Rejuvenation

The step away.  The much-needed breath of fresh air to be able to bond with my new family, analyze where I have been and where I want to go, and to try to find my purpose and drive behind this blog.

If you’ve followed me for any amount of time or ran across my blog in a web search somehow, there is no secret it is faith-based.  I have a strong foundation in my marriage and in our family that is on our faith.  But after having been through some of the things we have been through over the last few years, I would be lying if I said my faith wasn’t shaken a little bit.  Not in the sense that I lost it, but more in the sense of “Why?”  “Why us and why now?”

I needed that time away from the keyboard to come to peace with a lot of things.  Things ranging from family, to work, to faith, to just general anxiety about the new road laid in front of us.

When I last left you, I was about to have a baby.  What an experience that was!  We welcomed our handsome little fellow January 31 and fell in love immediately.  He has such an amazing birth story – one that maybe in time I will tell, but for now, I will just say God is good and blessed us that week.  Everyone, meet our spunky almost 6 month old (where has the time gone!?), Elijah.  ❤

Shane and I have learned a lot over the last 6 months.  He’s experiencing being a dad all over again (and loving every minute of it!).  We are learning Eli is a perfect mix of mom and dad.  Although, he gets his spunky attitude from is Auntie Bee and Uncle Derek. (He loves them too!)

We’ve loved spending the much-needed time with family and watching Eli grow and learn.  But while watching him grow, we’ve also done some growing.

When I returned to work after maternity leave, I worked my tail off for one week fixing errors, making phone calls, and cleaning up messes only to be let go after everything was back to par.  I asked for a reason and they had nothing to lean on other than “Minnesota is an at will state, and we can let you go for no reason.”  Well, ladies and gents, let me tell you why:

They couldn’t handle the fact that I wasn’t able to work 6-7 days a week and 60+ hour weeks while trying to care for my newborn son.  They didn’t like that when it came down to brass tacks, I was not willing to sacrifice my family for the sake of the company.

This was the point where my faith hit a low.  Our new family of 5 was cut down to a single income.  I battled with the fact we (I) were (was) being punished.  I struggled with the fact that God has blessed me with a child I was never supposed to have but it came at a price.  I would even go as far as to say I was angry at Him.  But, really, I had no reason to be.  The job was stressful and thankless.  I had wanted to find a family friendly place of employment for quite some time.  But did it really have to come at this price?

Man, I struggled and wrestled with this for a while.  But over that period of time, I was able to dig into a Bible study called “No More Perfection” and it dealt with the need to be ‘perfect’ in every way.  I knew I was struggling with emotions and feelings so the first thing I did was write this sticky note and threw it in my purse.

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When I struggled, I’d pull it out and pick one and read.  But there was one I found a couple of months back that I didn’t add to my sticky note.  But it was one I found through another Bible study that really hit home and started the “closure” process for me.

“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” ~Hebrews 12:14

That was the point where I started reflecting back onto this blog.  If my goal was to minister to people through real life experiences, I needed to find peace.  I needed that peace for everything that had happened in our lives for the last four years.  I needed to be able to let go of the anger, bitterness, and maybe a small amount of jealousy that I held onto.

Prayer, prayer, and more prayer.  Maybe a few more “why me”‘s in there than I would like to admit, but I’m human.  There are times I cannot process my emotion in a ‘healthy’ way.

Then, after a couple of months of prayer, I found a job that I love.   (Or maybe it found me? (:  )  I mean, it couldn’t be a better fit for what I was needing and looking for.

But all that being said, I still felt like a piece of me was missing, and I knew exactly what it was.  But, I made a promise to myself that I would not touch this blog site again until I could do a couple of things:
1.  Find closure in ALL things.
2.  Find a way to minister without coming off as pushy or gloating
3.  Find a way to love my family and myself the way that God loves us – unconditionally.
4.  Find a way to relate my life experiences with the same experiences that some of you may be going through (this one is going to be tough as we are all at different places in our lives)

Until I could move beyond all the yuck, no one would see the Lord in what I was saying, they would only see me.  I don’t want you to just see me when you come here.  I want you to be able to experience the Truth and see all of the miracles that God can do for you.  I mean, for us, Elijah is living proof of that!

I was able to do 3 of the 4 so now we are here.

After 6 months of prayer, heavy thought, and a push from a new blogger, I took that step.  With a little encouragement from The Soap Box , I signed in, said a prayer, and let my heart and feelings pour out.

I’m hoping that this is just the beginning of a newly rejuvenated blog.  I hope to keep you all updated and post more often as my spirit is led.  ❤

Until next time!

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*Please take a moment to hop on over to The Soap Box blog linked in my post.  Also, follow them on Facebook!  I feel a lot of good things coming from them in the future!

**I would also like you to leave me feed back.  Any questions, comments, etc are welcomed and encouraged.  Maybe they will even spark a post for you! ❤

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The Paths We’ve Traveled.

As the time is ticking down, I can’t help but feel this huge rush of different emotions.  The 40 week wait is almost over!

As I was sitting in our game room talking with Shane, there was one question that I asked him:  “How the heck did we get here?!”

For those of you who know us or that have followed or story on here, you know that 4 years ago, we were both on very different paths.  Paths paved by the broken pieces of who we once were, the plans we had made for ourselves, and any type of feelings and emotions that were anything other than the feeling of being numb.  Paths that eventually led to one another but not without some hiccups in the road.

I couldn’t help but look around at everything that has happened in the last 4 years and just be humbled.

As I looked down at my fully inflated belly, I got chills.  I’m 40 weeks pregnant with a child I was told that I would possibly never have.  I’m 40 weeks pregnant with the son that I had only thought that I would get to meet in my dreams.

Then I look over at Shane who is just taking it all in.  He’s looking around at the wife he felt for so long he didn’t deserve, at the house that he’s put blood, sweat, and tears in order to make it our own, and my growing belly at another son that is soon to make his debut.

Seriously.  How the heck did we get here!?

In a sense, the answer is so simple while in the same breath so complex.  With everything that has happened, all aspects of our lives had to have been in the perfect place at the right time.  There is only one answer as to how this happened – both when we were on separate paths and on the path that we are on now.  God’s plan was bigger and the story is told with our shoes.

God’s plan for us was bigger than any called off wedding plans.  Bigger than bone scans, blood work, and x-rays.  Bigger than any doctor diagnosis based off of nothing more than ‘science’.  Bigger than the legal “one bedroom” house that we were trying to raise a family in.  Bigger than anything that we could have ever  imagined and planned for ourselves.

It’s just such an odd mix of emotions to be sitting in this chair and feeling all of these feelings: excitement, anticipation, fear, joy, nervousness, happiness, anxiousness, calm, and the list goes on.

Truth of the matter is that within the next week or so, I will have a tiny babe laying next to me.  Well, he will probably be in his bassinet or rocker and I’ll be staring down at him just in awe that my “slim chances” is laying right in front of me.

The picture of our shoes tells the story of our family.  We have a daughter who is so shy and so quiet.  But she slips on those shoes and walks across a stage and transforms into numerous characters while telling a story for judges and peers.  We have a son that puts on his drill masters and marches across football fields and performs marching shows that he has put countless hours of practice into.  I click my way across the floor at the dealership to work with my salesmen and their customers to help provide a good life for the two children we have.  Shane puts on his boots daily and labors in extreme heat, extreme cold, and everything in between to be sure that all of us are well provided for and taken care of.  Elijah’s shoes have yet to be worn.  Those shoes will soon be the cause of the pitter-patter sounds running across the floor followed by the excited squeal of a toddler running away from his hard working father, his expressive sister, or his determined brother.  It just seems so surreal…

How?!  Just, how?

God is so good.  If you give Him the chance, He works such miracles.  His plan is bigger than yours.  He will bring you places that you never thought you would go.

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I just love this picture!  Our lives have been so serious in preparation for our little guy that we needed a good laugh tonight!  ❤

That Special Feeling.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I can’t help but notice the amount of stuffed animals, flowers, candy, and special plans that are listed out on my Facebook, Instagram, and other social media feeds.

I was going through and enjoying what I was seeing.  I am happy that people get flowers, candy, and other gifts for Valentine’s Day.  But as I was going through and seeing all this, I felt like I got hit by a bus:

If your man or woman only does special things for you or makes plans for you one day out of the year, they are failing the other 364 days.

…that means that you feel special 0.0027% of the year.

I was just having a conversation with Shane yesterday about how I felt like I wasn’t good enough for him.  That I was a failure.  That he deserved better.  It was one of those days that was looking like I was going to have a late/no lunch break.  I let him know and found out that he had planned something special for us.  Being the supportive man he is, he found a way to make it OK.  But that didn’t change the little seed of doubt that started.

I failed him.  I failed to be able to schedule the day where I was able to take a decent lunch break and allow him to carry out this plan he had…but the car business is unpredictable so we have to work around it.

But as soon as that little seed was planted, I realized not only had I failed to take a decent lunch break, I also didn’t get dishes put away from the night before, I forgot to switch over the laundry, I was distracted with getting the kids to school and the dogs outside that I didn’t get the bed made, I hadn’t swept the floor, vacuumed the rug, dusted the shelves, and I forgot to pull bread out of the freezer for supper.  As you can imagine, the list continued to grow throughout the day.

After a long night of letting my mind spin on these things, we sent the kids off to bed and sat in silence.  I apologized.  For what?

For not getting anything done while getting everything else done, for encouraging M in her speech practices while coming down on her for neglecting her responsibilities to practice before 24 hours before her first competition, for guiding M and giving him room to grow while getting upset that he’s ‘wasting time’ and ‘procrastinating’ when we need some speed in the routine, for loving Shane with everything that I have but still not being enough for him.

As I opened up to him, he just sat and listened.  No judgement, a few laughs, and a few shakes of the head.

But when he asked me if there were things that had been done that made me feel like I was good enough, it was almost overwhelming.

Yes; you planned a special dinner for us, you’ve planned an anniversary weekend event, you’ve demonstrated patience, you’ve been understanding, you built us a bed frame with your hands while I was in Texas, you’ve lost sleep to make sure I was OK, you’ve taken leaps of faith with me, you’ve supported me, you’ve blessed me with M&M, you’ve encouraged me when I’ve lost any type of luster to continue, you’ve built me up when I’ve been knocked down, you’ve allowed me to grow, you’ve loved me through every trial and tribulation, you’ve gone out of your way to make sure I’m comfortable and feeling loved, and the list can go on.

He makes me feel like this every day of the year.  I never go to bed wondering if I’m loved or cared about.  I never question if he is being honest and faithful.

So why, the day before Valentine’s, are all these women raving over feeling ‘special’?  Do you not feel loved every other day of the year?  Do you not receive the respect that you deserve from your someone special?

When it comes to love, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is the ‘go to’ verse.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

I once read, to know if you have the love that you deserve, replace some of the words with the name:
Shane is patient and kind; Shane does not envy or boast; Shane is not arrogant or rude. Shane does not insist on his own way; Shane is not irritable or resentful; Shane does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

If you replace those words with the name and you cannot say that is 100% accurate in your life, maybe it’s time to reevaluate some things.  I’ve been in situations where every single statement was false.  I didn’t have patience or kindness, I was surrounded by envy, boastfulness, rudeness, arrogance, resistance to compromise, irritation, resentfulness, and someone who celebrated wrongs instead of doing what was right.

Women (and men too); listen to me:

You DO deserve patience and kindness and endurance.
You DO NOT deserve any type of envy or boastfulness.
You DO NOT deserve arrogance or rudeness.
You DO NOT deserve someone who is resistant to compromise.
You DO NOT deserve someone who is irritable or resentful.
You DO NOT deserve someone who rejoices in wrongs.

While I am truly elated that you have been able to receive flowers, candy, and other things, please keep in mind that you deserve more than 0.0027% happiness and love throughout the year.  You deserve to be 100% happy, 100% loved, and 100% special 100% of the year.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

That’s What It’s All About.

I’m not one who usually gives good advice.  This post is no different but I’m going to give it my best shot!

There was a young woman on here who was asking advice for a “going to be newly-wed couple”.  As I was looking through the comments and I saw things like never go to bed mad, always forgive, pray with one another, be respectful, make compromises, take advantage of the free time you have together, make memories when you can and so on.  You know, the generic advice that we see people giving newly married couples.  As good as some of this sounded, I felt like they were missing something of value.

So I prayed on it for a couple of days.

Having worked in the management position that I did, I dealt with a lot (and I mean A LOT) of people on a daily basis.  I would strive to make relationships with those people who regularly visited our store and made a conscious effort to genuinely care for how their day was going, how their boyfriend/girlfriend/fiancé/husband/wife was doing, how their weekend went, etc.

It wasn’t until I started noticing a pattern in couples that had dated for a while (past relationships of my own) and engagements that were ending that I found a common pattern.

To the public, everything seemed “fine” or “well”.  But was that the truth?  In my case, no.  But I felt that if I were to admit to anything different it would be a sign of weakness.  But, since I knew what wasn’t “fine” in my relationship, I could easily pick up on when other relationships weren’t “fine”… I knew the tricks to hide it all too well.

I heard over and over again “It was because HE didn’t want to (insert something he didn’t want to learn, listen to, be a part of, etc.)” or “It was because SHE didn’t take me seriously.”  Out of 6 years of working with the public, only once did I hear “It was because he didn’t love Christ as much as he loved me.”

I wish I would have had enough courage to call that out when it was happening in my own life.  Sure I had my ups and downs with my faith but at the time when I needed support and growth, I wasn’t getting it and it formed a wall.

All to often, relationships are one sided.  People are selfish and only care for what they want and if it doesn’t benefit them in some way, it doesn’t get done, said, or looked at.

So, after having prayed over this young woman’s question for a couple of days I came up with this for her advice:

It’s not about you, it’s not about him, it’s about Him.

Cryptic, right?  Well, I got artsy-fartsy the other night and made images to show:

To the public, this is how your relationship may be viewed.  You are seen as a couple that nothing can come between.  You seem happy; like you have it all!  You’ve got this all figured out… right?

Maybe to the outside.

On the inside, you see things such as disrespect, anger, evil thoughts, addictions, bad attitudes, video games, jealousy, anger, lust, temptation, use of pornography, money, greed, laziness, lies, media, little/no faith, and the list can go on and on.  Before you know it, these things that once seemed so “little” have formed a wall that is much bigger than you are, bigger than your significant other is.  It is so powerful, that it begins to tear you apart, compromise is all but in the past and there is “no saving it”.

For those who don’t have faith or haven’t found faith yet, this may seem true.  The driving forces in your relationship are so strong, the only way you feel you can fix it is by breaking it.  We’ve all been there at one point or another.

But what you don’t see (and probably can’t with the resolution of the picture) is that there is a cross right in the middle.  There are promises that were made to us by Christ’s suffering and death on the cross.  He died for our sins; so that we may be forgiven.  God has also given us the gift of eternal life through Christ.

If you put the cross at the center, all these seemingly “large” issues that were driving wedges now don’t seem so tough.

Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

All that we have to do to accept Him is to put our selfish and sinful desires away, focus on Him and how we can lead better lives for Him.

From there, things in our relationships will begin to fall in place.  You will bring out the best in one another, you will begin to compliment one another, you will begin to find happiness in things that only brought you pain before, you will begin to encourage one another without saying a word.

If you don’t allow yourself to see the good in things, all good things disappear.  You become so focused on the negatives over here when there are all sorts of positives happening over there and you miss out on the good of those things.  Slowly, all of the negative drags you down and it becomes a long, slow crawl up if you don’t have help from Him.

So,

Long story short:

My advice to ANY couple; married, dating, engaged, is to stop putting yourself first, your spouse second (or even your spouse first and yourself second) and begin to put Christ first.  The rest will fall into place.

It’s not about you, it’s not about him, it’s about Him.

I am in Love with Another Man and My Husband Knows It.

I am in love with another man and my husband knows it. Not only does he know it, it is the best thing for our relationship. It is the best thing for [our children]. It is the best thing for my soul.

I am in love with an outlaw. His name is hated, he is shut out, abandoned, left to himself. Governments set out to hide him, to lock him away, to keep his influence from taking over their people.

He is dangerous but he is to be trusted. He roams, but he is safety. Outlawed, but can not be hidden. Despised and rejected, but gives his all. He can not be understood, but he is the answer.

I am in love with another man, I can’t keep my mind off of him. When my heart aches, when all this world has to offer is not enough, he is my soul’s satisfaction.

If I did not have Jesus, my marriage would have fallen apart long ago. If I was not totally enthralled with my Lord, then I would have nothing of benefit to teach my [children]. If my God was not all consuming, then there is no need for me here in this Earth.

Oh Jesus, I am wholly, completely in love with you!

Originally blogged on:
Beautiful Life With Cancer

Why I Love Him.

Um… Well, I already answered day 6 in a previous post (Day 3).   So I guess if you want to see why I love (not like) Shane, you can click here and read it.

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Love. Never. Fails.

Over the past 76 days, I have learned a lot about marriage.  Those of you have been married for quite some time are probably rolling your eyes thinking “You don’t know anything yet!”  While that may be true, I have learned a lot.  We’ve been through so much together thus far; beginning with dating to current.  Most couples wouldn’t go through majority of those situations within the first 5 years of marriage let alone the first 6-7 months of being together.  But we did the best we could, and we came out stronger.

It’s not very often that we reach the burnt out stage.  If you’ve been around us, him or I individually, read my blogs, or know our parents, you know that we are busy people.  Not only with just our lives but with the kids as well.  We aren’t typical newly weds.  We are not living a fairy tale, we are living our dream – active in church, active with kids, wanting to stay busy with house work or little things instead of be lazy.

But, it would be easy for us to reach that point where we are so worn down that we begin to shut down.  We have a habit of go, go, go until we have to force ourselves to take a step back and relax.  Even then, we take half a day off, we realize how bored we are and begin again.

But even with all the chaos in our lives, we lead a very happy marriage. I still get all giddy and butterflies in my stomach when I refer to him as my husband. I play with my ring and allow it to take me back to the moment he put it on my finger.

So, I sat back and thought about what we do, exactly, that is probably not like many other marriages.  So, for today, I’ll give you the top five that I could think of.

1.  Forgive!
It is all to easy to hold grudges or to hold onto your personal wants/desires that it almost becomes a distraction.  Marriage is a two-way street.  It’s not about just you, it’s about the other person too.  James 1:19-20 says “Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger, for a man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.”  It is our wifely (or husbandly) duty to allow ourselves to listen to our spouse.  We need to ask for forgiveness when we find times where we have been selfish, been too quick to speak, or became angry.  It’s not easy but it’s needed if you plan to move forward without reservations.

2.  Support and Encourage!
Wives, your husbands need support and encouragement as much as you need support from them.  Not just in day-to-day activities but in everything.  Every decision that needs to be made needs to be supported by the other – EVEN IF YOU DON’T AGREE!  Yes, you read that right.  You need to support and encourage your husband/wife even when you have opposing views.  Often times, there is a whole new side that you are not able to see.  Trust them and support their decision.  Chances are that they will not do anything that would jeopardize your relationship or well-being.  1 Thessalonians 5:11 says “Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.”

3.  Sacrifice.
This also goes for both husbands and wives.  Remember that this marriage is not just about you or just about him.  There are going to be times where you will have to sacrifice something that you want to help the other out.  I would be willing to give up just about anything to make (and keep) Shane happy.  I think it would be safe to assume the same goes for him.  Seeing him happy in turn makes me happy.  We do not want to reach that selfish point in our marriages where we feel it is all about what we want or what they want.  It should be about what He wants.

4.  Forget About The “To-Do” List
Shane and I actually make up a lost of lists.  If you look in our house, there is a list pretty much everywhere.  On top of the fridge, on the side of the fridge, on the whiteboards on the front of the fridge, on the table, in the bookcases, on the coffee table, in the vehicles, in the garage… they are everywhere.  Why?  Because we are busy bodies.  We continuously think of things that need to be done and jot it down wherever we may be.  However, if we are always so focused on that list, we lose focus on one another.  It is so easy to let everyday life get in-between us.  This forms a wedge and the longer it goes un-noticed, the further between us it gets.  Soon, it’s like we have nothing to talk about and nothing in common to do.  We’ve been close to this a couple of different times.  It’s especially easy to do when the kids are around.  That’s where we need to take time for our weekly date nights.  We need to put the “To-Do” list down and spend time together.  Go for a walk.  Go for a drive.  Do dinner and a movie.  It is ok to step away from life and focus on one another.  After all, “…until death do us part.”  We will be around one another for quite some time, may as well enjoy it!

5.  Laugh… A LOT.
There are very few days where I have not had a hearty laugh while being with Shane.  He makes me genuinely happy.  We have a lot of inside jokes, we pick fun at one another, we enjoy the dogs, we laugh at the kids, and we laugh at life.  I may not be the most hilarious person on the face of this Earth, but, if I can make him laugh half as much as he makes me laugh, I’m satisfied.

Those five things have been staples in our marriage. I feel that after 76 days, we have a better understanding of how to make our marriage light-hearted and enjoyable than most people who have been married for years. I feel people tend to forget that their relationships weren’t always sour looks, battling selfish feelings such as irritation, jealousy, and frustration, or spending more time apart. There were, once upon a time, flushed cheeks, sweaty palms, butterflies in the stomach, and the dedication to spend as much time together as possible.

Instead, we’ve let the human emotions, the selfishness, and the hustle and bustle of every day life kill our butterflies…and more often then not, I see people stop trying. Don’t stop trying. Awaken those butterflies again and enjoy life with your spouse!

We are all familiar with 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8; “Love is patient, love is kind.  Love does not envy, it is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, it is not selfish, it is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs.  Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails.  But as for prophecies they will come to an end; as for languages, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.”

Did you catch that?  Love never fails.  It tells us right there to not stop trying…

What are some things you do to keep the butterflies alive?

It’s More Fun Than Expected.

One thing that everyone takes for granted at one point or another is time.  Perfect example; you probably noticed (or you didn’t) that I didn’t post on Saturday.  Instead, I spent the morning attending my daughters spelling bee (or at least driving there.  She didn’t get past the written round), working out in the yard, getting my homework caught up, planting my garden/re-seeding my herbs, and spending some one-on-one time with my husband.

The day just seemed to fly by and it wasn’t until we were on our way to Sioux Falls that I realized I hadn’t made a post.  But, that wasn’t the time to do it.  I was on a date with my husband and the last thing that I needed to do was stick my nose in my phone and write a post.

The only time I touched my phone was to take pictures when we were at the sports complex playing Glow Golf.  Other than that, I did not communicate with anyone other than my husband and the employees of the businesses that we visited.

I got messages like “Why are you ignoring me?”  “Are you mad?”  “How did I upset you?”  None of these were the case.  I was putting effort into keeping my marriage a happy marriage and supporting my husband.  Because, believe it or not, he needs me just as much as I need him.

Ephesians 5:25 says “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church.”  Christ didn’t just do enough work to get by.  He pursued His people and sought them out because He loved them.  This verse points at the husbands and that they are supposed to love their wives in this way, but it’s not just the husbands.  Wives, it’s us too.

Pursue your husband the way you did when you were first dating.  Those stolen glances, the flirty eyes, the little giggles, the sweaty palms when you held their hand for the first time, and the butterflies in your stomach.  Leave little notes for one another, take date nights just the two of you and leave the phones at home or in the car.

It is all too easy for the outside world to get in the way of marriages now.  Not only do we have those men and women who are so unhappy in their relationships that they set out to ruin others, we have technology.  Literally anything can be at our fingertips in a matter of seconds.  Pornography, a conversation with an ex, a flirty conversation with someone other than your spouse, pictures of other people who you lust after.  We also have other forms of technology that are just as invasive.  Video games, computer games, online gambling, television series, etc.  The list of things that can invade a marriage are endless.

But it isn’t just technology and unfaithfulness either.  It’s kids too.  You get so busy running and scurrying that soon one day turns into six days and you can’t remember the last time you had an actual conversation with your spouse.

As soon as one of those things works it way in, it is hard to maintain the level of communication and the amount of dedication that our spouse needs.  We would rather sit down and zone out to the latest episode of Revenge/Grey’s Anatomy/Dancing With The Stars/The Walking Dead or sit down and indulge ourselves in our computer/video game until we reach the next level…or the next….or the next.  We then lose track of time and it’s time to head to bed and you don’t even know how your husband or wife’s day at work went, how their doctor’s appointment went, what they spent most of the day thinking about, etc.

I’m guilty for sitting down in front of the TV for a couple of hours without muttering more than 7 words at Shane.  But, he will sit next to me, he will rub my feet or hold my hand, and he will just be there.  Sometimes, that’s all I need.  I’m not good at communicating how I feel most of the time, or offering suggestions as to how it can be fixed.  My head spins on things that it shouldn’t and it ruins my day and I spend the next 2-3 days picking myself up out of the dumps.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t try to communicate these things.

I’m also guilty for jumping to my phone when I hear a game notification, an e-mail, a call, a text, or a Facebook chime come through.  I’ve told countless friends that I will be there for them whenever they need me, and I have been and will continue to be.  But I also need to keep in mind that my family comes first.  My family needs me and they can’t have me when I let these things get in the middle of us.

I’ve had a couple of people tell me that their marriage “isn’t as fun as they expected.”  Let me ask you this, when was the last time you had a date with your husband?  When was the last time you put down the phone, turned off the electronics, and had a meaningful conversation?  When was the last time you listened to what your husband had to say and offered advice or support or vice versa?

To be honest, my marriage is more fun that I expected.  Did I expect to fight all the time?  No.  But I was always warned on how it takes a lot of work and it’s exhausting and it’s a full-time job.  Yes, it is a full-time job; there is laundry to be done, bills to be paid, dishes to be caught up, dusting that has been neglected for weeks, floors that are disgusting, mouths to be fed and treats that need to be baked.  That doesn’t include the yard work that needs to be done, the basement that needs cleaning, concerts and sporting events that need attending, the dogs that need to be fed and walked, the cat that needs to be fed, and the flower garden that needs weeding.

But it’s fun.  We find a way to enjoy these things together. We’ve turned bills into a lesson about money for the kids.  We’ve created meals out of random foods in the kitchen.  We’ve found enough stuff in half the basement to hold a healthy garage sale.  We cuddle with the dogs before bed.  We plant, dig, rake, and tend to the outdoor things together.  We compete to see who can tend to the dishes or the laundry first so that the other doesn’t have to do it.  Just because it’s work doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.

I realize that you need your friends as well, but you married your spouse, you didn’t marry your friends.  Marriage takes work.  A lot of work.  But how can we put work into something if we are always putting distractions and addictions before our husbands or wives?

Not only do we have to work with our spouse, we have to work with the Lord as well.

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”  Ecclesiastes 4:12

It was refreshing to get out and disconnect from the world for a few hours.  I got my behind handed to me in Glow Golf and we ate super unhealthy burgers that fixed our (my) burger and fries craving.  But we were spending quality time together and we were able to work on our marriage while having fun.  We talked about faith, we talked about friends, we picked on each other, we talked about family, we watched people in Sioux Falls, we relaxed.  Together.  We probably even prayed together without realizing we were probably doing it together.

Marriage is all what you make it.  What have you made yours?

On The Fly!

If my life isn’t one thing, that would be boring!  I was so wrapped up in all of the previous events as well as the upcoming events and changes that I didn’t think of what “Fun Friday” would be so I’m just going to use it to update everyone on the business that is my (our) life (lives).

First and foremost, we were blessed with a nephew last weekend.  He is just the most adorable little man that I have ever seen.  He has a head full of hair and was pretty active most of the time that we were there!  I can’t wait to watch this little guy as he grows.  (Well, I guess he’s not all that ‘little’) He’s for sure going to be a heart breaker.

Our morning routine is soon to change.  We got word a couple of days ago that Shane has been moved to a different route!  This is exciting (for me for sure) because instead of driving around 1,000  miles per week, he will be down to about 500.  Not only does it cut down on miles, it cuts down on the amount of customers (and all the hassle bologna that comes with them) and the amount of stops he has to make.  However, it is a more stable paycheck.  The only downfall that I’ve found so far is that he will have to start earlier in the day (4:00-4:30AM start time) but he will be done by my lunch hour.  So we are moving “morning coffee” to “midday lunch”.

Tonight, we are hosting our church “group” tonight.  Which tonight is just going to be Pastor, Marnie and ourselves.  We decided to cook supper for them and just talk about life and struggles and just take it easy with them for an evening.  I feel that since we’ve missed the last few weeks (busy, Good Friday, and group was cancelled the week before), we needed this time with our Pastor and his lovely wife!

M has been selected to compete in a spelling bee tomorrow.  Not sure how to feel about this.  As you’ve seen in previous postings, we struggle with her and taking responsibility, maintaining concentration, staying disciplined, and being accountable.  When she first showed us the letter, it was implied that she was a back up contestant (in case of an illness or something of that matter) so we didn’t really have much of a plan to go.  However, she informed us two days ago that she is now a contestant.  (If these two could ever tell us vital information like this in a timely manner it would be a miracle).
The reason I’m struggling with how to feel about this is that they go back to their mom’s this afternoon.  That mean’s that their mom is the one responsible getting them to and from events like this.  Even though we are now going, it’s part of the custody agreement between her and Shane that she takes responsibility for them when they are there (with the exception of church, we bring them there).  However, as of 6:45 this morning, M had not informed her mom that she needed to be at the school (which is 45 minutes away) at about 8 tomorrow morning.  So we (again) talked about responsibility.  She has a phone for a reason and that is one of those reasons.
I feel that things like these, while they are good programs, should be decided on by the parents.  They should have the say if the child goes or not.  Not saying that I/we would hold M back, BUT if she can’t take responsibility for the little things in life, I don’t think she could handle something this big. (And she hasn’t.  We’ve had to force information out of her.)  This also goes for her ‘practicing’.  They were advised to study a list of words and practice with parents.  She FINALLY practiced for the first time the same evening she told us she was an actual contender. (3 days before hand… 3 DAYS!) Any who, just one of those irritating things that Shane and I have been battling with for the last few months and I feel that she didn’t really need another thing added onto her plate.

Shane and I are also taking a date night tomorrow night! It’s been a while since we had an “actual date” where we get out-of-town and just spend some time the two of us.  We are going to travel over to SD and go see a movie and maybe do dinner.  I am making it a personal goal to not even touch my phone for the entire afternoon/evening with the exception of the kids (of course).  My husband deserves quality time with me and he can’t get that if my nose is stuck in my phone talking to people who aren’t him.

Shane is giving his faith testimony in church on Sunday.  I’m really excited to hear it!  He hasn’t told me a whole lot about it but I’ve been around as he’s been praying on it, jotting down key points here and there and getting what I call “happy bounces” when he talks or thinks about it.  He’s been finding scripture that relates to different key times in his life (i.e. the kids, the divorce, us, etc) and it’s been really fun watching him experience this.  Come next week, I may link it on my Thursday post so keep an eye out for it!

I feel like our life is forever on the go.  We don’t take much time to ourselves.  We get “shamed” (in a fun way of course!) because we are newlyweds who act like we’ve been married forever.  We would rather be spending our time being productive, socializing, doing things with/for the church, running with the kids, or just plain running.
We planned to take some time on Sunday just to sit and veg to the TV but I highly doubt that we will be able to sit still.  After all, we have a garden to plant, a garage sale to prepare for, a house to deep clean, a yard to fix and two moose (dogs) to let out to run.

There’s my life in a nutshell.  This is why my posts are so scattered and never consistent with the times they are posted.

HAPPY FRIDAY!

A Picutre Is Worth 1,000 Words.

This Friday, I’m breaking my mold!  I stumbled upon a challenged that Blu Chicken Ninja was doing with black and white photographs.  I decided to put my own twist on it and instead of doing 5 days, I’m doing 5 pictures that sum up my life outside of my faith, religion, etc.  If you’ve even read one of my blogs, you know where I stand on my faith.

However, my life is intense, fast paced, and never boring!  I had a hard time choosing only 5 pictures but these are the 5 that say the most.


When Shane and I first started dating, he used to pick me flowers and leave them places for me to find.  He would leave them at work on my time card, he would swing by the house that I was living in and put them on my car, or if I caught him in time, he would hand them right to me.  It was always the same type of flower and it quickly became a symbolic flower to us.  When we would be driving and see them in the ditches, it would bring a smile.  I dried a few and had them saved but in the move, they were destroyed.

This particular ‘bouquet’ was created at on my parents farm.  We took a walk late last fall and ended up out on a rock that I used to go to when I felt my world was caving in.  As we walked, we were discussing my ‘dream wedding’ and what I would like to see.  I was telling him and as we were walking, both of us were picking different flowers.  We got to the ‘dream flowers’ and I told him that I wanted something that looked like they were ‘freshly picked’ and I looked down and the bundle that was in my hands and it was perfect.  I took this picture and it’s been one that I go back and look at often.

However, we won’t be using fresh picked flowers in September because I found another idea that seemed more us and fit the wedding better.

This was after my husband (then, boyfriend) returned home from two and a half weeks away at training.  This is when I knew that being a military wife was something that I wanted to do.  I found a strength in me that I didn’t know I had.

I never thought I would partake in a homecoming where there would be butterflies in my stomach, sweat on my palms, and shaking in my joints.  But that first time we were away from that long with limited communication allowed me to have my first experience with that.

I snapped this because I couldn’t believe that he was gone (and working hard) for almost three weeks, he gets home and hands me flowers, a bear and gives me a huge hug, then proceeds to make me supper.  From the time he hit the door, we were living at 100 MPH.  We haven’t slowed down since.

As if you don’t think our lives were busy enough, add our two human children and three fur children and it gets even more chaotic.  M&M are Shane’s children from his first marriage.  However, I fell in love with them as soon as I met them and have been increasingly welcomed into their lives.

From the time we met, it’s been “Let’s do this!”  “We need to do this!”  “OH!  Definitely this!”  They are the most exhausting but most rewarding blessings to come into my life.  I love them as if they are my own and I claim them as my own; most days.

Then comes our fur babies.  Angel (not pictured) is a rambunctious kitten who acts more like a devil.  She is almost always scratching, jumping, pouncing, climbing, eating, or sleeping.  I firmly believe she is the instigator in most issues that we have and she frames the dogs.  Then we have Marley (on the left).  What a brute!  He is a mix between a Chesapeake Bay Retriever and a Golden Lab and weighs in at a light 120 pounds!  He is so happy all of the time and loves to please.  Despite his size, he thinks he is a lap dog.  He has been amazing with welcoming a new fur sister and brother over this past year.

And finally, we have Hugo (on the right).  He is a mix of St. Bernard, Border Collie, and Black Lab.  He is all that is puppy.  He plays (like a cat, mind you.  Laser pointers, balloons, ‘hiding’ and pouncing..)  He was only a couple of months old when I adopted him and he instantly found a place in my heard.  He has been my guard dog since day one.  Even though he is hyper (and antagonizing the cat or Marley) majority of them time, I love him to pieces.

No one is getting in the house with those two around.

Shane and I have a morning ritual.  He will get up and let the dogs out to do their business, start the coffee and then come wake me up.  We will sit and watch the Weather Channel or a local news station and just chatter.  It is our “get away” time when the kids are here and it allows us to have a few moments together before the hustle and the bustle of the day begins.  It’s something we both look forward to.

This was taken the day that we committed our lives to one another.  This picture does more than sum up my life.  Those shirts hanging on the wall are the shirts we wore during our first “date”.  The man standing behind me with so much love on his face came into my life and reminded me of what it felt like to be loved and respected.  The flowers in the background between Shane and I were a gift from him “just because you deserve to be spoiled now and then”.  This picture IS my life.