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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The Bright Side Of Your Bad Days & The Right Side Of The Bed

“Hey baby?” Yeah… “What’s a vow?”

   It was such a simple question that struck me without an answer, I had a roundabout – mundane way of wording the exact definition, but nothing that would satisfy the hunger for the proper answer. I had so many notes and notions – followed by a witty anecdote I’d been conjuring up for what seemed like months, I had words and phrases and quips that matched the flow of the message but staring at it, I found myself thinking…. “What in the hell is a vow…”

              These words sweep across a page to form a lacksdaisacal sentence structure to which my feelings are attached, as simple and non appealing as my writing is a whole lot of emotion and heart felt is attached to those words – be gentle with them and be careful with them, for they could break at any moment as could my heart. Doesn’t mean Ill stop feeling, doesn’t mean I’ll stop loving.

              It had always seemed so simple, the concept a tangible thing I could squeeze so tightly words might just flow from it, but no – in this life I’ve come to find just this – a vow is a promise, more than a promise…a vow is your sacred word to whom you love and share your deepest most inner workings with.

I can’t write my words if I don’t have you, I can’t make sense of us with my words – for once in my entire life I can’t explain this anomoly I’ve always been able to write and to express through my writing what people mean, who I am, what I feel – it’s the most raw and real thing I’ve ever experienced and respected like gold – but for the first time, I have zero words, I have zero sentences, I have nothing But I have you and my heart is full – and you gave me that I have us – and it makes my smile hurt I still have me – while having a piece of you – we fill spaces we didn’t know were empty to depths we didn’t know existed For once I’m perfectly content with not having words to explain this thing – because what we feel isn’t something that should be shared with the world, people look for this kind of thing everyday; we’ve truly lucked out to stumble upon it – but kept under tight lips, a lock, and key…

   ….  considering myself a writer, writing my vows was the single most difficult thing I’ve ever done, putting the proper word with the intense emotion and feeling I have for this person seemed impossible – I was so scared that I couldn’t pick the perfect words or I wouldn’t have the proper amount of promises; it became stressful – something I poured over, cried about, then ultimately put off until the night before my wedding…I needed that pressure and stress to squeeze out, what to me seems, the most perfect words I could give this amazing man and relationship for all of time.

I choose you for life,

I promise to give you the best of myself and not to take you for granted

I promise to keep myself open to you  to share my happiness and trust you with my pain

I promise to be authentic with you, to be honest even when it is not easy

I promise to grow along with you, to be flexible as we develop individually and as a couple

I promise to be your partner, to take care of you and also depend on you

I promise to help you be your best self, to support you, encourage you, and challenge you

I promise to build a strong marriage with you, to provide a secure and loving family for our children someday

I promise to love you and be faithful in good times and in bad, completely and forever. 

You have my heart now – and you have all of it, so please be gentle with it. I always said good people deserve good things – and I truly believe that you are the reward for everything I have done right in my life thus far.

I promise to be the bright side of your bad days and the right side of the bed

I vow to you my deepest love, my fullest devotion, my tenderest care, through the pressures of the present and the uncertainties of the future, I promise to love you, to commit to you, and support you. I pledge to respect your unique talents and abilities, to lend you strength for all of your dreams. You have shown me what true love feels like and for that I Thank you. You are everything I need at this moment. I know all of my prayers have been answered and that all of my dreams have come true in you.  I know that our love has been the biggest blessing and saving grace in our lives I promise to be here from this day forward and ensure that you will never walk alone. My heart will be your shelter, and my arms will be your home, as I give you my hand to hold on this day, I give you my heart and life to keep forever. I love you. 

May 18, 2012 was the single, most amazing day of my life – I was blessed enough to have the beautiful opportunity to marry my best friend and the man of my dreams; and anyone that has had a negative thought about that I sincerely wish you the best in life and that you found the superb happiness we’ve found – the happiness that hits you so hard and so deep that you can’t stand the thought of life without that person, I’m blessed I found it and I wish all that and more for you .

We couldn’t have predicted this, guessed this, or even dreamt of this… We always say we spent eternity with all the wrong people that it only took a breath of time to realize, appreciate, and commit to the right one – without you, I’m not me – and without us this life would suddenly not feel worth creating into something more. With you my puzzle is complete and I’ve never been more content and inspired by the picture I see – on this day in this moment of time; I become your wife and you my husband – it’s a pretty powerful thing I don’t take for granted one single second, we will face challenges and thusly we will face triumphs….  

I buckle my seatbelt after I slide into the roller coaster seat next to the most amazing man I’ve ever known and gear up for the ride of our lives – for when we are on the highest highs and lowest lows I know I will be looking next to me at my best friend, love, and support system helping me and holding my hand through it all.

what better time to finish your vows than 5 hours before your wedding

Something Old

Something New

Something blue (although its black and white)

Something borrowed

A Big thank you to Sharon Hedstrom – beautiful and elegant work!

Since 2nd grade…until forever 🙂

About ready to cry

We’re sweaty….95 degrees with 100% humidity – ugh.

reading my ‘dear wife’ letter 🙂 I love a man that writes

Lovely decor – a big thank you to Peggy – Mike – and Co.

My most beautiful best friend and Maid Of Honor 🙂

My brother flew all the way from PA to walk me down the aisle 🙂 Best surprise of my god damn life. I love you brother bear

…We were struggling to get through some vows….

“It’s ok babe… you can do it”…. 🙂

“Ok I’ll go first…” Then some tears take place.

– and now he feels better and takes his turn – 🙂

I.Do.

making it official

My new Family

Me & Sissy with Brew #2 kicking around

“Untle Max, Auntie May” and Brody

My best gingie’s Love you brother bear and sister cub.

Love you guys – a big thank you!

and what says congratulations better than a shot of tequila?

so serene.

I love you for all of time

a HUGE thank you to my friend and colleague Emily Hedstrom for providing such beautiful images and assistance on our big day – there’s no one else I would trust with our images other than you and your spectacular talent. ALL IMAGES courtesy and copyright of Emily Mariposa Photography.