Ryan's absence began on Thursday when I took him to meet his grandparents half way between here and Henderson. We started off with a bang when Brody cried and threw everything I handed him for over an hour on our drive home. Friday and Saturday were good days because we had a few events planned, but those evening hours tend to be a little long when it's just you and all those weird noises and nothing good on TV. But, dawn came each morning and we were still here. Finally, on Sunday, my parents were coming back into Nashville from a trip and they rode with Brody and me to Chattanooga to visit for a few days. And, by the way, Brody and I were at church on time and I didn't have to take him out. We enjoyed our visit in Chattanooga playing with GiGi and Boompa! I got to see some old friends and a sweet little newborn baby boy and Micah and Trent's new house! It was nice to have someone help me chase my little ball of fire around every day. Brody and I headed home on Thursday morning to prepare for the arrival of Daddy!!! We started counting down the minutes...and then..a blessed sweet reunion at the airport with Ryan and Papa. We even parked the car and got in our new consignment sale umbrella stroller and waited at the proper arrival gate. (If you ever want to be in a good mood, go and stand at an arrival gate at the airport and watch the people anxiously waiting for their loved ones to arrive/return..it's sweet.)
We were so happy to have Ryan home for a million reasons. Mainly..I missed my best friend...Largely also..because he is a great dad and there is no perfect substitute for a good father and husband. Sure I have friends to spend time with, and yes, those grandparents are amazing helpers (thank you to all of you!), sometimes they may even be a little more energetic or forgiving, but Ryan is the best match for this parenting team. Shout out to single moms...bless you, and please, let me know when you need some help.
I am constantly reminded how important parents are and how important it is to really protect your marriage. I chose to be a wife, and I chose to be a mother. I have some really important jobs to do here. Reminders are all over the place that marriages are crumbling around us, and it's no secret that when children are involved things get hard. I am far from a perfect wife but I am going to hold onto this marriage tightly and do all I can to make my husband feel loved. Things are getting bad out there people, don't just assume you're marriage is safe from Satan's tricks. It isn't.
Now, since I have been married for almost 3 years, and am now an expert, here is my marital advice. In bullet point form, of course.. (personal experience and observation are the sources I used for this research)
- Greet your husband at the door when he comes home, or go all the way outside to his car door (This is even easier to remember to do if you have a young child that you have been at home with all day)
- If he ever comments on a picture of you from your honeymoon with long hair and a tan and says something like, "You were so pretty in that picture..." just get over the fact that he said "were" and say thanks, and then quit cutting your hair short and tell him to look forward to summer, and maybe put on a little blush
- Exercise (hot button topic?) You will be in a better mood if you exercise (especially if its outdoors), you will probably feel better about yourself if the results of the exercise are something you desire, the clothes in your closet are much more desirable if they fit you, and you will have more energy!
- Cook dinner-the more often, the better in this house-and don't ask for suggestions unless he really wants to request a favorite or something, they want to have to make meal decisions about as much as we do
- If your husband really likes for you to be in the same room with him almost every minute..live in a small house where there isn't anywhere to hide or watch a separate television
- Sit outside with him while he pulls weeds, you don't even have to pull any, just talk to him and tell him thanks for taking care of the yard
- Learn the names of some athletes or important financial people and throw names around in conversation occasionally
- When you encourage him to read a book that you just read, and he downloads the audio book instead..just listen to it with him, even though you just read it
- Pray together, read the bible together, hold hands in church
- Read before bed, whatever you want, and when he wants to talk to you about golf, guns, the Forbes 400, etc. try really hard to listen..and then say, please hold all other comments for at least 5 minutes
- Ask him if there are things that he wishes you were interested in and when he tells you something..get interested
- Don't just be room mates-live life together
- Talk, talk, talk! (I have always said that I am extremely blessed to be married to an open book, so for me this is easy, but if it isn't for you..just start working on it!)
- Tell him he's a good man..and he'll probably act like one
- Brag on him in front of others (it feels really good when he does it about you)
Now I know we're young and we have one child and that things are going to get tougher. But I'm going to be the wife that I promised God and Ryan I would be. Not alone, with His help. Let's encourage one another to work to keep our marriages strong and pray for one another! Share your words of wisdom with me and remember to pray for all of our marriages. If you see a storm ahead...do something now, before it hits.