Two Pretzels

October 25, 2016

Thirteen years. (I like marriage.)

Today we celebrate thirteen years of marriage.



I smile as I type this.

Oh, Craig... we had no idea what the future would hold for us when we met one another halfway that day in 2003, now did we?

So, there was the wedding, oh the wedding. It was gorgeous and perfect. Your blown-glass centerpieces looked incredible under the sparkly lights at the Toledo Museum of Art. 

And then there was the dancing, oh the dancing... it was so much fun. Ridiculous, really. Our wedding was just... fun. And easy.

But truth? Our marriage has been kind of fun, too. Don't you think? I mean, I like you. I like YOU as a person.

I digress.

So after the wedding, the marriage always starts, right?

The real-life stuff.

It was you, me and and Nattie. Our little family of 3.

I remember feeling like I was playing house. (And I was so pumped about it.) The love of my life, the sweetest little bulldog in the world, our cute, colorful brick house house... so many sweet memories.

We painted and planned, we weeded and planted. We started building our life. Testing the waters, acting like adults. Pretending we knew what we were doing.

And then the real life stuff entered in and those vows got tested, as they do for so many. We lost jobs, we gained jobs, we took jobs we didn't love. I had a sick Mom, we had messy family stuff... and we were on a very tight, just-got-married budget. Ah, the melding of everything... we learned how to argue, after learning how not to argue. We talked about the tough stuff, after avoiding some of it. We laughed, we moved forward. Together.

I think the moving forward was key.

And that wasn't always easy for me. As a recovering grudge holder, I liked to stew. To ruminate in my anger. I liked to let it seep in, poisoning me, ruining my day. I think that I thought this was normal? To get angry at someone and then be angry all day?

Tut, tut. You never fell for that. Nope, you had no time for that nonsense.

I've never encountered anyone quite like you, Craig. Absolutely unmoved and unaffected by my outrage, you would just move on. And it would kill me. We'd have a little tiff over something. (Something that was so important that I now can't recall it) and I'd be IRATE, barely able to talk or look at you... and you? You'd move on, and in a completely normal, calm voice point out a cute dog walking down the street.

I remember at the beginning thinking, "HOW IN THE WORLD CAN I LIVE WITH A MAN WHO IGNORES MY GRUDGES?"

Today, I'm so thankful that you showed me that moving forward is what's always important.

Whatever we're going through, we can get through. We will move forward. Together.

No more grudges. (Thank you.)


The truth is, marriage is hard.
And so is life.
I'm me and you're you and being two separate people in a marriage isn't always easy.

I'm thankful that we talk.
I'm thankful that we listen.
I'm thankful that we shut up when we need to hold our tongues.
I'm thankful that we've allowed one another to always be the person we are.
There's no stuffing the other into a weirdo mold or box.
I watch college football for you.
You listen to Lionel Richie for me.
We're peanut butter and jelly. Or, more aptly: we're sushi and sake.

We offer just enough space so that the other knows that they're supported, but we don't suffocate.

I think what I'm most blown away by/thankful for in these nearly 20 years together, is that we've been fortunate enough to grow up together, without growing apart.

I can't believe that a 17-year-old and a 19-year-old who lived less than a mile away from another when they were growing up and didn't know one another, met, married, moved to Mexico, had babies and still laugh at the same jokes.

We were just sort of supposed to be together.

I was supposed to be this person and I was supposed to be this person, next to you.
You were meant to be you and I was meant to be beside you.
We were supposed to be their parents.
We were supposed to be us together.


It's funny, because in the beginning it's exactly what the experts say -- the love is almost luminescent. It's shimmery and golden and giddy and light and GAH!!!!!!

But then as time goes on, I'm noticing that the love is solid, secure, calm... and deep.

Sweet man, I love you to the moon and back a bazillion times and as your ring states, you're [still] my everything.


Look what I stumbled across recently. It's a letter I wrote to our "daughter" before we got married. I wrote it 9 days before we got married... here are just a few parts.

(You're still my best friend.)

(And I would marry you again tomorrow.)

(I still think you're amazing. And sweet. And I believe it all, even after 19 years.)

This made me smile.

We took our time, we were sure.

And after all this time, I'm still sure.

You're the one, guapo.


I love you to the moon and back, sweet man.
Happy Anniversary.


12 years
10 years
9 years
8 years
7 years
6 years
5 years
4 years
3 years


October 21, 2016

Luke Perry is on the cover of AARP and...

...and I have no words.

How did this happen?

How did Dylan McKay turn 50?

I don't understand.

This doesn't compute. Is anyone else wondering how this happened?

I will say this. FIFTY is rocking. I have friends in their 50's and they look INCREDIBLE. Better yet, they're vibrant and feel good and are strong.


But seriously, whoa.

Note: I was watching Beverly Hills 90210 on a BLACK AND WHITE TV in my bedroom that my Aunt and Uncle gave me. It had an actual dial for VHF and UHF channels. Anyone remember those?

I thought I was so cool.


October 19, 2016

October 16, 2016

The Story of when I met Lionel Richie: Volume 2

(If you haven't already read Volume I of The Story of when I met Lionel Richie, click here.)

How do you sleep knowing that the next day you'll be meeting (and hopefully hugging) Lionel Richie?

I'll tell you what, you don't.

The night before I met Lionel, I felt like my 9-year-old self on Christmas Eve. It was like I was transported back to my 1987 bedroom, sleeping under my dusty mauve and country blue floral comforter, guessing what Santa would bring me. 

"Will the double-tape deck boom box be under the Christmas TV so that I can illegally dub my friends tapes on to those see-through, colorful memorex tapes? It's ok if it's an audiovox, I'd like a Sony, but audiovox will do... Please Santa, please!"

Big stuff, guys. 
Nervous stuff. 

(It's funny how 37-year-old excitement can resemble 9-year-old excitement. This is yet another example of me not feeling my age.)

How fun.

Finally, I fell asleep.

October 13, 2016

The next Lionel post... almost done.

I wrote it.

I just need to edit and add photos.

THANK YOU for your patience!

(It's been a busy week.)


October 12, 2016

Sentiment & Sea Glass

Someone told me recently that I was a very old soul.

And I can't tell you how much that pleases me.

While I am a Belieber, I also loved watching M*A*S*H* and Cheers and I adored John Mellencamp when he still utilized and promoted, the "Cougar" in his name. (Which I still think he should use.)

I love a story.
I love an emotional tie.

I love a "why."


Some say that nostalgia is the yearning for what once was.

This isn't accurate in my world; nostalgia is about remembrance of what once was; not the desire to live in that world again.


When Craig and I first moved to Cabo, we'd spend our Sundays at the beach looking for sea glass. (I know. It sounds like a sappy romance novel; but we seriously DID that. I'll leave out how much both of us hate sand in ours cars and how the sand was an emotional and physical struggle for us on a weekly basis. #realLife)

That said, we'd be walking across the hot sand, necks and heads pointed toward the ground, hoping to stumble across a magical piece of sea glass glistening just waiting for us to reach down and snag it before the water wisked it away.

Boom! We'd find a beautiful turquoise or light blue piece of smoothed perfection... and it was a treasure. We'd pick it up, take it home and add it to our glass collection.


That's how these connections are with the sounds and the shows of my childhood.

All of a sudden I'll be moving along with my day and I think of something funny Norm on Cheers said. And I smile. And it takes me back to sitting in my Dad's lap watching TV and snuggling into him. a bright spot in my day. A treasure.

Or, when I hear Dorothy deliver a sharp quip to Blanche on the Golden Girls I think of how I'd lay on my Grandma's floor on my stomach, chin in my hands at least two feet away from her console TV, lest I go blind from being to close... and the little snicker my Gram would let out... because come on. The Golden Girls are gold.

I'm thankful for these pieces of sea glass in my day.


If getting older means more nostalgia, bring it.

I've got sentiment and sea glass for miles.


October 9, 2016

The Story of When I Met Lionel Richie: Volume 1

I'm smiling as I type this. (Of course, I am.)

I mean, where do I even start?

I suppose I should start at the beginning. Like, the real beginning: In my house, there were two records that were permanently on the record player in our living room: the soundtrack to Fame  (it was good) and Lionel Richie's Dancing on the Ceiling. My Mom and my Dad were both fans and I, by way of osmosis, inherited a love of Motown and The Commodores, along with a love of Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, U2, Carole King, The Judds, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton... the list goes on and on. (I could never really get into Bob Dylan, though... or Bob Seger.)

I twirled to Ballerina Girl and pretty much thought that Say you, Say Me was amazing. And not until I was older did I know what Lionel was referring to when he sang, "Brick House."

(My parents raised me right.)


Moving on.

Over the course of the years I've always loved Lionel Richie. I actually don't remember not loving him. The sky is blue, donuts are incredible and Lionel Richie is amazing. To set the record straight, I am not attracted to Lionel; it's more than that.  (I'm sure Craig is smiling/rolling his eyes as he reads this.) I respect Lionel. Is any artist today the showman and musician and songwriter  and producer that Lionel is?

Eeek... I'm not sure.

I could go on and on.

I remember the first time I was watching a TV show where Lionel performed. I had heard his music for years, I'd seen the sensational music videos (Hello?), but I'd never heard him just play the piano and sing, like he was doing on this TV show. He just sat down and played so many incredible songs... and he sounded so good on live TV. I was beyond smitten. "He's an artist. He's amazing."

Fast forward to today.

I have blogged about this man so, so many times. (Just a quick search on my computer turns up far more Lionel images than I would imagine are stored on most laptops.)

So back in April Lionel announced that he'd be doing a Vegas show that would run for a few months here and there. The show was to be called, "All my Hits," and I instantly knew that I needed to go. I mean... hello? (Pun intended.) I was literally ON MY COMPUTER the night tickets went on sale trying to figure out when we could get away to see him. The dates just weren't working... Grrr...

I had tickets in my cart, and not just any tickets. I was willing to spring for the meet & greet, gold circle, golden, diamond, platinum, VIPPPPP tickets. I mean, it's Lionel. This is a bucket list thing, right? Still, we tried to make it work with some friends, but life... as it does, got in the way. We couldn't get the dates right.

Then, in June we were with our friends at dinner and we decided, right then and there, we.were.doing.this. So, the tickets for the LIONEL RICHIE MEET & GREET (oh my gosh) were purchased and that was that. (I actually feel badly that as soon as we bought the tickets I realized that my little sister was going to be having a baby the DAY BEFORE we were to leave the country and fly to Vegas... luckily, my sister knows my love of Lionel and she understood from the get. I love you Taryn. And Lily Ann.)

(That's Row B, that's the second row, friends...)

Days after we bought the tickets, it was Lila's birthday, then the girls end-of-the-year program (and Lionel's birthday) and all of the craziness that comes with end-of-the-school-year and about-to-go-on-vacation-for-5-weeks stuff. We were packing up and heading to Ohio for the summer... in all of the regular life stuff I forgot to announce on my blog this INCREDIBLE news. (gasp.)

...but you guys... I

Truth? It didn't even seem TRUE yet.

So, I announced my impending trip just a couple of a weeks ago and let me tell you, friends...

...the entire trip was beyond words awesome, but the Lionel Richie part? It wildly exceeded my expectations.


I was a little nervous before the meet & greet because, "What if he's a jerk?" What if this man whose songs I love adore and connect with is a rude egomaniac? What if he's unkind and rushes me through? What if, [gasp] he doesn't let me hug him? (I'm a hugger. What if he's as big a jerk as Bon Jovi was in his documentary? (I STILL cannot sing Livin' on a Prayer with the same vigor and devotion I once did. Jon Bon Jovi is not nice.)

Oh, the questions / anxieties kept piling up:

What am I going to say?
Am I going to cry?
What do I think he's going to be wearing?
Will I be able to speak?

Friends: Incredible.

Next blog post? All about that night.

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