(No, I’m not getting a sex change operation. Read on…)
Today marks year 7 of marriage for Justin and I. It’s going to be a challenge for me not to be ridiculously sappy right now, juuuust be warned.
Our honeymoon in Maui was the first of many sweet memories I’ve had as Justin’s wife. This photo holds a lot of significance for me because I’ve often looked back through our honeymoon photos and thought about how much we’ve been through since that day. We’ve been through so much together and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t the most difficult relationship I’ve ever had. It wasn’t long after this vacation that we started to understand how very little we understood of each other and of ourselves.
I’d love to say that we’ve matured and grown so much since then that we no longer get annoyed with each other or disagree about silly things. That I never roll my eyes behind his back when he leaves dishes in the sink or that he never mutters under his breath when I’m annoying. No really, I’d LOVE to say that, but it’s just not true. I can say, however, that we try. Back then, I had no idea what trying meant, nor did I care to find out. I wanted what I wanted and that was that. Our relationship suffered because of that selfishness. It took nearly the full 7 years to switch our habits and try for a marriage that was truly good, pure and lovely. It didn’t take long for things to start shifting in that direction once we made that decision.
Today, though we’re nowhere near perfect or completely selfless with one another, I know how to love him better because I know him better. I know that he has the most tender heart, even though he talks tough. I know that he adores our kids. I know he loves me by how patient he is with me. And by how he tries to act excited when I bring home an awesome pair of shoes I found on clearance (though I know he’s thinking, “MORE shoes!?”). We try to understand the other and not jump to conclusions. We pray together. We value our time together. We go on dates regularly. We try to trust, try to hope and try to persevere because that’s what love does.
Yes, this guy means so much more to me than he did on that beach 7 years ago. Our love is different and grows more with each passing day because we are growing. I don’t even recognize us and I never want that to stop!
Happy Anniversary to my love. See you on our date tonight. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
Update: A few friends and I have started tagging our photos on Instagram that fall #outsidethecrop. Take a look at what others are posting and if you’d like, include your own. :)
I posted this earlier today on Instagram with this caption:
Was going to share some of my drugstore beauty buys for fall and then saw dead Spiderman and all the lovely power cords in the distance. Just a reminder of who I really am outside the crop box. #momlife
I immediately thought, “Dang, I need to write about this!” I realized how often I’ve posted very strategically cropped, staged, planned photos and pretended they were my real life. I think we’re all guilty of it in some shape or form. Raise your hand if you pause to grab “the cute mug” and make sure there are no chips in your nail polish before snapping a shot of you drinking your morning coffee. I get it! We all like pretty things and it’s inspiring to see that type of stuff. I mean, how boring would life be without cute nail polish? Uh, VERY. But I started thinking about myself and the whysbehind my perfectly planned shots. Why am I painting this picture of myself? Why did I force my kid to smile and stand still? Why do I care about the spacing between my new lipsticks? I’m telling ya, it got pretty deep in my brain parts for a few seconds there.
I’m not the first one to talk about how Instagram/Facebook/the internet is a place to pretend (oh how I love some of those Instagram parody videos). There’s a reason the crop box exists. We can pick and choose what to reveal to the world in that tiny square and that’s totally okay. It’s YOUR life, after all. If that photo above had a pair of my underwear crumpled up the background, you best believe I would leave that out. Or like, a dirty diaper or body hair or something. That’s a no. Too real. I’m just realizing that for me and what I put out for the world (or my 10 friends) to see, I do like showing the whole, real picture sometimes. I think it’s important to show that my house is messy and my kids can be complete brats and I have a double chin if I don’t tilt my head a certain way and some days I totally mess up when I’m filling in my eyebrows and other days, they look fantastic. That’s LIFE, man. And we’re all living it imperfectly.
I have a friend who jokes with me when she comes over to my house. She’ll say, “Did you frantically mop the floor before I got here?” because she knows me. I have struggled with that ‘perfection’ thing my whole life. Did you know I took gymnastics as a kid? No? That’s because it was ONE class and I never talk about it. I sat there and watched the older girls who had been going for years, doing flips and all this circus craziness and I couldn’t even walk a straight line because I was so uncoordinated. I ran out of there crying to my mom and told her I never wanted to go back. Why? Because I didn’t even want to try if I wasn’t going to do it perfectly on the first shot and I didn’t want to fail in front of everyone. Issues, much? As my Grammy would say, “IT’S A CLUE!”
I’m so thankful that I have friends and family who know the real me and love me anyway. I’ve played pretend and strived for perfection for too long. Newsflash: It’s unattainable. I’m the one with the dirty kitchen floor who hates to mop and I won’t freak out if you drop by my house unannounced before I get a chance to clean… anymore. I will make you wait outside until I hide my underwear though, because that’s just sick.
I was just out swimming with both of the kids and Jack was wearing a pair of these floaties. I bought them at Walmart and I’m pretty sure they sell them at Target as well. As I was helping Maddie practice swimming, Jack was to my right (within my arm’s reach, thankfully) and I had taken my eyes off him for a few seconds as Maddie was coming toward me. I turned back to see the most scared expression I’ve ever seen him make as he was sinking and struggling to keep his head above the surface. He couldn’t get himself back up, even with one floaty still in tact. I’ll never forget that look in his eyes. You guys… it was awful.
Just a sobering reminder about keeping a VERY close eye on your precious ones this summer. And to NOT buy cheap floaties. This one was fine when we got in the pool, but within 10 minutes it had ripped completely. I am very attentive in the pool and was within a few feet of him and I STILL didn’t hear him make a peep or recognize the splashing sounds as anything to be worried about. It happens fast so be on your guard at all times. Thank God my sweet boy is safe.
A few months ago, the girls in my family went on our annual shopping trip to San Francisco. We always have such a great time with each other and it’s become this fun little tradition for us, so this year I decided to take Maddie along. She was a surprising delight. No meltdowns at all! She had a great time with the “big girls” and was in her own corner of heaven at the Sanrio store.
On the way there, we stopped off at a gas station and she picked out a snack… Sour Patch Kids.
I was thrilled with her choice because 1) I love Sour Patch Kids and 2) I was probably going to devour most have a few of them. But they were technically hers, so I made a quiet vow to myself to definitely not hide them in my purse “for safe keeping” in hopes she’d forget about them so I could sneak a few here and there without her noticing. Because 1) this has happened a lot in the past and 2) did I mention I really really love Sour Patch Kids? A very specific vow because I know my weaknesses, people.
Long story short, I broke my vow and literally took candy from a baby. BUT, it was all in the name of saving my child from harm. Sugar… HELLO? Totally valid. In fact, I would argue that I am a good mom because of this. I actually wouldn’t mind a little award of some sort. Or a trophy. Mother of the Year. PRESIDENT, even! I’ll call my health plan Morganacare.
A month passed without a word. I thought I had gotten away with it. But as we were driving in the car one day, something triggered a memory in Maddie’s smart kiddie brain and she said, “Hey mom… what happened to my candy we bought in San Francisco?” I was like, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Play it off, Morgan. I acted like I didn’t know what she was talking about. Eyes straight ahead. Don’t let her see you tremble.
But she must have sensed the guilt. ”Did you eat them all up!?”
“Yes, honey, but umm, that was a long time ago. They’ve been gone a long time. Sooo, umm, next time we’re at the store we can get some more.” Take away all my awards. IMPEACH HER! IMPEACH HER!
All that to say this: Yesterday, as she was drawing some pictures, she brought one up to me. Keep in mind, we haven’t spoken a word about the SPK incident in weeks.
I asked her what the picture meant.
“That’s you. And that’s the candy in your hand that you always take from me. You always eat my candy. That’s what you do. Say sorry for yourself, please.”
I’ve stared at this picture for hours, analyzing it’s deeper meaning. Why do I look like a baby? Why do I have crazy eyes? Are my legs broken? Is that a knife??? WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?
I think the next step is obvious: Buy more next time.
While I was out running errands, I received a text from Justin.
Maddie just did the entire Insanity warm up!
Apparently, she came out of her room, dressed to workout.
(Please take note of the Wonder Woman tattoo, headband and leg warmers.)
Then she asked Justin to “put on the exercise that Mommy does.” Do you know what that little routine happens to be?
She did the whole 10 minute warm up! It’s hilarious to me, but I’m honestly not surprised. This girl is my little buddy and loves to join me whenever she sees me working out. Her form could definitely use some work, but not bad for a 4 year old. ;)
A 27 year old mother to the silliest little girl and the funniest man-child in the world. Wife to the most handsome geek. Jesus is my BFF. Thankful to be a stay-at-home-mom. Trying my best to keep it real.