A Marriage Lesson

Last night I decided to make my husband a delicious and nutritious meal (well, nutritious compared to the crap we could have been eating). It consisted of veggie burgers, rice and sliced tomatoes. While you might not be that impressed, I was very impressed with myself because I didn’t have much at home to work with. I was 100% thinking I was going to have to run to the grocery store before I set out on a scavenger hunt of our kitchen.

Well, while I was cooking the rice, I was also:

  1. Doing laundry
  2. Emptying the dishwasher
  3. Putting clean sheets on the guest room bed
  4. Texting with my sister
  5. Watching the Real Housewives of Orange County

So I got distracted and burned the rice a little bit. But it was ok because I made enough that I could just soup the non-burned rice off the top.

I started to clean up and put the salvageable rice in a tupperware and scrapped the burned bits off the bottom of the pot. I left them in the pot for the time being, as I was planning to put them in the garbage later on. Unfortunately, Matt wasn’t aware of my plan and when he want to get some more rice, all that was left were the burned bits. Thankfully I caught this, just before his fork went into this mouth.

Me: “Wait… that rice is burned. Let me get you the good rice.”

Matt looked at the rice on his plate. Looked at me. Shrugged and ate it anyway.

That’s true love.

Or… is it just laziness?

High School Sweethearts

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Like Matt and I, my friend Noelle and her husband, Justin, met in high school on their school’s swim team. They dated long distance in college and eventually got married a few years after graduating college. She is my #1 go to for relationship advice, complaining about Matt’s incompetence and general life advice.

Today she sent me the following email:

Subject: Reason Justin did not take out the trash

Body of the email: “It didn’t look full”

Attachment:

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This email prompted me to ask her “how did we end up with such idiots?” Her response was spot on. “We locked them in early and attributed their ridiculousness to adolescence.”

Sometimes marrying your high school sweet heart isn’t so romantic. Just ask us! Don’t worry Noelle, at least we have each other. And blogs to publicly shame our husbands.

Family Vacation

This past weekend, my family took our first family vacation in more than six years. The last trip we took together was to Alaska and was definitely a high point in my life. This time, we took a trip to Park City, Utah for some skiing and family fun. To make things even more exciting, this was our first family vacation with Matt. While going from a group of 4, to a group of 5 proved slightly difficult, especially with all of the “quad” chairlifts, overall his addition proved to be a positive one.

Besides the incredible scenery, the beauty of Utah is that you there are so many incredible places to ski, all within an hour drive from Salt Lake. We skied at four different mountains: Park City, Snowbird, Snow Basin and Deer Valley. While Park City is close to our family’s heart (Abby worked there for a season back when she was 24 years old), I think Snow Basin is my favorite.

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Snow Basin
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Snowbird
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Snowbird

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Snowbird
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Park CIty
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Snowbird

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Snowbird

Snowbird
Snowbird
Deer Valley
Deer Valley

Back in 2004, when Abby was working at Park City, we flew out to see her over Christmas. Here are some of our pictures from that trip.  It is crazy to see essentially the same pictures 9 years later.

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Then – 2004
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Now – 2013
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Then – 2004

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Now -2013

Hmm, suddenly I feel old. And I realized that I need a new ski coat.

Thanks for the great trip family! I wouldn’t want to go anywhere with anyone else.

 

 

What love language do you speak?

I have a secret to confess.

I am currently reading a self-help book. There, I said it.

While I haven’t gone full-on Bridget Jones, I’m definitely moving in that direction. But it is ok, I was a psychology major in school. This is just continuing my education, right?

The book that I am reading is called The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. Now before you start making assumptions about my marriage, let me tell you, it is fine. It is better than fine, it is great. Matt and I are coming up on our first year of marriage next month and the 11th year of our relationship next week. I am amazed by how exciting and new our relationship still feels. And I am truly amazed by how I am constantly reminded why we fell in love 11 years ago.

That being said, I am a big believer in the saying “never stop learning.” I think it is important to apply this to all aspects of your life: never stop learning at your job, never stop learning about yourself, and never stop learning in your relationship. And even though Matt and I have been together for more than a decade, I’m the first to admit that we still have a lot to learn about each other.

The Five Love Languages highlights the importance of being able to express love to your spouse (wow, that word makes me feel old) in a way that your spouse can understand. He calls this type of communicating using the five love languages. The five languages are Words of Affirmation, Quality of Time, Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. You can take a quiz to determine what language of love you prefer, here.

Now, I’ve only reach the chapters on Words of Affirmation and Quality of Time, but I am really enjoying the book. It is definitely bringing me back to college and the days when I spend my days in classes like Personality Psychology, The Psychology of Romantic Relationships and The Science of Happiness. Also, I am learning more about myself and the type of love language that I “speak”. I am starting to realize that I speak to Matt in the way that I want to be spoken to, not the way that is best for him. But enough about me, this isn’t a therapy session…

If you are a quality of time person, the book suggests, making a list of all of the activities that you enjoy doing with your spouse. I can definitely see myself in this “language style” so I thought it would be fun to create this list.

Unfortunately, after reading it over, it made me realize how big a nerd I am and how addicted to TV I have become.

A Few of My Favorite Things to Do with Matt

1. Go on long bike rides (however, this is becoming less and less fun as Matt gets more and more in shape and I can’t keep up)

2. Watch House Hunters on HGTV and predict which house they will go with.

3. HBO & ice cream on Sunday nights

4. Receive a note in the mail at work from Matt

5. Hold hands

6. Go to brunch in Brooklyn

7. Do arts & crafts together (this essentially never happens, but the few times it did, I loved it)

8. Watch New Girl and talk about our shared crush on Jess

9. Cook/Bake (particularly when Matt helps me as the sous chef)

and of course 10. Drink Bloodies with our 3rd wheel at Daddy-Os.

So feel free to judge me for reading a self-help book and for actually doing one of the “activities” that it suggested. Just remember, when Matt and I are old, wrinkly and still happily married, I am going to laugh in your face.

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The Second Coming

Last night, the entire Robin Hood staff was invited to a private viewing of The Artist in Harvey Weinstein’s private screening room. We also used this opportunity to celebrate our Executive Director’s 50th Birthday. The evening was very fun and adds to my growing list of “once in a lifetime opportunities” that I have experienced since joining Robin Hood.

Matt spent this evening at CrossFit and then went home. He was on his own for dinner, which usually means a smoothie, heating up a lean cuisine or ordering something from seamless. When I opened the door to our apartment, I smelled something weird… I walked to the kitchen and looked to see if any of our gas burners were left on by accident (something Matt has been known to do frequently). All were in the off position. Then I realized that the oven light was on. I ducked down to peer in and I almost fell over at the sight I was beholding.

Matt is definitely not a fan of leftovers; so much so that he refuses to eat them (And you all think I am a princess?!) Typically, when I decide to make something for dinner; I need to cut the recipe down by at least a half, or be prepared to eat the meal for the next 3 days (lunch and dinner). I grew up in a household where we had a leftover smorgasbord at least once a week, so the concept of Matt absolutely refusing to eat them was one I didn’t understand, and truthfully, didn’t really appreciate.

Well, last night, not only was Matt using the oven and cooking himself dinner, but he was heating up leftovers from the meal we had the night before! I shouted outloud (just ask my mom as I was on the phone with her) “hallelujah, praise the Lord! Christ has come again – it is a miracle!”

After praising Matt for his newfound appreciation for my cooking (even in the form of leftovers) I went to bed dreaming about my now nearly perfect husband.

Unfortunately when I woke up this morning and walked into the kitchen, I returned to reality. I guess the second coming has come and gone already.

This was our sink this morning...

Aliens Kidnapped My Husband

and they replaced him with some form of super husband.

As many of you know, Matt and I are spending our very first Christmas together this year. In the past we have spent Christmas Even with his extended family and then I drive home so that I can do our Christmas Eve traditions and Christmas morning with my family. Then Matt would come up and do Christmas dinner with us and our best family friends, the Possees. It was nice to see both families but required a lot of driving by Matt and I. So, while we miss the traditional Puerto Rican dinner that Matt’s family makes on Christmas Eve, we are very excited to spend the entire holiday together with minimal driving.

Today we work up and went to Crossfit Nashua with Abby, since she is now a crossfitter too! We all struggled through a workout that was modeled after the 12 days of Christmas. Needless to say, Matt was pretty excited about this new holiday tradition.

Afterwards we spent some time wrapping up presents and helping with the Christmas Eve dinner. Matt and I tackled desserts and each decided to make our own things. I made Paula Deen’s Gooey Butter Cake, which in traditional Paula Deen fashion used FOUR sticks of butter. Yummy! This recipe is something that I learned from a co-worker who said that the minute I found out what was in it, I wouldn’t want to make it. Thankfully, a little butter, sugar and eggs didn’t scare me!

Matt decided to make the Oreo Candy Cane Truffles that one of my very best childhood friends, Lindsay, suggested that I add to my holiday baking. I made this earlier this month and they were well received, so Matt thought he would impress/fatten up my family with them. I can not tell you how impressed I was with Matt’s patience, commitment and skill when making these truffles. He did the entire thing by himself and didn’t complain once (I think the fact that he had a beer and glass of wine during the baking process definitely helped).

 

 

In addition to the baking, Matt wrapped about 10 presents and didn’t use a single gift bag (his signature move). Looks like he is adapting well the Christmas with the Brethauers. Hopefully his positive attitude continues through to the matching pjs we are bound to open tonight!

Mr. & Mrs.

The main focus of this blog is supposed to be on the little things in life that bring a smile to your face. While not all of my posts achieve this goal, I am hope this one does.

Yesterday, Matt and I received a Save the Date in the mail for our friend’s upcoming wedding. I honestly couldn’t stop laughing when I saw how they addressed it to us (I blocked out our street address so prevent blog-stalkers from finding me!)

Chase & Susie – thank you for being “blog worthy” friends :) Can’t wait for your big day!