One of my favorite things about marriage is tradition!

Tradition. Just saying the word gives my heart the warm-fuzzies.

Growing up we had all kinds of silly traditions in my family. Some merely grew out of daily routine, like each of us eating 3 cookies and drinking a glass of milk out of a red tupperware cup after dinner each night. Some revolved around holidays like our tradition of putting an orange or yellow light at the top of the Christmas tree so santa mouse would come and leave tiny presents for us in the tree on Christmas morning. Some traditions evolved into more involved activities, like this santa mouse thing I mentioned where each year when we put up our Christmas decorations we would bring out santa mouse. Santa mouse was a tiny mouse figurine (the original was really cute and had fake fur on it but our dog ate it so we had to replace him with a small plastic figurine of Stuart Little) that would “hide” throughout the house. Each year one of us would hide him in a starting position and if someone found him, they would hide him in another spot, all the way until Christmas and the last person to have hidden santa mouse would be the winner and got to open their santa mouse present first. So, maybe that’s a little silly and too involved, but man was it fun and it was something we enjoyed doing together.

Traditions are something to look forward to and traditions are something you create with the ones you love. And that’s what I love about marriage. Creating new traditions with Andy. Some traditions we have carried over from my family like eating milk and cookies after dinner and using specific milk-and-cookie-cups. (Thank you Taylor and Jay Phillips for getting us 10 plastic monogrammed cups that we use for this tradition each day). Some have carried over from Andy’s family like raising our very own Shar Pei. (Andy’s family raised three in a row). And some traditions we are creating for our own family!


Saturday morning tradition-waffles.

Our first tradition that came out of a weekend routine. Waffles.

Our first married Saturday in our home, I woke up early and made Andy waffles. Needless to say, he loved it and most Saturdays I wake up and let him sleep while I make waffles for him. Sometimes when I say waffles I mean I make pancakes too, but to me it’s the same idea because it all calls for Bisquick, an egg, some milk, with the only difference being what you cook it in.

I love traditions. I love making them. I love seeing them evolve out of everyday actions. And I love hearing about the traditions of other families. Do you have any you’d like to share, because I would love to hear them!

Spend time with your family and write your own story.

a surprise.

Yesterday, my dear, sweet husband had something up his sleeve…

my men. charlie and andy.

Don’t worry, it wasn’t the chicken pox or a severe case of ring worm, it was an eleven week old chocolate-colored shar pei with a pink(ish) nose and grey-brown eyes who is so positively adorable that he made me want to melt into a puddle on the floor the second I first laid eyes on him. The cuteness is just that overwhelming. If you don’t believe me, just look at the picture I took about two hours after Andy brought this little boy home. And if that still didn’t work for you imagine that little bundle of wrinkles with a case of the hiccups… (the puppy, not my husband). Teeny tiny little hiccups that sound more like they’re coming from a petite pink pig instead of that furry little puppy. He has had them about four times in the past 24 hours. Precious.

We named him Charlie.

Charlie Crum.

Charlie has been in our lives for just over a day now and he already feels like part of the family. I’ve already been planning doggy play-dates for him, studying up on ways to train him to be a friendly and obedient dog, and yes, researching recipes for homemade dog treats. I’ll make sure to share the recipe once I try one out!

Oh and sweaters. I can’t forget sweaters. I want to put sweaters on him. I never wanted to be “that dog-person” who put a sweater on their puppy, but my goodness the weather is cold here and I just feel terrible that Charlie nearly shivers when he relieves his little precious self in 20 degree weather!

So, consider this your introduction to the “other” man in my life now. I’m sure there will be plenty of stories about him as we try (and hopefully succeed VERY soon) to housebreak him and keep him from gnawing on everything in sight. For those of you who have already done these things, any suggestions or references you have used that helped out would be greatly appreciated! And, if you need to experience the cuteness for yourself, stop by and smoosh his wrinkly face! He loves it.

If you can look at a dog and not feel vicarious excitement and affection, you must be a cat. ~Author Unkown

Surprise someone you love, but it doesn’t have to be by giving them a puppy, a note will do.


So, I guess you noticed the tagline list at the top of the page — for those of you who didn’t or don’t know what a tagline list is (I’m not really sure if that’s a real thing anyway, but it’s the way I can think of to describe it) it says: wife… artist… cooking novice… redhead… follower of Christ…

Well, I’d like to talk about that first one. wife. See, all those other things have been a part of me for quite some time now, but this “wife” thing is relatively new. Okay, who am I kidding… it’s REALLY new. We’re talking barely over two months, new. And in the grand scheme of things, that is newborn baby crying through the night wearing tiny diapers kind of new. But, it’s a beautiful new thing and I like it.

Here’s the thing, I’m in love with one of the most hilarious, intelligent, wonderful, man I have ever laid eyes on. It doesn’t hurt that he is tall, dark-haired, and handsome with the most adorable dimples on the planet. Just have a look for yourself…

this is us. me and andy. sept. 25, 2010

I remember the first time I laid eyes on him. I remember what shirt I was wearing that day. I remember where I was and what he was doing and I remember that I was pretty sure he would never remember who I was. And that’s a lot of remembering for a person who doesn’t have the greatest memory.

Turns out he remembered me! And he liked me so much that he started to love me and asked me to marry him, so that’s what we did; we got married. September 25, 2010.
(More on the proposal story and wedding day details later.)

So, here I sit, just over two months into being a wife, daily encountering the biggest life transition I’ve ever been through, and loving it. How couldn’t I? I mean, I have the privilege of doing life with my best friend, laughing every day, and knowing that when I take off my makeup and put on old sweatpants and a too-big t-shirt, he still loves me. And I can’t do anything to change that.

Okay, so I love Andy, that’s a given, but I didn’t know what it meant to love someone REALLY love someone selflessly until Andy and I got married. You see, I never had to plan meals before or do someone else’s laundry or rub someone else’s feet without expecting the same in return. See, here’s the thing I’m learning; marriage is about two people loving each other the way Christ loves us.  This is what I’m talking about:

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Philippians 2:4-8

So, in the most basic sense, we are supposed to put others’ interests ahead of our own and model our lives after Christ, who even though he was God, lived life like a servant. Simply stated, I’m going to love Andy by putting his needs before mine and not because he deserves it or has done something to earn it, but because I choose to. (It doesn’t always work out that way… but hey, this marriage thing is new, remember?)

Okay, okay so I know that I’m only now beginning to experience this kind of selfless love with Andy, but with only two months under our belts as married folks and with Andy being a lot better about remembering this selfless love stuff than I am, I can’t wait to see what is to come years down the road!

Love someone selflessly,