Wednesday, March 31

Friday, March 19

What's one more B to chase?

*this post will be revised and edited and bettered when I have time to think, aka time not spent avoiding packing for our weekend trip.*

So, this week my husband had been up to shenanagins. He was being secretive, and torturing me with his secretness. When he is being secret-y, it can only be good for me. He is the King of Good Secrets. He should have his own (Secret) Castle.

I filled my twitter stream with musings and ponderings and pleas for ideas about what he could be up to:
(read from bottom to top)



Then he left, sent me cryptic text messages, and came back carrying this:



And then I tweeted this:



It. Was. A. Dog.
An 8 week old Heinz 57- a  bona fide precious mutt.


After many name suggestions, inluding but not limited to: Maggie, Saturn (a brilliant proposal from The Boy... you know... Pluto, Mickey Mouse's dog.... Pluto's a planet.... Saturn's a planet... Like I said, brilliant.), and Mousey Dog (from The Girl), Jeremy decided that since all of our original children have B names, the pup should be a B too.
We quickly nixed Bertha.
I loved Bonnie, as in Bonnie Blue Butler, as in Scarlett and Rhett's daughter, until my mother-in-law reminded me that Bonnie Blue fell off a horse and died.
We thought we'd settled on Betsy, but we have a friend named Betsy, and were afraid she might've been offended if we named our dog after her.

So... evenutally... we introduced Miss Beatrice Magnolia B. to the world.


The kids (and I, despite my protesting) fell in love with her immediately.


(No photo of Beatrice and The Baby because the puppy may or may not be terrified of The Baby.)

She even got a pretty pink collar. Jeremy said he had to restrain himself from buying the one with "Princess" on it.


So, we have a dog.
She spent the first two nights quiet as a mouse, sleeping in "her room" aka, the place where my laundry piles up, and last night she yipped and yapped every hour.
She is a smart, sweet, docile little thing. She's peed on her puppy pad several times, and poooooped outside once (and only messed my already-messy carpet once).

We are leaving my Bees and one little Bea in my mother's care this weekend while Jeremy and I head to Memphis.
Next week I'll work on potty and sleep training.

She really IS just like another baby!








.

Tuesday, March 16

On Marriage

I have a sweet, precious, young friend who is getting married this summer. She’s the kind of girl who hasn’t crossed too many boundaries, even if her toes have been right up near the line. She has never lived anywhere other than her mom and dad’s house. She made a promise to God, her parents, herself, and her future husband to remain pure until marriage. Unlike so many who make the same promise, only to falter, she has kept it faithfully.


She will be a good wife. She is marrying a man who will be a good husband. They will be happy together. Though all couples are unique in their stories, there are a few things within marriage that are universal. Because no one did it for me, I decided to write my friend a letter with a few helps and hints and “well, I never would have thought of that” tips.

These are only a few of the things I've learned in almost 5 years of marriage....

• Be kind to each other. This may seem elementary, but we tend to hurt most the ones we love most. If you practice kindness daily, your marriage will benefit daily.

• Show him how to load and unload the dishwasher, how to separate and wash the clothes. Have him teach you how to unclog a clogged toilet, and change the oil in your car. You are a team. There are no “wife” chores or “husband” tasks. You are a team.

• Make it a point to know what his favorite meals are, and how to cook them well. Memorize how he takes his eggs, salad, and steak.

• It takes more time to complain that he left the toilet seat up (again) than it does to just put the toilet seat down (again).

• You will fight. You will. Do it fairly, without bringing up old fights. Resolve it quickly and move on. Also; try not to tell your mom when you fight. You will forgive each other more readily and more quickly than your parents will.

• Do not, do not let him use the bathroom with the door open. For at least 6 months. Some men do this. You don’t need to share everything. There are things you can’t unsee, or unsmell. Just. Trust me.

• Talk to each other. Again, it sounds like a no-brainer, but you will save time and effort if you will just talk to each other. Don’t assume he knows what you are thinking, and don’t try to read his mind.

• Laugh. Laugh at yourself, laugh at him, and laugh together. There is nothing you can’t get through together, and it is always easier when you do it in joy.

• The most intricate parts of intimacy will come eventually. Every aspect of your marriage (especially the newest parts) will grow and change and mature with time. Don’t worry if things don’t, um, fit at the beginning. (See also: Try, Try Again) Be patient with each other. And have fun. *wink wink*

• Spend time apart. You are two souls united together, but that does not mean you must be inseparable. Cultivate your own interests; you will bring more to the marriage if you are engaged in other ways.

• Pray together. Pray out loud together, pray silently together. Also, read and study the Bible together. The foundation of your relationship with your husband is your relationship with the Lord. If one suffers, the other will too.

• Maintain only one checking account. Hold each other accountable with your finances. There is no “my” money and “your” money, only “ours.” Pay bills together, make a budget, stick to it. And write it all down.

• Try to hold off on the baby-makin’. If you can, give yourselves at least a year before getting pregnant. You need to walk with each other through each of the seasons before adding another little someone to the mix.

• Establish routines and traditions; even if they are small. It is corny and clich├ęd, but every moment is an opportunity for a memory.

• Cherish this new adventure for what it is. You are young and beautiful and in love. You have found the one whom your soul loves, and together you are beginning an amazing new journey. There will be hard times and there will be joyful times, and you will cry through both. Keep Christ in the center of your relationship; go to Scripture before you go to your best friend. Know that your husband is the spiritual leader of your home, and also know that your most important role is as his supporter and encourager. You are his bride, his beloved, and he is to treat you as Christ treats the Church. If you consistently put each other first, no one’s needs go unmet. Be gentle with each other. Be honest with each other. Be each other’s biggest fan. Continue to date each other. Forgive each other quickly. Enjoy each other.

• You will figure this out as you go. People will offer you (unsolicited) advice. Take what you want, toss the rest. Those wedding bands do not come with superpowers- you will figure this out as you go.

 
 
 
 
 
So, what's the best advice you give to newlyweds?
 
 
 
 
 
.

Monday, March 15

Blogging Elsewhere...

Hey friends!

I'm excited to be guest blogging today at my friend Becke's blog!

She didn't give me a topic this time, so I picked one I'd been meaning to write about anyway: an easy way to remember to actually pray for others when you tell them you will. (If you, unlike me, never forget to do something you say you would... well... this is the wrong blog for you.)

So, go read it, and let me know what you think!


Also... BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH!! (Or, "Watch Out, the Day After the Daylight Savings Time Change Stinks"!)





.

Tuesday, March 9

The Beautiful Letdown

(post title borrowed from a Switchfoot song of the same name)





My Girl. She broke my heart today. It was a simple thing, a 3 year old’s melodrama, but it hurt me anyway.


I don’t even remember all the details, but it basically went like this: she asked for something, I said no, her world was shattered. My Girl is not an aggressive child. She is passive, and highly emotional, and irrational, and affectionate.

My Girl, she loves big. When she loves, it is the most loving love in the history of love. She is filled to the brim with kindness, she radiates happiness. Her smile is infectious and her laugh dissipates any pain or anguish. She is beautiful; and when you tell her so, she answers with a gleeful, “I know!” But it is not yet a conceited or self-indulgent answer. She knows she is beautiful only because her parents tell her she is, and her parents do not lie to her.

My Girl is impossible to discipline. She is a pleaser, but only in the most sincere “I want you to be happy because I am happy when you are happy and it is so good to be happy” way. She wants to do what is right. She falls to a thousand pieces when she realizes she has hurt someone, or has disobeyed the rules. She gets frustrated, but rarely acts on that frustration, except for fits of melting-to-a-puddle sadness.

My Girl’s emotional spectrum rivals that of any hormonal teenager.

So today, when I denied her request, she fell apart. Usually my denial is met with a high pitched argument, “But, Mah-ha-haaa-meee!” Today however, she simply screamed… stomped… and then walked away quietly.

“Well, that was easy,” I mistakenly thought.

I went about my business; tending to the baby, gathering dirty clothes from the kids’ rooms.

When I came back through the living room I discovered my Girl, my Ladybug, in a veritable –yet silent– fit of rage.

Earlier this morning she had painstakingly drawn several pictures for her daddy to see later. She put all of the pages in a secret place to retrieve once her very own Favorite Person Ever got home. What I found was my sweet, relatively mild-mannered child, furiously ripping her artwork to shreds and scattering the pieces all over the living room floor.

She. was. pissed.

She was very literally seething. I asked what on earth she was doing, and when she looked up there were tears brimming at the edges of her huge blue eyes. She shrieked at me, “YOU MADE ME DO THIS! YOU MADE ME MESS UP DADDY’S ART BEFORE HE COULD SEE!... YOU! MADE! ME!”

And then my heart, it was smashed into smithereens.

I tried to explain that no, I did not make her do that. I tried to explain (again, always) that no one can make her do anything she does not choose to do, and that she was in control of her actions, and that this was a decision she made.

Yeah, right.

She looked around on the floor, devastated at what she had done. It was like she was coming out of a trance. Even still, she wouldn’t back down from the fact that I hadn’t given her what she wanted and that I MADE HER RIP HER TREASURES FOR DADDY!!



***

Once, when my son was a few weeks old, I called my mother in tears because I (exhausted, delirious, deprived) had slept through a night feeding and also a huge blow-out poo diaper, and I had given my son an immediate, blistering diaper rash.

She gave me this pearl of reassuring, comforting, very mother-like advice: “Savannah, you’re never going to stop messing up. You’re never going to not let them down. You will always do the wrong thing.”

She shocked me out of my crying jag.

“What? Mom, what??”

“Savannah, you will be, and already are, a fabulous mother. You love your son; you do everything in your mortal power to keep him happy and healthy. You are already teaching him about life and unconditional love. You will be the best mother you can possibly be, but there will always be some disappointment. You won’t always get everything right. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Change his diaper, feed him, and continue doing the best you can, because really, you’ve got no other choice.”

***



Today, my Girl broke my heart. I let her down, and she let me know about it. I made her angry, and she reacted.

I made her rip her art.

I will continue to disappoint my kids, and they’ll disappoint me. We will hurt each other’s feelings, unintentionally and otherwise. But we will continue to love each other, support each other, and foster each other’s creativity and self-awareness.

Once I got her calmed down, my Ladybug asked me to help her tape her work back together.

It is not the same as it was before, you can see the “fault-lines,” but it is something we got through, something we repaired, together, and it is still beautiful.









.

Surely We Can Change

This weekend, I borrowed a bunch of old cd's from my cousins, among them, David Crowder * Band's Remedy.

I was cleaning the house and chasing the girls, until this song came on. Then I stopped. I couldn't remember if I'd heard it before, but it didn't matter, because I was entranced.
David Crowder writes worship music like nobody's business. His way with words, and his honest, raw affection for the Lord makes his music so easy to fall in love with.

The words of Surely We Can Change are simple.
But sometimes what is most simple, is most powerful.


And the problem is this
We were bought with a kiss
But the cheek still turned
Even when it wasn’t hit

And I don’t know
What to do with a love like that
And I don’t know
How to be a love like that

When all the love in the world
Is right here among us
And hatred too
And so we must choose
What our hands will do


Where there is pain
Let there be grace

Where there is suffering
Bring serenity

For those afraid
Help them be brave

Where there is misery
Bring expectancy

And surely we can change
Surely we can change
Something


And the problem it seems
Is with you and me
Not the Love who came
To repair everything

And I don’t know
What to do with a love like that
And I don’t know
How to be a love like that

When all the love in the world
Is right here among us
And hatred too
And so we must choose
What our hands will do

Where there is pain
Let us bring grace
Where there is suffering
Bring serenity
For those afraid
Let us be brave
Where there is misery
Let us bring them relief
And surely we can change
Surely we can change
Oh surely we can change

Something

Oh, the world’s about to change
The whole world’s about to change

Monday, March 1

See ya, February

Today is March.
Yesterday was February.
We did some things in February.
Here are some of the things we did. In February.

We ate REALLYAWESOMECHOCOLATEGIMMEMORE

We stretched. We were happy.


We woke up to find snow!


We played in the snow a lil bit.


We played some games after the snowfun.


We caught a little cabin fever.


We really wanted to go outside.


Eventually, the snow melted, and we struck a pose as we checked the mail.







.