Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Time Flies When You're Having Fun Kids

What? You guys don't hang out in
meadows, while wearing your
wedding dress and play tag with
your kids? Weird.
In two weeks, my husband and I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. I remember so clearly, being on our honeymoon in Aruba, all naive and newlywed-ish, promising each other that we would return to this beautiful island every ten years...um, yeah. Unless we head on down to JFK, find some young, naive, newlywed couple, and smuggle ourselves onto a plane in their Samsonite, I'm pretty sure that's not happening.

Even in spite of the lack of a celebratory tropical vacation, this anniversary is a fantastic opportunity to reflect on the past decade and several important truths I have learned about marriage...

1. First and foremost, always purchase a house with two bathrooms. Unfortunately, I came to this conclusion after buying a house with only one bathroom, and enduring the torture of living in a one toilet abode for the past seven years. Let's just say that this mommy may have peed on a pink Princess potty once or twice in the past few years.

2. Choose your battles. My mom always reminds me of the very wise mantra, "Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?" Sometimes it is just better to let things go, and not fight the same war over and over again. Yes, I sometimes feel like I live with Pauly D, since my hubby has the unfortunate habit of leaving the bathroom counter and floor strewn with gel, hairspray, shaving cream, dirty gym shorts and socks, after his daily GTL routine. But is it worth the rise in my blood pressure to yell about it, like Charlie Sheen on bath salts? 97% of the time, no. Catch me on a PMS/kids crying/dogs barking/bad hair day? Then, YES, totally worth it.

3. Buy a king size bed. We started off with a full size, upgraded to a queen, and now rock a California King (which is actually longer than a regular king...comes in very handy, since both of us are just slightly taller than Gary Coleman).  The reason you need the biggest bed Raymour and Flanigan has to offer? Because chances are, it  may not just be the two of you in bed. Now, I'm not suggesting a Hugh Hefner-style swinging lifestyle...I'm talking about bed guests that weigh less than 30 pounds, and usually smell like lollipops and peanut butter. Generally, in our house, by 5 am, there is at least one little foot in my face, a dog's butt on my head, and I am no longer the owner of prime bed real estate. Big bed = happy family...or at least, happy kids and dogs.

4. Wine and Dine? More than Dine, Dodge and Dash! When we first got married, I used to love discovering new recipes to try out for dinner. I would stop at the grocery store every day on my way home from work to buy the ingredients I would need for that evening's mouth-watering masterpiece. I would set the dining room table with all of our brand spanking new place mats and dinnerware, and we would enjoy a mature, delicious, quiet meal together. These days, dinnertime is slightly different. Trying to get all of the food (sometimes three different meals cooked for a total of four people) on the table, pour the drinks, clean up the spilled drinks 30 seconds later, find Luca's missing hotdog (which was stolen and ingested whole by one of our Boston Terrors), and actually shovel some food into our mouths is more like a marathon, than a meal. When our kids were younger, there would also be the aspect of mushed bananas, with the consistency of paste, being thrown across the table. Some nights I wonder why we even bother, since the post-dinner clean up usually takes longer than the cooking and eating, combined.

The resemblance is striking, no?
Perhaps the greatest thing I have realized has come about over the past five years. There is no denying the truth that kids are a game changer. I mean that in a 100% positive, amazing, insane, wonderful, rip your hair out, beautiful, heart bursting with love- kinda way.

We celebrated our 4th anniversary while I was pregnant with Bella, and my sister-in-law gave us a beautiful Willow Tree figurine of a couple holding each other close and dancing. I remember her saying that in a few months, not only was our life going to change, but also our love was going to change. Having already been the mama to two little ones, she wisely told me that it's a whole new world, when your family expands...you truly learn how big your heart is, and how much love you are capable of. I remember getting teary-eyed when she said this, and I will admit that I'm pulling a Taylor Swift, with teardrops on my  guitar  laptop right now, recalling that conversation, because it is so true.

Chris and I will say it all the time- what did we do with ourselves before we were parents? Readers without kids, please don't take this the wrong way. I know you are all not laying around poolside, drinking martinis and planning your next European excursion (but if you are, I'm very, very jealous!). But honestly, so much of our marriage revolves around our two little monkeys and what they want, and what they need...NOW! RIGHT now! Or better yet, five minutes ago.

Having a simple ten minute conversation about your day at work, the ridiculously high electric bill, or the latest episode of Modern Family, without being interrupted every 45 seconds with breaking news updates like, 'Maaammaaaa! Luca  took my Barbie doll and flushed it down the toilet!' and 'Dadddddd!! Bella is putting lipstick on the dog again!' is pretty much mission impossible.

To combat the chaos, we've learned that the most important thing we can do as a couple and as parents is to be a team. We have a common goal: to raise two healthy, happy, productive members of society, who will make their way in the world without being featured on the national news for something other than winning the Super Bowl or the Noble Peace Prize. Whenever things start to cross the line from crazy  to Octomom-crazy, taking a deep breath and reminding each other than bedtime (and a tall glass of wine) will be here before we know it, is a life saver. The old adage, "United we stand, divided we fall" is 100% true in parenting.

The past ten years, and especially the past five, have been absolutely amazing. By amazing, do I mean filled with constant romance- nightly moonlit walks on the beach, love letters, champagne and caviar, and jet setting to Fiji? Um, no. Life is not an episode of The Bachelor. But that's what makes our marriage and life truly fantastic. Supporting each other through everything, being in it for the long haul, "for better or for worse", and knowing that we have each others' back is the recipe for a perfectly, imperfect marriage.

Happy anniversary, to my partner-in-crime, grime, and good times. Here's to the next 50 years...xoxo.

P.S.- To any new readers, curious to why I am wearing my wedding dress on a farm, I was the lucky winner of a Trash the Dress photo shoot, by a very talented, local photographer, Jess Bennett.


  1. Well said! Happy anniversary!

  2. Nice pics lady! You rock as a woman in general. Love reading your blog and facebook posts.
    Stay cool!
    jess bennett