Archive for the ‘Anniversary’ Category

I am skipping today’s Dinners This Week post. I mean, there’s no need to plan dinners when you’ll be eating dinner on an airplane, right? Let’s have some randomosity. Join me, won’t you?

First, let’s have some medicinal nachos:

Nachos 1

Chips. Top with cheese. Melt for 30 seconds in the microwave. Top with black beans and frozen corn. Microwave for another 20 seconds. Top with copious amounts of my favorite hot sauce. Add avocado, diced onion, and sour cream. Cilantro if you have it/don’t hate it. Tomatoes if you swing that way. Squeeze a wedge of lime over everything. Add copious amounts of sriracha for good measure. DEVOUR.

  • A lot of my fretting about Leaving My Bayyyyyybeeeeee has been channeled into Shoe Panic. As in, how am I going to walk around Europe for ten days without reducing my delicate feet to bloody shreds? So I have purchased and returned approximately 90,000 pairs of shoes in the past week. Nothing like leaving an important aspect of your planning to the very last minute!


  • These are the shoes I have ended up with: Skechers Go Walk Evolution Ultra sneakers (why do all athletic shoes have such ridiculous names?) and Vionic Minna ballet flats (in color “sand”) because I wanted to have walk-friendly shoes that were dressy enough for a nice-ish dinner.


  • Building on some of your great ideas for making the trip easier on Carla, I have bought her some books and other little fun surprises to open while we’re gone. There is a real dearth of fun, story-based children’s books about the very specific locations we are traveling to, which is DISAPPOINTING, but I did find this book about one of the cities on our itinerary:


  • You know that one of my big panics is Death By Airplane, right? So I have been desperately trying to get our life insurance upgraded just in case. Of course, the process takes waaaaayyyyy longer than I thought it would, so we just squeaked our medical exams in at the last minute and there is no way the underwriting will be complete before we leave. (I use these terms like I have any idea whatsoever how any of this works, which I do NOT.) HOWEVER. Did you know that you can get provisional coverage, based on the assumption that you will get approved? So that’s what we’re doing. We can pay a premium as though we’ve been approved, and then, when we come back home, ALIVE, we can pay any additional amount as needed. And if we perish while overseas, we’re covered. (I mean, as long as we are approved and have paid the correct amount; I’m assuming my parents could pay any difference after the fact.) Cool, right!?! Okay, maybe my calibration of “cool” has shifted in odd ways.


  • In other morbid planning, I tried to record myself singing to Carla. There are two songs I have been singing to her at bedtime all her life – one I made up while pregnant with her and the other is “Moon River” – and I have this desperate feeling that I MUST record myself singing them so she can listen to the songs (but will she?) to comfort her (but will they?) after my fiery death. But I can’t record myself! It’s so ridiculous! In every recording, I keep SWALLOWING in the middle of sentences. Like, “Mooooooon river, wider than a mile, I’m crossing [gulp] you in style someday…. [gulp] Dream maker, you heart [gulp] breaker….” It’s really distracting and annoying and I cannot NOT do it. I mean, have you ever tried to NOT SWALLOW when your body is telling you to swallow? And then try to SING while not swallowing? It’s absurd and obviously some sort of weird self-conscious reaction to recording myself. Do not suggest that I ask my husband to record me actually singing to Carla, because then I would die of embarrassment and also we are out of time. I am going to choose the least gulpy of the options and THAT’S JUST HOW CARLA WILL HAVE TO REMEMBER ME.


  • Abrupt subject change: Our Amazon Echo (Alexa) has begun telling me to enjoy my day. “Have a nice day,” she’ll say after I ask for the weather in the morning. “Have a good afternoon,” she’ll say sometimes after I’ve asked for the news briefing. It’s creepy but nice? And she only says it to me. She has never once used any sort of pleasantry with my husband. Also creepy? But it makes me feel vindicated in using “please” and “thank you” when making requests of her. My husband may not be on the good side of the AI after the uprising, but hopefully Alexa will put in a good word for me.


  • While I’m worrying about wholly unimportant things (recap: dying on my totally voluntary trip overseas; the state of my footwear for said trip; singing lullabies without swallowing; the inevitable AI uprising; will I have enough nachos to last until we leave for Europe?), let’s add in some panic about Carla’s birthday party. I think we have the venue down. And Carla has shifted from Tiger Theme to Seahorse Theme to Mommy, You Choose A Theme From These Five Cat-Related Categories Plus Foxes. So I am leaning toward Rainbow Leopard Theme, mainly because I have found the perfect party favor:

Rainbow Leopard

  • And the perfect cake to torture myself with making. (My husband heaved a great world-weary sigh when I told him about it and asked if I might consider just BUYING a cake.) (No.) (Does he know me?)


  • But I can’t find any great theme-appropriate invitations; some decent ones, but nothing I LOVE. And, WORSE, because I will panic about LITERALLY ANYTHING meaningless in the grand scheme of things, I cannot find any theme-appropriate paper plates and napkins. I can order them via Zazzle for around $60 for 40 to 50 plates-or-napkins, but can we all agree that spending $60 on 40 paper plates for a single party is excessive? I’m not saying it can’t be DONE; I wouldn’t judge anyone for spending $60 on 40 plates if that’s how they chose to spend their hard-earned money. But I think $1.70 cheetah-print paper plate — PAPER, not even hard plastic — is excessive and I really want to avoid it if at all possible.


  • So maybe foxes? I haven’t looked it up, but foxes could be a good alternative, right? It’s just that they are so Off Brand for my particular child, who wears leopard print probably three days a week (today she is wearing a faux fur cheetah print vest over a green dress and black leggings with faux leather patches; she has a very particular sense of style, this kid) and has leopard print boots and pretends to be a rotating cast of leopards/cheetahs/panthers on a daily basis. I am already exhausted by planning this party and I haven’t really even begun.


  • Please keep in mind that I KNOW that none of this is important, it’s a birthday party, not the Oscars or some other party that actually matters/has wide visibility, and really ALL parties pale in comparison to, like, climate change and gun control and matters of REAL IMPORT. I am not overlooking the absolute absurdity of wasting brainpower on this frivolity.


  • Frivolity continues: And what are we going to get Carla for her actual gift? She is fresh out of ideas, unless you count “more Barbies!” as an idea which I do not. The only things I can come up with are a) a new bike (although she has a perfectly good hand-me-down bike that will probably last her at least another year, in terms of being the right height, not to mention she staunchly refuses to let us remove the training wheels) and b) a doll, because she seems to finally be more interested in dolls than in stuffed animals. She has repeatedly asked for a basket for her bike, so she can collect things (acorns, pinecones, rocks) when she goes for bike rides… but I don’t think “needs a basket” is enough of a reason to buy a whole new bike… I don’t know. I am on the fence. What is the six-year-old set into these days?


  • I LOVED dolls as a child, and my mom got me a couple of Corelle (?) dolls that I cherished and played with for many years. (Oh wait, it turns out they are COROLLE dolls – Corelle is a type of dishware, it seems. My bad.) Is Corolle still a good way to go, doll-wise? American Girl dolls seem to be popular around here… although they are SO expensive I don’t think I am ready to travel down that road. I also used to love Cabbage Patch Dolls, are those still A Thing? (Ugh, I am cringing thinking about how the “preemie” Cabbage Patch Dolls were so coveted when I was a little girl. I guess March of Dimes used them to raise awareness about premature birth, but that went right over my head at the time. I can imagine it being a hurtful thing for lots of parents.) What is the current Doll Trend, is what I want to know? I thought, being a parent, this knowledge would sort of magically manifest in my brain but I WAS WRONG.


  • Speaking of brains: does your brain do that thing where, when overtired, it fixates on one word or phrase or song lyric to the exclusion of all other thoughts? Mine has been choosing “It’s raining tacos,” itself an agonizingly repetitive song, to replay ad nauseum in my head, at 2:30 am and beyond. Fun.  (No.)


  • My Inevitable Death Panic (which is both panic about my inevitable death and an inevitable panic about death) is manifesting in lots of cleaning, which is good, I suppose. But I have failed to take any Before photos, which makes it poor blog fodder. I just want you to know that I have done a LOT of work and gotten rid of a LOT of crap. I am kind of hoping my mom will open some drawers and marvel at how spare and tidy they are. “Maybe she died in a plane crash taking a totally unnecessary trip abroad, but, man, are her drawers neat and clean!” they’ll say at my funeral.


  • Let’s have one more photograph of medicinal nachos. These were yesterday’s, so I need to see if I have enough ingredients for another heaping dose before I make my way to The Land of Sausages and Schnitzel. DOCTOR’S ORDERS.

Nachos 2

Okay. Enough. What’s up with you, Internet? Lord knows we have enough Big Serious Issues at hand to ensure we never sleep again. But what utterly frivolous things are keeping you up at night?

By the way, my husband and I decided to limit ourselves to one phone while overseas, and it is his phone, so blog posting/reading is likely to be light/nonexistent while we’re gone. I promise photos of castles if when we return.


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I can hardly believe it’s been a whole decade since that magical day when I married my best friend. Here’s what I remember from that day: A whole host of things going wrong, running late, not going to plan, my nervous pulse hammering past disappointment and frustration to panic. The pure calm that settled over me in the empty chapel once I finally saw my husband to be. My father walking me down the aisle, the encouraging push he gave me at the end. Gentle laughter when the pastor read a bit of text too long for me to repeat in one go. The warmth of good friends crowded into a limousine. A tiny cup of velvet butternut squash soup and a buttery square of a brie grilled cheese sandwich that tasted like heaven. Poems on every table that tried but didn’t quite express the love that had subsumed me. Being carried on a tide of joy and love and laughter and, okay, too much tequila, the waves of happiness cresting and cresting and never breaking. Good music – are the stars out tonight? I don’t know if it’s cloudy or bright – and loud singing. Looking out the window to see snowflakes as delicate as butterflies form a kaleidoscope of white and the mountains, resplendent in their shimmering robes, presiding in the background. Magic.

But the wedding day was just a day. Just a party. A wonderful day I will never forget. But in the intervening years, there’s been a marriage. If we’re lucky, just the beginning.

We’ve been so very fortunate, these ten years. (And the seven years leading up to our marriage!) Our ups have been high, our downs have been pretty high as well. I have no doubt that we have sorrow in our future; that’s just the way life goes. But for now, I am so grateful for these wonderful, busy, happy ten years.

I tend to get gooey and overly sentimental about our anniversary (okay, about all things). My husband – logical, practical, scientific – is my counterweight. So in his honor, I am going to try to rein in the goo and aim for goofy instead.

Top Ten Great Things About My Husband

(Well, maybe not the top ten)

Okay, so he’s kind, thoughtful, brilliant, hard-working, funny, great father, supportive of my hopes and dreams, blah blah blah… But ALSO:

  1. Maybe he’s not a big fan of washing dishes, but he is almost always willing to do the laundry and he is SO GOOD AT FOLDING.
  2. He is a master at the art of choosing the perfect ridiculous gif to text me and make me laugh in the middle of the day.
  3. He and I may sometimes disagree – and disagree strongly – but he is always willing to listen to logical arguments, and often comes around to my side.
  4. He says, “Thank you for making dinner” every single night, even if what I’ve made is barely edible.
  5. He can hear an interesting snippet of music underneath the din of a thousand Target shoppers on a Saturday and know exactly how to find out which song it is and then play it in the car until it is our new favorite family song. He did that with Guster’s “Satellite” – which he identified in a noisy restaurant in Ithaca, and which has become one of my favorite songs. Bonus: I think of him and that trip together every time I hear it.
  6. He is super warm and snuggly which is very useful when I have just climbed into a freezing cold bed. But his feet are always icy, which comes in handy when I’ve gotten overheated by being pressed up against him, and he’s always willing to clamp his frosty toes against my calves.
  7. He may not be a flowers-and-jewelry-and-love-notes romantic, but he listens, and sometimes I will find myself marveling, “He is doing this solely because it is important to me.” Like addressing and stamping all of our holiday cards, when he thinks they are a waste of time and money. If that’s not romance, I don’t know what is.
  8. Speaking of romance, he loves to choose my next book for me to read. Almost always, it’s something I end up LOVING.
  9. He is happy to plan all of our travel together – airline, hotel, restaurant, museum, everything – which is great because just doing a single search on Kayak makes me break out in hives.
  10. He keeps getting hotter. I am serious. The older he gets, the more handsome he is.

Of course there are a billion other reasons why I love him, from the frivolous to the serious, the silly to the sentimental. You pile up quite a lot of love in a decade.  But above all, I am still so very glad we chose each other.



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A fun thing that happened over the winter holidays is that my husband and I celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary. Seven years! Seems like nothing compared to the FIFTEEN years we’ve been together, but fun nonetheless. And we hired a sitter and went out to dinner, to a place we’d never tried, and the evening was warm so we went to a nearby town that has a quaint little main street, and we got ice cream and walked up and down the sidewalks and went into a bookstore (and got glared at for still holding our – empty – ice cream containers). It was lovely. I wore stockings with polka dots, which was A Big Fashion Risk for me, so that felt bold and daring, and it’s always lovely to have a leisurely evening with one’s beloved, with good food and ice cream to boot.

To celebrate, my in-laws got us a present! It was a lovely surprise, because they don’t normally get us presents… (Or do they? Now I am re-thinking that statement. They got us a huge, beautiful wooden cutting board last year, and I have some vague recollection that six years is wood… we haven’t even USED the cutting board because it is too beautiful and because I don’t know how to clean it properly SIGH) Anyway, they got us a set of those adorable copper Moscow Mule mugs you see at restaurants, because the seventh anniversary is supposedly the copper anniversary.

It was very unexpected and something we would never buy for ourselves, so it was really fun. And I went right out and bought vodka and ginger beer and limes and something else that goes into a Moscow Mule and we had Moscow Mules that very evening. Quite delicious, despite the fact that I do NOT like vodka.

Apparently you can make something called a Dark and Stormy that is quite similar, but involves rum instead of vodka. But I like rum even less, so we did not try that one.

I would love to try something similar with gin, which is my liquor of choice, but all the recipes I found just sounded… suspicious. I canNOT imagine gin pairing well with ginger beer. And drinking gin and tonic in a copper mug just… didn’t feel right. (Perhaps I am overthinking this.)

But after that, I really didn’t have occasion to try any more fancy cocktails. My husband isn’t really an alcohol drinker, and I’m much more of a wine person. And I just couldn’t muster the enthusiasm needed for making a fancy cocktail on a weeknight.

But those adorable glasses were just sitting there, unused!

So I bought some grapefruit juice and some more limes and some club soda, and I concocted a mocktail with those ingredients. And once the club soda ran out, I used grapefruit LaCroix instead (which I’d purchased… oh… a year or so ago, when it seemed like LaCroix was all the rage and it turned out I am not a fan). And the copper mugs keep the drinks very cold and make them seem MUCH more frivolous than juice and soda might normally seem.


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You know when someone says brightly, a la Office Space, in the most annoyingly high-pitched version of cheer possible, “Looks like you have a case of the Mondays!” and your only response is an icy stare designed to induce a disfiguring series of frostbite blisters all across her stupid cheerful mouth?

Yes. That.

I am crabby for several reasons, Internet. Please proceed only if you want to:

a)      Work yourself into a froth on my behalf

b)      Enjoy a case of Other-Person’s-Grouchiness-Induced Poor Temper

c)       Commiserate

d)      Roll your eyes at my CLEARLY first world and therefore RIDICULOUS “problems.”


Firstly, I am on Day 1.5 of a stomach bug. And I’m grouchy because, well, obviously, it SUCKS but also because I’m not sure if it’s a bug sort of stomach bug or if I brought it on myself by eating raw cookie dough or sour cream that had been out of the fridge too long. (Perhaps I need to re-evaluate my eating habits.) I have been lying in bed all day – after NOT lying in bed until about three in the morning (you do not need more details than that) – but I have of course had my computer with me, and have been working because when you work from home there is no excuse NOT to work.  Ever. Especially when you have wireless. I mean, you can take your computer INTO THE BATHROOM if necessary. (Please lord do not make it necessary.)


Secondly, it is the third anniversary of my marriage, which should be a lovely happy occasion complete with flowers and wine, but, this year, is NOT. (See Item #1 for the reason behind the No Wine.) I cannot begrudge my husband the flowers, because – although he has sent me lovely reminiscent-of-my-wedding-bouquet flowers for the past two years – well, he is busy and he doesn’t think NEARLY as highly of fresh flowers as I do. And I am trying very hard not to pout and tear up at Lack of Flowers because that is stupid.

Plus, I keep feeling this (SILLY, I KNOW) fretfulness about how we are ONLY three years into this thing and yet we are ALREADY chucking the Anniversary Is Special hoopla? That makes me sad. Not that we really are Big Hoopla Type People, or anything. But we’ve had, you know, flowers and a night out in years past. Which was SOMETHING. Has The Magic died in our marriage Internet? Are we Failing At Anniversary Celebration?

We ARE going out to dinner tomorrow night, which, as it turns out stomach-bug-wise, is lucky. And it’s not as if we NORMALLY exchange gifts or anything, so there’s really nothing to be crabby/panicked about. And yet…


Thirdly, I have barely made a dent in my Christmas shopping (what in the universe am I going to get for my husband?) (We are destined to fail at Christmas, TOO, aren’t we?). Of course, I can only blame MYSELF for this. But it’s still making me crabby and mildly panicked.  I had planned to rush to the mall after work today. But now… I may SKIP THAT.


Fourthly, I am still dithering about Christmas cards. They are important to me, and yet EVERY YEAR I have a hard time justifying the cost to my husband. Plus, I feel enormous pressure to send out a photo card this year, since I did so LAST year and it seems like a step BACKWARDS to send a non-photo card. My mother informs me this is silly, as does MY BRAIN, and yet I still feel OBLIGATED somehow to send out a photo card. Do we actually HAVE a photo appropriate for a card? No, no we do not.

What I should really do is haul ass to Target and buy a bunch of cards and start filling them out, since we are nearing the point where I will be sending them out in February instead. But I keep DITHERING and my husband keeps saying things like, “I thought we were sending out photo cards?” and “Oh, it will be EASY to do a quick photo!” and “Why are we sending out holiday cards again?” whenever I bring up the non-photo-card option.

The WHOLE THING is making me crabby slash panicky.


Fifthly (Good Wife complaint), I am not sure whether Will Gardner is now going to be a Bad Guy. Nor am I sure whether Peter Florek is going to be a Bad Guy (Worse Guy?) going forward either. And I don’t want EITHER of them to be Bad Guys, so it’s stressing me out.


Sixthly, I just finished The Gift of Fear. It was a good read and had some good tips about preventing/anticipating violence. It also really helped me think through some of my anxieties. For instance, I learned that being on High Alert in a parking garage and suspecting Every Man in the Vicinity of imminent rape/kidnapping/murder may actually INHIBIT my brain’s natural ability to recognize actual danger.

However, SOME is the operative word (in that sentence a few lines back), seeing as I’ve been EXTRA anxious and jumpy in MY OWN HOUSE.  It makes lots of noises that I am STILL not used to. And for some reason, I am just SURE that something bad is going to happen – that someone’s watching me or hiding in the basement or lurking the garage or creeping through the back yard or WHATEVER. Needless to say, I am extremely uncomfortable when I’m here by myself. (Which is a LOT.)

(If I am being honest with myself, I think that this House Fear is rooted in some unbloggable issues I’m dealing with lately. And my brain can’t solve those issues, so it’s painting the rest of my life a nice rosy shade of Panic About Everything. AWESOME.)

Anyway, I spend a good part of my days feeling panicky… and then being crabby about my idiocy because THERE IS NOTHING TO PANIC ABOUT. (Unless, of course, some horrible creep HAS planted tiny video cameras in the air vents and is watching my every move, biding his time until he drops soundlessly from the crawl space in the attic into the guest room closet and disembowels me in my sleep.)


Seventhly, I STILL feel unsettled in the new house. We have two tables and only one set of chairs. And actually, we have two ADDITIONAL tables that have no purpose. And we have EIGHT DECK CHAIRS on our teeny deck and no table for THOSE. And there are still boxes of stuff to unpack and/or donate. And we have a total of TWO pictures on walls and we still have several rooms to paint and I haven’t gotten into a cleaning schedule and we STILL haven’t done ANYTHING to the lawn (Laura – I KNOW) and the beautiful couch in our living room is DOWN FILLED so I spend most of my time in that room feeling awful and allergy-ridden and there’s a TV in the basement but the speakers don’t work and the piano is beautiful but the keys stick and I am afraid to contact a tuner for fear it will cost ridiculous amounts of money and there’s a whole list of little non-urgent items leftover from our inspection that need to be taken care of and I have no idea how to keep stainless clean and there’s still the irritating matter of where to best store the recycling/trash containers for easy access without gross trash clutter and I have no idea how to find and engage a snow plower which – according to my husband – is a necessity and I keep hearing about how important it is to “know one’s neighbors” but I don’t know how to DO THAT and and and. CRABBY SLASH PANICKY.


Eighthly, I HATE THE NEW GMAIL. I am in gmail all day long and I need it to be easy and intuitive and not like I’m inside an IKEA project. It is DRIVING ME NUTS.


Ninthly, my in laws left a baby gift here for friends when they were here for Thanksgiving. And it is (STILL) just SITTING on my table as the baby gets older and less in NEED of the gift, but there have been so many Little Things that need to happen before I can deliver the gift: buying packaging for the gift (I sent my husband to Target to complete this errand. I managed to specify “large gift bag” because the gift will not fit in a small gift bag, but the bag is HUGE and also I forgot to specify that I needed tissue paper); calling the friends to set up a time to go over; HAVING a time to drop it off, a time that includes my husband – because I don’t want to go alone – and some buffer time during which we’ll be offered a drink; figuring out the friends’ address;  ETC. It is such a small, simple task. And yet the days pass, and it does not get done and the panic level is rising with every minute, as is the crabbiness at having to COMPLETE the task in the first place.


Tenthly, I have to return a shawl and necklace to the store. I took your advice, Internet, and wore an old dress to the holiday party last weekend. I simply bought a sparkly belt and a sparkly bracelet to go with it and I thought it looked just fine. But I ALSO bought a shawl and a necklace. A shawl and a necklace that I wasn’t crazy about, but I allowed the salesperson to talk me into them (“No way, there’s no such thing as too much sparkle!”) and so now they are in my possession, even though I didn’t even take them out of the shopping bag. But returning them is a HASSLE and there’s no time and whine whine whine.


Eleventhly, I really wish I had more to blog about than WHINING. I am annoying MYSELF. But I am grouchy and at least I’m posting something. (Perhaps you are wishing for a kind way to remind me that “silence is golden.”)


I am stopping there, Internet. YOU ARE WELCOME.

Please let me know your biggest complaint/panic today, because I need some PERSPECTIVE.  And also some good old fashioned tangential crabbiness.

In the meantime, I am feeling the stirrings of hunger. Since there is no soup or crackers to speak of in our house, I think I may go drown my sorrows in the Cookie Dough of Death.

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It’s been a long, cold week filled with much snow. So let’s get straight to the bullets!

* Every time I hear a Rhianna song – any Rhianna song at all – I get the Shy Ronnie chorus stuck in my head.

* Tomorrow I get to attend a fancy holiday party! I am going to wear a fancy dress and some high heels and maybe even some makeup. I have yet to decide whether I will wear stockings. The dress is short, and it will be cold outside, so it seems that stocking are A Good Idea… And yet, I will be wearing peep-toe shoes (which are NOT up for negotiation), and I think it might be some sort of fashion faux pas to wear stockings with peep-toes. Am I wrong? Has the “no stockings with peep-toe shoes” rule gone the way of “no white pants after Labor Day”? (Although I still refrain from wearing white pants after Labor Day, or before Labor Day, to be absolutely honest with you. White pants + generous thighs = giant inescapable microscope on the part of me I least want people to look at.)

* There is something wrong with our local Macy’s. First of all, it’s a stand-alone Macy’s, which is odd to me. In my experience, a Macy’s is usually one of the anchor stores in a mall. But that’s not the main problem. The main problem is that the Macy’s employs approximately four people.

I went there twice last weekend. Once, on the way to dinner at a friend’s house. We wanted to pick up a little hostess gift. We got to the Macy’s about 40 minutes before we had to be at dinner. Our friend’s house was 10 minutes away. (This is beginning to sound like a horrible nightmare of a math problem.) We grabbed a cute package of Frango mints after poking around for five minutes and realized we still had tons of time. So I moseyed into the shoe section where I spotted a cute pair of boots I wanted to try on. I stood there for about three minutes without seeing a single shoe salesperson, so we scrapped that idea and headed immediately to the cashier. If you’re keeping track, that means we had 22 whole minutes to buy the mints and leave.

First of all, we wandered around for about 5 minutes before we found a sales counter that actually had a person at it.

(Let me remind you: This was a Saturday evening two weeks after Thanksgiving.)

Then we found a cashier who was helping one person. Apparently, someone was in line behind that person. Her pile of costume jewelry was holding her place. Which was fine with me – I know the holidays make people crazy, and I can be patient when necessary. My husband, on the other hand, sometimes has a hard time. (Which is weird, because he is INCREDIBLY patient with me. But lines or bad traffic get to him really quickly.) Turns out that these two customers each took FOREVER. My husband even scouted out the rest of the store to see if he could find us an alternate sales counter. He could not.

We got out of there 5 minutes late. As in, it took us 22 minutes to make one tiny purchase.

The next day, we went back so I could try on the boots. There were about 40,000 women in the tiny shoe area and just two people to do all the running and ringing up. It took me 15 minutes to wait in line to have the shoe salesman look at the boots I wanted to try on, and then go in the back to get them. He got so confused, poor guy, that he brought back only two of the three pairs I wanted to try on… And one of them in the size of the girl behind me in line. (I let her try them on while I tried on the other pair.)

It was a mess.

I wonder if that Macy’s just can’t afford to hire enough holiday employees? Or if a bunch of the employees were in the back eating birthday cake? Or if it’s just a really bad combination of slow and/or new employees and excess numbers of customers.

All I have to say is I have renewed appreciation for Zappos.

* I found a Giant Dead Spider and a Tiny Dead Spider in the guest bathtub. I now get creeped out every time I go into the guest bathroom, because the tub is apparently some sort of Final Resting Ground for arachnids. And that is creepy.

* The other day, my husband bought some chestnuts and roasted them in the oven. They are too mealy for my taste. But it felt very festive just to be near them while they were roasting. I suppose it would have been MORE festive if they’d involved some sort of open fire. More festive and also more fire alarm-y.

* Speaking of not-actually-festive things, our apartment complex put up a lovely “happy holidays” notice in all the hallways and stairwells. When you first spot it, you think, “How nice of the administration to get into the holiday spirit!” Until you read it. And then you find out that it is a strongly-worded note forbidding live Christmas trees. After all, live trees are the primary cause of fires in December. Then it ends with asking us to spy on our neighbors and report them if they buy a real tree.

Listen, I am all for Fire Safety. Really, I am. And I am all for requiring that renters buy fake trees. It’s for the Good of the Many, people! But isn’t there a better and less fear mongering sort of way to do it?

* When my husband started residency, he got three white coats. Long white coats, which differentiate the Real Doctors from the Medical Students.  That is one white coat per year, if you’re counting.

Here we are, not yet halfway through the second year of residency, and my husband’s second white coat just bit the dust. His pen exploded in the pocket.

In case you don’t know, Giant Blue Ink Stain + White Coat = Noticeable Problem.

Note to self: Do not use Shout Spray on a Giant Ink Stain.

Second Note to Self: Do not dunk the Now Enormously Huge Yet Slightly Diluted Ink Stain in water.

Third Note to Self: Do not try to Oxy out the Now Astronomically Monstrous Ink Stain That Is Still Spreading and Threatening to Eat Your Face and just throw it away while you’re still alive.

The other white coat is serviceable, but is missing all of its buttons.

* Here’s where I admit to you that I do not know how to sew on a button. While I know this makes a small part of my mother (jokingly) think she failed me as a parent, it has really not hindered my progress as a human in the least. One time a button fell off my coat in college. I was able to get one of the guys who lived upstairs from my dorm room to sew it back on for me.

I guess what I’m saying is, if you can’t teach your kids to sew, at least teach them how to persuade an Econ major into sewing for them. That’s got to be a skill of equal value.

* Facebook felt the need to remind me that my wedding anniversary to “[Husband’s Name Here]” is coming up.

It makes me deeply sad to think that this probably HELPS people remember their anniversaries.

* That said, it’s our anniversary!!! We plan to celebrate by going out to a steak dinner. Because nothing says “I will love you for all eternity” like stuffing yourself silly with meat, amIright?

We’ve been together for so long that it kind of surprises me that we’ve only been married two years. Why, we’re still newlyweds!

The newness of “being married” has worn off, for the most part. But every once in a while, I am struck with wonderment that I am bonded to my husband for life.

It’s a pretty crazy thing, that we found each other. Crazy and wonderful.

* * *

What’s up with you today, Internet?

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Something Big

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of this little blog.

In a year, I’ve made 150 blog posts (well, this is blog post #151).

In a year, I’ve talked about my worries for doctor’s-wifehood

The uncertainty that lies before us…

My loneliness

My attempts at beating that loneliness…

My many failures as a housewife in general and additional failures as a doctor’s wife…

Apparently, lots of bugs

The sometimes gross and sometimes annoying experiences that may happen only to doctors’ spouses…

What it means to listen to your husband’s heartaches and want to fight his battles

The lessons I’ve learned from this journey we’re on…

How much love we share, despite the long hours and grueling schedule…

It’s been a year. And it’s just the beginning; we have two to three years left of residency… and three years of fellowship to get through… just to reach the point where life normalizes somewhat.

I feel like, together, we got through something this year. My husband’s first year as a real life doctor. Our first year of discovering what it takes to make a marriage work. It feels like we endured something. Survived something. Accomplished something.

Something big.

And I feel like you, Internet, have been with me through this journey. You’ve comforted me and offered advice and I hope you’ll come along for Year 2.

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8 Years, 1 Month, 2 Days

When I think of meeting my husband, I think of the details: hot peppers, a pink t-shirt, Linkin Park, cigars, Frangelico. Each of these tiny things played its part in bringing us together.

We met over eight years ago, in the wake of tragedy, introduced by a mutual friend. We fell for each other on the second Saturday in November. Our love began right then, I like to think. Although it wasn’t until three months had passed that I felt myself looking at him as more than just someone fun to kiss.

We’ve gotten to know each other pretty well over the better part of this decade. I know how he likes his under shirts folded (although I still can’t quite get it “right”; don’t worry, he’s not a tyrant about it). I know that he’ll fall asleep at about 8:30 every night, if I let him. That it takes about 30 minutes of continuous poking and prodding to fully wake him up. I know that he makes friends easily and with almost anyone – but that, inside, he’s just as shy as I am. I know that he likes his pickles sliced in rounds rather than spears. I know that he’d rather stay in and watch a movie than go out to the bars. I know that he’s smarter than 99% of the people I know, yet he sometimes feels a little insecure. I know that he can’t stand it when my shoes prevent me from walking long distances or long durations of time. That he takes skim milk with his cereal and half-and-half in his coffee. I know that he hates talking on the phone – unless he’s talking to me. I know that he’s listening to the rhythms and melodies and harmonies of a song – but not really to the words.

I can’t believe we have been married for a year.

What surprises me is how different marriage felt/feels when compared to our life together before marriage. Not much has changed, really. I mean, we lived together for five years before we tied the knot. But I feel different. About money (I feel the need to ask him if routine purchases are okay – not because he cares, but because it’s now OUR money instead of MINE). About how much I know about him (so little, really… I marvel sometimes at how little I understand what’s going on inside his brain). About complaining. About arguments (which are simultaneously less important, because I feel secure that he’s not going to dump my bitchy ass… and yet more critical, because ohmygod are we really going to spend the next 50 years arguing over how to load the fricking dishwasher?).

Mostly, I feel different about time.

When we were living together, I wanted to fast forward to the time when we’d be engaged. When we were engaged, I couldn’t wait to be married. I wished for the earth to spin faster, for us to be at that next step immediately, hurry hurry now.

Now that we’re married, a whole year in, I try to will the sun to slow its trek across the sky. I wish the minutes would stretch out beyond sixty seconds. That the days wouldn’t pass at such lightning speed.

I want to hold onto these moments – especially those when we’re laughing together, or holding each other as we drift off to sleep, but even those when he’s sleeping next to me on the couch, even those when we’re arguing – hold them tightly, until I’m ready to let them go. But even as I reach for them, they’re gone.

In an instant, we’ll be seventy years old – I can see it so clearly. I just hope – as our fiftieth anniversary approaches – that we still hold each other as we drift off to sleep, that we still make each other laugh, that he still makes my heart swell with a love so sharp it frightens me.

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