The Year of Leather & Pottery

On May 14th, 2013, I rolled over to my husband smiling._JRM2444

“Happy Anniversary.”

I said, “Sing the song.”

“What song?” he replied.

“You know the one.” I smiled.

And then he sang it.

Because out of the billions of people on this planet, he is the only one who would know just what song I meant.

Because he’s my guy.

He knows that I don’t like ice in my water or refrigerated fruit because the cold hurts my teeth. He knows that a hammock to me is what a hug machine is for Temple Grandin. He knows that I don’t like to go a day without chocolate.

He pays attention. He knows me.

We have now been married for 9 years.

The accurate length of time was news to us. We thought we were about to celebrate our 10th anniversary until we counted more carefully.

The traditional wedding gift should be one of pottery or leather.

I don’t know why.

It seems a perfect fit.

The past two years have been rough. I can tell you this now.

It seems as if our marriage was a new leather catching mitt that needed to be broken in with a solid beating. I imagine our pot needed to be fired to strengthen a few weaker spots.

So, yes. Perhaps leather and pottery are the perfect gift ideas this year.

This is the year that we celebrate in the spirit of survival.

We have bailed all of the water, patched the sail and eaten nothing but saltines for months. Storms have raged and yet suddenly, we spotted the shore, leapt from the boat and swam for our lives.

We are past the exhaustion of the swim. We are now laying in the sand with the sun kissing our skin. We are now rolling over to smile at each other in disbelief that we made it. At times we both veered off course but we landed safely next to one another.

Watch this video to hear this post’s soundtrack.

Those of you who are married and have been for a long time will know this story without hearing the details. You know what it feels like to be leather broken and a pot fired. Your ship almost went down. You know the gratitude of the lessons.

For those of you who have only been married a short time – may you never see a shipwreck. Godspeed. However, if you do, bear down and hold on. It will be awful. It will hurt and when people tell you about leather and pots, you will want to shank them.

I understand that too. May you find yourself being kissed by the sun on a safer shore someday.

For those of you who know the pain of pulling yourself out of the ocean alone – you are not a sunken ship or a weak pot. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try or how deeply you want to stay on the same course with the person you love, it doesn’t work out.

Be gentle with yourself. Love yourself. Recognize that you survived. Reward your own bravery.

Love is not easy. It is hard. It is not a napkin to stuff into your pocket. It’s not pennies that you let slip to the bottom of your handbag. It’s not a can to kick down the road out of boredom.

All love is to be treated with respect and tenderness. Love is so easily lost when it is not treated like the gift it is.

Love is like nails freshly painted. It is like flipping an omelet or whipping an egg white. Love is a box marked fragile.

Love is a battlefield.

Heh. Couldn’t help myself. :)

Our 9th wedding anniversary, the year of leather and pottery, is the year that we celebrate those lessons in survival.

Safe journey,


Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death. ~ Song of Solomon 8:6




We May Have A Tie


So yesterday, I reported to all of you that I won Christmas.

While this is mostly true from my perspective, there is definitely more to the story.  As I said before, Paul is the undefeated champion of all gift bearing holidays.  He was not going to go down with out a fight.  And fight he did.

He used that spreadsheet, counted stars and came up with some crazy good gifts.  He told me in advance that one was sure to make me cry.  I started to doubt him when he admitted he forgot to get me any stocking stuffers.

What?  No chocolate?  No Biggby giftcard?  No winter socks?  I have come to expect certain stocking privileges.

In response to my obvious disenchantment with an empty stocking, he changed his tune and put one of my gifts in there along with a school gift from Isaac.

One gift was beautifully wrapped.  It could have been a tiara.  I tried to shake it.  Paul wouldn’t let me.


I had to wait.  I tried to wait.  To prolong the inevitable goodness.  I love gifts and I love surprises.

Christmas is my day.

Well, actually it’s Jesus’s day but let’s try to focus on my story, shall we?

I was certain the pretty box was going to be the winner.  Nope.  It was a tea kettle for my latest addiction to tea.

Really.  According to a friend,

“Tea is a gift to your body.”

I am a new part-time convert.  I still love my coffee. It is brewing now.

Anywho, the kids all hand painted the sweetest pottery.  A heart-shaped platter made complete with a face complimented by wild Emo hair.  It made me giggle.  I have been drinking and eating out of a cup hand painted by my Vito every day since Christmas.  Isaiah painted a snowman that is sitting on my kitchen counter that I imagine will be brought with the Christmas decorations every year.

The boys picked out purple slippers in the UGGs Style.

Do you see what I am doing here?  So much suspense!!  I nearly died.

Wait for it though.  This is gonna be worth it.

Finally, I opened the big box.  I waited as long as I could but finally the boys forced it upon me.

It’s just an amazing Zuca bag.  The bag of all skate bags for my derby.  I immediately  packed it.  Practice is only one week away.  I need to be prepared.

Okay.  Are you ready?

I was allowed to get my stocking before nap time.  Mostly because I am a grown up and mostly because I was dying to know what was going to make me cry more than my beautiful Zuca bag.

Yes, this 31-year-old woman has been stating that she might want to go back to school eventually.  There was never a concrete plan, enough time, enough energy or enough money.  So far, eventualities seem to be failing me.  Apparently, someone wanted to put his money where my mouth was.

Nice move. *sob*

We may have a tie.



PS – Don’t forget to “like” The Mother Flippin Fan Page!  I will be posting pics of my handmade pottery there.  I am a lucky momma. :)