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Archive for the ‘Marriage’ Category

happy anniversary!

Seven years ago today, Frank and I were married. We’ve been through quite a bit in the past seven years, and I’ve loved every minute (good and bad).  Thanks for being my husband, best friend and partner.  I can’t wait to start the next chapter of our life together with you!

Love you, babe.  This much, always.

~Em

Our first dance.

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Last night I watched Enchanted, one of my favorite movies to watch.  It’s one of those movies that when it’s on, I can’t help myself.  The movie reminds me a lot of Frank.  No, it’s not because Frank channels Patrick Dempsy with his dashing good looks and pragmatic approach to life.  Nor is it because Frank often introduces me the way Prince Edward introduces Giselle – “Giselle is my love, my heart’s one true desire!”

Enchanted reminds me of a truly K-Fam Thanksgiving experience.  Back in November 2007 Frank was a jet Captain on the Dornier at the now defunct Skyway Airlines.  As per usual, Frank was at the bottom of the seniority list, meaning that he was working holidays.  I decided that I would accompany him over Thanksgiving on his trips so that we could spend Thanksgiving together.  On Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, we went to Cleveland. Skyway actually put the pilots up in a somewhat decent hotel which was close to a very nice mall.

One of Frank’s favorite things to do is walk around a mall. This is surprising because he does NOT like to shop.  He enjoys stopping at stores that have nice smells or kitschy items with limited uses (ie. Brookstone, Spencers).  We walked around the mall for a while and then decided to go see the movie Enchanted. We thoroughly enjoyed the movie.  I remember walking out of the theater holding Frank’s hand, feeling light and free.  We had dinner at the Macaroni Grill and drew fun pictures on the paper table cloth and enjoyed being together.

The next day, Thanksgiving, we flew back to Milwaukee and then up to Appleton.  We stayed at the Raddison Paper Valley in downtown Appleton.  We arrived at the hotel at 2:30 in the afternoon and saw, to our amazement, a huge Thanksgiving buffet set out!  Victory!  We approached the hostess stand, all of our bags in tow, and asked the hostess for details on the buffet.  She told us they were taking it down.  Oh, the looks on our faces!  We pleaded with her – can we just go through once and get some Thanksgiving food – we are far from home and won’t get a real Thanksgiving!  Nope.  She wouldn’t budge.  As we walked by the buffet on the way to our room, we watched them throwing out entire cakes and pies.  Oh, how we wanted to weep right there!

Slightly disheartened, but determined to have a lovely Thanksgiving anyway, we went to the hotel bar, hoping that they may have some Thanksgiving fare.  No such luck.  I think Frank had a hamburger and I had a chicken sandwich.  Regardless of the lack of Thanksgiving themed food, we had a wonderful time watching football in the bar and talking with his First Officer.

Later that night, we decided that we wanted dessert, but room service didn’t have anything good, so we found a vending machine and shared a Three Muskateers bar and a Rice Krispy Treat.  Oh, it was bliss!  Almost like having French Silk Pie… but not quite…

It is one of my happiest memories of us.  We had such a nice time celebrating Thanksgiving together and I am so glad we did it!  Considering that Frank is back at the bottom of the seniority list again, perhaps we will try the adventure again this year, but maybe in a more exotic location, like LA or Puerto Rico!

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Physically, mentally and emotionally, it’s been rough.  It hasn’t been a crisis of faith, per se, but rather a crisis of HOW to have faith.

I believe in God, check.

I believe that His son Jesus is my Savior, check.

I have found, though, that I sometimes have a hard time figuring out how to look at our recent heartbreak and ongoing struggles to become parents and understand how to deal with it as a Christian.

When I am worked up about everything, I find myself tossed about by these storms and unable to find my bearings.

Which brings me to my aviation metaphor.  Ahem.

As a pilot, Frank has trained extensively.  When he first trained, he learned how to fly visually.  Flying visually is exactly what it sounds like – he would fly only in conditions (clear days, generally) that allowed him to identify landmarks and (most importantly) airports by sight. Flying on clear days is lovely, especially in small planes.

But as a committed pilot with aspirations to fly for airlines, Frank had to take his aviation training to the next level.  He had to learn to fly using only the instruments on the dashboard of the plane.  As part of his training, he actually wore a hood that didn’t allow him to see anything except the instruments in front of him.  He had to do this for two reasons: 1) because sometimes what you think you are seeing is not the whole picture and 2) because sometimes he has to fly in conditions where he won’t be able to visually see landmarks.

One night Frank took me flying.  It was a gorgeous night with a layer of low white clouds under a dome of shimmering stars.  Since there are controls on both sides of the plane, Frank let me take the “wheel” and instructed me to orient the plane so that it would be level with the horizon.  After a few minutes, Frank pointed at one of the instruments that showed how level the plane was relative to the earth.  Even though I thought I had the plane level with the horizon, I was very wrong.  The horizon I thought I was following was really a cloud, not the actual curve of the earth.

It is not enough, sometimes, to fly on sight alone.

Frank’s aviation training is a great metaphor for the grossly uncomfortable position that I am in right now.

Most of the time I can walk in my faith by “sight” alone; I either hear from God or I see landmarks from Him that point the way.  The answers are, for the most part, obvious.

Right now, though, we are stuck in the midst of storms and can’t see the ground or familiar landmarks.  Flying visually is not an option.  We have to rely on faith and the tools that God has given us.

I guess it’s a good idea to keep my seatbelt securely fastened, eh?

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propletené (Czech)

met elkaar verweven (Dutch)

fite fuaite ina chéile (Irish)

sammenvevd (Norwegian)

sammanflätad (Swedish)

intertwined

True love.

**Update**

Check out Ed in the background… ha!

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So, clearly, this weekend appeared to be a weekend of excess.  And could I have eaten less pasta and bread?  Yeah, probably.  And could I have eaten less candy/chocolate/ice cream?  Probably.  But I would also say that I didn’t eat as much of the candy/chocolate/ice cream as I wanted. And that poses a problem for me.

As I learned back in January, I am hypoglycemic.  This means that carbs are a particular problem for me because my body absorbs and distributes the carbs so quickly that I CRASH after carbo-loading.  Eating carbs causes me to have a blood sugar low within an hour or so that makes me FEEL super hungry.

As a matter of fact, when I eat candy mid-afternoon, by the time I get home at 5:30, I am irrationally hungry.  I don’t even bother to stop at the store because I am SO hungry that I am not sure how I will make it through the store without A) forgetting half of my list or B) maiming the first person who tries to abscond with my cart.

And don’t get me started with the parking lot.Let’s just assume there would be much carnage.

So anyway, I do not make wise decisions when I am on a sugar low.

Plus, my body converts these carbs to fat faster than you can say “Put down the butter Paula Deen!”  And if that wasn’t enough to make me pass on the sugary delights, the fact that we would like to get pregnant again means that I am at high risk for developing gestational diabetes.  While a high birth weight for our babies has always been a real possibility (my dear husband rocked the scales at a mighty 13 1/2 lbs and 24 inches of pure baby delight), gestational diabetes ups the ante significantly.  If that was the only serious side affect of gestational diabetes, that would be one thing.  Unfortunately, there are several other unfortunate potential by-products of gestational diabetes that give me pause for concern.

I realize that the idea of giving up all sweets seems … well… un-American.

I mean, who does that?

But after taking a long, hard look at myself in the mirror, reviewing the scale, and looking in the mirror again, I decided that I need to do just that.

Oh, not to worry, the idea of giving up all sweets did not come without serious mental protest and angst.  My poor, sugar-addicted brain said, “But dear Emily, what about BIRTHDAY cake?  What knd of person says NO to BIRTHDAY cake?? What about having something sweet to make eating healthy worth it?  Just a little bit of sweet stuff won’t hurt!”

Does a birthday cake make the birthday, I ask you?  Do I need a 3 p.m. sugar fix?  Do I need dessert after EVERY DINNER?  The fact that I tried to find reasons NOT to give it up was the biggest indicator that I SHOULD give it up.

I submit to you this: the celebration is to be augmented by the food.  The food is not to be augmented by the celebration.  This is a VERY difficult decision for me to give up sweets.  But I realized I was putting my desire to have a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup ahead of being healthy.  I was putting a slice of amazing, gooey chocolate cake ahead of feeling good.

Not any more.  Starting tomorrow (I had ice cream before I made the decision today), Frank and I are quitting the sweets cold turkey.  It’s going to be difficult because I am going to have to be really honest about what is a sweet and what is not.  I thought about buying some Fiber-One bars for their fiber-related benefits and because… wait for it… they also have a chocolate product.  Houston, I have a problem.  Using a Fiber-One bar to “replace” candy is not right.

And, of course, I realize that my eating habits are causing a rift with God and in my marriage.  I know that sounds far-fetched, but bear with me.  When I eat poorly, I feel bad about myself.  Instead of focusing on becoming the person that God wants me to be, I focus on how bad I feel about myself.  And if that’s not enough, I happen to have a wonderful, sweet, adoring husband who thinks that I am beautiful, no matter what, but I turn him away so I can have a self-loathing pity party.  Now, Frank muscles through it, but I think about how much BETTER my marriage would be if we avoided these kinds of pity parties all together.

So anyway.  This is my new adventure.  Anyone else want to join me?  I plan on discussing this frequently on the blog as I am anticipating a lot of withdrawal symptoms that may include “the shakes” and inexplicable crying/anger.  But once I get through the detox portion, I expect that I will feel MUCH better.  Right?  ::scratches arms, looks for a candy bar:: Right??

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Frank and I are quirky.  Not overtly quirky.  Subtly quirky.

And nothing is quite as quirky for us as the somewhat strange ways we say “I love you.”

thing one: making the bed.

When we were first married, I told my new, sweet husband that I loved it when the bed was made.

I neglected to tell him that even though I loved it, I really only loved it when SOMEONE ELSE made the bed.

Frank, trying so dutifully to be the good husband, made the bed frequently, all the while wondering when exactly I was planning on making the bed.

Finally, after about a year of his dutiful bed making, he finally pointed out to me that for someone who loves it when the bed is made, I certainly don’t do much to make it happen, and I realized (insert lightbulb moment here!) that Frank ALSO liked it when the bed was made.

As Frank has been traveling more, even if I can’t do anything else, I try so hard to at least make the bed when he comes home.  And when Frank leaves, he makes the bed for me.

Just seeing the bed made, with the silly stuffed dog in the middle, and I know that he loves me.

thing two: tm,a. mgd.lyb.bbq.

To you, those may only be letters.  Letters that don’t mean anything.

But to me, those letters sum up nearly 8 years of togetherness with Frank.

When we were first dating, if Frank did something to annoy me, he would ask me how much I hated him.  I would say, “This much” and he would say, “Which way?” and I would point in no particular direction and say, “This much, that way!”

But as we fell in love, on of us would ask “how much do you love me?” (or, sometimes, “how much?”) and the other would respond, “this much!” and the first would say, “which way?” and the other would say “always!”

When we were married, we each engraved something on the inside of each other’s rings.  We didn’t tell each other what we were engraving, so after we were married, we both pulled off of our rings only to discover that we both engraved, “This much, always.”  And now, for short, Frank will often text me “tm, a.”

Along the same vein, I would call out to Frank as I got out of the car at work “Make good decisions!” (or mgd for short) It became a game to see who could say it last as we were hanging up the phone or jumping out of the car.

And when Frank is taking off at the airport, he will often just text me “leaving ATL [Atlanta], LYB!”  And of course, as anyone could guess, he is just saying “Love you, bye!”

But the icing on the cake of our love story is BBQ.  What does it mean?

Barbecue.

Yeah, that’s right.  One day Frank texted me “tm,a. mgd.lyb.bbq.”

“BBQ?” I asked him.

“Yeah, BBQ,” he replied casually.

“As in barbecue?”

“Yep.”

“Any reason?”

“Nope.”

“Oh. Ok.”

So when I see this long train wreck of mangled letters, I smile.  It’s how we say, “I love you.”

thing three: the game.

Frank and I play a lot of games with each other.  Weird games.

These games keep our marriage light and playful.

But let’s be real, we’re still a little bit weird.

One of the games is that everything becomes a game.

If he taps me, I tap him back.

Not wanting me to get the last word in – he taps me lightly, just so I might not notice.

And I tap him back, even lighter.

And we do this until one of us finally breaks down and laughs.

Usually it’s Frank who breaks down first.

I’m just telling it like it is.

…… tap….. shhhh.

And in our own way, it’s how we say “I love you.”

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Well, let’s go back a little further – about eight years ago I was breaking up with my then longest boyfriend ever.

It was definitely for the better.

A few days later, this tall, lanky, cute friend of mine, who was very concerned about my well-being after the break up took me out to dinner.  It was probably one of the best dinners I’d had in a long time.  He was so much fun to talk to!  We laughed the entire way home from the dinner and then we sat around for a few hours talking. When he left, he asked me for a good-bye kiss.

“But I just broke up with my boyfriend…”

EMILY!!!  What were you thinking??

And I didn’t think he was really serious.

I called my friend Julie D (who later caught the bouquet at our wedding, coincidentally) and told her “I think I like my friend Frank!”

A month later I went down to Eastern Illinois University and then University of Illinois to meet up with friends… and Frank.

While at U of I, I told my friends that I had a crush on Frank.  I didn’t want there to be any ambiguity about the situation.

I wore a skirt (I knew, even then, that Frank had a soft spot for skirts)…

We went to a party and came back to my friend Kate’s house.

Instead of my friends leaving Frank and I alone to talk, they all sat on the couch with us.

After five long, awkward minutes of virtual silence with everyone staring at eachother, Frank said, “Well… uh, I gotta get going….”

I walked Frank to the door.  He said, “Well, kiddo, this might be the last time I see you until like, Thanksgiving…”

My heart sunk.

“Really?”

“Yeah, probably.”

“Oh.  C’mon, I’m sure I’ll see you before then.”

“Well, how about a good-bye kiss?”

“Frank!  I don’t think so.”  I smiled.  He smiled.

And he left.

Without a good-bye kiss.

EMILY!!! Tactical error!

So, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, I didn’t realize that Frank liked me, even though I totally had a crush on him.  I guess the use of the word “kiddo” kind of threw me off.  It’s sort of a distancing, kid-sister kind of word to use.  Plus, we’d been friends for four years – I couldn’t imagine that he was interested in me.

After that weekend, I called Frank one night “just to talk.” For an hour.  The entire time, I was trying to get the nerve up to tell Frank that I liked him.  You know, liked him, liked him.

I couldn’t do it.

I hung up the phone feeling like an idiot.

So I did what any mature adult would do: I went online.  (hey, I was only a senior in college – what did I know)

Tallgrl98: Hi Frank

Frank523: Hi Emily

Tallgrl98: So, I wanted to tell you something on the phone, but I didn’t get the nerve up to tell you on the phone.  Well, anyway, I like you.

(after I hit send, I wanted to hide forever)

Frank523: Well, I like you too, in a non-platonic kind of way.

Here is where I remind you that I was a BUSINESS major.  I couldn’t remember if platonic was good or bad.  Is non-platonic good or bad?

Instead of going on Dictionary.com and finding out that Frank meant that he liked me as more than friends, I assumed that he was telling me that he only liked me as a friend.

SERIOUSLY??  EMILY!!

Thinking that Frank made himself perfectly clear in not liking me, I moved on.

I dated a few other guys.

But I still REALLY liked Frank.

And one night, again on the instant messager, I was talking to Frank about this new guy I was dating and he told me that his heart was broken.

This confused me.  I asked him why.

He explained that he liked me.  As in, he liked me, liked me.

My heart dropped.

I liked the guy I was seeing, but I liked Frank a whole lot more.

Night and day really.

You know, I like orange juice, but I realllly like ice cream.

Two totally different kinds of like.

But who knew what was going to happen with Frank.  He wasn’t sure where he was going after graduation.

My heart was so torn.

Over Memorial Day, I went down to visit a friend in Asheville, NC.  While I was there, we watched a movie and I fell sound asleep on the couch.

While I was sleeping, I dreamt about Frank.  I won’t bore you with the details (and I could totally tell you exactly the dream I had – it’s still vivid), but I woke up with the distinct feeling that I HAD to break up with the guy I was seeing and I HAD to figure out a way to make it work with Frank.

So, as any mature college senior would do, I logged on to instant messager from my friend’s house.

While I was breaking it off with one guy in a conversation in one window, I was making plans to go on a date with Frank in another window.

And my soul felt at peace.

And Frank finally got his good-bye kiss.  And I realized that Frank only says “kiddo” to people he really, really cares about.

About 10 months after our first kiss, Frank proposed on March 21st, 2003.

But one week before he proposed (seven years ago today), I graduated from my PIT class at my first ad agency (PIT= People in Training).  After 10 weeks of the class on top of my regular work load, I was looking forward to having some semblance of my life back.

Frank suggested that we go on a nice date to celebrate the end of training.  Little did I know what he was planning.

What’s funny is that the week before he proposed, I was starting to wonder where the relationship was going.

We were having some pretty deep conversations about our relationship, and in an effort to not tell me his plan to propose, Frank was being a little bit aloof about our future plans.  And I read that as him not wanting to get married.

The good news is that I was wrong.

Six months after Frank proposed, we were married.

I think it worked out perfectly.

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