Archive for the ‘husband’ Category

11 Years- April 23, 2016

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Last month when my grandfather died my mom called to ask for a picture of me with Grandaddy at my wedding. “Well, I think the only one I have is in our wedding album,” I replied. “That’s fine,” she said. “We’ll set it out on the table at the visitation for people to view.” She carefully opened it to a large photo that made up the entire layout of one page. You can see us as bride and groom out of focus and my grandparents in the foreground. I love this photo and this page of our album. It’s beautiful to me.

wedding album

After the visitation the family was sitting around chatting through our grief and exhaustion after losing the family patriarch. We flipped through the pages of my beloved book. We giggled at the shot of my cousin with two champagne glasses and marveled at how brown my husband’s hair was the day we wed. My man is a bit more salt and peppered these days. For the first time I looked at the pages and couldn’t believe the young bride I saw. I shook my head and said, “I look so young!” I do look young. It was eleven years ago.

We always discussed what we would get from the house in a fire. The answer was always the same, “The kids, the dog and the wedding album.” My husband even said as we left for the funeral, “Are you sure we don’t have another photo? I hate to take the album. What if something happens?”

It’s like he was predicting the future. The night after the funeral we stumbled back to our hotel room. Our hearts were heavy and our bodies felt even heavier. With everyone off their schedules, we were a sleepy, surly group. I wrangled the children into bed in a strange place as he unloaded all our luggage from the car. After the kids were down he said, “Did you get the album out of the car?” I told him I left it because I couldn’t imagine anyone would take it. He found this answer to be unsatisfactory and grumpily stomped down to the hotel parking lot. I stifled my laughs when he angrily returned two minutes later to get the car keys. When he returned his anger went from peeved to furious. When I asked what was wrong he said, “I dropped the album and busted the corner!”

wedding album damage

My heart sank when I saw the bent and torn edge. We spent a great deal of time and money designing the layout of our album. These pictures were taken in 2005, before the “cloud” was a mysterious thing we all counted on to backup our memories. So they are archaically saved on CD-roms like it’s the dark ages. The album is tangible proof we got married. In a home with small children we don’t display many “nice things.” The album is the exception. It’s out with the instructions to not let anything happen to it. He explained that in his frustration of carrying a bunch of my junk that I had left in the car, it slipped from his hands and hit the pavement just right. He was mad at himself for losing his temper and hastily grabbing everything. He was mad at me and my automobile sloppiness. (Which is a continual point of contention in our marriage. But, I’m getting better!)

Here’s the thing. I’m not going to fix it. First, it would be expensive. Second, I’m just going to leave it.

That ding to our pristine book is kind of a metaphor for being married eleven years. Gone is the newlywed luster of our first decade of marriage. It’s wrinkled like the creases we have around our eyes now. On April 23, 2005 we were so shiny and new in our gown and tux. We had not yet weathered any of the changes and choices that make up a marriage. Money, graduate school, demanding careers, our parents’ divorces and separations, buying and selling houses, pregnancy, babies, children and family deaths. We’ve experienced more. So has our album.

I like our creases and dents. They have a story to tell, just like us.

11 years


Well Done- November 26, 2015

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

My husband woke up Thanksgiving morning with a sparkle in his eye and some extra swagger. It was swagger fueled by peanut oil and propane. We did no basting, we did no roasting. Greyson was gonna fry the hell out a turkey this year.

I giggled at his enthusiasm and swooned at him in his flannel and denim. I thought he looked particularly fetching out on our driveway, beer in hand, eyes never moving from the blue flame he had so carefully created. He warned me about oil splatters as I took his picture.

Greyson frying turkey

He had researched. He had seasoned. He had massaged and pampered this bird the night before. 40 minutes was the goal. 40 minutes in the fryer to achieve the golden sparkle that would ensure moist poultry. I was in the kitchen when he stuck his head in the door from the garage. “Oh, my God!” I wasn’t prepared for what he plopped on the counter.

burnt turkey 2015

We think the coup de gras for this bird may have been the 42 or 43 minutes in the fryer. We may never know. It actually wasn’t that bad. We salvaged it. After we peeled off the charred skin the meat was okay. A little dry for a fried turkey, but not inedible.


He laughed, but his eyes told the story of a sad defeat. Defeat on a day in late November we’ll remember as a really fun Thanksgiving with our friends. Greyson said the bird looked “like Satan’s butthole.” See, he did cook the hell out of a turkey.


Sacrifice- June 26, 2014

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

I’m feeling foolish as I write this. Foolish because my last post was begging for your advice about strollers as my brain was consumed with our upcoming travels. We had grandiose plans to take our family of four to a family reunion in Nebraska this weekend. Now that it’s almost here I’m a little embarrassed to say we had to cancel at the last minute. Why, you ask? The short answer, money.

money pic

So often money is a taboo thing to discuss. I figure I talk about my leaking boobs and stitched up lady-parts on my mommy blog, so why should I be ashamed of discussing finances? I don’t know, but money is a touchy subject for most people. It’s private. It shows how vulnerable we are. That’s funny for a generation of people who are putting every mundane personal detail of their lives on the Internet to say that money is the thing that most shows our vulnerability, but it’s true.

Don’t get me wrong. Technically our family could afford to go on this trip, but at the price of some real financial strain later this year. It was going to cost an absurd amount to fly, rent a car and get a hotel room. We didn’t want to put a ton on credit cards. You know, credit cards. The cards people our age got when they walked on campus freshman year with their school logo on it.

Here’s the thing, we REALLY wanted to go on this trip. Bad. We had talked it up to our 3-year-old. We told her how great the zoo was going to be and how she was going to get to play with 50 million cousins she’d never met. We promised aunts they would get snuggle time with our squishy 7-month-old. I planned outfits and did laundry. I made arrangements for friends to dog sit. We bought plane tickets. We were going. We had our hearts set on it.

That’s the problem. We had our hearts set on going and wanted to go. I’ve found that Gen X/Millennials like us typically get what we want. Think about it. We came of age in the 1980’s and 1990’s. People my age knew nothing but mostly peace and prosperity until the economic collapse five years ago. Growing up, I figured things would always keep getting better and better. No, seriously. I just assumed my parents would always make more money than they did the year before, ensuring great family vacations and my college tuition taken care of.

This is not to say our generation is not innovative and hardworking. We are. I’m proud of how hard my husband and I have worked for many years to provide a great life for our children. We have a nice home near a good school, two cars and enough for preschool and dance classes.

Now that we are a single income household, we have had to make some adjustments. Sadly, we didn’t adjust enough. We didn’t plan. If we wanted to go on this trip so badly, we should have planned for it better than we did. Yeah, we did have some unexpected expenses pop up, but if we had planned better, it wouldn’t have been a problem. We made the choice for our family to have me stay home with our children. We don’t regret that decision, but we’ve still been living life as we were a double income household. We didn’t sacrifice.

Staying home from this trip is our sacrifice. We are learning the lesson of our generation. We can’t have everything we want all the time. Now, we have to raise the next generation to understand the same thing.