Step it up.

I recently devoured Mindy Kaling's book and LOVED IT!

I giggled more than once as I sped through it (seriously--if you are looking for a fun book that will add another celebrity to your "We Would So Be Friends" list, this is it!) but instead of making you sit through poorly-delivered comedic moments like my dear husband, I will just share with you a chapter tucked in the back of the novel that stuck out most to me.

"Married People Need to Step It Up" she asserts and talks about how some of her married friends are the most depressing people to hang out with--always talking about how much work marriage is and how hard it is to get a babysitter for date night. Basically, Kaling writes that despite the odds and despite the horrible statistics when it comes to love and marriage, she still believes in it and wants it for herself. And in so many words, married people need to stop making it look so horribly, dreadfully hard (bordering on impossible).

I'm not sure exactly why this struck me but it did. Maybe because I am coming up on the two-year mark of being a Mrs. myself (!) and probably also a lot because I remember the many years I spent standing up at various weddings for my friends and begrudgingly flying solo (note: I don't remember who it was that said at the time I "totally reminded them of that girl in 27 dresses who has a bazillion bridesmaids dresses and is always single" but for the record THAT IS A HORRIBLE THING TO SAY TO SOMEONE SO PLEASE STRIKE IT FROM YOUR VOCABULARY IMMEDIATELY!).

I only have two years to draw upon when it comes to married life and I know that is just a blip really.

But it's true that marriage gets a bad rap sometimes and while I think that it is really, extremely important for people to all understand that relationships are all different and all hard and that marriage is by no means an easy answer or some perfect moment where ta-da! life becomes all sparkly and easy-peasy...it is also really, freaking awesome.

I know without a doubt that I am a better person because I have Adam by my side and I would like to think he'd say the same about me. It isn't always fun or pretty, and there are some serious challenges that come with it. I don't deny any of that and I think to do so is really a disservice to everyone.

But it is also good. It is good in little ways--he listens as I tell him about what so-and-so said at the office today CANYOUBELIEVEIT?! and I sneakily throw away all his socks with holes in them because seriously it needs to be done. It's nice to have someone get your inside jokes and be your plus one when you have to go to that thing where you won't know anyone.

But the best is that you get to feel known. And it is also kind of the worst because when you are known, you can no longer can you hide your crap or keep the ugly from bubbling to the surface now and then. And you see their ugly bubbling to the top sometimes too. Along with the just plain annoying.

BUT (lest you think I am doing that thing where you say one thing but actually take the other side) this is all still a very good thing! Because it makes you better. And it makes you grow. And it makes you realize that you are loved just as you are (to borrow from one of my favorite movies ever).

And the best, totally bizarre part is that even when you mess up and even on days when you mess up AND he messes up and you are both quite grouchy and things are really NOT FUN and THEN you realize your milk expired again AND your parking ticket is due etc etc etc...it is a Great Mystery, my friends, but it is so very true that somehow love does prevail.

And I know that it sounds very simplistic and I know and you know that love seems to be failing all around us sometimes. And I don't know what to say about that and I won't pretend to have some quick fix or even any answer at all because I don't understand it either.

But I do know a couple things about marriage. At least what two years can teach a girl. 

So, let this be a reminder to me today, tomorrow, next year, and 33 years from now when like my parents, I get to celebrate my 35th wedding anniversary:

Be thankful. Fight for it. And step it up.


Some things:

  • I am flying solo for dinner again tonight which directly translates into ICE CREAM OUT OF THE CARTOOOOOON! And then again when Adam gets some so he WON'T SUSPECT A THING. Except that I just told him.
  • A nerdy thing I have been utilizing lately to make life easier: Dropbox. Store files "in the cloud" for FREE and access them anywhere...and also have a backup of Very Important Files. You can also share files and/or encrypt them. SO MUCH NERDINESS IN ONE SENTENCE! 
  • I am married to the Energizer Bunny. I seriously do not know how he does it. Well, coffee is a large part of that answer. But still.
  • I think mid-week holidays totally ruin my motivation. Which really just means I need to celebrate more, you know, so I get in the habit.
  • We randomly have a lot of coconut milk at home. Ideas?!


Snow cones.

I woke up this morning thinking about Theresa F. from fourth grade.

This is what I remember about her:

1. She had freckles.
2. She had very long, very straight brown hair that reached all the way down her back and swung back and forth. Sometimes she would flip it around really fast to swat off boys on the playground.
3. She was confident.
4. When we took attendance (alphabetically, by last name) in the morning, hers was the sixth name called. This may sound strange, but when you grow up attending a very small school, you remember these kinds of things. I can also tell you the five names that came before her: Jake, Drew, JoAnna, Cody, and Kory. (I was waaaay down the line forever hoping that the teacher would call "backwards alphabet" day.)
5. Mostly, I remember this: once in third (or possibly, fourth) grade, I walked home with Theresa from school and got to hang out for awhile before my mom picked me up. It was winter. Snow piled up on the ground and we sat in her upstairs bedroom discussing really important things like can you be-LIEVE that Brad picked SQUARE DANCING when it was his birthday and could choose ANYTHING at ALL to do for gym class...AND HE CHOSE SQUARE DANCING?!?!?!, etc. And we peered out her upstairs window and she said "I have an idea!" and she opened her window and the cold gushed in and she said, "Follow my lead." Then she stretched her arm out into the cold and scooped up some snow that had gathered on top of the carport outside her window. And giggling, I did the same. And she plunked her snowball into a cup and I did, too. And she rummaged in her desk and found a fistful of Pixie sticks and we sprinkled bright green and purple and orange dust onto our snow and swirled it around and ate a really weird tangy icy homemade snow cone. And it wasn't that good, to be honest, but it was fun and exciting and exactly the kind of thing that should fill up a childhood. And I wonder if I saw her today at the grocery store if she would remember me. And I wonder if she would remember our snow cones. And I wonder why of all the moments in my many years my brain chose to remind me of this one, today of all days. I think it's a delightful mystery.

p.s. Brad really did choose square dancing. I had kind of forgotten about that until now and it STILL BAFFLES ME. (!!!!!!!!)


Teeter, totter.

I am learning some things about balance lately. I am realizing that things won't ever be easier. That each season has its own challenges. That there really is no time like the present.

I am realizing that my priorities are changing. I can see that I am not who I was just a few years ago and that is okay. In fact, I am learning that it is more than okay.

I am fighting that same internal battle of perfectionism, but I am calling it out now and mercifully, finally listening to the voices around me that tell me I am doing a good job. Even if it doesn't look neat and clean. I am trying to let go more often.

I am failing sometimes. I am trying to be excited about that, because it means I am trying. This is hard for me.

I am trying to make time for what matters and make time count. I am always feeling like I haven't quite figured out how to do that. I am trying to give myself more grace.

I am giving thanks more often. Even if it's for our dumb ol' air mattress that is in the middle of my living room and TOTALLY CRAMPING MY STYLE. I am thankful for a warm place to rest my head during these cold winter days. I am thankful for a night home with my husband when I attempt "healthy cookies" (HA, HA) even when they turn out all weird and funky-textured and I throw my last bite in the trash. And though I've had more sick days this year than ever (truly, ever!) before, I am thankful for that phone call from home "just callin' to check in" because they let me whine my sorrows away and don't tell me to suck it up.

I am just dancing along, sometimes grabbing onto Adam for balance, but mostly just holding his hand.

It's a good year.


A for Effort.

There is no one better to have by your side during a crisis than my husband.

He is pretty good at celebrating also, but he is REALLY good at responding when life throws you curve balls.

Take, for example, our recent EXTREMELY UNFORTUNATE AND ILL-TIMED discovery of a sopping wet mattress due to a (surprise!!!!) ceiling leak.

I held it together for day one but on day two, and more leakage...let's just say my wits were not about me. In fact, my wits were spilling out of my ears.

Adam, so calm, so cool, so collected, says ever-so dearly, "Hey, you know, no big deal. We'll just set up the air mattress. It'll be like camping...in our living room!"

To which I sweetly responded, "THAT IS MY WORST NIGHTMAAAAAAARE."

To which he said, "Your worst nightmare would include way more animals."