Category Archives: marriage

Dinner Dance

How often do Ed and I go out dancing? Not often enough! Last weekend was the first time we’ve been dancing since last year’s dinner dance! Our church’s school hosts a dinner dance yearly for a fundraiser, and last year we went for the first time. Even though Ed and I are very active in our church, we live too far away for our girls to attend the school. We are both alumni of the school, however. (We didn’t attend St. Andrews at the same time, so we didn’t really know each other back then! Ed was already in high school when I started Junior High.)

Ed and Ginny

The Dinner Dance is at a very fancy restaurant called Cafe la Cave. It includes waiters walking around with champagne and hors d’oeuvres, dinner, a silent and live auction, and then of course, dancing! I love the silent auction! I had my eye on a Coach purse and a Vera Bradley purse. The problem with bidding at an event like this is that friends bid against each other! The woman I was bidding against for the Coach purse was very determined, so I switched to the Vera Bradley purse. I won the bid, and I’m glad I did! It’s such a cute purse! Ed had his eye on Cubs tickets. He won the bid for two tickets last year, but this year a friend outbid him. We’ll have to buy our own tickets, because it seems as though this could be a good year for the Cubs!

Vera Bradley purse

I’ll let you in on a little secret; that afternoon, Ed and I went on a training walk for the Avon 39. I tripped on my own two feet and fell all.the.way.down. Lily said I looked like a rolling ball, which was good because I didn’t break anything. However, I did scrape up my knee, my shoulder, my hands and my chin on the sidewalk. My left wrist hurt so badly at the dance that I couldn’t hold my hors d’oeuvres! (Somehow, I managed to hold my Cosmopolitan in my right hand.) I told Ed to twirl me only with my right hand on the dance floor.

I iced my wrist when we got home, and the next day? It felt 100% better! I was so relieved. I really think working on the weight machines at the gym saved me. I’ve been going to the gym now for about a year and a half, and while I still weigh about the same, I feel stronger. So I’m encouraged to keep working out!

Like Cinderella, we didn’t leave the ball until midnight. Unlike Cinderella, I left with both my heels. Ed and I can’t wait until we can dance together again….

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We Go Together Like Peas and Carrots

One time when my sister was visiting me, we had bought a papaya to try. As we were unpacking the groceries, I held the papaya in my hand and started making up a song. “Pa-pa-pa-pi-yah!” I sang.

At this point in my life, I had made some bad decisions about the men I dated. My sister told me that when I met a man that I could sing the papaya song to without being embarrassed, he would be the right man for me.

Well, it appears that I have married the right man, because Ed has made up a song for jalapenos, and he and the girls sing it all the time! Ed is always singing. He sings in the backyard while he’s mowing the lawn, he sings in the car and tells us all to join in even when we don’t know the words, and he sings at church. The one place I haven’t heard him sing is in the shower, where all normal people sing. He picked the perfect song for our first dance at our wedding; “Goodbye” by Def Leppard, which really isn’t about goodbyes after all.

Ed also knows what I like. While we were dating, I was trying to cut back on drinking Coke. After a long work week, he showed up at my apartment with a 20 ounce bottle of Coca-Cola with a bright red bow on top. That was one of the most romantic things he’s every done.

Dating for us was a little rough. We lived over 60 miles away from each other, so the only times we saw each other was on the weekends. Once we knew that we wanted to be together, we committed to spending every weekend together. Most of the time it worked, but some of the time it was exhausting! During this time, Ed saw the worst come out in me. (I don’t do well when I’m tired or hungry!) He stuck with me anyway. (I’m going to add…I stuck with him, too…he’s not perfect!)

We knew we would be good together when we traveled from Chicago to Yellowstone National Park together. Road Trip! Being stuck in a car together for 12 hours at a time will teach you if you’re compatible. Ed and I passed with flying colors! Now we drag out kids all over the country with us. We like places that aren’t too touristy. We like hiking on trails and packing our own lunches. We like eating in unique restaurants and refuse to go to McDonald’s on vacation. When the kids are in bed, we’ll sit on the balcony of our hotel room (if we’re lucky enough to have one). He’ll have a beer, I’ll have a glass of wine, and we’ll talk. I love that after 12 years of marriage, we still have plenty to talk about!

On Valentine’s Day he brings me fresh flowers, but not tulips because they make me sneeze. For Mother’s Day, we had the exact same idea for what he should buy the kids to give to me. (I’m not going to tell you…yet.) He makes me coffee every morning. He tells me he loves me often, and tucks me in at night.

I think I’ll keep him.

The Golden Spoons

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Put a Ring On It {Spin Cycle}

The girls and I were just getting home from the movies on one of those cold, cold days we had last week. It was so cold that school was cancelled, and yet we still went out with our warm, reliable minivan to shop at Target and to see Annie. Ed was already home from work when we pulled into the garage, and he was looking around his car with a flashlight. I carelessly thought he must have lost a glove or his hat as the girls tumbled out of the van shouting their hellos to Daddy. As we walked in the house together, I casually asked, “Did you lose something?”

Ed gave me a stricken look and said, “Yes, my wedding ring.”

Oh.

I tried not to panic as he told me all the places it could be. The cold weather made his fingers shrink, and his ring must have just slipped off. He remembered taking off his gloves and twirling it around with his thumb while he was driving home from work. When he got home, he stopped at the curb to get the mail from the mailbox, and then once inside, he did a load of laundry. We concluded his ring was either in the snowbank or in his laundry hamper.

Ed looked through his hamper and shook out the clothes carefully. I took his laundry out of the washing machine and checked his wet clothes and the inside of the washer. Nothing. Ed traipsed outside several times in the snow to look for his ring, but that was hopeless. Even worse, we were getting 2 more inches of snow that evening.

I hugged Ed and told him the ring didn’t matter; either it would turn up or we would get him another one and either way it would be okay. But that night as I lay in bed and listened to the snow plows go by, I kept imagining that they were pushing his wedding ring farther and farther up the street from our house.

The next day, I checked Ed’s hamper again. I looked carefully on the garage floor to see if it possibly could have ended up there. I carefully shoveled the snow by the mailbox, looking for any glint of metal.

Nothing. Ed sent me an email simply titled, “I Need a Ring.” After work, he went to the gym as usual. When he got home, he joked that all the women were busy checking him out without a ring on his finger. Mmm-hmm. He started quoting the Britney Spears song the gym plays all the time: “All eyes on us. All eyes on us.” Yup, one of the reasons I married him is because he makes me laugh.

That evening, Ed decided he should finish doing his laundry. He had been a little distracted the night before, so it didn’t get finished. When one load was in the washer, I thought I heard a clicking noise and saw a flash against the window of the washing machine door. I opened the door and found…a zipper that was making that racket.

Just as I was thinking we’d never find it, Ed came down the stairs, wearing his wedding ring! He had been pulling laundry out of the hamper for the FOURTH time, and his ring fell out onto the bathroom floor!

We went to the jewelry store last Sunday, and had that ring tightened. I’m glad to say that Ed is still a happily married man.

Have you lost something recently? Have you found it?

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Dream a Little Dream With Me {Tuesday Ten}

Ed and I joke about the house we’re going to retire in. It will be in the mountains, within driving distance to a beach and will be by a lake in the country. We especially talk about it when we’re driving west to Iowa and hit the rolling hills just east of the Mississippi River. It’s a beautiful area, and we would love to live there some day even though it’s not really mountains and not by a beach.

Some “must-haves” in our retirement house, aka our dream house, are below. We love the house we live in now, but it was built in the 60’s and there are quite a few improvements that still need to be done. Our dream house, of course, will be completely updated before we even move in!

  1.  My dream house will have a wrap around porch with rocking chairs so Ed and I can sit for hours and look at the lake. Which will be close by. There might even be loons on our lake, and there will definitely be deer in the woods. But they will not come and eat my garden.
  2.  The kitchen will have walk-in pantry, instead of a tall cabinet with no built-in shelves masquerading as a pantry.
  3. There will be beautiful kitchen counter tops that have no seams and that don’t slant forward and drip water on the floor when I’m not paying attention.
  4. I’ll have a wonderful laundry room–a clean, spacious laundry room on the first floor–not a dirty, cobwebby basement laundry room in the same space as the furnace and water heater and a sewer drain that backs up in bad storms.
  5. The large master bathroom will have two sinks and a big, clean tub that I can soak in, unlike the pink bathtub we have now that never looks quite clean because the enamel is wearing off from years of use. Oh, yes, not having a pink toilet would also be lovely.
  6. On the top floor, perhaps in an attic garret, will be my quaint writing space. It will have a window that I will be able to look out of and become inspired.
  7. As a writer, I’ll also need to have a library so I can keep all my books in one place and never give them away because there’s no more room on the shelf!
  8. I’d love to have a large stone patio with a built-in grill and fire pit with comfortable outdoor furniture and a covered area to sit when it rains. And why not…throw in a hot tub while we’re at it.
  9. Since this is supposed to be our retirement home, I’ll throw in a workroom for Ed to do whatever he wants to do. Wood working, fixing things, putzing around…a retired man definitely needs a room to putz around in.
  10.  We’ll also need a barn. Technically this is not part of the dream house, but we need a place to put our riding lawnmower and other lawn implements for our large acreage. And we’ll also have barn cats and maybe a chicken or two!

barn cats

What would your dream house have?

Tuesday Ten is hosted by Lisa and Rabia. Visit their blogs to find more Tuesday Ten lists!

The Golden Spoons

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Clash of the Couples is Here!

This past summer, Ed and I began brainstorming. My fabulous editor of The Mother of All Meltdowns, Crystal Ponti, was putting together another anthology and I wanted to be included! This time, however, we had to write a story about an argument we had. Ed and I don’t fight very often. But when we do fight, it’s usually not publishable material. Ed remembered an argument when we were going to through premarital counseling that I have no memory of, so that wouldn’t do. I remembered a huge fight that, just like Voldemort from Harry Potter, shouldn’t be named. There was no way I was writing about that one! And then there was the time I did go to bed angry, but I don’t remember what I was angry about.

That’s what Clash of the Couples is all about. Going to bed angry. Bickering over the little things, like how to load the dishwasher. Sweating over the small stuff and the big stuff, too.

What did I decide to write about? You’ll have to buy the book to find out!

Clash of the Couples

Thank you, Ed, husband dear, for helping me think of the story, for editing and proofreading my numerous drafts, and most of all, for not letting me go to bed angry.

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