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Gabs

 

I love the way you cup my face and kiss me when you are trying to make a sincere apology
I love the way you summons me from across the house only to tell me “Mommy! Close the doah , Me need PIRACY” when you’re taking a poop
I love the way you still say “Me” versus”I”. I really don’t care what anyone thinks. I wouldn’t mind if you said it your whole life through
I love that you are sarcastic at 3-years-old. Not jaded, just so above and over it all.
I love your unapologetic attitude.
I love your sense of style; rain boots ( the more colorful the better) a hooded pullover and a pair of bootie shorts on any given day of the year and about 13 hair clips and a couple self made crooked pony tails with about a handful of flavored chap stick to polish your look.
I love the way no matter what happens to you, its always your sisters fault..even if she isn’t even here!
I love the way you bite your lip just before you fall asleep ( just like Mommy did does)
I love the way when we first had you, you strongly resembled a sumo wrestler ( I wasn’t quite sure you were ours except for the fact you never left my room) but now you are a long, lean version of my little kid self.

 

I love the way when we get back from dropping Bella off from school, you wrap your legs and arms around me tight and always want me to carry you in like a little monkey from the car. I adore it!
I love the way when you are falling asleep, just before you completely crash, you move your lips in some imaginary conversation and practice your Karate kid crane style.
It’s also pretty funny that you like to sleep with your feet by your sister’s head..I’m pretty sure you do that on purpose to be an asshole but it is really cute to watch.
I love the way you run to your sister and give her the world’s biggest squeeze when we pick her up from school. Every drop off is like sending her off to war and every pick up is like she made it home in one piece.
I love that you want to do everything your sister does, even if you are too little.
I love your fearlessness and bravery.
I love that I am your “Mommy” and no one else seems quite good enough to you.
I love the way you randomly shake your bootie and try to get your sister to do the same.
I love that you announce to everyone…”I Faaahhhhh-ted!”
I love the way you always put your shoes on the wrong foot, the first time!
I love that when you are really tired you say ” Me want my Daddy!”
I love the way you air kiss me from across any room, no matter where we are or who is listening
There is so much about you that I love that I could write a book about it. You are my sunshine.

 

Bella

 

I love your big giant heart.
I love that you love big and do everything in a big way.
I love your flamboyance ( Satine from Moulin Rouge as a Birthday party theme at 5?)
I love your willingness and openness to new experiences and people.
I love how you came into this world and made me a better person for all time.
I love the way you always want to be all girlied up!
I love the way you say say “Shua” for “Sure”.
I love that you are timid but so brave.
I love that you befriend the little guy just so they won’t be alone.
I love that you are so unaware of your beauty.

 

I love your passion for life.
I love the way you walk around the house with my high heels and purses pretending to be me ; it makes me feel like I am someone worth being!
I love the way you snuggle with me, even though you are probably starting to think I am a dork:)
I love the way you say my name like I am the most important person in the world.
I love that to you I am the most important person in the world.
I love the way you think about what you say ” My Mom is way cuter than me!” (OMG..complete lie but so sweet of her to say. Even more, I love that she believes it!)
I love that you made me a Mommy and let me have the honor of knowing you.
I love the way your Daddy is your rock.
I love that you tell me I am your best friend ( I pray that never changes)
I love the way you light up when you dance ballet.
I love the way you watch over your sister.
I love that although you may not look like me exactly, you have my personality to a t!
I love that when I get excited about something that’s going on in my life, you get it and join right in on the celebration.
I love the way you hold my hand when I walk you to school.

 

 

I love the way you talk in your sleep about the things of the day.
I love our “Peace out/I love  you” sign.
I love the crazy songs we make up and sing together.
I love the way you harmonize and sing with your uncle while he plays the guitar or piano; I love the way you accompany your Grandpa when he plays Happy Birthday at all family birthday parties.
I love the way you draw pictures of you and I together holding hands.
I love all the girly things we do together; manis/pedis/facials, slumber party/ pizza night.
I love the way you are so blissfully unmarred by the world and exist in pure naivete.
I love that when you get hurt and I ask if you are going to live , you always answer ” Just always only with you Mommy!”
I love that you tell me that I am the best Mommy in the world.
I love how when you do something cute or crazy, you immediately ask “Are you going to BLOG about this?”
I love that when we have been separated ,for any amount of time, you run and scream my name and hug my neck like I’m returning home from a lon
g journey and nothing has ever made you happier!
I love how you look so sweet and peaceful when you sleep and I can still see that baby they first placed into my arms.
You are my heart. I love you to the moon and back 27 million times!



My Girls,How do I love thee? There are infinite reasons to count!

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It’s Valentine’s Day again. Seeing as my poor dear husband ends up on my Truthful Tuesday on occasion, I thought I should take this opportunity to exploit his perks as equally as I do his faults.So, honey, I’d like to say…
Thank you for being my husband for a decade, my boyfriend of 12 years, my best friend for a lifetime, my co-pilot on this crazy ride we call parenting for the past 5 years,my lover, my cheerleader, my shoulder, my comedian, my nurse, my doctor, my shrink (on occasion), my mechanic, my guy Friday,my chef, my coach,my conscience, my everything!
Thank you for loving me every single day and not just on Valentine’s day. Thanks for the million and one little gestures that show me that you love me. Thanks for looking me in the eye when we talk, thanks for allowing me the freedom and security to be myself (without judgment), thank you for listening, understanding, and caring in every way on every day!Thank you for saying just what I need to hear, at just the right time, even if I didn’t want to hear it. Thank you for holding my hair and holding my hand. Thank you for getting up in the middle of the night with sick babies, when I’ve been too exhausted to move.Thank you for telling me I’m beautiful when I’m full of pitocin and the baby wouldn’t drop. Thank you for your smile, your hugs, your kisses on my forehead when I’m sad.Thank you for my daughters. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for helping me survive and find solutions to the million little problems that seem to be a part of everyday life. Being happy and broke with you is better than being rich and unhappy with anyone else in the world. You are the man that I never knew that I always wanted.
When you walked me home that autumn night, long ago, I never would have thought that that would be the first day of my forever. We met as two naive,young college kids with endless possibilities in life but were both limited in our potential for happiness due to misguided decisions and misplaced trust in others.Before I met you, I never knew what true love was. Before you, it was me trying on my glass slipper. I tried a lot of those slippers on but none made me Cinderella. You came along and I was a princess. Suddenly,I was the most important, most beautiful, most intelligent, hottest, sweetest girl in the world….in your eyes.
I know I don’t say it enough, sometimes we just take for granted that someone who can finish our sentences can hear our thoughts, but you are my hero and my best friend. In your arms, I feel safe and loved.In your heart and with you always is where I belong.I love you! Thank you for loving me!

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love is, Difference between Love, like and Infatuation

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to explain sex to my girls but what about how to know the difference between love, like and infatuation? It’s actually a very important discussion to have with your kids but how many parents actually have it? I’ve decided that honesty is the best thing to do. I want open dialogues with them about everything.

How many times have you been in love? Like really in love. I thought I was “in love” about 3 times before I actually was. You see, the problem was that I didn’t know what real love was so I kept thinking I was in love but really it was a crush, infatuation, and love but not true, unconditional, forever love. But each time it felt like “love” until I pulled my head out of the love fog and could see it for what it really was.

There was lots of casual dating but each “love” was necessary for the learning curve. If I hadn’t experienced each time I thought I was “in love” I wouldn’t have had any barometer by which to measure when the real thing happened.

Don’t get me wrong, they all had their purpose and I wouldn’t trade any of the experience. Our experiences make us into who we are and if it weren’t for all of those false love alarms, I never would have known when I stumbled backwards into a really good guy and a healthy relationship.

What is the Difference between Love, Like and Infatuation?

Remember when you were in high school, maybe even college, and you fell in love and it was all consuming and insatiable? It was all you could think about and all you cared about. Anytime day or night, all you wanted was to be with that other person. You would have crawled inside of that person and lived if it were possible. Making love was truly an other worldly experience. You could not satisfy your craving for that person.

Remember those days when you were so in love that it hurt your stomach? When seeing that person was the most important part of your day? Remember thinking to yourself, or maybe even saying it out loud, I would die for you? And you meant it. If someone walked into the room and it came down to you and him, you would surely jump in front of that bullet because you loved him so hard that if he died life wouldn’t be worth living any ways, so why not sacrifice your life for his?

Were we stupid? Or was our baby brains just too consumed and overwhelmed by feeling love for someone other than our parents and complicated by all of those hormones that we just couldn’t process it? We knew our parents loved us and they would take a bullet for us so isn’t it logical that we take a bullet for the person who we love beyond all reason and comprehension? I used to think so.

I was one of “those” girls. I loved being in love. I loved loving someone and I loved the thought of someone loving me. Someone wanting me. Wanting to possess me. Someone not being able to live without me. It thrilled me. I believed that was the measure of true love. Someone willing to die for me. Anything less was bullshit. But as most teenagers, I was delusional. I saw undying devotion in the simplest of tasks. He pulled the chair out for me and cupped my face when he kissed me. He must love me. He surprised me with a single rose and my favorite candy at the drive-in, this must be “IT”. Wow, it’s easy to believe bullshit when you’ve never had the real thing, isn’t it?

Anyways, that passion was electric. It was the kind of “love” that had you feeling manic all the time. Coming from an actual person diagnosed with bipolar, that is saying something. I lived in that high to the exclusion of all else. Nothing else mattered and that was the measure of “real love” to me, for a very long time. I thought if it wasn’t all consuming and in crisis and threatened, it couldn’t be the real thing because the real thing was messy and it f*cked you both up beyond all recognition because that passion fire burns hot and high and hard, all.the.time. What I didn’t realize it that it burns out and leaves you both in a pile of ashes. If it was really  intense, it could almost kill you both. But, adult me realizes that is crazy. I don’t want love that kills me. That’s poison.

I learned to live on that high. I craved it as much as I craved love. Then I fell in real love and I realized what I was doing up until then, was accepting what I had been taught to believe was love from the dysfunctional example of my parents and from movies. I believed that for it to be “love” it had to be “go hard or go home” at all times because love is work and if you love someone, you have to be willing to love them so hard that it might kill them and you have to be willing to die for them. I was a child and when you are a child, the world works in absolutes but as I grew up, I realized that real love doesn’t live in absolutes. It thrives in the grey area.

How important is it to distinguish the difference between love, like and infatuation?

For me, it wasn’t about dying for someone or killing for them. It was about being willing to live for them. Not in the “everything I do is for you” way like in all of those sappy love songs that we swoon over when we are kids. I mean in the “I love you so much that I want as many days on this earth as I can get with you” way.  As a mother, it’s important to tell your precious daughters about dating guys so they can have a wonderful relationship.

In the way that makes the stupid things you’re doing fall away and life get clear. When I met my husband, I was a hot mess, in every sense of the word. I wasn’t even living my own life. I was living other people’s expectations and I was basing my happiness on someone else. Then I met the Big Guy. He put me first (maybe for the first time I had ever been first in my life) and my thinking shifted. I no longer had to be on the defensive. I didn’t have to be the aggressor. I just had to be me.

Suddenly, I didn’t want to throw up every morsel of food that went into my mouth. I wanted to live and my 10-year slow suicide by anorexia plan wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted to live and I didn’t want him to know just how dysfunctional I really was. So, I started working towards getting better. I got help.

He saw the messed up ugly side of me almost immediately. I was an undiagnosed manic bipolar, anorexic with body dysmorphia and a self-medicating drinking problem. I was fun, then I was raging, mean and completely irrational. It was pretty hard to hide from anyone who was paying attention.

I had developed a bad habit of pushing anyone who wanted to get close to me away. I had long passed the wanting to crawl inside of someone phase. I was selfish and borderline and convinced that I was unlovable because up to that point, I had done everything right and none of it ever worked. I never passed quality control. I gave up and resigned myself to being detached. I basked in the position of being wanted, even if it was all surface.

Then the Big Guy came along and while his initial intention was to purely to hook up. We ended up talking all night after a couple ghosting friends left me stranded at a party at his house. Somewhere between our first disinterested meeting and that next morning, we connected on a cellular level without even trying. In that moment, we became each other’s person.

It wasn’t love at first sight. I don’t even think we were each other’s types. We would have never even have met one another other than a new friend I had met in my LSAT class who happened to grow up with this tall, gangly alt guy with black fingernails and a heart only rivaled by the size of his smile. It took a couple more weeks before we worked out the kinks. Falling head over heels doesn’t feel like what you expect it to. It sort of sneaks up on you and you suddenly realize that this person gives you hope and loves you unconditionally, through the ugly and the hard and the messy and the complicated and they never think of leaving because it’s not an option that even enters their mind or yours. You realize that you can’t imagine a life that doesn’t include seeing this person’s face every morning. , kissing them before bed each night, seeing them in the faces of your children. That is love. It’s a light that never goes out because you don’t let it. You both work at it. You keep it alive, even when it’s sick and sad. You love it back to life.

You realize that you can’t imagine a life that doesn’t include seeing this person’s face every morning, kissing them before bed each night, seeing them in the faces of your children. That is love. It’s a light that never goes out because you don’t let it. You both work at it. You keep it alive, even when it’s sick and sad. You love it back to life.

Maybe real true love isn’t what they write about in the story books or songs. Maybe it is sometimes. I want my girls to know that love can look like a million different things. What’s important is how it makes you feel when you’re with that person. It isn’t big and bold, though sometimes it is, it’s also quiet and steady and safe. It’s feeling happy just being still and not needing an escape plan or contingency plan. It’s not about being willing to die for someone, it’s being willing to work your ass off to live as long as humanly possible to share every day with your best friend.

The person you love as much as you love yourself. The person who gave you the children who you would take the bullet for because it’s the legacy of your love; the thing the 2 of you created. Real love is the kind that makes you want to risk everything to make the world better than you left it because it’s what he deserves. That’s love.

The real difference between love, like and infatuation is that when you find real love…that person can satisfy all of those things; love, like and lust.

How will you teach your kids to know the difference between love, like and infatuation?

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Man and woman embracing, Valentine's Day, love, young couple enjoying a romantic day outdoors

 

How do I love you? Let me count the ways~ There are two camps for Valentine’s Day; the die-hard head-over-heels, love to be in love and shower the people they love with trinkets on Valentine’s Day and those who hate the very idea of Valentine’s Day. Hallmark holiday, waste of money, uncomfortable for new couples camp.

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A couple of years ago for Christmas, Bella ( then 3) wanted to tell her Papi why she loved him. It was her special gift to him ( and it really was. It brought he and I both to tears). Today, of all days, I stumbled across it and it seems apropos to share with you all here today. So, In the spirit of Father’s day here is Bella’s List from Christmas 2008.

Top 20 things that I love about my Papi
Christmas 2008
  • I love when you take me outside and play in the snow.
  • I love when you take me with you to get groceries.
  • I Love you because you love me!
  • I love when you play Barbies with me and use funny voices.
  • I love when you paint with me and teach me how to draw.
  • I love when you dance Wiggles dance contest with me and sissy.
  • I love when you count with me.
  • I love when you decorate the Christmas tree with me and take us to see Christmas lights.
  • I love when you play camping with us inside our Hello Kitty tent.
  • I love when you help me clean my room and straighten my bed.
  • I love when you make gingerbread houses with us.
  • I love when you kiss my booboos and use Dora bandaids.
  • I love when you watch the Nutcracker and dance with me.
  • I love you when you hug me when I am sad.
  • I love when we play dress up and you tell me I am pretty.
  • I love when you watch frosty with me and drink hot coco.
  • I when you come and sleep in my bed with me when I have nightmares about Chickens ( and Lemurs)
  • I love when we all take family naps together and you cuddle with me.
  • I love you when you drive all the way to my favorite mall to get me spicy chicken.
  • I love when you do nice things for me, like bring me surprises and play outside with me in the summer.
Most of all,I love you because you’re the best Papi I never  (ever in Bella speak) saw!
This list pretty much sums up the eyes with which my girls view their Daddy, every day. He is an amazing Father. He lives to make his girls ( luckily that includes me as well) smile and their sadness moves him to tears. I am blessed to be married to a man whose heart and personality can fill a room.Words can not convey the love I feel for him when I see him with our daughters.  He’s a real trooper too. The girls and I had planned to go all out for Father’s Day, unfortunately, imagine my surprise when both girls got sick this weekend. Daddy got to spend Father’s Day weekend, helping me tend to sick feverish children at all hours of the night. The girls looked at him all weekend with adoration as he helped administer meds and give luke warm baths, and carry sickly babies from couch to bed and back again.And I have never found him to be quite so sexy as he was helping me this weekend. Sorry you had to spend your Father’s Day in the trenches,baby, but I sure did appreciate it.We love you honey, more than you will ever know! I’m sure next years list will include: 
I love you when you take care of me when I am sick!
Happy Father’s Day to all the fantastic Fathers in your lives!
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self worth, body dysmorphic disorder, Self confidence, self acceptance, Self worth, self-worth, self-esteem, feelings, skills, self-respect, self esteem

Today, I’m linking up my Self-Worth post @ Ciaomom.com. I stumbled across her link up as, one by one, all of my Twitter friends were sharing it. Of course, I wanted to know what all the excitement was about and then I read her post and I knew. In a world full of self-doubt and deprecation, she is spreading the idea of self-love and self-worth. Can you imagine?

Self-Worth

I am the Mommy of two daughters and my biggest fear in the WORLD is that they will follow in my footsteps down a path of self-doubt and poor body image. In my teens, like most girls, I was very unsure of my place in the world. I was tall before any of the boys in my middle school. Then puberty hit and all the body changes that accompany. In a matter of a summer, I went from the cute, smart girl with the big almond eyes to being an amazon by middle school standards, breakouts, breast buds, braces, body hair, hips and being extremely uncomfortable in this new foreign body. 8th grade was a hard year for me. I no longer tried to stand out for excellence, I wanted to be invisible. I was afraid that if someone saw me they would notice (or worse) point out my flaws.

It didn’t help that my parents were both in great shape. My dad was very athletic and, once puberty started for me, he had the habit of telling me that I “needed” to run more. In my head, I heard ” You are not good enough yet, you need to run so that you can be perfect and worthy of love“. This plants a seed of self-loathing. Have I told you how much I hate running to this day? My already uncomfortable place in my new skin became unbearable. By the time I left for college, I was so afraid of the Freshman 15 that everyone had been sure to warn me of that I was resigned to subsist on the least amount of calories possible. 17, that was the age I was when I started on my 8 year battle with anorexia/bulimia. I never binged and purged. Never. I was a perfectionist. I starved myself to about 600 calories a day and then I vomited it all up. Everything, even water. If it went into my mouth, it came out almost immediately after. The very thought of food in my stomach was enough stress mentally to make me vomit involuntarily. It left me feeling NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

But this is not what I want for my girls. I want them to have an exorbitant amount of self-confidence, self-esteem and most importantly

Self-Worth

To do this, I have to lead by example so here is my list of what I love about myself ( after years of therapy and self-understanding:)

I love those big, crazy almond eyes of mine because I can see and cherish my daughters’ daily

I love my voice because it sings to my girls and speaks to those I love

I love my hair, it’s curly and sometimes straight and it’s beautiful

I love my strength of character because it has helped me to survive my past and go after my future

I love my resolve because it helped me overcome 8 years of eating disorder

I love my intelligence and wisdom to know what I can change and what I can not (even when it’s hard to accept).

I love my laugh, it’s loud and crazy like Ricky Ricardo but it is authentic and when you hear it; my heart is happy

I love my body for allowing me to conceive, grow and birth my children

I love my wit and humor which has allowed me to keep perspective

I love my personality that has landed me my wonderful husband ( of course the 25-year-old tits and ass didn’t hurt either:)

I love my uncanny knack to assess a situation, size up people and never back down from anything

I love that I don’t know the word quit

I love that I am so socially charged that I am NEVER uncomfortable in a group, in fact, I thrive amongst people

I love that I am honest to a fault

I love that I am genuine

I love that I love with the same faith in people that I have in God

I love that I can forgive and move past circumstances

I love that I have grown to love my own skin for all that it’s worth ( I still battle the body dysmorphic disorder) but even on days when my eyes are unhappy with the mirror, my mind knows better.

I love that I am not perfect but I am worth it. To quote Selena Gomez ( yeah I have kids…busted), I’m no beauty queen, I’m just beautiful me and that is better than good enough. And today, “I WOULDN’T WANT TO BE ANYONE ELSE!” Where does your self-worth come from?

Self-Worth

 

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blondienites, 14th birthday party, love letter, 14th birthday, birthday girl, happy birthday

I know not everyone agrees with this or has this same experience because parenting a teen is a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get from one day to the next, even from one hour to the next. One minute they love you and the next, maybe you’re the dumbest person to ever walk the face of the earth with the dinosaurs. But sometimes you get lucky, even if it’s just for a little while, and they love the shit out of you. Maybe we’re in the honeymoon phase of teen parenting but for today, happy birthday to my teenager, my best friend. There I said it. I love and her sister more than anyone in the world and quite honestly, I like her more than most people too.

blondienites, 14th birthday party, love letter, 14th birthday, birthday girl, happy birthday

The past few months have had me feeling a certain kind of way. It’s a new avenue in parenting that I’m just beginning, the teen years. Bella turned 13 last year and I felt the tug of her growing up. However, my little girl leaned in and we’ve gotten closer. We talk about everything that she wants to share, I don’t push but I encourage her to know that I’m always here. It’ worked for us, so far. I know it’s not the popular parenting school of thought but she is becoming my best friend and I love how close we are. I have no idea what the next few years will bring so I am cherishing every moment she chooses me to confide in. I’m here for all it.

READ ALSO: Love Letter to my Daughter on her 7th Birthday

In the past year, there’s been first crushes, a new understanding of friendship and knowing when to hang on and when to let go, there’s been putting family first, learning that kindness is something we can give that always replenishes, finally comprehending that we cannot control how other’s respond to what we put out there. She’s become kind, generous and compassionate all on her own in ways I wouldn’t even have thought of because she believes it’s the right thing to do.

blondienites, 14th birthday party, love letter, 14th birthday, birthday girl, happy birthday

She’s become unapologetically herself not giving too much of a damn of what other’s think of her. My favorite shift I’ve seen this year, while she may still fight and bicker with her little sister, she will always go to bat if anyone even thinks about hurting her sister. Lastly, she is embracing her Latino culture in a way she has not fully appreciated in the past and that makes my heart happy. She also seems to be starting to be grateful and appreciate the parents that she has.

READ ALSO: Birthday with a Surprise Ending

Yesterday, she turned 14-years-old. We’ve already started planning next year’s quinceanera (in case you are not familiar with what a quinceanera is I will write a post soon explaining it all) and I think that’s got me all in my feelings. While she is holding my hand tightly, she is running head first, full-force towards 15; towards being a young woman. This makes me feel so proud of her, humbled being along for the ride and a little scared of what the future might bring but I am so excited for her. I can still remember all of the firsts and newness of this time in my own life and I only hope the experience is as exciting and enjoyable for her. Either way, we’ll always be here to help make the transition smooth.

blondienites, 14th birthday party, love letter, 14th birthday, birthday girl, happy birthday

As I sit here listening to Tu Sangre en Mi Cuerpo and looking up pins for the big 15th birthday party (quinceanera) for next year, I’m nostalgic for that sweet baby who smelled like green apples and came into my life and gave it meaning. Let me be embarrassingly honest for a moment, the moment that I held her in my arms, I fell deeper in love than I ever knew possible. I had never felt that kind of love in my life and the closest that came to it was the Big Guy. She and her sister are the culmination of the best thing that ever happened to me.

READ ALSO: Love Letter to my Tween

For Bella’s birthday, we let her choose to spend the day however she wanted to (that’s what we do in our house). We celebrate her party next weekend with family and friends. But yesterday, she wanted brunch, shopping for bikinis, a Disney movie marathon and homemade buffalo wing pizza for dinner. She had exactly what she wanted; a little bit big girl and still a bit of my baby. Culminated, like every year since birth, with her 4:51 pm birth minute kiss.

 

blondienites, 14th birthday party, love letter, 14th birthday, birthday girl, happy birthday

Bella,

One day you will read this, my sweet girl, and I want you to know, I love you more than everything. You are amazing in ways that you don’t even understand but I see the good, kind and caring kind of child you ‘ve always been and the young woman you are growing up to be. Keep being you and living the life you want. We’re always here to get your back and love you, no matter what comes in life. You can do anything you set your heart to. Dream big, baby girl. To the moon and back and forever and ever.

Xoxo

Mama

blondienites, 14th birthday party, love letter, 14th birthday, birthday girl, happy birthday

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love in marriage, Love, marriage, Valentine's Day, Big Guy

Do you think love in a marriage can be as passionate as love before marriage? Like head over heels, “I would live forever just to be by you” love? “I love you so damn much that I want to be ghosts with you” love? The kind of love in a marriage that you never want to let go of?

The kind of love in a marriage that makes you brave.

I’m not usually a sappy person here, well, not too often anyway, but this Valentine’s Day something happened. I’ve been changing a lot of things in my life lately but one thing hasn’t changed. The Big Guy has always been my rock; my constant.

The Big Guy is what I affectionately call my husband here on this blog. If you’ve been a long-time reader, you know it’s because he is 6’5” not because I think he’s God, though many of you have asked me that before. He really is a big guy and we have big kids but with him, its not just his stature. He laughs big, he smiles big, he loves big, he’s just a big personality and anyone who has met him can attest to that.

Even living with all this bigness all the time, it truly is the little things that count with us and he gets that. He’s always gotten that and that’s one of the reasons I adore him so completely.

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. I know many of you think it’s just a Hallmark holiday and in many ways, it is. I was never big on the holiday because, in previous relationships, it just felt like an inevitable trap to be let down. I’d get my hopes up and things would never measure up. Then I met my husband and ever since that first Valentine’s Day, he’s always made it more than special.

The kind of love in a marriage that makes you forget reason.

You see, we got engaged on January 23, 1998. Random weird time to get engaged right? Especially since we had only been dating for 4 months at the time. I was completely speechless when he asked me in the middle of a club. There was no ring, there was no drop to your knee It was him screaming over the music and me shocked. It felt impetuous. I wasn’t so sure if it was him or all the alcohol he had been drinking that was asking me to spend the rest of my life with him so it took me a couple weeks to give him an answer. Sounds terrible, right? Wrong.

When I called my sister to tell her what this crazy guy at university has just done, she said, “Oh yeah. Weird, I thought he was waiting until Valentine’s day. He told us at Thanksgiving that he was going to ask.” Wait! What? November????

Apparently, the proposal was not impetuous, only the delivery. He had been planning for months, though he still didn’t have a ring. He told them he knew from the moment we met that I was his soulmate. To be honest, after being burned by the previous few guys I had dated, I was kind of jaded on the whole “soulmate” thing. Not, him. Not my Big Guy.

Apparently, he was a little nervous and it just popped out of his mouth on the dance floor, a couple weeks early. That’s why there was no ring.  Maybe I was accidentally doing some sort of fertility/marry me dance that I didn’t even realize I was doing and my female wiles overtook him. All I know is the sweetest man I had ever met (and barely knew) asked me to marry him. My answer? I love you and then I casually walked away as if he’s just asked me if I wanted a beer.

We both pretended it didn’t happen. Then a week or so later while sitting across the computer lab he emailed me a note that read, “so are you ever going to answer me?”

Yikes, he hadn’t been that drunk. I told him I didn’t think he was serious and I needed to think about it because it was a serious question. It wasn’t like, do you want fries with your burger. It was the biggest question of my life.

Do you love me enough to spend the rest of your life with me?

Finally, I answered. It was really simple, I asked myself, can you live the rest of your life without this man in it? My answer was quick and all consuming, no. After knowing him, I couldn’t see my life playing out with anyone else. It depressed me to think of not seeing him every day or hearing that big crazy laugh or seeing that big beautiful smile so I said, “Hell, yes!”

I got an engagement ring for Valentine’s Day that year. That’s why Valentine’s Day is special to me. Not because of the holiday per se but because it was supposed to be the day the Big Guy asked me to be his wife but he was just so damn eager that he couldn’t wait. And he actually purchased it from a design your own custom engagement rings shop. Awwww, right?

He’s always done Valentine’s Day big. He pulls out all the stops. But this year I didn’t want a big elaborate gift. I wanted something more personal. I wanted him. I wanted his love in a tangible form. Sometimes love in a marriage becomes quieter and more of a hum than a roar. I wanted a roar.

I wanted a playlist (modern day mixtape), a hand-written note from him (which ended up being the sweetest Facebook status ever) and I didn’t want to cook dinner. Other than that, I just wanted to be together. That’s exactly what I got.

love in a marriage, Love, relationships, marriage, Valentine's Day, Big Guy

Needless to say, I spent most of yesterday crying happy tears because he kept sucker punching me with all the feels. It was glorious. Proof that love in a marriage can sweep you off your feet just as much as any new, shiny relationship.

The kind of love in a marriage that makes you want to have babies just so there are more people like him in the world.

Every word was like salve to my soul. He is not a big talker. He’s more of a do-er. He shows me he loves me in his actions every single day. He’s the kind of guy who makes the scrambled eggs on school mornings so you can have a break. He’s the kind of guy who gives you the last bite of his sandwich because you’re still hungry, even if so is he. But I’m a writer and sometimes I want words and wow, his words were everything.

The playlist spoke to me in another way. It spoke to my heart with every lyric. Each song was more perfect than the last. It said everything I needed to hear.

You know how when you are young and dating you’re always wondering, just a little bit, where you stand in the relationship? How he really feels? Well, the Big Guy laid it all on the table and damn.

Love, relationships, marriage, Valentine's Day, Big Guy

The kind of love that leaves you speechless.

I don’t know how you spent Valentine’s Day but I hope it was amazing. I don’t mean fireworks, symphonies and diamonds (those things are nice) but amazing in that at the end of the day, you knew you were loved by someone for just being you. Unconditional, all-accepting love is something I never knew in my life until the Big Guy and nothing compares. No gift can compare 100% reciprocated, unconditional and equal love.

I don’t know if there are any words that can convey to him how much his words meant to me but I hope he knows that I couldn’t imagine spending my life loving anyone else. I was scared when he asked me to marry him because it was so soon in our relationship but every day, I thank God the universe that he chose me.

What is the one thing your partner did to show you that love in marriage could be just as passionate as when you were single?

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Duke Caboom, Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep, GabyGaby, Toy Story 4, Meaning of Life, Love, Forky

I thought Toy Story 3 was the best wrap up of a series as there ever was. However, I was proven wrong last night. Toy Story 4 takes us parents on a ride and sees it through to the end and this mom is all in her feels. Where’s Drake when I need him?

Toy Story 4 Basic Synopsis:

Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. So, when Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy, Forky (voice of Tony Hale), declares himself as “trash” and not a toy, Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy.

READ ALSO: What is Disney Creator Days and How Can I Get Invited?

But when Bonnie takes the whole gang on her family’s road trip excursion, Woody ends up on an unexpected detour that includes a reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep (voice of Annie Potts). After years of being on her own, Bo’s adventurous spirit and life on the road belie her delicate porcelain exterior. As Woody and Bo realize they’re worlds apart when it comes to life as a toy, they soon come to find that’s the least of their worries. Directed by Josh Cooley (“Riley’s First Date?”), and produced by Mark Nielsen (associate producer “Inside Out”) and Jonas Rivera (“Inside Out,” “Up”)

Duke Caboom, Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep, GabyGaby, Toy Story 4, Meaning of Life, Love, Forky, Ducky and Bunny

©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Parenting is a thankless job of loving and living for other people. People we created and have made the very reason for our existence. There is nothing more fulfilling or joyous than being given the gift of loving someone so completely and unconditionally. We are in those years, blinded by that love.

But one day, they will grow up. They will move on, as they are supposed to. They will have lives, families and children of their own and as much as we want to hold on tighter and forever, we have to let them go. And it hurts so much. Too much. But that’s the job; raise good human beings and then set them free to go forth and make the world a better place…no matter how much it breaks your heart.

READ ALSO: Everything You Need to Know about the Disney Dream Cruise

But something unexpected happens, when your little birds fly away and you are left in your empty nest, you have time for you again. Time to live for you. Time to pursue what makes YOU happy. Time to love your partner. Go ahead, you deserve it. Just like Woody deserved to find his Bo Peep. He did his job. He loved Andy and Bonnie with everything that he was. He sacrificed. He selflessly served them as long as they needed him and only when they no longer did, did he let go and even then it was begrudgingly.

Duke Caboom, Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep, GabyGaby, Toy Story 4, Meaning of Life, Love, Forky

©2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

As parents, it is our mission to love our children. Sometimes it feels like our sole purpose and we are happy to have it. But, like Woody, we’ve got to let go of the past and live in the present. Look toward the future. We deserve to be happy. We deserve to be loved the way we loved our children. We deserve that.

READ ALSO: Disney’s the Lion King

Where, then, does Woody stand? In the movie’s scheme of things, he stands for all of us who feel we’ve lost our purpose in one phase of our life and haven’t yet found the courage to start the next phase. Toy Story 4 is all about transitioning to the next phase for everyone one of us. We are constantly evolving.

What Woody comes to understand, ever so slowly, is that life is not only for living but for loving, and he and Bo have found each other. As Woody struggles to resolve his fears and feelings, “Toy Story 4” transcends toydom. It feels exquisitely alive.

Duke Caboom, Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep, GabyGaby, Toy Story 4, Meaning of Life, Love, Forky

©2019 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

It boils down to this, in the end, our quality of life is weighed and measured in love; the love we give gives us meaning and the love we receive gives us purpose.

Toy Story 4 teaching us lessons we didn’t even know we needed to learn.

Whether it’s romantic love, familial love, parental love, friendship or mutual respect, love is the true meaning of life and without it, the quality of our lives is drastically reduced if not removed. At the basis of humanity, we need to love one another. The love we give is reflected back in the joy we feel.

Duke Caboom, Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep, GabyGaby, Toy Story 4, Meaning of Life, Love, Forky

©2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

In Toy Story 4, we’re shown all different types of love and its value is quantified from an outside perspective and suddenly, it all makes sense… love is the meaning of life. Giving and receiving.

READ ALSO: I Loved Aladdin Live-Action More than the Original

In the end, they all chose to love and let themselves be loved. The thing is that kind of vulnerability is terrifying. Putting yourself out there and allowing yourself to become part of something bigger than just yourself, allowing someone else to be a part of the equation to determine whether or not you are happy and fulfilled is risky but so worth it because the only way to experience life fully is with love and the only way to love is completely.

Duke Caboom, Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep, GabyGaby, Toy Story 4, Meaning of Life, Love, Forky

©2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

In the end, Andy grew up and Bonnie gave her love to Forky but Woody finally got to be part of something for him, he got to be loved in return and that’s something. He got to start a new adventure in life as part of a couple. His friends loved him so much that they let him go follow his bliss with Bo Peep, the same way Bo Peep put her feeling for him on a shelf and left him behind when she knew he had to stay with Andy. That’s what love is about, taking someone else’s needs and wants into consideration.

In Toy Story 4, Woody finally got to choose to love and be loved in return and there’s nothing better in this life. Sometimes love means letting go, sometimes it means jumping in with both feet and taking a chance and sometimes it means holding on for dear life. Toy story 4 taught me that.

Duke Caboom, Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep, GabyGaby, Toy Story 4, Meaning of Life, Love, Forky, Ducky and Bunny

Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 4 in theaters June 21st. Now playing. Giving me the meaning of life.

What was your biggest takeaway from Toy Story 4?

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marraige equality, same-sex marraige, homosexuality, love, marraige, parenting

Marriage Equality, Same sex marriage, love, marriage, human rights

Marriage equality is not an honor it is a right, like the right to breathe. They say that love is blind. The heart wants what the heart wants. God makes no mistakes. We teach our children all of these lessons on love and equality. We pound these ideas into their heads before they can even walk. We brainwash them to equate happiness with marriage and children and a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence.

Where does marriage equality fall in all of this?

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