Monday, January 11, 2016

Sealed with a...

Happy New Year! (I believe the year still counts as "new" for at least a month. Maybe five.)
Things have been wild around here, so I'm happy to be back in action with my first post of the year, even if it did take me a while. I'd like to say I have all kinds of reasons for not making time to write, but really it comes down to two things:
  1. Binge-watching Making a Murderer
  2. Running the Bachelor pool
I'll spare you a detailed rant here, but it's safe to say if you've seen me in person at any point in 2016, those are probably the only two things I talked about. (They're both so crazy and addicting in entirely different ways).

But in addition to holing up on my couch, eyes glued to my TV, I have managed to do at least a little bit of (slightly) deep thinking. It is the New Year, after all, and heaven knows I love me some introspection, goals, planning and resolutions. I wrote a post on this topic for Thrive Moms last week, (proof I haven't let my brain go entirely to mush) actually talking about how we shouldn't feel pressure to make resolutions...which for me has been really good to remember. But while I'm letting go of the over-anxious striving, and stringent rules for myself, I'm still thinking about what I want to focus on this year, and where I can look for growth. I'm still in processing mode for the most part, but I think I've landed on two things I want to do (besides watch Making a Murderer, and run a Bachelor pool):
  1. Have a small every day resolution
  2. Choose a "word of the year"
I’ve done resolutions a few different ways over the years…ranging from choosing annual themes, writing a full list, and just ignoring the task entirely (if you’re interested: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) Let's skip the long winded recap and I'll just sum it up: I haven’t been overwhelmingly successful with any approach. Best intentions. Rough follow through. Some years were better than others, and I've got some thoughts on what process works best for me. But all that's still simmering for a bit, so for now we'll just focus on goal #1- one small task I'll aim to do every day. 

I found this goal tracker and loved the simplicity of it, and the message: "Big Things Happen One Day at a Time". It's a great reminder not to get overzealous (and overwhelmed) by a huge change- I can just take little steps forward, one at a time, every day. I pondered what I'd want to focus on, aiming to find something I knew I could be successful at, but that would still stretch me and lead me towards a worthwhile end. I'm self aware enough to know that anything involving exercise was going to be a near-immediate failure. And while I have some other creative challenges I might want to pursue, I didn't want to get too rigid about those. Also, I wanted to make sure that I chose something that I really could see myself doing every single day for the full year...not something I'd approach with gusto now, but then get burned out on, or even maybe complete before the year was over.'s what I landed on:

 Yep. My goal, every day this year, is to kiss my husband.

Surprised? too, a little.
I don't write a lot about marriage here, which in a way is a little odd, because it's such a huge part of my life. But because it's a partnership, it doesn't feel fully mine to talk about. I do love the idea of being transparent and authentic, but I also want to be respectful, and appropriately private with what I share. It can be a funny balance; if I talk about how much I love being married, and how awesome my husband is (I do, and he is) then it sounds like sappy bragging (which no one likes). But if I'm too open about our struggles (which we do have...despite all that sappy brag-worthy stuff) then it can sound like complaining or give the appearance that we're worse off than we are. And of course, no one likes their mistakes or shortcomings blasted out to the public, so I try to be thoughtful about how I'd want to be portrayed, and only write things about others that they'd want to read...inclusive- especially- of my husband. (but let's be real, he's pretty much perfect, so that makes my writing job easy. ;)

So as I share my goal to kiss my husband daily, I want to give some details to help round out the full picture. Dustin and I are very much in love. We are also very much buried in the overwhelming task of raising three small humans. And try as we might to prevent it, that second part can sometimes trump that first part. Parenting is hard work, and it comes with the sacrifice of much, most noteably: time to do anything besides parenting. I couldn't ask for a more hands-on and devoted partner, but being in this together, isn't always the same as being together. When I reflected on it, I realize we spend much of our time either dividing and conquering (or at least avoiding being entirely conquered), or moving in parallel. There is understandably a ton of time that we spend apart, either working, tackling chores, or wrangling the kids. But what I started to see more and more of is time that we're technically together, but are heads down, moving through a to-do list. This shoulder to shoulder work is good, and I'm overwhelmingly thankful to have him by my side, but I'm also craving more face-to-face time. 

As I said, we're still very much in love, but with the chaos of work and little ones, it's easy to plow through a day and not truly see each other until the evening. Even then, routine can take over, with chores and sheer exhaustion squeezing out spontaneous romance. I'm not saying we never make time to be together (I mean, all those kids didn't come from no where. Oh, gross...come on, my dad is reading...) but we could still do a better job of weaving some affection into the pattern of our everyday.

So my goal is simple. Kiss my husband, every day. And if I can get really lofty here...let's say on the lips, even! I want to avoid making it an air-kiss as we speed out the door in the morning, or a quick peck before we crash for the night. What I really want, at least once every day, is to take a pause, look into my husband's eyes, and kiss him like I mean it. Because I do. 

As it turns out, this is not a hard task once I started to be mindful of it. We have a ton of opportunities for little lovey-dovey moments, as long as we're looking for them. And I'm happy to report that we're off to a great- perfect!- start: our lips have locked every single day this year. It's such a simple, but important way for us to invest in each other, and our family. (Piper is unaware of our goal, but is still encouraging, telling us " two are so cute when you kiss!") So as strange or vulnerable as it may feel to share it, I'm so excited about this goal, and will be proudly planting one on my partner for the next 350+ days (and hopefully many, many more to come).

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  1. Oh my gosh. Love this post. And totally stealing the progress tracker idea.

  2. You are lucky (meaning blessed) to have each other. Keep on smoochin'!

  3. Kissing your husband is one of the best things you can do for your kids too!:)

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