It has been a while!
I have excuses. So many excuses to offer you for my failure to post.
However, since none of these (really, very good) excuses are actually very interesting, let’s just skip ahead to the part where we’re back in the swing of things. It will be like Monday night’s dinner:
Usually, I cook something, Leo rejects it, and I give Leo a bowl of cereal. Since it was just the two of us eating at home last night, I skipped steps one and two (cooking and rejection) and went right to step three (cereal for dinner). Leo still didn’t eat very much, but we saved a lot of time and effort. I’m calling it a win.
So. Mike and I took a trip to Chicago over the weekend. I attended Why Christian 2016; Mike explored the city and enjoyed Quiet Alone Time; and we went to opening night of Das Rheingold at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. It was an incredible few days of learning, listening, worshiping, reflecting, and just being together. We had whole conversations where no small child interrupted us. We ate in restaurants without children’s menus and we got to eat our food while it was hot and drink our drinks before the ice melted. You get the idea.
There are many standout moments from the weekend. Here is one: Continue reading
“What’s your love language?” my friend asked.
She didn’t bat her eyelashes at me when she asked, even though it sounds like that kind of question. In fact, it’s a question in the same realm as “What’s your Myers-Briggs type?” (Pro Tip: ENFP every dang time, obviously.) We were talking about Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages. It’s a little bit cheesy and a little bit gimmicky, but it’s a book I’ve found helpful in working with engaged couples and in thinking about my own relationships.
Chapman’s premise is that there are five main “love languages”–five ways that people give and receive love–and the way to sustain a relationship is to know both your own primary love language and the primary love language of your partner. (There’s a whole library of these books, of course–the principles can strengthen relationships with friends, children, pretty much anybody.)
The five “languages” are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, Physical Touch, and . . . . Continue reading
Did I ever tell you about the time I got kicked out of class?
It was a Spanish language intensive in Oaxaca, Mexico, where I spent the first semester of my senior year. Something was funny–I don’t remember what–and my classmate and I locked eyes and started to laugh. Since we were in class, and our teacher was kind of strict, we immediately looked away and tried to pull ourselves together.
Whatever it was, I know it wasn’t that funny, but we could. Not. Stop. We laughed uncontrollably, and when our teacher sent us out of the room to compose ourselves we laughed even harder. It probably took us ten minutes to calm down. A classic case of church giggles.
I mention this because a similar thing happened at Saturday’s wedding. Continue reading
Before Mike and I got married, we worried about money. (Pro Tip: Now that Mike and I are married, we still worry about money sometimes.)
I wasn’t too far removed from my Lutheran Volunteer Corps year, so I had some experience living on a small budget. “We can do waffles or pancakes and canned peaches for dinner!” I declared, recalling an easy, frugal meal from LVC.
When I turned ten, my mother took me out for a Ladies’ Lunch. It was Very Special and Very Fancy. (Pro Tip: Capitalization Makes It So.) It may also have been at the mall, but give me a break: I was only ten.
The big deal about ten, of course, was simply this: Double Digits.
Today, Mike and I have reached the Double Digits of being married. I am thrilled to celebrate this milestone, while also a little stunned that we are already here. In honor of this Double Digit anniversary, we are enjoying two nights at the Konsbruck Hotel in nearby St. Peter. We are small town folks with small kids (and a small budget), so this feels Very Special and Very Fancy to us.
I don’t know if I can better express my love and appreciation for Mike than I did in this Very Romantic post about puke. And I’m sure I don’t have better advice for a happy marriage than Jane’s mom’s mom.
But, as a bishop once said at a forum I attended in seminary, “Everything has been said but not everyone has said it.” (Pro Tip: That was one self-aware bishop. Although, he did go on to say more or less what others had already said.)
In that spirit, here are ten things I’ve gained in my ten years of being married: Continue reading
Here’s one I meant to post before sister Claire’s wedding, but . . . I forgot. So, now that the honeymoon’s over and Claire and Doug are back in Chicago, here is the marriage advice I clipped out of Jane magazine (remember Jane? remember when it was awesome?) in the spring of 2001.
It’s by Jane’s mom’s mom, “who’s talking from 68 years of marital experience, so take it from her”:
1. You are both in love.
2. You respect one another.
3. You agree on whether and when to have children.
4. You agree on how to manage your finances.
5. You listen to one another whether you agree or disagree. If you disagree, think how important the issue will be a year hence.
6. You each should have a major interest outside of the marriage, such as a job, a hobby, volunteering, or one of the arts.
7. You laugh at the same things.
8. You are ready to share each other’s joys and disappointments.
9. Don’t marry with the thought that you can easily divorce if you disagree.
10. A long, happy marriage needs lots of work from both.
Good advice, right? I think some of these tips are good for friendships and other relationships, too.
What would you add? What’s the best or worst advice you’ve gotten (or given) about marriage?
Two things I love: Halloween and the public domain photos on Flickr.
Put them together, and what do you get? Bippity, boppity, BOO:
If I were a different sort of person, I would totally send this card to all my unmarried friends. (Halloween Greeting, ladies!)
Instead, I will use my powers for good. Did you know, friends, that on Halloween night you can see your future husband’s face in the mirror? All you do is this:
Retire into a dark room with a lighted candle. Place the candle in front of a mirror and gaze into the glass. At the same time, you must be eating an apple or combing your hair. After a few moments it is said that the face of your future husband will appear over your shoulder. (NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART)
So, single ladies and gentlemen, that’s your Halloween activity all lined up.
Coupled ladies and gentlemen, please return to pondering whether a couples’ costume is adorable or not.
Enjoy the other postcards in the series, then tell us your spookiest mirror story!