About a year and a half ago I decided that I needed to lose some weight. I’m not terribly overweight (though my wife saw a chart at her doctor’s office and, according to it, I am obese. She likes to tease me about it) but I have gained some weight since we were married. I started to walk in the mornings before work and recently I’ve finally decided to modify my diet slightly. When I ran across this cartoon by Randy Glasbergen I had to share it. He’s got some really good cartoons on his site (glasbergen.com) but this one rang true to me. This just reminded me so much of my wife and how she is supportive of my “creative” approach to losing weight. Enjoy!
My family has been sick for the last few days. I mean really sick. They have all had those colds that just put you out of commission. I have been fighting hard to not get it as well (I think I'm losing that battle though) as I have tried to take care of them. Sunday was the worst day of it. My wife was feeling really horrible; exhausted, achy, stuffed-up, with a really bad cough. I stayed home with her and the children most of the day caring for them so that she could rest up and recover. Thankfully it worked. By yesterday morning she was feeling much better, not 100% but better.
As I tried to take care of everyone I reflected on how much my wife does to keep our home and family running. I know that she is amazing and does a lot, much more than I even know, but sometimes I need a reminder of just how tirelessly she works. Sunday was that reminder. The dishes are never done. Each time you finish washing them within minutes there is a new dirty dish in the sink. The kids need and demand nearly constant attention and with three children it is difficult to balance getting things done and dedicating sufficient time to them. If you clean a room and then leave it the kids will have it messy again within ten minutes. I think that children have some kind of internal mechanism that helps them sense when a table or counter is clean because you barely finish wiping it off and suddenly it's sticky again or has crayon shavings or bread crumbs on it. It is a constant battle to keep our home habitable. She fights this battle everyday (typically with far too little help from me) and wins almost every day. After one day of this struggle I was exhausted. I truly do not know how she does it day in and day out.
I am grateful that my wife and family got sick this past weekend. Not because I enjoy them being sick (or because I enjoy getting sick whenever they do) but because of the increased appreciation I have for my beautiful and capable wife. I could never do all that she does with half the expertise and any of the positive attitude that she maintains. She is amazing. I am grateful for her and all moms everywhere like her that put their families first and work so diligently to care for them. I love you sweetheart.
Autumn is such a beautiful season. I love where we live in Virginia because the leaves always change into such incredible and beautiful colors. It is amazing to look at the hills around us and see them seemingly on fire with color. The reds, yellows, oranges, and greens combined are breathtaking. Along with fall also come cooler temperatures, a little bit more rain, and shorter days. It’s harder to get things done in the yard but we have fun playing in the leaves as a family (we have several large oak trees in our yard so we have tens of thousands of leaves each year). My favorite part of fall, however, is spending time with my wife. With the cooler temperatures she is more amenable to cuddling with me so throughout the winter and early spring I get to snuggle with her on the couch as we watch movies together. The shorter days give us the opportunity to read more books together since we can’t really do anything outside in the dark. There is also a scenic drive through the hills in our area that we take together each year to enjoy the fall foliage. Despite all of this our spending time together is not unique to the fall. We find different ways and times to spend time with each other year round. Picnics in the summer, going out to dinner and theatre productions in the winter, long walks admiring the flowers in the spring; any time is a good time to spend with your spouse. Just find an excuse and seize it. Go have some fun.
I don’t have much “spare” time anymore. Between work, volunteering in my church, taking care of my family, and taking care of my house and yard I don’t have much time for anything else. Often my wife and I try and remember what it was like before we had children because they take up so much of our time now and we really can’t remember. Sometimes I try imagine what it would be like if we still didn’t have children (just out of curiosity, I love all three of them). What I picture is awfully empty and boring. While the children are exhausting and time consuming we know that not having them in our lives would be sad and boring. I don’t know what we did before our children were born. We laugh so hard each day because of the things they do and say. Here are a few of the more recent sayings and doings that we laughed about as we fell asleep last night (we do this often).
Our oldest will be five next month. He is in preschool and this week they are learning about the letter “T” so they cut out a letter T from some paper and then colored it like a tiger. I get home from work yesterday and he comes running up to me, T in hand, and here’s the conversation that follows:
Son: “Dad, we made a tiger today. Look tiger for T.”
Me: “That’s awesome! But you mean T for tiger, right?”
Son: “Yeah, that’s what I said. Tiger for T.”
Me: “T for tiger?”
Son (giving me an irritated and quizzical look at the same time): “yeah, tiger for T.”
Me: “Right, tiger for T. You did a great job.” And he walks away satisfied.
Our second son (we have three boys) is sitting next to his great-grandfather listening to him read stories. It’s early evening, a couple of hours before our son’s bedtime, and all of a sudden he just falls over, sound asleep. We call his name a couple of times; no response. It’s common for the kids to be playing, wide awake, and then all of sudden pass-out. It’s always adorable.
Our youngest, who is one, decided to put a large plastic bowl on his head yesterday afternoon and walk around the house. If he saw someone he would tip it forward so that it covered his face and then act a little bit sneakier; he was convinced that if he couldn’t see us then we couldn’t see him. It was like he had a bowl of invisibility. Then, suddenly, he would throw the bowl back and squeal. We, of course, were obliged to act surprised and he would laugh and laugh and then quickly pull the bowl back over his face and wander away returning every couple of minutes to “surprise us” again.
Children are wonderful. My wife and I try to record as much of their childhood as we can so they can see how weird/funny they were when they are older. But also, so that we don’t forget many of these small and simple experiences that make us love them even more. I’m grateful for my sons and don’t have any idea what I would do without them.