◥⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙◤.. / \
Why I do still want to be married to Jen
Today marks 15 wonderful years of marriage for Jennifer and me. I am not exaggerating when I say that I still don’t fully comprehend how I was able to marry so “up” and how she found me a suitable mate all those years ago. It’s something I just have to accept on faith.
However, I can think of multiple reasons why I wanted to marry her. And the reasons have kept coming in as each year passes. Here is only a partial list:
- She makes me laugh like no one can, by surprising me with hilarious and fascinating facts about life.
- She has an incredible ability to maintain and recall memories that I’ve long since forgotten. It’s scary and fun all at the same time. Like a really good haunted house.
- She’s ridiculously attractive in countless ways. Her humility, her dedication and hard work, her kindness, her hospitality, physically (oh yeah!).
- She is an exceedingly good caretaker of our children. Or, as the kids say these days, “You rock, Mom”
- She loves her extended family. She loves to visit and have over her Mom and Dad. She changes into a different person when she’s with her three sisters and has a ball with them. It’s a metamorphosis like no other.
- She loves my parents and gets along with them both. They speak highly of her both to her face and to others. This is a rare jewel in families.
- She is ridiculously competitive. I should have been warned from the first game of spoons that I was in for a long road of humiliation as she has defeated me time after time in all sorts of games and sports. Even her first time of go-karting, just about a month ago, was characterized by her typical ‘take no prisoners’ destruction of the competition. All that was missing was her ‘brat’ T-shirt!
- She is adventurous. She doesn’t think she is, but she is. As long as it’s safe, clean, planned, packed for, mapped out and refundable….she’s in! She’s let me drag her all the way to North Carolina, then back to Michigan, then down to Florida, across the state of Michigan, up to Copper Harbor (almost) and back to Southern Indiana, with not a complaint.
- One word: Creativity. She is always making something, painting something, teaching her girls how to cook, bake or whip up something new in the kitchen. It’s out of control…and we love it. All I do is go to work. She breathes constant and fresh life into our home with all of new inventions, desserts, dishes, dresses, paintings and crafts.
- She loves me (yeah yeah yeah). I know it may sound silly, but if you got to know me, you would agree that this is the most amazing thing about Jen.
Happy anniversary my Jenny Pen. I love you and already can’t wait to celebrate our 20th…30th…50th!
We still need to write up a post describing all of the fun Jen and I had in Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee, but here’s one snippet from our trippet. A video review of the cabin we stayed at in the Smokey Mountains. I go running a couple times a week and these stairs still kicked my rump.
Ahh, Mother’s Day…
The day when all your good intentions for and love toward the lovely mother of your children meet the challenges to ‘shock and awe’ your bride while maintaining the element of surprise. Yeah, I’m toast.
So initially I was trying to go big or go home. I hate to admit it, but I probably have some self-centered complex that drives me to try to blow my recipient away with a jaw dropping gift, not so much for their joy as much as for my praise and admiration. It’s a disease, I know. I’m working on it, I promise.
So anyway. About a week ago, I saw that tickets to Josh Groban were going to go on sale. Jen has had “See Josh Groban in concert” on her bucket list for a few years and because I want to be her castle protecting, dragon slaying, knight in shining armor, I have tried to make this happen for quite some time. I was so giddy that, with complete and utter abandonment of clear and logical thinking, I quickly sent a Facebook message to our neighbor who has connections at the Palace (the place Groban would be singing at in October) and asked him if he could get me a ticket or two for Jen but that he had to keep it a super duper top secret surprise so I could pull it off with Jen knowing.
Yeah. Jen and I have a shared Facebook page.
How have I held down a job all these years, practiced personal hygiene or driven a car with such ridiculous lack of forethought like this?
Anyway, you can probably guess what transpired. My faithful and kind neighbor promptly responded and, because I’m at work, Jen saw the message pop up in her email (on the iPhone I got her so she could stay connected while the kids were using the computers for school! [idiot!]). She kindly reminded me, as she held back giggles, that it might be best not to use Facebook messaging to try to plan surprises for her in the future.
Alright, one strike on the batter and here comes Dare back up to the plate to try again. I remembered that she mentioned she wouldn’t mind having a tablet to do some reading on as she’s really enjoyed some Kindle books recently, but reading them on her tiny phone has been a challenge. Well, a few days later, I saw a Mother’s Day discount for a Kindle and I started to check it out. I could get a really nice HD Fire with a camera for a good price, so I went for it. Now this time, I was not to be found out. So I called her immediately and asked her to please steer clear from Amazon emails for a while and to let the kids get any packages that may come to the door in the next few days. Then it happened. An email came with the subject line “Your KINDLE FIRE HAS SHIPPED!” Yeah, she saw it.
So today has come and gone. I ran out to the store last night to get some cooking supplies, slipped out of bed quietly this morning, encouraging Jen to take her time, and started making breakfast. The girls begged me to get them up so they could help and I did get Naomi up after a bit, so she could help me with the omelets, hash browns and English muffins. Breakfast went off without any major malfunctions. Mostly because I remembered to pull the batteries from the smoke detectors. Hang on a second…
Alright. Batteries are now re-connected. Whew!
After Jen ate some breakfast, she started opening her gifts. She said the food was great. She was probably just being nice, since she didn’t have to cook. First gift was a Detroit Tiger’s visor, for the game we’re all going to on Wednesday. Next was a popcorn maker. Then a croquet set and we topped it all off with the Kindle Fire. Even though she knew about the Kindle, the kids were pretty shocked and awed. She had mentioned how much she would love to have a croquet set when we played last weekend at her sister’s house. She is so good to us by making popcorn for our weekly AFV family night but she has to stand over the stove and shake the big pot back and forth so we got her one that she could dump kernels and butter in and walk away. She doesn’t really like wearing hats, but I was so convinced she would look absolutely adorable in this visor, that I had to buy it for her. This girl can rock some Tiger Orange.
And the Kindle? Oh yeah, she was reading/playing with that thing all day.
She picked Arby’s for lunch and we grilled some burgers and fries for dinner. The kiddos set the table and cleaned up after each meal and Naomi was my right hand woman in the kitchen, cutting vegetables, making desserts and providing moral support to her stressed out Dad unable to cope with the demands of meal preparation (so much timing to get it on the table hot!).
ALL joking aside, I have to say that I do not know how in the world my wife does this every day. I know she doesn’t do everything we did today, every day. But she does it very often and often does even MORE. I am so exhausted from one day. I clearly have no idea how good we have it. And the kids? Yeah, they’re brats.
Overall, I think it was a win. But you’ll have to ask Jen to make sure. We just hope that she truly knows and feels how much we love her, appreciate her and could not do without her around this madhouse.
Happy Mother’s Day, Jen!