Love and Marriage and Mold-A-Ramas

Every time we go to the zoo, we have to get a Mold-A-Rama.

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I think it's a law in Chicago.  We grew up with the molded plastic animals, warm to the touch after coming out the machines and highly collectible. Just the waft of them can spark up nostalgia, and if there's one thing my husband is into it's nostalgia.  He has his collection of mold-a-ramas at work on a shelf and it's one of those things our kids will grow up remembering about vising daddys office.  Whenever we go to the zoo - and we go to both Lincoln Park and Brookfield often - we almost always get one to add to his menagerie.  They cost $2.  I never have cash on me.  Last time we were there, I had no money left for bird seed because I chose to spend my $2 on my Christopher.  Our kids got very upset with me that I had no more money, but that's just the way it is guys.  Sometimes it's about mommy and daddy and not you.  This is a small but very tangible way I show my love for him.  I chose him.  I got him the mold-a-rama.

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Our kids wake up in the morning and say, "I had the very best dream."  When I ask what it is, oftentimes, they can't remember.  But they know it was good.

I had a dream last week about a waterslide.  I don't do much dream analyzation , but all those curves and tosses and turns led me to believe that it had something to do with relationships.

My husband recently forwarded me a string of emails from 10 years ago that simply said, "So this happened 10 years ago"....and I stood in our home - OUR HOME - in our kitchen - OUR KITCHEN and laughed and wept as I read through those emails for the people we were 10 years ago.

We were single.  We were just getting back together after a long separation from our post-college breakup.  You can read our story of second chances here.  It's a really good one, I promise.

You can see some wedding photos here - and yes those are red sparkly heels I'm wearing.  Still my favorite shoes ever.

I wrote this last year and I still stand firm in saying that KIDS WILL RUIN THE MARRIAGE YOU ONCE HAD.  They will.  I promise.

We've now been married for 8 years.  8 YEARS! 

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What can I say about this handsome man who doesn't particularly like me to write about him?  He's not nearly as open about things as I am, and I try to respect that. I'm not great at gift giving, but he is.  I'm pretty good at writing, so I just keep doing that thing with words without revealing too much.  Because I respect this man, oh yes I do.

I love how he plays soccer with the kids in the backyard even though he's not a fan of soccer.

I love how he went into seeing Hamilton (a Christmas gift from my Boss that happened last weekend OH MY GOD I WILL NEVER RECOVER) not knowing every word and nuance to the show (unlike me) and just let it wash over him as he experienced it.

I love how he cleans the house and grocery shops and takes care of business as necessary and when it's time to relax, he is all in.  Business before pleasure.  He's a big part in teaching these kids that gender roles have no place in a relationship. Everybody does their part and things don't need to be designated to males or females.

I love how he is the most fair and balanced person I know.  There are clear right and wrongs to him, and while there are plenty of grey areas in life, he knows what's fundamentally screwed up and what is true and good.  He's all logic, where I am all heart.  He balances me out and for that I am so thankful otherwise we'd be living in a home with 84 rescue animals right now.

I love that he's always been the funniest person I've ever known.  A look, a word, a sound from him can send me into fits of laughter. Still. I imagine always.

I love how he is entirely passionate about certain things and totally geeks out. I admire that in a person no matter their passion.  The Chicago Cubs, old movies that nobody else has ever seen, mold-a-ramas are just a few of his things.

As much as we argue and nag, as much as we pick at each other and get frustrated, as much as some words feel like a sucker punch at times, the flip side of that is our love for each other. Big. Like a gd house. How we can make a tiny thing mean so much. How we make up and return to respect and listening.  How we just return to each other.  Over and over and over.  We return.

Marriage and relationships are so much about forgiveness even when it's really hard.  Not so much for the other person, but for yourself.  So that resentment doesn't build up.  I am so incredibly stubborn and he bears the brunt of that over and over again.  He is seemingly without emotion more often than I'd like, when really, he just expresses his feelings in different ways than I would like him to.

We have a pretty damn great life today and it's something we wake up each morning and re-commit to, because let's face it, we have that choice every single day.  I choose to stay with him because he is my rock.

8 years ago I chose to marry him.  Today I would do it again in a heartbeat and I just keep hoping he feels the same way.  We've got an entirely different life than I think either of us could've dreamed up, but we wouldn't want it any other way.

When I was younger I spent so much time agonizing and heartbroken and uneasy and questioning relationships - but now I get to spend the bulk of my years (if I'm lucky) walking through life with this person I really really like, even if much of our time together is spent watching Netflix (often in separate rooms) and chasing after kids.  This seems one million times better.  I choose this.  I choose him.

It can often feel like our relationship comes second after having kids. The typical romance is all but gone. That is a pitfall of having children and exhaustion and the monotony of routine.  But the things we get to share BECAUSE of having these kids outweighs any of that.  You know what I'm talking about.  Romance can be found in all kinds of peculiar places if you look for it.

8 years married, so many seasons weathered, I still choose him.

I choose him.  I got him the mold-a-rama.  And I'll do it again. Because baby, I choose you.

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