It’s a Little Bit of Everything.

In the past week I’ve become one of those women I despise, the type who injects comments about her husband into each and every conversation she finds herself in. I know it’s just because he’s gone, because he turned his phone in on Wednesday and it’s been days since I’ve heard his voice, but I’m starting to annoy myself. I know I’m doing it because he’s constantly on my mind, because I think of a million things I want to share with him each day, and because I love him. I know it’s not the worst way I could be handling his absence, I know there are other more destructive things I could be doing than talking about him incessantly and injecting tidbits about his favorite flavors of frozen yogurt while out for a fro-yo snack with a girlfriend, but still. I don’t want to be one of those girls. I don’t want to be the girl who seemingly has her whole world revolve around her husband. Our worlds revolve together, not around each other’s. We’re separate individuals, separate human beings with separate identities and we are okay with out each other, but infinitely better together.

Not gonna lie. Last week was dumb and rough. Dumb because I spent a whole bunch of time in the office alone staring at Andrew’s empty desk that just so happens to sit right next to mine and then I put on sad and sappy songs and then I spent a day trying to do work while swallowing the lump I’d allowed to grow in my throat and rough because, well the crying thing. The crying thing is not something I’m good at. I used to rock it. I used to cry all the time. I’d say from the time I turned 14 to the time I turned 19, I cried almost every day. EVERY FUCKING DAY. But then, I joined the Army and somewhere between there and here I stopped being able to allow myself crying time and so when I find myself crying for any reason, even good reasons, I just get annoyed with myself. It’s dumb. And rough.

Wednesday was, like I said, the last time I talked to Andrew and I don’t know when I’ll get to talk to him again and yes, he’ll get his phone back eventually. He’s got to earn the privilege, I’m assuming, because sometimes the Army is real good at treating grown ass adults like children. But on Wednesday, when we got off the phone, the crying happened and instead of just crying because I was sad, I opened another beer and sat down and tried not to cry and then I got mad at myself for not letting myself cry and wrote, in big letters on my notepad “IT’S OKAY TO CRY.” Because it is, really.

It’s been two and a half weeks since Andrew left and I’ve surprised myself at how clean I’ve managed to keep the place. The dogs and cats are both shedding at an incredible rate but I’ve found time to vacuum just about every other day. I’m not allowing myself to let laundry pile up in bedrooms or bathrooms and the dishes almost always go right into the dishwasher. I’m still leaving water glasses half full in all rooms of the house and there’s a single laundry basket of clean clothes waiting to be folded and put away, but the place is clean enough that having friends over at a moment’s notice wouldn’t send me into a panic.

I’m eating better than I thought I would too. On Saturday I went to the grocery store and for the first time ever shopped for just me. It was easier than I thought, although I did spend an unnecessary amount of time staring at the tiny cluster of food items in my cart wondering if that’s really all I needed to get by. I’ve cooked most nights, or at least created something from mostly raw ingredients, although there was one night where dinner consisted solely of a delicious beer, some toast, and two pieces of chocolate.

When Andrew and I started falling in love with each other, we wrote notes back and forth like high schoolers. We wrote about how much we loved each other, how we couldn’t wait to start our lives together, how different parts of our day went and all the things we could never find the privacy to say to each other out loud. Sometimes I still look at the notes, reliving those first few months of falling in love and of anything in the house, besides maybe the cats and dogs and photo files, they’re the first thing I’d save if the house caught on fire.

I loved the act of putting my thoughts and feelings on paper and handing it to him and now I get to do it again. I told him, when this flight school thing first came up, that I wanted us to write letters to each other, that, at the end of it all, I wanted to have something in hand to remember it by. He sent me his address on Friday, along with a note about the graduation from the first part of his training that’s coming up in August, and this morning I sat down and wrote the first of what I hope will be many letters to him.

On Wednesday I’m going to Colorado for something I haven’t mentioned on the internet, even though the opportunity to go is through my involvement in the Toyota Women’s Influencer Network and the Clever Girls Collective. I am over the moon excited, especially since I’ve never been to Colorado. I’ll be back with more details later this week.

Cheers, Lover Bean: 4 Years of (mostly) Blissful Marriage

4 Things I’m Sure of After 4 Years of Marriage

1. I’ve got a good dude. The best dude, really. He’s the best partner in crime, the best person to embark on adventures with and he’s always got my back. He gets  me popcorn when I’m angry, rubs my back when it hurts and kisses me every day. He hasn’t had me committed yet, finds my quirks endearing and hilarious instead of bat shit crazy and laughs at my jokes. Sometimes he even puts the dishes in the dishwasher the “right” way.

2. We might be crazy. A few months ago we meowed along to a jazz song in the car on the way home from work. It wasn’t planned. We didn’t discuss it. I started meowing, he followed and we created meow jazz. It was a beautiful and moving experience that showed just how in sync we are insanity-wise.

3. It gets better. It was great before and now it’s greater. We’ve still got sparks. I still look at him and feel butterflies rise up in my gut at the realization that this dude, this great and wonderful and hilarious dude, is mine, still. With each month of our marriage that passes, I love him more. I get to know him more. He gets more opportunities to surprise and amaze me and I love him more each and every day because of it. Love that didn’t feel like it could get any greater continues to grow, day by day, month by month, year by year.

4. Nicknames are my jam. Sometimes I forget what to call Andrew. I call him “Staff Sergeant Oxxx” at work, I call him Andrew around our friends, or Rabbit around other friends, but at home he’s earned a bevy of nicknames and sometimes I forget which nickname I’m currently stuck on and will just sort of stare into space as my mind flips through a catalog of nicknames, titles and given names. It’s ridiculous and confusing but he’s learned to answer to whatever random name I blurt out.


Halloween Spectacularness, a Golden Birthday & Some Sap.

Two things:

1. Today is Halloween, which just happens to be my most favorite holiday because it involves dressing up, acting a fool and piles of candy. Usually Andrew and I host a Halloween party, but this year we passed the Golden Torch of Halloween Celebration Throwing and let some close friends of ours host. I, however, being the queen of fabulous and delicious Halloween food creation, spent no less than 10 hours slaving away on adorable food for the party, all of which was a hit.

Oreo Mummy Pops [recipe] & Peanut Butter-Rice Crispy Eye of Newt [recipe]

2. Perhaps more importantly, at least in my household, is that today, Halloween itself,  is Andrew’s birthday. And it’s not just any birthday, it’s his golden birthday. He’s 31 today, a real true, bona-fide grown ass man, and a sexy one at that. I try not to get all lovey and vomitous on here, but the thing is, I’ve got a really good dude. Like, maybe the best dude ever. It’s so good that sometimes I feel guilty for having him because I have the tendency to be a royal pain in the ass, and yet, he still puts up with my shit. So, in honor of Andrew, the dude I’ve called “husband” for almost four years and who first told me he loves me over five years ago, I give you (him, really) this:

 31 SAP-HAPPY REASONS I LOVE MY DUDE (the “holy shit!, you’re 31” edition).


1. Because he won’t let me quit any thing he knows I can succeed at and doesn’t stand for my bitching, moaning or complaining.

2. Because he’s tall enough that I can rest my head under his chin and be cocooned in his arms in the safest and warmest embrace ever known to me.

3. Because he runs with me, even though I’m slow.

4. Because he let me rescue Bitty when she was just a two-week old handful of fluff, even though he swore for years he hated cats and would never allow one in our home.

5. Because when he cooks, he cooks delicious things.

6. Because he makes me tea and popcorn when I’m sick and whimpering on the couch.

7. Because he’s got a steel trap for a brain and remembers wonderful and completely useless bits of information.

8. Because he’s level-headed enough to balance out my insanity.

9. Because his kisses are the best kisses.

10. Because he, like the cats and dogs in our house, is a world-class snuggle-buddy.

11. Because he’s almost always up for letting me attempt my latest partially ridiculous scheme to beautify our home.

12. Because he looks damn sexy in uniform.

13. Because he gets just as involved in the drama of the Real Housewives as I do when he’s forced to watch them with me.

14. Because he likes to travel just as much as I do and never backs down from a travel suggestion.

15. Because he makes me proud each and every day.

16. Because he’s 31 and in the best shape of his life.

17. Because he’s adapted well to the mostly vegetarian diet I feed him.

18. Because the dogs and cats love him more than they love me.

19. Because he humors me when I’m being ridiculous.

20. Because we once spent 4 minutes meowing along to a song together, even though there was no meowing in the actual song.

21. Because he picked me.

22. Because he laughs at my jokes.

23. Because he makes me laugh out loud each and every day.

24. Because he supports me in all that I do it, be it flying to Vegas for blogger shenanigans, or pondering grad school.

25. Because he gives me amazing back rubs.

26. Because he’s so damn cute.

27. Because adventures are best when I get to share them with him.

28. Because he’s become quite the feminist in past few years.

29. Because he’s a goddamn genius.

30. Because I still get butterflies in my stomach when I look at him.

31.Because he’s awesome.


Year 3.


You have made my life.

When we got married, we didn’t have a plan. Or jobs. Or much furniture. We didn’t know what was next, didn’t even really know what we wanted next. Getting married had been our primary focus. We knew we wanted to be together, but beyond that, we didn’t have a clue. We had no idea what was in store for us, no idea the things life would throw our way.

In retrospect, it all seems a little crazy. I flourish on plans and planning and yet, we had none of that to begin with. It came later, of course and, lucky us, life was good to us. We got jobs, a dog, better jobs, great friends and a house. Life took us on a lovely little trip of grownuppery and our first three years of marriage have been wonderfully full.

Three years of marriage is a big deal. With everything in my life usually expiring right around the three year mark, we’ve tip-toed up to this anniversary, careful not to awake whatever part of me sends out the run-for-your-life instinct. We’ve joked that come today, I’d pack my bags and head off for the next great adventure, but the reality is this: You – us, this relationship/marriage thing we’ve got going on – are the best adventure. You are what I run to, not away from. You are what grounds me, what keeps me sane, my biggest fan, the best snuggle partner, my better half and my best friend.

I want to say that I love you, but that never seems like enough. Three words aren’t enough, not really, for the way I feel about you. They don’t describe or capture the way my stomach flips with butterflies when I look at you or how my heart feels when you wrap your arms around me or how much I love holding your hand. They don’t explain the looks we give each other that convey whole paragraphs of thought and they don’t explain the overwhelming sense of thankfulness I get when I experience new things with you.

No, I love you isn’t big enough to explain the way I feel about you. Not even close. But it’s all I have.

I love the way you hold me, the way you twitch before falling asleep, the noises you make in your sleep and the way you creep over to my side of the bed. I love the rituals we’ve developed, the slight predictibleness of our nights and waking up next to you. I love planning adventures with you, the way you kiss my forehead, how we still have things to learn about each other. I love how you are with the dogs, how you are my number one fan and how intelligent and thoughtful you are. I love the clothes you wear, the jokes we have and the home we’ve made together.

I love the way you smell and the way your eyes change color. I love how well you take care of me when I’m sick and your aversion to salad making. I love our inside jokes, the nicknames we have for each other and how easygoing you are. I love how you know what I’m going to say before I say it. I love the dinners you create, the risks you convince me to take and how safe I feel when I’m with you.

I love you more than words, more than thoughts, more than anything. There aren’t enough stars in the sky or words in any language to convey it, but you, Andrew, are amazing, incredible, magnificent and more than I have ever wished for in a husband.

Happy Anniversary, babe.

You’re doing it wrong, open-mindedness & marital lessons

I’ve been thinking about my marriage a lot lately. Not anything bad, really, but just about how expectations can be different from reality and how learning how to be in a marriage, or any relationship for that matter, is a process and a learning experience.

Andrew and I don’t fight a lot. We bicker, usually because there’s some sort of missed connection going on and we’re not understanding each other, or we’re just both having bad days and opt to deal with poorly through snippy comments. For the most part though, we’re pretty fight-free.

I get irritated and annoyed when he leaves out details he’s recently learning, especially major details like a friend’s recent job departure or a recently announced pregnancy, or when I don’t get his jokes and he refuses to explain them to me in a way I can understand. He gets irritated when I don’t explain things in a man-brain friendly sort of way, or when I jump into a story without filling him on any background information.

Most of my annoyances though, and I’m sure Andrew would agree with this assessment, come from my frustration with the way he does things. It’s not the he’s crazy or does things in a backwards sort of way, it’s just that my brain seems to think that there is only one way – my way- to accomplish little, mostly insignificant household tasks.

Logically, I recognize that there are different ways to accomplish tasks. I know different people come from different backgrounds and develop different strategies for doing the dishes, folding laundry and making dinner. I know that. I get it. At least in theory.

I often use the term”open-minded” to define myself. I’m open to different cultures, different races of people, different religions, different walks of life, different sexual orientations, different ways of living life. In fact, I’m pretty fascinated by cultural differences and the diversity of the human race. But, so help me, if you don’t fold that t-shirt the right way (my way) you are WRONG to the WRONGEST degree and if you just so happen to put your keys NEXT TO the key bowl instead of ACTUALLY IN THE KEY BOWL, which you know is the WRONG way to do it, then it’s on like donkey kong, bitch.

So yeah. I guess the open-mindedness I’ve prided myself on only extends so far. Maybe on the macro level I’m open to a whole variety of things, but on the micro level – the level that designates the right way to fold the laundry, load the dishwasher and weed-whip the yard – I’m pretty closed-minded.

It’s not something I’ve ever thought about in terms of marriage, that open-mindedness was key to success, at least not with that terminology anyway. Sure, I knew there would be lessons and that we would develop ways to coexist happily but I didn’t really anticipate ever getting pissed off at the way the dishes are put in the dishwasher. I didn’t ever think I’d be the sort of person who requires the keys go in the key bowl by the front door. I expected to learn how Andrew operates, I expected to get deeper into the type of person he was and to keep learning more about him with every passing day.

It seems naive now, really, that I would think I could learn all these great lessons about Andrew without learning all these great, sometimes hard to swallow, lessons about myself too.