Tag Archives: MQD

In Sickness and in Health

IMAGE_3940-MIX“Well, now you have something to write about,” he said.  And he smiled.

He kind of half-smiled.  The half of his face that wasn’t drooping and looking half in the bag smiled.

“So, if you’re not having a stroke, we can make fun of you again, right?  Because you look really crazy.”

On the other side of the curtain in our emergency room the girls were giggling, playing hide and seek.  I’d like to pretend that they were both blissfully unaware of the tension that had been in the room but Emily is too smart.


Earlier in the day  I called MQD and said “Guess what I have to do right now? Nothing.  The house is clean and Lu and I are just goofing off.”  We FaceTimed while we ate lunch. I climbed in bed with her at nap time and MQD called again.  “Let me call you when I get her down,” and I cut him off.  I assumed he was just calling to tell me how wonderful I am or how much he loves me (because he does that just all of the time!)  In truth, we were having one of those perfect days, those rare married days when you text back and forth about how lucky you are to be married to one another instead of “get milk” and “do you see my wallet on the counter?”


MQD didn’t wait for me to call him back.  Instead, he texted me to say that a co-worker noticed that he was only blinking with one eye and that he was experiencing numbness in his face.  He was “concerned.”  I tried not to react emotionally.  I simply called him, “Call your doctor.  You need to go in right now.”

When he called back shortly to report that his GP wasn’t in, that is when I was afraid.  “Do you want me to find an Urgent Care or figure out what you should do?”  MQD, this man who usually doesn’t let me get him a glass of water said simply, “Yes.  Please.”

Lucy was asleep.  Em was at school.  I called the school secretary and asked to have Emily ready in the lobby. I filled my bag with snacks, I dressed Lucy (because she strips the moment we walk back in the door lately)  and I left to get my big girl.

We walked to the car and Emily asked me “Are you scared?”

“Of course, I am.  I love you guys very much.”

She thought for a moment in the backseat of the car. “But should we be worried?’

“I don’t think so, not yet.  But I think we are going to get your dad and go straight to the hospital so that if we do have to worry we don’t have to go to a different waiting room and start all over.”

The kids were in the car so we didn’t really talk much on the way there.  In retrospect that was a blessing. How many times and how many ways can you say “So, do you think you are having a fucking stroke?” We tried to talk ourselves into thinking it was a migraine, a terrible migraine.

It wasn’t long before the first nurse looked at him, watched him waggle his eyebrows and try to blink and said “I think it’s Bell’s Palsy.  How’s that?  A diagnosis and I am not even a doctor?!”  She threw her arms in the air and said “You can do the Happy Dance now, I really don’t think it’s a stroke.”

Six hours, five doctors, three nurses, a pair of neurologists and the best damn french fries in Chapel Hill (garlic fries from Tyler’s aside) later and we were back in the car.

At around 10am today I sent MQD a text.   I was emotional and overwhelmed with just how much I loved this man and how lucky I was.  IMAGE_3935 (1)

At noon I was afraid that loving him might not be as simple as it was just two hours before.

Someday we will laugh and say “Man, remember that day we thought you were having a stroke and you just had Bell’s Palsy?” But today I will watch you sleep and write it all down.  Because I feel like I want to hold onto this day so tightly, the day that I loved you so fucking much and everything turned out okay.

MQD, I love you like crazy.  In our wedding vows we exchanged Tom Robbins’ words “My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.”  We never said “in sickness and in health.”  That goes without saying. But god damn, if this was some kind of weird test, I think I passed.  You scared the shit out of me today and I just kept loving you.  So, now that you aren’t going to drop dead can you please try to do something about your face?  Because my 20th high school reunion is in just about a month and you look like Popeye when you smile. Yours, Kel

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.

37th Birthday: Part 2

The late morning became the afternoon quickly.  Birthday number 37 was shaping up nicely. Em came home from school and she set to work preparing for dinner.

She practiced waiting tables.  20130508-080023.jpgShe offered to make me a “fancy drink” but I did some soul searching and decided that even if the baby is asleep in your lap that is not a good enough reason to teach your 7-year-old how to make a gin and tonic.  20130508-080012.jpgMQD came home and brought sushi from him (who knew there is a Kelly roll?) and we opted to play outside for a bit before we ate dinner. 

I had some time with my mini-me – 20130508-080053.jpgAnd MQD spent some time with his. 20130508-080033.jpgEm sweetly offered to chase Lucy around for a bit so MQD could make faces at me while I tried to take a picture of him.20130508-080046.jpgEventually it was time for dinner.  I put my phone away (gasp) so my last picture for a while was a quick snap of our menus. (On the inside they said only: sushi. Em came to the table and asked us what we would like and rolled her eyes as we opened the menu and hemmed and hawed before selecting “the sushi.” Note the custom menus – “Mom likes the beach and Dad likes monsters.”)20130508-080059.jpgWe had sushi and red velvet cake from the little bakery in town. We had sushi on our honeymoon for my birthday.  We had red velvet cupcakes at our wedding and MQD sweetly ordered a small one to be delivered to our room as we celebrated my birthday with champagne in the middle of the afternoon.   I felt special the entire time MQD and I were on our honeymoon.  The intoxicating combination of the “just married” glow and the chance to spend time just the two of us for the very first time created an atmosphere that we might never truly recreate.  But for me, on my birthday, MQD tries.

When I was a little girl your birthday was really special.  There was the dinner that you selected and at least one small gift that surprised you.  It wasn’t surprising because you didn’t know about it  in advance, it was surprising because you couldn’t believe that anyone even knew you wanted it.  I guess I thought that once I was a “grown up” I’d never feel like that again.  I have had awesome birthdays.  I have been to concerts and bars and parties and dinners.  I have been in love, on dates, with my girlfriends.  But not since I left my nuclear family home did I have a birthday like last night.

Last night I had that feeling again (even though I forgot to eat dinner off of the “You are Special today” red plate!) This feeling started while we were playing out in the yard.  But when we sat down to open presents – that’s when this feeling overwhelmed me.

Months ago I was rummaging around in the closet after a couple of glasses of wine.  “What are you looking for?” MQD asked.  “My slippers!!  I can’t relax without my slippers!!!” It was one of those moments that as soon as it happens you know it will become part of your family lore.  MQD has since suggested to me that I “go put on [my] slippers.”  I know what he means.  It has given him a way to suggest to me that I chill the fuck out without making me mad.  Now, that’s something.  As the weather has warmed up and my precious slippers have moved further to the back of the closet in favor of flip-flops I have started to eye the fuzzy flip-flop slipper.

Fuzzy, flip-flop slippers.  Why would you wear flip-flop slippers?  What exactly is the point?  I used to think this.  But a few weeks ago I took a second look at them. 20130508-080018.jpg And last night I reached in to a gift bag and pulled out a pink pair.  Em picked them out herself.  X-large.  Dearfoam, pink and fuzzy.  “How did you know I wanted these?  Now I can relax all summer!!”

There were other things.  My favorite gum.  A Snoopy figurine.  Sunglasses.  Deodorizing shoe balls (Very funny, MQD.  Not the most romantic gift but the poor man does have to share a closet with me.) A perfect birthday card, made just for me!20130508-080105.jpg

But it wasn’t the cake or the sushi or the slippers or the birthday card.  It was that feeling. It was my birthday yesterday.  And I was special all day.


Emily June,

Someday you will read all of this. Some of it will horrify you, I am certain.  Some of it will make you laugh.  But I hope these words make you pause.  You and your dad made me feel so special yesterday.  Thank you. Your kindness does not go unnoticed.  In my wedding vows to your dad I said that I knew he was “the one” our first Christmas together.  His gifts to me reflected his efforts at listening, at getting to know me.  And you, my sweet girl, you gave me pink fuzzy flip-flop slippers and all I can do now while I sit back and drink coffee and enjoy their fuzzy pinkness is think “Man, this kid gets me.”  You are growing up.  And I love it. Keep being you.  Because you, you are special every single day.  

xo, Mom 

Join me on Facebook for a few ridiculous videos of the birthday shenanigans!


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.



“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.  

It’s in my genes…

MQD took the day off of work today “to spend some time with the family.”  I am not sure this is what he had in mind.

“I’m glad you’re gonna be home.  We need to get Halloween put back up in the attic and I am going to clean out the upstairs closet.   And since you’re home will you take a picture of my butt in all of these jeans?” I point at the big pile of jeans on my bed.

Instead of raising an eyebrow and asking me “Is this what you do all day while I am at work?” He kicked back on the bed  in his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pajamas and waited for me to drop my pants.  That sounds like Sexy Time right there, no?

Yesterday I decided to Keep, Trash and Donate one item every day for the month of November. I shall call today day one and day two since I am keeping, trashing and donating more than a few pairs. I am keeping 13, tossing 2 and donating 9 pairs.


The Keep Pile

I shall spare you all the details and just deliver the highlights of what I learned today.

1.  Turns out I had only 24 pairs of jeans total.  I am a gross exaggerator with zero credibility now.  I do not have 30 pairs of jeans after all, not of the too small or the too big variety.

2.  What I do have are lots of hugely unflattering jeans in various sizes for various reasons all stemming from the fact that I have had two children and I never throw out  a pair of jeans.   Exhibit A.  Let me present to you I Have The Same Jeans in Three Different Sizes. Here they are in descending size.

I pulled off the jeans in the top picture and said “These are obviously too big and make me have a totally flat ass.” MQD agreed. It stung a little.

This was the first pair I tried on and I was starting to doubt the wisdom of asking him to help me with this task. But he didn’t just stop there.  “Yeah, it’s like you stuck a cutting board in your pants.”  A FUCKING CUTTING BOARD.  Moving on…

3.  When you have a baby and you plan to breastfeed that baby willy nilly all around the town you make peace with the fact that people will see your knockers. You (if you are me) never really love the fact that people will see your stretchmarks and your gelatinous gut.  You like to save that for showing the entire Interwebz.  So you purchase an assortment of strangely high-waisted jeans that give you SADDLE BAGS.

This was a discovery I just made this morning.  Three of these four pairs will be donated.  The fourth will be going in the trash as the bottoms are terribly frayed.  I know, I should upcycle them and make a purse and a coozie and a lampshade but it isn’t called Keep Donate and Make Some Ugly Shit You Found a Tutorial For On Pinterest.  Exhibit B: Mom Jeans – More Unsightly Than I Knew

To the people of North Carolina,  I may force you to see my stomach while I nurse my baby but I will no longer subject you to the saddle bags created by my Mom Jeans that pretend they are not Mom Jeans just because they are Lucky or some other decent brand.

4.  I am a really lucky girl and I am in a way better head space than I even knew.  My husband nodded in agreement while I said “these look awful on me” and I did not throw something at him.  Perhaps just because he was hiding behind the baby. But I’m calling it progress.


Stay tuned to see what I Keep Trash and Donate tomorrow.  I can’t promise more ass pictures.  Not until I get myself a new pair of jeans anyway.

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.

Hot Stuff

I figured it out. The sexiest thing I have ever heard a man say. It is not what you’d think. Not a compliment to an often overlooked body part. It’s not romantic.

But it makes me want to jump his bones all the same.

“Where’s the diaper bag? What should I put in there?”

It’s a little thing. But it is a huge help.

Babies need their mama. Big girls want their mother. Spare outfits do not care who shoves them in the diaper bag. Wipes do not care who replenishes the travel wipe case. But when I am standing in line somewhere and notice I have a shit covered baby in my arms I care very much.

So, listen up dads. Find out what Mom likes in the diaper bag. Offer to pack it for her as she is racing to get out the door. Panty. Dropper. I promise.


Next to the bed he keeps his book, his blood kit, his wallet, his phone… and a sparkly headband. Just in case…