the Meyers living room on their green couch.  (Which sadly is long gone.  😦  I should have bought it when they sold it.  And I’m seriously thinking about driving by their old house later tonight and remembering that night 6 years ago).  I tried on my new ring, we blew out the candles and went out to call friends and family that we were getting married!  After years of having the BIGGEST crush on this guy- I was going to get to be Mrs. Jason Rohlf!  O happy day!

I love you JRR- thanks for asking me to marry you!  By far the best decision I ever made – I love you!

*Jason wanted you all to know that credit goes to Rachel for the Hope Floats idea/pulling together a lot of the details… fyi*  Way to go Rach! 🙂

Did you see that commercial a few years back where the scattered husband is searching through the garbage for his lost credit card bill?   He was frantically pulling everything out of the trash can on the side of the road and instead of pulling out the lost bill, he instead found that his wife had thrown away his disco pants?  (I think the idea behind the commercial was to go paperless or have automatic bill pay).  Both Jason and I saw it and laughed together and then he turned to me and said,

“Have you ever thrown anything of mine away without me knowing it?”

Gulp.

Actually no.  Not that I can think of.  And if I did it was a paper or something that I thought he didn’t need.  Despite his pack rat tendencies and my “lets clear out the closet for the third time this year and sell stuff!” tendencies, I had not to my knowledge thrown anything of his away without him knowing it.

However.

That is not to say that I have not wanted to.

Enter the star of this blog post and the item I’ve wanted to trash, sell or burn several times in our marriage.

Drum roll please….

Funny enough, they are his pants.  Well, they used to be pants that is.  When we got married Jason had this pair of pants that were his favorite.  The first problem (in my mind!) was that he considered them to be brown and I considered them to be green.  Clearly, they are green- right babe?  Do you see it now!?! 🙂 Anyhow, I would always comment that he should change his shirt that he would pick to wear with them.  And he would not agree.  *Sigh*  Lovers quarrels in the first year of marriage. 🙂

Secondly, they were (again my opinion) somewhat too short. You see, I like my pants to be LONG- like dragging on the ground long.  And I think 5.5 years ago, that was in style, but I could be wrong. 🙂  Anyhow, they just seemed too short on his tall frame and since they were his favorite and he claimed they were so comfy I was constantly wanting them to disappear.

Then one day something wonderful (yep, in my opinion again!) happened!  I actually am not sure what happened, but one day Jason deemed these pants as “work pants”.  W-H-E-W!  I was totally thrilled and happy that these pants were only appearing occasionally instead of weekly.  But over time they became uglier and uglier.  Yes, I know it doesn’t matter what work pants look like. 🙂  But a girl can dream, right?  The holes in the knees got to be so bad that they then became “work shorts”.  Even better. Now I didn’t have to worry about how short they were above his shoes, but rather the cut job of the new shorts –how one leg is longer than the other. Go ahead, scroll and up and look for yourself. 🙂  This weekend (5.5 years into this debate) my husband informed me that after he roofed the duplex on Saturday, the pants were going to be done! Poof!  VIOLA!  *Enter the happy dance done by yours truly!* Actually I was already in bed with an ice pack on my back, but if I hadn’t been there you betcha I would have been dancing. 🙂

The funny thing was, I had not even remembered what he had said earlier that week.  So Saturday night after he showered and got changed from roofing he asked me if I wanted to have some sort of cermonial burning of these pants.  Haha!  I had totally forgot and would have washed and folded them once again for the next use.  I told him not to throw them away right away and 2 whole days later I got around to taking a picture of them for this post.  (Yes, I threw them in the trash right after I took the picture) but it was funny to me that 3 years ago I would have ran outside and threw the away the moment he changed his clothes. And now years later it took me a few days to get the job done.  Funny how time makes one forget how much I really disliked those pants.  However, if they would have been in their original long short brown green pant status and he was still wearing them around each week- well that my friends would have been another story! 🙂

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“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife” -Mark 10:7

It struck me earlier this week that our daughter is almost 5 years old.  In January we will have been married for 6 years and we have been on a weekly date or bi-weekly date for nearly 4 years now.  (Not counting our dates when it was just the two of us… we did that too).  My how time flies.  Our good friends the Meyers had their first kiddo about 4 months before we did.  I have no idea when we actually starting rotating date nights every other week with childcare duties on the off weeks.  But Belle and Elijah were still quite young.  In fact, we have pictures of them playing together on the floor and Belle was just sitting up.  So it was pretty early on.  And since that time though sunshine, rain, sleet, snow, coughs, fevers and colds, date nights have prevailed.  Yes, they are that important to us.

When life gets busy and full, Jason and I have this saying that we tell eachother, “I feel like we are business partners” – or just two adults living in the same house.  Things are busy, jobs require thought and energy, people need loving and kids need taking care of and training.  Add to that upkeep on homes and cars, you are bound to lose that spark which ones shone so brightly.  I remember people telling us when we were courting and engaged how cute we were together and how they enjoyed the “newlywedness” in us.  And I remember thinking, “Um, this is how it is always going to be!” 5.5 years later a couple of mortgages and kids and I now smile when I see comments and pics on Facebook of newlyweds and couples dating because I now understand what all those people were trying to say.  It is a special time that should be treasured forever.  Don’t wish it away, it will be a sweet sweet time you will look back on with fondness.

However, with our date nights we are reminded each Thursday night from 6-8pm how much we really do enjoy eachother.  How fun it is to hold hands and just take a walk and talk.  Or split a free coffee from a punch card that is full that we “save” for date night.  That was what we did last night.  Split a coffee, sat outide for a good hour talking and then took a walk.  Nothing fancy or expensive, but somehow two hours of uninterupted conversation reminds me how much I like my man and all of a sudden that ‘business partner status’ seems to melt away.

So, how do we make this happen each and every week?  Well, it does get tricky at times, but we keep pushing ahead. For starters, Jason and I budget a date night slot in our budget.  We usually use that to go out to eat those two times a month.  And my children you ask?  Well, it really is not a night free of cooking if I have to cook for them.  So every other Thursday night my kids have oatmeal for dinner.  Yes they do! 🙂  They love it and I prefer not to make it in the am’s for them because it takes a while and takes forever for it to cool and they are so emotional in the morning when they wake up…. cold cereal or toast works best for us.  So oatmeal for them is a treat and momma has to do about 3 min of work and then I’m free for the evening! 🙂

As far as trading childcare goes, every other week we just drop off our kids at 6 and pick them back up at 8.  And vise versa. The winter time/cold/flu season the past year or two has seemed to slow things down a bit.  But in most occasions, we still get one of the couples to get some time away.  For instance, if it is my kids that are sick, Jason or I will offer to go to the Meyer’s house to watch their kids so they can still get out. Or occasionally we will just shorten a date night for one or both of us to an hr if more kids are sick or weather is looking ugly.  It really is that important to each of us.  And while it is more of a hassle at times to get the details planned out or even think about going on a date after a long and tiring day, I am so glad we have persevered through these years and continued to carve out the time to get away.

What about you?  How do you make time to get away?  Any budget friendly date night ideas?

They say that you shouldn’t enter into marriage wanting to “change” your spouse.

They also say that over time, couples will start acting like one another and some couples will eventually physically  look similar by the time they are old.

If I wasn’t married, I would say that someone was incorrect with at least one of those statements.  However, since I am most happily “Mrs. Rohlf”, I understand that both of those statements can indeed be true and at the same time! 🙂  While I think I could write for days about not  trying changing your spouse, this post is going to be about the little things that happen when you are with someone for a period of time.  For example:

Christmas Lights….

When Jason and I first started dating, this was one of those things that we didn’t agree on.  He grew up with white Christmas lights and I grew up with colored Christmas lights.  The only person I knew who had white lights was my grandma.  Now nothing against her, but white lights always seemed “for old people”.  However, our first year of marriage found us with a simple Christmas tree (one that my parents had when I was a baby and I think might still be living on at the Bovenmyers!) and tons of leftover white lights from our wedding.  We went ahead and used the white lights, but we had talked and agreed (or maybe I just assumed that we agreed!) that we would change each year.  White, colored, white, colored, ect.  Especially once our kids were grown, I was convinced that we would let them pick.  (Apparently my mom and her brothers always wanted colored Christmas lights, but my grandparents enjoyed the white ones) so I was determined that kids would probably like the colored ones, so we would use those once they were old enough to remember.  Anyway, we are 4 Christmas’s into our marriage and do you know that we have used white lights every year?  And I have white lights outside on our railing on our deck?  And there is not one single colored bulb in our home?  I”m not even kidding when I say I LOVE WHITE LIGHTS!  I  have no idea how this happened… it just did.  Part of me thinks that maybe they seem more romantic or something, but then I asked Jason a few nights ago and we came up with a list of things that we have since “morphed” about ourselves since getting married.

-Jason will eat tomatoes (ok, only if they are “in” whatever I”m cooking, he doesn’t usually add them as an extra if given an option, but I hear that is much better than how he handled them before we got married!)

-I don’t enjoy mustard on my hot dogs anymore.  Jason only has ketchup when he has a hot dog. For a while I kept putting mustard on mine because I thought I enjoyed it.  Then one time I tried it without and I liked it so much better!  There has been no going back for me!  (And might I add, much to my hubby’s chagrin, hot dogs are not on our ‘healthy food’ list much anymore!  Sorry love!)

-Jason drinks Pepsi now instead of Mt. Dew.  The entire time we were dating, getting a ‘pop” was a fun and cheap date for us.  EVERY TIME  he would get a Dew and I would get a Pepsi.  Again, I have no idea how this happens, but 99% of the time, when we get pops, we both will order a Pepsi

I know there are several more “changes” in our marriage- I just can’t think of them right now.  Does anyone else find this interesting?  Or does this only happen at our house?