All posts filed under: Marriage

Why :: Write

I had a recent conversation with someone I love & respect, and in this conversation I was being prodded and challenged to consider why I write what I write. I was taken aback that my loved one didn’t understand the backbone of my writings. It was jarring to me and I’ve taken a backseat to think things through. Why DO I blog? What am I trying to convey to readers? What do I care about in my own life? Why do I verbalize the raw parts of my life? So, I’ll share my journal notes to myself about why I blog and then you can comment about what you think of it. How’s that? Discussion is good. Feedback is good. Sometimes I feel like I’m just blogging out into the void, but then some of you write to me privately about your own stories and your own inspirations. That means a lot to me. I think that most of the time I write for therapeutic reasons and as a form of artistic outlet, but I …

Be :: Mine

Why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day? I don’t actually know, I’m embarrassed to admit. I know of Saint Valentine and I know of the old practice, spreading love to all. What that morphed into in my family was Daddy bringing flowers home in a crystal vase for Mom, boxes of chocolates, Hallmark cards with sappy sayings, and stuffed animals for me 💕 What it has looked like in my marriage is another thing… Manly, truthfully, sucks at holidays & gift-giving. It’s just not his thing. And he’s not trying to be rude. He just doesn’t think of it ahead of time, and then when it’s rolled around he asks, “Oh is that today?” If left to himself, the holidays would just roll on by. But he’s not left to himself 😉 Enter his sentimental event-planning sappy-card-writing ENFP wife! 🎉 I look forward to every holiday on the calendar with all they entail, the crafty ideas, the fancy recipes, the silly traditions, the obligatory photos. SO, here’s the deal: Manly is married to me and those …

Mr DeClutter vs Ms TalkItOut 

After finishing his breakfast and depositing his dishes onto the counter, he began flinging wide the cabinet doors, inspecting collections of dishware, pulling out all cutlery, and throwing away pens and twistyties… This is my husband. Mr DeClutter himself.  They should make a commercial of his frenetic cleaning skills. I walked into the chaos as he threw up his hands in disgust, “This kitchen needs a makeover! There are junk drawers, and piles of business cards we never use, utensils we don’t use anymore, way too many mugs, and…” Okay, I got the picture. I started to ask some preliminary questions to make sure we were on the same page, “Is this a project you’d like to do today? Is this something you’d like to work on together? What do you think the five main problem areas are of this room?” You see, I’m the Talk-It-Out Plan-It-Out Girl and he’s the Throw-It-In-a-Massive-Pile-Get-Mad-About-It-Tear-It-Apart-Put-It-Back-Together-Again Guy.  Yea.  So we pulled a little Chip & Joanna Gaines here. You’ve heard them talk about their marriage, right? Total opposites. Couldn’t …

a Fair Story

This time last year we were reeling from Everley’s sudden birth, still grappling with Heidi’s sudden passing just seven months prior, knocking holes in our bedroom walls to make room for a bassinet, and grasping for breath in the midst of crises and change and chaos.  My body felt like it’d been hit by a Mack truck after the caesarean and  I was still being wheeled to the NICU two weeks postpartum.    So we decided to go to the Fair. “What?” Yes. It sounds dramatic because it was kind of dramatic.  But we were desperate to do something normal, to spend time just the two of us, to let our worries go, to relax and blend into a crowd. We’d had tickets to a country concert at the county fair. We got the green light from nurses and doctors who were overseeing Everley, and though some said I’d never make it up the grand stand because I was still too weak, I not only made it…. I climbed (hobbled actually) to the very top.  …

Pattern of :: a Weathered Life

Fussy, teething, desperate-to-nap babies don’t do so well at church. While she rests and restores with morning slumber, I rest and restore in quiet reflection.  As I read the scriptures, snuggled up in my blue painted couch, I’m reminded of the storm that blew through our fields yesterday… And the correlation to the storms that have blown through our life in the past four years… Manly and I will celebrate four hard-earned years this October. By our third anniversary we’d been separated for a total of ten months, conceived two daughters, burying one a healthy child and watching the other hang by a thread in the hospital. We hardly knew each other though we’d lived a thousand lifetimes together.  We had a choice: to either weather the storms together or run to our own shelters. There have been times when we’ve done one instead of the other. There are periods when the storm is too intense for an individual soul and it’s, therefore, best to retreat alone. But we’ve always had a heart -even in …

WWIII: Finding Freedom

I broke down crying. “I just feel like I can never get this thing right.” A few weeks later… I broke down crying. “This is absolutely one of the stupidest things humans do.” A month later… I broke down crying. “So that means this isn’t going to end well….” What was making me sob my heart out, you might be wondering? Let’s face it. That picture is awfully sweet, and those people look like they’re really into each other, but what happened after the vows is a different story… Marriage IS one of the stupidest things a person can do with his or her life. It’s one of the most painful commitments, one of the most heart wrenching experiences, one of the least glamorous jobs, one of the most tediously vulnerable places to be… Marriage is self-sacrifice. And it hurts like hell. White satin, masculine plaid, fragrant roses, and sparkle of diamond don’t show the twisting, tearing, churning, ripping, exploding, decaying of two sinners who said, “I do.” The pain of WWIII is too raw …

Honesty: Grief & Trauma

You know that old adage- “Honesty is the best policy”? Well, sometimes I wonder if we’re truly honest with ourselves. Are we truly honest enough about our own frustrations, failures, and fears to… change? Change what, you might be wondering…. Three and a half years ago when my husband and I got married, we would never have imagined we’d face the hardships we’ve experienced. Not only do we have opposite personalities, we also come from very different upbringings, and we have very different interests; every newly married couple has to work at understanding each other, but add to our scenario the fact that my husband was gone (military training) more than he was home the first two years of our marriage. We didn’t have time to get to know each other, to invest in one another, to build a life together. The tension was mounting between us, but we had our first unplanned baby on the way. And then she suddenly died a few days after she was born. We were already disconnected – add to that …

Christmas: My Miracle

We all look for some little miracle during the Christmas season. Even if it’s the miracle of our spouse remembering what we really wanted under the tree, or just remembering again the miracle of Jesus’s birth in a stable manger. We want to see a miracle. It’s the season for miracles. Well, would you like to hear about my Christmas miracle this year? It’s quite a story of brokenness and redemption. The gift of miracles when it seemed all hope was lost. As I’ve reminisced and revisited memories of this past year in two letters written to two different women who have also tragically lost, I’ve shared my heart about the events of 2015 and how we ended up surviving & arriving at Christmas this year. In these excerpts you’ll see the miracle of this Christmas….   A few days or weeks, time was a blur, after Heidi’s sudden death I was able to visualize the whole event in my mind. For a while I blocked it, which is a common response to trauma. I …

History: Picture Book

When I was a kid, I spent hours flipping through old photo albums of my family’s history. My brothers were much older than I and my family had lived in Germany before I was born, so I was fascinated to see the past and hear the stories. I’m still fascinated by pictures. They tell the stories of what has been and what is and maybe even what will be.