Behbeh Love, Part 1

As you might be aware, Father’s Day has always been rather…unpleasant for this lady. Last year was all right because, for the first time, I had someone to call “Dad”. Someone to hug, give a gift to, and spend the day actually not thinking about my real dad.

My hobbit-y little F.I.L.

My hobbit-y little fatha-in-law

This year, however, everything changed. My husband, Mr. Steve, found out that he’s going to be a father.  

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That plus sign is no joke.

The recently downloaded BabyBump app on my phone has encouraged me to start a Pregnancy Diary, “even if you can only write down a couple sentences a day.”

Clearly, my technology hasn’t been stalking me nearly enough, or else they’d already KNOW that not only do I NOT need encouragement to start a Diary about my Pregnancy, but that I have a thousand things to say about it already. A couple sentences my steadily expanding ass.

First things first. How it happened. Well, one night, Steve and I felt a little frisky and before you know it– JUST KIDDING. Here’s how it really happened.

I was 4 days late. And I only knew this because I have ANOTHER app that helps me keep track of this banal and depressing information.

Looking at App on a Normal Day: Oh yay, 5 days of freedom and joy left, wooooo.
Looking at App A Couple Weeks Ago: Hmm. Strange?

We are one of those couples who is VERY attuned to my cycle, and prepare to batten down the hatches on a regular basis. We have no idea how those “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” people exist.

So we decided that I would take a home test on Father’s Day. We had some leftover from a bulk Costco purchase, because– like I said — we’re a little jumpy.

Verbally, we had decided on my taking the test the morning of Father’s Day Sunday, before we went to church.

Saturday morning, I took the test without telling Steve. Partially because I was 90% sure I was going to get a positive and I wouldn’t be able to focus in church AT ALL with that fresh information – but the other 10% just wanted to get on with my life if it was a negative.

I’ve taken at-home tests before. I’m used to peeing all over it and my hand, and then waiting 3 minutes for the result to appear in the window.

However, this time, from the very SECOND the stick got wet, it turned into a plus sign. I had three thoughts: either I had peed on it wrong, or it was old and faulty, or I was SO SO SO SO VERY OBVIOUSLY WITHOUT A SHADOW OF A DOUBT having a baby.

After washing my hands, I texted Emily, my friend and nurse who had her first baby last summer. She reassured me that I was indeed pregnant, and that she was so excited for me.

Me: Wow! Okay! I guess I should tell Steve! This is crazy!
Emily: WHAT? You told ME before you told STEVE?!
Me: Well, I wanted to be SURE before I completely change his life! He’s still sleeping!
Emily: Well, wake him up right NOW!!!

So, with surprisingly sure steps, I clutched the pregnancy test in my hand and climbed back into bed, sandwiching Steve between myself and Walter the Cat. I was sure he would feel my heart pumping out of my chest as I spooned up against him.

Apparently, both Walter and I were pretty fidgety, because after a few minutes, Steve very sleepily mumbled, “It’s Saturday morning, my only morning to sleep in, and my two little ones are keepin’ me awake…”

He’d practically opened the door for me.

I pulled the pregnancy test out, and said, “Actually, you have three little ones now.”

To be continued…

Part Two

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Liar, Liar. (Family Matters Part 3)

Part 1 and Part 2 are here for you.

“What have you been told about me?”

I had no idea how loaded of a question this was, coming from her side of the story. For a few more days, hours, I would be on Cloud 9, reveling in the joy that I had found my sister at last. I was a child at the county fair for the first time, wide-eyed and wondrous, having no idea that I was about to watch my balloon float aimlessly into the abyss while I retched on the pavement.

With sparkly eyes, I typed furiously : “I mean, not much, just that my dad and my mom were close friends, and mom really wanted a baby, so she asked dad to try to give her one. They knew it would be wrong, but they decided to try it one time, and luckily, it worked. And then we moved away when I was really little so I never actually got to meet any of you. I’m so happy I found you!”

There was silence on the other end for awhile. I waited anxiously where I was house-sitting…playing with the dog, coming back to the computer. Channeling nervous energy into Bugle consumption, back to the computer. Completely alone with 10,000 of my thoughts rushing through me at once.

Where is she? Did I say something wrong? She’s probably just eating lunch too. What if she hates me? She’s a mom of 3 girls, she’s busy, calm your shit. What if everything is about to change?

Finally! A message.

Cassie: I know a very different story, and I’m hesitant to tell you because I don’t want to hurt you or jeopardize our relationship so quickly.

Me: I want to know the truth. Please tell me whenever you can.

An hour later, the crushing pressure that had been building inside my chest all morning spilled out in sobs and muffled curses. I was glad to be alone, although the dog was concerned. As the pup licked my tears away, I felt like she was the only one I trusted in the world.

How could my mother have done this to me, to US? How could she have lied about this for nearly 20 years to my face?

An affair. Of course it was. Nobody just “has a married guy friend who decided to give the gift of a baby to a desperate single woman.”

You ignorant homeschooled hick.

It got worse. Oh, it got worse.

My dad had been a pastor, his wife the church office manager, his mistress the worship leader.

For three years. Before I was even thought of.

When mom got pregnant, she told everyone that she’d “finally” decided to go to the sperm bank cause, after all, she wasn’t gettin’ any younger! The church, friends and family rejoiced.

Cassie had been ecstatic. Mom was like an adopted aunt to her, and they would go on lunch-and-movie dates all the time. When I was born, Cassie babysat me multiple times. SHE F***ING BABYSAT ME, AND SHE HAD NO F***ING CLUE THAT I WAS HER BABY SISTER.

Oh, but our dad. He knew. He probably looked out into his congregation every Sunday and saw his dimply, brown-eyed bastard smiling right back at him.

A little over a year later, his wife finally figured it out.

Everything blew up, within his family, within his church – so my mom took off with me and little else. She’s been on the run ever since.

All those years I never knew why we couldn’t settle down, why we were always moving, why she never had time or desire to play with me as I grew bigger.

Now everything made sense. She had been in love with him, and every time she looked at me, she was reminded of the face she would probably never see again.

I will admit that, at first, most of my anger was self-righteous. I was already sick and tired of hearing about pastors’ infidelities, and now my parents were just another statistic, with seemingly no guilt – only owning up to their secret when they were caught. Yeah, they sound like real Christians to me. Hypocrites; nothing worse than a couple of those.

But then I realized something: nobody is perfect. Nobody is immune to loneliness or desperation or even rationalization when something feels so right it can’t be wrong. Sure, we hold Christians to a higher standard and can be eager to kick them when they fall off the pedestal. But maybe they were never meant to be put on a pedestal in the first place.

Once my high horse became more of a pony, I only felt sadness and hurt for everyone who experienced the ripple effect. My sister was 14 when she learned of the betrayal of those closest to her; it changed her, sent her down a path that would do more harm than good. I’m thankful that she was able to work through her (rightful) emotions and become the counselor for young people that she is today.
My dad’s wife endured the betrayal, the anger, the pain – and she stayed. She’s still with my dad to this day. I can’t speak specifically to the tenderness of their current relationship, but she keeps showing up. I know nothing of my brothers.

Little did I know, at that point, that this chapter of my life was not closed, even though I had made peace with everything – even to the point where I forgave my mom in the silence by never bringing up her past that was now known.

A year later, I would become driven by the need to find my dad and to speak to him for myself. And what do you do when all you have is his name, the field he works in, and a sister not willing to share more?

You hire a hacker, that’s what.

To be continued…

 Skyfall (Family Matters Part 4)

 

 

 

 

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Steve

On Tuesday,  Miss Aussome made a list of 21 Things She Irrationally Loved, and one of them was “to quote The Lord of the Rings whenever she was late somewhere.”  Well, I’m not quite ready to make my own “21 Things” post, but using LOTR for real life is definitely what’s happening this week.

I’ve always thought of my husband as my very own personal Hobbit. He’s on the petite side, with slightly fuzzy stub feet. He loves food, and the comforts of staying at home — but enjoys the thrill of adventure every once in awhile.

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And since last Thursday, he’s been a little emotional.

It all started a week ago, when a crown and half a rotten tooth inside it decided to fall out of his face. He’d had it taken care of in 1998, but unfortunately, last December’s x-rays could not determine the status of the tooth inside the cap. I had a picture, but I won’t do that to you. Just imagine some black rot chunks hanging out in your mouth until the dentist can squeeze you in to get the rest of the root pulled out.
Steve, bless his soul, despises the dentist more than anything. I think he would change poopy diapers every day if it meant he never had to go to the dentist ever again. And, before he married me, he managed to get away with not going to the dentist for 14 years. Being in Canada and being self-employed means that when it comes to dental insurance, other priorities take over.

Like being bad-ass instead.

Last Thursday, the surgery was finally able to take place, and since then, everything has been terrible.

First, there was, you know, SURGERY.

 

And then having a frozen face with bloody, saliva-infested gauze chillin in his mouth.

 

And then soup FOR DAYS.

And then CANKER SORES in the cheek directly making contact with the battle wound every time he breathes.

So of course, he needs comfort, and rest, and patience, and compassion and I’m just like

The bitterness of mortality indeed.

But I’ve bucked up, made all the meals, washed all the laundry, cleaned all the things for a straight week now, by myself, because he’s not supposed to “get his heart rate up.” I even made him Cinnamon Toast Crunch muffins, because they’re soft and warm and easily freezable if necessary.

Yes, these are a real thing. And they’re f***ing amazing.

When I brought to him a fresh-out-of-the-oven muffin, he took one bite and I kid you not: tears filled his eyes, goosebumps rose on his arms, and he smiled for the first time in 3 days. He was so happy. Jokingly I said, “Based on your reaction, am I to gather that these muffins are better than sex?”

Then HE says: “…maaaaybe?”

Now you have to understand, that BEFORE he had to deal with all of this, I made him one of my best chocolate cake recipes, sans quinoa, and half of it is still sitting in my only cake pan. So, dude’s got lots of soft treats to comfort him that I normally would try to monitor. So when we demolished the muffins a couple days later, Steve asked for fresh brownies. But I had already checked the chocolate cake, and it was definitely still edible. Chocolatey, moist, pretty much a brownie, right?

Wrong.

BAH-ROW-NEES.

This exchange has continued AND escalated in the past few days, all the while the cake sits uneaten and the brownies unmade. The hobbit has now had his stitches removed, leaving behind a gaping hole and a canker sore roughly the same size. The Motrin is almost gone, we’re running low on salt due to mouth cleansing exercises, and still we argue.

He has tried to bribe me with unexpected sexual favours AND a shiny new cake pan.

According to him, this will be his fate:

“If only I had made him brownies like he asked me to.”

And I’m just like “Hey, let’s try to keep the REST of your teeth inside your head for a bit.”

I’m sure things will calm down eventually. He’ll go back to work tomorrow, and I’ll have a day to relax before I babysit 4 boys under the age of 10 for 8 hours. I’ve had some good practice this week, and after all, I AM NO MAN.

My Sacred Scared, Inspired by Glennon Melton @ Momastery.com

Last week, one of my favourite writers and secret soul-mates, Glennon Melton, birthed a phenomenal blog series called “Sacred Scared.”  It’s this groundbreaking idea that we as people tend to look up to bestselling authors and bloggers, thinking that they all have their lives together — so that must certainly mean that we cannot use our own voices until we’ve got our shit together too. Glennon asked 10 different authors to share an untouched photo of themselves, along with their deepest, secretest fear. She wanted to inspire everyone else to know and believe that EVERYONE has no idea what they’re doing and EVERYONE can still show up and start changing lives with who they are and what they have to say. (You can read about it here.)

It’s working. So many others are sharing their Sacred Scared, and now I’m joining the club. I feel awkward and complain-y and definitely more than a little shaky, but I trust that I belong here.

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Hi, I’m Carly Butler Hutton, or Button, if I’m being cutesy. I live and blog and make music near Vancouver, British Columbia with my husband Steve of 17 months, and I’m afraid that when it comes to marriage and God and life itself, I’m doing it wrong.

I was raised in a single-parent, only-child, fundamentalist Christian, God-is-coming-to-judge-us-all-by-the-year-2000 family. Not a man to be found. We girls had only ourselves and our wits, and it was up to us to survive the coming Apocalypse. I honestly thought I would not live past 13 years of age, maybe 16 if I was lucky. I was prepared to live off the grid, off the land, and off the love of just my mom and maybe God if he was generous.

And I did, for 4 years. To the locals, I was “that child living with her crazy mom out behind the mountain.” To me, I was just a dead girl walking. If The Hunger Games had been a thing when I was growing up, I would have changed my name to Katniss and learned how to use a bow and arrow instead of a gun and a snowmobile. A small part of me still wants to do just that.

In keeping with such fears, I fostered no hopes, planted no dreams. What was the point of making plans for the future, fantasizing about love, when it was all going to dissolve to ash anyway?

I lived in this state of half-awakeness for a long time. It wasn’t until 2008, after a decade of delusion, that I finally woke up and said, “ENOUGH! I am going to make my own life, and if you and God don’t like it, Mom, then you can both just lump it!” 3 years later, after a head-aching debacle with the Canadian and US immigrant governments (which I’m TOTALLY going to write a book about one day!), I was off and running.

You might think that this is my Sacred Scared, this weird past of paranoia and neglect.

But it’s not. Because of that weird past of paranoia and neglect, my Sacred Scared is right now.

I got married?
I have a real car and a real house and a real cat and a real man to look after?
I live in a city that I have to drive around in?
I have friends, near and far, that care about me?
I have a wireless internet connection and an iPhone and food available to me whenever I need it?
I help babies come into the world for a living?

It’s so normal and terrifying and I’m going to screw it up.

My Sacred Scared is that one day, the other shoe is going to drop, and I’ll realize that the old way, the apocalypse way, the depend-only-on-yourself-because-the-world-is-the-enemy way is the ONLY WAY I know how to live. That this little life I’ve managed to carve out here is my very own Matrix and I’m the glitch that will crash the system.

I want this life. I want it so bad. I want my husband, I want to have his babies, I want to write a book, and eat FroYo, and make music, and walk along the ocean, and see new movies, and sing in church and help other people give their babies life! It’s a dream come true.

But living with a man can be hard, especially if you’ve never done it before. He is a delightful noise with lovable dirt all over it, and if I accidentally feed him anything nutty, he will turn blue and maybe die. Together, we create a beautiful mess that I don’t want anyone to see, but I’m sure everyone can recognize.
He adores me, and I think I adore him back…what do I do with that?
And babies…well, babies are just precious little rolls of goo that steal your heart and drain your life away, so I’ve heard. I’m petrified of them and in love with them at the same time?
Then there’s God, who I am pretty sure has rescued me from a lifetime of crap, but who I am also pretty sure is 1000% done with my lifetime AND my crap – and He’s just waiting for me to do something good with it.

Fantasy is manageable. Real life is terrifying.

But every day, I’m going to do my best to show up to my own tiny, normal little life. When I wake up in the morning, I want to look into my husband’s sleepy face and kiss his dry lips and tell myself I am out of the woods. For real. Steve is good, and God is good, and this day is going to be Scary, Sacred and Good too.the next right thing

Brutifully Yours,

Carly

Steve the Lean & Mean Marine…McQueen!!!

I’m gonna be honest, the past 2 days haven’t been so great. My body has once again been battling a UTI; not that you needed to know that on its own! But I thought you’d be proud that I, instead of waiting a week for it to heal and ending up in the ER like I did last time, went straight to the walk-in clinic and paid $53 for two different kinds of antibiotics that are hopefully bacteria butt-kickers before the week is out.

And of course, as it MORE OFTEN THAN NOT SEEMS TO OCCUR, my time of the month ALSO arrived today, bringing to mind this brutally accurate statement:

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Husband knows I’m lying.

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My face. All of the time.

I think you get the idea.

So when Steve came home from work today, I had already been planted on the couch for an uncertain amount of hours, and I was not interested in stopping.

Steve: “I’m gonna take a shower. You okay?”

Zombie Me: “Yep. Go ahead.”

About half an hour later, I realize that I’ve never actually heard any water running.

No. All I’ve heard is the occasional *bzzzzz* *bzzzz* *bzzzzz*

It didn’t register in my brain that something might actually be going on, other than a shower.

Which basically means that when I’m having an “off day” in the future and my 4-year-old gets some brilliant idea involving glue, scissors and nudity…

I might not get on that right away.

Suddenly, the bathroom door opens and Steve comes out with only half the amount of hair he had when he entered the bathroom. HALF.

I lol’d pretty hard, friends.

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“I was bored! And wanted to make your day better! Can you help me?”

I nearly choked. CAN I HELP YOU. I, the one with NO depth perception, NO artistic tendencies in the realm of hair…or make-up…or general beauty?

The first and last time I cut a boy’s hair, we broke up a month later.

But unfortunately, when it comes to pure, unadulterated opportunity, the 5-year-old Barbie Killer in me can’t resist.Image
So I did this.

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And this.

And maybe took a video. Which I will figure out how to post later.

Then somehow, we got to the point where we said, “SCREW IT!!” and turned Steve into a Marine.

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Now all that’s left is accessorizing.

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We’re still working on it. 😉

Ahhh, the lengths a man will go to so his wife feels better. Chivalry still lives!