Monday Ramblings

The very thought of having twins was a joke in our house for a while. We knew chances were increased with the fertility drug I would eventually take, but it wasn't high enough that it worried us. I just liked to freak my husband out. And I did. Many times. I would feign sickness & tell him it was the twins. When we bought our new car, I stood on the car lot & said, "Maybe we shouldn't get this could be triplets!" You couldn't have surprised me more than that day than when I saw two babies on my ultrasound. I take that back: seeing 3 babies would have made me faint.

The initial shock set in, I stayed in bed sick for 5+ weeks. Fast forward to Christmas, and this house, which is filled with pink toys, pink clothes, & enough baby dolls to fill an entire store, is now going to have not one, but TWO boys. I think I have one sword leftover from Maddie's party. So, I mean, we're all set.

Things move a little differently in a twin pregnancy. Some people have no issues at all while the majority of moms are put on bed rest at some point in their pregnancy. Never mind the fact that you are now trying to get your house ready for TWO more children. You are now confined to your room with Netflix & yarn for an undefined amount of time. You've seen the posts - I've never been so bored in my life. I'm making coffee dates for everyday of the week just to talk to other humans. Watching Angelina Ballerina & talking to a 3 year old about dragons & princesses can only tide me over for so long.

When I was pregnant with Maddie, I was a machine. The day we found out she was a girl, I called my sister-in-law & we painted her room. Shortly after that, all of her furniture was put together & in place. I took a week, and cleaned out the basement from top to bottom. It was so organized it was ridiculous. I have far more to do to prepare for the twins, far more things to purchase, far more organizing, sorting & pitching to do, and here I sit. It's overwhelming. I'm excited, but my little OCD, ADD, anxious personality wants to get moving, clean closets out, figure out where things need to go, clean out the dumb basement again.

Funny how things get prioritized when you're pregnant. I really wanted to finish our room. I started & never followed through. Now, it's all about making sure we have everything the boys need. Like a place to sleep & clothes that aren't pink. And while it's overwhelming to think of all the things they need, I'm learning patience. I think. I think that's this week's lesson. Maybe it's a lesson in not actually being in control. And while I wallowed, stressed & had the come aparts about getting the things for the boys + the photography issue, someone gently reminded me that God cares about what I care about. And His plan encompasses the things that I care about. *Please remind me of this when I start freaking out in an hour.*

/end rant

I leave you with this funny video. I am so glad that I have my dear husband's reaction to my ultrasound. Thanks to Evka for capturing it!

Please ignore the blanket over the window. We have trailer park roots.

16 weeks | 2nd Trimester

Well, we got the shock of a lifetime twice with this pregnancy. Our first shock was when we found out it was twins. The second shock was finding out that the twinkies are both BOYS. I can tell you, truthfully, that neither Josh or I ever thought boys were an option. Hello...1 in 3 chances they would be, but did it cross our minds? NO. We thought they'd be one of each or both girls. We talked over many girl names that we liked or didn't like. So, again, mama yelled out an inappropriate, "HOLY CRAP" on the Christmas video when Josh opened the card up & showed me this: 

If you didn't hear the story, here's how it went down. I had an ultrasound on Christmas Eve. Josh was at church all day, so I took my bestie along to the appointment. She & Dr. P were the only ones who saw the screen. I was totally thrown for a loop because Dr. P says, "This one has the ankles crossed. Boys don't do that." I was like, "ok, so, one girl." Dr. P & Kylie conspired in the corner, wrote down the gender in the card & sealed the envelope for us. Funnily enough, Kylie kept saying, "I can't look at you or you will know." There were so many different scenarios! How the hell could I have known by looking at her face?! Now I know... We waited until Christmas morning to open the card with our other presents & got that big, ol' surprise!

Look at those creepy, long toes. Yikes. I'll put shoes on next week.

How far along? 16.2 weeks {the belly looks MUCH larger than it did last week}
Babies are the size of an? Avocado
Total weight gain? 12.5 lbs. Thanks to Christmas, I packed on some extra weight this past week. Cinnabons are a must on Christmas {Santa brings them every year}, & it was worth it.  
Maternity clothes? Oh yes. 
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep? Still crazy dreams, but I sleep pretty well. 
Miss Anything? Going to the store for more than 15 minutes at a time. After walking around or being on my feet for about 15 minutes, I have shooting pains & have to call it quits. I feel pretty wimpy & helpless, to be honest. I am no longer able to do the grocery shopping, so dearest Josh has taken that on each week. The grocery list was hilarious! The most detailed list you've ever seen, mapping out the store & where he could find each brand on which shelf. Usually my lists are shorthand, but this was about a full page of directions & instructions. 
Movement? I feel kicks & punches. They aren't strong enough to feel from the outside, but I can feel it. Otherwise, it's crazy monster gas. I swear they synchronized a somersault the other day.
Food cravings? Dark chocolate & salt. Kylie happens to have Salted Dark Chocolate...maybe she should bring some over...
Gender? TWO BOYS!
Belly Button In or Out? In.
Rings on or off? On.
Symptoms? Oh, the crying. I mean, for real. My poor, dear husband needs a spa weekend away from me. I don't think a day has gone by these past 2 weeks that I haven't cried about something. Today I cried because he was teasing me about selling Maddie's crib & using the money to go towards the boys' matching cribs. We stood in the hallway as I sobbed. I mean, he's bordering sainthood dealing with my bat-piss, crazy mood swings.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Overeating ( :
Labor Signs? Nope
Happy or Moody most of the time? Again, weepy.
Looking forward to? Deciding on names! We have a couple we like, but nothing we have decided are a definite yes. I think we need to decide now; he thinks we have plenty of time. Sometimes I look at him & think "you have no idea who you married do you?" #psychoobsessiveplanningnutbag

15 weeks | 2nd Trimester

I started out this week with a bone to pick. I am struggling with the weight gain, which is just not even that much, but it's bothering me nonetheless. This wound up being the back burner issue. 

As of Monday, I am on modified bed rest. This means painful boredom. According to Dr. P, I am not restricted to bed, but I need to be "laying down or resting more than not." If you've noticed an increase in texts or pins, it's because I have been in bed for 2 days. I do not like asking people to do things for me. I want to do things for myself & help other people if I can. However, things have to change a little. I am no longer allowed to do any heavy lifting (what about that toddler I have?!), no exercise, and I need to stay down a lot. Thankfully, the Christmas shopping is mostly done, it's the slow season for photography, & my husband mostly works from home. 

I ran a couple of quick errands today, but hubby took on the grocery shopping today. He's awesome! Because grocery shopping sucks. But he did great. Only got one thing wrong :) So, he can grocery shop & I will just lay around eating dark chocolate...**stocking stuffer idea to the fam**

So, if you have any tv series suggestions, I am all ears. I will be watching a lot Netflix in the coming months, so feel free to let me know what you're watching. We just started watching Alaska: The Last Frontier & OMG! I love it! I couldn't do it, but these people are amazing! And obviously, New Girl is a staple in my tv diet. If you could make Catching Fire come out on DVD in the next week or so, that'd be great.

Thanks for following the Twinkie adventure :)

I looked stupid in the one Josh took, so I'm going with the selfie.

How far along? 15 weeks
Babies are the size of an? Orange
Total weight gain? 9lbs. The rule of thumb with twins is 24lbs by 24 weeks. Let me tell you that to a girl who struggled to lose the last 20lbs, packing on 15 more in 9 weeks is a little hard to swallow. YES, I want to have the healthiest pregnancy possible, however, the VAIN girl in me is not loving this part. But, if I have to eat more dark chocolate & have a 2nd plate of spaghetti, I will do it. For the twins. 
Maternity clothes? And sweats. I love me some sweats.

Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep? Crazy, crazy dreams. So crazy.
Exercise? Not an option anymore. (I'm just so not sad)
Miss Anything? FREEDOM
Movement? Still feeling the one on the bottom most because there's too much chub in the way of the one on top.
Food cravings? Same. Spaghetti & salty stuff.
Gender? 6 days!!
Belly Button In or Out? In.
Rings on or off? On.
Symptoms? Fatigue
Anything making you queasy or sick? BOREDOM.
Labor Signs? Nope
Happy or Moody most of the time? So weepy. Pray for my dear, precious husband. I cry over everything. The come aparts over anything & everything.
Looking forward to? Deciding on names!

Why I Believe in Santa

Fairy tales were a staple in our house growing up. We had this incredible, giant fairy tale book that we read almost every night before bed. Mother Goose & Disney were just as important. I can remember countless times watching The Neverending Story, Time Bandits, Labyrinth and all the Disney classics. The key ingredient to these whimsical tales was a vibrant imagination. We believed in becoming a princess & riding off into the sunset with a legit prince. It was fun, imaginative & lighthearted.

We grew up believing in Santa...until the year my dad ruined it for my little sister accidentally, & I made her swear never to tell anyone. If a fat guy wants to squeeze his gut down my chimney & bring me presents, I'm not going to question it. We even did the Easter Bunny, which I admit at this late date, that I believed in a giant bunny who brought me candy for far longer than any kid really should. But hey, I had a healthy imagination. Talk about child-like faith.

On the flip side, we prayed every night, at every meal, and every time we got in trouble. We talked about Jesus in our house. I dressed up as Esther for Halloween one year. Don't ask. We were in Awanas, went to Sunday school, went to a Christian school. We had balance. We knew the difference between right & wrong, as well as good & evil. I didn't think that one day I would fly (although I hoped), I didn't think that Maleficent was going to come & make me prick my finger on a spindle, & I would fall into a deep sleep until some prince kissed me. I knew the difference between real life & fantasy. But oh, what fun it was to get lost in a movie of sword fights, flying dog things, David Bowie in creepy spandex making you find him in a crazy labyrinth, & even Santa.

I already know the reasons why people don't incorporate Santa into their families. That's fine. This isn't for you. I'm not looking to pick a fight, start a debate or even give anyone a platform. This is why WE do Santa. Why WE do fairy tales. Why WE do magical, mythical, fantastical stories. And why? Imagination. Whimsy. That's it. In our house, we love Jesus. We pray for others, we ask for things, we thank God for the things we have. We also watching movies about fairies who usher in the season. We read Harry Potter (well, the cool ones do...cough cough...Josh!). We play video games where we create worlds that are only possible in our imaginations. Is it an escape? Perhaps. Some people golf, some people take long baths. We love the ideas of Nutcrackers coming to life & dancing around in a beautiful ballet piece. We love falling in love with books that take you to imaginary places from Platform 9 3/4 into a castle somewhere in a deep, magical forest. Where good wins. Good always vanquishes evil.

You disagree? Cool. You won't change my mind, & I won't change yours. That's ok. We can still be friends. Unless your kid tells my kid that Santa isn't real. Then, I'm breaking up with you. If my kids love fiction, fantasy & stories of far off places, if they can get lost in books for hours at a time forgetting to eat or pee (Maren, I'm looking at you, girl), I will look in on them & smile. Oh, how I look forward to the day that my THREE (WHAT?!?!) kids find themselves entranced in a book that they can't put down because the Wesley has rescued Princess Buttercup from the ugly king dude, or Gandolf & Frodo are hugging & crying over a gold wedding band. You should have seen me banging out the Hunger Games series. Started on a Friday afternoon, finished book three on Sunday. Then I looked around & wondered what the hell I was supposed to do with my life now that it was over. Find another fantastical, whimsical, made-up world to get lost in.


14 weeks | 2nd Trimester

Hi again. I realize because I posted a couple days late last week that this post seems fairly soon, but that's ok. You'll get over it. And least my Mom will read it. 

Not much has changed since it's only been a few days. In 11 days, we may be finding out what we're having, so I am very very excited about that! 

She wanted her picture taken too!

How far along? 14.2 weeks
Babies are the size of a? Lemon
Total weight gain? 9 lbs
Maternity clothes? Yes! In fact, I had to stockpile some as a Christmas gift. No fun, but necessary. And at least they're cute.

Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep? Restless, but sleeping. I had a dream last night I gave birth to one of the babies (a boy) and they told me to wait until the next one was ready. So, I just walked around the hospital & then drove Kylie's truck around while I nursed the boy. I woke up disturbed. And impressed at my multi-tasking skills, really.
Exercise? Still too nervous to start anything. I will this week...I think...
Miss Anything? Sleeping without waking up to pee twice a night
Movement? Yeah, I feel the baby on the bottom more because there is more blubber in front of the top bunk bed baby
Food cravings? I want spaghetti e'eryday. I have now limited myself to twice a week because I'll be the size of a house otherwise.
Gender? 13 days & counting!
Belly Button In or Out? In.
Rings on or off? On.
Symptoms? Reflux.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Still smells. Especially people farting in stores as they crop dust in front of us unsuspecting victims.
Labor Signs? Nope
Happy or Moody most of the time? Weepy this week. I cried a lot Tuesday. The dog ruining my tree skirt was the final straw. Then I watched The Walking Dead (season 3) & sobbed uncontrollably when Rick realized that Lori died. But at least, I have a chance with him now. 
Looking forward to? Christmas!!

13+ weeks | 2nd trimester

Since you didn't know I was pregnant AND I prayed for death for so long, I didn't take many photos of the rapidly growing belly. Around 7 weeks, I was no longer able to suck in. By 10 weeks, it was unmistakable. Josh said many times that it was time to tell people. I, of course, took offense to that. He was calling me fat.

From week 5 til about the middle of week 10, I was in bed from the time my eyes opened until I could go back to sleep the next evening. I.was.miserable. I cried. Shocker. Because I was miserable. Rolling over made me want to vom. Eating made me want to vom. Not eating made me want to vom. I couldn't find anything to make me feel better. I will never eat another freakin' Saltine again in my life. Nothing helped. I didn't think I was going to make it. Let's just stop here a minute. As I write these overly dramatic statements, I realize that I have missed my calling: I should have been an actress. Every stomachache was the worst one I'd ever had. Every headache was going to be the brain aneurysm that killed me. Every burn in my esophagus was going to kill me. I mean, really.

Now that we are quietly & safely into the second trimester, I felt free (enough) to share our news. Our BIG news. So, now, you will get weekly pregnancy updates that you probably don't care about. That's ok. At least my Mom will read them.

I am still working on a better chalkboard, so bear with me as I get things in order, but here is where we are:

How far along? 13.4 weeks
Babies are the size of a? Peach
Total weight gain? 8 lbs {this whole telling you thing may end quickly}
Maternity clothes? Yes, please. You can't hide this thing anymore. Some stuff still fits. I rock my University of Indiana sweatshirts like whoa.

Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep? Dreaming so much at night. Also peeing a lot. A lot. No naps. 
Exercise? Restricted until now. Really nervous to start, but I'm going to stick to things like yoga & walking (whenever Siberia decides to leave us).
Miss Anything? Not really. My energy, maybe.
Movement? Some. I felt my first flutter last week, and now I'm starting to feel them more. The one on the bottom moves a lot. We witnessed that on the ultrasound as well.
Food cravings? Salt. Ermahgerd. Salt all the time, but I am restricting myself as much as I can. It's terrible for you, but I could just eat a handful of salt & be happy.
Gender? We'll find out soon!
Belly Button In or Out? In.
Symptoms? Headaches. I had them with Maddie. All you can take is Tylenol which is like taking a sugar pill.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Smells. Overpowering perfume is the worst offender. I stopped wearing perfume for the time being because smells just get me bad.
Labor Signs? Obviously not.
Happy or Moody most of the time? Moody. Let's just be honest.
Looking forward to? Finding out these twinkies genders really soon!

I'm many babies are in there?

Yes, we're having twins. No, we did not plan that. Yes, there are twins on BOTH sides of our families. Yes, I took fertility drugs. No, I did not know we had twins in the family until after said drugs were swallowed. Thanks for leaving that bit of information out, Grandma.

I have been absent from this blog for 2 reasons. One is because one of the last blogs I wrote created a poop storm & burned my biscuits enough to take a step back. That was wrong. I don't care about other people's snarky attitude towards my snarkiness. Reason number two is because I was trying to keep the biggest secret of my life. I did ok. I slipped sometimes or just needed someone to know, so I told. I told more people than I wanted to. And every time it slipped out, I believed that it was a jinx - no, I don't believe in jinxes, but I believe in my crappy miscarriage history & how that has played out so well. I knew that people would ask questions (many of you did. So nosy.) because I had been vocal about taking fertility treatments. Naturally, people want to know the outcome. In all honesty, I believed if I told people before yesterday that it would like the other times where I'd have to make an announcement that, once again, my body rejected everything & I was miscarrying. Even as I type that, fear creeps in that it could still happen.

But enough of that. Twins are coming. In May. I laid in bed for about 5 weeks straight, sick as a dog, but I am feeling much more like myself these days. Yes, I am excited. Yes, I am utterly terrified. When we made the announcement, the reality of what life is going to be like, the reality that there are TWO growing babies inside of me, the reality that I am going to be as big as a barn hit me like a ton of bricks. And I sobbed. Hard. For 24 hours. The kind words, the texts, the offers of help & encouragement were overwhelming. I'm not confident that I can do this. In fact, most days, I'm sure I can't, but that's neither here nor there any longer. I don't have a choice. I have to do this. And I have to be good at it.

Now that my slight freak out is over, the excitement can begin. I have an ultrasound on Christmas Eve. My favorite doctor, Dr. P, is going to see if he can determine both genders. If he can, we'll have him write it down, seal it in an envelope & we'll open it Christmas morning with all of our other presents! Pray those 2 cooperate because what a rad Christmas present!

Thank you all for your kind words, words of encouragement, offers to help, prayers, love & support, and everything in between. They mean the world to me. I feel loved & supported like I never have. Thank you for sharing in our joy. Side note, you're always welcome to bring me a cookies n cream shake. Just sayin.


Bucket List

My friend has cancer. She's the #1 wedding photographer in North Carolina, so yeah, she's good. Like she needed someone to send out her editing to while she undergoes myriads of testing, and I quietly pretended like I didn't know because "OMG! She's way too good & I am too intimated." Friend suckage, ftw.

After I stopped freaking out that I, too, had cancer, it made me think of all the things that I have yet to do, want to do before I die at the ripe age of 95, with my teeth floating in a glass on my nightstand, holding my husband's boney, old hand. Notebook style. In fact, there are things I had forgotten about wanting to do, that Josh didn't even know. Left field kinda stuff. And what hit me is no, I am not guaranteed a Notebook style ending to my life. I may pray that that's how it goes down, but crap happens. Cancer happens. Aneurysms happen. Really crappy stuff happens to people who are young. I heard a couple weeks ago about a 28-year-old guy dying in a car accident. Did he live to his full potential? Did he mark off everything on his bucket list?

I may not be able to get to some of these for a while, or let's face it, ever, but maybe if I have a bucket list for the world to see it will encourage me to try a little harder.

1. See Garth Brooks in concert. This stunned my husband. He had no idea. I've always wanted to, and now there's a rumor that 2014 is the year of a new album & tour. Help me out, Garth.

2. Own a Canon 5D Mark iii. Only in dreams.

3. Take my kids to Disneyland for a week. The happiest place on earth with small children. What sane person wouldn't want to do that?? I want to travel, but I want to take my kids places that are special & different, like cruising the Caribbean with my 2 year old. Dream come true.

4. Live in the south in an old plantation-style house. I have always had a thing for Nashville because of Granny. I could live there in a heartbeat. I mean, besides the oppressive humidity, the giant bugs, and the tornadoes, it would be an easy move. I want a giant house with lots of rooms, and most importantly, weeping willows all over our very green land. Wrap around porch complete with the rocking chairs at Cracker Barrel. Bliss.

5. Meet Jennifer Lawrence. She's hilarious like me. We'd be best friends.

6. Go back to our honeymoon spot in Cancun for our 25th. I could use 10 extra pounds and what better way to gain weight than to float in a giant, turquoise pool while I splash over to the bar for another pina colada while balancing chips & salsa on my stomach?

7. Get my kids to adulthood without totally screwing them up. This is every parents' goal, right?

8. Grow my hair to waist again. I miss it. Josh won't dig it, but I'm sure I'll chop it shortly after anyway, so he can hang.

9. Skiing in Switzerland. It was one of my favorite spots we visited my senior year. We had a snowball fight that ended with me getting knocked out by my idiot friend throwing a block of ice at my face. Perhaps I'll stay in the lodge with the hot chocolate.

10. See my kids get married & have kids. If they want to. But I'd really love that.

What's on your bucket list? What weird thing is on your list? Wanna join me for GARTH 2014!?

5 Things to do to be Happier

Lately, I find myself unable to be too terribly happy about the things that bring me joy. Over the last year plus, we have had 3 miscarriages. Shortly after the last one, I had started having massive panic attacks again. On the flip side, I have an amazing 3 year old who makes us laugh all day, everyday. We have a home, we have a new car, we have each other, I have 3x the business I had last year with my photography. Things are good. Really good. Sadness, heart ache, and complete darkness just happen to be circling. Like buzzards. Waiting to suck me back into the black hole of an-Oreos-and-Grey's-Anatomy-marathon-of-despair. 

I wish that I could say that I made it through all of One Thousand Gifts, but I didn't. The writing killed me. I made it to the list. I started my own list. Then life happened. Hard. I lost my sense of gratitude. I was mad & frustrated, & I felt betrayed. Ironically, the betrayer wasn't God; it was me. I had/have forgotten how to enjoy life, enjoy the victories. The way that things appear now are "if this happens, then this can't happen." So, I spend my time worried about what isn't going to happen if xyz happens. Joy stealer. Happiness destroyer. My husband is usually the one to point this character flaw out. He's Mr. Optimistic. In the cup of life, it is always half-full. I'm not. I'm Mrs. Melancholy. Maybe that will change if some things change, OR maybe I could get off my white arse and find ways to enjoy my life in the here & now. My life does not look like I thought it would. In some ways, it has far-exceeded my expectations. In other ways, I feel like I got the short straw. That's my fault. I mean, the things that happened were out of my control, but how I responded wasn't.

After mulling over the wise words from my Old Owl (Josh) for the last week, I decided it was time to turn off Grey's, and try something else. Try having fun. So, maybe this is a reminder for you, but I'm preaching to the choir here. Most of these ideas come from the little girl sitting next to me, watching cartoons with her babies lined up in a perfect row.

1. Get off the computer & go play. Maybe you don't have kids. That doesn't matter. Get up off your rump, and go play. Play outside, throw a ball, play Monopoly with some friends. Go play. Do something that will get your endorfins pumping & get you giggling like a little school girl. Since installing wood floors in our house, Maddie & I love to put socks on, & go flying up & down the hallway. I'm usually the one to slam into the wall & hurt my hip, but we crack up the entire time we are flying across the house.

2. Treat yo'self. Not everyday, but maybe once a week. Treat yo'self with something indulgent. Maybe it's something big, but maybe it's just a $1.60 cake pop from Starbucks. It doesn't matter. Life is too short to be on a diet everyday of your life. Life is too short to be calorie-free, fat free, dairy free, soy free, gluten free, happiness free (unless you are on a special diet because of dietary restrictions). Not the happiness part, but the other stuff. 

3. Do something nice for someone else. For whatever reason, I can remember this when tragedy strikes or at Christmastime. It's easy for me to remember that people don't have enough when we are indulging in Christmas lattes (what is that?!) and buying gobs of presents for our family members. I'm easily reminded. But the people that don't have anything at Christmas, don't have anything on President's Day or Labor Day. Maybe you do something nice for a friend, but wouldn't it be awesome to do something for someone who really needed a little touch from someone who has an abundance? I want my girl to learn this now. That means I have to start NOW.

4. Take long, hot baths. Even my husband has joined this happiness train. The multimedia equipment that is required for his baths is slightly over the top, however, you can keep it simple. Get some bubble bath, a nice candle, a glass of wine juice & enjoy some quiet. Be sure & tell everyone that it's Mommy's quiet time. I'm sure they'll all respect your privacy & not bother you for a second. Pick a time when you are home alone or when everyone is in bed and/or pre-occupied. Soak your tootsies & enjoy the time alone.

5. Spend time with your loved ones. Stop taking breaks from them. We all need our Mommy breaks, but we also need QUALITY time together. Spend time talking after dinner; don't jump up immediately to get back to work or interneting. Do a movie night once a week. Pile into the big bed & snuggle up with a treat & watch a movie. In our house, it usually ends with the todd jumping around on the bed, asking to do something else, but hey! We tried! THEN, when the kiddos are down for the night, spend time with your spouse. Act like you like each other. Ask questions about their day, their job, their interests. A full tank begets a full tank.

Any more tips for being happier? Share them with me & the other readers!

Happy Sunday, peeps!

Your Q&A's

These are so fun! I love being asked questions that really make me think. Something besides "paper or plastic?" I'm working on some more interactive stuff for the blog to get YOU more involved. Even working on a new video series that will be up & running soon. I'm working on learning editing software...hello, totally out of my league...but I'm really excited for you to see the new stuff 'round these parts. 

So, here are some fun questions from yesterday's Q&A Wednesday:

If you weren't married & a Momma to a sweet girl.. what would your life be like... obviously this is a guess.. so dream big & tell me what you think it would be.

This is actually a tricky one. Growing up, I knew I always wanted to be a mama. It was just ingrained in me from an early age, so I think I may be depressed if I didn't have my girl! Photography was the other passion deep inside of me at a young age. I wanted to start this process at 17, but was told no. I think that I would have cycled my way to it at some point because it was always important to me. Or a stripper. Maybe I would have been a stripper. 

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment? Something that you never thought you could do but did.

Greatest accomplishment is my girl. She is THE COOLEST kid I have ever met. Like, seriously. I talk to mamas all the time in the photography world, whether during a birth or a newborn session & we talk about the terrifying moment where they tell you to leave the comfort & security of the hospital & take your new one home. "Are you sure I'm allowed to? What if she needs a new diaper? I can't be expected to be changing diapers all day!? I have fire crotch!" The entire first year you are just praying that you can keep them alive! And then you do! It's pretty incredible to grow a human & then sustain it & turn it into a pretty cool kid.   

Second to her is my business. It's nowhere near where I want it to be, but I do this part-time because I'm her mama first. I think I will always want more - it's the nature of humanity - but I am pretty pumped with what I have accomplished in the first 3 years. 

What was your defining moment when you knew that you wanted to do photography? 

Defining moment. I don't know that I had a defining moment. Or maybe I did. I always wanted to make it happen, but it wasn't feasible until my husband quit his full-time job & I had a newborn. PERFECT TIMING! My hubby knew that this was deep inside of me & I wanted to make it happen, so he handed me the credit card & said, "do it. You'll regret it if you don't." And he was right. There are days I want to throw in the towel, there are days when I think I am going to be a famous photographer (again, emotional extremist). I love it, and I am so privileged to do it. To be the one capturing a baby's first breath or the first kiss at a wedding?! Hello, dream job. And I do BOTH with tears streaming down my face every.last.time. 

If you could hold on to just one memory from your life forever, what would it be? 

This is a tough one. I immediately think about Granny. I'm transported back to her dining room as she spritzes her Red Door on her wrists, and draws her "albrows on." Or I think of my uncle Ron who I knew for a couple of years before he was killed. But then I think, I always want to remember the moment I said yes at my wedding, the moment my girl was placed in my arms. I guess I want to hold on to all of them. 

Who has been the biggest influence in your life, and what did they teach you?

Biggest influence goes to my hubs. He is cool as a cucumber, unswayed by stupid people, and has patience out the wazoo. And while I am still far from how awesome he is, he has helped me learn to relax...kinda...and to appreciate the victories in life. Just the other day he was telling me to be happy for getting the things I wanted, not sad about the things that I still have yet to attain. Glass half full. I'm still learning, but he's taught me a lot. Hopefully, my daughter will be more like him. He's rad.

What motivates you in your success with photography, weight loss, and being a good mama? How do you juggle it all?

What motivated my photography, weight loss, and being the best mama I can be is this kid.

I started losing weight before I was pregnant with her so that I could have help pregnancies. I continued losing weight after I had her because I had struggled my whole life with being overweight and having an unhealthy relationship with food, and I never wanted her to watch me struggle & learn that poor behavior. I started photography because of her. I had this beautiful, smiley, dimply baby girl & was taking hundreds of pictures a day. She was the final push to make me pursue it. And I want to be a good mama because she deserves it. I fall short every single day, but I'm doing my best to be a killer mama. 

Do I juggle it? Clumsily, I would say. I try my hardest, but there are days when things get neglected. Like the dishes. It's hard to have it all. We can't have it all & be excellent at all of it. I wish I could be, but it's just not possible. I think we all look at other mamas & only see the perfectly-quaffed, out of sweat pants photos & forget that we are all just trying to do the best we can. We put the best version of ourselves out there, when in reality, we're all just do the best we can to hold it together, to juggle our balls, and to make it seem effortless. It's a whole lotta effort. Let's call a spade a spade here. 

Thanks so much for these fun questions! I had a good time answering these!

Happy Thursday!

Q&A Wednesday

I'm trying to find new & different things to do here, so I decided to try Q&A Wednesdays! Ask me questions IN THE COMMENTS section, and I will answer them tomorrow!! Ask me anything!

Happy Wednesday!

10 Reasons Why Being a Parent is the Worst

I posted this blog post earlier & had about 20 mamas who wrote on my Facebook, Instagram & email that they felt the same, laughed until they peed, and appreciated finding the light & humor in life. A couple of people did not feel this way. People, I write in jest. I write about the funny things in life. I write because life is too short to be so serious. Do I write in here that children are little monsters? Yes. Do I call my child that? OF COURSE NOT. I was told that I, essentially, speak death & condescension to my child. I'm sorry - I didn't realize that you lived in my house & listened to my conversations with my daughter. In our house, we speak life & truth, we talk about Jesus & heaven & how smart we all are, how beautiful we all are, how perfectly God made us. We build each other up. 

Mom blogs are just that - a place for moms to come when they are tired & weary. Being a mom is the hardest job in the world, but it's what I was meant to do. I always wanted babies. And I am terribly offended that someone would call me out in a passive aggressive, vaguebooking manner that I am clearly ruining my child and I hate being a mom. Thank you for remembering that for the last 2 years I have struggled, cried, broken down & poured my heart out to you as I suffered through FIVE, count it, FIVE miscarriages, taken fertility drugs & questioned the very existence of God as I laid on my floor & wept because I wanted just one more baby. You're right. I clearly am a horrible mother who hates her life. 

Not to mention that if you are a reader of my blog, I have mentioned my struggle with feeling inferior, stupid & like God has it out for me. I'm sure that post offended people, as well. Throwing Bible verses at me while judging me for being such a terrible mother just adds to that hurt. Thanks so much. Thank you for making me cry. Thank you for making me question myself & for hurting my feelings. This is EXACTLY why girls don't like other girls. Why girls struggle to be friends. And I pray EVERY SINGLE DAY that my daughter never ever has to deal with mean girls. May she be blessed enough to only have good, positive, uplifting friends who don't judge her or make her cry. Yep, did you read that? I pray for my daughter. Maybe I'm not such a horrible person after all. 

Bottom line, don't read my blog if SARCASM offends you. I write about the funny things in life. I write to make you laugh 'til you pee. I write so that mean girls don't make you feel like you are the only one in the world who struggles to hold it together. I write so that you don't have to feel like you have to pretend to be perfect like the mean girls made me believe I did. I write so we can be friends & have a laugh. If you can't laugh about life, I feel sorry for you. It's just not that deep. Find a serious, no-nonsense blog to read that won't offend you. This is not the blog for you.


Now, for all of you hyper-sensitive, holier-than-though, I-would-never-say-a-bad-thing-about-my-child readers out there...turn back now. I'm sure that the first sentence offended you, and got your $2.97 Walmart Granny panties in a twist. If that offended you, go read someone else's blog who is more holy than I am. This is not the blog for you.

For the rest of you normies, let's talk about the 10 Reasons Being a Parent is the ABSOLUTE Worst. we all set out on this journey to become parents to these angelic, polite, well-polished children who stepped out of the Pottery Barn Kids catalog. For every ONE stunning, catalog-ready photo I have my child, there are about 12 hideous, just-rolled-out-of-bed, cereal-stuck-to-her-face photos. Instagram is a lie, people. Get it through your head. We all thought that we'd be the one with the well-behaved, potty trained, eloquent, genius children. Wrong again. Universe: 1. Me: 0.

Without further ado...the list.

1. Poop. Also known as feces, dung, sh**, excrement, waste, manure. You're familiar with it. We spend most of our days wiping someone else's ass, waiting for our children to poop on the potty, cleaning poop out of brand new underwear or doing the happy dance when there is a small, brown mass at the bottom of the toilet. #glamour

2. Tantrums. I judged you all. I judged you & whispered under my breath, "My child will NEVER do that. Pull it together." Yes. I was that judgmental, non-mother. Until I met my daughter. The meltdowns only come out when we are surrounded by the general public. She has a specific tactic: to make me cry or look like I'm out of control in front of nice-looking, non-parent strangers. She's crafty. She acts cute & innocent until something she wants is on the line. She can go from peaceful to screaming bloody murder when a toy is at stake. Usually at the cash register. Now, when I see other moms with a toddler in the throes of a tantrum, I give them an understanding smile. I know how you feel. I'm sorry that your child has turned on you. I empathize. We are in this together.

3. Legos. Satan's war against peace & harmony in the home. It doesn't matter if you cleaned up all the toys, those little jerks will find your foot in the middle of the night, and ONLY AFTER you have put your child to bed, & have made every effort to hardly even breathe so they don't wake up.

4. Sex. It was crazy, loud, & wild. Then, it got you this 7 pound blob who wakes up if you sneeze. Outside. During a monsoon. You could do it anywhere before: the bed, the couch, the floor, the hallway, the closet. Wherever. Now, if your spouse makes any kind of noise, your eyes bug out of your head, as you both wait for the inevitable wail from down the hall. Now, this, is what I call sexy.

5. Vomit. It's supposed to be limited to these tiny spittles that the wee ones send out constantly. It's cute. It doesn't smell. Then they get a little older, and for some odd reason, the only places they are able to throw up is in their bed or on you. Then begins the gagging, and the husband running to the other side of the house "claiming" that he is "going to throw up." Yeah, well, me too, buddy.

6. Tiger stripes. If you are one of the lucky ones with the perfect balance of elasticity in your skin, then screw you. This blog isn't for you either. We all got them. Well, most of us did. We did everything we could to do every kind of sit-up, crunch, and plank to make them go away, but it's too late. The little children clearly tried to claw their way out of your belly while you lovingly fed, nurtured, and house these little boogers for 9 months. #ungrateful

7. Boobs. They used to point north. They don't anymore.
8. Coolness. You used to be cool. You used to roll into your friend's driveway, windows down in your cute, little 2-door coupe, bumping your favorite jam. Now, your minivan is littered with Cheerios, mystery stains on the seats, a funky old shoe smell, and you are singing the Wheels on the Bus at the top of your lungs just to keep the litter from screaming.

9. Sleep. Now, I have to say...I had a 4-day old who slept 8 hours a night. Now, she sleeps 11 hours. I am in the minority. I have heard horror stories from many of you whose children are still not sleeping through the night at 18 months old or are waking at 5am every morning. I'm.So.Sorry. Please, let me buy you a Starbucks.

10. Stupidity. Maybe you weren't always the sharpest bulb in the drawer. That's ok. I'm not either. For some odd reason, you create these little spawns, they mar your body, make you yell, make you cry, make you eat a tub of ice cream when you realize that you are, indeed, ruining them just like your parents ruined you, but you swore you'd never let that happen, and then you want more. The only reason I can come up with for this insanity is that children suck the brain out of your head through your lady garden when they emerge, and make you terribly stupid.

If you have any reason why being a part is the worst, drop me a line in the comments section.

Happy Thursday! A.

I Don't Know Much, But I Know I Love You

My husband has an affinity for singing in a falsetto voice. It may be one of the most annoying + hilarious things he does. He does a lot of funny things. Like dancing around the room naked, provocatively to seduce me. He also does a lot of annoying things. Like putting his clothes ON TOP of the hamper. 'The hell is that?! He says it's so that I can make the decision about whether or not to wash it. If it's on top of the hamper, it was questionable to you. If it's questionable to you, I am going to think it needs to be burned.

When I got married married 6+ years ago, I thought marriage would be different. I thought we'd have sex 15 times a week, I thought we'd spend every night snuggled on the couch together watching TV, I thought the house would be clean all the time & I thought our child would never be the child who throws herself down on the floor in a fit of rage when she isn't allowed to get the damn toy at the register that they place at eye level so that your monster child will have a massive Britney Spears breakdown, and so, to save face from other judging mothers, you give in, & buy said toy to keep your child from screaming so loud & hard that they throw up in WalMart. 

Check out my Instagram to follow Maddie's #reasonsmytoddleriscrying series. New material everyday.

I digress.

Picking a spouse is a funny thing. When you fall in love, you have to GETMARRIEDRIGHTNOW. You want to start your life together, buy a house, make babies, buy the minivan to tote around your litter. The first year of marriage is easy. Blissful, even. He worked, I scrap booked. He was happy I had a hobby. We decided to get a credit card to help build our credit. In the spirit of helping us build our credit, I proceeded to spend $350 on scrap booking materials at Hobby Lobby. And he was pissed. Ummm, excuuuuuse me. I was trying to help our credit. #ungrateful

When you get married, you envision the more glamorous moments far more than realizing that, at some point, you will  be on the crapper, and your spouse will walk in. You don't think about watching them pick their nose at all hours of the day (sorry, honey). You don't think about cleaning lettuce out of the bathtub after your husband has stopped at Subway before his bath. You don't think about having a screaming toddler who is yelling, "STOP, MOTHER!" & looking at each other in disbelief that this is the precious little gift from God that you prayed for, waited for, & thought was the most heavenly thing ever created when she was a tiny, quiet, newborn bundle is now cursing you in her own toddler language because you had the audacity to tell her that she needs to go pee.

Time has a way of warping things. You change, you grow, you decide what actually are the important things in life. My house is messy. Yes. I clean, but it's less often now. I love sweat pants. And let's be honest, not wearing a bra is one of life's greatest joys. I think my precious husband thought I would get up each morning, put makeup on & dress cute. Bahahahaha! No, dear. No. Bless your heart, but no. We have been through really great times, and really awful times. You lose people you love, you lose babies, you lose your mind. Marriage is exhausting, but it's one of the coolest things I have ever done. It's way less glamorous & far more smelly I could have ventured to guess, but it's pretty damn cool. Who else is going to know that random things about you that no one else in the world would give a rip about? Like how my favorite word is brunch, or how he likes to eat Subway in the bath. Glamorous? No. Weird? Yes.

For all the weird crap that happens in marriage, the quiet moments far outshine the moments that make you want to smother them with a pillow, call your best friends, & ask them to help you hide a body. It's a weird thing, marriage. It's wonderful to get to have someone to love & laugh with, but it's a whole different ball game when you see how weird they are. But I love my weirdo. And for some random reason, he thinks I'm pretty cool too. He thinks I'm "pretty funny." One day he'll think I'm hilarious. One day.


I suck & other musings

Do you ever have that feeling? I know you all do, but most of the time, especially as a girl, I believe that it's just me. I chalk it up to hormones, but I really believe it is an innate I suckness that we all inherit from our ancestors or from Eve {of Adam & Eve}.

The reality of the suckage always hits the hardest when I am about to do something way the freak out of my comfort zone. Exhibit A: I am doing a bridal show on Sunday where I have to represent my *ahem* professionalism + my creativity + my talent + my personality without swearing. I don't know that I can pull that off. I have seen my competition. My best friend was the first to jump to my side & say, "OHMYGOSHYOU'REWAYBETTERTHANTHEM!" I have come to a place with my work where I can appreciate & be proud of what I have accomplished. Having canvases made of MY work was pretty cool. I did that. I created a work of art that someone LOVED & then has hanging in their home. Hot damn! That's pretty cool! However, I am now being asked to speak to strangers //stranger danger// and I'm not terribly good at it. I have diarrhea of the mouth. "Tell me about your wedding packages." "Ummm...I've had 5 miscarriages. Can I tell you about my weird eggs?!" I really want to do well. I vasciliate between "I'M GOING TO BOOK 15 WEDDINGS!" to "thisisgoingtosuckandi'mgoingtodie." There's no medium with me. I'm an emotional extremist.

Putting yourself out there is terrifying. I can have all the confidence in the world at one point, and then BAM! The I-suck hits! Parenting is the other sucky area. We all mess up, we all emotionally scar our children in some way {just like our parents emotionally scarred us}, and yet, we kick ourselves at night for losing our temper or laughing at the screaming toddler when she is upset that she missed her pool noodle while we went to the store {true freakin' story}.

By the way, let's face it. Girls are intimidating. We try to act tough & like we have it together, when we are just praying that people don't see our dress tucked into our underwear. Maybe that's the issue here this weekend. I want people to like me {Sally Field anyone?} and book me and hire me and rave about me. Hi, my name is Andrea & I'm a narcissist. I don't want to walk away from this weekend feeling more suckage when I walk away empty-handed. Middle ground is there, I just fail to see it a lot of the time.

If we could all wear our suckiness on our sleeve, then maybe we would be less inclined to pretend like we aren't scared of what's to come. Maybe we would have more confidence to put ourselves out there without the judgment of mean girls.

I say all of this in jest. Yes, I feel like I suck a lot of the time, but I know that my work is good. I know that parenting has a GIANT learning curve, but wouldn't it be nice to feel like you had it together? Yeah, hello, pipe dream. We're clearly not meant to have it all together {#Jesus}, but holla! It would be totes awes if we did. A little less competition, a little more confidence {#Elvis}.

If you're bored & in the Northern Colorado area on Sunday, come visit me at Brookside Gardens. I'll give you a lolli & a hug for boosting my confidence.


The Art of Confrontation

I'm an ugly cry-er. UGLY.

Side note: I have now realized that there is a scene from New Girl for every situation in life. #fact

And I'm a girl, so, it happens more frequently than I care to admit. I have already seen the violent mood swings that emit from my child, and she has yet to enter the hideous pre-pubescent stage. Lord, beer me strength. 

I'm a kid from a broken home, which sounds a little overly dramatic, but that's technically what it's called. My parents got divorced after I moved out. I know what confrontation looks like. And maybe because of that, I have learned to be the opposite. I hate confrontation. I listed this fact about me on a "10 random-ass facts about me" Instagram post. There are instances where it is necessary, obviously, but more often than not, I believe it is best to keep the peace. I think I am listed in textbooks under divorced parents & conflict.

Usually, conflicts with me end with ugly crying. I can't help. I don't know if it is written into my gene code, or if I have learned to cope by crying. Josh and I can argue about which type of soap to buy, and if I feel like I'm being attacked, I cry. Over soap. I wish I could cry PMS, but it would be a big, fat lie.

Maybe things would have gone differently in my life had I been willing to be more confrontational. Maybe my photography business would started sooner, like I wanted it to. Maybe my relationships would have a different dynamic. But I don't care. "I am what I am" - Popeye. And that's what I'll teach my daughter as well. If she's a cry-er, so be it. If she doesn't like conflict, so be it. It's ok. Fight for the things that are important, but if it's just minutia? Step around it & move on.

Sometimes it just ain't worth it. Sometimes there is no point in telling your husband that his garlic breath is melting the paint on the walls. Maybe you feel differently. In that case, good luck. And don't be surprised if your husband points out of one of your annoying traits. Tit for tat.

"Don't Stick Your Finger Up There!"

This was said. By me. The other night. It's amazing to me the weird poppycock {I used to find a better synonym for shit} that comes out of my mouth as a mom. We all have ideas of what we will say & not say to our children. We vow never to say what our mom said to us when we were acting like a buttwad, and yet, I find myself unable to control the oddities that escape from my mouth. We've all said it. These little miscreants evoke things that make us shout across a room full of well-polished, educated people, "Don't pick your nose & wipe it on the wall!" It's embarrassing, & yet, there's nothing you can do. It's involuntary.

So, thinking back, here is a list of the twaddle {more synonyming} that has escaped from my mommy mouth in the last month.

"Don't stick your finger up there! Poop comes out of there!"
"Don't put your face so close close to the dog's butthole!"
"Quit shoving all that toilet paper in the toilet!"
"Stop dumping your apple sauce on the dog's head!"
"Please don't bend over without panties on. No one wants to see that!"
"Stop drinking the bathtub water! I know you peed in it."
"Stop licking your shoe!"
"Syrup isn't finger paint!"
"Don't play with your toenail clippings!"
"Get the toilet paper out of your butt cheeks!"
"Your bed isn't a jungle gym. You can't stick your legs in the bars."
"Maddie, you can't eat the whole lemon rind!"
After a screaming-yelling tantrum, "Sorry, your real name isn't Maddie Cakes. I named you. Your name is on your birth certificate. It's Madison Brooke."
"Stop spinning in circles next to the table."
"Quit sticking that doll in your mouth. You're going to choke!" One minute later... *gagging* "See, I told you!"
"Watch where you're going! You just ran over that lady's foot!"
"Please don't announce your farts to the world."

I know that if I wrote these down I would have a much longer list. Because the crazy continues. All day long.

What's the weirdest thing you've ever said to your child?


Where Were You?

I was always the first up & at 'em in my house as a teenager. I got up at 6:00am every morning to get the first shower. I wanted the hot water. I was willing to sacrifice a little sleep for a hot, hot shower. And, in typical teenager fashion, I spent an hour & a half getting primped & ready for school. The kicker was having to take gym my senior year because I kept putting it off. Genius move.

This morning was no different. I got up & got ready. My mom was up early getting her bags packed because she was heading to Washington D.C. to meet with Diane Feinstein. #namedrop I remember the sunlight streaming in from my parents' sliding glass door in their bedroom. It was a sunny, California morning. Typically, one of the tvs was on in the house, but this morning, it was quiet in the house. Then the phone rang. It was my Grandaddy. "Where's Susan?" "She's getting ready to go to D.C. Why?" "Turn on the news." 

I remember the next few minutes like it happened this morning. Time stood still. We stood with our jaws on the floor, feeling such pity for the poor pilot who accidentally hit Tower #1. How could this have happened? It was a beautiful, clear, cloudless sky. Then, we watched, as if in slow motion, as the next plane slammed into the second tower. The weight of what had happened hit my body & I sunk to the bed. We were under attack. Our country, America, the super power, was under terrorist attack. It was one of the first times I ever felt scared of living here. We lived in a town an hour from any major cities, so we were relatively safe, but the thought that we were no longer safe was terrifying. Then we watched people, scared out of their minds, jumping. It was one of the worst things I have ever seen. I will never forget the tears streaming down my face, as these helpless people had to make the choice to burn or jump. How do you make that choice?

I don't know how I made it to school that day. The gravity of what was happening was overwhelming. My mom cannot get anywhere on time to save her life. An ironic statement because she could have been on a plane, at the airport or in D.C. if anything had changed that day. I sat in class & cried. We all did. It was weird, creepy, terrifying. Why we had school that day is beyond me. Most of our classes were spent watching the Pentagon get hit, & just waiting for L.A. to get hit because that was what was being reported. We were next.

The days following were a whirlwind. Clean-up began. You know. You watched it. In disbelief. In fear. Then GW stepped up & vowed to make them pay. And we stood together as a country, broken-hearted, ready to avenge these deaths, avenge the terror that we now felt.

Every year is a sobering reminder that we aren't invincible. Every year since is a privilege & honor to still call America our home.

Never forget. United we stand.

Where were you? I know you remember. It's like our parents remembering where they were when JFK was shot. We'll never forget the moment our bubble was popped.


25 Reasons My Husband is Cooler than Yours

When I met Josh at 14, I knew. Like, I can look back, and know that I knew. I totally knew he was it. That doesn't mean that the first time he tried to kiss me 3 years later didn't make me feel like were related. Because I totally felt like that. We even sat in his car later & I said "Meh, I don't think this is gonna work. It's too weird." He convinced me otherwise, and he was right. He's always right. It's super annoying.

When I married Josh 6+ years ago, we both had expectations and ideas of what marriage would be like. I thought I'd be spending lavishly. He thought we'd save for the future. I thought I needed to bake everyday. He thought I should lay off the cake. I thought we'd have sex 15 times day. He thought something was wrong with me. Needless to say, we have since come to a happy middle place with our expectations. Mostly. Sometimes I think he should know what I'm thinking about & why I'm mad. He wants me to talk about it. It's weird.

For Father's Day this year, I found an adorable idea on Pinterest for handmade cards/love notes. I cut out 15 or so cards, sewed on some hearts, & stuck them to the bathroom mirror for him to wake up to. He loved it. He even told me that he loves getting notes like that from me on a regular basis. Never knew that.

The other day I told him that I'd been wanting to write him another note, but I kept not doing it. He said it was "nice" that I thought about it. Whoops. You read a list of 20 random facts about me on my photography blog, but this time, I'm going to write 25 things I love about my husband/how he's much cooler than all the other boys.

I love:
1. how he loves me.
2. how he loves our girl.
3. how he calls me on my sh**. I don't know if you know this about me, but I have a little sass in me. It came from my mother's side. Every once in a while, he calmly & rationally lets me know that I'm being bat-sh** crazy. He's usually right.
4. his sensitivity & warmth. Ironic after #3.
5. his butt.
6. that he loves to take baths all the time. Although, now I can't give the Schmidt quote from New Girl out of my head when Jess wants a bathtub. If you know what I'm talking, I'm glad we're friends.
7. his smile. 
8. his sense of humor. He makes me laugh so hard. He is seriously hilarious. He's so quiet, so a lot of people don't know that he's hilarious. You're missing out. He's a hoot.
9. how smart he is. I don't just want him for his body, if that's what you're thinking.
10. how he makes my fears seem irrational.
11. how he is my safe place.
12. how much he loves his family. Some of them are totally crazy, so this is asking a lot.
13. his beautiful feet. He has like perfect feet. They are so pretty. It's strange. I may be slightly jealous.
14. his patience with Maddie. When I'm losing it & starting to believe that she may have been switched at birth, he pulls out his inside voice & they have a perfectly calm, rational discussion. 
15. how responsible he is. We don't spend lavishly. We have everything we need, and most of the things we want. We save money, we spend wisely. It's all him. I'm the one pointing out the surround sound system built into Lazy Boys. That's in the "needs" category, right?
16. his relationship with his brother. They are so very different, but they love each other. I mean, I always joke that, when Rachel & I are in a picture together, we look like good & evil. Elvira & Barbie. What a team! Josh & Matt are different, but they are each other's sounding boards. It's cool.
17. that he thinks "I'm pretty funny." I tease him because I think I'm pretty damn hilarious, and he famously told me, "Yeah, you're pretty funny." I called my mom immediately. "That's an insult!" Exactly. Maybe it makes me work harder.
18. how he rocks a scarf. Hard.
19. his faith.
20. when he holds my hand. It gives me butterflies. 
21. when he makes fun of my naivety. "Big Green Tractor" lyrics, for example:
can take you for a ride on my big green tractor 
we can go slow or make it go faster 
down through the woods and out to the pasture 
long as I'm with you it really don't matter 
climb up in my lap and drive if you want to 
girl you know you got me to hold on to 
we can go to town or baby if you'd rather 
I'll take you for a ride on my big green tractor 

I had no idea.
22. when he plays guitar.
23. his big dreams.
24. how he plays with Maddie. They are usually hiding from me, the big monster. It's adorable.
25. when he turns on music, and dances with me. 

He's super cool. I hope you know. You'd like him. 

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