Category Archive : Marriage

New Beginnings

A friend of mine posted the following on Facebook a few weeks ago:

“We have a mindview and set emotions and we look for things to meet those or we color events within those guidelines to make them meet them. We constantly subconsciously try to fit pieces together from an emotional standpoint that fulfill all our needs, and only when we have an emotional craving, that we find a way to meet those needs.”

This was taken from her communications class as they were discussing self-fulfilling prophecy.

I am a very firm believer in self-fulfilling prophecy. Seeing it. Feeling it. Believing that good things can happen will bring good things to your life. I do believe that some amazing things are short-lived in nature. They bring to us a momentary sugar high but can so quickly come crashing down destroying everything in its path. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe things happen to teach us lessons and all we can do is learn and move forward. Continue on, even when it hurts. Even when there is no defined closure. You continue on and simply do what is right. Protect the people you love.

I don’t always like to discuss my marriage because it is SO personal and private. However, we have discovered some important things over the past few weeks that I want to share with all of you in hopes that it can provide a little inspiration to you in your own lives and maybe even your own marriage. We live a wonderful life. We like to believe we have the perfect son. The perfect house. Perfect jobs. Yet, of course we know, we are not inherently perfect. Our marriage has definitely not been perfect. When you have been with someone a long time, for us it has been over a decade (married for 8 of those 11 years), it is so incredibly easy to become complacent. To feel like you don’t have to put in the work anymore. We filled our lives with our own individual things and kind of left the other out of the equation. I became literally obsessed with my health and fitness. Sure, there could be worse things to choose to do to detach myself, but this was my outlet. At the end of the night, we would usually go to our own parts of the house, him to his man cave, me to my living room. I would usually go to bed long before him and we wouldn’t see each other until about dinnertime the next night. Most phone calls and emails were business-like in nature. We got arrogant. We thought our marriage was impenetrable. We completely took our marriage and each other for granted. I don’t think this type of behavior is unusual for many married couples; however, both of us wanted to believe that it could be more than this. More than a business arrangement. So, we asked ourselves the question: Why did we get married in the first place? First and foremost because we were in love and committed to each other. I’m so very glad we have taken the time the last couple weeks to remember where it all began before spending years in a sad and lonely place, or worse, end up in divorce.

Marriage is not easy. It requires work, care and attention every single day. So many things demand our attention: kids, jobs, extended family, friends, ourSELVES- it seems somewhat easy to let go of the importance of our marriage partners. With all of these demands, it is easy to forget about what we wanted in the beginning. For me, I’m like any other little girl. I wanted the fairytale. A prince to sweep me off my feet. Hollywood romance. Guess what- it doesn’t work that way in real life. It certainly did not happen like that for me, but what I have is better. Love that is deep and binding. Love that is forgiving. I have the real deal.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” – 1 Peter 4:8
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I am lucky. Many don’t get a chance to right their wrongs. I never want to think about being apart from the people I love the most. I would do absolutely anything for them. I could not be more thrilled and excited about our future and our lifetime together. So, so lucky.

I am a constant work in progress as I’m sure we all are.

If there is something I need to work on the most, it is to learn how to love and forgive myself. If I cannot do that, what else do I have to give?

When He Gets Older

From about the time we brought Jack home as a newborn to now, we keep using the phrase, “When he gets older…”

If I may tell a truth… the older he gets the harder it gets. I’m thinking “When he gets older” really means “When he’s 18 and on his way to college.”

My 3.5 year old child is:

  • Fast
  • Smart
  • Sassy
  • Adventurous
  • Fearless

For some reason when he was a baby we thought everything was impossible. In retrospect, we could cart him just about anywhere! How was that impossible? Why didn’t we do more? Sure we had to deal with dirty diapers, feedings and spit ups but that is cake compared to potty training accidents, tantrums and incessant whining.

No flames here, but we chose to parent our child in a very scheduled manner. From eating to sleeping, we have a schedule for just about everything we do. Are we flexible? Of course. Now that Jack is getting older, he is able to voice when he is thirsty or hungry so waiting until a “scheduled” time to eat seems a little cruel and unusual not to mention, there are just nights when he is most definitely not tired at 7:30pm. 

One of the hardest things for us to do is let someone do it for us. I finally talked my husband into going on a real date night. One where we go to dinner and a movie at a normal date time (like… not the middle of the afternoon), stay out late and drink a ton. Despite 3.5 years of her begging, he wouldn’t bend on letting his mom babysit. I haven’t the slightest clue what his hangup was, but I was finally over it. We were going out. Thrilled to pieces that I asked her after all this time, my mother-in-law broke land speed records to get to our house that afternoon. I made a bet with my cranky/anxious husband that she would get Jack to sleep without any issues (or should I say issues outside of the normal 3 year old anti going to bed issues). I dragged my nervous husband out the door so we could make it to our dinner reservations on time. Smartly, he ordered a scotch when we got there. He eventually calmed down enough to enjoy my wifely company and we proceeded to have one of the BEST movie experiences ever. I don’t think there are many of these movie theaters out there, but if you are ever able to buy VIP movie tickets at a Paragon Odyssey theater, I highly recommend it. Around 8:15p, we got a text from mother-in-law: “He is sound asleep.” Immediate relief shown in my dear husband’s face. We even sat down for a couple drinks after the movie.

It was one of the BEST date nights we have had in a very long time. Our marriage ached for it and needed it.

While we don’t consider ourselves helicopter parents, we do have some trust issues when it comes to leaving our son with other people. Yes that includes family. Mostly it has to do with breaking the schedule and the reprogramming we have to do to get back to our daily routine. After my sister-in-law settled down to get married and start her own family over the last year and a half, we lost our go-to babysitter and admittedly were kind of lost. We often drop him at my parent’s house but that typically means an early night out and certainly very little booze (yeah… hubs and I like our liquor). Having his mom babysit for us was a big step. And guess what? Jack is still alive. MIL is happy to have her new babysitter status. It’s a small step towards hopefully bigger things (OVERNIGHT date maybe?? Dare to dream…).

We confess. We are a work in progress. Stay tuned… I have a post forthcoming about our summer trip to Disney. If you thought trusting a new babysitter was hard, try the stress of bringing our preschooler on a plane for the first time…

The Philips Wake-Up Light Experiment

No this is not a picture of me.

I was super stoked to FINALLY get accepted into the SheSpeaks Philips Wake-Up Light Better Mornings program. It is just a really cool product and might just be the answer to my prayers as a person who wakes up at 5am the majority of the week as well as suffers from SAD (Seasonal Appresive Disorder).

Not sure how important daylight is? Sunlight and daylight have positive effects. They raise energy levels and help align our daily rhythm. The Philip Wake-Up Light gradually wakes you up in a gentle, less abrupt way- the way nature intended. Starting a half hour before your set wake up time, the Philips Wake-Up Light gradually fills your room with bright light, similar to the rising sun. The light raises energy levels, slowly preparing you to slowly wake up.

I decided to give this thing a try for 5 days. My initial concerns:
– The light would wake my husband up (who actually gets up with the rising sun like a normal human)
– The light wouldn’t wake me up at all
– That nothing would change and I would still be hitting snooze every 10 minutes.

Night 1: This dumbass probably should’ve read the instructions fully as I was somehow blissfully unaware that you are to set it a half hour before you are ready to get up. Being a snooze button lover, I had set my clock to my “snooze” time: 5:05am (gives me about 30 minutes worth of snooze slamming). So to my limited knowledge, the light started firing up at 4:30am. At about 4:45a, I sensed that it was light (holy crap… this thing works??) and I panicked. Full on freaked. Shot up in bed thinking that it was about 7am and I was about to be very late for work. Worried that it worked so well on me (and it was much earlier than I am accustomed to anyway) and that I would wake up my snoring husband, I turned off the light portion and stuck to the good old fashioned FM radio wake up. Baby steps, right? I asked my husband if he noticed the light being on. He said no but that he heard the radio. LOL. Going into Night #2, I’m going to give this thing a REAL try. Set my alarm for 5:30 (light will start at 5) and see if waking up is a little easier without having to hit snooze a hundred times.

Night 2: Yup. Got a kick from my husband this morning to turn the light off. However, can we agree that this thing works?  

The full intensity brighter than the sun light which woke my dear husband up. Yes, that is my backup former alarm clock in the background. And the video monitor. Also wonderfully bright for my husband’s annoyance.

Night 3: I knocked down the light intensity by half (to just a 5 out of 20) and it still woke me up about 10 minutes before the radio alarm sounded. Husband didn’t wake from it this time; however, that may have been more because he was up at 4am with the kid. I am definitely feeling less apt to hit snooze- I actually want to just wake up and get moving!

The intensity used at half and still more than woke me up.

Night 4: Thanksgiving Eve = sleeping in (or rather, waking up to the natural sunlight beating in my window)

Night 5: Thanksgiving Turkey coma. Yet the light woke me up 10 minutes before my alarm as usual. Up and not entirely thrilled to be going to work the day after Thanksgiving.

I spent a whole week testing out the Philips Wake-Up light and my final assessment? I love it. Love, love, LOVE IT. I love being woken up naturally rather than beating down my alarm clock every 10 minutes. In regards to my initial concerns, I found a light intensity that doesn’t seem to disturb my husband, it actually does wake me up and I have yet to touch the snooze button. My biggest issue is lack of trust. As parents, we are often woken up in the middle of the night by our preschooler’s dreams, potty needs, illness, monsters, MiMiMi scaring him (who the heck is MiMiMi??),  ETC ETC ETC and are freaking tired. So tired, that often the sudden shrieking of an alarm clock is what it really takes to wake up before the crack of dawn. I don’t trust that the light is going to wake me up, so I wake up every hour worried that I’m going to oversleep. Regardless of whether it worked just fine for an entire week and I woke up without an issue every day, I was still restless overnight.

No lie, I was pretty skeptical. I didn’t think it would work. I thought I wouldn’t want it. I confess, I was wrong. This is a great product. If you struggle with getting up in the morning and are a chronic snooze smacker like I used to be, this product will do wonders for you.

SheSpeaksbutton Thinking Light Therapy is the right thing for you? Click on the button to the left to get $10 off your Philips Wake-Up Light!

Bleary-eyed Zombie Mom Approved.

* I was given a Philips Wake Up Light to review through All opinions are mine and mine alone.

Yes, I Can Handle It

Sunday night as my husband was packing up for a trip to Los Angeles to start work on his Dad’s next book, he was answering my questions in a way that suggested I was going to whither up and fall apart without him here for a few days.

Not entirely the case (no matter how much he wants to believe that is the truth).

I was asking him questions so that for the next 3 days I had an understanding of his morning and daily drop off routine as I know it can often be challenging and I am rarely around for it as I am off to work before either of them are up. That’s all. I’m pretty lucky because despite the discord having a child has brought to our marriage, we are a solid parenting team. We are split down the middle 50/50 when it comes to parenting duties so when it comes time for one of us to go out of town, there are certainly some moments of panic not to mention having to readjust the work schedule. Worst of all when it comes to one of us traveling is shaking up our preschoolers regimented routine. He is used to daddy in the morning. NOT mommy. I had to answer a barrage of questions ranging from “Why isn’t daddy home?” to why Daddy’s car is in the garage but he’s not actually home? Seriously. Try and explain that to a 3 year old. I dare you. Thankfully, because of his regular morning routine with daddy, it was seamless. I set the “alarm” to about 5 minutes before we had to leave so he knew when the alarm on the stove went off that it was time to go to school. Regardless, I will still have that anxiety about something going awry as my schedule is insanely tight when I have to entirely take over the parenting duties.

The rest is pretty typical in the evening. Dinner, games, Facetime w/ daddy (god I love technology) and maybe a movie if we miraculously have enough time… Before we know it, two hours has flown by and it is time to get into jammies and start the bedtime routine. Having only a couple hours in the evening is insanely unfair and the thing I hate most about being a working mom. It never seems like enough time.

After the boy is finally sleeping, there is work. The dishes will need to be washed, the counters and table wiped down, a workout if I can bring myself to it and some attention for the poor neglected dog. The rest of the night becomes a worry fest. What if something happens to the house? To the dog? What if I don’t wake up and Jack needs me? No matter how hard I try to relax and remind myself that things are still normal despite being down one parent, I still can’t sleep. So for the two nights this week that my husband is gone, I will be a walking zombie. Coffee will become my best friend. I dream of Wednesday night when my husband will return home and I can finally let go of my worries and will likely sleep like the dead.

It’s not that I can’t handle it. I can handle it just fine. But handling it doesn’t make it any less exhausting. Handling it doesn’t make the worries disappear. Handling it doesn’t mean I will sleep well.

I am not writing this to make my husband feel guilty for going away. We are both deserving of our time away and I would never take that time away from him, especially from a project he is so passionate about. It is good to be able to step away from the day to day challenges that parenting gives. Good to step away from your spouse and give yourselves the chance to miss each other and remind you not to take each other for granted.

We are lucky that we are such a good team but when the team is down one of those vital players, the going isn’t easy. And, now that a couple days have gone by? I actually kind of miss the guy.

Love Ingredients

Love. It is incredible how it changes over time.

For me, the ingredients that make up all the love in my heart is grown from my friends, family, husband, dog and especially my son.

My Elite Circle of Friends

Friend Love: I love my friends. Over the years, my circle of “besties” has gotten pretty small. I have just a handful of friends that are my go to girls. Two of them are old college roommates. We have gone through pretty much everything together not to mention extreme highs and lows in our friendships and I honestly cannot imagine my life without either of them in it. Sure, our friendships have morphed a bit throughout the past 15 years because of marriage and kids, but we’ve somehow managed to stick it out. A couple more friends I have met along they way in my adulthood journey and I love them just as much. They are my escape and I am grateful.

Family L-R, Aunt, Bro, SIL Sarah, Sis, Me

Family Love: I grew up in a pretty typical family: Two happily married parents, an older sister and younger brother. Even though we don’t get to see each other much these days, I love them. Unconditionally. I would do anything for my family. Enter marriage into the equation (including my siblings’ marriages): I acquired a whole new family to love, care for and worry about. It is incredible to me how natural and easy it is to love these people without question or reason simply because: they are family and they are forever.

Marriage: October 15, 2005

Married Love: Falling in love with my husband was like closing my eyes thinking I was diving into an empty, concrete pool yet safely landing on a giant pile of feathers. We were discussing the whirlwind courtship of his sister the other day (in a good way), and he said to me, “I absolutely knew that I was going to marry you after just 6 weeks.” Here I thought he was just stringing me along for the first two years… Married love is pretty awesome. Our relationship has changed immensely over the past nine years. It has been important to remember that the “crazy” new love stuff doesn’t last that long, but it is the deeper bonds of our history and dreams for our future that keep us together. Milestones such as getting married and having kids are just a few of the many pieces along the way that make our relationship and our married love so powerful. 

Me & My Girl Sadie

Pet Love: I can say without a doubt that I love my dog, Sadie. I didn’t always love her this much. As a puppy, I got frustrated easily with her and just WISHED that someday she would start listening. Guess what? Out of nowhere, she did and she’s perfect (weird… sounds a lot like kids huh?). I can also say without a doubt that my dog loves me back- she is the first one that I see when I come in the door to my house. She’s been with us for 8 years, so yeah, she’s getting up there in age. I know that we need to start considering that she maybe only has about 4-5 more years with us and I kid you not, it BREAKS my heart to even think of having to say goodbye. I am not certain how I am going to be able to function without my best dog in my life. She’s been there for me through the best and worst parts of the last 8 years and I love her so much. One moment I recall is after finding out that I was having a miscarriage, I was sobbing uncontrollably and she just jumped up next to me on the couch and put her head in my lap. I don’t know how she knows when things aren’t right, but she does and she’s always right there to offer her love. She’s amazing. I know she hasn’t been thrilled about giving up the spotlight to the little person, but I think she has really grown to love and be protective of her little brother over the past two and a half years.

A Mother’s Love: You would think this would be the longest section of all when it comes to love yet I have a difficult time coming up with the words to describe how deeply I feel about my son. I often hear people describe their children this way and I couldn’t agree more: My son is my heart out walking around. My heart just swells when I think of him. I think of his crazy arrival into the world and even though it shook us all to the core, I think it taught us the most important lesson in parenting: nothing ever goes as planned. My little boy is my everything and I would die for him. I have loved watching him grow into such a smart and loving person over the past 2.5 years and after dealing with fertility issues, I am still blown away that he is here and he is mine. He’s the most amazing, frustrating and hilarious person I have ever known. You would think if you LOVE someone this much, it would be easy to find the words to describe it, but I just can’t. It just is.

How Fast They Grow…
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, what is love to you?