Best decision of my life

Jun 17

On Saturday night we decided to go out to dinner. We eat out more these days since I don’t have the gusto for planning/shopping/prepping/cooking/cleaning meals. (We all miss my cooking though.) Even though it was Father’s Day weekend, my family let me choose the restaurant since I really wanted to go somewhere I could get some yummy vegetables — simple roasted veggies are not easy to come by in many typical family restaurants and they are the most tedious to prepare at home. I crave fresh cooked veggies far more than ten-year-old me would have ever believed.

It has been odd weather in Cincinnati this month: quite a bit cooler than normal and a lot more rain. Despite the ominous skies, we opted to sit outside under the covered patio of the restaurant, and hoped for the best. No one else was on the patio, so it was lovely and quiet. We convinced Greta to try chicken parmigaina for the first time (she loved it), and I tried mushroom ravioli for the first time (yum). Before long the rain absolutely poured down, and luckily we found ourselves dry and warm with just the most lovely atmosphere. We all really enjoyed what we ordered, and our conversation was on point. The quiet patio, my favorite faces, and the thundering rainstorm created the most wonderful ambiance and I was really, really happy in that moment. It is a memory that will stick with me. It was just exquisite and I didn’t want the night to end.

We tucked into bed on Saturday night, and an alert came over our phones that there were tornado cells nearby. We woke the girls and stumbled from our beds to the basement. I was smart and went to the guest bed. Long, lanky Maren took the loveseat, Greta took the giant couch, and Brad stretched out on the floor. When I woke up around six in the morning motivated to move to my own bed I went looking for my peeps and everyone was still in the same spots they collapsed in wee hours.

Later, when I asked Brad how he slept on the floor, he said he woke up several times and saw that the girls were still asleep near him. “I didn’t want them to wake up and be scared or lonely,” he said with his trademark no-big-deal shrug, “so I just stayed down there with them.”

“On the floor though?!” I exclaimed.

He just grinned at me and stretched his back. This is the guy I married: the guy who woke up on Father’s Day morning on the floor of the basement — alone, because all of his girls had tiptoed their way to their own beds while he kept watch over us. Without a doubt, marrying him was the best decision of my life.


  1. Jules /

    And Brad’s best decision was marrying you, Jen!!

  2. Kathi /

    Wonderfully written. Such a lovely portrait of marriage love and fatherhood.

  3. Kim Rourke /

    Special man indeed! You were both gifted when you found each other.

  4. Marlayne /


  5. Bonnie B Jackson /

    The Lord Knew…. He Knew who you needed in your life to shoulder All of Life’s Blessings, tough times and just being there times!! He Knows you and Loves you!!! So do we!!

  6. Christin /

    Eyes full of tears! Such warm, beautiful moments!

  7. Beautiful. All of it.

  8. Laurel /

    Hi Jen! I’ve been following your journey since I heard you speak at Mariemont Community Church with my sister Heather years ago. I pray for you and your family often, but since you don’t know me, I’ve never commented. Now I am for kind of a silly reason, but I feel like you need to know this :). I also love roasted veggies and have recently realized that there is a super easy way to make them. Maybe not quite as good as fresh, but still wonderful. Just take your favorite frozen veggies, dump them in a bowl, pour olive oil over them and some pepper and whatever other spices you like, mix it all together and spread them out on a cookie sheet. Roast at 400* for about 40 minutes and enjoy the yumminess!

  9. Cindy Mitchell /

    What a great story for the girls also to remember forever… Love, Marriage and Family. Good storms, bad storms, togetherness is what matters..Love it..