Marriage is anything but sentimental…

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Rich and I love reading together.  We read through the Bible together.  Right now we’re in Romans.  We just finished James and boy did I learn a lot from that.  In fact, I realized something beautiful about Grace and the difference between that and Faith.

When Maxwell lived, we read through Job.  Who reads through Job?!  Not me.  And yet us.  And reading it after a tragedy, you understand it differently.  Yes, it’s still hard to read—but oh so worth it!

While Maxwell was in the hospital we reread the scriptures Richard preached on just mere days before our son almost died, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  (NIV) 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

Did I mention this is what he preached on DAYS before our son nearly died?!  Can you imagine having to LIVE through those verses you just preached?

I couldn’t…yet we tried.

Some days we succeeded.  Other days we failed.  Ultimately, we came back to them when we still didn’t know Maxwell’s outcome in life.

Moral of that story, DON’T…absolutely DON’T preach on something if you are not prepared to live it!

Needless to say, reading the Bible together is a big part of our marriage.  No, a HUGE part of our marriage.

And reading other books—important too.

Right now we’re reading a book that we just started.  So to review it ahead of time would be unfair.  Therefore, I will just tell you I already LOVE what we’ve read.  And it’s basically an entire background of statistics and facts and thoughts and reviews.

Does this mean all of them are happy facts?  Heavens no.  But they help me understand marriage and the perception of marriage and how we, as a society, think or look at marriage.

We’re only 40 pages in…

But, what really drew me to the book in the first place was the back cover and these words, “I’m tired of listening to sentimental talks on marriage.  At weddings, in church, and in Sunday school, much of what I’ve heard on the subject has as much depth as a Hallmark card.  While marriage is many things, it is anything but sentimental…”

And I’ll leave it at that.

After all, like I said, we’re only 40 pages in.

But that alone was enough to get me started.  Truth, man.  Truth.

I, too, am tired about the beautiful Hallmark sentiments you see everywhere about marriage.

Marriage is real.

And real is real.

And life is real.

Which means sometimes messy.  And tough.  And rotten.  And wonderful.  And glorious.

And while it’s not all tornadoes and volcanic eruptions, it is also not all unicorns and rainbows.  It is just life.

Marriage is just like that.  Life.

Like I heard on the radio years ago when someone mentioned to the radio host, Delilah, how she (the caller) didn’t feel in love with her husband, this was Delilah’s response, “Love is not a feeling…I don’t always feel like getting up in the morning to make my children breakfast—but i do.  Why?  Because I love them…”  In marriage you won’t always feel in love, but that doesn’t mean you give up.  And it has stuck with me over many thousands of moon later (after all, there are 365 days in a year and largely at least a sliver of a moon over that time.  Then you have to add the years we’ve been married—we’ve made it into the thousands of moons, literally).

I love to read.  So reading this book is a pleasure.

And I love my husband.  So reading with him is a pleasure.

And, like I have mentioned so many times before, I love my marriage—but we fight hard to make it work.  So reading a book on marriage is a privilege.

One I’m glad I have.

In the meantime, stay tuned for the review once we’ve finished, and go ahead and read other recently posted and archived blogs while you’re at it.  After all, we love that you stopped by And 2 Makes Crazy.

We’re crazy about you!

We could all use a little Southwest humor here and there…

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I fly over the contiguous United States and then the ocean.  And it doesn’t matter how much I have made the journey, I still NEVER like it.  It doesn’t help that many of the airlines are stiff and serious and rude and cramped and crowded and take your overhead luggage and stick it underneath, breaking all the valuables you were carrying in your overhead so that they WOULDN’T break…

I never, ever, ever get used to the long transcontinental journey.  And I seldom enjoy flying.

I don’t have a fear.  But I don’t have a love for it.

My daughter has no fear and great love.

My husband has no fear but is realistic about service so has hesitant love.

My little son doesn’t remember…

And my newest has never been.

Regardless of my feelings and flights and impending transcontinental journey, this news article today made my day.  I think if she was my stewardess (do we call them that?), I would smile a bit before my flight.  No.  I take it back.  I am sure I would be the loud laugh-out-loud passenger recorded on the video.  And I would appreciate her.  And the captain that let her put the cabin at ease.

After all, a big metal bird in the sky is not for everyone…

But a good laugh is.

Enjoy the brilliant safety-talk humor.

Click here:  Southwest Safety Talk Humor

World’s Toughest Job…Apply online?

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It doesn’t matter if you know what the job is before you even click on the link and open up the article.  I knew by the title.  But knowing will not stop the waterfall of tears that will, and believe me they will, cascade down your cheeks.

It did not help that I was nursing my 3-month-old while reading and then watching.

Nursing, snotting, wiping away tears.

And thanking God above for the “toughest job” and having a previous “employer” who also accepted the position before me.

So, no matter where you are in the world…Whether you hold the position or you love the person that does, I hope you thoroughly enjoy the link.  It’s worth your time.

Here’s to your very own waterfall, while giggling to my favorite comment of the entire interview, “That’s inhumane!”

Watch and see.

Click here:  World’s Toughest Job!

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After you read and watch the above link, here’s to let you know how I truly feel about my little “employees” !  Enjoy the throwback blog posting:  Catch my breath…Off she goes!

Get ready, Get set, Get the EGGS!

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My daughter has grown up in Poland.  And, in Poland, we hunt Easter eggs like this:

There are 12 eggs and 4 kids hunting.  You each can find 3 eggs.  Bring them to me, dump the contents into your basket, I will refill them and rehide them.  Get ready.  Get set.  Go!

And the 4 kids run and hunt and find and dump and close their eyes so that we can do it all over again.  We have a blast and enjoy every moment.

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Problem.

We came back to the States.  There were a million eggs.  And a million kids hunting them.  And they didn’t stop at 4.  Or 40.  And hunting?  They were professionals.  Like the Daniel Boones of Easter Egg Hunts!

Then there was my daughter.

Wee.  Happily skipping.  Slowly moving.  Lightly looking.

And there we sat…Or stood…Or sweated…

Look for the eggs, Adelyne!  Get going!  There’s one right above your head!  Don’t you see it?  There’s another below your foot!  Yikes!  They took it.  Grab the egg!  Fast!  Adelyne…GRAB THE EGG!

And while we were shouting, sweating, and stressing…all eggs in relatively close proximity were promptly and deftly swiped—by professional egg hunting children.  My daughter, her Easter basket bare yet her spirit full.

That’s when I learned…

We have grown up in two worlds.  We, my husband and I, in America.  My daughter in Poland.

We have grown up as eager, aggressive Easter egg hunters.

My daughter as a “Yea, this is fun!  Look, I have 4 eggs!” kind-of-child.

Two worlds.  One family.  And, in the end, all that really matters is this:

She had fun!

Oh, and technically, she doesn’t really like candy.  So all of that candy we sweated about her grabbing—she never ate and we threw out anyway.

Sweated for nothing, eh?

Parents, sometimes we are the death of our children.  Especially their spirits of contentment.

And, so, this year, I will do the following:

Fill the eggs

Hide the eggs

Prepare my camera

and

Remember to just have fun.

After all, Easter Egg Hunts should be just that…

A big bunny that hides eggs ridiculous amounts of non-sweating fun—while remembering to let our daughter be the kid that she likes to be.

The kid with 4 eggs at the end of the Easter-egg day!

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Take some time to link in to the following Easter posts written by fellow Poland-living bloggers like myself:  Easter Blog Fun!

It takes a village. Now would someone please help me clean up the pee?

I admit it.

I need help.  Lots of it.

It takes a village, and I am living proof of that.

Even today, I, mother of ONLY 3, got breakfast eggs from my sister when she came to pick up my daughter for school.

Have I mentioned that my sister has FOUR children?  So, let’s do the math.  Sister + 4 kids = 1 more than me.

Yet…

She somehow got 4 kids dressed, lunches packed, and out the door…Made eggs and picked up my daughter.

I got one daughter dressed, fed, and ready to be picked up.

ONE.

The other two in my posse of 3…two poopy diapers changed, one baby nursed, and one toddler stuck in a high chair watching Sesame Street.  Oh, glorious Sesame Street—how I love you!

It takes a village, and I am living proof of that.

Last night, at my daughter’s softball game, I had one amazing friend take my infant.  One nephew babysat my toddler, my brother worked with my daughter on her hitting stance, all the while, I sat (or jumped and screamed), keeping score during my daughter’s softball game.  Boy, it was an exciting game for 5-9-year-olds!  Although, I must admit, the other coach took the game a little too seriously.  After all, we cheered at the last double out of the evening—and it was against us.  But it was so exciting!  I think the other uber-competitive coach thought we were all crazy.  Maybe we are.  But at least we had fun!

It takes a village…and I am living proof of that.

Today my mom is going to go shopping with me while I pick up some stuff I want to bring back to Poland with me.  Like a collapsible wagon.  I have birthday money for it.  Glorious birthday money.

Oh, yeah.  I finally turned the big 3-8.  It’s official.  (happened a couple weeks ago, but I’m too tired to keep track)

And then I did it.  I ventured out on my own and did something big.  I’m talking huge!  I bathed two babies after breakfast, simultaneously.  And it was fun.  No village needed, SuperMommy came flying through.

Baby one—out of the bath, while toddler one still got to splash around in the sinking water.

Wee.  All of this is fun.  It must be my sister’s breakfast eggs giving me super strength.

Infant one is finally lotioned, powdered, diapered and dressed.  Toddler is still happily splashing.

I can do it…I can do it…I am doing it!

Toddler out of the bath, towel wrapped around him, it’s actually like a towel dress.  I have grabbed infant and we are now heading in the direction of his (toddler’s) room.  He runs ahead of me.

The entire house is tile.

And when we (me and infant) finally catch him, I see him, squatting on the floor.

Happily splashing.

“Wee, wee, wee!” are literally the words coming out of his mouth followed by, “Splash, splash, splash!”

“MAXWELL!  Did you go pee-pee?”  Why did I bother to ask?  I know the answer.

“Pee-pee!”

Splash, splash, splash!

Yep…It takes a village to raise my family.  I will be the first to admit it.  But I am pretty sure that even in my village, when it comes to toddler’s random pee spot on the floor, it takes the momma to clean the mess.

After all, the village is busy doing everything else.

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Life.  As I know it.

When everything looks peaceful. Don’t worry. You are not alone.

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Sometimes this is what we see when we look around us.  It appears as if everyone is surrounded by beauty and sunshine, while peacefully enjoying life.

What we need to remember, however, is this…

Inside, we all battle our own demons.

Exhaustion?

Addictions?

Failing marriage?

Financial?

Self Esteem?

Abuse?

Body Image?

Loneliness?

Abandonment?

Worthiness?

Love?

Security?

Heath?

Infertility?

The list goes on.

The list is long.

Therefore, I want to encourage you.

Don’t be afraid to not look perfect.  Don’t be afraid to not look peaceful.

Life is not perfect.  Life is not always peaceful.  And, I hate to break it to you, neither are you.  But, surprise!  Neither are those that surround you.

Good news, though, God says, “Never will I leave you.  Never will I forsake you.”

So, today, instead of working on looking perfect, work on being real.

Because “Real” equals “You”

And that’s who we want to know.