Category Archives: Marriage

Just let it go

From Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird”, “Sometimes this human stuff is slimy and pathetic – jealousy especially so – but better to feel it and talk about it and walk through it then to spend a lifetime being silently poisoned.”

This excerpt from the book really resonated with me, and I’ll tell you why. It’s not about jealousy really, but the slimy and pathetic stuff. This is personal, so bear with me. It’s kind of like ripping off a band-aid to find your wound is still all oozy and gross.

I am a sort of passive-aggressive person. I tend to walk around with my issues held close to my chest, with a smile on my face so nobody will know anything is bothering me. The problem comes when the issues start festering, and it’s hard to contain the angst. It starts spilling out here and there, like when you’re eating popcorn and you think you’re getting it all in your mouth only to find out later you have some stuck in your cowlneck sweater (not that that’s ever happened to me, *wink wink*). No, you can’t hide or ignore your issues. Especially with your family. They live with you, they know you best. They know something’s up.

So lately I’ve been walking around with this resentment in my heart. Ugly, nasty resentment aimed indirectly at my dear, loving, hardworking husband. And it seeps out in nasty ways when tensions are high, or the kids are being more challenging than usual. I just get grumpy and mean and downright nasty. So at church last Sunday I had some extra time to sit and really pray about this. I told God what I was feeling, as if He didn’t already know, and asked Him to help me let it go. I seriously struggle with the letting go. I asked a couple friends to also pray that God would help me let go of this ugliness I was clinging to.

I left church that morning still feeling rather conflicted and icky but I had hope that God would come through on my request, eventually. I had no idea how quickly He would answer my prayer! I went to a baby shower that afternoon and had a conversation with a woman I had not seen in years, and while we talked she was expressing some of the same things my husband has and yet I wasn’t judging her for it the way I had with my husband. The realization came fast and clear, and that’s when something opened up in my heart and I felt like the Grinch when his heart grew bigger. I went home that evening and confessed to my husband why I had been such a grump lately and why I had been so cold towards him on so many occasions. I told him I knew how hard he worked to be the best dad and husband he could be, and that I appreciated it and I was working at becoming more grateful. Guess what? He didn’t look at me with contempt and tell me I could sleep on the couch from now on. Nope. He looked at me with a look of understanding and love and he reached out to hold my hand. Because that’s what marriage is. For better or worse, always.

So, my friends, I share this because I want to encourage you to be brave enough to be humble and gracious, and don’t make friends with your grudges. Call them out for what they are: ugly pieces of garbage. Just let them go. And if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, let Him handle it. It’s kind of His specialty.

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20th Anniversary Trip

Today is our official anniversary! I woke up this morning and Mike said to me “you know what today is?” And I kid you not, I said “uuum, Wednesday?” Because I legitimately drew a blank when it came to the day. We celebrated last weekend so in my mind, I had already moved on.

So just a little about our trip. We went to Traverse City because that’s where we honeymooned. Twenty years ago we stayed in what was then my grandpa’s future retirement home on Old Mission Peninsula. He and my grandma built the house intending to retire there some day, but my grandma passed away from breast cancer before they could realize their dream. Grandpa since sold the property, and the new owners tore down the house and built something bigger and more extravagant. (They kept the garage though!) We were able to snap a selfie with the house in the background, but we didn’t dare step too far onto the property for fear they would see us and think we were a couple of creepers. (I don’t know what a creeper is, I’m just making that a term.)

Revisiting the site of our honeymoon, 20 years later.

I mentioned that my grandma passed away from breast cancer. She was someone very special to all of us, and I miss her dearly. We had a special connection, but I feel like she had a bit of a special connection with all of us in the family. She had a magical way of making you feel like you were the most important person in the room. She truly loved her family, and gave her heart and soul to each of us, every second she had the opportunity. I was in high school when she passed away and I always wished she could have met Mike. I feel like they would have gotten along well. He would have loved her spunk. Anyway, so I was able to visit her grave stone, and kind of say a little hello and let her know I still miss her. It’s kind of sad but kind of sweet that she and grandpa will be together again – “retired” – on the peninsula. Sort of like they planned, but not really. 

The entire weekend was very relaxing. We are a no frills kind of couple. Not much for romance. We just enjoy each other’s company and I suppose that’s how we’ve lasted this long. It was extremely refreshing to be able to have an entire weekend together, just the two of us. We ate good food, we saw beautiful sights, we took seriously solid naps, and we caught a beautiful sunrise over the West Bay. It was better than I could have hoped for, and I hope we don’t wait another 20 years to take another trip together.

Just goofing off at the playground like a couple of kids

Mike, I love you. You make me laugh, you make me cry, you make me stronger. These last 20 years have been quite a ride, but I wouldn’t have wanted to spend them with anyone else. You are my perfect partner in life, and I look forward to the next 20 years.

Sunrise over the West Bay. Traverse City, MI

Exciting news! (for grown ups maybe)

>>We paid off our truck! We had been throwing extra money at it when we could and finally with our tax refund and some extra commissions from the hubby we were able to make it happen. We are really hoping that will be the last of car payments forever. Now we are using that money we were spending on payments to save for the next vehicle. Meh. It was actually more exciting in the days leading up to it than after. It very quickly lost it’s luster, but I’m sure I’ll be giddy when it comes time for what would have been the next payment, and instead of sending it to the bank, we’re just gonna tuck it away in its own little savings account.

>>We updated our wills AND got them signed and notarized! I had them printed off a couple weeks ago and they just needed the notarized signatures, so we stopped at the credit union on our way out of town last Friday. It feels good to have that done.

>>After 2 years of using and loving their products, I signed up to be an ItWorks! Distributor. You might hear more about this from me as I’m learning more about the products and the company. I’m not a natural salesperson and this is way out of my comfort zone, but
I’m really excited about it in a timid sort of way.

>>In two days, I will have been married for 20 whole years. Not to mention I am still crazy in love with my husband. We took a trip over the weekend and had such a great time that I can’t wait to tell you all about it. Very soon. Stay tuned!

Happy birthday to us

Today is my 40th birthday, and many of my friends and family know I’m pretty excited about it. A lot of people dread this milestone, but not me. I’m excited to join the 40s “club” and put my 30s behind me. They were quite a roller coaster. I had some babies, I went back to school and FINISHED, praise the Lord… but I was also diagnosed with MS and then later lost my hearing and vision. So, lots of ups and downs. I know I can’t count on the next decade being all ups, but I can look each day in the face and hope for the best. And I feel like I’m learning how to do that as I get older. The maturing that happens with aging is such a blessing. And that is why I’m happy to be 40.

But I also came on here to talk about my husband. It is also his birthday today, only he is one year older. It’s a neat little tidbit about us that people find just fascinating. People ask, “man, what are the odds?” Well, the answer to that is 1 in 365. Because days in a year, folks. There are only so many. And while I know mathematically that’s a correct answer, I still want to say the odds that we would fall in love and still be crazy about each other all these years later are much, much higher. It sure shoots holes in those astrology theories, that’s for sure.

Earlier I was thinking back to the day we discovered we shared a birthday. We weren’t dating, we were just out to dinner at Denny’s and were in the “getting to know you” phase. We were asking each other basic questions until he asked me when my birthday was. Here’s about how it went:

Mike: So, when’s your birthday?
Me: March 3rd.
Mike:  No, really, when’s your birthday?
Me: March 3rd. Why would I lie about that?
Mike: Seriously? Let me see your license.

I think he asked to see my ID, that part I’m fuzzy on. I know he didn’t believe me, that’s for sure. He thought I had peeked in his wallet and was playing a joke on him.

That was more than 20 years ago, and here we are, old people lol We joke that 40 is old but it’s just that, a joke. Because you’re only as old as you feel and old is such a subjective term. My prayer is just that we’ll always remember to embrace life, be present with our loved ones, and in everything look to Jesus for guidance.  Happy birthday to us! Today I’m praising God for life.

 

 

Valentine’s Surprise

As a family, we’re not very celebratory. With Valentine’s Day being kind of a Hallmark holiday, I just see it as another excuse to buy candy and throw parties at school. This year I totally flaked and didn’t plan anything for my husband or the kids, but thankfully my husband remembered. We woke up this morning to a kitchen table full of candy – he even emptied out my favorite paisley bowl and put my candy and card inside it – and a wonderfully clean kitchen. It took me a minute to catch that the mess I had left the night before was gone, but when I did my heart just melted. Thanks Mike, for being my valentine, always and forever. Wuvver!

In sickness and in health…

You know, I try really hard to be as healthy as I can. I can’t undo the damage MS has already done to my nerves, but I can do the best with what I’ve got left and the body I’ve got now. I stopped eating meat back in November. It’s gone well, so I gave up dairy last week. Right after I cheated a few days eating meat. And then I got sick with some nasty chest congestion. Ugh. The cheating was certainly not worth it.

Then today, I’m having coffee with a friend and BAM! I started having an attack of vertigo. It was so weird, y’all, I mean I have experienced dizziness but this was so much more. I mean, everything around me seemed to be literally turning. And it lasted for a good two minutes before it calmed down. The problem was that the feeling never really went entirely away, even long after my friend had left. I texted another friend to see if what I was experiencing was normal, and if I should go the urgent care or something. I was still feeling super dizzy and I was having some numbness in my left arm. But as I was texting with her I realized that yes, I probably should go. So I called my husband to come get me. My knight in shining armor dropped everything and came as quick as he could. In the meantime my friend came over to check on me and keep an eye on my kids while my husband and I were at the urgent care.

Thankfully, all my vitals and an EKG were normal. The doctor explained that it was most likely inflammation from my recent chest cold that got transferred and consequently trapped in my ear drum, and that it should clear up if I just give it time. In the meantime he gave me an anti-nausea medication to take in case the dizziness is really bothering me or making me feel unsafe. The medicine has helped tremendously.

I was just so ecstatic that I wasn’t having a heart attack and that I didn’t end up in the hospital because I have a family reunion to go to this weekend that I am SUPER STOKED about. Because I have an amazing family full of aunts and uncles and cousins and cousins-plus whom I never get to see anymore. I was so afraid that my stupid health issues were going to ruin that, so I’m just happy. Happy, happy, happy.

I did tell my husband – who knows how hard I try to be low maintenance, and loves me despite my utter failure at it – that I’m ready to get back to the “in health” part of our marriage vows. Seriously.

17 Years and counting

Today was my 17th wedding anniversary. I don’t really have much to say about the matter. My brain feels a little fried right now. But we had a really good weekend together. The kids were at Grandma’s for the weekend so it was nice to be able to relax and get some adult conversation in now and then.

I think what’s worth saying right now is that I am more in love with my husband than I was 17 years ago. Well, maybe not more, but different. Richer, fuller, a more complete love. Not so much “in love” but simply “love”. Both the feeling and the choice. A love that’s proved itself over and over. “For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.” We meant every word of our wedding vows, and if you need proof, just look at what we have been through over the years, and what we have endured – together – and you’ll see how true that is. I did a lot of reflecting and remembering this weekend, recalling memories of our early years together, and it was nice, but I wouldn’t ever consider going back. What we had 17 years ago was special, but it has evolved into something even better. It really just keeps getting better.

I am especially thankful today for my husband. He makes me laugh like no one else can, he can read my thoughts and moods (he often knows me better than I do), he calls me out on my bullshit, and above all, he has my back. I don’t know where I would be without him. Mike, if you read this far – I love you more!