7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Our First Date Night as Parents

KissingJeremyBeforeDateNight About four weeks ago, my and Paul’s lives irreversibly changed: We welcomed our son, Jeremy. While I haven’t figured out many things about new motherhood (like how to get more than 5 hours of sleep while still doing the dishes and laundry and feeding yourself and the baby often enough), I have realized that connecting as a couple is more important than ever. Truthfully, my mom recognized this before I did and offered to make the trip to our house to babysit while Paul and I went out–sans bebe–for the first time since Jeremy’s arrival (that’s us kissing him goodbye before we left). The night didn’t go as planned, but we learned some key things that I’m hoping can help you. Continue reading

6 Big Changes Your Relationship Faces When You Move from an Apartment to a House

huge new house

Like our new house? Kidding! Ours is about 1/6 the size of this one in Austin, TX.

In the past two months, Paul and I sold our apartment, bought a house, and moved out of one and into the other. Despite only closing on the sale of our apartment mere days ago, we’ve been living in our house for a month-and-a-half now. Even though our new home is far from a sprawling estate, some key feature additions and expansions have changed a lot of things for us. Continue reading

Spoiler Alert: Almost Everyone on ‘Bridezillas: Where Are They Now’ Is Divorced

cake with beheaded groom topperWhile we were planning our wedding and for the couple years after when my livelihood depended on writing for brides, I watched a lot of wedding TV shows, including the weekly train wreck known as Bridezillas. These days, I’m more likely to flip to HGTV on a weekend morning to catch house-hunting shows. Today, though, when Love It or List It went to commercial, I changed to We TV (hey, I get to watch this stuff only when Paul’s sleeping—I’ve got to take advantage!). And while what I saw shouldn’t have surprised me, it made me sad. Continue reading

The Boston Marathon Wedding That Bombs Couldn’t Stop

Mere blocks away from the chaos and carnage that marred the annual Boston Marathon, a more serene scene was the background for a very special wedding for two runners. As Buzzfeed reports, a pair of athletes, who got engaged at the Chicago Marathon last October, planned their nuptials immediately to follow the Boston Marathon long before anyone had any inkling that a tragedy would take place there. Less than four hours after dual explosions rocked the Back Bay, Kelli Johnston and Robert Watling tied the knot in their running shoes in Boston Common. The couple thankfully had completed the race before the bombs detonated. Continue reading

I Married My Middle-School Bully

Everyone who knew me at Paulo Intermediate School knew at least two things about me: that I had big teeth (still do) and that I had a big crush on my classmate, Paul. Telling everyone I encountered about the object of my affection embarrassed Paul; he’d gone through physical puberty before his brain had a chance to catch up. In retaliation for the humiliation, and probably in an effort to inspire me to move on to the next poor, unsuspecting sixth-grader, Paul teased me mercilessly. Continue reading

The Absolute Silliest Reasons for Which I’ve Gotten Mad at My Husband

I don’t enjoy being angry. I much prefer to talk about butterflies and sing. Truly. But when you’re with someone for 17 years, you’re bound to get mad about something. I try to limit livid responses to only Paul’s most abhorrent actions. Still, on occasion, I’ve become furious over admittedly stupid things. Here are the highlights. Continue reading

The Almost Bride of Sandy Hook

I’m in the middle of re-reading an engrossing Jodi Picoult book, Nineteen Minutes. It’s about a school shooting. So on Friday, when the tragic news broke about the elementary school in Newtown, CT, I thought the novel had made me imagine that headline. Sadly, it hadn’t. And I’ve spent the past few days learning about the victims, most of whom were too-adorable-for-words six- and seven-year-olds, others brave teachers about my age. And just minutes ago, I found out one of those unlucky women was just days away of getting the best surprise of her life. Continue reading

Lamenting the “No Spouses” Rule for Company Holiday Parties

Last week, I asked one of Paul’s co-workers what she’s wearing to their company’s semi-formal holiday party. She went on to describe two beautiful-sounding options and asked me to help her choose. Then, she asked what I was wearing to the event. “Oh, I’m not invited,” I said sadly. Shock crossed her face. Here’s why I suspect that happened. Continue reading