Archives For marriage

Our Virgin Nightmare

Alana —  May 30, 2013 — 10 Comments

Warning: This post contains graphic sexual references and descriptions.

It was our wedding night, and we were ready. Tonight would be the first time Josh and I had sex. Not just with each other, but… ever. We had waited 24 and 26 years respectively for this day and it finally arrived. And the best part – now it was considered a GOOD THING for us to have intercourse! We had followed the Christian protocol and got married first.

Photo by Matthew Schulert.

Photo by Matthew Schulert.

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When Are You Having Kids?

Alana —  May 28, 2013 — 29 Comments

So… when are you guys going to have kids?

That is a question Josh and I are hearing a lot lately. And, rightly so. (I guess??) In September we’ll be celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary and we are now in our early 30’s. So it’s time, right? It is amusing how many people assume we don’t have children because we don’t want them yet, or because we haven’t tried. When I was single, I was cornered by others with an equally unpleasant question, “Why are you still single? I mean, you’re pretty, you’re outgoing. Someone should have snatched you up by now. There’s nothing wrong with you… is there? I don’t get it.” Gee thanks.

photo credit:

photo credit:

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Life is equal parts brutal and beautiful. And/Both. Life is brutiful. Sharing life’s brutiful is what makes us feel less alone and afraid. – Glennon Doyle Melton

Today marks two full weeks since Josh’s cycling accident. The past two weeks have been brutal. But they have also been beautiful. Here’s why.

The day of Josh’s accident I prayed for his safety – that he would come away from his race that evening without a scratch. When I got word of his accident, I was pissed. I felt betrayed that God would allow the very opposite of what I had prayed for to happen. But then I remembered a different prayer I had prayed that day – and every day for 30 days prior.

"Hey look, I'm Ray Charles." Thank you Vicodin.

“Hey look, I’m Ray Charles.” Thank you Vicodin.

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S*!T Happens

Alana —  May 6, 2013 — Leave a comment

Life is hard — not because we are doing it wrong, just because it’s hard. – Glennon Doyle Melton

A couple weeks ago, I picked up Glennon’s book, Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed. In the first few pages of her book she says, “Life is hard — not because we are doing it wrong, just because it’s hard.” I thought it was a great line, so I underlined it, and didn’t think much more of it.

Josh at Grattan Raceway. Summer 2012.

Josh at Grattan Raceway. Summer 2012.

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Dear Sister

Alana —  April 23, 2013 — 4 Comments

Dear Sister,

You are getting married in four days! The reality of how close this is is just beginning to sink in.

I remember when Mom and Dad told me they were pregnant with you. I was 3. I wanted you to be a girl [score!] and I wanted to name you “Margie Lucy”. Margie, because she was my favorite day care provider and Lucy because… well, I just liked that name. Mom and Dad didn’t listen though, [good for them] and soon they brought home a beautiful little girl named “Halsey Leigh”.


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“Love” Dust

Alana —  April 15, 2013 — 2 Comments

Why is it that when we pray to God, we put on our ultra churchy and religious voices? It’s kind of a funny thing to experience. Have you ever been at a gathering where Christians are milling about, having normal conversations, speaking in their normal voices? Then one Christian stands up to pray before beginning the service or party and suddenly his voice transforms into a dramatic tone with a hint of James Earl Jones, “Dear Heavenly Father. Jesus, we bless you today. We come to you, humbly to request…”

Josh and Alana 1 Continue Reading…

The Meat That Turned Me On

Alana —  April 11, 2013 — 13 Comments

I would say our marriage has become a little lackluster lately. Not necessarily intentionally. I think we just fell into the rut of experiencing minimum change in our lives, feeling drained by daily occurrences, the drudgery of the winter, and falling into the comparison game with other happy couples or fellow travelers in this journey we call “life”. Everyone seemed to be continuing forward movement while we remained… stuck.



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Happy Valentine’s Day! Okay, so I know I said you’d have to wait until next week to hear from Joe’s point of view on sex and intimacy in marriage, but I just couldn’t wait! Here, Joy’s husband Joe tells all.

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Photo credit:

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It occurred to me, as we sat cross-legged on his bed reading Song of Solomon, that it probably wasn’t the smartest thing we’d done all day.  We were 21, hormonally charged, in literal need of physical restraint, and counting down the days to our wedding day.  Okay fine, wedding night.

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The Significance of Date Night

Alana —  November 29, 2011 — 26 Comments

MJ and her husband

I met MJ at a Vision Board class in October and immediately found myself drawn to her warm and inviting spirit. During our time together, the way she spoke of her husband caught my attention. She spoke of him with respect. Love. Endearment. I asked how many years she had been married and she replied, “19 years.” I was shocked! Unfortunately, it is more common to hear a woman complain about her husband, than it is to hear her praise him. Especially after that many years! I asked MJ to share her tips on keeping romance alive and she smiled and said, “Keep dating!”

It’s “date night!”

The hubbs & I schedule regular “date nights” and have since we met 20 years ago. You see, we became an instant family when we married (more here) so we’ve never have had time that was just “ours.” We’ve always been parents and that’s OK – that’s the life we chose and neither of us would change it. Our way to navigate some time together has been to schedule it, as a way to reconnect and reaffirm what we already know. Many times we didn’t have the money for a sitter or to go out; we still made time for each other. More here.

I’m glad we have prioritized this because:

Date nights mean “I hear you.”
Date nights mean “I love you.”
Date nights mean “I’m here for you.”
Date nights mean wearing something other than “Mom & Dad” clothes, a whiff of cologne, cleavage, a buttoned-down shirt, a swirly skirt and lipstick.
Date nights mean “You are still it for me.”
Date nights mean singing our songs, telling our work stories, and being in the moment.
Date nights mean comfort, warmth, passion and love.
Date nights mean “In spite of everything around us – jobs – kids – family – I still choose time with you over everything – and everyone – else.”

I love that he schedules tee times early enough so that he can come home, shower, change and spend the night with me. What girl wouldn’t love that in her man?

He loves that I use my time to do what interests me and, when he returns, he’s greeted by a warm and willing companion who looks nice, feeds him and wants to spend her night with him. What guy wouldn’t love that in his girl?

At the January “State of the Union” Presidential address, a rather large fuss was made about how “both sides of the aisle” abandoned their polar positions and sat together, effectively inter-mixing the powers that be.

It’s startling that this was news. Grown-ups acting civilly towards each other. Really?

I can’t speak for Congress but, for us, date nights have always been the buoy we swim to against the undertow of daily living.

How about you? How do you maintain the state of YOUR union?


Meet MJ…a country mouse living in the city; a Saskatchewan farm girl, MJ’s now a proud U.S. Citizen and, in Canada, holds dual citizenship. MJ is a writer and she’s also a wife, mom, nana, daughter, farm girl, cousin, sister, co-worker, friend and a million other things. (Mischievous imp? Tricky Minx?) She loves to cook and will admit to stirring the pot. Cheeky, practical, sentimental and romantic. And a lifelong Elvis fan. That’s MJ. Stop and visit her at

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