Yesterday, T and I celebrated the six year anniversary of us dating. We transplanted all of the seedlings that have been taking over our kitchen for the last couple of months and spent the whole day working in the yard. He is still fascinating to me and I think that he is the most fun.
I’ve been researching recipes of all sorts because if all of the fruits and veggies that we’re planting actually take off…we’re going to be swimming in fresh produce. A few that I’m particularly excited for: this fig and prosciutto pizza (since we have a fig tree!), this Mediterranean recipe, and this recipe for chicken thighs in a creamy tomato sauce.
I’m also reading a lot about canning and how to do it properly and safely. I’m excited to be able to give away tomato sauces, jams, pickles, beans, salsas, etc. When I was growing up, my grandparents had a closet in the garage where they stored all of their canned foods. Everything looked so pretty in the jars, it seemed like every shelf was always full of corn, okra, tomatoes, beans, peas, green beans, squash, and so much more. Because Martha Stewart is just…a dream, I’ll use this article as a guide when I start canning.
I’ve been reading My Life in France by Julia Child, and it just solidifies my love for her. Click the photo at the very top or below for one of the many articles displaying photos that Julia’s husband took of her.
Don’t read this if you don’t want to risk being disgusted and annoyed by me.
Three years ago, Trey and I stepped away from everyone, and sat next to each other to say our vows. We vowed to love each other and to honor each other, to always work to lift each other up, to put effort into US when the energy just isn’t there, and many other things. We’ve known each other for almost six years now, and have been married for three of those. In those six years together, we’ve moved five times, adopted a cat and a dog, moved higher and higher within our companies, and had some very high highs and some really, really low lows. I would say that our time in Florida was probably one of the lowest lows, but if I’m being honest - we’re currently climbing out of what would probably be the next lowest (if we’re really rating our lows). But, we’re holding stronger than ever and we are so, so close to a new chapter.
Someone asked me the other day if when I met Trey, I knew immediately that he was the one that I was going to marry. The answer is yes. From our first conversation, we were a match and we just clicked in every way. When I say that we are more alike than we are different, I don’t say that lightly. I managed to find someone who is…so damn perfect for me, and I’m perfect for him. I know this because he tells me almost daily. He thinks that I’m hilarious and he loves my attempt at a sandwich and he loves to ask me sports questions. He loves the way that I sleep in the middle of the bed with half of my body on him during the winter, and the way that I’m sprawled out like a starfish during the warm months. He loves building me back up when anxiety and worry and fear has tamped me down. I know this because he tells me. He takes the time to look me in the eyes and say all of the things that I didn’t know that I needed to hear. He lets me be me, and doesn’t push me to be any different. He speaks my language and sometimes it’s honestly unreal how great he is. When an acquaintance of his meets me, they say, “You’re Trey’s wife, right? Oh, man. He is so great. I know you know this, but he really is just the best.” To this, I say, “I know” and I beam. And he knows this, because I tell him. I tell him that he’s like a warm furnace that I always want to be next to, and I tell him that he is perfect for me and that he loves me so perfectly. I tell him that he’s funny and that I need him. I tell him that I love to watch him eat chips because he looks at both sides of the chip before the puts it in his mouth.
It’s stupid, actually. It honestly is stupid how perfect we are for each other. Of course we have our issues. Other issues will arise. But, I believe that his belief in marriage, my willpower, and our love of positivity and light and joy and fun will keep us chugging along forty-five years down the road - when I look like a curly, white-haired starfish in a cardigan, and he has silver hair, a big belly and a Santa-like demeanor. We are going to put in the work. We are going to continue laying the foundation for our marriage, and I’ll swim around in these early years, floating on big inflatables until my fingers get all pruny.
So, here we are. Entering our third year of marriage. We’re wrapping up an intensely stressful season of our lives and on the verge of a new and exciting one. We’re peeing in front of each other now…since we’ve lived for six months with a doorless bathroom. We’re closer than ever and we’re still holding each other tighter when things gets hard.
Happy anniversary, Trey. I love you. I love you. I love you.
This year, our Hilton Head trip held no agendas of any kind. The only expectation we really had was that we expected it to be relaxing and refreshing. We brought books with us (that we never opened) and face masks (that we never did), because we were already relaxed enough. We watched Food Network Christmas specials and took naps when we were inside. We went to the beach and rode bikes when we were outside. It was warmer than we’ve ever experienced it - but that just meant that we spent even more time inside lounging and recharging.
We drive home tomorrow, and we are scared to look at our work schedules because we are scared that they won’t overlap as much as we’d like for them to. I’m beyond grateful for Trey and for the time together that these trips give us. I love him. I love him. I love him.
When we get home, it’s time for Christmas. We’ve talked about how if we get a live tree and decorate it, there’s a chance that we might be taking everything down and moving it if we are able to find a house before Christmas. We’ve also talked about how we have no idea what George is going to do when he’s locked in a teensy living room with a bright and shiny Christmas tree all day long. So, this has potential to be an eventful Christmas season, and I’m up for anything and everything. Let’s GET.IT.GOING.
If you roll your eyes at PDA and lovey dovey prose, this one isn't for you. Keep scrolling, or tune in next time because this one is going to get sappy. Trey and I have been together for over five years. We've been married for almost three, and we both work jobs that don't give us a lot of time with each other, so we take what we can get. A lot of our conversations tend to dance around the fact that one of us needs to think of a fantastic idea so that we can start a business together and then spend our days working side by side. It turns out that so many modern businesses were started because a husband-wife duo just wanted to spend more time together. So, we'll get there one of these days but for now...we get by on the hours of 7pm - sleep, 8am - 12pm, and the occasional shared off day.
I want to explain a little about why I want to spend so much time with this person. But, first let me preface this by saying that marriage isn't always the bright, happy days filled with inside jokes and ice cream cones under a pink and blue sunset. There's some real darkness. There's nighttime anxiety. There's joblessness. There's fear for the future. There's meltdowns and bad moods. There's the occasional tantrum when you can't find the non-drowsy allergy medicine anywhere and you are covered in snot and your eyes are swollen shut and your spouse is sitting on the couch (not helping you look) wanting to show you the precious pictures of a friend's baby's gender reveal and you are just destroying everything you touch like a bitchy tornado, making all the noise in the world, slamming cabinets and dumping out drawers and then you give up and are on the verge of tears when he gets up and locates some Benadryl that knocks you out within ten minutes. There are sinks full of dishes, and litter boxes that you neglect for one day too many. There is exhaustion, both physical and mental. There's an internal reminder saying that marriage is vowing to share it all with someone forever. The good, the bad, and the really scary.
So now, let me tell you why I want to spend so much time with this person, even after we have some terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.
This guy thinks that I'm the funniest person on the planet. I haven't straight up asked him, but I'm pretty sure he would say that I'm funnier than Steve Martin (his GOD), and the logic that he would put behind that would be something along the lines of me being cute or that Steve Martin is a different kind of funny (clearly, he is wrong). But, I can live my life, and do my normal things, and just be ME, and he thinks it's hilarious. What is up with that?? He does this thing when he thinks something is really funny where he kind of leans back in his chair, laughs hard, squints his eyes and puts his hand on his chest or grabs his beard. That's how I know I got him good. And, now that I voiced that, he will probably never do it again. Oops. But, he is the funny one.
His love language is all of the love languages. I don't really know which love language I respond to the best, but he uses all of them. I remember when we were dating, a coworker of his was having a terrible day, so he went to Starbucks, got her a pastry and a coffee, then walked to Kate Spade (because she loved Kate Spade) and asked them for an empty box to put the pastry in. He placed the coffee and the box on her desk to brighten her day. When we were dating, I mentioned that I love getting letters and the very next day, I had a letter in my mailbox...and many more after that. If someone needs help, he is there. No questions asked. He runs out into the rain to hold umbrellas for people. He is just a goodhearted person all of the time.
He dances and sings. Five years of knowing him and I've only caught him really dancing on video four times...and usually I'm only able to get a couple of seconds of it before he notices and stops. His dancing is hilarious and usually accompanied by some hard lip-syncing. As for the singing, I've caught that on video just a couple of times, and I'm not allowed to share those videos with anyone. Most of the singing videos feature him belting out a tune, then repeatedly rewinding the song to the part that just really "shut it down". Also, he is really into rap? He knows a lot about it and seriously appreciates it as art? He researches the lyrics sometimes to get a better understanding of the song, and yeah... he is just something else. Since day one of knowing him, I've loved how he will give all music a shot. He isn't going to be a snob about it, and he's open to liking anything and everything because he says he's "just here to have a good time."
He's family-centered. After living away from my family for the last 8 years, I've learned that I have to be close to them. As appealing as it sounds to live abroad...I could never. I have to be near my family, and he has to be near his. He gets a special boost from spending the day with his dad, and he loves taking care of his mom and sister, and he lights up when he gets to play with his brother's little girls. He loves our families, and I do, too. He also loves our future family. Sometimes, you hear about those men and women that are born to be parents, and I think that he's one of those. He loves children, and he is going to be the very best father one day.
There's also the fact that he chooses to be optimistic, he is an incredible cook, he is supportive of women, he's self aware and always looking at how to better himself in some way, he loves to travel and loves to dream, he loves Christmas and spreads cheer like no other, he appreciates southern culture and doesn't take anything for granted, and then the cherry on top is that there are so many similarities between what makes us tick that we just end up getting along really, really well.
So, every single day of my life, I want to spend time with this person. I don't care if I saw him fifteen minutes ago...I want to see him again. I love everything that he is, and I feel like the luckiest person in the world to get to spend my life beside him.
Last night, my oldest friend got married. Christy is the first friend that I really, really remember. We were teeny tiny baby cheerleaders together. We had slumber parties almost every weekend. Her grandmother felt like she was my grandmother, too. My younger brother loved being around her. We played school together on days that we were out of school, and we spent summer nights collecting garden snails and putting them in jars where they would later be married. We ruined all of my mom's pots and pans by pretending to cook with them in the back yard, and then leaving them out to rust and ruin. We went to camp together, and always hoped to be in each other's groups. We called ourselves "Nutty Buddies" and made t-shirts to make it official. We memorized Pretty in Pink, and we practically lived off of chocolate brownies and MUG root beer.
In middle school, Christy moved to KY and we spent several years apart. We made new friends, but we would spend hours on the phone, trying to keep each other in the loop. She was the first person I told when I had my first kiss, and she called me when she had hers. We were those kinds of best friends. It was okay if the little things got forgotten, but the big, big things were always shared. Then, high school happened, she moved back to AL, I switched schools, I moved away for college, I got married (she was there, of course), she moved out of Florence, I moved to FL then I moved back, and now here we are. Several moves, several jobs, several life-changing decisions, and a whole lot of change later...we're here and she's married!!
The wedding was beautiful and everything felt so representative of Christy. It was stunning, and pieced together seamlessly, and the whole thing felt calm and just...chill (for lack of a better term). Which is how she has always seemed: perfectly put together, easygoing, calm, cool, and collected.
I feel fortunate to be so close to home again so that I can reconnect with all of the people that I love so dearly and miss so much. I feel lucky to be able to watch this incredible friend of mine step into this next season of her life, and I know that it's going to be a great one. Cheers to you and yours, Christy. I'll love you always! XO
“This morning started with me waking him up earlier than he would have liked, just like every other morning. He had a stomach ache that we treated with a Hero Doughnut. We watched Paul and Mary Berry make Christmassy treats, and then an hour later I was driving him to the ER because of a possible appendicitis. I’ve never felt more married, and I’ve never loved him more. This is the real stuff. The special, quiet, kind of forced laughter that only happens when someone is hurting. The memories made over a pair of double-sided grippy socks. The way the air gets sucked out of the room when you finally hear test results confirming a ruptured appendix, and there’s talk of anesthesiologists and operations. Seeing someone you love in pain, and all you can do is find them ice chips. These are new, real moments and I’m overwhelmingly grateful to be by his side during all of them. He is recovering now, and we are spending the night in the hospital with Jello and Christmas movies.”
That was the caption of a picture that I posted a couple of nights ago. It sums up my feelings about our current state this Christmas season, but I do have more to add.
When the doctor finally came in to tell that us that his CT scan showed that it was, in fact, an appendicitis, one of the first things Trey said was, “What’s the recovery time like for these things because I have a date with my wife and the Nutcracker on Saturday night.” The doctor told us that we probably wouldn’t be able to make that date.
We are home now and slowly adjusting to this period of recovery. We are checking off the movies on my Christmas list, since there’s little else we can do right now. He is having trouble sleeping since his pain medicine makes him nauseated. We are trying to keep our fat cat from jumping on his belly, which is harder to do than it sounds.
We rescheduled our Nutcracker date for this afternoon, but we still aren’t sure if we will make it. But, the rest of the day will be spent making soup, gingerbread men, and hopefully finishing my Christmas cards. We are hearing different things from different people about recovery times for appendectomies. Some say three weeks, some say three days, and we’ve heard everything in between. We’re just being patient and doing what we can.
I’m grateful for this opportunity to take care of this person that I love so much, and I’m thankful for the days that we are getting to spend together. I love him I love him I love him. If we don’t make it to a Christmas tree farm this year, and if we aren’t able to go ice skating, and if we have to pass on taking a winter hike, It’ll still be one of the greatest Christmas seasons. In sickness and in health.