Saturday, November 28, 2009

And Now....A Word on Husbands....

Our third wedding anniversary was this past Wednesday, and I started thinking (always a scary thing). What makes a marriage work? Articles in magazines and books about relationships seem to alternately over-simplify or over-complicate them.

I have teenage daughters, and the advice I give them is to treat their boyfriends the same way they treat their friends. They worry if they haven't heard from the boy in a few hours, or they get mad if he doesn't call when they think he should. I ask them, "Does it bother you when your girl-friends don't call?" The answer is invariably "No". It shouldn't matter anymore or less when he doesn't. (This example applies only early on in a relationship) Ladies, we are all guilty of this at one time or another. We shouldn't analyze everything to the "nth" degree. (I know I do this, so this is therapeutic for me to write.) Sometimes our problems are caused by worrying that there's going to be a problem.

I have learned a great deal about healthy relationships since I've been with Randy. (This is where it is helpful to be married to a man who is older or just insightful) He has taught me how to trust my own judgement, love things about myself I once hated, and best of all, how to be a better parent. In our home, we do not allow the children to jokingly insult one another. It tears down self esteem. Trying to soften the blow of a cruel comment with "I was just joking" does nothing for that little voice in our subconscious that says "you aren't good enough." If anyone out there has ever played on a sports team of any kind, you know what we do to ensure that we get the best out of our teammates. We high-five, or hit knuckles. We tell each other "good job, nice hit." If you want something for yourself, do something for someone else. Building each other up instead of tearing each other down helps us achieve our own personal goals in life. We all need someone in our lives to be our cheerleader. Randy is mine.

I think the "secret " to our marriage is that we really, truly "do"  for each other. We don't keep track of who has done what. Sure, there are days and sometimes, weeks when one of us will do more than the other. It always works out. I prepare, and serve him his dinner. Before I get my own. Not because he's "the man" or because my needs are less important than his own, but because I love him. It doesn't hurt me to do that. It doesn't cost me anything. It is a small token of my love and appreciation. In turn, he lets me sleep in and brings me coffee. In bed. Almost every morning. (I do not cook every night.) I will offer him the last serving of my favorite food instead of eating it myself, for all the same reasons. And I love him even more because when he found out that I do that, he now insists that he will not have that last serving of my favorite food.

We argue. We get our feelings hurt and I'm sure there are times when I'm sure he'd love nothing more than to walk out the front door and never look back. Randy is the one person who can cut me to the quick with his anger, and he is the one person who can make me feel like I am the most intelligent, beautiful, sexy woman in the world. That is what happens when you love someone. You are sometimes vulnerable, and sometimes invincible. The people you love, whether they are your parents, children, best friend or spouse, help to mold you into the person you are. Randy, in so many ways has helped to mold me into the person I am today. I love him with every ounce of my being every minute of every day. Most importantly, Randy has taught me how to love myself just as much.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wedding Story

So, in honor of my third wedding anniversary, I thought I would tell you about our wedding.

First, a little background. Randy and I had been business partners, dating, and living together for a couple of years prior to our marriage. Our lease was up on our old salon, and it was time to move on to bigger and better things. I found commercial condos for sale very close to our home, in a growing area, without competition nearby. We bought it. (Did I mention we decided to set a date, in the middle of construction???) We had to take this empty shell and turn it into a salon. The build out was brutal. Who knew that getting construction done during hunting season is a bad idea? (They can't work on Fridays, because they have to prepare for the weekend. They can't work on Mondays because they just got back from a weekend living in a tree fort.)

Our salon was designed to look like a comfortable place to visit, while still functioning as a salon.  We also decided to get married in the salon after it had that comfy feeling, but before it had "salon stuff" in it. The contractor promised that construction would be on schedule for the wedding. HAHAHAHAHAHA. (oh, sorry, I got a little hysterical there)

Can you see that this is not going well??? Needless to say, the salon, uh, I mean the wedding venue was not as ready as they had promised. Fortunately, I wasn't hung up on the perfect wedding, the marriage was much more important to me. Seriously. (But I would be lying if I said I was totally Zen about the whole thing.)

 Back to the day of.... I had cousins in town from Pittsburgh helping to decorate on the big day. I stopped by early that morning to see how things were moving along. My cousin, Sarah, pulls me aside to ask if I have a strapless, low back bra she can borrow, as she forgot hers in Pa. I am half listening and I tell her, "Sure, I'll take one out and leave it on my bed." I wasn't going to be home, I had all my "bride stuff" to do. Now, you have to realize, I forget most things as soon as I'm told them. (It makes it much easier to keep my stylist/client confidentiality agreement.... I know secrets!!!) So, I go home, pull out my dress and all of my underthings , lay them out on my bed, and go to get nails, hair and makeup.

Do you see where this is going, yet?

The wedding is at 5pm, and I know that I should get back home to dress by 4:15 or so.

Plenty of time to put on my dress and get to the wedding.

Unless, when you get back home.......

There's the dress.

And the shoes.

Where is my bra?

And my Spanx?

Its getting late.





I do not have anything else that works under my dress. I frantically start making phone calls... I can't leave the house. I can't get to my own wedding without those undergarments. I finally get Sarah's mother (my favorite cousin in the world, Becky) on the phone, and she says,

"Oh, didn't you set that one out for Sarah?"

And that's why I was 45 minutes late for my own wedding.....

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Girls....

Looking back through my posts so far, I realized that although this is supposed to be about me and my life, mostly its about my kids. I'm guessing that means that my worst fear has come true.

Apparently, I have no life.

Since I have no life, I thought I'd show you some pictures of my girls. This is Goldie:

Yeah, she'd have you believe that this picture captures her exactly.

To that , all I can say is....Uh, no. This is more her personality:

A little sassy, but fun.

Kay is a little different. For the most part she is serious and wants to make a good impression, so she'd choose this pic:

Yeah, that's her....if you're her teacher and she needs an "A". Otherwise, it's this:

Sabrina should be a sweet girl. Here she is:

Most days, though, she's a little more like this:

Overall, the love is there.

Isn't it?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Party Time...

I'm working on saying "yes." The two older girls will more than likely be moving out by the end of next summer. We've always been pretty strict in our house, so we've always had a pretty good idea about where are kids are and with whom. They rarely argue about a curfew, and when they do they want to be able to come home at midnight. Goldie doesn't go out much, but K has a boyfriend and is out every weekend. I've never really insisted on a firm curfew time, it usually depends on what they are doing or who they are with. As strict as we are, we don't necessarily believe in assigning a time to be home when you never know what you're going to be doing. I don't really understand why some parents insist a specific time and then not give the kids any leeway if, for example, the movie gets out a right at curfew, so kid has the choice of either leaving the movie before the end, trying to find something else to do for the three hours, or be late. I say give them extra time to leave the theater and get home. (I realize there are some kids who are constantly trying to take advantage, and it may not work for everyone. I guess we've been lucky with our two.)

So, back to saying yes more. Three times in the last month, the girls have come to me wanting to go to neighborhood parties. The first party was a few blocks from the house, I was going to be home, and Son One was going to stop by. (He's my step-son, but I'm too lazy to write that everytime. From now on he is Son One. There is also another step-son, Son 2) So, I felt pretty good about letting them go. Because they were going to a party, I told them they needed to be home by eleven. The evening passed uneventfully, and the kids were home five or ten minutes early. I knew this was going to be their first "real party" and half expected them to avoid eye contact and run straight to their rooms when they got home. (not that I did that....) Instead? They came in, excited, and they talked to me. After a party, where there were no adults! I detected not one bit of scheming or hiding.

Early last week I was informed that there would be a Halloween party Friday night. This one was a still in the neighborhood, but further away than the last one. I took a deep breath, and tried to remember how to form the word yes. Son One would not be there to check up on things, and I had a softball game. I would not be right around the corner, I'd be in another city. I had to consider that the girls behaved responsibly last time, and with college coming up next year, I figured I'd better let them try again. So I said yes.

Then I got the kick in the teeth. They also wanted to stay out until midnight. My husband told me to say yes, to trust them. So I did.

The girls? Home at 11:00. Because they were too tired to stay out longer. (Huh? How old are they????)

When K asked if she could go to a party on Halloween night, I didn't even hesitate. Yes. Go. Have fun. Be home by midnight....

Not only was she home by 11:30, but they decided not to go to the party after all. Her boyfriend's parents were hanging out in their backyard, and they stopped to talk to them before heading out. They had so much fun with the parents, that they decided to just hang there all night. (And no, they aren't the kind of people to be the "cool" parents.)

I admit that I am in a state of shock. I feel lucky and blessed that they are as responsible as they are.

The only problem with all of this?

When they come home early, they are interrupting our (ahem) party time...

Damn kids...sigh...