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Singing his praises.

February 10, 2016

I know I semi-regularly post how awesome my husband is.  I often find myself thanking God that I ended up with him.  Someone I love to be around. And someone who does so many little (often unrecognized) things for us.

So yes, I use my blog to sing his praises often.  But our relationship isn’t perfect.  Yes, I nag my husband and regularly “remind him” of areas I think he’s falling short.

I bring that up because so often people get frustrated in their own relationship when they see how “perfect” other relationships are and get frustrated because they feel their own marriage doesn’t stack up.  Trust me, I’m sure my “behind the scenes” looks like yours.  A lot of good, but there are moments of tears, resentment, frustration, and more.

When I post about him, I try to be careful how I talk about my husband to others – I really want to sing his praises as much as I can.  I want him to feel like I praise him and appreciate him when I talk about him to other people.  I don’t want him to feel like I get around my girlfriends and we just talk crap about our spouses.  He does too much good for our family.

So I try to praise him in public and address my frustrations in private.

That being said, I am thankful:

  • for a husband who takes initiative with the kids activities – including researching and signing Landon up for t-ball or helping him practice his basketball skills in the driveway.
  • that Dean is so good with the kids in the evenings.  Because of our work schedules he often has the kids home alone for several hours before I finish work (and I know this is the hardest part of the day with kids). But he often has dinner in process and is helping with homework stuff before I get home.
  • my husband cares that I get some down time.  I don’t know if he’s ever told me I couldn’t do something I wanted to do.  If it’s a little “just Ginger” shopping, time for a run, or me asking to host bible study for a few weeks, he rarely says no.  (I guess he wants to make his no’s count when he uses them!)
  • for small encouragements – like a quick affirmation for something. He knows it’s important for me to be recognized for my wife and mom duties and I’m thankful when he does it.
  • that he helps me when I’m drowning.  Sometimes it’s just too much and I really loves how he jumps in to help when I feel like I can’t do it all.
  • and I’m especially thankful for the days he doesn’t shave and keeps his 5 o’clock shadow. Even when it’s itchy.

Every day I think of more things that I love about him.  He’s really gotten better with age :)

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Sometimes you gotta ignore mom.

February 9, 2016

We’ve begun the slow work of helping Brooks sign his name on 25 valentines for his classmates and teachers.  For our little guy, each letter is a process – and he has 6 to write – B-R-O-O-K-S.  Multiply that by 25 and sometimes my patience leaves me.

He talks it out as he writes, “B (which for him looks like an 8 with a line down the middle), R, O… um, flower. Mom, I’m drawing a flower.”

“Baby, please just finish your name.  O-K-S. Come on, next one.”

For someone like me who can get impatient and annoyed when simple tasks (for me) don’t get accomplished on my timeline, I get frustrated.  I’ve mentally allocated 5-6 valentines per night over 5 nights and when it takes 10 minutes to get through one of them, I get a little crazy. Then I start nagging.

“Brooks, hurry and finish these.”
“Stop licking the valentines, these are for your friends, they don’t want spit all over them.”
“Please pay attention and stop writing on your hand.”
“Yes, that one does say Emma, you’re right.  Ok, let’s keep going.”

My frustration mounting as he worked along.  Somewhat worked. Somewhat goofed off.

“Brooks, write an S,” I said, exasperated that we still had shower and bedtime routine ahead of us and it was getting late.  “Brooks, that doesn’t look like an S – that’s a very long M.  I need you to focus and do this, you’re not doing a good job on this.”

To which he replied, “I’m ignoring you right now mom.”  Not a yell. He didn’t even look up.  Just a matter-of-fact statement from my 4-year old as he continued to autograph his love notes.

And in that moment, I had a brief revelation. I’m glad he’s ignoring me. I’m glad he’s choosing not to hear his crazy mother tell him he’s not doing a good job on his preschool valentines.  Because, really – who cares?!

Who cares if his valentines just say “Br” with flowers or if they have nothing or scribbles.  We’ll throw out the ones he receives within hours, so why does it matter so much to me that he tries hard on this?  Why do I always feel like I need to control every aspect of my life and the lives of my favorite people?

I’m proud of my boy.  For choosing what goes into his head.  For sticking up for himself in such a kind way and letting me know that he’s done hearing my criticism.  And that he doesn’t care about the “normal” way.

What a great reminder that sometimes we need to have selective hearing and the confidence to stand our ground when it comes to the critics.  I’m going to work on my own selective hearing.  And also try to be more selective in my parenting – while giving some room to let them be who they are, and not who I always expect them to be.

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Panther Love.

February 7, 2016

In honor of Superbowl 50 today, I’m sharing a quick video that Landon’s school put together.  It’s just awesome.  And it definitely got some attention around town.

 

Landon has a quick appearance at :44 and 3:00 – see screen grabs below.

L panther

Let’s go PANTHERS!!

 

(And Happy 35th Anny Mom and Dad!)

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Dear Future Wives of my Sons

January 29, 2016

A letter to my future daughter-in-laws on their wedding day.

Dear Future Mrs. Dean,

First off, welcome to the family. I know we’re a wild bunch, a little bit quirky, but if you’ve stolen my son’s heart, I know you have a little quirky in you too.

As you prepare to walk down the aisle, I want you to know a few things:

  1. The man who stands at the end of the aisle will be the same tomorrow as he is today.  He is flawed.  Marriage won’t change his habits or preferences.  Love it or hate it, it’s likely here to stay.  Too often, we go into marriage thinking it will be dreamy or easy.  While wedding prep feels hard, the hard part is the work you have to put in each day to be the best half you can be for your mate.
  2. The man you chose is a great man.  And he needs to hear it, often.  His dad and I have been working on building him up for the past 20-30 years and it’s up to you to continue the tradition.  He needs to know you respect him, you love him, you have his back and you can’t wait to walk through each stage of life with him.  Remind him of this daily.
  3. Pick your fights.  This took a long time for me to learn, and frankly I’m still learning it.  Some things aren’t worth getting into it over.  The fact he likes wearing socks with sandals or “forgets” to put clothes in the hamper are small things.  Don’t let the 10% of things that drive you crazy take away from the 90% of him that is awesome.
  4. Have fun.  Take date nights away.  Eat ice cream for dinner, just because.  Make a bucket list together.  Too often work, life, relationships and parenting takes over and we forget about the carefree fun we had when it was just dating.  Try to remember to just have fun sometimes.  Break out of the daily routine and mix it up.
  5. I’m sorry for my part.  Nature vs. nurture.   Nature: Some of your husband’s crazy is just passed genetically thru DNA.  Good and bad came along.  Nurture: I also know that we made plenty of mistakes raising these boys.  Patience, time management, competitiveness, and more.  We probably pushed too hard in some areas and not enough in others.  So I apologize now for the flaws we’ve created.

Your marriage is going to be what you make it – what you put into it.  Garbage in, garbage out.  Awesome in, awesome out.

Make sure God has a high place in your marriage.  You’ll turn to Him more than you expect on this journey.  Love each other fiercely and choose each other first always.  Before kids.  Before your parents.  Before hobbies.  Before friends.

The walk down the aisle today is so symbolic. You’ll head down by yourselves and then after you say “I do” you’ll walk the path together.  Hand in hand.  You against the world.

Welcome new Mrs. Dean!

Love,
Your ‘favorite’ MIL

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8 things.

January 26, 2016

Just some random thoughts…

  1. I hope my kids get some “real snow” this year.  We got about 1-2 inches of ice/snow and the kids LOVED sledding.  (They just got super fast, new sleds this year -thanks Grandpop/Debbie!)  We need a good 5 inches to hit some of the better hills around here!
  2. Landon is obsessed with making “Cam Newton moves” – he can “Dab”, “first down” and “Superman”.  Go Panthers – Superbowl 50.
  3. Brooks turned 4 and decided he can now do things on his own without complaint. Including getting dressed by himself in the mornings, showering and brushing teeth.  When he was 3 years and 360 days – it was a fight each morning filled with tears – now he’s 4, and “4 year old’s get dressed all by themselves”. Love it!
  4. Landon is turning into his mom. He asks for back rubs every day.
  5. I love watching my husband play sports with his kids.  Too many dads are too busy to get dirty.  Not Dean.
  6. I can’t wait for warmer temps and the daylight savings change.  I miss you outdoor runs and coming home when it’s still light out. My kids miss evening playtime outside.
  7. Blindspot is my new favorite show and I can’t wait until they start airing new episodes.
  8. I love family snuggle time at night.  Our kids do too and I know that will change, so we do it all the time while we can.
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He wants to be like his brother.

January 21, 2016

Brooks really loves his brother. He looks up to him and wants to do everything his brother does. Whether it’s tying a shoe, playing a sport, riding a bike, or reading. He wants to do everything that Landon does.

In fact, at the end of 2015, we really started pushing hard for Landon to stop wearing bedtime diapers.  Brooks decided he wanted to stop wearing diapers just like Landon – and sure enough 1 week later, he was nighttime potty trained.  We haven’t bought/used diapers in 2 months, so I think we’re officially a diaper-free family!

Brooks also really loves homework.  He gets jealous whenever Landon has homework and he doesn’t have an assignment to work on.  We recently had a parent-teacher conference and Brooks’ preschool teachers were saying how well he does in class and with his letters. I’d had no idea he’d been working on them so much.

So I decided to test him at home. I had him write “thank you” on some thank you notes for his birthday presents.  (I told him the letters – he doesn’t know how to spell yet :)  ) And he did a great job!

And when it comes to sports, anything Landon can do, Brooks wants to do to.  From practicing dribbling on the sideline of Landon’s games/practices, to playing catch and taking swings with daddy in the backyard, he wants to do it all. He’s asked so many time for Dean to take off his training wheels – still gotta get the balance part down!  Yes, my wild, crazy, independent, marches to the beat of his own drum 4 year old. He wants to do it all!

And Landon does a great job taking it in stride and helping his little bro learn new things every day.

 

 

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He’s a baller.

January 20, 2016

“From Charlotte, NC… 4 feet tall.  Number 4. Lannnnndon Deaaaan!!!”

Yes, my kids practice announcing themselves like the Hornets.  (Brooksie’s is especially hilarious because he always says a “6′ 10 center from UConn, Omeka Brooksieeee Dean!” – yep, he leaves the Omeka part in!)

As of this winter, Landon gets a real announcer before each Saturday game.  Yep, he’s an Upward Polar Bear!

I love that he’s learning a sport. Instead of just a skill in the backyard, he gets to learn the difference between offense and defense, how to score, the rules of the game, how to be on a team, etc.

Added bonus – his Gigi and Papa are the coaches.  For me it’s a flashback to my childhood when they coached so many of our sports teams.  And Landon absolutely loves it!

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