Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Kacie's 5 Marriage Rules (for nearly married or married couples)

Well, everybody, my husband and I celebrated 8 years of marriage yesterday. We had a great date night while my awesome mom kept our little ones for us. I thought I would share a little 8 year wisdom (yeah right) on my view of marriage. I'm no expert, obviously, but from my own personal experience I beleive there are a few, dare I say, "rules" to follow that will encourage a successful lasting relationship that Justin and I have done pretty well at following.

Rule #1: Anything you don't like about the person you are considering marrying is more than likely not going to change after you say your wedding vows. You will not change the person you marry and you will have to learn to live with your differences. In fact, some of the things you do like about your relationship may even stop or become less frequent. It's important that you aren't merely in love with the "idea" of marriage, but that you actually love the person - bad breath, messy hair, no make-up, and maybe even a few extra pounds and all. Love is a decision, it's rarely a feeling. The main question to ask yourself is this. If you take away the dining out, gifts, movies, going out with friends, picnics at the park, and fun surprises, are you content with what is left over? If not, you may need to take that into consideration before putting on the dress and/or tux. I'm not saying that you won't have any of those things after you get married, but it's just not the same as when you are dating, especially once children are in the picture.

Rule#2: Assuming you are OK with rule #1--Once you are married, never use the word divorce during an argument (or "uncomfortable conversation," if you prefer). Sometimes it's tempting because you are just so mad in the heat of the moment. The only time you should ever say it is if you are absolutely serious about doing it which means there should be some sort of infidelity or abuse of some kind taking place. Those are pretty much the only reasons to end a relationship, in my opinion. Arguing is definitely part of marriage. I think there is more to worry about when you don't argue. It's important to express your feelings and views. You need to be willing to agree to disagree sometimes, but don't stay mad for too long. If you do, you are more likely to hold that grudge for longer because of rehearsing your side of the argument over and over in your mind. It's best to let it out early on and deal with the issue then, as painful as it may be. Uncomfortable conversations aren't supposed to be fun, it's just necessary sometimes.

Rule #3: When kids come in the picture, be sure to make time for yourselves. I think some moms tend to focus all their attention to their children and dads may even become more involved at work or activities outside the home to escape the chaos at home. Both of which create distance between you and can be harmful. Having children should not make your relationship suffer. In fact, it should change you for the better. Instead of doing everything for yourselves and each other, you are now pouring your lives into someone else together. You should begin to love and appreciate each other in a new way and draw closer as you bond with your children as loving parent partners. This is not only good for the two of you, but great for your children, as well.

Rule#4: Communication!!!!! Justin and I have had our share of "miscommunications" and knowing how frustrating that is, we work really hard to discuss everything (well, almost everything). I hate that Justin can't read my mind, but it's just a fact that he cannot and will never be able to know what I want or need. I have learned that I must tell him exactly what I want or need regardless of how embarrassing, uncomfortable, or needy it may sound. He doesn't know, he won't figure it out, so you MUST tell him. And for you husbands, in a nutshell, your wife just wants to feel loved and appreciated. Even though sex may seem like a good way to show that to her, it rarely is. Think of something else, but show her in some way that will be meaningful to her. I've learned through the last 8 years that Justin wants respect more than anything else. I think the best way to show this is by making sure I include him in family and money decisions. I try to ask Justin if he minds if Sidney spends the night with her Grams before just telling her it's OK. I ask him before making larger purchases for the home or for myself. This lets him know that I respect him enough to let him in on the decision making, big or small, instead of just making the decision by myself and telling him after it's done.

Rule #5: Now for the, oh so important, subject of sex!!! I may get some flack from this, but here it goes. Just remember this is my personal opinion. Men want it, need it, and should not be deprived of it. Women may or may not want it, and husbands should be sensative to this at times; however, if you never want it, then I would advise you figure out why and explore some ways to change that. It should be an important part of your relationship regardless of how many kids you have and how crazy life can be. It does change over time (and I'm sure I have lots more to learn about this changing over time), but I don't think it should ever stop. Communication is key here, too. I have found this christian website useful on this subject Bottom line-- be mindful of each other's needs and find a plan that works for you both.

Marriage can be a beautiful, amazing, and rewarding part of life, but it's also one of the most difficult things you can do. It is possible if you both commit to stay faithful to each other, think of each other more than you think of yourself, and consistently pray that God will give both of you wisdom, guidance, and protection.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Happy Father's Day!!

This post is the full version of the "Hall of Fame Hubby" entry that is in the June edition of The Journey magazine. I was going to wait until Father's Day to post it, but I changed my mind. Happy Father's Day, Babe!!

I’ve been married to my husband Justin for nearly eight years now, and it’s hard to believe we’ve been together that long. We married pretty young (20 and 22), finished college two years later and quickly entered the world of parenthood. It has been nothing short of a privilege sharing the joys, as well as frustrations, of raising three children with him. I truly would not want to do this with anyone else. I don’t think marriage gets the credit it deserves sometimes. It has been an honor to be Justin’s wife and watch him grow into a respected Christian man and father over the past eight years. Although Justin has many great qualities and characteristics as a husband and father, his simple kindness and gentleness is what makes him so great!

Justin has always been a great help to me around the house. He loves cooking which is a HUGE help. He’s always willing to cook supper and take care of the kids when I need him to. There have even been times that I’ve come home from a meeting and he’s cleaned the entire house, not to mention bathed the kids and put them all to bed. Now all of these things are wonderful and I feel so blessed to have a husband that does those things for me, but that is not what makes my husband is a hall of fame hubby.

Justin’s a great dad! He loves taking Sidney, our 5 year old daughter fishing and playing with her and our 2 year old son in the back yard. He takes advantage of EVERY teachable opportunity when it comes to them and I love that. He loves being silly with them, laughing and playing, but he’s also firm and knows exactly when to “dad.” All of these things make him an awesome father, but it’s still not what makes him so great.

Justin’s loyalty as the primary breadwinner of our family cannot go unmentioned. After receiving our degrees at the University of North Texas, we relocated back to Lufkin where we both grew up. The week Sidney was born he began working as a city letter carrier at the Lufkin post office. The first few months were very hard for him physically, but he worked past the pain and didn’t quite. He has endured a lot of pain during the 5 years he’s worked there, but he’s willing to do it to provide for his family. This characteristic stands far above many of his other great qualities, but it still doesn’t make him the best husband for me.
What makes Justin worthy of me writing this is not primarily his willingness to be a good mate and father to my children; rather, his kind and gentle spirit that naturally shines through him everyday. Justin has never used harsh words against me, even when I feel my mistakes probably deserved it. He forgives my every fault and never brings up past wrongs. Justin still thinks I’m beautiful after eight years of marriage and carrying three children. He calls me just to say, “I love you!” or “I miss you.” He still reaches to hold my hand in the car or when we go out together, as if we were still just dating. He sings and prays with the children at night. He’s got a great heart and kind, gentle spirit that out ways all the other qualities I mentioned before. These are the reasons why my husband is a hall of fame hubby, this is why I think he’s so great. It’s the gentle, caring, and loving spirit he possesses that make him the best husband for me and father for my children.

We love you, Happy Father’s Day!!
Kacie, Sidney, Lachlan, and Paisley

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Moments like this make it all worthwhile

I think Justin and I have had to clean up a mess of poop in Paisley's bed about 20 times now. It happened again today. I am determined to find her some one piece suits for her to wear to bed so she can't take her pants off anymore, but I haven't been able to locate them yet. Anyway, after I got her all bathed cleaned up and changed her bed sheet, I layed her back in her crib and decided to give her Sidney's Dora doll to snuggle up to. She stopped crying right away and later I went to peek in on her and found her like this. I had to take a picture it was too cute. I never really thought about giving her a stuffed toy to sleep with; maybe that's all I needed to to do to stop her from playing with her diaper contents. This is what I like to see in my sweet little girl's crib. So sweet!!

Lachlan loves to make messes whether it's dumping an entire toy box full of toys out on the floor or entire can of formula, he's the best boy for the job. The most recent mess of his was nestle quick powder as shown in the picture. I have NO idea how he got it cause I do not keep it in his reach so it must have gotten put back in the wrong place in the pantry. Anyway, even though he loves make messes, eating crayons, and throwing screaming tantrums, he's still the sweetest little boy to me. He crawled up in my lap today with his blanket to watch a movie and I just loved snuggling up beside him. Two year olds have their moments, but they are still so little and baby like sometimes.

And Sidney....what to say about Sidney. She cracks me up and she's too smart for her own pants. She recently wacked her hair off right before her birthday party. I took her to the beauty shop to get an up-do for her Fancy Nancy party to try and hide all the bad hair parts. It turned out really cute. I decided to try cutting it myself when the party was over since it cost $20.00 just to get it fixed. I thought it turned out cute. I think this hairstyle matches her personality much better. I'm just afraid she might look a little too old, though. Anyway, even though I cried and cried over her cutting her own hair, it all worked out. I learned how to cut layers and might not have done that otherwise.

Moral of this post: I'm learning how to cherish the moments I have with my children while they are young, whether they are good moments or bad moments. If I'm in the middle of a bad moment, that just means there's a good one right around the corner. You just have to wait for it and pay attention to it when it happens.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Why I think I'm ADD and shouldn't have to take a test to find out

I went to a psychologist, Dr. Sid Epperson, today to see about getting tested for ADD. My family Doctor referred me to him. The following happenings and situations should prove that I have ADD and do not need a test to tell me this.......

-My appt. was at 1:00 and they told me to get there early. I planned to leave my house at 12:40 and didn't walk out the door until 12:50 and then still had to go back inside to get my phone which I could not find and ended up being under the sheets on my bed... yes, I made the bed with my phone in it. So, I didn't actually leave until 12:56.

-I had to call on the way to find out where they were located b/c, no, I hadn't even done THAT yet.......ugh!!!!! Luckily I knew right where it was and it wasn't too far away.

-I have no clue what time it was when i walked in the door and they just put me straight back and let me fill out my paper work afterwards (since I was late, obviously). It didn't even cross my mind to tell them on the phone that I was running late OR appologize for being late when I did get there.

-I thought the questions he was asking me WAS the Tova test (ADD test) until he said at the end of our conversation, "We will schedule you to take the Tova test in a couple of weeks......"

-I couldn't answer all of his questions mainly because I wasn't paying attention......... ha, gotcha! (not really) it was because I can't remember anything!

-When I went back to the front when we were finished, they gave me 2 different packets of papers, one was to take home and fill out and the other was my medical history and release forms for my file. It was about 15 minutes into filling out the paper work that I realized I was filling out the take home packet instead of the office papers. VERY frustrating!!!!

-When I went to turn in my paper work, I found my keys sitting at the front window and have no memory of me getting them out of my purse or laying them there.

So, there you have it. If I do in fact turn out to have ADD, I may create a new blog recording my daily ADD mishaps and uhhhh, what were we talking about again?.....oh yeah, my mishaps and humorous shortfalls. Nothing like some good Kacie humor, right?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Running Real Life Rules for First Time Parents

Ok, I'm dedicating this post to my brother and sister-n-law who will soon be parents for the first time. This is the beginning of what I'm afraid will be a long running list of rules that you only learn from not-so-pleasant real life experiences. Even after three kids I'm still learning lots of things about raising kids. Some of these I already learned in the past, but I've saved the most recently learned rule for the end, which is really not the end, but the end of this list today. So here it goes. Hope it helps, Jase and Rach, and remember, this list is not to scare you or overwhelm you, but to make your life WAY easier than mine. Consider it the best baby gift you could ever receive, minimizing stress, disasters, and unnecessary spending.

Rule #1: Do not under any circumstance leave the following products within a 3 ft. reach of your under 3 years old child.... Vaseline, lotion, soap, detergant, matches, pills, batteries, cereal, oatmeal, sugar, flour, formula, drinks, scissors, stapler, reading glasses, sun glasses, coins, plastic, balloons, knives, toilet paper, paper towels, cords, needles, markers, crayons, and basically anything that's smaller than a golf ball. (I'm sure there's more, but that's enough to chew on for now; Ha! chew was an accidental pun)

Rule #2: Before leaving the house with your child be sure to have the following: plenty of diapers and wipes, bottles and formula (unless nursing), change of clothes (if nursing an extra shirt for yourself, (not you Jason)), tissues, snacks, and a bonus points if you take a first aid kit, mylanta, thermometer, children's tylenol, and an aspirator (I wasn't quite that good)

Rule #3: Baby Einstein is a MUST HAVE, that is if you plan to take a shower, get dressed, cook a meal, or have a phone conversation in peace.

Rule #4: You must follow this formula if you plan to make your appointments on time. X=how long it takes you to get dressed in the mornings NOW, Y=how long it will take you to get yourself dressed, one child dressed, and get out the door. Here's the formula: X * 3=Y (I used to get dressed and out the door in 20-30 minutes, now with three kids it's more like 2 hours and I'm almost ALWAYS 10-20 minutes late, just ask Sugar.)

Rule#5: If you find yourself wanting to purchase a cute little snuggly stuffed animal, slap yourself and put it back as quickly as possible. I can count on one hand how many of them I purchased myself. The rest were gifts and if all the stuffed animals in my house magically became a human army ready to attack, everyone on my street would be dead in less than 60 seconds. But don't worry, this has never happened, obviously. I think they only come alive when we aren't home :).

Rule #6: And for the most recently learned rule which inspired this list in the first place, be sure your child (particularly around the age of 1) has had PLENTY to eat before naptime AND has pants on at all times during his or her nap. I found Paisley today in her crib, diaper off, eating her own poop; there I said it. UGHUGHUGH!!!!!!!!!!! SOOOOOOOOO GROSS!!!!!! I think some sort of baby suspenders should be designed to prevent this.

Stay tuned for more Running Real Life Rules for First Time Parents..........