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Posts Tagged ‘Marriage’

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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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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I was just thinking today, outloud, about how far Frank and I have come since we were first married.

I’ve only really witnessed a few marriages up close and personal – my parents and my maternal grand parents.

And both were marriages were/are very fiery, passionate, yet humorous, pairings.

I guess they raised my tolerance level for my own marriage.  Which is good because, man, Frank really tested my limits.

And from time to time, I tested his…

Here are three things about our marriage:

Example 1.  The Shower.

When Frank and I were first married, he liked to test the boundaries (many of you who know me in real life know these stories – so you can feel free to skip ahead).

Frank thought it was quite novel that now that we were married, it was for LIFE.  And he liked to see exactly how long I would let him live.

His first test of the longevity of our union was simple: pour cold water on me over the top of the shower.  Awe-some.

Unfortunately for him, I got wise and I could hear him running the water in the kitchen and yell at him pre-emptively.

When that got old (which was rather quickly), he decided to go for the grand-daddy of all shower pranks: he threw cold water over the top, flushed the toilet and turned off the lights.

And he’s still alive today.

Example 2. The Bugs.

When I am stressed out, I dream about weird things.  When we were first married, I had a very stressful job and we had a bug infestation. Specifically, the bug infestation was a colony of earwigs.  You know, the ugly bugs with pinchers on them?  In one night, Frank killed 19 of them in our master bedroom.

It was nasty.

As a result, I would dream about bugs crawling on me and I would wake up at 4 a.m., turn on all the lights in our room and pull back the covers.

Thankfully, the only thing I found in the bed was a very confused husband staring back at me.

One night, as we were falling asleep, Frank gently brushed my leg with his finger, mimicking the sensation of a bug crawling on my thigh.

Squealing, I jumped out of bed, turned on the lights and pulled back the covers.  Frank grinned back at me, proud of his accomplishment.

“FINE!” I said, snatching my pillow off of the bed.  “I will sleep on the COUCH!”

Sidebar: If you know nothing about Frank, you should just know that he HATES being startled, especially by people jumping out at him. Continuing on with the story…

As I stormed down the hall, Frank realized that he went too far and followed me out to the family room.

What he didn’t know is that I ducked into the laundry room.

As he passed the dark laundry room on his way to the also dark family room, I jumped out at him, yelling.

Frank screamed.  I smiled.  We both went back to bed and eventually fell asleep.

Example 3. The Penny.

There are a few things that happen in our marriage that Frank and I are fully aware of, but we don’t say anything about them.  I can’t tell you about the most current examples of this because, well, Frank reads this blog and it would break the code of silence prematurely.

When we were first married, there was a penny on the floor of the kitchen.  I’m not sure how it got there, but when I noticed it I wondered if Frank would pick it up.

And Frank wondered if I would pick it up.

For months, we walked around this penny in the kitchen.  I even washed the floors around the penny.

We said not a word to each other about the penny.

One day Frank’s mom was visiting and she saw the penny and bent down to pick it up -but I stopped her.

“Oh, no, go ahead and leave that penny there.  I’m waiting to see if Frank will pick it up,” I explained.

She sort of cocked her head to one side and looked at me, puzzled.

She still does that.  Our marriage often causes people to pause and wonder.

And I don’t blame them.

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