As anyone who's ever read a love story knows, the wedding is usually the last chapter of the book. But in a real love story, there's so much more to be told. So much happens in the happily ever after. And that’s what the sequel is for: to tell the story of two people as husband and wife as they live and grow together. So here are pages from our sequel.
THE DINNER DISASTER
I stood staring, frozen in place as the cheese and pepperoni sizzled on the hot metal of the oven. Coating the bottom, the door, and the awfully large crack in between, the cheese bubbled as the edges turned brown. The pepperoni shriveled a bit as the cheese darkened… the burn advancing with each moment. I glanced up as the scorched cheese and sauce started to smell. Ryan already held our deactivated smoke detector in his hands. Kitchen disasters like this haven’t been too common over our 4 years of marriage, but he knows his part well.
Frowning I turned back to the oven. How on earth does someone flip over a pizza stone while trying to put it in the oven? I don’t understand the physics of what had happened. I had taken the heated pizza stone out of the oven and tried not to laugh as I stretched the lopsided dough over the stone. After adding sauce, cheese, and pepperoni, I had used two potholders to transfer the hot and now loaded stone onto the oven rack. And somehow the entire thing had flipped over. Right over the bottom crack of the door. And when I had picked up the pizza stone, only the dough had come with it, already partially cooked on the bottom from the pre-heated stone.
In moments like these, I rarely act rationally. The successful day melts and sizzles with the cheese and all I am left with is the extreme disappointment in myself for not being a better cook. Ryan can read the sadness on my face and he knows right away that I’m upset about far more than the mess we now have to clean up. He pulls me into his arms and lets me talk it out.
It was October, and since my wedding season started in April this year, it’s been nearly 7 full months since I had time to thoughtfully plan a menu and enjoy cooking dinner every night. My business is my priority every day until Ryan walks in the door and then I can start thinking about dinner. And as any fellow cook knows, waiting until 30 minutes before you want to eat to decide what to cook usually doesn’t end well.
My mother was a teacher for most of my childhood, but she still managed to put a home cooked and healthy meal on the table every single night. Even though Ryan had grown up with more casual and simple dinners, I took this expectation on as a crucial part of my new role. And as my photography business picked up speed, I never let go of the expectation that I needed to be in the kitchen at 4:30 every day preparing a beautiful dinner consisting of no less than 3 separate dishes.
The tears that fell that day in the kitchen were not the first tears of disappointment in my culinary skills. But Ryan held me and told me that he doesn’t expect a home cooked dinner every night. He believes in my business and supports my business, and he knows that wedding season gets a little crazy. He reminded me that I make time for grocery shopping, laundry, and other personal errands every week, so he doesn’t expect me to stop work an hour early every day just to get a more elaborate dinner on the table.
And after he helped me scrape burnt cheese off of the crack in the oven, he told me we could have anything I wanted for dinner. Even though he knew I would name his least favorite Mexican place. That's love.
Pages from the Sequel:
Return from Jamaica
The Little Blue House
The Ugly Yellow House
The Flea Episode
The Bathroom Leak
The Dinner Disaster
Baby on Board
The Story of Lucy
The Vanishing Bread
Midnight Dance with Darcy
Our David & Goliath Moment