December 15, 2009

Well Said

"This isn't a competition; this is a collaboration."

- Barack Obama

"Walk through the struggles.  Start out with somebody that you respect and that you trust so that when you hit the bumps that are inevitable you always have that foundation...I really like's hard to stray too far, or to stay mad too long when the person you're with is somebody you like."

- Michelle Obama

November 1, 2009


This is me on my wedding day, twelve years ago.

I'd like to name this photo Clueless.  And not because I let the makeup artist put blue eye shadow on my face.

I got my hair done for $10, my makeup cost me a lipstick purchase, my dress was about $200, we wiped our mouths on blue paper napkins at the reception and instead of going on a honeymoon, we started preparing for the arrival of our baby girl, born four months later, to the day (she wasn't a preemie; do the math.).

But something tells me that if you are or have been married, you have a picture like this.  It might have you in a dramatic, starry-eyed pose, or perhaps the two of you are walking hand-in-hand towards the sunset.  You may have had a well-organized, lavish celebration unlike our humble but fun chaos.  But you were clueless that day too.

I'll bet the visions you had about your future that day were like the ending of a romantic-comedy film - an everlasting happy exhale.  In fact, you and I had no idea what lay changes, big moves, big mortgages in bad markets, the four scary I's: infidelity, infertility, illness, in-laws, or just plain old unhappiness.

I'm starting this blog because I am passionate about marriage.  I love good love.  And good love is hard, hard work.  When you're a parent, even on your child's ugliest day, you still have an innate affection for them, a more natural unconditional love.  Your partner is a person introduced into your life from another world, even if you lived across the hall from each other growing up.  It requires constant effort, daily maintenance, lip-biting compromise, and solid belief in various things, to have a good marriage.  I'm doing this in an effort to discover a perfect, teachable formula to a happy, life-long relationship.  I've always observed everyone around me and interaction between couples, seasoned and new, and I hope to share some wisdom (learned through experience and taken from others) with every person who stumbles upon this little diary.