25 *Real* Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years of Marriage {and the One That’s More Important than All the Others}

Greg and I have been married 25 years as of yesterday which, as we say every year, is a long time not to smother someone with a pillow. A long, LONG time. And, in that time, we’ve learned a few surprising things, 25 of which I’ll share with you here. 

25 *Real* Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years of Marriage

(1) Any amount of time is a long time not to smother someone with a pillow. Listen, I do not care if you’re married 1 year or 100 years, (2) LIVING WITH ANOTHER HUMAN IS HARD. No matter how precious and wonderful and thoughtful and well intentioned that human is, that human also makes horrific, wet, gagging/choking sounds — above 80 decibels which has the ability to cause permanent hearing damage — when clearing his throat in public. Or that human, no matter how many times you tell him over 25 years, will never — NOT EVER — take some butter and pass the dish before meticulously and painstakingly buttering his own roll so that others at the table might have a go at the butter before he’s finished. It’s TERRIBLE but true. So BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE, we all deserve ALL the credit in the world for never — not once — sitting on a pillow on their face. WELL DONE, MARRIED FRIENDS. High fives all around. ...  read more

Why I’m Mad at Greg — and Thoughts on Whether Cat Butter is Humane

I woke up with a sick feeling in my gut. You know that foggy state of Near Awake when you viscerally remember Something’s Amiss but you don’t yet have the mental faculties to remember What Exactly Happened? It was That. I woke up sad and somehow lonely. I knew, at least, No One Had Died, so thank God for that. That Feeling is more Charcoal and Ash Grey, like sticky soot on the gut. No, this was different. I was just Hurt. Like the way your heart falls on top of your stomach when someone who loves you is thoughtless or cruel in a way that’s impossible to understand.  ...  read more

Church and I Are on a Break. But Here Are 10 Reasons I’m Back for Advent.

I’m back at church this month because it’s Advent, and of all the seasons in the liturgical calendar, Advent is my favorite. Also, church is a tough place for me at the moment, so this is a very Both/And time for me. It’s both light and heavy to make space for church. Both a relief and a burden. Both a joy and a sorrow. I suspect that’s true for a kaleidoscope of reasons, so I keep twisting the glass ‘round and ‘round, looking at it from all the angles I can find, watching pieces slip into place only to move and rearrange themselves as soon as I shift the perspective.  ...  read more

Sometimes I Think We’re Not That Weird. Then I Realize NOPE.

You know, sometimes I think we sort of have our crap together around here. Sometimes I think we’re Not That Weird. Or rather, if we’re weird, we’re weird like Everyone Else now. We have our quirks. We have our adorable dysfunctions. We try to love each other well, and we succeed and fail and succeed and fail, but we keep practicing. So I look around these days, and I figure we’re Normal.    ...  read more

Why It’s Important to Eat Together as a Family: A Story About Anal Beads

Just popping in to say hello.

HELLO.

And to ask whether you’re hanging in there since it’s the HOLIDAYS and holidays are, traditionally speaking, traumatic and terrible. And occasionally magical. But mostly fraught with Big Feelings and also Expectations which Anne Lamott says are resentments waiting to happen. 

 ARE YOU HANGING IN THERE?

I am. 

I’ve lowered my expectations which has helped IMMEASURABLY. ...  read more

35+ Things We’re ACTUALLY Buying for Christmas (in Case You Need Ideas for Real Humans)

OK, you’ve seen the lists, right? 100 Top Christmas Gift Ideas! Great Holiday Gifts for EVERYONE! 50 Stocking Stuffers Under $50. I mean, I’ve seen them. I READ them every year hunting for perfect presents for all the folks on my list. But I also spend a lot of time laughing at HOW RIDICULOUS some of the ideas are for those of us *ahem* on a budget (!) and I ALSO wonder if any of the list writers would Really, Truly, ACTUALLY spend their Very Own Money on those items for their humans. I LOVE my kids — to the MOON — and I’ve scrimped and saved in years past for Big Ticket Items like bikes and computers when the time (and job market) are right. I don’t begrudge any families that type of gift or spending. But I ALSO am Extremely Unlikely to purchase my teen daughter a $135+ face lotion from GOOP (or wherever), even if it does show up on every single “hottest items this season” list. I just… no. Nope. Not for us. And so, sifting through all the ideas lists becomes something of a slog, looking for a gem in pile of otherwise unusable info for me.  ...  read more

What Do I Plan to Do with My One Wild and Precious Life? Well, Mary, I Plan to Take a Nap.

Listen; I love Mary Oliver. I do. The wild geese. The exhortation to Pay Attention. But I have a new plan for my one wild and precious life, Mary, and it’s to take a nap. A LONG one. 

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Mary wrote, and it’s a poignant and powerful question. THIS IS IT, after all. Our ONE SHOT. One go-around. One lifetime, for however long it lasts. So the reminder to use it well is apt, yes? To correctly value it as priceless and use it accordingly. To remember we’re creatures of the wild, born to be freely and fully ourselves because we’re the only one of us there is. And I am ON BOARD. I am here for it. I get it, and I’m all in. ...  read more