Because We’re Pinching Pennies

I pray that this is still mostly anonymous.

You and I are struggling a bit on the financial side of things. You’re patient with me as the chief financial provider. We don’t toss money aside on every sparkly, shiny new object. We never go out to eat. We hardly buy new clothes for ourselves.

We have a slightly higher TV package than we need. We send our boys (very cheaply) to a 2 day a week pre-school.

We have places we could cut. It wouldn’t make a huge dent, but we could cut here and there.

But it’s becoming a project–you and me against the debt-demons. You and me trying to be creative to find a bit of cash here and there.

First, I’m just so thankful that you don’t bust my balls all the time about it. You acknowledge that I work and try–that I’d even go back and work at the Cracker Barrel where I put myself through grad school. I’m selling bad records on ebay for goodness sakes.

Second, I trust we’ll get through this. My business will continue to improve. We’ll push through. I do need you. I need your encouragement and patience and help here and there, but we’ll get through it. And we’ll be thankful for whatever we learn.

Happy Post-Thanksgiving: An Explanation

When you read this, you might have blocked Thanksgiving 2012 from your memory. Let me refresh it…

First, I started last Monday with the intention to send you a thank you note every day. I posted here, and then I cut and pasted the post into an email and sent it to you that way. I decided I wanted you to know a few reasons, in real time, why I was thankful for you.

But alas, when I got home, MG was screaming and crying due to a tummy bug. In about 3 hours, SB joined in. And about 4 hours after that, you joined in.

Let’s just say it was a sleepless, puky night. We made it through, but our house, with pallets, blankets, and pillows strewn all over the place looked like a Red Cross shelter. Our appetites were gone. Some time on Wednesday we all kind of were able to eat.

But by that day, I was in bed with a horrible cold-like virus. I was just gone. I mostly dodged the tummy bullet, but this viral thing grounded me.

So Thursday–our little ones still don’t appreciate decent food. When do they finally start to like decadent casseroles? 🙂

We suffered through some canned veggies and boxed macaroni and cheese and a boneless, salty–yet still tasteless–turkey breast.

But we had ice cream and we had each other and we had a sweet little time. Most of all, we weren’t sick any more.

Thanks for still giving us a wonderful week. We had fun decorating the house some and playing board games and watching movies (you and I made it through We Bought a Zoo and J. Edgar; the kids watched Christmas Tigger or something about 17 times).

I love you and am looking forward to the Yule Tide season with you!


Thanksgiving Week Day 1: Your Laugh

I’ve written about your laugh before.

It’s loud, yet feminine. It’s boisterous, yet doesn’t evoke images of medieval pub scenes.

It’s probably one of the biggest reasons our DVR majors in 30 minute sitcoms vs. 1 hour crime dramas. Perhaps we’re just intellectually lazy, or perhaps I just love to hear you laugh.

When you laugh, it aligns things.  It turns a black and white day to color.

If I’m in a funk, it defunkifies me.

I tend to think that if you’re in a funk, and something funny pierces through that funk, it defunkifies you, too.

Whenever we’re sitting on opposite ends of the couch with our chips and dips and Twizzlers and Coke Zeros, watching a show, and I hear that peel of laughter from your side of sofa, I smile.

I might not get the joke, but I smile anyway.

Finally, I’m glad that you sometimes laugh at my jokes and/or silliness.  I know I’ve hit gold when your laughter morphs into a silent, bent-over frozen smile on your face.

Thanks for your laugh! I love you.

Me and My Menzies

I was writing in my last post about how I was feeling a little melancholy. How perhaps it was another manifestation of the man period that I hinted at in my previous post a couple days ago.

Well, I texted you about it yesterday. Our conversation:


Thanks for Understanding!

I laughed and that took me out of it a little bit.

But it reminded me of New Girl from a couple days ago (Episode 7, Season 2: Menzies).

Here are the clips of something that made you laugh–setting up the idea:

Here’s Winston coming clean to Schmidt:

I hope when you see this, it will still make you laugh.



‘OUR’ first Thanksgiving

****Please note that any ‘you’ refers to my wife (Tina). See my about page regarding the purpose of this blog.

Well, we just decided: Thanksgiving with just the five of us.

I must admit that I feel a little sad that we won’t be with any extended family. Your family’s plans fell apart for various reasons. My parents are going out east to my brother and his family’s house.

This plays perfectly into this recent kick I’m on about really establishing our family as our family–not as servants of all of the extended family bits and pieces around us.

Our Own Thanksgiving

The fun part is that we can really plan our holiday weekend. Our children are young (5 yr old daughter and 4 yr old twin boys), and we can really establish traditions unique to our little clan. Some brainstorming about why this is all a good thing:

  • We can establish our own traditions around Thanksgiving
  • We can decide how we want to kick off the Christmas season
  • We can find something charitable to do in our community
  • We can keep it simple. We don’t really need 13 side dishes to choose from and ultimately get near sick from.
  • We can create ways to do a better job at creating hearts of gratitude in ourselves and our children

There are other things we can do, I’m sure. We can watch a Christmas movie Thanksgiving night. We can drink a lot of hot chocolate. We can both have a couple glasses of wine without worrying about driving anywhere. We can watch football without feeling bad about it–because, thankfully, we both like to watch football.

Why It Makes Me a Little Sad

For some reason, though, I’m a little sad, too. I honestly can’t put a finger on why this hits me in a strange way. Perhaps we’ve always had a certain rhythm to our holidays.

This hiccup forces us to face the fact that things change. Relationships change. Parents get older. Family dynamics morph.

Thanksgiving is a time of big old gatherings. I like big gatherings. Sometimes they are wierd and people act strange and people say stupid things, but that’s family. We’ll probably say stupid things to each other while we get ready to eat.  I miss the silliness. I’ll miss being able to sneak off to a TV and watch a few plays while I hear family chattering around. Often J comes to find me when I’m off in another room. He bombards me with a bunch of four year old observations while I’m watching my football.  He can crack me up sometimes.

I used ‘man period’ as a tag on my post yesterday. Yesterday, I was feeling ornery. Today, I’m feeling nostalgic and a little melancholy. Just another manifestation of the man menzies.

I was about to take a 90 degree turn on this post and discuss our funny exchange about ‘menzies’ yesterday. I’ll create a separate post in a moment. This Thanksgiving stuff is too good to mess it up with irreverent humor.

Suffice it to say…

While I’m a little sad, I truly believe that God is calling me (and you) to lead our family into new traditions and a new family culture. We need His guidance and help, but we need to take seriously the idea that we, as a family, are called to be a unique expression. We are called to nurture our children, love each other, and somehow positively influence others. Right now, it seems we’re diving into the foundation: to create a home.

This is a work in progress. I shall now cut and paste some of this secret post and email it to you. I’m not ready to reveal this site to you yet, but this is stuff that I want to share with you.

****Please note that any ‘you’ refers to my wife (Tina). See my about page regarding the purpose of this blog.

Because I Need to…

I love you because I need to love you.

Today, in particular, I am in one of those whiny, bitchy, ornery moods. It actually helps me to step back and think, “What is the next right thing for me to do?”

Or if, to be honest, I might be annoyed by some indication of information coming from our house, then if I step back and ask, “What is the next most loving thing for me to do?” Or “What is the most loving response in this situation?”

It feels dorky. But it helps. It helps a lot. It refocuses.

What I’d like to do is eat a big burger and fries, some ice cream, watch crap TV, and go to bed–and all that without passing go and with minimal contact with anybody–coworkers, you and the kids, my parents, my friends. I just want to isolate and be grumpy.

But… asking myself those questions forces me to make better decisions.

Today you’re home with our daughter who has a cold. You guys are all probably stir crazy. I’m guessing you’d like to have a break. I don’t blame you. I’m wanting to be a lazy bachelor at the moment. 🙂 I don’t want to do anything stupid. I just want to fart and burp and, at most, play video games.

I’m starting to smile now. These images of me being a complete waste of space are kind of funny.

I love you–and I’m going to go to the store and pick up the stuff you put on my list.  And I’m going to come home, put on a fire, and be nice.

Because My Dad’s Bad News…

….moved you to tears.

It’s a treatable form of cancer. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma of some type. But he’s older and he’s a little sad and a little worried about his energy levels depending on the type of treatment he has to go through.

We have a lot going on anyway, but I’m thankful that you take this on almost as if he’s your own dad.

Because of Your Post-Haircut Ritual

First, your new haircut looks really good. I believe I threatened you with another pregnancy (which would be a feat given your tubal–I know, TMI).

I especially love the way you play with your hair on days you get your hair cut.

I get home from work and am lost in saying hi to the kids and getting my stuff in the house and getting the lay of the land.

All of the sudden, I notice you’ve been playing with, flipping, and shu-shuing your hair the whole time I’ve been home.

Finally, I take notice. And you smile. And we have a little laugh.

Your hair always looks good, but something about the way you do the little dance of ‘how do you like my hair?’ after my day is fun.

Because this was your status…

…on Facebook:

A big shout out to my husband – so thankful
for him.  He is a wonderful Dad, hard worker, does the dishes, helps me
with the house, funny and supportive to name a few.  Oh, and lets me
sleep in every weekend!!!  Love you

It meant a lot to me to read that yesterday morning.

In true former Pentecostal form, though, it also made wonder about how good I really am.

I wish I were a more patient man. I wish I romanced you a little better. I wish I were a better provider.

Maybe those are my three 2013 goals. I’ll go ahead and get a head start on them now.

You deserve the world, girl.

You Love Leslie Knope…

…and I love to watch you laugh when you watch her.

I just wish I could find that clip where she gives all her reasons why she shot Ron Swanson on the hunting trip…

We needed to lighten things up a little from my recent heavy posts.

I love you sweetie. But your laugh really makes me smile.