Wedded Bliss (and Not So Much)


In keeping with the anniversary theme we’ve got going, I (with the permission and assistance of my dear husband) have compiled some memories from our dozen years together:

Best surprises:

  • His proposal during dessert on my 24th birthday. We had actually gotten into a really dramatic fight the night before because I thought he was never going to ask me to marry him.
  • He planned a surprise weekend away in Wilmington for our sixth anniversary. He arranged childcare, made reservations, and had all of the logistics completely squared away. I did find out a little in advance, but that was through no fault of his own.

Worst surprise:

  • For our first Valentine’s Day together I hired a barber shop quartet to serenade him at my apartment. I thought that was so cool, and I would have loved it but he was not so much into four older men dressed up in period costume singing turn of the century love songs to him. I get that now…

Best gifts:

  • Both of our girls were born close to Mother’s Day (April and May), so on each of the Mother’s Days immediately following the birth of a daughter he gave me a nice big-girl piece of jewelry. In both cases we were both still very sleep deprived and shell-shocked, so that may explain it, but I am grateful nonetheless…

Worst gifts:

  • He gave me a rolling desk chair (not even leather) and the plastic mat that goes under the chair (with the spikey things on the underbelly) for Christmas. In his defense, I had said that we needed to buy each other practical, inexpensive gifts that year. I have not ever said that again.
  • I gave him a basketball goal and a martin house on two different occasions. They apparently were the worst gifts because they are still in the boxes in our garage. I have come to understand that it’s not really a gift to him if he has to work for it. So from here on out I’m going with no assembly required. In my defense, I think he asked for the martin house.

Best vacation(s):

  • St. Simon’s Island, Georgia: We are always in the mood to go to St. Simon’s. This vacation had a dubious beginning (see below) but turned out to be life-changing, seriously. We were in the worst spot our marriage has been in to date when we took this vacation, and that was only two years into it. During this trip, God literally grabbed Chris’ attention and that has made all the difference for the both of us (if you have the chance you should ask him to tell that story – he kinda had a Jonah moment). We have been back to SSI once since then (my best surprise for him) and had another grand visit. I’m thinkin‘ it’s time to plan another trip, and I highly recommend you consider the same. It is charming, to say the least.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: We went to New Orleans to celebrate the completion of my Master’s, and we researched it for months. Chris interviewed every person he ever encountered who had been, and I read months and months of Southern Living to compile a list of restaurants. There was some kind of convention there during our stay which made finding a room quite impossible. We went through a roomfinder service and stayed in a carriage house behind a local’s home in a primetime location. We took a class at the cooking school and feasted at all hours of the day on beignets and cafe au laits at Cafe Du Monde. Aside from the fact that it was absolutely 463 degrees every day we were there, it was a so-fun trip.

Worst vacation:

  • Clearwater, Florida: Chris and I planned a vacation to Clearwater, and we were so excited. We left Flotown like at 6:00 in the morning and drove a gazillion miles there. As we drove into Clearwater, we hated it. When we arrived at our hotel, we hated it. We ate at a place on the beach, and I spent the rest of the night sick. We woke up the next morning, checked out of the hotel, went to Busch Gardens in Tampa, and drove all the way back to St. Simon’s Island, where we had the best vacation ever.

Worst mistakes:

  • We got married and instantly decided we had to buy a house. We were big boys and girls then, and we couldn’t live in an apartment and be a real married couple. We caught the house bug worse than any case I’ve ever seen. So we found this FSBO and it was too cute and it was on a quiet street and it was owned by this sweet widow and her daughter and we just HAD to have it. Foolish, foolish, foolish! So we left our very adequate $385/month apartment to pay more than this cute hunk of home appraised for. Did you hear me? MORE THAN IT APPRAISED FOR! It gets better. We sold it nine months later for quite the substantial loss. Gotta love that! I do have to say that we took that beating to heart and pledged not to lose another dime on real estate. Thankfully, we have made much wiser choices since then.
  • While we were in our cute over-priced starter home, we needed a pet. Oh yes we did! We became the proud parents of a beautiful cat I named Hunter. She was a sassy cat, a little on the mean side, but smart and bossy. Anyway, during the transition of our move, Hunter died. I am glad I am so much smarter than I use to be. I decided that if we got another Burman it would be similarly tempered. We could only find a male and he is not-so-much like Hunter. We had Hunter for about eight months, and we have now had Samson for eight and a half years. Lest you worry, he is very well taken care of, but he is the most annoying cat on the face of the planet.

So, thanks for indulging me the trip down memory lane. Anybody willing to share…



  1. Mark
    June 12, 2008 at 3:25 am

    I would like to volunteer to help Chris put up his basketball goal. I have been looking for a place to play.

  2. Cookie Cawthon
    June 12, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    That would be awesome! I’ll pass that info along…

  3. Mary Nell
    Mary NellReply
    June 12, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    I remember that house–and it was adorable! In fact, we went looking in that neighborhood when we started house hunting. The number one lesson I’ve learned financially: stay out of debt. Life is so much better and stress-free that way. Thank you for sharing :).

  4. Amy P
    June 12, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    Oh, yes! I remember the garage door of that cute house very well!

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