Tuesday, July 26, 2011

strugglin' with a-vowin'

Way back when, I decided that Aaron and I writing our vows would be romantic. Cute. Adorable. Memorable. Charming. And everyone would "oohhh" and "ahhhh" and giggle over the love and devotion we have for the other. They would tell their friends and family members that "That wedding was beautiful. It was relaxed and when they were done with those amazing vows, no one could question the strength of their marriage."

I am seriously regretting that desire to be the next romantic comedy. Because right now, my vows are more comedic relief and not in the good way; more in the cheesy "America's Got Talent" crappy comedy sketch way. Or the comedy style of a creeper 50 year old drunk off whiskey by 8 pm and hitting on you in a not so comfortable way-comedy style. I believe that I believed that since I have a gift/talent/obsession with writing, that this would be a piece of cake. The monologues I run in my head daily are hilarious. Or at least, I think they are. However, there is a serious line between poking fun at your swimsuit top popping off at the Holly City Pool and professing the love you have for the man who has changed your life and has given you the foundation you only heard about in cheesy Rascal Flatts songs.

I have tried about 5 different openings for my vows to Aaron. It's funny how many times we say "I love you" to people. We say it so many times, out of humor, irritation, frustration, and true love. Now, the time that all I want to say is "I love you", it seems useless and not enough. I know, knowing Aaron, that his will be perfect. It will be the work of someone that truly loves the other person; since he is a guy, anything he says that involved the "f" word (feeling) or the other "f" word (future), everyone will love and croon over. Guys have it so easy. He could stand up there and say "I love you. My feeligns for you are commitment and through this commitment we will have a future together" and everyone will pen him as the next songwriter for Rascal Flatts. Easy peasy.

Then, all eyes will turn to me as I stand there thinking "What the hell? How many loads of laundry and cycles of running the dishwasher and this is all I get?! Don't get me started on the endless pieces of trash that I throw away for him from his car or the constant reminders I provide him for things he needs to finish. And all he says is "I love you" and everyone thinks he's amazing?!" (to be fair, he is simply amazing). Yes, I am exagerating, a tad, because I know he will have more than 10 seconds of mush romantic to say to me. In true radio form, he has it counted down to 150 words (one minute). That's as long as it needs to be, because any length more than that is too long and people start tuning out (according to aaron).

And I'll be up there, brain freeze, not knowing what to say or how to say it. I know that with time (three days times, I pray) I'll have it perfected to a tee. It'll be "me" and Aaron will appreciate my words of love and commitment to him. But right now, I am struggling with finding my writers stroke of genius, because all I can think of to say is "I love you."

Because, God almighty, do I love you.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

soon to be maiden names and ships

Here we are, closing in a nearly one week until I legally shed the Bergkamp last name (field on a mountain, German literal translation) for a new shiny last name. I cling and love the last name "Bergkamp". Perhaps it's because I earned my degrees with that last name or because I have such appreciation knowing the family history of the Bergkamps. Fun fact: my great-great grandpa was 9 months when his family set sail for America and he became deathly ill while en route. The, whats the word I am looking for, captain (possibly) wanted to throw him overboard, because he was so sick. Luckily, that never came about and here we are today (good or bad). All Bergkamps living in America come from that one family of nine. As Daddy says it, we're all related to the same trunk of tree. Pretty fabulous, eh?

I decided that I want to keep a piece of the Bergkamp heritage alive, post July 30 2011. I will add Bergkamp to my middle initial and will legally be Monica Suzanne Bergkamp Leiker. Yes, that is a god awful long name. However, it is the little bit of my past that I can always have. We may need to order an extra long tombstone (rather, my kids will) so it is listed as such. That is how I would like my little plot of land at the Holly Cemetary to read. Now, do not think that I am bashful to become a "Leiker". Rather, I love it. It's unique, but not too unique that you trip over saying it. Bonus points: it's totally German Catholic (just like Bergkamp). There is a huge history connected to agriculture with Leiker, as well. And I am incredibly proud to announce that I am a farm fiance (soon to be wife) whose fiance (soon to be husband) farms with his brother and dad. We are part of a family farm operation. Not to say that if Aaron stayed in radio that I would not be proud of saying that my husband works long hours for nickels and dimes and for the gratification of being recognized at any establishment that caters to old people, because that was exhilerating. There is just something extra, in my opinion, when you are connected to a family establishment. I have cousins in Illionis who are invovled with the police force. Uncle G was a IL State Trooper and his boys are invovled with the force in their towns in IL.

There is an emotional side of me that is pulled when I talk about family. Maybe it's because as I get older, I learn that my family (both Bergkamp and Landwehr) are not perfect. You know when you're growing up, you think your family is idealistic. There are no siblings squabbles. No skeletons in the cedar closet. It is basically "Little House on the Prairie". Then, as you grow older you pick up on social cues that you had not yet noticed. It is hard for me to give personal examples from my family, as you all know how passionate and opinionated I am. Let's just say, you notice that you are far from perfect. Some parts of it enrage and really disappoint you. It's like finding out that Santa ain't real.

What is the kicker and the sting is when it personally affects you. You personally feel the zing of their beliefs and you feel as though you had the chair pulled from under you in 3rd grade by the cute black boy and that is the reason, you believe, you have shoudler muscle problems (maybe that's just me....) You're confused and wonder "When did I become the grown up and not their younger generation?" However, since you ARE a grown up, you recognzie and respect their ways and beliefs and values. It is the way the mop flops. It hurts, oh yes, but it is not changing who you are and what you want for YOUR life. Because, after all, you are a grown up.

Maybe that's why I respect my soon to be maiden name so much, because I am realizing that the word "family" can mean and invoke so many emotions and memories that you can't help but cling to that pronoun.

I do wonder how many people may have wished that Great Great Grandpa was thrown overboard...........

Monday, July 18, 2011

psa and that show on mtv

I think we all have those dirty little shows that we watch religiously. They're hidden on our DVR list and we pray that no one will go sneaking and discover. "Teen Mom" is one of my favorite shows to quietly watch in the privacy of my own living room. Now that my life is starting to become a little quieter (minus the tiny little finalized details of the wedding), I have taken the coruage to grab the ridiculously complicated direct tv remote and hit "R" on the marathons that are not hard to find. In the mornings, while the boys are out playing in the field, I have my sanctuary in the living room. My private time to half-ass Pilates, drink "Coffee People" K-Cups, and talk to the cats, even though they never listen to me. And watch my shows that typical males would not enjoy. While watching these "Satan playgrounds" of shows (that's a Joe B phrase), I recommit to the blessings in my life.

For those who do not regularly follow (or regularly graze at the trash tabloids at your local supermarket), I'll give a brief backstory on the main characters, but will refrain from names. One brown haired tiny eyed beauty is a trash talking wreck of emotions whose precious baby girl is being brought along on her teetering cycle of violent outbreaks with the baby's father. There is another who I idolize; she and her fellow 16 year old beau chose adoption for their daughter. I have to admit, these are the characters that draw me in. I can watch them interact with those who did not approve of their adoption and feel a strong maternal bond for her. I was blessed to have parents who supported my decision for adoption, but this beautiful young girl did not. On a recent episode, the train wreck of emotions and her baby daddy and baby are en route to a vacation for a getaway. I'll leave out the verbal abuse that followed between her and the father of the child. It is amazing to see the trash talking that goes on in other homes. I never EVER heard my parents fight with the fervor that these people do, nor use the language that they choose. Grant it, my writing in this blog is not always pure and angelic. However, I can keep it "in check" when considering those around me. ESPECIALLY young children. It's disgusting to watch these people carry on like barbarians with cameras and babies in tow. Perhaps their crying daughter in the backseat has become white noise to them and they are not realizing the effects this child will endure. Thanks to my counseling background, I can attribute a lot of these imperfections to their own upbringings. Chances are, they grew up in homes where verbal and physical abuse was an everyday situation. And chances are, they promised to themselves that they would not follow in those footsteps.

This is when I shake my head, because the cycle is continuing. I see it on "Teen Mom" and everyday life in any small or big town. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I can hold the mirror to my face and have no issues in admitting that my personal decisions have not been "Touched by an Angel" appropriate. Heck, some were more "Bad Girls Club" than EWTN. We need to WAKE UP and realize that are behaviors, emotions, words, and decisions are seriously affecting those children around us. Stop living in la-la land and think that they're not picking up on the things you do. Adoption is not for everyone and YES, I get that. It's a personal decision that one makes in her or his own heart. But, you know, you have to deal the hand God dealt you. My life would be drastically different had I not chose adoption in that booth at Planet Sub with my mother. Even typing this now, draws strong emotions from me. Obviously. It kills me, absolutley kills me to see children who are being "raised" in "homes" that are not encouraging their personal and moral growth. Life is a rough cycle, but I feel that children should not be subject to the rough parts of that cycle because their parent choose to.

Will I stop watching "Teen Mom"? Nope. I honestly pray that this show will influence women and MEN out there who are sexually active. Regardless of age or SES. Children are the most beautiful and precious gifts that we are blessed to create. There not going anywhere, but it is up to us to see that they do get somewhere positive.

*** I apologize for the PSAish posting, but a girl's got to write what a girl wants to write***

Friday, July 15, 2011

ambien no more?

I have officially been off ambien for six nights. To give a bit of background, I have always had issues sleeping. I would lie in bed, staring at the ceiling, rolling over to each side, going to the bathroom with my mind racing for hours about the student issues that day or the strong desire to quit my job and move to middle of nowhere (wait.....I did THAT) once I got to bed. The next question you'll ask is: "When do you drink caffeine in your daily routine?" and I can say that I always have 3 cups of dark dark dark coffee, but I am done with that by 10 am. I do not drink soda (unless, of course, my good friend Jack is attending. In that case, I drink diet soda). I have a sleeping issue. When I started dating Aaron it became more frustrating and more apparent. Aaron would be called in to cover severe weather at all hours of the night and no matter when he first woudl go into the studio, whether it was 2 am or 3 am, he would have to be on air @ 5:30 am. Needless to say, the boy was running on low sleep and you couple that with a cranky girlfriend who isn't sleeping well, something has to change. And it wasn't his god awful work schedule.

I went to my lovely family doctor and he prescribed ambien (genric, duh) for 5 mg. That didn't do squat and we upped the mg to 10. That worked for awhile, but after a couple months, I needed more umph to my ahhh. I was heartbroken and near tears when my nurse told me that 10 was the highest it comes, but I could try ambien cr (continuous release) which was for 12.5 mg. Hook a girl up, seriously.

Long story short, I have noticed a few changes that I've been wanting to make. One, now that I don't work for K-State, my health insurance is not near as glamorous (ie : kick ass) as I have now. What once cost me 15 bucks, now costs 30 and that's for half the pills. So yeah, when you're not earning a paycheck that begins to suck. And I started noticing that even when I woudl get 7-8 hrs of sleep, I'd wake up and not want to get out of bed (sluggish). Since I don't have a "job" that I need to be at work by a certain time (unless the father in law calls for me to do gopher jobs, which happens at about..... 6:30 that morning) I figured I might as well try to ween (is that how you spell ween?) myself off ambien. And I've discovered a little trick in my mom's health food guru vitamin magazines: honey before bed.

Seriously. Honey before bed along with a few "Restful Sleep" vitamin herbs (from my mother) and I'm golden. And I feel safer plugging my body with clover honey and vitamins than with sleep medication.

What's the point of this blog? No, it's not to preach the evils of prescription sleep medications (although they had their spot in my life and who knows, maybe I'll have a night here and there were I need it) or scream in your face the benefits of an "all natural life". I just want to brag that I used to feel as though I was addicated to something and I've made progress. I think we all need to BLOW our horns when we've made progress on something. Especially something that was costing me $30 twice a month.

So who knows, maybe now I can work on weening myself off of something else that's costing me. Don't worry adult beverages, you ain't going anywhere.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

combines and rascal flatts

This summer has been a summer of first for me. One, I am no longer a state of Kansas resident. Although my drivers id is still Kansas, I no longer feel like a Kansas girl. I see cars in town with out of state plates and I feel sorry for them, because they're not Colorado residents. I understand the total irony in that statement, but that's how I feel. I honestly love it here so much more than even I had thought. Not once have I thought "Man, I miss Manhattan and that life I used to have." Probably because I never felt like Manhattan was home "home" to me. I always viewed MHK as a stopping ground, a fueling up stop, if you will. It was the town that I attended college and that was about it. Include a few embarassing moments here and there and that sums up MHK to me. Holly is home "home" to me. This is the town and county that Aaron and I will put down roots. The main drag in Holly will be where our kids (god-willing) will "cruise" on the weekends. If I get my way, they will be driving old lady cars that no one will want to be caught dead in. If Aaron gets his way, they'll be nice trucks or shiny cars. Jury is still out on that one. Point being, this is our "small town usa" and it feels like home to me and him.

What was my point in this post.... Oh yeah, things that were "firsts" for me this summer.

In addition to moving to Colorado and changing my statehood home, I drove a combine on my own. Without Aaron in the cab. AND I dumped on the go. No, this is not meaning the personal body matter type of dumping on the go, but unloading grain on the go, to the grain cart while the combine is still moving. AND the grain cart is moving. Scariest experience. Ever. You're driving this huge mass of machinery and you're having to focus on your ouger not hitting the grain cart, your big tires not hitting the tires of the tractor pulling the grain cart, and your grain staying IN the grain cart. Oh yes, and you always should focus on your field that you're cutting to make sure you don't miss any (wheat) heads. Again, scariest experience ever. However, I aced it. Thanks to the "patience" of my fiance, I mastered it. By the last day of harvest, I was cutting incredibly straight and dumping on the go, at 3.2 (mph). Which is quite the accomplishment, seeing that I started out dumping at a 2.8 (mph). Even telling you all about it now, I am getting goosebumps.

Ah yes, my teacher Aaron. About 20 seconds into my lesson with him, I told him to get off the combine and I'll have Mark (his brother) work with me. I was losing my pateince with Aaron quickly. Those who know me realize my temper and my constant desire to be in control and know everything about everything that I am doing. I hate suprises. I like the plan. I like to follow the plan. So, you can imagine my mood when Aaron is "barking" orders at me, telling me to "lower your header" "raise your header". More than once, did I tell him to remember that at sixteen, I was running that cash reigster at JCPenneys in Hutchinson, like a pro. I was NOT on a combine. This is not second nature to me, yet. I'll save the bantering we did back and forth and the heat of my temper about to overflow (this bonding all took place in a cab the size of a European sports car). After I had instructed him to get off and have Mark work with me, I immediately took it back. We recognized that this was a teaching experience for us: to work on our relationship, together. If Mark were to have worked with me, we'd be missing out on an amazing opportunity to fine tune our communication skills. That's not to say that I was "this close" to chucking our relatinoship out the window into the freshly cut wheat ground.

I may love that man to the death of me, but I will have my temper, sadly, until the death of me, as well.

Perhaps we all should spend some time with the one we love (male or female) in the confines of a 9600 combine. You get to hear them belt out Rascal Flatts and they get to learn that when the AC is out on the combine and it's 100 plus outsdie and there is NO air circulation, you do NOT want to be touched; I don't care how great you think that Rascal Flatts song is. You also get to work through shitty moments when you have that communication breakdown and I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TRYING TO TELL ME when you are trying to motion from the other combine to me (it appears that when you make circles with your fingers, that means raise your header). When I was going through pretty challenging life moments a few years back, my Daddy reminded me that the trees that are around the longest are the ones who learn to bend. To which, I told him that I'm tired from bending. He wasn't amused. Anyways, go find a 9600 combine that is prone to overheating and learn a new skill. You just might be amazed at what you can do, given patience and a little love from above.

Monday, July 11, 2011

burning throats

I have not died. Yet. Although, the thought of impending death feels right at my doorstep. I just finished running. Outside. Near the heat of the day. Why? I could feel myself getting irritated at everything that went on this morning. The last time I ran was months ago. Months. I had become concerned about the throbbing pain in my knees everytime I ran and walked up stairs. So, I stopped running and then tried out the ellitpical. It took three days for the elliptical that I bought to completley break. Thank you quality Sears. That machine is still in Aaron's house in Manhattan. I decided to take on Pilates and it did really tone my body pretty nice. I still am shocked that by doing simple stretches, I am able to lean and tone my body. I was used to looking similar to what I look like now (like a drowned sewer rat) and thinking that was the only way to work out. The problem with my work out routine is that I become bored with the same deal. Then harvest happened and there was no way I was getting up at 5:30 to stretch some muscles. Sadly, my body does not realize that the stress and pressure of harvest is not a work out.

I apologize if this blog seems a bit odd and off kilter. You need to understand that my body is exhuasted right now. My heart is beating in my HEAD and my throat is burning. You know that burn your throat had in high school track on the first day of practice? You want to look like you've been training all winter long and, yes, these big muscle legs really are muscle. So, you try to act like Flo-Jo during Indian Runs. But, all the while, your throat is burning and your stomach is ready to give back to the earth all you've eaten that day?

Yeah, that was similar to how I felt about 20 minutes ago.

For that small handful of people who are regular readers of my postings, I apologize for the lack of posts. Harvest is done and now I am ready to focus on more important things. No, not the upcoming nuptials on July 30. I am ready to focus on updating you all on the activities on Leiker Farms.

Lesson for today: always bring your cell phone. Never wear pink crocs and fabric shorts that the drawstring is missing to "simply pick me up from the north farm." Because, that will turn into a three hour event and you'll be praying for the last 20 miles of pulling the wrong header trailer, that the gas tank somehow finds just enough to get you to Holly. And while you're gettings gas (yes, you did make it to Holly), you're also praying that your shorts do not fall. All before 8 am.

Oh and did I mention that I am in the middle of withdrawal from Ambien? So, yes, I have been sleeping amazigly. It's been similar to the sleep given to first time moms. Of 8 kids. Who are all cholic. And have diaherria.

That is why I am drenched in sweat right now. Because, sometimes you gotta sweat a little on a dirt road to make you not want to burn the county down.