How fast can we run?

Pursue your passions; chase your dreams.

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, or you just found me and have taken some time to read through my past posts, you know that my husband and I have been on quite the journey over the last 12ish months.  I assume we’ve actually been on the journey much longer than that, being prepared for this time, but it feels like we were just brought into the loop, so to speak, only recently.  Baby C will be 1 month old tomorrow.  To say the last 4 weeks have been busy would be an understatement.  Much has happened and we’re getting ready to make some big changes.

Long story short, the Hubs’ current employer and he are not seeing eye to eye.  They haven’t been seeing eye to eye for quite some time, but it only recently got to a breaking point.  While not trying to hide or conceal his side business, he didn’t go around his current employer’s work place promoting it…that would have been in clear conflict with his current position.  His manager stumbled upon his site, and it has been an uphill battle ever since.  She’s a control freak and decided what he was doing on the side was an “obvious” conflict of interest and clearly he should have obtained prior approval before delving into such an endeavour.  I could go on and on about the absurdities that have transpired over the last few weeks, the poor handling of the whole thing and the ridiculousness that is his manager, but that isn’t the point of this post.  The truth is, for a few days, where we truly thought the Hubs was going to be fired for violating company policy, we were a little freaked.  I should probably mention this all unfolded on 3/22.  We were supposed to hear back from his manager and a decision from HR on 3/23 (the anniversary of the day we lost the twins).  We didn’t hear anything and got to sit and think about everything and come up with every possible outcome on 3/24 and 3/25 (the anniversary of their births).  This is all smack-dab in the middle of the 2 weeks he was SUPPOSED to be on vacation/paternity leave.  The timing of this whole ordeal is nothing short of poetic.  We received the decision from the ethics department yesterday, which was totally in our favor.  His side company is in no way a conflict of interest.  There was no reason for him to get approval from his manager and they’ve noted it in his permanent file so it will never have to be discussed again.  His website, that he had taken down a few weeks ago until this was resolved, was put back up last night.  As I write, he’s only moments away from a conference call his manager scheduled this morning to discuss the decision from the Ethics department.  No idea what she wants or how this conversation will end.

We’ve had a lot of time to think and to process over the last few weeks.  Emotions have been running high and we’ve talked ad nauseam about all the possibilities that lie ahead.  The timing is too impossible to ignore.  A year ago we lost the twins.  Almost a year ago the idea for his company started forming.  Last summer the idea for his company, and where we wanted to take our lives was solidified when we went on vacation.  It’s all documented here in my blog and we’re both a little ashamed to admit we haven’t really done much to accomplish the goals we set for ourselves.  The truth is, there is no way Hubs can start a business part-time in his current role.  He’s given it a good effort, but with his travel schedule, he flat-out doesn’t have the time it would take to get his business up and running on a part-time basis.  His dream has been, since childhood, to own his own business.  We’ve been able to spend the last few weeks considering a life style that didn’t include Hubs being gone 3 weeks out of the month.  A life style that included flexibility and the ability to work from home, or Starbucks, or Barnes and Noble.  A life style that allowed Hubs to be present, to make up for lost time in a way.  At the beginning of this whole ordeal, his boss suggested it was probably good he was already on vacation so he could take some time to think about what he really wanted.  That suggestion probably isn’t going to work out in her favor.  She’s called his integrity and commitment into question multiple times over the last few weeks…and he’s just not the type of guy to put up with that; and he shouldn’t have to.

The truth is, we’re currently in a financial position to allow Hubs to quit his job and take a stab at his company on a full-time basis for several months.  And while we have a substantial savings, the idea of him giving up his salary when I don’t work and we have 2 young kids still doesn’t feel like a good choice.  But that certainly doesn’t mean it’s the wrong choice.  In fact, a lot of times, the right decision is the most difficult road to walk.  The decision to leave his current employer has already been made, it’s just a matter of when.  This whole thing has been handled so poorly, and he’s been treated very poorly by his manager with regard to this situation.  It’s not a job he’s willing to stay at when the demands (travel, hours, etc.) are so high.  We’re trying to tie up a few loose ends before he walks away.  The decision of what to do after that is still up in the air.  The options are endless, really, but all boil down to whether or not he looks for another full-time gig or gives his business a go on a full-time basis and see where we end up in a few months.

We’re viewing this as an opportunity.  We’ve been given the opportunity to look at our options and see that yes, he can walk away from his current job and we’ll be ok for “x” amount of time.  We’ve been given the opportunity to think about what could be.  It’s not some far-off dream at this point, but more of an attainable reality.  So.  Are we willing to take the plunge?  Are we willing to take that step of faith?  How fast can we run to chase our dreams?

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Here’s a conversation I never thought I’d have…

First, a pregnancy update.  I had my 36 week check-up yesterday (even though I won’t technically be 36 weeks until tomorrow) and I’m very thankful that my doc was able to confirm Baby C is finally head down.  It looks as though I’m able to table my concerns about a scheduled c-section due to a breech baby.  Weekly internal exams started yesterday and I’ve made basically no progress and Baby C is still riding high…which I kind of knew based on the butt and occasional foot in my ribcage.  I go back again next Friday, which is the same appointment with A I learned I was already 3 cm dilated.  We’ll see what happens over the next 10 days.  While I’d like for Baby C to bake as long as she needs to, I’ll be thrilled with some amount of progress at my next appointment.

The Hubs’ travel schedule has been INSANE.  Even he says so.  He was home Monday and Tuesday though and he came home from work Monday night with flowers for me and A.  He got A a potted Hyacinth plant that smells wonderful.  It’s in her room now, but we’ll put it in the ground eventually and I’ll do my best to keep it alive.  For me, he layed a dozen dark pink/light pink roses in my lap.  I was lounging in bed when he got home…no big surprise there.  After a few minutes he said, “My only request is that you take 2 of the roses and…” then he gestured to the top of our chest of drawers where the urn containing the twins’ ashes sits amongst our wedding photos.  I was speechless for a few minutes.  And I was surprised…which is almost impossible to do.  The fact that he even had to think about getting flowers for the twins is heartbreaking, yet, at the same time, why wouldn’t he think to get ALL his girls flowers on Valentine’s Day?  The whole conversation caught me off guard and made me equally sad and proud at the same time.  On one hand, there’s the realization there is no ending to the twins’ story.  There will always be Christmas, Valentine’s Day, their birthday…days that are special and meaningful to us where we want to honor their memory and the part they’ve played (and will continue to play) in our lives.  And I was immensely proud to be married to a man who is so very thoughtful and unafraid to show his love and devotion to ALL his children, even those that didn’t join our family in the way we had intended.  It made my heart swell; one of those “I think I just fell in love with you all over again” moments.  And if that wasn’t enough emotion for one evening, A pipes up and says, “I sure wish Baby C had a flower.”  Oh, the logic and the love of a 3-year-old.  And so, of my 12 roses, 2 are in a vase in our bedroom for Megyn and Whitney, 1 is in a vase for Baby C in her room and the remaining 9 are in a vase on the kitchen table.  And I’m okay with that.

twins' flowers

Megyn and Whitney's roses

c's flower

Baby C's rose, waiting for her in her room.

a's flowers

A's flowers

I want the sweet, sweet life…living by the salty sea

We’ve made it back from our family weekend at Sea World. It was an interesting trip that I’ll have to tell you about, but I have a few other things to put out there first. I’ve often been a believer in the fact that one should always possess dreams, visions and goals for themselves. I’ve also heard, and believe, that these should be written down somewhere. A tangible reminder of the things you want and need to do. The Hubs is really good about this. He’s always got a notepad or notebook that he’s making notes in. When we decided to change how we managed our finances a few years ago, we sat down together and wrote down what we wanted. We need to update our list, but for now, we’ve succeeded in our goals.

One of the things the Hubs and I have going for us is that we basically grew up together. We met our sophomore year of high school. During the truly formative years, where one is forming values and morals; the years where for the first time, you’re responsible for making decisions that will affect the rest of your life, we were together. We talked a lot. About everything. And I really think that our foundation as a couple is so strong because of those early years together. We’ve been through so much together. Including, most recently, the tragic loss of children. We chose to allow that experience to deepen our relationship and not come between us. Because of that foundation, and the fact it was just the 2 of us for so long before we made our decision to have A, we have a really hard time letting go of dreams and goals we have. I feel that so often, parents give up on their desires and dreams for the sake of their children. Now, I’m no stranger to giving up something for the sake of my child, but I don’t necessarily think it has to be a way of life. I’ve noticed that things seem to take longer to happen the older I get. Instead of a race car going from 0-60 in under 4 seconds, changes are more like a freight train. They take a while to get going but once they’re moving, almost nothing can stop them. Except the engineer operating the train. I’m not entirely sure when this train started to move. I figure someday, if I think about it hard enough, I can figure it out. So many things have changed since we lost the twins. I have a different perspective; on life, on stuff, on the little things life throws at us. I find myself more fearful of tragedy. I worry about my husband, I worry about my child and I worry about my unborn child. I fear that someday my husband won’t make it home from a business trip. I fear that something terrible will happen to my daughter and I will be powerless to stop it. I fear that this little baby wriggling around inside of me will suddenly die and once again, I will have to deliver a dead baby. Good things have happened too. I’m more committed to my family. I’m more committed to my husband. I’m more committed than ever to delete the unnecessary drama from my life. I’ve started writing. People close to me, especially my dad, have been on my case to write for years. He would be so very proud of all this blogging…perhaps I’ll share it with him someday. The loss of the twins triggered our out-of-the-blue, decided in the hospital room trip to Antigua. That trip was awesome. Looking back though, the most amazing thing about that trip is the story I’m about to tell you. I’m about to write down our dream and our goal that we are currently working towards.

We spent 3 nights in Antigua. Not long enough, but at the time I didn’t think I’d want to be away any longer. We had planned to land in Miami, drive to the Florida Keys for dinner and to look around (we’d never been) and spend the night in Miami before boarding the plane back to DFW the next morning. It took us much longer to get out of Antigua than we had planned and by the time we landed in Miami, it was getting dark. We were both in the mood for some fried shrimp and almost, almost, gave up on heading to the Keys. You cannot appreciate how close I was to calling the whole thing off. Instead, we hopped in the rental and headed out of Miami as the sun was setting. The islands of the Keys stretch from Key Largo down to Key West. Key Largo is about an hour from Miami where Key West is closer to 3 or 3.5. So we used the iPhone to find some fried shrimp in Key Largo and headed off. It was a creepy experience to be heading through the Everglades in the dark. I felt scared. Not sure what I was afraid of, but if we’d had car trouble there was no way I was getting out of the car. Once you pass the Everglades, you’re surrounded by water, but since it was dark we couldn’t see it. We found the restaurant with no problem and headed into a neat little establishment with great service. The food was really good and I just had a good feeling about the place. It doesn’t take me long to decide if I like a place or not. I only need a few moments, my first impression always, always, always lasts. I had a good feeling about the Keys. The restaurant sits on the bay so after dinner, even though it was dark, we decided to take a look at the dock. The dock was an L-shape jutting out over the water and had no hand rails. Just a wooden dock, open on both sides. I refused to walk out on it. I’m a scaredy-cat and particularly fearful of being eaten by a shark. Looking back, I think the fear was supernatural…but that’s a whole different discussion. Just as I think so many things about that couple of hours was supernatural. But the Hubs ventured out, down the dock and around the corner of the L-shape. After a few minutes he yelled to me, “B, you’ve gotta come see this.” My heart was racing, I was convinced I was going to go through the wooden slats or fall off the side, but I went to him. When I got there, it took my breath away. The bay of the Florida Keys is still water. And clear as day. The restaurant had flood lights mounted under the dock so you could see into the water at night. It was like watching a live aquarium. Fish, plant life, coral, rocks, shells, you could see it all. It was beautiful in so many ways. And it was beyond amazing to watch. It hit me almost immediately as I stood there in amazement on the dock that just moments ago I was certain would be the death of me. “I want to live here,” I said to Hubs. “Right here, I want to be able to look at this every night.” And I meant it. Every word. Never in my life have I felt so drawn, connected, to a place (that’s not true, I felt the same way about Texas A&M…and I found a way to make that happen). It was like there was a small candle lit inside of me and in that moment, someone poured a whole bottle of lighter fluid on the flame. It was a roaring fire. It was like finally being home; I could breathe. In those precious moments I spent standing on a dock in the Florida Keys I had affirmation that I knew where I was supposed to be. Months later the Hubs would admit he saw it in me too. He told me he hadn’t seen that kind of passion in me for quite some time. Said it was something in my voice. The truth is, both of us have been drawn to the water for years. No idea why, neither of us spent an extraordinary amount of time near the water as kids. We love the beach, the ocean, the lifestyle. The conversation we had this weekend was about how amazing it is that God put the 2 of us together and gave us the same.exact.vision. If we could each draw a picture of the life we wanted to live, it would be the same. And it would include sand, the ocean, lots of hawaiian shirts and flip-flops. It includes evenings on the patio with sangrias and margaritas and good friends. It would have lots of palm trees and the sound of lapping waves. It also includes a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears to get there because we don’t just want to go, we want to GO.

The other major positive change that has happened is the Hubs’ desire to own his own company. It’s something he’s always wanted to do, and I mean always. Think lemonade stand as a kid always. After going through the loss of the twins, you’re reminded life is too short and you’re more willing to take (calculated) risks. If it doesn’t work…big deal. Chances are, it will work, determination is on your side. After years of me shooting down every idea he’s come up with, I think we’ve finally landed on an idea that’s perfect. It suits him, allows him to operate in his strengths, and can start small and grow completely dependent on how much he wants to put into it. In order for us to make this move, he has to be his own boss. And we’re both willing to put in the work and make the sacrifices to get there. Hubs is still ironing out some details, but I suspect he’ll give this new thing a go within the next couple of months. I foresee it going very well.

So, wow, those are 2 major things we want to accomplish. We want Hubs to own his own business. And we want to move to the beach. And I don’t want to be 50 before it happens. I’m not in a huge hurry to pick our family up and move while A and hopefully Earl are still so young and dependent, but I don’t want to retire at the beach…I want to LIVE at the beach. Like I said, it’s a freight train. It takes a while to get going. But once it starts moving, the only thing that can stop it is the person operating the train. Our train is moving, and we’re picking up steam, and the only thing standing in the way of our dreams, is us.

Lazy Weekends

I apologize for my recent absence. To be honest, the morning sickness is currently kicking my butt. I just left the house for the first time in several days (well, voluntarily anyways) to run a quick errand and I swear it almost killed me. Anyways, I’m not complaining, just offering an excuse of sorts. Forgive me? Good. Let’s move on.

Last weekend was glorious. For the first time in something like 30 or 40 days, the temperature stayed under 100 degrees. My A/C was crying from thankfulness. In addition to cooler temps, we got RAIN on Saturday! I almost didn’t recognize the wet substance falling from the sky. It was the good rain too. The kind that started at some point early in the morning and continued a slow fall well into the afternoon. Our grass, trees and flowers were in heaven.  You can water all you want, but there’s nothing like the cleansing and deep watering the earth gets from actual rain. Of course, the temps only lasted a few days and now we’re back to 100+ temps. Oh well. We took the weekend super easy. Seriously. I can’t remember the last time we had a weekend like that. We had no plans and totally lounged around. A got up late (thanks to the cloudy skies) and wanted to play outside. How could we refuse her? So we spent Saturday morning playing outside in the rain. It was awesome. She was loving playing in the wet sand and the mud. She’s certainly not the girly-girl I am. Hubs and I got a date night Saturday night which was glorious. We were able to conjure up one of those really deep and thought-provoking conversations. We talked a lot about our future, talked about our dreams and goals and I think we were able to fan our little flame of dreams and desires a bit. I’ll be discussing those things here, soon, but for the first time in a loooooong time I feel like I’m able to start looking ahead. To keep dreaming big and to work hard towards our goals.

In other news, Hubs has decided to run a half-marathon in October. He’s been training religiously and I’m really proud of the progress he’s made. It’s important to have goals in life. To have something you’re working towards. It doesn’t have to be anything ginormous, something as simple as training for and running a race gives you a goal. And meeting goals is a good thing. You should always, always, always have goals. Big, medium and small goals.

I spent Sunday on the couch. Again, the morning sickness is kicking my butt. But the good news is that I was able to finish A Games of Thrones. I picked up the 2nd book on Saturday night and can’t wait to get into it. I never thought of myself as one that would enjoy that type of book, but I couldn’t put the first one down. So, all in all, a super lazy, much-needed weekend. Which is perfect timing because that was it for a while. We literally have something going on every weekend from now until Thanksgiving. And the weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas will fill up very soon. I’m getting ready to do another post right away about a really scary 24 hours we just had, but for now, here are a few pics from our Saturday morning.

WM A in Rain

WM A feet in rain

Who doesn't love little feet?

Let’s Talk Religion

I was raised in a Christian household. Baptist, to be exact. Church was mandatory every Sunday morning, night and Wednesday night. As a teenager I was part of the praise and worship team along with my dad. My friends in high school and middle school were from church more so than school. While not entirely problem free, my life could be viewed as extremely blessed. My parents were never abusive, they are still married, and gave my sister and I every opportunity they were able to. They paid for my education, bought me a car and didn’t flinch when I wanted to marry my high school sweetheart at 21. My now husband also comes from an amazing family. Parents that are still together and still believe that you teach a man to fish; you don’t simply feed him when he’s hungry. This has resulted in a man and husband that knows to take care of his family and believes it is one of his greatest responsibilities to do so. Together, the Hubs and I have led a fairly charmed life from childhood until now. We had tons of fun the first several years of marriage, we’ve travelled quite a bit and were blessed with a healthy pregnancy and sweet little girl in February of 2009. She’s been healthy ever since and I appreciate that more now than ever.

I’d been blessed. I had a loving family that was here and healthy. I had a husband that loved me and wanted to take care of me, and BE with me. I had a beautiful and healthy child…that drove me crazy. I had opportunities and we’ve even been given a nice income that let’s us live comfortably. I really didn’t have much to say to God except “thank you” which I did on a regular basis. I recognized all good things came from Him and I wanted to let Him know how thankful I was. You can imagine my surprise when He took the twins away from me.

I still wrestle with the why. My image of a loving, merciful God has been shattered. I’ve found myself recently wondering if my relationship is even repairable. I just can’t shake the feeling that He’s sitting in Heaven, not really thinking about or caring about me at all. Just waiting for the next opportunity to take something precious from me…to teach me a lesson, to ensure I know He’s still in charge. These are heavy, heavy accusations and dangerous thoughts. I know I don’t want to feel this way. I want to return to the thoughts of a loving Father that only wants the best for His children. I want to KNOW, without a doubt, that His plans are to prosper me and not to harm me. That there IS hope and a future for me. I realize the Bible tells us this exactly, but I am, understandably, having a difficult time believing it. There is a lot of pain, a lot of anger towards God. I believe he’s 100% responsible for taking the girls. As the Hubs pointed out during one of the darker moments shortly after they were born, I’m not the giver of life, only God can give life. So if I’m going to blame anyone…it’s going to be Him. He can handle it and frankly, if asked, He’d probably quickly agree that yes, He took them. You see, our ways are not His ways and our timing is not His timing. I believe they had a purpose…a very big and substantial purpose, that I haven’t been given eyes to see. He want them created into eternity…they are part of His master plan.

I say all of this to get to this next part. Sometimes one can’t see the forest for the trees. I don’t often discuss my relationship with God with others, or Hubs. But I did the other day and he was able to say things to me that could have only come from a Heavenly Father trying to ease the pain of his daughter. Hubs reminded me that despite the heartbreaking loss, we still had our family. We still had each other and our relationship deepened to a place we could never have managed without this tragedy. We still have A, and she is thriving. Absolutely, positively thriving. Heck, we still have all 3 of our dogs that we love, adore, and consider burying in the yard daily. Ahem. He also reminded me that there was something big to come out of the loss of the twins. Their death was/is the catalyst for a major change in out lives. It has changed the course of our lives. I’m not sure how, and I’m not sure how it will all play out, but I feel it as strongly as I’ve ever felt anything in my life. We will do something big because of all of this. Then, last night, my husband prayed for me. And for a few moments it felt like everything was going to be ok. I felt so protected, so loved. And I was reminded that a merciless God would not have given me a husband that loved me enough to pray for me. For those few moments I could feel God’s love for me through my husband. And that is EXACTLY how it’s supposed to work. Hubs knew I was hurting, I was anxious and I was worried. He addressed all those things in his prayer for me…prayed specifically that this tiny life forming inside of me would grow strong, would grow healthy. Prayed that I would be able to carry to term and that we would bring home a healthy baby. It was a precious and special moment for me. I know my husband prays for me regularly, but not usually when we’re laying in bed at night. I knew it was from the Father, his way of showing me He’s still there and he still loves me, desperately. That His heart breaks with mine and that He doesn’t want me to be sad forever. Ladies, if your husband prays for you, you are blessed.

The past few days

It’s been a strange few days around here.  We spent a long 4th of July weekend out of town and that seems like ages ago.  In actuality, we’ve been home less than a week.  You see, the Hubs was actually working in town this week, wahoo!  Except, the week has gone about like all the others when he’s home in that we cram entirely too much into those precious days and he leaves town feeling exhausted and drained and I’m left alone feeling like I just can’t catch my breath.  The strange part is that it doesn’t feel like we actually plan all that much.  It just…happens.  Things I normally handle myself with little to no input from the Hubs instantly become life-changing decisions that require numerous, in-depth discussions.  I sometimes find myself wondering how I manage on my own at all!  Even I recognize my psychopathic tendencies.  Let’s take this weekend for example.  Here was the schedule:  Friday night included an overnight stay of my sister and her new (very serious) boy toy.  The Hubs hadn’t yet met him and well, his stamp of approval was needed.  Saturday was reserved for routine lawn maintenance and a birthday party which I knew we would be late for due to nap schedules (I’m a Nap Nazi).  Sunday meant church and a tentative plan to meet a girlfriend and her kiddos for some swimming.  Sounds simple, right?  RIGHT?  Let me tell you how it ACTUALLY went down.  It will leave you breathless and exhausted too.

Friday

The Hubs usually gets home early on Fridays, and finishes up his day in our home office.  It’s a nice end to a week when he’s generally been on the road.  It feels like we’re able to ease into the weekend.  Except this past Friday when he didn’t leave the office until almost 5.  I’d spent the day preparing for our guests and was feeling edgy since I kept expecting the doorbell to ring.  It didn’t.  Until 6:30.  And they had offered to bring steaks.  Great, except when they showed up at 6:30 (instead of 3ish, like we had discussed) the steak was still frozen.  THE STEAK WAS STILL FROZEN.  After a little calculation I realized we wouldn’t be eating until roughly 8:30.  My child was now wired (given her new guests) and hungry.  And she went to bed late.  So now I’m pissy and tired.  I was ready to thrown in the towel, head to bed and leave them to fend for themselves.  But I didn’t.  I made it until midnight before I bailed on the beer drinking party taking place on our patio.

Saturday

I got up before 7 on Saturday and tried to keep the kid quiet since we had guests that had no intention of getting up before 7.  Too bad.  I made a yummy breakfast (hello french toast!) and we had a really nice morning.  I finally got them packed up and  ushered out of my house around 10am.  It was about this point I decided I needed a few things from Target.  I do this a lot.  And I actually really enjoy running a few errands on the weekends with the Hubs and A in tow.  And since we don’t have enough unfinished projects on our home improvement list, we decided our outdoor faucets needed replacing so a trip to Lowes was also put on the agenda.  You see, our outdoor faucets were installed around, oh say, the same time the dinosaurs walked the earth.  The were rusted and the hose never attached properly leaving water spraying embarrassingly every direction whenever the hose was turned on.  Plus, one of the faucets was dripping incessantly and needed to be replaced anyways.  No home improvement project we’ve ever done has been easy, simple or straight forward.  NOT ONE.  So, Target, Lowes, back home for A’s nap.  The birthday party we were supposed to attend was from 1-4.  I was hoping to leave our house around 2:30 or so after A’s nap.  Hubs went outside to change out faucets.  Now, you have to turn off the water to the house before you do this, so we had the water off at about 12:00 that day.  Faucet 1 was a breeze.  No issues, beautiful new faucet and no leaky hose, yay!!!  Faucet 2…not so much.  To make a long story short; due to some rust and corrosion and a lot of twisting and turning by the Hubs, a pipe busted, broke, whatever you want to call it.  When the water was turned back on, it was pouring out from underneath the foundation on our front porch, flooded our master closet and a good chunk of our bedroom.  I had just, just told A we were going to a birthday party and it broke my heart to have to tell her we couldn’t make it.  A frantic call was made to our plumber (that we’re on a first name basis with) who agreed to come by in a few hours.  But we had to leave the water off until then.  Repairs were finally complete around 8 that evening.  We then had to clean out the closet, remove the carpet and padding to let it dry, and pull back a good chunk of the carpet and padding in our room to let it dry.  We still don’t have the carpet replaced in our closet…that’s already on the list for this coming Saturday.  Replacing outdoor faucets should not be this complicated.  Or expensive.

Sunday

We got up a little early on Sunday with the intention of going to breakfast before church.  It actually worked!  And we had a nice time, made it to church on time and everything.  Came home, put A down for her nap and did some stuff around the house.  The only plans for the day were the yard work (that didn’t get done Saturday thanks to a pipe explosion and flooding) and maybe some swimming.  Our room was still a disaster and the carpet still wasn’t dry so we couldn’t do anything about the mess.  We made plans to meet my friend around 3 thinking we’d swim for a few hours and be home in time for dinner and yard work.  Well, friend didn’t show up until 4 (WHAT?!) and we ended up not leaving until close to 8.  We had a wonderful time, but no time for yard work.  After we get home, get A fed and into bed it’s almost 9…and Hubs still has to replace the (now dry) carpet in our bedroom.  Sigh.  Never a break.  Never a relaxing moment.

So, Monday morning Hubs left the house around 7 to make it across the Metroplex for an early meeting.  Worked a full day and didn’t get home until after 5.  He then spent the evening doing the yard work that didn’t get done over the weekend.  He came inside about 9 where I was finishing up his laundry so he’d have clothes to pack.  You see, he boards a plane this afternoon to San Francisco and won’t be back until almost midnight on Thursday.  He finished packing around 11 last night.

So, you see?  Are you tired yet?  It always seems to happen like this.  An innocent, normal few days (with a few fun things sprinkled in) turned into an exhausting whirlwind of events.  It happens ALL.THE.TIME.  The thought that scares me about this is that it seems we do better apart than together.  That Hubs being gone is the normal and when he’s home it’s abnormal.  That we function better as a family when he’s gone than when he’s home.  On one hand that helps us be successful (as a family) since his current job requires extensive travel.  On the other hand, it seems that we need to make some SERIOUS adjustments when he is home so we don’t feel so over-whelmed.

PDA

Facebook and I are not friends right now.  I took the app off my phone weeks ago and really haven’t missed being able to access it about a gazillion times a day.  I do, however, still visit FB 2-3 times a day via the iPad and iMac, and continue to find something (or several things) that piss me off.  I need to break up with FB completely, at least for a while.  But that’s a different topic.

I came across a post yesterday morning that got me thinking.  You see, the wife of a man I used to babysit posted a pic of her husband in khakis and a sleeveless undershirt with the caption, “Mmmm…”.  I went to hit the “like” button but stopped myself.  “That would be a little creepy, B.”  Then I started rationalizing with myself.  So here’s the deal:  What I liked about her post wasn’t the pic of her man.  What I liked was the raw emotion, the feeling of attraction to her husband that she wasn’t ashamed to share with several hundred of her closest friends.  Now, maybe you’re thinking, “oh, they’re young, that stuff ends when life starts happening.”  Well, you may be interested to know they have a son about the same age as A and she just gave birth (like, less than 2 weeks ago) to a new baby girl.  So one could assume she’s not exactly feeling her absolute best.

It got me thinking, because, we don’t see this often enough in today’s society.  I myself am terribly guilty of not expressing my physical attraction to my husband.  There seems to be a major hesitation to express your physical attraction once you’ve been married for more than a minute.  I guess when you see a husband and wife together you just assume they’re physically attracted to each other?  I mean, why else would they have gotten married?  How do we know for sure without a little hard evidence?  I’m not talking about acting like teenagers in the back of the movie theater, or publicly groping each other in a restaurant.  I’m talking about being willing to express your feelings for each other to a greater extent than a peck on the cheek.  How about a lingering kiss?  On the lips even!  You know, the one where you inhale just enough of each others scent to feel slightly dizzy?  You end the kiss desperately trying to remember what you were doing beforehand?  It’s the kind of kiss that takes place at a wedding.  Why should that be the last time your friends and family see your expression of love and desire for each other?  There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of touching in public.  The kind of touching that is just slightly inappropriate for someone else to do.  It’s one thing to slap someone’s leg, it’s another for a husband to rest his hand on his wife’s thigh.  It’s one thing to touch someone’s arm or elbow.  It’s another for a wife to intertwine her arm with her husband’s.  I just think there has been such an emphasis placed on NOT displaying this kind of affection that we’ve (I’ve) taken it too far.  Time to make a conscious effort to be more affectionate with my husband, both in public and at home.  Similar to the FB post, I want to scream from the rooftops how attracted I am to the Hubs.  I want everyone to know.  I’m not embarrassed.  I’m married to God’s gift to me and I regularly take pleasure and joy in that gift.

I recently mentioned my sister has a new, very serious boyfriend.  And by very serious, I expect them to be engaged before the end of the year.  My sister still lives at home, so my mom and I regularly converse, er, discuss, er, gossip about her.  It was interesting to hear my mom say that it does her heart good to see their physical attraction for each other.  He’s not shy about touching her, kissing her and cuddling with her on the couch even though my parents are in the same room.  I’ve always assumed as a parent it would give you a slightly icky feeling to see your children participating in a physical relationship of some kind, but the truth is, when you are a participant in a healthy relationship (i.e. my parents) you desire that for your own children.  So it makes my mom happy to see both her daughters in healthy relationships where there is also a strong physical attraction.  It wasn’t what I expected her to say at all, but I’m glad to know her feelings.  Gives me a different perspective to mull over.

And for what it’s worth, our main goal is to embarrass the heck out of our kid(s) as they get older.  We practice regularly with the sister-in-law.

Disagreement

My husband and I had a disagreement this past Sunday.  It’s been almost a week, and it’s still on my mind.  It wasn’t a fight or an argument, just a general disagreement on a relatively inconsequential subject.  But it got me thinking; Is is okay to disagree with your spouse?

Our church had a guest speaker on Sunday that I found difficult to follow and quite boring, frankly.  But his message has inspired spirited conversation and continued thought so I suppose he would be considered an effective speaker?  I can’t even remember what his message was about, but during the service he brought up the idea of a mentor.  He stated that aside from Jesus Christ, the person who had the greatest effect on his life was an author, one that he had never met.  This author was a business mogul of some type that had authored 39 books before his death.  Now, I’m sure this guy had some great stuff to say and had some wisdom to impart (Aha!  Wisdom, that was part of the message…I think) but to state that a person you HAD NEVER MET was the greatest mentor in your life?  That seems absurd to me.  And I told my husband so.  During church.  And I could hear my mother shushing me from 100 miles away and 20  years ago.

The discussion that ensued and where we disagree is the definition or perhaps, personal translation, of a mentor.  To me, a mentor MUST be a personal relationship.  In order for someone to mentor you, they have to know the areas in which you struggle or need guidance, then as a mentor, they impart their knowledge or wisdom on the subject.  There HAS to be a conversation that takes place.  It’s a 2-way street and I don’t see any way around that.  To me, it parallels a teaching relationship.  In order for someone to be an effective teacher, they must know their student.  Know their struggles and be willing to adjust their teaching to effectively teach THAT student.  A mentorship is just a magnified teaching relationship and is usually geared towards very personal struggles.  So in my mind, it only makes sense that your mentor KNOWS you.  And that you KNOW them.  They can’t effectively teach you or mentor you unless they KNOW you.  Get it?  Good.

The Hubs disagrees.  In fact, he claims one of his mentors to be an author, business mogul and talk show host.  A person he’s never actually met.  This is ridiculous.  And I told him so.  And of course I’m going to fight him on it, because, SURPRISE!, I like to be right.  “No,” I said to him, ” that’s a ROLE-MODEL.  You don’t actually know this guy.  You know the character he plays on the radio, on Twitter and Facebook, but you’ve never actually met him so you don’t actually know that you’d want this guy to be your mentor.  What if he’s mean to his wife?  Or his kids?  What if he’s only selling his ideas and doesn’t truly believe in them?  You can’t know that without having an actual relationship with him.  If you want to use him as a role-model, fine, he has great ideas and as a family we’ve benefitted from his teachings, but to state he’s your mentor isn’t right.”  He disagreed and that was kind of the end of the subject.  Except it wasn’t.  It left me with the kind of discomfort that makes you twist up your face and squirm in your seat.  So he threw me a bone and agreed with me that for the guest speaker to state someone he’d never met was the biggest mentor in his life, well, that part WAS absurd.

It was an interesting dynamic to watch and to think about.  I’m right, he’s right, I’m wrong, he’s wrong, ick, this doesn’t feel good so let’s compromise…kind of…but not really.  The argument itself isn’t what I’ve been thinking about this week.  I know I’m right ( 🙂 )…but the fact that a simple disagreement made us so uncomfortable, well, there’s something to chew on.  The truth is, we agree on pretty much everything.  Maybe it’s because we’ve been together forever (literally) and I’m pretty confident we will morph into a single person at some point in our lives.  As we’ve grown we’ve developed the same likes and dislikes.  Except my love for Disco.  He still hates it.  I have undeniable proof that was obtained only a few weeks ago.  We agree on everything from politics (bet ya can’t guess which side of the aisle I’m on!), to money handling, to child rearing to marriage being a forever committment.  And honestly, shouldn’t you agree on pretty much everything in order for the relationship to work?  If you’re constantly butting heads because you just flat-out have personality conflicts that’s not a relationship I want any part of.  And if it’s going to be difficult for society to distinguish you from someone else, shouldn’t that person be your spouse?  It shouldn’t be your best friend.  Or your sister.  Or your brother.  That makes your spouse the odd-man/woman out.  That’s not good.  Doesn’t it make you some sort of power-couple?  Doesn’t that make your relationship stronger somehow?  Too often people say, “It’s okay to disagree.”  or “We’ll just agree to disagree.”   Aren’t you supposed to be a unified front as a married couple?

So back to my original question, Is it okay to disagree with your spouse?  I’m really not sure.  It never feels good, to disagree, but disagreements lead to discussions, and discussions lead to thoughts.  And I’d much rather discuss thoughts than watch another episode of the Real Housewives.  Most of the time…