Don’t call us, we’ll call you

February 16, 2011

Aaaaannnnnd . . . she’s walking

Filed under: Family, Personal — Tags: , , — llcall @ 9:27 pm

It may be the cutest thing ever . . . until she gets so excited that she starts flapping her arms, loses her balance, and does a face plant.  But whether she stays vertical or ends up horizontal, she obviously expects you to clap at her new skill at least every 2.5 minutes.  Ah, the need for validation starts early.

I love these “Cry for help” e-cards


And . . . she’s one year old.  To celebrate she woke us up screaming right about the same time she was born, 2 a.m.  Coincidence?  Or has she heard about her honorary Aunt Rachie’s birthday tradition?  (Sorry, lady, we didn’t bang the pots and pans, but we did change her diaper.)


Also, I’m apparently in too contemplative a mood to fall back asleep.  How about some musings?

I don’t know if you’ve heard but the word on the street is that this week is all about love.  Every year the same thing happens: I read what people say about their significant others, I notice some common themes, and I fixate on two in particular that just don’t resonate with me.

The first statement is something to this effect: every day is like Valentine’s Day in our relationship.  I think that’s a really great sentiment.  I really do.  The world would no doubt be a better place if everyone was constantly trying to show love and kindness to their partners/friends/family (and also buying them stuffed animals attached to balloons, but that probably goes without saying).  But do I want it to be Valentine’s Day every day?  Ummm . . . pass.  You know, the truth is some days I just want to have a bad day, be a little grumpy, get frustrated over an ultimately unimportant thing.  And at the end of those days I don’t want to have to think, “Oh shoot, I ruined Valentine’s Day!  AGAIN!”  In the end, that’s one of the most comforting things about my relationship with Neal, my parents, my brother, my close friends.  I know they’ve seen me on some pretty crummy days and they’re still coming back for more.

The other statement that I don’t really relate to is some variation on I love my spouse more today than I did the day we got married.  Again, there’s nothing wrong with feeling this way.  In fact, I ask myself if there’s something wrong with me because I don’t feel this way (and we can’t even guess at whether Neal feels this way since he doesn’t even know what love is).  But it just doesn’t feel true for me.  I’ve been wondering whether this is a more common sentiment in the LDS culture with our stereotypically short courtships and engagements.  Or is this notion common in the broader world as well, and I just notice it among LDS people because I interact with a lot of LDS people?

I’ve actually puzzled over this topic a lot because maybe I should feel that my love for Neal is growing over time, but after four years, it’s pretty much holding steady (although let’s be honest, the couple relationship certainly takes a bit of a hit with the transition to parenthood — not necessarily the love, but the functioning, at least in our case).  I remember a few years ago a good friend of mine telling me, after he and his wife had been married for a few years and devastatingly had to bury a child, that he understood better why the leaders of our church encourage couples to get married relatively quickly and not stay in the courtship stage for too long.  He said, “I see now that the love that gets you to the altar is not the same love that’s going to get you through the hard stuff.”  I think there is wisdom in this observation, a wisdom that came from having to go through one of the worst possible things I can imagine.  But still, for me, I don’t see this change.  In our married life we’ve been through family crises, miscarriage, high-risk pregnancy, childbirth, too many surgeries to keep track of (one during said high-risk pregnancy), definitely too many illnesses to keep track of.  But in our pre-married life, Neal nursed me through too may illnesses to keep track of.  I helped him start a small business.  He held my hand for hours while I was strapped to a backboard after our near-fatal car accident.  I moved cross-country for him.  He delivered me to physical therapy three times a week for months.  I waited patiently for him to decide what he wanted for his future and whether the LDS faith would be a part of it.  We played about 370 games of Skipbo in which he talked too much smack and I was alternately pouty or angry if I lost (thankfully, I rarely lost).

Have there been some surprises in marriage?  A couple here and there.   But we’re still coping with things the same way we did before; a lot of talking, too much thinking (that’s my job), strategically-timed Oreos.  He’s the same person I knew I wanted to marry about two months into our relationship, even though it took two years to get to the altar.  When I think of our life together and my love for him, I mainly see continuity not change.

So, I’m curious, what do you make of all this?



  1. Lindsay, I LOVE your musings! I’m not always very opinionated, but I enjoy your depth and your comments that seem to always get me thinking. I’m totally with you about not having Valentines Day every day! In law school, I’ve wanted to do away with many holidays because I just feel so much pressure sometimes! (And I’m typically a huge fan of making a big deal of holidays and birthdays, etc.) I agree with your oh-so-insightful points about love and relationships. And congratulations to Addison! I’m excited to see her walking around!

    Comment by Genny — February 16, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

  2. Happy Birthday, Addison. I would have banged pots and pans for you had I not been so far away. I wish I could come give you a squeeze. I know you can’t read, but I’m pretty sure your mom will tell you I said all this.
    As for the love stuff, I definitely love Todd more than I did the day we got married. But I think what that means is I love so much more stuff about him, things that I didn’t/couldn’t know until we lived some life together. Know what I mean?
    Love you, sister. More than I did the day we moved in together. 🙂

    Comment by Rach — February 16, 2011 @ 10:33 pm

  3. She’s one already? No way!
    We didn’t used to to Valentine’s Day, but as we’ve gotten older, and a little more financially stable things changed. He doesn’t usually get the chance to spend money on me, so he takes this day as an opportunity, I certainly don’t expect it, but I will admit, it is nice. He had fudge shipped from a quaint little fudge shop in Cambria, CA. Just because he wanted to, and not necessarily because it was V-day. As for loving each other more now then we did then, I have to say we definitely do. After about 5 years something changed, almost like my heart grew, so the amount of love I could feel grew, and it does it every few years, sometimes every year, as we experience more of life together.

    Comment by Jolene — February 16, 2011 @ 10:44 pm

  4. OK – so I think I fall into the second category, of being more in love now than when I got married. But, after reading your post and carefully considering what you said, I believe that I don’t love him MORE than when we married, but rather differently. I still get butterflies sometimes, but I’m not always giddy and smiling like I was on our wedding day. But I do come home knowing that I will be safe and protected and cared for, even when things get rough. Dating and engagement feelings fade, but that doesn’t mean that I love him less. Maybe I just know how to love him better and stronger and for better reasons.

    Comment by Andie — February 16, 2011 @ 11:22 pm

  5. “Everyday is like Valentine’s Day in our relationship” – holy cheese! No, I do actually know people for whom this is true – they’re all about leaving hidden love notes around the house and drawing hearts in shower steam. That’s not me and my husband. We have our goofball ways of showing love, but they’re not like that. Anyway, I guess that statement could be true for us in a sense, but it would be most accurate to say “Valentine’s Day is like everyday.” We don’t observe it in any special, out-of-the-ordinary way. I believe in having special occasions and in showing your spouse that you appreciate and adore them, but I don’t see why February 14th should be the designated day for everyone.

    The other thing, about loving your spouse more than the day you married him/her, is something I can relate to. We didn’t have a super-long courtship (about a year overall), so I’m sure that contributes to it to an extent; we didn’t have a ton of time pre-marriage to experience those kinds of challenges that you and Neal did pre-marriage. For me, it’s just that my love has increased as my sacrifice has. We’ve both had to sacrifice for each other, in matters large and small, and I’m pretty sure that if we hadn’t been married, the prospect of some of those sacrifices would have made one of us throw in the towel on the whole relationship. But I was tethered to him by my wedding ring, so I made whatever sacrifice was required, and I found – with great surprise – that the sacrifice did something positive for the love itself. I’m not sure how much sense that makes, but I’m trying to say that marriage, time, and challenges produced a setting where my love for him has grown in width and depth. My suspicion is that I’m the sort of person who needed to be married in order to give that love enough time to grow, while other folks can experience and express that kind of commitment by virtue of their love alone.

    Anyway, your words definitely got me to thinking. And typing. Obviously.

    Comment by Sara K.S. Hanks — February 17, 2011 @ 3:37 am

  6. I find it very interesting. I don’t identify with the Valentine’s Day thing at all, but I do identify with loving Derrick more deeply now that we’ve spent 2.5+ as a married couple. I guess I can’t help it. To me, love is closely tied with experience and time, way more than it’s tied to just being a feeling. So now that we’ve gone through more experiences with each other and spent more time together, well…it just follows.

    I chuckled to myself with the Skip-Bo reference. I remember vividly getting into an ugly fight after Derrick teased me past my point of endurance while he was beating me at Phase 10. It’s almost as funny a memory as the time we had a blow out over Mary Poppins (seriously, who fights over philosophical ideas contained within the song “Feed the Birds?!”).


    Comment by Jen — February 17, 2011 @ 3:51 am

  7. Happy Birthday Addison and congratulations on the walking!

    I have to say that I love my hubby more now that we have a child together. When I see him playing with her or even just interacting, I have this intense love/pride feeling that this is my family. We’ve been together for 5 1/2 years now and I feel that our love has and continues to mature, it’s still passionate but it’s also much deeper.

    Comment by Sarah — February 17, 2011 @ 4:44 am

  8. To quote Haddaway, “what is love?” To answer that question, we must break the question into its component parts, and first ask “what is ‘what?'” Webster’s explains that “what” is used “interrogatively as a request for specific information.” What does that mean? Well, “Interrogative” is “of, pertaining to, or conveying a question.” “Of” is used to “indicate derivation, origin, or source.” To “Indicate” is “to be a sign of; betoken; evidence.” “To be” is the infinitive form of a statement of existence. “Existence” is something that Descartes claimed based on his thoughts. But other philosophers question how and whether we “know” anything, and surely “knowing” something is a prerequisite to thinking. Or is it? What am I talking about, anyway? Damn you, Derrida!

    Comment by neal — February 17, 2011 @ 6:06 am

  9. My thoughts mesh well with comment #6. One of my definitions of love that I am most comfortable with is that it is what you’ve been through together. You and Neal went through a lot together before marriage, probably a lot more than most couples, especially Mormon ones with shorter engagements. We certaintly didn’t have any major trials during our courtship. So, in some ways I do feel I love Ryan more because we have so much more history and depth to our relationship, and all of our experiences, especially our trials, have helped me get to know him better, and the more I get to know him, the more I like about him.

    Happy Birthday to Addison!

    I’d like to talk with you soon. I’m anxious to hear how life is for you, and there’s something I’d like to talk to you about. Hopefully soon!

    Oh, and I thought this post was so well written. Did you know sometimes I read your posts but don’t comment right away because I want to make sure I make a meaningful comment? I usually don’t achieve that, but what you write really makes me think!

    Comment by vblanchard — February 18, 2011 @ 12:02 am

  10. Happy belated Birthday Addison!!! And yep, I can state for a fact that everyday is not like Valentine’s Day for us…especially with a baby thrown in there. Hehe. Where’s the time for that? “I love my spouse more today than I did the day we got married,” this is a statement that I do agree with. I blame it on time. =)

    Comment by Soo — February 19, 2011 @ 4:45 am

  11. Lindsey,
    Always so fun to join in your musings. I try unsuccessfully to get people to respond to these deep questions; it must be that I’m more of the happy gaga poster (oh look our life is so great). I’m working on trying to portray life as it is, with its ups AND downs. That’s one of the reasons I love reading your blog–you have a strong voice–

    To respond, I’m pretty gun ho for declarations of love. maybe it’s my need for validation or whatnot, but I love getting little presents and poems from el esposo. I don’t think it has to be February 14th, but it’s nice that for one day in the world we try and focus on the good things in people (like in grade school when you had to write something nice on EVERYONE’S valentine and even the BOYS had to get one!) It’s another one of those “how much culture” are we going to include versus what the true meaning of the holiday is (like Christmas and Easter…) I posted that I like the idea of celebrating love as a whole on Vday, like as a family we celebrate our family love and not just romantic love. The family love is what keeps us going during the times romantic love is absent or faulty. I think that that corresponds with the question of loving more now than at marriage.

    I definitely understand better WHO the person is that I married and for that reason I realize that I NEED him more than I realized when we got married. There is something reassuring about KNOWING he will be there always no matter what and sometimes I take that for granted. I also understand better the LOVE between us. (I can’t write what love is now Neal…thanks a lot) it develops differently as you live together and see each other’s daily habits that are absent in part before marriage because we didn’t co-habitate:) it develops as you go through pregnancy and birth and finally hold a little baby–that physical manifestation of your love–in your arms and see daddy’s eyes and mommy’s mouth. For me it is so much more SPIRITUAL as I better see my husband as heavenly father sees him and his potential.

    I know a lot of people say marriage is hard. Well I say LIFE is HARD. and it’s a lot easier with Tyler in my life so I count my blessings I have someone like him in my LIFE so we can do HARD things together. That’s a lot better than being alone. ok, well I could go on and on because I think our marriage is the best–dare I say it–what you call a perfect marriage. comment on that!:)

    Comment by carissa — February 19, 2011 @ 5:38 pm

  12. I love your writing–your honesty, your introspection! I also get angry/pouty when I lose. That makes me like you even more.

    Comment by Krisanne — February 22, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

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