Vignettes of My Husband


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One time when he was in grad school, Chris was working on this show that was designed by Maurice Sendak (author of Where the Wild Things Are).  This show had a woman dressed in a giant chicken costume who was flying over the stage.  Chris was the one who was controlling her from backstage and he was supposed to land her on certain parts of the set throughout the show.  There was a video camera set up out front with a monitor that he could see backstage and so he guided her around the stage using that camera.  About 10 minutes into the show, one of the curtains knocked the camera down, leaving Chris blind backstage with a flying chicken in his hands.  Having no other option because he couldn’t see anything, the giant chicken couldn’t land so instead she just hung over the stage for the first act, swinging back and forth in the breeze of the theater.

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Our first year of marriage, Chris and I were living in New Haven, Connecticut while he attended grad school.  Being from Florida, we had never experienced a real winter before and weren’t prepared when it hit us all of a sudden.  In October.  One night, we went out drinking at a bar with friends.  While we were in the bar, the snow started coming down and the sidewalks froze over.  It was after midnight when we finally decided to head home and we were…well…we’d been over served.  As we were inexperienced in the ways of walking (drunk) on ice, we took one step out of the bar and instantly I fell, bringing Chris down with me.  We proceeded to walk the 20 minute walk home while falling all over the sidewalks, laughing hysterically the whole time.  When we woke up the next morning, we were both covered in bruises, but neither of us could remember how we’d gotten them.

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One time when we were in high school, Chris and I were out on a jetski one Saturday afternoon and we got into a fight about something.  I can’t remember what.  So, we’re fighting while sitting on a jetski together in the middle of the bay and Chris gets this brilliant idea.  Throwing me off the jetski will DEFINITELY make the situation better.  So, without warning, in the middle of the fight, he revs up the jetski and takes off, sending me flying off the back and into the water.  When he pulled the jetski around to pick me up, he was actually shocked to find me even angrier.

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For our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple, Chris gave me Tupperware.  And then I cried.  He hasn’t given me a Valentine’s present since.  It’s been six years.

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When Chris was in college, he lived with two other guys.  Tray, who was a big black guy about twice Chris’s size, and Joe.  Chris and Tray were big party people.  They liked to drink, to throw parties, and to make sure everyone around them had as much fun as they did.  Which was usually a lot.  Joe, on the other hand, was not a party guy.  Joe was in school on a full National Merit scholarship.  He studied for fun.  He could tell you anything about the American legal system.  He hid chocolate under his bed.  And yet, somehow, the three of them became incredibly good friends.  In fact, both Tray and Joe were groomsmen years later in our wedding.  One night, Joe came to Chris and Tray and told them that he needed to tell them something.  He was gay.  (Years later, he told us that he worried Chris and Tray would ask him to move out and that just broke my heart.)  Chris and Tray listened, told Joe that that didn’t change their friendship, and Joe felt instant relief.  Later that night, Joe went out for something and when he came home, he found that Chris and Tray had painted his bedroom door hot pink.  Like, bubble gum pink.  Barbie pink.  HOT PINK.  Joe came to visit us last month and we laughed about this story over dinner.  “You know,” Joe said.  “When I saw my door, I knew that Chris and Tray really were okay with me just how I was.  It was their way of showing their support.  Of lightening the situation.  That’s friendship.”

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Chris grew up with a group of four best guy friends from back home – Justin, Robert, Gary, and Brett.  The first year we were married, Chris got a call from Robert’s sister.  Robert had died unexpectedly in the night.  I sat with Chris while he called the other boys and told them the news.  It was the hardest, saddest thing I’ve ever seen in my whole life.  I hurt for him.  For Robert.  For all of them.  A few months later, we all went home for Christmas.  Normally, this would have been when all the boys got together but this year, one was missing.  One afternoon before their annual guy’s Christmas party, we all loaded up in cars and drove out to the military base where Robert had been buried.  They wanted to kick off the night with their friend.  But when we got to the cemetery, it became very clear that no one knew where Robert had actually been buried.  They’d all been to the funeral, of course, but they hadn’t focused on where they were at the time and looking around now, everything looked the same.  Rows and rows of burial plots with simple white crosses.  Where, oh, where was Robert?  We started out the search in a somber, sober, quiet way, each of us reflecting on Robert’s life.  But half an hour later, we were yelling to each other across the cemetery, “IS HE OVER THERE?  HE’S NOT OVER HERE!”  “NOPE, HE’S NOT OVER HERE, EITHER!”  We were laughing and cursing and actually having a good time.  By the time we found Robert’s site, we were happy and smiling.  It felt strange, but it also felt appropriate.  Robert would have hated the serious.  That one trip set the tone for all our next visits to Robert.  We all go every year together at Christmas and it’s such a happy, joyful time together as we stand there with Robert, talking not about his death, but about his life.  And I think Robert would love that.

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Last week, Gracie was having a little bit of a rough night.  She woke up and had a bottle, but couldn’t get back to sleep.  I thought maybe it was gas bubbles, but that didn’t seem to be it.  Chris was awake with me, trying to figure out what was bothering her.  After swaddling her, rocking her, burping her, and everything else I could think of, I laid her in her bassinet and threw my hands up in defeat.  Chris kissed my cheek and got up to take over for a while.  When he looked into the bassinet, this look of complete horror filled his face.  “IS THIS YOUR SWADDLE???” he bellowed.  “IS THAT THE BEST YOU CAN SWADDLE???”  And with that, he picked up Gracie and swaddled her until she was like a little mummy.  Instantly, she fell right asleep.  As we laid in the quiet dark next to each other, I started giggling.  “Did you just ask me if that was the best I can swaddle?” I laughed.  And then he laughed.  And then we fell asleep.

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40 Thoughts to “Vignettes of My Husband”

  1. Melissa W.

    Such cute stories!! It sounds like you have A LOT of fun together!! On another note- you should try the Swaddle Me’s- I didn’t have them with my 1st but did with my 2nd…they are a god send!! LOVE THEM!!! They are one of my must haves for new moms!!

  2. Cindy In Owensboro, KY

    That just made me smile:) Thanks for sharing!

  3. I hate to be a stick in the mud, but Maurice Sendak didn’t actually design that show. It was Kris Stone, but it was based a the illustrations of Sendek who did the work for “Brundibar” the book. http://kristonedesign.com/New%20Brundibar.html Sorry, I just have a thing about giving proper credit!

  4. You guys are the cutest couple ever. Love these stories!

  5. Um, that is hilarious. All of it.

    When I was 3, my grandma was complaining about something my grandpa did and in all my years of wisdom, I simply stated…”Merpaw, that’s just the way boys are.”

    Little did I know how fitting that was for almost every situation boys are involved in.

  6. Jayne

    It so wonderful that you’ve known Chris long enough to understand him and take the cute bits out of difficult times to reminisce about. I like to sometimes sit down and stare at my hubby a bit and remember all the cute moments too. Often times, those cute times, like yours, happen in the middle of some crisis but yet because we were together, everything just felt really good and perfect. Here’s to everlasting marriage! oh, and healthy babies too. heheh…

  7. Such a great, warm, funny post. Thank you for sharing!

  8. ECH

    What a wonderful collection of stories–I like how they show all the different sides of his personality. Maybe you should ask Chris to do a similar post for you!

  9. And this is why I adore the two of you together. There is a blog post coming soon with yalls photos saying exactly that. How great you all are as a team, and a couple.

  10. Keshet Shenkar

    This is SUCH a beautiful post. Love:)

  11. Angela

    So sweet.
    Love it

  12. Lisa

    Love these stories and how you take time to reflect on the fun stuff you guys have done together. It really causes me to want think about the same things that I’ve done with my husband because you tend to forget as time goes by!

  13. This is the sweetest post I’ve ever read. I love it. 🙂

  14. Jenna

    This made my night … I think I say this to you once a week, but you set such a great example of a loving, “normal people” relationship (although I’m sure sometimes you don’t feel “normal” — ha!) Thanks for sharing laughter and tears.

  15. Amy L Butler

    Thank you for sharing such wonderful stories. Makes me think about the life experiences that my husband and I have shared. I laughed soo hard on the swaddling one. It’s totally something my husband would say. Parenting is so much fun and being married to someone who compliments you and helps you make it so much better. I actually signed the memory frame for my sis-in-law’s bridal shower, Laugh, Fight, Stay Married. I love this site for soo many reasons and I love to share it with different people in my life. You guys are awesome. I look forward to each and every post. Thank you soo much for sharing.

  16. Alexandra

    Such beautiful stories! Thanks for sharing.

  17. This is such a beautiful post.
    So sweet. 🙂 It made my day.
    Thanks for sharing, Katie!

  18. so funny – lovely fun memories – what a treasure 🙂

  19. Great stories, I had to wikipedia vignettes to see how the title relates but now I understand! I think the one about the snow made me laugh the most! I can just imagine me and my hubby examining bruises and saying “well I don’t know…”

  20. Katie, I think this is one of my favourite posts. You & Chris have such a long and shared history and it’s so lovely to get to see even a little bit of it. Thank you for sharing the stories, making me laugh, smile and cry this morning.

  21. Tressa

    I can feel the love and pride you have for Chris while reading these stories. Thank you for sharing these. Started my day with a smile and tear!!

  22. Ha, I love this post! So many memories…and I can’t help but picture this chicken just hanging above the stage.

  23. Vicky

    Wonderful stories! I felt like I was right there!

  24. Tee

    Wow… that’s pretty cool. You have such amazing stories… I actually teared up on a couple. I wish I could summarize my hubby’s life with such brilliance.

  25. Love this. 🙂 You two are the greatest.

  26. anne

    I’ve said this before, but I think THIS may be my favorite post from you. (I may be 50 years old and married, but I think I have a crush on Chris!)

  27. Bec

    pre-kids memories are the best…especially those memories of when you were “over served.”

  28. Michaela

    I love hearing about these little moments which make a couple. It’s really gotten me thinking about my own. I love hearing about Bean and now Grace, and I wouldn’t change the blog for anything now, but this also reminded me a bit more of reading marriage confessions way back when. It’s nice to get some extra you and chris time!

  29. Sarah H.

    I loved every single one of those stories! Chris is awesome 🙂 Isn’t marriage great?

  30. I absolutely love these vignettes. It makes me want to do them about my husband. So fun!

  31. You guys are awesome. Your kids are lucky, lucky people to have you as their parents–such love! such humor!

  32. And there’s the beauty of growing UP with someone as well as growing old together.

  33. Steph

    I just love your stories and blog Katie! I started reading it soon after Sarahs bachlorette party in Palm Beach but have never commented. I think you found out you were pregnant with Bean soon after 🙂 Congrats on your beautiful family! I hope you finish your book soon, cant wait to read it!

  34. This is so beautiful. I like how he still kisses you on the check, that is such a sweetheart thing to do 🙂

  35. Haha this post made me laugh and made me happy for you two and your great relationship and great family!

  36. Ok, first of all I am reading through PW’s Black Heels to Tractor Wheels and I keep thinking of you. You need to write a book. Even if it was just advice like on Bean’s page today. When Levi enters toddlerhood, I will be visiting your site daily, I predict. And this is such a sweet post about Chris.

  37. I really, REALLY loved this post, Katie! Really loved.

  38. Melissa

    Reading this entry inspired me to go back to the very beginning of your blog to see what I had missed (I started reading 2 weeks before Bean was born). I’ve made it to December 2008, and I am in love with your ceramic Christmas tree! Your mom made that? Can she make more? I want one!!! My Granny has one and has said that I can have hers when she stops using it. Since I love my Granny and hope that she lives for many more years, I can’t eagerly await the day that I get hers. Please please tell me your mom still makes these!

  39. Laura

    Ah, this is lovely! Thanks for sharing such special memories. I love that you don’t remember what you were fighting about from the jetski story. Sometimes mid-argument, I try to remember that the topic of this fight is probably not so important, but it’s always too hard in the moment. But then months or years later, you’re right – you can’t remember what you were even arguing about! 🙂

  40. […] this wonderful blog I follow, Confessions of a Young Married Couple had a beautiful post about her husband. I really liked the format of it and the way she recounted all the little things. […]

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