Tag Archives: Daddy

Relationship Advice #9

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“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord  not for men.”  Colossians 3:23

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Rachel and Jake,

For the past few years I have written to you here, here, and here with a variety of relationship advice for you to use in your everyday life.  Your Mama’s “pearls of wisdom,” as I like to call them, are not meant for mastery but more for your own reflection.  These little pieces of advice that I give are things that I am working on myself in my relationships and are in no way anything that I have mastered or do day in and day out.  Simply put, each year when your father’s and my anniversary rolls around, I reflect on what I have learned over the last year or what stuck out as the most pressing piece of advice I want to share with you.

When the time comes for you to get married, my hope is that you’ll be able to see what it takes to make a marriage last for a lifetime.  Your father and I have committed to the vows we made before God to love, honor and cherish each other as long as we live. It’s a large scale promise that can only be fulfilled by purposely choosing how we make up those day-to-day moments that create a lifetime of loving each other. What do those moments look like? Well, sweet little ones, that’s what I hope these posts will help you understand.

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{Relationships are a lot like sledding.  You have to mentally prepare yourself beforehand, get all of the tools you need in place and then you get to enjoy the ride! When you think you’re done, you just get back up, climb the hill again and head back down for some more adventure! Important note–It’s more fun if you enjoy the people you are sledding with.}

So, here it is, relationship advice number nine. It might sound a bit odd, but just bear with me here: get a hobby.  Yes, that’s right, a hobby.  The key to happiness does not rely on  relationships alone.  You need to be able to find things that make you feel happy and content and confident in yourself because as you will find in your life, and I’m sorry to say this, but people and relationships will sometimes disappoint you.  You need to be able to find satisfaction and fulfillment outside of relationships so that when the chips are down you can still have something that brings happiness into your life. On the flip side of that, your hobby will allow you to share your joy with others and many times will bring new and varied relationships in to your life.   God has given you specific interests and skill sets for a reason–it is up to you to develop and explore the natural talents He has given you!IMG_3135

Relationship Advice #9: Get a hobby. It could even be something that doesn’t have to involve the other person at first, if you want.  “How does that work?,” you might wonder. Or “What does that have to do with anything?” Well, that’s the beauty of this blog, just let me tell you…

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According to the researchers at the School of Medicine at Temple University, engaging in a hobby awakens the area of the brain that produces positive feelings and reduces stress.  Doing a particular task that you enjoy can enhance your ability to concentrate and encourages self-motivation and increases self-confidence.  All of these can have a profound impact on your relationship with those around you.

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Over the past few years your father and I have developed several hobbies.  Some we share with each other, and some we do completely on our own. Having a hobby that we can share together is a fun way to connect with each other, especially during these years when most of our conversation centers around you.  For example, in the past year or so your Dad and I have started exploring craft beers together.  We enjoy trying new beers together and finding beers for each other that we think we might like.  Sometimes we are surprised at how well we know the other person’s taste!

After you are in bed for the night, sometimes we will try a new beer together while we talk about the day or anything else that might be on our mind.  It’s a way for us to purposefully make an effort to connect with each other. Recently your Dad has even started learning how to brew his own beer with a friend.  I fully support that endeavor and enjoy reaping the benefits of it as well! IMG_3656.JPG

Photography has been a bit of an outlet for me lately.  I enjoy taking pictures and have been blessed to be able to share some of the joy that you, my children, bring me through sharing my photos with others.  I have been humbled that other people have chosen me to take their family photos and am loving some of the experiences and doors that photography has opened up for me.  It was completely unexpected, but it was an outlet your father (and some really great friends) encouraged me to explore!

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It’s no secret that your Dad has always been in to cars and Corvettes especially.  When we first started dating I thought “Go to a car show? Really??” Sometimes your friend or spouse might have a hobby that you are “just not that into.” And that’s ok! But, please try to like it for that other person.  There is always something that can be gained from new experiences.  Something that brings joy to your friend or partner can in some way bring joy to you too.  Even if it’s just spending time together or having something that you do together to support each other–it’s important!

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Who knows, some day you may like it and end up taking your kids there and posing them beside sweet Corvettes that you never really appreciated before your relationship began.  You might realize that it’s really not that bad, after all.  And when you find yourself saying “Hey, want to take the Corvette out and take pictures of it on some crazy back road I found?” you’ll realize that your two worlds have collided in the best way possible and then you’ll realize that the things that you thought were weird in your younger years really aren’t that bad after all.  Because in the end, my little ones, it’s all about supporting each other and bringing parts of yourself into a relationship.

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Trying something new can be a good thing when you look at it as an adventure or as a way to learn about new things.  In fact, we should welcome change and new opportunity into our lives because it helps evolve who we are as a person. Our lives weren’t meant to be stagnant.  You will grow and change throughout your lifetime and you want to be sure that you surround yourself with people who are going to encourage you and support your interests too.

If you want someone who is going to support you, then you need to be willing to do that for them, as well.  Being a good friend requires having a willingness to grow and bond over new experiences.  After all, no two  people are ever exactly the same.  Everyone comes in to a relationship with their own set of experiences and beliefs that can impact the way they view certain situations. Celebrate those differences, encourage others to pursue what makes them happy and enjoy the ride as they find their place in this world.

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I’ll leave you with one final thought, which happens to be an excerpt from an exceptional author.  Read these words and try to let them really sink in.  It took me a long time before I finally got the gist of what he meant.

Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.  Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.  Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.  Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf.  Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are along though they quiver with the same music.  Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.  For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.  And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow. ~ Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

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I love you more than you will ever know.  To the moon and back.

Love always,

Mommy

ps. Happy 9th Anniversary, Tim! Thank you for always supporting me and encouraging me and for helping me find my hobby!

 

“Room, Rooms!” and a Daddy Day!

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It’s that time of year again! Every summer my husband prepares for his annual visit to a local Corvette show that just happens to be one of the biggest ones in the country! If you remember my blog post from last year about Corvettes, you know that a love of Corvettes is something that I married in to. Much like families are known to be “beach people” or “snow bunnies”, we are a family of “Corvette people.”

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My husband and daughter spent some time Wednesday preparing our Corvette for the journey to the show this weekend. It was sweet to see my husband and daughter working together (although Rachel spent more time playing with the bubbles than actually washing the car) to get the car as shiny and sparkly as it could be. As with most things related to Corvettes and the car show, I can’t help but think of my father-in-law during this time of year. I know he was smiling down on us as Tim and Rachel washed the car together, much like Tim and his father used to spend days preparing their cars for the Corvette show together. I’m sure he would love to see that tradition be passed down and carried on between the two of them. To hear Rachel run over to the Corvette every day and say “room, room Daddy!” would just melt his heart. What can I say? It’s in the genes and she is her Daddy’s girl…

Don't worry safety friends...my husband was given strict instructions to only put the top down just before he turned onto our street! Rachel LOVED it!

Don’t worry safety friends…my husband was given strict instructions to only put the top down just before he turned onto our street! Rachel LOVED it!

My husband and daughter spent an entire day together at the Corvette show while I stayed home and continued to prepare and rest for Baby #2, who will be joining us any day now. I have to admit, I was pretty surprised when my husband suggested he wanted to take Rachel somewhere for an entire day by himself. With Rachel expressing her independence more frequently these days (as most toddlers do at this stage), outings can sometimes be hit-or-miss experiences. A wonderful time was had by all, and I was left wondering why I was even surprised by my husband’s insistence that they go together. Could it really have happened any other way? Not in this family…

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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Christmas time is here! We have been busy decorating our home for the holidays and also preparing for sweet Rachel’s first birthday party! I am excited to get together with family and friends soon to celebrate the birth of our sweet babe.  The past few weeks have been  a blur with work, home, my grad class I am taking and taking care of Rachel who has had four ear infections in the past two months! I’m hoping this latest round of antibiotics has put her on the rebound for good.  These ear infections are no fun at all!

This past week brought us Rachel’s first visit from St. Nicholas! It’s a good thing Mommy remembered to put out her shoes so St. Nicholas would be able to come and leave her a treat.  No candy this year, but a book is just as good in my opinion!

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With all the busyness that this time of year brings, my husband thought it would be a good idea to take his girls out on a breakfast date.  This morning we all got ourselves together bright and early and headed out to one of our favorite places.  As you can see, Rachel is quickly losing interest in puffs and baby food and is starting to prefer real and flavorful food.  Can you blame her? This Cobblestone muffin was delicious!

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Have a great week, everyone!

Little Red Corvette!

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My father-in-law loved Corvettes. My husband loves Corvettes. So it only makes sense that my daughter would love Corvettes too! From the time my husband was a little boy until the time my father-in-law passed away several years ago, they would spend their time taking care of “their” ’87 and ’69 Vettes.

My father-in-law with his first Corvette

Not only did they spend weekends driving them, or cleaning them (for fun, I might add…strange, I know!) they also would spend time together visiting Corvette shows around the area and even entering the cars into competitions. The ’87 Corvette was usually the car chosen to take to shows and enter in competitions as it was the easier of the two cars to maneuver and drive any significant distance.

My husband and father-in-law circa 2007

However, the ’69 with all it’s loud rumblings and nostalgic throwback feel to it has always been my favorite of the two. She (yes, I call her a “she” because she is so pretty in my eyes, it seems to flow better than “he” in conversation) is harder to start and more difficult to drive so it is always a treat when she makes an appearance. This past week she has been at our house for an extended stay in our garage while my mother-in-law’s garage was getting some new appliances put in. For as much of an inconvenience as it was to have my car moved out to the driveway, it was a pretty sight to see every morning in my garage.

Seeing that old Corvette always reminds me of my father-in-law and I smile to myself because I know how proud he would be of my husband and how happy he would be to see us now. I also think he would be pleased to see our ’04 Corvette sitting right beside it in the other garage bay! I can almost hear the chuckle now. I know he is still around us and it’s times like today when we have the Corvette out and are putting air in the tires and are revving that old engine that I can really feel him around.

I know my father-in-law would love everything about this little babe!

Some people are surprised to hear that we have three Corvettes. Two were inherited and one was purchased as a celebration for getting my first teaching job. Some people have dinner to celebrate, we buy a Corvette. That is what I signed up for, I guess. Corvettes. It runs in the family. It flows through the veins. And instead of tears, the sound of a loud rumble makes my baby girl’s arms start going and her voice start squealing! She is her Daddy’s girl through and through!

…And so the tradition lives on for at least another generation. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

The Best Things In Life Are Free

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What a whirlwind of a week it has been! The first week of school has left me feeling a mixture of emotions ranging from sadness (about leaving my girl) to excitement for the upcoming school year and just about everything in between.  The mornings this week seemed to get harder instead of easier for me as the days went on. By the end of the week, I felt like a kid counting down the minutes until Christmas when I thought of spending all weekend with my baby.  Rachel, on the other hand, spends her days as happy as a lark as I am told, so atleast I do not have to worry about her! I know that she is very happy during the day and that is very much a relief to me.  Please pray that it gets easier for me to say goodbye to Rachel in the morning.  I LOVE my job and my students (and even their families!) and am so thankful for being able to teach in a school I love with so many great colleagues around me,  but I never thought saying goodbye to my little one would be SO hard to do!

This weekend I have had the chance to relax, sleep in and snuggle, snuggle, snuggle! I can’t believe how fast my girl is growing, it seems as if she learns something new every day! She went from crawling to standing to “cruising” to clapping in what seemed like a matter of seconds! With time moving so quickly, I wanted to be sure that we had some good “meaningful” play in together this weekend.  There is nothing that I look forward to more than sitting on the floor and playing with Rachel.  It is the highlight of my day everyday!

Since we moved last December we have accumulated tons and tons (and I mean tons!) of moving boxes.  Most of them have been taken apart and stored in our attic incase we ever move again–even though I swore last December that we would never move again!  Moving at any point is stressful, but we chose to do it two weeks before Rachel was born and it totally pushed me over the edge! I will never move again!! Unless it’s somewhere that has a beach, in that case, I’d pack up in a nano-second!

Since Rachel is crawling pretty quickly these days, I thought she would enjoy a simple obstacle course to crawl through.  We brought some boxes into our living room and propped both ends open and the fun began!

At first Rachel was a little unsure of what she was supposed to do.  At one point she even collapsed the box and started patting it.  After explaining to her that she is supposed to crawl through the box, not break it (yes, she’s very advanced ;)) I decided to use the flaps on the end to play “Peek-A-Boo” with her hoping to distract her from her recent box breaking discovery.

Once she started laughing and giggling from our “Peek-A-Boo” game, all she wanted to do was crawl over to me! Leave it to “Peek-A-Boo” to get her motivated to crawl through! Once she figured out how it worked, she spent quite a bit of time crawling from Mommy and then back to Daddy and Zeus waiting for her on the other side. Who said toys have to be expensive? You never know what you might come up with when you “think outside the box!”

What are some fun and inexpensive play activities you have tried?

Vroom! Vroom! Vrooooooom!

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Playing with her carseat toy! She’s ready to go see Daddy!

Rachel and I had a good time with cars today.  First we drove down to meet Daddy for lunch during his lunchbreak. The drive is about 30 minutes away and it is mostly a highway drive.  At one point Rachel was doing her naptime “battle cry” as we like to call it,  and I had to pull off the interstate to find her pacifier.  After a few minutes of searching what seemed like everywhere, I found it.  Somehow it became lost underneath her body, not sure how it got there but as soon as it was in her mouth she nodded off to sleep.  We got back on the interstate and away we went for attempt number 2 to meet Dad!   🙂

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We met at one of our favorite places to eat and had a great time. Tim and I were able to have a “mini-date” while she slept.    Rachel was so surprised to see Daddy in the middle of the day!  She woke up partway through lunch with a big smile on her face when she saw Daddy! Tim was drinking a milkshake,  and despite Rachel’s pleas and attempts at grabbing his drink she was not allowed to have any! Sorry babe, not yet!

When we came home we played in her first “Corvette.” I took a delivery box from Amazon and drew a car on the sides (you’ll have to excuse the artwork, but as I tell my kindergarten students “It doesn’t matter how it looks, as long as you try your best!”).  Very simple and inexpensive and it has kept her entertained for most of the evening! Some day when she’s older and wants this and that, I’ll have to remind her of the “simple days” when all she needed was a box and a blanket! 😉

These are the days….

Tee Time With Daddy

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Excited for her first trip to the driving range!

With the weather being so hot and humid lately it has been difficult to really spend much time outdoors enjoying the summer sun.  I might be a little paranoid about having her out in the heat too long, or getting a sunburn or all the other things new Mom’s worry about, but I’d rather be safe than sorry! We have spent the last few days cooped up inside playing (very happily, I might add!) with our toys.  Summer time is winding down and I am enjoying every bit of my time with my sweetie before school starts again in a few weeks.  Tim has been wanting to stop by the driving range for quite some time now, so tonight Rachel and I decided to tag along with Daddy for an evening trip to the driving range.  Rachel had a great time watching Daddy play golf while also playing with her toys.  We brought her dinner along and she had her first “picnic” dinner while we were out.  All in all, it was a great time and I’m sure this is just the first of many golfing trips with Dad! ❤

Smile pretty, Rachel!

Watching Daddy practice

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Have a great week, everyone!