Two

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On this day, 2 years ago I got married.

And I’m thankful and grateful to God for sending me this husband of mine, who is a monument of strength and patience. I love him so much.

But let’s not be fooled, this year 2 has been rough and I’m glad to be headed into year 3.

We lost my mother-in-law, which was and still is a crushing blow to both of us, especially to him.

I have struggled tremendously with a difficult manager at work, which has caused me much worry and moments of self doubt.

There has been much frustration in our efforts to create a family as well.

But through it all, my husband is my rock. His encouragement and steadfastness know no bounds. His sense of humor keeps me in stitches. His skills in the kitchen keep me well fed. His intelligence and thirst for knowledge continues to amaze.

And so, this what year 2 of OUR marriage looks like.

I am blessed beyond measure. All praises be to God for the things he has done and will continue to do in our marriage!

Happy Anniversary Myron! I love you!

 

(Food) Hoarders

I was reading this blog today titled Newlyweds on a Budget. Its a personal finance blog written by a young wife who lives in California and I’ve been following it for a few years now. Today’s post was about how she wishes she was single again…because her husband eats up all their food.

I quote:

This week, I’ve been making black bean and egg white burritos. I ran out of tortillas and cheese on Tuesday so I asked him to pick some up since he had the day off. He purchased tortillas (10 count) and cheese (8 oz) Tuesday EVENING, not DAY, but EVENING. On Wednesday morning, I made my black bean and egg white burrito and measured out one ounce of shredded cheese.

This morning, I went to make my burrito and there were only three tortillas left and when I went to add my cheese, the bag was gone–I ended up finding the empty bag in the trash can!

In ONE day you ate SIX tortillas and SEVEN ounces of cheese? It was enough to make me march upstairs and wake him up and proclaim loudly: “From now on, we buy our own cheese and put our names on it! I am not sharing cheese with you anymore!”

I know it was a childish move, but it was the last straw of a long line of expecting food to be there only to find out that Eric ate it. It’s like he just has no regard for whether someone else (ie, ME) would like some, he eats it ALL.

Now I know that men tend to eat more than women, cause they are just larger and have bigger appetites but it will never get to the point where I am labeling food with my name on it. WDDDA??? I have my fave things to eat and so does Myron and we try not to mess with that too much but hiding food from him?? Say what now?? It’s not THAT bad. If anything we are trying to pawn off the extra food on each other!!! And if either one brings home leftovers from a restaurant, we know that it for the person whose plate it came off of, unless we offer to share.

I think that A) her husband is either clueless or inconsiderate and B) she needs to up the grocery budget. Married folks should not be in the house scrapping behind vittles!!!! A conversation seems to be in order here.

Granted I don’t think it’s anything she’s going to dump her husband over, but it seems to be a MAJOR annoyance for her.

At any rate for my folks who are married/live together or have had a relationship where many groceries were being consumed, has it ever got this bad behind some food????

The Struggle Is Real

If you follow me on Twitter, you may or may not have read my tweets about my particularly sucky weekend. In the interest of making a long story real short, I lost my wedding band at the gym, our car stalled in the grocery store parking lot in 1000 degree Texas heat, and I had to get a high priced ass rental for a few days. Cue meltdown from me on Saturday, and general stankness on my part all day on Sunday. I was naturally QUITE upset about losing my wedding band because it held a lot of sentimental value for me and it wasn’t a cheap piece of jewelry.

We had the money to fix the car and I have since ordered a replacement band but on Sunday, in the midst of my stankness about the whole situation my husband gave me a real good talking to.  I was mad about my ring and mad about the money we had to spend to get the car fixed (it was the starter). Hell I was just MAD on GP. I HATE having to hit our savings account. I mean I hate it. Having that cushion is security to me, even though that is the purpose of having an emergency fund. I know that sounds ridiculous but hey, it is what it is, I’m weird like that.

While Myron was giving me my suck it up and get your mind right talking to (which I needed), he made a very salient point which I have thought about this week. He was like, “Babe, you really haven’t had to struggle have you?”.  Pause. After I thought about it for a second, I replied that I really haven’t had to. He said in response: “This little hiccup isn’t anything. I’ve been in way worse situations than this.”  And of course, he was right (but I don’t always like to admit it). This bump in the road called life was minor in the grand scheme of things and we had the funds to cover it. And I have been blessed to have been raised to where I didn’t have to struggle for things in life. But it did make me question myself a bit. For a lot of people, the struggle IS real. For real, for real. Folks are struggling to escape bad environments or bad relationships or trying to better themselves, sometimes with no support at all.

So I have my husband to thank for helping me to keep things in perspective because my life could be a whole lot worser. And life can turn on a dime. If it does, I need to get my weight up to be able to handle it.

Anyone had to struggle to get where you are now, for real?

Holla at me in the comments.

Girls Just Need To Have Fun

I did something this past weekend that I haven’t done since I got married. I hung out Friday AND Saturday night. Big whoop right? Well, it kinda was because I left my husband at home and had some really good chick time. And I needed it, more than I realized.

Don’t get me wrong, my husband is hella fun, we have have a lot of similar interests and he is silly, nutty, crazy just like me. And I like kicking it with my dude..that’s more than some married folks can say. But there is something to be said for hanging out with your girls and soaking up some good old estrogen. And since I have blogged about my angst about being left out of the loop by some of my single friends and how it really hurt, it was good to get out and dance and have a female listening ear. I even ended up being a wingwoman for my sorority sister on Saturday night, as I did my best pass and assist to help a handsome goodlooking (c. 2009 Babs In Blogland) secure her phone number.

And I’ve been thinking about it since the weekend, just because certain folks don’t call me anymore since I’ve caught that marriage disease, doesn’t mean I don’t know several very nice women who would welcome a call to step out to have a drink or grab a bite. So I figure I need to be hanging with those folks anyway, right?? Right….I believe that it takes a friend to be a friends and since we don’t have kids yet, I still have quite a bit of free time to spare.

So here’s to my girls, who reminded me that girls don’t just want to have fun, they NEED to have it.

At least every once in a while. 🙂

Trial by Fire

I didn’t really know what to write. Partially because I didn’t really know what to say. When I took my hiatus, I did so because I was having issues at work and I was angry about that situation and didn’t really know I was going to handle it. I have a job I love and a boss that I don’t. I was griping and whining, yet I had to be a grown up about it and frankly I didn’t really want to. It was poisoning my home life and my husband was unhappy because I was unhappy. So I needed to bitch and moan…offline..and then get focused on my next steps. And boy have I gotten focused…I’m strictly business at work. My networking game is on full tilt. I don’t know if I will remain employed at my current employer or if I will be able to move around internally to a new role, but one thing I’m not doing…sitting around feeling sorry for myself anymore. I’m educated and I have choices. I’m going to exercise my right to choose.

But my trial by fire wasn’t over just yet. You may remember me writing about my wonderful in-laws in this post. In the short time I have been married, they have truly been an inspiration to me as to what marriage is really all about. However, on May 9th, my lovely mother-in-law was called home to be with God. We buried her on May 14th. And it hurts…it hurts so, so, so bad. It hurts me to see my husband in such pain. It hurt me to see my father in law have to bury his wife of 39 years. It hurt me to see my husband’s brothers and sisters have to say good bye to their mom. It’s a hurt that can only be soothed by the passage of time and as a brand new wife, there’s not much I can do to fix it. So, I listen a lot, laugh at the funny stories he tells, and encourage my husband to reminisce and  hold onto the memories while reminding him that there is no timetable on grief.

So life has been bitter for the Macks as of late. But I don’t despair for very long. Because I have him and he has me and very soon, life will be sweet…again.

Daytripping

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Shot of the aquarium pyramid...

Saturday afternoon, Myron and I took a hour drive down Interstate 45 South to Galveston, TX, an island right off the coast. I’d been wanting to the see the Bodies Revealed exhibit at Moody Gardens. Moody Gardens also has a hotel-resort, a water park on premises, an aquarium and  an indoor rainforest.

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Below are some shots I took with my cell phone of the view of the bay and the grounds at Moody Gardens.

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Here is a shot I snuck at the Bodies Review exhibit. I was living dangerously as you weren’t supposed to be taking pics!

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Here is my cute hubs!! Look at that reluctant smile!

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There are tons of beautiful flowers in bloom. Spring time in Texas is gorgeous! The weather was a wonderful 85 degrees with a nice breeze coming off the bay. We are enjoying it now. By May it will be scorching!

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This cockatoo was eating a snack and wasn’t being that cooperative for my pictures but I finally got one.

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After all that sightseeing, we got a recommendation from Beautifully Complex and decided to check out the Black Pearl Oyster Bar and Grille.

I started out with two huge crabcakes! They were so good and full of meat.image

My entree was Shrimp Diablo over rice and it did have a kick!

I forgot to get a shot of Myron’s dozen oysters on the half shell. He loves them.

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Myron’s entree was blackened shrimp, crawfish and squid over rice. It was pretty tasty. We will definitely be going back to the Black Pearl.

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We grabbed some blue crabs on the way home to cook on Sunday, but they all died overnight. I think it was too hot in the garage for them. We went back to the fish market for some fresh ones, though. My husband was determined to get him some crabs!

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All in all, we had a fun Saturday. Day trips are nice!

Marriage & Roommates?? Yeah, No.

I started reading the blog, A Practical Wedding, when I  got engaged. I found it to be refreshing and well..practical with realistic discussions about how to plan a wedding and a marriage. It wasn’t wedding p.o.rn, it was real women talking about real life stuggles as they transitioned from being single to being a wife. I still read it now, even though I am a year and a half into my marriage because I like the topics and the community.

However when I came across this blog post from the other day: Married, With Room Mates,(http://apracticalwedding.com/2012/03/living-with-roommates-as-a-married-couple/), I had to take a pause for the cause.

In the post, the author explains why she and he husband have a roommate, by choice..not necessity.

This is how the author’s post begins:

On Valentine’s Day, Michael and I went out to dinner at one of our usual places. The waitress walked us to our table and seated us—then handed us three menus. I looked left and then right at the two men sitting next to me, and for the first time in what feels like forever, I enjoyed a Valentine’s Day date with my husband. And our roommate.

That’s right. I’m married and I have a roommate. By choice.

Um, where they do that at?? What part of the game is this? Valentine’s Day for three??

Let’s examine another excerpt from her post:

Because up until that point, marriage had started to get lonely. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love living with Michael and am so grateful for the life we have been building together. But until we got married, we were both firm believers that your partner shouldn’t be expected to be everything all the time. And yet, marriage had somehow found us living in a state that was absent of any sort of extended community or nearby friends, and it was creating a huge void in our lives in the shape of The People You Spend Time With Who Aren’t Your Partner.

And unconventional as it might be, our roommate filled that void.

I have serious issues with this. I have no issue with the notion that marriage can be lonely at times. And she is correct in saying that you should not expect your partner to be YOUR everything. They can’t possibly be. However I don’t think that willingly taking on a roommate is the way to fill that void. What you do happen to do in that case, is GET OUT OF YOUR HOUSE, FIND A HOBBY, AND MEET YOURSELF SOME NEW FRIENDS THAT SHARE A COMMON INTEREST. I wish I would come home and tell my husband, babe I have a void, so I’d like to find a room mate so that I can have a plaything. I would get cussed from here to Timbuktu!

Then there is this:

But I don’t really think those things matter as much as what having a roommate has done for my marriage, and really, for myself. When we sat down for our Valentine’s Day date, I looked at Michael and then at Joe and I expressed to them just how happy I was feeling (as I’m wont to do). Michael chuckled and then said, “It’s true, you’ve been way happier since Joe moved in,” before turning to Joe and finishing with, “Thanks, Joe.” (Editor’s note: In what galaxy, does this even sound right???)

Part of this improvement comes from the fact that Joe provides us with a window to our marriage. His presence keeps us on our best behavior, and it encourages us to take an extra moment before acting rashly or treating each other in a way that would embarrass us if it were to be witnessed by others (read: less screaming matches, more discussions).

I am my own window on my marriage. In the privacy of my home, with my husband..I sometimes misbehave and show my ugly side, I am sometimes break down and am vulnerable and exposed. I sometimes  act silly and foolish and act like a big baby. In fact, that is what I am supposed to do. And my husband has the same privileges. That is the beauty of marriage and having a partner to lean on. Marriage is sometimes messy. And I don’t need a spectator for all of that. It is me and my husband’s responsibility to treat each other and our marriage with care. A roommate should not be the catalyst for that.

In her post, the author references another post she wrote about getting married young. Perhaps she shouldn’t have gotten married if she needed a husband AND a buddy. She wraps up her post with this:

And while I know that our living situation can’t last forever, part of me doesn’t feel any pressure to change things anytime soon. Because if what our marriage needs right now is to have our best friend living with us, if that makes it possible for us to treat each other better, create a stronger foundation for our marriage, and have a third person for board games on a Tuesday night, then I think we’re doing things just fine.

There is so much I disagree with in this that I barely know where to begin. You treat your spouse right because that is what you vowed to do, you develop your own foundation with your spouse! I do think it’s important to have a community of people (family and friends) around you who want your marriage to succeed and who will cheerlead on your behalf. But when it comes down to it, the two people who are married are the people who call the shots and make the rules. I fail to see how having a roommate enhances that. AT. ALL.

If folks aren’t careful, a dangerous precedent could be established. What if you start confiding in a roommate things you should be telling your spouse? What if your roommate gets a bit too comfy and starts to feel they can interject their opinion in decisions you make with your spouse? What if you simply can’t feel comfortable in your own home anymore?

I couldn’t believe the co-signing that was going on in the comment section for this post. Maybe it’s because I was single for so long and one had one roomate (excluding college/cohabitation periods) in the whole time I’ve lived on my own. But what I do know is this, I cannot possibily see how deliberately making the choice to take on an additional person in your home (and by extension your marriage) can be a good thing.

I’m not the one.

Thoughts? Questions? Comments? 

A Christmas Day Funny

My parents next door neighbors are from Honduras. They are really sweet, friendly  folks. They send my daddy tamales and have helped him fix my brother’s car and my mom sends over my niece and nephews hand me down clothes to their grandkids.

However, one thing my parents Honduran neighbors like to do is party. I mean Beyonce-style partay-ay-ay-ay! They don’t kick it a lot, but apparently Christmas Eve was a good a time as any for a throwdown. My parents said the music went on into the wee hours! My folks got NO sleep. LOL!

I mention all that because Myron and I went to my folks house for Christmas dinner. We pull up in the driveway and get out. I have my purse and gifts in hand and Myron was still behind me at the car, about to get the chitlins (that’s a WHOLE other story there) out. I had just made it into the garage when I hear someone scream, “Ayiiiiii!!!” I then hear “BUMP, BUMP, BUMP”!

I stick my head out of the garage and look across the yard. A friend of the neighbors had taken a nasty tumble between two parked cars in  their driveway. All around her are shards of broken Pyrex glass. She laid there dazed and confused.

I drop my stuff and sprinted across the lawn. Ole girl was still lying there on the driveway amongst all that damn glass! Myron got there to her first, so he and the neighbor lady who lived at the home were trying to lift the “victim” off the ground.  She kept mumbling something in Spanish and saying, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” in English. Finally my dad comes outside, sees what’s going on and comes over to help. She was like dead weight but finally they got her up. The neighbor lady slowly escorted our “victim” into the house. We came over to my parents house, came inside and promptly cracked the hell up.

So as a Public Service Announcement to y’all I’d like to share the following tips:

  1. Nylon knee-highs and yellow flip flops don’t mix.
  2. Being drunk off your ass while wearing nylon knee-highs and yellow flip flops will probably lead to you busting your tail on the concrete driveway and getting trapped between a Honda Civic and a Honda CRV on Christmas Day.
  3. It’s probably not a good idea to be carrying a Pyrex baking dish while wearing the aforementioned knee-highs and flip flops and being drunk off your ass….on Christmas Day.
  4. No more drinking on Christmas Eve.

That was the hilarious start to our Christmas Day dinner. Can ya’ll top that??

Living The Vows

To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness. –  excerpt from traditional Christian wedding vows

I am married. And I am a wife. But I am very young, in both my role and in my marriage. And though, no marriage is the same as the next one and we make the rules that work for the two of us, I am not too proud to continue to learn and get educated about what marriage is really about.

I mentioned briefly a while back that my mom in law has had some health challenges the latter part of this year. God is faithful and she is slowly recovering. But since I am mainly in a position of obervation, I have really gotten an education about the true meaing of marriage. When I stood up in front of 150 folks and in front of God and said my wedding vows, I meant them. But they were somewhat abstract, in the way simple words tend to be. But throughout this family crisis, I have had the distinct pleasure of seeing marriage vows in action.

My in laws have been married for 39 years. They have 4 children, of which my husband is the oldest.

To watch my father-in-law be there for his wife is truly inspiring. He greets my MIL with a kiss when he walks in the room, he sits for hours holding her hand, he cracks jokes trying to keep her upbeat, he encourages and pushes her with her physical therapy, and is constantly monitoring her and the care that the nurses give her. He’s constantly following up with the doctors and social workers. He sleeps in the pull out chair in her hospital room every night and I’m sure that’s not comfortable. Myron and his brothers had to MAKE him go home to recharge last week. Every action he takes is the epitome of love and respect for the woman he took as his bride so many years ago.

THAT my dear commenters, is a true example of living your wedding vows. Marriage is not always happy times, unicorns, glitter and rainbows. There are difficult times in a marriage, times when jobs are lost, money is tight and people get sick.

There is so much chatter on the internet and amongst people about relationships and what folks are and aren’t going to do when they get married,  what they should be doing to get a man or woman, what they bring to the relationship table, what they so-called deserve and how they aren’t going to be thirsty behind this dude or that chick.

But the fact remains until a crisis or trial happens to YOU, you don’t know how your significant other will react.

I hope you will have someone who will stand by you, when shit is good and when shit gets HARD. I hope that you will have someone who will wipe your eyes (or your ass) if necessary, because you can’t do it yourself. I hope you ignore what everyone says, and pick a man or a woman who does not just recite some vows, but actually exemplifies them. Myron and I have some damn fine examples in my in-laws.

I hope you are as lucky as we are.

Do Over

I purchased my townhouse in April 2006, with a flounce and much attitude. I was fresh out of a relationship that ended poorly, that was bruising and caused me to move back home, cross country with my tail between my legs. Buying another house, was a symbol to my tattered ego, that I was bent, but not broken. I was yet still independent and what did grown people do, well they bought houses!!

Fast forward, 5 years later and I’ve gotten a husband and all the stuff that comes along with him. 🙂 We have more than enough space for the 2 of us in 1500 square feet, so that’s not my concern. I look at my townhouse now and see the old, dated kitchen which I didn’t care about back then, but I wish was nicer for my chef husband to create his masterpieces in. I hate the battered hardwoods in the dining area.

All of the cabinets need replacing or at the very least re-facing throughout the house both in the kitchen and bath areas. And like most folks, my property values have declined and I probably owe more on a 20 year old house than it’s worth.

Having said all that I like my little house and I’m glad to have a mortgage that isn’t taxing (no ARMS for me!) but I don’t know that I’d want to buy another house again. I’m not sure it’s worth it other than the mortgage interest deduction. Being a homeowner, at the least the maintenance part, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I know Myron wants a house, and to own, not rent…so we’ll probably go down that path together. But if I was single, I’d rent a house or condo and call it a day. There’s something to the notion of not being tied down by a mortgage.

Do you own, or rent? Still thinking about buying something eventually if you are a renter? And if you own now, do you regret buying?