Thursday, September 26

Top 10 Things I Love About My Husband, Part 2

I was shooting to post this by the end of the day today, and somehow have made it...the second half of my top 10 list! 

#5 He's a Good Cook

     We may not be talking gourmet meals here, but the man can make a darned good chicken (or eggplant!)  parm and an even better apple pie. As a matter of fact he made a big pie dish of apple crisp the other night while I was working on Part 1 of this post. It was YUMMO!

     Scott is also very well known (around these parts!) for his waffles, pancakes, omelets, chocolate chip cookies and mashed potatoes. He can also make a pretty mean bucket of veggie risotto!

     The girls now know Saturday morning as pancake and omelet morning and look forward to it all week! I'm not a big pancake girl, but I will admit that his are very good...His omelets, they are to die for!!! Carmelized onions, broccoli, peppers, zucchini...whatever we have in the house sautéed perfectly and added to perfectly cooked eggs.

     He has created such a reputation for himself that my sister recently asked if she could reserve a seat at our counter on the morning of her birthday in February so that she could start the day with one of his omelets. He's also become the go to pie guy for family holidays...Scott's coming, "Can he bring a pie?" Why sure! I'll bring my soggy green bean casserole and Scott will marvel everyone with his delicious apple pie.

#4 He's Pretty Darned Cute

     Alright, I don't say it aloud very often (though I probably should) and it makes me feel a little school girlish, but my hubby is a handsome guy. He's got the best hair, big blue eyes and looks great in a suit. He also looks great slightly unshaven in a pair of jeans and a gray or blue henley long sleeve t-shirt. His big blue eyes were one of the first things I noticed when I met him (I was his waitress....that is another story entirely!) and they left a lasting impression (obviously!).

     He says the cutest thing to me all the time..."Babe, after all this time I still think you're pretty cute!"

     I don't say it nearly enough, so here goes..."Babe, after all this time I still think you're pretty cute!"

#3 He's Handy Around the House AND Washes Floors

     I'm sure he would not say that he is the ultimate craftsman, but he is willing to tackle or at least try any house project once, and is a quick study. In the ten years that we've been married he's installed windows, doors, floors, trim...all sorts of home improvement projects. Sometimes they take a little bit longer than expected, but they (mostly) eventually get done.

     He is also incredibly good about washing the floors, and I must confess I haven't had a good reason to stop him (why mess with a good thing, right?!). I'm the picker upper around the house and he is the floor guy. I'm not sure how that started, but I'm not complaining (if I'm totally honest I don't really love washing floors...). I know a lot of women gripe about how their husbands aren't so helpful in the domestic realm...I would never, ever say that. Scott is super, duper helpful and I'm super duper thankful.

     I must give a shout out to his mom here because she taught him everything he knows about sorting laundry and cleaning floorboards! Thanks Nance!!!

#2 He is a Man of Strong Moral Conviction

     Scott and I both hold our faith in God to be a first priority in our lives. It guides our relationship with others, it sustains our marriage and it is a strong part of the foundation that we are working to lay in our girls lives. Scott will be the first to tell you that we live in a messy world and that everyone needs Jesus in their lives. Amen to that. There is nothing I love more than to look over at the couch on a random morning where he's gathered all three of our girls and is reading them a story from one of the children's devotionals or Bibles that we own. We always pray before dinner and before bed and we're trying to teach the girls how to pray on their own. Church is a big priority for us on Sunday mornings (though that's been challenging with the baby lately!) and it always will be. I feel incredibly blessed to have found a partner who is on the same page as me in such important matters of the heart and our spiritual lives.

#1 He is an incredible father who is fun loving and spontaneous.

     Alright, so here is the picture that inspired this Top 10 list in the first place...the moment that left me thinking about how lucky I am!

    So, here's the story. It was Sunday morning and we had spent the weekend camping. It was a wet weekend and we hadn't spent much time outside doing fun or "campy" things, though the girls had had a ton of fun playing with their cousins anyways. 

    Checkout was 11 a.m. and my sister had already left with her boys (it was about 10:40ish). I had taken the girls for a walk while Scott loaded the car and then asked if he wanted to take them for a quick walk before we left. Aubrey was finishing up a morning nap (which was going to make all of our lives easier on the way home!) and so I hung out at the cabin while they went for their walk. At one point I decided to walk across the road and peek up over the hill to see if I could see them around the pond. Instead of seeing them walking I saw a canoe!!!! 

    I would have never been so spontaneous to ask the guy at the dock for a canoe and life jackets 20 minutes before we were supposed to check out!!! I LOVE that Scott decided too!! He is incredibly fantasitc when it comes to living life to the fullest and making the most of opportunities. I do that too...sometimes...but my "to-do" list can often distract me. He's Mr. Go With the Flow 'lets jump in a canoe'!! 

     When I looked over that ridge and saw them paddling away, that is the moment I said to myself, "THIS is why I married this man. I love him to pieces!" 

And so there you have it. I realized as I was writing this that I could probably come up with another ten or twelve more, but I'll end here for now because it's late. If you've never done a top ten for your own husband you should give it a try-- it was a total joy for me to write and even more fun to read aloud to Scott. If you're anything like me we don't say the things we think or mean to say nearly enough to those we love, so give this a shot and see what happens. 

Tuesday, September 24

The Top 10 Reasons I Love My Husband, Part 1

         Do you ever have one of those moments when your spouse does something that completely catches you off guard (in a good way)? Something that leaves you just shaking your head, staring at him, and saying to yourself, "That is EXACTLY why I love my husband. THAT is why I married him." 

     I had one of those moments this past weekend. As I got to thinking about that moment and this post I decided that instead of just telling you about the one moment, I'd come up with a "Top 10"... the perfect  tribute for the 10 years of marriage we will be celebrating in just three weeks! 

      So, without further adieu, here they are...

#10 He's incredibly patient and forgiving. 

     He has this thing he says to me, usually when I've been all crazy, hormonal mommy lady, crying or going off the hook about something and then I finally get my act together and apologize. My apology usually includes, "I'm so sorry your stuck with me babe." 

     Want to know what he says to me...

"I'd marry you all over again." 

     What? Are you serious? You'd marry this crazy, sensitive, sometimes over reacting woman all over again? 

     Good grief...I'm a lucky lady, aren't I? 

     Thanks babe...I'd marry you all over again too. 


     I can't tell you how many times I've been in a funk and Scott says something that just completely cracks me up. Something so out of the blue and off the cuff, but so completely accurate and true that you cannot help but laugh hysterically. 

      For example, a couple of weeks ago, I was on my way to the gym and I put this pair of yoga pants on. I was tired and didn't know where any of my clothes were in the mountains of laundry that have erupted around the house. I've also lost quite a bit of weight since the baby was born and some of my clothes don't fit very well. Or I bought them to fit my body 20 lbs. ago and now they just hang funny, or whatever...

     So these pants...they were AWFUL. I can't believe I ever wore them out of the house but in some odd moment of inspiration I purchased them and used to wear them to the gym. They hit my calves in a really weird spot and flared out far too much at the bottom. But then I thought, maybe they're not that awful. Maybe they're ok for the gym. Maybe I'll see what Scott thinks. 

    "Babe, what do you think about these pants?" I ask from the stairs that lead up to our bedrooms. 

     "Ah, you know," pause...completely serious face..."They look a little like hobbit pants. Do you have a part in the Hobbit movie?" 

     I just started laughing hysterically. 

     Only a husband who has been married for 10 years can look at his wife and tell her she has Hobbit pants on and have the moment be more hilarious than serious.  I love that! 

     This is probably not the best example of his hilarity (is that a word?)...just trust me, if you spend enough time with him you will probably wind up laughing. 

#8 He's a Glass Half Full Kind of Guy

     Scott has the BEST perspective on things. No matter what is going on in my head he always has a different, more optimistic way of looking at things that totally helps me to gain perspective on the situation and see things in a better light. I've stopped counting the number of times I was feeling kind of crabby about something and he offers an analogy, or bit of advice that turns things around for me. He fills my sometimes half empty glass to the brim...We all need a little bit of that in our lives! 

#7 He's Not Afraid to Try New Things

     If he is interested in doing something he jumps in with gusto. My favorite story is when he first started to play the guitar. He started playing on this little kid, mini guitar and had just recently upgraded to an inexpensive acoustic guitar. He knew just a few chords and had never taken a lesson.

     While we were on a weekend retreat with a group from our church in Massachusetts someone mentioned that they needed a guitar player for their worship team for the "20 Something" group at the church. Scott confidentially told them he knew how to play the guitar, started playing with the group and has learned everything he knows along the way. I must confess, it was painful to watch those first couple of times that he played...I cringed as I watched him publicly try to figure out the chords. He could have cared less! He was making it happen! 

    It would have taken me YEARS to feel like I could volunteer to do something like that...he's now been playing with church worship teams for years and loves every minute of it! I think about this story every time I'm timid about trying something new and feel encouraged by it.  I also know he will impart this kind of gumption into our girls lives as well and I'm incredibly thankful for that. 

#6 He Doesn't Care What Other People Think

     Let me just tell you that prior to meeting Scott I had very strong opinions about men who wore socks with sandals. Sorry if you are the socks with sandals type or think that is the ultimate in sexy...I thought it was kind of...dorky. Just not my cup of tea, ya know?! 

     So, imagine that a month or two after meeting him and completely having my socks knocked off (hehe...pun intended), he showed up somewhere in Birkenstocks with socks on!!! Hahahahaha. The irony of this is so very funny...By that time I was so head over heels...his Birkenstock heels...that I actually LOVED the fact the he cared so little about what anyone thought about him in his socks and sandals that I actually found it completely endearing. Go figure! 

     Alright...that is Part 1 of my Top 10. I was going to put this all in one post, but then realized I had so much to say (and so little time to actually write this post!) that I figured I'd better break it up. I also need to get home to nurse a baby...she likes to see her momma before bed so my writing hours are short these days! 

     I can't make any promises, but I hope to have Part 2 up by Thursday! The rest of the list, including the moment that inspired the list in the first place! 

     Until then leave a comment below about one of your favorite things about your hubby!!! In a culture where the foundation of marriage has become so rocky and commitment often seems to be more rare than normal, I LOVE sharing and hearing about the good and the beautiful that women find in their marriages. I love hearing about how you love your husbands! 

     Better yet, if you have a blog and want to write your own top 10, let me know and I'll post your link in one of my upcoming posts! 

Sunday, September 22

"She"- A Five Minute Friday post


(This post is part of 5-Minute Fridays...a space where Lisa-Jo Baker offers a prompt and hundreds of lovely ladies write for 5 minutes about that word(s). Here goes!)

      She was young, almost 19, and unmarried when she found out that she would be bringing a new life into the world. They married quickly and that new little girl came eight months after the small house wedding.

     There was so little time for fun, for trips or vacations or sleeping in and reading books. Motherhood began quickly and erupted into a full time more, and then another and then another. Four little ones in six years. Part of me wonders how she did it all and part of me knows exactly how she did putting her head down and task by task, day by day, making it through and loving as well as one can in between the loads of laundry and sinks full of dishes.

     She did it all with so little at times... The house was small. The one income hardly enough to buy food for four little mouths, much less new clothes and sneakers and toys...There were food stamps for a while, and some free cheese...there were lots of hand me downs. She found bargains at consignment shops and new jeans at Amvets for herself. She cut coupons to purchase new lipstick at the local drug store.

      She did so much with few complaints...or at least few that we saw. I imagine there were tired tears and muttered sighs, but she didn't let us see most of them.

     I was not always as grateful as I should have been, thinking we should have done more together or wished we had connected in a different way. Perhaps she could have reached out more, asked more questions, offered more opportunity for conversation...perhaps.

     Or perhaps she loved as fully as she knew how and now that I have little ones of my own I'm beginning to appreciate so much more fully that she gave enormous amounts of time and energy unseen. And I'm grateful for that.

      Suddenly it is me that is the "she" in the lives of three little women. I hope they see that I'm loving them as well as I's far from perfect on most days, but someday I hope they too will look back and say she loved us as well as she could and for that we are grateful. Funny how much more fully our grace for the past becomes when we become the she's in someone else's life.

Friday, September 20

To Dance and Sing

In lieu of words from me today I decided to simply offer you a quote from one of my favorite books about motherhood, Tender Mercy for a Mother's Soul: Inspiration to Renew Your Spirit by Angela Thomas. Hope they touch your spirit like they did mine. 

"I say to you, O serious mother, by the grace of God, today is the day to dance and sing! These are the days to hug long and love aloud. Grab somebody and hold on to them past the polite hug. Rescue your teenager from her geometry homework, turn on the kids' music, and learn to dance again. Serve dinner for the whole family in the tree fort. Today is the day that God has give you, and grace sets you free to savor it and pass on the joy."

(the above picture was borrowed from google images)

Tuesday, September 10

Falling into New Rhythms...Back to School and Nap Schedules

      Wow! Time flies when the school year is starting, doesn't it?! 

     I looked at the date of my last post and realized it was at the end of August...And August already seems like an eternity ago!! 

     In the short time that I have while the baby is sleeping and the girls are both at school I figured I'd at least post a couple of back to school photos. A school year, that I must add, is off to a great start for the girls. Woo hoo! 

     We have had tons of fun shopping for school supplies and a few new outfits and are all still trying to fall into our new rhythms (pun intended!); bed times, wake up times, breakfast, lunch packing, bus stops, etc. It's always a bit of a shift and it feels like even more of a shift this fall as I consider the feeding and sleeping needs of a four month old in the midst of preschool drop offs and gymnastics classes and grocery shopping.

     I won't lie...I think my husband has wanted to sneak a little valium into my coffee from time to time as I try to figure this all out. I'm a big picture person who gets caught up in small details sometimes. Like...ahem...naps. 

     In chatting with a few other moms who also have three or four little ones I'm realizing that we all have slightly different approaches to managing it all...I'm a bit of a nap nazi, meaning much of my schedule revolves around letting the baby be home for her longer morning and afternoon naps. I will confess this was much easier with one or's complicated with three, but when I can make it work it makes life happier for mommy and baby (two very critical parts of the equation these days!). 

     Some of the other moms are know are WAY more flexible on this. The baby naps in the car, or in their arms, or the stroller...somewhere on the go and everyone seems the better for it. I envy their laid back spirit about it all and sometimes feel bad that I'm so crazy about being home for makes me wonder if I'm missing out or need to be easier going about these sorts of things. 

     But then I realize that God made each of us mommas just as uniquely as he made each of our kids and in the same way that we must constantly make decisions about what works best for them, we also make decisions about what works best for us.  

     Nap schedules for me. No nap schedules for them. It's all good! 

     So, sorry if you wanted to go out for coffee at 10 a.m. sometime in the next few months...I'll be home while the baby is napping. Probably doing laundry or putting puzzles together with Ella. 

      I did just buy some new K-cups though, so feel free to stop by in your sweats and have a cup of coffee at my kitchen table! Your much more flexible baby is welcome to sleep in our pack and play and we'll all be the happier for it. 

     By the way... we officially made the switch from the car seat to the crib for sleeping!! The baby is now officially taking all naps and sleeping every night in the comfy quarters of the nursery rather than her car seat (it only took 4 months!)! This means that I can actually read a book before bed without a headlamp or a flashlight...a win-win for everyone (: 

     So here's to a new school year for all! Blessings to you all on falling into your own new rhythms as you transition from the crazy days of summer to the more structured crazy days of fall! I give you permission to not compare yourselves or your schedules to anyone else's, but to simply do what works best for you! (And stop by for coffee if you want to see me!). 
       Here are a couple end of summer/beginning of the school year photos...

End of summer amusement park fun with Aunt KK! 

End of summer garden bounty (:

We've started a first day of school cake tradition! A welcome treat after the long day and bus ride home.

New preschool backpacks
The yummy, sweet, red prize of the garden this year! We grew it on a whim (it was one of the only plants left at the garden center by the time I got there in early June!) and discovered that watermelon plants are huge and wild and lots of fun to watch as they grow (you do need to leave space though!). The funniest thing though was that the girls were griping about the seeds because so many of the store varieties  are seedless these days...I found myself saying, "When I was a kid ALL of our watermelons had seeds!" It was pretty funny (: