Marriage Monday–Camping Edition

*missing camping…

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis
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Just last week, I blogged a Praying In Color entry.

When I started praying, I had no clue it would end up to be a picture of a canoe camping trip, but subconsciously it must have been on my mind. I know that getting Phil to relax was weighing on me. I’d been trying not to nag him so I’d say, “I’m worried you’re not getting enough rest.”

“Got things to do.”

“They can wait, they’re not as important as your health and you need to rest.”

“When I’m done.”

“You’ll keep adding to your list.”

“What do you want me to do? Things got to get done around here.”

“I want you to at least take Sunday off.”

“How about Sunday afternoon?”

So I compromised for a few weeks. Phil works from seven in the morning until nine or ten at night five days a week. Then on the weekend, he’s out mowing the lawn, fixing the cars, and tending to all of the other mishaps that inevitably happen. We’re Murphy’s red-headed step children. Seriously. Ask people who have seen the chaos in action.

For the last few weeks, I haven’t had to beg Phil to relax, he’s taken to enjoying an entire Sunday off. Except cooking. But cooking is one of those activities that bond and solidify our relationship. I’m his perfect sous chef.

We took a two day float trip last summer on the Tippecanoe River. We camped at Tippecanoe State park. I don’t necessarily enjoy the work-out a canoe trip on a windy weekend gives me, but it melted my heart to see Phil truly relax, fish, and enjoy himself.

He doesn’t do well relaxing at home. I think all of the things to do dangle in front of him and taunt him. I know, they do that to me too, but mothers have the ability to tone out frequencies that are annoying. Sure dads tune out things, but typically if they’ve tuned one thing out they’ve tuned everything out. Moms can tune out the irritating stuff. Tell me I’m wrong!

So we go camping.

I love, love, love campfires. Cooking breakfast over a fire brings out the maternal in me. Who knows why. I don’t care why. I know I’m up at the crack of dawn wrapped up in a flannel shirt, throwing another log on the fire. I get the water boiling for the coffee and sip it while I add bacon to the cast iron skillet. Phil gets up, drinks my (by then) cold coffee and I make another steaming cup for myself. We take turns flipping the bacon and Zane yells from the tent, “I smell bacon!” and we sit by the fire waiting.

So I prayed for some extra money and for Phil’s boss to let him have a weekday off and I planned another float trip for our family. Next year, my goal is for more than one camping trip.

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*originally posted August 4, 2008

Little Things

My alarm goes off at 3:45am so I can take my thyroid pill.

My alarm goes off a second time at 5am telling me it’s ok to get up and make coffee (because I can’t eat or drink and hour before or after I take my thyroid pill and I refuse to wait an hour after I get up. So I do it like this.)

His alarm goes off sometime after 5am.  In the summer, I’m normally awake. In the winter, I’m still sleeping. But I normally get up before him.


His second alarm goes off a little bit later.  He gets up then. He kisses me and tells me he loves me.

His third alarm goes off at 8am to remind him to take his pills.

I made the coffee this morning. His socks and underwear were washed and dried, but not folded nor put away. I was working already when he got up.  He snuggles his face into the crook of my neck.  He says it’s his favorite place. He kisses me and tells me he loves me.

I go downstairs for a second cup, I make him his first. In  his To-go-cup. I kiss him and tell him I love him.

He goes outside to do his work, the work of a property manager, but he kisses me first and tells me he loves me. But he also clears the mounds of snow off of my car because he knows I’m running errands today. It’s 2 degrees outside, but with the wind chill factor, it feels like it’s 15 below. His hands are ice and he wants to put them in my warm spots when he comes in.  I laugh and tell him the dog has a warm belly. He puts his icy hands on her warm belly and she growls at him.  Then he puts them down the back of Zane’s shirt.


Zane does school. I blog and work on my projects.

I warm leftovers for lunch. Correction. He heats the leftovers today. I didn’t hear him come in. We sit together in front of the TV and watch recorded episodes of our favorite shows. NCIS. Bones.House.  We pray. We eat. We kiss and  say I love you before we go back to work.

Somedays he cooks dinner. Somedays I cook. Today he’s cooking chicken cattiatore.


The dishes are mostly mine. I hate putting away, so I make Zane empty the dishwasher. I hate putting away clothes, too, and that’s why they have to dig in the pile to find matching socks.  And why I just lay all the other clothes flat out and deliver them to rooms to be hung on hangers.  It’s why we have no clean towels in the bathroom. They’re in a pile. Clean. It’s why our suitcases are still on our bedroom floor with clothes spilling out from them from the trip we took almost a month ago.

It used to bother him, how I don’t do well at putting things away.  But now? He’s happy for clean clothes. Even if he has to dig. And I’m happy that sometimes he cooks, even if I have to clean.


We’ll go to bed the same way we woke, saying I love you.

One thing I’m glad I never put away? Our love. It’s there every day, all day, we hug, we kiss, we say I love you. Constantly.

It’s the little things.

Living like this,

I don’t need a single thing other than his love.



This is bound to get a little mushy.  Too bad. I’m writing it anyway.

Selfless, I believe, describes my husband.  He constantly goes out of his comfort zone for me.

The man who…

  • didn’t know what a cappuccino was when we met who is now a coffee snob.
  • didn’t cut his salad and made fun of me for doing so–who now cuts his salad.
  • didn’t wear shorts or sandals-ever (that change wasn’t so much for me)
  • hates the city, but takes me to downtown Chicago when I ask.

There’s tons more to add to the list, but I’m going to stop here and talk about the city.  Phil has taken me to the city 3 times in 16 years.  The first time was the day after Thanksgiving to see the tree lighting in Daly Plaza. Phil hates crowds like I hate spiders. Yet, he took me.  He sniffed my hair for comfort all day long and that made me smile and made my heart flutter.  Because, truthfully, and I hate to admit this, but I wouldn’t sit in a room filled with spiders for him. I think I’d pass out from the anxiety and fear.

But he overcame.

For me.

The second time we went for an Alton Brown book signing.  Like father, like son. Zane was terrified.

The third time was Sunday.  And y’know what?  There was no anxiety that I could sense.  I love this man.

* * *

Next week’s prompt is: CAGED

Link up…

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August 7, 2010

59 years ago on this day, Phil’s mom was born.

16 years ago on this day, Phil and I met in a traffic jam and shared our first kiss.
2 months ago on this day, my mom died.
There just doesn’t seem like there’s a whole lot for me to say today. I’ve been rejoicing and giving thanks for my husband and our life and crying and grieving the loss of mom.
It’s always both at the same time for me. Living and Dying. Beautiful and Ugly. Right and Wrong. Always in the middle of an intersection of good and bad.
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