This past Friday night, I got to go out on a wonderful, romantic date with my husband to the symphony's Christmas Magic performance. It was so beautiful! There was a vast array of different types of pieces they played, from classics like the Nutcracker Suite, to olde English (you need that extra "e" or it's not authentic old English) Christmas folk songs, to the song from Home Alone! It was an extremely enjoyable evening alone together, away from our babies, and we even stayed out till almost midnight, like big people! I was pretty impressed with us.
The reason we were out so late, was because Philip asked my mom if she'd babysit extra late because he had a surprise for me after the performance. In true Philippian style, he gave me no details as to what to expect!
After the symphony was over, we began driving back out of town, and he told me we were just going to go get some appetizers, nothing special, because he figured I'd be hungry. Cool, I like food! Sounded good to me.
We pulled up to Outback, because it's one of the few restaurants that actually has food I can eat in spite of all my intolerances, and it was PACKED! Apparently it was graduation weekend, so we really didn't think we'd get a seat before they supposedly closed in 20 minutes.
Luckily, because everyone was there with huge groups, we got a table for 2 no problem!
After Philip had dropped me off in front of the restaurant to find a parking spot, he came walking up holding a gift bag, which made me very excited. A present, for me, right before Christmas?? What treasures could be awaiting me?!
After we sat down at our table and ordered, Philip handed me a black folder first. "Read it," he said, "and you'll figure out what's in the bag."
I opened the folder, and inside was a contract for the position of Designer and Communications Director of Timberlocked. As I read through the contract, it detailed the responsibilities entailed, the technical skills, benefits (such as "Exercising your beautiful and professional talents," "Working as a family," and "My extreme gratitude), and a signing bonus, which included champagne, chocolate, a romantic picnic, and a special gift.
There may have also been something included about "allowing yourself to be kissed and hugged by your coworker all the time." Not that my husband does cute stuff like that or anything.
After I had finished reading and smiling at the extremely flattering phraseology, I looked up and saw Philip gazing at me.
"I know a husband/wife business team may seem very unofficial, but I wanted to show you how seriously I take you. I believe you are extremely competent and talented, and I have the utmost faith in you. I think we make a great team and can do great things together, but I need a real commitment from you. So I wanted to draw this up so our arrangement and teamwork is all laid out and you know exactly what your part will be in this. I believe people live up to what is expected of them, and I know I can expect excellence from you, because you are extremely capable. So...do you want in?"
Now, champagne sounded really good right about then, and I was super curious what the "special gift" was, so I decided I should say "yes" and sign the contract. It clearly had nothing to do with the fact that my husband is the sweetest man alive and is constantly encouraging me and building me up, urging me to greatness, despite all my own insecurities and self-doubts, and I would love nothing more than to do great things by his side. And that he made me cry.
So, we made it official! After some discussion as to logistics (taking care of two tiny ones by yourself all day doesn't exactly afford reliable quiet time to work), I put my Herbie Hancock on the line (Tommy Boy, anyone? No? Ok, don't worry, I know it's really John. Calm down).
Philip then pulled a small box out of the gift bag, and when I opened it, inside I found a whole set of Timberlocked business cards Philip had already had printed up for me, including my official title. I guess he was confident I'd agree to his terms!
So we're really doing this thing. With my husband's help, I will keep working on my confidence in my abilities, and I too will expect great things from myself. I already know I can expect great things from Philip, so that's a given.
I am so crazy blessed to be married to this man and to have started this journey with him. Thanks for coming along with us!
-Karen Kempf, Designer and Communications Director
(see how fancy that sounds?!)