good behavior, haPPY, happy marriage, great marriage

love can travel

Several years ago, one morning in church, our pastor asked us to pray for a dearsenior citizen marriage bed lady we all knew.  Her husband had been scheduled for an overnight stay at the hospital for a simple procedure.  Our pastor made a point of asking for prayers for her.  You see, she and her husband had been married over 52 years and she had never once slept a night without him.

Being a well seasoned Army wife, this concept was new to me.  Army guys are not known for being home seven days a week, 30 days a month…you get it.  I most certainly didn’t enjoy it, you somehow figure it out and muddle through it.

By far a big lesson for me in the art of empathy.  I wanted to show I cared and had sincere understanding for this gal.  Who, by the way, had so many visitors and calls that very one day and evening, she laughingly told us later she was exhausted and fell into bed and slept very well.

Of course, we lifted our prayers,  chatted with her and all was well.

However, I really wanted to learn and understand empathy.  Not feel sorry for her.  I wanted to figure out how I could lend an ear or a gentle pat on the shoulder.  Maybe a simple phone call would help?

Last night a friend sent me a note.  Being married around the 16-year mark, her husband was going out-of-town for business, for the first time, EVER.  With two teenagers and several planned activities over the course of the upcoming weekend, I am sure she will do fairly well.  We promised to send messages, call & check on her and the kiddos.  We invited them to our home and for dinner.

I got the call!  This time I was ready.  I had empathy to share. With two teenagers and several planned activities over the course of the upcoming weekend, I am sure she will do fairly well.  We promised to send messages, call & check on her and the kiddos.  We invited them to our home and for dinner.

Mr. Right retired from the Army 17 years ago.  His current job takes him away on business now and then.  It is yucky and I don’t like it one bit.    Don’t get me wrong, it’s not dreadful. I don’t sit and pine for him.  Do people pine?  Do people even use that word anymore?    I do stay busy and over plan.  I  plan trips to craft, gardening, gift, quilt shops and spend oodles of time looking at everything.  I eat food that I really like.  I just miss him something awful.  I always feel at loose ends when he is gone.  I know how nice it is when girlfriends and family check in on you.  I always appreciate those folks in my life that call me and make sure I am distracted for a bit.

So to my friend who will experience something different, awkward, feels odd sleeping alone…….

We are all in your corner.  We are all sending oodles of good karma your way. 

May the weekend slip by uneventful and by Monday morning you will be exhausted from all the worry, fretting and the restless couple of nights you had.  Not to mention you two crazy kids texting, phoning & talking to each other way more than had he been in the same town!

In a rather lovely way, I’m secretly glad it is bothering you.  I am happy for you that your marriage is so strong and steady that having the love of your life not beside you is going to be tricky and feel funny.   The love affair you are having with that man of yours is beautiful to behold.  You two have built something so strong, it will most certainly withstand a two-day business trip.  distance

In this together, friend.

It is going to be okay.

 

 

 

great marriage, haPPY, happy marriage, love, Uncategorized

socks tell all

“The reason as to why we are attracted to our opposites is because they are our salvation from the burden of being ourselves.”
― Kamand Kojouri

  1.  Mr. Right likes his coffee black.   I like mine swirling with coconut cream.
  2.  He loves hot, hot peppers.  I love all pickles.
  3.  He loves running.  I love swimming.
  4.  He loves history books.  I love murder mysteries.
  5.  He uses a book mark.  I dog ear the page.
  6.  He loves Brussels Sprouts.  I love currants.
  7.  Mr. Right is most certainly a morning person.  I am not.
  8.  He loves order.  I love controlled chaos.

Wait, this picture explains more than words can…….

I present our two separate sock drawers, you guess which one is his.

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”― John Steinbeck

completely different

In this together, friends.

celebrating our differences!

haPPY, happy marriage, Uncategorized

not your grandma’s gingerbread

Nothing tickles my fancy during the holiday season like the rich, spicy smell of gingerbread.

20161213_120008_resizedNot your ordinary gingerbread.  Oh no, far, far from ordinary.

To celebrate the season, Mr. Right plans a day in Seattle.  Sometimes we enjoy the Seattle Symphony, this year was the Seattle Men’s Choir (Stupendous show, extremely talented, high quality entertainment, we enjoyed every single moment)  There is always a stop at a bakery for a treat.  Lunch or dinner out just happens to be on the day’s itinerary.  This year,  savory crepes from a local restaurant, located inside Pike Place market was the perfect lunch date.

The time finally arrived, time for the  Gingerbread “take your breath away” display. Who thought of pumpkin seeds dyed for shingles?  How did candy bananas end up being used on the moving staircase?  The use of pretzel sticks as rafters in a castle was genius.  We were amazed at each turn.  The next one, became our new “favorite”.20161213_121016_resized

Each year the Seattle Sheraton Hotel culinary team and top local architecture firms and builders’ association design, bake and delight you with a larger than life gingerbread exhibit. The event is free to the public, with donations benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Northwest Chapter.

20161213_121059_resizedThis year marks the 24th Annual Gingerbread Village with creations inspired by scenes from your favorite wizarding world. Fans of all ages will marvel at the larger than life gingerbread exhibit. Each team’s presentation will transfix you with their spellbinding culinary and design wizardry.  The theme for 2016 is the magic of Harry Potter.

The last exhibit, allows all who are brave enough, to push the button on the serpents’ head20161213_121242_resized to find out which Hogwarts house you will be sorted into.

I pushed the  button…….. I was stunned, but sort of intrigued and curious about the house I got.  Made me rub my hands together and giggle.

Enough chatter, short of standing right there, I think pictures will tell the story best.

I am waving my magic wand in hopes that the pictures will appear and delight you as much as we were delighted to visit.

Sit back and enjoy.

gifts, good marriages, grateful, gratitude, great marriage, haPPY, happy marriage, Uncategorized

for me?

I ask you….

Who’s husband leaves for work, then comes back 8 minutes later with a beautiful Iced Latte?iced-coffee

Mine does!

Have I mentioned lately, what a lucky girl I am?

ummmm, that kind of man deserves some cookies.

I will be in the kitchen, baking for sure today!

Golly, I love that man.  (no, it’s not the caffeine talking, ha)

 

grace, grandchildren, grateful, gratitude, great marriage, haPPY, happy marriage, healing, husband, Uncategorized

wake up 10

flowering-kale-arrangement

I live in the middle of gratitude, so, each morning, even before my feet touch the ground, I list off 10 things I am mighty grateful for. Some make the list daily, others change on a whim.

 

Boy Howdy,  I feel lucky & bathed in Grace to start fresh, every single day.

 

1.  Mr. Right

2.  four kids

3.  three grands20161023_152356_resized

4.  Sweet Liberty

5.  amazing, healthy, healing body

6.  cushy, lush, wonderful, bed

7.  remembering: ironing leaves between wax paperwax-paper-leaves

8.  fluffy, extra-large, soft socks

9.  morning letter waiting for me from Mr. Right

10.  coffee (duh, being honest)

 

 

 

grace, great marriage, great marriage secrets, haPPY, happy marriage, love, Uncategorized

celebrating 4 and 12

Everyone wants to celebrate engagements and weddings.

Presents, cards, wrapping paper and fancy lush bows, the overwhelming color scheme is white or silver.  If you haven’t been to a “get hitched” ceremony lately, lots of brides & grooms offer a special box of some kind to gather all the cards. Always a table dressed up fancy as the “gift table”

This is a big deal folks.  Everyone wants to get in on the celebration.  Everyone (and I am talking about 90-200 people)  want some of that goodness to rub off on them.

Fast forward say four years or even 12 years later.  How many Anniversary cards do those young couples receive?  Do their parents even send a card and gift?

Folks we are talking about thousands upon thousands of dollars for one “party”.  We are talking about folks buying new undies, new clothes, new shoes, getting hair cuts, having their nails done, renting clothes.  This is BIG, I tell ya.

Then, a mere 12 months later, maybe one or two anniversary cards.  Do the couples themselves get dressed up and celebrate?  Do they exchange cards or gifts?  Do they rip open a package of Oreos to celebrate that Oreo cake they had to have constructed for the ceremony? oreo-wedding-cake

Do we all continue to lift up the couple with encouragement and celebration? Who does Hallmark sell all those anniversary cards to exactly?  You know the really expensive cards on the top row?  Seriously, those are pricey.  Jeepers, you really have to like a couple to dish out that kind of moolah.

During some ceremonies, we as the congregation promised to lift up this couple and walk with them through good times and bad.  Are we keeping our promise?

Have you remembered to invite those couples to dinner?  Have you sent an anniversary card this year?

I am offering up a gentle reminder and suggestion.  This life is tough.  Maybe sending out cards will soften the edges and help us remember to celebrate? Maybe a card or note will gently remind other couples we are in their corner?

Lots of statistics out there that tell us how few marriages “make it”.

Somehow, as a society we expect these young couples who have not even hosted a formal dinner party for 6 with written invitations and matching place cards to throw an enormous PARTY for 200 to celebrate their union.  Somehow, we as a society expect so many youngins’ to wear the “right” clothes, say and do the right things and because they do all that, the union will work.

Mr. Right and I send anniversary cards.  We expect our kids to celebrate.  We want to show by example.  We try our best to remember and lift up couples.

(Now, we don’t go all wild and try to push our values on others.  If they choose not to celebrate or wait until next Saturday to go out to a restaurant to toast their big day, good for them.  No, we are not going to continue to jump up and down if another couple is just more quiet  & private about their joy.)

Except when it comes to our own kiddos.  They don’t get a choice whether or not we lift them up and celebrate them.  They get bathed in Grace & Goodness weather they like it or not.  

Some years we send a hand-made, time-consuming gift.  Stitched with such love and fierceness that it is mighty difficult to unwind.  We try and send silly cards to remember to have humor.  One year, we sent aluminum pie pans, foil, cookie cutters to celebrate an “aluminum” year.  One year, we gave toilet paper, paper towels and napkins.  To celebrate the “cotton” year.  haha

Always a card.  Sometimes a sweet little metal sign that simply says:

love

Being married is all sorts of wild and wonderful feelings mixed together.  Happy, tricky, goofy, funny, hard, easy breezy, lovely, weird, interesting but always, so worth it.

We want our children to know that we are in their corner.  We will lift them up and celebrate what they do and who they love. It is our calling to help our grands have parents that are so strong in their marriage, that it spills over into creating a family of strength and goodness.

Here’s to G & M as they celebrate 4 years of Marriage, today!

Here’s to D & G as they celebrate 12 years of Marriage, tomorrow! 

With Love & Congratulations,

Cheers, Mom & Dad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

grateful, haPPY, happy marriage, husband, Uncategorized

my better half

I once knew these two sisters who were in their 70’s and got along famously.  When ever they would go out to lunch, they would order a sandwich, a diet coke, an extra plate and glass. When the order arrived, they would split the sandwich and share the soda.  half-a-sandwich

I saw it so often, I just thought that is what “old people” did.

Quietly and without fanfare, it happened,  TO US.

When did this happen?  How did it happen to us?

Right smack in the middle of an ordinary life, one of us causally said, let’s share the donut. 20161009_093207_resized

Yes, I know, Mr. Right and I are in our 50’s and we have never thought of ourselves as “old people”.  

side note:   A moment yesterday, reminded me why “older folks” wear bike helmets.   …You spy your better half, looking good, handsome sunglasses, tan and healthy, biking beside you, your heart does a jig and while looking at your boyfriend,  you almost bike into a parked pick up truck?  Yikes, pay attention!  Geesh.

Oh sure, yesterday, after a very enjoyable Sunday bike ride, we decide to go out for a light supper.  Even though it was too early to eat dinner, we promise ourselves we wouldn’t tell “the kids” (read that as our adult children who tease us if we eat at 4:45 pm)

Last night IT happened.  We decided to share an appetizer, order one meal and an extra plate.  Full disclosure, the waitress was non-pulsed and much to our happy surprise, the main dish, came already divided on two separate plates, each garnished on their own.

Nothin’ to see here folks, move along.  Just two people eating  a meal.

Now, I am not sure if it is the GINORMOUS portions that restaurants seem to serve these days, or if we are just happier, sharing?  Whatever the reason, we both seem happier with our choice.

Please don’t misunderstand.  When we drive up to a coffee stand and order one 16 ounce,  iced latte with Almond milk, we are NOT sharing.

Mr. Right drinks “Joe, just plain Joe, not a fancy girl drink”.

Coffee, you just can’t share. I can’t.  I won’t.

In this together, friends.

Chat tomorrow.

butter-half-mural1