Story of A Reluctant Homeschooler: Part One

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We never thought we’d be homeschooling!

We are preparing for our fourth year of homeschooling. I am still in shocked awe that this is a path our family is walking together!

 

Five years ago I didn’t have anything against homeschoolers – except I really believed the required attire for the home educated was a denim jumper; that girls had long hair worn most commonly in a bun, boys wore button down shirts with the top button buttoned and well-geled crew cuts, and they always had pasty skin and buggy eyes because of lack of sunshine. In my mind, they also were very clean.

 

Not to work off of stereotypes or anything.

 

My husband and I would talk about how we wanted to educate our children and dream of supporting their public school teachers, being involved in the Parent Teacher Association, and warm cookies around the kitchen table while asking, “How was school?” each day.

 

It was a good image. {sigh}

 

Once Uno hit school age, however, we discovered our perception of school wasn’t quite as “Norman Rockwell” as we had originally assumed. Uno is a rule follower and her pre-K teacher quickly put her into a leadership position by assigning her to be the constant companion of the most troublemaking boy in the class.

 

The first time she came home and told us he punched her in the face we thought she was joking. By the third time we weren’t thrilled with the education our child was receiving. We met with her teacher and learned her veteran, very well respected teacher just loved having Uno in class because, “I never have to worry about the other children behaving when she’s around, she keeps them right in order!”

 

We started looking for options. Homeschool reared its ugly, bun-sporting head.

 

I am NOT a college-trained educator but I do have a background in educational concepts: my Bachelor’s is in Journalism and Humanities, my Master’s is College Administration, and I have a good chunk of a PhD completed in the History of Education with a focus on colleges and universities. When I started looking at what my child was experiencing (that pre-K is a year more concerned with learning how to treat others, raise your hand until recognized, stand in line, and share than how to hold a pencil, letters, numbers, or colors) I was able to trace it pretty easily to the literature I’d learned in my own studies, specifically to the man who overwhelmingly influenced modern educational practices.

 

John Dewey, father of modern education, founder of the Dewey Decimal system, and orchestrator of society. Buildings across the U.S. are named after him and there may even be some educational nerds who say his name in a voice hushed with reverence.

 

The idea that our public schools should create societal norms and shape the relational philosophy in large part comes from Mr. Dewey. In 1897 Dewey published his pedagogical creed, which includes the statement: “I believe that the school is primarily a social institution. Education being a social process… “

 

And here, I always thought going to school meant my child would be prepared for a career. But it turns out after the sweeping educational reforms of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, inspired by Dewey philosophy, schools feel it’s more important to teach community values. I’m not inherently against that – except that’s my job as a parent – not a school system that in intent on pushing children into cookie cutter molds so they will pass a test, resulting in more governmental funding for the school.

 

Something’s fishy about that to our family.

 

I’m going to take a few days to walk through the Story of a Reluctant Homeschooler.

 

I don’t want to be homeschooling. When we chose to make this switch I was working professionally in a field I felt God’s calling to work within. I don’t have a teaching degree and I honestly don’t love children that much. They move and shriek and occasionally drench you with nastiness!

 

I don’t want to be homeschooling – but we’re in it for the long haul.

 

We’ve spent a good amount of time thinking through our decision and I’ll share that thought process with you. I know some of you cringe about your child’s educational system and wonder if you could  – maybe??? – pull off a change. For others, there’s a reasonable chance you can’t relate to our rationale at all and think you can smell the crazy on us.

 

But just in case it’s helpful… I’ll share.  Stick around for the next few days as I continue to tell the story of a Reluctant Homeschooler.

 

 

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Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

6 Tips for A Great Family Reunion

Family Reunions Are Fantastic!
Family Reunions Are Fantastic!

We have returned from The Great State of Texas.

 

I feel I have to capitalize every bit of The Great State of Texas because, well, you know, it’s Texas. I can’t even count the number of signs available in tourist shops sporting a picture of a pistol and the words, “Around here, we don’t call 911.”

 

You don’t mess with Texas.

 

Apparently you also don’t mess with the digestive tract of small children without a nod to the porcelain God. Our family mostly escaped unscathed from the travels without digestive difficulties requiring bran muffins and prunes for resolution, but our dear sweet Dos did spend one night throwing up in the toilet.

 

Not because she got a hold of a bad bunch of Habanero. Nope, she emptied the candy bag in the space of about 40 minutes.

 

See, we have the coolest family on Earth (humble, I know, but many of them are from The Great State of Texas so what do you expect?!) and when we arrived at our reunion each child had a gift bag filled with crackers, cookies, water, juice, and various forms of candy involving Red Dye and Kiddie Crack.

 

Dos wolfed that sucker down while we were mid-hug and caught up in the how-do-you-dos. That night she started throwing up. The next morning I asked her what happened and she admitted she ate more candy in moments than she’s consumed in almost the rest of her lifetime.

 

She blushed and giggled. “I didn’t even eat my dinner, Mommy! Just my candy!”

 

Even puking didn’t slow her down. She’s ready for more candy right now!

 

Besides the joy of a nauseas child, I’ve gotten a chance to take away…

 

6 Laws of Family Reunions

 

1. Be realistic. Your children will behave both more angelically and more devilishly than normal in turns. You, yourself, will behave both more angelically and more devilishly than normal. Give everyone around you (and yourself) grace when things get hairy. Everyone’s a little bit out of their element.

 

2. Oops! make the best memories! The best memories are the ones where things don’t go quite according to plan. Our family reunion included a three hour restaurant wait for food. We were able to watch one of our party go to the bathroom wearing a glow necklace tail because the wait made a few people creative. I’ll always treasure the memory of my cousin as a firefly!

 

3. Be pleasant. We traveled with six adults and six children ages seven and under in a 15-passenger van. When we exited the van the first day our family members who saw us pour out of that big white beauty started praying for us, certain we’d be ready to kill each other. We weren’t! Yes, tempers were strained and temperatures soared, but we worked to be pleasant and encouraging despite our irritation (my sister and brother in law are particularly good at this). It made everyone happy. Attitude is a huge part of family reunion success.

 

4. Share positive about other family members. We had a new branch of the family tree join us this year and spent a lot of time filling them in on names and back stories. It’s awesome to make a conscious decision to share the positive elements of other family members and let any parts that rub us the wrong way be discovered naturally.

 

5. Wear nametags or don’t be offended if you have to ask for names more than once. I can’t figure out the names of the children I bore in my own body most days. I’m not going to be spot on with names of relatives I see every other year. This is normal, natural. If you want to get really ornery, introduce yourself to a few people with a new name that’s almost exactly like yours – i.e., Kathy/Cindy, Bill/Will – and see how many generations it takes for the confusion to sort itself out.

 

6. Plan activities. The best family reunions have activities that bring people together toward a common experience along with time to visit. The activities help in future reunions, because it’s a conversational gambit to break the ice.

 

7. Be yourself and relax. You’re all in this thing called “Family” together. In fact, you probably all have Aunt Erma’s hawk nose or Grandpa Bob’s oddly shaped big toe and no one needs those awesome matching t-shirts to know you’re family. There is no normal, all families are goofy and have a few skeletons in the closet. You’ve got genetic code in common with your extended family members, so be yourself, be forgiving, relax and let a friendship draw you together as well.

 

What are your tips for an awesome family reunion?

 

 

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Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

Leftovers

saavem / stock.xchng
saavem / stock.xchng

This afternoon my second-born child walked up to me, rubbed her hands across the stretched skin of my belly, and asked, “Is this your leftovers?”

 

My children are rudely innocent when it comes to body image comments. I’ve done my best to treat their comments with unconcern, when they mention my “squishy bottom” or that I  still look pregnant I will usually respond with a vague chuckle or a, “Oh, you think so?”

 

I don’t want them to grow up in this thin-obsessed world with an idea that their value lies in the circumference of their waist or whether their legs are long and tan. I know that my reaction to my own body is the number one influence they will have for their own body image.

 

So today when Dos asked me about leftovers I made a choice to let the first flash of embarrassment wash over me and wallow in an intentional choice.

 

“Yep,” I said cheerfully, “these are my leftovers. They remind me of how lucky I am to have you four kiddos. I wouldn’t change them for the world.”

 

I want to own that stretch mark across my belly button because it’s a leftover from the only pregnancy that carried a boy.

 

I want to own the scar on my knee because it’s a leftover from the time I fell while pregnant with Bubby, carrying Tres, after a fantastic BBQ with friends at a local park.

 

The dark purplish scar along my lower stomach is an intense memory of the c-sections that brought me the first cries of each of my children, and the comfort of holding my husband’s hand as we met this little being we had a part in creating.

 

My imperfections, with conscious decisions on my part, can become valued possessions. Mistakes I’ve made, scars I display, quirks I have… they’re ok. They’re useful because God doesn’t waste experiences.

 

My leftovers are beautiful. They are memories, they are vivid reminders of who I was in contrast to who I am today.

 

What leftovers do you need to redeem?

 

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Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

Funniest Status Updates

beermug / stock.xchng

About ten months ago a Facebook friend wrote a status update that made me laugh so hard I was in danger of incontinence:

“I’m sitting in the car waiting for [my husband] to return a Redbox. The guy in the car next to me just sneezed so hard his face hit the steering wheel and honked his horn. So glad I didn’t go inside this time!” (my paraphrase)

To this day, whenever I’m having a down moment, I think about how funny it would be to see someone honk their car horn with their noggin because of the power of their sneeze.

I’m sympathetic, you see, because I sneeze like a Howitzer machine gun. I’ve popped my back on several occasions when a sneaky sneeze slips out.

Tonight I was thinking my funny thoughts and remembered that status update. It made me wonder what other status updates are out there that could share hilarity with the general populace. So I enlisted The Google and… here you have it!

(You can thank me in the comments!)

1. “FYI: “Thrifting” auto-corrects to “thrusting.” You know, just in case you wanted to thank a friend for a successful night of thrift shopping via text message. You’re welcome for the heads up.”

2. If you’re on the treadmill next to me, the answer is “Yes. We are racing.”

3. “I like sleeping it’s like death without commitment.”

4. “Hey Guys, I don’t have Instagram but I just wanted to let you know that I had oatmeal for breakfast. No sugar, mixed with water.”

5. “Whenever I see hitchhikers, I just pretend they’re telling me that I’m doing a great job driving.” (Funny thing, this is honestly what Uno believed for a long time! We discovered it on a road trip!)

6. “I just read through my Facebook feed… A moment of silence for proper spelling and grammar. RIP.”

7. “Just high fived that wall with my face.”

8. ““Be strong.” I whispered to my wifi signal.”

9. “I put a potato on my shoulder cuz a chip just wasn’t enough.”

10. “I’m not crying. I’m washing my face like a caveman.”

11. “I’m throwing my phone down the toilet now. I know it’s going to happen, so I might as well decide when.”

12. “I can’t even imagine the self-control required to work at a bubble wrap factory.”

13. “Good morning. I see the assassins have failed.”

14. “What idiot named them jet skis instead of boatercycles?”

15. “Having a 14-year-old has made me realize why some species eat their young.”

16. “Getting Lasik done this morning. If my next post is in braille, you’ll know it didn’t go well.”

17. “I like to name my ipod ‘Titanic’ so when it says ‘Syncing Titanic’ I click cancel and it makes me feel like a hero.”

18. “Got out of jury duty by prefacing every answer with “according to the prophecy.””

19. “A bug just landed on my computer screen and my first reaction was on try and scare it away with the cursor.”

20. “Uno just asked me: “Why does my poop not stink to me but it stinks to you?” I have no answer for that.”

Now, what are the funniest status updates you’ve ever read? Tell us in the comments!

This post was originally published September 21, 2012 and is being recycled as part of the “I’ve Been Around” summer! Hope you enjoyed it and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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If you like this post, feel free to share it (with attribution).
Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

How to be a Super Hero

Are You Incredible?

In the last week I’ve had four different, unrelated people tell me something along the lines of, “I just don’t know how you do it all!”

 

(I suspect by “all” they’re talking about working full-time from home, homeschooling, blogging, etc. They probably include the fact we have three kids aged 6 and under and one on the way, but I don’t know that being able to procreate is something I’ve got an exclusive “lock” on as that’s a basic ability to most organisms.)

 

One of these people even accused me of wearing a super hero cape.

 

When any topic or phrase crosses my line of vision more than three times, I file it away as a potential blog post. This one is uncomfortable, because it could be really easy to sound arrogant and like I have life figured out… which is not the case at all. I’ll ask for forgiveness in advance.

 

Just in case you’re wondering how I do it all, here’s how I’ve achieved my “super hero” status:

 

I have an amazing husband. Truly. Our marriage has ups and downs and is not without occasional significant conflict, but when it came to sharing my life with someone who inspires me… I lucked out. Lizard does practical things like dress the girls almost every day, unplug the toilet, and tell me he likes my (often questionable) cooking. He also does big picture, genuinely kind things like tell me I’m a good writer, talk me up in front of others, protect me from stressful situations, and selflessly consider the needs of our family. I hit the jackpot when we met and fell in love.

 

I try not to worry about fitting in. I’ve always been the weird kid. I have scoliosis (my spine is shaped like an “S”) and I had to wear a back brace from neck to hip to treat the condition from 5th grade to my junior year of high school. While other kids weren’t often mean to me about it, there’s no denying my childhood was influenced and my aspirations were independent of most peer relationships. I spent a lot of time reading adventure books and imagining I could conquer the world. Giving up in the face of adversity was never an acceptable option.

 

There’s a decent chance I was born with more restless ambition than most. Depending on the personality test I’m a choleric, ENFP, virgo, beaver, etc… whatever test I take I come out “bossy.” My natural instincts are to take charge, analyze tricky, complicated situations, see the solutions, and get other people organized to fix it. I’m not emotional or nurturing, but I am incredibly task and action-oriented.

But here’s the Achilles Heel of being a Super Hero:

 

As a perfectionistic achiever, I fail my expectations on a daily, sometimes moment-by-moment basis. I lose my patience, rarely hit the domestic nail on the head, undervalue my husband, regret not spending time listening to the hearts of my children, wish I showered more frequently, and am a terrible dog owner because I won’t groom those (literally) stinkin’ puddles. Most days I wear a dunce cap more comfortably and graciously than a super hero cape. Really.

 

And yet, amazingly, stunningly, some people think I do it all.

 

(My best guess is they’ve been licking toads and getting high in their free time.)

 

You want to know the truth about being “Super”?

 

Every single person who told me they’re shocked I do what I do… well, I can’t figure out how they do what they do! They’re super heroes in my eyes! (I’m not just saying that. I’m really in awe.)

 

It makes me think, to be a super hero, to do it all, you simply do the work that’s in front of you utilizing the gifts and talents you already possess.

 

True, you pick up additional skill sets along the way that make you more successful — special powers! — but from the get-go, you already have everything you need to be effective.

 

Everything. Just show up to do your work.

 

For some people it’s rocket science or trash collection. For others it’s domestic genius or organizing class field trips.

 

Some women are clocked to work out of the home 40+ hours a week and they change the world. Some are gifted to raise children and find wholehearted happiness and success.

 

Some have strings of activities and accomplishments after their names. Others have families rise up and call them blessed.

 

The key to being a super hero is to A) recognize capes look different on different people and B) put the cape on each morning when it would be easier to go back to sleep.

 

My bet is you’re wearing a cape right now, even if you haven’t noticed. Hats off to you.

 

What do you think is the key to being a Super Hero?

 

*If you like this post, would you please share it with your “tribe” via email, facebook, twitter, etc.?*

 

This post was originally published June 9, 2012 and is being recycled as part of the “I’ve Been Around” summer! Hope you enjoyed it and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

 

 

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Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

8 Reasons I Pray for My Children

A few weeks ago a friend gave me this nifty page with suggestions of how to pray for my children daily.

 

Oh heavens, do I need to pray for them on a daily basis. Mostly that I won’t string them up by their toenails.

 

While I actually love the page itself and would highly recommend it to anyone so inclined, I thought it would be fun to take a few of the virtues and mention, with trademark sarcasm, why it’s important I pray for this quality in the hoodlums.

 

1. Self-control. Remember the time Dos slid her fingers through the arm hair of a practical stranger? Yes? Well, if anyone needs self-control it’s this girl. I was foolish enough to venture into the mall with my brood today in search of a gray shirt. I turned my back, next thing I know, Dos is in the store front window, running her hands up and down the mannequin’s legs. Self-control? Needed.

 

2. Justice. There is nothing so well-developed as a sense of justice in a six-year-old. Uno collapsed into tears a few days ago because Dos got a larger piece of gum. It was a Chiclet – I’m confident it’s impossible for those to be irregularly sized because they’re all coming out of a factory that uses scraps of gingham to size their product. My opinion doesn’t matter, however. Justice must be maintained.

 

3. Mercy. Just this evening Tres took her father’s slipper from his foot and slammed it down on Uno’s head. Why, we don’t know. But until Uno learns to holler, “Uncle!” I’m guessing I’ll be praying for mercy for the two-year-old.

 

4. Courage. My children watched me butcher a chicken. They touch friendly snakes without fear. All have been known to practice their gymnastics on the steel handrail affixed three feet above our cement sidewalk. I pray their courage is tempered so they don’t end up dead one day from foolhardiness!

 

5. Purity. Some families might see the word “purity” and equate it with chastity and such. Not us. I’m considering purity from the germ standpoint. On any given day our children run around barefoot, feet sporting the dirt-encrusted line of a flip flop sandal. Dear Lord, please keep them from foot and mouth disease, stepping on earthworms, and stealthily-hidden shards of glass.

 

6. Humility. I suppose I should be grateful my children are secure in their affections, but it’s disconcerting to have the following conversation with your kid: “Sweetie, you know I love you, right? No matter what.” “Yeah. I know.” It’s never crossed their minds they might need to practice a smidgen of humility.

 

7. Perseverance. Nothing says you’ve got a child with stick-to-it-ness than a horse-obsessed six-year-old with a piece of rope. That child can turn anything into a horsey item. The walker doubles as a horse and a horse-mounting step stool. Every spare bit of time becomes the stage for a quick horse race. The kid is horse crazy and willing to do anything to work horses into everyday life.

 

8. Peace-Loving. Dos can screech like a hoot owl. How would I know this? She was NOT demonstrating her peace-loving nature. Instead she was sitting in the Barbie Jeep with her sister, screaming, because Tres wouldn’t remove her foot from the pedal. Did I mention the Jeep was moving with nary a hand on the steering wheel? Peace. It’s another quality we find lacking on a daily basis.

 

There are certainly other qualities we need in our house, these are a few that stand out.

 

As you check out this graphic, what qualities do you think your children need the most?

 

This post was originally published September 26, 2012 and is being recycled as part of the “I’ve Been Around” summer! Hope you enjoyed it and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

 

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If you like this post, feel free to share it (with attribution).
Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

10 Tips For Marrying The Wrong Person

Runaway Bride
Runaway Bride

Here we are, in the final installment of You Married the Wrong One, this time taking a sharp look at how to choose the best one out of all the wrong ones out there.

 

Confused yet?

 

The sad but true fact is you will marry someone who will exasperate you, hurt you, and make you angry. They will be lazy, depressed, self-centered, annoying, foolish and stinky on occasion.

 

This Is True.

 

BUT, you will also marry someone who will make you laugh, be fun to be around, and fill your life with a greater richness.

 

Now that sounds good, doesn’t it?

 

How do you make the right choice for the one who will bring you more joy than heartache? I’ve already covered finding someone you love rather than lust for, but I have a little more to add.

 

Just say No.

 

Nope, it’s not just a slogan from the ’80s and my beloved Nancy Reagan, it’s a real phrase we should all be using regularly but especially when it comes for our search for The One.

 

The authors of a book I haven’t read, How To Marry The Wrong Guy: A Guide For Avoiding the Biggest Mistake of Your Life, were quoted in an article I did read that they discovered three out of ten divorced people will admit they knew they were making a mistake as they were walking down the aisle.

 

According to the authors most women (and men) who want to cancel their weddings don’t.

 

“I couldn’t believe how many people confessed that they knew they were making a mistake as they were walking down the aisle,” says author Anne Milford. “I had people of all ages tell me this over and over again. They’ve said ‘I do’ — when they really wanted to scream ‘I don’t’.”

 

This may sound melodramatic except it resonates with me very strongly.

 

Because before I met my true love I was engaged to another man. *gasp*

 

I am a woman of broken betrothal.

 

He was a great guy, now married to someone else and doing lovely things with his life. And there was nothing wrong with our relationship.

 

My logic told me to marry him, as we had dated for a year, were planning to be engaged for a year and then get married. We followed the expected formula for a relationship. There were no issues. He was great.

 

But when he asked me to marry him in a terribly romantic proposal with a terribly large diamond ring… my inside was saying, “No!” while my mouth was saying, “Yes!”

 

I was the woman who couldn’t say, “No.”

 

We were engaged for several months before I called it off. I still hate that I hurt him so badly, because there was no reason I could give him for breaking the engagement except, “It just isn’t right.”

 

Which is a pretty poor reason, all things considered.

 

(Who’s the jerk? “I am! I am! I was a jerk even before I knew him, me! Me! Me!”)

 

But after I met Lizard… I knew why my gut had said “no.” It was because I hadn’t met my “yes” yet.

 

That experience cemented my belief in breaking off a relationship even if it doesn’t make “sense” when the base-level feeling isn’t, “Yes!”

 

Some more guidelines to choosing your special someone, the one you’d rather fight with than anyone else:

 

Don’t Pick Someone…

 

1. You expect will change or mature out of bad behaviors after you’re married.
2. Who makes your heart go pitter-patter when your brain isn’t engaged as well.
3. Without the same spiritual and life goals.
4. Because you had sex with them.
5. You don’t honestly admire. Their influence should make you want to be a better version of yourself.
6. You can’t be open and honest with.
7. Because you’re running from your own personal trash pile.
8. Because you’re afraid of being alone.
9. Because they’re the only one who’s ever wanted you and there may not be anyone else wanting you. Ever.
10. To make your family or friends happy. 

 

Got that? JUST SAY NO!!!

 

I expect by tomorrow I’ll be back in the saddle again with my quirky take on exciting things like laundry, parenting, and the joys of garage sales. In the meantime, let me know what you think of this One That Got Away/Wrong Person series. And… give me your own submissions for the worst story lines ever!

 

This post was originally published October 1, 2011 and is being recycled as part of the “I’ve Been Around” summer! Hope you enjoyed it and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

 

 

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If you like this post, feel free to share it (with attribution).
Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

How To Get Married In Six Months Or Less

Daniel.Lee / compfight.com

StealingFaith has grown so much over the last year many of you have probably never read some of the earlier posts. And tonight I had to giggle when thinking back to the early days of our move…

 

So, for your reading pleasure, please enjoy the story of how getting married in six months or less became part of our family culture. May your smile be sweet and your dating relationships short.

 

How To Get Married In Six Months Or Less

 

Today is my parent’s 43rd wedding anniversary.

 

Lizard and I will have our 7th wedding anniversary in a month.

 

After an exhausting search of Wikipedia and Google I’ve learned if I add our respective years of marriage together that means this little snippet holds the wisdom of 50 years of wedded bliss and that, mon amie, makes this post golden, I tell you, golden.

 

Much to my dismay I also discovered that on our own, Lizard and I are traditionally only worth wool and copper this anniversary (my folks are in the Ruby region).

 

Back to the story.

 

Both my parents and yours truly met and married our spouses within six months.  (To make things even a little more mind blowing, Lizard’s parents and grandparents as well as my sister and brother-in-law met and married within six months as well.  We all know how to move quickly when we find the one who makes our hearts go pitter-pat.)

 

In honor of my parents and because I just feel like it, I’ve created a list of the five things you shouldn’t do on a first date unless you want to get married in six months.

 

(It’s a list as inexplicable as voodoo and as charming as the Easter Bunny.)

 

Here goes:

 

1. Catapult dish candies across the living room. When my dad arrived to pick my mom up for their blind date she asked him to wait while she finished getting ready.  In the short moments available to him while he waited the candy dish on the living room table called his name.  He reached for some and in a tragic fumble launched the candy dish across the room where it hit the wall and scattered M&M’s throughout the realm.  My mom arrived in the living room to find my dad on his hands and knees with fistfuls of colorful chocolate.  Great first impression.

 

2.  Respond to a question about where you went to college with a detailed account of each person you remember with fondness. On our first date that wasn’t a date (we didn’t actually date until we were engaged.  Long story for another time.) I innocently asked Lizard about his college experience.  He responded with extensive details about the lives of each of his friends.  I didn’t have to do anything but say, “Uh-huh.  Really?” for one and a half hours.

 

3.  Violate the bubble of personal space of your date. After my dad returned the candy dish to the table he and my mom drove to dinner in a Volkswagon Bug.  Just a few weeks before my dad had totalled another bug in a rollover accident.  He walked away unharmed because he was wearing his seatbelt.  My mom didn’t buckle her seat belt when she got in the car (it was 1968, strapping yourself to moving metal as a safety mechanism wasn’t a wide-spread philosophy!) and my dad unthinkingly decided to buckle her in.  With no explanation whatsoever my mom’s date lunged across the car at her and began pawing at her rumpus area.  She found it rather disconcerting while my dad viewed his actions as protective.  This is why Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.

 

4.  Launch into a man-hating feminist diatribe. Lizard and I watched the movie Mona Lisa Smile on our first date that was not a date.  During the hour and a half drive home I railed against the sexist mentality of higher education and the men who refused to allow women to excel using their God-given talents both inside – and outside – of the home.  Lizard was mostly silent. I was full of outrage.  For one and a half hours.  It was awkward.

 

5. Tell your date you’re sure they’d have more fun without you and you want to go home. My mom doesn’t drink alcohol.  When she and my dad met the man who set them up on the blind date they discovered him liquored up in the bar because he’d gotten in a fight with his wife and arrived early.  He suggested they all get a drink before dinner.  And during dinner.  And after dinner.  And then that they go to a new dance club that was all the rage.  My mom looked at my dad and said, “It’s obvious you want a girl who drinks and parties and I’m not the kind of girl.  So please take me home now and you can go out and find a date who suits your interests for the rest of your evening.”  He took her home.  And proposed four weeks later.

 

(Funny story, my dad recently confessed to my sister that he thinks my mom was on her best behavior during their courtship.  Just imagine their wedded bliss.)

 

There are my five recommendations for actions to take if you’re trying to get married within six months.  Do you have any stories of dates gone horribly awry that lead to lasting love?

 

This post was originally published February 20, 2012 and is being recycled as part of the “I’ve Been Around” summer! Hope you enjoyed it and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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If you like this post, feel free to share it (with attribution).
Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

You Married the Wrong One. For Real.

Showcase_01Two years ago I fell in love with a purse.

 

I can’t describe what made this purse so incredibly wonderful, but it was. It was everything I had ever wanted in a purse but the price tag… oh the price tag was right up there with getting a root canal and I was not going to pay it.

 

So I didn’t. It was the one that got away.

 

Funny thing, even though I made a choice to let that purse go, every time Iwalk into the purse section of a store I think about the purse that got away.

 

Yesterday I took a few minutes to walk through the purse section at a store and thought again about the purse. Come on! How many times do I need to worry about a purse?!

 

For some reason all this purse distraction made me think about the concept of “the one that got away.”

 

Whether it’s the big fish that broke the line, the old flame who captivates our fantasy, or the chance you had to invest in Apple before it was, well, Apple, we all have stories about the one that got away.

 

The most debilitating “one who got away” is when you believe you missed out on the true love of your life.

 

At some point most people will wake up in their marriage and think, “I’m so tired of seeing how different I am from them in X, Y, and Z. I married the wrong person.”

 

So what do you do then?

 

I have some news to impart that may surprise you.

 

You DID marry the wrong person.

 

“But, how can this be?! You, you who post things about how much you love your husband, how can you say you married the wrong person?!”

 

And you would be right. I do love my husband. But he’s still the wrong person. And I’m the wrong person for him.

 

We are full of awful traits. Not just the silly stuff like getting on each other’s nerves.

 

We are wrong. Just wrong.

 

That doesn’t mean we pack up camp and try a new campsite. In fact, just the opposite.

 

The key is our love for each other and for God helps us choose on a daily basis to become Right.

 

If you had married the one who got away I guarantee you would not have the problems you see in your current relationship.

 

Nope. Not those problems.

 

But you’d have other ones, problems you can’t even suspect right now because you aren’t living in close proximity to that special someone who occupies your thoughts on occasion.

 

Because we’re all the wrong person.

 

What do you think about this idea? I’d love to hear! Does it bring up more questions for you?

 

This post was originally published September 11, 2011 and is being recycled as part of the “I’ve Been Around” summer! Hope you enjoyed it and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

 

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If you like this post, feel free to share it (with attribution).
Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

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