Tag Archives: Family

Orbital Fears

Last Friday, TD1 had a Cosmic Skating Girl Scout outing. Originally, we planned to go as a foursome since one T-Parent is a GS Mom and the other T-Parent is a skater. Divide and conquer.

Life happened and it ended up being just me and TD1 going. I was a little disappointed – this would have been perfect bonding time for TD1 and T-Daddy, but I had this. TD1 would skate and I’d walk beside her with one of those parent helper things to make sure she didn’t fall. We got there, saw some of our friends and walked in. All good so far.

We got TD1’s skates, laced her up and she was ready to go. Except she wasn’t.

She could barely stand without going down. I thought T-Daddy taught her how to skate. This is going to be interesting. And, she refused to use a walker.*

T-Mommy: Excuse me, can I go out there with my shoes on?
Skate Center Employee: No, only skates are allowed in the rink.

This is going to be a loooooong night. What happened to being able to walk on the floor? I thought parents could walk beside their kids?** Why didn’t I tell T-Daddy to go and I just stay home? What am I gonna do now? *fights back tears* Is it too late to leave and just sit this out?

I must have recited my answer a dozen times: No, I’m not skating. I haven’t skated in like 15-20 years, cringing each time the words came out. One of TD1’s fellow older Girl Scouts offered to go out on the floor with her. I hesitantly agreed. Three seconds later, I regretted it. TD1 was going to bring her down. I watched in horror for the next 10 minutes or so as adults and Girl Scouts – same age and older – offered to help TD1 skate around the rink. Each time, she took off like cannon, arms flailing and legs buckling. I finally decided that I couldn’t expect others to carry this burden. I slowly walked up to the counter.

T-Mommy: Do you have some rollerblades with brakes?

After a few misunderstandings, I finally got a pair of rollerblades in my size that had a brake. I slowly laced them up, bracing myself for the humiliation that awaited me. What if I fall…in front of everyone? They’re all going to be laughing and think I’m just the lamest, saddest person ever. Who agrees to take their daughter on a skating outing when THEY CAN’T SKATE!!!???

I asked for a walker and nervously made my way onto the floor. Not so bad. I went around a few times watching people still struggle to help TD1 without going down themselves. As I got more comfortable, I was able to convince TD1 to use a walker herself, and we spent the night skating around together. “I’m okay!!”, she shouted each time she went down. Then she got up and took off faster than the last time. At some point, she left me with her walker and one of her friends to skate by themselves.

Fearless. Fast. Relentless. Determined. Those were the words being used to describe this little six-year-old who didn’t let the fact that she apparently had never learned to skate stop her from having fun with her friends. She had one goal in sight: being able to keep up with her friends. And, she didn’t care how many times she had to fall or run into the sides to make it happen.

Here I was with my fears of falling and looking clumsy in front of other people orbiting around my mind to the point that I was ready to call it a night. Meanwhile, my daughter was living her life…unapologetically might I add. Talk about children leading the way. TD1 definitely led me all the way around the skating rink that night. And I’m grateful for it. I ended up having a blast and can’t wait to go back. Maybe even tonight.

*Apparently, it’s not a walker, it’s a skate trainer. I think walker sounds cooler.
**I later found out that I wasn’t crazy. The skating rink hosts a Super Tot Play n’ Skate session on Saturdays and parents are allowed to go on the floor with their gym shoes on. This does not apply to Cosmic Skating.

TD1’s Truly Outrageous 6th Birthday

Yesterday, TD1 turned six and we celebrated with  a Jem and the Holograms themed birthday party. Party guests received “VIP Passes” and were encouraged to wear their best rockstar gear. It was “Truly Outrageous!” That phrase might be stuck in my head for a while now.

TD1 was very adamant about inviting her entire class and all her friends, so we had a huge party with our family and her friends from church and school. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that meant LOTS of kids. As the days fast approached, I could feel my anxiety exploding inside of me. Would I be able to handle so many kids in one place at one time? Will everyone get along okay? Is it going to be awkward having a party at the church? Did I invite everyone I was supposed to? Are we going to be able to pull this off in two hours? What am I forgetting? What can I delegate? Who can I ask for help? What am I forgetting? Am I crazy for doing this? What am I forgetting? I made checklists and sticky notes and notes inside apps and I still couldn’t stop the spiral.

Momfession: I wanted to cancel the party. Our life right now has been disrupted in quite a few ways (good, bad and just is-what-it-is), and we’re trying to adjust to a new normal. But TD1 asked for this party. It’s all she wanted for her birthday. She’s been so excited, helping me create the invitations, pick out pictures and costumes and giving her input along the way. This was her party. So as much as I wanted to throw in the towel, my mom heart wouldn’t let me. I’m glad too. Seeing the smile on her face throughout the day made it all worth it. A very special thank you to everyone that helped with the planning, implementation and cleanup and to everyone that came out to celebrate with us. YOU GUYS ROCK!!!

The night before her big day, we were getting ready for bed and I was giving my usual hugs and kisses when it hit me. Tomorrow, I will no longer have a five-year-old. She will be six.

T-Mommy: This is your last hug as a five-year-old. Tomorrow, you’ll be six. How does it feel?
TD1: Good and confusing.
T-Mommy: Why confusing?
TD1: Because it came too fast.
T-Mommy: I feel the same way. *super big hug*

Yes, six came waaaayyy too fast. In a matter of weeks, TD1 lost her first two teeth and celebrated another birthday. She’s planning sleepovers with her classmates, talking to me about babies being born, natural disasters and people dying, trying to read everything, and having an opinion about everything. I’m watching her use her reasoning and deduction skills, practice running and exercise moves so she can be better and faster, and become more self-aware. She’s really practicing listening to her body and knowing what she needs emotionally, physically and mentally. She’s stepping up to look out for her sister. She’s being an all-around awesome human. I wish I could say it was all me and T-Daddy, but it’s not. TD1 has an awesome community of adults and children that love her and are helping to encourage awesome character traits and beliefs. The same goes for TD2. And it’s never been more evident than these last few weeks leading up to her big day.

Six isn’t a milestone birthday (unless it’s a golden birthday), but somehow this birthday seemed to be a huge milestone birthday for us. It was like a unique rite of passage for TD1. One that is a tinge bittersweet, yet abundantly joyous.

T4 Goes Camping

A few months ago, a couple parents from our church’s playgroup decided to plan a weekend camping trip. Dates were picked. A location was picked. Reservations were made. Life went on.

Then it was time.

Five families. 10 adults. 10 kids. Three tents. Two cabins. One weekend.

Getting to the campsite was an adventure. Not knowing what to expect and forever the worrier, I packed for every situation my overactive brain could create. It still felt like I was forgetting something. We could barely fit the four of us in the car. It took longer than it should have to walk out the house and actually get on the road, but we made it to O’Connell’s Yogi Bear Park in Amboy, IL. It was Pirate’s Weekend and packed. There were tents everywhere. Annnnd, we had no service.

The girls TD1 played at the group campsite while T-Daddy and I unloaded the car. TD2 managed to give 10 adults several heart attacks within a 30-minute time span running back and forth between the campsite and our cabin. She had apparently memorized the route in the five seconds before her runaway streak began. This was gonna be a fun weekend.

We hung out around the fire for a couple hours before heading back to our cabin to call it a night. It seemed like forever before the TDs’ excitement came down to a level conducive to sleeping. I incorrectly assumed there would be two twin beds – TDs in one; T-Parents in the other. I packed two sets of twin sheets and two pillows. T-Daddy and I could share a pillow and the girls could share the other. We had two bunk beds with a full on the bottom and a twin on top. Each girl wanted their own twin bed and agreed to take turns with the blanket and pillow. T-Daddy and I used two twin-sized sheets to cover a full mattress and hoped for the best.

Every 30 seconds, my eyes jumped open and scanned the floor for one of the girls. Turns out, they were just wrestling with the wall and ceiling, not actually falling out the bed. At some point, they both got down and ended up in bed with T-Daddy and I. That was some great sleep. T-Daddy took TD2 to the community outhouse and they both moved to the top bunk when they got back. Somehow, I managed to get up before the rest of T4 and behave as a functioning adult.

T-Daddy tried to start a fire in our fire pit to cook bacon, but apparently we needed a bodybag’s worth of firewood to be able to do anything but inhale smoke. We ended up using the group’s fire before heading fishing.

The girls had a blast fishing. TD1 caught three fish and TD2 caught one. I have to say: 1. I never thought I’d touch a live fish. 2. Tryna yank a hook out a fish’s mouth seems like a new level of fish torture. I almost wanted to just learn how to gut and cook it rather than throw it back in the water. 3. I’m not sure how worried I should be that my daughters thoroughly enjoyed cutting worms in half and sinking a hook in them.

After fishing, we had lunch then went on the Heyride of Water Torture. We drove around the campgrounds while people pointed hoses and threw water balloons at us. Parents tried to shield and/or comfort their screaming kids. As I used my body to block TD2 from getting wet, I felt like Luke Cage…except for he’s bulletproof and I’m hardly waterproof.

The rest of the day pretty much consisted of the pool, watching the cardboard boat regatta, dinner and hanging out around the campfire. It was a fun and relaxing day, minus one unfortunate bathroom incident which may or may not involved me trying to get TD2 to rinse off in the shower. We walked in the shower and upon seeing a clump of hair over the drain, she immediately started screaming “No yucky! I don’t want to step in the yucky. Don’t put me in the yucky.” I held her up so that the water could run over her, but I’m not entirely convinced she didn’t walk away from that incident unscathed.

When it was time to retreat back to our cabin, the girls passed directly out. T-Daddy and I took the opportunity to have some quiet (after the camp-wide pool party ended), child-free time under the stars. Staring up at the sky, watching stars shoot across the vastness then disappear was mesmerizing.

The next morning, we packed up our cabin and met our group for breakfast. The kids played while the parents talked. Then everyone went their separate ways.

All in all, the camping trip was fun and I had a great time getting to know the other families better. Once I got over the initial shock of not having a signal, it was actually quite relaxing being disconnected. I don’t think I’ll ever be a public/shared bathroom person, but I enjoyed being outdoors. T4 will definitely go camping again.

T-Talks: Two Moms

TD1: Mom, why can’t I have two moms like you? I want two moms.
T-Mommy: Why do you want two moms?
TD1: So I can have two moms and two houses and two brothers and two sisters, like you have.
T-Mommy: Well, you know what it means if you have two moms? It means that Mommy and Daddy won’t be together anymore.
TD1: :-O
T-Mommy: Is that what you want?
TD1: NOOOOOO.
T-Mommy: I don’t want that either. Mommy has two moms because my Mommy and Daddy aren’t together anymore. And I don’t want that for you. But you know what? You have a Godmom, and she’s kind of like a half-mom. So you have one and a half moms.
TD1: **big smile** So I have two moms. And I have a Goddad, so I have two dads and a Godsister so two sisters and a Godbrother, but only one brother. [TD2] Wake up! You have two moms and two dads and two sisters, but just one brother.

Coming Home

On Saturday, I went to a funeral for one of my mom’s older brothers who I don’t remember. As I sat through the service listening to cousins I barely remember sharing their stories and favorite memories, I tried to reconcile faces and names with my childhood memories. I listened to a cousin say how she was tired of coming home for sad occasions, and was sad that her kids don’t know her aunts and uncles. I’m “home” and my kids don’t know their aunts and uncles. Afterwards, I made my rounds giving hugs and watched as some of my cousins passed me by. One of my cousins demanded I stick around this time, so we obliged and went to the repast. A toddler I’d never seen clung to me and two girls I didn’t know kept talking to me and wanted to be around me. When it came time to eat, I sat with my mom, brother and sister. I spoke only when spoken to and had an awkward exchange with one of my older cousins who thought I didn’t remember her. The cousin that asked me to stay never even said another word to me.

On the car ride home, T-Daddy mentioned he felt out of place. Yup, that’s why I don’t come around. The next morning as we were getting ready for church, I told T-Daddy that we should make more of an effort to be around our families so that the girls can know their family (and not grow up and marry a cousin!). At the rate we’re going, they will only know our parents and siblings and their kids, but that’s it. And seeing that half my parents and siblings live 14 hours away, even that’s questionable.

At church, the pastor preached about how Conflict was handled in the early church. He talked about the misconception that church folk always get along, but in reality the church is full of sin-sick people who disagree and argue all the time. The difference is supposed to be that the church is a family, so even though we argue and get offended, we love each other, work it out, forgive and move on. We’re not supposed to run from conflict or sweep it under the rug just because we don’t want to deal with it.

A lightbulb went off.

Growing up, I was constantly teased for a myriad of reasons. I never really fit in with my family or at school. I’d get along great with my cousins one-on-one but I always seemed to be the odd girl out whenever we all came together. I also found myself on the wrong side of family drama and politics. It became too much to handle and I felt like my time was best spent around people that didn’t make me feel unwanted or uncomfortable. So I started distancing myself from my family about 13-17 years ago. It was a gradual process – some of it deliberate and some not-so-much. But every step of the way, I noticed every time someone didn’t reach out or failed to respond to my attempts to reach out. For me, it was just confirmation that I never really fit in and blood wasn’t thicker than water (no matter how much my mama said it).

After church, I reflected back on the sermon and my uncle’s homegoing services. I’ve never really considered myself as someone that runs from conflict. T-Daddy would even argue that I can be confrontational when someone offends me. Like most people, I don’t like conflict. And I don’t like being uncomfortable. So when someone continuously offends or hurts me, I don’t see the point in continuing to subject myself to that. I just cut that person from my life. That’s been the case with most of my family and ex-friends. But that’s not exactly dealing with conflict. It’s running from it. My cousins may have teased me, but I made no efforts to move on from that. Instead, I just moved away from it.

I realized that in my running, I’m just as much to blame for the awkwardness that transpired on Saturday as my family is. And in running from my conflict, I’ve made it so that, even on sad occasions, I don’t have a home to come back to. I’ve also left a trail of aunts, uncles and cousins that TD1 and TD2 don’t know.

Grannies, Memories and Video Calls to Heaven

TD1 has been asking to see pictures and videos of her great-grandmas. One died two months before she was born. One died seven years before she was born.

TD1: Mommy, why don’t you have a grandma?
T-Mommy: I used to have one. She’s in Heaven now.
TD1: With God? Does Daddy have a grandma?
T-Mommy: He did. She’s in Heaven, too.
TD1: But not me and [TD2’s]?
T-Mommy: No, all of your grandmas are still alive.
TD1: Why do we have grandmas, but not you and Daddy?
T-Mommy: Because God decided He was ready for our grandmas in Heaven.
TD1: Do you miss them?
T-Mommy: All the time, Sweetie.
TD1: Why why don’t you just call them like we do Granny or video them like GMa?
T-Mommy: Because you can’t video call Heaven?
TD1: Well, do you have a video of them? What did they look like?

When T-Daddy and I first started dating, his grandmother was sick. I remember taking him to visit her in the hospital and at her home (which coincidentally, was down the street from the house my family stayed in when ours caught fire). I remember talking to her during my pregnancy about the TD1. I remember thinking how awesome it would be for her to see her great-grandchild. Sadly, I also remember how sad I felt that this was something I could (from a distance – I won’t pretend like I had this sudden deep relationship with T-Daddy’s grandma because I didn’t. We were still getting to know each other) share T-Daddy’s grandma, but not my own. She passed away in July and TD1 was born in September. They never got to meet, although MIL would tell me all the time that she believed their souls met briefly in Heaven. (Ironically, my mom would say the same about both TDs and my own granny.)

My granny died when I was 17. At the time, that seemed like a lot of years to spend with someone that meant so much to me. As I approach 30 this year, I realize that in four years, I will have spent just as many years without my granny as I have with her. When you factor in that I was a baby and have no finite recollection of the early years and that the last four years of her life she was in and out of a cancer treatment center, the scales get tipped in the direction of more without her than with her.

TD1 wants me to share with her things that I never did with my granny and she doesn’t understand why I never did them. It’s hard trying to explain terminal illness and the cycle of life to a five-year-old. It’s even harder to dig up memories and deal with grief that you mistakenly thought was dealt with. It also makes me wonder, “If she could see me now…”

I miss my granny dearly, maybe even more so as the years go by. I always looked at the 17 years I had with her as a blessing. Growing up, I knew so many people whose grandparents had already passed. I was always thankful to have mine around. But as I branch out and meet more people, there seems to be even more people who still have their grandparents around. Some celebrating 80- and 90-something birthdays. I’m happy for them. Grandparents are an awesome gift from God. But, I just can’t seem to feel a little twinge of jealousy. Mine never got to see 60. And that makes me sad.

IMG_7305
A friend posted this on FB around Thanksgiving last year. I’m thinking of creating something similar for the TDs two great-grannies, but maybe just not for Christmas.

I wish she could have lived longer to see TD1 and TD2. I think she would have thoroughly enjoyed their personalities. I wish she could see me. I want to know how she thinks about how I turned out. And I don’t really care for speculation from other family members. I ***need*** to hear it from her, ya know. I wish I had more memories and traditions and passed on rituals to “keep her memory alive.”

I wish I had paid more attention, gotten more wisdom and insight from her. But at 13, I wasn’t really concerned with knowing recipes and interior decorating. I thought I had time. And even as I spent the next four years watching her fight for her life, it never really dawned on me that she wouldn’t be around. I mean I knew she could die. I knew that someday she would. Death was something I always thought I was a pro at. People die, you cry. You bury them. Then you move on, reminiscing and joking about the good times. My senior year of high school, my family had something like 10+ deaths, slightly less than the year I graduated 8th grade. But up until September 2004, I’d never lost someone I lived with, someone that played a big part in raising me. So I never factored that into my death equation.

It never dawned on me that this would be a little harder to move on from. Or that I would see her smile whenever I look at my little sister. Or that I would one day have a child that is so curious about two women she’s never met.

And perhaps, that’s the hardest part. Trying to relive a moment in time that has long since passed for someone that never got to experience it.

Home for the Holidays

*cue up *NSYNC*

As I write this, I am currently enjoying watching the TDs veg out with toys, books, puzzles and Netflix. Despite currently fighting allergy/sinus issues, I am thoroughly enjoying being home with them on their winter break. It’s been mostly relaxing, entertaining and full throttle (because apparently kids go on break, but they don’t break….go figure!)

But I have to be honest, I was a bit of a scrooge leading up to the holidays. I dreaded Christmas and wanted to just skip it. I may have even complained about it to a few dozen people. There was very little Christmas music (which I’m sure pleased T-Daddy). I didn’t change my ringtone this year (though I really need to change it, period). We were kinda late decorating the tree and getting Princess (formerly known as Strawberry better known as Elf on the Shelf) here from the North Pole.

Then it was time for the girls’ holiday program. Almost everyone in the family came, which made the girls really happy. And that made me happy. It worked out that both their uncle and their grandparents were in town that day and we were able to arrange for them to be there. Then their uncle spent many days of his trip here with them. TD1 was so excited to be the one to show him how to make root beer floats and give him his first one (not really, but somehow she came to that conclusion).

As a family, we ate all kinds of “bad” food and laughed and joked. We watched movies and played games. We put together puzzles and played with their new toys. We attended church for the first time on both Christmas Eve and Christmas. And we got to see both sides of the family on Christmas day without tons of driving, family politics, tension and stress. Everything, everyone has just been easy peasy this holiday season.

It’s been as if the universe knew exactly what I needed to lift my spirits. It’s been so nice to relax and enjoy my girls in their elements. To not have to yell at them to hurry up because we’re behind schedule. To just take a break. Soon, we’ll be back to the grind of things, but for now, I’m enjoying being home with them on their break. After all, it’s the first time since TD1 was a baby.

TD1 Turns 5


Yesterday, TD1 turned 5 and we celebrated by taking a road trip to Indiana. Though, to be honest, the celebration actually started on Thursday. I went to her school to read a story with her to her class. Then we sang and danced and TD1 passed out the treats we made. Later, some friends and family came over to sing happy birthday and eat cupcakes.

We were supposed to go to Nashville (Brown County), Indiana, but never made it because nothing goes as planned with T4. Instead we ended up going to White River State Park in Indianapolis and getting pizza. For a brief second, I was bummed that we didn’t get to celebrate the way I had planned, but I was later reminded that some of the best things in life aren’t always planned. *cough cough TD1 cough cough*

TD1 5 BdayWe had uninterrupted family time sprinkled with a basket full of candy and TD1 got to call a lot of shots. In her words, “My birthday is awesome!” We laughed and were silly together and on the drive home, it hit me: T-Daddy and I have a FIVE year-old!!!!

It’s hard to believe that five years have passed since I gave birth to this little one. She has changed my life in so many ways and I love watching her go through life. She’s smart and independent and loves helping others. It may sound cliche, but she really does make me want to be a better person. I want to be a good example of the type of woman she should aspire to be. I am also proud of who she has already become. I wish I could take all the credit, but I can’t. She’s her own person and she makes her own choices daily. And she’s managed to survive five years of having T-Daddy and me as her parents.

Happy Five Years TD1!!!!

9+6=15+1=16: Our First Year of Marriage

Today marks our one-year anniversary, and I must say, it went by fast. In honor of our first year of marriage, here are 16 things I learned about Wifedom this past year:

  1. I’m selfish. Before I got married, I considered myself a very loving and giving person. Right before we got married, T-Daddy and I went through pre-marital mentoring (I highly recommend some sort of pre-marital counseling or mentoring for all engaged couples) with a lovely older couple at our church, and we continue to sign up for coed Bible study groups. I also did a 30-day prayer challenge on FB, which led to me joining a small-knit wives’ support group. What I’ve taken away from all of this is that I’m a lot more focused on “What’s in it for me?” than I realized. When T-Daddy doesn’t act the way I think he should or do what makes me happy/comfortable/etc., I get upset and conversations take place. My view on our marriage revolves around how he makes me feel. I’ve done a few marriage challenges that required I focus on T-Daddy – his happiness, his likes, dislikes, worries, dreams, goals, etc., and each time praying for him or affirming him when I was upset at him caused me to act outside of how I felt. The result was a change in my own heart and feelings, and sometimes it even shined an inward mirror causing me to re-evaluate my own self.
  2. I know nothing about marriage. See #1. Seriously. I’m the product of divorced parents and I made a vow to myself when I was a pre-pubescent child that I would never get divorced. I’ve grown some and learned a little about relationships, but that sentiment is still very strong. So I’m determined to make my marriage work. In my quest to learn as much as possible about successful marriages, I’ve realized I don’t know anything. Most of the ideals I had about marriage came from a variety of places, but I can’t say that many of them came from the right places. There are these ideas about marrying the person that makes you happy or is “the one” and they pretty much set you up for failure.
  3. It takes three. For five years, T-Daddy and I tried to do this by ourselves. And we failed miserably. There were a lot of mistakes, heartache, blame and immaturity floating around to end a thousand relationships. It wasn’t until we both started earnestly working on ourselves and our relationship that things changed. During our pre-marital mentoring, we were strongly encouraged to get serious about our relationship with God – consistently going to church, reading the Word, praying (with and for each other), asking for God’s direction and then heeding it. So we did. And I can honestly say that we are leaps and bounds further and better than we were just a year ago.
  4. My marriage is as good as what I focus on. Pretty self-explanatory. When I focus on all the ways T-Daddy annoys me, I can easily find myself wondering why I’m with him and if I made a mistake. Is there somebody else out there that’s better compatible with me….blah…blah…blah. When I focus on all things I like about him or the things that he does that makes me happy, I find myself wanting to shower him with love and praises. What I focus on dictates how I see him – World’s Greatest Husband or World’s Worst Man Ever. And how I see him determines how I treat him, which plays a part in how he treats me.
  5. My marriage is my business. Not everyone will agree with how T-Daddy and I choose to live our lives. Some people will just nod and keep their thoughts to themselves, but others will gladly voice their opinions. A few may even try to persuade us that we’re wrong and need to do it their way. It can be so easy to get caught up in others’ opinions of our lives that we lose focus on who we are as individuals and as a couple. Also, we’re human and sometimes we do some pretty messed up stuff. Unfortunately, when we’re ready to forgive each other, our friends and family may not be so ready to forgive. Things are just easier if we keep some stuff to ourselves.
  6. Time together is a must. We have two kids under the age of five. Free time is a magical unicorn with three horns. We work. Friends want to hang out with us (and not always the two of us together). We have individual interests. We want to sleep. So it can be pretty hard to squeeze in time together – even with a standing weekly date (hey, sometimes we fall asleep on each other. Not sexy, but real). But whenever too much time has gone by without us spending some real quality time together, it shows. We get out of sync on small things like our daily routine. We become at odds with each other. A little QT and most of that gets fixed.IMG_6592
  7. Sex still feels a little taboo. We’ve lived in sin for the majority of our relationship, and sometimes it can be hard to remember that we’re legit now. I don’t have to be ashamed about talking about birth control methods with my midwife. I don’t need to get sheepish or bow my head when sex comes up in therapy, a church sermon or a study group. Yet, I still find myself going “Oh yea, it’s okay now. We’re married.”
  8. Being married doesn’t mean that birth control is no longer a problem. It’s no secret that T-Daddy and I had kids before we were married, and most of the conversations we had with family and friends all centered around why we weren’t using some kind of birth control if we weren’t married (we were…they failed, but that’s a totally different topic). The assumption being that our unplanned pregnancies were only a problem because we were not married. However, we have two beautiful girls that we love so much, and we’re satisfied. We don’t want anymore kids, and now the same problems we had in choosing a birth control method that works for us pre-marriage are the same problems we’re having now post-marriage.
  9. We made things a lot harder than they had to be. T-Daddy and I have been through some things that really rocked our relationship. And the worst part is that we didn’t have to go through that stuff. We could have avoided a lot of drama and stress if we both had acted differently. But hey, you live and you learn.
  10. I’m actually grateful for a lot of the stuff we went through. Don’t get me wrong, it sucked. I have some serious emotional PTSD behind some of the stuff we both did. (Guilt and regret are horrible bedtime companions). But, now that T-Daddy and I are older and more mature, I’m able to look back and learn from a lot of that. I can see our mistakes and our resiliency. And I’m grateful we made it through the storm. I’m grateful that we went through some pretty bad stuff early on and made it because it gives me reassurance and hope that we can make it through whatever obstacles are yet to come.
  11. I want TD1 and TD2 to marry a man like their father. T-Daddy’s pretty awesome. He loves me and he’s committed to our family. The girls will choose whoever they choose, but if he’s at least half the man their father is, I’ll be proud.
  12. Respecting and submitting to T-Daddy is pretty important to me. I may not always get these two right, but I always strive to do them. It’s important to me that I’m a living example for my daughters of what it looks like when a wife respects and submits to her husband.
  13. I didn’t just marry him; I married his friends and family. They’re mine now and my love for him has to extend to them. The more I love them – flaws and all – the more I allow them to enrich my life and I’m able to fully appreciate what he sees in them.
  14. I’m a better wife to him when I’m a better me to me. All that to say that I have to do a better job of taking care of myself mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. When all parts of me are balanced, I don’t unload my baggage onto him and we can actually enjoy our marriage.
  15. T-Daddy’s laugh is the best medicine. I love his smile and his laugh and I love being able to share in it with him. Nothing feels better than when we’re just hanging out and one of us does something funny and we just erupt in that deep belly gut laughter. No matter what’s going on in life, at that moment, everything is just A-OK.
  16. T-Daddy is the one…I’m married to and that’s all that matters. I’m committed to continuously striving to be my best self for him and our marriage. We’re a team. Partners for life.

I’m Scared: An Open Letter to My T’s

I’m scared so I hug you
I’m scared so I kiss you
I’m scared so I cuddle you close and smell the essence of you
I let your sloppy wet kisses linger on my cheek
I come find you in the middle of the night just so I can be close to you
And when you come and use me as your body pillow
No matter how uncomfortable
I relish in the fact that you’re so close
I can’t get enough of you
Even when you’re irking my last nerve
Because I’m scared
I’m scared that I’ll blink and you won’t be there
I’m scared that you’ll blink and I’ll be gone
Because all it takes is a second
Here today, gone tomorrow
I used to tell myself my fear was an irrational one
That, as always, I was being over emotional me
But then I scroll through my newsfeed
And moms and dads are burying their children
Wives are burying their husbands
There’s no rest for the weary
I moved out the hood so none of us would catch that stray bullet
Or be murdered in cold blood in our own home
I try to cook us healthy meals in hopes we’ll never have to sit through dialysis or insulin injections or that “milk bag” that’s synonymous with my family history
I go to the doctor regularly in hopes that I’ll never get that “We caught it too late” diagnosis
I try to push the images of the regretted abortion in a black garbage bag nightmare out of my mind
Because even though it was just a dream, that loss felt too real
And even though we’re healthy, we’re always a doctor’s visit away from “There’s nothing we can do. These things just happen.”
And now, even the good neighborhoods ain’t good no more
So I’m scared
Always
And now, it seems innocent people are dying at the hands of power tripping, trigger happy individuals
Saying they’re “scared”
Scared of how a person looks or their mannerisms or their tone of voice
And suddenly that stray bullet I’ve been dodging for 29 years is no longer coming from the thug in my hood
It’s coming from my “friendly” police officer
The one who I used to fear would give me a speeding ticket
I now fear will try to play God on Judgment Day
And it hurts my soul
And scares me
So when it’s 4:30 am and I have one of you on my left, one on my right and one sprawled all across me
I rub each of you a little softer
Kiss each of you a little gentler
And enjoy feeling your living, breathing presence
Because I know today isn’t promised today
And I’m scared
im-scared