Addressing the “State of the Marriage”

During the holidays, most communication in our home went something like this:

“Can you pick up Mike from the airport?”

“Matt is driving home sometime today; is his car going to make it?”

“Mom, there’s no food”

“Mike needs a car to get to a job. Can you drive the kids to school and I’ll pick them up?”

“WHERE ARE THE CAR KEYS????”

“There’s a choir concert on Tuesday night. Abby needs to go to the doctor for a sinus infection and Peter lost his dress shoes.”

“Mom, the zipper broke on my dress and I need to leave in five minutes”

“Mom, there’s no food”

“Dad, my car is making a really weird noise”

“Can the guys come over tonight?”

“Mom, there’s no food.”

“Can Katie and I make Christmas cookies? Do we have any baking stuff?”

“Who made this mess???”

“Why does he have to leave his gross boxers in the bathroom?”

“Mom, there’s no food.”

“Her gross stuff is all over the bathroom and it’s covered in hairspray”

“Why is the dog in the neighbor’s yard?”

“Mom, there’s no food.”

For the last 24 years, my husband and I have been feeding kids, clothing kids, cleaning up after kids, shuttling kids around, watching kids perform, helping kids with insane school assignments, feeding kids, clothing kids, cleaning up after….

In the crush of years and kid-directed activity, I occasionally catch a glimpse of my husband/college sweetheart and think,

“Who is this guy?”

The School of Raising Children transformed two crazy-in-love kids into unrecognizable working drones, living in the same dorm.

This year, my dashing husband took charge. Instead of spending the last week of the year wallowing on the couch in a pile of Christmas cookies and wrapping paper, he booked a hotel room in the city. We packed our bags, donned some stylish clothes and abandoned the whole sorry mess.  With this act alone, he earned a hero’s cape, but he wasn’t finished.  As we sipped trendy cocktails in a restaurant devoid of college and high school kids, he whipped out a list of very purposeful questions.  They were as follows:

What is going well for us?

What three things can WE do better?

What three things can I do better?

What would we like to see happen for the kids in 2013?

How do we go about participating in this?

Where do we see God leading us in 2013?

And that folks, is why I married this guy. We spent the next two days evaluating, planning and talking. We also laughed, tried new restaurants and enjoyed each other’s company.  Instead of starting this year with tired resolutions, we have a written plan of action for 2013.  We will take some time in the summer and evaluate our progress.

The annual “State of the Marriage” address is our new holiday tradition.

champagne flutes touching

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Saturday Night Introspection

The lonely swing

 

 

 

 

 

 

My house is clean.

My laundry is done.

There’s food in the refrigerator.

I’m the only one home.

Instead of pursuing a career, I raised my kids.

I’m almost done. They’re turning out great.

I did the right thing.

Right?

I’ve worked myself out of a job.

I didn’t expect to miss it this much.

I’m not sure what’s next.

I hope I love it as much as my last job.