Friday, April 3, 2009

The Package
Then and Now II

It was 20 years ago that I met the guy down below, and today is his 40th birthday. I've long since thought that it's Nick who should have the blog because he has lead an extraordinary existence. From the way he was raised, to the way he has chosen to live his life, he is not your typical dude and has his fair share of tales to tell-- that's for sure. One of these days, and it won't be long I'm going to start sharing some of our earlier adventures together, because they were the best of the best, if I do say so my darn self.

We here in blogland seem to cling to birthday lists--and so in honor of twenty years of acquaintance and 20 + 20 years of life, I give you 20 things I knew THEN and NOW: Ala Nick.


I first saw Nick (but never met or spoke) on a blind date of about 18 people in the fall of 1988. The girl he was with had a huge black smudge on her nose but was flirting her head off with him. My best friend Jill and I just kept laughing secretly at the "poor girl flirting with the cute guy with all that soot smeared up her nose!" Nick carried on as normal...

Nick moved into the yellow house across the street from our apartment (2nd semester) with the coolest guys at BYU. He was a great compliment to the mix---we (us girls) watched from the window wondering "who IS that new guy with the motorcycle?"

Nick and I first kissed in a game of truth or dare. If you remember our good buddy Eric--he's the one that orchestrated it. He's a sneaky one.....

One time I said, "but I really like musical guys..." so he learned to play the harmonica.

Nick was my first real boyfriend at 18 and the first guy to say he loved me (cept Daddy).

I was completely intrigued by a boy who could kayak (huh?) down waterfalls, was raised in the woods, dared to skinny dip, could hop trains and ski like a crazy banshee. It seemed he knew how to do absolutely everything and could do it exceptionally well.

When Nick was on his mission he wrote me over 200 hundred letters--daring me every time to find someone better for me...."if he's out there, you deserve it." He also learned to knit while in Holland and made and sent me a green sweater. (very tiny indeed but it was the thought...)

Nick would always twist my ring for good luck before we parted for the night.

Nick introduced me to Classic Rock. Never heard of Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, Bob Marley, the Doors, CCR, the Eagles or any of that sha til him.

Nick loved motorcycles and took me on many rides through Utah Valley. "Don't I a need a helmet I would ask?" "Naw, you're fine." Little did I know that IS his mantra.

Nick used to say "I'm just a simple guy." He's never said anything more fitting.

We both bawled when we left for summer vacation after my Freshman year at BYU. First time I saw a guy cry over me.

Nick and his brother lived in a big blue school bus for a semester and would park all over campus--plugging in wherever they could and showering in the RB. They'd move from place to place to stay ahead of the cops. Once they even lived up at the "Y". Jill and I thought we were campus celebs there for awhile since we were dating the "Blue Bus Brothers."

Nick and his brother Alex kidnapped me and Jill from work during college and drove us to L.A. in the VW to see Phantom of the Opera cause they knew how much we worshipped the show. We lost our jobs--but no one cared.

The first time Nick came to meet my parents he brought an entourage from the East in a beat up brown station wagon--including a hitchhiker they picked up somewhere outside of Texas. Needless to say, Mother slept not a wink that night.

We went on countless roadtrips and dates in his periwinkle VW vintage bus with Mexican blanket curtains. Got some good mileage out of that sweet ride.

Nick was the quiet type but was up for absolutely anything adventurous. He could hotwire motorcycles, break into condos, whatever needed to be done to make the night exciting.

Nick didn't have a mean bone in his body (does now after being exposed to me). He'd give anything away, lend anything, and not really care how or if it ever came back.

Nick and his brother used to pull the leftover Subway rolls out of the dumpster (they were in a Hefty bag to give you some peace of mind) and eat them for the week. I think they visited the Winchell's dumpster too.

I knew Nick was loyal, family oriented and good through and through from the very first time I met him.

One time we went on a camping date and some dog ate the hamburger. Nick and Alex mixed the canned dog food into the stew unbeknownst to us. "How is it girls...? Yummy? Is it really great stew?" "Oh yes, boys...we love it!" (just a little greasy on the roof of our mouths maybe) Stupid sophomore girls--so eager to please.


Nick is a humble, behind the scenes type of guy. He's gonna HATE this post.

Nick makes a great breakfast every morning, bringing it to my bed half the time.

Nick is a jack of all trades. He builds Christmas sets, Haunted Forests, fixes cars, and will NEVER, NEVER quit until what is broke is fixed.

Nick is man who loves Broadway plays and English films. His two favorite movies are Gladiator and the Shawshank Redemption.

Nick tears up every time he listens to "Les Miserables" he is very sensitive and emotional (in a good, hearty manly type of way!)

Nick loves projects and is the fastest worker you will ever meet. He has hung chandeliers, designed and built the mantle in our living room, and put crown moulding in every room in our house.

Nick loves the beach and would probably choose to retire to one.

Nick adores his children and reads to them, teaches them and builds them up continually. I often think the roles are reversed in our house. He is a perfect wife. Every morning he bakes fresh baked cookies for their lunches.

Nick is rarely hateful or rude--though he's tough as crap. I'm not kidding when I say he's one of the strongest guys out there. He has no malice for anyone (except our freak neighbor) but I maintain that the guy's gay and is secretly in love with Nick....that's all I can figure.

The only thing Nick loves more than me is the Haunted Forest. He adores that little piece of heaven and is giddy when October rolls around.

Nick is part of a close knit family where there is love and respect for each other. He is a devoted son and would do anything for his parents and siblings. He loves his Bulgarian heritage and danced in a folk festival last spring.

Nick is up for anything. He has let nearly every member of my family live with us for long periods of time......never, ever complaining about it. Why would he? They're perfect!

Nick will always look on the bright side of a situation. He is upbeat positive and never thinks anything is too bleak or too hard to conquer. He started a summer camp with his brothers as a result of this attitude. It is a wonderful business that has benefitted countless kids through the years.

When I say there's nothing to eat, he'll make a beautiful spread in 20 minutes flat. It usually has something like bananas with peanut butter and wheat germ sprinkles on top served alongside.

Nick makes you feel safe. He has promised me, "Jen, I will NEVER flip the canoe." He's sort of a snob that way.

Nick is so fine with pink. Pink kitchen, pink car, pink panties. It's all good.

Nick is a die-hard conservative. Ronald Reagan and Rush Limbaugh are two of his greatest American heroes. Nicks says, "Rush is right."

Nick never asks me about money. He never really questions what I spend or where it's gone. I'm not at all implying this is a good trait.

Nick is super competitive. I've given up on ever beating him at anything. The first year we were married I was convinced if we ever divorced it would be over cards.

Nick can hold a stare like no one's business. If you know him, you know the stare. He can get so deep into a book you could want to kill him--concentration of steel. We finally banned books from entering the house at the beach trip. That, and computers of course.

Nick was my first true love.* 

Nick plans on kickin' some major arse at bowling tonight. Even though Kelley (whose getting induced on Monday) will most likely show him what's up.

*unless you count John Travolta



Jek said...

Not to mention...HE'S HOT!

Happy Birthday Nick. You are one kell of a hool guy!!! I love you and am so glad you are who you are!!! Thanks for making us ALL happy!!

DUh! Jenn, does he seriously not get any mention for the BACK MASSAGES!!!!! The hour long coma inducing massages that he will give anyone. Even our dirty feet?

The Bobos said...

That was such an awesome post, Jenn! I loved all your tidbits about Nick - most of them made me burst out laughing. You're such a cute wife ;)

And to Nick: Happy Birthday Old Man!!! Thanks for always lending out a helping hand to me and my whole family. I don't know how my brothers would turn out if it weren't for you (scary thought indeed). You're awesome and I hope you have a great birthday!

Christian said...

Yes, those are some good stories. Great guy. Happy birthday Nick.

Anonymous said...

u r da best dad in da whole wide world.

from nicholas

JENNIFRO said...

Oh yeah...JEK I did forget the BEST of the BEST!! Nothing compares to the coma massage!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dad. thanks for all you do. Love you. Love you again. Love you forever. And mom too....but mostly you.


Suzanne said...

That was awesome to read about Nick!! He sounds like a great man! My favorite was the blue bus and the hitch hiker! We were bustin out laughing over that one!

Happy Birthday to Nick!


Jayne Layne said...


I will never forget when I was a little girl visiting grandma and grandpa Miller in Springville and low and behold there was the blue bus on the local news. They were reporting on the two brothers that were living in the bus.... I felt cool for knowing you!

Plus half of Provo probably feels like they know you because I would always talk about how my brother in law is so crazy and dares to do anything!

You are the, and that list of Jen's is quite impressive. You are a great guy!

We all love you!

Anonymous said...

Jen, I just love, Love, LOVE, the blog!!! You are the best! Everything you do is art. OMG, I just peed myself over how great you are. Oh, and Happy Birthday to your hubby!

Ann Marie said...

I LOVED to read all of those great things!! What a guy you married!!

Many things are much like my husband as well... What a cool guy!

Happy Birthday Nick!
I hope you have a great weekend!!

Great post Jen.. Loved your tribute. You are awesome.. He's lucky to have YOU!

Mitch said...

I'm not gonna lie to you Nick. I didn't read the post. I read novels at night, before i got to bed. Not when i'm at work. In a nutshell i'm sure it says what a BAMF(i can tell you what a bamf is later if you are not familiar with the term) you are. And i can attest to the truthfulness of these things. I have a testimony that you are awesome and that you are THE HULK in a skinny dudes body. I've always been shocked at your strength. You da man G. Great example to me. Just shows you can be a husband and father and STILL have a blast in everything you do. Happy Birthday Nick-ole-eye.

jill said...

That was F-U-N to read!

I loved reading all of those wonderful things about Nick. How could you leave out the massages?!

He is definitely all the things you said he is! I love him and am SO grateful that he introduced me to the east and his wonderful family. He has influenced my life in so many wonderful ways. Happy Birthday Nick!

BTW your neighbor has a DEFINITELY crush on Nick.

VEGAS VIC said...

Great Post for a "Great Guy".
Happy Birthday Nick. We are so happy to have you in our family.
Thanks for the memories Jen.

Mitch said...

I wish those were numbered so we could comment on them!!!

Another one would be that If you ever want to see nick cry, just put on the "Brick Scene" of home alone 2. Holy crap! I couldn't believe how hard he was crying. Reading those is really really making me want to leave the states for awhile. Live off prostituting myself and drug sales. hmmmm.....

The Anthony Family said...

I can attest to his get er done attitude. Jayne's wedding... no one thought I could pull off that mess and turn in into beauty. Then along comes Nick in the tenth hour, I explain it once, and next thing Nick is on top of the huge gazebo stringing up all the lights. My Hero!!! Couldn't have done it without you.

Hope we eventually make it out to the haunted forest and summer camp, our visits are always too short.

Hope you have a great birthday. You're the bomb!!

Love, Rebecca

Up in Bubbles said...

Happy Birthday Nick! You really are such a great guy. Everyone is better fo knowing you. You are not bad on the eyes either.

Anonymous said...

This is the most adorable thing i've ever read!! what an incredible guy!