Having a (Bowling) Ball

Two weekends ago, B and I found ourselves with a rainy afternoon to kill in Mason City, IA. So, we headed out to the Rose Bowl, breaking our habit of bowling only once a year (with his family on Thanksgiving).

We started out surprisingly strong, and were feeling pretty good about ourselves:

B's Happy Dance

My Happy Dance

However, that streak didn’t last very long for me, and I ended my first game with a whopping 81 pins. B did better than that–he actually ended up getting what we’ve decided is a new PR for him (because he can’t remember his one from before): 138.

B, the bowling stud

So, we decided to shake things up a little for Game #2. We used my iPhone to pull up the directions for Funky Bowling, a game we’d learned with his family at our last Turkey Day outing. Funky Bowling is great for those of us with no strategy to speak of. It kicks the boredom that usually rolls in about Frame 7 for me, and lends itself to a fabulous photo shoot.

Bowling with my opposite hand

Sometimes we used the same strategy for the challenge:

B bowling with two hands

Me bowling with two hands

But other times we had different approaches:

B bowling backwards

Me bowling backwards

We had to hop on one foot:

One-legged bowling

And sit on the floor:

B's sitting bowl

It's hard to get a lot of oomph from this position

Then came the scary part:

B had to bowl through my legs.

Flying towards him!

For the last frame, we could bowl however we wanted:

My choice

There’s something to be said for marrying someone who can turn a rainy afternoon in rural IA into one of the best dates we’ve had in a long time.

What’s the best date you’ve had recently? Or, when did you have a surprisingly good time?

Breaking Out On Our Own…

In this old post from almost a year ago, I mentioned the wonderful relationship that B and I have with our church. We’ve since been married in that church, and have continued to attend regularly. We truly enjoy all of our involvements with the congregation, from youth-advising to handbell choirs, adult education classes to book club. However, we’ve continued to face one struggle: truly being adults in the environment where I was raised as a child.

You know how people tend to fall into their familiar roles when they’re around their family? I’m talking about the adult brother who still pulls his sisters’ hair, and the middle-aged woman who can’t help but roll her eyes and her dad’s jokes, or the grown-up children who still talk back to their mother. Well, I think it’s like that at my church.

At church, I’m surrounded by people who raised me. First of all, there are my parents. We sit with them every week, I ring handbells in the same chior as my parents, and my mom and I co-host book club meetings. Then, there are my friends’ parents. You know, the ones who hosted me for slumber parties, took me to the pool, and watched me struggled through my “awkward” years alongside their adolescent children. Sitting in the congregation are also my old Sunday school teachers, choir directors, and youth advisors. The adults who laid down the law in my teenage years, and knew me when I still brought my American Girl doll to church with me every week. Now, I’m asking them not to see me as little Katie anymore, but as grown up, married Katie.

And I feel frustrated when they don’t.

But, I’m making the conscious decision to let go of that frustration. This week at church, we had our annual potluck with our Covenant Groups, which are small groups of 15-20 people to which each member is assigned. This was the first year I was not a part of my parents’ Covenant Group. B and I went to a different room, brought a salad to contribute, and introduced ourselves as a married couple. A separate, grown-up entity. Of course, we weren’t fooling anyone. Most of the people in the room had known me for 10+ years. However, we were accepted in our new life and as our own familial unit. It felt good.

We’ve also signed up for some volunteer and fellowship opportunities in the near future. Having been a member of the church for such a long time, there are few things I haven’t participated in over the years. But these are a couple new activities that we’ll get to experience for the first time together.

I know that I’m not the first person to make this transition from youth to adult in the church. I’ve talked with many other members who’ve had similar experiences. Our church is something special, and I think it speaks a lot for our congregation that its members are willing to make the effort.

Ahhhh… Sunday Nights…

B and I have been married for almost eight months now. That’s not a very long time. So I was feeling pretty guilty about the fact that when B recently started playing basketball on Sunday nights, I was basically ecstatic about the prospects of having the apartment to myself for 3+ hours. Then, I read this post from Nathan Badley (a blogger who has me laughing out loud with every post he publishes). And then my aunt commented that “I’ll only come to appreciate those times even more,” and I realized that I don’t need to feel guilty. There’s no reason to feel bad about appreciating some time to myself. (Or, at least some quality time with the dogs.)

The first week, I watched a chick flick and played Sims on my computer. The second week, a friend and I split a bottle of wine and enjoyed a couple hours of girl talk. Last week, I finished up my reading for that week’s Faith Club meeting, then indulged in some slow churned ice cream. Last night, I blogged (ahem) and read while sipping a glass of moscato.

Each week, there’s only one rule: I do whatever I want.

Who knows where these Sunday nights may take me? A solo movie night (I’ve only done that once in my life), a new Yoga class at the gym, or maybe a raging house party may very well be in my future. (I feel pretty doubtful about the latter, but I may just be feeling it one night…)


Dirty Laundry

I have to take a few moments to brag about my husband. A few nights ago, I came home from a busy Saturday of running errands, and found this on the bed:


Yes, that is all my laundry. Cleaned, folded, and sorted into hangables and foldables.

This could get an “Awww, sweet…” if it were a one-time thing. But, instead, let’s give him a big HIP-HIP-HOORAY! because this is not a rarity. I honestly cannot remember the last time that I put a load of laundry through.

I felt a little guilty when I was having dinner with a friend recently. She’s about to move in with her significant other, and she asked: “So, how do you and B split up the chores? Like laundry, dishes, trash…”

“Um,” I responded, “We don’t. He just does them all.” She kind of gave me a funny look and I realized how horrible that sounds. How horrible that is, actually.

But, the thing is, I am the Manager of Life in our household. I pay the bills, manage the bank accounts, keep track of prescriptions and doctors appointments (for all four of us!), set up our social activities, and keep in touch with our out-of-town friends and family. I also do all of our shopping and cooking, and most of the deep cleaning and organizing.

B, on the other hand, does the laundry, the dishes, and takes out the trash. He lets the dogs out most of the time, and he makes the bed every morning. In addition, he does all of our ironing. (This is mostly because I’ve never even owned an iron, but he came from a family where socks and boxers were ironed weekly.) If it weren’t for B, our laundry would be piled up in the corner of our room, the dishes would sit in the sink for 2-3 days at a time, and the trash would stink up the house until I managed to drag it out to the curb. (Sounds an awful lot like my college dorm room, actually!)

Although it looks awfully uneven on the chore chart, this breakdown works for us.

I’m curious… How do you and your SO (significant other) split up the household duties?