Mir and Otto, sittin’ in a tree

By Mir
November 2, 2006
Category Woohoo!

I was totally going to make y’all wait for further details, because I was sure I’d have an even better story to tell you tonight about how Chickadee had a couple of teeth pulled, but things went awry. Instead of having two teeth extracted per the orthodontist’s instructions, this afternoon Chickadee had a shot of novocaine and became hysterical. After a few bits of poking around in her mouth (to ever-louder anguished wails, despite not flinching a bit at being jabbed with a pointy instrument when she wasn’t paying attention) we were sent away with a referral to an oral surgeon. Laughing gas, here we come!

In the meantime, I guess since you were so sweet and nice with your well-wishes on the last post, I should probably fill you in on that whole marriage thing that’s going to be happening.

In fact, let’s just go ahead and see if I can address everything in handy FAQ form.

When did Otto propose?

Last Thursday. While I was banging around in my kitchen in a snit, on the verge of tears, because of something wholly unrelated to him. I was frustrated and upset and also needing to make dinner for hungry children, and so I banged and clanged and cursed and NATURALLY this was the right time for a grand romantic gesture. Otto said, “I think I know how to cheer you up. I brought you something.” And he wandered into the next room and I continued whatever it was I was doing at the sink, and the next thing I knew, there was a ring in front of me and he was asking me to marry him. He was right; it DID cheer me up!

What happened right after that?

Well, let’s see. He asked, I said yes. There was hugging and kissing and exclaiming over the ring and then I apologized for being in such a lousy mood, and Otto said, “Yeah, I guess that wasn’t very romantic timing.” And then we laughed ourselves silly. It was perfect, really.

Yeah, what’s with that ring? It looks like a wedding band.

It’s a traditional Irish engagement band, with trinity knots and emeralds. (“And diamond chips!” said Otto. “Just chips! So that you wouldn’t hurt me! Because I knew if I got you a big rock, you’d hurt me.”) It was made in Ireland. It’s small and delicate and I thought I didn’t want a ring and that was just because I didn’t know I could have a ring like THIS. I love this ring.

Where were the kids when this happened?

They were in the other room. Otto gathered them up for a powwow that I wasn’t allowed to listen to, and they came running back into the kitchen hollering “WE APPROVE! WE APPROVE!” Then Monkey grabbed his stuffed puppy and insisted that even Puppy approved.

When are you getting married?

Soon. Soonish. Sometime. We don’t actually know yet.

And what will the ceremony be like?

Chickadee has for months delighted in calling me “lady” or “that lady” as part of this little schtick she does. Do not ask me where it came from or why she does it, but I have a hard time not laughing and so she keeps doing it. (This is germaine to what follows, I promise.)

So, the next day or the day after that (I can’t remember which) we were all eating breakfast together and Chickadee referred to Otto as “that dude” in the same voice she normally uses to call me “that lady” and somehow this devolved into her explaining to us that the ceremony will go like this:

Do you, That Dude, take That Lady Over There, to be your wife? And do you, That Lady Over There, take That Dude, to be your husband? Yes? NOW SMOOCH!

We all agreed that that sounded pretty good.

Haven’t you guys been together for like, five minutes?

Actually, we’ve been back together for about 4 months. Which came about 2 years after we’d dated for almost a year. Which came about fourteen years after we first met. If you look at it as four months, this is fast. If you look at it as seventeen years, we’d be hard-pressed to move much slower.

Oh yeah… how did you get back together?

That’s a story unto itself, which I’ll have to tell another time because it really deserves more time and thought than I can put into it right now. Let’s just say that I owe a debt of gratitude both to my car and to the guy I dated during the intervening period who listened to my fears and several times assured me “I’m not Otto.” He sure wasn’t. Thank God.

So what’s the plan? Who’s moving?

Here’s where I’m going to end up pulling on the cone of silence. I have a portable job. Otto does not. The tentative plan is that the kids and I will move next summer after school gets out. The kids’ father, my ex, is understandably having a tough time with this plan. And by “having a tough time” I mean “has already threatened to take me back to court.” I do not have the luxury of discussing my feelings about my ex here the way I used to before he found the blog. (Everyone wave to my ex. He is taking notes.)

It’s a difficult situation; there are children involved, and all three of us adults want what’s best for them. We happen to disagree on what will be best. We’re taking steps to work it out as fairly as we can. As frustrated as I may be with my ex’s reaction, I’m about as happy as I’ve ever been, right now, while he is facing the possibility of greatly reduced contact with his children. I have no desire to make it any harder for him than it already is. (Keep that in mind. I will edit/delete comments which I think he may find hurtful.)

For this reason, there may not be a lot of talk here about logistics for a while.

Please insert some comic relief from Otto here.

After attending countless weddings of photographers and being a photographer at some of those weddings, Otto has decided that cameras shall be verboten at our wedding. Instead, he is trying to sell me on the idea of having a courtroom sketch artist.

A courtroom. sketch. artist.

It’s a good things he’s cute.

Anything profound to add?

Yeah. “Everything works out okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it isn’t the end yet.”



  1. Karen Rani

    Thank you SO much for IMing me this afternoon because I was in a work fog and wouldn’t have missed any of this for the moon and stars – and I’m SO very happy for you both! Much love and kisses to you and the kids!

  2. Tug

    YEA.FOR.YOU!!!!!!! Seriously, awesome!!

  3. Susan

    I know you don’t know me, but I’m still really happy for you. I’m sure it’ll all work out, somehow–for all five of you. Things always do.

  4. DebR

    “Courtroom sketch artist” made me laugh out loud.

  5. daysgoby


    Really, really happy you two re-found each other, Mir. Really happy for you.

  6. CharlestonGirl

    “Courtroom sketch artist” made me snort diet pepsi out of my nose! Congratulations! You so deserve to be happy. Your writing certainly makes most of my days happier. As a woman of 42 who just got married for the first time about a month ago…..enjoy this “I’m about to be married and completely change my world as I know it” time. I married the boy who lived down the street. We ran in to each other at the grocery store after not seeing each other for 22 years and here we are married and so very happy. Enjoy the happy, the rest will work itself out!

  7. Cele

    I’m almost ready to go back and find the post… months back…. where you asked for advice.

    It makes some of us feel a part of the process. Prost.

    BTW Chickadee’s going to be a comedy writer when she grows up, dude.

  8. Daily Tragedies

    Lovely, just lovely! Men have such a way with timing, don’t they?

    I do believe you still owe us an explanation as to why he’s called Otto.

  9. Muirnait

    Yay! YayYayYay! This gives you no idea at all how I feel about this, eh?
    Exactly how far away is Otto from where you are now? Is the Ex’s job portable at all? I really hope you guys get this all sorted out, and I know you will, because you all love the children so much.
    And I can’t WAIT for the whole story behind yours and Otto’s relationship.

  10. Lady M

    Wonderful, wonderful! So happy to hear the news.

    And I love the final quote about, well, “it isn’t the end yet.”

  11. birchsprite

    I wish you all (including the ex) much happiness and am sending positive thoughts your way so that you can come to some agreement. At the end of the day you all deserve a little happiness and sometimes that involves compromise. Take care.

  12. Terri

    Thanks! I’m dying to hear the story of how you got back together. I’m so very happy for all of you (except the ex, who I do feel for, a bit). :) I wish you all the happiness in the world — you certainly deserve it. Congratulations again, and good luck hammering out a plan that will work for everyone. And what a happy way to head into the holiday season!

  13. Shash

    Congratulations, Mir.

    You are absolutely right, it will all work out in the end.

    I know what you and the ex are going through though, and it isn’t easy. I’m sure you guys (including Otto!) will work together and comeup with a solution that will work for the kids, even if it doesn’t make everyone happy. They are very lucky to have so many people that love them so much.

    Mazel tov!


  14. Judy

    heart ya, bay-bee, and that Otto fella has to be pretty cool, too. He sounds pretty cool anyways. Well, let’s say he better be. Men have been made into quivering puddles of jello at Judy’s feet so he better be All. That. And. Then. Some. And it truly sounds like he is.

    And I couldn’t be happier for you. Really and truly. Smoochy smooches. Air ones. Because I don’t have my flu shot yet.

  15. Kimberly

    Oh so very happy for you. I’m sure the logistics will be illogical, but then, as you say, it will be the end and it will all be ok. (I’m still squeeing, and I love your ring.)

  16. chris

    You are inviting the internet to the wedding, right? We can all live blog the event and then you wouldn’t even need pictures. No? You sure?

  17. angela

    Let the wedding plans commence! First there’s the location, the caterer, the dress, the flowers… and how long exactly does it take to find a good courtroom sketch artist?


  18. Gillian

    So, not spun sugar at all. There are always logistics and those are always impossible. With time all of that will weave its way to conclusion and then the bells will hapilly ring. Er because without noticing you began to play a pinball machine. Stop with the pinball stuff — it is so late seventies. Congratulations, Otto. Best wishes Mir.

  19. lisa in NJ

    I’m SOOOOOOO happy for you!!!! OMG that ring is so pretty. Good Luck!!!!

  20. tori

    That is a tough situation with the ex. I’m sure you will work something out that will make everyone happy though. Good luck finding a solution that everyone is ok with! And congratulations! It’s so nice to hear when good things happen!

  21. rachel

    wow. so so so happy for you. And for the kids. I was so lucky to have a great, involved dad AND a great, involved step-dad. I even had them both walk me down the aisle when I got married. Your ring is even more gorgeous knowing the back story. Congratulations!

    But are you sure you want to move to the land of the giant flying bugs? eek. New England is so much better bug-wise. All the snow and ice kill off most of the nasty ones.

  22. jes

    Mir, CONGRATULATIONS! I have long waited and wondered when it was going to happen, hoping all along that it would. SOON!

    The ring looks beautiful on you.

  23. Jenn

    Congratulations to you both! Best wishes on a long, happy life together! Mwah!

  24. Christina

    That’s wonderful! And I’m sure that a situation will be worked out that is good for everyone, especially once some time has passed as details start to get worked out. And a courtroom sketch artist??? I mean, really?? Congratulations again!

  25. Katie

    I love the ring, it is so perfect for you!

    If it makes you feel better, my husband proposed while I was being weepy because I was paying bills. Two college kids with part time jobs and a baby trying to make ends meet and then he hands me a few grand of diamond (I saw the receipt later). And men think they are the logical sex.

    Enough about me, I am so excited for you and Otto and Chickadee and Monkey!

  26. Ben

    “Mawwage. That bwessed unyun. Dat dweam, wiffin a dweam…”

    Oh that is awesome. No cameras? I like the sketch artist, but can’t we have at least one webcam? It’s not really a camera (they don’t have film; I know: I’ve researched this)


  27. Kellie

    Here’s wishes that a solution for ALL involved will present itself. I was blessed to have my Dad and my step-Dad be involved in my life and BOTH walked me down the aisle when I got married. I DO feel for the ex if for no other reason than he SEEMS involved with the kids and it will be tough for him to not have that much access. Hopefully, everyone can look past feelings of anger and work on a solution that will benefit the children first and the adults second.

    A courtroom sketch artist, huh? Very interesting. Unique. Your ring: GORGEOUS!! Even more beautiful with the story behind it. LOVE the proposal…who needs fancy dinners and walks on the beach. He did it at a time when you were down and that’s what counts. So very happy for you and Otto and the kids. Thanks for sharing :)

  28. kelly


    “Everything works out okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it isn’t the end yet.”

    Truer words and all that. I wish someone had said that to me when I was going through the difficult process of figuring out what’s best for our son with my ex, when I decided to relocate to be with Chris. I wish you all well, every one of you. It’s a difficult thing to do and keep everyone happy, but things do and will work out okay.

    Sending you all smooth transition vibes.

  29. Lisa

    Congratulations on the happy news! I’m really happy for you. Love the courtroom sketch artist thing…too funny. And I pray that things work out in the logistics department as peacefully and painlessly as possible…I can only imagine how hard that has to be for all of you.

  30. Jenrigg

    Wonderful news, all of it. Sorry about the little complication of the ex. I have an ex and I moved to a different country with his child (a long time after our actual divorce) so I understand. You want to do what’s best for the children… It’ll all work out fine – mine ended up seeing him less often but for longer periods, and I think that’s less disruptive actually. But don’t let that mar your enjoyment of this moment. Are you floating around on a cloud?

  31. Sophie

    Thanks for the details. Every successful couple has a great story about how they met – remember that bit of wisdom from George on Seinfeld? Yours is a successful romantic story all the way around, it seems.

    On a selfish note, it would be great for you to move because you would be nearer where I live. Would like to read your impressions of this area.

  32. Mom Nancy

    In addition to the sketch artist, maybe you could add an caricature artist. You know, balance the seriousness with some silly.

    Plus, there’s still time to give Chikadee some learnin’ so she could be the photog.

  33. Ani

    Courtroom sketch artist? Um….no. But, you know, nice try. Major kudos on the choice of ring. It’s gorgeous and perfect.

    Instead of a photog, just get a bunch of disposable cameras and let all the guests do the clicking. You never know what you’ll get then, but it’ll be precious.

    As to the situation with the ex, pray and try to keep the lines of communication open. It is rough on him to not see them, it’s rough on them to not see their dad as often. I pray that you will find a solution that works for all involved. Everyone will have to give a little, but civility goes a LOOOOONG way.

  34. Leanne


    And, I’m available.

    LOL ;)

  35. Aimee

    “Everything works out okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it isn’t the end yet.”

    — Amen to that. All will be well, pretty Mir! Congratulations again and again and again.

  36. AmyLou

    What a wonderful proposal! Otto should’ve hired a courtroom sketch artist to capture the moment—I can see it now: Mir scrambling around the kitchen, the artist captures her manic gestures as Otto stands by with a gleam in his eye (also captured) with the ring displayed. Maybe the artist could’ve added the words “Sparkle Sparkle” next to the ring….maybe not, ’cause now it’s sounding the a comic strip…THE MADCAP ADVENTURES OF MIR & OTTO!!!

    Many Blessings to you both!

  37. MMM

    So very cool. The ring and the story behind it is fabulous!!
    That would be tough with the ex. He seems a lot more involved than most divorced dads. Good luck to all of you on working it out.
    EEEE! A wedding! A wedding!

  38. Aubri

    As ridiculous as a sketch artist may sound… I laughed and agreed! I like to fancy myself a photographer, albeit an amateur one, and I about drove myself into the ground trying to find a photographer to do a “decent job” on the wedding pictures… we finally settled on my cousin and my dad (one a professional, one a retired semi-professional army photographer) because with two, you just can’t screw it up! Ha ha ha… they were definitely the least invasive I’ve ever seen, and it was beautiful!

    Best luck, best wishes, your ring is GORGEOUS!!! (Go Otto, GO!) And the story of the kiddos approving is FANTASTIC! They’re going to remember that for the rest of forever!

  39. Jackie Joy

    I am so all for the whole live-blogging idea.

  40. shannon

    i think you should get chickadee ordained so she can perform that exact ceremony! monkey can be otto’s best man and the puppy can be your “maid” of honor. it’ll be great!

    seriously, fabulous and wonderful wishes of pure joy and happiness. :)

  41. elswhere

    Omigosh, I don’t check for a day or two and look what happens!

    Felicitations and mazal tov to you and Otto. And those wacky kids. And best wishes to all of you. All will be well, indeed.

    p.s. that ring! Truly beautiful. I’m not even a jewelry person, and even I can see that.

  42. Allie

    So you don’t know me from Adam. (Well I guess if Adam and I were the only two people in the room you might be able to guess because I’d be the girl…bygones)but I just got married in Sept. and I have lots of stuff left over. Which you can have for free if you’d like it. A couple hundred tea lights? Ivy? Garters for decorations? Colored stones? Email me if you are interested and I’ll send you some pictures. I’ve been thinking about carting it off to good will but I’d rather give it to someone who might want it.

  43. Brigitte

    Ummmm . . . I’m still reading your old posts from 2004, two years ago . . . Otto’s not The Toad, IS HE?! Ooooh, juicy, scandalous stuff.

  44. Rae

    My husband kept suggesting that we have a SMURF wedding or a STAR TREK wedding when we were making our plans. He’s pretty cute, too, so I just kind of ignored him.

  45. MamaT


    I really do hope that you and the ex. can work something out. My hubby is “the ex.” and I know how hard he’d fight because they’ve already moved 90 miles away. Ugh, so tough and the least favorite part of my life. (Dealing with those issues)

  46. Abbey

    Yea! So happy for you both. In unrelated news, the links to comment over at Ty’s don’t work. At least not for me.

  47. Sheryl

    With dad, grandpa, friends, and church all up there I wish, for the kids’ sake, Otto could find work up there! But still–squeee! So happy for you guys :o)

  48. Carrie

    Congratulations! I’m apparantly a little slow on the uptake and didnt realize that’s what that picture was a couple posts back. :)

    I got married a year ago to someone I have been together 5 years with (now) with a 3 year gap and then 4 more years before that off and on… so I can dig that. :) I moved away from my son 5 years ago to move here to Cali. Tough time but it all turned out well and my son lives here with me now.. but I have a few years of long distance parenting and custody back and forth stuff under my belt too. http://www.distanceparent.org is my other site.

    Anyhoo… wow! How exciting! :)

  49. Jennifer

    The quote at the end is one I live by on a daily basis. And it will. All work out.

    I couldn’t be happier for you. Congratulations!

  50. liz

    just want to tell you that all five of you are in my prayers with the whole logistics thing, and again, i’m very happy for you!!!

  51. chris

    let the earth and heavens resound- AMEN! and since God is in the details, they will all work out in time. blessings!

  52. mc

    Gah, this is what I get for not clicking through from Bloglines on your previous post — I totally missed it! Big congrats to you — you totally, totally deserve this. (And New England will miss you, should it all work out. But you better not move before we can meet in person!) I love your ring, and your stories about Otto, and That Dude and The Lady. Many happy returns!

  53. OneTiredMomma

    Ok, it’s the real deal =) I’m so happy for you and Otto and you are right, what doesn’t kill ya makes you stronger and my favorite, if he brings you to it, he’ll bring you through it, and how wonderful for you and Otto to start your long happy life together discussing custody.

    Easy answer is: the Ex will have to move into the inlaw suite.

  54. Kris

    Ah yes, romance. At least you had a wee bit of it. He tried to cheer you up.

    My proprosal was done while I was on the crapper. How’s that for romance?

  55. Bob

    my (future) wife and I met while in the military at school. one night we were sitting in her dorm room, I had just listed all of the reasons our relationship couldn’t last (she was going to one end of the world, me the other, etc, etc) and we both wound up crying – and then I proposed. romantic, huh? We will have been married 22 years next month.

  56. Vaguely Urban

    Many congratulations! Thanks for sharing your joyous news! Here’s to your family’s happiness!

  57. TrudyJ

    Congratulations! Much happiness to you and your family!

  58. Shari


    And some very heartfelt prayers will be winging their way to heaven for Ex, for strength, courage, and healing.

    I’m so thrilled for you… you’re about to make a gorgeous family!

  59. Jenny

    I am THRILLED for you guys! Heeeee! I seriously would have loved to witness the proposal.

  60. Jessica

    My husband is also the king of romance, proposing to me in the parking lot of the department store where I worked, on a day so sweltering hot his knee nearly sank into the asphalt. He was also the one that thought it was a good idea to have the entire wedding party armed–somewhere between a shotgun wedding and a mafia wedding, I guess.

    Coming from that point of view, I think Otto’s thinking a tad small with the courtroom sketch artist. What about one of those caricature artists? I think a good portrait of That Lady and That Dude, being married by Chickadee is almost a must!

  61. jess

    I opted out of an engagement ring (and we got our wedding bands from Ireland–with trinity knots on them! Nifty.) because I hate rings with stones, don’t like diamonds, etc. (as well as a few other political, social, etc. reasons) But now that I’ve seen yours… *chuckles*

    I’m still truly happy with my wedding band just as it is. But I love your ring and CONGRATULATIONS to both of you! Finding love can take a long, long time…but it’s well worth it when two good friends finally admit that things can work out. And they do. (Living proof here, too!)


  62. Jenn2

    Still totally doing the happy dance over here. Mr. Clairol sends his felicitations to Otto, saying, “Marrying a single mom totally rocks, dude. Except for the whole ex thing. That sucks.” I married him for his eloquence.

    And oh my sweet baby Vin, the ring is amazing! I love it even more that I know the significance of it. You are the pimp, Otto.

  63. anne nahm

    Best wishes! This is wonderful news :^)

  64. CPA Mom

    See what happens when I don’t have time to read blogs for a few days? Wonderful things, absolutly wonderful, no words to express, joyful things. Mazel Tov Mir! (oh, and Otto). I’m so very happy for you! And since I’m a virtual stranger and all, I know my good wishes fill you with joy. :-)

  65. Kim

    Congratulations on the proposal and the ring, it sounds lovely!!! I hope all things work out for the best with all three adults. Best Wishes.

  66. Marvo

    One word: Awesometastic!!!

  67. Juliness

    Beautiful Mir! How fantastic!! The ring is so “you” and is simply lovely. Many congrats to you all.

    PS Now I know more of the background, well, let’s just say that you and I have even MORE in common.

  68. mar

    So, what’s he gonna do to cheer you up next time you’re in a snit in the kitchen? Otto, you made that part hard on yourself, man!

    Love is in the details, indeed. I’m hoping that all’s well that ends well in terms of custoday, visitations, etc. – since you all want what’s best for the kids, I’m sure cooler heads will eventually prevail, and an equitable arrangement will be able to be worked out. Hey, I really worked a whole pile of cliches into that, didn’t I? Really, good luck to all of you with that – of course it’s hard, but here’s hoping it’s not too hard.

    Congratulations again!

  69. Gillian

    In Las Vegas at the ‘downtown experience’ there are people who write things on grains of rice which you wear in a magnifying locket on a necklace. So, you could have a couple of these folks attend your wedding and draw pictures of you reallllllly fast on rice grains. Then you could hang the lockets on the wall with a realllllly long golden chain.
    OK, back to the court sketch artists I guess.

  70. carolyn

    Oh Mir!
    I’m so happy for you!!!!

  71. Heather Cook

    I will fly there and take pictures FOR FREE! Just so all the other bloggers can be jealous of me because I got to go to your wedding!

  72. Velma

    My brother had a magician who made balloon animals and hats for everyone at his wedding reception. I have a treasured photo of my father obliviously wearing a “penis” balloon hat and a tux. Did I mention this was my brother’s FIRST wedding?

    My husband never actually proposed – it just kind of developed into the obvious, that we were going to get married. I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of that over the years. There was a good 3 or 4 years early in our marriage where I made him propose to me every Valentine’s Day.

    I know this is an adjustment for everyone, and there will be difficult times with family and the ex and the kids. As a faithful reader, however, I know that you would never do anything without having thought it through, worried, planned and agonized over its impact on everyone. It’s such a joyful development in your life that I’m sure it will work out somehow.


  73. Karianna

    We approve!

    I hope all that moving-stuff works out. So tricky to get everything lined up according to the stars, but I have faith in you and the gang.

    Congrats, best wishes, and all that happy stuff.

  74. Kris

    Aw, how sweet. Congratulations, Mir and Otto!

  75. Mom101

    I am tearing up. and NO it is not the pregnancy hormones. Couldn’t be happier for ya.

  76. GraceD

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

    Bravo, to the future Mr. and Mrs. Woulda Coulda Shoulda!


  77. Jenna

    Congratulations! The ring sounds stunning. Mmmemeralds.

  78. daring one

    I’m so happy for you guys. Again. That’s really really great news. I think the sketches would actually be quite lovely.

  79. Cynthia Samuels

    I leave you for a few days and look what happens! What wonderful news. Otto seems to realize how lucky he is – and he is — and it’s a great gift from you to share it with us. You know of my respect for you and what you do – and affection beyond – so know too that all good things are wished upon you. Irish rings are magic, I hear. Being a good Jewish girl I’m not sure – but I think it’s probably so…..

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