Melly Was Here

wife, mother, teacher, runner, writer, lover, fighter

11 Things I’ve Learned By Being Happily Married for 20 Years


20 years ago, I married the love of my life.  We were young and poor.  The day we got married, a co-worker of his mother told us to remember how much we loved each other when we were splitting a can of biscuits for dinner.  We did. When things got bad (and they did, because that’s life) we remembered.  We remembered why we were together.  Because we love each other.

Now, while love is the cornerstone of any long-term marriage – and I truly believe that – love is not the only element of a successful marriage.   So, without further ado, 11 Things I’ve Learned Being Married for 20 Years:

  • Love him.  Don’t try to change him.
  • Talk him up, never tear him down.  Talk him up to him, to your kids, to your friends, to his friends, to your mom, his mom.  And make sure he really hears it.
  • Be thoughtful.  The little things mean a lot.
  • Notice the little things he does for you.  And thank him for them.
  • Don’t take everything personally or read into things.  If he left his socks on the bathroom floor, it’s not because he doesn’t respect you or because he thinks you’ll pick them up.  He left his socks on the bathroom floor because he forgot to pick his socks up off the bathroom floor.
  • Sex.  Have it with him.  To be closer and to express your love.  Don’t use it as a weapon or a manipulation.
  • Just be nice to him.  Even if you’re angry.   You can be angry without being mean.
  • Respect him.  Respect his ideas and his feelings.
  • Laugh together.
  • Be interested in his passions and invite him to participate in yours.
  • Dream together.  And, then make a plan to make those dreams happen.  Then, do the work. Together.

The Next Run

I set a goal to run 500 miles in 2013.  Last year at this time it didn’t seem like such an unreasonable goal.  I was planning my first half marathon and planned to get at least 10 miles in a week for sure.

There are five days left of 2013 and I have logged 442 miles.  I need to run over 10 miles a day to reach that goal by New Year’s Eve.   I started talking about it to my husband.  He got that look on his face that says, “I want to support you, but I really don’t want you to hurt yourself.”   He gets this look on his face more often than I care to admit.   When I mentioned it on Facebook, a runner friend then asked how many miles I had to complete.  When I told him, he said, “Oh. Hmmmm.”

I think this is a goal I am going to have to let go.  I know I could bust my butt and get there.  But, at what cost?  There are many important things I wanted to do over this Christmas break – namely spending time with the boys, resting and recharging.  Sure, I’ll be running, but I’m not going to lie when I say that 10 plus miles a day sounds like no fun.  No fun at all.

I know why I didn’t make it to 500 miles:  After the two half marathons I ran, I felt burned out and didn’t run for a couple of weeks.  Next time, I’ll get out there and at least walk to log some miles.   There were also quite a few weeks that I simply did not make the time get out there.  I just didn’t make it a priority.   I’ll work on that too for sure.

I’m going to look at this as a learning experience.  As much as I hate not meeting this goal I set for myself, I am not going to beat myself up for it.  If this were a friend of mine,  I’d say, “Well, 442 miles was still pretty good!  You’ll do it next year!”  I’m going to say that to myself.  I’m going to celebrate the runs and races I ran that went well.  I’m going to celebrate my firsts.  I’m going to remember the races I ran with my friends.  But, I’m also going to be ok with those runs that didn’t go so well and the goal I didn’t achieve. Because, I’m a runner.  And, that’s the great thing about running:  Being better is only as far away as the next run.


I’m coming for you, 2014!


Race Report – The Illuminations Half Marathon, San Antonio, Texas

On Saturday, I ran the inaugural Illuminations Half Marathon at the JW Marriott Resort and Spa here in San Antonio.   I have always wanted to run an inaugural event, so I can say, “I have run that race every year since the beginning,” and then act all cool and stuff.

It was a big day for me.  I got up early and ran the Dirty Girl Mud Run with three of my friends.  I thought I’d have lots of time to get eat, get home and take a nap before I had to get up and get to the Marriott to get my packet.  I would have liked another hour of sleep before.  But, I got up, popped a few Immodium AD’s and put on my lucky tank top.


My Mrs. Incredible tank from the Disneyland Half. No capes!

I headed out to meet up with my friend, Tuck, and we headed over to the Marriott.  We got our packets, checked our bags and bundled up.


Do I look scared? I am.

It was a frigid 32 degrees when we started and it just kept getting colder.  The course was the cart path of the resort’s golf course.  I hadn’t looked at the elevation map and was shocked at how steep the hills were! Note to self: Check the elevation map!  Oh my goodness, those hills were killer.  I had to walk up many of them.

Running is often a mental challenge.  Anyone can run, it’s just a matter of having your head in the right place.  I always knew that.  But, this event was the first time a run messed with my head.  It was dark and cold.  Really dark and really cold, which made it seem way longer than 13.1 miles.   There were a few times I just wanted to catch a ride back to the starting line.  Thank goodness for Tuck and my iPod.  They got me through it.

The race was touted as an “illuminated night race.”  My only issue with the race was the lack of  lights.  I was expecting lots of pretty lights and there were just paper bags with battery operated tea lights in them.  Many of them were not lit and knocked over.  But, it was the inaugural event and besides some path issues I had,  that was the only thing that bothered me.  I know next year, it’ll be better.  I did enjoy seeing all the other runners and the creative ways they lit themselves up.  There was even a person running in a Christmas tree costume.

All in all, a very nice event.  The medal and the shirt are beautiful.   Right now, I say that I won’t ever run in the cold like that again, but I know that if it is cold like that next year I’ll run it again (please, Dear Lord, don’t let it be that cold next year).

A special shout out to the employees at the JW Marriott Resort and Spa.  What a bunch of class acts.  If  you are ever in San Antonio for vacation, you should stay there.  It is a lovely place.


Me and Tuck at the finish line. I’m not gonna lie, there were tears.

That’s the last race of the year.  I’ve still got some running to do though, to make my goal of 500 miles this year.  Gotta keep going!

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