Week 28: Life Isn’t a Fairy Tale

We found a recipe that wasn’t exactly our favorite…and that’s okay.

Each Sunday, my wife and I prepare, cook and eat a meal together — intentionally. Every Friday, I’ll be sharing our experience here in this space. I want to see the growth that will come in our marriage because of this. I hope you enjoy our story. You can find last week’s post here.


No other day in my entire 24 years of life has quite been like my wedding day. I suppose there will never be another day quite like it. Not that I’ve peaked or I won’t ever have another great day, but my wedding day was certainly unique.

It was almost like a fairy tale. It was a beautiful day with family and friends, and I remember thinking during the reception that the entire experience could not possibly have been better. There was literally nothing I’d have changed. And to top it all off, I married my beautiful bride, Sarah.

I was reflecting on that recently when my wife and I celebrated our first anniversary. It’s hard to believe a year has passed since that amazing day. Sarah and I took a trip up to northern Michigan to celebrate. Sometime one of us will have to tell that story, because it was an amazing trip. It had its ups and downs, but it was an amazing time to reflect on our marriage and enjoy the beautiful scenery of northern Michigan. But it’s a story for another day.

This story begins with our drive home. It was about a five-hour drive back to where we live. But first, we stopped over at Sarah’s brother’s house. It was 8:30 by the time we were finally heading home.

And we hadn’t cooked that day.

We thought about writing about our anniversary weekend, instead. But then an idea sparked in Sarah’s mind. She started looking for recipes that we could make pretty quickly and easily. We were going to take Cooking With Sarah to late night. Watch out!

We decided on grilled cheese — a classic. But this one had a twist. You added in a slice of apple. Sarah looked over the recipe, and we stopped at the grocery store on our way home. It was 9 pm by the time we were in our apartment and ready to start cooking.

Sarah says I make really good grilled cheese. I guess I’ll defer to her judgment, but this time I let her take the reins. As I write that, I realize that’s really poorly-worded. I joyously stepped back as the superior cook went to work. There, how’s that honey?

I, instead, buttered the bread. Now, remember, I’ve made grilled cheese many a time before. It wasn’t my first rodeo. But for some reason, I buttered the wrong side. This wasn’t a big deal except that Sarah had to flip the bread so that the slices did not quite fit together in the way they should once she put the cheese and apple slices on them. It was a portent of doom.

DUN DUN DUN!

Well, that might be a little overdramatic, but the apple slices seemed to be sliding around too much which made flipping the sandwiches particularly difficult. But Sarah — to her credit — handled it with ease like the expert cook she is. I was starting to think that everything would turn out just fine.

Then I bit into one of them and…I enjoyed it! Now, it wasn’t quite the reaction I had the week before, but I truly did like it. Sarah? Not so much.

A look of disgust washed over her face and the noises emanating from her mouth made it clear how she felt about this particular meal. Not a fan.

This marked the first time I could remember that one of us did not enjoy the Sunday meal. Out of 28 weeks so far, that’s not a bad track record. At first, I felt bad. We had just had this emotional weekened of reflection and joy. I really wanted this to be a special cooking experience, too.

And it was — just in a different way.

It reminded me that Sarah and I won’t always like the same things. We won’t always succeed. We’re not perfect.

But through it all, we’re a team. We’ll experience the ups and downs of life together — no matter what. It reminded me of a few vows I took the year before. For better or for worse. Some days will be the creamy chicken carbonara, others will be the apple grilled cheese.

I’m just glad that no matter what, I’ll be with Sarah.


Thanks for reading. Sarah and I really appreciate it! We hope you have a wonderful weekend with friends and family. If you’re on Instagram and you want to connect with us there, check out the link below:

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