Archive for the ‘Marital Bliss’ Category

Beautiful Imperfections

Right now, life is messy.  Right now, life is hectic and full.

  • Potty training two-year-olds is no easy feat.  
  • There are never-ending crumbs under the kitchen table no matter how often I sweep.mess4
  • Toys, clothes or shoes litter the floors of nearly every room in my home.mess2
  • My eight-year-old daughter refuses to do her homework.20170118_grumpy-morning-mica
  • My husband requires way more attention than I’m able to give him.me-and-amor
  • I fell off my diet 10 times this week.

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Life is a mess.  But it’s such a beautiful mess.  One day, I’ll look back on these days and laugh and cry at the same time, remembering how incredibly blessed I am.

Maybe when they’re teenagers, maybe when they’re grown, I’ll remember these moments of our lives and I’ll see:

  • The same pride in the twins eyes when they receive their high school diplomas as they have right now when they make it to the bathroom in time,twins-and-micaela-playing
  • A clean kitchen and remember how much fun we used to have around that table,micaela-kitchen-table-in-the-backgroundbrooks-and-bella-kitchen-table-fun
  • A pristine, robot-vacuumed floor and pray for grandchildren soon,
    robot-vacuum-cleaner

    By that time everyone, even I, will have a Roomba!

     

  • The creativity of a beautiful young woman of God, who sees the values in free time and enjoying life,20170117_mommy-belle-and-micaela-beautiful
  • Amor and I dating again, getting to know each other all over again for who we are at that time,me-and-amor1
  • In the mirror, a wise, beautiful and soulful reflection,mommy-belle-profile-picture

Sometimes the messiest moments in life are the most perfect of all.

(Written Jan 15, 2017 – Twins 2, Mica 8, Hope 7, Rain NB)

Double Talk Quote: Me to Brooks:  “What do you have in your mouth?”  Brooks to Me:  “umm…cookies.”  Me to Brooks:  “Where did you get them?”  Brooks to Me:  “umm…my mouth.”

Bible Verse: “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10

Word that has Lost its meaning: perfectionism

Relatable Lyrics:  “All Of Me” by John Legend

“How many times do I have to tell you
Even when you’re crying you’re beautiful too
The world is beating you down, I’m around through every mood

‘Cause all of me Loves all of you….All your perfect imperfections”

Letters of Support

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For the past few months, I’ve been vigorously working on my husband’s immigration case. It involved a lot of writing, office type work, obtaining and making copies of records, and gathering information.  None of it was easy.  But the hardest thing for me was asking for what’s known as “Letters of Support,” which basically vouch that Amor is a good, decent person and upstanding member of society.  I have social anxiety (along with Bipolar Disorder) and for so long, Amor and I have kept his immigration status hush-hush.   Now, however, we had to come out of the shadows (so to speak) and admit the truth to friends and family that (gasp & shame, shame!) my husband entered this country illegally.  He was 16 years old when his brothers first brought him here and he has built his entire adult life in the US.

It was stressful and nerve-wracking for me to announce this and ask for help. But it had to be done, as part of the petition process.  So, I wrote down a list of 25 names of friends, family, and acquaintances.  It was scary to me to think of contacting these people without knowing their political stance or possible prejudices regarding this touchy issue.  But I took several deep breaths, and said a few prayers and started contacting.

The response I received was shocking.  Our community of friends and family were more than willing to help us file by writing for us.  In all, I collected 20 notarized letters!  I saw how kind and generous these people were to take time out of their own hectic lives to invest in ours.  They had to actually sit down and think about me, Amor and our kids, construct the letter, then go get it notarized.  A few of these people, I know had physical health issues.  One had a newborn baby.  Another person is a dear friend whom we haven’t physically seen in over a decade, but we’ve kept in touch via social media.  Yet another had problems getting the statement notarized because her identification was expired but she made it happen!  Each person went out of their way to help us.

I read each letter as they trickled in.  Each one with optimistic affirmations about us and our family.  After gathering them all, I sat down and re-read them.  It wasn’t just the quantity that astounded me, but the quality as well.  These people wrote from their hearts. I know we are in their prayers. Tears of gratitude trickled down my face.

Our case has since been put on hold, for now, anyway.  But we have our paperwork ready at a moment’s notice.  Now, whenever our attorney says to submit, we will be ready and able to move forward.  Thank you, so much for those of you who helped us.  We love and appreciate you all.

(July 2016, Twins 2, Mica 8, Hope 7)

Double Talk Quote:  Amor – “I’m too smart for that show” (Ruff Ruff, Tweet and Dave).  Me – “That’s why I watch Curious George.”
Bible Verse:  “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4
Term that has Earned its meaning:  true friendship
Relatable Lyrics:  Lean On Me by Bill Withers

“If there is a load you have to bear, that you can’t carry, I’m right up the road, I’ll share your load if you just call me, if you need a friend…We all need somebody to lean on.”

Things I Love About My Husband

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  • He has a loving heart
  • He is generous
  • He knows what kind of food to order me from any restaurant in the city, right down to what veggies to add and what sauces to leave off
  • He maintains our vehicles
  • He fills up the gas tank, because he knows it helps me
  • He makes me feel good about my body
  • He tells me I’m beautiful
  • He’s a good dad
  • He loves God
  • He takes out the trash
  • He does his own laundry
  • He enjoys driving (which I hate doing)
  • He’s a good negotiator
  • He’s a good tipper
  • He doesn’t get grossed out by baby vomit, runny noses or dirty diapers
  • He’s extremely smart
  • He’s very creative
  • He sees possibilities in the seemingly impossible
  • He makes sure we always have plenty of coffee
  • He wants to teach our kids the Bible
  • He enjoys helping other people
  • He makes others feel accepted
  • He values family

“We Were On A Break!”

we were on a break

Remember the “Friends” saga when Ross and Rachel took “a break” and before she would take him back she wrote him a 18 page front and back letter to explain her feelings and her terms?  Needless to say, he didn’t read it, simply agreeing to whatever it said; anything to get her back.  Of course by the time he finally took the time to realize what she had to say, he didn’t agree and the relationship fell apart (again).

A few days before Christmas, my husband decided that he needed a break.  Tensions had been building in our relationship for a long time.  (And The Rain Came Down was written 9/30/2014 and alludes to troubles dating back even further than that) The past few months have been particularly rocky.  He wouldn’t say where he was going or for how long he’d be gone.    During this time, I was understandably upset, yet, I finally felt I could breathe.  The pit in my stomach dissipated.  The stress was momentarily lifted.  He ended up being gone for only two nights.  Maybe that was enough “break” for him, but I needed more time.  I told him he could stay on couch until we got things worked out.  I wrote him a letter and at the end I made a list of what needed to be done in order to end our break.    After angrily skimming the letter he started checking off items, items that had not been, and cannot be accomplished in one day.  I realized that I had pulled a “Rachel” and he, a “Ross.”

Both my husband and I are Christians and believe in the sanctity of marriage.  We have been in couples therapy for a while.  But there’s a pattern with us that I can see clearly now.  I won’t delve into detail but I will say that it is not a good pattern.  There’s peace and then tension, a building struggle, a breaking point, a blanket apology, and a honeymoon phase.  I don’t know if this can be fixed.

I hate to think of my children growing up in a broken home.  But what I hate worse is the thought of them growing up in an intact home with a broken mother.

Again, prayers appreciated.

Double Talk quote:  “I like being irrational.” – Amor

Bible Verses:  “It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.”  Proverbs 21:9

Word that has Lost its meaning: listen

Relatable Lyrics:  “Family Portrait” – P!nk

“In our family portrait we look pretty happy
We look pretty normal, let’s go back to that
Let’s play pretend, act like it goes naturally ”

(Twins 18 months, Mica 7)

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Crash & Burn

The cat and the hat falling

“So how much sleep have you been getting lately?” asked my counselor.  “On average about four hours a night,” I replied.  “You can’t keep going like that, can you?  How do you see this resolving itself?”  “I’m hoping it will just even out and I’ll ease down from being manic into stable.”  (Anyone reading who has bipolar disorder, knows someone with bipolar disorder or knows anything about bipolar disorder, you can laugh out loud here).

I take mood stabilizers and medication that is supposed to help me sleep.  But when I become manic, my brain tends to fight with those medications.  It’s like it overrides them or something.  The meds do some good (four hours is better than no sleep at all), but they aren’t powerful enough to stop my brain train.

I’ve been this way, my conscious self fighting with my subconscious self to sleep, for a few weeks.  I was having other manic symptoms, but all were relatively manageable.  But the tension was building.  Money issues, problems with my daughter’s school work, babies throwing tantrums, keeping up with daily tasks, when the days run into each other; these are all difficult things to manage.  Then there’s my husband.  He is a character.  I love him.  But I’m not convinced he’s not trying to kill me (oh, the stress).

The straw that broke the camel’s back:  sickness.  I don’t know if my body was just too weary to fight it off or if my brain was just to exhausted to keep trying, but I got sick, very, very, sick.  I was in bed in excruciating pain for several days.  It started Sunday night, mid-fight with Amor.  I suffered through to Tuesday night but then I became bed-ridden, until Friday morning.  During that time, my mom bought flowers, and she and my sisters took care of my little ones.  Amor “did his own thing.”  I wondered if this is how it would be if I died.  That made me cry.

One doesn’t usually ease back into a state of normalcy after being manic.  There’s usually a big crash into depression.  At least being sick gave my body a chance to stop and get healthy and actually sleep.  Hopefully it was a blessing in disguise and I won’t sink down low. I want to celebrate Christmas and rejoice with my little ones and see the look on their faces in wonderment.  I want to and I will.  I will not let anyone take that away from me.

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Double Talk Quote: “The only reason I’m still here is because I am a responsible person.” – Amor

Bible Verse: “The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

Term that has Lost its meaning: loving marriage

Relatable Lyrics:  “Stomp” by Kirk Franklin

“Lately I’ve been going through some things that’ve really brought me down.  I needs someone, somebody to help me come and turn my life around… Jesus, Your love is so amazing.”

Just In Time

paperwork

Just In Time:  To Avert a Financial Crisis

Over eight years ago, Amor and I became debt-free and we made a pact never to use credit again, unless it was to purchase a house.  We kept that promise, for the most part, until six months ago when my van (that I use to transport the kids) needed maintenance that we couldn’t afford.  The interest-free credit card (as long as you pay within a certain time frame) was too juicy an offer for Amor to refuse, so despite my objections, he fixed it up.  “You want a van to drive, that’s in working order, don’t you?”  Yes, yes, I did.  Around that time, he also borrowed a large sum of cash from a friend for  lawn equipment, in the hopes that he could work part time doing yards and bring in a decent income.

In just this past month, Amor and I have racked up thousands of dollars of debt to family and friends.  We paid off the car repair loan, just in time.  But not the “lawn friend loan.”  And then…

  1. The lawn mower broke.  We had to pay the repair man just to tell us that it would cost more to fix it than it would to buy a new one.  Not only is this an added expense, this has severely impacted our income.
  2. Amor’s work van didn’t pass inspection, so we spent a ton of cash to try to get a waiver, only to have it brake down completely.  Again, we paid the repair man just to tell us that to get it fixed costs far more than its value.
  3. My van started running hot, and we discovered that the radiator and water pump were shot.  It also needed all new tires.
  4. The deadline to file some paperwork for Amor’s immigration case is almost upon us.  (We just found out, it had to be filed within a certain time frame).  The filing fees for the paperwork plus attorney’s payment, plus other fees and expenses for necessary items (such as passports for me and the kids) add up to thousands of dollars!
  5. My computer crashed.  We rebuilt it from its original disks, but it’s missing programs that I need that are expensive and it needs a new battery.

I always pray for God to keep things running smoothly.  But naturally speaking, things are bound to break.  Due to normal wear and tear, these things that need fixing should have broken down long ago.  I believe God has supernaturally kept them running, until a time when we could afford for them to break.

This month, if all goes well, I should be getting an inheritance, one that has been a long time coming; over 11 years to be exact.  It’s no fortune, but hopefully, (prayerfully), after tithing, it will be enough to cover these costs and get us back on our feet, with a place of our own.

Dear God, thank you for your provision.  I believe that you know what we need before we do and will give us favor.  Help us to use what we earn and what are given wisely.  I praise you and thank you, Father, Amen.

(Written Nov 3-5, 2015, Twins 16 months)

Double Talk Quote:  Distracted:  “You’ve got to put your shoes on first, before you put on your socks” – me (other way around, mommy!)

Bible Verse: Luke 12:24 & 27 -Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!  Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Term that has Lost its meaning:  done deal

Relatable Lyrics:  Counting Stars by OneRepublic

“Lately, I’ve been, I’ve been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby, I’ve been, I’ve been praying hard,
Said, no more counting dollars
We’ll be counting stars, yeah we’ll be counting stars”

 

Writing Is Not A Sport

sport

Over the past few years, I’ve had a driving desire within me, to step outside myself and breathe.  I had walls, tall walls built up so thick and so high, so that I wouldn’t get hurt, couldn’t be touched.  But God has called me to break down barriers, finally be okay with being myself, reach out to others, burst free from my bipolar bubble.  I do this by connecting with others, even when I want to isolate myself.  I do this by mommying, even when I’m tired.  But the best outlet I have for doing this is by writing.  Whether I’m writing something profound, stories, or just being silly it’s therapeutic for me and I hope it’s inspirational for others as well.

Over the past few months, the desire to share some of my personal writing has become quite intense.  Years ago, in the midst of rapid cycling, one thing that kept me going and I believe helped bring me through were Scripture and Affirmations.  At one time, I would have died of embarrassment and humiliation if someone had read one of my “Think Big, Be Big” cards.  And now, I want them published?

This is why I believe the desire is not driven by me.  I’m not in some grandiose mood thinking they’re “so great” that the whole world needs to read them.  I believe the drive comes from God.  He was my inspiration and reason for writing them.  They could help other people who are hurting right now, like I was hurting then.  So why not share with them what God gave me while in His Word?

I’ve been searching for connections, someone who can help me make this dream a reality.  Most of my family members have been supportive.  Most but not all.

Passion, Enthusiasm, Inspiration, Drive, Determination.  I’ve been cut down to size.

 

Double Talk Quote: “…your idea of writing is the same as my idea of becoming a professional soccer player.” – Amor (my dear husband)

Bible Verse: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Word that has Lost its meaning: dream

Relatable Lyrics:  “Shut Down” by Soul Asylum

“I’ve been pulled aside and told that life was overrated ,  No, I don’t believe it…
…I can write all night but in the morning I can’t read it…

When I can’t get keep from getting down…I become invisible, unlivable, Just dysfunctional, Shut down”

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