Celebrate Relationship Successes

I feel spoiled lately. It’s a very new feeling. We are finally in a place where we are breaking the paycheck-to-paycheck rat race. I shattered some sort of ghetto-girl glass ceiling by getting my first brand new pair of UGGs (as my house shoes, so they don’t get messed up). It deserves so many exclamation points. We still don’t have “savings” — or whatever.

In a material sense, we are doing well. I pinch pennies, and my husband understands quality over quantity. Which is code for “he likes nice things at a good price, and knows what’s nice.” I mean how can you argue with this face?

His mother knows what I’m talking about.

We have had all sorts of setbacks. While we are coming up on our 10-year anniversary of meeting, we have been married 6 years, but had our wedding 5 years ago. So we’ve done things a little bit in reverse.

My husband and I have been tested. Our older daughter has been tested. Our younger daughter is part Marlon Brando, part Paw Patrol (she has not been tested). And the fact that our younger daughter has no idea, or unconscious clue about what her father and I have been through, individually or as a couple, is a testament to the fact that we are improving.

Very few people talk about what it really takes to make a long-term relationship last. It’s adaptability and, after that, faith. Put those two together and throw in a dash of the best sex ever, and you would be getting close to romantic love.

I can’t speak for the future, but I can tell you — Our present is better than our past. He and I have worked so hard to build our relationship and our family. And it’s not the busy work, like in middle school. It’s the type of work that engrosses you, like a scientist pushing to make a discovery. The work is intense, encompassing, and unrelenting.

That picture was taken at a bed and breakfast in Havre de Grace, MD. I had coordinated and planned for 24 hrs baby free. After some shuffling and last minute cancellations, we got and entire 24hrs alone, together. Not to ruin the mood or anything, but . . . This was the night I told him about my top three complaints regarding our relationship and our marriage. These were BIG and SCARY topics that pulled in ethics, morals, self awareness, emotional intelligence, and possible substance use problems. BIG.

It took so much of me to plan for that picture because I knew this was when we were going to have that conversation. And if he didn’t respond well, it would have completely ruined what was supposed to be a romantic overnight to help us reconnect. While things were very awkward for few hours, we went on to spend some true quality time together. We needed that quite space together, away from every whining noise whirring around us in our lives, in order to see each other again. Really see, and really hear.

The next day, antiquing in Havre de Grace (with our outlandish $100 budget), we found several gems that we still have in our collection. Our collection of stuff we like. He found a geode that looks like a unicorns hoof. (I know!!) I found mirror trays that we designed into shelving. We ate lunch at 7-11 and drank Red Bull.

He is the love of my life. Everyday, we keep trying to be better than the day before.

In Memorial

This Sunday, May 26th, 2019, my family and I held a memorial dinner for my grandparents. They passed within months of each other. It was hard for their families, but for the widower, the harshest reality had come to pass. No one blamed my grand father for the conscientious objection to his own breathing. He had Parkinsons and was able to decide, a gift from God.

I think about what I can do to make them proud of me. I think about what their best intentions were for me. And I hope that what I believe is true. I hope that they are together, in their bliss, on an ethereal plane without pain. I hope that when they look towards my present moment, we can share in joy at experiencing happiness. Only in their passing could they hold the mirror to me, my siblings, my cousins. They will forever be missed and remembered as an example of how to love and be loved in return. And in the power of their faith.

Amen.

Introducing you to Charmlettes

Charmlettes are elastic jewelry that doubles as hair accessories. Bracelets are hair ties and necklaces are also headbands. They are fairly versatile. Several other uses have been found for them as bookmarks, fan pulls, and napkin rings, among others.

Back in 2012, light-years ago, I had an idea. I had always liked the idea of anklets but found them impractical. They snag stockings, you have to take them on and off which is a hassle when you are trying to get ready. What if anklets were easier to wear. I gave myself a $20 budget and went to Joann’s.

That night, I sat my now-husband down and walked him through my idea. I thought he was going to laugh me out of the room. But he DIDN’T. Instead he started asking me questions about where I got this idea from. The Internet? Pinterest? When I told him it was all mine, he said “Yes, of course! Make them!”

I made several in varying sizes because I have chicken ankles and other people have cankles (no hate, just fact). I made tags. I even took them to an event (I’m not adding their link because they were mean to me). I was incredibly nervous and I only sold one. It was a LONG day.

Soon after, my sister stopped by to see what this idea of mine was all about. She’s just as fabulous and smart as me. So, she naturally picked up one of my elastic creations and put it in her hair as a pony-tail-holder. #mindblown

Unfortunately, I had also just been laid off, started back to school, had a 2 year-old to care for, and was working part-time. Many changes happened over the following 5 years, which I’m sure will be revealed over the coming blogs. In 2018, I had a chance to stay home with my girls. Day care costs had totally outweighed the benefit to me working full time, spending no time with the kids during weekdays, cleaning all weekend, and constantly exhausted (and angry, I’m not pretty when I’m angry). My mental and physical health were taking a serious hit. And it was affecting our family.

In September 2018, with the help of family and friends, Anklebangles debuted at Steppingstone Farm Museum Harvest Fest!

The name has changed and marketing plans are underway. Charmlettes are now available at the Thrifty Kitty Resale Boutique in Fallston, MD, featured in The Sun.

And I am just getting started.

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