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Saturday, December 17, 2011

PDA ( Public Display of Affection)

Chuck and I have a running joke about PDA. Whenever we would be out in public and see a couple being affectionate with each other, we would always say, "They must not be married yet." Usually it was a couple holding hands, or maybe sitting next to each other on the same side of a booth at a restaurant when it was just the two of them out to dinner. Sad as that sounds, it seems to be true more often than not. Case in point: a few weeks ago I was at a seminar for parents and teens. There were about 80 people there, and I happened to notice a couple sitting a few rows in front of me. They were in their mid-forties I would say, and the man had his arm around the woman's shoulders for awhile. Then later, he was fingering a piece of her hair in a loving way. I thought to myself, "Hmm, must be a second marriage, or they are just dating." Sure enough, before the program was over, the man asked the presenter a question and referred to himself as his wife's second husband and step father to her children. I knew it!!!

Before Chuck and I got married, we would tell each other that we would always be that way...able to show each other affection, in public or not, because we enjoy each other's company. It's sad to think that once people are married for awhile, things become ho hum, and they aren't as demonstrative. I know there are some couples who are very committed to each other, and show affection throughout their long marriages, but unfortunately I think they are in the minority. I think people that aren't married yet, or are in second marriages, have more of an appreciation for what they have, and therefore are happy to show it. PDA still runs rampant in our relationship...no, not in an over the top way, but we do hold hands, and I like the freedom of being able to lean over and kiss his cheek if we are somewhere that makes me feel like I just need to let him know I love him. Life's too short in my mind not to take the opportunity to show love to our spouse when the feeling arises.

And besides, it's a proven fact that holding hands with the one you love lowers blood pressure, and reducing stress. As the mother of 2 teenagers and 1 young adult, I need all the help with lowering my blood pressure and reducing stress that I can get!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

My Christmas Moment

Every year there is one moment during the Christmas season when I have that "ah ha" moment, and realize this is it...this is the true Christmas experience for me this year. Sometimes it has been baking my grandmother's old fashioned Christmas sugar cookies with my son when he was 3 years old, on a day when it was snowing like crazy outside, but warm and cozy with the smell of Christmas cookies inside. Or sitting by the beautiful real live Christmas tree a few nights before Christmas,with a cup of warm aromatic coffee, and the room dark, except for tree lights and candles, and having a conversation with God about how happy I was at that moment, or decorating the tree with my 3 kids when they were younger, with Christmas carols playing in the background, mugs filled with hot chocolate nearby, and having discussions about their favorite ornaments as they hung them on the tree. This year, my favorite Christmas moment stretched into a whole weekend of preparing the house for Christmas with Chuck.For the first time, instead of picking a tree out of a lot, we actually went to a tree farm together and chose a tree which the owner cut down on the spot. Can't get much fresher than that! We brought it home, and set it up in it's rightful corner. I had some doubts about it being the perfect tree, but since I am not all that picky about Christmas trees, and Chuck really wanted it, this was the one we brought home. After we decorated it with lights, Christmas balls, and some very special ornaments that we have collected over our years together, it seemed to be much more beautiful. Each one that we have reminds us of a special place we have been, or a special experience in our life together. There's the red bell from our trip to Boston to hear the Boston Pops Christmas concert during our first Christmas as a couple, there's the one filled with pink Bermuda sand from our first cruise together, there's one from Essex, CT., a quaint little town we seem to spend a lot of time in, there's a replica of a Cracker Barrel restaurant, a place we love to go eat at, and then browse in the shop afterward. Next we set up our Department 56 Village. We chose Christmas in the City because it reminds Chuck of the city he grew up in. Each year we painstakingly tug the houses out of their Styrofoam boxes, take them out of their plastic bag protectors, and set them up, with figures in front of the appropriate buildings, remembering where we got them, and the one we received as a wedding gift. It is always exciting to put the lights inside them, and then plug them in and all the buildings light up at once. Then there's the Byer's Choice caroler collection that Chuck had started before we were together, and I keep adding to each year. Because when I first met Chuck, he was the director of a singing group I was in, I bought him the conductor with the music stand, and each Christmas he stands in front of the carolers and directs them. We spent a lot of time admiring our hard work over the weekend, just sitting on the couch together when we were sipping wine, and listening to Christmas music, or watching a football game, or a Christmas movie ( yes, great guy that he is Chuck actually occasionally watches Christmas movies with me...what a sweetheart!) Chuck always lights a Yankee Candle with a holiday scent so not only does it look like Christmas in the house, but it smells like it as well. The best part about the weekend was just being together with the sights and smells of Christmas all around us. So last weekend, I drank in the sights and sounds and smells of Christmas, with the man I love, and I found my perfect Christmas moment!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Chuck & Karen: A "Fairy Tale" Romance

My name is Karen and I am very blessed to have been able to find the man of my dreams...the second time around. I knew Chuck, my second husband, back in the seventies when I was a teenager. He was the director of a Christian singing group, and I was one of the singers. We both left the group, and went our separate ways, and 28 years later, met again. If you had told us back then that in 33 years we would be married, we both would have had a good laugh. But time changes things and I can honestly say marrying Chuck on August 1st, 2010, was one of the best decisions ( and happiest days) of my life. I have started this blog because not only do I love to write, but people say it is best to write about things you know well, and enjoy. I am a romantic at heart, and feel so blessed to have found Chuck again, and to be in this very romantic relationship, that I just want to shout my happiness to the rooftops. I hope that through this blog, you will find some uplifting stories, and maybe some romantic ideas of your own to do with your spouse, or special someone.

They say that when you marry for the second time, you have a better idea of what you want, so you pick a partner that is a better fit for you. Well, not everyone does that, but I guess that is the hope. I have definitely been able to do that with Chuck. And I am so surprised and grateful that I have found a relationship that is SO good. We have the kind of relationship that most people think doesn't exist. The kind that they write about in fairy tales. Yes, I did just write that!!! Neither Chuck or I expected this, or even knew that this kind of love existed. We have been together now for 6 years and I can honestly say I love him more now than when we first started dating. Many of you may be thinking that we are still "newlyweds" and that it will wear off, but I can assure you that it won't. We have weathered health problems on both sides, concerns about our children ( 6 of them all together), travel, family and work issues. Going through this together has brought us much closer. One of the big differences between Chuck and I is our age. It is over 20 years, and because of that, we are very aware that we don't have as much time to be together as other couples. That puts a whole different outlook on things. We don't want to spend a lot of time arguing, or holding grudges because our time together is too valuable, and limited. Now things aren't always perfect because that would really be a fairy tale, but I think that what we learned from our previous marriages, the time factor and the love and respect we have for each other has really helped us to enjoy each other and love each other as much as humanly possible.

This is just an introductory post to set the tone for more blog entries...and the romantic adventures promised in this blog title. Stay tuned for romantic adventures to come...