Tag Archives: love

Photo Friday: Lucky 13

In the words of my Dad, I’ve been “steady busy.” I’ve been planning a new ice cream blog. Because when you can’t find the time or energy to update your first blog, why not start another one?  I’ve also been: making ice cream, taking a small business workshop (see also: ice cream), worrying about my dog (he’s fine, don’t worry, but there’s been stuff), basking in the glow of my Craft Whores win, and celebrating anniversaries.

Last Wednesday was my 13th wedding anniversary. Dave had his usual Wednesday night jam class thing, and that means on Wednesdays, Dave is gone before I get home. This means that Wednesday is not the night we make sweet weekly love, but rather Wednesday nights I have to not only walk the dog, but also provide my own dinner (my life is hard).

But I found these on the counter when I got home.

I assumed there were 12, because a dozen roses is a thing, right? Later Dave told me there were 13 because we’ve been married 13 years and I was touched in my cold black heart by his  uncharacteristic romantic symbolism. But the best part of my anniversary present was the note on the counter saying “Chuck walk: check.” When I realized I could report directly to the couch, plant my ass there and watch TV, my eyes welled up with tears of joy. ‘Twas a happy anniversary indeed!

Last week was also our 20-year dating anniversary which, holy crap, is a long time, no? We celebrated by seeing Peter Gabriel on his last “Back to Front” tour stop. He performed the album “So” in its entirety in honor of the 25th anniversary of its release. Which occurred when I was FOURTEEN years old and Peter Gabriel didn’t look like an elderly Druid. But he sounded awesome. He also played two other non-“So” sets, including songs from the album “Us” that came out the month I met Dave (11 days before we officially started dating, not that I looked it up and counted). I assume he played “Come Talk to Me” in honor of our 20th anniversary, right?

As I rested my head on Dave’s shoulder and listened to the song, memories of that CD playing over and over as we fell in love came flooding back to me like 20 years hadn’t passed. How the hell did 20 years pass so quickly? Add Peter Gabriel to the growing list of bastards who made me cry at a concert.

Please to enjoy this video (this wasn’t our show, but the only video from our show on YouTube gave me vertigo). Song starts around 2:15:

Breaking My Stride

I knew what I wanted. I had pictured tears of relief and pride at the finish line of my first half marathon, but my eyes stayed dry. My words were salty instead. “If I ever talk about doing that again, punch me in the face.”

I also muttered obscenities regarding the measurement accuracy of the infinite last tenth of a mile. Several of my toes burned, a painful reminder of my idiotic decision to walk on the beach in my running shoes the day before.

But mostly, I felt an exhaustion that said, two hours, 34 minutes, and 27 seconds is too long to do anything not involving popcorn or a horizontal position. I didn’t want to quit running, but I wanted to be faster, to release my inner cheetah. While I’d never run a pace even close, I set a goal of a 30-minute 5K.

On my speed-work days, I worried my inner cheetah was a tortoise. But the race I’d chosen was perfect:  on the trail where I usually run, night-owl friendly start time (11:30am!), and fall weather (I’m a delicate flower).

Keeping my pace felt effortless the entire first half. At the turnaround point, I thought, I have this. Then I learned something new about my trail. It’s not completely flat. The second mile and a half was all uphill. I’d never noticed the incline before, but pushing this foreign pace made it obvious.

Running began to feel like wading through mud. I wondered if I’d be able to finish, let alone beat my goal time. As I wrestled with myself, I noticed my husband on the side of the trail, my dog sitting at his side. I hadn’t expected to see them until the finish line. Chuck’s tail started wagging when he saw me approach. I felt a burst of adrenaline and my pace quickened. I prepared to give them a wave as I passed. I had no time to spare.

Then Chuck darted right into my path, plopped himself down, and looked up expectantly at me for the obligatory doting.

Although I did have to slow down to avoid crushing my dog, I didn’t have to stop, shouldn’t have stopped. But I couldn’t resist my fluffy muffin.

I missed my goal by 28 seconds. I like to blame it on Chuck. He broke-a my stride.


Seriously, could you resist that face?

This post was inspired by the RemembeRED writing prompt: to write, in 400 words or less, about an unfulfilled goal beginning with the words, “I knew what I wanted.”

I’ve run four more 5K races since Chuck’s anti-Matthew Wilder interference and the trend is going in the wrong direction. I bought Run Less, Run Faster since I want to run faster and I can also totally get behind running less. I’m hoping it helps.

Write on Edge: RemembeRED

The A.D. (After Dave) Years

Dave and I got married 12 years ago today. We kept it simple and got married as close to our dating anniversary as possible. So on Wednesday, we will have been together 19 years.

Nineteen years sounds like a long time to me. It’s exactly half my life. And it’s gone by at an alarming speed.

In addition to random chance, there were three possible ways I could have met Dave. I guess there was no escaping him.

I told him I loved him the first time we met. He lived with some friends of mine his senior year and I met him at a party. I felt giddy and decided to flirt by telling all the guys I loved them. I told everyone I loved them and I’d never said that to another man before. I inserted each person’s name so I wasn’t lying. I’ve always been big on the truth. Obnoxious, sure. Liar, no.

Thank god my friend Dave had a nickname everyone used, so when I met the Dave I was able to truthfully say, “I love you, Dave, and I’ve never said that to another man before.” That got his attention.

So we’ve just established that I loved him right away (see this post for the plethora of reasons I love him) and luckily he was smitten with me too. We only had about seven months to build something before we’d live in different cities for six years. Those six long-distance years were the only ones that felt like they passed slowly to me.

Somehow our relationship lasted even as the long-distance relationships of all my friends did not. I’m still not sure I know why.

We like each other. Maybe it’s just as simple as that.

I often find it hard to think of things to say to people, depending on my mood, even close friends and family. It’s funny, I can go out with friends and not say very much, but I always come home to Dave and chatter without taking a breath for 20 minutes. He is my home.

I can pinpoint the first moment I thought Dave was the one for me. We’d only been dating for about a month and he took me in his arms for a goodbye hug after a date. We could not extract ourselves and we stood with our arms wrapped around each other for a really long time. I felt such warmth and peace and comfort and love. I felt I could have stayed that way forever. I still do.

Now that I’ve learned how to create a video from pictures (see Chuck’s birthday video and Dave’s birthday video), I had to make an anniversary video too. Don’t worry, I’m running out of occasions/unused pictures.

My Favorite Person Turns 40

Forty years ago today, my late mother-in-law gave birth to my favorite of her five boys. Thank God they didn’t stop at four.

Nineteen years ago, I met and fell in love with Dave.

Five years ago, I attended a week-long seminar for work, led by one of the most respected experts in my field. I sat next to said expert at dinner one night. At one point, as casually as “what looks good to you on the menu,” the respected expert turned to me and asked,

“So what made you fall in love with your husband?”

If you don’t have a stock answer to this question, I suggest coming up with one just in case. I think Dave was as close to love at first sight as it gets, but I didn’t have a list of reasons why I fell in love with him. I just did. The question still hung in the air and my brain was stubbornly blank except for one thing, a thing that forced me to stifle a giggle.

I can’t even remember what I ended up saying, but I’m sure it was nonsense and disappointing. Part of me wishes I had just blurted out “because he’s good in bed,” even though that would have been 900 kinds of inappropriate in this context.

There was never any doubt I loved Dave. I chose Dave the first time I met him. I keep my feelings closely guarded for a little while to protect myself in case he didn’t feel the same. Luckily for me, he did feel the same and had no problem telling me so. I’m so grateful he chose me too.

I was attracted to Dave from the moment I saw him. The first time I remember seeing him, he was standing close by at a party in his suite so that others, including me, could sit and be comfortable. At 6’4″, I had to look a long way up to see him and the view was impressive. He made me feel all fluttery with excitement.

I could say he’s handsome or adorable or hot and all of those things are true. But I think the most accurate way to describe him is beautiful. His eyes are flecked with gold and looking into them calms me. He is this giant of a man who couldn’t be more gentle. I bought him a tee-shirt a few years ago that says “I’m a giver.” And it’s true. He thinks of others before himself.

When I met him, he often wore a hat that simply said “Happy.” I started calling him Happy and the name fit. Dave was an easy-going, generally happy guy. He was the perfect foil for me, since if I were wound up any tighter I might break a spring.

He makes wherever I am feel like home. Early in our relationship he told me he shows love for people through food. But he didn’t have to tell me that since it was a Saturday morning and he had come over to my room with croissants and hot chocolate. We snuggled in my bed and watched cartoons. Just typing that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside even though it’s been almost 20 years since that day.

I like to tease Dave about how he doesn’t do grand gestures, but being Queen of the grand gesture (like borrowing this idea to get Dave 40 gifts for his 40th birthday) I realize how much easier it is to do the occasional grand gesture than what Dave does for me day in and day out. He is the King of everyday thoughtful gestures. He does all of the cooking and he is excellent at it. He carries heavy things, reaches things that are too high, and drops me off when it’s really cold or raining.

He believes in me and supports me in everything I do. He gets up ungodly early to go to my races and be there for me at the finish line. When I ran my first race a couple of years ago, it was chilly and drizzled the whole time. He drove me there, stayed the whole time, waited for me at the finish line, and had homemade hot chocolate in a thermos waiting for me when I was done.

Dave also knows everything, which comes in handy. He read his family’s encyclopedia set growing up because he felt like it. His Dad and four brothers get into debates at the dinner table when they get together and they are all very stubborn, except for Dave actually. But they often defer to Dave’s knowledge, which makes me proud. He’s sort of become my encyclopedia and it’s actually disconcerting when he says “I don’t know” in response to something I’ve asked him.

But he’s modest. He generally only talks if he feels he has something important to say. That he talked to me rather freely from the very beginning was an early sign that he liked me too. My mother-in-law once told me Dave didn’t say a word until he was four and when he spoke, his first words were a complete sentence. I always thought that was so adorable and so Dave.

Dave is the only person who has ever made me feel as comfortable to spend time with as I am by myself. And yes, he’s good in bed. Maybe I should have just said that.

Here is a video I made to honor the first 40 years of Dave. I’m in love with the picture of him at 1:05. If I’d known him then, I totally would have hit that. I had all of Dave’s family photos digitized and it was hard to cull them. So a longer video, for the truly Dave-obsessed (i.e., me) can be found here.

Happy Birthday, Dave! I love you.

Sweetness and Light

A narrow staircase led to the loft floating hidden above the rest of the room. Sparsely furnished with only a mattress and air, it still held the two of us comfortably.

Laced together, we drifted in and out of sleep with the clicking of the tape player reversing sides. Swirling guitars and ethereal vocals drifted up from below.

“You are the sweetness in my eyes…”

Right outside the open windows was a slice of brilliant blue sky, dotted with cottony clouds. Partially covered by a light sheet, a breeze scented with promise glided over our bare skin, adding its cool caress to our embrace.

I stirred and tightened my arms around his strong, yet yielding body. I could not quite fully envelop him as he could me. Burrowing deeper into him, his warmth radiated over me as I lightly slid my hands over his smooth skin. Resting my head on his chest, his rhythmic heartbeat calmed my own.

I breathed in his dewy scent. I felt the rise and fall of his breathing under me. As the gentle movement lulled me back to sleep, I saw spring green warmed by slanted beams of late afternoon sunlight.

“You are the juice I need for life
You are the sweetness in my eyes…”


This week’s RemembeRED memoir prompt: “We’re going to let narrative take a backseat. Choose a moment from your personal history and mine it for sensory detail. Describe it to us in rich, evocative details. Let us breath the air, hear the heartbeat, the songs, feel the fabric and the touch of that moment.”

Rich description is not one of my strengths, in writing or other communication so I decided to challenge myself by participating in this prompt. The title and the quoted song lyrics are from the following Lush song.

Chuck Dog Fluffy Pants

Seven years ago we adopted Chuck, my fluffy muffin. Since we don’t know when he was born, we celebrate his birthday on the anniversary of the day we brought him home.

I have always wanted a dog. But my Mom can’t stand to be around animals, which meant no dog for me. When Dave and I bought a townhouse after we got married, I thought I could finally get a dog. Wrong. Dave was against getting a dog. He worried our new house was too small and yard-less. Also there was that being responsible for another living creature thing.

My longing for a dog got so bad that I would sometimes cry if I saw a cute dog when we went out. I held firm. Dave simply needed to be convinced.

I had been looking at Petfinder for a couple of months already before Dave finally agreed to meet some dogs (“How convenient! I happen to already have a list of possible dogs!”) in 2004. All spring and summer, I searched, filled out applications, got friends to serve as references, and promised a kidney to various rescue groups and shelters. The requirements to adopt a dog here were unbelievably stringent. There were home visits.

I wanted cute and fluffy and for some reason cute and fluffy seemed to correlate with separation anxiety issues. We both work full-time. After months of rescue groups and shelters saying no way to our adopting the cute, the fluffy, the separation anxiety-ridden, and several meetings with dogs who could take or leave us, I finally found Chuck.

The pictures were poor quality, but in them the sun lit him from behind and he looked like a fluffy angel. Key phrases popped out from the description: “…barely tops 30 lbs (including the fluff)…beautiful brindle coat and thick mane…uniquely gorgeous….infectious smile…barely a year old…good humor…foster says “to know him is to love him”…excellent for a first-time dog owner…moderate energy…non-destructive…housebroken…no signs of any separation anxiety.”

I stayed up until 1AM filling out the application. When the woman who had rescued Chuck came over for the home visit, Chuck’s Foster Dad brought Chuck along too.

Chuck was charming. He seemed happy to meet us. He had clearly been learning to give paw, because he continually pawed at us while we pet him. It was super cute. He soaked in our attention like it was his job.

Dave is not a very demonstrative person. He was petting Chuck, but I couldn’t tell what he was thinking. I was relieved when the rescuer suggested we take Chuck on a quick walk to discuss things in private.

When Dave didn’t say anything, I asked, “What do you think?”

Quintessential Dave, he replied, “About what?”

“About Chuck,” I said with exasperation.

“Oh, I love Chuck!”

So it was settled. We were adopting Chuck.

When we first got him, we spent a lot of time staring at him, doting on him, and being blown away by how cute he was. I thought it was the newness of it, that we’d get over it. But we’re both still overwhelmed by how adorable he is at least once a day. When we’re out walking him, people often stop to comment. In fact, Chuck seems surprised when people pass him by without doting on him.

Even my Mom is a closeted Chuck fan. When we visited her last Christmas, I know she thought I couldn’t hear her, but I totally overheard her tell a friend on the phone that Chuck “is a beautiful dog.”

Over the years I have taken a boatload of Chuck pictures. Here are some of the best photos of our first seven years with Chuck. Happy birthday, Chuckle Puppy! We love you!