Marriage

Start out Strong.

When your a little girl you get to dream. Personally, I wore jeans with the knees worn out and a ‘Happy Bunny’ T-shirt. But under all that energy, tangled hair, and the occasional gaucho pants, I was dreaming of being a princess and marrying someone special (Which I did).

Your a child and you think it’s “happily ever after”. You get older and think it’s “a romantic fun idea”. Then you get to an age where it’s practical and it’s “exciting and/or scary”. Engaged- “terrifying and wonderful and the best thing ever”. Married- and you realize it is all of those, plus what others told you, plus what they didn’t tell you, plus what your finding out as you go. You went into an entirely different world.

It’s been a HECTIC last month and a half and still is as we are currently house hunting and many other factors have been causing a lot of “crazy” lately. But it also goes into my point.

I have several friends that are close to being engaged, engaged, or recently married. Everyone gives you the same advice:

  • “It isn’t as easy as you think”
  • “He’s not gonna woo you forever”
  • “It isn’t a walk in the park its hard work”
  • “Learn to Pick your battles”
  • “Make sure to start on the same page in all areas”
  • “You need to put the other person first and you will both always win”
  • “Therapy isn’t bad, it can help”

While most of these stand true, not all. And I understand why most people try and give you the raw truth before to help prepare, but it made me rather nervous going in. Take it all with a grain of salt (even mine- because you aren’t me).

So for all my friends getting married, recently married like myself, or even been married for awhile I encourage you with this:

Everyone’s walk in marriage is different. One person’s failed area can be your strongest. pay attention, listen, and learn in all aspects of your marriage.

HAVE RULES. As mediocre as it sounds establish things. It has been very beneficial for us! Some rules that helped us regulate arguments for example were:

  • Take a break if an argument gets too heated- you don’t want to say something you don’t mean that can be hurtful. If you feel it’s getting too much, just take a minute.
  • Don’t bring up the past and throw it in their face. For anyone this can be hard. I’ve had family members do this to me and it can hurt. We made it a rule not to do it.
  • NEVER argue in front our of child(ren). Everyone disagrees/ argues, but even an innocent disagreement can be taken poorly in front of a  child. Separate yourself, resolve, and move on.
    • My son has asked me after if we went outside so we could fight at each other. I told him we weren’t fighting, but we felt differently about a subject and needed to talk it out privately. I let him know we did and that’s why when we came back in he saw us kiss and then move forward together. That no one was upset at the other person and we were on the same page. It’s important for him to know his parents aren’t “against each other” so to not cultivate an atmosphere of “side-taking”.
  • Repeat back to clarify you understood correct- “So you feel ___ when I do ___”. Once you clarify than you can move on. We misunderstood each other in the beginning a lot, so we had double layered arguments that were all because of a small problem that had a misunderstanding which made it worse because we didn’t clarify what the other meant and we just “assumed”
  • Don’t assume.

 

Marriage isn’t a walk in the park- beginning to end it is such a journey. But as our first year will be coming to it’s last quarter here I can say it takes work in ALL areas. You will learn A LOT about the other in the first year. Believe me….We have known each other for 10 years now, went through highschool together, friends, dating off and on between 8 years or so, had a child in that time and now are married and I STILL learn something new daily!

There will always be something knew. And I don’t mean like finding out he is a person that puts the toilet paper on backwards (which is a silent ongoing battle since we began our marriage), but finding things deeper, figuring out the psychology behind a lot of behaviors or tendencies. You will observe and learn a lot that will help you (hopefully) adapt in the way you show your love toward that person so it speaks on a deeper level to him/her. You may quickly learn he likes to come home and have a ten minute break in the bathroom to just unwind, take a shower, and talk about his day until he “washes it off”. Awesome. Now learn how to not bombard him with stuff when he first gets home so he has time to decompress.

BUT- just because it isn’t a walk in the park doesn’t mean it has to implode. Don’t let past family situations scare you. You don’t have to be the next link in the chain of “family debt”, “divorce”, “alcoholism”, “absent parent” etc. You are your OWN wife or husband, you have your OWN marriage with it’s OWN journey. Forget the rest, except to learn from their mistakes and steer your path in the right direction from the very beginning. Starting now will only make your path stronger by having a solid foundation. 

And even when it isn’t teh easiest, find ways to make the best of it. Right now trying to find a house, or even a temporary new apt for as we look is so stressful. We have numerous behind the scenes stressors going on that are piled up high. BUT…  Last night I came across an old script to a play we were in together in high school “Princess and the Pea” (Yes I was the princess and the was the pea-just kidding he was my prince) 7years ago. I also found the  Rose he got me from a Broadway musical we went to see 31165625_10217251446626772_5606682511863185408_ntogether 7years ago. It was a very sad and busy weekend and he just finished closing out a show with a local theater company. I wrote a little love note with memories, the joy I love to see in him, how much I adore him as my husband, etc. I left those on the table with a line from the Princess and the Pea script highlighted that resembled something going on currently….something so tiny with everything else going on in his already 13hour day caused him to stop, me to hang up my phone, him to read the letter, kiss me and tell me he loved me also. Just a small 2 minutes in the busy day before we both had to do more housework and get everything ready for work and school the next morning. And those 2 minutes where the world stopped was such a needed moment. 

Take the 2 minutes. Because sometimes when you get in the groove of busy life, although doing life together, 2 minute breaks can mean the world. Find the little ways to show love in between the date nights. Learn from the past of you and others. Make your own path and stay observant.

Your marriage is what you make it. Make it Last.

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Marriage, Uncategorized

The ‘Media Man’

**I do feel very strongly on this subject, so the background will be a longer read, but keep going on to the end- I promise it is worth it*

I have seen a pattern in media for years, TV used to portray men as this “Dreamy Man” mentality; Strong, Fit, Protective, Working hard for their family, Having fun and loving their wife, Proactive, etc.

Think of older TV and Cartoons: Lucy and Ricky in ‘I Love Lucy’; They had this hysterical dynamic while loving each other at the end of every day. Ricky was portrayed as this

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“stud” of a husband, wearing a suit to show how he works hard to take care of his Lucy, and even when something crazy happened (when did it not) He gave her unconditional love and just laughed with her. This was a beautiful TV marriage.

Then you have some Cartoons; Even kid cartoons where the Heads of the Humans were not or were rarely shown, the men were in business attire, at work, taking care of their wives, showing they love their family (like in Lady and the Tramp, ‘Jim Dear’)

Image result for jim dear lady and the trampImage result for jim dear lady and the tramp

Jim Dear was either in business attire or relaxed in a robe with his wife. This portrayal showed that he was a family man who knew his responsibility as the ‘Man of the House’, and knew when it was time to be fully present with his Wife, forgetting the work for a bit. He is seen in the film to go off to work, come home, greet his dog and his wife, and is ecstatic when they are expecting a baby. He is also shown running out in the middle of the night in a blizzard to get his pregnant wife watermelon, and keeping track of her pregnancy with her. In several scenes he is helping his wife with the baby, sleeping in with her on occasion and admiring his family. Taking a vacation with his wife to spend time together.

 

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Then the years passed. 

There was no more ‘Ricky Ricardo’ ‘Danny Tanner’ Family man, or ‘Tim the Toolman Taylor” (who had his quirks, but was always involved in real-life marital scenarios with his wife and caring for his children).

Image result for homer simpsonNow we get ‘Family Guy’ with a fat lazy dad that has a life of his own, doesn’t care much about anything else except sex, drinking, and sitting around. We get ‘The Simpsons’ which is arguable the same as the Family Guy dad just with a larger anger problem.

The ones that really bothered me were the Disney ones that were trying to be a ‘Modern Family Sitcom’ (as if ‘modern’ meant males had lost intelligence). Gone were the days of ‘Leave it To Beaver’ portraying balances of a fun and happy household, now we have Idiots that ‘have no clue’ and are married to women that are the only thing keeping their family afloat.

Lizzie McGuire (now I loved this show, don’t get me wrong) the dad is oblivious to just about anything going on, clumsy, with some soft moments between his kids. You rarely see a strong marriage aspect between the parents, and the mom is constantly correcting the dad on what is going on in the house.

Even Stevens (Again loved the show) But same Disney theme of a dad that works, but isn’t in touch with his family unless a rare episode where he has a ‘touching moment’ with his kids, but is mostly a loof.

And probably the last for dads (until it’s later seasons)- Good Luck Charlie. Now I LOVED

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this show. This dad was in such a fun family, with a realistic look at kids lives, and the dad was not always aloof. He was working a lot, he was an exterminator which in the beginning was made to look as a stupid embarrassing job, and he was more than likely sitting on a chair or couch just missing the beer in his hand. For whatever reason they got the hint, and in later seasons the dad lost a TON of weight, bulked up, embraced the job he had as a proud bread winner of the family, treated himself as the head of the house, and was always involved with his wife and kids. And I do applaud the writers and Directors for that.

So this brings me to TODAY.

 We have QUITE the contrast going on right now. We have a ROLE MODEL husband, Jack

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Pearson, in the SAG winning show ‘This Is Us’ on NBC. This show gives the backstory on how we become who we are, the downfalls of Jack as a person, and how he got the strength to overcome, always puts his marriage first and then his children, and is Related imageconstantly working hard for his family. You never see him lazy, you see him trying. He may fail, but he tries, and with the strong relationship with his wife and kids he keeps pushing through it all, while striving to raise GOOD children. It is a fantastic family show that I HIGHLY recommend. And a are gem of an actual respectful and ‘good’ Man on TV today.

 

 

Then the major issue continues 

The day after watching the season finale of ‘This Is Us’ I am listening to Spotify and hear an Ad for Macy’s. I hear  Lady 1: ‘With all that savings, we could get sport jackets for our husbands, they would be better dressed versions of themselves!’ Lady 2: ‘You know That’s not saying much.’ Lady 1: ‘ haha true’

DISGUSTING 

Macy’s depicts the women as if we strive to only be shopping and be away from our ‘dunce ugly husbands’. They advertise as if we care about our own image and shouldn’t think our husbands are good, or will ever get any better. They are portraying men as “eh” looking humans that just happen to be there for us.

WRONG. 

We married or husbands because we fell in love with them. Because they were the most important person to us. Because we wanted to vow our lives together and become one. Because we believe that we would be better together. That he would love us, respect us, protect us, care for us.  So why in the world would we treat that man that did so much for us, whether he falls sometimes or not, we all do, as if he is an idiot; he is part of us.

I was glad I wasn’t the only person that was upset by this when I went on Macy’s Twitter Account: macys

I think of an episode of The Office where Jim and Pam are struggling but he wants to show Pam how much she means to him. And it  really shows how our husbands feel: Seriously watch the entire video, man did I cry when I saw this…Jim and Pam Love Video

Image result for jim and pam(I know you won’t all watch the video that gives much more detail and depth into what I am saying but here is  glimpse of what Jim states in it)

“I don’t know what you want me to tell you man

All I know is that

Every time I’ve been faced with a tough decision

There’s only one thing that outweighs every other concern

One thing that will make you give up on everything you thought you knew

Every instinct

Every rational calculation

Love

Dwight, listen,

No matter what happens

You gotta forget about the other stuff

You gotta forget about logic

And fear, and doubt

You just gotta do everything you can

To get to the one woman who’s gonna make all this worth it

At the end of the day

You gotta jump…”

As you saw in the video, husbands LOVE their wives. Mistakes can be made, but in the end it is your love story that is going on for the rest of your lives. Love, respect, forgive. Don’t make the other feel stupid or low or insignificant to your life. You are a team, a partnership.

It’s great that women are getting their movement, but men need one too. Use this time to say “Yes, I am a woman, but I stand WITH my man”. Let the love and respect of a full family, happy marriage, and wonderful life come back to our media. Stop letting the people with TV ads make your husband look like a Dunce.

I am so grateful to have my husband. I wouldn’t be who I am without him. At the end of every day HE is the one I want laying beside me talking about our day, and holding me. Because I know he loves me and wants the best for me no matter what.

So my urge to you is this: Go out, Love your spouse, and always give respect where it is deserved. 

P.S- ‘ The Office’ also has a great portrayal of Jim as a husband and how to overcome problems in marriage. It’s a fun and stupid show, but that love story is very realistic, especially in later seasons. One episode shows Jim hugging Pam but she leaves her arms at her side due to a long fight, and Pam has a flashback to their wedding and hears the vows the pastor says, she immediately embraces her husband and they remember what is important. They work it out. They remember they took vows to be a team. You CAN find some shows out there that know how to show good marriages still, it’s just few and far between.

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(This is where she finally embraces him back)

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I had organs on my counter

Yes. You read that right. I had to deep clean my kitchen.

I am still learning what to do for some “wife” things, we must all trial and error.

So…Let’s begin on yet another weird story that my life seems to be full of at the moment.

So this past weekend I was so excited because I had bought a whole chicken to cook in my instant pot. It was Antibiotic free, hormone free, Preservative free, artificial flavor free. A chicken. A Pure chicken.

HOWEVER. I had never cooked a whole chicken before. I had talked to my dad’s fiance’ (who is southern and cooks animals from this state all the time) a few days prior and told her I was going to do this and she was so excited! But she disclaimed her excitement with “Make sure you take out the innards”. And without thinking that I should clarify what she meant I just said “Yeah for sure!”. Plus I just saw Rachael Ray do it and thought “well heck, I can do that!” -wrong. 

So I have the house to myself as my husband took our son to the local theater. I cut open the plastic holding the chicken. No problem. THEN IT HAPPENED. I pick up the entire chicken like it’s a 6 month baby and it like Vomits out all these organs. (that did NOT Happen on Rachael Ray)

Completely taken back, now staring at chicken guts I just yell in my empty house “ORGANS! ORGANS! THAT’S A LIVER?!? WHAT IS HAPPENING?!”

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My hands covered in raw chicken and my fear of salmonella I wipe off my pinky and try to call anyone using my pinky and a touch screen that I can ask about this dilemma.

My mom answers and I just yell out “MOM! I AM SO GLAD YOU ANSWERED! THERE IS A CHICKEN LIVER AND SOME OTHER STUFF IN MY KITCHEN! IT JUST ALL FELL OUT AND THERE IS SOMETHING THAT LOOKS LIKE A WEIRD PENIS COVERED IN FAT AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING!” *Que My mother laughing at me*

My mom then explains to me that some people like to eat those organs. *vomit*, but that they are usually in a bag inside. NOPE. Not mine. So I am placing my hand inside (what I think is the head hole and later learned was the chicken butt) pulling out organs.

Now…I work in the medical field and although I was thoroughly disgusted and wished I brought some gloves home with me, I started to get side tracked. That Liver was exactly what I needed to continue my Anatomy lesson with my 6 year old. Which prompted my next task- Placing all the organs into the plastic wrap the chicken came in.

Then I began to pick up the organs and look at everything. There was a dark tissue that was wrapped around the neck that looked like a butterfly and I surely thought it was the parathyroid. I went all A & P happy.

At this point I am laughing at myself hysterically. Especially because upon my mother telling me I was pulling the organs out of the chicken’s butt,not the head hole like I thought, I realized the fatty penis looking thing was actually the chicken’s neck that was cut up and shoved up his arse. *Que me hysterically laughing at myself and this situation*.

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I had already cut the garlic, onion, and herbs to stuff the chicken. So replaced the organs with the food I prepared. Finished oiling up my bird and showering it with salt and pepper, and then I realized something- I don’t have butcher’s twine.

 

 

Now if you don’t know me personally, I am a crafter. I don’t just sit at home I am constantly making something.

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So I went down to my craft table and grabbed my crafting twine. I have NO idea if I tied it correctly, but I just tied that thing up like I was Christian Grey with Anastasia Steele And plopped that chicken on my trivet in the instant pot.

I had succeeded. I was so proud of myself. And then my fear of raw chicken diseases consumed my thoughts, and as my bird cooked to perfection I desperately cleaned my kitchen. I Monica Geller cleaned my Kitchen (Friends Reference for you who are uncultured swin-er uh.. unaware humans).

In the end I had finished my first chicken. Will I ever make a full turkey like this for thanksgiving? Possibly….Although sticking my hand in a bird is not my favorite activity and brings out my fears of raw dead bird diseases.

There are some areas of “wife life” that I just have yet to come to meet, or conquer. But this chicken tasted freaking good for my first try. Next time I will be bringing some latex gloves from work and make this a true dissection so I can educate my son and feel more interested in hands in butts since I’m not usually into that kind of thing.

(Yes I did end up showing the organs to my son…who actually kept making fake vomit noises, because he doesn’t have my medical field love yet…he will learn)

It’s ok to call desperately for help from others, I have learned that I call other wives that I need to ask questions about “wife life” to a LOT. You try, you learn, and you laugh at yourself for how ridiculous you are. It’s healthy.

 

My husband later asked me to cook the liver- I did not. But Check out my bird ya’ll

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The Fires of Marriage

It’s been about 4 weeks since my last post. And honestly life has just been super busy. But in the past three week our church has done a time of prayer and fasting and a lot about marriage was brought up, both in church and in my life.

I have often heard the saying that you “go through the fire together. the heat forges you together and you come out stronger”. Lately I have seen that to be very true. With a lot of things coming up in our life that could have broke us, but made us connect on a  deeper level of love and understanding and strengthened our relationship.

Now the fire……

In a marriage there is also another type of fire that I have heard about, and recently again by my pastor. And I will admit a lot of what I am writing came from my pastor because I think it was spot on.

“The Fires of Love” may ebb and flow in a relationship. Because it takes work. Our generation seems to be one of “recycling” and that, I believe, has seeped into our marriage life as well. When the fire of our marriage begins to go down, the romance fades from the busy-ness of life- you do work. As my pastor stated “you need to use your tools.” Grab your lighter fluid, grab your stick, add a log, get the fire going again because it takes work!

This means we have to go out of our way to create the romance, the fire, the time, the energy for our spouse.

It’s easy to make excuses. Take the hard route as an act of love, respect, and self-discipline. 

It is SO easy to see the easy way out, but when divorce is off the table the game changes. We don’t have the “recycling” option. Of throwing out this marriage if the fires fade and finding a new and exciting one. We rekindle our own flame.  My husband works 3 jobs right now, and works opposite hours of me. We both volunteer at our church, but it’s been on opposite sundays and in different areas.

BUT- WE DON’T USE THESE AS EXCUSES. WE FIND THE EXCEPTIONS. 

When we serve at different times at church, we wake up at early weird times to just get to the one service we can both be at together.

When we we see each other for one hour in between when I get home from work and he leaves for work, he preps dinner so I’m not cooking the entire time.

We try and text together when we can just to keep up with each other.

When he is home and I’m at work, he asks what I need help with around the house. And sometimes I come home to a clean made bed with a love note, or candy on my pillow.

BY ALL MEANS IT IS NOT EASY- But we fan the flame, respect each other, and push ourselves to be the best spouse we can. We have our bad weeks where the time apart really hurts. But we work hard at keeping that limited.

Love is a fight. Love is also taking all those things that bug us, the imperfections, and past sins and throwing into the bonfire. Your love, your fire, should be so strong that you take that book of “wrongs, sins, and imperfections” that your spouse has accumulated and written in his/her life and it is engulfed in the flames of your fire. Because true love, Agape love (what we should be striving for, although only God can give), is unconditional love.

Take the time to ask your spouse: are you on the same page? Are you both fighting for love and respect? Are you both fanning the flame?

Be a team.

Eimagesmbrace the flames.

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This chapter: “She Savored Her Solitude”

*Take this post as more of an observation of life. Usually I write a funny anecdote, or a life lesson I recently learned. I’m sure I will learn something from this situation, right now, I am just writing about it.*

There has been quite the change in my life. It went by kind of slowly, and then it rushed in. Solitude.

Sometimes it is annoying and I hate it, and other times I have learned to enjoy it.

When I had my son in highschool I lost a lot of friends, many very close to me previously. I gained some new ones, but had to start again with a lot. Since then I have found it to be difficult to find newer friends with a deeper relationship. Especially being my age with a child the age he is.

Then when I moved to Florida I lost contact with even more friends. And some never bothered to contact me again even when I reached out. So I let them go.

Now more recently I had become engaged and moved back up North. Suddenly I had friends coming out of the woodworks. People I had barely talked to in years that wanted to be invited, asked to be in it, etc. Which was probably more annoying them then leaving me behind after having a kid and moving out of state.

Then I got married. Now almost 6 months in and I have made some new relationships (mostly thanks to my husband who has been here longer than me) and finally been closer to connect with the small amount of friends that did stay in contact with me throughout all these life changes.

BUT

Since being married I lost most again. The wedding hoopla is done, and throughout all of these chapters mentioned above there has been an exponential amount of family drama that exploded during the week of my wedding, although it had nothing to do with me personally. And now 80% of my family I do not speak to, and mostly because I no longer trust them and they have done so much hurt to me I don’t want that around me or my immediate family.

On top of that my husband is currently working 3 jobs, 7 days a week. I balance working full time, trying to help him with his business, taking care of our son, and keeping the house and its affairs together which is a lot of work sometimes. I see my husband right now between 6(maybe)-  15 hours a week.

So here I am. Just about 6 months into the start of my marriage, and starting a new year with very little friends that wanted to stick around and even fewer family. I currently work in an office by myself until they hire another person. So just about 7 days a week I am in a quiet solitude.

For the most part it was surprisingly peaceful and I have picked up crochet and I think I will start to sell these projects soon. It helps relax me, I think to just give my hands something to do. When I’m at home I have my son Kent, and we do what we have done for years of me being a single mom and play, cuddle, read, etc. We are used to that. But eventually it gets lonely not having friends around, or knowing there is so many family in your life that just isn’t family like some of the friends that did stick around you. And honestly, I was long distance with Zach while we dated, so I was used to not seeing him a lot, but now I see him for an hour or so a day and it kind of kills me. He is working so hard to get his career going and I respect him immensely for that.

I make sure when he comes home the house is cleaned. I am constantly organizing or re-organizing things. I try desperately to get dinner done before he leaves at night  and sometimes that just doesn’t happen and it makes me feel awful, even though he isn’t mad.

I have taken this time to learn about myself and my family and marriage. Exploring skills and talents I have, indulging in bible studies, I signed up to be a volunteer at church, reading marriage books, finding ways Zach and I can have date-nights without paying for sitters (and within our schedules) and trying to take-in this time with my son knowing that I won’t get much more time with him young. I have learned recently about a quote “She savored he solitude”. Although I don’t like it and miss friends and family and my hubby, I am learning to savor this time. This quiet time that has been given to me was nothing I expected to have at this time of life, but I am going to teach myself how to savor it. It’s a learning time.

Image result for she savored her solitude

 

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What is easy is hard; selflessness in Marriage

It has been awhile since I have blogged only because the Holidays were up in a roar and we have been driving back and forth between states to see family.

However, today I am going to write about something that I think could make me look very bad only because I am in a place of learning the role of “wife”.

Selflessness 

In marriage we are charged. We are charged to care for each other, to love each other, to respect each other, and to support each other, until death do us part. We make our vows and promises and in doing so we show that we will now put the other person first, in true love.

What I have learned is that this is a back and forth game. Sometimes, like that time we are currently in, it’s a game of constant discussion and constant thinking and prayer about who is going to be first in that given circumstance.

I differ from many other women,  wanting to work full time, have large careers, be free and flexible in a plan a life with a growing job up the ladder. When someone asks me “Do you want to go back to school?” or ” What do you want to do next?” or “What is your career goal?” I am put in a place that is awkward because my answer puts me in a stereotype that people think I am not dedicated and not motivated and that I have no ambitions.

No, I do not want to go back to school. Next? I want to wean my way out of the full time work course, the career I want is to be a mother and wife. Have a house full of a loving family, little ones laughing, flinging food, making me crazy in the happiest way, and having dinner on time.

I know this may sound ridiculous to some but to me being a good homemaker is huge. And currently working 8-4:30 unable to take my son to school, and rarely getting dinner on the table before my husband leaves for rehearsals at night (1 of 3 jobs he has now) it irks me. It actually makes me feel like I am failing at the one thing I wanted most to do with my life; being a  good wife/ mother/ homemaker. Growing up I always cleaned our house, and I loved cooking dinner for my family. My dad used to tell me all the time that one day I would make one man very happy. And in the chapter of where we are right now I am not living up to the standard I gave myself years ago when I dreamed about  obtaining this role of wife.

Now back to the topic; Selflessness 

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Selfnesses as: “having no concern for self”.

That can be a difficult challenge. 

Zach and I have had an unbelievable amount of discussions. Because he knows what I want, respects it, and wants to help me achieve that. And I know what his career goals are and his goals as a husband and father. And I respect those. There were two routes to go:

Route A: I keep working full time in the field I enjoy and we both make sacrifices while he pushes through and gets his name out there and fights for the career dream he has until he can support the family without me working, at which time it is my turn to fulfill the above mentioned role I dream of for me in my family that makes me happy.

Route B: He changes to his second favorite dream job and I go down to part time until he is established in that field of work and we begin to grow in our family and settle down. This puts again, both of us in places where we make sacrifices, but are both happy.

 

The main trouble I had as a new wife was learning how to biblically support my husband. For a long time I just kept telling my husband I would do whatever he felt was best, because in my mind I vowed to support him in everything, and so I should do that. And then I found myself crying constantly because of aspects of that I just couldn’t take. My husband, being as amazing as he is, knew this right of the bat and told me it would be more supportive for me to tell him my feelings and us work as a team together and find ways that we think would work for us as a family. Which I respected. But I will say that even that I feel sometimes is selfish. For Route B he takes a career change because of something I want and that is selfish to me. For Route A he sticks with what he wants to do and I ride along and kind of hate what my position is right now, and that would be selfish for me to think that or selfish for him to ask that. Except he didn’t ask me that, he asked if I wanted to and it was up to me.

It has been a confusing ride of figuring out how to balance as team and not feel that I am being selfish by asking for something to change for my happiness, or asking me to change something I am doing for his happiness. Both of us would do that for the other because we love each other. But we had to sit down and figure it out together so that its a selfless act together. Putting the other first while balancing with our own wants/ needs.

It has been a realization that selflessness in marriage, at least in our marriage thus far, is usually paired with teamwork/partnership. You put the other person first for what is best for your partner and in return benefits your “team”, your marriage.

And that has by far been the hardest task of marriage 6 months in.

This comes up in many situations not always as heavy as this situation mentioned above. But when your talking about the direction of your life- it ends up being the biggest thing you have going on, and a seemingly endless conversation.

Not sure how it will end at this point as we have tons of praying and talking to do, but if I can charge any newly wed or newly engaged persons to do: Learn hard how to be a team and how to be respectfully selfless. You aren’t a Martyr in a marriage, and acting as if you are only puts a hold on your relationship. You work together. You are one. You figure it out together.

And I will admit I am not perfect and this is a new area for me in a relationship; But learn to be selfless together.

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2017 and This Christmas- Nothing like I expected

When you say those words “For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health” you don’t necessarily comprehend the deepness of that promise until the situation arises. You can guess and promise to the best of your abilities, and then when the situation hits, you really understand.

 

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After signing the lease of our first home together during our engagement

This is where I have found myself and my family on our first christmas together. Christmas is usually my FAVORITE time of year. And this year was a year of getting proposed to, moving states away, married, new job for me, and new school for my son. It has been an interesting 2017 with more changes this year than I think I have had in a single year in my life. And those are just the changes regarding me directly.

This year my parents got divorced during my engagement, my sister graduated, my mother moved across country, my dad changed careers and started dating a wonderful woman, my brother became a virtual school student, and a ton of my extended family members began treating me like garbage for those things that are completely outside of my control. Family that I no longer speak to partially because they treated me too poorly up until my wedding, some threatening, and then kept face on my wedding day and we have never spoken again since. All for things outside my control or lies they were told about any of the above situations that their best response was to involve me-a perfectly grown adult with her own life and family and upcoming marriage outside any of those situations. Things that did not involve me at all.

Yes, this is how my marriage began. With my “perfect little family” all turning against each other,  and my husband-to-be at the time becoming a completely different man, a stronger man than I had previously seen, a protector and provider. They say that when you go through fire together it makes you stronger, forges you together as a stronger force as one. Zach and I have had our share with that within our own past circumstances for sure, but this year really takes the cake. We are stronger together now, know each other better now, and are continually growing through this trial together more than we ever have before.

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The Kiss 8/12/17

My husband is starting a new film business with a couple friends, as well he has two other jobs still. I work full time as a CMA at physicians office and my son is in elementary school with after care.

 

This being said we rarely see Zach because he is working 6-7 days a week, and Kent sees him more because dad brings him to and picks him up from school. And yet with all this time we fight to have time together. Even if that means I stay up until 11pm having to get up at 5am just so I can spend some time with my husband.

We are busy people. Too busy. We haven’t gotten to that “settle down” part yet that I so desperately desire. And although there are plenty of jobs going on in our home that doesn’t mean we are rolling in the dough quite yet.

To add onto that, my health has been deteriorating recently. My joint pain I have had my whole life has spread to muscular pain as well, gone to my integumentary system, causes brain fog and fatigue and a mess of other issues. As well as some other issues that I wish not to talk about at this time. All this requires a lot of medical bills.

Bluntly speaking, I keep trying to tell myself I NEED to get answers from the doctor- but in my head I am helplessly thinking of how little the amount is my son will be opening this year compared to prior years. He won’t be upset, but I have noticed the smaller amount of gifts this year than previous ones.

My favorite time of year turned into an anxiety over the bank account. Not to anyone’s fault, and certainly not my husband’s who works hard, too hard in my opinion. This was just quite the stepping stone year into the marriage and getting married at the later half of the year doesn’t give much time to save away extra money for christmas.

I am striving for traditions to be made in my family as well. We have an Elf on the shelf, Elfie, who comes in the good and bad, and we make christmas cookies, and usually Gingerbread houses. We will hopefully be doing that this year on christmas eve (later due to the christmas shows my husband is acting in currently).

I am happy. I am loved and love my family. It is a big change this year, a humbling one. Realizing that parts of our vows that I didn’t expect to get to so soon were the first steps we seem to have come to in our marriage, put life on a different track than I imagined it. My husband works very hard, we are not struggling hard as some families are. We can pay all our bills and get our groceries, it’s the extra expenses that are almost non-existent, and Christmas is a large one. As for the sickness aspect, I am hoping for a turn around here soon. I am in some of the worst shape I have ever been in, and my husband will hold me in his arms and say “In sickness and in health” and kiss my forehead.

We have done the richer or poorer, sickness and in health, and if we threw in a “crazy family drama and peaceful family times” we have hit all those enough for a lifetime.

2017 has taught me a lot, hurt me in more ways than I would like, but also blessed me beyond imagination. 2017 was a mix of good, wonderful, and shattering. 2017 brought many new people into my life and I am leaving some people behind in 2017.

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As we go into this New Year, I am very thankful to do so with my Husband, for the first time, and begin a new year journey together.  I can’t wait to see what 2018 looks like for us.

The word I am hoping for in 2018 is Peace.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and Happy New Year!

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Our Thankful Turkey: A Thanksgiving Family Craft

For those of us who try and still remember there is a Thanksgiving between Halloween and Christmas here is a fun craft to do for this upcoming Holiday.

Now I ADORE Christmas and normally start listening to Christmas music by now, but as this is the first Thanksgiving with my family together, I wanted to make each holiday special. Build traditions. Make memories.

Yesterday after church we came home and made crafts for the holidays. Now we do this with every holiday since my son was little, I love doing crafts with him! In our new townhouse we have been putting them up on the same area of the wall.

As a separate craft I did something similar to what I did last year. Last year my son and I made a Thankful Tree- and we put what we were thankful for on each leaf of the tree. This year we made a Turkey! And for the first time we got to have all three of us (my husband, my son and I) fill out feathers of what we are thankful for.

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It’s a really simple craft.

  • 2 Brown sheets of Construction Paper
  • 1 Orange sheet of Construction Paper
  • 1 Red sheet of Construction Paper
  • 1 Orange, 1 Green, 1 Yellow and 1 White  sheet of Cardstock (or Construction paper if you don’t have card stock. It is just a little sturdier.)
  • Markers
  1. Cut one brown paper into as large of an oval as you can. I started by just rounding off the corners, and then rounding the middle of the paper to look like a body. this will stand vertically as the body.
  2. Cut the second brown paper as a head with a long neck. I started by cutting from the straight edge that would be behind the turkey, long neck, and a rounded head. this will be taped on the back of the turkey body, try and tape it a little lower, as the bodies are typically larger.
  3. Cut a corner off the orange paper as a beak, a simple black dot on the top can be a nostril.
  4. Using the same orange paper cut along one straight edge of the paper, then cut the line in half. These are your legs. Then simply cut small ovals as the feet- or cut out legit talons if you are feeling excited!
  5. Tape the leg and the feet together and tape them tot he bottom of your turkey on the backside
  6. Cut the wattle  (or “gobble” as my son calls it) out of the red paper. Really it’s just a squiggly cut, no perfection here.
  7. Place the Wattle and the Beak on the front end of the turkey’s face, place it as desired and tape together on the backside, or roll the tape and put o the back of the beak and wattle to place on the face. The wattle should be underneath the beak.
  8. I took the white card stock and did a freehand of a one large and one small father. Nothing fancy, just started on the straight edge for a flat bottom and took tow arches up that met in the middle. I cut these out and used them as templates. However if you want better templates from online you can find them by simply googling “feather  craft template”
  9. I placed the small template at the left edge of the first colored card stock paper and outlined. On the opposite side of the paper I outlined the large feather, then repeated this pattern until I had a pattern of one small, one large, one small, one large feathers alternating on the paper.
  10. Then I lined up all the card stock and cut them simultaneously along the outlines of the feathers. this gave me four feathers per card stock color.
  11. I arranged the feathers as i desired in an array, where I could still read what would be written on them, and taped the array together.
  12. I then placed the turkey as desired on top of the array of feathers, flipped it over as a group and taped the feather array to the turkey.
  13. Lastly I wrote our family was thankful for….. and we each chose four feathers to write what we are thankful for. do the math for the members of your family, whether each gets a lesser amount or you make more feathers!

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Once the turkey is done talk to your kids about thanksgiving, why it is important to be thankful, and why what we think is just “life” is actually sometimes taken advantage of and we should really be thankful for what we have!

For instance, I put I was thankful we had a peaceful home. Some families don’t have  house, or have a house that is filled with strife and stress. In all honesty, my house growing up had a lot of this. sometime I didn’t even realize it because I was used to it. But now as I am older and my home is filled with love and peace I realize what a blessing that is!

Isaiah 32:18

My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.

Luke 12:31

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.

Colossians 3:15-17

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

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My son stole his own Halloween candy

So yes, that title is a little odd. How can my 6 year old steal his own candy? Well he can when it is in disobedience. We teach my son about obedience a lot, in the 10 Commandments “Honor thy Father and thy Mother”, and talk about it daily when he chooses to play when we told him to clean his room.

A Little Background

This year my son got “smart”. He knows that on saturday mornings his daddy and I sleep in. He knocks, waits for us to answer, asks permission to watch something on tv, and goes downstairs. Through some learning and obedience lessons he has learned to knock before entering a  room and to ask before turning on the TV or going on an electronic device.

I remember being a kid and thinking I could get away with anything. So it’s not like I can’t see where his head is at- I’ve been there. However, now I am on the other side and am teaching him what took me awhile to learn growing up- obedience.

Story Time

We have my son’s Halloween candy in a plastic bag on the extra chair in the kitchen. It has been there since Halloween and we really hadn’t thought much about it since my son is older now and has been asking us for a piece, and we either say “yes” or “not right now wait until after dinner”. You parents know the drill.

Well on a recent turn of events during my schedule of making Sunday dinner after church I found that the toaster oven wouldn’t turn on- it was unplugged. Now our toaster oven sits on top of a  cabinet that also houses the trash can inside. Needless to say, we don’t just move that around. Because I had t plug in the toaster oven I was forced to push the cabinet out from the wall space and find the plug and outlet. When doing this I found a large stash of candy wrappers and half eaten chocolate bars. Now, I will say my husband and I have taken some candy at times and I find some in his car, he found some wrappers in the bedroom, so I thought at first “GOSH my husband has been eating this!?”

Then I turned around.

My son started crying. He knew.

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So I asked “What’s this?”.  To which he truthfully replied “I was hiding them……I have another pile behind the TV”. I was surprised he didn’t lie to me, which I was glad because we constantly tell him, you will still be in trouble if you do something wrong, but if you tell the truth it won’t be as bad. So I took this photo, sent it to my husband, and put my son in timeout. His ball was taken (which was a prize from church just an hour before so that was a big deal) and then soon was sent to do chores instead of playing- matching socks, one of his least favorite chores.

When my husband came home he called Kent to the kitchen, and asked him what the pile was. And again Truthfully he stated “When you are in bed and let me watch TV I eated the candy and I hid it. I have another one behind the TV” He was smart. He knew we would be sleeping in and would see it if we opened the trash can, so he made piles behind large furniture that is rarely moved around. Smart- I will give him that!

So this gave us more information, more to the truth story when daddy asked, he didn’t tell ME he was starting every Saturday with a butt load of candy before breakfast.

The Unique Punishment for a truth

Now this was new. WE HAVE NEVER had him get in trouble and him OPENLY tell us what he did and why. It’s always a battle of “why?” ” I don’t know?” “I don’t know isn’t an answer, why did you do that” “I don’t know” “Kent, you can’t say you don’t know. what were you feeling when you did it?” “I don’t know”- and so on and  so on.

This time we used a very descriptive lesson with our punishing. Before dad came home I had spoke to him for a bit and then he had two timeouts and a toy taken and had to do chores instead of playing. So dad knew he was being punished.

However, although he was punished we wanted to explain to him why it wasn’t anything larger. Because lying and taking candy without telling us is wrong, sinful, deceitful and disobedient. We explained we were very disappointed in what he was doing, and he obviously knew it was wrong since the first thing he did was cry. But he was telling the truth at first and that was good so his punishment would not be as severe.

We were able to talk to him about how biblically this is how God works.

Luke 8:17

“For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.

We talked to Kent about this verse. that God only wants the best for us. and sometimes that means that if we are ding something wrong in secret, he finds a way to bring it to the light so that we learn from this, and that can also mean being punished. He wants us to learn and grown and sometimes that is growing pains. We have to “be careful what we see, do, hear” etc… And God works in mysterious ways.

I told Kent I find it possible that God knew what he was doing, and it was disobedient and wanted to help Kent learn what he was doing was wrong and how we speak about obedience and the 10 commandments. And that is the plug didn’t come undone I never would have found this. So in my mind it’s possible God let that come unplugged just so we could have this talk with Kent and have him learn this important lesson.

In All honesty

This is a lesson that I learned years ago. Something that my son is not quite ready to hear yet, but will one day. Having him in high school what I did in secret came out to light through a pregnancy. And honestly the only reason I found out was because I was in a minor car crash and was taken to the ER. If that had not happened, I don’t know how I would have found out or how I would have ever told my parents. God knew. And no one was hurt in that crash, in fact the guy who hit me was arrested for driving a semi without a license. So it had a pretty good outcome. To this day I am sure there are mysterious ways God brings things into light through our circumstances. My car wasn’t totaled, no one was injured, and my parents and I found out about my son at the same time and were able to process it together. It was NOT easy, it still isn’t at times,  but what happened in secret came to light and through a lot of prayer and obstacles that I had to go through to grow and become a mother fast, growing pains as I call those obstacles, God knew he helped me. Through many years now I have learned from this time and now have an amazing son and am married to his father!

It is not easy. We screw up, and God helps us “fix it” if we work with him. But he doesn’t want us in any dark secret place.  This lesson is something one day I will talk to my son about. But it is something that I feel God really pulled me out of a bad spot. I’m just glad this is a lesson that I learned and was able to, in a different way, explain and teach my son earlier in life than me.

 

And yes, the candy has since been moved to above the fridge 😉

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I can’t relate to other wives I meet: And I don’t want to

This weekend was daylight savings. I know for some it is great, for others, like me, it really puts me behind and confuses the heck out of my internal clock.

I was up all night several times throughout the weekend and ended up taking a two hour nap with my husband Sunday after being up at 4am Sunday morning. However, our son was up early morning ready to go, so naturally we let him watch a movie so we can try and catch a few more winks. Before church I decided to make a fruit smoothie for us as well. Just a great start to a day!

Then The Day Began

Waking up we decided to go visit a friends church and we had the day together as a family. We spent the morning driving to a new town, experiencing a new church, and driving back home. It was a peaceful car ride. And that was just a nice surprise.

At home my husband offered to make dinner. He made a beautiful Pennsylvania Salad (salad with fries and steak and cheese on top- Steak was SO GOOD!) and opened a rich glass of Red Wine from Mari Vineyard from our Honeymoon *insert “awe’s” here*

We took a two our nap as our son made a Christmas wish list and played with his toys. And I had the laundry started already.

Then he did the “Thing”.

I woke up alone in bed. I called my husband to see where he was and he was telling me he had left for rehearsal and he was wrong it started at 4, not 7. I was upset because he didn’t wake me up or say goodbye. Just as I am hanging up my son walks in and says “Mommy, daddy says to come down and get a drink of water”. I said “Your dad told me he was gone?” My son replies with calling his dad out, “Daddy said to get water, he’s downstairs, he is gonna scare you. Don’t go down there.”

So I decide to just go down and then be the strong girl and stand strong, look at him and say “very funny.” Except I am jumpy, so even though I knew he was there, him yelling “boo!” from behind the kitchen wall made me jump, and WACK my arm into the wall and scrape it up. I am now sporting a lovely, somewhat sore today, scrape from my battle wound from our pranking battle.

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Because the I thought the day couldn’t get any better, and I was wrong: My husband did the dishes with me, I finished the laundry with him as well, my son played peacefully and played Memory with me while my husband was memorizing lines for his play, and then my son watched Charlotte’s web while his dad was at rehearsal, and cried at the ending when Charlotte died. Kent went to bed nicely, and when my husband came back from rehearsal (early!) we cuddled on the couch and watched ‘Friends’ before going downstairs where he did some work on the computer and I did some scrap-booking. Then we ended the night cuddling in bed…

It was a BEAUTIFUL Sunday…And I took notice of this peace…and so did my husband who mentioned to me how nice the day was.

This Is Why I Can’t Relate 

You see, I have very little friends that I consider “close”. And I have been told by people in my family that I should reach out and go to get coffee with people I work with or people my age in the area or people I have met recently to “branch out”. And I Can’t do that. I can’t relate.

I am around people a lot. And I constantly hear people speaking about their husband’s like they are idiots. That they have no clue how to take care of their children. In fact one girl mentioned the finances of the house and what she did with them were “none of his D$m@ business”. And the others echoed in “Yeah girl, seriously!”. The other’s treat their husband’s awful, constantly kick them out of the house, speak to them horribly over the phone. And for those that don’t always demean the man they married, they talk about how the love is already gone. That they would kill to just have their husbands hold them or look at them with love, like in the movies.  They complain about the little to no work their men do, and how “God forbid they put a dish away”. They talk about separating or if there is another woman. Or there are the girls that aren’t married and date guy to guy and don’t care about themselves or the one’s they are hopping back and forth from.

MY MAN IS AMAZING

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I’m not even interested in hanging out with these type of people. Do I see them occasionally? yeah. Would I want to be around them all the time? no way. Yes, some would say that I could be a great influence, but they feed off each other so well, this little group, I would be drowned in that.

My husband, voluntarily made dinner, helped me clean the house, takes care of our son, is taking our son to the doctor’s on his day off, holds me to just hold me, randomly tells me he loves me, randomly grabs me and dances with me, I get random kisses every day, he wants me to sit with him on his recliner and rub his back…I could go on and on.

These men that don’t help their wives, don’t believe they should help with housework, or with the kids or don’t like the day to day expression of love in various ways, I just don’t understand. My husband helps me out constantly. This past Saturday we were all home and all three of us cleaned the house. My husband was even the one to get out the mop and the duster, the two most dreaded cleaning tools!

I could never speak about him, or to him, the way so many of my peers do to their S/O’s.

It Isn’t a Newlywed thing, it’s a respect thing. 

And for a man as wonderful as the one I have…I can’t  relate.

And I am very OK with this.

***On a side note, as I am typing this blog post my husband called and left me a voicemail. Just letting me know he was going into work, and wants to know if I can send i’m a list of what he needs to do to help me out at home before his second shift this evening while I am at work. And a text forewarning me with a sad face he wasn’t able to make the bed this morning. But all I could say was “one day won’t kill us, it’s ok” Told ya…I got a Gem ❤ ***

So, the lesson was…what?

So although this post really turned into a bragging right about the man I married. I will bring it all back around with a lesson learned.

It isn’t all sunshine and lollipops with peaceful playing, and my husband making dinner. BUT after the last (almost) three months of being married I can say we have learned a system of communication, our household needs and our expectations of each other, an increased prayer life together and as a family, and this wonderful “system” we call a marriage was created. It won’t always be perfect, but we choose to fight for us, we choose to love, and we choose to respect. And so far that has been the best lesson we have learned, because it benefits us into every other aspect of our lives as well.