Marriage is Like Football: You Can't Cross the Goal Line if You Keep Fumbling the Ball

Around this time of year is the anniversary of my first date with Hubby 15 years ago. Sometimes we can't believe we've made it this far. We've actually known each other since we were in second grade. We attended the same huge Catholic elementary school together. Despite having been in the same class of 35 kids together three times, our paths rarely crossed.

He went to an all-boys high school, and I went to an all-girls high school, and again, our paths rarely crossed. He went to all the parties (had some of the parties) and I stayed home . . .a lot. When I did see him out and about, he always greeted me with a huge smile and a "Nice to see you!" Hubby is just a really nice guy.

It wasn't until much later in our twenties that we met up again and, well, here we are. But the unbelievable part is that we even made it this far because of all the fumbles that were made along the way, mostly by me. After all, a guy can't cross the goal line if one of his players keeps fumbling the ball.

Fumble #1: When he finally called me to talk, I called him a loser. He called me on a Friday night, so I called him a loser for not having anything better to do.

Touchdown: I said yes when he asked me out.

Fumble #2: While on our first date, I told one of his female friends that we were not on a date. In fact, I kept insisting we were not on a date. She kept insisting we were. I still didn't think it was a real date.

Touchdown: I accepted a second date, and I picked him up wearing really short shorts and a tight t-shirt, I might add. Not a date, my former skinny ass.

Fumble #3: While watching our state's football team at a bar with all of Hubby's friends, one said something to me about Hubby being my boyfriend. Now, you have to understand how much I hate when girls go out on one or two dates with a guy and start calling him her boyfriend right away. That gives us all a bad name. So I said simply, "He's not my boyfriend," because I didn't want Hubby to think I was a psycho.

Yeah, that backfired.

Hubby still has his Hanes in a bunch over that. Every time he tells the story, and he does a lot, the emphasis will get bigger. It's grown from, "He's NOT my boyfriend!" to "HE'S NOT MY BOYFRIEND!"

Touchdown: I decided about a week later that he really was my boyfriend.

Fumble #4: (This one was Hubby's.) We had traveled to Kansas City for the weekend right before Christmas. We were having such a wonderful time, the mood was right at dinner, and I felt he was on the verge of proclaiming his love so I leaned across the table and I told him I loved him. He said, "Whoa, whoa, whoa . . .I wasn't thinking that!" Screeeeeech. Crap.

Touchdown: He got up in the morning and warmed the shower up for me. It really is the little things that give away how they feel.

Fumble #5: A couple months later we were sitting in the airport waiting for our flight to Chicago. I was taking him for his birthday. We were talking about this and that, and he asked me who my best friend was. I started rattling off some girls from college and asked who his was. He said, "Well, you, of course." Awww . . .

Touchdown: I took him to Chicago for his birthday. Duh. We had an awesome time!

Fumble #6: I almost missed my proposal. It was New Year's Eve 1999. We went out and had a great time. We watched fireworks downtown, met some random people (whom Hubby told we would be married someday and I didn't get it), and spent time with my family. The whole time, I am drinking bottle after bottle of wine . . .and I was feeling fine. At one point I left the party to go somewhere with my sister-in-law, and Hubby was freaking out! Little did I know, he had a plan. A plan that was to happen at the stroke of midnight on the New Millennium. He carted me off back to my apartment a few minutes before, and as the fireworks went off on t.v., he got down on one knee and proposed.

Touchdown: I said yes.

Fumble #7: A cake debacle. I insisted on having a certain baker make our cake. I had seen his cakes at the bridal shows and loved them. We were to meet with him one night after work to discuss our wedding cake. Hubby was stressed about having to take his Boards and just wanted me to decide, but I insisted he come with me. The baker, who was very flamboyant, proceeded to talk to us for two hours about other people's weddings. He drew one picture of our cake the whole time, to which we agreed. Hubby left fuming over the study time he wouldn't get back.

But here's the kicker: when the cake arrived at our wedding, it wasn't even the one we had ordered! Twelve years later, Hubby is still bitter about that.

Touchdown: The cake was lovely and delicious, and our wedding was so beautiful and fun that it didn't ruin our day at all.

So, long story short, despite some fumbles along the way, here we are fifteen years later. Neither our relationship nor our marriage are perfect, and we've obviously had our challenges. We've had low points and high points and more low points, but our current thinking is that if we can keep working toward the goal line together, even if we fumble the ball along the way, we'll get there.

Here's to many more touchdowns along the way.

*This post was originally published in August 2013. 

Did you and your spouse have any SNAFUS along your relationship road?


Pictures of our new home from our toddler's point of view

You know those times when you can't find your phone anywhere, and then you find it on the floor somewhere face up? If you have a toddler, once you get over the relief that the screen isn't cracked (or worse), you immediately check the photo stream because . . .well, toddlers.

Recently, I discovered that Edgie had taken roughly 200 photos in one afternoon on my phone. Once I deleted all the blurry and repeated pictures, I started to enjoy looking at the rest. He was obviously walking around the house just clicking away. It was really interesting to see his point of view for a change. I thought I would share it with you. I didn't edit any of the pictures because I really wanted to keep the artistic integrity of his work.

Oh, who am I kidding? I'm lazy.

Let me introduce you to the photographer, three-year-old Edgie:

His hair looks so much better now that he let the barber cut it. The lice he contracted at preschool really did the trick: "You don't want to get bugs in your hair again, do you Edgie?"

This is our entry from his perspective. It really isn't this big, but from his POV it looks huge! Notice the sliding barn door on the den. I reeeaalllly wanted that design element, and I'm so glad we could work it in.

You don't necessarily notice all the color variations on the floor unless you're a toddler with a camera pointed right at it. All the shades of the wood allowed us to decorate with many different tones and colors.

One place we played with different colors and stains was our kitchen. Hubby actually chose all the design elements here. He loved the look of off-white cabinets and a dark island. We liked the look of stainless steel appliances, but not of the fingerprints left behind. Ours have a granite-colored finish.

The best part of the kitchen is behind those double doors in the corner - a huge pantry. So much storage for snacks (which makes a happy Hubby and boys) and for all of my fun serving dishes that I use maybe once a year.

Here's our granite. Can you see it? It's actually the opposite of how it looks here. It's a creamy white with dark flecks.

Isn't it interesting how it changes when you put your face right on it? Toddlers have long known about this trick.

Stairs from a toddler's perspective. Toddlers have also long known how scary stairs are.

When the house was being built, they were putting in this lighting on the stairs. I thought it was an unnecessary expense. Now that we're in the house, it love these! We turn them on at night for our two nocturnal wanderers. I actually fell down the last two steps one night when they weren't on. They really help!

We needed a new time-out spot. Here's the view from the new one.

We have a lot of natural light from the three huge windows in the great room. I really like it. We don't have blinds yet. I thought that would really bother me, but we have no neighbors behind or on either side of us.

Unfortunately, this is our view . . .

 . . .because we have no grass either. It makes for a dirty, muddy mess everywhere. Luckily we have boys because they totally don't mind.

And here is the view from the photographer's bed when he gets tired.

Mommy is going to have to work on getting him to fall asleep by himself. That way we won't have to turn on the stairway lights for him when he wakes up in the middle of the night and Mommy is not there. But that's a blog post for another time (and not the first).

I gave myself the unrealistic timeline of having all the boxes unpacked and put away by February 1st. I realize now how ridiculous that is. It took me about nine months to pack it all up. It should take me at least half that long to unpack and organize.

Stay tuned in February when my decorator stops by and we share some tips. The grass and landscaping are coming in the spring, and I can't wait to show you that, too.

What is your favorite design element in new homes?

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