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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

How many days are left?!

Not enough! I'm cracking down to make sure I have each detail just right and complete. I think we did really well with the pillars and flowers.
We had the inspiration from my fiancés grandmother and mothers favorite flowers. So we knew we wanted to try for white roses and, if possible, blue carnations. I saw these at Wal-Mart once and wished I could've found them in fake flowers.
But we went with others to try to match it as best as possible. In the end, it came to be something beautiful and just as well.
I've also been working on the chocolates needed and trying my best to get them just right. 

In the midst of everything, I took Memorial Day to enjoy my family. It is so easy to get caught up in the craziness of planning and details. Especially when you are feeling like it is more of a chore than a joy. I took a step back to connect with my kiddos.
We talked about what Memorial Day is for. Why we celebrate it. My darling husband-to-be even grilled dinner.
We topped off the night with s'mores!
We made our funny faces, told goofy jokes, and added to the happy memories that will go on for the rest of our lives. I needed to remind myself that there is more than just working towards this Saturday. We have a life going on in between.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

My final week of being engaged!

Less than 7 days left until the wedding. My dashing fiancé is decked out to be Captain Terrell. He will not be shaving his head as he fears it will not grow back. So a slight modification to Picard. But isn't that what great cosplayers do?
I'm excited to announce that mine is also complete!
And I feel ready to walk that aisle in it. Denise did a beautiful job. She put in so much hard work to create my dream dress. I know she had her hesitations about her ability to get it just right. But as the saying goes, we are our own worst critic. She hand sewed some of it, and got it perfected to fit me just right despite my flat-chested problems. You see, patterns don't account for lack of boobs.
A woman who wears a large should have ample chest. Wrong! So she had quite the time adjusting the dress repeatedly to lay right up top. I'm feeling so loved and fortunate to have had her making such a stunning dress for me.
My daughter has her dress embellished as well thanks to her Granna's design assistance. My boys are going to be storm troopers and my baby will be in her Trekkie dress.

I also completed the flower arrangements that will rest on the pillars my fiancé made.
Today, we worked on getting them painted. Tomorrow I have to do the final coat.
They look like the Twin Towers right now...
The vases were interesting. Who knew that painting glass bowl vases was such a difficult task?!

My dad texted me too. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to seeing him and the family. I do miss them, being so far away.

And thanks to my best friend, Gwen, I have amazing and unique gifts for the mothers and bridesmaids! She went out of her way to make it special.
Next week, I’ll begin the process of making the chocolates for the cake decorations and favors. We picked up some cute bags that will placed at some of the seats.

And lastly, I have to create my bouquet. Its going to be attached to a light saber hilt... if all goes well!
Time is picking up momentum. Soon, we will be standing at the alter leading to a great, adventurous future. I’m excited!

Friday, May 26, 2017

A decision not made lightly

I have been happily divorced for quite some time now. For about 7 ½ years, I battled depression during the physical, mental and verbal abuse that was directed towards myself and my children. I hated waking up. I hated being home. I hated myself. I wanted to spend every moment I could away from him. Even if it meant working long shifts. Even if I wasn’t with my children. I told myself it was better if I wasn’t with them, because while he was there, the volcano was inching closer to exploding. He had a way with getting under my skin. Still does. He makes snide remarks. He comments on things that he has no right to. All the while, trying to offer “advice” or be “helpful”. I have flashbacks of the time he called my mother fat while saying if she wasn’t she could do more and look better. Or the time he said that my parents had too many kids and because of that, they couldn’t have a “fun” life. Its offensive, but we shrugged it off and told him it was wrong to make such statements. After all, he is deaf. He didn’t have someone teaching him manners, tact or social etiquette because no one in his family truly knew Sign Language. How can you hold someone accountable for their actions when they were never taught?
Well, now we are in a new arena. This time, it involves proper care and protection of children. My children. This Friday, his weekend of visitation starts. I dread each time I have to send them to him. I worry the whole time they are gone. Will they come back? Will they be safe? Will he feed them? Will someone kidnap them when he’s not watching? Will he be inappropriate towards my 4 year old daughter? Why do these questions plague my mind? Simple. These are things that I have heard from my kids after being with him. I have video recordings of them telling me about their weekend upon returning to me.

My ex-husband is deaf with no peripheral vision and no night vision. Yet, the state of Texas has given him a license with no more restrictions than he wear normal glasses. Since getting his license, he has wrecked every vehicle he has driven, starting with my van. He even rolled his big truck after falling asleep at the wheel and within about 4-5 hours, they gave him a new one. Tell me where that makes sense. So the worry that he will crash with my kids on board makes me very nervous. He has recently downsized from the big Tundra to a Rav4 SUV. And last time we picked up the kids, we noticed that he had wrecked it. Still has the paper tags! Front and back fenders are both damaged.  
He doesn’t wake up to feed them until he’s good and ready. They complain about starving all morning because he ignores them when they try to wake him up. And when he does feed them, it’s usually an array of junk foods. Last time we picked them up, he told me he can’t afford groceries. He uses a credit card to pay for food. How is that possible when he’s not being forced to make his child support payments? He defrauded the IRS starting in 2014. He defrauded Disability starting in August of 2016. So he owes thousands of dollars to each of them. He got a fancy apartment with a nice garage because, as he told a mutual friend, “my truck is important and needs to be protected”. Great priorities when picking a place to live and have your kids over. When the kids are with him, they sleep in his living room. Boys on the floor, Ana with him on the couch. His only bedroom is used for his great Lego hobby. And then there was the time my daughter came home and told me, “Daddy got in the shower with me. I told him not to, but he didn’t listen.” As a mother, you can imagine where my thoughts went. Especially since I knew what he was capable of. After all, she came from the night he didn’t take no for an answer. She says nothing happened, he says she wanted him there. I try to think of it as a misunderstanding on his part.
He had bought season passes to 6 Flags before finding out he owed so much to so many. And since he feels it would be a waste not to use them, he takes the kids when he has them. Great, except for not having money for food and drinks. Much fun to be had even if he leaves the kids unattended while he rides the coasters they are scared of, right? Or he takes the oldest, at 8, and leaves the 4 year old with her 7 year old brother. What could possibly go wrong? Or how about letting them ride alone together and not meeting them where the ride ended? My daughter got hit in the head and was crying while her oldest brother was freaking out and running to find their dad. But all good, as “nothing bad happen”. That is the response I keep getting from him when I confront him about these things. Even after I point out the dangers. Even after I tell him what this means legally. Nope. Doesn’t matter. I’m just an overprotective, paranoid, crazy ex-wife who ruined his life. He tells the kids that it is my fault we are not a family anymore. And sends me a text of a picture that my daughter drew of the family where daddy and I are together again. My children know that will never happen.
So I stepped up. I won’t put him down. I won’t call him names. I won’t point out his flaws to the kids. I will not be that negative influence that paints a horrible picture of the sperm donor they know as their dad. He is doing that well enough on his own. My oldest son has made it clear that he only goes over there because he wants to play video games and because its his only chance to see his dads side of the family. My middle son has asked if he can stop going over there. I try to avoid that question. My daughter says she goes because he treats her like his favorite and she gets whatever she wants. What am I to do?
I tried talking to him. I tried getting his family to talk to him. I tried reporting him to Child Protective Services. None of those worked. CPS actually mailed me a letter saying that they didn’t think it was worth investigating. So I have now decided that I will fight for full custody. I won’t take any more of this. No more waiting for a phone call that something bad happened. Dreading the day they won’t return. I’m going to fight for them. And to help me do so, I started a Go Fund Me. It was a huge decision. One I kept shoving aside. My emotions were all over the place. My fiancé has told me that God is in control no matter what happens. And I believe him to be right. As a Christian, I know that I have to trust that God is protecting them and that anything that happens is a part of His will. As a mother, I struggle. I am gasping for air. I am swimming against the tide. I’m drowning in the fear of what could happen. All because my attempts to educate him have failed. As my Mother pointed out, how can he know right from wrong when he was never taught to be a parent? In response, who will teach him when he doesn’t want to listen to me?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

We are down to the wire now!

We are now less than 2 weeks away from the wedding day! Only 10 days to be exact. This past weekend, we went to visit my in laws. While there, I tried on my dress for the last time.
My fiancés grandmother has done a marvelous job with it! I also bought shoes to wear.
We picked up my fiancés suit. He is truly ready to deck out like Captain Picard now.
My mother-in-law made this sign for the minister to hold up after our ceremony.
This is what happens when two nerds are joined.
We discussed hair strategy.
I know what I wish my hair looked like, but I also know how stubborn my hair can be. So we are prepared. I’m going to be practicing this week to get the curls in the right order.
I am also doing this to save time on the big day. I still have favors to lay out, changing time, and last minute details to see to. This is what happens when you are on a budget. But I prefer it this way. I’m not like other brides. I don’t have the bridezilla mode. I don’t freak out over every little detail. I go with the flow and make adjustments as needed. I don’t want those assisting me to get overwhelmed or feel ready to walk away. I don’t want my guests to feel like everything is timed and choreographed throughout the day. My day, is your day. Our day to have fun and celebrate. I think too often, couples forget what is really important. Pictures are there to remind us of the details. But the moments themselves will be in our memories through the ages. A lavish ceremony followed by a grand reception? You can spend all the money in the world on those things, but what comes later? Or be smart about it. Have something simpler and follow it with the fun times you spend with the ones you love, making memories. This is our goal. We have all our lives to live after this one day. Even if we had more to spend, we wouldn’t. We are putting towards what happens next.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Label Daddy is here to help!

Summer vacations, camps and cadet outings are just around the corner. Its time to get your name labels ready. Plus, you want to be ready to label everything for the back to school rush. Keeping everything labeled and clearly marked as belonging to your child will cut down on the confusion and arguments of who owns what. I know last year,  both my boys ended up with ninja jackets that were exactly the same even in the size. Having their names inside was a tremendous help to know which was which. And to keep them fighting over who got to wear the clean one.

Label Daddy is teaming up with US Family Guide to promote their amazing labels. They fit where you need them, are super durable, and washable. I LOVE them! This time, I got some for my little sister. She is getting ready to start school next year. So Mom will be needing to label her supplies. My mom will also be looking into getting some for my brothers who are in Sea Cadets as well as school. She has seen my rave reviews on here often as well as the real product in person and liked them very much. 

I highly recommend you try them out. Packages start at $20. And they have a variety of packages to suit your needs. Plus, they are super easy to use. Plug in your required information and pick your colors, fonts, or theme. They handle the rest!
Don't forget to use the code USFAMILY25 for 25% off at checkout!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Reliving the memories

I was cleaning out the Hotmail account that I had used when I was married. I had so many saved emails in there. One by one, I sorted through them. My folder now holds about 49 emails for me to trash or transfer. Among them, are gems that my mother sent me. I've been re-reading them and feeling so loved. She has been the most amazing woman. She is strong, wise, compassionate and always forgiving. I saved these emails to reference when I was feeling lost, worthless, hopeless, or just needed a reminder that she was still there - remembering me. She is a busy woman who has 8 of her kids at home. Only her two oldest are moved out and living on their own. But even though we are way out in Texas, she makes time to check in. She wants to know what we are doing. And she is constantly offering assistance in some way.
I would not be the woman I am today without her. She could have given up. She could have walked away. She could've said it was too much. But she never did. And I don't think she ever will. Instead she shares her experiences and reminds me that we all make mistakes. That no matter what choices we make, we have the chance to change and grow through them. As long as we keep learning, we can continue to move forward. I can't tell you how many times she helped me, possibly without knowing, through the darkest moments of my life. And she wasn't alone. We adopted our Nana S. I have emails from her that paint a story of what she went through in her life. Her experiences also reminded me to stand tall. The two of them encouraged my growth to independence. They reminded me what I am capable of when I stop letting someone else control me. My dad also emailed me. Encouragement, scriptures and words of his regrets and how they shaped his future decisions.

I want to share some of them with you. And while reading, I want you other parents to think of something. I want you to consider leaving letters and notes to your kids. Talk about what you are going through. What they are doing. What about them makes you proud to be their parent. Keep them together. And when you think they need it most, or when they old enough - pass them on. You might be surprised when your words become their light in a darkness they feel engulfed in. I saved cards, letters and emails from the people I loved and respected most during my life. I treasure each one more than silver and gold. And they have helped me get back on the path of happiness when I needed it most. 

From my mother nearly 7 years ago: 

"Here is a reminder of who you are. As I was running this morning, I wanted to give up. I put on my Cd and when this song came on, I remembered when it was just you and me. You always kept me going when I just wanted to quit. Again, you are in my heart and never letting me give up. I love you so much. You are the blessing from God that keeps me going. I know the other children are important gifts to me but I can always think of you and a time when it was ONLY you that never let me just quit. I am who I am today in part from having you (only the good part). Don't forget who you are as your life goes on. I have for many years forgot who I am and some days, I can't figure it out. You are someone's mom and wife but you will forever be my "Suzzane". And that is a LOT!!"

I will always be your mom.

Sadly, the song she sent was removed from YouTube. 

After having a rough night with my firstborn, I had emailed her.  She responded with this:

"It is so hard being a parent. It is hard getting the child into the world. It is hard raising them to be good citizens. Then it is hard to watch them walk out of your life to start their own. We will always love you all and wish for a better life then what we have. Can you understand? Now that you have your own, I know you see things differently now. I am so here for you day or night. If you need me, just call. I love you more than you can EVER know."

5.9.2010 For Mother's Day
"I know I was a good mom because I look at the job you're doing and see that work paid off. You are a great mom and I love you very much. Happy Mom's Day."

I could go on with words from those who love me most. When I told my fiance about them, I mentioned the idea of writing to each of our children in a notebook. Then when they are older, we will give them the notebooks. I want to leave memories, encouragement, and words of love they can lean on later in life. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Creating the music list for the best day of our lives

Every wedding deserves a playlist that speaks volumes about the couple. My fiance and I, however, took our list a step further. We asked family and friends what songs they love. What would they want to play? After all, they have a dance floor opening up to them. But if the music is all us, they won't want to get up and move. We are nerds. There is Linkin Park, techno, maybe some anime tunes... Yeah, I can see a lot of motionless people now. So we have a huge mix. Techno, country, pop, foreign, set dance (what do you call a song that calls out the moves?), old and classic songs, as well as classic rock. We even have Lindsey Stirling! I respect that this day is ours. That it is all about us, but how do we expect to have a great time if everyone around us is miserable, silent and itching to escape? 
So I compiled a list on my YouTube account to show you how we Nerds roll. Just know, there are songs that I had on the list from my computer that don't show on the YouTube one. But I am curious. What songs did you have? What song would you want?  

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Let the fun continue!

We have less than 3 weeks before I walk down the aisle to be joined to the  love of my life. Yesterday, we had the meeting with our venue to set in stone the minute details of the ceremony and reception.
We have a floor plan, we have food choices, table set up, and timelines down. It was rather comical. Three of us sitting at the table are OCD. I can't handle odd numbers. My fiance and I both needed a uniform color scheme. Meaning each table had to be exactly the same. He insisted our table needed 2 centerpieces. And my mother-in-law needed the tables to be set up in a particular pattern. My venue planner was extremely understanding and patient with us. For this OCD woman, it's a gust of fresh air after holding my breath for too long. I don't have to worry about what will happen or when. I just have to finish preparing the guest favors, flowers and find some shoes.
I would not have made it to this point without the help of my mother and father, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, my grandmother-in-law, and a couple of my dearest friends. The love and support from them, the contributions... It has all been overwhelming. I could never thank them enough! Of course I also appreciate all the well wishes and encouragement I have had from everyone else.
My sister-in-law and mother-in-law threw an amazing bridal/bachelorette party. There were fun games and some awesome gifts. Especially the one from my fiances grandmother. She truly put thought and effort into it by making the opening a game. I made way too many cookies. Including these Strawberry and White Chocolate ones.
It was a great night. We shared stories about life experiences. It was a much needed chance to unwind a little and let loose. To shake off the worries that have been crowding my mind this week.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Pains of motherhood

Today was the day. The day my younger son went under for a procedure meant to save his hearing. About a month or so ago, we took him in for a hearing check up when he didn't pass the one his pediatrician did. They found that he had a hard build up in front of his ear drums that prevented him from hearing well. His education was suffering as a result. So the specialist recommended that we try to remove the blockage.
As a mother, I balked at the suggestion. Even though it's outpatient, there are risks. But it had to be done.

I didn't put much thought to it until the day of. I wanted to stay positive. He acted a little frightened when we talked about it the night before. His attitude has been a resilient one though. My little trooper! I find I get strength from him. My stomach twists in knots, but I continued to make jokes and offer him encouragement throughout the process of paperwork and questions. We joked about wearing matching bracelets.
And about what food we will eat when we leave. My poor guy hadn't eaten since dinner last night around 5:30 pm. So he was starving!
When we went to the back, we had Nurse Rose. She was so sweet. Gave  me a warm blanket (I'm a popsicle) and gave him some crayons and coloring pages. It definitely helped to ease the passing of time while we waited. While he colored, we talked about the picture and the hospital. It helped me through the process especially. My heart was glad that he wasn't showing signs of anxiety. 

We had to be there at 9:45 AM. Surgery was scheduled at 10:45 AM. They didn't come get him until noon.As a mother, this hurt me. My little guy loves to eat. He is hungry often. And the fact he had to go so long without... I wanted to jump down some throats. But I had to refrain. 
Then the doctor comes by at noon to let us know what will happen. After they take him, it takes roughly 10 minutes for the procedure. Then 30 for the recovery. Allen asked me to set the timer up. So I did. From the time they took him until we were reunited was 56 minutes. Can you imagine how wound up my nerves were?! My mother can. She was texting me while I waited. I had three ear-related surgeries as a child. I also had my tonsils and adenoids removed at age 2. Then I had 3 major spinal operations. Did I stress my mother? You bet. And at least once, my dad cried. Especially when "complications" happened. How many of you parents have heard that word and your heart sank within you? It is a sucker punch, no matter what words follow. Your mind races as you struggle to hear what else they are saying. And that is precisely where I was when the doctor finally came out to talk to me. There were complications in the removal of the blockage. But at last, he had success. Then he tells me they will be coming to get me soon to go back to recovery. Yeah... of course. Fast forwarded to the nurse finally making her way to me, I go back to see my baby still passed out and hooked up to oxygen with a tube down his throat.
Just hit me already. They try to remove the tube, and Allen suddenly has a moment of wakefulness. He jerks upright, eyes wide, gasping and struggling against the nurses. His mouth clamped over the tube, teeth holding it in place. We are all telling him to release his hold and open his mouth. They start pulling on it, trying to pry it out. I stand slightly behind them, hoping he hears me and calms down. Hoping he sees me and knows everything is okay. Part of me chokes. I'm watching my child in his frightened discomfort and I'm helpless to assist him.
This is what mothers do. This is what we live for. Striving to give them the best in life, but watching their moments of dismay, pain, fear. And doing everything we can to help them through it. When we finally got through that, he slowly came to. I got a small wave that reminded me of how a drunk waves. After some apple juice, he regained his voice. His mouth had been dried out and chapped. He wasn't fully smiling and laughing, but he wasn't in pain. They hand over the discharge papers and read over warnings and things to watch for. Bleeding? Dizziness and light-headedness seemed right. Fever and vomiting I understood. But bleeding from his ears?! 
I'm so glad it is over now. That he is done and has been doing exceptionally well all the rest of today. Tomorrow he will go back to school and I look forward to hearing all about it. Because that is what truly makes me happy. Having my babies safe and healthy.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Showing teacher appreciation this week

My kids school sent home a notice on Friday. It was a reminder and suggestion about teacher appreciation week this week. This is the first year I'm actually feeling grateful to my kids' teachers. My oldest son is finally excelling. My middle son is having issues, but due to hearing trouble. And my daughter is ready to move up in grades ahead of her class. Because they are doing well, I decided to put in some effort in. The paper they sent offered ideas for each day of the week. 

Monday - flowers
Tuesday - sweet treats
Wednesday - bottled beverage
Thursday - personal thank you notes
Friday - something of your own design

Right now, I am still without a job. Which means I don't have spare change to blow. At first I thought I would just make some paper flowers.
But then I thought, why not do more? I had some chocolates, some colorful paper, some bottles of water... I would create a gift that encompassed everything on the list! I cut out flowers from the paper and glued them together. Then I hot glued the piece of chocolate to the center of the flower. I wrote appreciative encouragement and quotes on some of the leaves. And finally, I attached the completed flower to a bottle of water. Voila! 
My kids have a unique gift for their teacher. I'm also making something for my future sister-in-law who is a teacher. Though hers will be a little more in substance and include some adult beverages. You know. For those days when she wants to pull her hair out and scream.

Who needs Monday?

Is it just me, or do most Mondays suck? Even more so after a weekend that is bittersweet. We had a great time with Free Comic Book Day, but we also had sickness to battle. My 7 year old left school on Friday, throwing up and feverish.
That afternoon and night he seemed to sleep it off. Saturday we had fun. Saturday night into Sunday morning, right back to the grind. This is a crazy illness. No other symptoms beyond vomiting and fever. Plus it is sudden. Saturday night my oldest and my 4 year old simultaneously began vomiting. Between running back and forth to each child, running up and down the stairs with laundry, and then waking up to a sick fiance who left work early from the same illness... I'm ready for today to end  already. And it's only just after 3PM! Amazingly enough, they are acting as though they had a full recovery. Playing, yelling, and being their normal selves. My fiance... not so much. He's still struggling against his fever and a queasy stomach. 
I also have the other kids I'm watching today. With them, lots of snotty nose-wiping. 
So I propose that we skip Monday and go straight to Tuesday. No one needs it, right? Right?! What about you? Are you a Monday person? Glad for the weekend to be over so you can be around people again?

Or do you dread it like the plague?

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Less than 30 days and counting down!

We are moving closer to the big day! And I'm so excited. I still have a project to finish and only... 27 days left?! But I will get there. One step at a time. My fiance is building 2 pillars to hold the flower vases that will grace either side of the ceremony stage. 

I have started storing everything we need in a box.
I'm even bringing light sabers and masks (among other props) for the green screen.
Our bubble wands look great. They are ready for use!
I put the lights in the galaxy jars. Can't wait to set these up.
And the best addition yet! My dad made a customized ring for my fiance. My trekkie will have one to fit his style "for now and always" as we always say.
I also got to see my wedding band. My fiance pulled it out upon my request. I didn't get a picture, but will do later. For now, I will say its a beautiful silver with the Wonder Woman symbol on the front and the inscription we say to each other often, "For now and always" inside. Its perfect for me! He really wanted to make me something special like I did for him. So what do I have left? I have to finish the music playlist, which I plan to add to YouTube so I can share it here. I have to paint the flower vases, put the flowers together and then make my bouquet (easier said than done). I also saw a couple pictures of the wedding dress. I can't describe how excited I am about it! Its looking beautiful. Very soon we will be at the day of our lives!

One of the most fun weeks in the year!

I love the first week in May. You have Star Wars Day, then we have Free Comic Book Day! Its a blast! 
I hope you all enjoyed Star Wars Day. We did. Sadly, my older kids were in school. But we took my girls and the kids I've been babysitting up there. We saw cosplayers dressed as a Storm Trooper, Darth Vader, a Rebel soldier, and Kylo Ren.
They also had a life-sized BB-8 and R2-D2.
Those two were AMAZING! And even cooler - remote controlled! If I had money to blow, I'd probably want to build myself one. But $8,000 is a lot of moolah to spend on what falls under the toy category. 
 Today we had our Free Comic Book Day adventures. I pulled out the Steampunk gear. I thought I might make myself into the Scarlet Witch with a Steampunk twist.
Either way, its going to be loads of fun! And we hit up at least 2 comic stores.
There were some amazing comics to grab today. We got all the ones we were hoping for. Most of all - Star Trek, Zelda, Wonder Woman. We saw the Dead Pool car. Talk about a hot looking ride! 
Can't wait for next years events!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Don't we all love being Mother's?!

Mother's Day is almost upon us. It is that one day every year that is dedicated to showing our love and affection for our moms. Typical ways we do so? Take them to dinner, buy them gifts, send them a card. 

Once a year isn't nearly enough to pour out our love and show them how much we appreciate them. How we are thankful for all they have done. I mean think about it...
We spend 9-10 months growing them and losing our shape. We take anywhere from 6 hours to several days in labor. Then the next 18 years are to grow them into adults. Or just keep them alive. That is a full time job in itself. Because kids are dangerous, little bio-hazard, stunt devils. They collect illnesses like we adults collect comic books or silver grams. They think they can climb walls because Spider-Man does or fly like Super Man. We are constantly chasing them, constantly wiping noses, or admonishing them.  
We wash clothes nearly daily. Dishes multiply almost as soon as you clean the "last" one. Diapers have to be changed. The list goes on. And that's just so they can stay clean and healthy. Then you have things like teaching them to speak. Teaching them manners. Leading them by example to live like upstanding citizens. 

So this Mother's Day, I want you all to take a deep breath and have a moment of peace. Sleep in if you can. Have someone else take care of cooking for a day (if you are able). And remember that someone will one day see everything you are doing and be thankful for it! Hopefully.... 

Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 1, 2017

You know you've found your match when...

So my fiance and I are still going through our premarital counseling sessions. We have learned a great deal that brings us closer together. And the last session was probably the best one so far! The first time we went in, the counselor had asked us both to fill out this double-sided page. The first side was attributes we think fit us closest. There were 4 rows. A, B, C, D going from left to right and then words under each row going down. Our task was to pick the word going left to right in each row that fit us best. Then at the bottom of that, we were to tally up how many per row. That would tell us what personality we had the most. Then you flip the paper over and there are 4 boxes. Each box has a list of about 6 things. You have to read each list and number them 1-4 with 1 being the set of characteristics you find most needed and 4 being the least. This is all from the CORE MAP evaluation.
My fiance did his, I did mine. And on our latest visit, we finally reached the point of discussing our personality styles. Our results as to our own individual character traits, were nearly identical. Our needs were identical. The counselor was so surprised by these results. In his 10 years of being a marriage counselor, he has only had 2 couples (one being us) to have such results. And due to the  nature of our relationship, he was able to verify that my second chance brought me to better choices with my partner. You see, my first husband was the exact opposite of me in character. And as they say, opposites attract. But as the counselor pointed out, they are attractive in the beginning because  they are everything we may wish to be.

I can say from experience, this is true. It doesn't mean that opposites can't work out. He and his wife are total opposites. They key lies in understanding those differences and how to mesh them together. The same goes for your needs. You have to understand each others needs. And follow up that line of thinking with their values. Seeing that my needs in a relationship matched his to a T made me happy. We both follow in the same lines. As for our personalities, there are 4 types; Commander, Organizer, Relater, Entertainer = CORE.
I am an Organizer/Commander. Though my Commander personality is probably tied to the way I've lived all my life. I've always had a reason to be the one to step up and take charge. I've always had to look out for someone. But I'm crazy about being organized. These personality traits are also divided by the sides of the brain they reside in. Organizers are introverted. Commanders are extroverted. When I need to take charge or be included in a team effort, I can portray my extroverted self. But I'm more comfortable being shy and hidden as an introvert. My fiance is more of the Relater. He seeks peace and harmony with all involved. Being the man of the house, however, he knows he has to take charge and lead with authority. But even in doing so, he also accepts that there are things I'm more qualified to take over on. I'll just be sure to run it by him and accept that his decision is the final word.
Through these lessons, we are learning where boundaries lie. Where our strengths as a couple reside, as well as where we need to work to be better. For as the Bible says, when two get married, they leave father and mother and become one together. This is what we are striving towards.