If I could write a book on marriage

oh the rules I would put into this book – the small verbage with more pictures than words, the instructions for every(ahem.Man)one to adhere to, to soak in as wisdom and grow from to create a successful marriage…

but that book would be bullshit…

because I don’t know it all, and I’ll never say it out loud more than once a year – here it is – take hold of it.

I know nothing.

And in marriage I’m just as lost as I was in 11th grade calculus

…But the beauty in it all is that this isn’t a class you can just drop – and a part of you doesn’t want to, it’s the challenges each day that present themselves, it’s the wandering along a path you thought to be your own only to find it converges with your better half in which you have been walking through a forest so thick with trees that your eyes can barely grasp the sun; a path that had been so untraveled that you would never know which way to turn if one presented itself. While you walk and look down upon your feet, you realize that you are walking this path because not many else will, would, or could. This is your intent and purpose in life – not walking down a path with these sweet keds I purchased from the clearance aisle, no, but to walk the road less traveled; just like every home decor facet in your local kohls store says. I look down and not only notice my feet moving when sometimes my mind can’t convince my soul to move, sometimes when I can’t convince myself that what I’m waiting for is really worth waiting – then I realize that the pair of feet that has merged beside mine has taken upon the same pace, held my hand to keep the same speed, not as if to tug and slow me down but as if to calm my storm and say I’m here for you and no matter where this path may turn, stop, end, throw us down a cliff….I’m here for you as I know you’re always here for me…I marvel at the oddity we call love and I bask in the sun of marriage. For a woman never wanting to be married – I must admit, I pretty much love it…it suits me. No not the, ‘please tell me what I can and can’t do and I’ll tell you the same’ kind of marriage; but a marriage that bears more honesty than judge judy more respect than your local bartender and more modern love than matt nathanson could ever write about…this kind of marriage is nothing I ever expected but in the same token of gratitude – this marriage is 2 shots short of anything I ever deserved, I’ve not always been the best me possible…and that’s when I exhale over my morning cup of coffee looking out onto God’s green earth, is the moment I realize that this is something that happened to us – we never once sought it out, reached after it, pined like it was our middle school crush. It found us, and thusly I have been thrust into beliefs I never knew, and experiences I never thought were real – only in those fairytales we tell to children who still believe in the Easter bunny, well if I could tell every child after their fairy tale that if they respect themselves enough and learn the virtue of patience…your own happily ever after will come trotting your way…when you least expect it….and exactly when you don’t want nor need it…it finds you and knocks you down like the bonus round to leave you lying on the ground not feeling like yourself for a long period of time because you can’t believe that for just one second, for one fateful moment, for one promising chance…you’ve been blessed with something that could move mountains in its silence and bring the earth moon stars and sun to someone that has truly believed in and deserved it, all because you felt something…

Now when I say I want to write a book about marriage it simply means “I think I know it all, and I don’t – but that doesn’t sound like a lofty title for a marriage/self help book”…so here are my bullet points – proceed with caution.

1. Don’t forget to date your spouse. Yes it sounds strange – but don’t forget that just because you’ve settled into your keeping up with the jones’ routine, doesn’t mean that is what we’ve always wanted or even now needed. Take me out to sushi – hell take me to god damn mcdonalds and we’ll call it even…date your spouse because every time you date them – they fall more truly, madly, deeply in love with you (reference and source: savage garden)

2. Learn how to fight. “What is this crazy bitch talking about…I know how to fight – I give him the silent treatment and I get exactly what I want, the next day there’s roses and shiny things with random alotted dollar amounts attached to them; I’ve got what I wanted…”
Well this crazy bitch is going to tell you the secret, and something so beneficial you might as well hashtag your day as #beneful, it’s not about shiny shit, flowers, or even getting your way. Learn how to fight because the second you do (and yes this happened to me, because I’m stubborn and pig headed) you’ll realize that it’s never to come down to a “you’re right” (these are my favorite words) situation, rather a “It’s not about being right, it’s about figuring out what’s right for us”…if you think every mistake is going to be corrected with expensive champagne and an insanely stellar groupon’d date night…well get your head checked – because that isn’t reality and thank God I don’t love shiny shit…because I know that an I’m sorry is worth more weight than any carat of anything (unless it’s reeces pieces…I love that shit).

3. Don’t let yourself go……….(yes I put that many periods there for a reason). Get off your ass and workout, surprise your someone, write them something, kiss them when they don’t expect it, pick them up for lunch when your schedules already packed full….why? because you’d want that done for you, so more importantly don’t let yourself let them go (reference #4)….

4. Give without expectations. “Oh my God she’s so dumb I already know this, I love him and he loves me. When I buy him his gift for christmas he’d better buy me something that’s one step up…” Bad news here: I’m not the dumb one on this topic. Love without expecting and give without regretting…it takes a lot and is sometimes hard when you want to crash at the end of a long day but you know making brownies would just send your other over the moon….make the damn brownies – you know they only need oil, eggs, and water anyways. I realize that the selfish thing will come to full term (no pun intended) when people are expecting their child….scratch that…when their first child has been on earth for a few months – they will learn true selflessness….as a wise man with grey hair and an earring so badass you’d be shaking in your boots, once said (my father in law) “Holy cow having a baby right now is so mind blowing…like you can’t go to happy hour because you have to go pick your child up from daycare….you can’t go out with friends because your kid shit themselves and you have to stay home to take care of it…man now that I have grown kids – having little ones again would just be tough…” That’s where selflessness comes in for the rest of us (he already did his time, and he did an amazing job).

5. Finally more than anything else prior….count your blessings – take time to turn to your other and smile, because at one point and time that’s all you could do around them…obviously time has shown you all things obnoxious and sometimes you don’t want to watch another second of espn even if it means you get to cuddle on the couch “I’ll be in the other room watching real housewives of xyz”…..just to reinstate my femininity. For a moment…even if ESPN is on in the background for the umpteenth hour today…hug the one you love because what’s more brief than your disagreements, the way you bicker, or your distaste for each others preference in reality TV, is our lives. The living breathing air we’re consuming to walk this gracious land that will look as beautiful as 1/3,246th of heaven- is fulfilled with our lives, and at any minute and I mean any minute  “oh my God she’s so stupid, it’s not like I’m going to be hit by a bus…or run off a cliff…or be attacked by some angry birds…I’m fine – I’m invincible…”…said anyone passed on, never. Cherish the little moments and appreciate the in betweens; because to be completely effing real and honest with you – that’s what marriage is…it’s the in betweens, the moments you couldn’t plan because you share space, life, love with this person, the little things that make you giggle so hard you have to check to make sure you didn’t just sprout a 6 pack…

Love is everything mundane wrapped up into the best memory you could imagine – packaged in the most beautiful wrapping paper ever…sometimes you want to tear it, sometimes you want to throw it on the ground and stomp on it (I’m being real here)…but at the end of the day more than destroying, altering, or opening the beautiful thing you know lies inside…you’d rather set it on the table beside you on the porch during your own self proclaimed happy hour so you can just spend a little more time with it and basking in the happiness you’ve culminated through it. Love isn’t an object, affection isn’t a brand new BMW, and disagreements don’t have diamonds…so while you walk this path you’ve created, made, or chosen – know that at all times someone is walking in the parallel and will meet you when you least expect it. They’ll meet you when you’re bruised, bloody and broken never being able to find the light again – they’ll part the trees to show you the sun and all its’ rays for you to enjoy and to simply sit amongst with someone you love so deep and care for so tenderly beside you just bathing in its glory together…and the happiness it has created….you suddenly see that the path you were on would never have led to such beauty and peace, you realize that everything around you is aglow because you’ve found the happiness and love in the mundane simplicity of just sitting with someone in silence, and thinking of what you would put in your book…

They Love You No Matter What, Because We’ve Loved Them No Matter What

I don’t know if there are any appropriate words to go here, or any witty phrases I can conjure up on a Tuesday afternoon – it just is. My mind keeps reminding me of Chloe & Baxter and how much I miss them, I knew when I kissed her goodbye the day we moved that I didn’t think there would be another time but it just came so sudden. I then remember how happy she was to lay outside while we had a garage sale – to only get up to greet each and every person that came each day to pick through our belongings; she would then return to Max’s side and lay back down. Chloe was so loyal and so loving (unless you were Baxter) before we moved she would sleep on the floor in our room so that she could be closest to Max, when she wanted to be by him and couldn’t she would allow her obnoxious bark to take over the stillness of the relaxing air – Chloe was truly something special and I’m glad that I was able to know her, even for a short while.

I miss my little man, but I know he’s happy – I can physically see how happy he is and that makes my heart proud. I’m not going to lie though – I miss the winter snuggle days, the garbage constantly being an object to be rifled through the second I turn my back, I miss the way Baxter would love me – but I know that love will never go away and it is an unending mutual feeling. It’s not that I feel sad, nor bad, anguish, or angst – I feel more love for that little guy now more than ever – same as I think of Chloe in the highest regards now more than ever – although she’s gone, she knows my husband more than I do, my in laws better than anyone, love and affection to an extreme and loyalty that will never waiver for her owners. The day we went to spread Chloe’s ashes at her 4 favorite parks I stood in the silence for a moment and took in everything around me – everything was still…and all of the sudden out of nowhere I hear the leaves rustle, I see the weeds move, and I feel a warm breeze come through on an unusually still day; and I can feel her, I know she’s there with us and watching over us – maintaining her loyalty to her owners; I allow my mind to wander to Baxter only a few times a week, anymore and I’d have a quarter life crisis – at random times I smile and sometimes I cry, but to be able to hand over your baby to a perfectly fit and loving mother was both hard and heart warming. I know he’s happy & I know he’s receiving all the love and treats he deserves, sometimes I feel his spunky spirit with me throughout days that seem to drag on. I know now what selflessness for the better of someone else feels like, and I completely respect my father in law for making the decision he did and my mother in law for pushing him to make it; Chloe is in such an amazing place where she doesn’t hurt or cry, she’s happy and running and looking down on us all the time – and Baxter although very much alive is in a better place than I could have ever given him – he gets tons of love and attention and all the walks one hyperactive dog could ask for…

The next time you think your day sucks or your life’s hard – remember that feeling when you walk in the door and your pet greets you with all the love in the world, no judgement, and no anger.

They love you no matter what because we’ve loved them no matter what.

This is one of the places Chloe is laid…how beautiful and peaceful.

And Max always wondered why Baxter didn’t love him as much as he loved me.The first man to ever truly hold my heart

This is how he would pout 🙂 So resourceful & Cute

Sometimes You Just Have To Laugh

I’m hustling the best I can to get everything done, packed away and in the car so we can go pick up Max from work and I can unveil the oh so secret surprise…The dogs are trying to eat the food I’m placing in the cooler, they are playing with the toys that I’ve packed and leaving the blankets I just folded in a weird disarray, holy hell this is a lot of work.

We load into the car and we go to Max’s work to pick him up – he’s excited to see the dogs (usually before I get a kiss, the dogs get 3 a piece) and happy it’s Friday – he had been talking about camping for quite some time and I had kept saying no because our house wasn’t in order and if there’s one thing you should know about be (I always write this before I unveil something real cunning and witty, but let’s cut the shit – there’s lots you should know about me) I HATE coming home to a dirty house – I don’t care if there is a spatula and 7 cups in the dishwasher – I will run it as I’m leaving so I don’t have to come home to filth. I’ve always been this way and always will **warning to my future children – mom will be the crazy lady doing laundry and vacuuming while dad’s trying to pack the car to go to the cabin.

I wanted to surprise him with this trip because I wanted to thank him for all he does for our small family – all the sacrifices he makes for us and yes all the hours he puts in at his cubicle he loves so much 🙂 I handed him a little thank you card that said the reasons why I appreciated him and all he does at the bottom it said we’re going camping – all inclusive and already planned…he didn’t get it because he goes, camping eh? uhm yeah hunny….”well are we going right now” well turn around and notice the entire back seat of our kia full to the brim with camping gear. We’re going, not stopping at home, I planned and packed everything. He was starting to get excited.

I planned for an hour and a half drive and it took a little longer due to all the other people that wanted to get into the mountains – totally fine since the drive was HEAVEN, I mean I’ve driven through the mountains before – but holy wow, these were mountains we were driving through. Took on a new appreciation and meaning in my world that day. In CO they have what is deemed “dispersed camping” basically what it means (loose definition here) is that you pack your crap in and you pack your crap out – leave no trace – go to the bathroom in a hole you shoveled yourself with a spade – no cell phone service – surrounded by nature – complete solitude. Sounds great right?…

We pull up to our “organized dispersed camping” “campgrounds” I put that all in quotes because in CO there is the honor system at most any pay station – they just urge you do the right thing. There was a $5 fee to camp there – ok we can swing that…well I apparently forgot to plan that part considering we paid in quarters dimes and nickels – yes could barely fit our envelope into the slot. We drive along and are excited to get the last camping spot left – at the very end of all the sites…we should’ve known why it probably wasn’t taken – 20 mph winds for 2 hours off and on throughout the night and a noisy blowing tent = not fun.

All in all we had an amazing time ended up only staying one night due to the fact that it storms very rapidly in the mountains – it will be sunshine and summer time and 5 minutes later, lightning and downpour – we weren’t sticking around for that business again, plus I was exhausted from no sleep and I needed some shut eye in my own bed. We drove back home and all was well with the world – we were both happy campers (no pun intended) and were glad we had the experience…

Here are a few things I would tell my former self (meaning last week self) if I could:
1. Pack dollar bills for the pay station
2. bring a legit lantern, not a rayovac flashlight the size of a basketball
3. Know how to set up a tent (max) and don’t hide the poles you don’t know where to put on the tent so I have to go searching for them to assemble the rain flap
4. Bring firewood – usually you could find it around you, but apparently they had wicked mudslides and EVERYTHING, I do mean everything, was wiped out – I felt like we were camping in a colder AZ.
5. Bring patience, if you don’t have it, tough – pack it
6. Plan food a little more accordingly with daylight (I LOVE cooking on campfires…but it’s effing tricky in pitch black with only the “assistance light” on your Samsung Galaxy.
7. Bring your dogs ear plugs so they won’t wake you up every 5 minutes barking at…the wind
8. bring an air mattress…that stays inflated
9. Don’t steal firewood from someones private property when you go looking for some alone while your husband sets up the tent at our camp because the sun is about to go down and you feel bad you left him there in the cold with the dogs with no fire…whoops
10. Watch for cows, bears, and deer – these were all LITERALLY loitering the road ways
11. Make friends with your neighbors before you drive 25 minutes to find some measly firewood when you get back and they send you back to the EXACT same place you just were because there’s “this guy that looks like a hippie that sells a whole bunch of wood for $5” (he was from new ulm MN – small world)
12. Pack your sense of humor because throughout all the struggle fests we had, we laughed. We probably woke up 10 times throughout the night one of them including a drunk girl being brought around to what she thought was “her campsite and her car” by the kind park patrol officers who were greeted with my troll like appearance at 3 am – then I kindly say “no this isn’t the drunk ladys campsite, we don’t know her and don’t know where she came from – and before you let her break into that kia, that’s not hers either.” they laughed an were on their way. We lay down – and laugh, we opened all the tent flaps and watched the beautiful night sky stars that were crystal clear and the shooting stars the night before the meteor shower looked like a meteor shower in and of themselves up there.

Here’s some visuals from our experience, Enjoy.

The morning view – not bad.

Tent “window” view…it was magical

bratty barking puppy “kaylee shut up it’s the wind”…silence for 3 seconds…barking commences

Hey guys are you gonna get up – I’m kinda hungry and tired of bugging you…

Tired Shiba

Tired hubba

Oh well doesn’t that look comfy (I don’t know what it is about being a dog owner but after all the hours our girls put in to piss us off and annoy the living daylights out of us, there’s some redeeming quality and aspect to watching them become uncomfortable and annoyed)

This is our egg scramble for the morning – took a while for the pan to warm up and even longer to fight off dog mouths that wanted to try it to make sure “the food was safe and wasn’t poisoned”

Squirrel

She poses when she knows I’m shooting with the camera

she looks like an old rabbit and I am absolutely obsessed with her under bite in this picture – love.

A hunter at heart

Happy Birthday Pretty Girl

Why do we talk when we need to listen…

It’s not scary – It’s sad

I’m not terrified – I’m anguished

I’m not afraid – I feel for these people

They say he has no criminal history – yet just committed a crime that will be in history books

I’m confused and saddened – I feel violated to this isolated incident

It’s not just CO, or Denver – It’s all of us

This could have happened to any of us – but it didn’t so hug your parents and tell the ones you love

It’s not a religion or a political stance – It’s a common interest that brought these people together

It was unknowing strangers that were attacked – by someone who fully intended to harm

They say they’ll seek the death penalty – and that doesn’t make me sad

It’s not an eye for an eye – it’s a threat to a community of strangers

There was no intent and no purpose to this – I don’t understand how someone could be so empty inside that they would do one better than the selfless act of suicide, massacre

They say he’s mentally ill – I’d have to agree

They say the justice system tends to treat these people with the insanity plea to live a life in prison – those are my tax dollars

He wants to claim insanity?…- he was a PhD candidate…that’s called a serial killer

The mayor says “talk to your kids” – that clearly hasn’t been working

They mayor says “this is an isolated incident” – yes but it just sent shock waves through an entire nation

This happened 15 minutes from columbine – columbine was a similar incident just a different location

They said “talk to your kids” then too – it clearly hasn’t had a direct effect

More than how saddened I am for the victims and their families, more than how saddened I am for this mans parents, more than how saddened I am that this has created fear in a community that doesn’t need it, and more than sitting your children down tonight to talk to them and explain this incident…I think it’s about time we listen.

We can talk to our kids, parents, family, and friends until we are blue in the face – we can profile and stereotype this evil man and beg the question of “why” – why did he do this? all day long but what we have been ignoring for quite sometime more than “talking to your kids”…is listening to them. Below is the perfect example of why – a mother knows, she has that instinct she knows her son and his intelligence what he is capable of and unaware if the suspect is him she says “you’ve got the right person”…It’s time we listen – because we are a troubled nation that is constantly talked to (ie political ads) not talked with – it’s not always about asking the right question, it’s sometimes more important to ask A question.
More than listening to our kids – hug them, hug your parents, your friends, and everyone you love – no one should have to experience the pain Aurora CO will be feeling for quite some time, no one should lose someone for no reason. For all friends, family and loved ones of my own – I don’t say it enough and although today I wasn’t directly effected by something that happened in a nearby community it’s the wake up call we all need. You mean the world to me and I appreciate every single one of you; the character qualities, and personality traits you bring to our friendship – the kind caring manner in which you give your friendship and love to me doesn’t go a day unnoticed – I wish I could say it everyday, but know that on this specific day; you mean the world to me and I couldn’t live without you – don’t ever go anywhere I can’t get to you, because I love you that much.

My Prayers and condolences go to the friends, families and loved ones of the victims – may there come a time when you can find peace in your life and love in your heart again.

Excerpted from the Huffington Post: 

A San Diego, Calif., woman who identified herself as Holmes’ mother told ABC Newsshe had not yet been contacted by authorities. She said she was unaware of the shooting and expressed concern that her son may have been involved.

“You have the right person,” she said, apparently speaking on instinct and not second-guessing her son would be involved. “I need to call the police … I need to fly out to Colorado.”