Please honey, feel free to sweep it under the rug.

I woke up yesterday morning and went down to the kitchen. The kids were already busy devouring a healthy breakfast of leftover brownies from the night before. By the time the children were safely off to school and I was left alone with my morning chores, it looked like a herd of buffalo had tracked potting soil all over the kitchen.

And thus begun the day’s first of many attempts to keep my floors clean.

Here’s the thing about these awesome German houses: they don’t usually come with carpet. There is a reason wall-to-wall carpet has been such a big hit with Americans over the past four decades, and that’s because it’s flat out genius. You wonder why people covered up all those “beautiful” hardwood floors back in the sixties? Yeah, they’re called dust bunnies (not to mention bruised baby knees). No matter how hard I try, these floors refuse to stay clean for more than nineteen seconds at a time.

Until all my lovely rugs get here (right along with all our other mythical household goods) I’m stuck in nine hundred thousand square meters of tile. I am hating me some tile.

I usually sweep the kitchen/dining room/living area about five times a day, give or take a spill. Yes, I have a sweeper vac but it seems that at this stage of the game, we’re still dealing in scraps of half eaten plastic and paper trimmings, in addition to half of every snack making it’s way to the pool of spilled water on the floor. Soggy sweeping, what fun.

So the other night after we put the kids to bed, I shut off the downstairs lights and looked over in the kitchen. There was the remaining dinner evidence, smeared and dropped and tossed about the floor, and there was my nice, kind husband sweeping up the mess. I thought to myself, what a darling, angelic man out to serve his wife at the end of another thankless day.

“Honey,” I said, “Just leave it. I’ll sweep it up in the morning.”

And then my sweetheart gave me one of those slightly judgmental and overly patronizing looks that only spouses who spend their days at the office can properly pull off and said, “You know, you really should sweep this floor every day.”

It wasn’t about helping me out (which he routinely does, bless his heart), it was about “teaching by example.” Sweet little pupil, thinking the master doesn’t have any idea how to clean the floor.

And just before I verbally decapitated him I realized it: there is no way for someone who spends their days in a neat and tidy office to comprehend just how much debris children can come up with in a 16 hour period. No way but one, and I don’t have the energy or the patience to keep and collect all the well swept evidence just to prove to him that I’m not the lazy slob around here, they are.

Some things just aren’t worth the proof. I decided that in the future I will gladly sit back and watch any time he decides to give me a lesson on housekeeping. After all, it’s the respectful thing to do.

Marriage: The Double Decade Meltdown

I have noticed something totally terrifying. For some reason, when marriages hit the 16-20 year mark, things change. And sometimes, it’s bad.

I love being married. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I want to kick Jason in the head, but when it comes right down to it I feel like I’m married to part Superman, part golden retriever. The guy is loyal, he works hard at being a good dad, rocks date night, and tells me when I look hot. Sure, we miscommunicate, and sometimes I feel neglected, and he occasionally gets yelled at for really stupid reasons. But when push comes to shove, I want him. Period.

Lately we’ve been talking a lot about the double decade epidemic surrounding us because, quite frankly, we’re both terrified by it. Last night, after a rather deep conversation regarding the Things That Make Couples Break Up, he actually wanted to cuddle with me, just because. If that doesn’t spell “I’M FREAKED OUT” I don’t know what does. He was like an old dog during a lightening storm.

Because at eleven plus years, we both want to prevent the terror of whatever virus seems to creep into apparently healthy marriages and wreak havoc. How? How can we make sure we don’t get complacent, bored, detached, or just plain nuts?

And so, being the list maker that I am, I’ve designed a sure-fire plan to keep the home fires blazing. I have no idea what the outcome will be: it might be brilliant, or it might be BS, but at least it’s something.

1. Make eye contact every day, at least once. If you find yourself feeling disconnected, focus on your mate’s eyes for a moment during dinner and really listen to what they’re saying, even if it’s just a minute.

2. Roll up the rugs and drag out the dust bunnies, because unresolved cracks in your marriage NOW will mean potential canyons in the future. Jason and I scoured our brains last night to make sure we weren’t forgetting to fight about something important.

3. Now and then, take a date night and close down the restaurant talking. Sometimes it takes an hour to talk through the incidental stuff, but it’s the only way to get to the meat–your goals and dreams and fears and plans. We did this last weekend, and it felt so good to really connect. It’s been way too long.

4. Never underestimate the value of QNT (quality naked time).

5. For crying out loud, pray together. Sometimes I don’t even know that Jason is worried about something until we’re having couple prayers; sometimes he talks to God more openly than he talks to me.

Wherever you are with your marriage, I’ve realized this week that we’re all vulnerable. There are a million and one traps out there waiting to trip you up and break apart your commitment. We need to be vigilant. Be committed. Be aware.

Just saying this out loud makes me feel way better.

Love letters are so gross.


Today is our anniversary. Since love letters are so overrated, I’m going to offer you a reality check, because I know that you consider yourself a “realist”, and therefore will appreciate the lack of sentimental goo that usually spews out of my keyboard on occasions such as this.

(In keeping with the theme, I should point out that you are, in some circles, considered to be a “pessimist”. Hey, we both know you didn’t think BYU had a chance against Oklahoma.)

Here’s the reality. Ten years ago, on this day, I thought you were getting a pretty stinking hot deal. I mean, come on. I was young, vibrant, energetic–how lucky were you? Funny how in the course of a simple “yes”, those traits turned into immature, manic, and impulsive. Hey, I was a pretty good person until I got married.

In the past few years I’ve realized that I was dead wrong in my assessment of our vows (well, mostly wrong. I wasn’t a total wash). Don’t ask me how you turned out to be so level-headed with just the right touch of spontaneity, or responsible without being in any way anal, or quiet but still able to talk to me for hours and hours and hours. Every trait I lack you posses, including, and not limited to, your fantastic buns. Man you’re hot.

And hey, I’m not sugar coating anything here, them’s the facts. You’re downright wonderful. You totally deserved me.

I was on my way home from Costco yesterday afternoon and heard Madonna singing “Crazy for You” and couldn’t figure out why my eyes were leaking (to Madonna!), then “Still the One” came on and I hit full blown hiccoughs. Apparently the reality is simple: I’m Crazy for You and you’re Still the One.

So baby mine, happy 10 years. I’m mad about you. I’ll hitch my dreams to your star any day, thank you for trying so hard to believe in me (even though sometimes it goes against your better judgment).

Pick me up at four, I’ll get the sitter.

To infinity and beyond,