Category Archives: Marriage

Ice Ice Baby

IceLast Thursday was the third Thursday of October. Why is that important, you might ask? It really isn’t. However, it does mark the day of a very special memory for Matthew and I.

On this third Thursday of October 2013, I happened to meet an old employee/friend/new assistant for lunch. When I arrived, she told me to close my eyes because she had a gift for me…a 16 lb gift. What was it? You guessed it…a giant bag of ice.

Why did she give me a bag of ice? Well, on the third Thursday of October 2011, we hosted an event at Salt & Pepper, and it was Taylor’s second or third day to work there. If you read the post about how Matthew and I met, you already know that he did a million and one nice things for me before we ever really knew each other or started dating. This was one of them.

On this third Thursday of October 2011, I was having a terrible afternoon. To make matters worse, I spilled an entire bag of ice for the party onto the floor of the store. (Imagine my frustrated face.) I went to TP Outdoors to grab some random hardware item and spilled all of my frustrations to Matthew, culminating with the spilled ice debacle.

To make a long story short, Matthew showed up at my store with a bag of ice in hand! He said, “I couldn’t let something as simple as a bag of ice ruin your evening.” Seriously, isn’t he the sweetest?? Surely you see now why I couldn’t stay away from this man!

Being new, Taylor asked a million questions and insisted that this nice guy must be more than a friend. I had to mask my excitement because this was the first major random act of kindness that Mathew had done, and I didn’t have answers for all of Taylor’s questions. Instead, I called my BFF over and we stood outside the store chatting about what I should do, because even then…6 months before we started dating…I knew this guy was different.

Of course, I had no idea that this little anniversary was here. However, Taylor doesn’t let anything slip through the cracks and surprised me with a bag of ice to commemorate. (A bag of ice that may have melted in my trunk before I remembered to take it out. Oops.)

Isn’t she the sweetest?! And so is my guy for giving us yet another day to remember. Sweet, random memories are my favorite!

One Wonderful Year.

Obviously, this post is more than a tad late. Please forgive me?? Matthew and I celebrated our one year anniversary on July 28, 2013. Yay!! I wanted to be sure that such a special occasion didn’t pass without celebrating, but it was such a busy time for the both of us, so we had to get creative.Our original plan was to go out of town for the weekend or maybe to the family’s lake house, but we ultimately decided to stay home.When trying to think of ways to celebrate locally, we decided to spend a day touring our town. “Tour your town” initiatives are nothing new, but we haven’t had a chance to do a lot of these things together. I’m pretty familiar with our local landscape from my time at the Convention & Visitors Bureau, but I haven’t been to many places recently, and Matthew is new to many of them.

The hubby and I

Since we decided to stay in town, we took the weekend off and spent Saturday hitting up some of our local gems. Matthew grilled us the most delicious BBQ chicken for lunch, and then we began our day at the Biedenharn Museum & Gardens. We frequent the gardens for the Moonlit Garden events,  but I hadn’t had a chance to take Matthew through the Coke Museum or to tour the Biedenharn home. I think he really enjoyed learning some of the history. Plus, a stroll hand-in-hand through those beautiful gardens is always nice. It was my favorite soda jerk’s last day at the museum, so I was thrilled to get to see him “perform” one last time. (By the way, that’s not a derogatory term…that’s what they’re called!)
Coke truckSoda JerkNext, we went down the street to the Masur Museum of Art. The current exhibit was on computer aided art, which was fascinating. There was even a section on video games with a station to play for a bit. Playing video games in an art museum? Of course! There were videos, recordings, printouts, framed java script, and all sorts of computer generated art. My favorite from this collection was huge quilts with blocks of hundreds and hundreds and quotes from researchers. I found it fascinating! I loved how it drew light to the possible invalidity of things media credit to unattributed “experts.” “Experts say, Pamela Petrus is the most talented and amazing woman in the world.” See how this works? Although, I do like where these experts were headed. 🙂

Masur Museum of Art

Experts say...After the museum, I begged to go to the zoo. Matthew wasn’t quite as excited about this idea, but he obliged. We stumbled upon an abandoned wheelchair, and my comedian husband exclaimed, “It’s a miracle!” I’m laughing now just thinking about it again. He’s a funny one, Mr. Petrus.
flamingosWe ended the day by grabbing some Johnny’s pizza and heading to the Downtown Cinema for an outdoor showing of Star Wars: The Emperor Strikes Back…complete with snow cones, of course! To most, this probably sounds like a boring, uneventful anniversary, but to two more-than-busy individuals, this laid back Saturday together was amazing. We seldom have time to spend an easy going, unscheduled day together, so this anniversary weekend was more than welcomed.
johnny's pizzasnow cones - yum!In other anniversary news: year-old, frozen cake is disgusting!  I don’t know who created this tradition,  but I wish it could have been a more tasty experience! Matthew said all along that it was a little silly, but I insisted we try. Needless to say, we settled with celebratory ice cream instead.What sorts of things have you done to celebrate an anniversary? Please share!

Read about our story here: meeting in a hardware store and the proposal.

Our One Year Anniversary

Wedding photoWedding PhotoWedding PhotoWedding PhotoWedding PhotoOn this day one year ago, I married my best friend. What a rewarding year it has been! We’ve laughed. We’ve cried. (Well, I’ve cried.) But most importantly, our relationship has grown stronger with each passing day. I’m going to share more about our story this week, but in honor of this special day, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite wedding photos by the amazing Rusted Spoon Photography. Here’s to another wonderful year learning and growing with my favorite man!

Read how our story began here! Part 2 coming this week!


Once Upon a Time in a Hardware Store…

Our first photo together!

This time of year brings back so many great memories, because this time last year I was busy falling madly in love with the man of my dreams. With our one year anniversary approaching, I can’t help but reflect upon the journey Matthew and I have started together. Many of you don’t know the story of how Matt & I came to be, so I thought I’d share it here.

It begins, “Once Upon a Time in a Hardware Store,” because my new husband and I met in a local hardware store. Matthew’s family owns TP Outdoors here in Monroe/West Monroe, where he works as the hardware manager in the West Monroe location. At that time, I owned Salt & Pepper…just up the street from his store, and I frequented their establishment for items to complete miscellaneous projects for my store displays.

Hard at workBeing the hardware manager, Matthew was always the one trying to help me figure out ways to make my crazy ideas happen. He special ordered items for me, spent 20+ minutes helping to fix purses, delivered boxes to me when the store needed to move…the list goes on and on.

Finally, after working on so many projects together, I noticed myself finding excuses to go to his store. (The large stack of TP Outdoors receipts from this time confirms this notion!) Matthew was always so positive and welcoming and knew just what to say to encourage me through whatever I was facing. He would ask about my day, and I’d find myself really telling him how my day was going. Next thing I knew, I found myself showing up at TP Outdoors every time I had a bad day. And as usual, I’d leave feeling much better and carrying an unnecessary bag of screws. (Don’t judge!)

My handsome husbandNext, I needed help with figuring out some projects for our 2012 Spring Market booth, and Matthew came to the rescue with ways to make all of my ideas happen…plus more ideas of his own! This is how I knew we would make an awesome team. (See a few pictures in my 2013 Spring Market post.) He took the project and ran with it…building pallet walls for us, hauling in railroad timbers…and made our 2012 booth my favorite one of all. (Of course, I could be partial.) After seeing the approach he took to this project, I felt like there was nothing we couldn’t accomplish as a team. So, a few weeks later, we began seeing each other as more than just work associates.

In the beginningIn those first couple of months, we were practically inseparable. We texted until crazy hours of the morning, spent every evening together, and literally talked about everything you could possibly imagine. Salt & Pepper was moving to its new location during this time, and Matthew was my right hand man. We spent many late nights installing purse hangers, mounting railroad timbers to walls, hanging pallets, building custom tables…and the list goes on and on. During these two short months, we not only spent an insane amount of time together, but several of the projects we worked on were strenuous, stressful, and demanding. For example, we spent 8+ hours in a shop with no air conditioning one day (Remember, this is summertime in Louisiana….HOT!!), building a custom table from scratch. Imagine sweating profusely with sawdust clinging to your skin, as you constantly make adjustments to the original plans to make them “work.” On the drive home, I had a sudden realization that we didn’t kill each other! We didn’t get mad, frustrated, or testy with one another. The moment that I realized that this tough task had been so successful, I knew we had something special.

Tiny girl, big wallThe following weeks were full of similar exciting discoveries and adventures. We began a whirlwind romance that ultimately ended with the wedding of our dreams, just a few short weeks later. I will forever and ever look back on this time as some of the most exciting and wonderful days of my life.

Salt & Pepper Grand OpeningMore about our special love story coming soon…

Read more about our first year of marriage here, here, and here.

Family Reunion at the Lake

Lake D'ArbonneThe past several days have flown by, while also feeling incredibly long…the sun will do that to you. Our Independence Day weekend surrounded a family reunion for Matthew’s side of our family. We spent three days at the family lake house on Lake D’Arbonne doing all of the usual lake activities…boat riding, swimming, riding the tube, eating, and a very serious horseshoe tournament. (I’m not kidding when I say this horseshoe tournament was a big deal!)

Piper and RileyWe had hamburgers and delicious catfish catered from one of our favorite restaurants, Catfish Charlie’s. The lake house was buzzing with people of all ages, happy to see one another and eager to catch up and reminisce. Children ran and played and meltdowns were few and far between. Our sweet nephew, Riley, rode the tube for the first time and is now hooked. He wasn’t very happy when his final ride of the weekend came to an end. He also got a kick out of refusing to share his chips with me. Luckily, I wasn’t depending on Riley for my sustenance this weekend, or I would have starved!

Riley looks at the boatMe and RileyAs always, I should have taken more pictures, but I was too focused on chatting the days away, not to mention that I was afraid of dropping my phone into the lake. Nonetheless, my first family reunion on Matthew’s side of the family was a huge success, and we more than enjoyed a few days of relaxing in the sun with our family.

Matt getting suppliesMatthew and IWe had to come back to the real world on Sunday, as we both headed back to work. I worked on listing my second house and showed a total of eight homes to clients on Sunday afternoon. Needless to say, I’m exhausted! Matt went to work and then came home to study for a nursing exam. There’s nothing like finishing a blissful weekend with a large dose of reality! Nonetheless, we enjoyed a wonderful weekend together with family. Here’s to a busy week ahead!

the pier at Lake D'ArbonneI also spent a lot of my weekend snapping photos for the Phone Photography Project. I’ll tell you more about that soon!

Read about our last busy weekend here.

Our Wild Weekend.

This weekend was a busy one. We spent Friday night hanging out at the new River & Rail Cantina with Amanda. The outing originated from an excuse to wear new shoes, but we camouflaged it as an early birthday celebration for Matt. We sat out on the patio next to the fire pits, overlooking the Ouachita River and had the best time laughing the night away. The atmosphere at R&R is superb. (Pardon the water on Matt’s shirt. I couldn’t crop it out or only my head would be left..short girl probs.)

Amanda & I ready to go to R&RThe beautiful Ouachita RiverThe handsome hubby and I at R&RBest Friends Forever!Saturday brought upon a very special day in the Petrus household…Matt’s birthday! Poor thing had to go help with athletic physicals at 7 am (nursing school probs), but this gave me time to wrap presents and tie up loose ends for his big day. I decorated the house as if we were having a big party. Birthdays were always a big deal when I was growing up. My mom always did perfectly themed parties or special birthday activities, so I feel like you absolutely have to make a big deal of the day.

Happy Birthday, MattThe Birthday BoyBirthday decorSuch a handsome birthday boyEven though Matt wanted a quiet night at home, I just couldn’t help decorating the place so that he’d have something exciting to come home too. He grilled some of the most delicious steaks, and Amanda came over to play some board games. I hope he felt extra special on this day.

Blow out those candles!Me with the birthday boySunday was Mother’s Day, and we invited my family over for lunch. I offered to host the gathering, because I’m the only one in my family who’s not a mommy yet. Matt grilled burgers, which were delicious as usual. We all sat around a chatted for a bit. Of course, I forgot to take many pics, but I was excited about this get together, because it was our first family gathering for Matt and I to host at our home! (Again, the firsts are always special!) I did catch a picture of Dana (my oldest sister) with “check yes or no” written in the background. The girls lost a ball under the house, and I couldn’t resist a picture of their attempt to fish it out. (They taped a rake to the end of a 10′ pole!) We may have lost a piece of siding during the process, but that’s ok. Memories were made, and I have a handy husband who can fix it in no time. We enjoyed the chance to spend some time with my side of our family and are looking forward to visiting with Matt’s side of the family soon.

Me and my mommyMom's other presentMe with my oldest sisterMuddy girlsI hope everyone had as wonderful of a weekend as we did! We especially hope all of the Moms have a fantastic time (especially our moms/grandmothers…we love you all!). Now we’re off to another busy week!

You can read about some of our others “firsts” here.

What Married People Do: Buy a car.

We bought a car! I’m more excited than usual over a new car, because this was mine and Matt’s first big purchase as a married couple.

Honda Accord Car KeyFunny side note: Matt has learned a very valuable lesson. At first, he didn’t understand that our first of everything was vitally important…our first Christmas, first vacation, first house…I’m obsessed with it all. In the beginning he wouldn’t get very excited about all of the little firsts here and there. After about 6 months in, he realized that I want to make a big deal of all of those things. Now, as soon as I say, “Aww…it’s our first {insert random item/holiday/experience}” – he immediately follows with, “You’re right, it’s our first {repeat random item/holiday/experience} and it’s important because all of our firsts are important.” He figured it out! On a serious note, I’m very happy that my husband will play along with my silly notions.

Matt & Pamela Buy a CarThat being said, I made quite a big deal of our car-buying process. (If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you already know this because I posted 3 pics of the process…more than I usually allow.) However, it felt like a huge deal to me. We had just made our first big decisions as a couple and worked amazingly together…I felt like celebrating!

Our car-buying strategy was a tad more elaborate than most. We spent 2+ weeks analyzing different options…Accords, Altimas, Camrys. New, used, certified. Future trade in values, mpg, insurance, down payments…you name it. If it could be considered, then I guarantee we talked it through. We even had a spreadsheet…a color-coded spreadsheet at that! After analyzing the numbers to death, we finally decided to write which car we really wanted down on a note card and show each other at the same time. (That’s how all big decisions are made right??) Luckily, it was the same car!

Car notecardsWhy were we buying a new car? Matt is driving 60 miles round trip to Ruston everyday. Our original plan was for him to drive my car to school instead of his big Dodge with a whopping 16mpg. However, my 6′ tall husband didn’t fit so well into my little g6. So, we decided to buy me a slightly bigger car that he can drive on school days.

I think we knocked this one out of the park. We got a great car with awesome features (You can thumbs up/thumbs down your Pandora from the screen – my fav! Plus, it has back up & lane watch cameras.), and Matt driving it to school is going to save us a ton of money each month.

When I married my husband, one of the biggest draws was that I felt like we could work together through anything. This car-buying experience has shown me that yet again, we make an amazing team. Ladies, when you’re picking a husband, be sure it’s someone you can work through both little and big things with. And someone that you can enjoy the process of making these sorts of decisions with. It will make a huge difference in your overall happiness.

Matt & Pamela with a new Honda AccordSo here it is…the newest addition to the Petrus family – our 2013 Honda Accord EX! We love it’s long list of fun features, the crazy good gas mileage, and the fact that there’s only 3 of this color in the state of Louisiana. Plus, apparently a carseat will fit easily in the back. 🙂

Big Things

Little things are big things journalSince Matt & I have been married, I’ve been in search of the perfect journal to keep notes about our adventures. Both Matt & I have pretty awful memories, so I’m afraid that we will eventually forget about a lot of the great times that we’ve had.

I’ve literally searched for months, looked practically everywhere, and not found anything that felt right. (Plus, Matt vetoed most of them!) I’ve even looked at genuine leather, custom made books that were hundreds of dollars and still didn’t feel like I’d found the right book. Well, this week I stumbled across this little fella at none other than TJ Max and thought it was perfect! And to make it even more exciting, it was only $5!

What do I plan to do with it? I don’t plan on actually journaling the events. I won’t write detailed accounts of everything. Instead, it’ll just be quick notes about what we did and why it was special. For example, I’ll include things like this: May 2012 – the time that we sat on the floor in his living room and talked for 4 hours.

This was a turning point in our relationship and the day that we both knew there was something different about our relationship. There are several little things like this that I don’t want to forget, and I know there will be hundreds more. Now, we have a cute little book to jot them down in to provoke our memories if we start to forget. I think this will be a treasure to have one day when we’re old and gray. It’ll also be useful on those days when we won’t really like each other! We can use it as a reminder maybe??

See why this book is so perfect? It will be full of “little things” that are actually big things for the two of us. Be sure to celebrate these little things in your relationships. They’re often the most important.

Blank pages waiting to be filled
Black pages for writing lots & lots of special memories.

This type of book would also work well for jotting down special memories of your kids. They’d love to read it later on! If you have kids that are older or you’re years in to a relationship, I know what you’re thinking. You’ve missed too much already. No way! It’s never too late to start. Even if you’ve missed several years, it’s better to have something to look back at rather than nothing. So, go ahead…get started! Find a little notebook like this one and starting jotting things down. You’ll be happy to have it later and so will your loved ones.

Anyone already do something like this?? I’d love to hear about it!