Category Archives: Wedding Planning

Happy Third Anniversary, MQD!

I got lucky.  I met a super boy that became a wonderful man and we got married.  And then I got really lucky and all that worrying I did about being able to get pregnant turned out to be for nothing and we made a honeymoon baby.

So, wedding anniversaries tend to disappear in a mess of kids and baby and soccer practice and mother’s day and my birthday is next week, anyway.

But lately I have been thinking about how important it is to stop and take a breather and honor the marriage that the rest of my life hinges around.  We’ve got a good thing.  So, it seems easy.  But a marriage needs to be fed. Nobody likes a hungry marriage.

Sunday afternoon, after my race, I asked MQD if he wanted to go out and grab a pitcher and some burgers at The Wooden Nickel and call it our Anniversary Dinner.

20140501-085443.jpgAs evidenced by the sippy cup behind the pitcher, we had company.  But she came home from our honeymoon with us, after all.  It didn’t bother me to have her tag along on our Anniversary Dinner.  We laughed and talked and we fed our marriage. 20140501-085456.jpg


Nobody left hungry. Cheeseburger plus fried egg plus tater tots plus beers equals a happy marriage, FYI.

We’d planned on eating dinner at home last night.  I would pick up cupcakes from Sugarland (they did our wedding cupcakes!) and MQD would grab sushi from a local place and we’d lay low.  And then I got lucky again.  The stars and the soccer and softball schedules aligned and my kids were invited to eat dinner with my nearest and dearest and her family.  With the kids out of the picture I had to amp up the Wedding Anniversary Shenanigans. Quickly.

Wedding Anniversary

Wedding Dress plus Apron equals a sweet surprise.  MQD called to let me know he’d picked up dinner and asked what I was up to.  “Just playing with the kids and waiting for my husband like a pretty princess.”  MQDHe thought I was kidding.

“When are you not just hanging around like a pretty princess?” I had mentioned wearing my wedding dress all day for our anniversary but evidently he didn’t think I would bother. He got out of his car and we met him on the porch as we often do, only I was a wee bit more glam than normal.  I opted to switch up my greeting from my typical still sweaty in gym clothes “Dinner is almost ready, I am taking a shower” and went with a “You have ten minutes to change your clothes, kids are having dinner across the street.  We are going out for a drink, home to eat cupcakes and we can have sushi after the kids go to bed?”


Three years and counting and he still rolls right along with my nonsense.

From our wedding vows (and Tom Robbins’ Still Life with Woodpecker)

“Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words “make” and “stay” become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.”


Thank you, nice lady, for taking our picture in front of Mystery Brewing Company! And double thank you to the nut that asked us if we were going to prom when we ran into the store to grab beers on the way home.


Kickstart My Heart

I have a tendency to yammer on a bit.  I know this is a shocking reveal.  I will give you a second to pull your jaw up off the floor.

This morning I was delivering a lengthy commentary on the level of my satisfaction with my marriage to MQD.  He was leaning against the counter, smiling.  He was listening.  Naturally, I felt encouraged and kept talking.

“I’ve been thinking maybe this wasn’t a big mistake,” he said with his signature smirk.

Just when I start to make peace with the fact that I am definitely the funniest, he slays me.

For nearly four years I have had a single favorite picture of this fellow I am proud to call my husband.


It really captures the joie de vivre of our early courtship.

Last night we were at the local elementary school for some rocking good Friday night fun when I said “Oh!  Let me get your picture by that sign!” and shockingly, he agreed.

It might be my new favorite picture.  It captures the essence of the change that has taken place.  I have lamented here before that my 25 year-old boy became a 30 year-old man.  But if I am honest with myself, I am partly to blame and perhaps even to credit.  Because he really has been building his character, one cougar at a time.


 I love you, MQD.  I hope I am your cougar for a long, long time.  As you turned up the radio this morning and shook your ass I had to laugh.  “This is a wedding song!” you said.

“Perhaps not for everyone.  But yep.  It is one of ours.”

You do.  You kickstart my heart every morning.

Happy Anniversary, MQD

At the beginning of a fairy tale you might not even have met the prince yet.  If you’ve met him you definitely haven’t seen him slay a dragon.  He hasn’t slipped a glass slipper on the princess yet.  He hasn’t spun the princess around the dance floor. It is just the beginning.

Two hours after I met MQD I knew that he was funny.  Two days after I met him I knew that he was kind.  Two weeks after I met him I knew that I was smitten.  Two months in – I was head over heels in love.  And now we have been married for two years.

And it is still the beginning.  No dragons have been slain.  We haven’t danced at the ball.  Our story is still unfolding.  I love him more than I did yesterday.  I will love him even more tomorrow.  When the dragons come I will love him still more and we will face them together, hand in hand.

I love you


Someday, after the dragons have come and gone, when the glass slippers have lost their lustre, we will dance in the kitchen in the quiet for hours and it will be more grand than any ball.  In the meantime, we will sneak a quick kiss when we can, we will have a dance and let the dishes sit, we will raise our children in a home filled with laughter and love and kindness and joy and we will be grateful.  Because fairy tales don’t always come true.  But sometimes, sometimes they do.  And it is only the beginning.  Happy Anniversary, MQD.  I love you more every day.  My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.



4 years & 40 weeks

I love you so much I can’t stand it. I even love it when you look at me like “Damn, you love me so much I can’t stand it.” xo

On our anniversary I write MQD a list of things I love about him. Well, I usually do.

I can picture the look on MQD’s face and the face he will make this year. He will read my post and say “I don’t get a list this year? Four years and you are out of things to say?”

Depending upon my state of mind I might laugh and say “Nope, I only love 1,018 things about you. That’s it. 365 things for the first first two years and 288 things last year. I shorted you 77 things last year.” Or maybe I will get all misty eyed and say “Are you kidding? Did you even read what I wrote?” and he will hug me in the kitchen and do that thing where he sways his hips but doesn’t move his feet with his arms around my waist. I believe he thinks it is dancing.

On October 27, 2008 I went on my very last first date. A few days after that we went to a Halloween party and we danced (with feet moving, slow dancing in the kitchen is its own private art form.) Four years ago.

On our first anniversary I wrote him a list. 365 things I love about him. It made him cry. I was moved because he didn’t do things like that, cry. On our second anniversary I did it again. Again, he cried. The following year my list was 77 items short because I was short on time and we were moving and I was so pregnant I just couldn’t make myself stay up late to finish it the night before. He forgave me. I was carrying his child after all.

This year I had ample time to get my list started early. Every time I have sat down to write it I have come up short. In front of the keyboard weeping I can’t write a single line. When you write Reason # 1 – This Life how do you write a Reason #2.


Our first year together you gave me Hope.

Our second year together you gave me Love.

Our third year together you gave me a Family.

In our fourth year together you have given me This Life.

Today is the start of our fourth year. Our baby, our Lucy, started walking this week. And I was not at work. I was at home. I saw her first step. And her second. And her third. She sleeps in my lap for her naps. Because I have nothing but Time.

My dreams are coming true. You did this. I was so afraid to speak them, to admit that my wildest dreams were at home with my family. But I did. And you made them come true. A clever list about how you make perfect pancakes and you look adorable in a bow tie is not enough to demonstrate my love for you. Not this year.

Our relationship has shared much of the last year with Lucy. Having a baby can definitely put romance in the backseat (and not in a romantic, teenage car sex way.) It is only fitting that our anniversary is shared with Lucy, too.

A pregnancy is 40 weeks long. Today Lucy has been on the outside for 40 weeks and 1 day. She has officially been on the outside longer than she was on the inside. And I didn’t miss a minute of it. Because of you.

Four years ago we stepped inside my front door and you followed me. I spun around to kiss you and I have been dizzy ever since. You took my hand and we walked down the aisle after we were married to Tommy Roe’s Dizzy. I was dizzy that day, too.

Today. Four years after our first date and 40 weeks and 1 day after Lucy was born I am still dizzy. I think it’s Love. But I am open to the possibility that I might just be really tired. I’ll just have to check and see if I am still dizzy next year.

I love you. More every day. Hope. Love. A Family. The Life I’ve always dreamed of. I can’t imagine what you’ve got up your sleeve for year number five. Good thing you’ve got a year to think about it. Now come on over here. I’ve got a slow dance in the kitchen with your name on it.




Diamonds on the inside…

Some times when MQD and I climb in to bed and I can feel a distance between us I ask him a simple question.  “Tell me three things you love about me,” I will say, my voice cracks and I speak in to his chest because it embarrasses me to need to hear it out loud.

My asking the question sends the message “I need to feel closer to you right now, I am feeling far away, insecure, I am beating myself up over nothing.”

His answers always bring me back to what is real.  Sometimes the answers are humorous, sometimes they are sentimental, sometimes they are predictable but occasionally they take me by surprise.

“I love how sensitive you are.”  I won’t ever forget the night that was his first answer. I had always assumed that my hypersensitivity, my mid-day phone calls in tears because I “am so in love with you” or because I “am so lucky,” I thought these were things MQD tolerated, not something he loved about me.

What you see isn’t always what you get.  I don’t apologize anymore when what’s on the inside shows.   Neither should you.



The best day

While we were out to lunch on our anniversary I asked you what was the best day from the last year. Without a lot of hesitation you said it was the day after our wedding, the day we left for our honeymoon. I wore my fabulous hat from our wedding day to the airport and the white dress I had left our reception in on the plane. At least a dozen people asked us if we’d been to the royal wedding. It was high hat season.

I asked you why that was the best day and you said it was because I looked so happy. I don’t think there is a better way to explain what a sweet man you really are.

My best day was also on our honeymoon. The day before we came home was my birthday. You had a red velvet cake sent to our room.  I wore my hat and my white dress again.  We went out for sushi.  We laughed a tremendous amount that evening.  And we were headed home to our sweet girl that very next day.

Months before our wedding, before we were even engaged I tearfully told you that I wanted to have a baby before I turned 36.  I confessed that I was terribly afraid of not being able to get pregnant.  Always the problem solver you said “So we get married next Spring.”  The rest was just implied.  We would get married and have a baby.  Simple.

And so we did.

And now I am 36.  Today, in fact.  And damn if I don’t have that baby.

Our family, you guys are my best thing….



“If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t fuck ’em!”
― John Waters

We both have a lot of books.  Perhaps that explains the attraction.  I was so excited when we found the stacks of books centerpiece idea.  I couldn’t imagine getting married with stuff all over the place that was just stuff.  Or flowers. Books was a perfect solution.  I could finally picture a wedding that looked like our wedding.

Word Girl

A romantic guy he isn’t. But he communicates his feelings well.

Our texts from the hours leading up to our wedding.



Several nights ago MQD mentioned that while Emily might not actually be keeping score that he definitely was. Evidently I have not showered him with the love and appreciation he is due here on Excitement on the Side. I laughed and suggested that I write 31 posts about him in the month of May, the Baskin Robbins of Husbands, 31 flavors of Mike. Our wedding anniversary is today, April 30th, so perhaps it is an appropriate month to focus on my main squeeze, in spite of the fact that it is my month. Mother’s Day. My 36th birthday.

I enjoyed counting down the days to Christmas with our decorations. So, May…. I offer up 31 days devoted to my better half. To marital bliss. Brought to you with accompanying wedding pictures.

I’m kicking off Mike month a day early!!


More than a pretty face, he’s a snappy dresser, too

A lot has changed in the last year. Big stuff. A baby. A house. But by far the biggest change in the day to day has been Mike’s commitment to looking fine.

Note the time. We used to stay up late.

I fell in love with this boy. Perhaps you remember him. He wore camo pants and profane band tshirts. And he needed a hair cut. But he was mine. And I was crazy about him.

Was this some kind of Ridiculous Hair contest?

I really liked this guy with crazy hair and a goatee.  But holy shit, did I LOVE this guy with a fresh new haircut.

 And then sometime last spring he started wearing a shirt and tie to work everyday. His shopping for casual suits provided this super Easter gear. And Honeymoon Cruise attire galore.

Now shopping for Mike has become a hobby. He is always on the lookout for something. Bow ties. The perfect dress shirt. Saddle shoes. A belt. It is not uncommon while watching television with Mike to find him googling “casual men’s shoes” on his phone.

I was not the only girl falling for that long haired boy.

I watch more television now than I have in years. A nursing infant allows for that. Instead of getting myself sucked in to the daytime tv sinkhole I have been recording a few shows to fill the 30 minutes here and there I find myself in the rocking chair underneath a sleeping baby.

The talk show. There are more than enough to choose from. But I keep coming back to the same one.

Last week I kept seeing one sharp outfit after the next. Nothing revolutionary. Just a plaid shirt and a great sweater with corduroy elbow pads. Loosely tied tie and a really crisp white shirt, untucked with penny loafers. A cardigan sweater and khakis. The other night we were talking about the break of a man’s pant and I was saying that it is impossible to wear pants with no break without looking like you are waiting for a flood, but recently I saw it in an outfit and it was cute. Navy pant, polo shirt and saddle shoes, no socks. It worked. A glen plaid vest with a monochromatic shirt, tie and pant. Things I don’t think I’d think of wearing that come together beautifully. All classic pieces.

So, how do I bring it up? Honey, I love the look you’ve been developing. And I think I found a style icon for you. I swear, any outfit this person wore last week would have looked great on you. Give them a google, baby. It’s Ellen Degeneres.

Happy anniversary, sweetheart.  I love you more every day.  I couldn’t love you more if you were a lesbian talk show host.  











It just might be a lunatic you’re looking for…

No matter how sure I am, no matter that I know in my heart of hearts that I am doing the “right thing” there is something about having a “wedding” that is making me antsy.  It’s funny, I never felt like this when I got married before.  Although if you’d asked me to be honest, even then, if I thought we’d make it until the end of time I would have had to ask you what “make it” looks like to you.

I am so absolutely ready to marry MQD. We have grown so much together in the last two years.  Not only closer, but individually.  And I can see us continuing to challenge each other for years to come.  It is the making a decision that touches not just my life, maybe, that is making it scarier.  You don’t typically choose a parent for your child.  And I have been so lucky.  To find a boy that makes me crazy and a man that makes me sane all wrapped up in one human being.

So what is it that has me staring at the ceiling at night instead of sleeping?  Equal parts “Do I remember where I put my strapless bra?” and “Will anyone notice that my shoes are not exactly the same color as my crinoline?” and “How long do we try to get pregnant before I freak the fuck out?” I suppose.  But if I dig deep and am honest there isn’t any part of me that wonders if MQD is the “right person” for me.  But I do find it unsettling that there is no litmus test.

I never imagined I’d get married again.  And I never imagined I’d spend my days adding up numbers and arranging invoices and expenses and facts.  But what appeals to me about my job is exactly what is making me antsy about getting married.  I don’t love construction.  Or math.  But I love it when all the numbers add up.  They are right.  There is no need to argue them.  They are correct.  Period.  I love being right.

In about two weeks I will gather my friends and family and say “Hey guys! Check out this Life Plan.  I pick him.  He is “right.”  And I am “right” for him.”  But I can’t export a marriage in to Excel and double-check it.    There will be no tape from the adding machine stapled to our marriage license with my initials on it.

I have been thinking on this for a few days.  Wondering when I stopped being fearless.  Is it being a parent?  being older?  having been hurt in the past?     Have I just developed a tendency to over think things in the last decade?

And then I ran across this.  And I stopped worrying about right or wrong.

Loving the wrong person

Let our scars fall in love.
–Galway Kinnell

We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. And it isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems–the ones that make you truly who you are–that we’re ready to find a lifelong mate. Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: the right wrong person–someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, “This is the problem I want to have.”

I will find that special person who is wrong for me in just the right way.

~ Andrew Boyd

Can’t get much more wrong than this, can you?  Love you, MQD.  Thanks for putting up with me the last few weeks.