bless you!

my dad can stop traffic with his sneezes. in addition to being able to spread my toes like a gecko, his sneezes are yet another lovely trait i was blessed to have had passed down to me... thanks, dad :-)

growing up, there wasn't a sneeze in the house that wasn't immediately followed by a "God bless you!", "salut!", "ay, ay, ay...!", "bless you", or "geeeeeeez loiuse, are you okay?!". i guess one could say sneezes were an attention grabber, as well as an opportunity for someone to tell you they heard ya, were worried about ya, or just plain impressed! in any case, it seemed normal to me to hear a reaction to my sneeze, and i'd always follow with a, "thank ya!"

then i got married. and just like that, my sneezes went unnoticed. and let me tell you, people don't not-notice my sneezes. that'd be like not noticing an elephant stepped on your toe. but i would sneeze, and nothing would happen. hmmm. finally, (about a year later) i brought it up to josh. "babe, how come you never say 'bless you' when i sneeze? i always say it to you, and you sneeze three times in a row!" babe replied, "i dunno. i figured you knew i knew you sneezed. it's not exactly the silent, honey. i'm just not a 'bless you' kind of guy. why do you care so much?" aw bummer. "i dunno, i guess i just see it as a sign of...showing someone you care. so... sometimes it just feels like you don't care that my head almost exploded into a million pieces right in front of your eyes!" (i know, a bit dramatic, but what else is new?) poor josh is just blown away by this time. i can see it on his face. "seriously, honey?? um, okay..... would you LIKE me to say 'bless you' to you EVERY time you sneeze??" okay, that was plain sarcasm, and he expects me to say noooooooo, it's just.... so i say, "yes, please" with a sh*t-eatin grin on my face :-D "thanks, honey!".

i thought he'd push back, maybe say i was ridiculous, maybe continue with a more detailed explanation of why it wasn't important to say it every time someone sneezed, including me, and why i should just knowwww that he hears me and OF COURSE wants me to be BLESSED every time. but no, he just smiled, chuckled, nodded, and said, "alright, babe."

fast forward a few months and josh has NEVER failed to say 'bless you' after i sneeze. and i'm not kidding, i sneeze more now that i'm pregnant, so i'm rather impressed. he yells "bless you!" it from inside the shower. he'll pat my leg and say "bless you" when i accidentally sneeze in his ear while we're cuddling on the couch. a few weeks ago, i sneezed at 5am because i was super hungry (don't ask--different story, different day...) and i hear a half-asleep "blssyu" come from my right (your left). like, seriously!? you freaking ROCK, honey.

so, not only is every "bless you" followed by my "thank ya", but every "bless you" reminds me of how this guy DOES NOT STOP trying at our marriage. it may be a small gesture, but it's beautiful, and it only encourages me to try just as hard at the big things in our marriage, as well as the little things, every single day.

...josh is out of town this weekend. when i sneezed about 20 minutes ago, the silence was painful. i was reminded of him (yet again, for the 67th time this weekend) and just had to share my newfound appreciation of him and his sweet, sweet commitment.


yup, i'm gonna go there.

i've got the holidays on my mind. i just went for a morning walk and i could see my breath. the grass was frosty white with morning dew, and i was truly cold for about 3 minutes. i welcomed it gladly. not to mention, i've utterly enjoyed this past week of rain and thunderstorms. i got to wear a coat this week.

for josh and i, the holiday season is LONG. always pleasant, but LONG. it starts with the publication of the google docs christmas list. josh's sister, jacqui, never fails to have the template posted by late september, in giddy anticipation of her own mid-october birthday. she's like a loaded gun, cocked and ready to fire HOLIDAY everywhere. low and behold, this year's christmas list was posted in late august. soooo, i've been preparing myself for months already.

we're not huge on halloween, mostly because i'm never creative enough to come up with a good halloween costume, so i always feel lame with my last-minute creation and am ready to go home as soon as we leave the house. but i will say i've enjoyed seeing the pumpkin patches pop up in mall parking lots and strawberry farms. i might buy one this year. a pumpkin, not a parking lot. but i highly doubt we'll carve it. you know what halloween is really great for?? the reece's. yup, reece's figures out a new way to pair peanut butter and chocolate just about every october. and i dig it! so as halloween comes and goes, i'll be more sad to see the creative minds at reece's exhaust their newest heavenly combination than i will to see the 3-foot-6 costumed trick or treaters retire.

thanksgiving will be PURE BLISS this year. not only does it go down in the books as my "favorite holiday", but i truly believe my appetite will be ready for what my eyes choose by then. two dinners in one night usually scares me. this year, though.....BRING IT ON. i love thanksgiving because it's like christmas in the sense that it's cozy and all about family, family, family, but it carries less stress and fewer expectations than christmas strictly because of the no-gifts policy. oh, not to mention, the food comas are incredible!!!

after thanksgiving comes christmas and new years, and that usually wraps it up. but NOOOOO, the johnsons don't stop there. mid january we hit josh's birthday, mid february is valentine's day, late february is our anniversary, and this year, the excitement of the holidays will stretch out to late march, when we welcome baby j. so our holiday season goes from september through march. yup, 7 months of "the holidays".

and i can't wait!! let's do this.