Fathering

There’s this really great thing we have going on at our house – it’s a balance that sometimes seems so messy and so perfect all at the same time. The fathering part of our lives is something pretty special.

We’ve talked about it before, Greg being a stay-at-home-dad. It’s a semi-unique challenge as we’ve flipped society’s standards for marriage and family life. We’ve had the fights, we’ve heard the opinions, and for now, Greg being the primary caregiver for our kiddos is what works. (That’s not to say he won’t be getting a job any time soon – we’re trying to attack our debt head-on, so perhaps more to come on that later.)

But this fathering thing that he does is pretty spectacular. Do the dishes and laundry always get done? No, but are the kids happy and healthy? Yes. Do the kids sometimes run to him first when they have a boo-boo? Yes! Does Greg struggle with his role and the challenge it brings for friendships and meeting “my expectations”? Sure, but do we have good thing together? Yes. Yes. Yes.

Greg, I know I don’t always show my gratitude for you being the one who carries the brunt of the household or that I get on you about always being “the good cop” or I don’t understand how it must feel to be financially dependent on me. But what I do know is that your fathering heart, your passion for the outdoors and fun, and your way of being you mean so much to me and our kids. Thank you for fathering and doing this crazy life with me. Happy Father’s Day!

 

Love the bag Greg is lounging on? You can get your own here!

Seven Springs Surprise

Friday was a positively gorgeous day. I enjoyed a few moments after work with my co-workers, treated myself to an iced coffee with coconut milk, and headed home. I had no idea what Greg had waiting for me.

Usually when I open the door I am greeted by the Bigs and the dogs, one or all of them typically pushing the Twins out of the way to get to me first. On Friday, I was greeted by silence. The house smelled incredible and everything was in its place. Assuming the Twins were napping and the kids coloring, I snuck to the living room to find no babies. Greg was in the kitchen smiling like a kid on Christmas.

He’d surprised me, planned a Seven Springs surprise getaway on his birthday weekend. After some stressful months and almost two years with no more than a handful of (non-consecutive) nights away from the Twins, it was time for us to get some alone time.

I cried.

Then I asked if he was kidding.

Nope. He’d planned this all behind my back, conspiring with my parents and brother to take care of the kids. We’d been saving some gift cards I’d won in a few contests for just the right time and here it was.

Friday night we stayed home and enjoyed a 3-mile bike ride, time in the hammock, pizza, and some tv. Saturday morning he woke with me and the sun for a run (3.1 for him, 7 for me). It was amazing to run with him and not worry about the kids and their bikes, we hadn’t done that in almost three years.

We headed up the mountain I grew up on and enjoyed a sunny, warm, and beautiful ride into God’s masterpiece. Along the way we talked, really talked, about things that didn’t have to do with work, money, diapers, or our hectic schedule. I felt so alive.


His plan to have some laughs played out- we made it in time to catch about half of the Pond Skim. I’ll admit, it was hilarious and I know he enjoyed it tons.

Next, I was whisked away to the Trillium Spa where I had an afternoon of treatments. I was spoiled (and reminded “happy wife, happy life” when feeling guilty over it being his birthday). The spa is the best I’ve ever been to and service was like no other. In fact, I still feel chill days later. A bath, wrap, and massage later, I met up with my husband who got to catch a nap.


After enjoying some views of the slopes (people were skiing in t-shirts!), we had dinner (which promptly made me curl in a ball because I couldn’t resist the gluten, lesson learned).

Sunday was a leisurely morning of breakfast and heading home. Reality set in when we had to stop for diapers, but gosh did we miss those girls and their sister and brother. Soon enough, we were enjoying time with them at our (Greg, Ava, Isla, Mom, and my) birthday dinner at Fortune Star, a family tradition.

This surprise was exactly what we needed…and we hope to continue to get the chance to sneak away every now and again. Thanks, Dad, Mom and Jack!

Unconditional

This morning, I had a gut check with Greg about us. He has no idea that is what it was, but it confirmed his unconditional love and acceptance of me.

We’ve been hearing about Me to We, ways to strengthen our marriages as to honor God, at church. Every week, a new focus and lesson finds us pulling closer together. Maybe that’s why this moment this morning worked like it did.

I needed to talk right that moment because something was bothering me in between pangs of pain from a toothache. This something could turn quickly into big thing that really could have an impact on our family (in a way I do not want) and if I didn’t talk to someone it was going to end in an anxiety attack. Thank goodness I was working from home. The problem for most people is that my husband was not really available in a place many would dare venture, but I barged in and sat on the side of the tub and let my tears and fears flow.

He put down the phone and listened, unconditionally. Easing my fears, making me feel worthy of his attention, his eyes connected with mine. He didn’t offer his tips for resolution any further than giving me a sense of sanity in my situation.

In that moment, Greg filled my cup and made me remember why I fell in love with and married him, why I’ll be staying with him forever. His love for me and my imperfections is unconditional.

While we may not always see eye to eye // don’t fit society’s typical marriage dynamic // cheered against in each other in a basketball game this afternoon // are not built the same // aren’t wired the same … we are just right for each other.

In a world where women are making a real difference and vying to be equal, I want to encourage you that finding a oneness with your life partner is also important to this balance, too. My mother-in-law shared how a bird’s wings (man and woman) must be equal to soar – and it’s so true, thus why I work to be the best part of our pair of wings that I can be.

Me & Greg – soaring as one at the Aviary’s Condor Court

Interested in a study on relationships? We highly recommend “Relatable” (affiliate links help us and our nest!).

Loving

I’m ending November  (a month of gratitude) with one of the things I am most grateful for, loving. And Loving, too.

Without the courage, patience, and love between Richard and Mildred Loving, what Greg and I have would be illegal. We would be hiding our family, or might not even be us at all.

Not familiar? This couple won a Supreme Court case against Virginia (1967). It was a landmark civil rights case that made interracial marriages legal. More so, it protects children of marriages like ours (and Greg’s parents), from being illegitimate and having no rights as heirs. Basically, it gives us the ability to be us. 

On Friday, we got a chance to see a limited release showing of the movie of their story, Loving. We don’t treat ourselves to movies, but this one was worth it. And even though I was tired and coming down with a cold, I was grateful to hold my man’s hand and that we could wipe each other’s tears openly in public.

It meant everything.

Just Another Thursday

Today is just another Thursday. It’s been a busy week of work and play and VBS, and we’ve just about made it through to another weekend.

Crazy how time flies these days. The weekends, always faster than ever, right?

Last night, our cell phone service was down. This isn’t usually a problem, but Greg and my brother were off buying things they need for the fence building that is taking place this weekend. There were questions that needed answered and my bars just glared at me in emptiness. Instead of taking the time to be thankful for the blessing, I got upset and took to the Twitters. Sigh. So many books to read, words to write, and there I was complaining about undistracted time to do them.

But anyways, it leads to the fact I wanted to share this sweet photo of Greg and Ava with you this week. It was taken last weekend while we were shopping for things we need to can his garden goodies. Ava still loves being worn in her ring sling, but she wears best with Daddy. Isla and I are working on her getting calmed down enough to enjoy it. It’s a process with our wild child, I tell you.

Greg_Ava

 

Tonight’s a tiny break in the hustle and bustle – Greg and I are headed out to a special place in my heart, Emelia’s Garden (which I know better as Friendship Garden Tea Room).  If you know what I am talking about, tell me what was your favorite memory at (or around) the restaurant? Anyone know mine?

Next thing you know, Ava’s granddaughters are going to be telling stories of their Great Grandma like I am sure I will be telling stories of my Great Grandma to Greg tonight. Life is short, Heaven is forever (just a little reminder). Spend your moments and days in things that make you happy.

xoxo

Transformation Tuesday: The Zoo

When we realized that there was a photo of Greg and Arianna from July 2, 2010 that looked exactly like what a photo of Greg and Isla would look like, we decided to go to the zoo and grab another photo.

zoocollage

One, hasn’t Arianna grown up so (way too) much?

Two, I think that Isla and Arianna are the twins, just six and a half years apart, right?

Three, don’t we all wish we could age like Greg?

Sigh.

Gifts for Men: JORD Wood Watch

*articles may contain affiliate links* This post, Gifts for Men: JORD Wood Watch, is one such review post. 

gifts for men JORD Wood Watch

We all know that guy. The one who when it comes time to buy a gift for, you really don’t know what to get. You try really hard to find unique gifts for holidays like Father’s Day, but it is nearly impossible. Please tell me it’s not just me.

This year, I had some help finding Greg a Father’s Day gift. The JORD Wood Watch is one of those gifts for men that is just right for that guy who has everything. I say this, and my husband is the one who broke his last watch five years ago break-dancing so…you really need to trust me.

wood watch

Okay, I just admitted that my husband broke his last watch yet I gifted him a wood watch for Father’s Day. That’s right. When I saw the Ebony & Rosewood watch in the DOVER series, I just knew it was something he’d actually take care of and wear with pride. His first reaction was that it would be reserved for big things (like weddings – except the break dancing sessions, funerals, and poker nights), but he’s come to LOVE his watch and wear it around the kids and when he’s admiring all the hard work he’s put into his garden (but not while working in it!).

fathers day gift

While I was browsing the watch options (and trying to pick just one…), I came across this value of JORD:

TELLING MORE THAN TIME

The value of a watch is not in being able to tell how much time has passed, but in being aware of the need to make that time count. Moments are bigger than minutes and your watch should tell more than time.

That’s why I picked the watch I did. It is sleek yet contrasting, a watch the will stand out and be a reminder to Greg to live in the moment he’s in, making the moments count. Watching the movements of the gears between the black background and crystal clear glass, I hope he’ll make big moments happen with us for a long time to come.

ebony rosewood

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JORD Wood Watches was gracious enough to share a giveaway with my readers! To enter, please click this link (https://www.woodwatches.com/g/lilburghers) and fill in your information by June 12, 2016.

Giveaway Details: There will be one winner chosen at random by our computer and it will be for a $75 e-voucher, and everyone who enters *(excluding the winner) will get a $20.00 e-gift card that can be applied to any watch on our website. The winning e-voucher will be expire 1 month after the ending date. The ending date for this giveaway will be 6/12 which still gives enough time to order for Father’s Day (if order is placed same/next day).

Good luck!

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JORD Wooden Watches