Tag Archives: family

Ten Things of Thankful, more or less.

Another week…how does this happen? It just whizzes by. My grandma warned me about this. About 20 years ago now, she and I were having a chat and I said, “Grandma, seems like the years go by faster the older I get!” She said, in her very Southern Grandma way, “Honey, wait till you’re old as me. Life is just one big ole blur!” She is now 93 years young! And she is hilarious! I am thankful for her sense of humor. I honestly think she has gotten funnier with age. No, she is not senile—she’s just like a fine wine, getting better with age, I reckon.

I am thankful for Emma’s continued improvement. If her chasing her daddy around the kitchen two nights ago is any indication, I’d say she’s just about 100%. I am also thankful that she is very nearly completely caught up with the schoolwork she missed while she was recuperating from her Close Encounter of the Reptile Kind. Did I mention that I hate snakes? Now more than ever.

I am thankful for a movie date night with my two guys last night. (Emma got a better offer from the BFF.) We went to see the new Thor movie. Chris Hemsworth is quite lovely. There was the obligatory abs and chest shot. Completely unnecessary, but greatly appreciated, I am sure, by all the ladies who were attending  at the request of their menfolk. I think I speak for all of us, when I say, thanks, Mr. Director, for thinking of us girls.

I am happy to be on the homeschool prom committee again this year. I know, maybe that sounds crazy to some of you who have at some time served on such a committee. I was happy to be involved last year, especially since it was Jacob’s senior year and secretly (or not-so-secretly) I wanted to be on the committee so that a) Jacob would go and b) I would be helping at the prom the night of the event so I could make sure Jacob was okay and enjoying the evening. I dragged Clyn in on it as well. It was a big win all the way around. Jacob and his lovely date (his friend, Rebecca) had a great time with their group of friends. Clyn had fun. And I had a blast. It was a lot of work, but what made it so fun was the ladies on the committee. Many of them are serving again this year and I am so thankful for the friendships I gained, and deepened, and I am hopeful that we will able to put on another fantastic night for the kids who will be attending this year. For your enjoyment, a couple of throwback pics from last year’s extravaganza:

Pre-Prom  Post-Prom

I was happy to be able to get back to the gym this morning! I have missed the last couple of weeks of my beloved WERQ class because of the whole snake bite business and then Clyn had a foot issue as well and I needed to drive him to the doctor, as his driving foot was the problem. (Nothing serious, mostly annoying to him.) AND then my gym went and switched one of the classes I used to go to, to a day and time that I cannot go, so that kinda threw me off schedule as well. Anyway, I am glad to get back on track!

We {heart} Chick-Fil-AI am thankful for our weekly Saturday Chick-Fil-A trips. It is something we usually do as a family and we sit there and eat our “Chick’n” and chat about our plans for the day. Jacob inevitably removes his straw paper, twists it into a small projectile, puts it in his straw and blows, usually shooting it at his sister—which is funny (to the rest of us, not to Emma). We go pretty nearly every Saturday…enough so that they don’t ask us for a name for our order anymore. They already know it. When Emma and I have been out doing some shopping and we are meeting Clyn and Jacob there, the kid who is taking our order will say, “Will the guys be in today?” They know us. We know them. Traditions are nice.

Speaking of our weekly Chick-Fil-A visit—it is about that time! Hope you all have had a great week filled with lots of thankful stuff!

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On the weekend, I link up with the Ten Things of Thankful Blog Hop to celebrate all the things I am feeling especially thankful for this week. You can join in the gratitude at Lizzi’s blog—Considerings.

Ten Things of Thankful

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Filed under Gratitude

Marriage That Lasts: The Happy Factor

There have been a couple of blogs recently floating around about marriage. In reading them, I noticed the word “happy” is getting a lot of use.

One blog submits, in part, that marriage it not for you, it is for the other person (which I don’t entirely disagree with)—to make the other person happy. The other post asserts that you should marry a person who makes you happy.

This word “happy” is what gets me.

Personally, I believe the word “happy” is why so many people split up. Some people believe they are entitled to a life filled with happiness. Unicorns and rainbows. And that they should never, ever be unhappy.

I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 24 years. Have we had moments of happy? Yes, we have. Lots of happy. Do I feel like it is my job to make my husband happy? No, I most certainly do not. Do I feel like it is his job to make me happy? Absolutely not.

Happiness is an emotion and you cannot base a relationship solely on emotion. Maybe emotions brought you together initially, but emotions wax and wane. Happy is not 24/7. Happy is temporary. And Happy should not be a pre-requisite to love.

Love is something different.

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People do feel love, but to me, love is not an emotion. Love is a choice. It is a verb, requiring action by both people in the marriage. It is a thing you DO and I am not just talking about what you DO in the bedroom.

If you spend your married life demonstrating love to your spouse, I believe you will find yourself in a long lasting marriage. If you spend your time worrying about your happiness, or the happiness of your spouse, you will be sorely disappointed. I promise you.

What does this mean? This means that you have to ignore toothpaste splatters, toilet seats left in the upright position, how he loads the dishwasher or diapers the kid. It means you will have hardships. It means that sometimes you will feel like you are giving more to the relationship. Other times, you will be the needy one. It means sometimes he will really get on your nerves and hurt your feelings and you will not be happy at all. You will have to do things you do not want to do. So will your spouse. That is just how it is. That is called relationship. You will be happy and you will be unhappy. That is the reality of marriage.

Marriage that lasts is about love, but it is also about forgiveness, which, like love, is not an emotion, but a verb. Oh, and there are those other verbs: commitment and work.

I have heard people say, “I love him/her, but I’m not IN love with him/her anymore”, which is basically code for “he/she doesn’t make me happy anymore.” If I had based my marriage satisfaction only on whether or not I was happy, honey, I’d have been out of here long ago!

Marriage isn’t about the Happy Factor, people!

Marriage is about love, forgiveness, commitment and the work it takes to make a life together and honor each other. It is about wanting the best for your spouse and being the best you can be for your spouse. Marriage isn’t just about you and it isn’t only about him. There will be times of happy and there will be hard times, but you can’t just bail because the thrill is gone.

So, maybe you want to ask me, “Joell, are you happy in your marriage?” My answer would probably depend on the day, because my Happy Factor varies. But if you ask me if I love my husband, my answer is this:

Unequivocally, yes. I love him differently today than I did when I met him 30 years ago. I love him more deeply and more completely than I did on the day we married. I am wholly committed to him—on the days that he annoys me and on the days he seems too needy and on the days he gives me a can-opener for Christmas (yes, that happened). I love him on the days he rubs my feet, just because. And on the days he works extra hard to do a good job at work, because he loves his family and wants to provide for us. And on the days he puts a blanket on me when I fall asleep in the recliner. I choose to love him every day, regardless of how I am feeling at the time. I love him because he loves me, even on the days I am a moody, hormonal, straight up pain in the butt. I will never regret my decision to love and marry such a good man.

I believe we need to take our example from Christ and how He loves us—freely and without condition. Then, work each day to demonstrate that same kind of love to our spouses, which is no easy task. And which is why people get tired and unhappy about having to do that day in and day out. I get it. It is hard work. Guess what? Sometimes you just have to dig down deep and love anyway. Even when you aren’t feeling happy. I am pretty sure there is nowhere in the scriptures that says, “Thou shalt always feel happy.”

So, I encourage you to press on, my married friends. Enjoy those happy moments, and embrace the not-so-happy ones too, for they are what enduring marriages are made of.

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NOTE: Please don’t take this the wrong way, y’all. It is great to be happy, to feel happy, but don’t base everything on that. Also, I am not saying you should stay with your abusive spouse—if you find yourself in that situation, please get help and get to where you are safe, for yourself and for your children. And I am not saying you should tolerate unfaithfulness either. Just want to clear those things up!

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Filed under Family, Marriage

Ten Things of Thankful, with a Spanish flair. Kinda. You’re welcome.

It’s Saturday! And I am thrilled to say that I’m actually going to get my Ten Things of Thankful post up on SATURDAY this weekend! HA! Woooo!

It is almost 10 am here and all is still silent, except for our little Lubie bird chirping and pecking away happily at his bell in his cage. Emma is off at her “other family’s” house, Jacob is snoozing it up and Clyn had to go in to work for a bit this morning. So, here I sit. In my jammies, sipping on my English Breakfast tea, which is now slightly cold because it is chilly here, y’all! Woke up to temps in the upper 30s, which is cold for the end of October in South Carolina! I am currently refusing to turn on the heat, because I am sure that next week, we will be back in the 80s or something like that. When I turn on the heat, that means it is winter and I’m not ready to let go of fall just yet.

On that note, I will go nuke my tea….

…and we’re back! That is much better!

I almost got completely sidetracked (shocker!) by a tempting email from Snapfish telling me I can order my Christmas cards NOW and get 50% off my order. I’m not going to lie, I went and looked and clicked around and almost got stuck there! Oh my, the ADD is kicking up for real today!

On to the business at hand!

This week…has been long. Not in a bad way, but somehow yesterday morning when I was driving to the gym, it occurred to me that Monday seemed like a long time ago. Partly, I think, it is due to the fact that my poor, sweet hubby has been working extremely long hours this week. A project of his this week has required him to be at work really early, 5 am early, and to stay really late. One night, I am pretty sure he got home around 11:30. And he is back there today, Saturday. He is my thankful thing numero uno. He works so hard and is so conscientious about his work. I hope those people know how blessed they are to have such an employee as my man! But if they don’t, I do. And I know that everything he does is for the kids and me.  And, no, he does not get paid overtime, as he is a salaried employee.

Thankful thing numero dos and tres. (Do y’all like my Español, by the way?? HA!) I am thankful for my hilarious daughter (thing dos…literally and figuratively). I’m telling you, she makes me laugh so hard sometimes that I snort and tears come out of my eyes. She is medicine to me. She is also an excellent student, who, along with tons of her peers, was honored for her academic achievements in a ceremony this week at school. She is so nonchalant about it all, which is funny to me. Girl! You got all As in  every subject last year, for the whole school year! It is okay to be happy and proud of that! But no. It is just what she does. Nothing special. Whatevs. Again, hilarious. But we are proud…Look at her and Harper, aren’t they lovely? Yes, they are. And did you even know you could “letter” in academics?? I didn’t. I only thought you lettered in athletics. Shows how much I know. After the ceremony, we enjoyed a fun dinner with Harper and her family (thing tres)—they are a fun and crazy family.

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Thankful thing numero quatro and cinco go together. (Okay, I’m just going with it now. I started a pattern and I can’t simply abandon that pattern. That would just be wrong!) So, I made a new friend this week (thing quatro), which I always love doing! She is a sweet, wonderful lady in my town, who emailed me this week, out of the blue. (Seemingly, but I do not believe in coincidence.) She was emailing me to invite me to participate in a day-long Christian women’s conference that is being held at her church in January (thing cinco). I was pretty freaked out. I’ve never stood up in front of a group of people to talk about anything. I’m not counting my students because that it not stuff I have to come up with out of my own head! And I’m not counting that speech class I had to take in college, because they actually give you a topic to talk about! This would be leading a small breakout session in a topic of my choosing as it relates to encouraging women. Really? It blows my mind that, first of all, any more than 5 people actually read my ramblings on a daily basis and, second of all, that I would have anything of value to share with a group of women. It is very humbling, but also a very exciting opportunity that I have agreed to take on. Sometimes we have to go do that thing which we are so afraid to do; otherwise, how do we stretch and grow? The people I love have all told me they believe in me and to go for it. And so, here I go. Pray for me, y’all!

Thankful thing numero seis. This weather does make me happy. It makes me think of James Taylor’s song, Walking Man (see video below…I do LOVE ME some JT—not to be confused with Justin Timberlake. Sorry, Justin, James Taylor is the original JT. Just saying. The man’s voice is like butter!). “…The leaves have come to turning and the goose has gone to fly….The frost is on the pumpkin and the hay is in the barn…” These are the lyrics that come to mind when I see that early frost. I love getting the sweaters out to wear and walking out the door to that clean, crisp smell in the air. It also makes me think of the county fair and that makes me think of funnel cakes. Mmmm, I can smell them now! Our local fair starts next week! Funnel cake, here I come!

Thankful thing numero siete. Jacob’s school had fall break this past week. So, it meant we were not traipsing back and forth. Our evenings were our own and he actually got ahead on his assignments. We crank back up in full force on Monday, though. But before we know it, the holidays will be upon us and he will have completed his first semester of college! My mind is blown.

Thankful thing numero ocho. I managed to do some laundry this week. Not nearly enough, but, hey, at least my man had some clean underwear.

Thankful thing numero nueve. I am so excited and, frankly, shocked, that I already have some Christmas gifts checked off my list! This is so crazy. I NEVER shop for Christmas before December. Never. In fact, I usually make it a rule, because I find it so irritating that Thanksgiving is pretty much ignored. Anyway, I ordered something for my mom that should be arriving at my door today! Can’t wait to see how it turned out. I can’t tell you what it is! She might be reading! Winking smile But she is going to love it! (Read that in a sing-songy voice, okay?) I have already gotten gifts for both my brothers and their wives as well! As siblings, we do “couple gifts”, so I have something for them that I think is a big score! I love it when I actually get a good gift idea, that is personal, that I am sure the recipient will love! I usually struggle in the couple gift department, because the gift I end up getting is usually always more geared toward one half of the couple. And then it doesn’t really feel like a couple gift at all.

Thankful thing numero diez. Humor. Y’all know how much I need the funny in my life. Please enjoy this:

This made me laugh. so. hard. And I do not lie when I say my face was hurting and I was crying with laughter. Poor Amy. I really hope Ellen pays her well. Pretty sure she is scared of her own shadow and that Andy, well, he is one angry scared person, right? The year Amy went through the haunted house with her mother was pretty hilarious as well. So so funny.

Have a wonderful weekend—stay thankful and stay funny!

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On the weekend, I link up with the Ten Things of Thankful Blog Hop to celebrate all the things I am feeling especially thankful for this week. You can join in the gratitude at Lizzi’s blog—Considerings.

Ten Things of Thankful

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Filed under Gratitude, Humor, Kids, Music