Category Archives: Love in Marriage

Marriage talk

J: Elisabeth, I love that I can get you a card with a cat on it and every time I know you’ll go “ahhhhhh cute!” and love it.

E: Really?  You don’t think I’m a weird cat lady?

J: No, I think it’s endearing.  I love that about you.

E: Really?

J: Yes.

E: What else do you love about me?

J: That everything is always about you.

E: Really?

J: No, not really.

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33

Jason,

I can’t imagine living life without you. You bring so much love, joy, encouragement, healing, wisdom, grace, and fun to our marriage. You are a great father, too – I can’t wait to see Ian grow up following in your footsteps.

Happy Birthday. I hope 33 is your best year yet (Ian & I hope to make it so!).

I love you,

LB

One wild and quick ride

Two years ago this weekend I met Jason.

I won’t spend any time telling the story since Jason already has.

1st Anniversary weekend

Monday was Jason & I’s one year wedding anniversary, but we spent the entire weekend celebrating (and then some). Part of the reason it’s taken me so long to post on this blog is because we did so much and I had to compile a lot of video and photos.

Let me just say, off the bat, that I have the most wonderful husband in the ENTIRE WORLD. One of many reasons is because he is a fantastic romantic planner. He didn’t tell me anything leading up to the weekend except to leave it open. All the while making plans big time.

Friday evening he told me that in the morning we could sleep in, but then we needed to pack for an overnight stay somewhere. When we got up I gave him part of his gift, which was a North Face sweater with a fleece collar. I know, it doesn’t sound that exciting. It will sound less and less exciting the more you hear about all the things he gave me for our anniversary. But let me continue on.

We were able to successfully get out of the house by 10 AM and headed south on I-5. Halfway to our destination Jason decided to tell me we were going to Fort Lewis since Saturday he knew his old reserve unit would be there and we could see some of his buddies and the place where he spent so much of his time during and after college.

A few minutes later I saw a semi with a big picture of an Egg McMuffin on it, which gave me a hankering for one. So, we stopped right before Fort Lewis at McDonald’s. They weren’t serving breakfast anymore, but we did see the barber shop where Jason used to get his military cuts. He needed a haircut, so we stopped in. Later on he told me he wasn’t sure why he wasted the $10 because he knew he would get a bad cut. Oh well, it was worth the nostalgia, I think.

We arrived at Fort Lewis in the pouring rain. We saw a lot of his friends, including Jason Loveday, who was at our wedding. No one else I recognized, but it was fun meeting them. They are all getting ready to go back to Iraq again so they were sitting around getting their shots.

The best part was touring one of the Chinook helicopters parked in the hanger. I won’t say much more than that, since Jason can give you the tour:

When the military reports that it spends a few billion dollars every day in Iraq, it’s surprising to hear that their helicopters are powered by chipmunks. They must have to reimburse them substantially for their time lost sitting in trees getting fat eating acorns.

After the tour we said goodbye to the unit and drove out into the woods of Fort Lewis. Jason had packed a lunch and he wanted to do a picnic at a place that held special memories for him.

I know a post in the middle of the woods may not seem that exciting, but Jason told me all about how this is the place where they did the yearly Ranger Challenge during his time in ROTC at UW. They would apparently have to fling themselves across the creek he’s standing behind in the picture (it’s currently not filled with water) by rope, very fast and without getting wet. Then they would run around in the woods with their gear on, playing war. Or something like that.

We spent a bit more time at Fort Lewis, heading out of the woods and back to civilization so Jason could show me the crappy barracks he stayed in while doing ROTC training. Then we left the base, got back onto I-5, then crossed the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and got onto the Olympic Peninsula.

At a certain point, Jason told me I had to stop looking at the road signs. If I did, I would figure out where we were going. I did my best, but failed. We got almost to our destination and I saw a sign that said “The Grand Forest of Brainbridge.” Bainbridge–that meant we were going to Four Swallows. The place where I had the best meal of my ENTIRE life (about a year ago). With Jason, the romantic planner, of course.

I didn’t tell Jason I knew where we were going. I played along, not sure if I should. We didn’t go directly to the restaurant–it was only about 4pm. I thought maybe we were going to stay somewhere right in town, but instead we veered off into more woods. I was thinking maybe he knew someone who had a cabin, since I would see private homes along the side of the road as we drove.

We turned off and headed down the gravel road and this is what I first saw:

Then I saw this, this, this and this. Did I mention the hot tub? The gardens? Did you notice the antique baby grand piano?

Oh wait, then I saw the animals in the backyard. And that pretty much put me over the top.

This is where I need to stop and give a huge thanks to Kabyn & Alyssa. Jason had the brilliance of selecting Spring Ridge Gardens, but our friends backed the endeavor with some cash flow. Jason sold Alyssa’s road bike for her a few months back on craigslist and she kindly gave him some of her monetary return and said “do something nice with your wife.” Obviously that’s what he did. Something way nice.

Back to our getaway . . .

We hung out in our suite for a little while and then got dressed for an evening out. I continued to pretend like I didn’t know where we were and then acted as surprised as I could when we pulled up at Four Swallows. But Jason could tell I was faking it. When I admitted I knew, he didn’t seem that upset. I think he was still bathing in the splendor of seeing me so excited about our B&B. That move will go down in anniversary history (for all men, for all time).

Of course we had the Penn Cove Mussels to start off with. That is the dish that made the previous statement “the best meal of my ENTIRE life” so true. This time Jason asked the server what was in the red cream sauce. She was happy to oblige, so Jason wrote it all down and is going to try to replicate it at home.

We continued on with an apple pear salad and braised lamb with polenta. All delicious. Then we went for ice cream at Mora.

Much of the rest of our time on Bainbridge is documented in the following video. You can’t hear me in the first clip very well, but Jason is asking me what I thought of the Penn Cove Mussels.

Note: I would like to emphasize that I am still very much a student of the piano, as you can tell – but it was so much fun to play on this antique.  And it made me feel so good that Jason would pick a place where I could enjoy something so special.

On Sunday morning, after meeting Wendy, the owner of Spring Ridge Gardens (gracious and a great cook) we left Bainbridge and headed to Bremerton to go to Seaside Church. Jason knows Pastor Chris Swan from his days at Antioch. The sermon was on 1 Timothy 2, which was very fitting to this season of life for me.

We took the ferry home that afternoon, exhausted from all our happenings. The celebration was over and that was sad, but I was very happy with all the time we got to spend together doing so many cool things.

That’s it, right?

That’s what I thought . . .

On Monday Jason got up at 5:30, his usual time, to get ready for work. 20 minutes later he crawled back into bed with his pajamas on. Half asleep, I was very confused.

“What are you doing? You’re not dressed!”

“I know. I’m not going to work today. I’m staying home with you.”

I was so excited. Another great surprise. Apparently he had gotten up to write (and draw) in the anniversary card he’d gotten me:

The surprises had to be over at that point. But no, they weren’t.

After enjoying Bananas Foster Belgium Waffles (a spur of the moment whip up a la Jason) he proceeded to give me an at home spa, complete with homemade facial, hand massage, and pedicure! I could not believe it.

I am so impressed by Jason’s romance that I’m even willing to show myself on YouTube, with goop all over my face, in my bathrobe, fully pregnant and barefoot. That’s how much I love you, Jason.

After that was over, he said “Alright, that’s the last of the surprises.” He was quiet for a second and then said “Okay, maybe there’s one more. But that’s for later.”

We relaxed at home the rest of the day. Jason left for about an hour in the afternoon and came back with a pink Macrina Bakery box. So, naturally, I thought he had gotten some kind of sweet treat from there.

After dinner he said “Let’s see what’s inside the pink box. But I want you to know it’s not really from Macrina.”

At that point I knew he had something very special up his sleeve. He had contacted Lesa, one of the creators of our wedding cake and had her make a little replica of the original–complete with ganache filling and buttercream frosting. It was just as good as the first time.

That really was the last of the surprises. Which was good, because even being the surprise junkie that I am, I don’t know if I could’ve taken any more.

Our first year together as one flesh ended on a fantastic note. I felt so enjoyed and delighted in, far beyond what I could have imagined and most certainly deserved.

Jason, I know I’ve already told you this, but I want to say again that I really love you more today than I did the day we were married. It has been amazing to see God work in our life together, through the rough times and the easy. Seeing Him growing you and working through you is a great gift He’s given me. Thank you for all the grace you give me daily. Jesus is more real to me because of you. -LB

Here are more pictures of our anniversary weekend.

And, if you’d like to look to, you can look back on our wedding day.

Male labor (twice)

I’ve been out of the blogging scene this week because I’ve been spending my free time at the ER.

I am completely fine and so is Baby H. Jason, on the other hand, has been through quite a bit, having gone through what is considered to be as painful as childbirth: a kidney stone.

Or should I say, stones–plural. Two nights in a row. Geesh.

The pain came out of nowhere. Jason left our apartment on Tuesday night to go paint at our new house and within a half hour he was calling me while racing himself to the ER with intense abdominal and back pain. Thankfully the ER is only minutes away.

Once I arrived at the ER and checked to make sure his car, I ran in to confirm that he was in one piece (and still breathing). I found him doubled over and yelping in pain, understandably very frustrated that he was still sitting in the waiting room.

Once the physician’s assistant got a look at him she said she thought it was a kidney stone. I breathed a sigh of relief. My dad has gotten quite a few of these over the years and he’s been in Seattle with me for two of them. He’s still alive and healthy, so I know that a human being can live through such pain and come out fine.

Still, they wanted to get a CAT scan just to confirm and to rule out appendicitis. The nurses went off to get Jason the strongest intravenous painkiller imaginable and I sat there with him as he writhed in pain, begging for help.

Over the last few weeks I have been thinking about how hard it is for me to step into the shoes of another and feel the pain (or joy or sadness or whatever) that they are going through. It bothers me that I’m such a careless, self-consumed person. I know it hurts other people. I have been asking God “Will I ever be different? Will you help me change? How is it possible?”

When I sat next to Jason in the ER, his body contorted and tears streaming down his face, I knew God was doing something. I hurt to see him hurting and felt helpless to make his pain go away. So I just sat there and cried with him, trying to look into his eyes to let him know I was there, more so than just physically.

And then I thought to myself–so this is what it’s like to care. God, I see what you’re doing–you’re making me see!

That revelation didn’t make Jason’s pain go away and it certainly didn’t relieve the weight of hurt I felt for him. But it was a spiritual miracle nonetheless.

What did make the pain go away for Jason were drugs that were soon brought to him by the nurses. For a man who does NOT like needles, he was very brave when they poked him. Within minutes he was feeling much better.

When the nurses left, Jason turned to me and said, “See, Elisabeth, you do care.”

That made me cry all over again. Jason knows my struggles. Heck, he’s been the recipient of my lack of compassion time and time again. But, at least once, in his moment of pain, he got heartfelt tenderness from me. And he spoke that truth out loud, just to make sure I could see it, too, and be encouraged. It made it more real to me that God was changing my heart.

While we waited for the CAT scan, Jason introduced himself to all the nurses who came into the room, wanting to know their names and making a point of thanking them for their help. He even did a bit of joking around. It melted my heart again to see God’s kindness in Jason reveal itself in a situation where I imagine it would’ve been much easier to be self-consumed.

We soon found out that it was a small kidney stone (1-2 millimeters) that was close enough to his bladder that he would pass it in one to two days. They gave him more pain medicine right before we left and sent us home with his prescriptions. Scott & Courtney were nice enough to come by and pick up our extra car for us on the way.

Jason slept through the night pain-free and passed the stone in the morning. He had some mild body aches after that, but was almost as good as new. And he was very proud of himself every time he looked at the stone he had passed, such a little thing that had caused him so much pain.

I would like to say that was the end of that painful but redeeming story, but it’s not. We did the whole thing all over again at 10pm that night. Back to the ER for more intravenous painkillers.

They didn’t even bother to do a CAT scan this time because they were confident they knew what it was. I guess it’s not too uncommon to have more than one so close together.

We both came home exhausted and crabby, and slept on and off for the next twenty-four hours. Jason hasn’t really had any pain but he still hasn’t passed the second stone. We think it has moved to his bladder, where it is not likely to cause him any pain while it’s hanging out there.

I saw God clearly working in our life and our marriage in the first part of this two-part kidney stone story. But I’m still not sure what He has been doing in the second part, which remains unresolved.

But I do pray for a quick and pain-free passing of the stone and restored health for Jason. What’s more, I am amazed at how God has used these circumstances to grow and encourage both me (in allowing me to show true compassion) and Jason (in being able to receive it in his time of need).

More than love

It is no special anniversary or anything, but I was thinking about our wedding passage yesterday.

“And he is before all things and in him all things hold together.” (Col 1:17)

Then I read this from Deitrich Bonhoeffer, on Liz’s mom’s blog:

“Marriage is more than your love for each other. It has a higher dignity and power, for it is God’s holy ordinance, through which he wills to perpetuate the human race till the end of time. In your love you see only your two selves in the world, but in marriage you are a link in the chain of the generations, which God causes to come and to pass away to his glory, and calls into his kingdom.

In your love you see only the heaven of your own happiness, but in marriage you are placed at a post of responsibility towards the world and mankind. Your love is your own private possession, but marriage is more than something personal-it is a status, an office.

Just as it is the crown, and not merely the will to rule, that makes the king, so it is marriage, and not merely your love for each other, that joins you together in the sight of God and man. As you first gave the ring to one another and have now received it a second time from the hand of the pastor, so love comes from you, but marriage from above, from God.

As high as God is above man, so high are the sanctity, the rights, and the promise of marriage above the sanctity, the rights, and the promise of love. It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love.”

Praise God that marriage comes from Him and not us. But how often I forget or believe otherwise!

When a man loves a woman . . .

. . . he will learn to love, or at least accept, her love of cats (or one cat in particular).

My husband is a prime example. When we were at Stehekin over Memorial Day Jason took short orders for breakfast eggs. My request was an over-easy egg in the shape of a cat with the yolk at its belly like it was having babies.

Some of you who know me will think this is funny. Some of you will think it’s weird.

Jason ended up making me scrambled eggs. But last weekend, to my surprise, he made me a pancake in the shape of a cat.

This is true love.

P.S. Beginning in August, as we draw closer to our lease being up and us moving, I will officially begin the BLHC (“Bring Lizzie Home Campaign”).