Category Archives: Husband

Well, Internet, I think I am finally ready to have a child. Which is great, considering my daughter is almost two.

Something incredible has been going on here in Casa de Maren. The life of craziness– of late night classes, homework, and stress over deadlines is behind us. The much-less-stressful time of no income, Maren being away from me all day, and constantly being scrutinized, is on the downward slope.

And instead of being scared of our future– like we have been for the last several years– Mitch and I have found ourselves in a very weird place. You see, we’re eyes-wide-shut types. We live in this moment, right now– looking at each other and grinning. Pretending that in all the world, there is only this moment, only us, and nothing else can get in here and hurt us– because we love each other too much.

But now, we’ve opened our eyes– and we noticed something…. the world doesn’t look so bad. The future is looking pretty good. In fact… it’s almost a sure bet. We’re going to be okay.

Which has caused this most uncomfortable sensation for me.

Internet: I have a terrible case of the baby crazies.

Everywhere I go, women are having babies! Okay, okay– so I haven’t gone into my neighborhood coffee shop and discovered a woman with her feet up in stirrups JUST yet…. but trust me, it’s coming!

I remember when Maren was a baby, one of my friends told me that she really wanted to get pregnant.

“Okay,” I scoffed, in that I-know-everything sarcastic voice that only New Moms can really master. “Just be sure that you’re ready, you know? Because everything changes. Everything. Just as simple as wanting to run out for a cup of coffee is completely different now.”

“I know,” She said, “But isn’t that okay? I mean, do you really care about that?”

I stared at her like she was speaking Russian. I also, simultaneously, wanted to slap her.

“DID YOU NOT HEAR WHAT I JUST SAID TO YOU?” I wanted to scream. “It’s Saturday morning, it’s nine AM, you’re just waking up and stretching, and you think to yourself, Oh, Hey, you know what? A hazelnut latte and a cinnamon scone sound ABSOLUTELY FREAKING DELIGHTFUL. And so you get up, you put pants on, and you go and GET SOME. JUST LIKE THAT. But once you have a baby, you’re up at FIVE– IF you went to bed at all, the coffee you’re drinking is Folgers, and you made it yesterday– you hope– and now you’re microwaving it because you are ready to KILL someone for the caffeine under their fingernails, and you don’t even have time to DRINK it because the Light-Of-Your-Life is screaming at you because she’s hungry, thirsty, wet, pooped on, vomited on, or some combination of all of them. And if I sound really upset it’s because I AM.”

And then I probably would have dissolved into sobs.

I don’t want to scare you. I have always loved my daughter. But when you aren’t planning on having a baby, and then you spend most of your pregnancy feeling sorry for yourself, the transition to really truly loving motherhood is just really hard, even if you love your baby.

Recently, I’ve found myself in that cozy little space that most other moms are always talking about. I rush home at night so that I can be with her. I love looking at her. I have found myself, very recently, putting a paper bag on my head and waving my arms around in order to get her to giggle.

I hate that she’s growing up, but love how much she’s learning. I all ready know that no person who comes into her life will be good enough for her.

I want another baby. Actually, I think I might want another three babies.

I used to always say that becoming a mom didn’t mean that I had to end who I used to be. I think that’s kind of how I coped with the sudden change: the idea that I could still be me– just only sometimes. Most of the time, I was Maren’s Mom.

Not exactly a double life– mostly because of the crippling guilt. The few times that I crept away (usually during finals week) to sink slowly into a soy hazelnut latte with extra whipped cream, and the world’s biggest and freshest chocolate chip cookie staring back at me, all I did was think about what was happening back home. Sometimes, even if I was just in the next room I was missing her so much.

Now, I’m so jealous of all those Moms who got it right away– who understood immediately– that being their Baby’s Mama was the best thing that they could do for the world.

I feel that I’ve tipped my hand a bit. Moms aren’t supposed to admit that they had a hard time with the whole Mom business. I hope I’m not the only one. And I hope, if there are others, that they found themselves in this wonderful place, too. Grinning at their baby, their partner, and the next fifty years.


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Hey Everyone, Guess What I Was Doing A Year Ago Today?

A year ago today, I slept terribly and finally got out of bed before dawn. I sat up and looked around the room. Two of my best friends were sleeping in the room, and I didn’t want to wake them. So I sat there quietly, took very deep breaths, and tried not to think about anything. I could hear my family downstairs, my brother preparing French Toast and extra bacon, because that’s what I had asked for. My hair smelled like beer from the raging party the night before.

I climbed out of bed– the last time I have slept alone– and found some warm socks, and headed downstairs in a total haze. Everyone kept smiling at me, and I just kept looking down at the floor, closing my eyes, and trying desperately to believe that this was real life. The awkward girl from high school locked inside me kept saying, “No way is this happening. Its all been one huge jokes-on-you terrible lie.”

But it WAS real life.

A few hours later, I looked like this:

Most of my wedding day is a total blur at this point. I remember coming around the corner and seeing my Dad, and we both cried. I remember we lined up for family pictures, and that was the only time that day that I let myself miss my little sister and wish that she was there.

I remember when we were lined up to walk down the aisle, and the band started playing, and my six year old nephew turned around and admired my regalia and said, “You are so beautiful!…… I wish I was a girl.”

And I remember coming down the stairs and seeing Mitch waiting for me. I remember that I couldn’t even make eye contact with him, because I was too emotional. I remember that when we finally made it down the aisle, and he took my hand from my Dad’s, I felt like my soul was breathing a sigh of relief. I remember dancing with my new husband, I remember kissing him so much that my lips hurt.

On my wedding day, I remember thinking that there is no way that I could ever EVER possibly be happier.

But today is more than that.

We’re good with the TMI here on the Neeped blog, so most of  you all ready know– today, one year ago, is the day that I got pregnant.

So, I was wrong on my wedding day, when I thought that it was the happiest day of my life and I would never be happier and “So This is Love” and all that good stuff.

When I was pregnant with Maren, I remember being scared about how I was going to love her– because I was SO in love with Mitch, I didn’t know how I could possibly have room to love anyone else. And now, I picture my love like a force field that stretches to the end of the sky when I want it too. And sometimes the weight of it feels like it might crush me, but I need it to be that heavy so that I know that its there.

This morning we celebrated in a pretty typical Mitch and Adrienne fashion. I made Mitch cupcakes while he went and bought us coffee. Then, while Maren napped, we snuggled on the couch and I begged Mitch not to divorce me, no matter how dramatic I become, and he promised me he wouldn’t. Then I gave him his present and he pretended like he didn’t get me anything, and then it turned out that he actually didn’t get me anything. Then we ate more cupcakes and watched Community until Maren woke up.

I never thought I’d be the type to celebrate anniversaries. Mitch and I never celebrated them when we were dating. But today was kind of nice, licking chocolate frosting off my fingers while we listened to the music we played at our ceremony and talked about the first time we had to introduce the other as “my husband” or “my wife.” And then we almost got to fall asleep together before Maren woke up, and then all three of us snuggled on the couch while she ate a bottle.

Also this morning we looked at one of our first pictures together. It was taken in 2005, at our choir formal. Mitch is 19. 🙂 What I love best about the photo, though, isn’t in the picture.

Mitch and I broke up for about nine months in the middle of our relationship, and during that time, I had one of those crazy nights with my girlfriends and cut up all the photos of us. This picture I cut straight down the middle– but I kept the other half. So then when we got back together, I just got out my Scotch tape and fixed it up.

Mitch and I were laughing about it and I said, “I don’t know why I kept the other half.”

And he said, “Because you knew.”

And he’s right. I guess I did.

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As soon as I heard my first love story, I started looking for you.

A few months ago, I had a dream that I married my ex-boyfriend.

We had two girls, and I was teaching school. He worked at an engineering job and we lived just outside of our hometown. In my dream, I went and picked the girls up from school and then they sat at the kitchen table and we listened to music while they did their homework and I got dinner started. Then he came home and we ate dinner, and then all four of us romped around the house for an hour.

Then he helped me with bath time and we each had our own bedtime ritual for each of the girls. And then we went to our own room, fell into each others arms, and fell asleep. Our home was beautiful. Our life was very efficient, very manageable. There were flowers on my table, for God’s sake.

As soon as my eyes closed in my dream, they slammed open in real life. I was totally panicking.

I turned over on my huge, pregnant belly, clawing through the covers to make sure– make ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN– that I had married the right man– that my manageable, perfect, happy little dream was just a nightmare.


Typically this is where I would say something really touching and mushy about the nature of love. One of my friends gave me the best compliments of my entire life last year when he asked me to officiate at his wedding because he wanted someone who knew a lot about love and had thought about it a lot.

Thought about it a lot, I have. Know a lot about it, not so much.

Everyday I learn more about what being in love really means, and what being loved back really means. I used to say all the time that love is not a choice, and that might be true when it comes to falling in love… but staying in love? That’s a choice. That’s an active, conscious choice that we make every day.

Some days are easier than others. Like the day that Mitch did all the laundry and folded it all and then started dinner for me before I got home. So, super easy to love him then. But then there was the time that I came home and he had been watching reruns of Hulu ALL DAY when I had asked him to please put a load of dress clothes in for me because I had some big fancy thing that we both had to be at in an hour and he wasn’t even showered or shaved, and had no idea where his clothes were, let alone MY clothes…. those days are harder. And there are harder days than that. And harder days than that.

I used to treat the good days like they were monkey-bars. Like I was just swinging from one good day to the next, grasping for a firm grip on the next one, keeping the next one after that in mind while my body dangled precariously over the chaos of the bad days. I don’t do that anymore, and not because there were just so many good days that I didn’t need to do it anymore. Now, instead of holding on to the good days, I just hold on to my husband. The good and the bad. For better or for worse.

I’m pretty big into fate. I’m a pretty big proponent of the belief that there is a Master Plan and that the Master Engineer holds the blueprints. Sometimes, I think, God lets us have a little glimpse of that plan, in those moments when we are most happy and things just seem to make the most sense.

I don’t know. I don’t have all the answers. But what I know about my life is that the morning after our wedding, when I woke up I was filled with this feeling of….. “Oooooooooooooooooooh! So THAT’S what THAT was all about!”

You know. Like that crappy country song. God bless the broken road……

Rascall Flatts is SO crappy. If you’re going to learn lessons from country music, learn them from Johnny Cash. Save my love for loneliness, save my love for sorrows. I’ve given you my only-ness, give me your tomorrows.

I’m not much of a poet. Way to Scandinavian for that much emotional display. Especially before I’ve had anything to drink.

But the light in Mitch’s eyes means so much more to me than any tragedy, any mistake, any awful circumstance I went through while I was waiting to meet him. And when something tragic happens to me now, and he says, “It’s okay. We’ll get through it together.” I believe him. And that’s worth my only-ness…. and my tomorrows.

And the light in MAREN’S eyes? Don’t even get me started on that.
Happy Birthday, Bunny. And many, many more.

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Disney made me think that when I met my husband, it would involve unicorns and harp music. Dragon slaying at the very least.

I met my husband in August 2004. I actually remember the first time I talked to him– but not because it was some beautiful, angels come down singing out of the clouds or anything like that, and I guarantee that Mitch has forgotten all about it. I really only remember it because I laughed about it with my friends later, at Mitch’s expense.

I was 20, a junior in college, president of the concert choir at my college– which, obviously, made me the most important person in the world. In fact, when I rewind memories from that year, it’s almost hard to see anything else because I have to look around the giant chip on my shoulder. Probably they could see my head from space. It’s possible that small children seeking shade would rest beneath the shadow cast from my enormously inflated ego, where the temperature had to be at least 20 degrees cooler, since the sun was no competition for my frenzied self-importance.

One of the super duper important duties that I had as concert choir president was to order polos for everyone that had our concert choir logo on it so that we all matched when we went to places to perform. This was oh-so-important. And of course– every year– those silly freshmen just didn’t quite comprehend just how important it was that we all have POLOS THAT MATCH. OTHERWISE, WHEN WE PERFORM, WE WILL LOOK SOOO SOOO DUMB AND THEY MIGHT THINK WE ARE ACTUALLY JUST A BUNCH OF COLLEGE KIDS, FAKING IT LIKE WE ARE PROS. SOME OF THOSE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS MIGHT SUDDENLY REALIZE THAT WE ARE ALL REALLY ONLY ABOUT 16 MONTHS OLDER THAN THEM AND ONLY SLIGHTLY SMARTER. THE FACADE WOULD BE SOOOO BROKEN!

And THAT, my friends, would have been the REAL tragedy.

So on this day in fall of 2004, I happened to make some big announcement about how I was going to personally hunt down every single person who still owed me 23.50 for polos. They were all freshmen. And one of them was Mitch.

I’d never talked to Mitch before, but I had noticed him. This is because my friend Heidi and I were talking about how when we travel to other schools we always check out the guys in the other choirs, like all music students who are very serious about their craft. “Who would you check out, if you were visiting here?” I asked her, and we both looked back dubiously over our hunting grounds.

“Mitch, in the tenor section.” She said, pointing with her chin him, who at this point was in the middle of some song that I can’t remember. Sometimes I like to make believe like they were singing something totally heavenly, so that at least I can have THAT part of the Disney miracle that we were all promised as children. Probably they were singing scales. “See him?”

Well, of course I could see him. The kid was a giant. He stood head and shoulders above everyone else in the choir, one of those guys that my Dad would have called a brick-shit-house. Broad shoulders, muscles, the whole bit– looked like a football player. Super blonde. Lifted his eyebrows and tilted his chin down when he sang, and produced a really very impressive tenor tone, you know, for a freshman non-major. That’s the kind of crap that us music students said to each other to disguise the fact that most of us felt extremely inadequate, because we had no fall-back and were only slightly better than most people at our chosen career. I’m not so self-deprecating to say that I’m not a good singer, because I know that I am, but it was always a little disheartening when someone like Mitch came along; some kid who was so good at SOMETHING ELSE that he chose to make a career out of it, but who also just so happened to be so chock full of musical talent that he thought he’d sing in a very selective choir JUST FOR FUN.

Had I known I was going to reproduce with the guy, I would have been much more excited about this find.

But none of that was really what I noticed about him that day. When he lifted his eyebrows, even from the cheap seats I could see that he had the most piercing, sincere blue eyes I’d ever seen. He caught us looking at him, glanced in our direction, caught my eye, and then looked back at the conductor.

“Yup.” I said, staring a little dreamily at my future husband. “I see him.”

A few weeks later, I marched up to him, carrying a clip board. A clip board, for God’s sake. His name was on my list– highlighted– because he hadn’t paid for HIS POLO. EVEN THOUGH HE HAD ONE HANGING IN HIS CLOSET. It was almost enough to make my concert choir president head explode, and all those small children resting in the shade of my huge ego would have to go seeking shelter elsewhere.

He was standing in the auditorium with the director and some other guy. But I’m the lady with the ginormously important job, right? I have NO PROBLEM interrupting ANYONE.

So I looked up at him. “Mitch,” I said, “You haven’t paid for your polo yet. I need that money asap.” I actually freaking said ASAP like it was a word, like the syrup that comes off of trees. And I wasn’t kidding. Like I said, I am sure that Mitch has forgotten about this encounter, because if he hadn’t, he would have fallen on the floor laughing when the thought of dating me crossed his mind. Unless he has a thing for clipboards and bossy ladies. Which is possible.

“Oh.” He said, this poor kid. While the choir director and some other guy looked at us. So Mitch turned around and said, “Dad… can I have 23.50?”And this other guy– who I now realized was very obviously definitely related to Mitch– reached into his pocket for some money.

I didn’t know I was going to marry the kid. I still operating under ‘THE PLAN’ wherein I would be moving to Italy in the next few months and learning how to write sonnets in a leather bound journal while looking very pensive and important. But even if I did, I still probably would have hassled him about my damn 23.50. But maybe I would have pretended not to notice when he had to ask his Dad for it. And probably, I would have had the grace not to tell my girlfriends about it at lunch that day, laughing over my french fries at how embarrassed the freshman was, while I sat there with his Dad’s check folded in my pocket.

Not exactly the Disney Miracle that we’ve all been raised to look for. But I’d take my love story any day. When they cast the voice-over, I’m hoping for someone who sounds hot…. and not bossy.


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