Archive for the ‘Love and Marriage’ Category

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Awfully unexpected turn of events during our training ride this morning.  We were intending to try to ride the entire route of 62 miles, a metric century for those of you who are familiar with the term.

Around 20 miles out, we turned down a farm road with a few houses on one side and a Bassett Hound came running out into the street.  There’s always a worry of dogs getting tangled up with your bike and causing a crash, so that was where my focus was, on avoiding hitting the dog.

It had other ideas.  It bit me as I came up alongside it.

I kind of kicked it off and kept riding to put a little distance between us before I stopped to take a look.  It was bleeding, but not badly.  We usually carry some minor first aid items with us, so I cleaned it up and put on some neosporin.  It was pretty sore, so we decided to just head back toward the house.

Later, I went back in the car and tried to find the house it had come from by asking some neighbors.  I wasn’t sure what my plan was, but I definitely wanted to at least confront the owners if I could find them.

A neighbor knew of the dog and said it had been known to bite before.  I kept thinking it was a good thing it was me that it bit and not my wife, because I wouldn’t have handled that well.  As it was, i made a police report, but declined to take any action against the family.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Things are definitely coming together.  Today, we got the invitations all done.  We’re doing a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party theme loosely based on the recent version of Alice in Wonderland with Johnny Depp.

Ceecee created them herself on the computer and they turned out really neat.  There are several outdoor patios and pavilions at the park and we just decided that we will have our ceremony outdoors and the weather will just have to cooperate.

I’ve picked up most of the stuff for my costume at thrift stores and we ordered a Mad Hatter’s hat on Amazon.  Ceecee found a dress at a store downtown.  It’s going to be really silly and that’s the way we want it.

We’re planning two training rides this week and we leave for California in a week and a half.  When we get back, it will only be a few days until we leave for our second honeymoon! Hard to believe everything is this close.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Planning continues for our ceremony.  We’ve picked out some songs we want played and worked on a few of the other details.  I asked my friend Joe if he would play and sing “Marry Me,’ by Train, but he said the guy’s range was way too high and he could never pull it off.

We decided we can just play recordings and picked up a few cd’s.  One of them is by Brandi Carlile, who we had only heard of because of church.

Around Easter, they did the song “The Story,” which was played at the end of the movie, “The Lucky One.”  When they sang it in church, we were amazed by the lyrics and my wife immediately leaned over to me and said, “I want this song for our ceremony.”

We found out that a bridezilla has booked the entire building at Nathaniel Greene Park on the day of our ceremony for her own wedding, so we’re looking for plan B.  I’ve always only envisioned having it there, but we’ll figure something out.

My friends Joe and Kevin are both going to speak, as is our daughter, Angie. We’re not going to have a preacher because we’re already legally married and we don’t know anyone in that capacity who knows us well enough to really be part of this.  We’re also going to write our own vows and say them to each other.  I still haven’t figured out what I’m going to say, but I’m not worried about it.  It’s not a matter of not being able to think of anything.  It’s a matter of wanting to say way too much and needing to get it down to what’s really important.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ceecee got first place in her age group in the Firecracker 5000, an Independence Day 5K in Branson this morning.  She never expected it, but I was sure proud of her.

I had hoped that I might have placed for my age group, but no such luck.  Even so, I ran a good race and it was a pretty neat course, going along the shore of Lake Taneycomo during the last mile.

We won a couple of ridiculous door prizes, too.  Ceecee won a huge box of fireworks, which we gave to our son-in-law’s family, and I won a quilt with an Americana theme.  It was funny, though.  On the way back home, we decided to stop and eat a picnic lunch and we used that quilt as out picnic blanket.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

This was supposed to be just a fun weekend in St. Louis with family and friends, but it turned out to have a powerful restoration right at the beginning of it.  One that I didn’t even know we needed until yesterday morning.

We were heading up the interstate Saturday morning and would be getting to St. Louis around lunch time.  We were going to have lunch as a couple before meeting everyone else there later that afternoon.  We were talking about where we wanted to go to eat.

As we talked, I realized that there was one place on The Hill (St. Louis’ Italian community) that I had a bad association with, Mama Campisi’s.  That was the place where Ceecee had gone with my sister when they went to St. Louis without me.

I hadn’t known it at the time, but I realized later that my wife was going to test out leaving me.  It seemed that now, I still would try to avoid that restaurant and I didn’t want there to be any place on The Hill that bothered me, so I told her how I was feeling.

She immediately agreed that we should go there together, then, when we got to town.  We did, and we had an amazing time.  It was slow, and the waitress took extra time with us and we even got to share our story with her.  I had tears in my eyes when we left, but they were healing tears.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Today we took a long ride to Ozark and back.  There are some wicked hills in the country in between, but it’s good for us.  It’s only a little over a month until the Tour De Cox and we still have never ridden 62 miles before.

Once we got back to town, we stopped at Rosati’s, a fairly new pizzeria that is supposed to have authentic Chicago pizza here in Springfield.  We had lunch there, and it was good, but definitely no competition for places like Pizzeria Uno or Gino’s East in Chicago.

Our California trip is all booked and paid for.  We leave nere July 20th and we’ll be there a week!  So looking forward to taking Ceecee to wine country and to see the pacific Ocean.  It’s funny; with her upbringing, she’s been all over Europe, but has never been to California or seen the Pacific.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Got another big surprise today – this one of the good variety!

We were at my parents’ house helping them with some yard work and they brought up the subject of visiting my brother in California.  I mentioned that we’d like to go, but never have had the money.

They said they would pay for the trip and that they really wanted us to go.  They’re going to buy the plane tickets and give us extra for traveling expenses.

My brother lives near Fresno, but we’re flying into San Francisco, so we’re going to go up to wine country for a couple of days when we first get there.  I used to travel to Napa and Sonoma Counties as part of being a wine writer, but I never got to have Ceecee with me.

I would visit wineries and eat in great restaurants, but I always wished she could share that part of my life.  Now, by taking this trip, she can!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Yesterday was one of the most important days on the restoration tour.

Friday was pretty significant as well, but in a different way.  Our 80’s date was a lot of fun, but was also somewhat painful, as it brought out a lot of memories and feelings that neither of us really wanted to be part of our night out.  Even so, it was good and I’m glad we did it.

Yesterday, we restored Eureka Springs, though.  That was huge.

We hadn’t known about Eureka Springs for that long before all of our problems really became a threat to our marriage.  We had “discovered” it after years of people telling us how wonderful it was, but us just thinking that it was in Arkansas, so how great could it be?

When we finally went, we fell completely in love with it and it became sort of a magical getaway place for us.  It was also the place we went for a make-up weekend after I came clean about what had been going on with me during the time that I felt like our marriage was maybe no longer going to work.

It was where I got Ceecee to go with me prior to our separation last year, when I thought for sure that if we could go to that place and spend a day together, that she would realize that we needed to stay together and work things out.  She didn’t, and that day in particular has haunted me ever since.

No more, though.

Yesterday we went back as a happily married and in love couple and experienced that beauty of that place the way we had before and always should have.  We went to all our favorite spots, enjoyed all the feelings that came with it, and exorcised those memories from last year.  It was one of the last major stops on the tour, and we’ve only got a little more than  month to go!

Friday, June 24, 2011

This morning, we decided to ride from our loft out to the Wilson’s Creek Battlefield where we used to train.  It’s in between Springfield and Republic and our phone gps system got us completely lost.  We eventually go there, but we certainly took the long way.

On the way back, we saw some really cool places and got into some pretty good hills out on the country roads.  One in particular, on the way down, was a “hospital or thrill” hill.

I don’t’ like to ride the brake going down steep hills and I know that if a dog or other small animal gets in front of the bike, or anything goes wrong, I’m going to the hospital.  It isn’t wise, but I love it.  It’s part of the thrill of road cycling, and I don’t want it any other way.

I have no idea how long the ride ended up being, but it was a good one to train for the Tour De Cox, which is only about 6 weeks away.

Tonight, I’m taking my wife on an 80’s date.  We’re both 80’s high school graduates and some of the baggage from the past has contributed to some of our problems when we separated, so we’re going to restore the 80’s tonight,

First we’re going to 1984, a video arcade downtown that’s full of nothing but old vintage video games like Pacman, Frogger, Asteroids, etc.  Then we’re going to Branson to watch an 80’s cover band who wears wigs and dresses up in all the crazy stuff bands used to wear back then.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Things are in full swing for the culmination of the restoration tour.  As we count down to 365 days, or one full year of restoration, pieces are starting to fall into place.

I’ve known since August 7th of last year that we would spend a year restoring our marriage, then ride the Tour de Cox and hold a ceremony in which we would renew our vows on August 6 of this year.  To that end, we’ve talked, loved, visited, revisited, and trained, all with the goal of healing the past hurts and building a strong and brighter future.

What hasn’t been so sure is what that ceremony is exactly going to look like.  It’s been more a vague concept than anything actually planned until more recently.  I’ve known that it would happen, but the how, when, where, etc. was kind of left up to chance.

That’s not like me at all.  I’m a planner who wants to know all the details of a thing before I take it on.  In this case, it was all part of the vision God gave me and I’ve just known that it would come together and that it would be beautiful.

Over the weekend, Ceecee and I were at Nathaniel Greene Park.  It’s a large area in south Springfield and the south creek trail, where we often run and cycle, runs right through it.

We went around to the back side of the artificial lake, where we’ve never been, and discovered some small, secluded playgrounds back there.  One has a teeter totter that’s made like a dragonfly.  Another has cement tables and chairs that are painted like bright, exotic mushrooms.  This is where we were sitting when the inspiration hit.

I made the comment that it felt like we were sitting in wonderland.  Ceecee immediately picked up on the idea and said that maybe we could have a Mad Hatter’s tea party theme for our ceremony.  I quickly agreed and we began scoping out the park for more ideas.

We also went to a consignment dress store downtown she could shop for an “Alice” dress to wear.  We found a few ideas and I have some thoughts about dressing up as the Mad Hatter, as well.

Today is the official first day of summer, although we’ve been celebrating the summer of restoration since June 1.  Yesterday we went to the Kansas City Zoo and to a tapas bar with Rachel and her boyfriend Ryan and had a great time.  Ceecee said she “felt whole.”

Tonight, we’re having Kevin, “the marriage guy,” and his wife over for dinner.  I’m going to ask Kevin if he will be part of our ceremony.  I’d like him to speak a few words, especially as related to the advice he gave me and the way he helped support us while we were separated.