Archive for Marriage


I wonder if I’m the only one who watches that show Hoarders and immediately afterward has a burning desire to purge my house of everything (or, at least, clean it).  I mean, really, they should market that show as motivation to clean.

For the years we’ve been living together, my husband’s talent for low scale hoarding has been a source of humor and also irritation between us.  When we first moved in together, it was boxes.  Every box for every appliance was kept and stowed in the coats closet, the office closet, the bathroom closets (oh, to have so many closets again).  I finally convinced him, after moving once and not using the boxes (his reason for keeping them- the Styrofoam in them was PERFECTLY! SHAPED! FOR EACH! APPLIANCE!) to get rid of them.  But, it doesn’t stop there.  I think Mr. Cookie should get a job as a product tester.  Now not counting because I recently purged our tub of excess bottles, at most times you can find between 2 and 4 cans of shaving cream and at least two kinds of facial wash (NOT my special, rosacea wash) in our shower.  You guys, I rarely even have as many products in the shower as he does.   A few weeks ago, I fell on the sidewalk and had a nasty case of road rash.  I tried out a doctor suggested at home remedy- a cut up pair of pantyhose and a maxi pad slathered with bacitracin.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was getting the job done.  Well, about a day after hearing me complain about how the pads I use are really thin and were providing little cushioning around my knee, he returned from CVS with no fewer than 3 different products for holding bandages onto joints and a couple different kinds of non-stick pads and gauze.  None of them worked better than the panty hose and pad and they now take up valuable real estate in our dining room hutch.  We have so little closet space in our current apartment (and none in our bathroom save the world’s tiniest medicine cabinet) that we’ve actually relegated two large drawers in the built in hutch for first aid, medicine, and beauty products.  It was a sweet gesture and I appreciated it at the time, but I know when we come to move we’re going to have to sift through all that stuff.

Maybe it comes of being a military brat.  We were never able to accumulate much because we were moving every couple of years.  Still, it’s easy to start collecting things.  I was doing laundry today down in the basement, staring at a bunch of shipping boxes my husband has saved (he’s been selling off old books and often has to ship them, so this is justified mostly) when I started to look around.

Believe it or not, this post was not written entirely to poke fun at my husband.  I realized I might have a problem too.  I collect things because I like to be prepared (and I don’t like wasting things).  For example, I have a large collection of gift bags.  These are not generally bags I’ve purchased, but rather, bags I’ve been gifted that I hold on to “just in case.”  I have used a couple, but mostly they are Christmas bags and I don’t have many opportunities to use those.  I also have a bunch of different sized tins.  One year, I decided to do a ton of baking at the holidays to give to friends.  We were living right in downtown Boston and I found it impossible to find tins for the cookies.  Mom happily told me “try the grocery store or WalMart!” except, there’s no WalMart in downtown Boston (we had no car) and the grocery stores don’t seem to hold the same suburban housewife values as my Mom’s.  So, when I moved and got a car, I found the nearest Christmas Tree Shop (really close!) and bought a bunch of tins.  I used most of them, but every holiday season I buy a few extra just in case the great tin shortage of ’06 should choose to repeat itself.  Plus, people often think the tins are so valuable (they really are dirt cheap) that after they’ve eaten the goodies inside, they give them back to me!  And who am I to argue with that?

I think this desire for preparedness comes of a desire to share and help (or so I justify it in my own head).  When I was in high school, all my friends knew I was their go to person if we were out and they needed something.  Change for a parking meter?  Yup, right here in my purse!  Tore your clothing?  No worries, here’s a travel sewing kit!  Chapped lips?  Hey, use my Carmen.  Too dark to find our car in the unlit parking lot?  I’ve got a mini flashlight!  The best part was that I kept it all organized in my purse.  My friends knew they could rely on me and once it became clear that that was my role, I always made sure I was prepared, MacGuyver style.

Now it has continued.  Except, between my husband and I, we probably need a low scale intervention.  I fear we’re just going to keep getting bigger places and then saying “hey!  Extra space!  Let’s get more crap!”  In fact, that fear often seeps in.  I own so. much. cake. shit.  Seriously.  It’s not just my husband.  I’m a hoarding monster too.

And the worst part?  I claim I don’t like “stuff.”  I told him to let his mom know I don’t want Christmas presents but was then lured in when he made several suggestions of things I’ve been saying I want.

I’m a hypocrite.  My storage space is bursting at the seams.  My travel sewing kit won’t fix this problem.


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So, I’ve been doing this thing called exercise.  Some of you may be familiar.  Now, overall I’m pretty pleased with the results.  In case you demand photographic evidence, here I am doing some push-up homework my trainer gave me a few weeks back.  This is on Mt. Greylock, where Mr. Cookie and I did some hiking on vacation.  See?  That’s dedication.

Yes, those are girly push-ups.  Hush, you.

Anyway, back to the story.

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Green Bus

Dear Mr. Cookie,

Two days out and I’m still basking in the glow of our anniversary.  Two years ago, I married the man I’d wanted to for the past… I don’t know?  five years?  I’ve always been the quick one while you have a slow boil.  🙂  But we’re here, we made it.  Two years of marital bliss.  Good things happen for those who wait.

For all the pet peeves and frustrations, I know I’m lucky.  Anyone whose biggest stressors in a relationship are boxers strewn about a newly straightened house and toothpaste plopped on the newly cleaned sink should be counting their blessings.  I know I am.  Stink-Butt (oh  yes I did!), I love you.  I know this next year is probably going to be rough.  There are growing pains to endure and transitions to be made.  Soon, you’ll likely leave a secure, good paying job.  We agree that’s the right decision, for your mental health.  And, because of your excellent financial planning, it is entirely possible, which is great.  Who knows how long it will take to find a new one.  Maybe you’ll be employed again pronto or maybe it will stretch out.  But I know that you will find ways to occupy your time and fill your resume in the mean time.  You’ve always been a man of action, even when you were lost in thought.

It’s late and you’re not here right now and even though I have to be up to swim at 6:30 with GirlyQ, I can’t sleep.  My big spoon is missing.  Away on what may be his last business trip for this job.  In a city packed with memories of a first marathon.  Of blisters the size of… the barbecue platters we couldn’t eat last time.  Of a poster with drippy glitter because a certain wife didn’t make it in time for it to actually dry.  Of elation and Krispy Kreme and foil blankets. How many memories do we share?  I know the good outweigh the bad.

I adore you.  And now I’m going to lock the door because my man-bear isn’t here to wake up and protect me from would be killers/rapists/functional alcoholics/disfunctional alcoholics who wander the streets.  We all know how well I sleep through everything.  You’re the one who wakes up to every slight noise.

Have fun in the TN and hurry home soon, big spoon.  Our house is so empty.

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Off the Wagon

Sometimes, I want a child so badly it aches.  I actually cried the other day because of it (that may have also been induced by a lack of sleep).

For the beginning of my dieting, that feeling and desperation sustained me.  It pushed me to eat healthier and get my exercise in and I was incredibly successful.  It felt like pregnancy was a very near and attainable goal.  Then, when our next year of life became more uncertain and it seemed to grow more and more clear that any family planning would have to take a back seat for a year or so, I started to flounder.

This past week was lousy on a dieting and marriage perspective but great on a personal level.  The show I’ve been working on finally closed, so the late late nights, bad food, and heavy drinking have come to an end.  It has also left me three pounds heavier on the scale (it doesn’t really help that I seem entirely unable to poop).  I am demoralized.

But, I’m not giving up.  I am way way way behind on my weight loss.  I may have to wait an eternity to have kids because of my fat ass (and believe me, it feels like an eternity).  But I’m going to do this healthfully.  No crash dieting.  No obsessive exercising.  Besides, I have all the time in the world.

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Ode to an Ogre

Father’s Day has come and gone and I failed to blog about it.  Still, I wanted to pay tribute to the three most important fathers in my world and also to the most present future father of my own children.  Mr. Cookie may not be a dad yet, but I know that when some day he is, he is going to have enormous shoes to fill.  He will, I have absolute faith, fill them exceptionally.

Nobody is perfect.  I sure know I’m not.  But for all his flaws, I think I made out pretty lucky in my match.  I don’t always give him enough credit.  So, today because I’m in a great mood and because he’s been exceptionally nice (even though I called him at work and sent him multiple emails when I know he’s really busy and doesn’t have the time to deal with my shenanigans), I’m writing to tell you a little bit about what makes my husband wonderful.  But to do that, I have to tell you a little bit about the other men in my life.

Grandpa–  My grandpa was a great man.  He came from a family of 19 kids.  He was a self-starter who was always seeking to improve himself.  I remember when I was little, I went with him once to a swim class.  He’d never learned how to swim as a kid but had always wanted to know.  So, in the autumn of his life he decided to learn.  That set a huge impression for me.  I always knew somewhere in the back of my head that that was special.  This was an “old dog” who was very interested in learning new tricks.  He always had the latest technology.  He was obsessive about staying current with the latest movies, computers, news.  Everything was a teachable moment.  He used to play piano for me and then tell me about how, when he was little, his mom didn’t have time to teach him how to play (shocking, with 18 kids!) but she would let him sit and watch her in the evenings.  This is how he learned.

Mr. Cookie shares that same quality.  Once he decides to learn about something, nothing is going to stop him from doing it.  It’s funny, but we’ve come full circle.  Mr. Cookie and I never took formal swimming lessons as children so when he asked if I wanted to learn a couple months ago, I was very excited.  We’re taking lessons and while it’s challenging, he is applying himself with much gusto.  Just like Grandpa.  He loves to keep active physically and mentally, something that I have no doubt will last right up until the end of a long, fulfilling life.

Pepere- Pip was not a man of many words.  He would sit in the corner and observe, occasionally making softly uttered, wry comments under the buzzing of women around him.  This quiet is clearly not what Mr. Cookie shares in common with him.  However, he was an observer of the world around him.  He was a lover of life and deep thinking.  I used to love going down to the park with him.  He always had a big bag of bird seed in the trunk of his old boat of a car and we would sit and feed the squirrels who all knew him and would come right up to us.  Once there was quiet and solitude, he would open up.  I could ask him anything and he would talk.  I learned a great deal about philosophy and introspection from him on these field trips.  He would listen to my views and then with a slow nod and a quick “yep” he would chime in, never straight up disagreeing but often showing me a new perspective.

Mr. Cookie is more aggressive, but the same sentiment is there. Countless times he has pushed me to look at the other sides of an issue, even if he agrees with what I’m saying.  He is always pushing himself and those around him to consider every angle before forming an opinion and I love this about him.  I know that when we have kids, he’ll do the same thing with them.  He’s not going to settle for children who just agree with everything we believe.  Our kids are going to be stronger, more independent thinkers because of this.

Daddy- Oh, my daddy.  Humor.  Adaptability.  Sociability.  They say you marry your father.  I don’t think that’s entirely true, but I think that Mr. Cookie shares a lot of my dad’s best qualities.  We used to joke that Dad could go into a store and by the time he left, the clerk would know his life story.  He is so congenial and outgoing.  He also loves to laugh and make others laugh.  I used to love when we had company over as a little girl because I knew there would be great conversation and I would hear good stories.  Of course, as you get older (and hear the same stories on repeat) you start to roll your eyes and mentally check out but the thing is, those stories are (usually) new to the  person hearing them.  I have no doubt there will be eye-rolling moments for our kids, and that’s okay.  They’ll get past it and back to the point where they adore their dad for the quirks.  Dad is also great at adapting to new situations.  He’s a chameleon, really.  I’m sure 20 years in the Air Force helped with this but I love to see how fluidly he moves through all the changes thrown his way.  I know that regardless, Dad is always going to end up okay because he’s so good at handling change.

Mr. Cookie shares all of these qualities.  He always rolls his eyes when I hatch a new plan to invite as many people over as I can.  It’s really not entirely for me that I do this.  More often than not, I wind up in the kitchen cooking when we have a lot of people over.  If we go to someone else’s house, I immediately find an excuse to help out in the kitchen to get away from awkward socializing.  But you better believe I’m in the kitchen listening to him tell his stories.  I might be rolling my eyes, but I’m also laughing at the same time.  He’s so much better at socializing than I am.  I’m awkward and say stupid things and look and feel the whole time like I’m an impostor when we are with people I don’t know very well.  Not Mr. Cookie. He shines.

I love all the daddies that have impacted my development.  Most of all, I love them because they set such strong examples for me of what I ought to look for in a husband.  I am incredibly blessed by the strong men I’ve shared my life with.  So, to all the dads and to the one very special future dad, an incredible amount of love and thanks for a belated Father’s Day and all future Father’s Days.

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Eight Years Old

Some people tell me that this date is not as important anymore.  But for me, it’s hard to ignore it.

Eight  years ago today, something big started.

Eight years ago today, I made a life altering decision.

Eight years ago today, the trajectory was set.

Eight years ago today, I said no.

Eight years ago today, my future husband sent me an im that asked “Hypothetically, if someone was to ask me if we were dating, and I said yes, would you be offended?”

Hypothetically, no.  In reality, no.

And so began a relationship.  It may not be our wedding anniversary, but it’s hard to just ignore 6.5 years of history.  So, on this day, happy [dating] anniversary, Handsome Man.

New Years Eve ’02

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Weather or Not

Part of the way through this last week, I got an email from Mr. Cookie asking how I would feel about getting down to the Cape this weekend since the weather was going to be so beautiful.  We decided to make a day of it visiting family, getting in some good exercise, and eating some good food.

So this morning, after a rather uneventful home visit from a lady from the life insurance company (we’re getting it in the eventuality that one of us should kick the bucket early so the other one is provided for) we hopped in our loaded up car with the bikes strapped on the back and set off on our adventure.

The weather wasn’t always cooperative (gusty winds and chilly evening temps) but we had a really lovely day.  I have to say, I think the time I love Mr. Cookie the most exuberantly is in the warmer weather.  I don’t know why; maybe we just drive each other nuts cooped up in the winter.  Our wonderful day played out like this:


We love Nan.  She’s a woman who has seen arms factories during World War II (she is originally from England and made ammunition for the War), raised four wonderful kids AND managed immigration to the US.  We don’t see her enough.  So, we stopped by her house (where she lives with one of Mr. Cookie’s aunts and her husband) and spent a lovely early afternoon socializing.  Then, it was off for a picnic and bike ride.

Food and Exercise

I’d packed us a picnic which we ate just before we started our ride on the Cape Cod Rail Trail.  We had tuna fish sandwiches with romaine lettuce on wheat bread, cucumbers with hummus, pepper jack cheese, and a fruit salad I made.  We’re trying to limit our sugar intake, so we’ve been relying on fruits to get our sweet fix.  I made it with bananas, raspberries, apple, greek yogurt, marscapone (just a little to make it rich and creamy), lemon and orange juice.  YUM!  After we’d eaten, we hopped on the bikes and rode 25 miles (oh, and we stopped a little over halfway through, pulled out the resistance bands, and did a short arms and abs workout).  Like I said, it was beautiful, if quite windy.  Mr. Cookie had to rough it out because he was riding his commuter bike (read:  heavy) with the saddle bags, which worked very effectively as drag.

Mom and Dad

Once we were good and sweaty, it was off to Mr. Cookie’s mom and dad’s.  Showers were had, Mr. Cookie and his dad planned a short baseball trip they have coming up in May, and much respect and love was paid the very wonderful, very deserving cat Tibby.  It was good to sit and converse with the three of them (don’t forget the cat).

A New England Dinner

At this point it was dinner time and our bellies were reminding us that we’d just cycled 25 miles.  So, we stopped by this casual seafood restaurant on the canal where Mr. Cookie got a seafood platter (shrimp, scallops, clam bellies, and haddock) and I got the fish and chips.  I know, my seafood tastes are tame.  I blame it on growing up in 1) Germany and 2) Northern Texas.  Until we moved to the East Coast in 6th grade, my idea of seafood was 1) fish sticks (not to be confused with fish dicks) and 2) Long John Silver’s.  Sue me.

A Walk in the Freeze

We did it.  We went to the beach.  We were hardly dressed for it.  We froze our asses off.  But it was nice to hear the surf and walk off some of our dinner.  After this we went to a local ice cream place where I’d like to say we each got a little scoop of something not too horrible but instead we got there and they were having a 2 for 1 opening weekend sundae special.  Woops.  So much for a calorie deficit today.

Have I mentioned how I love days like this with my husband?  Because I do.  But the best part is going to be curling up next to him tonight and passing out in two seconds from a well deserved exhaustion.

Hope you all enjoyed the sun today too, for those of you who had it.

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