This morning I opened my email to find a very rare message from my husband. We’re not people that email, text or really communicate while he’s at work, so I knew this was either something urgent, important, or special. What I received was a picture, followed by this:
Cole’s early birthday present???
I know we are not ready and really this burden would fall 100% on you but this could be the adoring fan who is always there for him that he needs.
I quickly went through a thousand emotions from rage, to thinking he was sweet, to crying at the idea of another thing to keep alive, to swooning over how adorable the pups are, to realizing that I needed to nip this in the bud. Fast.
I clicked “Reply” and fired off my ten reasons we are NOT getting a puppy right now.
Every once in a while, my husband gets it in his mind that we can’t possibly go one day longer without getting rid of some stuff. A lot of stuff. All the stuff. We go to Costco and come home with bins and bins and shelving to hold the bins and off we go. I mentally prepare, grab trash bags for what we’ll toss, the bins for what we’ll keep, and have dollar signs in my eyes for the stuff I’m going to sell.
I start in the kids rooms and secretly clear out some old toys, because Lord knows they won’t miss them. Then I retire the clothes that they’ve grown out of. Planning to have more kids, I get to keep all their clothes without much argument. Chad is great about getting rid of clothes. He sometimes goes TOO far in my mind, deciding that he only needs five t-shirts, one sweater, two casual polo shirts and one suit. Then I remind him about all the other times he might want to be dressed and we find a happy medium.
Then there’s me. And my bureau. And my walk in closet. And my bins of extras. In truth, I wear about one tenth of what’s easily accessible. And, walking Mom cliché that I am, it’s lots of leggings and casual shirts. My closet features lots of things with names you may recognize like Irma and Randy….but the rest hangs unworn, though not unloved. What transpires next is always like an episode of hoarders.Continue reading “What I Learned About Myself During Spring Cleaning”→
I am a smart girl. That’s just a fact. My school counselor once called the six year old version of me, “severely gifted,” which if I’m being honest, I thought was a little rude. Over the years, the rest of my class caught up with me, and I’m sure I’m mildly gifted at best these days- but I’m just saying, I’m not dumb. But when I’m talking about work with my husband? Daaaang, but it can sure make me FEEL dumb.
My husband is a Chemical Engineer, and specializes in Process Development. I barely know what that means, let alone when he actually tries to describe one of the processes he’s developing (is that even the right way to say it? I have no idea). But after years of looking at him sitting silent across the table at dinner parties, and watching him look at me with just a touch of envy while I regale our guests with stories of rambunctious first graders, I realized that he needs an outlet, too. He needs to deconstruct his day, and muddle through his work-related issues, and to have a sounding board for the problems he faces in the eight eleven hours a day that he’s not with me.
So I decided to take on the daunting task- to learn how to actually talk to my husband about what he does. (Shudders.) Here’s my tips for how to talk about work with your spouse- even when their job is not the kind of career you understand the ins and outs of.
This week, our Facebook and Instagram feeds were flooded with grand gestures of love. Long stem roses, chocolate covered strawberries, sparkly gifts, prix fix dinners out on the town, or homemade dinners for two. Meanwhile, Jaymi and I shared a romantic evening of chicken and chocolate chip cookies in heart shaped containers because the Daddy’s were working late. Once upon a time, we may have grumbled about the apparent lack of affection and romance on our Valentine’s Day, but this is what our life is these days. And the truth is, we don’t mind a bit.
Yes, we still LOVE our husbands, and sometimes we even gush about them, but romance looks very different these days. The key to making it work is embracing all the little ways our partners are romantic, and not taking those for granted. So here’s our thank you, for all these little things our fellas do year round to show us how much they love and appreciate us.
A few weeks ago, we had the honor of attending an absolutely gorgeous wedding. The couple was so in love, the setting was truly beautiful, and the food was on point. The bartender totally hit on me, and they even had hand-churned nitrogen ice cream for dessert. It was a truly beautiful day.
And it was also the first day I felt old in a good way.
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The Olympics have kicked off and Christine’s family is ALL about it! So here are the six things we’d give our Gold Medals to this week!
We hate saying we have a favorite kid, but sometimes you can prove it based on things like how long they sleep or which one’s being moderately rational that day. And sometimes they do something so incredibly sweet. Like when Cole kept stalling like he didn’t really want to finish reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. (Which is ridiculous, because when we finish we get to go to Universal Studios!) But the truth is that he was okay with that book being over, but he didn’t want the snuggling in Mommy’s bed for some quality time with a good book to be over. Lucky for you little man, there’s a whole world of books for us to work through! But we’ll start with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for now.
2. We may be The Salty Mamas, but we can admit that we’re equally into sweets. So we give a gold medal to these Chocolate Fruit Cups from the Peachee Pear. You’ll want to check out this adorably easy and beautiful dessert – and probably make it this week. Bonus points: It’s so easy even your kids can help!
3. We’ve been doing a LOT of online shopping for bathing suits for the cruise, and while we found some super cute ones (like this one and this one and this one) Christine can’t help but have this one be her favorite. Because it literally makes her laugh every time. And we take the use of the word “literally” very seriously.
5. There are prescriptions for EVERYTHING, so Christine and Jaymi were thinking there should be a pill to cure chronic grumpiness. We’ll take two, thanks.
6. And finally, in the spirit of the Olympics, this cautionary tale: If your husband is on a ski trip during the Olympics and your son knows that there’s skiing IN the Olympics, he may go around telling everyone that his Dad is skiing in the Olympics. So be warned.
This morning, I got up early, hunted around the house for clean socks and underwear and jeans, and helped pack up my husband for a work trip. I loaded the kids in the car, drove him to the airport, watched tearful goodbyes from the kids and drove home with cries of “I miss Daddy” ringing in my ears. He’ll be back in three days, but for these kids, three days might as well be three weeks. They should be used to this. They should understand the routine. Daddy has to travel at least every other month or so and has since they were born. But still, they take it hard. And so do I. At least…some of the time
But can I be honest with you for a minute? It’s not ALL bad….
The reality is, I’m parenting alone from about 6am to 6pm anyway. The kids go to bed by 8:30 at the absolute latest. So yes, while having help during those couple hours a night is hugely helpful, the net gains aren’t too shabby.Continue reading “Work Trip Martyr”→
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Valentine’s is just around the corner, and we’re gonna be honest…we’re just not as into it as we were pre-kids. Nowadays it’s more about cutesy crafts and heart-shaped snacks, and honestly? We’re mostly fine with that- but everyone once in a while we want to kick up the romance, too. So this week we’ve got a few tips for your sweet, kid-friendly Valentine’s day- but we’ve also got a few ways to take it up a notch (if you’re into that kind of thing).
1. When Jaymi was younger, a local pizza place would sell heart-shaped pizzas as part of their VDay celebrations. She no longer lives close enough to run in and grab one, so now she makes heart-shaped pizzas with her kids every year. Sometimes it’s just shaping pre-made dough into a heart, and sometimes it’s cutting English muffins with cookie cutters and layering on the toppings. Either way, it’s a fun and very simple tradition to start with the kiddos.
2. These DIY Love Coupons are perfect because they are 100% customizable for you and your partner. They can go from practical (Good for One Extra Morning of Sleeping In) to Saucy (fill in your own blanks here mamas 😉 ). Plus the kit comes with enough that you can give some to your kids (Stay Up Late, Choose the Restaurant, etc) or for your main squeeze…but PLEASE don’t mix up the two!
4. Paper Heart Family created these awesome Emoji Keychain Printable Valentine‘s. They are a candy-free, super creative option for Valentine’s that stand out from the rest, and the best part is that they aren’t super expensive or tricky to create.
5. Show of hands- who wants to drag their toddler into a lingerie store to try on some skimpy outfits? Anyone? Yeah? NO. So here’s a little romance hack- you can actually buy adorable lingerie on Amazon. We’re not even kidding. You should check it out- the reviews are actually really good!
6. As you may know, we are very partial to the Daddies, and we love them every day in (almost) every way. Even though they drive us nuts sometimes (like this time. And this one. Or that one time.) But at the end of the day? DANG are we glad they are ours.
In our house, Mommy is home with the kids all day, every day, and Daddy goes off to work every morning. Like a man going off to war, mornings are full of hugs, tears and promises that he will return soon. After the last hug, the last kiss, the kids rush together climbing up the couch – and over each other – to press themselves against the window to get one last glance of Daddy as he heroically drives off to his job. Then they turn and look at me as if to say, “So it’s just you and us again?” Mommy No-Fun is here. I enforce breakfast rules, make everyone change out of pajamas and into clothes and chase them around with shoes and lunch bags and beg them to just please get in the car already. It’s often chaotic, but for the most part we have our routines down.
We repeat this process for the next five days until finally the weekend hits. We fall into our Saturday routine – breakfast, errands together, something fun as a family. But eventually we hit a bump in the road. Maybe the kids spill some crackers, make a mess, and have a total freakout. Maybe Cole and Evie get into an epic swordfight over who gets to pick what show they watch while I’m cooking. Maybe Cole REALLY doesn’t want to ride in the shopping cart and throws an epic fit.
Once upon a time, when it was just the two of us, my husband and I were younger people with lots of energy. We could stay up late, watch TV, talk to each other, enjoy a cocktail and, well….you know what happens next in the RomCom that was our “Once upon a time.”
Then we got married. Had kids. Became chronically exhausted. And some elements of those younger people’s lives slowly fell off the radar. We stopped watching multi-season television series and settled for single season commitments like Survivor or American Horror Story. We were maybe the only people NOT pissed off about Game of Thrones being only seven episodes this season because it was manageable enough that we could finish it.
Half the time one of us is asleep by the time the other gets back from putting the kids back in bed after their philosophical inquisition/demands for water/”one last hug.” Conversations are often about said kids, our upcoming schedule, or what needs to get done around the house. I’m too tired to even drink wine, so I’m not going to spell out for you what else I’m too tired for. Continue reading “The Romance is Dead. Sort of.”→