What 12 Years Gets You

It has taken many years to get where we are today. The learning curve was steep. We were newlyweds learning how to be married. How to be husband and wife. And now 12 years later, here we are. Wiser. Slightly more crazy. More in love today than we were 12 years ago.

Wiser

We learned to work as a team. Mostly, I learned to listen and follow instruction. To test how well a couple teams up give them a brand new BBQ in 50 pieces and poorly written instructions. The good ones will have it together in an hour laughing along the way. The ones who are still learning? Both will argue that their way is right. Both will give instructions. Neither will listen. The marriage will dissolve and someone will be threatened to be beaten to death with the unbuilt BBQ. It’s the same with furniture assembly and vacation planning.

Twelve years has taught us (me) that listening, not just hearing, is as important as doing. Of course, being weak to her Mind Tricks helps.

Crazier

Twelve years is a long time to be with the same person. You learn to find your own version of normal. It’s buying your own anniversary present because your wife is sick with the flu and can’t get out. It’s playing with said present (Bop It) and dancing like a drunk June bug to make her laugh. It’s knowing who is going to jump on the trampoline with the kids and who is going to plan the birthday party.

Kids have a tendency to make you a bit crazier than usual, too. Whether they entice you onto the kitchen dance floor, adorn you with macaroni jewels, or just plain refuse to go to sleep, you will find your own crazy and you will embrace it. Wear it proudly as if it were a crown.

Love

We have learned what sacrifices the other has made to help the family. Whether it was a move or using birthday money to pay a bill or going without sleep because of a sick kid, hungry infant, or worry. We learn to see what we do for each other. Whether it’s simple things like cooking, cleaning, or entertaining the kids. Or it’s big like planning a big party, support through a tough time, or a surprise outing. Also, having kids gives us a common enemy goal.

Though all we have learned over the past 12 years (14 if you count when we first met), I have learned the most. Some how I have hunch I’m not yet done learning.

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21 Questions I Asked My Wife

I highly encourage you ask your spouse these questions. The laughs you get will make it well worth it. I’m not even sure where I found these, but here they are for your enjoyment (and mine). 

Q: Would you rather I be completely hairless or as hairy as a gorilla?
A: Completely hairless

Q: What actress would play you in a movie about your life?
A: Katie Holmes (or Emilia Clarke or Megan Fox if Katie isn’t available)

Q: Who would play your love interest (aka, me) in a movie about your life?
A:  Kelly Slater or 
Howie Mandel or Billy Zane (from The Titanic) (she also named Mr. Magoo)

Q: Would you rather our children grow up to be 8 feet tall or 3 feet tall?
A: 8 feet tall

Q: If you had to go a week without your phone, what would you miss the most about it?
A: Wunderlist (our grocery/to do list)

Q: What do you like most that I do in bed?
A: Scratch my head

Q: What was your first impression of me? Did you ever dislike me?
A: My first thought was “Wow, he’s really short.” and “Why’s he’s wearing a trench coat?”

Q: What’s your favorite memory of our wedding day?
A: Seeing how excited you were when the bagpiper piped us into our reception

Q: If you woke up tomorrow as a man, what would be the first three things you’d do?
A: Stratch my junk, play with my junk, and pee standing up

Q: Would you rather use whipped cream or hot fudge?
A: Depends on what we’re using it for… 

Q: What do you think is your best physical feature?
A: My smile

Q: What do you think is my best physical feature?
A: Your bum

Q: If you could be on any reality TV show, which one would it be?
A: Gold Rush so I could drive a bulldozer or a big digger

Q: Have you ever obsessed over anything? (toys, movies, projects, people, problems)
A: New Kids on the Block

Q: What were your nicknames growing up, including the ones you didn’t want to stick?
A: Smurfette, Shit-heels, Pissy-Liz, Bimp, Boo, Snugglebum

Q: If I let you dress me, what would I wear on our next date?
A: Dark jeans, brown shoes, and a nice button up shirt (she knows I hate brown shoes)

Q: Would you ever role play in bed?
A: Yes.

Q: Yoga pants or skirts?
A: Yoga pants

Q: What song would you sing for your audition on The Voice?
A: As I Lay Me Down by Sophie B. Hawkins or The First Cut Is the Deepest by Sheryl Crow

Q: Is there a food that reminds you of me?
A: Hearty Chicken Bake

Q: Is there a memory you have or me that always makes you laugh?
A: Holey underwear

Marriage Hurts

I was out shoveling for the first time this winter season. Afterwards, my first thought was that if we had a winter home in Australia it would be summer time. My second thought was that marriage hurts.

Big leap there, I know.

How did I learn that marriage hurts while shoveling snow?

The calloused blister on my hand taught me. That blister was caused by my wedding band while I was shoveling the driveway at 6:30 am so DW could drive to work.

That’s how I know.

It’s the kicks in the night from the restless spouse. It’s the cold feet put on your warm body because your partner wants you to warm them up. It’s the snuggling in such a way that your arm or leg falls asleep and gets that pins and needles feeling.

It’s the working around the house attempting to get the “honey do” list done. “Honey, do move this over there. Honey, do fix this and this and this. Honey, do figure out what’s going on with this and that.”

There will be injuries with each of those honey dos. At least, there will be they way I do handyman. Banged a finger with the hammer. Cut myself on/with something – chances are I won’t remember how. Burned myself. Fell down the stairs getting the tools. Fell up the stairs carrying an armful of whatever needed to be moved because I’m too stubborn to make more than one trip.

Then there are the “smacks”. Okay, perhaps I shouldn’t have scared DW while she was in the shower. I deserved that punch, but it was totally worth it.i-love-being-married-its-so-great-to-find-that-one-special-person-you-want-to-annoy-for-the-rest-of-your-life-19

I probably shouldn’t have hit the brakes in the truck while she getting a
drink, either. I deserved that smack, too. Again, it was funny as hell. I know it was asshole thing to do and she told me so. The three year old then says, “Yeah dad, don’t be an asshole.” To which the seven year old replied, “Great! Now you got him saying asshole.” We were laughing far too hard to discipline anyone.

Then there are 6033e937d3d06be26b8ad4e8fb998060the arguments – or heated discussions if you’re in our house. They hurt, too. But not the kind of hurt you can typically see. It’s no fun arguing with the one you love. But when you share absolutely everything – a dinner table, a bed, a toilet, responsibilities, kids – there’s bound to be an argument or two. Just because two people argue doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. But still, it hurts.

But, you know what?

We wouldn’t have it any other way. This little thing called love binds us together. Sure we drive each other batshit crazy. Isn’t that the fun part? And I’m pretty sure it was in our vows to love each other in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, for sanity and insanity…

So, with a calloused blistered hand, I will continue to shovel the snow in the driveway because I don’t need to say I love you in order to show that I love you.

Love story