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…

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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

Skip to the ending I’d like to know

It’s funny because now recounting all the tears shed – lost nights of sleep, refusals of romance and fairytales, scoffs at happy endings, and dirty glances towards anyone judging me in the card aisle on valentines day….

I was in need of you and wanted you before I ever even knew of you. There you were right under my nose (virtually speaking) and who in the hell would know we were compatible anyways all things considered, I needed – longed – and secretly yearned for someone to prove all my dramatics and negative romance antics wrong…but he was never to be found. Anywhere I turned no white horses were coming, everyone I entertained the thought even near to compatible with, wasn’t even close, and anything I had thought was love was completely bereaved in comparison to you.

I cried at happy endings – hell I shed a tear at a few sad ones too, but I never let it show, sometimes I just forced myself to cry to get it all out behind closed doors and to prevail as a bad ass in the public eye with a leather jacket and a nose ring…I was putting on a facade even I couldn’t keep up with. I tried not to smile at life, I purposefully attempted to overlook the simplicities of joy – all in the vein attempt to prove happily ever after jargon to be wrong.

Before I met you – as I’ve always said, before I even knew you – I knew I loved you. Thank you for saving me from myself – we each needed a dose of the other and now I couldn’t even dream of another to share forever with – as we stroll together on this crazy journey fingers interlocked to stay, I smile and lean my head on your shoulder draping my arms in the most loving embrace around you knowing everything is going to be just fine – you will keep me safe, you will protect me and take care of me when I need it most, more than anything you can do – I will be right there to do it for you. To any negative thought and notion that led me to you – I thank myself for choosing to be so stubborn and vile, to forcefully see the world in such an ignorant concept because if I hadn’t – I most certainly wouldn’t have been led to you, and discovered sheer and utter happiness.

I now no longer envy happy endings in movies, avoid the card aisle like Forever 21 at the Mall of America on a Saturday afternoon, or scoff at the mere thought of a perfect ending; I can now open and read through our fairy tale without skipping to the ending, because I know…it’s a forever kind of thing.

I love you

The Road To Colorado

The wind blows a warm breeze, I think what an oxymoron a warm breeze is

The road never ends, the mountains are nowhere to be found

We keep towing along, staring at the back of the budget truck for 12+ hours

Can’t be any worse then staring at the open road ahead of you IN the budget truck though

The two girls are in the back acting like 13 year old frienemies

They finally wrestle it out and curl up into a snuggle

We turn off the recycled air for a few moments and open the windows to breathe it all in

As we enter into the beautiful state we now call home I feel for my husbands hand, my eyes not leaving the darkening scenery I’m observing out the window

He gives my hand a squeeze – one to say, I’m scared, I’m excited, We’re going to be just fine, and I love you

I love you too.

Thanks for taking this journey with me, no matter how fiercely independent I am; I couldn’t do it alone

My eyes fixate back to the budget truck in front of me and I smile

We are doing everything we set out to do 6+ months ago, while discussing this over coffee as friends…

Who knew we’d be in it together for the long haul?

….Create your own destiny – and envision all your dreams coming true – because they just might when you least expect them to.

here are some images of our “road to CO” things we made a point to do before we left, and things we happened to do and capture before we left in our own whimsical manner. Enjoy.

the best of buddies “untle Max”

“I spashed untle Max” – Brody

Photo credit: The early morning Hubby.

Sorry we don’t have the perfect window height bench for you here Kayl…we’ll get one soon enough

Prettiest eyeliner dog I know 🙂