The best 10 years, so far

Ten years ago, this happened.

She was young and beautiful. She’s still young and beautiful. I’m still short on hair. I wouldn’t want to go changing on her.

She’s given birth to three boys since then, which makes her youth and beauty even more amazing. The boys alternate between aging me and making me feel young. Somehow she always manages to stay young.

Do we drive each other crazy sometimes? Yup, that’s part of being married. But after 10 years, we have a good understanding of why this happens. We have different perspectives on some things, and these perspectives are bound to clash sometimes. At the heart of it, we have similar core values, which keeps the clash of perspectives from getting out of hand.

Most importantly, we can be confident we are not being driven crazy out of malice. When you know there’s no malice involved, it’s much easier to move past any disagreement. She’s never made me angry enough to forget how much I love her. She’s never come close to that.

Mostly, we drive each other happy. I know that’s not a real saying, but I’m trying to keep up a consistent theme. It’s why I’m not coming home wearing a toupee out of the blue. I’m trying to be consistent. Plus, toupees are kind of creepy. I think I can speak for my wife when I say that’s a core value we agree upon.

Five years ago, I commemorated our anniversary with this post: Five Years of Trading Bacon. I probably said it better back then than I am now. After a while, it gets harder to find new words to express how you feel. Also, we don’t trade as much bacon anymore. Three hungry children don’t leave us much bacon for anything. I’m sure bacon is one of the boys’ shared core values.

So how do I find fresh words to express a love that’s been the bedrock of my life for this long? I guess it’s just a matter of bigger numbers and greater degrees.

Happy anniversary to the love of my life. After 10 years, I am more happily married and more in love with you than ever before.

One year of Snoozing on the Sofa: Are you feeling refreshed yet?

Today is the one –year anniversary of my first blog post. This is my 80th post, which means that I have hurled my precious nuggets of fatherhood at you about 1.53 time each week. I hope that I’ve helped you hone your ducking and dodging skills.

The pages of this blog have been viewed a bit more than 6,000 times. That’s a modest number to serious bloggers, but I think it’s quite a feat to attract people to weed through 6,000 junkyards of completely useless information. It must be my charm.

Anniversaries are a time for reflection and acknowledgement. Therefore:

What (I think) I’ve done right

I’ve tried to make all of my posts worth your time. I’ve worked to make my posts substantive, amusing, and identifiable. Sorry I couldn’t make them informative as well, but I know my limits. I’ve done my best to add interesting images to break up the monotony of my tiresome words, and I’ve always responded to comments as intelligibly as I was able to at the moment.

What I’ve probably done wrong

I can’t get the hang of mentioning my blog to new people I meet within the first minute of meeting them. I am not a great self-promoter. If you don’t believe me, ask any of the people who don’t know about my books. I guess I just wasn’t raised to be the type of guy who goes around whipping out his blog in public.

Acknowledgements

My wife and my boys. This is really their blog. They write all the worthwhile material. I’m just the guy who inserts all the filler in between the good parts.

The Library of Congress. The good people at LOC have come through many times when I just didn’t have the right photograph for a post. LOC has been an invaluable resource for amusing, old (and most importantly, royalty-free) photos.

Man in sleeping bag

Taking a snooze on the sofa was a crude activity in the olden days. Fatherhood was probably a bit more rustic too. (Image: Joseph J. Kirkbride)

WordPress.com. WordPress may not be perfect, but it beats the hell out of trying to do this from scratch. There are limitations, but overall I think they make it ridiculously easy to do what I do here.

My fellow bloggers. I’ve met many wonderful bloggers. We share a labor of love (i.e. we don’t make any money off it). Support from these hard-working folks is the perfect tonic for those moments when you get to thinking it really would be better for everyone if you traded blogging for running a moonshine still in the back yard.

You. Your visits, comments, likes, Facebook shares, etc. keep this blog going. Otherwise, I would be scribbling lines about my family into a notebook, where they would collect dust. Because of you, these notes have a life they never would have had. Thank you. If you are new here, I invite you to dig into the archives and discover the path that has led to this moment. If you’ve been here before, welcome, old friend. I hope to entice all of you back very soon, and don’t feel shy about bringing a friend.

writing blog at computer

Exclusive behind-the-scenes photo of the making of this blog. The scotch is just a prop. I don’t use it to blog; I have to save every drop of it for when I need to do some top-shelf parenting.

Five years of trading bacon (and it’s only the beginning)

Five years ago today, my sweetheart and I became husband and wife. Five years may not seem like a long time when it comes to the longevity of marriages, but it’s only just the beginning for us.

My wife and I come from vastly different backgrounds. Neither of us imagined marrying someone like the other before we met. Even after we met, it took a while for this to change. It was easier for her to reel me in because she’s so darned cute. I still don’t know how I got her to fall for me. I’ve never come near that level of salesmanship in any other situation.

My wife is and extrovert with a capital E. I’m a steadfast introvert. She’s a spur-of-the-moment gal. I’m a planner. She jumps from one hair-brained scheme to another. I stick with the one hair-brained scheme I’ve had since I was 12. She prefers the fat part of the bacon. I didn’t know there existed people who preferred the fat part of the bacon.

Sure, we drive each other up the wall sometimes with our different outlooks. But mostly we give each other balance. I keep a foot on the ground and she extends a hand into the sky. Together, we make sure that no one will drift too far away from home and no one will miss a chance to touch the stars.

We also don’t waste any part of the bacon. I’m not big on the term soul mate, but if I were, I’d define it as someone you can always trade bits of bacon with.

I’m looking forward to the next five years, and beyond. I’m sure my wife will take me places I wouldn’t have gone on my own. I feel so lucky that I found the person I wasn’t looking for, the one person I truly needed. It’s easy to love a person completely when they are always making you feel lucky. That’s just one of the reasons why I find it so easy to love her so completely.

Happy anniversary to my soul mate, bacon-swapping, love of my life!