To read the story of our precious Harlynn Renae, start here and follow the "next" links at the end of each post. Thank you for coming and sharing with us in this journey.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I ate pizza, now I'm feeling insightful.

I've mentioned before how much I love Saturdays. Even though all three of us in the household are still battling cold/sick bugs, today was no exception. Haley was up early - for her, and for Saturday. Before 7:00. Brent brought her to bed with us where she declared she wanted to sing a song. We weren't going back to sleep in other words. After some morning snuggles, breakfast, and a long nap, we read even more books and Brent headed out for his social event - playing pool with a friend from church. I was starting to not be able to keep up with Haley's book demands. After about the 10th or 11th book, I suggested we order our favorite pizza and bake chocolate chip cookies. She thought those were fabulous ideas. (Who could argue, really, though?)

I've cooked and baked with Haley before, but this was our first cookies experience. Mostly she wanted to draw pictures in the flour that spilled on the counter and taste-test everything, even after I told her we wouldn't be tasting after the addition of the eggs. (I will let you know it is incredibly difficult to not eat cookie dough just because you're pregnant and not supposed to.) She wore the apron my sister made for her for Christmas and looked like a true domestic diva. A girl after my own heart. Once the first cookie sheet was in the oven, however, her interest waned and she left me to go explore more exciting adventures in her toy collection.

Prairie Home Companion is on the radio, Haley is "being awesome" (read: dancing to her keyboard music by kicking her legs in the air and flapping her arms) in the living room, the last of the dough is in the oven, and half a pizza is trying to find its way around the obstacle course in my belly named Cletus-the-she-fetus.

I do love Saturdays.

Now that I've documented for my own well-being how wonderful this day is, on to something else I wanted to blog about. Life lessons. You know I'm full of them....because I have some crazy experiences sometimes. So here goes.

1. Always let your children help in some fashion in the kitchen. Not only do I hope Haley (and her future sibling[s]) will learn the proper uses, functions, and techniques of various utensils and appliances, but it will make a bank full of memories she'll (they'll) be able to draw back on. Today's cookie baking is no exception. I remember making pancakes for the first time with my parents, and I burned my wrist on the skillet. I have lots of other memories, too, (mostly of trying to make stuff after doing it in home-ec class, because my Mom would rather sew an entire wardrobe than cook a meal), and I'll tell you this: the kitchen is an oasis for me. I'm comfortable in here, I make wonderful things in here, and now I can add a few recipes for "memories" to my collection. Haley will be comfortable in the kitchen without a doubt - whether or not she likes to cook or bake. Also, she does a heck of a job unloading the dishwasher.

2. Never expect out of a relationship what you're not willing to or already contributing yourself. I'm a little taller at the moment, because I'm standing on my soapbox. Here goes. The last couple of weeks, we've been battling illness, pregnancy hormones, and a brain-block that doesn't allow Brent or me to communicate effectively. This has resulted in tears, swear words (even if they never make it out audibly, thinking them counts as swearing), and lots of apologies.

How many times do we, as women especially, sit and fantasize about our prince charming? He'll do what we want, when we want, without us even having to ask, he'll be full of romantic surprises, he'll love us no matter what, he'll only want to spend his time cuddling with us at night instead of watching t.v. or playing a video game, he'll tell us every day how beautiful we are - blah blahbityblah blah. Isn't it wonderful? Absolutely. Isn't it realistic? Get over yourself. We know what men are fantasizing about, and I don't think it includes being nagged, being given an iron-load of responsibility, expected to be apologetic and forgiving without ever having the right or reason to be mad at their counterpart (us), and I can guarantee they aren't wishing they could just find a woman who expects them to do everything romantic possible for them and only getting a smile and a thank-you in return. Think about it. No, seriously - stop reading this right now, and think about it.

We are selfish beings. We want what's best for us, and who can blame us? After all, if we aren't happy with ourselves, how can we be happy with anyone else, right? And the only way for us to be happy with ourselves is if other people bend over backwards to make us feel that way. Makes sense....if you're a raging lunatic. (I can say that because I've been known to be one.)

If I expect Brent to do A, B, and C, yet I'm willing to only do....none of those in return...that is not a relationship. That is a relation-kayak. Room for only ONE. I can't expect him to float down the river of life with me for very long when I'm the only one with the paddle. (Plus I have tried canoeing before, and I royally suck with the whole oar-steering thing...) Relation-kayak is a silly sounding phrase, so who would want that anyway?

Relationship - ship - able to stay afloat and house enough love for many people, by providing multiple acts of service, being accommodating, and wanting nothing more than for those in the ship to truly enjoy their time there. With you. Because of you. If you want a partner to love and respect you more than any other person on the planet, you'd best be reciprocating. Scratch that - not reciprocating. You'd best be leading by example.

I want Brent to spoil me and take care of me, and be willing to forgive me when I royally screw up, and give me hugs and kisses just because. So guess what? I'm going to work at, and always be willing to, spoil him, take care of him, forgive him when he royally screws up, and give him hugs and kisses just because.

I want Haley to trust me, run to me, have fun with me, and sing silly songs at the top of her lungs while baking cookies. So guess what? I'M going to trust her, run to her, have fun with her, and sing silly songs at the top of my lungs while baking cookies.

Relation-SHIP. Not Relation-KAYAK.

Is this blowing your mind or what?! You're welcome.

3. Never talk on the phone in a public restroom. You know my history with weird things happening in public bathrooms. I'm just adding to the list. I personally don't want to be thinking the person you're talking to can hear me pee. Or flush. Please save the conversation for another area.

4. Always be willing to take an adventure. "It's too cold" is reason enough not to do something, especially if you're battling sickness, but I can tell you - memories are made in more places than just the kitchen. Don't pass up too many opportunities to take an adventure. Go sledding. Build a snowman. Have a snowball fight. (Yes, it's January here so these are the activities that are on the forefront of my mind.) Right now, Brent is putting Haley's coat on so they can quickly go outside and see the full moon. Nothing crazy - but fun (especially for her) nonetheless. Anything can be an adventure. Putting a blanket over the backs of two chairs and pretending to camp or be in a fort - are you kidding me?! DO IT! Even if you don't have a kid you're trying to create an amazing life for, don't ever pass up opportunities to make your own life more adventurous. And be safe about it, for Pete's sake, don't do anything stupid. Let's keep ourselves in check here.

5. Think of a way to bless someone else, and then do it. I don't care who it is, if they're in need or not necessarily, what you do, just bless someone else. Do it enough times to where it makes you feel absolutely giddy about it. We're a selfish enough race we're always thinking about what we need, what we want, and what we don't have. Take five minutes to think of how you can bless someone else, and you'll notice you spend less time worrying about your own needs, and more time being thankful for the things that make you tick. I'm always totally humbled when someone does something for me or for my family, and it always spurs me even more to give someone else the blessing of peace of mind - if only for a day, or a meal, or a chore.

There you have it. Why do I blog life lessons? 1) to show I actually learn something now and again, 2) because I need the reminders and 3) how awesome would it be if someone took even one simple truth away from what I've experienced?

Brent is home and Haley is active, so I'm going to return to the captain's post on my relation-ship. :o) Have a wonderful weekend, stay healthy, and save the phone call for outside the restroom.

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