Tag Archives: Marriage

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.

“Can’t have one without the other…”

I put my whole self out there. Sometimes.  The things that I keep to myself are not usually the things that I decide are too ugly or too embarrassing.  I have a tendency to keep inside the things that I suspect no one really wants to read about.

No one wants to hear about how head over heels in love I am.  Do you?  If your answer is “no,” go ahead and roll out. That’s all I have got today.  And a whole two weeks before Valentine’s Day, huh?


Pic from an 80’s party the first week we met. I still look at him like he is the only boy in the room.

MQD is gone for a few days.  And I miss him.  I miss him super bad.  I am trying not to dwell and mope around like a lovesick fool but it feels like the boy I like at school is out sick and I wasted a really good outfit, an outfit so good that I can’t just wear it again next week because people will remember.

It was just a week ago that I started getting up out of bed at night when Lucy was asleep.  I poke my head out of the bedroom and look for him, for this man to whom I am married and it makes me nervous.  Because I am excited to see him.  Because I have missed him in the last year.  Because he is pretty much the best.

There are a lot of things that I don’t have figured out. But I think I might have this Marriage business in the bag.   In the last week I had a slow dance in the kitchen, I fell on the floor laughing, I felt beautiful, I was challenged, I got laid,  I got to sleep in, I was proud, I was encouraged and I was loved.

And now I miss him.  I miss him, like whoa. You can’t blame me, really, can you?


As an aside – to the well-meaning security-minded folks:

I am probably not supposed to shout out to the Internet that the husband is out of town.  But I probably shouldn’t have scheduled a Freecycle person to swing by and pick up some kefir grains when MQD was gone and we were home alone either.  As I was pacing back and forth trying to decide if I should even open the door a lovely woman was leaving me a potted daffodil and a handwritten thank you note as she picked up the kefir grains I had left in a jar on my porch.

So, I am going to assume that if you plan to hunt me down while MQD is gone it is going to be to offer to drag my trash can to the end of the driveway.  Or tell me that my dinner was great.  Or follow behind me putting my carkeys on the hook or calling my phone that I have misplaced.  Because even people that live in the computer are mostly kind. And I am really needing someone to do those things for the next couple of days.  

True Love

When I first met my husband he gave me a little spring in my step.  He was hot.  He was 25.  I was a mom.  I was 32.  He liked me.  He like liked me.  It made me feel a little extra sassy.  Mama’s still got it and all that, right?

Years later the discrepancy in our ages sometimes creates the opposite effect.  I wonder if I look older when I stand next to him.  Does his under 30 skin make the spots on my face more obvious?  I am tired.  It shows.  I aged quite a bit the year after Emily was born.  It’s happening again.  Staying awake for a year can wreck you. The lines in my forehead are deep, rivaled only by the dark circles under my eyes.


This morning I took matters in to my own hands.  I took an old, old man to bed.  He has a grey beard and his feet smell like corn chips.  But he makes me feel beautiful.  He kisses like me there is no tomorrow.  His brown eyes have seen me happy.  They have seen me sad.  He loves me unconditionally.  His breath leaves a little something to be desired.  But I love him.  With everything I am.

Fish man



Fast enough so you can fly away…

Allow me to set the scene.

I was still wearing my velour sweatsuit as I sauntered past his side of the bed. Sometimes I like to amp up the funny before I bring the dead sexy. Funny goes a long way in our house.

There was a successful transfer of the baby in to the bed. She was out like a light. I woke him from the couch and he smiled. All signs pointed to Sexy Town. I had my fingers crossed and my knees, well, uncrossed. He was sitting up in bed when he asked me to grab the cord for his phone.

So, I was sauntering past the bed getting ready to bend over in my velour sweatsuit all Jessica Rabbit like when he said “You’re leaking.” I looked down at my shirt for the tell-tale spot of milk. I grabbed my chest the way only a nursing mother can. I wasn’t wet. “This?” I said, pointing at a spot on my shirt. “Nah, that’s old.”

While I was busy giving myself a breast exam he bent down and grabbed his own phone cord.

“You ruined it,” I said. “I was gonna bend down and get it for you.” I was smiling. But I might have been starting to pout. We had already turned down a street that didn’t head to SexyTown. Might as well pout.

Incredulously he smiled back at me. “I ruined it? You! Talking about your OLD stain! That ruined it!!” By now I had snuggled up against him on the side of the bed. Between the two of us we had about a foot and a half. Lucy and the dog took up all the rest of the room. And like kids we started to laugh. I kept trying to get the words “you mean this old stain?” out of my mouth in feigned breathy sexiness but I couldn’t do it through the giggles. The more I tried to stop the laughter the funnier it was.

The Internet is abuzz this week with breastfeeding pictures. Should we post them on Facebook? Should we nurse in public? Or is it a private thing? You can guess how I feel about nursing a baby in public. Feed your babies, ladies. Cover up or don’t.  Just feed your babies.  Anywhere you want, preferably before they are super mad. I find hungry, crying babies really troublesome, a little exposed boob here and there, not so much.

But I can tell you where breastfeeding doesn’t belong. It doesn’t belong in my bedroom while I am in a fast car on the road to SexyTown. Because evidently “old stains” can send that car careening towards Laughter and there is no turning that car around. (Note: you need to say “old stains” with your hands up making the “I  don’t know what all the ruckus is about” face for the full effect.)

This post is dedicated to the fools that think nursing a baby in public is disgusting and attention seeking.  I will give you disgusting and attention seeking, how about this wet tshirt contest winning picture? And to the new mothers that think they will never, ever get to SexyTown again.  You will.  I promise.  It seems like you won’t.  But keep visiting that little village called Laughter, it will carry you and your marriage right on through.

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.





I tend to make things complicated.  Overly complicated.

I woke up early this morning.  Lucy woke up early this morning.  Is 3:30 the morning?  Eventually we went back to sleep. Around 5:30.  I fear that may have been the morning nap.

On the weekends in the morning MQD and I have a date.  Sometimes on Saturday.  Sometimes on Sunday.  The kids goof around in the living room and we stay in bed for twenty minutes.  It is the sum total of our alone time for the week since Lucy has been born.  I treasure it.

This morning it was raining.  MQD was tired.  I have a sore throat.  This is not a recipe for a super weekend morning date.

I make things complicated. Is MQD tired because he is tired of me?  Did Lucy wake up at 3:30 because we are both getting sick?  Is my sore throat a bug I caught from Emily and the cesspool of germs that is the first grade?

No.  Today I decided to make things simple.  MQD is tired because he is tired.  He told me I can take a nap this afternoon so I let him sleep in.

I have a sore throat because my throat is sore.  A shot of booze  in my decaf coffee means I will have a fabulous afternoon nap.  And my throat doesn’t hurt anymore.

Lucy has ticklish armpits.  And she thinks this little joke I made up is incredibly funny.  Hey Lucy, your village called.  They want their Lucy back!!  To really drive it home you have to say Luuuucy in a crazed and loud voice.  See previous comment regarding a shot of liquor at 9:30 in the morning.  Not having any trouble with this.

Sometimes you have to simplify. Sunday is a great day.

My Man

Do you ever sit on the beach or at an all you can eat buffet and people watch  and think “Man,  Americans take lousy care of themselves….”? (You don’t refer to yourself as Man? I thought everyone did?) Slowly you point the lens of criticism back at yourself and you feel like an asshole for being so silently snarky and judgemental.  I look at my very not flat stomach or my plate piled high and think “who am I to judge?”

In the last few days I have spent more than a little bit of time on the telephone with several of my girlfriends.  They are all past the boohoo stage of a failing marriage and on to the nuts and bolts of where do I go from here.  They all have a different story, different backgrounds.  They picture their future quite differently from one another. Divorce, affairs, silent resignation.  But they have one thing in common.  At one time they looked at a man and thought “I will spend my life with you.”

As I hang up the phone each time I get quiet for a while.  And I turn that same lens that sees my imperfect body, my dinner plate filled too high with carbs and not enough salad at myself and my marriage … and I close my eyes and I do something that is as close to praying as I get.

I just think.  I think and I focus everything in my heart on that moment, the moment I said to myself “I will spend my life with this man” and I try to picture what is different about my moment than the moments that belong to my friends’ and their husbands.

There are very few upsides to divorce.  But there is one.  The second time, when you think “This could never happen to me, to my marriage” you know better.  I try really hard not to ever compare.  And on the slim chance that I do, I really think twice before writing about it.  And it isn’t just because both  my husband and my ex-husband have been known to read what I write here (ummm, hi, guys.) It’s because saying out loud and writing  “Wow, I learned a lot and now I’ve got this all figured out” is just too scary.  It’s not the kind of thing I want to risk jinxing.

But this weekend as I hung up the phone after speaking with a friend I melted against my husband. He hugged me, silently hoping that holding me close would be enough to eliminate the need for Conversation. I don’t recall exactly how it happened but he had me laughing in no time.  Moments later we were laughing about something else entirely.  And mere moments after that we were laughing again.

I went back to cleaning my kitchen.  I sighed as I shuffled one of his piles from the kitchen table to a chair.  It drives me nuts, the piles.  But he reads all of the time.  And when he reads he makes notes on notecards and cross references things in still another book.  He sticky notes and underlines and reads some more.  And then he stops reading and underlining and thinking and he picks up the baby because he can’t stand to let her cry, either, and sometimes Life gets busy and his books stay right where he set them down.

And it drives me crazy.  The piles.  But even the things that drive me crazy are things that I adore.  I like it. He reads.  And he makes me laugh.  I like him.

Hesitantly I tried to explain to MQD what was on my mind.  He asked me then “Do you need to think of how to say it?” and I answered “Yes, I really do.” It’s a feeling I don’t know if I have words for.

The benefit of being married twice is that I do have something to compare it to.  And part of what made it so incredibly hard to get divorced is what makes it easier to be and stay married.  I love my ex-husband.  I love him enough that my nose started to tingle and I started to cry as I wrote that ugly word “ex-husband.” I loved him very, very much and I still do.  To that end it is perhaps easier for me to know in my heart that marriage takes more than Love. And I know that.  And I work hard to remember that.

I have never liked anyone, not a friend, not a boyfriend, not a lover as much as I like being around MQD.  I just like him.  It’s pretty simple.  He likes me, too.

And when I was younger and in the middle of a passionate and fiery argument with my ex-husband I never stopped to think “Well, that’s not very nice, is it?” I never bit my tongue.  I relied on Love to keep us both forgiving. But I forgot that forgiveness does not mean  someone likes you.  Just because our Love did not erode it didn’t mean our friendship didn’t.

And now years later I have another chance to do it right.   And I won’t sit back and expect our Love to carry us through.  Because Love isn’t enough. My girlfriends that are struggling in their marriages are not questioning if they still have Love.  They are sad because they don’t like each other anymore.

I don’t feel smug.  Not for one second.  But I am confident.  I think if we work hard to try and be the kind of person that the other would like to be around we have a pretty good chance.

So, here’s my man.  I look at him and I think “Man, I am gonna spend my life with him.  Because I like him.  I like him so much.”

Let’s Hear it for the Boys!

When I was young I had my boys. In middle school they were a motley bunch of goofy guys that I fancied myself to be in love with intermittently. In high school I had the boys in the drama department. We worked together, we built things and painted things and sat around in the booth in the dark. In college I preferred beer and bong hits to shopping and sorority rushing, so again, I found my boys.

My boys were my buddies, my confidantes, my playmates. I’ve always had only a couple of close girl friends and a gaggle of boys.

When I left the beach to move to Chapel Hill I left behind my last bunch of boys, some of whom had made the shift from Williamsburg college boys to beach boys.

When I met these fools I had no idea I’d grow to love them so dearly.

When I met MQD I was immediately impressed with the strength of the bond between his friends. He and his boys were no joke. He took me home to Charlestown and again I was amazed. The man loves his boys. And he loves me. Some girls fall for a boy with a great rent controlled apartment in the city and they inherit that. Some girls just want to wear his leather jacket.

I married MQD and I got boys. They’re his boys. But they love him and he loves me and any one of them would help me out if I needed it, of this I am certain.

As we all get older these boys… they are collecting these incredible women. If I am lucky our children will grow up with their children. Thank you for sharing your friends with me, Mike. You are an incredibly lucky man to have them on your side. And so am I.

The Charlestown Boys


Here’s to tradition!  We ate a slice from the top of our wedding cake tonight.  I hope our marriage holds up better than a vanilla cake with cannoli filling.  But then again we should probably not put our marriage in the back of the freezer for a year.