7 years of Marriage : Living in their Legacy

My amazingly patient husband and I have been married now for 7 years. We have two children and a mortgage and we go camping every summer all summer long. We are really turning into that family that childrens stories are based off of. But behind the happy smiles and fun family adventures lays the foundation that our family is built on. We are imperfect people who put a Loving God first.

Both my husband and I were raised in a Loving Christian Family. We both have 2 parents who are still married to each other and we both come from a family with 4 children. Although our families look a very similar on paper the only real thing they have in common is that our parents both love and fear God. God is the center of their marriage and family values. This has been something that both my sweet hubby and I have taken into our own marriage and used as a foundation when starting our very beautiful little family.

What does this look like?

1. Unconditional Love – God loves us no matter what. He has so much grace and forgiveness for each one of us and asks us to do the same for each other. Especially in marriage. My husbands parents and my parents have been married for a combine total of over 60 years and in those years they have seen their fair share of trials, disappointments, heart breaks, struggles, break downs, and moments of complete loss of hope. Holding tight to Gods promises and love for us and turning our eyes to Jesus when your human partner has let you down for the 15th time (today) is a key part in making a marriage survive the hard times. We have not been thru enough hardships to make me an sort of expert, but we have witnessed how a marriage can thrive or even just survive a trial.

Children are always watching. Whether they are 2 years old or 22 years old. They are unintentionally taking notes and making decisions on how they would respond or react if they were in that situation. When I was taking my ECE (early childhood education) course I learned a lot about how children learn and how their outlook on life is shaped in the early years. a huge part of how we respond to life and family is based on how we were raised. We can try our best to unlearn or avoid doing the things our parents taught us but that is our basis. That is our core. Praise the Lord that we both had/have such amazing Parents who in their own imperfect way have showed us how to rely on God.

2. Arguments – Everyone fights, Especially people who love each other. For some reason you fight with the ones you love the most, most of the time. My husband and I can have some pretty heated arguments.  Well, to be honest. I am the heated one and he is always cool as a cucumber. He is quite rational and calm and I do a lot of arm flailing and feet stopping. Because I am just a wee bit dramatic we make sure that we fight in our bedroom when it is a “heated debate” I learned that from my parents 🙂 But we also make sure that we have serious discussions in front of the children to model for them how to disagree with someone and still be respectful.

I have learned that arguing is actually good. It means you care. You care enough to voice your opinion and have a say in what is going on in your relationship. Its when the arguing stops that I will become concerned. The main thing to keep in mind is how you argue. I have learned that it is better to say few words than many. Words are supposed to get your point across, not stab the person in the heart. (eeek… I am going to pretend I have never done that) .

over the years that my husband and I have been together (12) I have learned and started to apply different filters to my arguing techniques. First, I pray. Letting God take control of my words and opening my husbands ears to hear what I am trying to say. My husband and I are as opposite as two people can be so this also means that we speak different languages. We both use English words but I have no idea what he is saying. God is our translator. God has an amazing track record when he is involved in our arguments. When we bring Him into the center of our disagreement there is no misunderstandings and hearts are not broken. It is when we try and take it into our own hands that things get all messed up. Another thing I have gleaned from our parents.

3 Date nights – This one was hard to understand in the beginning of parenthood. Before children we had no problem spending time alone. Especially when we lived in Ontario and had no friends but each other. But when we moved back to BC and to the land where all our friends and family lived and soon after started our family, date nights became a hot commodity. Date nights have take different forms over the years. in the early early stages of parenthood it meant those 30 minutes while baby was sleeping and my hubby and I would quickly make dinner and just stare at each other and not say a word because we were enjoying the quiet. That was super romantic, not even being sarcastic. Now date nights mean running out of the house as soon as my parents walk through the door to baby sit our two toddlers and then waiting for 1 hour to get a table at a restaurant and enjoying every moment of it. One time we even went to a movie theater and both fell asleep.. Ha! expensive nap.

Important part of this point is that date nights and weekends away are important for your marriage. Getting away just the two of you without your children is important. it doesn’t have to be for a long time. it doesn’t have to be right away when your child is still little. but it does have to happen. You decide when you are ready and go for it! Schedules can get filled. Girls nights can take over your life because come on, you deserve it. But your marriage deserves Love and attention as well.

4. Be Goofy – I used to get soooooo embarrassed when my mom and dad were goofy in the grocery store or when my friends were over. Now as an adult I watch our parents be silly or tease each other or even have inside jokes and it makes me so happy. Families that Play together Stay together. Making jokes and taking silly pictures together or playing silly games when out in public is good for everyone in the family. Life is too short and already boring to let boring people take over your family. You may not live longer because you were goofy but you will live better.

5. Apply what you have Learned from your mistakes – This one is something that I have also noticed both our parents do. They actually learn for next time and better yet, I learned! learning is not just knowing what to do next time it is actually doing it. This is a hard one to do. It seems that Muscle memory seems to take over and it is always easier to just do what comes naturally and unless you are Jesus, what comes naturally is normally not the best response. Especially in a frustrating situation. This is a lesson meant for every person at every stage of life but I am finding it is vital to a healthy and thriving marriage.

In the long scheme of things my marriage is still a baby. Seven years is not 25 or even close to being 50. But Seven years is huge. Two imperfect people trying to learn to love each other the best they can. We can not do it alone. Having God as our center as our root and our core is so important. Knowing that you do not have to have all the answers or do it alone has helped me in so many ways. Those moments when my husband has pushed me to what I think is my breaking point i turn to Jesus and He calms me down. Those moments when I find it hard to bless my husband, I look to Jesus and He helps me see my hubby (His child) through His eyes and I become refreshed and reenergized to be my husbands helper and partner in life.

Marriage is so hard. Marriage is so AMAZING! Marriage is strange. Marriage is filled with so much joy. Marriage should never be lonely because God can be such a huge part of it. I have so much more to learn and master and I feel as if the only thing I have mastered is saying “Sorry”. I am a PRO at saying “sorry”. I am so thankful to have two sets of parents who are showing us the way. Not just the glamour of marriage but the guts and gore as well.

-lion

How I Ruined our Valentines day

I am going to tell you two stories. One from my husbands side. His amazing plans for a wonderful Surprise Valentines day. Looking back it is quite obvious he had put a lot of thought and effort into the day and was honestly trying his best to have a good attitude no matter what his crazy unappreciative wife threw his way. Then I will tell you my side of the story and you will see just how much I screwed Valentines day up.

Amazing Loving Husbands Side:

The Cranky PMSing Wife’s Side:

Kids wake up at 6 am So I get up with them and let my beautiful wife sleep in a bit longer. I know she got up a lot last night with our teething (almost 2 year old? or was it the cranky 3 year old? who knows. I was sleeping). So I planned on letting her sleep at least until the last minute before I go to Early Morning Hockey

Kids wake up every 2 hours all night long with something bothering them. It is finally 6 am so I poke my husband awake to get him to take them so I can get at least one hour of uninterrupted sleep. He turns on all the lights to find his shirt. kids are jumping on our bed shouting “Cheerios! cheerios!” They march down stairs and he turns out our light and shuts the door. 

I Go to Hockey because Wife insisted I go because I will be missing the next few weekends due to her being out and about kid free at the spa and the following weekend with her best friends. So I went.

He Goes to Hockey. I know I said he should. But he didn’t read my mind and know that I said he could go last night when I was happy. Now, I am tired. He should have read my mind.

Come home and eat breakfast with my wonderful family.

While he is playing Hockey, I have 3 hours to kill. My son is begging to go for a bike ride. It is 7 Am. We go. I need fresh air. We walk to my parents house (they are all sleeping still because they are not crazy) and I steal some bacon. We drop off our valentines cards and crafts we made for Opa and Nana and head back home, bacon in hand. I decide to make a nice big family breakfast. Its the husbands favorite. Long story short. My daughter cries at my feet until I put her in the Ergo Carrier where she promptly falls asleep. I burn the bacon, Burn the hash browns, and break all the egg yokes for our “dip eggs”. The only thing that worked was our pink pancakes but i forgot to add oil so they stick really bad to the pan. We are out of syrup. I now have a head ache. Husband comes home just in time for daughter to wake up and us all to sit down for breakfast. 

Decide to go to Costco because we need a bunch of stuff for the week and the Kids LOVE Costco. Wife agrees. Bonus! We go to Costco I wait in the line up and pay for it all as she the kids go and get hot dogs and poutine and relax and I do all the unloading and loading and unloading again.

We went to costco on a SATURDAY! His idea. We did need stuff. but who goes on a saturday? The answer to that question is, EVERYONE!.  We get twice as many things as we intended to get (as always) he makes me go get the food with both kids as he peacefully stands in the line up and lets the ladies pack his cart.  There are no tables and the kids are starving so i pack it all up and we go outside to eat. Kids are running around eating hot dogs. That is not a choking hazard at all.  We finish eating and drive home.

Home just in time for nap.

ahh… no one is sleeping in the car. home in time for nap.

I put our crazy 3 year old down for his nap. He gets harder and harder each day to get to nap so I told me wife. ” you take care of our daughter who naps like an angel and I will take care of our crazy non napping son!” He goes down like a champ so I crawl into my bed to catch my own nap. Last thing I remember, My beautiful wife crawling into bed beside me as we drift off to sleep for a valentines day family nap.

Our son is yawning and super cranky as our daughter is the most pleasant little human being you have ever met. Our son goes down no problem. what a rare occasion. I put our daughter in the her bed and close her door. she seems content. I lay down in my bed and just as I am falling asleep I hear a little voice right beside my ear saying ” hi mommy, I’n awake.” I tried to get her to fall asleep for 20 minutes until I just gave up and went down stairs to clean with my wide awake helper. 30 minutes later I had 2 helpers. 

wake up 2 hours later.

He slept for 2 hours!!!!!!!!!!! I slepts for 0 minutes!!

So nap time was a fail. My daughter never fell asleep because apparently she had a cat nap in the morning while my wife was making breakfast and my son only napped 45 minutes.

Nap time was a complete fail!

Angry tired wife.

I am so angry that I am being super nice. I am just waiting for him to make one wrong move and then I will get to release my venom! I have been waiting for this moment for the past 2 hours. Plotting…. Planning…. 

I know, I will take the kids for a drive so she can nap.

Are you kidding me??????? Our daughter will fall sleep if you put her in the car seat for more than 2 minutes! then she wont go to bed until 9!

What? What is wrong with our daughter falling asleep in the car at 4 pm? Of course she will go down for bed time if she gets a short cat nap in the car?

Is he New?

OK, I will just do a five minute drive to the park so my wife can nap. Oh wait. she will still fall asleep. she is falling asleep right now.

This house is a mess and his plan is to take the kids for a nice peaceful drive as our 2 year old sleeps and our 3 year old watches a movie and he gets a coffee at Tim Horton while I stay at home and clean? Who can nap when they are angry and when the house is a mess!?

So I tried to do a nice thing but apparently it wasn’t a good idea.

Worst Idea he has ever had

We decide to go for a family walk with no cars or strollers involved. everyone on their feet. No one sitting. We walk and she seems to calm down a bit with every thing I promise to help clean up when we get home. So far I am cleaning the kitchen and the play room and doing some laundry. She apologizes for her out burst and I willingly forgive her:)

We go for a walk. My idea. My children have had the front row seat to my toddler behavior and so I feel convicted that I should now apologize as I would make them do. Whether I feel like it or not. Although I really could use a Time out! 

As my wife and I are playing Lego with the kids and discussing what to make for dinner my in laws walk in the door.

I am laying on the living room floor in our disaster of a house in my sweets and counting down the hours until I can crawl into bed when my parents walk in the door.

Surprise! I am taking you to the Keg for dinner!!

Surprise. I need a shower! I am excited to leave this disaster and even get to avoid making my kids dinner. plus I get to go for steak that someone else is going to cook!!? He is so sweet:) Annoying. But definitely sweet.

She is so happy. She rushes up stairs and I tell her to throw on some jeans and get out of her yoga pants. What? No. We do not have time for you to take a shower. ok fine. 5 minutes. Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!!

I need a shower. He gives me 5 minutes to get ready and rushes me like it is my fault that I didnt think to have a shower earlier. ? ummm…. I thought I was going to bed at 7. Happy that I get to go have steak, but come one! 

We arrive at the Keg and my wife is still brushing her hair and trying to apply make up. its 545. what? you don’t want to wait 2.5 hours for a table? But you love the Keg? Ok so where do you want to go? I don’t mind waiting. We can put our name down and go for a walk? wow, don’t bite my head off!

Of course its 2.5 hour wait! I thought you had reservation or had put our name down earlier? or something! I ma hungry! last thing I ate was at 12 when I ate half a hot dog because your son ate the other half after eating his own. Now I have to pick the restaurant because you were disorganized? OK. Trying to have a good attitude but all I want is a Keg Steak. 2.5 hours. Are you crazy!? 

We end up going to our favorite Korean restaurant and have a great time.

Korean was delicious and we did have a good time. 

We get home and thank my in laws for watching the kids and I plop on the couch. Phew. What a long day.

We get home and house is still a mess. So thankful for parents who love our kids and take such good care of them. But the house is still a mess.

We can clean the house in the morning.

This house is going to haunt my dreams

I go to the washroom and when I come out. She is sleeping.

I don’t even take my jeans off as I hit the bed and fall asleep.

So As I was writing both sides of the story it was very therapeutic.  I got to vent a little but also try and see through my husbands eyes. He really did have all the odds stacked against him that Valentines day would actually turn out nice:) I was so hormonal and moody you would have thought I was pregnant and over due. I am not! It was not a good day for me. Poor guy. In my apology, I explained to him how I was feeling and what my side of the story was. He listens but I am not sure he actually gets it. ha! 

Anyways. I totally ruined what could have been an awesome day. The lesson I learned was that one persons attitude can control and affect some many people. Especially in a family. My poor children. My poor husband. Poor Future me. I ruined a bunch of things that day by having such a poor attitude and by not putting other people before myself. I through myself a wonderful pity party that lasted all day long. I was so swept up in focusing on all the things he didn’t do perfectly to notice the things that he did with only me in mind.

He is a wonderful husband.

Best part of this lesson is that Next week is our anniversary. So, I get to try this evening all over again. You can guarantee that I will have a waaaaaay better attitude this time around.

-Lion (rawr)

#20beautifulwomenchallenge

today I was asked to post a picture on instagram for the hashtag #20beautifulwomenchallenge. And so I did. the obligatory Selfie ( who doesn’t like a selfie, other than those people who pretend they don’t like them because they have a zit on there face).

so here it is

my selfie

eselfie

– Owl

its only 2:30 and this is how my day is going

today.

6:30AM- son wakes up with up the back poop on sheets and everything. he is cranky, tired, doesnt want to go to bed, and having a tantrum.

6:30-7:30- consists of me attempting to wake up and help my son who keeps having issues, me putting him in his crib (i cleaned) him lying down but not wanting to sleep for more than a minute, me taking him out, him being cranky and crying, me trying to get dressed or drink coffee or something while holding an upset child. just a constant cycle.

7:45am- 2 age 10 Chinese students get dropped off at my house for a carpool (long story, but this is not a common occurrence), originally i was told they were Japanese, which would of been WAY easier as my grade 12 student is Japanese, so she could of helped with the language barrier. BUT no, they are Chinese and don’t speak anything past ” my name is…” they color while my son cries and acts shy and pretends he is a little baby.

8:15am- somehow i manage to get all in the car and drive them to school and my son to daycare.

8:30-9:45- My son grabbed my work keys during his “Special times” and hide them on me. I spend an hour and 15 tearing my house apart looking for them. Eventually i find them in my students rain boot in the mud room. WOW.

get to work and find out someone who is quite young has passed away and work is buzzing with phone calls and meetings. I am unable to get any work done because i need some conversations to happen with other pastors, but they are all tied up.

12:45- I am driving back from a coffee date and run out of gas……. yes this happened.

get to work and spill coffee on myself, and here now here i am. 2:45 and about to drive to pick up all the people for them to come home to a very messy house because of me looking for keys. and I can’t even explain to the little girls what happened.

Happy Tuesday?

– Owl