Assume The Best

Mike and I (and baby Monty) spent the past weekend celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary by exploring Cleveland, eating all.the.things, and enjoying some time together away from home and our normal day to day. It was refreshing and relaxing and so much fun. I love spending time with Mike more than anything in the world. (I’m still working on finding a way to get paid just to hang out together. There has to be a way! 😉 ) Continue reading “Assume The Best”

A Little Less Talk

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I read recently that sending your lover flowers for Valentine’s Day derives from an old fashioned tradition of sending flowers to communicate a non-verbal message, something that we still do today.

In this day of fast talking, instant access, always connected but never really connecting, constant stream of conversation that is life in the 21st century, perhaps we would all do well to just STOP TALKING so much.

Sure, we have some important messages to communicate. But maybe, just maybe, those messages would be heard the clearest through means other than our voice. A bouquet of flowers. A simple gift. A touch.

They say “talk is cheap,” and perhaps that’s because anyone can talk. It requires a special sort of someone to notice the non-verbal ways that communicate love to your Valentine. Anyone can say ‘I love you,’ but can just anyone show it?

Maybe we could take this Valentine’s Day, and every day, to talk less, notice more, and think of new ways to communicate our love and affection. Ways that are specific to the receiver. How do the best feel loved?

You know how the song goes. “A little less talk and a lot more action.”

You interpret those lyrics as you wish.

Happy Valentine’s Day, rosebuds.

PS Why yes, that IS a skull and cross bones painted on one of Theo’s handmade Valentine’s Day cards. I’m so glad you noticed. We were reading about pirates that day. Theo is the master of integration. 😉 Continue reading “A Little Less Talk”

Love Is Gentle

The other night, I was in the kitchen working on dinner when I overheard a conversation between Theo and Oliver. Theo was telling Oliver that he loved him.

“I love you because I’m gentle to you,” Theo said.

I smiled to myself, because though they weren’t exactly being gentle to each other, I knew what he was getting at. And his heart was in the right place.

We try to steer clear of abstract terms and principles with the kids. It’s all fine and dandy to encourage your kids to say ‘I love you’ to each other, and we do, but it’s best when followed up with an explanation of what love looks like. Otherwise, it remains an abstract term, and it takes kids years before they start to understand abstract thought (most people say around the age of 9).

“Love is gentle,” I tell the boys. It looks like a soft touch, a kind word, a hug when the other person is crying.

Love does this.

Love is that.

This is what it looks like. Continue reading “Love Is Gentle”

14 Unique Valentine’s Day Gift & Date Ideas

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A Guest Post by Ashley Hicks

Over the last seven and a half years since my husband and I met, we have tried to continually find new ways to show each other our love, devotion, and friendship! We are always up for a new, crazy adventure or just a night in watching sci-fi shows. Since Bekah was so gracious as to lend me her blog for the day, I’ll take the opportunity to share some of the ways my hubby and I have spoiled each other over the years:

  1. Fill a basket with your better-half’s favorite snacks (or drinks or candy or whatever is specific to them). My husband goes crazy for snacks. He can’t get enough! He is easy to please and loves when I randomly bring him home something special to munch on. He loves it even more with it’s a giant basket-worth of things for him to munch on!
  2. Beer connoisseur? Make their brew dreams a reality! You can buy sets of the six most common styles of beer glassware! Here is the same specialty beer glass set we have, and don’t forget to buy six bottles of coordinating beer to go with! I linked to World Market because it’s my favorite spot to find new beer, but a lot of local grocery or liquor stores will have a section for building your own six pack! Also, here’s a handy beer/glass pairing cheat sheet with recommendations for those to need some help figuring out what to fill those glasses with: http://www.craftbeerware.com/beer-glass-types
  3. Are you more of a DIY/kitchen junkie and want to try your hand at a new skillHere is a great recipe for Valentine’s Amaretto Chocolate Truffles and great instructions for chocolate covered strawberries (or, I guess any other fruit or snack item you would like to be covered in chocolate). This one is great for a surprise gift or as a sweet couple’s activity! Bonus points for decorating your own gift  box for the chocolates to go in!

Continue reading “14 Unique Valentine’s Day Gift & Date Ideas”

Eight Easy Ways To Say ‘I Love You’

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Confession:

Ok, if I’m really, reeeeally being honest with you, my favorite holiday of the whole year is Valentine’s Day.

You read that right. Valentine’s Day. The day that people love to hate. This makes me SO SAD.

Valentine’s Day is one day out of our whole year where we get to be creative and go out of our way to tell the people we care about most just how much they mean to us. It’s amazing!

So many people say, “I don’t need a holiday to make me do nice things for my significant other.”

To that I say, “You are right! You GET a day to do it!”

Yay you! Yay us! Yay for LOVE!

This year, I’m looking forward to sprinkling a little extra love on the people nearest and dearest to me. I love celebrating the holiday with my kids. We always try to make a few fun crafts and even invite some friends over for heart shaped snacks and treats. My husband doesn’t care whether or not he receives cards (a tragedy, if there ever was one), so I take the opportunity to buy them for my friends. I DO have a few special ways that I treat my husband for Valentine’s Day, though, so if you are struggling for fun a creative ideas, look no further! Also, be sure to check out tomorrow’s post, where my good friend Ashley will share with us a few of her favorite, creative date-night ideas!

Here are a few of my favorite ways that I communicate my love for my main squeeze. Maybe use this Valentine’s Day as a fun excuse to try one or two of these ideas! Continue reading “Eight Easy Ways To Say ‘I Love You’”

How We Celebrated Our 11th Anniversary

We celebrated our eleventh wedding anniversary this past weekend. Actually, we are still kind of celebrating. Mike ran out to get us a movie, so I’m furiously typing away to prepare this post for tomorrow so I can get to some homemade popcorn, a movie, and quality chill time with my guy.

Let me keep this simple.

Beatrice was with us for the morning and early afternoon, so we stayed local. We slept in. Mike made us breakfast. Then we hit up Sure House in downtown Wooster and checked out a new boutique. We ate at our favorite local restaurant for lunch.  Continue reading “How We Celebrated Our 11th Anniversary”

Five Things

1. Today, Mike and I celebrate being married for 11 years. We have known each other for 12. He is my husband, my baby daddy, my honey bunny, my weekend omelet maker, and my best friend.

2. My favorite thing about marriage? Man, that’s a tough one. So many things! But the thing I think I love the most is the unwavering, indisputable, non-negotiable belief that you have a person in your corner. Someone who believes is you. Someone who will fight for you. Someone who will hear you complain about how annoying your weekly grocery shopping trip was, and still think you’re sexy. Someone who shares their most intimate thoughts with you. Someone, who will always be there.

3. My least favorite thing about marriage? The guilt I feel over not sharing the last slice of pie or pizza, or last cup of coffee. Eleven years later, and it should be noted, I still eat the last piece. But that guilt man. It’s annoying! (Just get your own pie already.)

Sharing is hard.  Continue reading “Five Things”

To Theo, On Your Fifth Birthday

Last week, you were in the front passenger seat with me as we  waited in the preschool drop off line. It was raining. As we do each day, I held your hand and squeezed it tight and said, “Be kind. Be you. Love Jesus.”

You gave me a hug and a kiss on the lips and said, “I will. You be kind. Be yourself. Love Jesus.”

And then your teacher was at the car door, and with all the confidence in the world you threw a “Bye mommy! Love you!” over your shoulder without a final glance, opened your froggy umbrella and stepped out into the rain.

As I watched you walking away, so little yet so self assured, with your backpack hanging haphazardly and your froggy umbrella a bright beacon on the gray, Ohio day, I felt a sob creep up in my throat.

It was unexpected, and I couldn’t quite catch it before it was out. My heart was full of love and pride but my eyes were full of tears.

Oh how far we’ve come, my love.

It’s only been five years. Five years! But in that time, so much has changed.

No one has taught me more about love, patience, forgiveness and adventure than you, my dear boy.

No one.

I’ve struggled against “motherhood” so much in these five years. I’ve struggled against you. I’ve fought against all the things I didn’t want to suddenly be associated with just because I was now “a mom.” I fought against your will which is as iron clad as my own. I fought against my perceived lack of freedom. I fought against all the things you’ve required of me, that I wasn’t prepared to give.  Continue reading “To Theo, On Your Fifth Birthday”

Thursday Things I Love: Little Readers, Vintage Baby Clothes, and College Friends

This week, we’ve all struggled a bit to get back in the swing of things after having Mike home with us last week for spring break. We’ve just felt “off” as a family. Plus, the boys aren’t sleeping…which, as all parents know, means we aren’t sleeping. I barely remember what all has happened this week, it’s just been a blur. (Side note. Mike and I went through three bags of coffee while he was home on break. THREE BAGS!)

But, like any week, there are always good things that happen. Things that make me smile, moments that mean a lot to me, and conversations that brighten my day. Things like… Continue reading “Thursday Things I Love: Little Readers, Vintage Baby Clothes, and College Friends”