I'll be the first to admit that I am somewhat naive in the ways of the world. After 11 years of marriage (as of today!) that hasn't changed much although some other things have, like my waistline.
I am sometimes surprised that Eric has stuck with me after all this time. I can be really annoying, clingy, angry, picky, loud, and mean. Eric has, at times, called me a shrew. A word of advice to all the men out there, even the single ones: don't call a woman a shrew. After expressing my extreme dislike of this term, he did stop using that particular nickname. Some of the other nicknames Eric uses for me: woman (I don't like this one much), mommacita, Sarity, girlfriend (not a fan of this one either), barge (there's a story behind this one which makes it slightly more acceptable than it seems, but I don't like it much either), Jeanette, Tamykins (after my WoW character), dear, and (my favorite) Biscuit.
Eric has also done some really wonderful things over the last 11 years. He rarely complains about the copious amounts of money it takes to visit New Mexico, he buys me Dove Bars on a regular basis, he rarely complains when I go shopping and buy silly things, he let me set up the girl cave in the computer room, he let me pick paint colors and even pretended to listen while I debated the colors. He wrestles on the floor with the kids, lets me sleep in, ignores my crazy moments and tells me I'm abnormal in a normal way. He encourages me to write even though most of my scribblings take place in the dead of night in our bedroom while he is trying to sleep. He lets me have the remote control and he even watches girly shows with me on occasion. He lets me pick the movies and the places to eat dinner, he takes the kids swimming and lets me stay home. He gave in when I wanted to have a baby only 3 months in to our marriage and he stuck with it when Carly's adoption seemed like the wall we could never get over. He is an honest-to-goodness good guy. Sure, he has a quick temper but it fizzles fast. He locks his emotions up tightly and then explodes at random. But heck, if he was perfect he'd be driven insane by my non-perfectness.
I don't pretend to have a perfect marriage or to know the "secret" to staying connected. It takes work, it takes patience, it is a choice every day to put us first. I am not good at it, I have made mistakes and will make more. I have put him second -- or third, or forth....but at the end of the day I can think of nothing in the world more valuable than my marriage and family.
After 11 years I can still look at Eric and say I am grateful for the momma's boy, Italian, intense, emotional wall of a man I married. What else is there?
I had a dream of a Prince so fair
With golden sunbeams in his hair.
Lithe of laugh and light of feet,
The best of men should hope to meet.
Smooth of tongue and full of grace
Angels kissed his handsome face.
When I awoke, the Prince was gone
And there beside me, snoring on...and on,
Was a simple man, with edges rough
A quick temper and manner gruff.
And as he noisily slumbered there
I watched him and simply did not care.
Instead of a prince I had a man
Who loved me just the way I am.
Who rough and tumbles on the floor
To see my children smile some more.
For a lofty prince I would not trade
The Eric that for me was made.
p.s. Eric says to me while I am writing this: "I'm going to make a blog so I can write things about you." I guess he doesn't think I am being nice. Oh, he'll be sorry when he reads it!