March 8, 2013

The Everyday Nothings That Make Up You & Me

I wake up before you, I always do. And in between giving thanks for everything from the roof over our heads to the golden fluff ball on the floor to the way my toes feel in our clean sheets, I look over at you…and I smile. You look really peaceful when you sleep, like someone on a Sleepy’s mattress ad. Or a Nyquil commercial. And this makes me laugh because I know, from pictures that you’ve taken, that I furrow my brow and crinkle my eyes when i sleep. But that’s just so us. I worry enough for the both of us, so much so that I worry in my sleep. And you’re the one, day & night, who always keeps us calm.

I kiss your face, right in that soft spot by the corner of your eyes. And without opening them, you just say “Snooooze.” So I just curl closer to you and we put off the world a little longer. Pretty soon Cooper will stand & stretch, and go stare out the window. He’ll pad around there for a few minutes making sure he knows everything that’s going on in the neighborhood, and then he’ll stand at the end of the bed and whimper slightly until I say “come on up.” Then, like clockwork, he’ll take take three good running starts before finally making the leap. He’ll start to curl up at the end of the bed, but I’ll tug on his collar until he lays down right between us. And then he’ll stare down at us with his giant lion head and lick our hands if we stop petting him for a second. And that right there, is how we start our days.

Later I’ll make you oatmeal and you’ll make me coffee, even though you hate the smell of it and don’t drink it yourself. We’ll settle in to the work to be done, and there will be files to be uploaded and emails to answer. But somewhere in the space between, we’ll find each other. With a passing hug in the kitchen or a kiss on the forehead when I don’t even look up. Even when we’re busy, I know you’re right there.

By evening, we’ll stand side by side and chop things together. You’ll tell me I’m using the wrong knife, and I’ll say “good, you can show me how then.” Then I’ll sit on the counter and watch you while you finish the job. I’ll pour a glass of wine and ask if you want any, and you always answer the same, “just a little.” Then we’ll take our place on the couch, me on the left & you on the right, and turn on the first inevitably gory scene of Bones. Then ask ourselves for the 5,000th time why on earth we would ever watch this show while eating dinner. We hit pause and pray together, always with me ending in “And please God don’t let my cooking give us food poisoning. Amen.” It’s one of those super weird things we do, that anybody else would think was strange, that just makes us….us.

At the end of the night, I climb the two flights of stairs up to the third floor. And once again I’ll give thanks again for the roof and the floors and the walls in between. For a husband and a golden retriever and the chance to do work that matters. You’ll come up a few minutes later after taking Coop out and you’ll bring with you a glass of water. Because you know I get thirsty in the middle of the night. Cooper will roll around on his bed until he gets comfortable, and we’ll spoon for all of about three minutes before we both get hot and turn over. I’ve often wondered if it says something really bad about us that we don’t spoon all night like they do on tv. But then I remember that they lie on tv. Before I let you go, I grab your arm and remind you of the sign that hangs in our room, “Always kiss me goodnight.” You laugh and roll your eyes and do. And then just like that, you’re off to that mattress ad worthy peaceful sleep again. And I know that I’ll miss you until morning.

When it will start all over again.

These things that I’m writing feel like nothing. They feel so small. And yet for us, I know they are our everything.

The million, tiny, little, what’s it matter, who’s to say, ordinary, extraordinary moments that make up our whole world. Together.

And for that, I am thankful.

And as promised, we are also ready to announce the winners of our “J&M Newbie Soiree”!! Counting the husband & wife teams, we had 42 incredible entries come in. Seriously, each and every one of them was ahhmazing, and as I was reading through them one by one I just kept saying to Justin, “how are we EVER going to choose?!!” Then we started thinking about it….and the whole point of the get together was to make sure that people didn’t feel left out their first year. So how on earth were we going to tell some people that they then couldn’t come?? It kind of goes against everything we were going for!

So we talked it over and what we’ve decided is…..ALL of you who signed up by the deadline are going to get to come!! :) Wooo hoo! Hopefully it will still be small enough that we’ll get to meet everybody & chat one on one, but this way we don’t have to turn anybody away. The contest is closed now, so unfortunately we won’t be able to take anyone else. But to all of you who were brave enough to put it out there by the deadline… you are IN!! We’ll be emailing you all over the weekend with the details on where the soiree will be taking place. Can’t WAIT to see you all in Vegas, baby!!! xo

  1. stephanie

    HOORAY! How exciting!! Thank you SO much for being so amazing and supportive in this community! I’m so excited to meet all of these new awesome people! :) :)

  2. Kimberly Linden

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    I cant wait to meet you both, what a fun opportunity you have given us….so excited!
    Once again, I find myself doing the happy dance :)

  3. Rebecca Bridges

    This is amazing news and I’m so excited! Thank you, thank you!!!

    This week just keeps getting more awesome!

  4. Laura

    Oh — oh I love this so much!

  5. Tiffany Farley

    I LOVE this. The end. :)

  6. Jennifer Kulakowski

    You guys are so amazing for doing this and are constantly an inspiration in the photography industry. Thank you for being the leaders and innovators you are as you share your lives and knowledge with newbies like myself. We are lucky to have you both!

  7. Debbie

    This is beautiful Mary!

  8. Brittany

    I’m so excited! Thank you guys and see you soon!

  9. Cristal Veronica

    I loved this post. These are the moments that make up life & that I live for every day with my love. Thank you for sharing.

  10. ashley barnett

    This is so beautiful. Love you!

  11. Shannon Rosan

    So, so very adorable :) Hugs!

  12. Deborah Zoe

    you two are adorable:) (and puppies are an essential part of the morning routine!)

  13. Ute Christin

    OMG I think I just died. LOL

  14. Liz and Ryan

    You rock! ;) Love this!

  15. Leigh Skaggs

    Thank you so much Justin and Mary! Jay and I are so excited to meet you and all the other newbies!!! I am dancing around right now! You two rock! Thanks again!!!

  16. Rachel McCloud

    What an amazingly sweet post. I love all the little moments that fly by so fast unless we stop and take them in. :)

  17. Rebecca Pierce

    So for the few minutes it took me to read your bit of "everyday nothings," I was completely engulfed into your world & forgot mine (the hope I got picked for the soiree) – thanks for sharing because it gives validity to my "everyday nothings." ;) Then when you wrote that everyone who submitted before the deadline was coming, I literally held my breath (yes! I stopped breathing) until I could scroll down just to double-check that I had commented in time (which I did). Whew! (and) WHOOOHOOOOO!!! SO AMAZING!! CAN.NOT.WAIT! thank you… x’s a million :D

  18. Jackie Lamas

    this post was absolutely lovely!

  19. sharon elizabeth

    i just love this

  20. Sarah Becker Lillard

    LOVE this – I want to bookmark it to re-read every once in a while! We all need this reminder… see y’all soon!

  21. Meagan

    Your writing is so beautiful and honest. I truly look up to you and your husband and I hope my marriage will one day be as beautiful as yours. Through all the ‘ordinary’ and ‘ugly’ and ‘too busy’ distractions that pull you away, all I see is a love that’s desperate to get back to each other day in and out, remembering why you do all of it in the first place. I dream of that support system. That mutual love and respect. You two are such an incredible couple. Don’t ever forget the way you love each other today. Thank you for your words. =) <3

  22. Faye Bernoulli

    My husband and I can’t spoon for longer than 3 minutes either. Someone’s arm gets numb, haha :) I’m so bummed I won’t be at WPPI long enough to see you two talk (for that reason, I didn’t enter the contest either). Hopefully I’ll see you guys around!

  23. Cindy

    Thank you for your beautiful post. Thanks for the reminder that it’s ok to LOVE my simple life spent in PJs. That’s it’s ok, to never want to leave my husband’s side and that’s it’s not weird to miss him when he is gone from the room for 20 mins. Also, that it’s normal to have a bigger desire to stay home and watch reruns of Friends than to get dressed up and hit the town. Your writing is so honest and this post really hit home for me. Thanks for sharing your heart. :)

  24. Brittani Croft

    The combination of your beautifully vivid writing and the fact that I can relate to so many parts made me smile (and laugh) the whole way through :) Thank you Mary.

  25. Lauren Wakefield

    This is perfect. And Gary and I TOTALLY eat dinner during Bones and always ask ourselves that exact same question. Miss you!

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