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Shannon: What kind of drumstick do you want?

Mike: The one with fudge filling.

Shannon hands him a drumstick with caramel filling

Mike: Oh, I wanted the fudge filling.

Shannon: I thought you meant caramel. There isn’t any with fudge.

Mike: Yes there is. Vanilla with fudge filling.

Shannon: No, there’s plain vanilla ice cream, chocolate ice cream, and vanilla with caramel.

Mike: I’m pretty sure I bought the pack that had ones with fudge.

Shannon returns to fridge to confirm.

Shannon: Nope, like I said, vanilla, chocolate, vanilla with caramel.

Mike: That can’t be right.

Mike comes to fridge to confirm.

Shannon: Seriously? I’ve looked twice now and told you there is no fudge filling. How do you not believe me?

Mike: I was just so sure…

Shannon: I don’t blame you. Afterall, I have forgotten how to read.

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Mike: Something something something, trying to be funny (I don’t really remember what he was saying)

Shannon: *feigned smile*

Mike: Blah blah blah (again, don’t remember)

Shannon: *eye roll*

Mike: Exactly how often are you annoyed by me rather than entertained?

Shannon: Oh. You’ve noticed that huh?

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Shannon and I did not marry for money. This is indisputable. Fortunately, we love each other. I saw this fact clearly yesterday in a conversation about moving.

We were sitting in a movie theater lobby waiting for a movie to start, and began discussing what we might do in the next year about our living situation. We have both been sort of anti-house-purchase in the past. Too much work and too much risk. Too hard to move away if you need/have to. But lately, now that we are pretty sure we want to settle in a particular area, we’ve started to consider it. We can get a pretty good deal right now, and probably buy a house that we can grow into and possibly make money off of some day.

We started talking about when we might want to start looking last night, but that discussion quickly turned to the dreaded down payment. It turns out that, when you pay for a trip to Europe and a mini-van in the same month, it doesn’t leave much money for a home down payment. Where would that money come from?

Shannon offered that she had savings bonds given to her by her grandparents. All totaled, they would help us toward a down payment, but not give us one. Then she turned to me and jokingly asked “what do you bring to the marriage?” I replied, not jokingly but in a joking tone, “a van payment and some student loans…oh, you probably meant assets…yeah, nothing.” Sad day for me. Fortunately, Shannon didn’t care (or already knew that fact and had come to terms with it).

The bottom line of our discussion: we have no house down payment. We may have to move into yet another tiny apartment and save for another year to collect a down payment. Any suggestions?

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Ladies (and gentlemen), if you’ve ever been with a man with a beard, you know the sinking feeling you get when he tells you he wants to shave it. You know what it’s like to try to be supportive while secretly hoping he’ll change his mind. And you certainly know about the Facial Hair Transformation Photo Essay you are obligated to assemble and then share with the internet.

Step 1: The beard we know and love. Admittedly looking at little scrappy.

Step 2: Goatee with exaggerated sideburns.

Step 3: Solo goatee.

Step 4: Um, pointy mustache?

Step 5: Wow, creepy. Let’s move on. Quickly.

Step 6: Heil… yeah, no.

Step 7: Baby Face.

Isn’t he adorableI folks? I feel like I’m married to a 12 year old. I like the clean shaven look, but it’s no secret I miss the beard. But just like the things I do or don’t want to shave are my business, the things he does or doesn’t want to shave are his business.

Besides, I’m sure he’ll get sick of the upkeep and I’ll have my beautiful beard back. Right babe?

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I have to put this in writing so neither of us ever forgets (not that I would!), and so we have “witnesses.”

The other day Mike and I were driving a long distance together, and I suggested we spend some of the time discussing baby names. Mike was less than enthused, but I pressed on. “How about this? What about that? I like this name, what do you think? What do you mean you don’t care? HOW CAN YOU NOT CARE!?”

Turns out that while I’m obsessed with names and naming, he is pretty indifferent. While I have a Google doc dedicated to name ideas (hundreds of them!), Mike rarely gives it a thought. I broke the news that if we’re planning to have or adopt babies someday, we’re likely going to have to name them, so he better get on board.

That’s when he said the most beautiful words I’ve ever heard:

“Why don’t you just be in charge of naming them?”

Haaaaallelujah! Haaaaallelujah! Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujaaaah!

Are you serious, I asked. Like full naming power? And then I made him shake on it because that’s the kind of deal you want to seal.

So there it is. I get to name our kids. Obviously I’ll take his opinions into consideration, but it’s such a freeing feeling to know I don’t have to find a name we both LOVE. I can’t tell you how tiring it is to shoot off name ideas to him that are constantly met with an apathetic “It’s OK.” So instead of hunting for names that thrill Mr. Indifferent, I can find names that thrill me and secure at least an OK from him.

Now to narrow down my list…

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Well, we did it. We booked a trip to Europe! When we got married and obtained a little cash, we decided we’d save it and keep adding to it until we had enough to go to Europe. Our goal was Fall of this year, but the more I thought about it, the more I knew I could never get away from my job at that time of year. We considered a few other options and began to realize that what made the most sense was this spring. As in really effing soon!

We chose a trip through Trafalgar. Despite some negative reviews I read, they had a tour that seemed perfect for us, and if we booked by the end of February we could get $400 off per person. So on Monday night (February 28th by the way), we found ourselves on the phone booking a trip. A European trip yo!

Here’s the deal. We fly to London and spend two days sightseeing, then  head to Paris for two days. I get to show Mike my favorite things from when I was there last year, then we’re off to Switzerland for a day, followed by Venice, Florence, and finally two days in Rome before we fly home. If you’re keeping track, that’s 11 days. Minus two days of travel, we’ll be in Europe for nine days! We’ll hit England, France, Switzerland and Italy. It’s like a dream come true and we are so thrilled.

And yes, we’re splurging. Big time. We took what was given to us at our wedding and added in as much money as we could each month. We hope to get a tax refund this year that we’ll throw in, as well, and hopefully that’ll be enough. I wouldn’t want you to get the impression that we can just up and visit Europe whenever we want. We’ve been making some sacrifices to make this happen, and I’m confident it’ll be worth it.

Not only is it a splurge, but it’s a very meaningful trip for us. It’s sort of like a second honeymoon — we had a very inexpensive wedding so we could later take an exciting vacation instead of paying off wedding debt. It’s also going to be a celebration of our one-year anniversary since we’ll be traveling relatively near that date. But most importantly, it’s a last hurrah before we get serious about the kid thing. Once the little critters come along, who knows when we’ll be able to splurge this way again. I’ve been to Ireland and Paris, but Mike has never been to Europe at all, and we’ve obviously never been there together. This trip = HUGE!

So, we need to make the most of it. Ever been to London, Venice, Florence or Rome? What are the must-sees and must-dos? What about Paris? I  know where I want to take Mike, but maybe I missed something last time that I shouldn’t miss again. Also, as a culinarian, the food part of this experience is important to my husband (and me too… hello, Italian past? Yes please!). Any must-eats to recommend?

Dudes. We are so damn excited!

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Yay! We got our first negative comment. I think that makes us official or something right? Because it’s our first, I thought I’d share. On the post about why Mike is so perfect for me, Renae said this:

Ok, so he’s perfect only because he does chores????? Hopefully he has other redeeming qualities. Otherwise, you could just hire a maid.

Thanks, Renae, for reminding me that my husband is more than just a maid. Sometimes I forget and even try to leave him a tip. How embarrassing. Although, I would like to point out that the title of the post is “Some of the many reasons my husband is perfect for me,” which, at least to me, would indicate that there are lots of reasons my husband is perfect for me, beyond the chores thing.

Also, if you read closely, you’ll see that I wrote “as an example, just take a look at all he does to keep our household running smoothly.” Again, offering an example usually indicates that are other examples, too. At least in my experience.

And you may remember that I wrote a little bonus section (it’s the part in the parentheses) where I outline some of the other things that make him great beyond the “chores.” I don’t know, to some that might suggest he has other redeeming qualities.

Finally, I really appreciate the suggestion to hire an actual maid. Oh how I’d love to, but unfortunately we just can’t afford one. So I guess it’s a good thing my husband practically is a maid. I mean, that’s the reason I married him afterall.

Anyway, thanks for making us feel official Renae!

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