Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pulling Up a Chair... Wife Behind the Fire's Kitchen Table.

I think it will prove to be a really fun and interesting series!  I can't wait to see what other wives have to say.

So, to answer this week's question, how were you brought into the fire life?

Short answer:  LOVE.

Awwww.  ;)

Long answer:  My husband and I met when we were just babiesteenagers.  I was 16, he was 17.  Summer before our Senior years.  We worked together at a little independent grocery store.  I still remember his first day, when I glanced over and saw him for the first time.  I'm not really sure I believe in true LOVE at first sight, but I definitely felt a certain pull.  I had to get to know this young man.  It wasn't just that I found him to be attractive (though, absolutely, I did!).  My heart skipped a beat and then I just remember being curious.  Who is that guy?  I needed to know.

Problem was, I was SHY.  Painfully shy.  And he was OBLIVIOUS.  Painfully oblivious.  Well, painfully to ME, as a love-struck teenage girl, in any case.

So, it was kind of a slow process.  I would chat with him now and then, I'd try to arrange my schedule to coincide with his.  He was a stock and bag boy, and I was mostly a cashier.  I loved it when I'd get to go back into the aisles and stock with him, gave the perfect opportunity for small talk.

He was a volunteer firefighter/EMT.  I had no idea what I was getting into.  Go ahead, laugh!  I'll wait a second.

I should have known though, for all the times he left work to go on calls.  :)

It took months for us to get together.  I turned 17.  He asked me out once...  then cancelled on me.  I was devastated.  I asked him out once...  but I was a little too ambitious and had invited him to a concert in Philly... his mom said NO way.  I can't say that I blame her.

This was taken before we were dating.  He looks mighty comfy, if you ask me.  :)

A few months later he turned 18.  I was worried at that point that my strict parents wouldn't let me date him, given his age...but, I couldn't take it anymore, I had to tell him how I felt.  I wrote it alllll out in a Christmas card.  That I gave to him in January because I didn't know he was with his dad for Christmas in another town.  I almost chickened out... but, I had to do something.  He wasn't getting my hints, and I've since learned that he generally WON'T get them unless I hit him over the headvery plainly spell it out.  So, I handed it to him and ran off not wanting to see his face while he read it.  He called me that night.  We had our first date, January 6th, 2002.  We went to the movies.  We saw "Ali."  I reached over and grabbed his hand while we watched.  It snowed for the first time of the season, that night.  A winter wonderland and a starry night sky greeted us when we came out of the theater.  He wrapped his arm around me and helped me to the car, my boots were slipping as I walked.

When he took me home, he walked me to the door, hugged me, and I pecked him on the cheek and ran into the house.

...from then on, we were stuck to each other like glue.

I really had no idea what I was getting into.  But, I'm glad I did.

I spent many hours sitting in the car or in the firehouse waiting for him to get back from a call.  I suffered near heart attacks when those same calls were toned out while we were out together and I had to be in the car with the speed demon that he became.  Suffered more near heart attacks listening to his scanner on numerous occasions.  I don't listen anymore.  It's like nails on a chalkboard, anyway...and I don't understand half of what is said.  

After high school he worked for a private ambulance company for awhile, and then enlisted in the military.  He continued to volunteer when he could, whenever we were "home" for enough time to allow it.

We got married in 2004 (I asked him, I think it's a cute story, I'll have to tell it sometime...but are you noticing a trend here?  Haha!).  I was 19, he was 20.  We had two babies.  One in 2006, another in 2007.  Moved around to a few different states.  He took night classes to get his paramedic.  He was this.close to finishing when, well, we had to move again.  We spent a LOT of time apart for his work.  Military is good training for being a firefighter's wife, that's for sure.  I'll take a 24 or a 48 over an 8 month deployment any day.  It gave me a good perspective.  I'd also already had to learn to trust in him, his training, and his brothers and not to let myself be consumed with worry.

After he got out of the Navy, he worked as a medic while he searched and waited for his dream job as a career firefighter.  He found it.  It was always his plan, military, then firefighter.  He sweetly made sure I was on board with this while we were dating, but to be honest I wouldn't care if his dream was to be a garbage man.  I will encourage his career goals because I support HIM, and he does the same for me.  While I might get frustrated with the long hours that go along with his career and, quite often the unpredictability of the volunteer side, I love the sparkle in his eye when he talks about it.  He still gets that same excited look on his face that I remember from when he was 17.


...and I still get that weak in the knees, flutter in the stomach feeling when I see him across a room... 12 years later.  I don't think that will ever change.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

First Day of School, 2013

Where did the Summer go?!?

Hard to believe my baby is in Kindergarten!  

...and check this out...

...she has grown SO much...