10 Years! 10 Things I Have Learned from Being Married

Ten years ago today I found myself standing in front of a church full of people staring down the aisle at the woman who was to soon become my wife. I remember looking at her and laughing to myself (mostly to keep myself from crying like a baby) and thinking I am not good enough for her. Honestly, there are many days now that I still think that. But, here I am ten years later and she still loves me, still puts up with my quirks, and broken parts.

Our Wedding

So, as I start my eleventh year with her as my wife, I have been thinking about what being married has taught me. These are the ten things I have learned (in no particular order) from being married to this amazing woman.

1. Marriage is Hard Work

Being married is hard work. It’s more then a career, it is your life. To get the most out of it, you need to put work into it. You really do get out of it as much as you put into it. If you put nothing into it, you will get nothing out of it. If you work and cultivate your marriage, you will grow it into something you never thought you could.

2. You Lose a Part of Who You Are

Which isn’t always a bad thing. You lose part of who you were, but you become something so much more. I can honestly say, I lost some of my worst traits and am a better person because of my wife.

3. You Have a Built in Best Friend

This is the best part about being married. I don’t have to go very far to find the person I can share my problems with, to joke with, to wish with. It is amazing and you can’t beat it.

4. You Don’t Need to Spend a Lot of Money to Show Someone You Love Them

I often make the mistake of thinking I need to spend money to show my love. However, you don’t. It is the small things every day that show it (like making my wife’s lunch for her every day). It is the little surprises here or there. The little note left in her car, the mention of something that reminds you of her, the random text that says I miss seeing you. These all show your love and don’t cost a thing.

5. You Need Time For Your Own Interests

While it is great to have interests together, it is also essential to have your own. You do need some time away. To me that is the weekly game of Ultimate Frisbee. Don’t worry, your significant other will still be there when you get back.

6. Sex is Essential to a Happy Marriage

It is. Do I need to say more? Okay, I will. While life often gets in the way of this, you need to make time for it. Sure snuggling is fine on the couch, but you need this intimacy to reconnect with your spouse. But, it isn’t just the sex. It is the flirting, the playfulness that helps you connect. Enjoy it. Enjoy it often.

7. Listening is More Important Than You Ever Thought It Could Be

Communication is key here. You can’t communicate if you don’t listen. This doesn’t mean thinking about the next thing you are going to say. It means actively listening to what the other person is saying. Some silence is okay in any good conversation to digest what was said before you speak. I had a great teacher who taught me this back in high school and I still use it to this day. Remember, what your partner says is important so pay attention to it.

8. Date Nights Are Important

Time away from the kids, the home, the job. It is important. Have fun, do something. We are lucky enough to have grandma to watch the kids so that we can have a date night every week. I couldn’t stress how much it is needed. You don’t have to do it every week, but do it. And it doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Often times we will just go for walks and come home and watch a movie on the couch without interruption. That is often all you need.

9. Don’t Sweat the Small Things

There are so many small things that are meaningless. Don’t worry about them. Shrug it off and move on. It is stress that you don’t need and it just builds. Trust me you have so many more big things to worry about that the small things should filter through.

10. Don’t Go to Bed Mad…

Or to work, or anywhere. Apologize (even if you don’t mean it). Often you need to lose the battle to win the war. And the war here, is a happy marriage. Get over yourself, and truly think about the situation. Is it worth your partner going through the entire day mad? Is it worth tossing and turning all night over? Not usually. If you start it, finish it, but finish it with a hug and a kiss.

Here’s to my beautiful wife Alicia. Thank you for choosing me and giving me the life we have. I could not do any of this without you. You are truly the most amazing person I have ever met.

us 2


The Field Trip

FieldtripMy youngest, who is in Pre-K had his first fieldtrip a few weeks back. I am lucky enough because I get to go on these field trips with him. One of the perks of being a Stay-at-home dad. One of his classmates parents owns a farm so the kids got to visit the farm and see cows, pigs, chickens, go on a hay ride, and all the kids got to pick out a pumpkin.

Fieldtrip 2The thing that stuck out to me most was the amount of dads who chaperoned the fieldtrip. I would say almost half the adults there were of the dad or grand-dad persuasion. I am so happy to see so many dads, especially working dads involved in their children’s lives.

It got me thinking because I drop off and pick up my kids everyday at school. I am at the building three times every day. I have been looking around, and I am not the anomaly there. There are lots of dads picking up and dropping their kids off. Lots of hugs, and kisses. Lots of comforting. Lots of dads not being the typical macho guy who doesn’t do anything besides earn for the family.

But, yesterday, I heard two moms talking and laughing at their husbands expense. I had to do everything to hold my tongue as they bashed their husbands about everything they do around the house and how they can’t seem to figure out how to do things the way that they (the women) like it done. Just because it isn’t your way doesn’t mean it is wrong. My wife and I do things much different around the house. But yet, here I am the primary caregiver of my children and not one kid has been scarred for life under my watch and I am sure not one of their children or households has been seriously injured under their husbands either.

I remember when I was in school, not many dads were involved in anything besides attending their son’s athletics. It is great to see how some things change, but it is obvious that there are still so many things that need to change, even just in that perception of what it means to be a dad.

Using All Your Tools To Make Something Amazing

This isnt what these are for

You mean this isn't what these are for?

You mean this isn’t what these are for?

I just want to start off by saying I have an amazing wife.

I was out of the house doing some work and the kids were bored so she (the wife) decided to make them forts over their beds. Now, we don’t have a lot of ropes and things to help keep the forts up in their rooms let alone above their beds. So my wife, being the resourceful woman that she is remembered my box full of Ethernet cords, cable wires,usb cables, speaker wire…well you get the point. There is a lot of stuff in there we don’t use. So she decided to use them as guide wires. As you can see it worked amazing. I came home to some monstrosities over the boys beds, but they have loved them so much it has been over a week and I haven’t been able to take them down. Way to go wife.

So what does your significant other do that truly amazes you? I would love to hear about it.

My Beautiful Wife


Once Upon a Time

Our Wedding

Our Wedding

there was a boy and a girl. The boy loved the girl very much. So he asked her to marry him. She of course said yes, because he was such a dashing, loving, strong, intelligent, prince. Wait! What? That isn’t right. So, let’s go back to the beginning. Well, not all the way back, but back to the day that she made him feel very, very happy to be him.

It was March in 2004 and he took her on a trip to the happiest place on earth. That is right…Disney World. While the trip was no surprise, he had been sneaking and emailing and covertly planning a secret surprise just for her.

You see, the boy did love this girl very much so he had been planning to make this the most memorable of memorable days. He barely slept a wink the night before, thinking about where he needed to be and when, and how he was going to make sure there were no mistakes without her even knowing. When he got up early in the morning in their hotel room at the All Star Movie Resort he offered to go and get them some drinks for the morning while she finished getting ready. When he left he made phone calls to her parents and let them know that he would be asking her to marry him this day. He didn’t do this in advance because he knew if he had the secret would have been spilled long before this day. The parents were so thrilled with the news and couldn’t wait to hear from her later. Step one was done with no issues and without the girl knowing anything was amiss.

The boy got back to his room and made sure everything was in order. After a quick bite to eat, they were off to the Magic Kingdom for the day. It was definitely a magical day. The sky was crystal blue, the clouds fluffy like big pillows. The boy did his best to act like everything was normal, although his heart was about to burst from his chest in anticipation.

The boy and girl spent time walking around the park, seeing the sites, riding some rides, meeting some characters. After a while they came upon a wishing well hidden behind Cinderella’s Castle. They stood for a while, enjoying the view, the flowers, and talking about the vacation so far. This is when a young woman approached. Is she the villain of the story like in so many of Disney’s movies? Is she the good fairy that will help our young maiden on her quest? We will soon find out.

The young women approaches our young couple and asks if they would like to take part in something truly magical. The girl, being in the happiest place on earth says yes without hesitation. The young woman hands each of them a penny and tells them to toss them into the wishing well and close their eyes. Then she wants each of them to make a wish. She would like one of us to count backward from The Count Down100 down to 1 as both of us counting is kind of silly. The girl agrees to count and they both toss their coin into the fountain, close their eyes, and silently make their wish. As the girl starts counting the boy looks to see that her eyes are closed and slinks down the walkway to a store so he can watch in hiding what transpires with another fairy who is helping make all of his dreams a reality.

Girl being led by the fairy

Girl being led by the fairy

Card 1When the girl opens her eyes she turns to the fairy and she tells her to follow her down the path. At this point the girl notices that the boy is missing. The fairy tells her not to worry as she is sure that he is safe on his own adventure. As the girl and the fairy walk toward the Carrousel she gives her a card which reads “You have made my life a living fantasy-come-true! Now take a ride on Cinderella’s Carrousel”. At this point the fairy which was with the boy leaves and gets in line  for the carrousel right behind the girl.

Card 2

The girl gets on the carrousel and as the carrousel starts to spin the newest fairy hands her a new card which reads “No matter what the ups and downs, even wild horses will not take me away from you! Now go to It’s a Small World!”

When the girl gets off of Cinderella’s Carrousel she heads toward “It’s a Small World”. Her smile widening as she wonders what is next on this wonderful adventure.

Girl Reading card in front of It's a Small World

Girl Reading card in front of It’s a Small World

As she approaches another fairy swoops in and hands her another card telling the girl not to fret as she doesn’t have to ride “It’s a Small World”. The girl breathed a sigh of relief as she wasn’t sure if she could sit through the song as she wondered what was next. She looked down, remembering the card and read it. “You have given me a better appreciation for the Small World we live on but without you, my world would be empty. Now return to the well”. So she did just that with a new spring in her step.

Card 3

As she approached the well she saw the boy, and the boy saw the girl. His heart was beating faster, his mouth dry. As she approached she smiled and asked the boy what was going on. The boy, unable to speak or say the words he had so wanted to say, handed her a glass slipper. On the slipper was engraved the words he so wanted to be able to say out loud. “Will You Marry Me?”. Looking at the slipper the girl began to tear up. Looking back at the boy her response would stay with him for ever. “Are you kidding me?”

Are you kidding me?

Are you kidding me?


The ringUnwaveringYes the boy pressed on. He shook his head and said “No”. Pulling a circular object from his pocket, the boy knelt before the girl and looked up to her as he said in a steady voice (although he is not sure how he managed to) “will you marry me?” as he slipped the circle of white gold and diamond around her finger. She pulled him to his feet as she cried and buried her face in his shirt. She kissed him again and again, laughing through tears of joy.

The boy, not hearing the words he so needed to hear told her she never said yes. She hit him playfully in the chest telling him “of course yes”! They kissed again and the was happy indeed.

While today is officially my ninth wedding anniversary, this is the story of how I got to that day with my lovely wife. She definitely makes me a better person, and I am glad that she said yes to me on that March day ten years ago. So to  you my dear wife, I say thank you for putting up with everything that makes me who I am. I know it takes dedication to make it through some of the days. I can’t wait to see what adventures we will have next.

She Said YES!

She Said YES!

If you are looking for some help making an event memorable while at Disney World or any other Central Florida Theme Park, I suggest you check out Gifts of a Lifetime. They helped me make that day everything it was, and I am sure they will make yours memorable as well.