Tag Archives: love

A year later, yet so much more.

Monday marked one year since M and I secretly wed in our mecca, in Healdsburg, truly the best day of our lives, and a day where I was convinced I couldn’t love this man any more than I did at that very moment.

ring M

But a year later, I love him so much more. We’ve grown together and we’ve learned together.  It is now that I think about those around me that have been married for many years, my sister, Jess, for example, just surpassed ten years of marriage (!), my sister Jen is nearing seven years of marriage, and I can’t fathom what our love will look like a decade down the road, except that it will be beautiful. Not perfect – imperfectly perfect – but beautiful.

So, with that, here is what I have learned this year, our first year of marriage, in no particular order:

  • It’s okay to fight. In fact, it’s healthy. This is something I’ve learned throughout the almost four years since M and I met, but this year, we’ve encountered a lot of new, as we transitioned into home ownership, adjoined financials, blending our families together etc. We fight wisely, and sometimes push each other to *not* close up and walk away, but settle whatever we are discussing right then and there, because later, it won’t seem as urgent, or as big, or as significant, and there is far more of a chance, we’ll just wave it off and think it’s no big deal. That’s where things fester, linger, and resentment grows.
  • Let each other learn. Separately. Don’t try to do it all together, or for me, try to control things. Let life happen a little bit. For example, as a new homeowner, M is learning, and hitting roadblocks sometimes, and as much as I want to be a know-it-all and say this is how you do it, I’ve done this before (whatever it may be), he needs to learn how to himself. His way. Not my way.
  • Talk more. Communicate. Sounds ‘no duh’ but sometimes, even just talking about each other’s day can lead to discovering new things about each other, things we may be worrying about, be mad at, things that are ultimately affecting our moods, and therefore, sometimes, our time together.
  • Keep your own interests, share in each other’s. I think this is one of my biggest overall, and always has been. Don’t be each other’s lives, be part of it. Yes, my husband is a huge part of my life, but I don’t think we need to, or should, rely on each other 100% to BE each other’s life. Cultivate your own hobby, keep up with your friends, make new ones, even. Yet, at the same time, share in each other’s interests. M loves to garden now. I *like* it but not all the time, just when I am in the mood (haha). But sometimes, just the joy of being together in his element, watching him, makes me so happy. While other times, I’ll discover later a project he’s finished, or a new plant he’s planted and it just makes me smile. He loves through gardening sometimes, and I just love that.

I am sure there are many more, but these are just some that I wanted to capture so I wouldn’t forget.

Without a shadow of a doubt, I love this man more than I ever thought possible, and respect him even more, as a husband, a gifted nurse practitioner, a devoted son and brother, and as my best friend, the one that makes me laugh the hardest at any given moment, while in the next, makes my heart physically burst with love, with the flick of a smile, a hug, or a touch.

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(yet again, I am remiss in posting for weeks at a time. perhaps this will be one of my last posts, though I of course, am still deciding. stay tuned.)

The MFEO Chronicles: Sarena & Tony

Today, I bring you Sarena and Tony, who I am delighted to introduce in the next installment of The MFEO Chronicles.

Though we have never met in person (it WILL happen, it MUST!), I truly feel Sarena and Tony are kindred spirits, in a way, so much in common, similar humor, interests and personality, and I just adore these two (and I swear, Tony is the long-lost brother I never had! Love that guy!). And, not only do they strike me as the most genuine, real, and compassionate souls, they have the most beautiful story as a couple, and their story of longevity, fighting against the odds and being the life partner they both need in every single way, is just so inspiring and makes me smile from head to toe.

Enjoy – and thank you Sarena and Tony, for sharing your story. It truly is an honor to share it. <3.

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I have to admit, when Jolene asked me to write a little bit about my marriage to share here with you guys, I got a little freaked out. I don’t believe in superstition (as I sit here with a black cat in front of me), but you know, putting my personal thoughts on my relationship with my husband gave me that brief thought of is this the kiss of death? What do I know about relationships? We aren’t perfect and I’m sure we don’t have all the answers. Then I thought about it for a minute and laughed at myself. Of course it’s not the kiss of death. We are more than that. So much more.
 
 
I met my husband Tony when we were 19. Yep, that would be shortly after high school. Looking back, we thought we were adults. Looking at it now, we were kids. Smart kids, since we knew to hold on to each other, but kids just the same. I said it then and I will say it now, we are old souls meant to be together. I really feel like we were together in another life. We met in college. Tony was in the art program and I was in the culinary arts program at The Art Institute in Atlanta. He caught my eye immediately. Cutie, that man was (and still is). You know, those butterflies in the stomach…yeah, those were going crazy! Tony is the first guy that ever opened the door for me. I had never met a truly nice guy that wanted to hang out with me. We were that annoying inseparable couple (and still are now) that everyone rolls their eyes at. From there, we got married a little over a year later. Twenty years old getting hitched. I know! CRAZY! We actually got married against the odds. My parents wanted nothing to do with me getting married. They didn’t come to my wedding and actually planned an event so that nobody from my side of the family would come to my wedding. That was hard for me, but I was marrying the man of my dreams. My relationship with Tony has taught me so much about love and what family really is. The most important thing Tony has taught me, what I believe is the key to a happy marriage, is unconditional friendship and love.

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That word, unconditional, that is an important word. You see, I do not have all the answers as far as love goes. Tony and I are a normal married couple. We have had our down times too. We aren’t perfect! I know, it’s shocking even for me to admit. I kid, I kid. You know what we are, we are friends that understand that life is about adapting and understanding. The only thing that we can be assured of is change. It’s how we work together to get through the change that really makes us a great team.
 
 
I was that girl that had these grand thoughts on what life would be when I grew up, got married, had babies and got older. Well, life is nothing like I thought it would be. I think we all want that romantic movie where everything is perfect and happy. You get that big break and everything works out in the end. Am I right?
 
 
News flash, life is definitely not easy. However, being married to my best friend, has definitely made this little adventure called life so much better. It’s that unconditional love and friendship that has gotten us where we are today. In the last (almost) 20 years (please don’t do that math on that) Tony and I have become stronger through failed family relationships, emergency surgeries (his), the birth of our 2 beautiful boys, 2 miscarriages, tumors (mine) and career changes.
 
 
Don’t get me wrong, my life is amazing. I love every minute of it. I’ve come to realize that my relationship with Tony really has pulled me through those hard times. Unconditional love is the key for us.
 
Knowing, that in the hard times, he is always there for me no matter what and that I’m there for him no matter what always gives us a sense of safety. I do feel like I’m one of the lucky ones. I found my soul mate early on. We have literally been together longer than we’ve been apart in our lives. It’s so strange to think about it that way. I never take our relationship for granted. It’s special and I am forever grateful for having Tony in my life.  We are definitely MFEO.Tony's Class Reunion

The MFEO Chronicles: Jess & Scott

I am so excited to start sharing some of my guest posts for the MFEO Chronicles. I purposely left the definition of the MFEO Chronicles vague, as I wanted those that I asked to submit, to share their story, whatever that may mean, and define what MFEO means to them, and their partnership. I present to you my first entry, from my sister Jess, on her decade-strong marriage (coming right up in June). Without a doubt, their marriage is one I have respected and admired for many years, and they inspire me, as M and I just begin our journey in marriage (7 months!), and partnership (3+ years).

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loveMade for each other.

I am 100% certain that Scott was put on this earth for me. I say this with such confidence because just weeks into our relationship, we gave our hearts to each other. As literally as we possibly could. I distinctly remember the night that we talked about the love that was blooming between us. I told him I’d always take care of his heart, if he promised to take care of mine. I held my hand over his heart and said “this is my heart, please keep it safe” as I pat his chest, feeling it rise and fall beneath my palm. He promised…well, he pinky swore (a promise we take very seriously), that he always would.

And ever since that day, I’ve trusted him with my heart without a shadow of a doubt.  And he’s done the very same. To me? This isn’t something to take lightly or to just assume is present in every relationship: that unrelenting trust and faith that your heart, your most precious possession will be forever safe, forever loved, forever cherished.

But I’ve never ever doubted that with us. Since that day, with my hand pressed against his chest, I’ve trusted Scott with all that I have and all that I am.

As I talked to Scott about the MFEO Chronicles the other day, I described it to him as a blog post talking about why he’s my other half. To which he responded: but you’re not my other half, you’re my three-quarters. Without you, I’m only a quarter of me. Not a half. A quarter.

…and he’s right. He’s my three-quarters. I adore him, I cherish him, I love him so fully, so passionately, so endlessly. It sometimes scares me how much. That is, until I remember that thing called faith, and that fear subsides.

So to me, being made for each other isn’t just about being compatible, or learning how to make each other laugh, it’s about trust, adoration, respect and total and utter commitment – to each other, to ourselves, to the relationship, to the marriage. We’re not afraid to put our relationship first when it’s needed. Or to step aside to let each other chase a dream, it might be me chasing a dream one moment, and Scott chasing a dream the next.  Ultimately, we’ve learned how to give 100% to our relationship without losing ourselves in the process. It was even in our vows – to support each other’s hopes and dreams, never losing sight of “Scott” or “Jess” along the way.

It’s funny, I actually struggled to write this post for my sister at first. I think, after almost 10 years of marriage and 14 years together, it’s pretty impossible to remember what life was like without Scott in my life, and in my heart. And maybe that’s why this MFEO Chronicle is so simple: Scott and I are made for each other. It’s as simple as that. And I feel very blessed to have found such an enduring faith-filled and faithful lover, best friend, and companion for life. He is my three-quarters. <3

Introducing…the MFEO chronicles.

I’ve recently been admiring those around me, near and afar, and the marriages, partnerships, and teams (of two!) they’ve created, and, in parallel, my marriage to M, and the partnership we are creating.

And there spawned my idea.

The MFEO chronicles. (MFEO = made for each other)

I plan to chronicle some stories from some of those I admire in this community (and outside of it, too) and what makes them MFEO. From the good, *and* the not so perfect.

Because, this is, after all, the perfectly imperfect me, right? And what better way to remind myself and you, that to be ‘made for each other’ doesn’t mean perfect. This also holds true for life, generally, and our individual selves. It’s not about perfection. It’s about striking that ‘just right’ balance that makes us who we are, and who we are together so natural and right.

With M, I know we are MFEO because…

…he can make me laugh like no other. It could be the crassest joke, to the simplest – yet funniest – word choice, but I just laugh – like, really really laugh – when I am with him hysterically, all the time. Daily, even. We ‘get’ each others’ humor eerily well, and even when *my *particular jokes don’t go over as successfully as his, he still laughs, or at least amuses himself that I am cracking myself up ;-)

…I trust him with all of my heart. And he trust me equally as much. Trust was something I realized I didn’t know how or when to trust, when I started dating after divorce. How long does it take to trust someone’s words at face value? After being with someone for 10 years, that trust is second nature, and you don’t really realize *when* the trust began, so when you start from scratch, when to trust becomes a scary, scary thing. I started out trusting immediately, and got burned, immediately, and once I met M, I wanted to trust so much, but was afraid to. But I soon realized then, and even more now, that he is, of just about anyone in my life, the most trustworthy – and respectful – man I have ever met.

…we can argue, and be frustrated, and get mad at each other. And it’s still okay. In fact, it brings us closer. It could be a simple misunderstanding blown out of proportion (guilty as charged, more often than I’d like), or it could actually be a longer standing issue that takes awhile to get through, that takes many reminders and conversations and frustration. But working through that, and really talking about it, even when it gets uncomfortable, is what makes us better individually, and together.

…we respect each other’s strengths and lift up each other’s weaknesses. We are a team. Isn’t that truly what a partnership is all about? He’s chill. I’m…type A, more rigid (than I’d like to be…working on it!). He calms me. I add structure (where needed) and GSD (get sh*t done) when sometimes he may be procrastinating. We motivate each other,  we keep each other going, and we make goals together *and* achieve them.

e5080839a21e01b222d9c642ba859286It’s been a little less than 3.5 years since we met, and 8 months of marriage, yet I know our foundation is strong, we are strong together, and strong as individuals, and I cannot wait to see what our ‘MFEO’ years look like 5, 10, 15, 20 years from now. And I can’t wait to share stories from those that HAVE been together for this many years, to explore their stories, and embrace the lessons they’ve learned.

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Cheers, friends.

Sometimes, you just realize.

Sometimes, the seemingly smallest things stop you dead in your tracks, and make you realize what a crazy, amazing, blessed life you have.

Something as small as this – a promotion Facebook did to celebrate their sixth birthday – creating a video of your first and biggest moments on Facebook, and I sit here in a puddle of tears, in awe, over what the last six years has brought me, and conversely, what I have made of it.

…my first moments on Facebook include my beautiful Nala and Kayla, seeing Nala as the very first picture made me cry right away, I miss her so, but equally love that this was the start of my six years. Because soon after was when I began my journey, and where my kitties became my companions, my support, my laughter, when I was sad, when I was alone, when I was learning to be myself again.

…one of my more popular posts was this one, from September 2012: “I am pretty sure I am the luckiest girl alive – with M” the day after our engagement. Even in that less than two years, and less than 4 since we met and married, that statement couldn’t be more true then, or now.

…my most popular posts were our ‘surprise‘ marriage, and becoming homeowners. Both of those have me beaming with pride, love and blessings.

It’s so funny how something as ‘trivial’ as a social media gimmick to promote Facebook’s ‘birthday’ has me sitting here in stunned silence. The last six years have been nothing short of life-changing forever. From a then 28 year old married woman who knew nothing about herself, to a divorced 29 year old starting fresh and from scratch, in quite literally every way, from home, to finances, to self, to body, to love, to today, 34 years old, married to the love of my life and in what could very well be our ‘forever’ home, and I am feeling unbelievably blessed.

e86a3f50e69e0d14be3b5948c851da5fSometimes it truly is just taking a step back and reminding yourself where you came from, where you are today, and where you can go from here. The possibilities are endless.

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