This post is dedicated to and all about my most favoritist person in the whole wide world. My bestest friend. My everything. Here's a hint: My inspiration! Figure it out yet? This is for you, Baby! Hope you had a good birthday. And I hope you enjoy this stroll down memory lane . . .
Any idea what day it is today? Thursday, August 12, 2010, right? Right. Significant why? I thought you'd never ask. It's my Baby's birthday. My youngest, Abel? Nope. His is still 3 looong days away. Poor guy has been countin' down the days for weeks. He'll be 7 and start school as a big time first grader the very next day. Goin' all day long and eatin' lunch at school . . . wow!
What about my big boy, Asa? My first born baby? Nope. He was born in February just a day short of Valentine's. He'll be a big, bad fourth grader this year and hit double digits on his next birthday. Now, THAT my friends is hard to believe. No matter his size or position on the defensive line, he'll always be my first baby.
My puppy, then? My Gooch? Wrong again. We plan to celebrate his birthday on November 14 th. A very nice day indeed to celebrate a birthday I think since my Dad was born on that day in 1949. And that works out well since that was the day we adopted Sir Gucci Bonaduce last year. The shelter said he was nearly one at the time so we'll call him nearly two on his birthday this year.
Sooooo, who does that leave? My Baby, of course! Another hint? They used to call him Spindaddy. Born 36 years ago today to Kenny and Mary Spindler . . .the one, the only . . . drum roll pleeeeaaaase . . . Jason William Spindler. A beautiful, healthy baby boy, huh? Here's a bit of trivia for ya keeping in mind that he was born apparently before the age of the ultrasound: They'd been told they were having a girl. They'd even picked out the name Georgina after Uncle George.
Just a sidenote: God evened things out later in July of '78 when my parents were set to have a boy but instead got stuck (I mean blessed, of course) with my little sister Amelia. Ultrasound machines. Magnificent discoveries. Having known of these two whoopsies, I opted to play it safe and paint my first bundle of joy's nursery a neutral yellow.
Back to the subject at hand. Jason. I wanna blog about my baby. I can't fill you in on much from birth to his freaky hair colored, skater, teen-aged years besides his idolizing his Unk and becoming an Eagle Scout but I can share with you a bit on how I lucked in to having the most wonderful husband in the world. So if you're not into sappy – now's your chance to escape. Your last chance readers. No joke.
It was New Year's Eve. I remember that fateful night like it was yesterday. My friends and I had planned to hang out at another friends house to see 1994 ring in good and proper. My friend Dave, who's house we were to be at for the remainder of 1993, had told me there was gonna be an older guy stop by there later that he was gonna try and set me up with. Ryan was his name, I think. Who knows? Who cares? I had my sights set on someone else.
"Jason?" I remember Dave asking. Then like any dear old friend would do for another Dave began warning me away from this bad boy. "A player?" I asked Dave, "Are you sure?" He'd gone out with a close friend of mine a couple months back. He'd come to a couple of our get togethers with her. He seemed like a pretty cool guy to me. On the other hand, it hadn't worked out between him and Andrea. And Dave had been a good friend of mine since my freshman year of high school.
Oh well, I'd thought. Maybe I ought to listen to Dave and give this other guy a chance. So there we were. Me and this other guy at this party talking and trying to get to know each other when in walks this long tall hottie, baggy jeans, chain hangin' from his wallet, black t-shirt with an old plaid flannel shirt on top and Airwalks on the bottom.
He waltzes in and sits down of all the spots in the room – right next to me. Boy, did he smell GOOD! It's no wonder I can't even remember that other dude's name. Yay, me! Sorry other dude.
As more people started to show up (who I don't know 'cause me and this Jason fella was hitting it off), we decided to move our party a little farther out of town. I imagine as the midnight hour approached maybe some of the other rowdy ones needed a little more space to spread their wings. Long story short we all planned to pile in everyone's cars and head out to my friend Angi's house. Fine by me as she was who I was spending the night with. So I cross my fingers and toes and legs and arms and eyes and hope he'll ride out there with me. Huh?
I drive to Angi's ALONE. And so upset that I almost make the turn off to my house on the way outta town. (I'm sooo glad I didn't.) Why oh why would this so-called friend of mine move so aggressively in on the guy she knew I liked? Whhhhhyyyyyyy? I was heartbroken. And the night was young. Screw it. I'd gone this long without a boyfriend . . . just a half year of high school left. I'd just start fresh in college. That'd be the new game plan. I'd still head out to the party though. Why not? Let's party!
And who was there waitin' on me to arrive? J A S O N. Interesting. Maybe him and Angi hadn't connected. What was I thinkin'? They'd only spent all of maybe 7 minutes together barreling down the highway. Come to find out later my dear friend had driven Jason over so she could "talk me up." And maybe she had. Whatever – there was magic in the air. Stronger than I even knew existed way back when. And thank God for that! Amen.
The entire bunch of us stayed up all night. Talkin'. Goofin' around. Morning arrived before we knew it. And hunger followed. We all piled into a car (who's I don't remember) and went out for breakfast. And to anyone who knows me – breakfast is my favorite meal. I'm sure I had pancakes, as I always do. I was prolly careful though not to inhale 'em as I sat across from this particular beau I was still tryin' to "hook 'em in the jaw and reel 'em in" as my brilliant pastor uncle would say.
When we dropped him at his house later I was able to confirm he did indeed live just 2 houses down from my aunt and uncle. What luck. As was the custom back in my dating days my parents always put a call in to my Aunt Agnes to check out any of my potential suitors. She was a counselor in the school system and without her prior approval . . . wellll, let's just fast forward and say that Jason was given the green light and the rest they say is history.
Our first date Jan. 4. I wore the lime green sweater I'd gotten from my friend Tina the Christmas before. Gorgeous sweater. I also wore it for my senior picture. Only difference being was that for date night I wore it a bit more off the shoulders. Okay, you got me – a lot more off the shoulders! He came to pick me up in his Dad's new white GMC cab and a half truck. And there was a rose in the front seat to meet me when I got there. How sweet. (Sidenote: We are the proud owners of that very same truck today!)
First, we went to eat at Taco Bell. Goofy, right? Not so. My man likes his Nacho Belle Grandes. He ate his entire meal and then opened his straw to drink his Mt. Dew. Odd, I thought. But I liked it! Then to pass time before the movie started we went to Best Buy to walk around. Geeky, right? Well it might be but we still love it there to this day.
Then we went to see Tom Hanks in 'Philadelphia.' Can't go wrong with Tom Hanks, right? Wrong. Not so much a good first date movie, BUT we didn't mind busy holding hands and sharing popcorn. And I have to add that on the way home (distracted by thoughts of the movie or my sweater, I'll never truly know) he came to a complete stop at a green light. Huh? And looked over at me. Then I at him. And then back to the glowing green from the light overhead. Then I reached across that huge bench seat, took his hand, and squeezed it gently to say, "Light's green. You gonna go?"
More dates followed. And phone calls. And dates. And on Feb. 4 just outside of our friend Dave's house he offered me his class ring. (Gorgeous, by the way). And officially asked me to be his girlfriend. What a gentleman. Oh, and in case you are wondering, . . . I said, "YES!" I mean how could I not? Even my dad liked him. We hadn't been dating long when a huge snow storm blew thru one night. Dad actually allowed Jason to stay the night on the couch. What a guy, my Dad. The next morning I woke to find them both knee deep in snow shoveling a path to get Jason's car out. Poor guy. I'm bettin' he was wishin' he'd left that night instead.
And then their was my senior prom. Betcha didn't know he's a good dancer. We played volleyball at my graduation party and I'm sure trounced whoever it was we were playing (Amelia, included). Somewhere in there we tried to sneak an overnight trip to Louisville in, but I can't write much about that without further incriminating myself. We also ventured to Garden of the Gods a time or two.
He accompanied me to way more horse shows than he ever wanted to. We went bowling. Played putt-putt. Saw a whole bunch of movies. We went to the Indy 500 time trials with my Aunt Ruth and Uncle Larry. And here's a big one, you sittin' down? I even let him drive my Cavalier from time to time. AND, even bigger yet . . . I let him test drive my nearly brand new metallic plum 1994 Camaro before I bought it. Now that's love I tell ya! And as our love grew he even got to drive that too. But not without care and caution, of course, as a girl must have limits, right?
And I did have limits. As we were going to more and more family get togethers together, including weddings, I found myself gettin' awful antsy. We'd be at the mall and I'd drop a hint here or there. Or everywhere. Like, "Wow! Look at the ring in that window!" You get the idea. Welllll, just when I was beginning to wonder if he ever would – he went and did it. Did what? Read on dear friends. Read on. It was a rainy May afternoon . . .
May 4, 1996 to be exact. Last year for my birthday he'd gotten me a huge pink velour blanket. And though I loved both the pink, the velour and the thoughtfulness of it all – I had been a bit disappointed it had not been an engagement ring. Maybe Christmas. Nope. Valentine's? Nope. Good things come to those who wait, I'd told myself. We were both busy with college and work. One of these days if it was meant to be, it'll be. "Please Lord," I used to pray, "please let it be!"
And so headed to the mall for no particular reason that rainy May 4th afternoon we found ourselves in a few different jewelry shops. And we found ourselves talking about what would be the most awesome birthday gift ever if per chance I was to get a diamond on my birthday this year. "Oh, no, we're not gettin' anything today," I remember him telling me. Huh? What a tease.
He continued to explain he just wanted to get an idea of what I liked, just in case. So although a bit disappointed I couldn't help but have fun with the search, I mean, we ARE talkin' about diamonds. I narrow it to two. And then discover that my favorite of the two has a matching man's ring. And what's this? He's filling out a credit application. Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness!
He gives me that look. You know. THAT look. I still get that look from time to time. He tells me I'm not gonna get 'em anytime soon, but eventually. Maybe. Yikes! From cloud 9 to nowhere. Geesh! What's that suppose to mean? Was there someone else and he was still deciding? C'mon. This was almost cruel. Credit approved. Boxed and bagged up he wouldn't even let me carry 'em. The entire trip back to the car I asked, "Why not now?" and "Well, why not for my birthday, then?"
Once to the car the new cargo went straight to the glove box. He pointed his sexy finger at me and then at the glove box and said, "No." Well. It was a rough ride with my knees just inches away from that sparkling diamond ring. Talk about torture. And small talk. No good. Silence then. Even worse. More rain on the windshield. Maybe he'd be so interested in driving in these treacherous conditions that he wouldn't notice me sneakin' a peak. As I shifted in my seat he reminded me with a stern, "No."
And I may or may not have begged and pleaded and questioned, why? Finally he explained that he wanted it to be special. He said if he'd just given it to me there it wouldn't have been special. Fine. Whatever. So what about my birthday coming up the 13th? That wouldn't be any good either as I'd be expecting it. Too much pressure, heh? Grrrrr! Almost in tears at this point it wasn't the ring that I wanted so badly and screw the razzle dazzle of a big time proposal – all I wanted was to know he wanted me! Please, please, please.
Back in Mt. Vernon, but not headed down fourth like normal. Huh? Where were we headed? Dave's house? Huh? He parked his car in the exact same spot he had when he offered me his class ring. Oh my goodness. He pulled his seat back as far as he could to try and get on his knee. Tears are welling up in both our eyes at this point. Am I still breathing? I turn in my seat to face him. He reaches across me to the glove box. Oh my goodness.
He tells me he loves me. And how much I mean to him. And some other heart felt awesome stuff I can't seem to remember as I'm almost positive I had been holding my breath at this point. "Angela Gayle Orth," he says. "Will you marry me?" Can I get a "Woooooo Hoooooo?" And a "Hell, yeh!" Teary eyed and breathless I mustered up a couple hundred yes, yes, yesses and grabbed his face and kissed him like crazy. YEEEEEESSSSSSSSS!!!!
Once the tears were dried up and or kissed off we went to spread the news. I forget in what order we told the parents but I do remember the smile on my Dad's face and the tears in my Mom's eyes. Both were genuinely happy for us. Dad said, "Well it's about time boy!" And Mom said with a smile, "I had a feeling this was gonna happen soon."
Jason's parents reaction was a bit more of surprise. I remember his mom nearly falling from the couch. And his dad trying to hide his raised eyebrows and dropped jaw with a congratulatory pat on his back turned hug whilst my future mother-in-law more closely examined my hand and its new accessory. I would have thought he might have talked to his parents about such a huge step in his life. Oh well, the shock and awe approach worked just as well.
Now to set a date. I soooo love snow so how's about the winter? "Too soon," my mom said. Who cares what people think, I thought to myself. But mom further explained, she needed more time to plan. She said, "What about winter of NEXT year?" Realizing full well she'd meant December of '97, I replied, "OK, then January of '97 it is!" Commence with the planning already. I'd only been planning this since around the 3rd grade. What more needed planning?
Off to find the perfect dress. Maybe this would take some time. January '98 would be here before we knew it. Huh? I don't think so. But some how or another that was the date that got leaked to the press. Or in my small town case, the gossips. That seemed soooo far away. I'd already waited sooo long. December 31, 1993 'til now. Geesh! Eventually we came to the perfect date. Another 4th! October 4th, 1997 the most beautiful wedding – ever – "since the Kennedy's" my mom said.
Our colors were black and white. My gown – stunningly elegant. My husband – just plain stunning. What more could a girl ask for? My dad got to give me away. All the flowers were beautiful fresh white roses. "Honestly" by Stryper was sung during the ceremony. Our first dance was to Chicago's "You're my Inspiration." (Because he is!) Huge party! But guess who left early?
The newlyweds, of course. And again I let him drive my Camaro. Must be love, tell ya. But what's this? Up 3 flights of stairs to our apartment and no keys?! Yikes! Uncle Randy to the rescue. And all the way from Texas too! Well he brought us the keys from Mt. Vernon, but technically he'd come all the way from Texas to Mt. Vernon to come to the wedding. Thank you, Uncle Randy.
Once out of our wedding garb and with the apartment locked back up tight we spent our first night as the Spindlers in Henderson, Kentucky. Then enjoyed a week long honeymoon in the hills of Gatlinburgh, Tennessee. From putt-putt and arcades to shopping and No Way Jose's nothing compared to our stay in the log cabin. Gorgeous, romantic place near a stream with a loft bedroom and a jacuzzi. And how could I forget? A bear that rummages thru your garbage at night. But still, I didn't wanna leave!
Then there was that hustle. Thank you Uncle Larry for all those years ago showing me how to shoot pool at the Stucco House. I Lost a few games to my precious new husband and then bet him matching tattoos as souvenirs I could win the next one. He took that bet – no problem. And guess what I did? No mercy! I cleaned the floor with him. And we were off to find us a tattoo artist. Where better than a little shop next to the Elvis museum?
Guess who made me go first? He said when I chickened out that he wouldn't have to be stuck with a tattoo all his own. WHATEVER! I got this. And it didn't even hurt. Matter of fact I loved it and to this day still want another. So I got and "S" with a long stemmed pink rose thru it on my left ankle. And a tad begrudgingly, Jason got the same only with a deep purple rose. Weird how all I could think about was that when I got home my mom and dad were gonna kill me. Not so. I had my husband to protect me! Said so right in our vows.
Other milestones in our JOURNEY together include buying a new home. I moved out of my parent's house in June '96. It was too much working on the east side, school on the west side, and driving alllll the way back to Mt. Vernon everyday. So I got an apartment on the west side. Just me, my Camaro, and my kitty. We lasted all of maybe a week. Maybe not that long when all of a sudden this handsome young man claiming to be my fiance kept showing up more and more often. And that's all I'll report about that. Again with the incriminating evidence. Besides, Squeaky had grown awfully fond of him and felt safer in the big city with him around. After all we was just two little 'ol country girls.
When my lease was up I added a one Jason W. Spindler to it. And when it came up again we opted to pay month to month as my graduation was nearing and my work had taken me back to the Vern. Yay, for house shopping. Almost as exciting as car shopping, but I'll blog about that later. My car trading deserves an entry all its own. Anyways, we look at a couple rental my aunt may have available to sell soon. Then we look at a couple older homes downtown. And then we through caution to the wind and look at a new construction of Charlie Lawrence's. In Lawrence Addition. Wow! Never even imagined it'd be possible, but the bank said ok. So, ok!
June 18, 1998. We moved in to our brand new home, owing waaaay more than we should have, but as happy as could be and proud as peacocks. What next? Jason's turn to graduate college. And what better way to celebrate than buy him a new grill and have a suprise graduation/birthday/housewarming party. The first of many shindigs we'd host at our house on Southwind.
All settled in we wondered what to do, what to do with that second bedroom. Office? Nah. How about a puppy's room? And off we went to adopt a pup. A black lab mix named Duke who bless his heart was terrified of storms. He became our baby, that is until we had a baby. June 8, 2000 the nurse from my neurologist's office called to give me the news. Tests had indeed confirmed I have MS, but bloodwork showed I was pregnant. Wow!
What's a girl supposed to do with that news. Truly bad and good all in the same breath. As always Jason was right there. He hugged me tight for a loooong time. He dried my tears. He kissed my smile. He made everything OK. The very same then as he still does today.
We were ecstatic. We couldn't wait the ritualistic three months to tell everyone. So the very next day we spread the good word. Again with my know-it-all Mom, she thought it was about time. She'd thus far been right. I'd marry at 21 and have my first baby at 24. Remind me later I need to take her with me to the casino. And she also called a boy. More specifically a big boy. And guess what I had Feb. 13, 2001 after 30 + hours of labor and 3 different docs? Asa William Spindler 9lbs. 8 oz. baby boy via an eventual C-section.
Almost 2 ½ years to the day behind him on August 15, 2003 came our second son. Abel Robert Spindler weighing in at 9lbs. 4 oz. and at just over a month pre-mature. Huh? He was the biggest pre-mie that NICU had ever seen. If he'd only stayed in longer he could have been bigger than his big bro. Maybe he could have even surpassed the 10 lb. mark.
Another mention worthy obstacle was my Dad's illness and passing. Jason was always there for whatever was needed. He even sat up with my dad on one of his last nights. And was my unfailing crutch through it all. More figuratively then and more literally now as my MS grows stronger with time. He could have tucked tail and ran screaming from the hospital halls all those years ago. I've been in and out of their plenty of times. 2 years old, 6th grade, high school, college and even times in between.
What on Earth was he doin' stickin' around a hypochondriac such as myself? Sure I was hot, but not that hot?! Had to have been God's doing. He sent me an angel. He knew I would need him to help me thru what lie ahead. I am so blessed to have him. I thank God for sending me Jason every morning. And again, every night. I pray I get to keep him forever and ever . . .
He's not just good to me. He is a great father to his kiddos. Great son to his parents and mine. He loves his Aunt Ann with all of his heart. And he even hugs my grandparents more than I hug them myself. He takes us all to church every Sunday. He is a loyal, giving friend. He's a very well respected co-worker and exceptionally dedicated to his job.
What more can I say, on this his birthday? Thank you Mary and Kenny for bringing him in to this world 36 years ago. Thank you for helping make him the man he is today. And thank you for allowing me to steal your precious little boy away. But I do believe with all my heart and soul that God had planned for him to be my knight in shining GMC all along.
Thank you, Baby! Happy Birthday! I love you! OXOXO
And God . . . thank you for answered prayers! Amen.