Four Things a Husband Should Do for His Wife

Today Dan and I are celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary. Dan took a few days off of work, and, as I mentioned in the last post, we have a lot of fun planned. So, I’m not making any promises about when the next update will come. In the meantime, I’d like to celebrate this fourth anniversary by sharing four things my husband does for me, four things every husband should do for his wife.

 photo loveswedding_zps353d604c.jpg

He loves me.

I have a problem. We call it the “goldfish syndrome” and I’ve read enough marriage books to know I’m not the only wife who has it. No matter how creatively, lavishly, romantically, or frequently Dan tells me he loves me, I forget.

 photo loves_zps83f6a1b2.jpg

It’s not always that I forget. The problem is really that I stop feeling loved and so I start to believe I’m not. Or sometimes I know that Dan loved me…at one time, but what if it changed? What if he stopped? So Dan has his work set out, but he is constantly, faithfully, patiently reminding me of his love for me.

 photo leadswedding_zpsf06cde1b.jpg

He leads me.

I really enjoy having Dan as a leader in our home. It has become my second nature to ask his opinion on everything. Picking out fabric for Abby’s quilt? I asked Dan’s opinion. (He picked out the backing) Trying to figure out a new schedule? Ask Dan. Feeling like I’m doing a bad job at keeping a home and raising the girls? Go to Dan and get some input.

 photo leads_zps738d9407.jpg

But it’s not just when I ask that Dan leads. He leads us in so many areas of our lives.

Spiritually – he reads the Bible to us after our meals and prays with me every night before we go to sleep
Financially – he earns us a living even on days when he would rather do anything but go to work
Emotionally – he holds it together when everything else seems to be falling apart
Decision Making – he always gets the final say, although he appreciates my input, he’s not afraid to make the call
As a Dad – Dan doesn’t just leave me to raise our kiddos. Even when they are less than four pounds and growing in an isolette in the NICU, Dan is a present and loving father (and a really good one too)

There are so many ways Dan is a leader in our home, I couldn’t list them all if I tried.

 photo helpswedding_zpsad927368.jpg

He helps me.

Maybe if I was perfect I could do it all. Manage and keep a beautiful home (all the time). Teach and train the girls. Feed and diaper the baby. Clean and fold laundry. Plan and cook meals. Keep track of our budget and all our finances. Correspond with friends and relatives. Plan doctor visits, vacations, and dates. Exercise and get plenty of rest. Even while kids are sick, babies aren’t sleeping, and we live in transitional sorts of places.

 photo helps_zpsc4b2a57b.jpg

Since I’m not perfect, I can’t do it all by myself, and even when I seem to be accomplishing a lot, I’m known to have occasional break downs. But Dan doesn’t expect me to be perfect or self-sustaining. He helps me do my job as I help him do his. We’re spouses, but we’re also partners, teammates, and friends.

 photo spurswedding_zps9ab821e0.jpg

He spurs me on.

Dan and I first started talking at a time when I was discouraged and far from home, but learning good things from God. He started emailing me once in a while to encourage me, pray for me, and ask what God was doing in my life. My God’s grace, Jesus has stayed the center of our relationship through all of the transitions and changes over the past four (plus!) years. Dan is the one I go to first with my Bible questions, thoughts, and troubles. We pray together and seek God together. He’s my husband, and he’s my leader. He’s my helper and my friend, but he’s also my brother in Christ and always will be.

 photo spurs_zpsc320515e.jpg

Advertisements

The Perfect Wedding Cake

 photo whispering_zpsdbd61ed0.jpg

When Dan and I started planning our wedding, we had no idea what we wanted for a wedding cake. A friend of ours had experience at making cakes and was eager to help us with ours. So, we scheduled a meeting. The four of us all sat down together: my Mom, Dan, the cake-maker, and myself. As we began talking we realized we didn’t really have any idea what we wanted.

“It should be white.”

“Should there be some purple in it?”

“I like ribbons…”

“Flowers are nice”

After only a few minutes we decided to reschedule another meeting after we had come to a more concrete idea of what we actually wanted. Weeks passed and we put very little thought into the cake. Our meeting arrived and we sat down and essentially designed our cake on the spot.

“White. With swirls, I like swirls on the sides.”

“How about some roses?”

“What flavor? What filling?”

In a very half-hazard way, we designed our cake. It was three tiers, all white with swirls on the sides and roses lining the edges. They were small at the top and grew larger at the bottom. There would be a raspberry filling in the middle because that’s what sounded good at the time (and it was conveniently close to purple).

The only part of the cake I was sure about was the cake topper. I had picked it out myself early in our engagement and everyone gave their approval. Apart from the topper, I had almost no idea if the cake would even look decent…or wedding-y.

I remember the first time I saw the cake. It was morning, and sky was perfectly clear as I walked through the parking lot and into the gym where are reception was going to be. It must have been the day of the wedding, so all the decorations were in place. The gym was a sea of white with purple accents and delicate white roses were scattered everywhere. In the middle of the gym was a round table, and there on a small platform, was our wedding cake.

It was perfect. I couldn’t have designed a better cake for our wedding and for us if I had actually known what I was doing. The cake was simple, beautiful, elegant, and it even tasted delicious.

 photo cake_zpsb8554b0a.jpg

Sometimes our marriage feels a lot like our wedding cake. Dan and I each came into it with our own ideas of what it should look like. We had plans that failed, expectations that have never been fulfilled. There were probably only two major things I was sure of when we got married:

1) Dan was the man I wanted to marry.

2) Jesus was the center of our relationship and we wanted Him to stay there.

I guess Jesus is a bit like our cake topper. He stays, but anything else can change (and most other things have changed). Marriage has held so much that we never expected. School changes. Job changes. Babies…early babies! Those crazy newborn months. And housing changes (and more and more housing changes). Sometimes our whole lives feel a bit disorganized. Sometimes they feel chaotic or downright out of control. But ultimately, Jesus is at the center of our marriage, and God is the one creating and perfecting our story. God is our marriage “cake-maker”.

Often we just see the messy cake-making process. But sometimes we get a little glimpse into the beauty that God is perfecting. This Thursday Dan and I will celebrate four years of marriage. Four years of chaos and four years of trusting Jesus.

We’re going to celebrate by having an extended weekend packed full of fun and friends and a nice, long date. So there will be updates and pictures and lots of sharing up ahead, but for now I’m just reflecting on the goodness of our God and the sweet results a marriage receives when Jesus is at the center.

 photo cake2_zpse5218d4b.jpg

Love, Laughter, and Bloopers

 photo happy_zps3fc6c15b.jpg

Last week I took the girls outside for a brief photo shoot before posting Abby’s latest update. Lydia wanted to be in on the fun, so I took pictures while the girls played together. It was sweet. Afterward I realized that I had taken some pretty funny pictures, and some cute ones too.

Mind if I share?

Few things make my heart happier than watching these two talk to each other, play together, and just love on each other.

 photo hithere_zps98a86cdf.jpg

Sometimes I’m not sure they’re BOTH enjoying themselves.

 photo tumbling_zpsc3a6c77e.jpg

And sometimes I KNOW they’re not both enjoying themselves.

 photo unhappyhug_zps0b033336.jpg

Sometimes they just need some alone time.

 photo parallelplay_zps3ffa6e3b.jpg

Sometimes bad things happen when I’m not around.

 photo bitter_zpse6ebf6a0.jpg

But these two forgive quickly. Then they’re back to sharing secrets.

 photo secrets_zps896f9235.jpg

 photo laying_zps99407f08.jpg

Maybe I was just in a wedding mood, but this one reminds me of bridal party shots where all the girls are talking and laughing. Don’t grow up too fast girls!

 photo weddingsomeday_zpsfc8b14d2.jpg

Maybe we can duplicate this one at the a wedding too. 🙂

 photo whatISshedoing_zps2f713d3c.jpg

Abby has a tendency to bite fingers, eat faces, and poke people in the eye.

 photo eatyourface_zpsd0150b7d.jpg

 photo pokeyoureye_zps0069b999.jpg

And sometimes she just won’t smile.

 photo smileAbs_zpsab43a8d8.jpg

I love my girls. And all our squishy selfies too.

 photo faces2_zps75c67601.jpg

 photo squishyfaces_zps4c5bcb00.jpg