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I’ve been a little busy lately.

Have I already said 30 Rock is the best show on television right now? I even look forward to reruns (I’m approaching that age where things on TV sometimes move too fast for me so I have to “run it back,” which makes reruns particularly enjoyable as I pick up things I missed the first time).

In the “Hard Ball” episode, Tracy awards Kenneth a spot in his entourage. Kenneth’s job is to harmonize with Tracy. Whenever Tracy breaks out in song, Kenneth is there to add a little alto.┬áIt’s a fun picture of marriage; almost nothing makes me happier than to erupt in song with Mike Nelson bringing in the countermelody. Our bathroom is often not unlike the Barry Gibb Talk Show.

wedding3On Sunday, my best friend and I celebrated the sixth anniversary of our marriage. As someone told me the other day, “That’s close to ten!” Indeed.

I’m still kind of amazed that after six years of marriage and more than eight years of being his friend, I don’t get tired of Mike Nelson. Ever. The more I know him, the more I want to know him.

Googling this phrase will bring up all sorts of interesting advice, but I love whaheartt the Deadly Viper guys posted today from Steve Harvey‘s new book.

When a man loves you, he will profess, provide, and protect.

He’ll do a lot of other things, too, but this is a terrific start.

Thanks for loving me, Mike Nelson.

Mike and I have tried to make a practice in our marriage of praying together daily, typically in the mornings. Lately, we’ve moved to the cell phone prayer which, admittedly, took no small amount of getting used to. Rather than trying to eat my cereal in a whirlwind of milk and Cheerios so we can pray before Mike leaves, we make use of the hour or so he spends driving to work.

In these morning prayers, we are intentionally small. For the most part, we pray about things happening that day – doctor’s appointments, meetings with customers, projects that need completing, and other daily issues.

The best part about it is that when I’m in the middle of trying to get a project finished and out the door, it brings me peace to know my husband is asking God to help me with it. When he’s having lunch with a friend, I think Mikey likes knowing I’m praying for him to receive and impart Godly wisdom.

Mikey and I don’t fight a lot, and it is largely because we set clear expectations. We learned early in our dating relationship that unmet expectations are often the result of uncommunicated expectations. The solution is easy – say what’s on your mind. It seems too simple, and almost cliche for how often it’s discussed, but I vote we keep harping on it until everyone understands.

Take housework, for example. For more than five years, we have maintained a division of labor in the house that keeps things running ever so smoothly.

Beth
cook
clean bathrooms
laundry
dust/vacuum
sweep/mop

Mike
clean kitchen (occasionally shared)
finances/pay bills
maintain cars
cut grass

When you need help with “your” thing, you ask for it. Easy as that. Done – no fighting about “that’s not my job!”

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I'll put the bow on top later.

Last night Mike and I built a fire, poured a glass of Beaujolais (two, actually), started the Charlie Brown Christmas music, decorated the tree, and then just sat and looked at it all. We thought about doing it on Monday, but realized we’d be doing it with Monday Night Football in the background. Hardly the tradition we were looking to create. Doing it this way made the whole thing much more of an experience – one that we’re looking forward to creating again next year.

The first couple of Christmases we spent together were spent trying to figure out whose family traditions we were going to go by. Once we decided to make our own, the holidays became significantly easier and a lot more fun.

Two wonderfully kind, talented, fun, and God-loving people were married this past weekend and the world is a better place because they are now one flesh. As my husband put it amybenso well, God will be glorified more with them together than He would with them apart.

They’re both musicians and one of the highlights of the weekend was the song that Ben wrote for Amy, which he sung at the rehearsal dinner. My favorite line was the last one:

I’m tired of coming over
I just want to come home
Amy, with you
Amy, with you

Cue every woman in the crowd with wet eyes.

Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make marriage incredibly fun.

First thing on Saturday morning, Mike quietly walked upstairs, climbed into the attic, and brought down my two 4′ tall wooden pilgrims, William and Anna. He and I made them about five years ago and I think they’re my favorite holiday decorations (perhaps tied with my seven Christmas trees). He always brings them out as soon as possible following Halloween, and every year it thrills me to no end.

It’s kind of a microcosm of the things that make our marriage work: He knows how much I love having them out. He remembers to do it every single year. And I really don’t enjoy getting into the attic, so he does it for me.

I underwent a little outpatient “procedure” this week and have had my husband, my parents, my sister-in-law, and tons of friends doting on me for three days. And it’s been kind of difficult to let them do it. I am hardly an independent, go-getter, hear-me-roar kind of woman, but I certainly like to think I’m strong. But when I can’t make it up the stairs without a significant amount of help, I have to admit I am weak.

What’s even more difficult, though, is the fact that for all that Mike has done and is doing for me, I want to repay him. I want to love him back like he’s loving me – to care for him in an equal way – but there’s nothing I can do right now. I just have to accept his love and care and bask in it without giving anything back because I can’t. Anything my weak body can do is too paltry and lame.

Hmm. Kind of reminds me of another relationship I have.