I Have A Dream

Today we celebrate a man who fought for others using peace, patience, and love. He is one of the greatest men in history and we can learn so much through his famous speech:

 

And while we should absolutely reflect on the words of Dr. King, let us also not forget the words of the King of Kings:

“You have heard it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy’. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you..” Matthew 5: 43-44

Today and everyday, show kindness. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Lets try to make this year a year in which we treat people decently.

Mommy Monday

Mommy Monday3

Some days, I feel like a horrible mother. I’ll lie awake in bed, thinking over the day’s events and list all of the things that I did wrong.

I didn’t tell my daughter she was smart, I only told her she was “so beautiful”. Will that give her a big head? Will she only find value in her looks? 

I didn’t get in the floor and play blocks with her, I just read a book to her. Is she going to miss out on critical cognitive development? 

She didn’t have a vegetable at dinner. Now she’s lacking the vital nutrients she needs to be successful in life and I’ve effectively doomed her chances of getting into a good college. 

failure gif

 

Then, after worrying about all of the things I didn’t do right, I try to justify it.

Well, I had to cook dinner. Even though she’s not two yet, she could see I was busy and she’ll understand, right? Right? 

Even though I don’t go into an office, I still work all day. I was tired and didn’t feel like getting on the floor and chasing her around. That’s valid. 

 

After this, I start to get a little resentful.

Well, maybe if I had help cooking, I could’ve played on the floor for half an hour with my daughter like Someone Else.* 

Why does He get to come in and look like the hero and ‘Fun-Loving Dad’ while I’m stuck doing all of the housework?!* 

snow white

I’ll lie awake and stew for a little bit and feel myself getting angry at the bearded man lying less than a foot away. I think of all the things I’ve done and how I’ve carried this family through. Who cleans? Me. Who cooks? Me! Who takes care of Huff the Babe, makes sure we have food in the pantry, and keeps track of everyone’s appointments? ME. ME. ME.

Then, I hear a Soft Voice. “Who gives you the strength to do it?”

Humbly I have to say, “Not me.”

Finally, my thinking changes.

Who pays the bills so that I can go grocery shopping? 

Huff the Hubs.

Who pushed himself through college to get a degree in Electrical Engineering so we could have a better life? 

Huff the Hubs.

And who supports me through all of my craziness, no matter how insane I get? 

Huff the Hubs.

 

The Soft Voice returns and asks: “And Who has trusted you with all of this?”

You, I say.

“And who are we supposed to serve?”

Everyone. 

“And how are we supposed to serve?”

Sigh. Gladly. 

Soon, instead of tooting my own horn, I’m shamefully reproaching myself for my attitude. I have turned my own insecurities into a “Battle of Who Does More” and before I knew it, I was contemplating shaving off one of HtH’s eyebrows.**

As if knowing the train of thought that had already derailed in my mind–and in perfect timing–HtH rolls over and says, “I love you.”

He still loves me. After all the things I think I did wrong today, he still loves me. Finally, I can fall asleep.

You-Start-Annoy-Yourself-Worry

 

Do you ever do this? How do you talk yourself out of the “All About Me” trap? Do you find yourself growing resentful because of your motherly duties? How do you split responsibilities with your spouse?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*This is not husband-bashing. These are real thoughts I’ve had (and I know other women have had). They may not be accurate–actually, they’re not accurate–about life in the Huffman Homestead. Huff the Hubs is an EXCELLENT father and laughs, plays with, reads to, and loves Huff the Babe so much. He is also a WONDERFUL husband and helps out quite a bit. We’re a team.

**I wouldn’t do that. Well…maybe. No, I wouldn’t.

Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Ideas

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, people. Do you have your gifts yet? If you’re like me, you know what you’re getting your significant other, you just have to wait for payday (which, consequently, is tomorrow). But for those of you that need some help and need it fast, have no fear!

Here are just a few ideas to help you make tomorrow great for your sweetie:

 

Cook a Valentine-themed breakfast!

Sizzlin' sweet!

Sizzlin’ sweet!

I know mornings are hectic, but trust me when I say that waking up a little bit earlier and preparing these babies will definitely make your honey feel loved! Plus, you can never go wrong with bacon. Its meat candy.

 

Go DIY 

The perfect gumball machine!

The perfect gumball machine!

Pinterest is FULL of quick and easy (and inexpensive) do-it-yourself gift ideas! Like this ADORABLE gumball machine made from dollar store materials! A small flower pot, a quick paint job, and some Dove chocolates and you’re set! (Plus, you’ll totes score extra points by making something. Women like that crap. Trust me.)

 

Add love notes to lunch!

Snacks are the way to anyone's heart.

Snacks are the way to anyone’s heart.

Before Huff the Hubs and I had a baby, I used to make him a sandwich for lunch everyday and write a little note. Its been months since I’ve done that (womp, womp) but he always said how much he liked it! Maybe take a few minutes tonight, pack your lovey’s lunch, and add these cute printable tags to the different treats!

 

Seek professional help. 

lastminute

No, not that kind of professional help. I’m talking about The Dating Divas! They have countless resources for creating awesome dates for you and your honey! I’ve used a lot of their ideas in the past and HtH loved them all!

 

And, if worse comes to worse, you can always bake a cake.

A lovely sentiment.

A lovely sentiment.

 

Happy Anniversary!

Today is mine and Huff the Hubs’ second wedding anniversary! Yippee!

 

Honestly, it doesn’t really feel like two years have gone by. Some days it feels like we just got married yesterday. Others it feels like: “Well, this is just how its always been; me and you.”

 

Over the past two years, I’ve felt like I’ve learned a lot about marriage, men, and relationships. I’m by no means an expert, nor do I feel like books I read and people I talked to fully prepared me for marriage. I think marriage is like most things, you get a lot of “on the job training”.

 

But, in the spirit of passing on wisdom, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned in my two years of marriage.

 

1. Even if you really don’t like your spouse’s hobbies/interests, eventually you’ll get sucked in.

Neville and Luna

Neville and Luna

When Huff the Hubs and I first got together, he loved anime and Japanese movies. I hated them. I loved was obsessed with Harry Potter, he thought it was okay. Now, I actually like anime and he’s read all of the HP books. (The guy even agreed to name our daughter Hermione!)

 

2. Encourage each other.

The theme of his grad party? Robots.

The theme of his grad party? Robots.

In the months leading up to our engagement, Huff the Hubs was still in school. There were times (mostly around finals) that I could literally see the effects that his high-pressure degree was having on him. He would lose weight, have dark circles under his eyes, and would sometimes go hungry rather than stop an 8-hour study session. I knew that he needed me to be his cheerleader. I’d write him notes, take him food, and just say encouraging words to him. And he does the same for me. He’s always there to tell me “Good job!” or “You can do this!”.

 

3. Be silly.

"Don't move! It can't see you if you don't move!"

“Don’t move! It can’t see you if you don’t move!”

Sometimes, life can be too serious or you can take yourself too seriously. Loosen up! Its okay to fart in front of each other and its okay to laugh at dumb jokes, and its especially okay to act like complete weirdos together. Marriage is about loving and accepting each other no matter what weirdness you bring into it.

 

4. Take care of yourself.

"Eyebrows, there should be TWO!"

“Eyebrows, there should be TWO!”

I’m sorry, but what wife wants to come home to a dirty guy that hasn’t showered, has food running down his shirt, and belches a greeting? Not this chick. And I don’t think a husband would want to come home to a wife with crazy hair, still wearing the pajamas she had on that morning. I work from home most days, so I don’t throw on a dress before Huff the Hubs comes home. I sometimes don’t even put on makeup all day. But I do make sure I don’t look a hot mess when he arrives. Simply brushing my hair and throwing on some lip gloss gets me a kiss and a: “You look pretty.”

 

5. Help each other be healthy.

BB's and J!

BB’s and J!

One of the ways I feel like you can show someone you care is by how you treat your body. I want to be able to be around for a long, long time for Huff the Hubs (and our kids). I want to be able to go hiking, go swimming, and chase the Littles around the park. I know HtH wants to too. One of the things that drew me to the hunk of man I married was that he placed a lot of value on eating right and exercising. I feel like so many health problems can be avoided simply by eating right. I don’t want to have some sort of debilitating health condition (that could be prevented) that turns HtH into a caregiver at a time when we should be enjoying our life together. We take care of ourselves for our own health, yes, but we also take care of ourselves for each other.

 

6. Protect each other.

"Eighteen in the clip and one in the hole, B-Dog is about to make some bodies turn cold."

“Eighteen in the clip and one in the hole, B-Dog is about to make some bodies turn cold.”

Something I’ve learned over the past two years is that spouses need to be each other’s first defender. If someone attacks that person (literally and figuratively) you should be the first one to step up and defend your husband/wife. Sometimes I can take my role of protector a little too seriously (one day I’ll blog about the guy that got up in HtH’s face at the midnight showing of Harry Potter and I tell you about how I went southside) but I know HtH knows I care. And I know he does too. Especially during the pregnancy, HtH has been careful to make sure I’m okay and not in any danger. Although it’s hard for him to protect me from my own clumsiness.

 

7. Make time for each other.

It does.

It does.

Yes, married time is important (nudge, nudge; wink, wink), but so is couple time. That time that you spend together, just the two of you, not worrying about bills, work, or the noisy neighbor upstairs. HtH and I try to have a date night once a week (and please spare me the: “Just wait, you won’t have that come September” line. It’s important to us, so we’ll make it a priority. So shut your gob.). Whether it’s going to the movies, going out to eat, or just calling in a pizza and watching 10 episodes of Adventure Time, we try to have an evening where we shut out everything else and just spend time together.

 

8. Help your spouse bond with your family.

Yes, that is a My Little Pony book. He loves those kids.

Yes, that is a My Little Pony book. He loves those kids.

My family and I are very tight-knit. I talk to my parents and sisters at least every other day, if not every day. They are super important to me and the five of us have a special bond. When HtH and I were dating, he said he was a little intimidated because we had so many inside jokes and he couldn’t really keep up with our ever-changing subjects at dinner. Over the past two years, I’ve seen HtH really fall into place with my family. He’s to the point now to where he goes places with family members when I’m not there and really makes an effort to form relationships with them.

 

 

So, what about you? Is there anything about marriage you’ve learned over the years?

Integrity, schmegrity…

Here lately, I’ve been wondering: is integrity a lost character trait?

I don’t know about you, but integrity is an attribute hard to describe and even harder to emulate.

I know I’ve seen integrity before: my parents taking a receipt back to the cashier because they didn’t charge enough for something or forgot to ring something up.  A cub scout on the news making sure a lost purse was returned to the owner, even though the manager at Wal-Mart didn’t care.  But still, how do you show integrity in your everyday life?

Huff the Hubs, I think, has a ton of integrity. He’s a salaried employee, meaning he doesn’t have to clock in or out, he just shows up to work and leaves at his assigned time. The days that he leaves the house late (which, is more often than not; he runs on what I like to call “Huffman Time”) he always, always, always stays late. He checks receipts meticulously, making sure we were charged for what we took from the store or ate. He won’t do something that’s easier or that’s cheaper if it means doing something wrong.

If he’s 5 minutes late, he stays 5 minutes late. If he’s 15 minutes late, he stays 15 minutes late. There are many employees (and I’ve been guilty of this too) that will show up 30 minutes late and leave at their normal time.  And even though it may not seem like that much to us, to others it makes a big difference.

I’ve been flummoxed (yes, that’s a word) lately by business practices. There are companies out there that tout a certain belief, using it to bring in business and make more money. But do they really have integrity? Do they help others without expecting anything (even a “thank you”) in return?

Yesterday morning in church, the message was about love. The pastor said: “Love is the choice to perform a sacrificial action. You do things for others not because of the accolades, but for the growth of God’s Kingdom.”

Yet again, that’s something I need to work on. I don’t mind doing stuff for people, but most of the time (especially if its for a family member; namely Huff the Hubs) I want to hear a “thank you”. I want to know that they appreciate it. In some cases, I don’t think that’s wrong. I truly feel like affirmation is my “love language.” But how much of my wanting affirmation is my love language and how much is it just me wanting to feed my ego while my integrity wains?

Sigh. 

I know this has been a soap-box type of rant, but its been something that’s been on my mind lately. What do you think? Has integrity gone the way of chivalry? Is integrity something you find hard to mimic?