Tag Archives: marriage

Bless Us

Such a cliche, maybe, but when I’m feeling lost, poems help me find my way.  Often it’s the same ones that I go back to, reliable old friends that remind me what matters.  Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver, Langston Hughes, e.e. cummings, Maya Angelou, Wendell Berry.

Sometimes I find new ones and they immediately become old friends.  I know they’ll make the permanent rotation as soon as I read them.  This is my new favorite:

It sums up my entire marriage.  Matt and I, planners through and through, but so terrible at taking things slowly and deliberately when it comes right down to it. 

Bless us.

Spring Tease

It was almost 60 degrees here Sunday and the respite from the damp and windy cold of an English winter was most welcome.

Matt and I have taken to going on walks on the weekends, although unlike our British neighbors who trek out rain or shine, we mostly stick with shine.  Cold we can bear, but Americans don’t embrace the rain the way the Brits do.

Yesterday, though.  So good.

We figure out a lot of our plans for the future while we’re walking.  Lots of parenting discussions and chats about selling our house and where we want to live when we move back to America in the summer and where we still want to travel before we leave Europe.  Long term plans about work and retirement and bucket list dreams get sorted out on these long walks.

This little church is just over two miles from our house.  We walk there and then turn around most days, although sometimes we keep going. 

It’s enough to get to walk and talk without distractions and phones and kids and chores, but when you get to do it on a sunny warm day at the end of January when the air smells like spring might actually be on the way, it’s just that much better.

(Spring is NOT on the way in England, but it’s nice to pretend for an afternoon.  It’s back to freezing today.)

This is Fourteen

This is fourteen years: you wake up in the morning, get breakfast, empty the dishwasher, help get the kids ready for the day, open Facebook and see that it says “Happy Anniversary”, double check the date on the calendar, and realize that it IS, in fact, the 14th anniversary of the day you got married. 

And you both laugh.  You say, I remembered it was coming a few days ago, but then it slipped my mind again.  He says, same.

Fourteen years is multiple daily phone calls verifying who is picking up which children, when, from where.  Discussions about what to cook for dinner and coordinating youth sporting events.  Conversations about mortgage rates and retirement accounts, the pros and cons of specific healthcare plans.  Then laughing at yourselves over how exciting your life has become. 

Fourteen years is buying each other the exact same gift for an anniversary present.  Cause you know each other so well, cause you love so many of the same things.  Except it’s tickets to a show and you can’t return one set of tickets.

Fourteen years is him playing a video game while you shop for Christmas gifts online on your anniversary night.

Fourteen years is all that not mattering because regardless of the date, you’re a team in all ways and in all things, every day, all day and no matter what you’re doing, you’re happy to be together. 

Fourteen years is when the other person is as familiar to you as your own self, but still the person you’re most excited to see and talk to every day about anything.  Even mortgage rates.

Fourteen years is still holding hands when you walk anywhere together and your kids telling you how weird you are and getting grossed out when you give each other a kiss.

Fourteen years is better than I ever imagined.  Thank you, babe. 

Happy Anniversary.

(Yesterday. But I didn’t have time to write this then.  But that’s okay, because this is fourteen years.)


Love is Lunch

On Thursday mornings, I have a riding lesson that runs until about 11:30AM.  That day, there’s an amazing food truck making delicious Thai food on the base where Matt works.  But because of my lesson, I can’t get there early enough to order lunch for myself before the line gets so long, it’s dinner time before lunch is ready.  So Matt goes early, orders his food, and orders a meal for me to pick up on my way home from riding.  It’s just a little gesture, but every Thursday I’m grateful for a delicious, hot lunch after a few hours of hard work at the stable.

I read this blog post the other day about a book called Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by author Amy Rosenthal (who also wrote the viral NYT article You May Want to Marry my Husband, and who passed away last week from ovarian cancer).  I wouldn’t recommend reading the article without tissues nearby.

I haven’t read the book yet, but I plan to now.  This excerpt, though, stopped me in my tracks:


Under “L”

LOVE – If you really love someone, you want to know what they ate for lunch or dinner without you. Hi, sweetie, how was your day, what did you have for lunch? Or if your mate was out of town on business: How was your trip, did the meeting go well, what did you do for dinner? Jason will stumble home in the wee hours from a bachelor party, and as he crawls into bed I’ll pry myself from sleep long enough to mumble, how was the party, how was the restaurant beforehand? The meal that has no bearing on the relationship appears to be breakfast. I can love you and not know that when you were in Cincinnati last Wednesday you had yogurt and a bagel.


When Matt and I first started dating and were living in California, he went home to Maryland for a few weeks over the summer.  We had literally only been together maybe a month.  We talked on the phone just about every day while he was gone.  Later, when I met his mom, Karen told me that she knew I was important because she heard Matt ask me on the phone what I’d had for lunch.  Who would even think to ask that of someone if they didn’t care about every little thing they did?  That was when she knew I was different than past girlfriends.  Less than a month after he got back from that Maryland trip, Matt proposed to me.  Right after we went out to lunch.

When you love someone, the little details matter to you.  Lunch matters to you.  On Thursdays, when Matt orders for me from the food truck, he doesn’t call me first to see what I want (I wouldn’t be able to answer anyway, because I’m sitting on the back of a horse).  He looks at the menu for the day and picks the thing he knows I’d pick.  He’s never gotten it wrong, not even once; I always check the menu when I pick up my food just to see. 

My riding instructor told me she thinks Matt is the perfect husband.  He’s not perfect! I insisted, laughing at the thought.  And he’s not.  But Lord knows I’m not the perfect wife (Matt just did a silent snort-laugh if he’s reading this).  And at least he knows what I want for lunch, so I think he is, in fact, perfect for me.

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