Valentine Thanks to my Main P

Dear Valentine:

I don’t say it enough but I am so thankful for you.  I know I’m so lucky to be matched with you.  In the day-to-day grind of life, it’s easy to let the little things slip through the cracks without showing a bit of gratitude.  So for Valentines Day I want to appreciate some of the small things:

  • Your ability to be late.  I know, it’s always because of me.  I always try to cram “just one more thing” in, which makes us even later.  Thank you for adjusting to my crazy and going with the flow.
  • For control of the remote at bedtime.  I know how much you love tv, but I love how you let me choose the show most nights.  (This is probably because you know you’ll be lights out 10 minutes after your head hits the pillow, but I’m going to keep thinking it’s because you love me.)
  • The way you make our kids feel.  You don’t know how many times during my tuck in’s the the boys say that the highlight of their day was related to you playing with them or spending time with them.  You make them feel so special, so often.
  • For all the Relationship Inventories and Cozi Lists. I know that I’m a little crazy when it comes to these things. I know I like to talk about plans and to do lists and you don’t. But you do it for me.
  • For letting me pursue my goals.  You’ve never once said my goals were out of reach or I was spending too much time working on them, you just give me the room and space to make sure I have some time to focus on things that are important to me.  I probably don’t reciprocate enough in this area and I really appreciate how much support I have from you.

While I know you’re much more likely to quote a “romantic” line from Wedding Crashers than The Notebook,  I appreciate the uncommon, “romantic” ways you make me feel so loved.

Happy Valentines to my P!




Sweet dad moments.

My boys lucked out with their dad.  He really is a hands-on daddy who is constantly shuttling them to their activities, cheering them from the stands and involved in what they have going on with school.  He just loves being the dad of Landon and Brooks.

The other night, I came home to the sweetest images:

Yes, those are our boys uniforms cleaned, laid out and ready to go.  Complete with their belts and socks.  Courtesy of my husband.

Dean takes so much pride in being a baseball daddy – he takes special care to clean their uniforms just so (just like his mom did for him when he played), and always making sure they have all the gear they need and are ready to hit the field with plenty of warm up time.

Seeing those uniforms laid out just reminds me how much he loves his boys.  I see it in the hours they spend in the driveway playing catch, ,throwing pop ups, or taking some swings.  I hear it in the excitement in his voice as he sneaks into the dugout between innings to give a high five or word of encouragement.  And it’s evident in the time he takes to not just show them the skills, but also to teach them the nuances of the game.

He’s a proud dad of two growing ball players.  And I love that I get a front row seat to all the action (and the behind the scenes highlights, too).  Because all that action is the result of lots of behind the scenes work.

All the hearts.

In honor of Valentines Day, I’m going to fill out one of those random couple quizzes that has been floating around.  Give the world a little more insight into me and my better half.


Who’s oldest?  My husband is older. He hits the big 4-0 this year.  I am 35! I like to joke that Brooks (our 5 year old) should start checking the nursery for a hot future wife, since that’s the age gap between Dean and I.

Who was interested first?  I don’t know. We were friends for a very long time and then it just evolved into more.  I’ve known Dean since I was 20, so almost half my life.  We met because one of my best friends was dating one of his best friends and we just all ended up in the same social circle.

Same high school?  No, but we went to the same college (different years). Fun fact: We lived across the street from each other in our college town and didn’t meet until hanging out through our friends.

Most sensitive?  Me, for sure.  Dean is emotionally steady – so he doesn’t have very high highs or very low lows. It’s a good and bad thing in our marriage 🙂

Worst temper? Me.  For sure.  Dean rarely gets mad.  I tend to stuff and then explode. Not my best trait!

More social?  Um, if you ever met us, you’d know this was me. My husband has no problem sitting silently in any environment.  I’ll say that we are definitely both homebodies and not social butterflies, but I can flex my extroverted side much easier than he can.  (However, give him a few 12 oz cans of “liquid courage” (aka beers) and all bets are off!)

Hardest working? I’d probably say me 🙂 ha! and my husband would probably say himself!  Agree to disagree?!  I think we both carry our weight so it works out well.

More sarcastic?  We are both VERY sarcastic.  I love my husbands sense of humor.  And our humor has definitely started rubbing off on our kids!

Who makes the most mess?  Dean.  I’m definitely the “tidier” one in our house.

Wakes up first?  Not me.  Never, ever.  Ever.

Bigger family?  Mine.  I’m oldest of 3 kids – and my siblings and I have 7 kids between us.  My husband is one of two boys and between them there are 4 kids.

Who cooks the most?  I cook the most, but Dean is really good about cooking a few nights a week or running with something if I get stuck at work late.

Who cries the most?  See question 4.  My husband has an emotional wall that tears can’t pass 🙂 I think I’ve seen him cry 2 times in the 15 years I’ve known him.

Better singer?  Neither.  But you would know that I’m bad because I sing out loud.  Dean does not. Although he does know an unusually large number of songs/artists – very good for trivia questions.

Hogs the remote?  Dean likes the tv on all.the.time. So he definitely gets a lot of use out of it.  But at night when we’re both in bed, I typically control the remote.

Better driver?  Me, for sure.  I think my life expectancy has dropped by a decade or so because of my husbands “aggressive” driving tendencies.  Sometimes, I remind him that RED tail lights mean BRAKE – not accelerate!

Better cook?  Probably me, but it’s because I do it more and try new things.  If I ever died, I know the kids would be fed.  It might be the same 8 meals over and over, but Dean could definitely keep them well fed.

Most patient?   Dean. All the way.  And it’s definitely one of his best traits.

– – –

I’m so thankful for my valentine. I’m thankful that I get to see behind the curtain to the side that not many people get to see.  I have a backstage pass to my husband and I appreciate him even more “behind the scenes”.


Happy Valentines Day to my better half.  And I mean that.  He really is the better half.

A blog break + my husband rocks

If you check my blog regularly, you’ll note that I’ve been on a little blog hiatus.  When things get hectic, to-do’s quickly fall off the list and blogging is one of those things.  (So is cleaning my toilets.)  Between kids sports/activities, bible studies, work stuff, vacation and other things, I just haven’t made the time.

But I hope that one day my kids will look back on this blog journal of their life, so it’s time to get some stuff up again!  I don’t know how regularly I’ll post – I’ve definitely slowed over the last year.  When I started blogging, it was 4-5 posts a week, every week.  But when you see crazy things happen to people around you, you remember that life is short and instead of spending time recording my kids, I made a concerted effort to just be with them.  To stop pulling out the phone to capture a shot and instead take a mental image.  As a result, posting slowed to a couple posts each week.

But a few people have commented recently asking about the blog and while it takes time to post, it’s also so awesome to go back and remember stories and funny things.  Certain pictures immediately draw me back to that day/moment and usually bring a smile to my face or cause a chuckle.

I also just want to take a moment to say that my husband is awesome.  While things have been balls to the walls crazy lately, he is a rock.  When I had to stay late at work and miss the kids’ events, he’s rocked swim lessons and baseball practices solo.  When I put too much on our weekend plate, he – without complaint – helps me check them off.  He’s handled more dinners than normal and I am just so thankful for him.  I appreciate all the little things he does each day and I love that my kids get him as their role model.  He’s a great husband and dad and I know they’ll be awesome husbands and dads one day as a result.


Married: 8 years

8 years.  In eight years, we’ve done a lot.  We’ve had two kids, lived in two houses, changed jobs, participated in several couples bible studies, taken lots of beach trips, a few international vacations and more.


Yes, those are the big things.  But the big things are just that – big – extraordinary – not the norm.  It’s actually the little things that really make up our marriage.

In those 8 years we’ve gone grocery shopping together over 500 times, we’ve tucked in the kids over 2,300 times, we’ve made 2,000+ dinners together – some out of a box, some from scratch, and we’ve watched every episode of Big Bang Theory. But that’s not all.


We’ve also had at least 100 fights – some big, some small – and we’ve apologized at least that often.  We’ve disagreed on everything from decorating our house (no we aren’t going with his purple Ravens Man Cave idea) to disciplining our kids. I still yell at him at least once a week about his driving skills and he “reminds” me not to be quite so opinionated whenever I meet someone for the first time.


But there have also been hundreds of kisses; huge, enveloping hugs at just the right moment; laughter in bed as we talk about our life (and kids!) and so many fears, secrets and dreams shared.

It’s been a busy 8 years, and I’m thankful for every day of it.


I hope they tell him he’s an awesome dad.

At least a couple times each day, I recognize what a great job my husband is doing as a dad.  It’s not big, over the top things, but it’s the simple, everyday things that make him awesome. He may not even recognize some of the things he does, but I bet that one day those boys will look back and realize how awesome he is.

When my kids graduate high school and move on to their next phase of life, I hope they write a letter like this to him, because it’s all true.

You are the best.  I know lots of kids say that about their parents. But I realize they don’t know what they’re missing because they never had you.

You are a constant.  I am so thankful that you are in my life each day.  I appreciate the time we just hung on the couch watching the O’s games – talking about the pitches and players.  You were there each day when I hopped off the bus and each morning when I came down for breakfast.  (Unlike mom, she always slept in.;) ) I know not all kids have that stability in their household of an awesome dad who is always there, but I did.

You taught me hard work. In the office, on the field and in the home.  I know I complained about my chores and mowing the lawn, but I also know I’m a better man for it.  I’ve learned how to juggle responsibilities and that when I work hard I get to enjoy it with downtime too.  You led by example, always helping around the house and in the yard. Your actions spoke louder than your words.

You made time for me.  Yes, we also spent lots of time as a family, but there was a lot of special one-on-one time.  I know you didn’t have to do it, but you wanted to.  It was hours of you throwing me pitches at the field and time grabbing donuts together on the weekends.  I love that we had our own time.

You changed for me.  I know that I’ve changed a lot over the years, but I’m supposed to. I went from a baby to toddler to kid to teenager.  And that whole time you were an adult, an adult who was probably set in his ways, but you changed for me.  When I needed a night owl to help me with my middle school projects, you stayed up with me. When I needed an early riser for my 6am swim lessons, you were my early bird.  When I needed constant help learning the basics of life, you gave me your undivided attention, and when I needed space to learn my lessons and try and fail, you gave me that too.

You showed me the love of a dad and husband.  I’m thankful that you’ve shown me how I want to love my kids and my wife.  I want to be like you – an encourager, patient, disciplined.  Some of my best memories were all the nights you came to tuck me in and ask about my day.  We talked about ball and girls.  You gave me advice sometimes and other times you just let me talk and figure it out on my own.

So dad, thank you. Thanks for being the best. I know it wasn’t easy – you’ve told me more than once my brother and I are a handful! But you stuck with us and I’m pretty proud of where you’ve helped me go! I’m ready for the next stage of this big bad world.

I love you dad.

He’s such a good dad.

When the kids have special events on the calendar, he’s always quick to put them on his own.  He knows it’s important that they can look out into the crowd of the gymnasium/church and see dad cheering them on.

He’s such a good dad.

When mom is at her wits end with a child who refuses to listen and is starting to yell, he’ll trod upstairs and try to diffuse the situation.  Stepping in so mom can get a break and the kids get a gentler voice.

He’s such a good dad.

It doesn’t matter if it’s 97° outside.  He will sit out there and toss pitches to his sons. Over and over again. Hours of pitches.

He’s such a good dad.

When mom is too wimpy to get into the barely summertime pool that is still quite chilly, dad hops into the deep end where the boys like to be.

He’s such a good dad.

And even if he’s busy doing something else, anytime he gets a call that they want a tuck-in upstairs, he puts it down for some snuggle time with his favorite guys.

He’s such a good dad.

I hope my boys are learning each day from their dad’s example.  They’ve seen patience, generosity, care, selflessness and love over and over again.  If they have just half of what he gives, their kids are going to be lucky!