family fun, memes & carnivals, motherhood, photography

Old School Blogging, Vol. 2

old school bloggingI’m back with six more “old school blogging” style questions that I borrowed nicely from Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? They dwell mostly in the categories of marriage and family life. Wanna play along? Tell me your answers in the comments below or leave me a link to your blog if you post them there.

1. How did your husband pop the big question? The question was technically already in the air as we were one of those crazy couples that did the whole “get married, have babies” thing out of order. But he was still a little nervous that evening in December 2005 when he took me out for dinner at Olive Garden and then afterwards in the parking lot popped the question. It was a grimy New England December with slushy pavement around us so he didn’t get down on one knee but I was too busy being ecstatic that he’d asked to worry about stuff like that. Eight years later and we’re still going strong!

2. What are the three most surprising things about married life? 

  • Our marriage grows stronger every year as we grow older and learn more about each other. It’s amazing how even when you are disagreeing about something or they are being soooo annoying about that thing that you can still just love someone with all your heart.
  • Nothing is sacred. Just… yeah. Especially if you’ve been through motherhood, too.
  • That we still manage to find new things to talk about every day! If I have to go an extended time without talking to him about all the inane things I go a little crazy.

3. How did you find out you were pregnant for the first time? I think the way most people find out. Morning sickness and a missed period.

4. How did you choose your first baby’s name? It honestly just felt right. We thought about a lot of different names and I think up until the ultrasound I was still thinking about several for each gender and then when we found out we were having a boy it just suddenly clicked. His middle name is my father’s middle name (and my grandfather’s first name) but his first name is just one we both liked.

5. Describe where you see yourself in 10 years from now… I assume that ten years from now when you ask me how old I am that I’ll be pretty sure I’m older than 40 but I’ll have no idea if I’m 41, 42 or 43. Hopefully I have it narrowed down at least that far. Cross your fingers that I’ll have replaced my Buick by then, preferably with something that has All Wheel Drive and maybe an auxiliary port. MM will be EIGHTEEN and we must absolutely not think about that. BB will be FIFTEEN so basically, hold me. I’ll probably still be changing my blog’s theme every 2 1/2 weeks and I’ll probably tell you I’m writing a novel but likely will only be 2 or 3 chapters into it at best and haven’t looked at the thing for weeks. My one gray hair will probably have a few friends.

6. Describe how you find bliss, either with words or images.

latte love






memes & carnivals

A Well-Planned Anniversary Tribute

I snagged this uber romantic meme from Dooce back in February and then filled it out 6 months in advance of my three year wedding anniversary (today) because I was worried I might be too tired / busy to come up with something clever and romantic to write being all busy with a teeny tiny newborn. But then I read over the answers a couple days ago and was like, “Holy crap some of this is out of date,” so I edited it and had to work way too hard to keep the tenses right – my appologies if I failed. Anyway, here it is, my well planned anniversary tribute to the man of my dreams…

What are your middle names?
My middle name is Marie; his is Paul

How long have you been together?
We’ve been married now three years today, together a little over four years

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
We met at work the winter vacation of 2002 / 2003 (I think) but didn’t start dating until after I graduated in 2005.

Who asked whom out?
I asked him to watch the fireworks with me and my friends in a sneaky covert operation style way of finding out if he liked me. By the end of the “date” I still didn’t know and had to call him to find out (a story I’ve told a billion times over – like here).

How old are each of you?
I’m 26, he’ll be 24 this November

Whose siblings do you see the most?
Since we moved to Wisconsin we don’t really see any of them regularly, but it used to be his as mine have always lived far away.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
Isn’t it always money? I don’t even know that it’s hard on us romantically, but it probably causes us the most stress, which would make us bicker more than usual. We should totally have more of it (money).

Did you go to the same school?
Nope, we went to schools in the same area though (within a 2 hour radius).

Are you from the same home town?
I’ve moved around all my life but his hometown and the town most of my family is from (that I’d consider my hometown overall) are pretty close in distance.

Who is smarter?
I’d say he’s definitely smarter – he’s like a genius and he was smart enough to become a well paid engineer. I was smart enough to marry a well paid engineer. He’d tell you that isn’t true and that I’m just as smart as him in different ways, but I think he’s just being nice (or freakishly modest).

Who is the most sensitive?
Probably me but that’s hard to say. I get my feelings hurt more but I can also be more insensitive than him sometimes.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Probably Applebees – we went there the first night of our honeymoon and loved it and have been happy just about every time we’ve gone since.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Our move from Massachusetts to Wisconsin is the furthest for sure – 1,000 miles!

Who has the craziest exes?
Much like Dooce I think I’d win in sheer volume. He really only has one actual ex, I have more than I could count, most of them crazy. Not that his last girlfriend was a peach or even relatively sane from what I’ve heard. But I think if you added all my exes together it’d be no contest.

Who has the worst temper?
Probably me – at the very least my temper sounds worse out loud. He’s a hold it in-er. I’m a break things-er (or at least in my mind I am, I’m also a weak wimp and probably have never succeeded in actually breaking said objects).

Who does the cooking?
These days he definitely does. His cooking is getting so good that I’ve temporarily handed the reigns over to him, at least for now with the new baby.

Who is the neat-freak?
Hopefully his other wife, because I know it’s neither of us.

Who is more stubborn?
I’m not sure – probably me. Otherwise it’s our kids.

Who hogs the bed?
We both have our moments but I move in my sleep like crazy, thus causing all sorts of chaos. He pretty much just sleeps.

Who wakes up earlier?
He does, usually around 5-6 am to get ready for work (or spend an hour by himself before the cranky non-morning people get up and ask him to make them breakfast).

Where was your first date?
Fireworks with friends – aren’t you paying attention? I’m not that boring am I? Don’t answer that, moving along…

Who is more jealous?
Probably me, I am a woman.

How long did it take to get serious?
About half an hour, we’re ridiculously old souls who sucked at birth control. Seriouses you right up.

Who eats more?
That would be him – he’s like twice the size of me and  thus requires a lot more food. Plus I eat like a bird until dessert is served.

Who does the laundry?
Me – I am the one who’s home all day and laundry is one of the few chores I don’t actually mind that much.

Who’s better with the computer?
He’s an engineer, it wouldn’t speak much for him if I said me. And I don’t. It’s him.

Who drives when you are together?
He does – despite my incessant nagging and worrying and asking him to slow down and speed up and watch out, I still never want to be the one driving. I think I just like to bug him and worry about stuff. I dunno.

Anyway, happy anniversary darling – it’s been a wonderful three years of marriage and you’d better stick around for at least three more! Love you!

love thursday, motherhood

love thursday: new beginnings

In college I killed a cactus. I have long assumed that I am probably lacking in the green thumb department, so I was just as surprised as anyone else when I suddenly had the urge to buy a house plant recently. Initially I was going to buy one of those clever hanging plants to display on my balcony, but my husband (love him) suggested I start with a smaller (read: cheaper) plant with the mind set that it would be wiser to kill an inexpensive plant first than a larger investment plant. It made sense – I took no offense to this idea because it’s true. I love that he knows me well enough to realize that this is both an important step for me, but also one that we should step into lightly, making baby steps. A month from now I may have lost all interest in house plants…

Then again, every time I look at this little plant, which we picked up at our local farmers market for just $3, I like it more and more. I bought it with a small amount of apprehension as I know nothing about plants and didn’t know if this one was “a good one” – or how much of a commitment caring for it would be. I wasn’t even sure it was my style. But I took a chance and I have to say I’m pretty smitten with it. I check in on it a couple times a day to make sure it’s handling this heat wave okay, checking for any dead petals or leaves that could be trimmed away. It’s remarkably easy on some levels, this caring for plants thing seems to involve a bit of common sense. Go figure.

In a lot of ways plants and babies are pretty similar. They require a certain amount of love and attention (though babies admittedly require more of it) to grow, but when you do it right the results are stunning. They are ever so delicate and at the same time, tougher than they look. It’s a balancing act. The care and nurturing of them is both new and daunting but also relatively obvious once you figure it out. Keep them alive and help them to flourish. Show them love and watch them grow. Marriage is similar I suppose. It would seem that I’ve entered yet another new relationship where a certain amount of commitment is required to keep it healthy. If that commitment is genuine and well kept up with, things should go well. I can remember looking at motherhood as it approached, hesitantly wondering if I was cut out for this – not having the slightest idea how to care for something so small. Looking at marriage was similar – would I be any good at this being a wife thing? I hope that my houseplant fares as well as my marriage and son have.

I’ve had a lot of new beginnings in the past few years. Several times now I have made commitments to new people, places and things – new ways of living. It’s been impossible at each point to know for certain that things will work out for the best, but that leap of faith has been rewarded each time. Look how far we’ve come. Wonderful husband, darling son, exciting new chapters in our lives together unfolding as we’ve left the comforts of our upbringings and branched out to this new home, this new place, this new life. Soon we’ll stretch ourselves further and become a family of four. There are apprehensions and fears, of course, but if history has shown anything, I’m thinking it will go well.

I cannot wait to meet the newest member of our family. I cannot wait to witness my heart filling to the brim again – to see her face and know my daughter, to learn the art of parenting a second time as I figure out this whole “mother of two” thing. And I wonder, after this, when I have conquered marriage, motherhood, moving, the mothering of two and the caring of my little flower – what new beginning will we reach for next? What will be the next chapter in our lives that will test us in ways we can’t yet imagine?

family fun

Imagine Your Perfect Date Night

Date Night

Date Night by mommablogsalot featuring Crocs shoes

With the whole lack of family nearby and the time suck that is life, I don’t anticipate any date nights in the near future but when I was perusing the net this morning, an article at caught me eye – the cute little dresses in Susan’s post reminded me of my long lost love, Polyvore, and had me thinking, “If money and actual closet were no object, what would I wear on a date with the hubby – and where would we go?

I know the shorts up there are not maternity shorts but I liked the style and in my mind, I can wear them anyway. I just recently started wearing shorts around the house and I’ve been loving it – I can’t wait to buy a pair after the baby is born, in whatever my new post-pregnancy size is. Maybe a pair like these? I also love these red crocs – I know crocs in the past have been considered clunky and not terribly fashionable, but I really think they have come into their stylish own and I love my pairs in black and blue, easy to dress up or down and very comfortable of course. I think red is the perfect color for a date night, but in moderation, so the rest of the outfit I kept black and white with two punches of color. So chic.

We typically do some variation of dinner and a movie and honestly, I love it. Dinner without a child – seeing a great movie together – it’s the perfect combination which is why it’s become so clichéd I’m guessing. Whatev. I’d love to take Dan somewhere to get some good sushi – it’s something he loves but doesn’t eat very often. Hopefully they have something else that isn’t sushi, too, though, because I personally don’t care for it. Chinese food, in general though, I’m always a fan of. After dinner we’d probably go see a movie – something light hearted and maybe a little romantic or an action movie with just enough thrill to have me clinging to his arm at the “intense” parts. He’ll like that. After the movie, I’d want to go for a stroll down one of the many lakeside beaches in the area – preferably one we haven’t been to yet. A cool summer night breeze, the smell of sand and water, perfection. Before heading home for the night, we’d stop at a coffee shop and maybe split a dessert and talk late into the evening…

Your turn. What would your ideal date night entail? What would you wear, where would you go? Feel free to “plan” something more extravagent – especially if you already regularly do the date night thing – you lucky duck you! So spill – and then make sure you share your ideas with me in the comments section!

love thursday, memes & carnivals

love thursday: mementos, memories and marriage

the “love mug” – a favorite memento from my wedding: August 5, 2006

The centerpieces at our wedding were one of many examples of slightly non-traditional but totally us things from our wedding. We filled each mug with a bag of chocolate cake in a mug dry ingredients, a bookmark with the details of our wedding and a quote from Corinthians 1:13, and a small red (fake) rose. We wanted to combine some of our favorite things as a couple into a memorable keepsake: things like coffee, books and baking. I think most of our friends and family liked the idea but we got some strange looks and still get teased about it. Whatever, I still love the idea just like I still love him – our relationship leading up to our marriage was equally non-traditional and also made us prone to funny looks and teasing – but I still love it and him. We just work.

You can spend a lot of time trying to find The One. You may date guys who really don’t treat you that great, waste a lot of time sitting by the phone wondering when / if they will call, continue to wonder during the course of your relationships if maybe he is the one you are destined to be with. We put up with a lot of drama, and create drama where there isn’t, all in the pursuit of love. But at the end of my search, I found that love didn’t need the drama – life has drama enough – love worth sticking around for just works, no matter how cranky you get, if you gain weight, whatever – it still works. They are the other half of you – your rock – and the two of you combined is what makes it work.

I talked about this and a few other things in a post recently, The Things I Want To Teach Her, if anyone hasn’t read it but might be interested. Good stuff. For more stories, picture and expressions of love, head over to Chookooloonks, read her post and then check out other posts in her comments section.