Our Love Story

So Happy Together

How long have you and your significant other been together?
We’ve been together for nearly six years.

How did you meet? {What’s your “love” story?}
We met in 2006. I’d known about him because I’d read his Live Journal, I was friends with his agent at the time, and also some of his agent’s other clients, namely Mandy Hubbard. Mandy was my critique partner and best writer friend at the time. I was in Chicago with the agent and other writers (now authors!) at a Writer’s Conference. Adam was running a ghost tour and had invited all of those people along. Mandy asked if I could join, and Adam said “sure.” The day I arrived in Chicago, Mandy and I had lunch and spent ages speculating on what Adam was going to be like. I said that he’d probably be full of really weird facts and wear penny loafers with the pennies in them. That led to all of us later making predictions on what sort of shoes Adam wore. The night of the tour, I walked onto the bus and thought he was the cutest thing ever. The advantage of having a crush on the tour guide is that no one thinks you’re weird for staring at him while he’s telling stories.

By the way. He IS full of weird facts. But he wears walking shoes or boots.

If married, how long have you been married? If not, is this the guy you hope to marry? {do tell}
We got married on July 27, 2008.

Ronni & Adam Kissing in the Water

If you are married, where did you get married at? Big or small wedding? If not, where would you like to get married? And will it be big or small?
We got married at Edgewater Beach in Chicago. It was a small wedding. It was technically an elopement. See, I had been married before, and he had no interest in a fancy ceremony. So we told our friends “Hey, we’re eloping on July 27 at 10:30am at Edgewater Beach. Feel free to come if you want!” And people showed up! It was a short and sweet ceremony, a beautiful day.

Ronni & Adam

Ronni & Adam Exchanging Rings

Everyone! :)

Random Note: A few years ago, some meany-heads on The Knot decided to completely tear my and Adam’s wedding apart. They made terrible fun of us, called us names, threw in racist and ableist remarks, and really had nothing nice to say. (Apparently, these people have nothing better to do but troll wedding pictures of random people and make fun of them.) I didn’t go visit the forum where they were doing it, but a friend of mine told us about it, after she realized they were hotlinking her photos from our wedding. Chris (Aidan’s dad) got the thread shut down and deleted. No, I didn’t have a huge, fancy $10,000 wedding. It wasn’t formal at ALL. I don’t care. The day was perfect for us. Plus, we took all the money we’d have spent on a fancy wedding and spent it on our Disney World honeymoon.

Do you have any nicknames that you call one another? Do share!
I call him “Baby Adam” and he calls me “Little Ronica.”

Name 3 things you love most about your honey.
a. I love that he’s such a smart ass. His brain is always working. OK, you know how you get into a confrontation with someone, but you never think of the right thing to say until way after the fact? He not only thinks of the perfect thing to say, but he actually SAYS it at the right time.
b. He’s intensely loyal. I’ve never had a partner have my back so solidly.
c. He takes care of me. He cooks me dinner, he has no problem doing a lot of the household chores. He’s there for me when he sees that I’m not doing so well. He does everything he can to make me happy.

Tell us how he proposed? Or your ideal proposal?
I flew in for an impromptu trip to Chicago one weekend in September 2007. See, he’d already mentioned that he was ready to propose. So when he said he was eager for me to come visit, I had a feeling it was going to happen that weekend. I had no idea it was going to happen that NIGHT. He proposed over a chocolate phosphate at Margie’s Candies. The full story is here.

Here’s the ring:

I also use it for my wedding ring because why the hell not? It’s an antique, it’s beautiful, it’s a perfect fit, and I can’t think of a ring I’d love more.

Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals?
NEITHER! Adam’s not huge on overly romantic/cheesy gestures like that most of the time.

Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch?
Pop in a movie and relax on the couch. For sure.

Tell us one thing you’d like to do with your significant one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere?
I’d like to enjoy the millions of dollars we’ll surely one day have. We’d get homes in Florida, Chicago, Ohio, and England. We’d travel to Europe. Hit all the Disney parks in the world. Start some scholarship funds. Help people.

I dream big.

Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine’s Day.
We’re going to be at Epcot at Disney World! We’re going to have dinner at Garden Grill, our favorite Disney restaurant, and we’re going to get our pictures taken with Mickey Mouse.


Are you asking for anything this Valentine’s day?
I’ll try not to because HELLO I’ll be at Disney World, but you know, the Japan store is in Epcot with tons of incense, and the England store is there with JAMMIE DODGERS and I’ll need to replenish my stock of those.

Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love.
Patience and communication. Patience because you will get on each other’s nerves sometimes. There will be habits that aren’t necessarily harmful but can be annoying. Personality quirks that make you go what the hell? You’ll have to learn to deal with it. And communication is so very important. Don’t hold in resentments until they build up an explode. If he says something that hurts you, tell him so. He might not realize it’s hurting you. Also, be sure to communicate appreciation! Don’t just bring up the bad stuff.

Show us a picture of what love means to you.

Look how he’s looking at me.
It’s like he knows I’m crazy, but he loves me anyway.

Linking up here:


Let’s Talk About Food

Note: Check out my site’s new look. What do you think? I’m pretty happy with it. It took a lot work and research to finally find a theme that I was able to customize without paying an arm and a leg, and without too much trouble. So, YAY.

Tonight, Adam and I went to Eleven City Diner for dinner. This is what I had:

Dinner at Eleven City Diner

Mmm, so good.

In 2008, Adam and I ate there for our post-elopement celebration. They brought us their special Eleven City French Toast: fresh baked challah with strawberries, bananas, and toasted coconut. Good times. (Even though I don’t like bananas or coconut–but it really was nice of them to do that for us.) Chicago has no shortage of good diners, and Adam and I love a good diner run.

If you’ve been following my twitter feed, you’ll know that I’ve been having the most random cravings. Cake. Cupcakes. Sushi. BBQ beef. Beef & noodles. Turkey & cheese sandwiches with mustard (and tortilla chips). Hmm, maybe they aren’t so random. They’re actually pretty predictable, because food wise? I’m pretty predictable.

I’ve gotten intense cravings for as long as I can remember. My first serious boyfriend never craved anything, which bode well when choosing a place to go eat. I ate anywhere I wanted because he never got a taste for anything particular. He’d just eat whatever was there. When he and I parted ways and I got with my second serious boyfriend, it was a shock for me to suggest a restaurant and for him to say he wasn’t in the mood for it.

My intense cravings can really make dinner challenging. Adam and I tend to be on our own for the other meals and snacks, but when it comes to dinner, he likes to make a nice, hearty meal and he likes for me to enjoy them. But not only do I have intense cravings, I also have a finicky appetite. I will get hooked on something and eat it every day for two weeks straight. Some foods I’ll never get tired of, like spaghetti, or turkey & cheese sandwiches with mustard, Whatchamacallit bars, spinach. Or I will unexplicably go off a food and not want anything to do with it for several months. (Ask Adam about the time I went off chicken. He hated life.)

We also have different ideas of dinner. I can eat a plate of rice and spinach and be perfectly happy, or a turkey sandwich will satisfy me. Adam says “that’s not a dinner” and says that we need meat, starch, and veggies. I’m talking beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans or something like that. It doesn’t matter if it’s the dead of summer and it’s 95F out, and if I say it’s too “heavy” or something, he goes “What does that even mean?” He tells me to never become a vegetarian or a vegan because feeding me is already hard enough, that I don’t like enough veggies. But I don’t think that’s the hard part. I think the hard part is us not having compatible tastes all the time.

this is what Adam considers a true dinner

I know that he’s had to adapt a lot of his eating habits because mine are so weird. For example, he never buys onions because he knows I don’t like them, but on the rare occasion I do cook (it happens, it really does), I show him how I can make stuff taste yummy without using the vile things. 1 He knows that texture is a HUGE part of my eating experience, and the wrong texture will ruin a meal for me. 2 Toss in other weird food issues, and I don’t see how he puts up with it. I’ve told him he shouldn’t feel responsible for making sure I eat because I do have these hang-ups, but he said he LIKES to make sure I’m well fed and enjoying my meals.

A few months ago, I went to an Intro to Ayurveda workshop at Moksha, given by John Joseph Immel. Ayurveda is when you can manage your health by eating based on your dosha. There are three doshas–Vata, Pitta, and Kapha–and you’re to favor certain foods based on these doshas. It was interesting. A lot of it is stuff that’s inherent, but we kind of tamp it down in the name of convenience. But hear me out. If you’re feeling hot, don’t go eating peppers. Eat something cooling, like fruit. If you’re sick, get some rest, which not only means overall, but also, by giving your digestive system a rest. Eat foods that are nourishing, comforting, and easy-to-digest. See, makes perfect sense, right? Ayurveda isn’t some woo woo crazy thing. It’s listening to your body and eating accordingly. I wonder what Adam’s dosha is, now that I think about it?

Fruit Salad!
anyone else got the wiggles fruit
salad song stuck in their head now?
just me? ok then.

Going into our fourth year of marriage, I know Adam is still trying to figure out how to keep me nourished and happy. God bless him for his patience.

Hey, be sure to stop by tomorrow for the Twitter linky hop thingy that I host with Krista from Army Wife Style and Annie from Letters To Mo. I will also be revealing what I received in the 2012 gift exchange and link party!

Linking up with:
Miscellany Monday @
lowercase letters

  1. To be fair, I like what onions do to food. I just don’t like THEM.
  2. It’s why I don’t like oatmeal. I hate the way it feels in my mouth. It’s also why I can’t eat mushrooms, and one of the number one reasons onions turn me off so.


Christmas Prep Take One

Christmas Decorations 2011

I’m just about done decorating. I need to get new stockings for Adam and Aidan. Seems one of the cats left a “present” (in the form of pee) on those two particular stockings, and I didn’t find it until this year, when I went to hang them. Luckily, only those two stockings got hit. Aidan’s was personalized, which was a shame, but the pee didn’t get the name so I cut it out and hung it in his room. Not a total loss. And now I get to go buy more stockings!

Christmas Decorations 2011
My non-peed on stocking

Thursday, I complained on twitter that I failed at being a grown-up. And I had. I’d gotten some disappointing news, which put me in a funk that resulted in me not accomplishing a dang thing except playing on the computer for hours. And reading. And playing “dozer” games on my iPhone. And also Whirly Word. Adam read my tweet and asked why I felt that way, and I told him that it was because I was supposed to clean and I didn’t. He said that there was no point in cleaning now because I’d just be doing it all over again on December 19, the day before Aidan and my mom arrive for Christmas. I tried to tell him that if I cleaned now, that the work would be less by then, but he thinks that if I clean now, we’ll just mess it all back up and I’d have ended up doing twice the cleaning.

I couldn’t articulate that if I cleaned now, then I wouldn’t have to clean the normal mess by then PLUS the accumulation from not cleaning this weekend as well. The words just wouldn’t come. My brain had turned to mush from all the games I’d been playing. So he made me some tea and that was that.

When he cleans, he sees only the obvious, big picture messes and clutter. And he doesn’t see any point in cleaning all the time because the big, obvious messes aren’t always there. I see almost all the messes, and I can especially see the little details. He does the heavy lifting (taking out the trash, cleaning the fridge, scrubbing the stove, mopping the floor) while I handle the littler things (scrubbing faucets, cleaning mirrors, dusting, etc.). So, I guess what I need to say is that if I am not taking care of those little details all the time, or at least every week or so, then the big messes will come sooner and with more impact. And if I waited until the last minute to do all my holiday cleaning, I’d be looking UGLY come December 19. So, it’s always better, in my opinion, to do a little bit every week. Maintenance, if you will. Otherwise, the clutter will just build up and cleaning day will be exhausting and overwhelming. So I cleaned today because I can’t, in good conscience, decorate while the place is messy.


Friday, I pulled out the rest of the decorations and got to work. I even wrapped a few presents! I’m not totally hopeless!

Christmas Decorations 2011
The snow family salutes me.

Christmas Ornaments 2011
More ornaments. Why? Because I like them.
See what I did there?

So, all I have to do is stay on top of the cleaning, and all should be OK. :)

Christmas Ornaments 2011

Disclaimer: I am sharing my holiday home decor and cleaning tips for the chance to win prizes from The SITS Girls and Great Cleaners.

Ten days till my birthday. God help me.


Like A Flame You Must Be Wild (Pictures & Useless Rambling)

I had an awesome day Monday, July 27. The most important thing is that it was my and Adam’s first wedding anniversary. We’ve been married a year! :) A good year! During the year, I learned what it was like to have a husband’s 100% unconditional support. I learned what it was like to be spoiled rotten. I mean, I’ve never come home from work and had a cup of champagne rose tea waiting for me before. (Speaking of that tea, I need to get more. Where’d you get it again, Rosa?)

He indulges my doll habit. He sits through The O.C. with me, and laments about how dumb Marissa is. If I am the least bit irritated or uncomfortable, he does what he can to help me get better. I don’t think I do enough for him. I have to do more. ‘Cause I love him.

I was up pretty early this morning (well, early for me anyway). Adam came in and gave me a package–a thick envelope from M.E.I. Travel! Our Disney travel documents!!! YEA! When those things come… well, you know the trip is soon. And now we’re down to 19 days! But, in addition to the travel documents, luggage tags, etc., Suzy, my awesome travel agent, included some gifts. A Minnie Mouse antennae topper (which I can’t put on my car b/c kids in Chicago will steal it), a Peter Pan slap bracelet, and a lanyard for holding Keys to the World. I was thrilled to open that package!

Then, Adam took me to American Girl Place, and he bought me a doll and clothes for her. Then I talked him into letting me buy a doll for myself as well, so these two lovelies came home with me:

Peyton & Celeste

The one on the left is Peyton Elaine. She’s the one I paid for myself.
The one on the right is Celeste Rayn. She was my anniversary gift from Adam. Aren’t they cute? I could not decide between the two, even back when Adam told me weeks ago that he was going to take me to get a doll for our anniversary. I’m happy to have them both. :)

Spaghetti for dinner (Aidan had Ramen; he’s probably sick of spaghetti even though he cleans his plate and asks for seconds every time I make it), and a brownie/ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins and cranberry wine for dessert while watching Make It Or Break It on TiVo. Yeah, it was a good day.

I’ve been stocking up on pre-Disney stuff. It’s all in a cute little bag I got at The Disney Store. It’s a yellow bag with green seams, and the picture is of Mickey Mouse hugging Earth. In it, there is sunscreen, sunglasses for Aidan (they were $1.62 at The Disney Store!), ponchos, one of those spray bottles with a fan on it, Disney dollars for Aidan’s rewards, and other things of that sort.

Speaking of Aidan, isn’t he cute?

Cutie Aidan

Aidan, Wall•E, and Eve

He’s been doing MUCH better with bedtime stuff. I read him a chapter from Ramona the Brave every night before bed. I give him kisses and hugs. And no more nighttime yelling or crying. He does sleep under his covers, head and all, but Adam said he did the same thing when he was Aidan’s age. It makes Aidan sweat like mad, though. But if that’s what helps him cope, then….

Now we’re back to the regular problem of him wetting the bed at night. Accidentally, but still. It’s a pain in the butt. I have to get one of those waterproof covers asap. When we were in Iowa this weekend, Aunt Cindy gave me an alarm and some info about bed wetting and trying to stop it. I hope to God I put it in my suitcase and didn’t leave it in Iowa by mistake. It’s all great information and will really come in handy… provided I didn’t forget to bring it home! I’ve been taking him to the bathroom–but the problem is that I sometimes don’t get to him in time. And he’s already wet by the time I go to take him. The alarm seems like the best bet–I really hope I didn’t forget to pack it.

And another thing. I’ve been using EyeTV and moving the Disney videos to digital so I can make DVDs of them. It’s a LONG process. And I watch the videos as they’re being digitized. Aidan, at age two, did not listen to direction. There are so many times that Chris told him not to run off, and the next thing you know, Aidan is gone. I’m screaming at the tape “TURN THE CAMERA OFF AND GO GET HIM!!” I yelled at myself a few times, too. Ha. And I’m paying for it now. Adam and I are really trying to drive it into him that he needs to follow directions and do what we tell him. He seems to think that the things we say are optional, or he tries to flat out ignore us. Privileges get snatched away when he pulls that stuff. I can understand being really involved in TV or something, and needing to be called a few times to get his attention… but when he is spraying air freshener and I tell him to stop and he sprays again anyway? Oh hell to the no. I’m not having it. Right now it’s air freshener. What will it be in ten years? It’s best to nip that stuff in the bud right now.

It’s challenging still. Every day there is a new challenge… but every day there is a new joy, too.

ANYWAY, we did go to Iowa again over the weekend. Adam’s high school reunion, even though he officially graduated from high school in Georgia, he considers Urbandale his true class. Most of the people remembered him, too. It was nice to visit family as well. We had a picnic, and Uncle Pat managed to get a kite in the air.

Flying A Kite Flying A Kite
Flying A Kite
Uncle Pat, Turner, Aidan, Adam flying a kite

Aidan’s cousin Turner, who is nine, kept Aidan pretty busy. They pretty much entertained themselves which was really nice. I can see why parents have more than one kid! Not that we’re going to do that or anything. But I can see the advantage.

While we were there, Adam once again entertained the thought of moving to Iowa in a few years. I am on the fence. On the one hand, I didn’t realize how much my eyes crave seeing fields of grass, horses grazing, and tons of trees. When we were on our way to the picnic (and coming back), we’d pass these farms and things. You’d have thought my eyes were dying of farmland dehydration! I forgot how much I liked the country. I guess the grass is always greener, ’cause I bet I’d be craving the city once I moved to the country. Anyway…you can get cherry pies at McDonald’s in Iowa (and probably every other state except freaking Illinois). I love the slower pace, the reasonable cost of living, and the fact that the traffic lights and traffic patterns MAKE SENSE. And 6% sales tax! Such a far cry from Chicago’s 10.25% tax, plus tax on groceries, and the 13.25% sales tax on pop, and the bottled water tax and the breathing tax and the pooping tax and the…what was I saying?

Oh yeah. There are plenty of reasons to think about moving. In addition to the stuff I listed above, in Iowa, we’d stand some semblance of a chance of owning a house someday. In Chicago? Forget it. With properties averaging around $400K, and that’s not for freestanding. That’s for stuff attached to other people. Eff that. I don’t want to be stuck living next to some stark raving moron for 30+ years. No way. I mean, it’s not like we’ll be owning any property for about 10 years anyway unless one of us hits it big somehow, but it’s way more reasonable and feasible there.

However, there are a few drawbacks. I’ve mentioned the job thing before. There are magazines there, but what are the chances they’ll be hiring proofreaders? And it doesn’t seem very diverse, and I would like some diversity. It’s unnatural for me to go a whole weekend and not see any Latino or Asian people. There is always something to do in Chicago. It’s diverse. There is so much food to try and love. There is American Girl Place. And Michigan Avenue.

Oh well. There are years to think about such things.

Getting to Iowa was great. I slept the whole way there. But the trip back was awful. Well, not awful. Just annoying. There’s this long stretch of road on I-88 with NO rest stops or gas stations or ANYTHING. I mean, nothing. There are signs that imply businesses or something, but then you pull off onto the roads and there is nothing. So when Aidan had to potty, we had to pull over and let him whiz into the night air. And I was about to burst until we finally found a grocery store. I was sure they were going to be like “Um, this is for paying customers only. You need to buy something before you can use our bathroom.” But no such thing happened, thank goodness. It took ages to get home, though. Ugh. I do not like road trips… if I am awake for them.

I am trying to go natural with my hair again. It’s been almost 12 weeks with no relaxer. That’s not a huge accomplishment, though. I’ve gone 12 weeks before. I haven’t flat-ironed my hair or used a curling iron in weeks. I just let it air dry. It’s a challenge. But it’ll be nice to be at Disney World and not have to freak out about my hair if we get caught in a downpour. Not to mention not having to spend hundreds of dollars a year on relaxers.

My mom is coming to visit on August 5 through the 12. August is going to be a busy month for us. Mommy visit, Disney World, then Aidan goes back to Ohio. :( He starts school on the 26th! I mean, it’s already less than a month until he goes back. :( No fair. As hard as it is being a mommy some days, it’s harder when he is not here.

I guess that is all for now. I’m off to read and then go to sleep. Well, I’ll have a snack first. And some wine. Mmm cranberry wine. OK, good night.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Holiday Foolishness

Last night, I took a page out of the Tiffany catalog and circled an item, and then sat the page on Adam’s computer.  His comment to that was:  You’re about as subtle as a bulldozer. HAHAHAHA.  :)

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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