Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Weekend on Wednesday

I wanted to share a few pictures from this past weekend. My sweet Mimi turned 80, and we got to cook out and have a party with some of my extended family. Thank you Aunt Shelia for ALL your hard work!

We had some family horseback rides (Jeremiah got a new phone/camera, which is why I am in so many of these and he's not ;)),

and gator rides around the farm.
For a while, Jeremiah and I rode in the big gator and followed the crazy driver and co-conspirator in the other gator. It was really fun until they got so distracted picking flowers that they wound up stuck. We threw the little gator in the back of the big gator to finish out a beautiful afternoon.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ray LaMontagne

Do you all know Ray LaMontagne? If you don't, then you should. Chances are if you read this blog, you would like him, cause he sings along three main themes--LOVE, pain, and countryside--probably my three most favorite themes :) Now, I don't think that any of his songs are about children, which is a pretty big subject around here, but we all need a break from that every once in a while.

My brother-in-law (can you use BIL like you use MIL??), Ashley (SIL), and Berkley were planning on getting tickets to the Ray LaMontagne concert here in Birmingham and asked if Jeremiah and I would like to go. We've been learning one of Ray's songs together, and both loved his music, but we sadly declined after learning the price of the tickets, ughh! It stunk. But then these in-laws I have came to the rescue and bought us all tickets--ON THE THIRD AND FOURTH ROW!!! I got a babysitter and borrowed a cute dress (thank you Ashley, as always) that I could wear with cowboy boots and went to a grown-up dinner and went to an awesome concert. Fabulous. Just giddy-making fabulous.
Now I want to talk a little about Ray LaMontagne. If you've never heard him and aren't that into music, stop reading now.

First his voice. It is kind of raspy (insert sexy) and low, and I've liked him for easy-listening purposes, but now that I've heard him live, I have a different impression. You can't tell on his CDs how BIG his voice is. He has somehow trained his voice to be raspy AND full, which was a combination I didn't know was possible.

Then his songwriting. Holey Moley. My only complaint is that there wasn't a marquis scrolling the words above his head while he sang. His lyrics are rich with meaning and beauty, but even if you don't understand every word or have time to analyze his meaning, you are still left with an undoubtable impression--picture after every song. His poetry (like my old books) make me want to strive to live a richer and more beautiful life. Can I just list a few of my favorite lines from a random smattering of his songs:

She lifts her skirt up to her knees/ Walks through the garden rows with her bare feet, laughing.

Lay your blouse across the chair/ Let fall the flowers from your hair/ And kiss me with that country mouth so plain

Outside the rain is tapping/ on the leaves/ to me it sounds like they're/ applauding us the quiet love we've made

I've looked my demons in the eyes/ Laid bare my chest/ Said do your best, Destroy me. (At this point I've quoted almost all of "Empty," the song we've been learning. Just listen to it so I can stop typing it all out :))

A man needs something he can hold on to/A nine pound hammer or a woman like you/Either one of them things will do

When you kissed my lips with my mouth so full of questions/It's my worried mind that you quiet/Place your hands on my face/ Close my eyes and say/ Love is a poor man's food

Yes and try to ignore/ All this blood on the floor/ It's just this heart on my sleeve that's a bleeding

I'd walk one mile on broken glass/ To fall down at your feet

I seen a lot of living my friend and this I will repeat/ Just because you knock a man down, don't mean you got him beat

You are the best thing/ Ever happened to me. (You may have heard those words before, but you ain't heard nothin' til you hear the way Ray says them. All my insides flipped over.)

It's the Widow now, that owns that angry plow/ The Spartan mule and the crippled cow/ The fallow field that will yield no more/ As the fox lay sleeping beneath the kitchen floor.

Ok, I've got to stop, but I hope you can see how beautiful his writing is. Imagine combining that writing, with simply beautiful music and a man that is so obviously filled up with the passion of his songs that he can't even look up to face the crowd he is flaying his soul before. It was moving. It was romantic.

Now, I did have a few issues. I found it a bit disappointing that I sat on the fourth row at a concert and never once saw the artist's face. He barely said hello to the crowd, and kept his head tipped down, with a hat to cast a shadow across his face. He was there to play his music for us, and that was that. I can understand, with as much of himself as he invests in every song, that chit-chat would seem silly and stupid in comparison. And he is obviously a sensitive soul and is probably terrified of crowds. I can understand, Ray, but it sure would have been nice to hear you talk just a little bit. I am so fascinated by your heart, that I wish I could know you more. But, oh well.

I will end on this. I think Ray LaMontagne is quite possibly the best songwriter I've ever heard. His voice is mesmerizing, BUT I can say in all honesty that I think Jeremiah's voice is better. He's going to kill me when he reads this, but it's true :) After a while, I wanted to tell Ray to stop rasping and go on and hit a loud clear note. Here's his face, that I looked up on line, since I never saw it last night.
Harry, but cute. Certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Thank you Dr. and Mrs. Maddox and Ray, for the most fun night I can remember in a long time.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Summer Came Today

Did anybody else wake up to find that Spring whole-heartedly gave way to summer this morning? It was unmistakably humid and hot-heavy today. Here I've been wishing and wishing for summer to come, only to find myself cursing her as I stayed on the verge of heat exhaustion all through my run today :)

Just wanted to let you all know I am Ok, and thank you for your prayers and calls and emails. I have developed a list of 5 sure things to get you out of depression:

1) Stand in the shower and let the hot water beat the crap out of your face while you cry...hard.

2) Write all those emotions down (if you're like me, you can do it on the world-wide web), and tell yourself, "I've cried as hard as I've wanted to, now I'm leaving it all on this page."

3) Take your children to the park and watch them play. This serves a 2-fold purpose--it gets you in the outside world (out of that dark hole your house has most surely become) AND it makes you smile, which is key.

4) Take a long nap and sleep it off (preferably with your 3-year old who will be willing to cuddle as need be)

AND NUMBER 5) Eat a solid handful of Oreo cookies with a glass of whole milk.

Voila! You're ready to face the crowds at Chick-Fil-A without even a hint of an embarrassing emotional breakdown (like you had at the gym a few hours before :)).
On second thought, maybe it was just the combination of the prayers y'all prayed, the God we serve...and those Oreos ;)

I'll leave you with a word from our 3-year old who had "Dress like your Mommy or Daddy" Day at school.

Me: Pace, do you want to be a doctor and wear a white coat and carry a doctor's kit? Or do you want to be a Mommy and wear an apron?

Pace: I want to be a Mommy when I grow up. Dapples is going to be the doctor (she says matter-of-factly as she pats Mary Aplin on top of the head).

Me: Why do you want to be a Mommy when you grow up?

Pace: I just do (she says as she tilts her head to the side and grins at me--forcing me to have to try really hard not to eat her in one bite).

Me: What do Mommy's do anyway?

Pace: They make breakfast.

Me: Anything else? (Again I see the thoughts churning, I just know she's about to spit out a good one)

Pace: Well, they work on computers and tell you "No" too.

And there you have it. My job description. I make breakfast, work on the computer, and say "No" a lot. Anybody want to hire me:)?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Someone to Love Your Boring Parts

I've had a hard morning. I feel like I've been stretching piece after piece of brightly colored tissue paper over this hole that was left in my heart when Mom, and this morning I slipped--just a little thought that darted off down the wrong memory--and that slip pierced through all the paper and laid me bare again. It's been one of those morning that the harder I take in big gulps of air, the more I seem to be suffocating. And do you know what it is that is hurting me so bad? Just missing that one person who sincerely loved all my boring parts.

Who but your Mom calls to find out if Mary Aplin was liking applesauce again today, or if Pace went down for her nap and gave me some free time, or if I was still sore from my exercise class? Who cares about crap like that besides her? Who talks to you one day and can tell--just by the stress in your voice--how tough things are, and then shows up on your doorstep the next day saying, "I just needed to see Dapples smile, get a kiss from Pace, and take you to lunch." Who else is willing to come for a visit just to walk through your daily routine together and maybe help you clean out your closet? Nobody but your Mom truly loves all your boring parts, and I want mine back.

Drumroll Please....

After numbering and cutting up 67 little pieces of paper, I dumped them into Pace's princess basket and let her close her eyes and draw a number. And the winner is...Lucky number 13--MEGAN from Enterprise!! She is an awesome photographer, and from what I can tell, she has one little girl named Layla that will be receiving a surprise from us :) Thank y'all for playing!
Just so you know, I AM thinking about selling these on Etsy--for those of you who don't have time to learn a new craft/don't want to learn right now :) Whenever I get the account set up (hopefully in the next couple of days) I will do another give-away to celebrate. If any of you have any advice (like don't do Etsy, I tried it and it was a nightmare), then let me know. See you soon :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Version of a Tutorial

If I had known how many of you were going to "come out," by doing a give-a-way, I'd have done it a long time ago! I was so excited just after I posted the blog, running back and forth to see who else would say hi. I really appreciate y'all caring about us and what's going on in our lives, and since a lot of you have blogs too, I've had fun peeking into your families as well.

I said I would wait until tomorrow morning to draw a name, but I thought I might go ahead and address the two main questions I got in your comments. A) How do you do that? and B) When do you do that?

A) I am not sure I can handle a full-out tutorial (especially since Jeremiah has done something with our camera and I can't show you with pictures), but I can tell you that it is EASY and YOU CAN DO IT. All you need is a needle, thread and a Mark-B-Gone pen (they sell them in the craft section of Walmart). My friend Melissa got me interested in this type of embroidery, and she wasn't even telling people to use the pen, just to start in on your fabric and make a picture. I, personally, am NOT an artist (I wish so badly I had saved my first few attempts at drawing a bird. You all would have had quite a laugh), so I make very simple sketches with my disappearing-ink-pen on my fabric and then stitch over what I've drawn. (As you see here, I have even resorted to stick figures :) That says "ma soeur" which is "my sister" in French.)

The primary stitch you need to learn is the back stitch, and the best real-live tutorial I found for it is HERE. I use a few other basic embroidery stitches, but you could really do an entire drawing just with the back stitch.

A couple of recommendations: Buy DMC floss (that's the special name for embroidery thread), because there is no reason to skimp on something that you are going to put a bunch of time into, only to have it break in a month or so. At it's highest (those little specialty fabric shops) it's like $0.75 a skein, but right now Hobby Lobby is having a 3 for $1 sale. Stock up! Go wild with your colors! I have been using 3 strands (I use 2 for smocking) on my needle.

I also bought a hoop to hold my fabric in place. You certainly don't need one, but if you do a couple and enjoy it, then I would buy one. It saves your fingers from cramping, trying to hold your fabric taught.
B) I do this the same way I do all the things I enjoy and make me feel like a person instead of a Mommy machine--early in the morning before the girls wake up. I like to start the day having breakfast/prayer/devotion with Jeremiah before he goes to work. Now, since I like to keep it honest on here, some mornings I sorta snooze while he's getting ready for work and don't actually roll myself out of the bed until he's walking out the door, but most mornings I get up with him (somewhere between 5 and 6 depending on what he has that day. 5:30 usually).

That glorious time between him leaving and the girls waking up around 7:30 or 8 is MINE. Knowing that I am going to do exactly what I want to do, is what motivates me to sacrifice those extra minutes and get on out of the bed. I read; I write; I cook; I have a longer devotion; I embroider; I blog. Whatever the heck I want to do. No laundry, cleaning, or obligatory tasks allowed.

I find that if I get a good solid hour in on something (whether it's a chapter in my book or something I'm sewing on), it's a lot easier to "steal" minutes during the day to complete it, than if I have to start cold while the girls are up. I steal minutes while the girls are playing in the backyard and I'm watching them or while they're napping or when we get in bed at night...I do try not to steal minutes during our meal times. The Lord has sorta convicted me on that one. They are people and you wouldn't sit and read if your friend stopped in for lunch. That would be rude. I find that (at least Pace) is most easily engaged and asks the best questions while we're eating.

I feel sort of silly that I just spelled all that out. It was probably boring for most of y'all, but I get that question in the comments a lot. When do you find time to read or sew or write? So, there it is in all its simplicity.

See you in the morning for THE WINNER!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I'vestartedstitchingand can't
seem to STOP!

I am obsessed! No fabric in my house with a blank space on it is safe from my little needle. I don't know what it is? I've been smocking, but THIS is so freeing. So much more room for creativity and crazy colors. So much less OCD, since I don't have those crisply even smocking pleats looking up at me, warning that each stitch better be perfect. I love this new embroidery whim so much, that I want to make one for one of you! A pajama shirt, or napkin set, or outfit for your wee-un. I guess it will depend on who you are :)
Here's what I want you to do. Comment on this post (cut off time will be Monday night--since I feel the need to give people some time to check the blog, considering you never know how long it will be between these postings). Just say hi--come out of the old stalking closet. Be sure to leave an email address so that I can get in touch with you. On Tuesday morning, I'll draw a winner and start my fingers working on some unsuspecting piece of fabric, just for you!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What Kind of Heroine Do You Want to Be?

I like to read...a lot. I just finished a book (Villette by Charlotte Bronte) with one of the worst heroines I've ever encountered. She was resigned to the fact that her life was going to be crap. Nobody loved her, and never could, she was insignificant and would remain that way. No will to fight, just a cool acceptance of the portion (she thought) God was serving her. Who the heck could live like that?! What about that inalienable right to at least PURSUE happiness. Anyway, while I have no trouble with wanting to emulate Lucy Snowe (that was the character's name), I do struggle a lot with what kind of heroine--woman really (are we old enough to call ourselves that :))--I want to be. To simplify it, there are two main types that seem always to be cropping up in the books I read.

Type A: The strong woman. She's intelligent, opinionated, capable of running a farm--or an entire country for that matter. She may fall madly and passionately in love, but it is with her intellectual equal (or her better so that she can respect him), and she may love him but you would never say she NEEDED him. Her husband and community respect her for her strength and will to fight whatever hardship may come.

Type B: The loving spirit. She's beautiful and blushes easily. She may be intelligent, but she knows how to hold her tongue until her opinion is requested--rendering the little gems that do fall from her lips, priceless. She loves deeply and passionately not only her hero, but the women and children that surely fill her life. There is no doubt she can sew, cook, and do handwork--especially for the needy--but she requires the care of a man to provide for her. She is not ashamed of being the "weaker sex," in fact part of her allure is that she embraces this concept and makes a man her champion.

So which one are you? Which one do you even want to be? I know I wax and wane from one book to the next, holding one on a pedestal and then the other. But Abby, aren't you asking the wrong question? Shouldn't we be wondering what kind of woman GOD would have us to be, not your silly books? Yes, you are right we should. But I am afraid God seems just as ambiguous on the subject.

Type A: The Proverbs 31 woman. "The Wife of Noble Character" Her husband has full confidence in her. She farms the food before she cooks it. She makes the wool before she sews it into clothes AND sells it in the market. "She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks." "She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue." Really there is not one weak or frilly thing about this woman.

Type B: Peters words to wives in 1 Peter 3:4 "Instead, it [your beauty] should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight...They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah who obeyed Abraham and called him her master."

I'm sorry, but I have a hard time imagining Type A woman calling anybody her master...And not a whole lot about her seems gentle and quiet. How are we supposed to reconcile the two? What standard are we to strive for as women? I don't know. I do know that every time Jeremiah and I have an argument, he tells me I turn into a man...and I know what he means. I have my point, my opinion (which I am always utterly convinced is right), and my strong will, and I don't bend. I feel like I square off and look him in the eye and often times halfway through the struggle I become disgusted with my manly self and realize that I no longer even know what point I'm making--only that I am winning the argument. The last time this happened Jeremiah looked at me and said, "What are you aiming for here Abby? Do you want me to cower, because I am not going to cower?" That really hit me, because NO I don't want him ever to cower to me. That's why I married him, because he's strong and a leader, and I respect him. Then what end do I hope for in our battles? If I refuse to lose, but I don't want him to be meek either? Would you say I need a little more of that Type B woman? :)

I do have a softer side as well. I am especially helpless and Type B when it comes to yard work ;) If I did not have a husband our grass would most assuredly never be mowed. I like myself better when I am soft. I like to feel cared for and protected. I have always longed to be a fainter--a swooner. The thought of having a weak constitution that falls dramatically to the floor in times of crisis (only to be carried off in strong arms and have your eyes flutter open to some deeply concerned, manly eyes). I know that fainting is not what Peter was referring to when he described a "gentle and quiet spirit," but it's what comes to my mind anyway.

Surely we should be striving for both Type A and Type B. Some glorious hybrid of the two. I know I don't need to be so dogmatic and opinionated that I become abrasive. I also feel like God gives us intelligence He expects us to use. I know I don't need to be so meek that I can't step out of myself to care for others and my family. However, I do need to have a gentle spirit that is an attribute to the peace that comes from Him...Sounds pretty impossible. If any of you have it figured out let me know!

Monday, April 13, 2009

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

Have I mentioned on here before that I love Jesus? No, like really, I LOVE him--want to wrap my arms around Him, press my cheek against his chest, and squeeze as hard as I can--kind of love Him?

At church this past Sunday, our choir did a song sequence with a video playing behind them. I personally do not tend to get overly excited about the audio-visual aids and "tracts" at church--leaning more towards the the traditional. Has anybody else noticed that I was, perhaps, born in the wrong time period :)? But anyway, our choir performed BEAUTIFULLY on Easter. They were filled with joy and could tell that the words they were singing were resounding in their hearts. But then, there was this video, with little clips of Jesus walking through the streets, greeting the Marys or talking and laughing with his disciples, and I don't know who this actor was, but he captured who I believe Jesus is more than any other movie or picture or painting I've ever seen. I had to fight tears every time his face came on the screen. I think it was because he was not stoic, and looking off into the heavens, or staring off in the distance like He is trying to bear the cursed sin he's surrounded by. I just don't think Jesus was like that. He "got us"--we humans--got us enough that he willingly DIED for us. Died because he wanted us to come back to His house for the rest of eternity. With a love like that, if you met Him on the road, do you think he would smile sweetly, nod in your direction, and then open his downstretched arms--like "Believe it or not, I accept you." That's what most Jesus pictures look like to me. But I don't think he was like that. I think if (WHEN) I meet him on the road one day, He's going to throw his arms open so wide that they're going to stretch slightly above his head, he's going to break into a huge grin and we're both going to run so hard into each other's arms that the collision would knock us out if we didn't both have our immortal bodies. He's going to smell like sunshine, and he is going to be solid and real and loving and laughing. Lots of laughing, because that's what you do when you finally see somebody you love that you've been missing dreadfully. I can't wait to see his face...Can you?

One more thing about the choir on Sunday. There was this one man who--like all the choir, including me, in the past-- was looking the part of the serious, worshipful Christian up there in the choir loft. Then, they reached a particularly powerful chorus, and I saw him throw his head back, close his eyes, and open his mouth wide. He forgot himself, was just letting it out, and I wanted to cheer because I was feeling the same way. Looking at the "real" Jesus up there on the screen, I felt like my joy was swelling so big in my chest that I could have clambered up some invisible curtains, all the way into God's presence. So there we are, me and the man from the choir, ready to head on up, when suddenly, he remembered. He remembered he was in front of the whole congregation in church and not standing in the midst of a heavenly host with Jesus standing right in front of him receiving his praises. His head snapped forward, his eyes opened and his whole head turned cherry red. It made me sad, but I understood. Even in my quiet little pew where nobody could see anything but the back of my head, I was embarrassed to let so much as a tear fall--much less raise my hands in the air and squeal at the top of my lungs like I wanted to. Aren't you ready for heaven? When these stupid worldly insecurities will melt away and we'll be able to praise him, all together, just like our hearts are longing to know how to do properly now? I am.
Can I just note, in all my worldliness--like any of you noticed or cared, that Mary Aplin outgrew her Sunday shoes when she woke up on Easter Sunday. Fit just fine last week, but that morning, when I put on the sweet little dresses with all their months of smocking and (Grandma) putting them together, those darned shoes wouldn't even go halfway on her foot. So there she is, in the pink squeaky shoes that I COULD shove on to that fat little foot.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Pace's Definition of a Sinner

Today at lunch, Pace looked at my hot dog and said, "Mommy, it looks like you have Jesus' blood on your hot dog."

Me: No Pace, it's just ketchup. (I'm assuming they must have talked a lot about Jesus' blood in Sunday school yesterday...I hope :))

Pace: Will you read me the story about Jesus blood spilling everywhere in your Bible.

Me: You mean about Jesus dying on the cross?

Pace: Is that when he bled?

Me: Yes (Why is so obsessed with the blood?!)

I went on to read/explain the story. Crucifixion, Resurrection. I even added a little extra gore and sound effects just for her. Afterwards, I told her about how she had to ask Jesus to live in her heart if she wanted to go see Him in heaven one day, to which she said, "Is He just going to run in there?" (she begins pointing at her chest)

Me: Something like that.

Pace: Won't he be sad all stuck in there?

Me: No, it would actually make him really happy to live in there all cozy. But Pace, before He can come live in there, you have to understand that you are a sinner.

Pace: What's a sinner?

Me: Being a sinner means that sometimes, even though we might not want to, we do things that are bad or mean.

Pace: I don't. (Cocky little thing)

Me: What about pushing your sister down, or being selfish, or hurting people's feelings, or not obeying what I tell you to do? Don't you sometimes do things like that?

Pace: Yeah. (She looks really dejected, so I add)

Me: But Pace, I'm a sinner too.

Pace: You are??!! What do you do?

Me: Well don't I sometimes hurt your feelings, or get madder than I should? (She's really thinking now...and finally responds--)

Pace: Sometimes, people spank you, and you get a raw hiney-butt, and THAT'S what a sinner is.

And I can tell she is no longer surprised at MY need for Jesus :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Go Ahead, SAY It

I have, what Jeremiah has so lovingly named, "Flappy Mouth Syndrome." This means that I often make people uncomfortable by the words I say. Some more widely-heard phrases used for this malady, at least in the South, are "She just CANNOT keep her mouth shut" or "That girl doesn't think before she speaks." I don't know if any of you suffer from this as well, but I am guessing that if you have a blog (that you write on), then there is a pretty good chance that you do. I know that I personally find something refreshing in knowing that this is one place where nobody is allowed to tell me I "should keep my opinions to myself." (there's another phrase!) However, you will still point out, I am sure, that I have had to retract quite a few blogs...and I have no rebuttal to that point :)

Want my opinion? (Know what, I don't care if you do or not cause you're getting it anyway :)), I don't have an issue with "thinking before I speak" as much as I have an issue with assuming my own personality on others. If you aren't thinking before you speak, then you say things like, "Oh!! When are you due?!" to women you don't know who may or may not be pregnant. While I am not saying I have never done that, it is not my primary issue. My issue is saying, to the person I only see at church and weddings, "Sooo, how are you and your girlfriend doing??" Only to be answered, "Actually, we aren't seeing each other any more." Then, here it comes, where Jeremiah starts to squeeze my arm and I am unaffected, "NO! What happened?" The problem here, is that if it were me, I would want you to ask. I would consider it a kindness that you care enough about what is going on in my life, to wonder at the source of my heartache. What I have found out the hard way is that MANY (if not most) people find this intrusive and impertinent. They consider things like that "private business." Well, you can well read that I don't consider very many things in my own life private. So here is an apology, to all of you out there I have offended, "I am sorry that I assumed my own personality on you and have pryed into your affairs. I didn't mean to assume that I deserved to know. I didn't have malicious intent to find out so that I could gossip (which I think is what most probably feel). I was just curious and would not have minded if I'd been asked myself."

There. With that settled, I would also like to say that there are some circumstances where I think we all need to take our filters and throw them to the fiery abyss. I do not recommend you do this with those "church and wedding only" friends, but in the case of your spouse (when you're not mad at them :)). I find that throughout the day, I have sweet thoughts about my husband, and my normal response is to either let it pass in and out of my brain and maybe smile to myself, but no more than that. Or I say, "I will have to remember to tell him that when he gets home." Either way, he never hears it. Even sometimes when I'm with him and have one of those sweet thoughts, I am either too lazy to voice it (sounds absurd to be lazy to TALK, but it's true), or (and this one is a little harder to grasp/admit) I am too prideful to say it. It's like I still, from time to time, think I should withhold praise from my own husband because I don't want to stroke his ego. Does he have a big ego? Is that really the issue? Nope. The heart of that one, is that I'm feeling insecure and can't see how making him feel better about himself is going to help me one bit. And what's the source of that? PRIDE!

So what I'm saying is, TELL YOUR SPOUSE THOSE SWEET LITTLE NOTHINGS, and tell them (via text, email, or phone--It's not like any of us have the excuse of not being able to get in touch) as soon as the thought enters your mind. Throw that filter away! Ignore your laziness and your pride, because the fact is that making someone feel good about themselves is cyclical. Don't you know that feeling? Somebody makes you feel good and suddenly you want to do the same for them.

Now, you are probably wondering where all of this came from, and why I have been using my caps lock button so much :) It's because I feel like Jeremiah and I are finally starting to do this (starting I say, not that we have it down). I feel like throughout our marriage I've been saying, "I just need you to do the little things to let me know that you love me." To which my dumbfounded husband has said, "I thought I was, and if I'm not, you're going to have to give me some examples." To which I then answered, "If I have to tell you, then you must not be feeling the same things I am!" Then, you can see where that left us...Both frustrated, me prideful and refusing to make him feel any better about himself, and stuck.

Over the past months, I've been trying to put my finger on why things just felt so much better between us, and I think it's partly because we have both started removing our filters with each other. Night before last, at dinner, I was rattling off all the boring little particulars of my day at home with the girls, when Jeremiah interrupted me mid-sentence and said, "I love you." Looked me dead in the eye and everything! It's not that he doesn't tell me that he loves me enough, it was the timing that made this statement one of the "little things" I'd been asking for. The timing and sincerity of the words that hit home and made me know how truly he felt the words he spoke. I can't tell you how many times I played that over in my mind throughout the next day and smiled. And because I was loving him so much for making me feel loved (did that make sense?), I've wanted to make sure he knew all the little things I was thinking as well---But if it's OK with you all, I'm going to filter those :) So throw those filters away when it comes to your husband, but maybe try to perfect them with your other friends.