Strike Four, You’re Out!

I have many fine qualities, but natural athletic ability is not chief among them. Actually, it is not really among them at all. When God was gifting me, athletic ability was left standing on the wall like a loser while various other things were chosen… much like I was left standing on the wall when my peers chose teams for softball in gym class. I am just not skilled. I was so bad that in gym class the teacher used to feel bad and “miscount” strikes when we played softball and give me four chances to swing. I was so bad that the kids didn’t even bother to move in, because the odds of me connecting ball and bat were practically zero. I was so bad that the pitcher (who I had a crush on) used to scoot way up and just sort of loft the ball at me, encouraging me to hit it. And I really haven’t gotten much better in the decade and a half since then.

My lack of athletic ability (and obvious emotional scars from softball failures) does not mean that I do not like to play with balls with the dog and the munchkin.


The munchkin loves balls so much that I made his play pen into a ball-pit. It’s awesome. I’m not sure who loves it more, him or me.

The dog prefers tennis balls. She keeps a secret stash of them behind the television cabinet.

The dog prefers tennis balls. She keeps a secret stash of them behind the television cabinet.

Unlike me, the hubs is good at sports. Right now he is on a golf kick, and he’s out swinging the club constantly. I think that getting out for a few holes must have been on his mind last night. I was sleeping soundly when I jumped awake because the hubs sat up and smacked my shoulder.

Me: What?!? What’s wrong?!?

Hubs: What on earth!?! Don’t you know about the foursome?

Me: Umm, no…

Hubs: Yeah, well I’m not playing without it, and you’re just… it’s just…

Me: What are you talking about?

Hubs: Oh, you don’t even know, do you! We need a foursome for nine holes.

Me: That’s fine, Buddy. Let’s not worry about it.

Hubs: You know what you are? An embarrassment. Yep, this is just horrible.

Surprisingly, I was not offended, because, when it comes to sports, this is nothing I didn’t already know…that, and I’m doing better at not getting upset when the hubs sleep talks

Me: Ok, I’m going back to sleep.

Hubs: Well, it’s just… I mean, GAH!

And then he threw his hands up in exasperation, sank back down, and did not say anything else.

Poor, asleep hubs. Thankfully, when he’s awake he normally has a foursome willing to play and can golf to his heart’s content. Now if only we could round up enough players for some friendly softball – I get four strikes, right?


Laughter is the Best Medicine

I am really looking forward to the munchkin’s first laugh. I know it is still a little premature to be expecting a giggle, but I keep hoping.

The munchkin does lots of smiling, just no laughing yet.

The munchkin does lots of smiling, just no laughing yet.

Laughing is just so wonderful, and I want him to have that joy. Plus, laughter can make a bad situation better. Last week we had a situation that wasn’t funny at the time, but that we could laugh about later.

I was up reading in bed when all of the sudden the hubs sat up and started shaking his arm.

Me: Whatcha doing?

Hubs: My arm’s feeling funny.

Me: Oh, ok.

The hubs continued to shake his arm. I thought he was awake, but was not completely sure.

Me: Are you asleep?

Hubs (yelling): No, I’m very awake! Don’t assume the worst about me! Why do you always do that? You shouldn’t assume the worst!

Me: Excuse me? What is wrong with you? I’m not assuming the worst, I just didn’t know if you were awake!

Hubs: Well, it’s just something you always do. Just STOP IT!

Me: Well, FINE!

Then I slammed my book shut and went to sleep in a huff. The next morning the hubs and I had a discussion about what had happened: apparently he was asleep for the whole thing. And he was quite surprised when he rolled over in the morning, and found an extremely grumpy wife!

At least we were able to laugh about it later; the hubs saw the humor in it much sooner than I did. Laughing together makes everything better. I know that when the munchkin finally does laugh it will have been worth the wait.

Photos and Deli Meat

I am not very good about taking pictures. For one thing, I always forget to take any. And then on the rare occasion when I do remember to take pictures, I don’t take very good ones. Mostly, I take bad pictures of the dog.

See what I mean? Poorly lit, poorly focused, and not very good. But, she’s just so cute, even in a bad picture!

I have been working on it, however, trying to take more and better pictures. I think I’m making progress – at my brother’s wedding weekend earlier this month I took 6 pictures. That’s a lot…for me, anyway.

This past week, the hubs apparently had photography on the brain as well.

Hubs – You ok?

Me – Yeah, what’s up? Why aren’t you asleep yet?

Hubs – Waiting for David to take my picture.

Ok, so the hubs is asleep.

Me – Oh…take your picture for what?

Hubs – David, he has to take my picture for…for… I don’t really remember right now.

Me – Is it for work?

Hubs – It’s not at Subway.

Me – Oh, you work at Subway?

Hubs (annoyed) – I just told you, it’s not at Subway.

Me – Oh, I see. So where is it?


Me – Hubs? I get it, it’s not at Subway.


So, I left him alone to his dreams about getting his picture taken. He’s so handsome I’m sure they were great pictures, even though they weren’t at Subway.

Flying High… and Awkwardly

This week the hubs and I were traveling again. The hubs was gone on a business trip, then met me down south for my baby brother’s wedding. If you are thinking to yourself, “Good grief, these people have traveled an awful lot this summer,” you would be absolutely correct. We have traveled so much and have had luggage out so frequently, the dog now thinks that suitcases are just part of the furniture, and are there for her to sleep on.

This summer I have spent more time on airplanes than I ever have in the whole rest of my life. I like flying, and it sure is convenient when trying to get all over the country in just one summer. However, I seem to do really awkward things when I am traveling by air. This should not surprise me, I suppose: I seem to find a way to do embarrassing things everywhere else, I don’t know why I would expect the sky to be any different.

Just this summer, I have helped a kindly Ukrainian onto a flight. Unfortunately, it wasn’t his flight and I directed him to the wrong gate. I spilled an entire glass of ginger ale on the person sitting next to me when my tray suddenly collapsed. I was feeling quite emotional after leaving the hubs again for a week, and didn’t have time to get a chicken biscuit for breakfast during my layover, so started weeping uncontrollably while walking through the airport. I fell asleep with my head propped on my hand and woke up when my elbow slipped off the arm rest and I slammed my head into the seat in front of me.

When I flew out west to travel with my family, I flew into a little tiny airport that was about 10 miles outside of the city. I had a few hours to kill before my parents made it in, so went in search of a taxi to take me down town, where I could take the bus around to see the sights. I couldn’t find any taxis or anything out front of the airport so wandered back into the baggage claim. There wasn’t really anyone around except for a man holding a sign that said “Orbridge Family Reunion.” I wandered up and asked where the taxi’s pulled up. He looked at me suspiciously, “Taxis? This is the middle of nowhere…there’s no taxi that comes here.”

So I asked him how he suggested I get downtown if there weren’t any taxis. He thought for a minute, then said, “Well, why don’t you just come with us. I’m driving this family reunion to their hotel, I’m sure it will be fine. For $20.”

Seeing no other option, I agreed and told him I’d sit on a bench off to the side of baggage claim until he said it was time to go. A few minutes later the Orbridges arrived and he took them out to their waiting vans. Then he came back and waved me out. Coming out I found that of the two large vans that were there for the Orbridges, he had squashed the whole family reunion into one van, so that I had the other van all to myself. So that’s how I found myself driving around South Dakota in a large white van with an “Orbridge Family Reunion” sign on the side.

Perhaps airplanes were what was on the hubs’ mind the other night when he started making whirring engine noises in his sleep. I was fast asleep and woke up to a funny sound. I was quite groggy and it took me a minute to figure out what it was: it was the hubs. Blowing air out through his lips, making that funny “bfffffffffffffffffffffffffttttt” noise we have all made at babies or when we are pretending to be exasperated.

I was still half asleep, so just laid there, wondering what on earth he could be dreaming about. Then he stopped having flappy lips, and started blowing air out through tight lips. It sounded like the noise he makes when he’s trying to sound like a trumpet…it really sounds nothing like a trumpet. It just sounds like squeeking while blowing out air. He did this for a minute or two and then went back to flappy lips. “Bbfffffffffttttttttttttt.”

When I fell back asleep he was still doing it.

I am so happy to be back to the hubs, even if he does wake me up in the middle of the night. I think the dog is happy we are back, too. Especially because it means the luggage is going away for awhile.

“Why would you put me squashed between all this luggage? I ought to be sitting up front!”

Home, Sweet Home

I am so very happy to be home. Finally, after a month away from home, I am finally back. And it is wonderful.

Home to my cuddle buddy!

There are several things that have to happen when one comes home from being gone for a month. One thing that is a must is going to the grocery store for a large grocery trip. Even though I use some reusable bags, this large trip results in a plethora of plastic grocery bags at our house. The dog LOVES grocery bags. She thinks they are awesome. This is because when I take her for her walk every day I bring a plastic grocery bag to pick up dog poo. (Because I’m a good neighbor who picks it up when my dog goes poo. Unlike the owners of the large golden retriever who lives two doors down. Yeah, that’s right, I’m talking to you, you poop-and-run neighbors.) So now the dog sees grocery bags and thinks that it is time for a walk.

Yesterday I took the dog for a run on the trail. Of course, I brought a grocery bag/poop bag and also needed my cellphone and my keys. I did not want to carry all of these things separately, so I put my phone and keys into the bag and off we went down the trail. I did not think about it, but with my phone and keys in the almost-opaque-white bag, it looked like I had already picked up my dog’s poo.

There was no problem with this until I stopped to check my phone to see what time it was. I stood off to the side of the trail, digging around in the bag, being passed by lots of people. Some of them were giving me very weird looks, and I had no idea why… until I realized that it looked like I was digging around in a bag of poo. These people thought I was digging around in a bag of poo. Oh. My. Word. Should have thought that one through a little more.

In addition to being home and getting to walk the dog everyday, I also get to hear the hubs sleep talking. However, I do not know if it is my messed up sleep schedule or traveling, but last night I was the one doing crazy things in my sleep, not the hubs.

According to the hubs, he woke up to me poking him on the shoulder.

Hubs: Hmm…what’s wrong?

Me: What time is it?

Hubs: What time is it?? Look at your clock… it’s 3:30 in the morning!

Me: Ok.

Then I rolled back over.

This morning the hubs was quite grumpy that I woke him up in the middle of the night to talk to him in my sleep. Yeah, welcome to my world, Hubs! Where your spouse wakes you up to chat at 3:30 in the morning!

Even though I woke the hubs up so early, I hope he’s happy to have me home, because I sure am happy to be back!

Moving Right Along

We are still on the road, with the hubs biking along over the mountains.

Traveling with the hubs is very fun, but the time zone changes mess up our sleep schedules. When we go to bed, it is still practically broad daylight. And then I wake up at 5:30 am, bright eyed and bushy tailed, wondering why the cafe is still closed and not ready to make me some breakfast.

One of the good things about the hubs going to bed so early, even though the sun is still up, is that he gets lots of rest and can recuperate from his day of biking. With all of this sleeping, he talked some in his sleep this week.

Earlier this week the hubs was asleep, and I was sitting in bed reading. Since it was still light out and the hotel room was bright as day, I figured I might as well try to adjust to the time change. The hubs all of the sudden propped himself up on his elbow and started talking loudly.

Hubs: 200!

Me: What, buddy?

Hubs: Did you hear that? 200!

Me: Yes, I heard. 200 what?

Hubs: No big deal.

Me: Ok. 200 what, though?

Hubs (flopping down again): Nothing for you to worry about. No big deal.

Then he didn’t say anything else.

I don’t know what 200 meant in his dream… the number of times we’ve crossed the squiggly continental divide? The number of bison we have seen this week? The number of Fig Newtons the hubs has eaten while biking? Who knows! But I do know that we’re having a great time and I’m very proud of him biking along!

The Beginning of It All

This past week was our wedding anniversary.

Here we are on the big day! I was just hanging out in the woods wearing this white dress and ran into the hubs, who happened to be in a suit. (Photos by Chris Pritchard)

Occasionally I am asked how I happened to meet the hubs, and how he became my sleep talking husband. Well, that’s a funny story.

I was a lowly undergrad, making my way up the stairs in the campus cafeteria to the balcony, which we lovingly referred to as Up-Chucks. This very tall man in front of me all of the sudden turned around and started talking to me.

Tall man: Hi! How’s it going?

Me (not knowing who this person was, but assuming that I probably met him before and just didn’t remember): It’s going well. How are you?

Tall man: Doing great. What did you think of the speaker today?

Me (really trying to figure out who this person was): Pretty good.

Tall man (stopping suddenly on the stairs and turning around completely): I am so very sorry. I thought you were that girl over there… who I just met a few days ago… I don’t think I know you… at all.

Me (laughing, feeling a little awkward): Oh, that’s alright. That actually makes me feel better because I had no idea who you were.

Tall man: Yeah, no problem. Alright, well, I’ll see you around.

Me: Yeah, have a nice life!

Then we parted ways. I was feeling self-conscious about my awkwardness at telling him to have a nice life, but consoled myself with the thought that I would probably never see him again.

And that is how I met the hubs. Some months later we were introduced for real by mutual friends at an ice cream shop, and the rest as they say is history!

It would have been very romantic if the hubs had talked in his sleep this past week about our wedding or anniversary, but alas he did not. What he did do was some sort of rhythmic chant. Oh, hubs.

One morning this past week, I was laying in bed, having woken up very early with a stomach ache. I was trying to decide if my stomach hurt because my appendix had ruptured, or if it had to do with the 7 chocolate chip cookies I ate right before bed. All of the sudden the hubs started doing some sort of chant, with one drawn out word, followed by two shorter repetitions of the same word.

Hubs: SNORT, snort, snort… NOO, no, no… CHIEF, chief, chief… SEEE, see, see

Then he didn’t say anything else. I have no idea what on earth he could have been dreaming about to make him chant like this. When I told him about it in the morning he didn’t know what I was talking about. What I do know, however, is that being married to him for the past few years has been a dream come true.

And they lived happily ever after.

Yellowstone Wanderings: Bison, and Otters, and Wolves, Oh, My!

You might have noticed that there was no post last Monday. I was gallivanting with my parents and brother out west. There were beautiful lakes, lovely green fields, and magnificent waterfalls.

(My brother took all of these pics.)

There were bison and wolves and bald eagles and elk and otters all roaming this beautiful land. However, there was one thing that could not be found: internet connection. Therefore, there was no post. Not to worry, though. I am now back to the hubs, the dog, and the blogosphere.

It’s funny: when I am away from the hubs I can’t sleep because he isn’t there. But when I am home with the hubs I can’t sleep because his sleep talking wakes me up. This was proven yet again a few days before I left for my trip. I woke up because the hubs was sitting up, shaking my arm. I flopped over.

Me: Humph…what’s up?

Hubs stopped, and turned toward his nightstand. Now I was thinking that he was probably asleep.

Hubs: Hmm? What you say?

Me: Nothing, it’s alright.

Hubs (laying down again): Oh, ok.

The hubs sits up suddenly.

Hubs: Did you hear something?

Me: No, I don’t think so.

Hubs: Hmm… yeah. Must be nothing.

Then he laid back down and did not say anything else. All of this seemed almost normal, although it did not make much sense. However, the next morning the hubs didn’t remember any of it, so he must have been sleep talking.

I am very happy to be home to the hubs, back to his familiar night time ramblings. Even if they do wake me up.

Everyone Looks Classy with a Monocle

The hubs loves the dog. I mean, really loves her. He thinks she is just fabulous; he carries her around on his shoulder, takes her to the lake, and talks to her constantly. Some of these conversations are very funny.

The funniest things I have ever heard the hubs say to the dog:

  • “Umm, I would take you for a walk, but you won’t put on your own leash. I can’t do everything in this relationship.”
  • “Are you sitting pretty? Yeah, you’re sitting pretty.”
  • (Holding the dog in my face and singing to the tune of the Winnie the Pooh theme song when I refused to get out of bed) “Gotta get up! Gotta get going! Gonna meet a friend of mine. She’s warm and she’s fluffy, we love her because she is MORLEY, it’s our dog, MORLEY! She loves you and me! Silly old, silly old, dog.”
  • “Stand up and do the polka!”
  • “You have to pull your weight in this family… go empty the dishwasher with your paws.”
  • (Propping up the dog on her haunches on her favorite chair and holding up her paws to make her dance) “You make me… feel like I’m living a … TEEN-AGE-DREAM!”
  • “Oh, hello! Aren’t you a cutie pie!”
  • “Dog! Dog! DOG! Doggggg!! … Why aren’t you wearing shoes?!?”

Even though he loves our dog so much, the hubs is not interested in getting a second pup, much to my dismay. So when week before last he was very agreeable in his sleep, I used the opportunity to ask about a possible new pooch! I was snuggled in bed, doing some reading before falling asleep. The hubs mumbled a bit then said, “Uh-huh,” as if he was agreeing with someone.

Me: What, buddy?

Hubs: Uh-huh.

Me: Umm, are you agreeing with someone?

Hubs: Uh-huh.

Me: Are you going to agree with everything I say?

Hubs: Uh-huh.

Me: May I get a miniature schnauzer?

Hubs: Uh-huh.

Me (starting to giggle): May I name him “Mr. Snuffleton”?

Hubs: Uh-huh.

Me (snorting and giggling): May I dress him in top hats, perhaps a monocle?

Hubs: Uh-huh.

At this point I was really cracking up. The hubs started and rolled over. I think I might have woken him up, because after that he did not say anything else.

This is my my parents’ miniature schnauzer. How could the hubs resist her cuteness?

The awake hubs is very agreeable, but he vetoed the idea of bringing a new dog into the family. So, our current little dog should not worry: she will remain the hubs’ special little sweetheart.

NyQuil: The Achilles’ Heel of the Sleep Talker

The poor hubs has been fighting off the sniffles this week. I do not like it when he is sick, although he has a very good attitude about it. (And, he’s not too much of a hypochondriac. I tend to lean toward being a hypochondriac myself. In fact, this morning I was making my toast for breakfast when all of the sudden I couldn’t see out of my right eye. I immediately thought of the worst thing it could be: I was obviously having a stroke. I started freaking out before I realized that when I was adjusting my glasses I had smeared peanut butter all over the lens…)

When you are sick it is nice to have your best buddy there to keep you company.

However, the hubs has been taking night time cold medicine every night. Although he has been sleeping like a log, he has not talked at all the whole week. Cold medicine is kryptonite to his sleep talking power.

Not to fret, though. I have plenty of previous sleep talking stories to share.

Several months ago I was up late sitting in bed doing some lesson prepping for teaching the next day. Suddenly, the hubs sat up and turned to me.

Hubs (speaking enthusiastically) – You’re important!

Me – Umm, are you asleep?

Hubs – You’re important… how nice.

(throws his arm around my neck)

Hubs (in a sing-song, high pitch) – Well, hi!

Me – I really think you’re still asleep.

Hubs (lies back down quietly) – OK, well you go to sleep now.

I am so thankful that I am important to the hubs, even when he is asleep.