Becoming The Best Wife Ever On Our 9th Wedding Anniversary

Today is my 9th wedding anniversary and in an effort to keep my marriage fun and exciting I took to the ‘inter webs’ to search for advice on being the best wife possible. The internet did not disappoint and I found a blog that posted 40 great tips to be such a wife.

Seeing that I put this task off until 2 days before our anniversary, I will not be able to complete all 40 steps, although, I feel pretty secure in my wifely ranking that I don’t need to do all 40 steps to push me over the top, just saying. 

With that said, I have selected 9 Steps to share with my husband, so, join me as I spend the whole day annoying and alienating my Husband on our 9th Anniversary. #Truelove

1.Frame a nice family picture for him for his bedside table, desk, or cruiser. Bonus points for a nice note on the back.

This seemed easy enough! I grabbed a cute frame and after a quick google search for “nice family picture” and a click of the ‘print’ button, step one was completed! It really is a darling picture, isn’t it? I named them the Howard family. Brad, (an investment banker) Julia (Once a lawyer, now a travel blogger) and little Ryan and Georgia.

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Oh..and just know I couldn’t forget about the ‘bonus points’! I find the ‘Eighth note’ to be one of the nicest notes, don’t you?

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2.Buy his favorite candy bar when you go grocery shopping.

-Wow! Another easy one, although it seems like a waste. We have separate taste in candy bars and cookies ’n’ cream is far from my favorite but maybe this step is designed to make us see our spouses point of view. Oh well, I never say no to chocolate!

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3.Leave a note (or several) for him to find randomly.

-This one is a little more time consuming, but important in any relationship and I know just what I’m going to tell him. We’ve been on a Cheers kick lately, so in true Cliff Clavin style, I left 20 ‘important but mostly unknown facts’ around the house (read them all for yourself here). 

He already knows I love him but did he know that cats can’t taste sweet food because of a genetic issue? Nope, didn’t think so. Knowledge is power and love.

4.Help your kids make him something.

-We don’t have any kids, but we do have 2 minimally creative dogs and one cat who thinks throwing litter around a room is an art form, what is the worst that could happen?

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Turns out, the ‘worst’ that could happen is 3 dirty, pissed off pets and paint everywhere. EVERY. WHERE. Of all the questions asked of me today the one, “But why did you choose RED paint?” will be the one that resinates the most. It looks like I slaughtered all of Santas reindeer as they then struggled for their life on my patio…

5.Tell him one reason you love him (or randomly text it to him.)

-Just one?! Thats amature hour. I say lets kick this affection up a notch and bombard his inbox with nothing but sweet and touching reasons why he is my forever.

6.Get dolled up just for him, like you did when you were dating.

-Again, this one seems a bit off, but I’ll try to recreate the magic. We started dating in college, so it may take me a minute to dig out my ISU hoodies and sweat pants that I seemed to live in for 4 years straight…

7.Hand over control of the remote for a night or two.

-This task wasn’t specific enough for me, we have 3 different remotes, how am i supposed to know which one to give him? Being the bigger person I gave him the remote that turns the TV on and off. He always likes that. I’ll maintain ownership of the sound bar remote and the Apple TV remote, both of those are too small and annoying to keep track of when you want to change the station..

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8. Buy him a small gift.

-You know, thinking back to Step 2 where I bought his favorite candy bar for myself to enjoy, I thought that would be the perfect small gift for him as well!

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9. Plan a special date night, start to finish.

– You may be thinking that I just wasted a whole day leaving weird and confusing messages for my husband, but after 9 years this is just another day in the trenches for him and a ‘special’ day was had by all!

 

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Hallmark has it all wrong…

Hallmark would like to tell you that the “traditional” 4th wedding anniversary gift is flowers and the “modern” 4th wedding anniversary present is an appliance of some sort (because nothing says true love like that automatic can opener or the toaster that makes crumb removal a breeze..)..well I, Jennifer Lynne Shidler, a happily married woman celebrating her 4th wedding anniversary, can tell you they could not be farther from the truth. 

28242_624694156064_5644683_nLet me start from the beginning..

For the past week, my lovely neighbors down the street have been “spring” cleaning, which in their world means..lets take the trash from our house and dump it in the front yard for the garbage company to dispose of. The flaw in this otherwise “genius” plan is that we live in a subdivision with strict trash rules…if it does not fit in the trashcan or in the bag next to it..they wont pick it up. This of course has not phased my neighbors at all. Normally I find this overly irritating, but this time it was different. The neighbors had thrown out a sad and abused dresser. Twice a day for a week I drove past this sad dresser, each time was more depressing than the last. Now, I don’t know if it was the 4 season marathon of rehab addict on DIY network that I just watched or if I was just tired of seeing the trash on the street, but I just had to have the dresser.

imagesCA3WP8TS Nicole Curtis makes “dumpster diving” look so easy on rehab addict. I, on the other hand, lack the nerve and boldness it requires to walk right up to one mans junk and make it my treasure. On two occasions Matthew and I attempted a dresser heist. The first one failed before it really began because my tennis shoes were in the dryer and honestly, who steals trash in flip flops..the second failed attempt happened the next night…and boy did we come close. We waited until midnight, then I, in my cat pajamas and freshly washed sneakers did a “drive by.” (I promise I left my 9mm and bandana at home..). The goal of the drive by was to ensure that all neighbors between our house and target house were asleep and then to make sure there was ample space for two fluffy people such as ourselves to lift out and drag the winning piece home. After I gave the all clear signal..I sent a less than trilled Matthew over to investigate the condition of the dresser and the accessibility of the item. This is where it fell apart..afraid the item was trapped under heavier junk we threw in the towel and called it a night. 

I am sure you already know where this story is headed..today I come home from work, pull into the drive way and open the garage door to find that my husband, in broad daylight no less, worked up the nerve to finally steal the dresser for me! I asked him how he did it and the 3rd and final attempt was better than the two before it. Basically he pulled right up to it and with the neighbors watching tried to stuff the medium sized dresser in the trunk of our compact sedan. When that did not work..he attempted to shove the item in the back seat, defeated and with a small audience now watching, he drove back home parked the car then walked over to the house in question. Matt knocked on the door and proceeded to pay the little kid 2 dollars for the dresser and then carried it home!! He finished off my anniversary present with a heat gun to help me refinish, a card and a beautiful ring, you know, to avoid sleeping on the couch  just in case stealing a dresser from someone’s trash isn’t romantic enough!

Now that my friends, is true love! 🙂 

 

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Putting the Puzzle Together

The following is something I wrote the summer of 2009 as I worked a 12am – 7 am shift in the computer lab at Indiana State University. Matthew and I would have been dating for about 10 months and this note is looking at the years 2006-2009. I found this today as I was cleaning and packing our office. And while I vaguely remember writing this, It is a great reminder of how AWESOME our God is!

“He came through for me just as I was about to doubt him, God that is. It’s funny you know, there Our first picture everhave been so many reasons for me to angry, irritated, doubtful, mad, and confused in the last 5 years, and believe me, I have had my share of these emotions at times, but in the end, I have tried to remain faithful that, God’s plan, whatever it may be, would prevail and that I would someday understand the doubts, the irritations, and the worries. I am sitting at work tonight, trying to place myself in my shoes a year ago (July 2008). Who was I? Where was I at in my life, what were my goals, what were my worries, who did I even hang out with? As I sat here replaying the last summers events through my mind like a 1970’s video reel, I became rather tearful, which I guess is ok because, let’s face it, there is no one in the lab right now, its 4 am.

10624_589334347404_32311634_34196013_1531951_n Where was I last year (July 2008)? Scared. Scared of having to pay rent for the first time in my life, scared that I was going to be a junior in college and afraid that I would lose the good grades I have just started to earn a few semesters before. Worried that I would be to afraid to venture out of central Indiana to pursue a job that I would love, and worried that I would be alone forever. That’s a scary feeling you know.  It was a terrible feeling to see that all of my friends were getting married, and here I was, “alone”; while as embarrassing as it is to admit, it just proves God’s amazingness even more. I can still remember those first few nights/weeks in the new house. I was so scared, all alone, in the “city”. I put my trunk and chair in front of my door and slept with the lights on. Yes, lights on. I also remember fighting back and forth with myself and with God. I wanted to believe the words I was telling myself every time I began to feel this way, that God had this amazing person out there for me,in your arms that he wouldn’t leave me hanging, and I just needed to work through things, but as soon as I would tell myself that he had a plan and that it would be ok, I would immediately find myself screaming quietly “WHERE IS HE? WHY IS THIS SO HARD? WHY AM I STILL ALONE?” This inner tormenting had been happening for years, and at the time, I never thought it was going to end.

Then, as if it part of His plan all along, I remember lying in bed one night, it was just a few short  weeks after my junior year of college started, and I found myself again crying and praying. Like usual when I was alone at night, I just accepted the reality that maybe God had something different for me, maybe there was some greater plan that didn’t necessarily involve a knight in shining armor. It was then that I decided that no matter his plan I would embrace it and remember that HIS will and HIS way is better than any road journey I could ever come up with.

Now with that said, I want to reveal the true amazingness that HE is. While I had decided then to no longer doubt and argue in my prayers, I really did not think that God would show up and reveal part of his plan to me so soon. I thought somewhere down the Matthew Graduationroad, maybe after college the pieces of the puzzle would come together and I would have this grand “a-ha” moment. If you are reading this now, I imagine you know exactly what happened; I met the man that I KNOW God has planned for me to be with. The feeling of knowing you are a part of something that God has brought together and blessed is a feeling that cannot be put in to words. In fact, when I ever I try to explore,  to break down or n32311634_33356441_7084375 analyze the way that Matt and I came to be, tears are what come out instead.

I feel that one of the greatest aspects of this particular plan is that the same way God prepared me and my heart, God prepared Matthew’s. A few weeks after being with Matthew we began to talk about our relationship with God, where he has lead us individually and where we hoped to be led in the future, things like that. The topic of our biggest struggles 3came up. And we quickly realized that our  stories were not that different from each others. Matthew prayed the same prayer and had the same conversation with God that I had just weeks before I did. For once, neither one of us asked that God stop the lollygagging and send the one we were  supposed to be with, but rather we asked for peace, patience and understanding with whatever plan and path HE had choose for us.

And here we are almost 11 months later, and I find myself tearing up every day thinking about how much I doubted God and his plan for me. Yes, I know it’s going to be hard, and yes, there are times where I’m going to want to doubt situations in my life. It is my continual trust and faith in God that keeps me going from day to day, even when sometimes I just feel like giving up”Thanksgiving

Written July 29, 2009

La La La La La..Living the Apartment Life

I swore up and down after my college years I would never again dwell in a house that shared walls, floors and ceilings with other people and after a wonderful year and a half living in a house we had fallen in love with, we are right back to square one. An apartment. Sigh.  The next is a list of items that remind me daily of how much I miss having a house..enjoy.

As I recall it Snow White was awoken to the beautiful animals of the Forrest singing in a heavenly tune. Similarly, I have often awoken to the sounds of saw blades as the construction crew works on the apartments outside. Many A time I’ve been greeted with the sweet sound vocals of Amedeo estevan (one of the workers who introduced himself to me last week) singing loudly outside my door. Amedeo, if I do say so myself, has a lovely voice!

Living on the second floor apartment is like having box seats at the opera. If you pick you location just right, your new home could be center stage of a real life soap opera. For instance, our neighbors across the way have been fighting this past week (we are talking clothes flying, doors slamming, dogs barking)..this is where the Adirondack chairs on the balcony come in to play. They sit low enough where the people fighting can’t see me, but I can clearly see them. Apartment Dweller Tip: Warning, while your may be hidden by railing of the porch, they WILL able to smell the popcorn you just popped just for this event. Next thing you know you’ve been court ordered to appear before a jury on your neighbors behalf.  and lets face it..‘ain’t nobody got time for that’

In conjunction with the last point, it is a given that the chances increase of your statistical probability of being on or seeing an episodes of cops filmed live in front of you..Apartment dweller tip:always look ur best! Never know when the cameras will be rolling! 🙂

Having no bike racks and living on the second floor means Athletically challenged people with 2 bikes..don’t ever ride bikes..true story.

Apartment dweller tip: Potted flowers are an essential piece to separating your stylish balcony from another’s ..that is unless you are me and living “non human” objects require far more of a commitment than you are able to commit to right now, in which case those are an eye sore…and you will fit right in Winking smile 

Evolution of Jennifers Laundry….The largest item on my list that reminds me of how much I miss living in a house is the process of doing laundry. I hate laundry..I miss being little..all I had to do was put the dirty laundry in the hamper and just like dry cleaning pick them up when done..fluffed and folded! I had a sweet ride on the laundry train for close to 17 years until college, college was the end of the end. I now present to you the evolution of Jennifer’s laundry.

It was my senior year of college and it was also my first Year of Marriage (we got married two weeks after graduation) All four years of college were nothing more that thwarted attempts of dragging a weeks worth of laundry to my moms house. It wasn’t until my last roommate before my husband did we have the chance of doing laundry in the same building and floor that we lived on. This lasted for 2 glorious semesters and then it was over just like that. Once I got married, I inherited twice the loads of laundry and to top it all off, our first apartment had no washer and dryer. 2 wedding rings and and an I do later and BAM we became a happily married nomadic laundry tribe. Wondering to and fro, doing our laundry where ever we could. “Of course we would love to come over and have dinner with you guys..should I bring a desert, also..do you mind if we borrow your washer and dryer?”

Luckily for us 3 months in to wedded bliss our lease was up in our ‘laundryless’ apartment and we were moving up in the world..for the first time ever as a married couple we had a washer a dryer in the same house and on the same level!!!!! It was the laundry honeymoon I have always wanted! No more hauling baskets and detergent to other houses and alienating our family friends! It was just us and our laundry!!

But the laundry honeymoon didn’t last forever..a new job opportunity meant a new house..and a new house means another round of laundry roulette "step right  up folks. Place your bets and take your chances in whirlpool wheel of death!" granted at this point in the game I was genuinely happy to have a nice house in a safe neighbor hood..pet friendly and as long as the washer and dryer wasn’t adjacent to the outhouse in the back yard..we were good! This time around the washer and dryer were in the basement..and while that is was a step back from the "honeymoon days" this round had a delightful And rather intriguing surprise; a laundry chute!

The Chute: Now any kid product of the late 80s should always associate a laundry chute with one memory and that is Kevin from Home Alone shooting toy soldiers with his brothers bb gun..it was cool then, and yes my friends it’s cool now! Not only was is the chute a magical portal of commutation to nag at my husband or meow at my cat from another floor..but it also served as the epic of all epic hiding places. You know, that one hiding place that you have planned out ahead in your mind for any environment you frequent..work,home,the gym (well,maybe not the gym for me) but those places you spend the most time. it is in these places that I have a hiding place planned out if anyone ever tried to break in/rob or if an impromptu hide and seek match erupted, I would be safe and golden! In my new house..the laundry chute was that place! I had already decided based on estimated measurements and actual attempts (I was bored) that I could fit myself and one cat (the quietest cat preferably) successfully in the laundry chute without being detected..the other cat would need to fend for himself..life’s rough..

Present Day….let me catch you up. Matthew and I have been in the great state of Texas going on 10 months..and this nomadic laundry tribe is still alive and kicking with possibly the worst of all laundry experiences…we are back to apartment life and this time while the apartment itself is nicer, the second story trek that involves me leaving the building, going down 2 flights of stairs (then back up them later) walking around the back to the next building and doing laundry in a room that equals that of a low level frat house..is less than ideal. If you’ve read this far you are probably thinking 1 of 2 things..either "grow up..it’s laundry..your an adult..stop complaining" or your asking yourself "Oh goodness Jennifer, how have you lasted this long you" well those of you asking the first question..I agree and the first step is admitting you have a problem and this post serves as your official notice! For those who are asking the second..I would say to you..”I KNOW RIGHT!” Thanks for the back up 🙂

So what’s it all about?! This post serves as another notice..a notice of gratitude and thanks to my husband..for the last 4 years the man has heard me whine and complain and has seen me wear and re-wear clothes until the point of no return and what has he done? EVERYTHING! 🙂 I often hear other girls talk about their husbands and how they never pick up, never do dishes and don’t even know how to do laundry..that is not the case in this house hold..my husband does laundry every Sunday while I’m at work..measuring just the right amount of softener..detergent..separating colors..drying the items that need dried and hanging up the items that can’t go in the dryer..that’s right ladies..he hangs up my bras!! ( my " I trained my husband the hang up bras..and you can too!" book is due out next fall) he does not complain..he does not try to get out of it..he does this because he loves me (and values my sanity Smile)..and does not see the benefit of turning underwear inside out for a day two reprise Smile I love my husband..I love that helps with everything..and I love most of all that he puts up with me and my ‘not soo June cleaver ways!