A Completely New Page

These days seem to be getting longer each one a bit more than the last– or perhaps I’m just existing within a strange time warp. The awesome part of this time warp however is that it seems to be in my favor. I feel effective and efficient and as though time is slowing down to accommodate me and all the things I have to get done. The universe is giving me a gift and I am accepting it with open arms and immense gratitude. Through a fortunate series of events I only ended up seeing one client today. With the rest of the day all my own I focused my full attention on procuring wedding wares.

After I completed said procurement I got out my trusty Instantpot and got to cooking some carnitas. We are one step closer to a completed taco bar (though we did end up eating some of the carnitas for dinner– just to make sure it’s delicious.) And IT IS.

I’ve said it before, and I may say it again, there is something about a deadline that allows me to focus in a way I’m not always capable of without said deadline. The meeting we had scheduled with our dear friend and officiant this evening was a very real and looming deadline for me and the writing of my vows. (Technically they were supposed to be done).

A sticking point for me over the last couple of weeks has been those pesky vows. It’s only been in the last week that I’ve written anything down for them– and I’ve felt weird about them and like they’re not as good as my partners’. I’ve felt really judgmental of what I’ve written, and strangely insecure about sharing them. This evening I finally allowed myself to talk to my partner about the experience I’ve been having with them. I explained to him that for the last several weeks– since I’ve had the concept of “wedding vow” in my head, I keep hearing my ex-husband recite one of our vows over and over again in my head. And I can’t help but think that I failed in keeping that vow. Immediately.

I think it’s time to let myself off the hook for this. I think I need to acknowledge that when I got married for the first time at the tender age of 23, I didn’t have a CLUE what I was getting myself into– and the vows we wrote and recited reflected that. They were fanciful and carefree. They reflected an innocence and naivete. They were lovely in concept and lacking in substance. They were exactly what they could be for those two sweet young people who were desperately trying to become adults. All of that has brought me to a place in writing these vows where I want to take them very seriously. I have considered them carefully. I don’t want to break them. It’s making writing them a really challenging task, shutting down any sort of creative spark in relationship to them because I DON’T WANT TO MESS THIS UP.

What I love about the vows my partner has written is that they’re playful and mixed with the reality of our relationship and arrangements that we’ve already made but not explicitly stated. They are true to who we are as a couple and they are rooted in the practical while also acknowledging a much larger love. They’re sweet and thoughtful and written by a grown man who tried this whole marriage thing once before and learned a few things in the process.

Talking to him about our vows and acknowledging the one I keep hearing over and over in my head from my first wedding helped open something up in me. I turned to a completely new page in my notebook and slowly my playful yet practical vows began pouring out. This is again the perfect metaphor for how our partnership works. Opening up to him always makes things easier. I cannot find fault with that. I can only rejoice in it (and potentially write a vow about it– BOOM!)

My vows are still a work in progress, but they feel a lot lighter than they did a few hours ago. And I don’t feel ashamed of them (which seems like a step in the right direction). As a matter of fact if I had to get married two minutes from now, I would totally read them as they are and feel perfectly fine.

As it is, I’ve got four days and counting– and I will feel so much more than fine when reading my vows to that incredible man I’m lucky enough to be marrying.

A moment of Sanity…

The sun came out today and smiled it’s lovely rays all across our fair city. I had a moment of sanity and cancelled my evening client so that I had some time to spend with the man I’m going to marry in just a few short days. We hung out on the front porch in the evening sun, and opened up the house and let the Springtime air move through it. A friend of ours took some time during the day compiling a list of different wedding songs for us. We brought our speaker out on the porch and let the love songs filter out over the neighborhood. Our cats even joined us.

We’re in those final days of completely releasing what was old to allow for something new. We’ve both been married before and over the last several weeks we’ve talked about many different things from our first weddings; Vows, music, dancing.

Both of us come to this marriage with very different experiences in our first marriages. It’s nice to finally lay it all bare. To acknowledge the love that was and the experiences that we had– to be able to recount with fondness what happened before to allow for what is happening now. This man is without a doubt my single most favorite person in the entire universe (and yes, I have traveled it extensively). The closer we get to this day of acknowledgement, the more he allows himself to soften into our love. He is a practical, guarded, hold-your-cards-close-to-the-chest individual, whose intense emotional experience is not something he likes to externalize frequently. In the beginning of our adventure together I had to trust myself a great deal and rely on my own intuition to keep moving forward with him.

But trust myself (and him)– I absolutely do.

I know a good investment when I see one.


Wherever We Happen to Be…

I’m going to acknowledge right now that these posts are becoming increasingly difficult to do– particularly as I seem to be leaving them to later and later in the day– as the days grow increasingly more full of life and other wedding-planning sundries.

We’re down to six days before our nuptials and I find myself just this very moment beginning to allow the “indoor ceremony contingency plan” to take shape in my head. (Particularly given that all weather reports point towards RAIN, RAIN and potentially a little more RAIN). My partner mentioned the indoor contingency plan last night and while on the outside I agreed with him that “yes, good idea, we need to figure that out…” on the inside I screamed “NO!! this wedding is happening OUTSIDE in the FOREST!!”

Hey, I’m just impressed I kept that scream under wraps.

Just now I closed my eyes and had a vision of the indoor ceremony and actually got really excited. (Phew)

Until just a few moments ago I hadn’t really been allowing my brain to take too much time with thoughts like those– because that forest calls me like nothing else– and I do hope beyond all reason that we walk out of it together on 3/24/18 as husband and wife. HOWEVER, there is a very real possibility that things may happen differently. If mother nature in all of her infinite wisdom should have other plans for that beautiful day at 2 pm, for instance: an unrelenting torrential downpour, then at least imagining the beauty of another possibility is a comfort for my mind.

When I closed my eyes a few moments ago and connected to it I saw candles and flowers everywhere around the space where our reception is taking place. It’s a building that sits right on the Salmon river, several hundred feet away from where the Pacific Ocean meets it. There are windows from floor to ceiling on three sides of the building, and a huge fireplace right in the center of the room. If rain is falling torrentially at 2 pm on 3/24/18, you better believe there will be a fire roaring in that fire place– and I will be ceremoniously burning SOMETHING in it. (What that something might be is TBD– but I have a few ideas…)

In addition to a roaring fire and candles lighting the space I also saw all of our people in a circle surrounding us, just as they will be if the rain decides to be just normal Oregon Springtime rain and dampen us a bit in the woods. I can see their sweet, lovely, smiling faces and most importantly feel the love that surrounds us. And it’s that love that really makes this whole thing what it is. It is the ceremony and the intention behind it that create the magic that will envelope all of us on that special day. And regardless of the space that surrounds us– our intentions are clear and we are ready to be ceremonious about them. Wherever we happen to be…

Somehow, as I begin to allow this indoor ceremony to take shape in my head and acknowledge the very real possibility of it I love it more and more as the perfect metaphor for our relationship. We are pretty awesome and well-practiced at handling adversity together. There have been situations (a month ago when we went to the beach to iron out our wedding plans, for instance) when we have been hit with one ridiculous situation after another and somehow we manage to keep ourselves and each other smiling. Somehow we continue to move forward even when everything seems to be pushing us back. We are kind and considerate of one another. We don’t blame each other for things beyond our control. We don’t turn on each other when things become difficult.

We LEAN IN. And together we become stronger.

In six days, no matter where I marry that man it will be absolutely perfect. Because I’m marrying that man.



Lists really are a magical thing

We’re officially one week out with a re-vamped menu and everything’s coming up ROSES!!

That planning brain of mine is really working for me. My partner’s cousin after reading my last blog post suggested that we do a taco bar for the wedding– and I am taking that idea and RUNNING WITH IT. One thing I observed about myself today is that I like having puzzles to solve. Another (that I’ve known for a very long time) is that I am extremely motivated by deadlines. (Not unlike most other human beings).

Getting down to the wire– these days are packed full. Here’s the run-down of my wedding-related accomplishments on this day just seven days and counting:

  • Woke up and realized my body needed to take a Pilates class.
  • RE-REinvented the wedding menu after a great suggestion from a soon-to-be family member.
  • Listened to my body and TOOK CARE OF MYSELF (i.e. went to Pilates). [SLOW CLAP]
  • Came home and took my maid of honor to get her dress altered.
  • Somehow convinced my partner without any threats or coercion to go with me to his most favorite place on a Saturday, Costco.
  • Bought and priced wedding related items and inched ever closer to feeling totally on top of it in terms of this wedding. (Lists really are a magical thing).
  • Took more steps towards KEEPING IT SIMPLE. (So hard for me to do)…
  • Met with one of my dear friends to strategize the next week as it relates to our nuptials, and gave her 10 lbs of chicken to cook for me. (talk about some delegating)
  • Realized that I’ve actually got it together so much more than I knew when this day began and all I was aware of was my back hurting.
  • Had a very important meeting with my flower girl and tasked her with finding the perfect basket for her flower petals. (She’s already got one in mind).
  • Decided, along with said flower girl, what type of flower petals that basket of hers was going to have. (cherry blossoms)
  • Went out on a date with my man.
  • Ordered serving trays and cupcake storage containers that will make me very popular in certain (as of yet undefined) circles.
  • Got one day closer to marrying my most favorite person on the planet.

That about says it all. My exhaustion is real and my planning brain is currently not interfacing well with my writing brain– and my dreaming brain is doing its best to take over for the both of them…


Flying by the Seat of my Pants

I am really pushing this post up to the wire– almost missing the eight day mark and heading into seven– but I’ve got this… eight days and counting at least until this post is finished…

One of the many wonderful things about completely doing your wedding by yourself is you can make massive changes right up till eight days before and it’s TOTALLY FINE. It’s actually way beyond fine– it’s liberating.

I made flank steak, roasted potatoes and salad for dinner this evening. Our wedding dinner, minus the mangoes in the salad. The last 48 hours I’ve had my planning brain on. My planning brain isn’t a part of my brain that generally gets very much attention. As a matter of fact, it generally likes to sit around and eat bon bons and watch silly television. We’re not super close and we don’t talk very often. But, tonight my planning brain put away the bon bons, turned the television off and started speaking some reason to the other parts of my brain who actually seemed quite eager to listen.

As I made dinner, planning brain began to think about the wedding-dinner-making game plan. In my not-really-planning-brain-but-pretending-to-be, a month ago I had decided I would make the flank steak a couple of days ahead. I hadn’t put any thought into the salad or potatoes. Tonight I realized there were some serious flaws in my “plans.” As we ate dinner I started talking through the logistics with my partner and daughter. Planning brain was making mental notes about the amount of work I was creating for myself and all of my dearest friends who are a part of the exclusive “helper club” for the wedding. Neither flank steak or potatoes are “make ahead” kind of dishes. This is less than ideal for the eating situation we are creating.

I finished my dinner and got my shoes and keys to go and pick up my son at the gym. As I opened the door to my car I was STRUCK by what felt like an INGENIOUS idea. (this must be what happens when planning brain is allowed to stay online for more than a couple of days at a time.) MIRACULOUS! In the course of about five seconds I COMPLETELY CHANGED our entire wedding menu. Instead of flank steak, potatoes and salad I decided to make Indian Butter Chicken in the Instantpot. BOOM. I immediately called my partner. (He was just inside the house).  He didn’t answer, inevitably in a different room from his phone.

I drove to the gym ridiculously excited at this miraculous feat my planning brain had just conquered. I can make this DAYS ahead, it reheats easily, and it’s INSANELY YUMMY. I told my son when he got into the car. He was not particularly excited, not that he ever really gets excited unless it is somehow related to basketball or fantasy football– and this is not. At all. We arrived home just a few minutes later and I ran into the house and called out to my partner who was in our bedroom watching a show with our daughter. I told him my planning brain’s fabulous idea and he responded to me in a very positive but measured fashion saying: “I think you’re onto something here…”

The translation for that is, “whatever you wanna do, baby because I know you’re gonna do it anyway.” Talk about someone knowing me…

My daughter who was lying next to him said “NO!” and then her face fell and she said nothing more. Butter chicken is not her favorite thing. It’s spicy. I assured her I would “make a mild version” as well. She continued to look sullen. Butter chicken is in no way a part of her wedding plan. However, she’s eleven and not doing all of the work. She’s also not (although sometimes she acts as if she were) the bride. That’s ME! The crazy lady who just changed her DIY wedding menu eight days before the event.

I am FLYING BY THE SEAT OF MY PANTS, and I can’t imagine it any other way.


Together we PACK A PUNCH

“Mom, you’ve got a week! You need to run while you can!” are the words that just came out of my darling daughter’s mouth. This is the running joke in the last week or so in our house. Last night at the dinner table it was, “mom, are you sure you wanna go through with this?” My little eleven year old girl has been waiting for this wedding for a long time– and she’s just as excited as I am– if not more, but without the stress and exhaustion that has become my current status quo.

Today was a beautiful day. It started with a pot of coffee and an early morning trip to get our marriage license. There’s something magical in these days leading up to this monumental acknowledgement. I don’t know what I expected to experience, but it wasn’t this. I think I figured that perhaps since I had already moved through these marriage motions, that I would be above feeling the anticipation and excitement. I’m not. I’m right in the thick of the wonderment– and it’s bigger than anything I’ve ever experienced before.

We arrived at the big brick official county building not even a half a mile from our house at just past 8:30. I began snapping pictures randomly the moment we stepped up to the building. We waited for less than a minute and then were called up to window 7. The friendly and shy gentleman who greeted us behind window 7 was named Bill. We both handed over our passports and a whopping $60 cash, the whole thing feeling honestly a bit surreal– all of these people going about their daily routines, us paving the way for our monumentous event. I said to my partner, “there’s no going back now,” echoing our daughter’s jocular jabs. Bill took all of the papers and put them into a manila envelope that he handed to my partner. The entire transaction took less than fifteen minutes. “Who’s got the leverage now?” my partner joked, waving the envelope as we walked out of the building. We brought the license home and placed it on an altar by our front door that is for our family. Perfect.

Getting married is a big deal. The acknowledgment of this partnership to the world is IMPORTANT. This wedding, while it may be stress inducing, is something over which we have complete ownership. Every piece of this puzzle has been painstakingly crafted and put together with care. There is intention and love in every nook and cranny. We are getting married because while we are powerful human beings separately, together we PACK A PUNCH.

I’m talking REAL PLANS, not just Visions

So, at this point I’m going to say that we’re getting down to the wire– and I am definitely feeling stressed. 10 days and counting, and I find myself trying to find time in between time to pack in the much needed organization of my time (and all the other stuff that needs organizing). And then there’s just my regular life that is continuing on as if it had no idea that I’m getting married in ten days– the nerve.

This morning as I was in the midst of juggling my life, sitting in the orthododontist’s office with my daughter while writing a general to do list for the wedding, I was called to send a “help me!” text to a friend.

“Hi. Can I ask you for your help in a general sense? I don’t have specifics yet– but I know that I need help…”

His response came a few minutes later, “Of course. I’m always happy to help…”

Massive sigh of relief. Wasn’t that easy? Just knowing that someone out there who I trust and love is willing to help me is enough to ease my anxiety. Next I sent a text to my assistant asking for help more specifically in brainstorming the blessingway. Another quick and affirmative response, and I was feeling downright un-anxious.

Here are the wedding related things I accomplished today: (bear with me– this is actually incredibly helpful for my sweet little wedding-addled brain)

  • Made a list of wedding things that need to be done (I know this seems like something I probably should have done weeks or maybe even months ago– but let’s stay positive and just say “good job, Mandy” for doing it at all. Everyone’s gotta start somewhere.
  • Reached out and asked for help from TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE. (Never mind that one of them is someone I actually pay to help me– bringing that up right now seems almost like rubbing salt in the wound, and that’s not a positive thing to do)
  • Concretely planned my blessingway (I’m talking real plans, not just visions), I actually wrote stuff down.
  • Made the invitation for my blessingway– just a few more email addresses and that baby is going OUT INTO THE WORLD!!
  • Filled out the online application for our marriage license (in doing so finally nailed down in my head how to spell the word license– ACCOMPLISHMENT)
  • Planned a trip with my husband-to-be to procure said license tomorrow morning.
  • Set up a meeting with my awesome friend who is “always happy to help” for tomorrow afternoon.
  • What’s that you say? How could there possibly be more bullet points? You’re right. I’m stretching it at this point– but really– today was a turning point.

I’ve always been a deadline oriented type of gal. There’s something about that ticking clock that actually makes me begin to take things seriously. Tomorrow we’re into single digits with the days. That is NOT MESSING AROUND. This wedding is HAPPENING SOON. And it doesn’t really get much more DIY than this.

My lesson for the day, quoted from my dear, always happy to help friend,

“You may be over emphasizing the y in that concept. It’s the royal y.”

So, here’s to the DIroyalY, may it make the next ten days ever easier.


Makes me wanna marry him or something…

It’s 11 days to go now– and it’s all I can do to string a sentence together. Seriously. I woke up feeling like a zombie this morning. I ignored my instincts and got out of bed and went to teach my 6:15 am class. I stumbled my way through teaching and back home into bed, setting my alarm for an hour before my next client at 10 am. When the alarm rang at 9 am I felt like my entire body was full of tar. Moving felt like a feat. I got up to go to the bathroom, my head hanging forward as I sat down to pee, and I realized that the idea of me being effective at helping anyone within the next two hours was ludicrous.

I crawled back into bed and texted my 10 and 11 am clients apologetically. This whole “putting yourself first” thing is extremely challenging for me. It makes me feel guilty and like I’m letting someone down, which is accurate. But, if I were not to put myself first, I’d be letting myself down. And that’s exactly what I preach against. So, taking my own medicine I went back to sleep for two more hours. By the time it was noon I felt a massive weight had lifted and I was able to do my two hour 12:30 energetic mentoring session on the phone with a client on the East Coast.

I managed to grocery shop before heading back to work at 4:30– this felt like a cosmic accomplishment. Back at work, I saw a client and then taught my two evening classes. My sweet partner (who is currently cleaning the kitchen) had dinner ready for me when I got home, makes me wanna marry him or something. We ate together and then I collapsed into an epsom salt bath with an assortment of essential oils added for awesomeness.

I guess the moral of my story here is: I’m EXHAUSTED. I couldn’t even say exactly why, but today felt like the opposite of the gloriousness that was yesterday. There’s always a yin to balance out the yang. Yesterday’s singing sunshine gave way to rain today– and the rain gave me permission to settle into myself and rest and recuperate. Today I took care of myself– and while there’s something in me that hates to acknowledge the necessity of that– the much wiser part of me is really proud of myself. I am not super human. I’m just a regular human and sometimes I need to take a break.

There’s an immense amount of work to be done– and a deadline looming, but here’s what I know: It’s going to get done. I can say that with absolute certainty. 11 days from now I will be married. And regardless of all of the steps I take from now until then it’s going to happen and it will be absolutely perfect– because that’s the only thing that it possibly could be.

Things are continuously evolving…

We’re at 12 days and counting here, folks… Getting to that point of no return…

Today was glorious. The sun was singing in the sky and everyone was walking around about two inches taller than they were a week ago in the rain. There was nothing to hide from today. It was a bust your windows wide open and sing to the world kind of day– so that’s what I did! We opened the garage door at the studio and blasted the new soundtrack to my life through mat class today. Ayla Nereo,  Hollow Bones.

Her brilliant music filled the studio. There was a light breeze outside whipping through the space occasionally, blowing in an errant leaf. It was a magical environment. In one short hour we moved Winter out of the studio and Spring in.

I wondered all day what I would write about today– there was nothing jumping out at me related to the wedding. (except all the lists in my head) It was a long day of work. I finished up a little before 7 and picked up my partner on my way home. As i pulled up to the house I told him I had received a text from my ex-husband and I needed to give him a call. “But at least I’m not dreading it– like I used to…” I said getting out of the car. “That’s good.” He agreed. I’ve turned a major corner with my first husband. I used to brace myself when I got a text that he wanted to talk. My mind would begin to run away with me, taking me to all sorts of unlikely places in surmising what he wanted to talk about. There’s a history there. But things are not like they used to be. Things are continuously evolving.

I sat down on the couch and dialed his number, he answered and our daughter immediately began talking to me. They were in the car on their way home. I talked to her for a few minutes and then they arrived home and he and I began our conversation in earnest. He wanted to talk to me about logistics with our kids, and other things as well. He talked to me about a hard time he had been having with something and I found myself full of sympathy for him, feeling angry at the injustices portrayed against him. This corner we’ve turned feels massive, so large it took several years for me to even acknowledge that there was an other side. But now I’m standing over here and wondering why and how it took me so long… (though it is what it is, and I’m just glad I made it).

We talked for awhile longer, strategizing different things related to our kids, I relayed a couple of stories that seemed particularly pertinent about our son to him. And then as the conversation was coming towards a close he said, “I had a really good time the other night.” He and my partner went out for drinks one night last week after my ex-husband sent a welcome-to-the-family-let’s-get-a-drink text. They were out for a couple of hours, each of them finally gaining a clearer perspective on the other.

Then he said– “Congratulations. It’s a big deal, you deciding to do it again.”

He would know, better than anyone.

And for a long period of time I had some serious doubts about whether I ever would.

“I’m really glad you found someone who makes you happy.”

And he is.

He wants the best for me, just as I want the best for him. We’re on the same team, members of the same tribe. And despite all of my insistence over the last seven years to the contrary, we are family. We embarked on an adventure together when we were just babies and shared an innocent and naive love that didn’t understand how to grow past its infancy. We bound ourselves to each other for stability and to create a rudder between the two of us. We created a life together and brought two phenomenal human beings onto the planet. For a short time it was just the two of us against the world, and then there were three… and then there were four…

We were a powerful and dynamic force together until we weren’t.

I can’t imagine my life without his being intertwined in it. He is my baby daddy. Both of my children have all of his best qualities and a few of his worst. They came away with the same from me. As the years wear on, as our children continue to grow, the need for us to be in close contact wanes. But he is my family, and his blessing for my marriage means the world. He knows I don’t step into this commitment lightly. He knows what my word means. He understands perhaps better than anyone that this time around, I’m doing it forever.


Next time you’re thinking about coming home at 4 am, DON’T.

Yesterday was bachelor party #1. (Yes, that’s right, he’s having 2– I’m sure at some point in the next 13 days we’ll get to that). And I’m going to be totally upfront about this: I was jealous. I am and really always have been “one of the boys.” Usually when there’s boy fun to be had, I’m front and center– often the one lady in the mix. I don’t know why that is exactly… I mean, I could surmise. I would say from a very young age I identified with the guys because that felt like the place of power. I was always wanting to compete with my brother, and father and therefore assumed a more masculine role. It has only been very recently, as a fully grown woman that I have realized and become more comfortable with power of my femininity and have begun embracing the watery feminine. But I’m still one of the boys.

I do of course understand that the idea of a bachelor party is that the dude who’s getting married is taking one last night and getting away from the ball and chain. My partner and I are just so far from that ball and chain dynamic… but I intellectually completely understood why I was not included in the bachelor party process. This did not keep me from feeling jealous about the whole thing, however.

It was fine, I was having a girly day of cupcake making with my favorite little lady. I dropped my partner off at his friend’s house around noon. The party was an all day affair. I told him to let me know if he needed me to pick him up. Then I went off to my baking adventures. I didn’t hear anything from my partner for the rest of the day.

Around 10 pm I was sitting on the couch writing about adventures in cupcakes with a rather foggy brain courtesy of those cupcakes, and I found myself wishing my sweet man were sitting next to me– or at least somewhere in close proximity. I texted a friend of ours who had been at the party earlier in the day and tagged out around 7:30 to do parenting duty. I asked him if he knew the evening’s itinerary, trying to gauge when I might expect my man home. He did not. I let it go and continued writing. Around midnight I realized that because of the wonder of daylight savings time, it was actually 1 am and I should probably hang it up and go to bed. I needed to wake up at 8 am the next morning to teach a class at 9 am. I considered texting him goodnight and then thought better of it. This was HIS night to be a bachelor and not have to be bothered by his lady. I figured that he would probably be staying over at his friend’s house at this point, his keys were hanging by the front door, and it was 1 am.

I gathered up the six pillows on our bed and made them into a nest just for ME and settled right into the middle of the bed. I read one page of the book I had just purchased for myself earlier in the day– and then settled to sleep quickly and easily. I slept soundly until I was awoken at 4:15 by the sound of the back door, which is right outside one of our bedroom windows. I bounded up out of bed instinctively, opened our bedroom door and saw the face of my love plastered up against the square window of our back door. I was in the middle of a deep sleep and bewildered at his 4:15 arrival. I opened the door, not really looking at him and immediately fell back into bed.

He didn’t come into our bedroom right away. I heard him moving through the house and then the sound of the shower turning on. I was no longer in a deep sleep. I was AWAKE. VERY AWAKE. He finished showering and came into our room, plopping into the bed next to me asking if I was awake. I grunted at him. I was not feeling conversational and was rather annoyed that he had risen me out of my 4:15 am slumber. He slung an arm across me and thirty seconds later was snoring like a buzz saw– louder than usual, and probably magnified by my annoyance. Several minutes into the saw symphony I attempted to roll over at which point he whined at me and tightened the grip with his arm. I was not feeling the warm and generous love that is so often in my heart for him. Rather, I was feeling annoyed and put out– and neither of those things was helping me fall back to sleep, not to mention the symphony of snores. I lay there for several more minutes and then said, “baby, you’re snoring really loud.”

He awoke for about fifteen seconds, shifted his position slightly and settled back into his symphony. I was done. I wriggled out from under his arm, grabbed two pillows, a big rose quartz stone, and my phone (alarm clock) then headed out to the couch in the living room, the one right underneath our constantly ticking, rings-every-30-minutes clock. I thought for a moment about stopping it and then decided against it. I arranged my two pillows, got two blankets and placed the rose quartz inside my shirt on top of my heart. I looked at my clock– it read 4:48 am. I rolled my eyes in annoyance and snuggled up and fell asleep immediately. I slept soundly, the chimes of the clock never waking me.

My alarm went off at 8 am and I awoke aware that I had dreams of conflict with my man, but unable to recall the details. I got up and gathered my pillows, knowing that he had no idea I had slept on the couch. I opened the door to our room and he opened his eyes. I looked at him and plopped the two pillows on the bed. I sat down on the bed and said (luckily he recalled my words perfectly and recounted them to me this evening) “Next time you’re thinking about coming home at 4 am, DON’T.” He said he wasn’t sure whether to giggle or look sheepish. He did the latter. I then told him he was snoring really loudly so I slept on the couch. I snuggled up to him, asked him if he had fun and if he wanted me to set an alarm for him to get up. I gathered my clothes and got myself ready for the day. I found his phone in his coat pocket, set the alarm for 10 am and set it next to his side of the bed before leaving. He was back to sleep, or at least pretending to be. I headed off to work.

I sent him a text when I finished working telling him I loved him. He responded “thank goodness” and then we proceeded with more silliness from there. When he got home in the evening we laughed about the events of the morning– he quoted my 4 am statement and then reenacted me opening the door for him, which was hilarious. He recounted the events of the night to me and told me that the one thing it was missing was Mandy Lou (that’s me). And I guess while that’s not something I needed to hear, it was really nice to hear it anyway.

My partner and I have a rare and special bond. He’s my very best friend. I relish the time I spend with him and most of the time we spend together is full of smiles and laughter. We are two fully formed, healthy adults who happen to enjoy each other’s company immensely, and are lucky enough to have figured that out.

In 13 days I’m gonna marry the crap out of him.