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romance

romance, marriage, the romance of marriage,sex

The romance of marriage might not look anything like what you thought it would when you first fell in love. Then again, nothing ever does. Hell, I was the best parent in the world before I gave birth and I had a very specific vision of what my romantic life with the man I loved would look like. I didn’t know shit.

In the beginning, romance meant not being able to keep our hands off of one another. It was every minute of every day being together, or at least wanting to be together. It meant nights sitting on rooftops, snuggled together watching the stars and kissing. In the beginning, it was sitting in his lap, long walks late at night talking about everything and nothing all at the same time. We were in college and on that first night, we met and neither of  us was particularly interested in the other but by the end of that night, something unexpected happened; he was everything I never knew I always wanted.

We’ve been married now for almost 17 years now, which comes as a shock to everyone, especially since we got engaged after only 4 months of knowing one another. He said he just knew. I was a little less rash in the beginning but I knew I loved him and I couldn’t imagine spending my life without him.

The romance of marriage evolves as it goes on.

Over time, the definition of romance has changed as we have grown and changed. Before children, it meant long weekends together, eating at 5-star restaurants, dancing and laughing until out legs couldn’t support us any longer. Then it meant making our way back to our hotel room through a fog of alcohol and lust and making love until we collapsed in one another’s arms. Those were the days when everything was ahead of us.

Then on one particularly special weekend spent celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary in New Orleans and life took a pleasantly unexpected turn, we were “blessed” with the conception of our first child. Then, weekends away were no more. Date nights went into retirement for 5 long years but it didn’t matter, we were too tired and too broke to go out anyways. To be honest those first few “date nights” and most after that for a couple years, we spent eating take out in our pajamas in quiet and going to bed at a reasonable hour; sometimes sex happened and sometimes it didn’t and we were both okay with that because anyone who has ever been a parent knows that sleep is way more important for everyone involved. It’s not like we’ve forgotten that “sex” is what got us into this predicament in the first damn place.

Not that I’m bitter about parenthood. I love my children, as much as anyone can love children that are awake. They are my favorite children in the world. I can tolerate their whining almost constantly but we’ve come to a point in our lives where we fully recognize, with the help of some sleep, that our children are only a temporary situation. Parenting little kids is not a permanent status, not in the way it is today or yesterday or will be tomorrow. It is ever changing and evolving. It is amazing, terrible and fantastic all at the same time and I wouldn’t change a second of it (not even the colicky ones or the night terrors or the endless nights of sleeplessness). It’s the best thing I will ever do.

These days date nights are still pretty few and far between for the Big Guy and I. Not that we don’t enjoy a night on the town, it’s just that date night for us means kids sleeping over at Grandma’s and that means a whole lot of coordinating of dates and times because Grandma and Grandpa have a life (more than the Big Guy and I apparently). But sometimes, a couple just needs a date night; a minute to remember whom you were before babies. A second to remember why you used to forgo sleep and food just to devour this other person literally and metaphorically; why they were your everything. They are still there and you need to recognize that, out loud, at least occasionally. A little slap on the ass, deep kiss in the middle of the afternoon or a text that says, ” I can’t stop thinking about you sexy!” can go a long way in reminding them that you still find them to be an attractive sexual being, even if it’s buried under spit up and stains and a hangry attitude.

The romance of marriage is about loving someone so much that you can still see them, even when they feel like they have begun to disappear.

So we jumped through all the hoops, signed all the necessary documents and voila, 3 weeks later we got a date night approved and it was glorious. First, he took me to see a horror movie in.the.theater. That never happens. We are all about the Netflix and Chill situation. In return, I chose a restaurant that he had been wanting to try; a microbrewery in an old warehouse. It was by no stretch of the imagination 5-star but it was quaint and it was nice to be there with him. Hell, I was having such a good time sitting at our chalkboard table, sampling my flight of craft beers (totally out of my comfort zone) that I barely even noticed the herd of hipsters with handlebar mustaches playing chutes and ladders or some shit at the next table. Barely but obviously a little bit. Who the hell cannot stare at a handlebar mustache with a man bun and a Member’s Only jacket playing Chutes and Ladders? Seriously.

We ordered off of the very limited (as if it were secret) menu. My choices were a Nutella hotdog or a BLT with Gouda or some other 3 pub specialties. I chose the BLT because I was starving and needed something to fill my empty stomach that was fighting what I found out the next morning to be the flu. The Big Guy chose some sort of beef sandwich. But none of that was important, what was important was that there we were talking, drinking, laughing and being “us” with no one calling us mommy or daddy for miles.

At one particularly romantic moment of the night, I excused myself to the restroom only to return to my seat to find the words “SEXY!” with an arrow pointing to my seat scribbled in chalk on the table. Sounds simple, right? But it made me feel sexy. It made me feel like he saw me, for the first time in a long time. Of course, he soon followed that message up with his own message on his side of the table, directed toward the waitress, “ Check Please. I’m going home to have SEX!” It made me laugh. It made me feel wanted and we left the hipsters to their chutes and ladders. Sure, it was only 10 p.m. but that was really f*cking adorable.

On the way home I told him that I really wanted something sweet. Obviously, the hipster brew worx didn’t serve dessert unless you count the Nutella on the all beef hotdog. I didn’t. So he stopped by the grocery ran in and returned the sexiest man alive with a box of fudge pop tarts and a giant bouquet of wild flowers from the grocery store, just because…my favorite kind of flowers in the world. Apparently, I’m cheap and easy.

It wasn’t a five star date night by any stretch of the imagination but it had the same effect and ended the same way, minus the dancing until our legs gave out because since I broke my leg, it doesn’t work like it used to. Of course, leave it to him to make even that sexy because I’ll be damned if he didn’t give that ugly scar a little kiss while he massaged my leg that night, like he’s done for months while I’ve been recovering from this broken leg.

That’s what the romance of marriage is really about, falling in love with the same person over and over again throughout time. Choosing to love them every day.

What is your definition of the romance of marriage?

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When you were a little girl, what did you imagine your perfect proposal to look like? If you’re a guy, did you agonize over how to propose and make sure that you got a yes? I guess that would be stressful. I never really imagined the perfect wedding proposal. For me, it was more about the perfect guy proposing.

Not perfect like a Greek god. Not perfect like a model or earning a certain income. Perfect in that he loved me unconditionally, just as I am. Perfect in that I loved him the same. The perfect proposal to me had nothing to do with anybody getting down on their knee and everything to do with being willing to stand by my side for the rest of our lives.

Our original proposal was nothing short of comical. Endearing and filled with good intentions but more impulsive than it could have been. I was shocked and I was flattered but mostly, I was knocked off my feet by how soon in our relationship he knew that I was “the one.” I had never been anyone’s, “the one” before.

After 11 years of marriage, I finally got “the proposal”. The one you read about on fairytale wedding blogs. The ones photographed in perfect sunset light and captured in remote destinations. Only, mine was in my living room.

This past weekend was the Big Guy and my 11th wedding anniversary. It was pretty special since last year for our 10th, he had just been downsized and our whole life was up in the air. Not much celebrating went on last year. This year, however, was a completely different story.  Is it really possible that I can be more in love with this man by the day?

READ ALSO: I F*cking Love You Man

We met in college, at a bar, through a mutual friend. He very nonchalantly looked down at me ( since he is a towering 6’5″ ) and said, “Hey”. I barely warranted a nod. I thought, “What an asshole!” Anyways, fast forward 4 months and there he is in yet another bar proposing. I was shocked and ill-prepared for such a question.

We had been dating exclusively since a few days after the “hey” incident but isn’t 4 months really soon? Did I mention he asked me in the middle of a bar? No big drop down to your knee with a ring, hush over the crowd, as the DJ booth announces that the big guy needs quiet. No, just a “will you marry me?” in the middle of the dance floor, in the middle of a dance, in the middle of a night of drinking. WTF? I was shocked. I was flattered. I was confused. I was lucky. It took me a couple days to give him an answer, because as I mentioned…I was shocked. In 4 months, I was not expecting a ring.

Being the list making thinker that I was I thought about it and realized listen to your heart, ” Are you, crazy girl? It’s too soon. Then I thought to myself, are you crazy girl…he’s amazing and you love him. This is the way it was all going to end up anyways. He just figured it out first! (That’s why I’m lucky).”

Then I said yes, then I got a ring. He liked it but he wasn’t forking out money to put a ring on it if I didn’t say yes. I did tell you we were in college, right? Anyways, that was my first proposal back on January 28, 1998. The one that I found out later was supposed to be Valentine’s Day proposal ( how romantic) but he was nervous and jumped the gun…that’s why he didn’t actually have a ring on him.

For our 5th wedding anniversary, he got me an upgraded ring. My original one was beautiful and it is very special to me but my 5-year one was something else. Lots of sparkle and shine, just like I like. Then he whisked me off to a hot and steamy vacation for two in New Orleans. I came home with really frizzy hair from the heat, and I’m pretty sure all the booze and love gave me our first daughter. Talk about a souvenir!

READ ALSO: Ten Things to do in New Orleans to Get Pregnant

Fast forward, 6 years later to our do over 10 year anniversary ( our 11th anniversary) and the big guy has once again, shocked me! Oh yes, Ladies, he came home ( from out of town work) and the girls were napping. He had a sandwich and sat dawn and watched a little bit of trash tv the Real Housewives of New York with me. He let me ramble on about some inane scenario that was taking place and then he left the room. I figured he went out to use the bathroom, check his email, who knows. We’ve been married for 11 years, I don’t ask him where he’s going every time he leaves the room, anymore.

I am sitting there, mind you with my grimy gardening clothes on, hair pulled back in a bun with crazy curls sprouting everywhere from the humidity…not a stitch of makeup on. I turn around and I’ll be damned if he is not next to my chair on his knee. Yes, his KNEE. I have been waiting for this my whole life. It was “the proposal”, I always wanted and never got. But I figured as long as the guy was the right one, who cares if the proposal wasn’t what I had always expected.

Next, I heard him saying “Now, will you marry me?” I think. I was in such shock. I was so happy, I grabbed that ring and hugged his neck and squeezed him and kissed him and said: ” Of course!” ( We are planning a vow renewal for our 15th..some place warm).

I understand now what that crazy reaction is that women have when they are asked to marry the man of their dreams when they have been waiting for it..expecting it. The ring is gorgeous. I am totally in love with my new ring, almost as much as I am with my husband. It is very special to me because it is actually the ring I was proposed to with!

To top it all off, the next day ( our actual anniversary) we had a wonderful date ( alone without children) and it was amazing hanging out with my best friend, soul mate, the man of my dreams and just talk and hear and see one another. Then I found out he was going to propose that night at the restaurant..drop to his knee, in the restaurant..how romantic. There he goes jumping the gun..again! I so love this man. I can’t believe that he still makes my heart swoon. Thanks baby for being everything I never knew, I always wanted! Te amo!

These are some of the pictures from date night on our anniversary! We are goofs, but I can not imagine my life any other way. So full of love and joy. My cup runneth over!

What did your “the proposal” moment entail?

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Love and Marriage ~ Apparently last week was National Marriage week. I, myself, was so deep in the throes of actually being in a Marriage that it completely escaped me. Well, to be honest, I never knew there was such a thing. But to be fair, I think it is a wonderful idea. I mean if we can celebrate Veterans Day and President’s Day, we can surely give some credit for those of us who have maintained a long and happy marriage, or maybe I should say those of us who make the decision daily to stick with it and be there and grow together through the thick and thin.Yes, that is marriage. It is choosing your best friend and planning a life together.

Marriage is more than Bells and Whistles

It’s not always like it was in the beginning, with all that new car smell and the fancy bells and whistles but it is definitely a worthwhile investment, if you choose wisely. It has come to my attention lately that most of my single friends have a similar response for why they are not yet married ( not that everyone needs to be married but these people I speak of have been close but never closed the deal) it seems that they expect it to always be in the “I can’t keep my hands off you, you’re the most awesome thing in the world, every moment I see you is like a Fijian sunset” phase. I know, my married friends reading this are chuckling and my single friends are saying , “yeah, so what?” The fact of the matter is this, that phase of marriage does not last (not at that intensity level) but something deeper evolves.

It may not appear like my husband and I can’t live without one another every second of every day these days but let me tell you..once you’ve been through several years of marriage, children being born, several moves, births, deaths, the entire world changing around you..you become one another’s beacon of love and hope. You are one another’s home. You are the place where the other can go and let down their guard and be the self they are when they are alone but they get to share it..with you.That is marriage.

Love+Hope+Happiness=Marriage

I wouldn’t trade the look in his eyes that I get now for the look that I got when we were two college hotties living to jump one anothers bones. No way! Now, he looks at me in awe…like I am amazing. He knows the fortitude and strength it takes to do what I do. To be the mother of his children, to love him no matter what, to get the things done that need to be done but he also knows that when I get dressed up and do my hair, nails, make up and we are alone, I can still be that girl in college. Its just that now, I keep him fed,clothed, make our house our home, and I am his. I still see him and want to jump his bones and he does mine, as well…just now its not the only thing that we feel and see when we look at one another.I’m not knocking my single friends, I just feel like if they are expecting the new car smell in a relationship to last forever..or worse yet, passing up happiness in search of that metaphoric “new car smell”, they may be missing out on something wonderful.

I have a theory about marriage, it relates to the housing market ( I have houses on the brain, since I’ve been searching for the past 6 months). Getting married is like buying a house, you find that house that you want to make your home and want to live forever. In reality, you may not live there forever but while you are there, it is a good investment. You make it your home, you create memories, you live and grow there. Someday, you may have to sell or want to upgrade but that home was a positive, wonderful thing in your life. It may have been where you had your children, or where you grew up yourself. It is where you lived the seasons of your life in love and security. Now, perpetual dating is like renting an apartment. You have a small commitment, no equity invested, and you can leave and upgrade or change apartments at anytime on a whim. There is no reason to stick out the rough times when the pipes are leaking, or the apartment no longer suits your furniture or lighting tastes. You simply walk away.

I personally hate apartment living, because I have lived in a house. Maybe I was meant to live in a house, but I need to be somewhere that is mine and I can invest my life , my time, my heart, and my sweat and tears into.Plus, as a sidebar, just a reminder, my single friends, its easier to break a lease than to sale a house.

Marriage is having your best friend at your side forever

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