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Wednesday Update: 05/13/09

So speaking of working in the yard and enjoying this beautiful spring – holy cow did we do a lot of that last weekend!! Friday afternoon was so lovely, I took a few hours off to work and enjoy! I mowed the lawn and then Matt and I loaded up to go out to dinner and Menards. We’d been discussing building a raised garden bed for me to plant a few veggies in. He had built me one back at our old house that worked really well…aside from the fact that our yard was as deep as a football field and it took me forever to drag a hose back there to water it. I’d had my eye on a premade one in a catalog, but of course it was backordered, so I asked Matt if he thought we could build one together. Confident that he could guide me through the process, we headed to Menards to get materials. We ended up getting enough cedar to make a 4X4 bed and went home and decided to take advantage of the nice, cool evening and work on putting it together. It took us a while, and it wasn’t always easy, but together we did it! Matt cut all the boards and I held them together while he drilled the screws in place. It was totally a team effort, and Matt definitely pulled his share of the weight. I know it felt good to him to be useful and help me out, but I just don’t think I can fully express how good it felt to me to have him there working on it with me. There we were, on a Friday night, in the garage together tinkering around with tools and building something from scratch. I know that if I had attempted to do it myself, disaster would have ensued…and I also know that not all that long ago Matt wouldn’t have been all that willing to try and help. I think it says a lot about where we are in life.

Saturday morning we got up early and met Lissa downtown for the Des Moines Farmer’s Market. This is something that I have loved to do with Lissa for a long time, but Matt has never been before! This week he decided he’d like to go too and check it out. It was a little chilly when we arrived, but soon the smells of all the various foods cooking, the sounds of all the different bands playing, and the fun of checking out all the plants, wares, trinkets, and crafts warmed us right up. I just have to say how much I love our farmer’s market. It is truly a treasure, for a city the size of Des Moines. I remember going with Mom to the market in Austin, TX a few years ago and being completely disappointed. For such a ‘cool’ city, they sure had a pathetic display! If you’re ever in Des Moines on a Saturday morning in the summer, you really owe it to yourself to come check it out. Matt loved it! (Mostly all the yummy food, naturally.) But I just love checking out all the fresh produce and contemplating which plants to buy and where I can squeeze in a few more in my flower beds…or think about creating new ones! I was a little worried that taking the wheelchair down there would be tricky with the large crowd, but since we’re all just ambling about, in no big hurry, it worked just fine. Matt sat waiting patiently while I perused various plant stands, and we both enjoyed homemade cannolis from one of the best Italian restaurants in the metro. We just made our way through the streets, talking with Lissa and taking in all the sights…it was a great way to spend a sunny Saturday morning and I could not have been more tickled that Matt WANTED to go with us, and that he ENJOYED himself to boot.

On our way home, we stopped up at a landscaping company and ordered a few trees for our front yard. They will be delivered this week and I’ll get those planted soon as well! We spent the rest of Saturday afternoon out working in the yard. We decided on a spot for the garden box and I had the tedious job of cutting up the sod and transplanting it to various yellow spots (thanks to Buddy) in the yard.
It was a lot of work cutting and placing the sod, but I really didn’t mind it too much because there was Matt up on the deck to talk to, Buddy running around and checking things out, and Penny relaxing on the deck. We were all together.
I filled up the garden box with the soil I had gotten and planted a few tomatoes I’d bought at the market. By the time we were done, we were both pooped – but I was completely satisfied and happy. I love being outside and working in the yard, but I always hated doing it at the old house where Matt would be stuck inside. Having him out there with me, to keep me company, and EVEN go inside and get me something to drink…well, that was just icing on the cake. Yeah, you read that right…Matt went inside to get ME a drink while I was working. How awesome is THAT!?!? It just makes me ever more grateful for our new house and the ease with which Matt can do things. Oh, what a blessing it is to us!!
Sunday we celebrated Mother’s Day with Matt’s family. We had dinner over at Lissa’s apartment and hung out for a bit there with the family. Matt’s Grandma was full of her usual stories and we caught ourselves in giggly, knowing glances more than once. We are so thankful she’s doing well and we can have time with her and his Grandpa – they are both treasures to us indeed. Afterwards we went home and crashed…our busy weekend catching up to us. We melted into the couch pretty much the rest of the evening…content in capping off the weekend with some much needed rest and relaxation. All week, I’ll still catch myself with a smile on my face thinking about how great our weekend was. Doing things together, trying new things…experiencing old things in a new way…it’s all just us doing what we can to be us. I’m so very thankful for days like those. As hard as it may be sometimes, I’m so incredibly proud of Matt’s strength and resilience and the amazing love we have for each other. What a gift.

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