dogs, motherhood

This Guy

My voice rang clear as we zipped along the street towards home.  Seconds earlier I had declared, “This song is my jam.”

There is nothing more cringe-worthy than a parent stating that any song is their jam.

It’s kind of why I had to say it.  It’s kind of true that saying songs are my jam is kind of my jam because my boys think it’s weird.

But, on this day, I didn’t let that stop me.  On this day, I really did wanna dance with somebody.

Maybe even somebody who loves me.

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You know who loves me?  This guy.

 

humor, motherhood

The Lady of the House

I have always loved Mad Dog’s athleticism.  When we were dating, I would take great pride watching him from the sidelines as he crashed his way to the end zone for his touch football team.

Lately, he has been playing more and more basketball with the boys in our backyard.  These games consist of trash talk, spin moves and flagrant(!) fouling.

Yesterday’s game was no exception.  It was 1 v 1, Mad Dog against T.Puzzle.  I sat on our back porch and watched the glory unfold.  Full Speed was next to me spouting off the official referee calls as Mad Dog muscled his way towards victory.   One shot shy of the win, he dropped back deep on the pavement and launched a beauty.  It banked off the backboard slamming home the win.

Something about the whole thing reminded me of those good ol’ days of dating.  I’m not gonna lie, my stomach did some flips.

Mad Dog’s still got game.

At dinner in our post-game analysis, Mad Dog recounted that winning shot.

“I did it for my woman,” he said.

Both T.Puzzle and Full Speed asked, “Yeah, but was she watching?”

As in was Miss Lady watching?  As in, Miss Lady is clearly THE lady Mad Dog was showing off for and I was just a random spectator.

No doubt I can’t compete ….

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Miss Lady sprawls herself across Mad Dog’s lap in devoted adoration.
family, humor, kids, motherhood

I Would Walk 500 Miles (T.Puzzle Out)

Where we live, while awesomely close to downtown, having a yard is unusual.  Giant houses that take up every square inch of their lot are the norm.

I treasure my small backyard.  With so many statuesque trees flanking our streets, songbirds abound.  If I am really lucky, I might see a deer:

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Just kidding.  Our alley is being reworked so the only deer(e) I see cause quite a ruckus.

Besides the mild annoyance of construction noise, where we live is very fun.  We are a few blocks away from excellent restaurants.  We try to walk to meals out as much as we can.

Most of our family loves this.

T.Puzzle hates this.

He hates to walk anywhere.  To him it is slow, boring and ultimately pointless.

Seated at lunch last weekend, the four of us had walked to a new taco joint.  The food was great and the weather perfect for our outside table.

We debated if we would walk to get ice cream before hitting Target (yes! we can walk to Target!).  We didn’t want to push T.Puzzle’s attitude because we know better, and he is only a mild fan of ice cream, weird, I know.

“You up for walking for ice cream?” said Mad Dog.

Silence.

Then, slowly, T.Puzzle formed a response as his shoulders lifted in a slight shrug.

“I guess so.”

I read the meaning behind his words.

“Basically, T.Puzzle is willing to walk with us but he will be super depressed about it the whole time,” I said.  “Did I guess that right?”

“Yep,” said T.Puzzle.

This boy sugar coats nothing.

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motherhood

How to Train a Husband (It’s Not What You Think)

I was curled up in bed as another round of coughing wracked through my body.  I had been sick for four days and knew something was not right.  My body refused to heal and I couldn’t figure out why.

I had enough sense not to Google my symptoms.  In my weakened state any glimpse of doom I might read would derail any chance at wellness.

“Full Speed!”

I croaked out his name and asked him to join me in my room.  I asked him to Google dehydration for me.

He sat with me a long time.  He patiently read through each symptom discerning what he could share with me in my fragile state and what he could not.

After a few moments, we confirmed it.  I was dehydrated.  Full Speed helped me formulate a plan to get me feeling better.  He went and got me some Powerade.

This made me cry.

This confused him.

I went on to share that I was so proud of him for being a good caretaker.  I then confessed that the girl he may or may not have been messaging (he will neither confirm or deny this allegation), made me emotional.  Of course I am so happy he has found someone who has peaked his interest (or not), but I am sad he is no longer my ‘baby’.

This made me cry harder.  Torrents of tears and emotions poured out of me and nearly washed both of us away.

He continued to sit with me.

He listened.

He offered words of comfort and reassurance without judgment.

I said, “I don’t know if you realize this, but I am teaching you how to be in a relationship.  When your future (current?) girlfriend gets emotional you will be prepared.  You will know how to handle it just like you handled this situation with me.  In fact, you may wonder if ‘that’s all she’s got?’ because I admit, I may or may not be a tad more emotional than your average woman.”

With that, I let out even more tears.  When I was done, he twisted off the cap to my Powerade, handed it to me and left me with a hug.

As he left the room it hit me hard.

I was training him how to be a husband.

In my complete expression of what was in my heart and my mind, I was showing him how to sit with another’s vulnerability.

Showing Full Speed the truth of my inner world is a part of husband training.  The other half happened nearly two decades ago.  It started the minute I fell in love with Mad Dog.

At the time and being only twenty-four years old, I could not know how he would be as a husband and father years later.

He has far exceeded any expectation I ever had.

Every day he shows my boys what it means to be a husband.  They watch how he works tirelessly to provide for us and how he will do anything to make my dreams a reality.

When Full Speed clicked open that Powerade before he handed it to me, he did so after watching years of Mad Dog doing the same.

In no way am I saying that Full Speed is required to get married.  It is his life to live and it is frankly, none of my business.

My business is to stay truthful.  To continue to be authentic in how I live and love.

Sometimes I am embarrassed by how much emotion bubbles out of me at the most inopportune moments, but it is who I am.

In a way, this may be where my greatest strength originates.

I am lighting the way for love for both my boys.

True love.  The love that is most real.  The kind that endures the ups and downs of living a life together.

The kind that takes you on unexpected adventures but also finds your heart tucked safely inside gratitude simply by being together.

Exactly as we are.

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Mad Dog, thank you for taking me to see Michael Buble’.  You are the best.

 

 

 

humor, motherhood

60,000 Points

We all have our quirks.

In fact, I must have been at the head of the line when quirks got handed out.  They abound in my life.

Mad Dog has his, too.

One of Mad Dog’s in particular is his penchant for ‘beating the system’.  While he is known to splurge on occasion (hello, Nike Buckeye shoes of every make and variety), he LOVES to save money or credit card points.

It’s like a game to him.

For instance when we exited the Mavs game a few weeks back, we had to walk several blocks (cold, drizzly, rainy blocks), to save eight dollars on our Uber ride home.

I didn’t say I had to like the game, but I am aware it is happening.

Until sometimes I’m not.

I’m just not.

Life in the Big D has been tumultuous.  Some of it the natural byproduct of a move across the country, some of it by virtue of home renovation.

Leading up to our annual Buckeye cruise, I was neck-deep in supervising our master bathroom renovation (it’s still not done).  There is also a new-build next door which required our shared fence to be torn down.  In addition to all this fun, our back alley is under construction.  I am no longer allowed to park in my garage (for six months!) but the bonus is lots of clanging, continuous construction noise.

With all of this going on, I was ready to vacate, I mean, I was ready for a vacation.

So ready.

Beyond ready.

To readiness and beyond.

Mad Dog promised me (PROMISED ME), that all I had to do was make it through one more day of complete and utter chaos.  Although our flight would land after midnight, I would rest my head on luxurious pillows and bed linens at a top-notch resort.

I did my part.  I managed and I delegated.  I packed and I organized.  I oversaw and I directed.  I kept our dogs safe and alive.  I got our awesome sitter up to speed.

I rocked out harder than Queen at Live Aid.

I continued to crush it.  I navigated the airport with grace (take that social anxiety!).  I found my zen as our flight bumped its way through the atmosphere (take that fear of flying!).

I was a woman on a mission.  My singular goal consisted of getting to the hotel and to the best of my ability, leave my life of stress behind me and RELAX.

ha ha ha

It was 1:30 a.m. local time when we were dropped off at our hotel lobby.  The receptionist greeted us and proceeded to locate our reservation for the night.

This is where things went from hopeful to uh-oh.

She informed Mad Dog that we weren’t technically booked until the next day (meaning the coming morning).  Mad Dog, in his game beating glory, thought he could save points by counting 1:30 a.m. as EARLY CHECK-IN.

Yes, using a certain credit card and bonus points will get you early check-in BUT NOT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GODFORSAKEN NIGHT.

Mad Dog played it cool.  No problem.  He asked to book whatever available room they had.

ha ha ha

No rooms.  None.  Zero. Zilch.

No problem.  Our courteous receptionist said to have a seat and she would try to find us something nearby.

All up and down the coast for the next twenty miles WAS BOOKED SOLID.

By this time it was after 2 in the morning.

Eventually, Mad Dog found an available room about forty minutes away.  While waiting for our Uber to take us there, I unleashed my fury.

I could barely look at him.  I could barely share an Uber with him.

He tried to make light.

“This would be something for the blog.”

I glared at him and said, “Never.  I am never going to speak of this.  I am too angry.”

Ah, yes, but as we know, anger fades with time.  Often the worst situations end of being the most hilarious if we keep an open mind.

The next day (technically the same day as we didn’t end up going to bed until after three in the morning), I could start to see the traces of humor in our points-saving adventure (which technically didn’t save us anything with the addition of a 40 min Uber ride to and from our original hotel).

As we were seated around the pool having returned to our fancy hotel, I told Mad Dog as much.

“Someday, I will look back on this story and laugh … so will my second husband.”

That’s the thing about love, it has to be unconditional and forgiving.  You only can love an accept another to the extent you can love and accept yourself.

I must be doing okay on the self-acceptance part because I forgave Mad Dog pretty quickly.

We ended up having a fantastic cruise.  The time away helped me remember all the reasons why I fell in love with him.

Too numerous to count.