Archive for the marriage Category
A Sharp Guy’s Christmas List

Actual conversation between my husband and me:

Me: So you want a machete for Christmas?
Him: Yup.
Me: What for?
Him: What for?!?! To have, that’s what for!
Me: Well what are you going to do with it?
Him: Wha–who cares? Whatever the f*** I want! Go cut up some wood and sh*t. Go hack off some limbs! Trees, I mean.
Me: Okay…..
Him: I really need to teach you about men.

Now mind you, my husband is no lumberjack. He was never in the military. He sits behind a desk and does super important computer stuff all day. His most use for a pocketknife comes from opening boxes of diapers that come from Amazon.

So for those of you who don’t “know about men,” I’ve provided you a list of the most sought after gifts for guys this Christmas. And best of all for the frugal gift givers out there, most of them are available for under $20! I don’t know what disturbs me more — the fact that these weapons are readily available on Amazon, or the fact that they’re so damn cheap. Also, extreme Amazon Affiliate linkage going on here.

Gerber 31-000705 Gator Machete Pro, Nylon Sheath

Gerber 31-000705 Gator Machete Pro

According to friends, this piece could be used to kill zombies, clear brush and create shooting lanes, or like most responses, “I have no idea why my husband has this.”

United Cutlery UC2836 M48 Ranger Hawk Axe (with Compass!)

United Cutlery UC2836 M48 Ranger Hawk Axe with Compass

You don’t want to get lost while out hacking limbs and sh*t!

Black Ronin Tomahawk w/ Black Nylon Sheath

Black Ronin Tomahawk w/ Black Nylon Sheath

I don’t know why this one’s cheaper. It looks way more badass. Every inch is covered in some kinda blade. Leaving this one off the list for fear that he will stab himself while hacking away at our sad excuse for a pomegranate tree.

Tool Logic CC1SB Credit Card Companion with 2-Inch Serrated Knife, Translucent Black

Tool Logic CC1SB Credit Card Companion with 2-Inch Serrated Knife, Translucent Black

Now this…this I might actually get him. He’s a man of many needs, and this multi tool will give him the ability to remove tiny screws from laptops AND open diaper boxes from Amazon.  I don’t know which is my favorite feature —  the toothpick for after meals or the 8x power lens for magnification OR FIRE STARTING.

6 Pc Throwing Knives Variety: Ridge Runner Lightning Throwers 6 Pc Variety

6 Pc Throwing Knives Variety: Ridge Runner Lightning Throwers 6 Pc Variety

All you need to know you get from one review: “I would’ve not put a star but they are terrible but are reliable. I threw one and it hit the wood I then there was a rattle snake going after my cousin I threw all the ones that I had left and killed the snake with them.”

Yup. That just happened.


But if you’re going to play around with blades, why not go all out and get an effing Samurai sword?

Musashi – Kobuse Folded – San Mai Katana Sword – Koi Bamboo Red

Musashi - Kobuse Folded - San Mai Katana Sword - Koi Bamboo Red

Have you SEEN Kill Bill? Took Lucy Liu’s head clean off. Unfortunately research has not been conducted to show how it fares with zombies or pomegranate trees.


What’s on YOUR guy’s list this Christmas?



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House meeting

Conversations in the garage while he works out and I watch him work out and think about eating some ice cream:


“Hey, so, there used to be this guy, and he would come and clean up all the toys in the living room for me after the kids went to bed. Every night. He was like a magical toy elf. But then something happened, and he’s gone. Now when the kids go to bed, he just goes off and gets busy with ‘other things,’ like lifting weights and playing pirate computer games.”


“Oh, really? Well, you know my wife? She loves to take these sticks, and then find these big bushes. And she just goes around beating them. She beats around those bushes like no one you’ve ever seen!”


This is how you hold a family meeting after 10 years of marriage, my friends.

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On 10 Years

Friday, September 21, 2012, is my ten year wedding anniversary. TEN YEARS.

Holy geez I’m old.


Ten years ago we didn’t know where we were going, but we jumped in together. Ten years ago, we had no one but ourselves to be responsible for. Ten years ago, my husband declared, “At our ten year anniversary, we’ll renew our vows, go on a big vacation, and I’ll upgrade your diamond!” Then again, ten years ago, we couldn’t fathom having 3 kids in just under 2 years. Ten years ago, we had no idea how much can change in the months, weeks, days, hours since we said “I do.” Ten years from ten years ago wasn’t even a blip on the radar.


I’ve learned a lot these past ten years with this man, in this marriage.


I’ve learned that even though he’s in his mid 30s, I sometimes still see him as the little 21 year old kid I met way back when. (And I was only 20, so 21 was like old…enough to drink.)

I’ve learned that I’ve loved watching him grow up into the man and father he is today.

I’ve learned that I cannot walk away from a disagreement as often as I would like. He let me know REAL quick that that wasn’t going to fly.

I’ve learned that sometimes there are just no boundaries and no filters. Especially when it involves morning flatulence. Or any flatulence as far as he is concerned.

I’ve learned to stop plucking the grays out of his head when I cut his hair. They’re just multiplying too quickly, and really, who has that kind of time?

I’ve learned that doing things together as a couple is a luxury that I once took for granted.

I’ve learned that he cannot keep a secret to SAVE HIS LIFE and I am awesome at getting the truth out of him.

I’ve learned that he is an AWESOME girl-dad.

I’ve learned that even in our most frustrating moments, I really did get the best of the bunch.


Ten years later, there is no party being planned. We have three adorable, sweet, money sucking kids. I don’t care about the size of my diamond — I’m not a flashy girl, and I like it just fine, thankyouverymuch.  Ten years later he still makes my heart skip a beat and my body shake with laughter.

Ten years later we may still not know where this ship is sailing, but I’m glad we’re on the same boat.

lakeway resort and spa


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How do you go on?

My friend Charley died on Sunday. He was 34 years old. He leaves behind a beautiful wife and a 6 year old son.

From what I know, which isn’t much, Charley died of complications from multiple sclerosis, and it was somewhat sudden. Although I hadn’t seen them in probably over two years, Charley and Christian worked together until just recently. Christian had just met him for lunch 3 weeks ago. He said he looked great, like he was doing much better.

I found out on Facebook. Skimming status updates, I saw something peculiar. I clicked over to Charley’s page and saw nothing but memos of “I love you,” and “Rest in peace.”

My heart stopped. How could this be?

Getting alerted that someone you know has died suddenly is a shock to the system. I knew this person. We shared beers, good times, and kids’ birthday parties. And now he’s gone.

I can’t make sense of this situation. I can’t make sense of my feelings.

Do I feel sad that I never got to say goodbye to him?

Regret that our friendship as couples had faded, like so many do?

Unsure of how to be there for his wife and child?

Intense fear that any one of our loved ones could be taken from us at any moment?


As I lay in bed last night, burrowing my face in my husband’s chest and taking in his warmth, his scent, his embrace, I couldn’t help but think of my friend Andrea.

Her husband gone.

Her bed empty.

The tears.

Still having to get up and continue life for her son, maintain some sort of normalcy.

How much her heart must ache for her best friend, husband, and father of her child. A man she’ll never see again on this earth.

The dreading of night time, when all is dark and quiet, and it’s just her and her thoughts.

The intense void she must be feeling having him taken from her so suddenly.

I know the uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach is nothing compared to hers. I know the ache in my heart pales in comparison to the pain she must be feeling.

How do you leave your loved one’s bedside, knowing you will never get to see them, speak to them, hold them again?

How do you return home to an empty house, an empty bed? Their things still strewn about the rooms they once walked?

How do you go on?


Charley was a son, a brother, and a friend. He was insanely witty, the kind of person who made intelligent jokes that went way over my head. He was a beloved husband and an amazing father.

If you have a prayer to spare, please send it up in honor of Charley, his wife Andrea and their son Connor. Donations to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society are appreciated, in memory of Charles Evans.

Rest in peace, Charley. Thanks for the memories. You will be missed by many.

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Rule 16: Give Yourself the Little Blue Box

This is part of an ongoing series chronicling my attempts to regain a bit of my sense of self, and my sanity, by implementing Elizabeth Lyons’ 32 Rules that Sustain a (Mostly) Balanced Mom. Subscribe to my RSS feed to follow my experiment, and check out the rest of the posts in the series!

I’ve mentioned more than once to my husband that I’m getting burned out on this motherhood thing — constantly needing to be at someone’s every beck and call, refereeing the most ridiculous fights, always feeling like I am waiting on someone hand and foot, and most {but not all} of those someones are 3 feet tall or less.

Preschool has helped give me a break, but then we have days like today, where no matter what I do, someone is unhappy and I feel like I’m walking on eggshells to keep the room from exploding. And then after that super fun day I get to spend 2 hours at the grocery store.

But my husband just reminded me that this Saturday is all about me. He’s right. Because tomorrow I am leaving the house at about 9am and I am ideally not coming back for 12 whole hours.

Tomorrow I’m headed to my first real blogging related event, Blogathon ATX. And I am so. excited.

I’m planning on meeting some cool new people, hanging out with bloggers I already know, and soaking up the bloggy awesome that will be abounding from the many knowledgeable experts that are speaking and heading up the event.

I’ve been looking forward to this for months.

But still…I can’t help but feel a little guilty being gone all day long, leaving Christian and the kids to fend for themselves. I know he can do it — he did it for 5 days not too long ago. But that was different. I was in a different state, not a just a stone’s throw away.

Saturday I’m afraid that the close proximity will get to me. I’ll feel the centrifugal pull of my home, my kids, and my responsibilities.

In Rule 16, Elizabeth talks about giving yourself that “little blue box.” Her example of going to Tiffany’s and asking the lady behind the counter for an empty blue box is quite literal, but has a powerful message:

“Sometimes we wait for others to give us what we want or need. But one, we aren’t clear about what that is. And two, sometimes we have to be our own best friend.”


For the past several months, my personal little blue box has been time. I don’t have a lot of leisure time being the primary care giver to three little ones.

So once in a while I express the need to leave the house in the evening, and not spend the entire time pushing a cart around a store. Sometimes I head out to my multiples club’s monthly meeting. Sometimes I meet up with my lady blogger friends. Sometimes I go to a bookstore and sit in the cafe to work or just browse some books. By myself. With no one to answer to.

But if I don’t make the effort to plan these outings or dates with myself, then they will never happen.

“The fact is, we must tell other people what we want and need…we must teach other people how to treat us. Don’t be a martyr in order to get what you need.”

And that’s exactly what I’m guilty of — letting myself get so burned out, so stressed out, that I literally explode on my husband, my kids, the freaking dog that is always under my feet picking up the latest scraps off the kitchen floor.

So Saturday, as I head to Blogathon, I will take full advantage of my day out of the house. I will learn all that I can from the experts whose brains I get to pick. I will not feel guilty.

Ok, I’ll try really hard not to feel guilty.

What’s YOUR “little blue box?” Do you have a hard time asking or what you want?


Purchase your own autographed copy of You CANNOT Be Serious! You can also follow Elizabeth Lyons on Twitter: @elizabethlyons

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An Attitude of Gratitude #18

Welcome to my Sunday Attitude of Gratitude! Read here to find out why I started this weekly gratitude post. If you have something you’re grateful for or something that made you happy, write a post or make a list and link up, or leave me a comment!


This week I was grateful for:


PRESCHOOL. Because the days we didn’t go were very, very tough.

Slightly cooler weather that allowed us to stay outside for most of Friday.


Watching my former featherweight preemies climb and scale a huge playscape like it was nothin. They owned that playscape.

The sweet mom who didn’t mind that all 3 of my girls practically attacked her 7 month old at the park.

R&C’s new teacher telling me that they are very huggy in class — coming up and randomly giving her hugs all day. Those are my sweet, sweet girls.

Celebrating nine years with my incredible husband.

Popcorn/movie nights, and Rachel singing along to the ending credits song in Rio.

What were you grateful for this week? Link up! Linky’s open until Saturday.



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I was uninspired to write a post commemorating my wedding anniversary this year. Nothing against my beloved on our special day; the words just weren’t coming to me. Which sucked, because I’ve done an anniversary post for the past 2 years that I’ve been blogging.

Then Tuesday happened.

I had serious issues with Tuesday.

A stomach ache.

Cranky, rude demands for their new favorite movie. And again after watching it once.

Three kids taking off in two different directions on a total walk fail.

Attempted picnic lunches uneaten.

Naptimes fought (but luckily won by me!).

Battles over a damn rubber ducky that is supposed to be their baby sister’s.

I was DONE.

But then there was a surprise at the door as we played outside in the kiddie pool — a daddy walking through the door, 45 minutes earlier than usual. He knew I wasn’t feeling well and had caught wind of some of our crankies on the phone.

Little girls jumped for joy.

Laughter was shared.

Bad moods were lifted.

Love and patience was doled out in droves.

He relieved me of my duties, played with his kids, and cooked up a mean frozen pizza with three little ones under his feet.

He made me feel relief, protection, love.

Despite my shirt stained with God knows what, my same old athletic shorts, and my disheveled ponytail, he told me I was beautiful. And he meant it.


Happy anniversary to my husband, best friend, and father to my beautiful children. I fear that no words that I write here can truly express how much I appreciate your love, affection, support, and companionship.

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Wedded Bliss?

Can anyone tell me if my house is still standing? Or have the children gone all Lord of the Flies on my husband?

Yes, I’m still gone! I’m having a great time! I may never come back!

Wait, it gets wicked cold up here in Iowa in the winters. I’m not made for that. Ok, I’ll come back soon.

But while I’m still gone and having a blast with all these amazing women up here, I have another amazing women RIGHT HERE on this blog to keep you company.

She’s my bloggy BFF and Canadian sister wife. And like any good sister wife, she’s down here helping Christian with the kids and babysitting my blog while I’m gone. Ok, maybe just the blog stuff.

Please give a warm welcome to the incredible Leighann of Multitasking Mumma! She’s getting married next year and is knee deep in wedding fantasies, plans, and the inevitable pressure that comes with it all. #sigh


We are in the thick of planning our wedding and I am certain we’ve gotten a great head start! It’s more than a year away you guys!!

Brian on the other hand is not convinced. He thinks I have let my woman brain be swayed by “Say Yes to the Dress” and “Big Bliss” and I should have given myself three years or more to pull off what I am dreaming.

He says I’m a trickster.

That I promised him a back yard pig roast with a small gathering of friends and this is turning into glitz and spotlights.

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding!


Okay it’s true. I promised pigs, sand, and t-shirts.

I told him there would only be a few people, a huge keg, and patio lanterns.

A little ditty about Brian and LEEEIIIGGHHANNN.

But then I remembered… I’m a girl and I want all the attention on me in my big white dress, my pulled back hair, my father walking me down the aisle, my child out of wedlock crying from my mother-in-laws lap, you know.. the dream?!

I want to starve myself for months before the big day in an attempt to fit into the gown of my dreams and do sit ups under my desk on my lunch break just so I can look back on my wedding photos with a smile on my face.

I want the excitement of planning.

The anxieties, frustrations, disappointments, and thrills.

The cake samples, invitation choices, table clothes and overlays, and glue stuck all over my hands from making centre pieces.

I want to carefully pick out song choices for the DJ and forbid any Taylor Swift music be played.

Most of all?

I want to fantasize about walking up the aisle towards the man I chose to spend the rest of my life with, slipping my hand into his, and beginning our journey into the next chapter together.

See how lovely she is? What a talent for mixing the hilarious with the warm fuzzies. And good call on the Taylor Swift banning.

Now go! Run! Check out Multitasking Mumma in her own territory and tell her the Genie sent you! I’ll be back on Wednesday!

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An Attitude of Gratitude #16

Welcome to Attitude of Gratitude! If you’re not familiar with my weekly post, find out why I started it!

This week definitely had it’s ups and downs. Monday I opened up my email to see that my Paypal account had been hacked and some jerk named Dimitri had set up an automatic payment from me to him. Props on the hacking, but that’s not nice!

Plus, I don’t keep any money in that account anyway, so joke’s on you, fool!

And then the day ended with a call to Poison Control when I realized that instead of her antibiotics for her ear infection, C had given Rachel a dose of some random goo from way back in April. {This is why it’s good to clean out the ENTIRE fridge, not just the main shelves.} No biggie, she’s fine.

But we definitely had some wins this week, and I’ve found myself grateful for a lot:

Bookstores — whether they’re for buying books, reading books, or unshelving books, they’re a whole lotta fun.

Zoe even made a little boyfriend at the bookstore. He was playing hide and seek among the shelves with his dad, and Zoe was just playing YOU CAN’T CATCH ME YOU CRAZY LADY!!! with me. But she kept coming across little boy, and every time she did, he would try to beckon her over to hide with him. So. Cute.

Painting little girl nails.

Excitement over M&Ms (duh — they’re delicious).

Seeing a light at the end of the tunnel as both girls were {almost} complete angels on a trip to Target.

Watching Zoe so eager to join her sisters in play time, doing what they’re doing.

Christian being extra calm, patient, and loving with the kids when he knows I’m at the end of my rope.

Yogurt covered pretzels.

Zoe signing “please” and “more.”

Claire and Rachel snuggling together in Rachel’s bed after nap time.



Finally, this week was so full of super funny quotes, I just had to share:

Me: “Okay, Rachel, let’s wipe you’re butt.”
Rachel: “Good idea, Mommy.”

Claire: “Dad…I’m so sorry I spilled….”

Claire: “We hafta go play dis.”
Christian: “No, I don’t want to play that. I want to play with this.”
Claire: “Dad. We hafta go play this.” {I totally imagined her all serious, with her hand on his shoulder.}

Rachel: I hafta go pee pee in the potty and then go to school!” {The are SO EXCITED about starting “school,” so what better potty training incentive?}

Claire: “Mom…I’m so sorry I got mad at you.”

So maybe the funny was in the context, and since you weren’t here for that, well then it’s probably not as funny to you! But it seems like our little three year olds are turning into actual little people, like with manners and stuff.


What about you? What are you grateful for? Write a post or make a list and link up! Linky’s open until Saturday!


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What I love about him

He’s rough and tough and manly and stuff.

But he’s not above hanging in the kiddie pool.


So refreshing


He watches the History Channel and reads National Geographic. Like for fun.

But he can also recall the name of the Sex & the City chick that escapes me at the moment.

He loves to pick out the girls’ clothes and fix their hair.

But he drives me crazy by picking out outfits that don’t coordinate and throwing their hair in messy ponytails.


He can fix just about any computer problem I have.

But he can also hack into my Facebook account while I’m chatting with a friend and type things like, “Man I gotta poop” and “Me so horny.”

Don't let that sweet face fool you. He's a trickster.

He kills creepy crawlies for me at a moment’s notice.

But he won’t dare touch any of the toads that live in the backyard tree stump.


But feeding birds is oh so manly

He’s loved me for who I was 12 years ago, and he’ll love me for who I will be in 12 more years.

But he always loves me for who I am today.

We have shamefully few photos of us together.

This post is linked up with the amazing Multitasking Mumma!


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