Wednesday, August 25, 2010


---A friend of mine shared this little article with me and I, having been married for 11 years myself, found it amusing and realistic. Definitely worth passing on!

10 ways to divorceproof your marriage

By Samantha Bee and Jason Jones,
August 24, 2010 9:47 a.m. EDT
Couples should only fight when they're walking because it's harder to stay mad.

We have been hitched for almost 10 years now, and until recently our No.1 piece of advice would have been: Don't write about how to make your marriage divorceproof.  It's hubris!

But we like to take risks (that's piece of advice No.2), so we knocked on wood, threw salt over our shoulders, and forged ahead with all the unstoppable energy that a couple with two kids under the age of five can muster. (Eating a pile of old Halloween candy helped, too.)

Ultimately, we came up with this list of marriage rules and reminders -- all of which, we hope, are cheaper and more fun than therapy.

1. Realize that if you can agree on what constitutes a clean room, you can agree on anything. If you are the kind of person who wants the vacuum tracks on the living-room carpet to last all week (as in, Jason), you need to understand that your spouse is physically unable to hover three inches off the floor when traveling from point A to point B. You may have to shoulder the burden of raking the shag rug twice a day yourself.
Conversely, if you are the type of person who "gets around " to wiping up a raw chicken--juice spill on the counter (for example, Sam), you should know that if you want to live with other humans, you need to surpass the hygiene standards of, say, the average fraternity-house bathroom.
Fortunately, if you can compromise on the red hot--button subject of cleanliness, your marriage is unlikely to be thrown off course by comparatively less volatile topics, like politics, religion, and money.

2. If you're irritated by your partner, imagine him as a small child. We know! You totally don't want to try this! It sounds awful! (And maybe even not that much of a stretch.) But trust us --this is an amazing way to see him from a fresh angle.
Here's what to do: While your partner is puttering around and looking idle, imagine him at age five. Awww. Isn't he adorable? And so smart! It's easy to forget how appealing your spouse is when you are looking at him through a prism of all the chores that he has yet to accomplish (fixing the garage-door opener, booking the tree-removal service...we could go on).

3. No fisticuffs in public. Take this example: We were at a picnic with a group of friends when the wife of one of the couples present casually announced that she had bought their family a house. In another country. Without consulting the husband. He turned about 14 shades of red, and they began fighting at the top of their lungs.
Cut to everyone else with their heads down, forensically examining their egg-salad sandwiches as though they contained the secrets of the human genome. You do not want to be That Couple Who Ruined the Otherwise Delightful Picnic.

4. Marry someone with a backbone who appreciates that you possess one of your own. That said, try to have bendy backbones if possible. Don't attempt to win every argument and get your way all the time. Who could bear all that responsibility, anyway?
Repeat this spouse-mollifying phrase after us: "Yes, honey, I will see the Transformers sequel on one of our precious and rare date nights. But on our next excursion, I get to choose a period piece featuring people in bonnets who churn their own butter."

5. Procrastinate. Yes, we know things need to be done, but seriously. Put your BlackBerry away and stop worrying about the broken garage-door opener. Have dessert in lieu of dinner. Watch old John Hughes movies. Hold hands. There, aren't they smoother than how you remembered them?

6. Have sex with each other. And if you can't have sex with each other for some reason, let your spouse know that you are thinking about having sex with him and that you are looking forward to the next time you are both available for sex. Like, in 2012. Try sending a "sext"; apparently it's all the rage.

7. Accept that everybody needs alone time. Sometimes your spouse needs to go to the bathroom for 45 minutes. Look, he's not going to the bathroom the whole time; he's trying to get away from you. And that's OK. Maybe you're being annoying. Sometimes you can be kind of annoying, you know.

8. If you have to fight, walk and fight. In our experience, arguments stem more from being cooped up together in tight quarters than from the issue at hand. Plus, getting fresh air is good for you, and it will give you more energy for No. 6. (Hey, everyone knows that makeup No. 6 is the best kind.)

9. Let your spouse in on 90 percent of your day-to-day routine. Save the other 10 percent for your bathroom time. Sam, for example, will never allow Jason to see her lurching to put on a pair of panty hose, and he never wishes for her to see him struggling to shave the back of his neck. It's those small things that keep the mystery alive.

10. When you buy gifts for each other, give them at least a full minute of thought. Sam's mother once gave her partner a giant meat grinder for Christmas so that he (an extremely reluctant cook) could make her tastier hamburgers.
In our opinion, gifts that require someone to perform a household task don't count as gifts. A present should convey the message "I love you, but most of all, I get you." (Yes, that's a tough sentiment to express with a big-box--store gift card. Ahem.) Like playing chess or figuring out Facebook privacy settings, delighting a longtime spouse is a genuine challenge --which (duh) is what makes it worth the effort.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Summer Girls

Such different personalities.....
So glad they're both mine!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Kindergarten '10/'11

With the start of the school year only 2 weeks away, there's a lot to do before the big day. I know I'll need to have my camera and plenty of Kleenex handy! I've already been shopping for some of those basic clothing items like jeans, black pants, shoes and sweaters. Lauren has really jumped in sizes while Tara can still wear some of her old things and some of her sisters. Coordinating these two will be a little more difficult this year but I think it will work out just fine.

I'm actually really frustrated with their school district right now, though. I just found out yesterday who their teacher is going to be (got the one we wanted-yes!) but we still have no idea what day(s) of the week they'll be attending. We were informed in the Spring that Forest Hills was changing their Kindergarten classes this year and have eliminated the Morning/Afternoon M-F schedule. The girls will be going all day either  M/W/F(morning) or Tu/Thur/F(afternoons) and riding the school bus.

Their school in undergoing a massive renovation right now and has been closed all Summer. Thus, it has been impossible to get any information. We were told that we would receiving letters with all the information about the upcoming year during the 1st week of August...nothing. Second week....nothing. Finally got a letter from their teacher yesterday listing the things that they needed to bring when they have a little meet n' greet next week but nowhere in this missive was WHAT DAYS they're going to school! Tried calling the administration building yesterday twice and got nowhere. Called today and were told that they don't have access to the class lists and schedules and that we would have to wait for their school to open to get that info. looks like we'll have to wait until the week before school to finally find out when our kids are going. So's not like it's important or anything. Geez.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Up, Up and Away!

I love my children and their artwork, but let's be honest. Most of it consists of coloring pages with ripped corners`and torn edges, random blobs that we try hard to guess at and craft projects with too much glue and glitter.

This particular piece, by Lauren, really tugged at my heart, though. It's a picture of her lamb (which she has loved since birth) flying through the air with balloons. She even looked up how to spell the word "Balloons" so that she could add it to her drawing.

It was just so cute that I had to frame it and add it to our study. I love it....  :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Signal Visits the States

A collage of photos that I took of a beautiful leather notebook embossed with "Signal the Frog", who is the official mascot for Geocaching. Each picture was snapped as we crossed into a new State or Province, and I was able to get most of them. The only ones that are missing are those that we crossed into while it was dark out - Oklahoma, Utah, Washington & Montana.

It was a fun little project to tackle. I originally had the idea of getting pics of the girls at each State sign, but the logistics proved to be too daunting. This worked out well and putting them all on one page really highlights all the places we were able to cover!

Homeward Bound: Day 16 & 17

Tara, Klara and Lauren @ The Galaxy Drive In

Roasting marshmallows....

Tara, Lauren, Klara & Lydia eating their s'mores!

Staying in downtown Minneapolis for the evening.

A typical view for the past 17 days...we're almost home now!

We took a really crazy route on day #16 in order to pick up a few more States. Woke up in Iowa, drove South to hit Nebraska, and then turned around and drove straight North through South Dakota and into North Dakota. We had almost 2 whole days of South Dakota driving and I think that's enough for now...

We then turned East and headed into Minnesota, where our destination was Minneapolis for dinner and sleeping. Our friends David and Kristin, along with their 3 daughters, live in the area and we were excited to see their lovely home and grab some food with them. David suggested that we try out a fun place that was right around the corner from their place - The Galaxy Drive In. We sat outside eating our yummy food and then David treated us to a s'mores making kit that the kids just couldn't resist. It was so cute watching the girls trying to get their marshmallows just right and the end result - deliciousness!

Kristin was able to join us too, which was an added surprise as she was working quite a ways from home that day. The daughter you don't see in the pics, little Rose (born on my birthday btw), was happily strapped to Dad the whole time. It was a welcome break from our usual routine and a chance to get caught up, never mind the fact that the girls didn't want to leave each other. Klara and the twins are only 2 months apart in age and they are still asking me when they can see Klara again because they had so much fun playing with her! 

We stayed in downtown Minneapolis that night and then it was the final push towards home. Our last day was the only one that we had rain off and on the majority of the day, which was ok since we didn't have any other plans besides getting back to Michigan. We made it home without incident and quickly collapsed in our long-missed bed. 

What did we just do? What a trip!