Love and Marriage, a Blog Series

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 5 Comments A+ a-

LoveMarriage3
I don’t think it comes as a surprise that I love marriage.  I’m a huge advocate of happy, healthy, and thriving marriages.  In the eight years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve written about marriage approximately 44 times.  (I say approximately because I eventually figured out those little things called “categories” and I have no idea how often I wrote about marriage before that enlightened blogging tip.)  Below are just a few of the posts I’ve written on marriage over the years:
When I was asked to join a group of blogger in doing a series on marriage, I jumped at the opportunity.  Not because I have all of the answers, not because I do it right, but because I’m passionate about marriage.  Mine, my parents, my sisters, my friends, yours.  And when I see a happily married couple, I want to know what they’re doing, what their secret is, and how can I apply it in my own marriage.

My hope during this blog series is that it’ll be a great conversation between bloggers, that we’ll be able to discuss all that is marriage… the good, the hard, and the courage to continue working on our marriages! Please join me and the other bloggers as we share some of our trials, our stories, and our thoughts about marriage.  I know I’m excited to see what I can glean too!

Here are the other bloggers participating in the Love & Marriage Blog Series.
 
meet the bloggers
marriage bio jenna final
marriage bio roses final
marriage bio Shay final
marriage bio jenn final
marriage bio lindsey final

Join us every Wednesday in April for the Love & Marriage Blog Series!

To help those…

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 9 Comments A+ a-

In December, a friend of mine who lives in the heart of Denver, woke up in the middle of the night.  He just so happened to look out his window and see a woman fumbling and falling her way down the street, obviously drunk.  And obviously not dressed for the weather conditions outside.

So he and his wife got dressed, and went looking for the woman he’d seen.  They found her passed out in a snow drift.  They got her up, they got her warm, and then they got her home.

We help those that can’t help themselves.

One day. an assistant coach walked in on a compromising situation in the men’s locker room at Penn State.  Never mind that the adult was an established and well thought of coach, never mind that it was obviously a child unable to speak for himself.  The assistant coach walked out as quickly as he walked in.  Without doing a thing.

We help those that can’t help themselves.

In August, a 16-year-old girl attended a party with some friends and drunk herself into a stupor.  Unconscious, she was violated repeatedly by classmates.  And I’m not just referring to the perpetrators themselves.  I’m talking about every teenager that stood there and let it happen.  I’m talking about every teenage boy and girl that received those images on their phones and did nothing.

We help those that can’t help themselves.

Three different situations.  Three different responses.  Only one of them was the correct response. 

I am enraged.  It’s the rage of a mother who has three girls.  It’s the rage of a mother who has a son.  It’s the rage of a woman who is tired of a culture that constantly perpetuates the idea that a person’s worth ends, where the athlete’s ability or athletic program begins.  That the talent of an athlete or prestige of a program outweighs the worth of a person.  I am tired of it.

At what point is apathy no longer an excuse?  At what point, do we stop standing in horrified silence and finally do something to stop the cycle of protecting the perpetrators and attacking the victim?  When do we, as a culture, scream that enough is enough?  That NO athlete is above the law, that no sports program is so prestigious that we’ll just look the other way and pretend nothing happened. 

I have the difficult job of raising a son in a sex-obsessed culture, where looking is encouraged and the idea that if a girl dresses provocatively, then she must be asking for it.  I have the job of teaching my son to respect women, no matter the circumstances.  And let me tell you what I would have expected of my son had he been at that party… My expectation is that he would have grabbed a blanket and covered the unconscious girl.  I would have expected him to call her parents, and then stand guard over her until her parents had arrived. 

We help those that can’t help themselves.

I have no words.  None.  I have no way of grasping the idea that an entire school (if not town) turned a blind eye to the victimization of a teenage girl.  And yes, the actual acts themselves, but also the victimization that happened each time a photo or video was shared.  I can’t comprehend how a news network had the nerve to bemoan the future of these “promising young athletes” when a guilty verdict was handed down.  Never mind that a child’s (and yes, 16 years old is still a child) life was completely altered in one night!

How do I reconcile a culture that goes completely against what I’m trying to instill in my own children?  I can tell you that I will continue to work on their hearts, their character, and their integrity, hoping that should a moment ever present itself, they will step up and do the right thing.  And should my children ever find themselves in the victim role, I pray that another mother, somewhere, instilled the same values and integrity in her child and that they will step up to protect mine.

Its time, fellow mothers, to say enough is enough.  Its time to start holding people accountable… from the coaches who say we win at any cost… to the fellow teammates, classmates, and peers that turn a blind eye… to the perpetrators themselves.  Its time to stand up and let them know we won’t sacrifice our children any longer at the hands of those that have perverse ideas of what is right and wrong.

Its time that we start teaching our children to help those that can’t help themselves… that is the correct definition of right and wrong.  Every time.

Some Favorites

Friday, March 15, 2013 2 Comments A+ a-

 

Favorites2LoveBecomesWeakTruthBecomesHard3Favorites3Favorites4

Whiplash

Thursday, March 14, 2013 5 Comments A+ a-

This is going to be a smorgasbord of stuff.  In fact, you probably could get whiplash as I bounce from topic to topic, but that’s not the reason for the title…

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Its amazing how much changes in just 24 hours.  On Tuesday night, we were making plans for Spring Break and making a list of everything we needed to do for our Breckenridge trip.  By Wednesday afternoon Jon and I had two tickets to go to Key West in Florida next week.

But let me back up.  I bought a Blissdom ticket during the summer.  I had every intention of returning to this blogging conference and was really looking forward to it.  But I kept putting off buying my airline ticket.  I didn’t know why, no explicable reason why I had an uneasy feeling that I shouldn’t go.  I tried justifying every reason why I deserved/needed to go… but I couldn’t pull the trigger.  So last month, I sold my ticket.  I hated doing it, but I felt more peace about NOT going, than going. 

Fast forward to this past month…  Jon’s stepdad has been battling prostate cancer for the past two years.  Honestly, the doctors feel he’s had it for a number of years before his actual diagnosis, but officially fighting the disease since 2011.  Its become pretty clear in recent weeks that his fight is coming to an end, and on Tuesday night, with tears in his eyes, Jon came to me and said that he needed to go see Glen; that he needed to say his goodbyes.

That is how we ended up with two tickets to Florida within 24 hours after Jon admitted he needed this trip.  And wouldn’t you know, we’re leaving the day before I would have left for Blissdom?  I just KNEW there was a reason I needed to say no. 

We’re so thankful to ALL who have made this trip possible, including my family is who so graciously taking the time and effort to watch our Littles for us while we’ll be gone.  I’m now up to my eyeballs in to-do and packing lists, but I know that our time with Terry and Glen will be worth it. 

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I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but a little rss organizer by the name of Google Reader is going away.  Apparently Google is pulling the plug on what is my favorite way to keep track of the blogs I read.  Have I mentioned that I don’t like change?  Because I don’t.  But since Google isn’t giving me a choice, I’ve been looking over a couple of options.

BlogLovin – I was able to download all of my subscriptions via Google Reader and upload them to my BlogLogin account.  I prefer BlogLovin’s mobile page vs. their android app, and have found it to be pretty user friendly.  My only complaint is that I don’t like the short blog post teases and that it makes you click over to the blog to read the whole thing.  But other than that, I think BlogLovin will be my go-to reader.

Feedly – It was much easier to add my subscriptions to Feedly than it was to BlogLovin, simply logging into my Google Reader, Feedly downloaded them all for me.  I love that Feedly lists the whole post and doesn’t require clicking to other links or hitting the back button to go back to the previous page.  However, I dislike all of the scrolling and swiping one must do to get to the content I want to read.

There you have it.  My (very) brief synopsis of my experiences with two new readers.  If you’d like to follow me via BlogLovin, you can just click on this link here.

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When I was a little girl, my parents allowed me to read during church service because I often complained about how boring the sermons were.  The Babysitter’s Club would often be my book series of choice.  I was quite happy with the arrangement.

Until that is, Steve became my Sunday School teacher.  And that was the end of The Babysitters Club in church.  Honestly, as mad as I was at the time, it was a good thing.  We were perfectly capable of listening.  Many a-sermon-note-taking-skills were learned because of Steve.

We’ve remained family friends, so when Steve asked me to write a guest post for his blog, I was quite honored.  If you’d like to read my thoughts on family worship, feel free to check out the post.

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Some random updates on the Littles…

  • Ashlynn is talking in full sentences.  Let me repeat that.  My barely 2-year-old is talking in complete sentences.  This is a brand-new phenomenon to Jon and I and we often share looks of disbelief whenever Ashlynn makes her wants known.  Last week she told us, “I want to wear the purple pants.”  Yeah…. we’re in trouble.
  • Reagan has developed a sudden and severe attachment to me.  This too is brand new territory for Jon and I.  Since I worked while Devyn and Hudson were young, there were was little attachment issues.  However, within the past few weeks, Reagan has started screaming hysterically whenever we drop her off at church, or bible study, or a friend’s house.  She’s usually fine within a few minutes, but you’d think we were torturing the child.  I really have no idea what to do or how to fix this.
  • Hudson has turned into a big helper lately and taking his role as big brother quite seriously.  He has started helping them climb into their car seats and buckle their seatbelts.  If I don’t wake up right when the Littles wake up, he’s the one that pours their cereal and milk.  Its so precious that I can forgive the mess he leaves behind.  And on Tuesday, when I had blood drawn for routine lab work, he insisted on hold my hand.  Then he came home and made me a cup of coffee.  True story.
  • Devyn finished her volleyball season and has decided that she wants to try basketball next year instead.  But it wasn’t sitting in the bleachers watching her last volleyball game that had me shaking my head… it wasn’t noticing that she’s outgrown a sixth pair of jeans since October… Do you know what it does to a mother’s heart when she realizes her oldest is as tall her shoulder?!  Do you?  Seriously.  I need the child to stop this growing up business, its not good for my heart.

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Well, I must get off.  I really need to tackle that to-do list I mentioned above, including the updating of our will and getting medical releases ready.  I must say, this part of adulthood… its not my favorite.  I wish I could go back and give my teenage self the “what for” during those times I couldn’t wait to grow up.  Sigh.  If you need me, I’ll be the one buried in laundry and suitcases. 

Jon Answers

Friday, March 08, 2013 6 Comments A+ a-

I saw this idea on Deidre’s blog and have been wanting to do it with Jon ever since.  He was game for it and laughed through most of the “interview”.  He’s a good sport when it comes to stuff like this and the blog.  Poor guy.

563514_10152619706605193_1275622800_n2How long have we been married?
10 years.  10 years… and, um… almost 11 years.  10 years, 7 months? 
{Um, actually Babe, we’re at 10 years, 10 months.}

Where was our first date?
My house.  We watched a movie. 
{I have NO clue what movie we watched because it was over 15 years ago.}

Where was our first kiss?
In the basement. 
{My sisters would be quick to point out that the first kiss and the first date happened on the same night.  Scandalous.}

Who first said "I Love You"?
You did.
{Argument ensued here, as I kindly pointed out that it was actually Jon who said it first… but whatever.}

When did you know you wanted to marry me?
I’m going to say… August of 1999. I just knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you.
{This was the summer that we broke up for about six weeks.  We both knew we wanted to marry each other after that break up.}

What were our wedding colors?
Weren’t they peach and white?  Weren’t they?! 
{Nope, my darling, our colors were peach and black.}

What was your favorite thing about our wedding?
Sitting at the head table knowing that you and I paid for it.  And that it was over and no more planning.
{Its true. We both worked two jobs during our engagement to pay for the wedding. We had help from both sets of parents, but the majority of it was paid by Jon and I.}

What will I say is my least favorite thing about our wedding?
That the florist messed up the flowers.
{I chose peach roses as the main focus of the wedding since they were my great-grandmother’s favorite flower.  Imagine my horror when I saw my bridal bouquet the day before the wedding and they were pink, not peach.  Luckily the florist was able to fix it!}

What is the best meal I have ever cooked you?
The grilled chicken and honey mustard pasta… 
{He also said this question doesn’t really apply since I don’t cook that much.  I’d hang my head in shame, but he’s right.  I don’t like cooking all that much.}

What is the worst meal I have ever cooked you?
The stupid beans and ham hocks.  I hate that meal.
{Pinto beans with ham hocks and tortillas were one of my favorite meals growing up.  Jon refuses to eat it.  Therefore I make it for the Littles and I on nights when I know he’s working.}

What would I say is your most annoying habit?
My chewing. 
{Making an appearance for the first time on the blog, since he admitted to it and doesn’t care that the world knows, Jon chews.  Its disgusting and I’m ready for him to stop.  But he’s been doing it since he was 15 years old.  He’s quit once and I’m sure he will again.}

What would you say is your most favorite thing about me?
Your loyalty to family. 
{This was not his original answer.  His originally said my butt.  Awesome.}

What's my favorite drink?
What kind of drink?  Alcohol?  Non-alcohol?  Either a Java Chip frappechino from Starbucks, or a Moscato wine.
{Dead on with this answer.  He knows me well.}

What's my favorite food?
Mexican.
{Jon doesn’t eat Mexican food.  I know.  There’s something wrong with him.  I married a Gringo for sure!}

What is my favorite thing to do?
Read.  {When’s the last time he saw me reading?}  Ok, then Facebook, blogging, or instagramming.  {Ha!}

What color do I wear the most?
Black.
{I very much gravitate to dark colors like black and reds, but with Courtney’s help, I’m determined to add some more color to my wardrobe this spring.}

What do you wish I would spend more time doing?
Laundry. 
{I knew what his answer was going to be before I even asked him.  Sad, but true.}

What makes me happiest?
A clean kitchen and living room.  {He got The Look here.  That makes me happy?  Or makes him happy?}  I don’t know…. Spending time with me and the kids, without tv or a computer. {Our weekends away to the cabin make me very happy!}

How many kids did I want?
4. 
{Jon wanted three, I wanted four.  Our compromise was three pregnancies, and I prayed fervently for twins.  But then, surprise!  Ashlynn showed up.}

What's the funniest thing about me?
Watching you get angry at other drivers.  Its hilarious!  And you’re as bad at driving as they are.  
{I really am a bad driver.  And I get easily annoyed with other drivers.} 

What do I consider a good date?
No kids. 
{True story.  We don’t even have to do anything, just a break from the kids is a good date.}

What would the perfect day look like for me?
No kids.  {Another look.}  I don’t know…  Kids obeying and not fighting?  {Honestly. I’d say my perfect day would be a day in the mountains.  A picnic, a hike, playing in the river.  Now THAT sounds amazing.}

A Day on the Slopes

Monday, March 04, 2013 5 Comments A+ a-

Today I have chapped lips, a wind burn in the shape of goggles on my face, and a body so sore that I moan each time I move.  Jon’s right knee is completely swollen and I heard him cry out in pain when he sat down in the shower this morning.  We are getting old.  True story.

Yesterday our friend, and pseudo-uncle to the Littles, took Jon, myself, and Devyn and Hudson to Snowy Range for a day on the slopes.  Drew has been a part of our lives, since well, forever.  He’s the younger brother of one of Jon’s best friends, he’s a bachelor, and the Littles scream “Uncle Drew!” whenever he comes over.  Which is quite often.  It was a generous offer and one we’re thankful he extended because we had such a fun day!SkiCollage1

I’ve never been to Snowy Range before, I’ve only ever skied Colorado’s ski resorts.  But I may have been converted to Wyoming’s ski resort for the following reasons: 1.  Its cheaper, like, over half the cost cheaper.  2. Its closer, only an hour and 45 minutes away.  Also, it was wonderful getting home by 5:00 in the afternoon, as opposed to the 8:00-10:00pm arrival depending on the mountain traffic in Colorado.  3.  Way less crowded.  Have you ever been to a Colorado ski resort on the weekend?  Yikes.  No crowds = more time on the mountain.  Jon and I may have been converted.  We still love our Colorado skiing, but for learning sake and a quick ski trip, Snowy Range may be the way to go.SkiCollage2

Now I haven’t been on the slopes since 2006, Devyn was just over a year old.  But I was extremely thankful to learn that skiing is much like riding a bike, you don’t really forget.  It was Devyn’s second time skiing, the first was when she was three years old.  And Hudson’s first time.  To say they were excited is an understatement.  Its all they talked about for a week. 

We decided to bypass the bunny slope or ski lessons in favor of heading straight to the nearest green run.  Jon’s a firm believer in the “sink or swim” mentality and honestly, I couldn’t agree more.  I’d rather they learn by doing, and they did amazing!  The hardest part was getting to the top of the run, as it sloped towards a second green run and it was hard to keep them from going backwards.  But once we got them going down the run, they did really well.SkiCollage3

Hudson wore the same harness that Devyn used during her first time skiing.  By the end of the day, he really didn’t need it, often skiing by himself, but there was some security in having it and he refused to take it off.  Devyn skied by herself the whole time, and by the third time down the run, she was rarely falling.  Truthfully, she could have made it without falling once, but the moment she’s scared, she falls.  She takes after her mama like that.SkiCollage4

We skied the same green run about eight or nine times, simply to get them used to it and build their confidence.  After two consecutive runs with zero to little falls, we decided to try another green run.  It took some coaxing and cajoling, but we made it with few stops and zero injuries.  This run led to another ski lift and a second green run.  This is where things took a wrong turn. 

As Jon, Devyn, and I grabbed the chair, Jon accidently stepped on Devyn’s ski and knocked it off her boot.  The lifties had to stop the lift, grab the ski and hand it to us.  Good times.  There’s always time for a first.SkiCollage5

At the top, the view was spectacular.  But it was soon apparent that Devyn and Hudson were done.  Their legs were tired and meltdown mode had set in.  However, we had to get down the run and I prayed we’d make it one piece.  Drew and Hudson took off in the harness, leaving Jon and I to get Devyn through the flat spot to the top of the run.  At this point, Devyn was between my legs and I was trying to push her.  This soon led to tangles skis and me in a split.  It wasn’t pretty and my knee is throbbing today as proof of the awkward fall.

Meltdown after meltdown ensued on the run, both from the Littles and the adults.  Frustration rose as we knew they were capable of getting down, however, exhaustion and fatigue had made them frustrated too.  Not a good mix.  It was perfectly clear that we were all done for the day, and just needed to get down the mountain.  Suffice it to say, we made it.  In spite of ourselves.SkiCollage6

Hudson was quite grieved to learn we were done for the day, insisting he wasn’t tired.  But yet, he was the first to conk out in the car and snored the entire ride home.  Nope, he wasn’t tired.  Not at all. 

All in all, it was a great day.  Jon and I thoroughly enjoyed our time alone with the older two, something we don’t get to do very often.  We missed our baby girls, but loved getting to experience a fun day with Devyn and Hudson.  It was windy, wet, and cold, but we didn’t hear one complaint from either of them.  And as soon as we got down to the bottom, they were ready to do it again.  I was one proud mama.  A special day, with lots of memories.  The aches and pains I’m feeling today were totally worth it!0303131545e

February Highlights, a Recap

Friday, March 01, 2013 2 Comments A+ a-

With such immediate access to social media these days, I forget that the blog sometimes doesn’t get to see the light of our day-to-day activities and milestones.  I decided to start highlighting the top 10 moments of each month for the blog’s sake.  And I meant to start this last month, but as usual, I forgot.

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  1. Jon and I got to see a movie alone for the first time since, uh, well, I can’t even remember how long its been.  Which says a lot.  But before we saw The Hobbit, Ashlynn and babysitter, Aunt Courtney, joined us for dinner.  I ADORE this shot of Jon and his youngest girl.  Be still my heart!

  2. I left my laptop alone for a few minutes, seconds really, before I asked Jon to make sure Ashlynn doesn’t do anything to it.  Alas, it was a minute too late and coffee was spilled all over the keyboard and effectively shorting it.  This was my “ghetto” laptop while we waited for parts to arrive. Good times.

  3. We watched the Super Bowl at Courtney’s house, and my uncle and his kids came too.  This is Thomas.  Hudson adores him, and as you can see, Ashlynn does too.  Thomas LOVES kids, he has such a way with them and I’m so glad I got to catch this moment.

  4. This girl, our Devyn Paige, started playing volleyball through the local recreation department.  It was for grades 1st-3rd.  She still has two more games left and it’s so much fun to watch skills progress throughout the season.  I’m hoping for just one serve over the net by the end of the season.

  5. Ashlynn decided that it was high time she start keeping up with the big kids.  Imagine my delight, surprise, and sadness to witness her throwing herself into a somersault like it was no big deal.  Oy. Its going so very fast.

  6. Dad and I got to go the CSU vs. San Diego State men’s basketball game for his Christmas gift.  We’ve been going to CSU basketball games for years, and we both agree, this was one of the most fun games we’ve experienced.  The crowd was pumped when CSU (ranked #24) beat San Diego (ranked #22) in the final minutes of the game.  Final score, 66-60.

  7. This little man turned six years old!  This is beyond my comprehension and I’m more than a little sad at how fast he’s growing up.  I think the saddest thing of all is that he’s requested we no longer call him Bobo.  Except Ashlynn of course, SHE can still call him that. 

  8. On President’s Day, when all the Littles were home from school, Reagan crawled on top of the table and gave a rousing concert during lunch.  There’s just something about a meal and a show.  Seriously, this girl has no problems with self-esteem.  At all.

  9. February 2013 will be known as the month I lost my mind and decided to undertake a huge painting project.  Gone was the brown accent walls and mustard yellow kitchen.  In its place are soothing gray (taupe-ish) walls and purple accent walls.  Jon and I love the new look.  And yes, I hope to post before and after pictures soon eventually.

  10. Jon’s cousin, Tim and their band, Churchill, are riding a huge wave of momentum right now.  Seriously.  I can’t believe how much has changed since Christmas.  And when we found out they were giving a free mini-concert in town, Jon and I made plans to go listen.  It was a last-minute, middle-of-the-week date and we had a blast!  Although, it further convinced me that I’m too old to be joining the likes of college-aged coeds in a bar, on a weekday mid-afternoon.  Ha!

And I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that THE highlight of the month, was hearing that Dad is officially cancer free.  I’m still over the moon on that news!