I don't get the chance to post very often and so it will be a very long time before I hit that 1000th post so I decided to use a milestone in my own life to tell you all a little bit about my life.
Tomorrow morning my wife and I will be having our second child. (I say my wife and I, but everyone knows that the woman does the real work and goes throught the real hardship at this point). We are excited and nervous as I think all parents should be at a time like this. It is very strange knowing the day the baby will come. We have everything ready and have for a few days. Everything feels very surreal at the moment. We are in such a different place in our lives now then when our daughter was born. We were so young then and we had hardly gotten used to being married at that point.
I was born and raised in a small city called Vernon in British Columbia, Canada. I lived in the same house from when I was born until I got married. My wife was a military kid and had lived many places across Canada until her family settled in Armstrong B.C. about 10 minutes from Vernon. My wife Jenn and I met through a friend in early 1997. I was 19 and she was 17 and it turned out we both worked at the same grocery store but had never really met, I had however worked with her brother at 2 different jobs (one of the many reasons I feel we were destined to meet). At first there wasn't really anything there for me as I had a hopeless crush on another girl who is now a wonderful friend of ours.
A couple of months later I went to a concert (Face to Face was the headlining band) in the nearby city of Kelowna. I was supposed to be going with a full carload (I had room for 5) but one of the people who was supposed to be coming with us got really sick and couldn't make it so we had one extra seat. We got to the concert about the time the doors were supposed to open only to find a massive crowd outside. We waited for a long time and the doors still did not open. At about this time Jenn and a friend spotted us and came over to say hi. (I found out later that she had had a huge crush on me since the day she met me and she was actually coming over to try to hook up with me). We chatted for a while and then the doors finally opened.
When we got in, the opening band started to play but none of us were very interested. We bought some shirts and got some free stickers and sampler tapes. Jenn had a backpack so I asked her to keep my extra stuff in it. We sat down on the floor and talked through the opening band (Our friends later told us that we acted like nobody else was there with us). After the opening band was Buck-o-Nine. When they came up on stage they told us that Face to Face was delayed and wouldn't arrive until quite a bit later. To console us, they promised to play a long set. I think they played for about an hour and 45 minutes and Jenn and I (and our friends, but who cares about them at this point) were really into the music and really enjoyed their performance. After they finished we chatted with a couple of the guys from the band.
It was getting almost to the point in the night that the concert should have been ending and Jenn and her friend were supposed to be leaving as her friend's mom was picking them up to go back to Vernon. Now, people who know me know that I am fairly anal when it comes to everybody wearing seatbelts in my car and so I am still surprised that Jenn was able to convince me to drive her and her friend home after the concert. So they told her friend's mom that they had another ride home and thus were able to stay to watch Face to Face who had at this point finally shown up.
I spent most of the Face to Face set in the mosh pit and jumping off the stage into the crowd. It was an amazing concert.
After the show, we piled into my car and started the 45 minute drive home. We stopped at a 7-11 and everyone except Jenn and I ran in to get slurpees. Jenn and I stayed in the car and talked. It was at this point that things started to really spark for me.
I drove them the rest of the way home and went home to bed. That was on Wednesday.
On Friday my friend Phil was having a party. I found out that Jenn was working until 9 on Friday night and I just happened to show up around then and ran into her. I asked her to come with me to the party and it turned out that another friend had asked her to come already but she didn't finish work until later. I convinced Jenn she should just come with me and our other friend Jessica would meet us there later.
That is pretty much how we started dating. We were engaged 4 months later on August 8th. We got married on January 17th 1998. In February of 98 we found out that Jenn was pregnant. At this point, I was working two part time jobs and we were living in the basement of my brother's house. I was going back to school in the fall and would only be able to work one job while in school. We applied for and got student loans and were able to move into a townhouse that gave us the room we needed to bring a baby home to. I started college in September and the baby was due November 3rd.
On October 15th I came home from school and my wife wasn't at home. There was no note and we didn't have an answering machine so there were no messages to check. I was starting to panick when my mom phoned and said that Jenn was in the hospital and that they were talking about taking the baby out soon as Jenn was really sick (she had toxemia). I rushed to the hospital and they told us that they were thinking about doing a c-section in the next couple of days.
The next day at school I had a math mid-term that I couldn't miss and so I got my friend to bring her cell phone to class with her so that my wife could call if they decided to operate. Right in the middle of my midterm the phone rang. I went into the hall to take the call and found out that I had to be at the hospital by 3:30pm if I wanted to be there for my baby's birth. I went back into class to finish the midterm and was shaking so bad that the person sitting next to me had trouble writing (I still managed to pull off a 96% despite the nerves).
Right after the exam I rushed to the hospital to be with my wife. They performed the c-section and at 4:16pm on October 16th (16:10 on 16/10) my daughter Leandra Jade was born.
We lived in various places in Vernon and Armstrong while I finished school. We struggled a lot with money and had to live with Jenn's parents a couple of times in that time period. I graduated from school in 2000 with a diploma in Computer Information Systems. A few months after I finished school and still had no prospects of a career in the Okanagan Valley (the area of British Columbia that Vernon is in) my wife was offered a transfer with her job to Edmonton Alberta. We took the transfer with the knowledge that I would have many more prospects for work in the bigger city and a few days before halloween we moved to Edmonton. We got an apartment and I talked to an employment agent and within 6 weeks of being here I was offered the first job I was interviewed for.
Now two years later, my wife no longer needs to work to help support our family and we have saved up a fairly reasonable down payment for a house. We hope to buy a house this winter. We still have some struggles with money, but I don't know many people who don't. We are much more able to financially support this child and yet we are still terrified and think we are crazy for having another. Leandra is almost 4 years old now. She is incredibly smart and she knows it. She is a wonderful kid all around though and is so excited to have a little brother. We think we are crazy to start this all over again though. I am also very excited.
We are much better off financially now but I think I actually feel more nervous about this child then I did with Leandra. Maybe that is because I have lost some of the naivite(sp) of youth and I know now how much having a child can take out of you. Maybe it is because this child is going to be a boy and I don't know how different that will be from raising a girl. Maybe it is just because I am so excited about the new addition to our family.
[This message has been edited by solo (edited September 25, 2002).]