Category Archives: Love Thursday

15 Years & Counting

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I read a book recently where the main character, Emma, met her true love, Jesse, in high school. They fell in love, left their small town on the east coast and created a new life full of globe trotting travels for themselves in CA. On their first anniversary, Jesse dies in a helicopter crash. Over the next 4 years, Emma moves back to her small home town and slowly, painstakingly builds a new life for herself- one that gradually included a new true love, Sam. A few months before Sam and Emma’s wedding, Jesse was found alive (think Castaway). Now a 30-something with a career she loves and life she adores, Emma has to figure out who her true love is.

I know, it’s sounds melodramatic- and it was. But it also posed great questions about who Emma wanted to be. Can she be the same person she was in her 20’s when she was married to Jesse- did she even want to be that person anymore? Could she and Jesse learn to love each other as they are now- not who they were 4 years and a life time ago?

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The Hubs and I got married 15 years ago this month. We were just kids- I was a month past my 23rd birthday and he was 25.  We had moved down to Washington, DC when I was 21, a few weeks after I graduated college so he could start his career with the Secret Service and I could figure out what I wanted to do with my life.

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I think part of the reason that I found One True Loves such a compelling read is that I don’t have a set delineation between young Heather and grown up Heather when it comes to my love life. I was in it when I was young and I’m still all in today at 38. The Hubs and I didn’t get to figure out who we were as grown ups separately because we, in so many ways, grew up together.

There were growing pains- so many growing pains. I remember after one particularly argument, the Hubs yelling at me that I wasn’t the woman he married anymore. And he was 100% correct- I am not. Where I had once been career/studies driven, now my career is a vehicle that allows me to live the life that I want with my focus on my family. My energies are no longer on moving up the ladder, but on juggling 55+ hours work weeks, Little League and lacrosse schedules, tutors and dinner times. Family comes first and the rest is just noise.

But there is so much joy in growing into adults together. We both had fantastic parents- but there are still so much we had to figure out. How do you cook? Who cleans? How do you keep pets alive? Raise kids? Own a home? Find friends that you both like to hang out with? How to discipline kids? How to react to disappointment and loss? How to keep your sanity when things are nuts? How to stay connected with each other when life is so overwhelmingly busy? How to grow as a person while still being the person your spouse needs you to be?

We’re not pros and I have no idea what the future holds. We’re still learning and growing and finding our footing. Some days we are totally in sync and have all our priorities in line. Others it feels like there is an ocean between us.  There are days I look at the Hubs and I’m just struck dumb by the love I have for him, tenderness literally washing over me. Days I get butterflies and can’t wait to dress up for a date night just to see the expression on his face. But there are just as many days where I grit my teeth when I see him- days when just the tone of his voice is enough to set me off. Days when sweatpants and a clean t-shirt seem perfectly acceptable, romance be damned. But most days? Most days are fun.

And there in lies that joy. Life shouldn’t be a flat line where you can see everything that’s coming long before it gets to you. The joy is in the ups and downs- in the times when we fit perfectly together and in the times we claw our way back to each other when walking away sounds a hell of lot easier.
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So- to my husband. Thank you for growing beside me these past 15 years. Thank you for still being able to make me laugh with just a look. Thank you for challenging me and making me be a better person. Thank you for being an amazing father to our kids. Thank you for putting up with me when the going gets tough and letting me hold you hand when we both know you hate to be touched. Here’s to many, many more years of marriage. I love you.

Love Thursday: The Neglected One

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Dear Bean-

It doesn’t seem fair that I wrote your brother a letter before he started Kindergarten but I never wrote you anything, does it? Then I come on here and complain about you and your crappy medicine taking skills for days. Being the second child stinks.

This morning I had to wake you up to get ready for school.  You are not a morning person (just like your Daddy) so I  honestly dread the days when you don’t get up on your own. Those are the days you typically refuse breakfast because I can’t read your mind to determine which plate you want to eat off of.  Heaven forbid you share that info with me to make life a little bit easier.

Anyhow- this morning after I work you up, you rolled over and asked if today was a school day. When I told you it was, you got a big grin and yelled “Awesome!”

And that, my dear, is how you’ve felt for the last two weeks of school. The first couple of weeks were rough, but now that you’ve got your friends (both boys, one of whom you’re married to) and you’re comfortable with the routine, you are just loving life.  And that makes my heart just about what to explode.

This year I wish so much for you, just like I wished so much for your brother. I wish you confidence. Realize that just because you’re one of the littlest people in a school that goes up to 6th grade, that doesn’t mean you should be over looked. I wish you the seeds of life long friendships. You’ll be going to school with some of the kids in your class until 12th grade.  I don’t expect you to find your BFF or true love in class, but I do hope when you’re my age you still have one friend who knew you in preschool like I do (hi Brian!).  I wish you the joy of learning.  I realize your day is 90% fun right now, and it should be- but your amazing teachers are sneaky and they work in quite a bit of education too. I hope you  latch right on to that and soak it all up.

But most of all, babes, I wish you happiness.  I hope you laugh every day and always wake up each day excited about what’s to come.

All my love,

Mom

Love Thursday: Independence

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At least once a week either the Hubs or I will randomly throw out a name in the middle of conversation.

Jane?

Nah, I don’t like how it goes with our last name.

Neither one of us question what the other is talking about- we know.  These names are possible choices for our hypothetical 3rd child.  We’re not expecting another baby now, nor do we plan on adding to our brood anytime in the next year or so, but the thought is always there in the back of our heads.  Neither one of us know if our family is complete yet.

The hard part is, the longer we wait, the more I’m enjoying having older kids.  I was a wreck most of the past two weeks. Between Mary leaving and the kids starting school full time, I cried at least once a day. My babies- my precious babies going to school and leaving me alone in the house all day for the first time in 5 years! I thought for sure that them being gone was going to kick my baby fever into high gear and was mentally prepping the discussion the Hubs and I would have to have. But you know what? I love having the house to myself for 6 hours a day.  Flat out adore it.

Earlier this week the kids started swim lessons.  Scorch has been in lessons without me for the past 6 months, but I thought I still needed to get in the water with the Bean. Nope- I was able to sit on the side of the pool and just enjoy watching them swim.  It was heaven.

The kids dress themselves every morning. They pick up after themselves. They can tell me what they want, what hurts and why they are crying.  They are wonderful company and make me laugh with their observations and stories. I don’t have to wipe any more behinds and the only diapers in the house are here when Baby Lala is around. I don’t have to pack a diaper bag or bring my breast pump with me when I’m away from home for a long period of time.  And I’m enjoying all of that so much more then I thought I would.

The decision whether or not to have another baby hasn’t been made yet and I’m sure it won’t be for some time, but for now I’m just relishing the independence while hoping my kids don’t grow too fast!

 

Love Thursday: One Small Step

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Dear Scorch-

Last night we went to an Ice Cream social at your school a week before classes begin.  We’ve gone every year since you started school there as a 3 year old and every year you’ve clung to us.  You’ve buried your head in my shoulder and refused to shake hands or say hi to your new teacher.  Last year you warmed up about 30 minutes in and went to play with friends, but you kept us in your line of sight the whole time.

This year was a whole new ball game.

You proudly marched in the cafeteria and were so excited to be back.  You pointed everything out to the Bean because you know she’ll be scared when she starts there next week too.  You ran up to all your former teachers and gave them big hugs and filled them in on random facts about your summer break.

I got to pet an alligator!

Daddy has a new job and a new badge and it’s super cool!

I fell on the playground last week and really did a number on my face!

Mommy got stung by a jellyfish- in her hiney!

When it came time to meet your new teachers, you were a little shy.  But as soon as they put their hands out to shake yours, you didn’t hesitate.

Hi, I’m Scorch.

And then- you were off.  You were hugging friends and running around without a backwards glance.  You didn’t care where we were, you just wanted to go. The only time we saw you for the next hour was if we tracked you down to make sure you were still in the building.

And I died a little inside knowing that this was just one more (big) step forward- not the first and surely not the last.

Every day you assert yourself more and more. Last week when I asked you to do something, you said “No. I refuse.” After I shut my mouth (which had hit the floor), I insisted that you do do what was asked of you- but inside I was thrilled with your gumption & your vocabulary.   Just about every day you bring me a new piece of paper with a word or a phrase you’ve tried to sound out yourself- you are bursting to learn how to write and I couldn’t be more excited for you! (Unfortunately it looks like your skills at sounding out words is as good as mine- but don’t worry kiddo, there is a reason we have spell check).

I want so much for you this year- your first year in school full time.  I want you to learn- be a sponge and ask a million questions.  I want you to make a zillion different kinds of friends- a best friend, a play ground buddy, a friend to sit next to at lunch, friends who are boys and friends who are girls.  I want you to have the confidence to ask to play with a stranger. I want you to simply love school- all aspects of it.  And I think you will.

To quote one of your favorite movies-  “You’ve got guts, spunk and moxie, kid!”  And you do! We cannot wait to watch you shine this year!

I love you.

– Mommy

 

 

Love Thursday: More then 453 Pieces of Chocolate

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Dear Kiddos-

This week has been more then a little challenging.  I’ve been working 12 hours every day. You, Bean, have been perfecting your independence and fighting me every night at bed time.  And you, Scorch, are dealing with all the craziness by pulling out some crappy behaviors that have been getting you in all sorts of trouble.  We’ve all yelled at each other and we’ve all cried.

But we’ve also laughed. Played baseball.  Make impromptu ice cream runs.  Cuddled on the couch watching funny movies. Told each other that we love each other more then 13 cups of chocolate milk or 129 pieces of pizza.  Read some books. Colored. Swam. Helped each other.  Been kind to each other. Loved each other.

I pray when you think back to your childhood you remember all that good. I hope you don’t remember the fights and clashes because even though they seem to have dominated our lives this week, our family is so much more than that.   Bean-  your independence infuriates me, but it thrills me as well. You have no limits and I can’t wait to see where your self assurance takes you.  Scorch- I detest the fact that you screamed “I Hate You!” at me last night, but damned if I wasn’t proud of you for using your words and telling me exactly how you felt. I may not have liked it, but that passion of yours is one of your biggest assets.

Even when I’m flat out furious at you both, I love you-  there is absolutely nothing you can do that will change that.  I will always, always love you- even more then 453 pieces of chocolate.

– Mommy

Love Thursday: Quiet Nights

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Summer 2011 has been an amazing one so far. It’s also been a really, really busy one as we jump from activity to activity.  Our nanny keeps the kids going while I work during the day- play dates, story hours, concerts in the park, plays & swim lessons.  Then I get done working at 5 and most nights we’re out the door by 5:15 going somewhere.  Tonight is the first night we’ve been home since last Wednesday with no place to go and no one to visit.

It was wonderful.

The kids are going to see a local production of Aladdin tomorrow, but they had no idea what the story was about. So I did what any self respecting parent would do- I rented the Disney movie.  Then I kicked the dog outside so we could have a picnic dinner on our family room floor, complete with a table cloth (left over from Bean’s birthday party).  The kids thought it was awesome and frankly, so did I.   We needed this night to recharge our batteries and relax as a family.

I also needed a night for the kids to go to bed right on time so I could catch up on So You Think You Can Dance- but they  don’t need to know that.

Love Thursday: The Birthday Girl

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Dear Beaner-

Happy birthday, baby girl!  You’re 3 now- a fact that seems to shock you as much as it does me.  Since your birthday you’ve asked me at least once a day if you’re still 3.  When I tell you that, yes, you are still 3, you ask me what happened to 2?  I love how your brain works, little girl and I wish I could come up with an answer that satisfied you.

Part of me can’t believe that you’re already 3- weren’t you just born? I think your birth is seared into my brain forever- the fact that I couldn’t get an epidural, trying to literally strangle the doctor delivering you, the shock finding out that you were a girl and then, finally, the feeling that life would never, ever be the same because you were in it.

And it hasn’t- you changed everything.  You may be tiny, little girl, but you have the biggest personality I know.  You will not be ignored and you demand attention when you want it any way you can.  Sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes you make me question all my parenting skills.  You simply know your own mind and you expect people to fall into line accordingly.

But the other part of me thinks you’ve always been here. I have a hard time picturing what our family was like before you were in it- it must have been so quiet!!

Thankfully, the times when you’re a totally delight far outnumber the times you act like a drunk dictator with a mood disorder. You have a wicked, sly sense of humor that is a joy to watch.  You’re quick to figure people out and know just how to push their buttons- especially Scorch’s.  It amazes me how quickly you can make him nuts.  As the oldest of my siblings, I so sympathize with him.  As your mom, I laugh hysterically after you go to bed over how you’ve manage to manipulate him.  You two are so much fun to watch together this past year as you’ve gotten to be more of a friend instead of a baby.  You race around the house playing tag, puppies, dinosaurs, hide & seek and what ever else your little brains can come up with.   There is nothing I like to hear more as I’m working then the sound of you and your brother’s pounding feet and loud laughter above me.

Bottom line is, we love you madly and deeply.  3 is going to be a huge year for you as you start school full time.  I’m terrified about this- but more for my sake then yours.  You are going to soar at school- I can’t wait to see you find your way in the world separate from us.  But no matter how far you may travel, you know you can always, always count on your Dad and I to be here for you. We will always love you, support you and believe in you because you are simply amazing.

Love Thursday: The Do Over

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Today was Scorch’s last day of school, so we decided to celebrate by going out to dinner.  Yeah- super awesome, right?

Wrong.

In the 30 minutes it took for me to finish working, the Hubs to get home and us to leave the house there were fights about:

1) Where to go- Scorch wanted to go to McDonald’s which was voted down by everyone else in the family.  The tears shed over this decision could have filled up our baby pool.

2) Footwear- the kids recently discovered a pair of flip flops that were Scorch’s last year (he hated them last year, btw).  They are too small for Scorch and too big for the Bean- but it doesn’t stop them from fighting over them like rabid dogs.

3) Hitting & lack of personal space- I don’t know what is going on, but for the past month Scorch has been hitting all. the. time. Not in anger, but just because he feels like coming up to you and punching you.  It’s infuriating.  And if he’s not smacking you, he’s trying to drape himself on you to lavish you with kisses and hugs and squeezes, which after getting hit about a dozen times a day, you don’t really want.

4) Whether or not we can watch a movie in the car. We have a DVD player in our van. The rule of thumb is that we don’t watch it around town- only for trips 30 mins or longer. The only time we do use it around town is on Friday mornings on the way to school if the kids have earned the privilege by being good all week long.  That’s it- thems the rules and after a year of owning this car, you’d think the kids would know that by now.  Apparently not given the fit they both threw.

Needless to say, the kids weren’t at their best tonight and, frankly, neither was I.  After dealing with all the arguments, I actually yelled “You’re acting like….” to the kids. But I walked away before I could finish the sentence because I didn’t want to add name calling to my list of sins.  It was bad enough I was yelling, no need to take it further.

After dinner (which actually went well), we came home and got ready for bed, and then all piled into Scorch’s bed for a family discussion.  We talked about bad behavior and how no means no (as in please stop crying and pleading when we’ve made a decision) and all that fun stuff. I also apologized for my yelling earlier and told the kids that while they work on their behavior, I’ll work on my patience. At the end of our discussion, Scorch says “Don’t worry Mom, we’ll just have a do-over tomorrow.”

And thank goodness for that because I really do love those kids and I would hate to have to sell them to the circus.

Love Thursday: Matters of the Heart

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We were gone for 14 hours last Saturday, spending a full day with family celebrating Baby Lala’s baptism. It was a fantastic day, but a long one and I was bound and determined to spend my Sunday at home catching up on the multitude of things I had to do.  We all got up bright and early on Sunday and the Hubs soon left to go pick up the dog from the kennel.  The kids were doing great playing, so I decided to take a quick shower while they were busy.

While I was in the shower, the Bean had managed to dump out every drawer in her room as well as our coat closest.  She told me she packing her things to go to Church.  Now, while I appreciated her initiative, I didn’t appreciate the extra work she just laid at my feet.  So when a friend called to see if we wanted to go to a nearby lake for the rest of the morning to go swimming, I jumped at the chance because clearly my kids were not in the cleaning mood.

When we got to the lake, another family was pulling in with kids right around Scorch’s age.  A while later at the water’s edge, the other mom and I started making small talk like two strangers do when their kids are playing.  In the course of the conversation, this mom told me that her child, who is 5 like Scorch, had his 6th heart attack just two weeks prior.  I had to ask her to repeat herself because I was sure I mis-heard her.  5 years don’t have heart attacks- let alone a multitude of them.  Sadly, I had heard her correctly- her child was born with a congenital heart defect and had his first attack when he was 2.

Later that night I was laying in bed telling the Hubs about the family we met and I couldn’t stop thinking of how freaking lucky my family is.  I spent a lot of time over the past month complaining about the Virus from Hell and the Bean’s demonic possession, but the fact of the matter is, my family is healthy and I love them with everything I have. I can’t imagine how this other family goes through life making the most of everything, all the while waiting for the other shoe to drop.

While I can’t promise to get less frustrated or not to yell because as much as I love my little people, they make me crazy- I can promise you that I’ll be that much more appreciative of them now. I can promise to try to find the humor in watching the Bean try to stuff a pile of clothes as big as her into a teeny-tiny backpack.  I can promise I won’t tell my kids that I’ll play with them later because I have to pick up/do laundry/put the dishes away.  I can promise to tell my kids each and every day how much I love them and how lucky I am to have them.

Love Thursday: Lots to Love

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You’ll have to forgive me for not being able to come up with coherent post tonight.  It stormed last night, which meant I was up with Crazy, our dog, for 2 hours.  I’m tired- so let’s talk about the random things I’m loving right now:

1) The fact that So You Think You Can Dance starts back up today! That show is my guilty pleasure for summer!

2) The book Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal   I started reading this last night and can’t put it down- really well written and an amazingly compelling story.

3) This hot weather (which I will love even more when the Hubs puts in our air conditioning).

4) Shopping for a new-to-us car. I love car shopping- the research, the negotiating, the fun of figuring out what to get!  We are looking for mid-sized SUVs with a 3rd row if anyone has any suggestions!  The key- needs to be around or under $20K to stay within our budget.

5) That fact that I get to see Red, TBO & Baby Lala this weekend for Baby L’s baptism!  We’re spending all day Saturday with family, I have a pretty dress and my kids will get to have a ball with their cousins.

6) We’re finally thisclose to getting resolution on the Hub’s job situation- cannot wait for that!

7) The Hubs went back to work after being so sick today. Love that man, but it was time for him to get out of the house.

What are you loving today?