Wild & Crazy – But lots of FUN!

The other day I was on the phone with my sister and I could hear her house or lack of hearing anything from her house other than her classical music playing in the background while she reads and drinks a glass of wine.  Now here is what she hears from my house – running, screaming, and banging due to the large nerf war that I was caught in the middle of and soon became a causality of our own WWIII.  Our homes are so different from style to volume level.  We have always thought it was due to her having a daughter and a son where I have two boys, I’ve always said having two or more boys is like raising a pack of dogs due to them feeding off of each other’s energy.  Her kids are very quiet and don’t really require a lot of interaction, unlike mine.  The last time she watched my boys she was exhausted and needed that glass of wine from before.  My boys are energetic, talkative, demand interaction, and have healthy appetites.  They want to talk to you, tell you every show they have ever watched, want to see what you have for snacks (mostly the youngest one), and want to play with their cousins.  My boys are well-behaved, sweet, and tender hearted, but when you look up the true definition of Boy – I do believe their pictures are there.  They love to run, get dirty, spit, burp, and of course farting is hysterical.  I will NEVER understand that – ever!  They also are very affectionate, and love to give hugs.    My sister loves “her” quiet time and, well, I used to too, but I think that ran away the day I brought my first little man home and it has never been seen again.  

 Here is one of the many conversations I thought I would never have and the joys of raising boys.  I was saying prayers with my youngest and half way through I noticed he had something in his mouth.  I said spit out the finger nail (yes he bites his finger nails then mauls on them for a while – I know gross) he said it’s not my finger nail as he was pulling it out of his mouth, please note the little head jerk and attitude when he said this – I just looked at him.  He said it’s my toe nail and then showed it to me.  Just when my gag reflex went into full gear and I struggled to fight back throwing up I told him never to do that and just how gross it was.  He said well Daddy does it – I said NO he does not! He said well he bites his finer nails….the joy of boys!

Love the mom life!

Focus for today:

Love where you are at, the stage and all that comes with it – it will be gone in an instant!

Would love to hear about some of those conversations you’d thought you would never have to have…

-J

When will your family be enough?

One of my biggest frustrations is when I hear, “My wife never met my needs, so I had an affair” or “My husband was never there for me or told me I was beautiful.” This is such a weak way of thinking and going about life. People like this need to grow up and understand how their actions effect others.

My father left my mother almost 15 years ago; it would have been their 30th wedding anniversary. I didn’t know it growing up but my father had a hard time seeing past his own needs, wants, and pain. Looking back over my childhood I thought we had it all, the perfect family. Now, we weren’t rich and I didn’t have everything I asked for, but we were given more than we probably needed and most importantly I had loving parents. Only when I got older did I start to see the truth, subtle at first then painfully obvious. Shortly after I graduated college and during my first two years of marriage my family exploded.

My father had multiple affairs over the course of their marriage and now not only destroyed our family but others as well. Wow, how selfish can you be? He used to tell me “You don’t know the whole truth.” Like any additional information would justify all his actions/decisions. Just take responsibility- you did this because you are selfish and all you think about is YOU! If you were so unhappy how about work on it. I don’t know, put all that time and energy that you put into sneaking around and creating this alternate happiness into your current marriage. Other questions I would have to ask is why are you so unhappy? What else do you need to be happy? I have found that the ones hurt and most effected by this type of selfish behavior will never get the answers to these questions.

In most cases, divorce is such a devastating tragedy. I completely agree that their are circumstances where divorce is necessary, but in both my parents’ and my sister’s divorce this was not the case. Both of these tragic events were the result of ONE person thinking of their own “needs” and “happiness” as more important than the people they were supposed to love more than anything. I know people reading this will say “Do you really want someone to stay just because of the vows they took, regardless if they are miserable?” My response would be the same as above, how about you put all that time and energy into your marriage/family and see how that turns out. Too many times people want to run because the “spark” they initially felt is gone. What they fail to understand is that the spark they first felt is no more than the infancy stage of a relationship. A deep, meaningful marriage takes hard work and a dedication to the other. Putting their needs above yours is not easy and sometimes feels as if it will snuff the “spark,” but these seemingly tough times lead to something much brighter than a spark.

I look at my niece and nephew and just can’t understand what on earth could you (my brother-n-law) possible want more than this? Why on earth, when you look at your family picture can you say “this isn’t enough”? I actually asked him this question, but to be honest there isn’t an answer that would be good enough. I love my brother-n-law, and it truly saddens me that he has allowed “the grass is greener” lie to break up his wonderful family. The truth is both my father and brother-n-law are both on their third marriage and still looking for what makes them “Happy”.

In my previous post, “Focused Eyes”https://classedupcrazy.com/2019/08/16/focused-eyes/ it focuses on the blessing in your life, especially those that your missing through the events of everyday life. I also mention that many people look at the “green grass” on the other side and wish they had more, but they fail to realize that that “green” grass still has to be watered, mowed, and taken care of or it too will turn brown and die. Everything great in your life requires hard work and lots of time. The sad truth is that I no longer have a relationship with my father, but it’s not due to me holding on to the past and not forgiving him. I have forgiven him, but it is clear that he hasn’t stopped to see anyone else but himself and I’m not sure that he even knows how anymore.

I wish people would stop and see that this horrible and devastating lie, that so many are being lured in by, as the ugly and awful thing it is. The greener grass is just a fake and false sense of reality that will strip you of everything you hold dear and hurt the very people that you love the most. Please do not fall into this mindset; learn to take your blinders off and see the many blessings you have right in front of you each day!

“The happiest man on earth is the one that is content with what he has.”

J

First Impressions

First impressions are crucial – whether we like it or not our first impression can be a make-it or break-it.  From your business to personal life, you get one shot at this and you should always bring your best.  I was recently at my son’s open house at his middle school (he is going into the 6th grade this year).  I left so frustrated and less confident than I have ever been regarding the ability of a school to care for my child due to, or lack of, the first impression. Every question, with exception of one, was answered with “I don’t know” by many of the staff.  My questions ranged from “where will his locker be?” to “how do we sign him up for the bus?”  Not only did we get an “I don’t know” but each also came with the usual shoulder shrug and unenthusiastic look.  When asking where his home room class would be we were given three different locations which all were incorrect.  We did finally get the correct location of his home room, but his teacher was not there to meet the parents on the Open House night.  My husband and I have never had this kind of experience at an Open House, the purpose of these things is to communicate and inform parents, we ended up leaving confused and frustrated.

You know, they had one shot to show that they cared or even tried to be prepared for this parent’s night, however, all they wanted to talk about was their reputation and the dress code policy. Both of these are important, but this was also their chance to explain their expectations of their incoming students, and what the incoming students could expect as well.  I heard many times that night that middle school is harder on the parents than the kids.  Ok, so you are aware, you could have done some of the simplest things to help.  It would have been great to have been told what a day in the life of our children would look like, how they will transition from their classes, how they are to prepare their binders with school supplies, or go over their expectations of homework.

It’s kinda like when you are car shopping or buying a house.  If the prior owner hasn’t taken care of the “smalls” then I immediately become worried because most likely they haven’t taken care of the “bigs”.  The “smalls” are when you see broken blinds.  I then think if they haven’t fixed that knowing they are trying to sell their home then most likely they have not maintained the “bigs” like the heating and cooling system.  If they haven’t cleaned the trash out of the car, “smalls”, (and yes, this actually happened to me and my husband when test driving cars from a dealership – let’s just say we left) then did they bother to do major maintenance or regular oil changes “bigs”? 

Or like my husband.  He was a police officer for almost ten years.  He used to always say that the way he presented himself spoke a lot to the people he interacted with, Officer Presence.  His presence was not only the uniform itself, it was how he carried himself, his confidence.  He always made sure his uniform was tailored, cleaned, pressed, shoes shined, and car washed.  He respected his role and the community he served and you could tell this not only by his words and actions but in his level of attention to his physical appearance as well.  In his role, all of this was crucial to his safety and effectively doing his job.

Speaking of bad first impressions, just the other day my husband and I were working out in the garage, and the door was up. This is not something I enjoy, but that’s for another story. While we were working out, a man in a truck pulled up close to our mail box and appeared to be going through some trash. He gathered, what I thought was trash and threw it out his window next to our mail box. In an instant I screamed at him and said “NO NO – DON’T YOU DO THAT!” He immediately looked at me and my husband jumped up, not knowing what was going on. The man was still looking at me and slowly moved on to my neighbors house. My husband looked at me and I was like “I can’t believe he just dropped his trash in our yard”. My husband said “he is delivering phone books”. I was instantly embarrassed and desperately wanted to run after his car to catch up with him to apologize, at which my husband said running after him was probably not the best idea after screaming at him. My husband laughed and said I wanted to look at him and whisper “just drive away” – I told him that’s not funny! I can only imagine what he thinks of the people that live in That House.

 So in this situation with the school, if they aren’t willing or see the importance of communicating the “smalls” then how will they be throughout the year with the “bigs”.   This school may be great. However, the first impression did not leave me with confidence in their willingness to communicate throughout the year . 

Focus for today:

You have one, ONE shot at a first impression – understand just how invaluable this truly is!

-J

Customer Temper Tantrums

What is up with the way people react to the word “NO”? Every time I am put in a position to uphold to a policy the first response I get lately is “Your treating me less than human” or “Your treating me as a 3rd class citizen” – What? Why is it that when people are told “no” or “you need to do …. first” the first thing that comes to their mind is – That’s not fair! Every time this happens I have to take a double take – because I thought I was speaking to an adult in an higher education/healthcare setting not with children. Then reality hits and I AM speaking with an adult, but this response is what I get from my 7 and 11 year old. We have done such a disservice to our youth and young adults by letting them think that they need to challenge everything. Yes I am a huge component of asking questions and being completely informed, but having unrealistic demands is obnoxious and shows lack of maturity.

Everyone of us live by rules whether they are written, spoken, or a part of daily expectations. In my offices we are 100% customer service focused and we do this well (in prior post “Customer Service – not a job task, it’s a mindset” you can see my passion on providing great customer service), but it really seems that in the moments this is called into question it typically is when the customer does not like to hear “No” or “Wait”. Accusations of poor customer service never stem from the customer actually being treated poorly or receiving poor product, but from an unrealistic since of entitlement. Let’s call this what it is – an over sized temper tantrum. You are not showing your superior intelligence by trying to always buck the system or prove your injustices, some things are put in place for a reason. As long as those rules and policies are not truly an injustice then follow the policy and move forward.

-J

Expectations/Standards – too low?

I am a mother of two boys and I have noticed more now than ever the difference in standards when it comes to boys versus girls. It seems as though society has a lower level of expectations for men than women and this is extremely frustrating on many levels for me. Why is it an accepted and normal way of thinking that men will always lust after women. I have heard many say “they can look but not touch”, “boys will be boys”, and “they have needs”. I know women who allow their husbands/boyfriends to go to strip clubs, and this is acceptable? WHAT! Why would we let men settle to this way of thinking? Why would we let our significant other devalue a woman in such a way. How about the fact that they are disrespecting the one they are with? They are strong and very capable with resisting these behaviors; they are not mindless animals. The women that are playing into this stereotype often feel like this is the way to satisfy their men and keep them happy by not putting boundaries on them – Really! These women need to get a backbone and pick men that love them and are completely devoted to them, these are the men that do not need external stimulation to feel satisfied. Enough is enough with this weak view of men and women putting up with this substandard type of relationship.

I can’t handle that everything from food, cars, drinking, and sports (just to name a few) are sold with sex. Let’s be real they are not selling to women they are trying to entice men. Even our consumer market thinks males are mindless animals and if I were a man I would be insulted. This is the very struggle I have with raising my sons. I am very aware that men and women are completely different. I also understand that men are more physical by nature than women, however to believe that they can not live without subjectifying women is absurd. Society is guilty of putting this on our men and not expecting more from them. It is a known fact that individuals rise to expectations that are set for them, with knowing this we need to set higher ones.

Our men need to stand up too. Peer pressure from other men is just as bad as the constant bombarding that they get everyday from the media and society. We need to teach our sons that they are not weird and need to have standards. Not falling into these social norms does not lesson their manhood at all.

Allowing men to be a stereotype is also damaging to Marriages. These sacred relationships cannot thrive when one partner is behaving this selfishly. This lack of respect is appalling and so hurtful. It is a horrible example for children and again I will go back to how this hurts when raising them. A lot of times this is a cycle and and how can we expect young boys to resist this lifestyle when they are bombarded via the media, friends, and now . . . parents.

I love my boys and I want them to thrive in healthy relationships. I am truly blessed that their father is an amazing example of how unselfish devotion can grow a marriage. Let’s not forget that a marriage takes both partners giving all of themselves all of the time. Raising our children to believe differently will ultimately require a societal shift. This may seem overwhelming, but I know these types of changes begin at home.

-J

“30 day” Challenge – Part two

Well I promised I would keep this short so I think it would be best to put a weeks worth of daily entries in each blog. This challenge is a 30 day challenge that does not include rest days.

Day 1: I thought I was going to die. My legs felt like jello and I struggled to complete the list of exercises. I’m not being overly dramatic and I understand that the list is not filled with majorly intense items ( it is labeled “Beginners”), but I am not used to this. I told my husband “There is no way I can do this every night for 30 days.”

The next morning I was so sore to the fact it hurt to sit in my chair at work. When I would need to get up to walk to the bathroom or get a drink of water, I’m sure it looked like I had road a horse for 8 hours when I walked. I was so sore that I scared my self out of working out tonight. I am going to extend this workout for 60 days and do every other day. You have to let your body rest.

Day 2: I worked out last night even though I was incredibly still sore from my first night workout, which was two days ago. I was dreading this all day at work and repeatedly told co-workers there is no way I’m going to be able to do this tonight – I’m too sore. When I got home I made sure to go ahead and get it done. WOW I was able to do it and it didn’t really take that much of my time. I was sore but nothing that actually stoped me from finishing the routine. I am actually excited to see if I can work out again tomorrow and not have that rest day. I’m feeling good!

Day3: I worked out and I am completely surprised that the soreness doesn’t impact or stop me from working out. I still have no clue how I’m going to be able to keep increasing intensity every day. By the end of this challenge It is going to have me do so much more than I think I am capable of doing.

Day 4-6: I actually skipped these days. I’m not happy about it, but we had so much planned this weekend and I didn’t want to give up family time. I think I am going to rest on the weekends – which yes it will increase the amount of time I am doing this “30 day” challenge. At this point not sure I even should call it a “30 day” challenge anymore. More like Never ending/Hard as crap challenge!

Day 7: (which is really Day 4 in the workout routine): Well as you know each days workout increases and is basically freakin hard/crazy. Let’s just say missing 3 days was not my best decision to make. I was hurting and exhausted at the end of it. I still have no clue how this is all going to play out but I am wanting to really stick with this one through.

AKA..Day 5: I worked out again!!! This is really an accomplishment in it’s self. I am hurting and it is getting intense, but the soreness still hasn’t stopped me from completing all of the exercises. My husband keeps telling me that you should have a day in-between to let your muscles rest, but I am trying to complete this challenge as close to the design as possible. Well see how it goes.

Day 6 – went well and yes still getting harder, but I feel so good because I have kept up with it!!! Now I’m gonna go rest!

Wrap Up: Well it is going better than I expected, and maybe this is part of my problem – low expectations or negative expectations. I can find the positive in at least I am wanting to work out, at least I am “Kinda” sticking with it and haven’t thrown in the towel. I am going to continue and lest see how this next week goes – I will only post one more – “the final” and this will wrap up my overall experience and what I gained from this challenge.

Let me know how you do with these challenges.

-J

Love with out Action – is what?

To love someone is more than just having emotional feelings or saying that you love them, it is action. Love with out action is void and empty. How can I say I love you but never help you, take care of you, support you, or walk with you through something. Love requires a tangible action or it simply is not love.

“For God So loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believe that in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). In this scripture we see God’s love expressed in a tangible action – He gave His only begotten Son. What was the reason He gave His only Son? So that whosoever believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. God loves us so much that He gave something, something extremely special and invaluable- His Son. This is probably one of the fundamental scriptures for believers. However, it should be more than our foundation for faith, it should be the foundation for how we Love others. As Christians we should be God’s example to the world and the best way to do this is to LOVE.

It is easy to say – I love everyone, I love people because they are God’s creation, or I am called to love you because I am a Christian. This is not love at all or at least not the type of love God showed us. His love had action, His example is true love. The good news is we can love like God, we can love others with action. I can say all day how I love children, but when my church needs volunteers for nursery or help teaching Children’s church and I constantly make excuses to why I can’t help am I loving?

I was taking my boys to school and my oldest was rushing me because he wanted to get out of the car quickly. I kept trying to get him to hold off, but that is when he said “she needs my help”. I looked over and a staff member was getting out of her van and going to her wheelchair in the back. I told him he could go and he ran to help her. He stood by her and got her belongings out of the van, walked beside her, and then held the door open for her. I was so touched watching him help someone when all the other children ran past them. He never cared about what others thought. He was in the moment showing “ACTION.”

Last Sunday we were driving to church and my seven year old saw a homeless man with a sign that said “anything welcomed”. We were running a little behind and it was the night my oldest was getting baptized, so I was trying to go through my mental list to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything. When my son said “can we help him?” My husband asked “How would you help him buddy?” He said “Give him money”, my husband said “Wouldn’t it be better if we gave him some food?” This whole time we continuing driving towards church. I look at my husband and said turn around. I said we need to let him do this. We turned around and went to McDonald’s and let him pick out a meal to give this man. My son was able to give this man a warm meal, small Bible, and a letter. These moments help foster God’s teaching in our children.

I want my kids to truly love others and not just say “Oh I feel bad for them”, but to put God’s love in action – do what you can to help. This could be volunteering (homeless shelter, food pantry, church, schools, hospitals, or counseling centers – to name a few), praying regularly for those around you, and most importantly loving others you interact with on a daily basis at work, church, children’s schools, or events. Get to know others and be there for them, walk with them during good and difficult times, support them, and live this “love is action” life everyday in front of them.

Love others with action!

-J

Choose to love the one you’re with.

Do you want to know what can really get me on my soap box? When people say “Oh, we just fell out of love.” I’m sorry – okay, not that sorry – but that is total BS.

“We fell out of love.”

“They stopped taking me out.”

“They stopped telling me I’m beautiful.”

Okay, but what about taking personal responsibility for what YOU are doing or not doing anymore? When was the last time YOU suggested you go out for dinner? Or when was the last time you told THEM that THEY were beautiful/handsome/fine/*insert compliment of choice*? If you have been 100% open and honest with your feelings and what you are searching for and they still refuse to give this to you, sure. You might have a few issues that need to be worked out. However, I can guarantee you most of the time a simple change in your own lifestyle and communication can make a huge difference.

I’ve always dated with intent. For as long as I can remember I was running “boys” off with trying to be too “serious.” I would get upset when they cheated. I would get upset when they lied. They always left me feeling foolish because I was “too young to settle down.” However, I don’t see the point in wasting my time & wasting my youth on a relationship that I know isn’t going to result in a future. If you lie and cheat on me now, you’ll lie and cheat on me later in life & I’m just not about to let that happen.

The first night I hung out with my, now husband, we laid it all out there on the line. He said “this is what I’m looking for… this is what I want…. I’m looking for a wife… this is my past & this is my reputation.” As weird as this may sound, it was exactly what I wanted to hear. I had wasted too many years on things that would never last. I was looking for a future and this man was it.

Now I’m not going to say we are perfect. But I would say we are as close as you can get. I’m very proud of what we have. Sure, we have our differences. & Yes – there are things that sometimes get on my nerves. But you know the difference in our marriage and others out there? We’re too stubborn to give up. We are going to work through the challenges. We are going to communicate and continue to put each other’s happiness before our own. & you know what? THAT is going to last.

No one “falls out of love.” Love goes through cycles. You have to learn to grow together, not apart. You have to CHOOSE to love each other every day. Even when they haven’t taken you out in a while, even if their compliments have been lacking lately. Be intentional. Tell them what you want. Tell them what makes you happy. When they choose your happiness above their own, and you do the same, there is no reason why anyone should be unhappy.

Marriage is for life. Marriage is NOT “until I no longer feel like working for it.” If you are willing to break one of the most sacred vows there is in existence, what else are you willing to do?

Keep it classy,

K.

Top 10 Reasons (not) to Date a Married Man

1.) You enjoy being lonely.

Dating a married man means you get second best. You’re always going to be penciled in when it is most convenient for HIM. Looking forward to spending Friday night with your boo? Nah girl, he’s with his family. But he’ll get back to you on Tuesday.

2.) You like showing up for the holidays alone.

Man! Nothing like Grandma asking “So when are you going to bring a man home to meet us?” for the 5th year in a row. You’re thinking to yourself, sure! I’d love to. But guess what, again, he’s with his family. But I’m sure he’ll buy you a nice bracelet on December 27th to make up for it.

3.) You don’t like commitment.

You’d rather be lonely – dreaming of a life with him. He may always complain about his “real life.” He may always talk to you about a dream life committed to you some day. But how long has he been saying that? Right. Move on, chick. As shallow as he may be, he’s not going to leave #1. Shame on you for trying to break up a family.

4.) You’re interested in weak men.

Yes, why have a strong man with honest values when you can have a weak one that runs from his problems. 🙂 If he’s willing to cheat on her, he will cheat on you too. Clearly he cannot handle when things get tough at home and would rather run off to cheat. Some day if things get rocky with you, he’ll run away from you too.

5.) You like having the LEAST of both worlds.

While your married man is living it up, having his cake and eating it too, you’re hiding & alone. Nooo, you’ll never resent him for having it all while you have nothing.

6.) You’ve dreamed of being a home-wrecker.

Eventually you’re going to lose his respect. As shallow as he is, he’s going to start to resent you for settling with such a broken and flawed relationship. Can’t you do any better than that? & while he’s living it up at home with everything he needs, you’re left lonely known as the one who did or almost wrecked a home. This happens when you have no respect or care for children growing up without their daddy.

7.) You hate other women and want to see them fail.

Forget all this women equality and women empowerment we are all into these days. You’d rather see them BURN! You’re thinking, if I can’t have him – NO ONE CAN! You have no respect for other women. You want every woman to have trust issues and you want every man of their future to be punished for that.

8.) You enjoy watching time pass you by.

Ever notice how time goes much quicker the older you get? Did you notice his words tend to speak louder than his actions? But that’s what you’re into, right? The thought of him telling you how beautiful you are on February 15th rather than the 14th. Sure honey. He’ll leave his wife next month and you can fly away to Hawaii like you both have been talking about for… wow… it’s been 5 years already?

9.) You like to listen rather than share.

You’re out to dinner with your best gal pal and she cannot stop talking about her husband and their new child! You want so badly to share in the excitement and tell her the new shiny gift you got from your boo, but wait… you have to live in secret.

10.) You like to question yourself and your worth.

Nothing like spending another Saturday night alone. Man, you’d really like to be out on a date tonight but darn – he’s with the family again. You start to wonder “Why am I doing this?” “Who am I?” But at least you get a couple hours squeezed in next week, right?

Disclaimer: this is satirical in nature. Complete sarcasm. In no way shape or form am I telling you to date married men. However, this is not a joke. These are true & very real problems in which families are being destroyed.

Keep it crazy,

K.

Raising Children When is it Complete?

When you are raising your children you hope you are doing a good job, at least you are trying your best. There are times you think your making it and other times you know the “Mother Of The Year” award will never have your name on it. Being a mother has been one of the hardest things I have ever done and the most rewarding. It has been an emotional journey that’s not over by a long shot. I hate when I hear mothers/parents say “I can’t wait until they are 18” like your job as a mother/parent magically stops on that day. The role of a mother, and father, is one that is a life journey. In many ways we raise our children until we take our last breath. Now, the word ‘raise’ takes on a distinct meaning as we enter the different stages of life. Raising can be taking care of the very important essentials like: feeding, bathing, doctor visits, and providing all the necessities for survival. Raising for us also means teaching them about God and His love for them. This is done through going to church, reading the Bible, and teaching the boys about praying and having a relationship with God. Another way we raise our children is by helping them understand social norms, how to interact with others, how to balance relationships & priorities, how to treat others, and to learn the basic skills so they can be productive adults. All of these things are also modeled by you, the parent. You set the stage as the example, please understand how important this is. It’s putting action to all the words you have been saying.

Children are not a distraction from more important work, They are the most important work.”

C.S. Lewis

Because the time we get with our children to lay these essential foundations is so incredibly short, we have to be engaged. Engagement with them everyday is very important. I know many parents that spend way too much time on their own hobbies, interest, and social life that they are completely missing the little lives in front of them. Just in everyday conversations with my boys I can hear from their own words what has gone on throughout their day. You can see what is important to them, what upsets them, and hear about their passions. These conversations also come with jokes I rarely understand, but they would never know that. I love to talk with them and hear stories about their friends and what all they did that day. Now my boys love to talk, but only when they initiate the conversation or don’t have “more important” things to do. Even when they don’t want to talk I still make them because I want them to understand that what is going on in their lives is something I put as a priority. I want them to know that I will always be here to listen and truly care about even the smallest details in their lives.

Another way my husband and I keep our children as our priority is by putting our relationship as a top priority. If we do not put our relationship over our children then our children will not have the environment that they need to grow and thrive. By putting our relationship at the top of this hierarchy they find security and comfort. Parenting is not just raising our children, but keeping our family strong. The foundation of our family is built on God and the walls are our marriage.

When our children are older and out of the house the word raising will look a lot different, but we will still play a part. They won’t need us to take them to the doctor, feed them, or provide the necessities – at least we hope not. We will, however, encourage them, listen to them, and give advise when asked. We won’t try to control them, but rather give then the space they need to thrive as productive adults. You have already placed the foundation during the early years, so the hope is when you get to this point you can watch the bird fly from the nest in complete confidence that they will soar.

-J