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.

Goodbye My Friend – I Love You and Miss You

I know I have written about first impressions and we all know how important those and first encounters are. The way I met Ashley wasn’t the usual way to meet your soon to be best friend. It was freshman year in high school and her boyfriend was causing some issues in English class. I called him out in front of everyone for picking on someone, and lets just say the craziness started. This was not something that was typical for me, as I was shy and timid, but was necessary at that moment. Through this event I met Ashley. Once we got to know each other we were inseparable. We made sure to have as many classes together as possible. I remember one of our Science teachers begging us to listen and stop talking, we would just sit and giggle. We were always staying over at each other’s house and if we weren’t together we were on the phone talking.

Ashley was a sweet and kind person, beautiful on the outside as much as she was on the inside. She was very soft spoken and the only major downfall she had was a terrible taste in boys. I always had nicknames for them. The worst one of them all I would call “Fish Face”. We would still laugh about that years later. Ashley was raised completely different than me and her mom was relaxed and a little on the wild side, to say the least. I went with them on a couple of trips and those memories were ones we would talk about 10 years later.

It came down to our Senior year and I was planning on moving to Nashville for college, but that would mean saying goodbye to her. I remember that evening when she came over to my house to say goodbye. We cried and talked and then cried some more. To that point, that was one of the hardest goodbyes I had ever said. She was my best friend and like a sister we did everything together and now I was leaving her behind. I felt so guilty for leaving. I was also so scared to do something this big without her. I went away to college and tried to stay in touch as much as possible. Her and her boyfriend came to visit a few times, but I started realizing something that I never wanted to admit; we were drifting apart. She was living her life here and I was making a new one there. Over the next four and a half years the miles between us became not just literal but figurative for our friendship. We both got married a few years later and were in each other’s wedding, we wouldn’t have had it any other way. My husband and I moved back to my home town and we stayed in touch at first. With the busyness of life, work, and then I had two small kids staying in touch became less and less.

Over the years it became very obvious that the multiple tragedies and horrific events that she had gone through were surfacing and became this mountain she could not climb. Her depression became a black hole she could not escape. We would each reach out to the other from time to time. Those calls seemed to always come when we needed it the most; like we were still connected. I loved talking with her and trying to give her hope and reassure her that she could make it through all of this. She had dreams and plans for what she wanted her life to look like, but it seemed at every turn something or someone would knock her back down. Her struggles were overtaking her and to be honest I only knew a small portion of the demons that she faced. This was very hard for me to come to grips with, how could I have not know it was this bad, I was her best friend.

To be honest, and this is something that was really hard for me to admit as well, we weren’t best friends anymore. We had drifted so far away due to life and other issues. But just because we weren’t as close anymore doesn’t mean that she wasn’t a special person in my life. All the memories and growing together is something I can cherish as being a major part of my life. Being able to reflect on our friendship made me notice that I saw so many red flags, and there was so much more I could have done but I never wanted to upset her. We called each other best friends, but honesty was never apart of it. Honesty should have been apart of it and maybe that would of helped her out of her black hole. When you love someone you should always be open with them even when the truth hurts, it may end up saving them.

It will be three years this April that my friend left us. I still have such a hard time thinking about her being gone. I always wonder if I could have done more, and I could have to be honest – everyone could have. Ashley was a wonderful and beautiful person whose simile would light up any room. She had such a compassionate heart for others. It was a beautiful life gone way to soon. I thought the night I left for college was the worst goodbye I would ever say to her, but at her funeral I wrote her my last letter. The final goodbye.

Goodbye my friend – I love you and miss you

-J

Focused Eyes

How do you have it all? This is not a “Have it all” in terms of money, advancement at work, recognition, well-kept house, perfect marriage, well behaved kids, or an unlimited bank account. It’s a good job that allows me to pay the bills, but yet one that I enjoy doing, a husband that stands with me as a loving partner, kids that are wild and woolly, and most importantly the feeling of being blessed by my Heavenly Father every day. I don’t have it all by others’ standards, but I am blessed beyond measure. I have to also add that this doesn’t mean that everything is going perfect or exactly the way I would like it. It means that at the end of the day I am thankful for all that I have and the experiences I have lived through and learned from. My life looks crazy, but it’s fun! My boys seem to find a way to keep me going even when I think I’m too tired to get up, the large bang and screams from the other room ALWAYS gets me moving! Guys I urge you to be careful watching everyone else’s lives via social media, or whatever, and wonder where did it go wrong, when did the express train run right through your house, or where is the train. There is not enough “green grass” on the other side that would EVER make me want to jump ship or wish that I were on another. This ship is mine and it’s a wild ride, but one that I love more than anything! There is one major thing you must keep in mind when thinking about “green grass”, it still has to be watered, mowed, and weeded. Every good thing takes work, it takes commitment, and focused eyes. If you are constantly looking around then you are not focused on what is in your life, or what you have so how can you be thankful …….you haven’t seen it yet!

Since my oldest son was three years old he would always end his nighttime prayers with “I’m thankful for boogers and jellybeans”. Please don’t ask cause I have no clue where this came from, and no I do not serve boogers and jellybeans for dinner. But I think this says it all and to be honest it’s something that we all need to be reminded of. When looking at my sliding glass doors at home and see the sunscreen forehead smears on it and get frustrated because I have to clean it again or picking up the millionth Lego piece off the floor, my husband reminds me “it’s gonna be gone one day and you will miss this”. It’s also those nights you get woken up with a sick kid and rocking them back to sleep, rubbing their back until they calm down due to a bad dream, or cleaning up the cup of spilled milk. These would seem like boogers in the moment, but I now see these as jellybeans. I know these are very small examples of things to be thankful for, but it starts there, being thankful for the little things and not letting those moments pass us by.

Focus for today:

Recognize the blessing you have and find joy in them

-J

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