Category Archives: travis

Marriage is so much more than “surviving” it

IMG_Family_Portrait_Atlanta_GA-1787Yesterday Travis and I celebrated our 12 year Anniversary. Although today is “technically” it :)

We don’t ever really do much for our anniversary… having kids right off the bat and moving so often, has made our ability to travel or do “really big” things a bit hard. In fact with our 10 year anniversary I had hopes of traveling some place but Reed was a newborn and he was freshly out of the Police Academy, so that just did not happen. It is what it is and either way, I am thankful for each year. Each one brings its joys and challenges but each one brings us closer.

Travis surprised me this year by taking off yesterday. I had no idea. He was suppose to be at work. I got up kind of early yesterday. Took a shower… got dressed… had some quiet time… then when I went downstairs Taite wanted help on the computer starting a game… so I sat down with him in the school room to do this. While I was in there helping him I heard dishes being put away… but I didn’t think much of it. I figured Caleb was being extra sweet and decided to start on chores early.

Well, after I got Taite’s game going, I went into the kitchen only to see Travis in there with Caleb :) and a stack of gifts and big vase of roses. He got me :) – which for him is hard to do haha.

He then had me open a letter he wrote and I thought it be fun to post it here, so I can remember it and look back on it, if by some chance I lose the copy he gave me. Im typically not one to tear up easily over things like this but this one got me. He admits its a bit silly but it was still so so sweet.

He was hesitant for me to post this :) – but told me I could if I wanted… for my own memory sake.
He doesn’t claim to be a poet at all. To me while this may seem kinda simple… it means more than any gift ever could.

Twelve Wonderful Years

A farm boy sent to the big city whoever would have known,

That while there God would bring the woman

Who would be his very own.



She was a student while a youth intern I came to be

Thrown together by God’s perfect plan

But unbeknowst to us for at least 9 months plus 3



She really stood out, so different from all the rest,

Artsy and quiet, with her sweet sixteen smile

I never would have known, that for me, she would be God’s very best.



I left that summer really quite ignorant of this person I would grow to love

But in the months that followed,

I began to see more deeply this beautiful person sent from heaven above.



Through the use of computers, messaging, and email

and technology known only to the modern age

We talked and shared extensively, learning that on many things, we were on the same page.



A whole year went by before I would see her… and then

Coming in with the choir, so elegant and stunning,

I was blown away by her beauty when I saw her for the very first time… again



Now eighteen and finally legal (hahaha…), no more must I wait

To Charlotte once more I came

To ask this sweet young lady on our very first date.



It started in the mountains on a road trip for the whole day

Amidst the beauty of God’s wonderful creation

We talked and giggled like nervous school children until night had come our way.



I would drive to Charlotte, to Raleigh she would come

So many miles we would put on our cars

Our parents thought we were nuts, but we didn’t care, we were having fun.



Until the day came in the summer of 2002

When for certain I knew

she was the one I had hoped and prayed would someday say “I do.”



A more gorgeous bride there never has been than my beauty all dressed in white

I will never forget that special day

When I received God’s precious gift with oh so much great delight.

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Four boys, eight moves, and many chuches later how greatly blessed I am today

Twelve wonderful years and counting

To still be with my darling dear, forever and always to stay.


It hasn’t always been easy, quiet challenging for both of us at times

But blessed, changed, and more tightly bound are we

Christ making the sweetest lemonade from all our lemons and limes.


And so to close this little poem with one verse more I write

A pale comparison I know it is

To return to you, which I daily receive, oh so much love, joy, warmth, and delight!


For my devoted and loving wife on our 12th Anniversary

Travis

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Before I end this post… while ending it on his poem would be perfect I think… I just wanted to end with a few words of encouragement to couples out there who may be in the midst of struggle.

Travis and I have never done things perfectly.

We went into marriage honestly a bit blind. We were young and “obsessed” :) with each other… I think often with young love, you get caught up in it and don’t think to far. You just know how you feel “at that moment” and you believe with all your heart that you will break the mold. You will be that couple who never has real issues. That couple who has perfect kids who you vow to never “talk negatively about” to your friends haha… you vow all these things that you truly cannot understand or predict, until you live it.

Travis and I got little to know marriage counseling.
I was 19, he was 25. We loved each other and that is all that matter at the moment.

Marriage is God ordained and amazing… but it cannot be amazing if you do not communicate… and to often in our marriage we didn’t communicate… and we built up walls towards each other.

I look back on it and these walls were built without us even really knowing it… and just years of years of not knowing how to communicate “well” with each other, really hindered our marriage.

So to all the newlyweds out there… or the soon to be married couples… or maybe even the person reading this who may be married and has been married for years but feels as if their marriage is at the breaking point.

Know that marriage is worth fighting for… but it takes two. If you are having problems in your marriage, never feel ashamed to seek counseling. When Travis and I moved to Georgia we went through a year 1/2 of professional counseling. Not only as individuals but as a couple! It was awkward… and hard… I remember at times thinking it was so pointless and so stupid… but it wasn’t. The Lord was able to use our counselor to really teach us about each other in a way we hadn’t really seen… because we were to busy proving our own points or making our own assumptions.

If you want my honest opinion. Every couple should seek counseling around year 7 of marriage, regardless if they feel they need it or not HAHA… cause it really did make that huge of a difference for us.

Would we have survived without it… probably.

… but marriage is so much more than “surviving” it.

So to my amazing husband of 12 years. I love you. I know without a doubt, I am a blessed woman.
Many women would love to have a man as thoughtful and caring as you are to me.
Just know that and stay humble :) hehe

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11 years of marriage, done.

Jan 4th this year was our 11 year anniversary. 11 years. Went fast and slow hah.

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We got away for a night this weekend. 1st time since Reed was born :) – so over a year. Was good to get away. A friend of mine baby sat all 4 of our boys. So thankful.

I thought I would write up a list of some things Ive learned over the last 11 years of marriage. Through experience and through mentorship :) – yes mentorship in marriage, totally needed hah…

1. I remember when we 1st got married… my husband and I use to say “Ohhh we won’t be THAT couple…” You know, the one that fights about stupid things.. or the one that seems “out of love” within just a few years. We wouldn’t “fall into that” pattern and be that way, because “we were different.” – Let me tell you. What you THINK you will be and what you WILL be are totally different… and while I think our marriage is much stronger now than it ever has been… we have definitely had our moments of being THAT couple. You go in expecting it won’t happen, trust me, it probably will and if it doesnt, you are either very blessed or way better than majority of the couples in the world HAH!

_MG_8796 copy2. When I got pregnant with my 1st born… I remember seeing couples out there with kids throwing tantrums, or being messy… or acting “weird” – Travis and I both were dead set in believing our kids would NEVER behave that way. Uhhhhh. Yea. 4 boys later. We have those kids LOL! Don’t go into marriage expecting miracle babies that never do wrong. You will be disappointed ;-) – just go in expecting to be blessed in-between the barf, poop, bickering and in-between battles over legos. Its all worth it, don’t get me wrong… its just not as “easy and float in the cloud” dreams of perfection. You will have your imperfect days… and you will have your days you talk negatively about a child.. or two… or 3 to your girlfriends or other couples over dinner (without kids). Doesn’t mean you don’t love them :) – it just means you are what I like to call “REAL.” And yes the image to the right says it all.

3. Sex. Yeah. Im not going to get into that LOL. We have 4 kids. Enough said. Although if I was truly honest. Id tell you, that excuse you heard often in movies “Im to tired.” – totally true. You will be to tired for it and often. Doesnt make you wrong. Makes you totally normal and a mom of many. Sorry husbands… its not you, truly.

4. Socks. They will NEVER stop leaving socks around the house. NEVER. So may as well get over that now :) Their forgetful ness to pick up the sock does not mean they don’t listen. It means they are men who have small attention spans and an inability to retain small task information for long periods of time. Either that or their lazy and don’t give a crap. Doesnt mean they don’t love you :) – don’t invest to much stock into socks.

5. Don’t be afraid to tell your spouse what you need and what you don’t need. Communication is key… pretending you are ok, is never wise.

6. You will at one point or another shave your husbands neck. At least if you are as poor as us you will :)

7. Go ahead and buy a King sized bed. Skip the queen :) – we still have a queen and let me tell you, when we can afford to buy a king, we are! I sleep like a wild woman and my husband is a cover hog. Then again I am too. Lets just say, we could use a larger amount of blankets and bed space.

8. Invest in a white noise machine or fan. If you are a light sleeper and you intend to sleep in the same room as your husband (which is wise for a healthy marriage… unless you are hugely pregnant and want the bed to yourself or co sleeping and dealing with a newborn at night. Your husband may choose to sleep elsewhere for a season and thats ok too!), you will need some sorta sound to drown out “snores or huffy puffy sounds” – all men do it. ALL OF THEM. SOME women do too ;-) – not me, I just talk in my sleep sometimes. Which my husband finds very funny.

9. Its ok to be different from each other :) – opposites attract.

IMG_930810. Don’t expect your spouse to be your mother or your father. So often we grow up wanting “personality” traits we saw in our parents. If you don’t think this is true, go to professional counseling for 18 months, you will think otherwise. My husband should not expect me to act or do things the way his mother did… and I should not expect him to behave or treat me or remember things that were important to me as a child, that my parents did for me. Make sense? So in short, don’t ever assume or expect them to KNOW you like those things that your mother or father did, unless you tell them. We are each our own person.

and…

11. Since I can’t very well end on 10. We are after all celebrating 11 years :). There will more than likely come a time in your marriage you will want to quit. I think the couples out there who do not experience this the 1st 10 years are blessed. I have wanted to leave before. Throw in the towel and give up. Marriage today is the type of thing that is so flippitly done that couples just give up. They have a fight. They have something bad happen. They don’t “FEEL” happy… they give up. After all, you can divorce. Over 60% of the marriages in the US end in divorce. If not more. Its OK to do that, especially if you have reason to, right? Marriage is a commitment my husband and I made before a Holy God… It has had its many bumps along the way… all marriages do. We are committed. All that being said. I know many friends and family who read my blog are divorced or have been. I do not think all cases end in divorce for “wrong reasons.” Addictions can kill a marriage… abuse… adultery… marriages can be broken and will…. Satan has a grip on our culture and society… and so many marriages do not make it because of our own brokeness and sin. Its sad to see…. in some cases I do believe divorce needs to happen… as sad as that sounds. In many though, I think the marriage can be saved.

So to all those married for 11… 2….7 or even 18 years… these are my few random thoughts as I typed up this post today… in-between interruptions and task I had to complete. Filled I am sure with error. It is what it is :) – Thankful to be able to say I have been married 11 years to an amazing man and father to my boys.

Love you Travis!

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Surprised

When my husband and I first got married… some of our very first heated fights came around the time my birthdays rolled around. I always felt very cherished on my bday by my parents… so for me, they were kinda a big deal. So when my birthday came our 1st year of marriage and he didn’t do much at all… lets just say, I was very disappointed. He obviously meant no harm.. he grew up differently and one thing you learn as you are married longer :) – is that his thoughts are def. not my thoughts ;-) – and we should not assume or expect our husband to know what we want, unless we tell them. Sometimes it feels “less romantic” or “less sincere” but my husband needs help in this area and for that reason, I do speak up now and I do give much grace. :)

For my 30th birthday (which was Aug. 6th) my husband did something far from his comfort zone and threw me a sweet surprise party.

I honestly had no clue… none.

My attire and messy hair in these images shows that haha… so well done to my husband who did such a good job… thankful for him… and thankful for the sweet friendships we have here to celebrate with. I hate more people couldnt come. Was fun and great to see everyone.

One of my friends there is a photographer and snagged some fun pictures of the celebration :) – may give you a small peek at the time we had.

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May not be Hawaii

Today my husband and I celebrated 10 years of marriage. It honestly feels so weird to be able to say I’ve been married that long. I haven’t even hit 30… and I have 10 years of marriage behind me. You add to the fact I have had 4 children, it feels even weirder!

Marriage is one of those things that I feel I went into very blindly.

I was 19….

Had only been out of high school a few months before I started dating Travis… While he was almost 7 years older than I was… neither of us I believe really knew how hard marriage could be.

It is so worth fighting for though and growing through.

We have both learned a lot over these 10 years… especially over the last year being in COR.

I could not imagine myself with any other man… and I am very blessed to have a strong and God centered husband and father to my boys.

I look forward to the next 10 years :) and am excited to see where the Lord takes us from here.

For our anniversary we may not have gone to Hawaii… although that would have been amazing. With the unexpected pregnancy and birth of sweet baby Reed… it just wasn’t in the cards for us this year :) – we do hope to celebrate with a trip later on… maybe next year ;-) – and well, I may be getting a house for my anniversary in a few months ::hint hint:: – sooooo well, I really have no need to ask for much more hah….

Anniversary date :)For today though my husband treated me to a full nights sleep…. he took Reed all night. This afternoon I went in for a 1 hour full body massage… ahhh love it… and when I got home from the massage we had a sitter come to watch baby Reed and Caleb. The other two boys went to my friend Shannon’s. Travis and I then got to go to the range to try out my new gun. I’ve debated blogging the fact we own guns… but I dont see the harm in being honest with that. For Christmas Travis got me a 9mm. I have never shot a 9mm… so you can imagine it felt very intimating…

Being able to shoot it today was very helpful. I feel so much more comfortable with it. It was fun to shoot! and…. well, I did pretty darn good seeing as it was my 1st time! I hit almost a 10 with the 1st few shots! I impressed Travis :) and even shot his 40 caliber as well. That thing had a bit more kick than I liked though :) – so ill stick to the 9.

It is def. something you have to really be careful with… and I am being extra cautious with it.

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I’m thankful for the ability to have it though and I definitely feel more confident in going out alone. Especially at night and being in our home alone, so many nights.

After the gun range fun we enjoyed an amazing dinner at a really nice restaurant we had never been too. It was delicious. We enjoyed each others company, great conversations, hugs and kisses :) – and to end we came home to a house full of excited and happy boys waiting on us. :-D All of which crashed shortly after haha…

One thing I do hate we didn’t do today was get a recent photo of us together… Travis snagged some of me at the range but that was it. Maybe Sunday we will snag some :) – if not, we hope to have family pictures taken in a few months… so we will get some then.

Here is an oldie though taken about 5 years ago in our old town of Williamston. While it is 5 years old, I do still think we look similar :) – my hair is shorter and Travis has MORE hair hah… & I may be a weee bit smaller ;-) – im working on that! but it still is us. Its a favorite of mine…

Thank you Travis for an amazing anniversary. I love you Love!

twood

Broke my Doctors Bed rest rule

Well, I will admit that yesterday I broke my doctors bed rest rule.

I couldn’t help it!

IMG_9479We had season passes to the Georgia Aquarium and they expired Saturday. We haven’t used them pretty much all summer either because of my pregnancy and Travis no longer being around during week days… Going to the Aquarium on the weekend was usually out of the question, since saturdays at the GA Aquarium are nuts!

After a fairly easy morning Saturday and a run to the bank, I mentioned to Travis that it be fun to go… even though we hadn’t planned on doing much at all that day.

He was for it and so we ate a quick lunch, packed up my diaper bag with a few snacks… and made our way to Atlanta.

Owen slept on the way, which was needed :)

I knew going that Id be very slow…

I totally have a preggo waddle going on now and in crowded spaces I feel very much in the way. Despite the slow walking (it was slowwwww – had to tell the kids “slow down” a lot) – I think I did just fine.

Contractions were minimal yesterday.

Cramping was there but only towards the end.

My ankles stayed a fairly normal size.

and back pain didn’t kick in until later that evening.

So! we were good :)

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I’m glad we went… and Im even more glad that it wans’t a total disaster. While the aquarium was crowded… it was tolerable. We also got to see the Dolphin show (included in our passes, so no extra cost) – As cheesy as that show is (sorry) – its always so neat to see the dolphins and the kids faces light up. Owen however was scared during the performance this time. He requested a spot on my lap and at certain points would cover his face with his cute chubby hands. So so sweet. No tears were shed :)


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So… I broke my bed rest rule… but this one time, it was a good call.

I will make up for it as the week goes on.

& one fun thought… the next trip we will make to Atlanta our mini van will be full (for the most part) ;-) – while driving home I was playing with instagram and snagged this photo in our “bubble mirror”… It made me smile.

(You can see Taite and Owen knocked out. Caleb wide awake, as usual.
Once baby comes, Caleb will move to the back with Taite)

This makes me smile

Hope everyone has had a great weekend.

I’m thankful ours has gone well… and the pregnancy despite the sleepless nights (Im battling major insomnia people!) – I feel regardless pretty good as of the last 48 hours.