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Running With Dr. Seuss

1 Mar

I learned to read on Dr. Seuss books. His rhymes hold simple truths and wisdom that are simple enough for children to memorize. I’ve loved this quote for a long time, but something about seeing it represented so visually, connected to my personal mountain – running – makes it even more powerful. This is my new life motto:

image from motivationintohabit on tumblr

 

Do you use pictures to motivate yourself? Quotes? What’s motivating you today?

Marriage Letters: I Know You Love Me When…

27 Feb

Every Monday, Amber and her husband Seth and others, write Marriage Letters.  It is an effort to encourage others to fight the good fight, to do the hard work, to bless other marriages as we write to bless our own. And I love the idea. So I’m joining in on this week’s topic: I know you love me when…

photo from smitten kitchen

Dear A,

I learned early on not to expect you to stop at the store on your way home when I forgot to buy an onion. Do you remember the fight we had? One more example of how expecting your marriage to have the same dynamics you grew up in doesn’t work. That’s why I smile now, as we head into our sixth year and you offer to pick up dinner on your way home if I can’t make it to the store. You say you’d rather avoid stopping for bread, but if I need it you won’t mind. If an onion is essential and we have company coming, you’ll pick it up and chop it for me. You know I cry a river chopping onion.

I could have written about any number of things you do that let me know you love me, but this one’s on my mind because coming off a week of being under the weather and you taking care of me. Even though you could probably go straight to bed by the time you get home.

More often than not, I end up making it work; I don’t want to add more onto your packed day.  More than anything it’s the change in your heart, your willingness that shows me how much you’ve grown and makes me feel so loved. You can pack a lot of love points into a $3.89 baguette.

I know you love me when you stop on the way home, just to bring me flowers. I love when you bring me flowers. You always look for the most unique bouquet, because you know roses and baby’s breath won’t work for your sideways-wife. When you stop to pick up a few posies it packs a double whammy on my heart, because not only did you stop on your way home, you did it just to see me smile. Usually it’s on the days I need a reason to smile the most. You’re so good at that.

Love,

Wife

Mid-February

16 Feb

It’s that time again. Sometime around mid-February I see the weight of the season settle on my man’s shoulders like a bag being slowly filled with sand. He comes home, his walk from the car a little slower. The look on his face when he enters our home – his refuge, his sanctuary – tells me he’s needing more, that the long hours over a longer stretch of days is starting to wear him thin. When he leans into my neck as I reach out for a hug, sinks into my ready kiss, I know that he sees home each time he rests his eyes, weary from seeing patterns in numbers.

My man, the accountant. The provider. My hero.

He works so that we can build a life. So that I can have options. So we can plan a future. He loves what he does, true, but months of all work and little play gets old quickly. He’s proud of his work, and comes home with stories of conquering mountains of tax law. My weary conqueror.

Sometime in February I can expect that he’ll need more hugs, more time lingering over a good meal and a glass of wine, more priority placed on the little time we can call our own. Sundays are off-limits to everything except church. My dutiful man, who makes time for the laundry and still does the dishes, sometimes a day late, but they’re done just the same. He knows that, unlike years past, I have a full plate as well and pulls his weight. My partner, my helpmate.

In February I make sure my bosom is extra soft to catch his weary head; my embrace is extra warm to last him until he comes home again. I miss him, and cherish each bit I get.

Counting Blessings

25 Jan

We all have two families. One we were born into, and one made up of people God put in our path.

I am the big sister, the oldest grandchild. I do everything first. I’m first to be married, should be first to have a baby. The next generation is only a glimmer in my husband’s and my eyes – an unformed hope for the future – so far. But I have kids, lots and lots of kids that bless me by letting me into their lives.

There’s my niece, who draws pictures that show I’m more glamorous in her imagination than in real life, gives full-body hugs, and has a laugh that lights a room. My nephew, the surfer-blonde who is crazy talented and is learning to play by the rules so he can be free to do what he loves. The mad-scientist brothers who we are convinced will someday try for world domination. The two little boys who are obedient to a fault and know they unequivocally loved by their parents. And my high schoolers. The ones I have, the ones that have moved away. The ones whose hurts are larger than life. Whose dramas are epic, yet last only an instant. The ones who share my spontaneity and will drive with me to LA and back in a day to ride a roller coaster. The ones who are solid and secure in who they are, and the ones who try on a new identity daily. The ones I love, who force me to grow the more I care for and mentor them.

I have a huge family that I was blessed to be born into that I love. But I love my God-given family just as much, and thank Him for choosing me to be so blessed.

To Westley: Goodbye and Good Luck.

12 Dec

image

On Saturday we said goodbye to our second dog. It was a hard decision. He was a sweetheart, and we loved him, but too many things were in the way of him having a good life with us. He needs people who are home all day. He needs people who aren’t planning to have kids one day, and for whom kids aren’t a big part of their lives. We didn’t make this decision lightly, and we never, never would have given him back if we didn’t have complete assurance that the rescue would find him the best home. In the end, we decided it would be better to make the decision now instead of waiting until years down the road when we had children and he couldn’t make the change.

So we’re once again looking for dog number two. I’m keeping “adopt a second dog” crossed off on my 30 before 30 list though, because we adopted or second dog. He just couldn’t stay with us.

We loved or boy, and we know the perfect home is out there for him. Good luck, little friend.

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