Saturday, December 15, 2012

Romance: Fiction vs. Reality

It's not very often on this blog that I do a post more personal in nature, but I know I like it when the blogs I love and visit frequently post a little something that gives me a small peek into their world outside of books and blogging, so I thought I might give it a whirl. Mostly this came about as a result of something I saw on Twitter last week; something that, put simply, spoke to me. That sounds a little lame, I know, but when I saw the image I'm about to share with you I knew I had to write about how perfectly it represents my life. And if you can't share these types of profound moments with the entirety of the internet, who can you share them with, you know?

Confession: I love romance. I do. I actively seek out all genres of romance, from contemporary to paranormal, young adult to adult, historical to steampunk. If the book has some sort of sexy, charismatic, funny, sweet, and a-whole-slew-of-other-adjectives hero, I want to read about him. I have an entire list of fictional boyfriends I often tell my husband I would leave him for if they were real (he oh-so kindly takes such statements with a heavy dose of skepticism), and I love nothing more than falling in love with these boys over and over again.

What does this have to do with my moment you ask? The one that made me sit back and go "this is my life in a nutshell" and find a sense of deep peace seeing my exact world put into beautiful, expressive words? Well, here's what led me to that special place people:


THIS. It's like this card was written specifically for me. I saw it, nearly wet myself laughing at its accurate depiction of my day to day life, and then decided it had to be shared, complete with a few snippets of conversation between me and Kevin as supporting evidence that sometimes, just sometimes, the romance of fiction and that of reality can be so very far apart.

Nothing amuses me more than being so deeply involved in the romance between two characters that I feel compelled to share the fictional love with my husband, and then take it one step further by questioning him as to why our real love isn't nearly as dramatic or epic as the one about which I'm reading. This is usually what happens:

(For those of you who have not read the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward, this conversation might not make much sense. Basically, when the Brothers find the person they want to spend the rest of their lives with, they give off a scent of dark spices - a vampire bonding scent that essentially tells everyone around them who the person responsible for inciting that reaction in them belongs to. It sounds weird out of context of the books, but it just works when you're in their world.)

ME: Kevin?

KEVIN: Yeah.

ME: How come when you're near me you don't emit a scent of dark spices?

KEVIN: What?

ME: When you look at me or are in close proximity to me, how come that doesn't trigger any sort of bonding scent from you?

KEVIN: What the hell are you reading?

ME: Nothing you need to concern yourself with.

KEVIN: Clearly I do given you just asked me why my body doesn't leak a weird spice smell upon seeing you.

ME: I'm just saying maybe there's something physically wrong with you that that's not happening.

KEVIN: I think it's more likely there's something wrong with you mentally that you think it should.

ME: I'm almost positive that's not the case. Bonding scents are sexy! You should have one.

KEVIN: I think I'm done talking about this.

ME: Fine. But if you were a Brother, you'd have a bonding scent. And also, you'd tattoo my full name in monstrously large letters across your shoulders so everyone could see the depth of your love for me in ink.

KEVIN: Jesus.

These types of conversations happen fairly often and usually deteriorate rather quickly because Kevin just can't grasp what real love is supposed to be like ;-) I try to share my expertise in this area given my extensive studying of the subject matter, but he, for some inexplicable reason, does not find my knowledge useful.

I was doing a reread of the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning when a new question for Kevin popped in my head. I'd just read the following line:

"One day you may kiss a man you can't breathe without, and find breath is of little consequence" - Jericho Barrons

ME: Kevin?

KEVIN: Yeah.

ME: Do you love me so much you find it difficult to breathe without me?

KEVIN: I don't even want to know what you're reading to make you ask me that.

ME: This is me opening the door wide for you to say something exceedingly romantic about how much I mean to you. Now you just need to walk through it.

KEVIN: How very considerate of you to open that door for me.

ME: I know. Please dazzle me with a statement brimming with so much love that it reminds me in glorious detail of all the reasons I married you.

KEVIN: Right. I do of course love you, however, I've discovered I'm capable of breathing all day at work when you're not present. I'm kind of amazing like that.

ME: You're also a bit of an a-hole. Compliment fail.

I have to admit the lack of constant drama-filled, swoon-worthy romance in our reality is not the fault of Kevin alone. I may contribute a tiny, tiny bit ;-)

ME: Okay, I'm ready to go run errands.

KEVIN: Wait. Did you seriously just go upstairs and change from one pair of sweatpants to another?

ME: Uh, yeah. These are my "going out" sweatpants Kevin. I can't go out in my pajamas now can I? I want to look nice for you when we're out and about. Obviously.

KEVIN: I'm pretty sure you slept in that exact pair of sweatpants last week.

ME: Yes, I did. However, I've washed them since then and have not yet worn them to sleep this week, so they are now, officially, daytime sweatpants. The ones I just took off are nighttime sweatpants. Now that I'm in my daytime sweats and clearly looking my best, we can proceed with our daytime activities.

KEVIN: Jesus.

In all seriousness though, I'm a lucky woman. Kevin is extremely supportive of me, the business I run from home and this blog, and he makes me laugh on a daily basis. While there are no bonding scents or telling indicators of love like an inability to breathe when not in my presence (honestly Kevin!), I wouldn't trade him or my life for the world (well, maybe for Jericho Barrons ;-)

I figured I'd conclude this rather lengthy and rambling post with a few family pictures. Yes, there are WAY more pictures of our dogs than there are of us because Kevin and I almost never take any pictures together and our boys (Gatsby and Griffin) are our babies. We're behind-the-camera type of people and we're both good with that. Hence, the wedding photos below from 5 years ago. They're the only decent pictures I have of us together. It's both funny and pathetic really that we have so few pictures of us as a couple, but here's our little family:




90 comments:

  1. This post is hilarious, I couldn't stop grinning whilst reading it! Thank goodness we have romance in books to get lost in ;) Also: those conversations are GOLD. Love it!

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    1. Right? There are times I just have to shake my head and wonder why my husband isn't wax poetic about our love all the time ;-)

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  2. Ahhh, I loved this post and can so relate! Thanks for opening up. :)

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  3. Alas, I get to meet the mysterious but entirely wonderful Jenny and know some things about her real life. ;) I love the photos you shared; your dogs are utterly adorable and your wedding pictures with your husband are lovely!
    I completely connected with your post, considering I have so many crushes on sexy fictional male characters. ;) My boyfriend is great but WOW Jerricho Barrons is hard to pass up... ;D Fantastic post, Jenny!

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    1. Thanks so much Leanne! And Jericho Barrons is most definitely a tough act to follow. Kevin, poor thing, really didn't even have a fighting chance ;-)

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  4. I love this post, Jenny! You and your husband are adorable. As much as I love posts about books, it was great to read something personal. I haven't read either of the two series you mentioned, but each conversation was still hilarious :) Thanks for sharing!
    Btw, your boys are precious. <3

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    1. Thank you Olivia! I'm not sure if you're a romance reader (adult romance that is) but if you are, I HIGHLY recommend the Black Dagger Brotherhood. They're addicting. The Fever series is an adult series as well, but more urban fantasy than romance. And everyone in the world should read it so they can meet Jericho Barrons:)

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  5. LOL, your conversations with your husband are very funny :). And I, too, love a good romance and getting to read about some of my favorite bloggers. The pictures of your family are beautiful. Gah, black and white photos are just so classic. Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. Thanks Christina! I figured it had been a while since I'd written any sort of post about me, and then I saw that ecard and was all MUST SHARE THIS! And thank you for the compliments on the photos, one of these days I'll have more pictures of us than our wedding ones!

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  6. Thank you so much for this! I desperately needed a laugh!
    Kevin is a good man to put up with you! Lol. I sometimes say random things to my husband but its usually more like an argument about how vampires really are or how things were built (doesn't everyone know that Stonehenge and the pyramids and all those wonders were built by aliens? Duh.) We recently had an 'argument' about vampires but I don't really remember it. I do remember him asking how I knew this and how it was a fact that vampires do that particular thing. Oh yeah! It was about how vampires can turn new vampires. He didn't agree with my theory (no- FACT) about how vampires are made. Obviously he doesn't know this stuff like we do. ;)
    And oh yes I'm familiar with those Black Dagger boys! And Jericho, of course.

    Thanks for sharing the pics too! I love seeing a bit of personal stuff from the bloggers I love.

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    1. Haha Kevin is definitely a good man for putting up with me! Most of the times my questions just get an eye roll in response because he's learned it's safer for him not to engage. But sometimes I think his curiosity gets the better of him and he responds. Then later regrets it ;-)

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  7. You guys have the funniest cutest conversations ever. thanks for shairng that.

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  8. Lol, oh I just love the two of you :D And yes honestly, he needs to have a bonding scent asap ;)

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    1. THAT'S WHAT I'M SAYING!!! Thank you for validating me ;-)

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  9. I love how there are more pictures of your dogs than the two of you. Heh. A husband who can make you laugh and puts up with your bibliophilia? Total. Win.

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    1. Hahahaha yep:) We literally have 600 pictures on our camera and 575 of them are the dogs. We're those people that are all "do you want to see pictures of my dogs?" and other people are all "um, not really, but thanks." :)

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  10. This reminded me SO much of my husband and me, I just made him read it. So wonderful to know other couples behave so similarly! And that men are generally just as skeptical of our romantic notions all over.

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    1. YES! *high five* I try to explain to Kevin what romance is supposed to be like based on what I'm reading, but he just doesn't appreciate my input ;-)

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  11. Heeeey. I'm taking a breather from all the school blubbber and this post made me smile lots! The two of you look so beautiful together. <3 Real life romance, though isn't as Hollywood worthy, is definitely much sweeter. Especially because it actually happens to you XD

    Thanks for sharing, Jenny :D

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    1. I agree Gellie! There are things he does (like going through the drive through of both McDonalds and Wendy's because he knows I like Wendy's burgers and McDonald's fries) that wouldn't likely make it into a romance novel, but I sort of love him anyway ;-)

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  12. Loved this post!! I love getting lost in romances. When I read I want to escape from reality! I fully admit to being a shallow reader.

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    1. SAME!!!! I just saw this card and was like yes, this is my life:)

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  13. Love this post. I normally don't bother to read much from the dashbord, but this one caught my eye :) hilarity, absolute hilarity

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  14. I am most definitely a romance kind of girl, too, but there is something to be said about the not-quite-as-dramatic nature of a real life romance. ;) I love your conversations with Kevin! Lucky man, clearly. ;)

    I'm not a huge dog fan but those are some great pictures! Your wedding pic is adorable too. :)

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    1. Right? I think he's super lucky to have me ;-)

      And I'm kind of in love with our boys, they scare a lot of people because they're solid muscle, but they're the sweetest dogs:)

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  15. what a real and honest thing ...I do think the same stuff with my dh. I get that he won't get all of it. I was LOL with your conversations . Beautiful pictures :) Made my morning

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    1. Thanks so much Julie! These conversations with my husband always make me laugh, he's a good sport:)

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  16. ONE OF YOUR DOGS IS NAMED GATSBY? *fist pump* ;) I love this post, though, Jenny! I often find myself thinking I'll never find someone because of ridiculously high expectations from fictional men, but I think there's something to be said for a realistic romance that is often more perfect in my eyes than the contrived fictional heroes we fall for. Kevin seems like a wonderful husband and you're both so lucky to have each other. (Although, really, he breathes without you? HOW DARE HE?(; )

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    1. YES! Gatsby is the dark one with the white face:)

      And there are times after I've read a super romantic story and I look at Kevin and he's playing Black Ops on the play station and swearing at the what are no-doubt 12 year old children playing with him, and I just shake my head. I wouldn't change it though, I adore him. And I can't imagine how often he must shake his head at me:)

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  17. I just died laughing. This is why I love you, you never cease to crack me up whilst totally making an excellent point. I'm so glad you did this post! I had to comment today, this was too priceless not to. Kevin sounds pretty awesome too. And, I totally have my sleep pants and day pants. Every time I take my girls to school they ask me if i'm wearing my pajamas. I tell them that they currently aren't and they then ask me if they are clean. Why a 6 and 4 yo care so much I will never know. But I totally bought pregnancy Jeans just for Ohio, so you get the full treatment of beauty! ;)

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    1. Kevin is pretty awesome:) And I'm currently wearing my daytime sweatpants and fully plan to throughout the holidays, so when you come, it's likely you'll get the beauty treatment from me as well ;-) WIN!!!

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  18. Jenny, can you make a new feature? Call it "Bookish Conversations with the Husband." They are EPIC.

    Romance novels always make me want to go snuggle with my boyfriend. I'm not really sure why that is.

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    1. I SHOULD!!! We have a lot of them:) I often try to snuggle Kevin after a romance novel too, but I usually get this in response "Dammit Jenny! You just got me killed. I was having a really good game until you got in the way." Ah Black Ops, it makes my husband so sweet and romantic ;-)

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    2. I bet our husbands could bond over black ops. My hubby just got Black Ops 2 today. I'm sure I won't see much of him this weekend. They're probably playing together. Wouldn't that be cool and crazy?

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    3. Kevin played all night tonight. He gets SO mad at that game! I'm always asking him why he plays if it pisses him off so much, but he never has a real answer for me:) I'm sure our husbands will knife, shoot, and otherwise maim and kill each other online at some point ;-)

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  19. Hahaha!! Thank you so much for sharing this. Totally made my morning better :-D

    Paranormal Haven

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    1. I'm so glad! I was hoping everyone would find it amusing:)

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  20. You almost made me spit my coffee out with the laughter. THE LAUGHTER! *thumbs up*

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  21. This is hilarious! Love the pictures of your wedding and the dogs!

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  22. Oh my word. This is the funniest post I have read in a while. I completely understand you too.

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    1. I'm so glad:) It's nice to know we're not alone in our experiences isn't it?

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  23. Hah, fantastic post, Jenny! I'm divorced and I live alone with my kid because there just ins't anyone else willing to put up with MY bookish ways, not to mention random sounds or sudden tears when something doesn't go my way.. in books, of course.
    I actually spend a lot of time thinking about the impact of romance novels on everyday life. I think they might be just a bit damaging because they make us have unreasonable expectations, but that doesn't mean I'll stop reading them!
    Anyway, thank you for sharing! It's always harder when it's personal.

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    1. I agree that romance novels definitely create unrealistic expectations, it's probably a good thing I didn't read them before I met Kevin or he would have had a lot more work cut out for him! I would have been all "you're nothing like hero XYZ", what's wrong with you?" ;-) Still, there's something to be said for all the comfortable moments that you usually don't find in romance novels - the ones that are neither dramatic nor passionate, but just allow you to be you:)

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  24. OMG! I have not smiled all day! Thanks for making that happen! Romance novels definitely set the bar high for real life. Good thing we are smart enough to know a good thing even without the spicy bonding scent!

    PS those wedding pics are sooo beautiful! Love your hair in them!

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it Melissa! And yes, despite Kevin's lack of bonding scent (WTH Kevin?), I was able to recognize that he was a winner ;-)

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  25. What a great post. I know how you feel my husband cannot comprehend why I read so much and the farting...whenever my four year old smells something unpleasant she says ewww, did Daddy fart you? Ahh married life....

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    1. Nothing quite says love like being comfortable enough with one another to just let one rip right? Right. ;-)

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  26. That was seriously just a great post. I love it. And Kevin sounds adorable and supportive of your ... habit. I love that when you say something ridiculous (well, ridiculous to people who aren't obsessed with books), that he simply asks what you're reading. He clearly knows you well. Aw!

    Kevin + Jenny = 4EVER

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    1. He's a good sport about my ridiculousness, it kind of makes me love him even more. Most of the time I get an eye roll and silence after my question that clearly says "I'm not even going to dignify what you just said with a response", but I think I secretly amuse him ;-)

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  27. This is my favorite blog post of yours I've ever read! Not only is it hilarious, but it's REAL, and that's what makes it so great. I think one reason I've never married is because my expectations are ridiculous thanks to romance novels and movies. A bonding scent! LOL. But a love so deep I couldn't breathe without it is creepy to me. That's going too far.

    I loved seeing your wedding photos! What a beautiful couple. And your children are awesome too.

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    1. Yes, if either Kevin or I actually did in fact struggle to breathe while not in the other's presence, I would worry for us. But I still like asking him completely absurd things just to see what he says:) I will say however, that the quote from Jericho is totally sexy in context ;-)

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  28. I loved this post! This is exactly me! I love romance and everything I read has to have romance in it. My book boyfriend list is endless. It's weird though since I'm not very romantic in person, but I do the exact same thing! LOL And you are a very lucky lady to have Kevin! you are both hilarious!

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    1. YEAH! My book boyfriend list exceeds what is probably healthy, but I don't even care. I can't bring myself to cross anyone off, I just keep adding men:)

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  29. What a great post, and you and Kevin look so adorably cute in your wedding photos! I totally agree with everything that you said (especially about the nighttime and daytime sweat pants!), which may explain why my marriage failed! I was just expecting too much apparently and after realizing that my then husband could not only breathe but even manage to function normally without me by his side, well that was just a deal breaker for me! Of course, as in any good novel, he and I are actually best friends now - we hang out together and call each other just for the hell of it - so I guess I made the right decision! ;) Thanks so much for the laugh I got while reading this; it was much appreciated!

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    1. Thank you Julie! I'm glad you could relate:):) It's so great that you and your ex are still friends though, that's a rarity, but I think a sign that you guys definitely made the right decision. Hopefully you'll find that guy who has a bonding scent just for you soon ;-)

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  30. I love reading a little personal info from other bloggers. It give a glimpse of the person behind the site. Thanks for sharing this to us. Lovely & hilarious. I love the pics.. so gorgeous!

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    1. I do too! As much fun as it is to get book recommendations and read reviews and interviews, it's nice to get to know the person behind those things every now and then - get to see them as people rather than blog names:):) And thank you for the compliment on the pictures, I'm kind of a fan of all of my boys!

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  31. Awww, Jenny! You look so beautiful! Love the pictures. And yes, I agree. I'm such a big romance junkie, I ask John questions all the time. Like he doesn't wash my hair for me? Or why he doesn't tattoo my name? LOL!

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    1. RIGHT SAVY?! I can't fathom why our men don't want to dote on us ALL THE TIME. Honestly ;-)

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  32. HAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA I LOVE THE CONVERSATIONS YOU HAVE WITH YOUR HUSBAND! They're EPIC! And awwwwwwww<3 You look stunning in your wedding photo :) AND THE DOGS!<333333

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    1. Thank you so much Shirley! I'm quite fond of our ridiculous conversations:)

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  33. Jenny, I am CRACKING UP at this post!! It's beyond hilarious and so true. It seems like you have a fun relationship with your husband and he takes your reading and expectations in stride. I'd say keep him, unless of course, Jericho Barrons shows up. In that case don't kick him to the curb just yet because there will be a MAJOR throw down between you & me to see who gets JZB. Hair pulling may be involved. Lol! Love your pictures. You look so pretty. :)

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    1. I think I'll keep him around a little longer. Barrons will show up eventually right? RIGHT?! And then our battle will commence. Beware. I fight dirty ;-)

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  34. I absolutely looooove this post! And I flipping LOVE the banter you and your hubby have. Seriously, it actually REMINDS me of the hilarious banter between best friends turned lovers in books. For reals. So, really, you DO have something of a novel life. ;)

    Thanks for sharing and making me laugh!

    Sierra @ Yearning to Read

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    1. Thank you Sierra! It's a good point you make, we do banter like best friends, so I guess there's a little romance novel in our lives after all:)

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  35. LOL! Your husband was very sporting about the scent thing I would have looked at you like you were mad if you would have asked me that :)

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    1. I think after years of me asking him completely random and bizarre questions, he's just sort of always braced for it ;-)

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  36. this post made me laugh out loud so hard my husband asked me what I was laughing at. I then proceeded to read it to him. He looked at me kind of funny and I then told him, see, it could be worse, I could ask you these kind of questions.

    Thank you for lightening up a really rough weekend! :) What a great post!!!!

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  37. lol! This post is great, and so spot-on. I often find myself whining to my husband that he's not ROMANTIC enough, but he's there in all the important ways.

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  38. Ahh!!!! Hon, you are made of awesome and that was hilarious!!!! But oh so true! You know I also love romance, and when a book doesn't contain romance I'm in a sad place afterwards..
    And *sigh* if our real life would only even a tiny bit be like in our books that would be kind of nice...

    Oh and I LOVED the sweatpants scene! So true.. soooo true!

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  39. I am sharing this with my hubs!! I actually "spit out" laughing at the sweatpants conversation, too!!! And I'm with Amanda, PLEASE make this a feature!!! Pretty please!!!! We need the family snark!!!

    Our poor husbands...

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    1. And my hubs says he's got a bonding scent for me... faaaaartttt..... nice, huh? He's sitting next to me playing his video games, although I don't get blamed for his deaths ;)

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  40. Your best. post. ever.
    I love it.
    I loved hearing your convo, what inspired you, seeing your pups, and ooohing over how lovely you and your honey looked on your wedding day.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  41. LOL...oh my gosh you guys crack me up!! I wish you lived closer, you would be a blast to double date with...:D

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  42. This cracked me up so much! It also reminded me a lot of my boyfriend and I. Love this post!

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  43. haha love it! i am pretty sure i've had the bdb conversation before. i love romance, too. i know it's not reality but it's fun. :)

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  44. That was. Hysterical. And, you look beautiful in your wedding photos. And my husband & I don't have a lot of pics together either. In a similar story once when I was swooning over James Marsters from Buffy, he said something disparaging about him. I extolled all his virtues...and ended with "...and look at the way he *looks* at her!" My husband replied, "Well if I was an actor I could look at you like that too."

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  45. Ha! You guys are too hilarious. =D

    It actually is pretty hysterical when you start to compare every day life with some of the romance books.

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  46. Ahhhh how did I only just see this now? Jenny this post is absolutely hilarious! I totally would trade any guy for Barrons too! ;) Btw you look absolutely stunning in your photos! :)

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  47. Aww that was really funny! Reminds me of my married life as well. I cannot talk to my husband about my romance novels, he teases me endless. But recently he went out of the way to get me one of the books I really wanted that was an hour in the opposite direction and that was really sweet :D
    You guys btw look like a very adorable couple <3

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  48. ROFL! I haven't read either Fever or BDB but I loved your post and LMAO throughout my reading. Hilarious and fantastic. Love your wedding pictures, you two look made for each other.

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  49. oh man, I LOVE these posts! and I completely agree with you.. if the sweatpants haven't been worn to bed, they are daytime sweatpants.. I have several that look alike but can distinguish their current use every time :D

    awesome post! I look forward to more because I seriously laughed out loud!

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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  50. Oh my gosh. Words can't even begin to describe how much I adore this post. You had me in a fit of giggles - and to think it took me asking you to show me pics of your pretty dogs to get me here. *I'm ashamed* Ha, but yes - I can relate so much to how we view real love vs fictional love stories; it's probably the reason I'm still single.

    I'm waiting for that guy to come swooping in with a hint of dashing debonair, brooding darkness and shrouded in mystery, with just a touch of bad boy vibe. Just like the characters in my favourite books. Le sigh. Perhaps I should drop my expectations.

    On a final note, I also love it when bloggers share bits of their personal lives; I love getting to know people and I feel like this, in some way, definitely lets one connect with one another.

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