One of the Secrets to a Successful Marriage in Our Home

Apologize.  And make sure the same person isn’t always the one apologizing first.  You don’t have to apologize for your opinion/belief/stance as long as you believe in your heart that you are correct.  But you do have to apologize for your tone/defensiveness/nastiness that contributed to the argument and any subsequent off-topic tangent you may have dragged into the argument.  Couples are known for not staying on topic and dragging up all kinds of supposed dead and buried issues!  LOL

If you like piña coladas, and getting caught in the rain…

I just worked 5 nights straight and have the next 2 nights off.  You’d think I’d be dragging myself in the door and falling into bed.  But for some reason, when I have the next day off, I am wired when I get home.  I’m excited that I get to spend the whole next day with my guys.  And the juices were flowing with ideas for my blog during the car ride home, so I’m going to take advantage of this energy and get some things down.  However, my blog idea – in the title – is going to have to wait b/c once I came home, I found things to warm my heart so I have to talk about those first.

I expressed to the hubs last week that when I come home from work and check on B, it takes all of my willpower not to crawl into bed with him or carry him back to our bed with me.  I miss him!  And kids are always at their most precious when they are asleep.  He recently switched from the bottom bunk back to the top bunk, so I can’t even  hug or kiss his sleeping form now.  I walked into our bedroom tonight and found this:


The hubs is sleeping in B’s room and B is in our room!  All warm and angelic-looking and ripe for snuggling!  My man is so good to me.  But wait, there’s more.  I snapped this picture with the camera that sits on my nightstand.  Ever other night when I come home my 2 cats (brother and sister) are asleep, wrapped around each other in all kinds of different positions.  So I’m snapping pictures of them at night and plan to publish a Kitty Sutra book.  (Thankfully they were keeping it rated G tonight since B was in the bed.)

As hard as it was to not crawl into bed with these guys, I came downstairs to blog before I forgot my ideas.  I uploaded the pictures expecting to find just the above pic and those of the cats on the camera but found a surprise.  Pictures of the dinner I left for the boys on Valentine’s Day while I was at work.  B had specifically asked for broccoli and cheese soup, with ham, in a bread bowl for dinner.  I made a pot of soup, carved out the bread bowl (could not find anything in-between dinner roll and round loaf for a family of 8, so I went with the loaf) and left it for the hubs to assemble for dinner.  He took pictures of the finished product!  Because that’s what I do when I want to post a recipe on my blog.  The bread bowl filled with soup with 2 spoons in it in portrait mode.  Another one in landscape mode.  And another one with a plate of butter and a butter knife next to the bread bowl of soup.  *sniff, sniff*  I’m all vaclempt! Tawk amongst yaselves!  I’ll give you a topic – The Civil War was not civil nor a war.  (Any Mike Meyer fans out there?)

OK, I’ve pulled myself together and can now move on to the title of the blog…

On the way home from work Tuesday, Valentine’s Day, and tonight, I heard the song Escape (The Piña Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes.  I love that song!  My favorite line is, “Oh. It’s you.”  LOL!  It’s one of those great songs that crosses barriers.  No matter the age, color, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or gender of people in any given bar or club in this country, you play that song and everyone’s going to sing along.

When I was younger (I actually remember that song hitting the air waves when it was released) I had a completely different view of the song.  Although it was catchy and I could not help but sing along, I hated the story line.  It’s about infidelity.  And, for some reason, I never focused on her infidelity, only his.  I had the ignorant viewpoint that she must have been forced to seek comfort and attention elsewhere whereas he was just a pig, if solely for the reason that he called his partner his “old lady”.  Ugh!  I hate that description!

Well, I’m all grown up now, and fully understand what the reality of staying together with the same person for 17 years is all about.  However, neither one of us refers to the other as “my old man” or “my old lady”.  I actually waggled my pointer finger in the air while typing that last sentence.  hehehe.  Tonight this song gave me an idea for couples who may be stuck in a rut.  Both parties write a personal ad, place it in the paper (or online) and the other person has to guess which ad was written by their partner.  So that feelings are not hurt and the spirit is kept fun (instead of causing arguments) the ads (at least the 1st ones) should be somewhat easy to guess.  Start with at least 1 thing your partner will recognize as you with a few things they may not know.  They’ll find you but also learn something new about you.  I think it can be an enrichment activity that is done several times, at least 5, to get to know each other all over again.  Remind him or her what turns you on and what doesn’t.  Tell them about something new you are into or want to try.  I think it would be fun and I can’t wait to share my idea with the hubs in the morning!

Best. Husband. Ever.

My husband is all-around awesome.  He’s selfless, generous, loyal, dependable and the funniest person I know.  He gives me whatever I want, he rarely complains, never puts me down and works a harsh schedule to ensure that B spends at least half of his waking hours with his dad all week long.  He cooks, he cleans, he deals with all the throw up in the house b/c I just can’t and he is a First Aid guru.  He knows when I need a break and makes sure I get it, whether I want to admit it or not.  He’s been the “bad guy” toward my family and my boss when I wanted to, but couldn’t.  Like I said, all-around awesome.  But this past week, his 15th wedding anniversary gift to me inducted him into the Husband Hall of Fame.

In June, a friend of mine shared this blog post by The Bloggess with me.  I had never heard of The Bloggess but my friend said the post was hilarious and I had to read it.  She was right.  You should click on the link and go read it now, so you’ll understand the rest of my story.  When the hubs got home from work, I read it to him and he thought it was as funny as I did.  Since our 15th wedding anniversary was 4 months away, I told him we had to get ourselves a giant metal chicken, our own Beyoncé.  He laughed and said, “That would be something, right?”  I took it as a blow-off, but I never stopped wanting a Beyoncé.
The hubs has struggled all Summer to keep the lawn mowed (I know this sounds completely off topic, but it does play into our story, so bear with me.).  We’ve received an unusually high amount of rain that grew tall grass that didn’t dry enough between rains in order to mow it.  The front lawn of our house is a steep hill and it’s difficult to push a mower up and down it.  And we have a corded electric mower.  It’s great that it is a mulching mover so there is no bagging.  But it takes a long time to mow when you have to stop and move the cord out of the way when you finish every pass of the lawn with the mower.  The hubs wanted to get a lawn service but I did not think we could afford one.  A couple of weeks ago, the hubs decided to call a lawn company he had seen in the neighborhood.  Turns out the owner lives in the hood and his rates were much more reasonable than we thought.  Since there are not too many more mowing that need to be done this season, we decided to hire them.  After everything the hubs does for B and me, I was very happy that we could do something for him.
This past Tuesday, B and I went on a homeschool field trip to a local farm’s Fall festival.  When we got back home, I parked in the detached garage off the alley behind our house.  As I exited the garage into the back yard, I was pleasantly surprise to see that the lawn mowing crew had visited us for the 1st time.  The back yard looked great!  We walked into the house and I said to the hubs, “Did you see the lawn guys came?  Doesn’t it look great?  Happy anniversary!” I laughed at my little joke; since he is the breadwinner he actually gave himself the gift of lawn service.  The hubs said, “You should go look at the front yard; it looks even better.”  I walked to one of the front windows, looked out and said, “You’re right.  It looks great, too.”  He said, “You really can’t appreciate it through the screen.  Go outside and look.”  I thought his request was strange, but I decided to indulge him and opened the front door.  This is what I found:
Knock-knock, motherfucker

My. Very own. Beyoncé.  He wasn’t made out of rusted old oil drums.  He wasn’t five feet tall.  He wasn’t painted green, blue and pink.  But he was the most beautiful gift I’d ever received.  And guess what?  My 9 year old son painted her!  This is an original, family creation!  Here’s a close-up shot so you can appreciate B’s creativity:

This was taken on my kitchen table and that is where he lives.

I shut the door so the cats would not get out, ran to find the camera and yelled, “If someone steals Beyoncé while I’m looking for the camera, there’s going to be Hell to pay in the neighborhood!”  B leans over to the hubs and says, “Mama will be running through the neighborhood yelling, ‘WHERE’S MY CLUCKIN’ CHICKEN!'”  LOL!  After snapping pix of him at the front door, I brought him inside and could not stop looking at him and smiling.  And I’m fully up to the responsibility that comes with Beyoncé.  She will be ringing doorbells and bringing perspective to unsuspecting people in the Washington, DC area and I will keep you up to date on his escapades.

I can’t believe he actually did it; he actually got me my own Beyoncé.  I love that man!

Best.  Husband.  Ever.

"Me and Her"

The hubs and I received a small photo album as a wedding gift and it has 4×6 wedding proofs in it and some candid shots we took the weekend of our wedding. In one of the pages of the album is a poem. It looks like it has been cut out of a newspaper. I have no memory of where it came from but I love it. It says this:

Me and Her

She is compulsive.
I am impulsive.
She likes it hot.
I like it cold.
She is neat.
I’m a slob.
Andy Rooney says, “A’s marry Z’s.”
But we are different alphabets.
I push.
She pulls.
She says, “Up.”
I say, “Down.”
She is night.
I am day.
Living together is hard.
Living without her would be impossible.

Who cares about the royal wedding? I DO!

First off, I need to tell 2 quotes Ben said recently:

“Freedom and Jesus is all that you need.”

“Mom, could you please TRY to say shoot instead of shit?”

Now, onto the wedding…This post is looooong overdue but I have been crazy busy over the past few weeks. And the royal wedding haters are going to pissy to see this post b/c they don’t want to hear anything about the wedding. And I want to address those haters. As much as I wanted to see the wedding itself, I was not interested in the daily countdowns and speculation on who’s wearing what and who is or is not invited, etc. But some people do. Just like I don’t care to hear about sports news or which famous person wore a particular outfit better or the 300 days of the year that most people complain about the weather. And the great thing is we don’t HAVE to listen to, see nor read about the stuff we don’t like. And it was interesting to discover people who said, “Who cares about the royal wedding?” and “I don’t care about the royal wedding!” beforehand, actually watched some of it and commented on it. hehehe

When I was 9 years old, I got up in the middle of the night in my grandparents’ house in Vermont and watched Charles and Diana get married with my mom and my nana. I was a little girl who wanted to grow up and get married and have 13 children. I believed in fairy tales and wanted to see a prince marry his princess. Five years later, I was up in the middle of the night, again, to watch Andrew and Fergie wed. I was 14, had frizzy hair and was nervous about starting high school in a month, especially since the freshman class was 4 times as large as my eight grade class. Sarah Ferguson was completely different than Diana. She was outspoken, clumsy at times and did not have Diana’s fashion sense. I loved her! It gave hope to sometimes-clumsy, outspoken and fashion sense-deficient girls everywhere. :o)

I remember where I was, what I was doing and who I was with when coverage of Diana’s accident broke on the TV, and cried at the announcement of her death. I was so sad that she died as she was finally gaining some personal happiness. And sad for those boys left behind. It was exciting to see happiness in the family last month.

I watched ABC’s coverage and Diane Sawyer said it was estimated that 1/3 of the world was watching the wedding. Regardless of what is on TV, that many people, around the WORLD, watching the same thing is impressive. Barbara Walters and I had something in common – this was the 3rd royal wedding we have both “covered” ;o) and I agreed with her – wake up the kids and have them enjoy this with you. I think it was awesome that London turned a park into a free campsite for wedding watchers. Not something I would expect from the English. But it is wonderful that they got how important this wedding was to people everywhere. We all needed to see a happy occasion, to get some hope and escape from our own realities for a bit, just like going to the movies b/c you need to see a happy ending. I though the quote from Winston Churchill in regards to the queen’s wedding in 1947 was very relavent now, too: “This joyous event is a splash of color on the hard road we have to travel.” And who doesn’t like weddings? A chance to dress up and party with free food! And cake!

The guests were so close to each other filing in, I am sure plenty of them got wacked with hats repeatedly and some of the hats must have prevented guests behind them from seeing.

I loved that both William and Kate were excitedly nervous. When the 2nd officiant came out, the one with the big hat and the white beard, I heard in my head, “Mawwidge. Mawwidge is what bwings us togeddar, today.”

I loved the roaring cheers of the people outside watching the jumbotrons! And the sea of people going down the road to the palace behind the procession to watch the balcony scene was unreal.

It was fascinating how William and Kate mirror each other and William really does have so many mannerisms of his mother.

They showed footage of previous royal couples on the famous balcony. In 1973, Princess Anne looked like Princess Leia from Star Wars. The same dress and hair! Google it!

The kiss. I didn’t think it was the big deal that the press made of it. I get that they kissed twice, which had not been done before. But it was sterile, and I was hoping for more feeling. I think William should have taken Kate in his arms for the kiss, or they at least should have turned towards each other instead of just the turned heads. That would have put some feeling into their simple kiss.

I don’t think either one of them slept much the night before the wedding. Both of them appeared to be spacing out and even trying to keep their eyelids open during the sermon. Poor things.

I think Kate’s dress could have been better or more modern, but I think she did the best she could within the required parameters. She and Pippa looked beautiful!

Life’s Questions

One of my favorite benefits of homeschooling is that B is able to ask all the questions he wants as he thinks of them. We’ve had a lot of rain and sunshine come and go throughout recent days and I told B to look out for rainbows. He asked, “Why do rainbows appear? I mean, I know HOW they happen; but WHY do they show up?” That was a great question that led to a science discussion as well as a Biblical one (God’s promise to Noah).

Divorce is becoming more prevalent in B’s life because of friends and family. A couple of weeks ago he asked the hubs if we were going to break up. Breaks my heart he is aware of the issue and worries about it, but thankful he comes to us with his questions and concerns, instead of continuing to worry about it.

I was watching the show “The Fabulous Beekman Boys” the other day. Josh and Brett were in NC on business and Josh wanted to stop and see Brett’s family. Brett said no b/c his family does not accept Josh. B and I had a discussion on why Brett’s family would not be happy for Brett and why they do not accept Brett for who he is nor Josh. That night was the hubs’ turn to put down B and evidently B brought the subject up again with the hubs. My son mulls things over for a while and then comes back with more questions. Once again, so blessed that B feels comfortable talking to both of us and that both of us are made aware of what issues the other is talking about with him.

I teach 2nd grade Sunday school at my church once a month. My students informed me recently that they are taught cursive in 2nd grade. Ooops, haven’t been teaching that at home. Oh, well, something to add to the list.

B’s asthma flared up in February and he had to be put back on a sterroid daily. >:o( I have not given him sterroids in a couple of years b/c he had some roid rages when he was younger and attacked me. My only complaint with the insurance plan we’ve had for the last 7 yrs has been that B’s primary physician does not believe roid rages even exist, in anyone. So he would not offer me any alternatives to a sterroid. This time I sent the hubs with B to the doctor when he got sick. Although the doc still held the position regarding roid rages, he did offer a different sterroid and a lower dose. How come that option was never offered to me?!

Anywho, sterroids can make my already “sensitive” boy more “intense” emotionally. I.e., crying more often over little things, his Irish temper flares more frequently and he is frustrated more often. Two other side effects, though, is that he is eating more and he is cold all the time. The thing I love about kids, including mine, is that they are born with the instinct to eat only when their bodies’ NEED food and they listen to their bodies when they are full. I wish I was still like that…Anywho…the sterroid “provides” extra, nervous energy and increases his appetite. Luckily, the 2 cancel each other out, so there is no weight gain; just strategizing on mom & dad’s part to funnel the energy into things that don’t annoy the heck out of us! ;o) He is old enough now that he is aware of what is going on in his body and is taking control of his reactions instead of just letting his body take over. It is amazing the maturity and changes in him this year!

B has been showering himself completely without any help from us (not even to adjust the water temp or dry off), he now does his own laundry and finally goes in the basement alone to play. He wants to take on so much and be more independent that we are ready for. I came downstairs to find him heating something up in the microwave one day. Although he was smart enough not to overcook it (he only put it on for 9 seconds), he needs to ask me 1st, so I can tell him what to do and watch a time or 2 to make sure he’s got it. He also pulled a santoku knife out of my knife block last week b/c he wanted to cut up some fruit for himself. It’s hard for the hubs and I to switch gears so fast with B’s new independence.

We had a Couples’ Pampered Chef party last month. We did not have a big turnout, but I completely get that. If you are going to hire a babysitter to go out, chances are you want to be alone with your spouse. But I have a small house and an even smaller kitchen, so the turn out we had allowed all the husbands to participate in the cooking with the PC consultant. Us wives just sat back, learned all about the new tools and went through the new cookbooks. :o) We had such a great time together, we’re entertaining the idea of a cooking club. Not a dinner club, where each family is responsible for a course, but a cooking club, where we all bring the ingredients for an assigned course and cook it together. It would be nice to start something like that with the warmer weather here. We’ll see what happens!

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