if you were around last year, you’ll remember that Mister Man and i celebrate our anniversary with the traditional gift rules. year two is cotton, hence the name of this post. 

year two of the mister man/erin tale was eventful. to say the least. year one brought lots of fun, quite a few vacations, but nothing huge in the grander life sense. whereas year two kicked off with us putting an offer on a house, and we haven’t slowed down since. see my belly for visual proof of this (winky face).

i never really realized how love worked until i experienced what it was like to be so deeply in love with someone that you don’t think you can love them any more than you already do, and then all of a sudden you wake up and realize that somehow you love them more today than you did yesterday. now, after two years of being married to my favorite person, i’m just beginning to understand how this is possible. and i’m seeing it happen in a big way.

mister man is going to be a great dad, and the reason i know this is not because i’ve seen him around so many babies, but because he’s such a great husband. he takes such good care of me, and he provides for our family in a way that only he can. he makes me laugh and he is there for me through anything and everything. and if that isn’t a recipe for a good dad, i don’t know what is.

sometimes i look back at this year and i wonder how, with all the craziness, there weren’t more arguments had. but i think that when you have a partner who is 100% dedicated to making a wonderful life with you, forever, until death do you part and beyond, there’s no need to argue. that doesn’t mean you don’t have serious discussions, or disagreements, because that would be silly/impossible (and i’m nothing if not a realist). but it does mean that there is no “meanness” in those discussions, no hurt being laid on the other, just an effort to talk and understand.

two years is just a drop in the bucket for this man and i. God-willing, we have decades left to love each other and enjoy our lives together. and i will not be taking any one of those (many) years for granted, because every day that i wake up next to him, i know how lucky i am.

he’ll laugh at me for the sappiness of this little post, but i know he agrees with me. and i want to make sure we remember what the end of year two looked like for us: one year of homeownership under our belt. our first baby on the way. lots of sappy love everywhere.

i’ve said it before, but i’ll say it again: thank you for being the butter on my popcorn Mister Man. being married to you is one of the great joys of my life.

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he keeps me healthy.

when Mister Man and i took our wedding vows, we promised to take care of each other through everything with the words, “in sickness and in health”. well, i said those words, the priest may have forgotten to tell MM to say them (oops!), but we’ve already established that there is no loophole for him, and that’s another story altogether.

we meant those vows, and even if sickness comes to us, we will be there for each other and will stick it out as husband and wife. but it’s a whole heck of a lot easier to keep the “in health” part of that vow, isn’t it? so we have promised each other that we will do everything in our power to keep ourselves healthy as long as possible.

Mister Man is the person who keeps me healthy. he encourages me to get to the gym after work, and knowing that he is counting on me to meet him there keeps me from going home and sitting my butt on the couch. i am lucky enough that he loves to cook with me, so eating healthy at home feels like a date night instead of a chore. when i act like the night owl i am and stay up too late, he gets on my case to get more sleep.

some of our best conversations happen on long walks around our neighborhood. we can walk and talk forever, and all of a sudden an hour and a half has passed and we have a plan for our next project, or an agreement about our next big life event.

but for me, health does not exist solely in and of the body. i need to be mentally and spiritually healthy as well, because otherwise i’m just partly healthy, not totally healthy. and what’s the point of that? Mister Man gets it. he gets that for me, going to church every week is something i need to be healthy, and he participates and believes in that with me. he gets that sometimes we need a burrito bowl at chipotle or a burger at the local bar, along with a beer or two (none for me right now, boo!), because eating healthy at home 100% of the time will drive a person crazy. there is a balance in our lives that makes as much of a difference in our health as our gym membership.

now that we’re having a baby, our health has taken on an even more important role in our lives, because there’s a tiny human joining this world soon who is going to be dependent on us for a very long time. and that means we need to stay healthy for a very long time. we both want to be around to see our child go to school and have a family of their own and to be grandparents.

we know that we can’t control our health 100% of the time, because unexpected, unavoidable things happen. but for the parts we can control, i know that Mister Man will be there to keep me on top of my game, just like i’ll be there for him.

the American Recall Center asked me to share who keeps me healthy as part of their “Who Keeps You Healthy?” campaign. the American Recall Center is “a brand new site devoted to providing health and wellness news in simple, straightforward terms. their ultimate goal is to help their readers take complete charge of their health by being fully informed.”

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the beard behind the blog.

i can’t talk about life over the past few months without talking about Mister Man aka my loving husband aka my baby daddy aka the best person in the world. without him, i would be living in filth, eating peanut butter sandwiches and sauerkraut for every meal, and just generally being miserable.

he has pulled so much more than his own weight since i’ve been pregnant. he cooks when i don’t have the energy (or the stomach) to do it. he shovels every time it snows, which is every damn day. and up until last weekend, i hadn’t done a load of laundry the entire first trimester. he has just taken care of me so well. and that’s huge, because he can’t see any outward signs that i’m pregnant…i haven’t gotten physically sick, and i don’t look pregnant at all. so he’s doing this all based on how i say i’m feeling. the man is a saint.

so in honor of the father of my child, who also happens to have been gloriously bearded until last night, here is the beard behind the blog:

look at that handsome face. and that beard. ohmahgah. it’s a new rule in our house that the beard must be grown every winter.

i call this the revolutionary soldier ‘do. not as good as the full beard. but perfect for playing hockey and distracting the goalie when he’s scoring on him. yes, the man still plays hockey and is pretty darn good if i do say so myself (not like i’m biased at all).

german soldier circa world war I. fun fact about Mister Man: he’s a chemical engineer and a salesman. meaning he’s a first-degree nerd (read: smartypants) and a people person. pretty sure that’s like the human equivalent of a unicorn.

ah, the classic ‘stache. this look is best rocked with a cardigan. which he happens to have quite the collection of in his closet. coincidentally, the first gift i ever gave him was a green j.crew cardigan. i think i knew even back then he was the classic type.

i can’t with this. i just put it in here because it’s so ridiculously amazing, like him.

this is the face i fell in love with, back before engagements and marriages and houses and babies were even on our minds. this is the face i realized i wanted to spend the rest of my life waking up next to, back on a snowed-in december weekend in 2011. i still like it quite a lot.

i owe him a lot of dinners and backrubs and his choice of radio station in the car (classic rock only for him) once this little lemon baby gets here. i’m very happy that he’s the one i get to have with me through all this. and i’m very happy that he has stuck with me through all the sauerkraut eating.

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of dinner dates and happy hours.

do you want to know the thing that surprises (quite a lot of) people the most about Mister Man and me?

it’s not that we didn’t live together before we got married. it’s not that we’re practicing catholics who go to church every sunday. it’s not that we were only engaged for 7 months before making it official.

it’s that we eat dinner together every night that we’re home together.

i know! WHAT?! i had NO idea that so many couples ate dinner separately. now, this is not the first time that i’ve been incredibly naive about things that are common knowledge to most people (see: how i used to think airplanes took off). but because of both his and my upbringing, i just assumed that families ate dinners together when they were home. add that to the fact that he travels so often, and you get a pair of people who both value dinnertime with each other a ton. sometimes it’s the only chance we get during the week to spend real time together, talking and catching up.

(monday night’s dinner. except we ate the meat fully cooked.)

and we love preparing for dinners together too! MM is an amazing cook, and one of our favorite things is planning meals together. last night, for example, we made grilled cheese sandwiches with caramelized onions, green peppers, turkey and chipotle cheese, served with good old-fashioned tomato soup. gourmet all the way baby.

(not last night’s meal either, but a delicious one nonetheless)

i know that it can be hard to make time to eat dinner together. i know this. someone wants to work out, while the other wants to finish a project around the house. someone has to work late, or the other has an after-work happy hour (or #happyhourhangout) to go to. but here’s the thing. i believe that making the time to eat together is one of the most important things you can do as you start a family. it’s an automatic time set aside to talk to each other, without having to make special dates to do it. it builds a habit that continues well into your lives together, when you have babies, then children, then grown children with grandchildren. it carries through all the way to the time in your lives when you’re alone with eachother again.

eating dinner together helps you learn to “just be” with each other.

so that’s my rant for the week. and you know what? i hope the next time i tell someone that Mister Man and i LOVE eating dinner together, they’ll be like, “yea, us too!”. and then i’ll know that my job here is done. life lessons for everyone!


and now, a note about my night last night.

i was able to get on a google hangout with a bunch of lovely ladies to chat about life and blog business (as a note, i usually try to treat my blog like fight club….the first rule about my blog is that you don’t talk about blogging on the blog, but i made an exception for this amazing event). the happy hour hangout was started by ashten and amber as a sponsorship, and a way to get a lot of bloggers in one place to pick each others’ brains and drink booze together. mainly the drinking booze part.

i had no idea what to expect from 10(!) ladies on an online video chat, but let me tell you, i was so pleasantly surprised at how fun it was! everyone was so honest and positive (and hilarious), that even some technical snags didn’t take away from the girl-bonding that took place. i learned so much from each and every one of them, and i am newly inspired to continue with this little space of mine, however slowly it decides to grow.

i will absolutely be a part of this in this future (although fyi, the november hangout is totally full…go click on ashten and amber’s faces in my sidebar to get signed up in advance for the next one!). i’ve found some lovely new blog friends to spend my time with, and i think i may even get to meet a couple in person now! thank you to you all for a fabulous night of wine and chats, let’s do it again!

click on these links to see for yourself why i’m raving about these lady friends:

(and ladies, i’m sorry i had to leave early to eat dinner with the Mister. now you know why!)


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i almost said no.

this week not only marks the one-year anniversary of my humpday happy lists, it also (and more importantly) marks four years of Mister Man and i being together. what a glorious four years they have been.

[after our sushi date]

have i ever told you the story of the girl and boy who went to the same high school and never met until after they both graduated from college, but then fell madly in love with each other? no? well i should tell you, because it’s a good one. and there’s even a moral to this story, which is always the best.

once upon a time, there was a girl (me) and a boy (Mister Man) who graduated from the same high school, two years apart… *cue the fairy tale music*

we never met while we were in high school, because it was too big (except really i knew who he was, because he was a cute senior and played three sports and was generally awesome). Mister Man went to college in iowa and i went to college in minnesota, so we didn’t see each other for the next six years.

until one summer, right after i graduated from college, we were both invited by our friends (who are brother and sister) to their family cabin for the 4th of july. as luck would have it, both friends wanted their alone time that weekend, so Mister Man and i had a lot of time to talk to each other (and flirt a little, because he was still very cute).

[at a twins game, our favorite]

the weekend ended and we didn’t think much more of it (except when he asked some mutual friends about me), until my cousin tricked me into calling Mister Man to wish him luck at his hockey tournament. he totally took the bait and called back. after some phone conversations and some texting, he finally asked me if i wanted to go to a hockey game with him.

something you should know is that around this time, i had been going on a lot of dates (i was going through a phase…) and had just had a couple rather terrible experiences with two different guys from my hometown. really awful, makes-for-a-great-story dates. like, so bad that i made the sweeping declaration to anyone who would listen that “i will never date anyone from my hometown EVER AGAIN!” that seems safe enough, right? yeah it does, except when a cute guy from your hometown asks you out on a date two days after said sweeping declaration.

you guys, i actually contemplated saying “no” to my future husband (spoiler alert)!! i had many completely serious discussions with my friends to talk about the pros and cons of saying yes. a big con was the fact that i would be breaking my own rule right after i made it, and my stubborn self just couldn’t get past that idea. for gosh sakes, i gave up coffee because i’m too stubborn to let one person think that i can’t do it!

[looking cute/not so cute on the way back from the cabin]

after a couple come to Jesus moments, i decided to tell myself that he only wanted to hang out with me as friends, and so it wasn’t really a date, and it probably wouldn’t even go well anyway. but the real truth is, he was just so sweet and cute and lovely that i was willing to break my made-up rule for him. stubbornness be damned! i’m such a romantic. and such an idiot.

surprise: the first date went well. so did the second, third and fourth dates. fast forward to 8 months of long distance dating plus some more in the same state, an engagement, a wedding, and over a year of marriage, and you are looking at one girl who is happy she got over herself and said yes to the boy from her hometown who somehow ended up in her life.

now for the moral (i told you there was one!): don’t be afraid to break the rules you’ve made for yourself. you made them up, so you can do what you want *snapsnap*. don’t let your preconceived notion of what your “ideal” situation is ruin an amazing opportunity for you, whether it’s a date or a job or an adventure. break your own rules, and you could end up with something amazing.

[i like you Mister Man, thanks for these incredible four years, can’t wait for the ones to come]



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