To See and Be Seen

by Leslie

Dave and I celebrated our 11th anniversary at Oglebay on Sunday, just the two of us.

11th Anniversary

We enjoyed a lovely dinner, gambled at Wheeling Island, and treated ourselves to a couple’s signature massage experience at the spa the next day – all delightful things. But the best thing was simply being with my husband. It seems odd to miss someone when they’re with you each day, but I had really been missing Dave. Sometimes life comes at us with such force that it feels like we’re back to back, facing outward, fighting to take it all on. He’s there – I know it, I can feel it and trust it, but he’s not what’s in front of me. It was revivifying to stop and turn around.

He told me he’s getting too old to wear baseball caps. But he’s not too old for a baseball birthday cake!

(Side question: When are you too old for a baseball birthday cake? Answer: Never.)

Dave's birthday cupcakes

Okay, technically it is not a baseball cake. Rather, it is a baseball cupcake configuration. It’s a ball in a glove, so saith Pinterest.

Dave may be feeling old, but he doesn’t seem like it to me. Our home is at its liveliest when he’s around. He’s always up for a game or wrestling with the kids. We laugh so much. He’s fun. He makes me feel young.

Dave and the kids on his 42nd birthday

He’s made a simple life feel like an adventure. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

(Described in the style of If You Give A Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff.)

If you give a wife a weekend at one of her favorite places…

Our 10th Anniversary at Oglebay

…she’ll want the kids to go along. So, you’ll rent a cottage.

Ash Cottage at Oglebay

When you arrive, the kids will remind you that cottage guests can swim in the pool at the lodge. You’ll go there after you check in.

At the pool


Jack and Grandma swim

You’ll feel thankful you asked your mother-in-law to come along and help with the kids. You’ll send her to the spa for a massage and pedicure the next morning. Your wife will want to go with her.

The kids will want to go somewhere special, too. You’ll take them to ride horses.

Ready to ride

Bee's signature pose

Bee and Boomer

Julia and Scotch

Lucy and Prize

Lucy rides

Indoor arena

When the rides are finished, they’ll want to go to the zoo. But it will be very cold and windy. So you’ll visit The Children’s Museum instead.

Bee, the snake charmer

Bee!  Not as tall as the snake.


Sand Table


Reading nook

Bee, in a mermaid costume, plays with a train



Julia's Quilt

When the museum closes, the kids will be very hungry and tired. You’ll order them pizza and buy the movie Frozen on iTunes so they can watch it with their grandma at the cottage while you, finally, get to take your wife out, just the two of you.

While you’re out, you’ll reminisce about the past ten years. You’ll talk about the kids. Talking about the kids will make your wife miss them. And chances are, she’ll want to go back to the cottage so you can share the rest of your anniversary with them, too.

Happy 10th Anniversary

This is 41.

by Leslie

Today is Dave’s birthday.

Dave's Wreck-It Ralph Medal Birthday Cake

The girls and I made him a Wreck-It Ralph medal cake.

Dave on his 41st birthday

It seemed just right.

Julia made the buckeyes by herself for the first time this year.

Making buckeyes

She did it herself

(I think she might have sampled a few along the way.)

Lucy was the official “turkey paster.”

Lucy, the "turkey paster"

Bee was a whirling dervish who insisted on wearing a fancy dress because she felt special, but refused to brush her hair or wash the chocolate off her face.

My whirling dervish

And Jack soaked up some quality time with his dad.

Jack and his daddy

The kids were excited to use the “fancy” glasses at our meal, which was delicious.

Day 29

After, we waddled to the living room and settled in to watch one of my all-time favorite movies – Planes, Trains and Automobiles. When it was finished, Julia said, “Hey, wait. No one move. We’re all here.”

Julia was in her dad’s lap. Lucy was in my mom’s. Bee was in my dad’s. And Jack was in mine.

“No one move. Let’s watch something else together.”

And so we did.

I have a lot to be grateful for today, but there is nothing greater than this.

That for which I am most thankful