The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

Never get married at Christmastime. This is sage advice, offered to me by my mother who got married on New Years Eve in 1976. A romantic idea...a new year, a new life. Her honeymoon was spent in a motel in Vincennes, IN, where my parent's romantic entanglements were punctuated by drunken calls of "Happy New Year!" shouted by revelers in the hallways for most of the night. But I didn't listen. For various reasons December 15 just seemed to be the day. The wedding was gorgeous...a winter fantasy resplendent with silver trees draped with tulle and twinkling white lights...the bridesmaids shimmered elegantly in dresses of red, silver and black...a red velvet cake sprinkled with sparkling sugar snow. And what a romantic idea! Our gift to each other...a new life together!

And it was romantic...in 2001. And in 2002 when we checked ourselves into The New Harmony Inn for a redux of the first night of our honeymoon, the main difference being, not the smaller room, but the MUCH larger bride. I was seven months pregnant, stuffed into a vintage velvet dress that had once been too large for me. I waddled to the table at Red Geranium and there ate the best, most memorable meal of my ENTIRE LIFE. A greek salad with kalamata olives, hearts of palm, feta cheese and artichoke hearts, prime rib that literally melted in my mouth, a baked potato that somehow was more amazing than any baked potato before or since, even the sour cream was unlike any sour cream I had ever had before! And for dessert, chocolate vinegar cake with vanilla ice cream, which sounds awful, but had a wonderful, crumbly texture, almost like brown sugar. Sorry, I get a little carried away about food!

After that blissful meal (where I also consumed an ample portion of my husband's salad) I practically had to be rolled away from the table. But I couldn't get into a hot tub of water and digest just yet, because our hotel package came with a carriage ride! The perfect way for a gluttonous pregnant woman to end her huge meal! Jolting about in a horse drawn carriage over cobblestone streets while wearing a dress that threatens to tear every time she breathes! I somehow managed not to puke, which is too bad, because that would really kick this story up a notch.

Our anniversaries have only gotten more romantic each year. We kept having babies, and our anniversary is still at a most inconvenient time of year. Several years in a row I would find myself calling my husband at work to wish him "A Happy Anniversary...three days ago!"

But last year we decided to truly make a an effort. Once again, I was heavily pregnant, this time with number four. It was our copper anniversary and we celebrated by buying some copper tubing for our dishwasher. But that's not all! I was TIRED. I wanted to spend the night in a hotel, where there would be NO risk of any children coming into my room at night and waking me up. And I wanted to soak in a jacuzzi. And...stuff and whatever. You know. But mostly the uninterrupted sleep.

To Be Continued...