Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Woe is Tanner

Before I met my now-husband, I had only known one other "Tanner." He was the little brother of my high-school (and current) best friend, Summer. (On second thought, don't click that link. She's way more stylish and cooler than me. And she actually takes the time to work on her house.) Anywhoo, all of us high school kids thought it was quite high-larious to make all kind of clever connections between the names "Summer" and "Tanner." As in, "When it's SUMMER time, do you get TANNER??????" hahahahahahahahHA

Since meeting and marrying my Tanner, I haven't met any others. There were two Tanners on the last season of The Bachelorette, (the one with the giggly Canadian, Gillian) but one of the Tanners was boring and forgettable, and the other had a creepy fet footish. I mean foot fetish, of course, but when I accidentally typed "fet footish," I laughed so hard I had to leave it up there. Anyway, MY Tanner is neither boring, forgettable, nor foot-obsessed. So, there.

Having a unique name that sounds part rugged leather-worker, part California surfer dude is indeed a blessing. You're one of a kind. The down side? You live a sad childhood void of touristy knick knacks with your name printed on them. Can you imagine your life without magnets, key chains, coffee mugs, shot glasses, and mini-license plates bearing your name? Sad, isn't it? Knowing how Tanner longed for these trinkets, I always kept a keen eye out for that hidden gem. I knew it had to be out there. Somewhere there was a rack of personalized items that had not left my Tanner out in the cold.

I was right.

After 4 years of looking, I found him.

You didn't even know they still made Beanie Babies, did you? Well, they do. And I would like to salute the TY corporation (or whoever made this knock off) for kindly remembering my man, with such a manly, multicolored, fuzzy wuzzy tribute.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Marriage, It's Not About You

We've been really blessed when it comes to timely marital advice. Almost immediately after we got engaged, our church did a sermon series on marriage. Now, as we're reaching our 5-month mark, our church is embarking on another mini sermon series on marriage. The theme is restoration (Or is it repairing? Or rebuilding? Shows how well I listen in church. They're all synonyms anyway, so get over it.)

We haven't been married that long, so thankfully we haven't done too much damage to our marriage yet. Excluding a few wet bottoms and frightening revelations, things have been pretty peachy. But, the series is still a great way to remain proactive in building, nurturing, protecting, and daily restoring our relationship with each other. Plus, as our pastor said, there's always room for improvement, no matter how good things are.

From my experience, marriage and relationships are an interesting mix of nature and nurture. Here's what I mean. On one hand, things between the husband and I seem to just "work out." Part of the reason I married him is because being happy and enjoying myself around him just comes naturally. Because of who he is -- his personality, temperament, values, life experiences, attitude, good looks -- it's relatively easy for me to love him, get along with him, and make our relationship work. We fit together. It's just how it is.

On the other hand, our relationship also takes, and deserves, nurture -- intentional and deliberate work. I don't want to make marriage sound like a passionless, emotional contract, but sometimes it involves research and homework. I look at marriage as not just an organic experience, but as something I put work into. Marriage is something I try to study, learn about, and practice. I read books and magazine articles on marriage, listen to marriage sermons, and ask advice from people who've been doing the marriage thing successfully for some time. I'd take the same approach to a new career, trying to equip and prepare myself to do my best, so why not do the same for marriage?

I know that I can't prepare myself for all circumstances, and a lot of marriage is about enjoying the ride and learning as you go. Most of the time (at least so far) things have been relatively easy. But when the road gets bumpy, as it's bound to do, I'm thankful that I'll have some wisdom and relationship tools in my back pocket.

With all that being said, back to the topic that prompted the title of this blog post, which was the sermon we heard this Sunday. Which, when compared to the rambling babbles of the previous three paragraphs, is a relatively direct and to-the-point message. (I considered titling this post "Rambling Babbles About Marriage," but decided it lacked a certain je ne sais quoi.)

One of the messages from the sermon that really stuck out to me was that submitting to and serving our spouses is not about us or about them, but about God. We don't submit to our spouses' needs or serve them because they deserve it -- because they are sooo nice, because they are good looking, because they work hard, or because take care of the kids (or dogs, in our case). Because there will be times when they'll inevitably hurt us, disappoint us, or not fulfill "their end of the bargain." Serving our spouses doesn't have to be conditional upon their behavior.

Instead, we can love our spouses because of the love God has shown us, the love that we don't deserve, the love that we receive from Him even when we are at our very worst. We can serve our spouses and show them love because God has chosen us to show them how much He loves them. Wow. That really hit me. God has chosen me to show Tanner how much He loves him. What a responsibility, but what an honor. That's something I would like to spend the rest of my life doing. I know at times I'll fail, but I can't think of a greater gift than to be given than the opportunity to show this great man how much his God loves him.

I'm linking up with Tuesday's Unwrapped, to talk about the "sacred gifts of the everyday."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Husband, The Revolutionary

There's nothing that says, "Hey girl, you're really in truly married! Can you believe it?!" like stumbling into the bathroom at 3 am (because you have a bladder the size of a olive) and dunking your bottom in a nice, cold bowl of toilet water.

Because he won't put the lid down.

He refuses to put the lid down.

Even at night, when you're tired, and confused, and don't want to turn the lights on...

he won't close the lid.

Because he's making a stand. A stand for all men who have suffered under the toilet tyranny of women for decades. Because he has logic on his side. "If I have to lift the lid, you should have to lower the lid."

He's right. But it's cold. The water is cold... and wet. And it's 3am. And in my sweet, innocent sleepiness, I forgot for a moment that I was married to a boy. A boy that lives with me and uses my toilet and is spearheading a grassroots resistance that will sweep through bathrooms across the country (watch out!). And I have drowsy, disoriented, cold-bottomed anger. And his bath towel is hanging just a little bit closer than mine.

It's so tempting. Ha! He'll never know there's toilet water on his bath towel. Then he'll go to dry his hair and he'll have toilet water hair! Hahahaha!

But I like to run my fingers through his hair. And I don't want toilet water hands, in addition to my toilet water bottom. So, I resist the temptation. And live to fight again another day.

(I promise, I will not overshare in this manner in the future.)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bury Me with My Remote

What is it with boys and remotes???

This day should have gone something like this:
I promise to love you, cherish you, honor you.

And with this ring, I vow to watch UFC, Nitro Circus, and all other shows
during which people voluntarily maim, injure, and humiliate themselves
for sport or entertainment.

I also faithfully promise to watch any Burt Reynolds movies, and all modern Adam Sandler remakes of Burt Reynold movies.

And with this kiss, I promise to selflessly DVR all episodes of
Project Runway, Law & Order, and The Barefoot Contessa,
and watch them only when you are out of town.



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