The Raw Insight of Marriage or Any Couple

It has been a while since I have blogged. I have had some bumpy months. Although these past months were filled with many emotions and lessons I can honestly say that I do not regret them. I have to see the silver lining. The bottom line throughout all of these months: I learned again that the man that I married is not only my best friend, but my absolute heart.

Marriages always have their ups and downs, the secrets, and the greatest of memories. Every one is always so full of advice but no one ever wants to get down to the grit of it. No one tells you that you will have to learn to forgive and in some cases, forget. They hide the fact that some times you have to refresh things and some times, fall in love again. They lie about going from being in a relationship to getting married changing things. They also lie about how much children change things.

I feel as a mother it will be my sole responsibility to educate my children when they embark on a life of marriage or partnership with a person about the muck no one else wants to tell them. I felt like I had a curtain pulled away from my eyes when I had my first son, and now that I have been with my husband for fourteen years, I feel that the blurred is now sharp. Do I feel bitter? No. I feel enlightened.

Throughout the turmoil and the days when I felt like I could not possibly stand on my own two feet I found that I have angels at my back pushing me up and an extra set of hands and feet are keeping me pillared. My husband has been the mountain that never bowed even when I tried to knock him over. It is very true when you build a life with a lover that if they really love you they will stay no matter what (and I am not talking no matter what in cases of abuse, etc.) He stayed. He pushed. He held. He wiped tears. He yelled. He soothed and he said nothing.

There are times when we do not give our partners enough credit, or credit at all, when it should be given. We are not perfect and forget things, say things, and do things. What is important is to say that you are sorry, mean it, forgive, and move on. -And some times, forgive eventually. You are cultivating a friendship, a deep bond, not just a marriage. One does not drop when the other one starts and so many people lose sight of this and that is when a marriage can fail or break through the barrier.

I have a deeper respect for those that have successfully stayed together for many, many years. What I mean by successful is that they still are very much in love and not just living in the same house together. I understand that there are so many things that can break a couple apart. So many tragedies and some things that people are not willing to forgive and let go–BUT–I consider losing a pregnancy right under the worst things that could tear a couple apart (the first being the loss of a child). With that said, our loss could have torn us apart, but it did not. I cannot for the life of me look back and reason how it did not, because every thing seems like a blur. I only know without any doubt that if it were not for the man that I married I would not be where I am today.

I had always wondered before what people meant when they said they fell in love all over again and often thought “why would you need to?” I get it now. If we are lucky it happens over and over and with it comes a much stronger love than before. Even if it means climbing up the mountain, climbing out of quicksand, and swimming through the strongest currents. Sad to say that it also means there will come a time when you must tell people, no matter who they are, to stay out, and learn to ignore opinions and chatter. A relationship belongs to you and your partner, no one else, and in the end, it is yours not their life that you have to live. It is absolutely worth it when a connection is rendered unbreakable. There goes that saying, “If you can make it through this, you can make it through any thing.” Absolutely true. At least they did not lie about that.

 

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Photo Credit: Valerie Vasquez

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Get Ready Set, Spring!

Do you ever feel like your calendar consumes you? I have, we have, been so busy lately with events and unplanned things that finding time for just ourselves seems out of view sometimes. I cannot even blame the kids and say it is their friends with all the birthday parties. It is actually our friends and family with the weddings, babies, and birthdays. I enjoy these things for the most part, but I also cannot wait for a break!

Just May alone has some thing planned every weekend. We have a private mini-vacation, just the husband and I, the first weekend of June and we cannot wait! We are so excited, as this is our first vacation alone in some years, and we need the break from every day life. I am fearful that this summer will run past me while I am busy attending all of these events. Yet, I am grateful there is so much to celebrate this year.

I am really starting to get a new meaning for the word “home”. It just takes on a whole new shape when it becomes your absolute sanctuary. As beautiful as the weather gets on some days, these are the days I am more than happy to have a few windows open and just relax indoors with my family. It seems like the winter lull kept us indoors and now the spring freshness has us running the streets. Funny how that works! We crave for better weather and to be able to stay outside, but when it gets here sometimes we need a break from that too! However, this is only the beginning of a wonderful season. It has started off with a bang for my family, and I hope it ends just as well for mine and yours. Image

Muting the Background Noise

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Lately, I have been discovering the importance of taking time to myself. I have three boys, and although it sounds like a lot, it does not seem so most of the time. There are days when it is more than I could have imagined, but nevertheless, it makes things fun and different. I can go day-to-day without ever skipping a beat, but every now and then a wrench is thrown into the spokes and I have to stop to gather myself.

I know some people think “How can you need a break? You do not even work?” A full time mom is a lot of work mentally, physically, and emotionally. You cannot put it down and pick it up the next day. Add to it the daily nuances and the once-in-a-blue-moon drama that occur from one angle or another…some times the pressure builds, and it becomes too much. In order to release the stress in a healthy manner I choose to venture away from home. It helps me clear my mind and not even think about some things without the background noise. It is that breathe of fresh air we all need every-so-often to renew ourselves.

There are some moms that think, “How can you need a break?” and some husbands whose first reactions are, “what is wrong here at home?” It is not the kids, it is not the husband, it is not the home environment. It is the need to step away and recharge, gain clarity, and take the pressure out elsewhere instead of on your loved ones. It is the simple pleasure of not having some one tugging at you, beckoning you, and just simply being able to think in one direction or not at all if you want. Go ahead and think, “Why not exercise or some thing?” I do. Five out of seven days of the week. It is my normal. I need some thing different. Is that too much to ask or do on occasion? And by myself if I choose? I do not think so. It is very important to not forget yourself, your own individual self.

Helping Hands

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I have three little boys sick with colds. Plus one is teething. To say that I am exhausted is an understatement. Today has been filled with an early rise to wash my floors since my four year old decided to “wash” them for me last night with hand soap. I had to start the laundry and clean the bathroom. Let’s not forget I also start my dinner early because my four month old requires a lot of attention right now. Normally, I do all of these things any ways, but when your kids are sick and they keep you on your feet it becomes a day filled with ‘have to’ instead of ‘normals’. 

My nights are currently filled with some ones little foot jarring me in the back or a child crying for mom. It is those moments you do not dare try to get daddy to go instead because they are sick and want mommy. It is important that you respond to them and it is vital that you reassure your own worries that they are fine and sleeping.

I can never fall asleep right away after tending to one of them. It takes my body a while to come down from the initial jump start which makes it even harder to get out of bed come morning. It is these days that I anticipate the quick passing. It hurts me to see my children in pain of any sort and just miserable. Especially my four month old. He is too little to give any thing and some times home remedies are not enough.

Of course, the worst part of having a house full of sick kids is the aftermath. I get to clean every thing all over again and disinfect. Do not forget to air out the house either. The thing I loathe the most, my body completely says, “Okay, now it is your turn to crumble.” -And I do. Despite my efforts to remain healthy. I end up getting wiped out and depending on my husband to man the bases.

Of course, through all of this there is a silver lining. I have heard that it takes a village, but I never really understood until these moments. I call in reinforcement. I know that if I do not get better soon which requires good rest, it will be a disaster. These are the days and weeks I am completely thankful that not only is my husband a great partner, but my mom, my sister, and mother-in-law become life savers. They do not try to over-parent me, but do exactly as I ask, help. When that time comes for me to become a grandma I pray that my kids let me return the many helping hands that I had while raising them. This is one of many things I constantly remind myself I MUST keep in rotation.

Small Helping of Gratitude

I could easily be one of those people that over looks the effort my loved one gives to me. Thank goodness, I am not. Every day I am thankful my husband takes the time to play with the boys, or to help me around the house. Through other social networks, I have noticed that I am lucky to have such a wonderful spouse. It seems he is a rare type of father and husband.

When I first started dating my husband his character was very important. I paid attention to the details. How did he treat his mother? How was he with kids? What was his work ethic like? I do not know why I did this at such a young age, but I am so happy I did. I picked a winner. If ever I have a daughter I most certainly will teach her to do the same.

Yet, I still wonder, how can some people take for granted the small things? I know some have O.C.D. and it can greatly interfere with relationships. I was very picky before about a lot of things. After watching the demise of some relationships close to me I learned…it does not matter. If I needed some thing to be cleaned so what if it was not done my way. So what. It was done. Some times I had to walk away while he cleaned some thing so that it would not irk me, but eventually it did not bother me at all.

I learned: Accept the help and be grateful.

Gratitude! What a word. It holds so much meaning and too many are not familiar with the word. Which leads me to believe this is the sole reason why they take people for granted. They were not taught the simplicity of gratitude. Some thing I will take great strides to instill in my children: be grateful. Even the smallest things count.

My husband does not have to be late for work and take the extra five minutes to play with my sons, but he does. Such a small thing to play for five minutes means the world to my son. Who knows, maybe it creates a memory they will have forever. Either way, I am one lucky and grateful lady.

The Family Bond that Feeds

While growing up, my mom taught us kids many things. Her motto was “never depend on any one for any thing.” Basically, do it yourself. If you do not know how, learn how. She taught me to sew, to quilt, do my own laundry, iron, clean, and on occasion I would learn to do some handy man work. I was surprised at the many people I have come across that never learned to iron, or to even cook basic things. To be honest, I hated when she made me cook. I could not stand the sight of raw meat. I mean come on! Hamburger meat looks like a bunch of maggots mushed together. The smell of the flesh, just yuck! Do not get me started on the slimy feel of it all. –But I did it any ways.

For the longest time I did not eat meat or poultry. It really turned my stomach at the thought of it. Eventually, I met my husband at the ripe young age of sixteen. He is Hispanic just as I am–partly. They loved meat. If you do not eat at a Hispanic event it is like a major sin. Needless to say, I ended up eating meat again. I believe what changed my perspective on cooking in general was watching his mother cook. I saw that the family gathered around her food. I saw the love it brought to the house. I saw the importance of her role as the provider of such wonderful meals. I wanted to have that for my family one day. Not that my mother did not cook, she did. It just took me watching an outsider to teach me this different aspect on cooking.

Now, I cook a lot and I love it! I absolutely adore making food especially from as close to scratch as possible. I get major joy from hearing it was delicious and an even greater pleasure when my picky little eaters love it, too. Whomever said, “the way to a person’s heart is through the stomach” was not lying. I see the way it helps keep my family together around the table. Even some of my fondest memories from growing up are of my family eating together. It makes perfect sense.

I cannot wait until my three boys are old enough and not so picky to enjoy most of my food creations. I am sure they will eat me out of a house and a home, but I hope they understand I do the things I do as a mom, as a wife, with love and intentions to keep our family bond closely knit. After all, as I have said I learned meals do feed the heart and soul of a family.

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