Oldest, Best Friend

Yesterday afternoon my wife and I attended the wedding of my oldest best friend. I have known him since kindergarten- which is four decades now. My wife has known him half as long, which is still a very long time these days. He is like a brother to me in many aspects.

Sharing in his special day made me feel, well, special. It was a tiny venue of around forty people. It was also quick and to the point. The ceremony happened shortly after 1pm and the reception was immediately after. Everything was completed by 5pm and people began to head home.

I’m genuinely happy for my friend. It seems as though he has finally found the love he was searching for. His new wife also seems to have found in my friend a love that she was yearning for as well. Together they are one of the most perfect couples I have ever seen.

I wish them many more years of happiness and love.

Congratulations William and Vanessa! With love always, Josef.

The “I Do” BBQ

Yesterday afternoon, some of my friends tied the knot. They did it in a way that was special and meaningful to them. It wasn’t extravagant or lavish. The service was humble and friendly. It was exactly the kind of service you would expect from them.

First of all, it was a fairly short announcement to the wedding day. Even though Jay and Leona have been a couple for quite some time, it was just the right time to get married. The venue was at a friend’s place where they (or we if you wish) have spent many a weekend enjoying each other’s company over food and drinks.

Jay and Leona kept it low key and simple. Their friends came together to setup tents, tables, decor and made food. Even though it was raining periodically, that didn’t stop the festivities. It was essentially a large BBQ with a wedding thrown in. In fact, right after the “I Do’s” were said, the two of them got changed back into their street clothes to relax. It was wonderful that they shared their love with us and we all got to hang out.

Sometimes I think back to when I first met them. Each was in a different aspect in my life within a couple years of each other. As well, their lives intersected periodically until the universe finally linked them together.

It was a good time yesterday with loads of smiles and laughs. I wish many more years of happiness to Jay and Leona! Congratulations once more.

Twenty Years Of Marriage

Today marks our Twentieth Anniversary since the day we married. What a glorious adventure we have had so far. It makes me understand that happiness is what you make of it.

After twenty one years together and twenty years of being married- Here’s my advice on how to have a long and happy marriage.

  1. Have fun. Joke around. Don’t take everything seriously. But avoid mean spirited and hurtful humor.
  2. Listen to one another. Your partner may need to vent from time to time. It’s not always your place to offer advice, but rather offer an ear just to listen.
  3. Thirty second hugs. Holding on for thirty seconds can genuinely help pull stress and anxiety away. There has been many a time that a hug has helped in a situation.
  4. If you fight, and you will fight, avoid insults. Insulting one another or jabbing at each other’s insecurities is hurtful. It’s also unproductive in delving into the root of the issue and finding a resolution.
  5. Don’t go to bed angry. Talk it out. Apologize. Stay up late to work things out. Do that 30 second hug thing in the end.

There’s so much more to a healthy relationship. Obviously you need to first find a person you can connect with on many different levels. The most honest advice I ever heard about marriage actually holds true-

Find someone you are content to watch tv with. Just being able to sit with your partner and share down time is as important as sharing all of those epic adventures you want to have.

After twenty years of marriage, I am still in love with everything about my wife. We were a perfect match and we both knew it from the day we met at a night club all those years ago… but that’s a tale for another day.

Happy 20th Anniversary Lee-Anne! I love you.

21

May 29,2000. Twenty one years ago my wife and I met. We have been together almost every day since then. Any time we have been apart, we have spoken on the phone. The time we have had apart is so minimal that I’d hazard a guess it’s been less than one month all added up.

We are moving into our dream home in twenty one days. I am nervous and excited at the same time. Change is good. Like all of the changes that have entered my life, the biggest ones have occurred with Lee-Anne by my side.

In all this time, my wife has- and will be- the constant that makes my life matter most. She has pushed me beyond my comfort levels and helped in creating who I am today. From parenting to career to travel to just living life- after meeting Lee-Anne my journey has been a whirlwind of excitement.

In July we will celebrate twenty years of marriage. In our new home, with an adult child and two teenagers to celebrate with us. I’m always amazed to look back at life and see the journey we have been on. Sometimes you miss the process as you are in the midst of it.

Twenty One. What a great number.

Tender Fart- The Unspoken of Carebear

My wife and I have a special relationship. It’s filled with love and understanding; compassion and kindness. But above all- acceptance. Acceptance of our flaws.

I accept that my wife has a crude sense of showing her love for me some days. I recently saw some screen shots of a text conversation we had about four years ago. It’s the same type of conversation we have had previously and continue to have.

Fart humor.

Yes. That text exchange was while we lay next to each other in bed. It’s not the first time we have done that. Nor will it be the last time. (I’m obviously talking about my wife’s farts and how proud she is of them).

Everyone farts. You can’t deny that. Is it acceptable to share them? Honestly- read the room first. Not everyone finds passing gas humorous. Especially if there’s an odor that goes along with it.

I enjoy that my wife and I are that comfortable around one another. And that we can fart freely. We both still giggle as a reaction to one another’s gas works. A little rumble in the down under makes for some good laughs.

Do you fart around your loved ones?

Life’s Like A Movie

Life’s like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing. Keep pretending.

Seven thousand four hundred and eighty days. Or twenty years, five months and twenty four days. That was when I proposed to my wife.

We had gone out for dinner, then an evening stroll in Fort Langley. We stopped at a coffee shop and sat on the patio, at which point I popped the question. On the sidewalk right next to us they were filming a movie.

We married on July 10,2001 in Fort Langley at a small church on a Tuesday. Across the street, they were filming “Air Bud 4”. The production company stopped filming and stood at the door and watched us get married.

This past weekend, my wife and I walked through Fort Langley once more. This time the little town had changed into the setting of “Sonic The Hedgehog 2”. Fort Langley became a town called Green Hills. My wife and I went “full tourist” and took a bunch of photos.

My favorite part about walking around, was seeing the details added to the set. Things that no one would ever see. The background story of a fictional town hidden all around. As if Green Hills was a real place.

Movies have always been a big part of my life and I enjoy them tremendously. Movies can whisk you away for a couple of hours into an imaginary storyline. My life with Lee-Anne has been magical since we first met.

The eye of the mind makes a movie. And my movie has been nothing short of awesome.

All That And A Bag Of Chips

Valentine’s Day is about love. I have found over the years that expressing love today doesn’t need to be flashy and over the top. Nonetheless, moments like that are beautiful and memorable. But you can be romantic in simpler ways as well.

For my wife, I gave her a bag of Lays potato chips and a case of pink grapefruit soda. It may sound silly to everyone, but I know that it meant a great deal to her. That’s because when we first began dating, this was her comfort snack while we cuddled.

“Dee-ah-tay Pample-Mousse” as we called the pop, is a great refreshing beverage. My wife used to enjoy having a 2 liter bottle at the side of the bed. She would have it sitting there for days on end, just slowly going flat. But that’s how she liked to drink it.

Memories like this are what makes Valentine’s Day a bit more romantic in my eyes. Looking back at our younger selves with awe and amazement that we have been together for over 20 years now. If I could, I would go back in time. Not to change anything, but rather to relive the moments once more.

Happy Valentine’s Day sweetheart. I’m glad that you are all that- and a bag of potato chips.

Marriage In 2020

Yesterday our neighbors were having a wedding ceremony. It took place in the backyard of a newly built house. There was a small gathering of people there. The rest of their guests- well let’s just say they did a drive-by car parade.

My wife and I came home in the evening to see these signs placed down our street. It was a lovely gesture for the newly married couple. You don’t need big and flashy in order to get married. Sometimes simplicity is the way to go.

So congratulations to the newlyweds- whoever you may be. Since we haven’t met any of our new neighbors due to Covid-19… But at least they found love.

19 Years Later…

Today is my 19th Wedding Anniversary! That’s a long ass time to be married in this day and age. Especially since I married her when I was only 25 years old. And had no idea what my life would have in store for me.

What’s crazy is I still feel young and alive when hanging out with my wife. She has been the greatest person to participate in life’s experiences with. From raising children, traveling the world, buying a home, or changing numerous careers… this has been a delightful challenge of life that I have enjoyed sharing with her.

I cannot wait until we get to celebrate 20 years, 24 years, 31 years, 42 years, possibly 65 years together. I love my wife tremendously and have been lucky to create milestones with her. I hope for her to feel the same and for us to have a Happy Anniversary! To quote the movie that inspired our wedding, and our life together:

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn- is just to love and be loved in return.

Truth, Beauty, Freedom, Love

18 Years

Today I celebrate 18 years of marriage to my wife. It has been an amazing journey. With far more ups than downs.

I have loved every moment. Even that time when she stabbed me in the face with her finger nails and tried to apologize acting all sweet and cute.

Or the time she thought I was taking a selfie and wanted to show that she brushes her teeth- so I took a selfie with her.

I love that ten years ago, we went on our first family trip to Disneyland. I never knew that an inner child was a real thing until I saw my wife gushing with pleasure and excitement as we wandered the parks. This also started a continuous desire to return as often as possible to Disneyland. Whenever we are having rough emotional patches- we talk about previous trips and future plans of traveling to those Magical Lands.

Through 18 years of marriage, we have created and cultivated a beautiful family. Our three kids have been a source of pride for us both. We love to joke and laugh with them. Our kids have become extensions of our personalities- sharing love into this world the same way my wife and I do.

Our love for one another has grown tremendously strong over the years. I’m lucky to have such a great partner. She is as crazy as I am. She even lets the crazy loose more when I’m around.

May our journey together not be restricted to just these first 18 years of marriage. We have a bond that I feel will last a lifetime.

Happy 18th Anniversary Lee-Anne! I love you with all my heart.

Sincerely,

Josef

17 Years of Marriage

Today is our 17th Anniversary. It so happens to fall on a Tuesday, just like the day we were married. If you want to read about our wedding, check out my post from a couple of years ago: This Is What 15 Years Does.

Getting married on a Tuesday meant that all of our major milestones will land on a weekend. Which has/will be very convenient for big celebrations.

2011 Sunday 10 years

2016 Sunday 15 years

2021 Saturday 20 years

2026 Friday 25 years

After that, it gets a little dodgy for the major fifths. But you have to admit that 25 years is a pretty hefty goal in this day and age. 2026 only puts me at age 50. I know we will remain together until one of us croaks. We’re just a great match with crazy quirks intertwined together.

Talking on the phone with my wife, we never want to hang up. Sometimes one of us calls back to try and annoy the other. We are also on our way to becoming one of those old married couples in matching outfits on a regular basis. We already have matching shirts. I’ve also convinced my wife that Sketchers are great shoes. Should I mention our matching inhalers?

I don’t know of anyone else out there that would’ve stayed with me this long in spite of my idiosyncrasies. My wife is a lucky lady to have me. I’m even luckier to have her.

Happy 17 Years of Marriage Lee-Anne! Thanks for memories!

I Am A Liar

Reimagining memories to make ourselves look better is common amongst most folks. We all want to be seen in the best possible light at all times. Sharing stories with people of our successes or romance that seem borderline improbable is commonplace. But hey, at least we look good in our own minds and in the eyes of others, right?

I share many memories and ideas here in my blog and on various social media platforms. Sometimes they are a bit exaggerated. Sometimes not. There are times that I add or take away a detail from my stories that make for better storytelling. Let me give you a recent example of such a story I told my children.

Yesterday, driving the kids home from school, Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner” came on the radio. So I asked my oldest, who was sitting in the front seat, what the significance of this song was in my life. She said she was unsure. But from the back seat, my middle child piped up and she said that the song is from my wedding day. And she was correct. It was the song that was played at the reception as my wife and I walked into the room for “the first time” as husband and wife. I then explained to the kids the deep meaning behind why we chose the song.

How the singer is talking about sitting for a coffee- something my wife and I did regularly when we first started dating. And how the lyrics continue to speak about reading the paper at the diner- another activity my wife and I shared as we would do crossword puzzles together and read our horoscopes. Finally, the line about “Listening to bells of the cathedral…” corresponded with the ringing of the bell in the church as our wedding ceremony ended that day. I told my children that lots of time and thought were put into which song signified our love at the time. The song ended and they seemed impressed by what they just learned about mom and dad.

But what I told my children was a lie.

“Tom’s Diner” was played at our reception as we walked in as husband and wife for the first time. Yes, the fact about my wife and I going for coffees and read the newspaper together was true. But the reason for choosing the song was a lie. We chose the song the day before because we completely forgot to choose an entrance song. The part about the bells in the cathedral? I forgot that that was even in the song.

It was the first song suggested to us by the DJ. My wife and I figured, why not. It sounds neat at the beginning with the “Duh-duh-duh-da. Duh-duh-duh-da.” That was it. Nothing romantic or significant about the song. In fact, that was probably the first time I had heard it in the presence of my wife. The story I told to my children sounds more romantic and borderline fairytale.

No, my life isn’t picture perfect. Far from it. I do really enjoy making my life seem grand- even if I am “Making It Up As I Go.”

Being Randomly Thought Of…

Recently on social media, my friends have been thinking about my wife and I. It’s flattering and super swell. It makes me feel loved.


My wife and I have a wonderful connection with one another. Often poking fun at each other in a public setting, such as Facebook. It’s always in jest. Nothing my wife posts is meant to hurt my feelings in any way. If I am about to post something about her that may be considered “unflattering” I will consult with her first. In public though, insults are commonplace and quick witted.


Over the past few years, we’ve had friends say that they want to have a healthy and fun relationship such as ours. I’m glad that our friends think of us when follies and fun are abound. Sometimes I forget how people can touch each other’s lives in some of the sweetest ways.

Thank you to our friends for thinking of us and enjoying watching our lives unfold. We love you all.

16 Years is a Lifetime

I love my wife very much. Today is the day we celebrate 16 years of marriage. My wife and I have been together for only 17 years.  So I guess when it’s right, it’s right. We have made a lifetime of memories together. I expect a lifetime more.


We mesh quite well together. When I’m crazy-she’s normal. When she’s crazy- I’m normal. We create a peace between each other.  We harmonize our chi or feng shui that thing.  Whatever it is, it works for us. I’ve never been happier.  Life is pretty darned good.

When we got married, we never said “I Do.” Instead we said, “I Will.” The difference in those two sentences has made a difference in how I view our lives.  “I Do” is just for the moment.  “I Will” implies for a much longer time.  It promotes future planning.

I do love my wife. 

I will love her forever.

There’s This Woman…

Jane Curtain once said, “…there’s an old saying: Behind every successful man there’s a woman.  A loving, giving, caring woman…”

Jane Curtain


Of course there’s more to that quote, but I highlighted the part I needed for today’s blog.  The rest is a humorous banter between her and Dan Aykroyd on an old Saturday Night Live skit.  In the style of which they seemed like a stereotypical old married couple.

Our first photo together in 2000.


My wife supports me 100% with whatever I choose to do in my life.  She is my partner and we work together to make a pretty good go of things.  The only time she “stands behind me” is when she is pushing me to do better or remain focused.  

Take my blogging for example.  She encourages my daily writings and often asks if I have finished my post (especially if it’s getting late in the day).  She also proofreads 99% of them.  For that, I am truly blessed.  You’d be surprised how many mistakes I can make.

Really nice hair.


So many thanks are owed to the greatest woman in my life. She has made me a stronger person.  She has helped me through many struggles. She has helped me accomplish many goals.  Without her, I probably wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am in life.  Both successfully and emotionally.

Thank you Lee-Anne.

That’s the news. Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow. 

Losing My Man Card

I have been told on numerous occasions that I need to hand in my “Man Card”.  I think it’s about time I did something about this.

My Man Card


So here it is my “Man Card”.  I never knew I had received it.  There was no ceremony or cigar smoking in celebration of becoming a man.  

Was it when I was about 13 and discovered that I became aroused at the female form?

Fond memories of Electric Blue.


Was it when I turned 19 and went out to the bar and drank everything in sight?  Ending my evening covered in my own vomit?  Not likely- I was drinking “Electric Blue Long Island Iced Teas” with umbrellas and pineapples.

Was it when I got married at age 25 to my best friend and start a journey alongside her?  Probably not since most people think that my wife has my balls in her purse now.

I’m a real man.


Perhaps it was the following year when I became a father for the first time.  I doubt it though because I helped design and paint the nursery and constantly changed diapers.

Maybe it was when I turned 33 and became a railroader.  Does this mean the women who work for the railroad are manly?  But again, I received no fanfare.

Rocking the pink hair.


Somehow my “Man Card” appeared in my wallet.  All my male friends have requested it back.  Please take it.  It hasn’t done me any good.  Being a sexist bigot isn’t really my thing anyways.  

I prefer to be a caring soul who enjoys arts and crafts with my kids.  Or a glass of wine on the deck watching the birds and squirrels play in my yard.  Sometimes lending an ear to a friend who needs it instead of telling them to suck it up is more my style.

So please take my “Man Card” and stop asking for it.