Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Marriage

If my husband were in a talent competition, he would have a few things in his bag of tricks to choose from.  While riding the mechanical bull may not be his strongest skill, rope climbing, monkey bars, and nose whistling would all be in the running.  There is one skill, however, that he does better than anyone I know.  No one else I know is uncouth enough to do this with the gusto and frequency that he does.

He burps curse words.

If he really needs to let it fly, he doesn’t take the time to muster a burp, he just curses like the rest of us and even adds a touch of whimsy with favorites like “f@%k me in the goat a$$” and “tits McGee”, that make sense only to him and lonely shepherds.  The burped words are just a way of extending a casual burp, and making it more enjoyable for bystanders.  He also contends that it isn’t really cursing, because it’s a burp.  I contend that it isn’t really a burp, if it says this to me when I’m trying to make a cup of coffee in the morning:

“f—–uhhhhhhhhck”

and

“sh——iiiiiiiiiiiiiiit”

and

“son of a B——iiiiiiitch”

He also feels that its okay to do this within hearing range of the children, who are three and four.  He argues that it’s a foreign language so complex, that they can’t possibly translate, let alone mimic.

If I’m being honest, I might be a wee bit jealous, and here’s why.  I didn’t burp until I was in my 20’s.

You’re not believing me?  I’ll say it again, as I have nothing to gain from lying.  I NEVER BURPED UNTIL I WAS AN ADULT.  I wasn’t holding back, I wasn’t demure, I just couldn’t do it.  Not on purpose.  Not by accident.  It. Never. Happened.  At this point you’re thinking “But the gas has to escape some way??!!”.  Don’t worry, it escaped, I just prefer to write things that embarrass my husband, and not me.

My best friend as a kid was a phenomenal burp artist.  She could burp words and even sentences on command, like no one I’ve ever seen.  When you’re ten, these are important credentials to look for in a BFF, and I worshipped her tween talent.  As far as my burplessness, I maintain that there was some sort of physical delay that corrected itself for me as I grew older.  As an adult, although I can’t burp on command, I burp frequently and with average tone and vibrato.

Looking back, I may have subconsciously chosen my husband because of his word-burping strengths.  Given my fascination with it at an early age, and my own delayed abilities, this may have been an attempt on my part to give my own spawn a fighting chance to burp like normal people before they turned 25.

Today, I’m happy to say that at least one of my children shows early signs of speaking Burp-ese.

My youngest is three and loves the alphabet.  He sings the alphabet song all the time and I heard this in passing the other day:

“A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-LMNOP-Q-R-eeeeeeeeesssss-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z”

Yep folks, an unexpected burp bubbled up at ‘S’, and that little guy just worked it in and kept on going like a champ.  He didn’t acknowledge it, and he didn’t look up.

While he’s only burping letters now, it’s only a matter of time until his official BSL (burping as a second language) courses with dad start and he’s bilingual.  Hopefully we can hold off on the curse words until at least second semester.  And by second semester, I mean college.  Otherwise, that will be a teacher conference that dad will be attending.

This post was originally featured on Susan’s blog, Pecked To Death By Chickens

My in laws have finally left and surprisingly, I survived. I pretty much avoided them and stayed out of their way as much as possible. Unless of course they took us out to eat. Because HELLO, FREE FOOD! Who the hell doesn’t like a free meal?! Nobody, that’s who.

If I didn’t avoid them as much as I was able to, I would probably be writing this with pencil and paper from a prison cell. I would’ve been all Orange Is The New Black but really though, orange just isn’t my color.

READ MORE: And That’s When I First Knew My Mother In Law Was Crazy

Well, it isn’t really anyone’s color, except for maybe super hotties like Mark Ruffalo, Ryan Gosling, Chris Hemsworth, Liev Schrieber, or perhaps even the always gorgeous Kerry Washington and Robin Wright.

But I’m totally getting off point here.

For the low, low price of zilch, zero, nada, you too can follow these easy steps to survive your visiting in laws.

Take notes, people! There may be a pop quiz later on.

SEE MORE: WTF? Worst In-Law Stories

Step 1: Drink… A Lot. Vodka or wine in a coffee mug is a great choice. Especially one that has been hand painted by your child. It will look sweet and innocent but at the same time, you’ll be getting plastered. It’s a win win.

Hiding your alcohol intake will be one less thing your mother in law will judge you by and bitch about. It will also make it more tolerable and entertaining when your in laws tell you stories about your spouse growing up that you’ve heard 1oo times before.

Step 2: Fake an illness (cramps, bloating, pms, mad cow disease, problematic anal warts) and hide out in your bedroom with chocolate and a good book. Make sure to let out a few groans of pain in their presence.

Step 3: Fake raging diarrhea and hide out in your bedroom with chocolate and a good book. Nobody questions diarrhea. Ever.

Step 4: See steps 1-3.

Happy visiting!

This post was originally featured on Elle’s blog, This Is Mommyhood

A wedding video from January 2014 that features a particularly tearjerking moment (scroll to 4:00 to see it) of a groom reading vows to his new stepdaughter started to go viral online this week.

Brian Scott, a 27-year-old NASCAR driver, met model Whitney Kay the year before when they were introduced by mutual friends.

Whitney, now 24, already had a young daughter from a previous marriage, Brielle, whom Brian quickly fell in love with.

So at their wedding in the mountains of McCall, Idaho, after reading Whitney his vows, Brian turned to her daughter to read hers. “Brielle, can I tell you something?” he asked.

“I promise to always hold your hand and skip with you down the street and bring comfort to your life,” he said, choking back tears.

“I vow to make you say your prayers before you eat. I promise to read you stories at night, to always tuck you in real tight.”

“I vow to show you how a man should treat a woman in my relationship with your mother.”

“And above all else, I vow to protect you, care for you, and love you forever,” he finished.

“There was not a dry eye in the room,” Whitney told BuzzFeed. “He loves Brielle more than life itself and I think it was cool for everyone to really witness his love for her.”

“Brielle and I were so blessed to have met Brian,” she said. “He is our world.”

Whitney added, “She’s a daddy’s girl.”

This Groom Turns To Read Vows To His Bride's Daughter And Brings Everyone To Tears

This post was originally featured on Buzzfeed.

“You’re too focused on the kids,” our therapist announced. “You need to reconnect with one another.”

She was right. Lately our marriage had felt more like a business partnership than a romantic relationship. I tried to remember when we’d had our last date. When we’d last done the deed. It had been weeks.

Back at home, we sat on the couch. Fully clothed. Blaming the other for our mutual non-tango.

He says when I go to bed early in my flannels and my zit cream and I pull the covers up to my neck that I’m sending the message I’m not interested in sex.

I say he’s looking down at the mail when he comes in the door at the end of the day or he goes to the kids first and he doesn’t appear to be interested in me.

We were both starved for attention. And we didn’t talk like we used to.

I know that sex is not a substitute for love and healthy communication. But It was late and I didn’t want to argue anymore. Also, it had been 15 minutes and I needed to wash the algae mask off my face.

“How about this?” I blurted out. “We have sex every day for a week. That should get us out of this rut.”

Jonathan’s eyes lit up like he had just stepped into Penthouse Forum: The Movie.

And so began our 7 days of sex.

Day One: I am a Geeeeeeenius.

Seriously. How great is this idea?! Greatest. Idea. Ever. And I came up with it! We got right to work and ended up a breathless heap on a bearskin rug. OK, we don’t own a bearskin rug, but if we had we’d have ended up on it. Just 6 more sextastic days to go! What was I thinking? Should’ve made it a 30-day challenge!

Day Two: The Road to Sexy Land

What do you mean I didn’t come up with this idea? My friend had informed me that another blogger had already written about having sex every day for a year. A year! Not only that but there’s also a book called 7 Days of Sex Challenge. A book! Dammit. I really prefer to be original.

When Jonathan came home our bad moods collided.

Okaaay. Why did he bring in the car seat I had left in the driveway? “It’s cold out,” he said. But I washed it. It needed to be left out to dry. “It’s not going to dry tonight anyway.” But still. Just leave it there. I was peeved. Why bring a wet car seat into a dry house? Who brings a wet car seat into a dry house?

Someone I’ve committed to having sex with later, that’s who.

Before bed, the kids did just what I’d predicted. They played in the car seat and their pajamas got wet. Because the car seat was wet. And needed to be left outside. Like I said.

How would we get to Sexy Land from here?

Fortunately Jonathan changed their clothes and put them to bed without my help. And I was grateful to have 20 minutes alone. Just enough time for me to let go of my anger so we could have sex. When he came into the living room he smiled. “I was cranky about work,” he said. I smiled too. “Don’t mess with my controlled environment,” I said. Then, with the cloud lifted, we had sex.

We were getting past petty problems that could’ve lasted days— the 7-day plan was working!

Day Three: Phone it in.

Smalls was sick so I had to keep her home from preschool. I was behind on work. I hadn’t been to the gym all week. Due to an unknown allergy, I’d been applying cortisone cream to my face four times a day. I felt out of shape and unattractive. My throat was dry and I was probably coming down with the same thing Smalls had.

At the end of the day, sex was the furthest thing from my mind.

So I phoned it in. Not like “Hi, I’m Amber tell me how you like it.” I phoned it in as in I went about the motions even though I had my feelings. And guess what? My feelings changed. Because no matter how grumpy I get, my husband is still a hot piece of ass.

Day Four: Manual Labor

You can figure out what that means. Think about it. And yes, it counts.

Day Five: The School Fundraiser as Foreplay

No kids. Karaoke night in Venice Beach. I had mojitos. He sang Allison.

Elvis Costello? Some nights were easier than others.

Day Six: I’m Not Laughing at You, I’m Laughing with You

This is hilarious. We’re about to have sex again. Haha! We just did it last night. And the night before. And the night before and the night before and before. For some reason sex every night was very, very funny. We made jokes. Some lewd, some not. Then we had sex. Even though we were laughing. Because we were still making jokes. While we were having sex. Which was really, really funny!

Day Seven:  And on the Seventh Day…

We rested. Look, even God had to rest on the seventh day, people.

The truth is, we got in a fight. It looked like a fight about how he’s always leaving things lying around or how I’m always throwing those things away… but it was really about something deeper. This time, the plan for sex wasn’t enough for either of us to let the fight go away.

We went back to the therapist and shared about our 7 days of sex. She listened and smiled. Then she took a deep breath and said, “How about ‘How was your day’ instead?” She gave us a prescription: At the end of each day, spend 10 minutes looking into each others eyes… and talking. Uninterrupted. No complaining. Just sharing the good. And this way we begin the process of reconnecting. Eventually, sex will follow.

We’re actually on day 15 and it’s going really well.

This post was originally featured here. Photo via

We all know that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. The stores are already decorated with red and pink. Classroom lists are going home and, perhaps, you have been scouring Pinterest for adorable Valentines your kids can give their classmates.

If you’re lucky, your significant other has already started planning, too. He’s contemplating which restaurant he’ll call for reservations and deciding which gift will be the perfect one just for you. Or, perhaps, like a lot of men, he isn’t thinking about it at all and on Feb. 13 he will have an “Oh crap!” moment in which he realizes that he forgot about it (again). In a panic, he will get online to order you some flowers and take whatever reservation he can find at any restaurant that might still have an opening.

READ MORE: These Girls Tried Cosmo Flirting Tips On Real Guys And The Result Was Hilarious

My husband would most likely be in that second category. Luckily for him, I am a very cheap Valentine’s ate for five basic reasons:

1.) I cant hold my liquor. Seriously, after one glass of wine, I am already “feeling it.” If I have two glasses, I’ll really be buzzed (and by “buzzed” I mean sleepy). So, a full bottle of the fancy stuff is not required.

2.) I wont be able to stay awake past 9:00pm. Well, I might be awake, but I won’t be very good company. Chances are I was up at that crack of dawn and, by 9:00 pm, I am pretty much brain dead.

READ MORE: A Really Important Question About Dating

3.) Coffee is cheaper than wine. I would actually prefer a cup of coffee (See #2) rather than a second glass of wine (See #1).

4.) I cant go anywhere too fancy because I have nothing to wear. Let’s face it, I don’t get to many cocktail parties these days and I can’t exactly wear jeans or yoga pants to a five star restaurant.

5.) Im perfectly happy with some chocolate and a back rub. Honestly, if the hubby wants to really romance me, all he has to do is put the kids to bed, hand me some chocolate, and rub my back while I sit in my pajamas on the couch watching the latest episode of House Hunters. It would be a bonus if we ordered pizza for dinner so I didn’t have to cook. That’s it. It’s truly that easy!

READ MORE: Jdate Horror Stories And How I Discovered It’s Not The Religion In The Man That Matters

Really, I want my husband to show me in little ways that he loves me EVERY DAY – not just on Feb. 14. It’s great that there’s a day set aside on the calendar for us to express our undying love to our significant others, but I really don’t need or expect any grand gestures. If, however, my husband decides that he needs to jump on the bandwagon, he’s pretty lucky that I’m such an easy date!

My husband and I have been married for over 32 years…To each other.

99% of ‘it’ has been good.

75% of ‘it’ has been great.

I see another 32 years together.

He sees whatever I tell him to (and THAT folks is part of the magic).

But, seriously, who the hell has the time, the motivation, or the vision to work at ‘it’ every damn day long?

Not me. Not him. Not most people.

So let’s take a look at what actually makes a marriage a neighborhood everyone wants to live in, but because they work a 45 hour week and are too exhausted to know what the hell’s going on, they usually forget the address.

LOCATION. LOCATION. LOCATION:

Take a deep look, and a hard listen, to other long-term marriage partners. Surround yourselves with them. Ignore the sarcastic barbs about Great Uncle Timmy, and the reasons why the family’s inheritance was wasted, and now they are barely getting by on Social Security because of his indiscretions. Or the Saturday afternoon picnic when Dad throws the macaroni at Mom. These are LOVE gestures. They show emotional engagement. What you don’t see is often a profound understanding of each other. The automatic reflex to throw themselves under a bus for their partners (And probably a few fantasies about driving the bus, as well) because they are certain in the knowledge that they, themselves, are flawed. These people have been committed for the long-haul from the beginning. Rose colored glasses weren’t available at Woolworth’s and even if they had been, baby needed new cloth diapers. LISTEN TO YOUR ELDERS.

 KEEPING SECRETS: 

Don’t share every damn hurt feeling with the neighbors (But remember to talk about the neighbors with your partner, and what you really think about them, then giggle, and say ‘But that’s just between us’). Nothing fosters intimacy like  feeling safe, and discussing everyone else’s flaws. PROTECT EACH OTHER.

NICE GESTURES: 

You must give to receive (And, I’m not talking kinky sex…. well, maybe I am), but seriously, who among us wouldn’t find an unexpected full tank of gas, or socks right side out in the dirty clothes hamper, a major aphrodisiac? Come on. Unloading the dishwasher is foreplay! An extra bag of sea-salted thick-cut chips, a jar of unopened ranch dip, and a selection of nitrate fueled hard salamis, haphazardly placed on the kitchen counter before a Sunday football game is like catnip. (Now, picture your partner rolling on the floor and throwing money at you). IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT.

SAYING ‘YES’- or ‘NO’: 

Just don’t say ‘Maybe’. ‘Maybe’ sucks. Maybe is code for ‘No’. ‘No’ is fine- really. I’ll deal with it. ‘Yes’ is better, but ‘No’ is not the end of the world. ‘Maybe’ is wishy-washy. It makes everyone look foolish, and lazy, and selfish. Don’t be selfish. Be a grown-up. COMMUNICATE WITH CLEAR INTENT.

PRIORITIZE IMPORTANCE: 

This is really not that difficult. It should go as follows: yourself then the kids then your partner then the bills then recording a Netflix show. The question here, of course, is why ‘yourself’ first? People that tend to take care of e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e else first turn into martyrs. And martyrs are a buzz-kill, full of self-righteous indignation, and a perpetual whine, that make me want to smack them upside the head. For the Love Of God, the world will still go round ‘n round without your imperious gestures. So if you want to sit down and read a book instead of making dinner, there’s this new idea called ‘Take-out’. If you can’t make your child’s soccer game, because you’d rather get a massage- get one. He doesn’t want you there anyways. You’re always embarrassing with your ‘Go Johnny’ and ‘That’s okay. You’ll get it next time!’ encouragement (We all know what’s really in the thermos, btw). As for Netflix, that’s a no-brainer. NOT EVERYTHING CAN BE #1.

FORGIVE: 

especially yourself- for giving your partner too much rope and inevitably hanging themselves. Think of your marriage like a child that needs to be nurtured but is still sort of a dumb ass. Would you let your six year old drive a car? Should the cats mow the lawn? Do separate bank accounts really mean independence? No. So, why, in the name of everything that’s Holy, would you allow your partner to skip down the proverbial yellow brick road when you know with every fiber in your being that the Wizard is really just a kindly flimflam man looking to make a killing and those ruby slippers are a size too small? But it will happen. Yes it will. And you will be pissed. But you share responsibility for these mistakes. Forgive. Everyone. Then GET SMART.

LAUGH: 

Find the humor in this messy thing we call Life (And your partners extremely loud toilet habits). My darling husband is the funniest person I know- he adores me, after all, which makes him hysterical…

(USUALLY IN A GOOD WAY).

This post was originally featured on Cheryl’s blog, A Pleasant House. Photo via