Happy Birthday

Dear husband-

Today you are 26. It’s still very strange to me that you’ll always be younger than me, but this is the one sport in which I’m better than you. That is if you consider birthday having a sport, which I do. I’m sorry for the two failed attempts at gifts this year, though it was fun to tell you about them and really fun to plan you a Masters Preview picnic instead. The only snafu in this plan happened when my debit card was denied at the grocery store, though my text of, “Are we having financial difficulties!?!” was met with the confident answer that you simply had to move some funds around. I’m still not quite sure what this means, but hopefully we have a secret stash of a million dollars wherefrom you pull extra cash when I take a cooking class or go overboard on my fabric budget.

The pimento cheese sandwiches and domestic light beer with chocolate chip cookies were the best ways I knew to say I loved you this year. I know our trip in April is what you’re looking forward to most, and I still feel a little guilty about my promise to buy you a new Masters polo during our year of thrift store only shopping. I think we made up for it by promising to get rid of two older things in your closet, but this year will be forever tainted by the pastel mass of cotton soon to grace your closet shelves. We are becoming weak.

Today, more than our wedding day, I love who you are, admire your discipline, respect your convictions, and have even more fun with you that when our love was just beginning. Thanks for making marriage easy most days and challenging me to be better at everything.

You are my sunshine.

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The Way You Do

I’m sitting quietly at home waiting for you to come home while humming into my ice cream cone a song about waiting for you to come home. I know it’s confusing to most, but I know you can picture me with little Norah and my chocolate almond double dip. And that’s just because you love me the way you do.

At midnight last night for one second (or at least that’s the way I calculate it in my head) we celebrated the three year anniversary of our first date. Leap year days make it easier to remember anything, especially when it comes to first dates. I still remember coming to pick you up for a trip to Tulsa to hang out with our friends. There was so much tension between me and you, the kind that comes only from the sort of love that blossoms out of really cool friendships and a lot of coffee dates. This was the same driveway in which you would ask me to be your girlfriend several months later, but that day it was simply a driveway, now hopefully a home with kids who ride their bikes and play basketball every day. But then it was the driveway of 5 college boys who had no plans for the future and only dreams of winning the next tournament of FIFA soccer. But as we got ready to leave, I remember you stumbling through the fact that you thought of our 4 friend hangout as more than that. And I remember how I hugged you so tightly- our very first real hug- and then held my breath until you got in the other side of the car.

We were so late. Mostly because my taillights kept going out periodically, at which point I would pull over, jump out, and change the fuses. A moment, as I remember, when you were completely in awe that I knew anything about changing fuses or broken lights. I never told you that’s really all I knew about cars, though I would guess you’ve figured it out by now. And after many attempts at fixing the lights, we had to turn around and take your truck- the way I think it should have been from the beginning. Maybe it was God’s way of letting you lead me to Tulsa and into a relationship with you.

I think it was the most silent I’ve ever been on a car ride with you, except for the times when I’ve been severely frustrated. I just remember watching all the lights go by, hardly wanting the car ride to be over but so excited for our first date to begin. Happy three year anniversary of our first date on the invisible yesterday. I can’t believe you liked me then and still can’t believe you love me now.

All my love and all I am-
Your bride

Day o’ Fun

Dear husband,

I can’t believe we had a day off together that wasn’t a Sunday or a travel day. I had so much fun with you aside from the sketchy mailman incident and the fact that we didn’t get to go to the very large fabric store. I know you’re still getting over your cold, but your cough returns at the strangest times. Usually when I want to buy fabric.

We conquered the world yesterday, me and you. Well, at least our world as it pertains to cooking and mopping and running errands. I’m sorry I didn’t get you these fancy $300 headphones for Christmas, but watching you enjoy them in the store provides all the entertainment I could want for days. You may only want them so you can cancel out the white noise that is my constant conversation, but for now, you’ll have to keep listening. Even when you pretend like you aren’t.

Love and noise cancellies,

Jen

P.S. If you’re a Dallas local and haven’t checked out the Gypsy Wagon or The Wooden House on Henderson, you should. They’re now two of our favorites!
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Yesterday…

Sorry this half-posted earlier, here’s your full post…

Yesterday…

I learned that making homemade s’mores over the gas stove with you is 7/8 as good as making them over a campfire with anyone else…even when I stick a white-hot metal fork in my mouth and have skin hanging from my lips 9 seconds later AND drop a mallow directly onto the gas burner that stinks up our entire apartment for a good 3 hours.

I realized how sad I am for watching an entire football game by myself at a bar while you sold fabrics and crafted with other Dallas-ites. I didn’t have nearly as much fun without you there to ask me silly sports questions. I know I laugh at you when you say things like “OSUs running back looks a lot like Zacchaeus” but I really do like watching games with you.

I loved playing tennis with one of our new married friends while you power-walked with his wife. I loved this mostly because I got to compete a little bit, and you know how I feel about competition. But I also partly loved it because you and his wife watched us the last 20 minutes and I love showing off in front of you.

Have you ever made s’mores on a gas stove?

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What I Learned

Remember in college when you went to class and the professor taught and you engaged yourself in the crossword puzzle or halfheartedly listened while doodling sketches of new football uniforms you thought Nike should design for your school? What, you guys didn’t do that? Really, I’m the ONLY one?

So anyway, in college you had literally hundreds of opportunities to learn, to let yourself be taught and molded into what you chose to be molded into, which for most of us was…really…anything we could imagine.

Marriage is much the same in that each day holds new lessons for both of us to learn more about each other, ourselves, the Lord, the world, our families…everything. So to you Jen, here are 3 things I think I learned yesterday:

I learned that it’s much more fun, if not irresponsible, to come home to a messy home full of dishes and clothes and jump straight in bed with you to (kind of) co-write today’s post.

We had dinner at Chuy’s with 2 new couple friends and I learned that dinner conversation with new married couple friends is much more exciting and romantic than what I talk about with my boy friends (that’s boy [space] friends).

After finishing season 2 of Mad Men I learned that I like living in 2010 with you because if we lived in 1960 you couldn’t get mad at me for saying mean things to you or making fun of your multi-colored house shoes. Women back then…such pushovers. Thanks for raising that strong feminine right hand of yours.

What do you talk about with your boy [space] friends?

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While You Were Out

Dear Kyle,

I’m glad you had fun in Austin. I also had fun while you were gone. Here are a few things I did.

I made mashed potatoes for a fun party.

I know you don’t like to go places when we take food because you’re afraid people will find out what we brought and won’t want to be our friends. This time I got raving reviews, but the aftermath still remains. I’m not proud of the mess, but I’m not hungry either.

I watched the Oklahoma State football game. At least until I knew we would win for sure. This picture is actually of another game because I forgot to document ours. So I technically watched two different games. Like a real football fan or something.

I started sewing a new pattern, but I ran out of fabric six inches too early.

This caused me to lay my head on the floor gently while I reevaluated the project, and briefly, life. This led to ice cream and a night drive which I love and you don’t.

I tried on a lot of outfits that I didn’t hang back in the closet and I didn’t make the bed all weekend.

I also danced a lot to eighties music I thought I hated and teased my hair. More than normal.

Love you. But you already knew that. Come home.

-Me

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7 Ways I Look Up To Jen

Make no mistake, the list is far lengthier than this, but here are seven things Jen is better at than me…

1. Keeping up with old friends – It’s not unusual for me to come home and find her sprawled out on the couch twirling a ball of yarn in her hands and chatting it up with somebody from high school. I have trouble keeping up with my family. Big win for her.

2. Staying attractive while eating everything she looks at – It’s incredible really. I run a 5k every day, go to the gym, and drink tons of water. She just winks at me while face deep in a Braum’s double dip. And she never runs. I don’t understand it.

3. Writing – It’s true. I started the blog, she brings it home.

4. Creativity – I thought my week-long scavenger hunt proposal was awesome. She blows it out of the water every day.

5. Music – Of course this is like saying Beyonce is better at dancing than “The Situation” but still, Beyonce is really really good at dancing. And yes, in that metaphor I am “The Situation”

6. Thinking things through – It’s not ideal that the emotionally grounded one of us two called me the other day yelping ,“I think my truck has been stolen!!!” before remembering she left it at work. But I’m afraid it’s probably true.

7. Style – She makes her own clothes, jewelry, and accessories. If at all possible I have no doubt I would wear my OSU basketball shorts and this hideous tank-top I got at Goodwill every day of the week. That’s a loss for me and really for her too because I even own the tank-top.

What is your spouse better at than you?

10 w/ Jen

1. Who would play you in a movie about your life?

I might pick Katie Holmes only because people say we sort of look alike, but I’d probably pick someone like Kate Hudson. I know she’s so mainstream, but she’s always pulled off the perfect balance of hollywood and drugged out hippie. Not that I’m a drugged out hippie, but I really respect her for it. Not many celebs can pull that off.

2. If you could be in charge of one company, what would it be?

The more I work, the more I realize I really just want to be in charge of my own company. Maybe that makes me selfish. Maybe it makes me altruistic. Who can really say?

3. Who’s your fvorite Tweeter?

It would be you except that I have to give you a 40% point deduction for all the sports references I don’t understand. So probably the intermittent Pioneer Woman tweets. I don’t have time to read all of them, but she’s totes hilar.

4. What’s one thing minimalism has taught you?

So this whole minimalism thing isn’t really new to me. Just the term. I guess the process has evolved over the last few years in my heart and I think God has brought me around to minimalism more than it has brought me around to getting rid of things. I’ve struggled so much in realizing how little I actually need and also in how much clearer my head and heart are when I have fewer “things” to deal with. So that’s why I don’t really buy much stuff. Still progressing.

5. If we were buying new clothes what would you buy right now?

Oh dear. I’ve really tried to keep myself away from new clothing, just to avoid temptation. I don’t go to the mall (not that I really did before) and I stay on the left side of our Target and avert my eyes from the clothing sections. However, I did get a JCrew magazine in the mail this week and I opened it!! eeek. I cut out a few things to stare at because they were pretty. And I’m going to try to make them myself.

6. Who’s the best-looking athlete in the world?

Well Tom Brady’s hair is weird now, so not him. Maybe Adam Scott. All that Burberry…

7. What’s the soundtrack to your life at this moment?

I’m struggling through music at this point- I can’t really find anything I’m in love with. But I might say a random selection of Ryan Bingham songs has been at the top lately.

8. Why are you so good at picking NFL winners?

I don’t know. Honestly I don’t understand how everyone else ISN’T good at picking them. It seems so easy.

9. One word to describe October?

Well in Dallas, it’s hot. Other places, it’s euphoria.

10. What do you want for Christmas?

Maybe a new necklace or two from etsy? So I can stop trading out the only two I own.

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Photo Attribution

Jen Interviewing Kyle

10 for Kyle

1. If you could choose to either stay indoors or outdoors for the rest of your life, which would you choose? Oklahoma climate. And wind. I choose outdoors, mostly because I’m scared my father-in-law might read this and I like my dignity.

2. When is the last time you cried? When OSU lost to Te….just kidding. Those “My Wish” segments on SportsCenter (not to be confused with SportsMentor) always get me. The problem is I’m usually on the treadmill when I see one so it all ends in a messy, slobbery conveyer belt-related accident.

3. We all know you want to be a writer. If you only had one book to write and publish, what would it be about? Wooow. I struggled with this. One book, for the rest of time. I’d have to say I’d go back in time to the 1992 Olympics and cover the Dream Team behind the scenes. That’s the one book I’ve been wishing had been written so why not write it myself?

4. What’s your favorite website or blog right now? Tie. Today’s Letters and Art of Non-Conformity. What can I say? I’m a sucker for nostalgia and world domination.

5. If you could choose to have a second home anywhere in the world, where would it be? You live there 3-4 months out of the year. With me. If I like it. Georgia, it’s not even close. Me and Georgia are besties.

6. If you could start and run a non-profit, what would it be? I’ve told you and you just laughed at me. So I’ll tell you again. I’d start a TOMS-model baseball glove company for poor kids in the Caribbean and Latin America. I can’t wait until 2025 when we make our inaugural baseball glove drop in the Dominican Republic and you’re sobbing your eyes out because of how cute all the little kids are running around with their new gloves. I’ll start running around the country like a maniac, screaming, “WHO’S LAUGHING NOW?!?!”

7. What are you most looking forward to in the next 45 years of marriage? Kids. Duh. As long as the first one is a boy. No pressure. Seriously though, to be refined and made more like the Lord because of you and your character. And kids. Oh, and I thought I told you I’d give you 60, what happened to the other 15?

8. On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad do you want to own a dog this week? 5, but only because 600 sq. ft. does not = good times with a dog. I’ve already got him named though.

9. If you could be invisible for a week, how would you use your superpower? I just sang “If I Were Invisible” in my head…somewhere my mother and Chelsea O’Teter are rocking out to Clay Aiken’s latest. Thankfully I am not at either of those somewheres. I’d roam the White House for a few days, maybe jump on AF1, see what goes down there, then I’d swing by NYC to watch Seth Godin work for 24 hours, and finally I’d end up in Dallas and romantically watch you exist for two full days. Is that a good answer?

10. What’s your favorite meal that I cook? Pappasi….uh….homemade pizza?

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Kyle Interviewing Jen

10 for Jen

1. Who’s your favorite person in the world right now? Hi. You know it’s you. I’m not asking you this question because I know it will be some famous athlete and my feelings will be hurt.

2. What was the last crafting project you worked on? I tried to make a stuffed animal. It was supposed to be a giraffe, but his legs ended up on his sides instead of under him. Like he was a baby giraffe just learning to walk. I think I’ll make him into a pin cushion.

3. What has been the most rewarding part of writing on Marriage Project every day? I know we say this all the time, but it really does force you to be creative. It stretches me to think and create and write. And it’s a lot less scary to be vulnerable and share my heart when I’m doing it with someone else.

4. What one thing do I do that you didn’t expect? We had a friend recently ask what we were most surprised by since we’ve been married. Everyone always made jokes about how different it is to live with a boy… hardy har, tee hee, etc. At least I thought they were jokes. The thing is, Kyle was so clean and organized before we got married. It only makes sense that it would carry over, right? Hi- he has a wife to clean up after him all day, what’s the point of being clean? We have discussions quite often that start like this: “Cakes are these your shoes in the middle of the floor? They’re going to cause a fight…”

5. Who is your fictional character hero of 2010? I wish it was someone from a book since that would make me sound more intelligent, but it’s probably Tami Taylor

6. If you could play any sport professionally what would it be? Tennis. Minus the tennis elbow.

7. If you could have one tool to make this blog better, what is it? A graphic designer.

8. You can be transported to one country NOW, where are you? Possibly Israel. New obsession.

9. What is your lasting memory from our wedding? This is a hard question because I feel like I mostly remember all the little things that went wrong, even though nobody noticed. I know I’m not supposed to focus on those things, but it’s hard not to when you put so much time and effort into it. But my favorite memory is probably seeing all our friends and family after the video. That, or driving to Oklahoma City with you after the wedding.

10. What book are you dying to read? They’re not really reading books, but I have three on my Amazon wish list right now; all sewing books. Handmade Beginnings, The Bag-Making Bible, and Twinkle Sews. Gah, I’m an eighty year old woman.

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