Tag Archive | marriage

Happily gaa-gaa

When you’re 16 years old and you meet a cute guy you can get a little gaa-gaa over him. Puppy love, isn’t that what they call it? It never lasts, right? Wrong. Sometimes it does.

30 years ago I was 16 and met a cute guy, got a little gaa-gaa and guess what? I never got over him. I tried a few times, but I could never do it. I never will.

Today is the anniversary of the day we wed, 22 years ago. We had ups and downs, a couple kids, marriage, a couple more kids . . . life. We made a life, stitched it together with love and respect and a little bit of crazy (that stuff really sticks).

I cherish every moment, every memory, every dream we share. I guess I’m still a little gaa-gaa over him ❤️

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My husband is probably hotter than yours.

My husband is hot. Like seriously hot. I’m talking * tsss *, sizzling hot. (tsss is the sound of sizzling, if you weren’t sure, go back and read it as a sizzle sound, it’ll make more sense). I’m not necessarily complaining, well, actually, I guess I am.

It isn’t easy having a hot husband, especially at night. He makes me hot and I can’t just fall asleep like that. Even when I do, it wakes me up in the middle of the night, sometimes several times and then I’m so, so tired the next day.

Some of you may not understand for the simple reason that your husband isn’t as hot as mine. Honestly, you should count your blessings. You’d know exactly what I’m talking about if you spent just one night in our bed. Those of you who do happen to have hot husbands are probably nodding your heads in agreement and fanning yourselves just thinking about it.

I suppose it wouldn’t bother me so much if we lived in a cooler climate, but when it’s already 20 degrees warmer at night than you’d like it to be, sleeping next to a living fricking furnace exuding what I am certain has to be higher than normal body heat, it kind of sucks. I don’t know if I’m having pre-menopausal night sweats or if he’s laying too close to me some nights.


What did you think I was talking about?

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The man of my dreams was the one I never dreamed of.

In honor of all the mush-gushy-gooey-lovey-dovey stuff February always inspires, I thought I would dust off an old piece – I’ts simple and maybe a little silly, but it always makes my heart smile . . .

The man of my dreams

When I was a little girl, I dreamed, as little girls quite often do, of the man I would one day marry. I just knew he would be a super hero. He would have the ability of flight, the power to read minds, and he would obviously be capable of leaping the tallest of buildings. Our lives would be filled with adventure.

Then one day I realized what a silly little girl fantasy that had been, Super hero, ha! I was going to marry a rock star of course. He would have totally cool hair and look amazing in spandex. He would compose epic ballads about our love and dedicate all his albums to me.

One day though, that dream faded as well. I came to realize men simply don’t look good in spandex and I would never want to spend my life with someone who had better hair than I did. I was growing up and my dreams were growing with me, I realized I would obviously need someone quite rich to make me happy.

The older I grew though, the more I simply wanted companionship. I soon concluded unless I met a man who had a huge inheritance, he would have to work all the time to make the big bucks I thought I desired, leaving me alone and miserable. They say money cannot buy happiness and I believe them.

So, I would marry a free spirit, an artist perhaps or a wandering poet. We would hitch-hike the world with only our love to guide us. This was the most fleeting of my fantasies. I’d heard hitch hiking was dangerous; I really hated camping out and the thought of snuggling up after being on the road for a week without a shower was more than a bit unappealing.

So that left me only one choice, I came to the final conclusion I would never marry. I would make my own way in the world without the pressure of finding that perfect man. I was at peace. It sucked. I knew I really didn’t want to be alone for the rest of my life so I decided to simply wait and see who God would send my way.

I tucked my dreams of the man I someday may have married in a little pocket of my heart, keeping them safely hidden away. Those dreams hadn’t crossed my mind for years until one afternoon, while folding boxer shorts and matching up itty bitty baby booties, it hit me like a ton of bricks . . .

It had happened. I was married, had been for some time actually. My dream of a lifetime love had become a reality while I wasn’t paying attention. My dream man can’t fly nor can he leap tall buildings, and thank God he can’t read minds, but he is a super hero of great magnitude in the eyes of our children.

He could never be a rock star, keeping time to the rhythm of a beat is not one of his strong points, he does sing softly with the radio sometimes, it always brings a smile to my heart. His doesn’t have to tease his hair each day and thankfully does not own any pants made of spandex.

He may not be rich, but he works hard to provide for us. The love we share makes us wealthy beyond measure; the happiness in our home could have never been bought.

He is more of a perfectionist than a free spirit. He’s soft-spoken and sweet. He may not be a poet, but his whispered words of love are precious and sincere.

I’m glad I’d forgotten to remain true to my vow of solitude. God, in his infinite wisdom, had sent to me the perfect love and made all of my dreams come true.

Crystal R. Cook

I still see forever



So I met this boy a while back . . . almost thirty years ago, he had the prettiest blue eyes and when I looked in them, I knew I would be lost in them forever. 20 years ago today we giggled our way through wedding vows and I still see forever when I look in his eyes . . .

Innocent Embrace

Innocent Embrace

The warmth of his hand
softly covers mine
our fingers embrace
as our souls intertwine

Our hands become one
forged in passions fire
strong as steel
soft as desire

Loves innocent touch
sets my heart to race
when his hand covers mine
and our fingers embrace

Crystal R. Cook

*Image by Tony Hutchings on Getty Images

The Heart of a Man or Dear Women . . .


Now I must speak to the heart of a woman. The heart that loves, gives and longs to be cradled. The heart that would gladly beat for another if it would save them. The very heart that needs while focusing on the needs of others. The heart that beats, the heart that breaks. The heart filled with love for the man she’s promised her lifelong devotion to.

Women carry many burdens often too heavy for them to bear. We must be strong when we feel weak. We must sacrifice and we must never give in to the desperation sometimes filling us with doubt. We look to the men we love to pick us up when we fall, we cannot understand why they sometimes don’t seem to see our plight, they don’t seem to see our need.

Men often carry their burdens alone, never reaching out for assistance. They live with the pressures of providing food and shelter and clothing to the family they’ve promised to care for. They think of the future while their todays become yesterdays. They forge ahead to maintain the life they’ve made for the ones they love.

We can sometimes take their efforts for granted, they need to know we value them, we appreciate all they provide. Just as we long to be recognized when we put all we are into caring for our family, they too need to know we notice just how much of themselves they give to do the same.

Men sometimes seem to live on a different plane of existence than we do, their feet touch the ground when they walk. Their vision doesn’t always exceed past what their eyes alone can see. They were brought up to be strong, analytical and grounded. Society told them they shouldn’t give in to emotions or exhibit too much tenderness.

As women, we see with so much more than sight, we envision things with emotion and can be easily frustrated when the men we love do not. Where we are feeling, they are often thinking. They express themselves in their own way, just as we do, the differences need to be recognized. Sometimes when we don’t see an emotional reaction we feel slighted, just look into their eyes and you will find what you’re looking for.

Compassion doesn’t always come easy to some, the world has deemed too much compassion in a man a weakness and men are not supposed to be weak. They’re the breadwinners, the kings of the castle. Young boys are too often given the message tears are for girls and sissies, fear is unacceptable and expression of deep feelings are best restrained.

Societal roles for men are ingrained in the culture in which they are raised, the roots of these expected roles run deep and are difficult to escape. The antiquated ideals of what a man should be and how he should behave are inherited from one generation to the next.

Mothers and fathers of sons can contribute to these notions or try to combat them, but sometimes the world at large has a louder voice. Girls are encouraged to use their imagination, they’re called creative while a young boy is called a dreamer. Girls are taught to talk about what is in their hearts, it’s a sign of maturity. Boys are told to grow up and be a man.

Little girls are encouraged to cry when they’re sad, outwardly express joy and happiness. Little boys are told to suck it up when the world causes them pain, they’re expected to maintain restraint when they feel joy.

As young children, girls are given praise and accolades for a job well done while so many boys are simply given a pat on the back. They grow to be men who don’t know how to react to sincere praise and consequently have a difficult time giving it. As parents, we need to model what we want our children to become.

It’s no wonder so many men and women can look upon the same thing and each see something the other cannot. Not all men are ignoring our tender hearts, they may have never been taught how to care for them. They may not have been told a woman needs to be wrapped in the warmth of their love. They didn’t learn communication is the key to a life of fulfillment.

As women we must try to look past the man and see the little boy inside who thinks and feels and dreams. The little boy who longs to release the long bottled up emotions he carries within, the carefree spirit that wants to laugh and create, but is afraid.

We tend to take it personally when the man we love comes home and doesn’t seem interested in our day, when his brow is furrowed we take offense when it may simply be he had a difficult day and needs to decompress. He needs to be given that opportunity, we need to remember it isn’t always about us.

There may very well always be this distance between a man and a woman, we need to nurture the little boy within, understand his fear and his need to stay hidden. We need to know even though he may not always show his love in the ways we wish, he would not be by our side if he didn’t feel all the things he may be yet unable to show.

There are men in this world who are not bound by these manmade chains restraining their inner selves. These men are examples to which other men should aspire. To the women who have been blessed with these precious few, thank God for them and be certain they know just how thankful you truly are to have them in your life.

One of the most fragile and precious things a woman may ever hold is the heart of a man . . .

The Heart of a Woman or An Open Letter To the Men of the World.


It’s no secret women mystify, confuse and excite men. It’s no secret a woman can turn a man into a clueless mountain of mush. It seems to be a secret among men however, that they are not entirely powerless in the battle between the sexes.

This is an open letter to the men of the world . . . You will be reading about women. Now before you get excited, I must tell you, it’s about feelings, expectations, needs, and desires. Things you need to know.

A woman is fragile. No matter how strong they are in the face of the world, deep inside they are still the little girls who believe in true love, fairy tales and happily ever afters. They can hurt so deeply they feel they will be lost in the pain and they can love so much they will sacrifice their dreams for the sake of it.

A woman longs to be held when she cries, or at the very least have her feelings acknowledged. To turn your back on her tears is to turn your back on her heart. A woman desires compassion and understanding. She craves kindness and needs encouragement. Without these things she begins to build a wall with the broken pieces of her heart.

Self esteem doesn’t come naturally to most women, it needs to be planted and cared for. It needs to be nurtured with a compliment every now and then. Without proper care it will wither away. To a woman, love is more than words. Love is more than existing together. Emotional intimacy fulfills them.

Watching a father play with his children fills her heart, listening to him read them a story brings her warmth. Holding her hand while you watch the television or saying I love you for no reason other than you do can bring tears to her eyes. Asking her if she could use a helping hand when she is elbow deep in dishwater might make her heart skip a beat.

When she says she’s tired believe her, when she says she’s frustrated don’t take it personally. If you are the source of her frustration, take steps to relieve it. Know without you her heart would no longer beat the same. When her day has been too much to bear and her mood is at odds with you, be calm and attempt understanding, especially when you don’t understand.

A woman gives more than she has to her family. She spends every moment thinking of them and caring for them, putting herself last. It’s your job to put her first and make sure she has what she may sometimes deprive herself of. She would give her life to do the same for you.

A man must fulfill the emotional needs of a woman or her flames of passion will smolder and cease to burn. If at first mornings light she wakes with your arms around her, she’ll long to feel them once more when the sun again sets.

It doesn’t take much to free the butterflies stirring within her soul, a scribbled note on the table, ‘I’ll miss you today.’, can make her spirits soar. If you look into her eyes every now and then, you can see her devotion. If you hold her close you can feel it with every beat of her heart.

A woman gives, and when she receives, she gives all the more. Bad days are inevitable. Disagreements and opposed opinions are natural. Giving them voice for too long is not. Women desire communication, pieces of them cease to exist without it. They need a connection, they need to know without a doubt your hearts beat as one.

They need to hear it, see it and feel it. A man cannot assume a woman knows how they feel simply because they spoke vows once upon a time and he is present in the home. She needs to be reassured and reminded or her light will begin to dim.

A man will never hold anything more fragile and precious than the heart of a woman.

You are . . .


You are today
as you were
and will be
in the days
yet to come
my love
my life
my dreams
and my

You are my
every hope
for the
and my
of the past

You are my
every sunrise
and every
wish I’ve
softly wished

You are the
answer to
many prayers
lonely tears

You are
the keeper
of my heart
for now
and for
my love

Crystal R. Cook 2001

A different kind of perfect.

Sometimes, a mishap is simply a mishap, easily fixed and forgotten. Other times, mishap is mayhem in the making, especially when it happens on what is meant to be the most perfect day of your life, the day you’d dreamed about since you were a little girl, the day that will mark the first day of the rest of your life. Your wedding day.

I suppose that’s just a wee bit dramatic, at least for me. I really didn’t have the wedding dreams many young girls seem to have, I honestly never gave it too much though until I knew I was going to be married. Even then, they were simple and sweet. Not too much muss, not too much fuss. Doable. My dream seemed so doable.

Often, the little blunders in life can seem like giant blunders in the midst of the havoc they create, but when the smoke settles and the dust clears, things are often not nearly as bad as they seemed in the moment. We had a bit of a mishap on our wedding day, nothing but our love turned out the way we thought it would.

We stood on the shores of a quiet ocean with soft breezes playfully pulling on my dress and tousling my hair. The warm beach sand beneath our bare feet felt soft as silk as we looked into each other’s eyes and promised forever. He looked regal in his dress uniform, medals twinkling in the fading sun. We sealed our love with a kiss as the sun dipped below the horizon, marking the end of the first day we would spend as husband and wife

When I close my eyes and remember how I dreamed our wedding would be, this was how I dreamt it. The sun did set beautifully on the day wed, the rest . . . never actually happened. It was supposed to. It was my dream, but planned perfection is never as perfect as you plan it to be. The day ended as it was meant to, we did walk hand in hand into the future as husband and wife, my wedding day woes ended in happily ever after.

We met shortly before I turned sixteen, he was my first love, my only love and my last love. Years passed, we would go our separate ways and return again, but in the end, we decided to take our journey in life together. After a lifetime in Alaska, we decided to marry on a warm and sunny beach in Florida.

My grandmother helped me pick a beautiful dress. It looked as though it were crafted of delicious, silken cream and soft, billowy curtains of cloud. My soon to be husband was to wear his military finest; he was so very handsome when he donned his uniform. My best friend lived in Florida with her baby girl; she offered her tiny apartment as her gift to us. We were glad to have somewhere cozy, and I must admit, inexpensive, to stay.

Our first day there we drove around, seeing the sights and taking in the sun. We gazed upon the beach where we would soon wed. It was an amazing moment in time, surreal and long-awaited. We hardly rested at all that night, in part because we were anxious for morning, and maybe a little due to a bad case of, I don’t want to sleep syndrome, our youngest host seemed to be having.

When the morning came we were weary, but happy and ready to begin the next chapter of our lives together. I pulled my dress from its protective covering, but it no longer resembled silken cream or wispy cloud. It was a wrinkled up and unattractive version of its former self. As tears began to form in my eyes, my almost husband told me not to worry and helped me dry my tears.

We soon set off to find a dry cleaner to press my crinkled and crumpled dress. It was early. It was early on a Sunday morning. After driving to every dry cleaner in town only to see a closed sign on each door, we decided we would have a Monday morning ceremony on the beach instead of a Sunday evening one. The sun would be rising on the first day of our new life instead of setting on it, still sounded beautiful to me.

Planned perfection with a slight detour took us further than I’d expected. We decided we would get our license and set up the ceremony with the Justice of the Peace who would marry us. The office was in a rather run down strip mall. While we waited in line I heard the rumblings from my so, so, soon husband’s stomach, the sound seemed to be echoing my own. My friend’s daughter was on the cranky side from self-imposed lack of sleep, and the poor darling was hungry as well.

By the time we reached the desk she was practically wailing. We filled out the paperwork, signed here and signed there and waited for the woman with the power to place her seal upon it. While waiting, my friend jokingly said, “I’ll give you twenty bucks if you do it right now.” Maybe it was the sleep deprivation, perhaps the lack of nourishment, or the frustration brought about by the demise of the aforementioned planned perfection, but before we knew it, we were standing before a Justice of the Peace in the back of the dingy little office.

As she began, she told us to grasp hands and look into each other’s eyes. This must be code for start crying, because my friend’s daughter began to howl like a banshee, as we waited for her to calm I began to giggle. My love began to giggle. My now crying friend threw her hands up and began to laugh along, thankfully, so did her daughter.

The woman waiting to lead us into wedded bliss was not laughing however. She wasn’t even smiling. I don’t know how, but we made it through our vows, the four of us trying unsuccessfully not to laugh. She pronounced us man and wife and rolled her eyes as she sent us on our way. Unbeknownst to us, we had gathered quite an audience. A few said congratulations, a few refused eye contact and one said “It’ll never last.”, while yet another scolded us, saying, “Marriage is no laughing matter.”

We were married, we were happy and we were hungry. Twenty bucks was just enough to pay the girl at the McDonald’s drive thru window. We spent the rest of our day at Universal Studios and ended it by driving past the beautiful beach I had seen in my dreams. It would have been a lovely wedding.

Of course our parents were about as thrilled as the lady who led us in our vows, we have no wedding pictures aside from one we took in the old-fashioned photo studio at the theme park. We did dress in vintage wedding clothes which were much fancier than the shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops we were actually married in. The pictures we snapped during our day show a young couple having fun, we look happy and although I sometimes wish things had gone the way we’d planned, I wouldn’t trade that day or my memories of it for anything.

I did get a free spa package out of the deal a few years ago from a radio station for sharing my story. It was a welcome bit of pampering. I wish I could find the man who said it wouldn’t last and tell him just how long it has. I wish the woman who told us marriage was no laughing matter could see how much joy those moments of laughter have given us.

Now, my idea of planned perfection is whatever God has in store for us . . .

Crystal R. Cook