good marriage advice

Well, we are back at our apartment a little earlier than expected thanks to Sandy. 
But whoever said sitting in front of the TV watching the weather 
radar map is not the most romantic way to spend 
your first anniversary was so…wrong. 
We did have a fun short trip which I will talk about later, but for now, 
I want to stick with this whole romantic theme, and share some surprising 
marriage advice that has come in handy our first year.

And no, I am not in the business of dishing out marriage advice now
that our marriage is coming out of infancy. Did you think I was about to tell
you how to have a good marriage? I kind of hope you did. For just a second, at least. 

But no, this is someone else’s advice.
For one of my bridal showers, the hostesses collected everyone’s best 
marriage advice on little index cards for me to take home with me. I loved 
reading what all my friends wrote, but there was one card that stuck out to me. 
It said, “no attacks, no defense, no retreats”.
When I first read it, it didn’t strike me as anything profound. But, shortly after 
we were married, Eric and I were in the car, and he said something to me that 
automatically made me defensive. I opened my mouth to speak, and then that 
index card came into my mind, and it suddenly made sense: 
we are on the same team–I can’t think of a less-cheesy way to say it than 
that–and it has stuck with me. 
For the first time in my life, it really did hit me that I am not looking out 
for my own interests first and foremost anymore
Certainly not easy or natural, but worth aiming for. 
I think of those words a lot (it applies to so many situations!) 
and they help remind me that I should be actively seeking his 
good–because in the end, it is for our good. 
Isn’t it funny how sometimes the most obvious advice is what we need to hear? 
I am thankful for the reminder the writer of that index card has given to me, 
and I hope I get better sticking to it over the years. 
What words have stuck with you about marriage? Care to share? 
Some other words that surprised us: “your wedding ceremony/reception will go 
by in the blink of an eye. Make an effort to remember all the details.” 
We found that to be so true. Scarily true.
And speaking of time flying by, I can’t believe these pictures were taken one year ago. 
Okay, before nostalgia takes over completely, I’m back to cozying up 
on the couch while watching weathermen preach the end of the world.
If you are in the area, stay safe and dry!

real quick…cookie butter giveaway

Hi, friends! I’m laying low this weekend, and tomorrow, because my marriage is turning a year old today and Eric and I are sneaking away for as long as Sandy the hurricane allows…but, I didn’t want you to miss out on the amazing giveaway opportunity happening over at Living in Yellow today and tomorrow. You have the chance to win a jar of heaven and a whole lot of other amazing stuff, too. It ends tomorrow so act fast! And may the odds be ever in your favor. I do like saying that, yes. See you soon!

birthday boy

That adorable little boy with the missing teeth and blonde hair  
grew up to be my husbandand today is his birthday. 
If it weren’t for his encouragement and support of all my writing habits,
I might have given up on this blog long ago. But, he has been this
blog’s #1 fan since the start, and I am so thankful for his confidence in me.
Aside from being supportive, he’s pretty great at taking
really great care of me all the time. I feel so blessed that I get to be married to
such a loving, funny, talented man.

To celebrate this day, I thought I would share a few of my favorite things that
 Eric has ever said. 

Shortly after we realized we were in love, I started writing down 
funny things Eric would say in a little book. He loved hearing me 
read back to him the things that made me laugh, so I kept it up. It is so fun to 
look back on now, and I still try to update it occasionally. Maybe they are only
 funny to us, but I thought I would take the risk of sharing them anyway. 

So, without further ado, my quotable husband:

(while having a discussion about whether or not we should ever go skydiving)
Jenny: Let’s just do it before we get too old.
Eric: You mean before Eric gets too old. In ten years…you’ll be fine. 
I’ll be taking baby aspirin every day. I think it might rain tonight. 
Because I can predict the weather with my joints. 

(On not appreciating Beyonce)
Jenny: You liked it, so you put a ring on it.
Eric: Um…that is borderline disgusting.

(On how much he liked me, a few months into dating)
Eric: Yeah, you could pop off your leg at this point [in the relationship] and I’d just be like, “oh.”

Eric: Maybe Maxwell House Coffee is like…20% real coffee beans, and 80% packing peanuts.

Jenny: Look! Doesn’t my nail polish look good with my ring?
Eric: It does!! It makes me want to throw a party right now.

(In an effort to help me decide what Ben and Jerry’s flavor to get)
Eric: When you find something you like, you just stick with it…… you! 
*pats me on shoulder*

(After reading to him a bunch of really lame pick up lines I found online)
Eric: I never said anything like that. Everything I said was charming.

(speaking of lame pick up lines)
Eric: I wish Thomas Jefferson were still around so he could write me a declaration
 of DEpendence…on your love.

There is more where that came from, but I will just end with this one:

Eric: You’re my Yoko-Ono
Jenny: I’m your muse?
Eric: No, my lover.
Jenny: Then who is your wife?
Eric: You will be…I’m going to cheat on you, with you.
Jenny: That is so great.

 Yeah, I kinda like him.
Happy birthday, Sweetie! I’m so happy you were born, and I am so happy you picked me.

P.S. more Eric

midweek musings #4

Midweek musings is where I start a post without knowing where it will end up. I hate doing things without a plan first, so this is an exercise in stretching myself. Thanks for bearing with me.
They say that sense of smell is often the biggest memory trigger. I have often been whisked back in time by the scent of something undetectable that reminds me instantly of my first grade school cafeteria, or the faint mix of dried leaves and fresh wood that recall my childhood days of playing in the woods near our house that was in the process of being built. The power of scent is powerful indeed.
But there is another memory trigger that I find almost as powerful, and that is books. I often find that re-reading a book I haven’t picked up in years leaves me in wonder at the memories and images I left in their pages, forgotten yet preserved in time. I am amazed at how quickly my mind’s eye reverts to images of scenes I thought I had forgotten, but apparently were just waiting to be remembered.
I have been re-reading the Emily of New Moon series by L.M. Montgomery. If you have ever read them, you are obligated to tell me so because, while I find that many people know and love the Anne of Green Gables series, they somehow missed the gem of a series written shortly after by the same author.
I do feel that I left my childhood in the pages of these books. Reading them again has been so comforting, heartwarming, cozy. I find myself thinking how grateful I am that these books somehow bottled up a flood of nostalgia and gifted it to me years later.
I have only read the Harry Potter series once, but I have a feeling if I read them again, I would be overcome with the excruciating desire to make a cup of hot vanilla honey tea and curl up on the couch in the morning light.
Screwtape Letters brings back memories of soaking in a chapter or two at my favorite college coffee shop before moving onto less enjoyable homework. And again on train rides across Europe. Brothers Karamazov makes my knees hurt as my body recalls the crouched position I read many of its pages in, while sitting on the hard tile floor waiting for class to start. Atlas Shrugged reminds me of long hours in my dad’s leather chair, wiling away the summer hours of freedom. The Great Gatsby reminds me of the same.
So many memories tucked away inside so many books. Maybe this is why we readers see books as our friends. We have trusted them with so much of ourselves.
I do feel it would be fitting at this moment to lift a glass to the sponsor of this post, a Mr. Johann Gutenberg. To the man who made reading by the masses popular, the world gives you thanks.