Happy Birthday to The Engineer!

Sometimes I sit back and look at what I am doing, and I am just amazed that this is really my life.  For example, last week I was sitting in a comfortable black leather chair while someone massaged my swollen feet and gave me a pedicure.  While I did this, someone else was at my house cleaning.  On this particular day I didn’t, but I could have followed the pedicure with a leisurely swim and a coffee with a friend.  It is really quite perfect for this late stage of pregnancy, and the reason I can be doing this is all thanks to this guy:

My Engineer

The Engineer is pretty much the raddest dude I know, and today is his 31st birthday.  So I’m going to make it all about him.  Even today, he is at work while I coffee with friends, and cruise around (although I did get up bright and early to make him breakfast, and plan to make him dinner AND dessert later).

But it’s not just the fact that he goes out to bring home the bacon while I live a life of leisure that I appreciate, far from it.  In fact, that’s one of the least important things to me.  The reason I am really thankful for him is that this guy is a great supporter/team mate/life partner.  He is helpful, understanding, and always willing to go the extra mile.  Nothing is too much trouble.

During the first trimester of my pregnancy, he did almost all the cooking, more than half the chores, and still went to work.  I did… nothing! But even so, he never once made me feel bad for that.  He just saw that he needed to help out, and he did.  No fuss, no drama.  (I may or may not have created some drama, but I wouldn’t want to lay the blame anywhere near him for that.  Pregnancy hormones are a much more appropriate direction to point that finger.)

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And on top of that, he’s funny and fun, and just a great person to live with.  I should know, I’ve been doing it for ten years now!  He is relaxed and easygoing, and is always willing to give new things a try.  He takes a while to get to know, but I’ve crossed that bridge, and I know for sure that he’s going to be a wonderful dad.  I am excited to share the next ten years with him and see where they take us.

(In case anyone thinks this is getting a bit sappy:  Firstly, you’re right, but at least I don’t do it too often… right? Secondly, I am not pretending that he’s a paragon of perfection.  He has been known to let off some noxious gases, occasionally even in bed. And he takes about five times as long as the normal person to eat a meal (unless he’s really hungry, in which case it’s gone in seconds).  But really, I can promise you that the above is not a lie or an exaggeration.  Far from it.)

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So today I want to say a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my favourite of gentlemen and wish him all the best as he learns to deal with a new baby and a somewhat crazy wife in the coming weeks and months. It’s going to be an adventure, but I can’t imagine anyone better to go on that adventure with.

I love you, dude.

Happy Birthday.

 

Happy Anniversary

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Today marks three years since I became The Engineer’s Wife.  Three years of adventure, and fun, and team work.  Three great years.

Happy anniversary Engineer – I couldn’t imagine a better team mate.

I never would have dreamed that this anniversary would be spent in Brunei, but it feels perfect.  It seems like just the place we need to be right now, and it is great.

Let’s hope the next three are just as exciting.

Decluttering: The sentimental stuff

Part of packing up and moving overseas is decluttering.  Large scale, hard core decluttering.  I have slight hoarder tendencies, but in most areas I find it pretty easy to get rid of the crap.  It might take me a couple of sort-throughs, but I’ll get there.

My achilles heel of clutter is the sentimental stuff.  I have an entire cupboard filled with cards, notes, letters, ticket stubs, photos, and random other souvenirs.  Or actually, I should say I HAD an entire cupboard.  Because as of this afternoon, I have started decluttering the nostalgia.

And seriously, it was HARD.

As I read letters from my high school friends about our teenage dramas, lovely cards from lovely people, letters from my boyfriend (now husband) about how maybe we should break up, notes from grandmothers who are no longer with us, and a vast assortment of notes and gifts, I felt overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed with memories, with embarrassment about the teenager I was, with sadness about throwing these things out, with nostalgia for the effort I used to make for my friends (and vice versa) when it wasn’t as easy as sending a quick email, with wondering what my future will hold.

It was not a bad kind of overwhelmed, but it was certainly BIG.  After three hours, I was exhausted, and I couldn’t look at it anymore. Fortunately, three hours coincided with the engineer getting home.  He helped me out by being the one to physically collect it all up and dispose of it.  Now, we’ve gone from three large shoe boxes to a small pile of only the most meaningful.  And it feels good (well mostly good…)

During the process, I found that a few things helped me:

  • Getting rid of the things that remind you of what you’d rather not remember
    (for me it was letters from an ex-boyfriend, not too happy letters from my engineer, teen drama letters from a very intense friend).
  • Taking photos of things that are easily photographed, and meaningful
    (I now have a file of photos of things that I love, and want to look at again, but don’t need to physically hold onto, this was particularly great for little keepsakes).
  • Discarding cards with no message
    (As much as I like to remember the occasions and the people who have sent me things, these cards don’t really spark great memories for me, so I decided they didn’t need to stay).
  • Considering what I’d want to show my kids
    (This meant the birthday poems from my Mum stayed, as did special cards and letters).
  • Limiting the amount of stuff I could keep
    (I considered how much I realistically wanted to store up, and tried to stay within this amount).
  • Realising that if I didn’t have this stuff now, I wouldn’t miss it
    (As much as it was kinda fun to go through the boxes, a lot of the things I had kept I NEVER would have remembered if I’d chucked them years ago.  And I wouldn’t have missed them.  Which means I won’t miss them in a few more years!)

These things meant that I could get rid of what I needed to, and free myself from clutter, without later regretting it (well, I hope I won’t regret it!)

Now, I still have a large stack of photos to get through, which I can’t imagine will be too easy either.  But my confidence is up from completing this process.  And the looking through to declutter is certainly going to be interesting!