Typically, my blog posts are about parenting and my own faith walk, but there’s so much more I want to share with you. In an effort to get back into my writing groove (if you’re curious why, see my last post here), I’ve decided to write about whatever God lays on my heart.

Think back to the days of English class when you learned all about storming—brainstorming, that is. You remember, right? Those little bubbles with words that were supposed to miraculously turn into a written report? I.Loved.It.

Today, I am pondering the meaning of true romance. You better believe I was like so many other little girls who dreamed about her Prince Charming and how he would one day sweep me off my feet. We would have twins—one boy and one girl. Pregnancy? What was that? We’re talking stork, people. We would live in a beautiful home that I would lovingly and passionately clean and decorate until my little heart’s content. Awww…

Weeell, I did meet my Prince Charming (PC), but most people just call him Travis. We did have two children, although both are girls and were born three years and three months apart. We do live in a beautiful home, which my PC does let me decorate to my heart’s content. However, what my sweet fantasy did not include was the sheer amount of housework that accompanies four people, one dog and a bunny…not to mention budgets, bills, and LIFE in general. Insert record scratch sound effect here.

Over the 14 years we’ve been married, my idea of romance has completely changed. Initially, I bought into Hallmark’s version of what makes someone romantic…flowers, a nice date night, a cleverly-worded card, occasionally remembering my birthday…you get the idea. I was so wrong!

My PC may be the most uncomfortable guy in a store buying for his wife, but that’s because that’s not how he shows he loves me. Romance is spending the night in the NICU with a brand new baby alone, because mom is home sick with big sister. Romance is taking one look at my face and knowing what kind of day it’s been (then giving me a big hug regardless). This sweet man is truly—if it’s even possible—getting more amazing as we tackle this crazy journey called life together.

IMG_4098

A few weeks ago, I met with my doctor and made a plan to get physically healthy. I decided—with God’s help—to give up caffeine for good. You read that correctly, folks. Nada. Zilch. No sweet bubbly goodness for me anymore. Thank you, Jen Hatmaker. This is partially your fault.  😀

Since I was giving up caffeine, my doctor said, “I also want you to try Atkins.” I know she was speaking English, but my brain just couldn’t initially process no cookies during the holidays. No fabulous, amazing, mouth-watering homemade mama’s dressing for Thanksgiving. After my panic attack, some deep breathing and yoga, I decided this smart lady who had a medical degree and years of practical training was right.

This journey is so important to me, and my PC and I have had long, loooong conversations about why I need to do this now. PC is a man of few words, so he loves it when I draw him into deep, meaningful dialogue…loooooves it.

PC doesn’t diet, people. He doesn’t need to diet. He thinks about losing weight, and he drops five pounds. But this sweet man decided the way he wanted to support me was to give up caffeine as well and take on the Atkins way of eating. Be still my heart…

Giving up caffeine? Not so bad! Giving up tortillas? That’s another story. There’s a precious Hispanic friend of PC’s from work who swears he is more Hispanic than she is because he’ll eat a tortilla with anything. Atkins is ROUGH for him.

The day after Halloween, I set aside a small stash for each girl to enjoy this month. Then, I put the rest in a bag (and there was a lot o’ candy), and I asked PC to take it to work to give away. The bag finally made it there yesterday. And when I say there, I mean T’s personal office. No break room.

After surviving an office luncheon where he was forced to eat plain salad or cheat on the diet, taking the Halloween candy to the break room proved too much. PC said his plan is to stash the candy in his office for the day when he can eat a piece, again. He’s joking…I think. People, this is romance.

PC’s words, “I ate salad…contaminated with cucumbers (PC really dislikes these)…without salad dressing…because I love you.” Awww…this means so much more to me than flowers or anything he could buy me. PC is truly my partner in every way, and I feel so loved and cherished by his commitment to live healthier.

I’ll leave you with this fun story. PC and I have been through a lot—as most couples experience when they’ve been together for a long time. Some years were tougher than others, but I’ve honestly never felt more connected or deeply loved PC more than I do now. This feeling doesn’t come from regular deep, meaningful dialogue, because seriously…who has time for that?

PC and I catch up between time spent with our girls, at work or doing whatever else we need to do. When they were younger, sometimes this talking time came while we were in the bathroom before bed. Well, one night as hubby and I stood in the shower talking—talking, people—we heard this little sleepy voice ask, “Where’s mommy?”

Thank sweet Jesus that PC is a tall man, and thankfully I was standing behind him when our youngest daughter wandered from her bed (where she had JUST been asleep—I know because I checked) to our bathroom. Trying to make myself as small as possible behind PC, I heard him say, “She ran to the store, baby. Go back to bed, and I’ll come check on you in a minute.”

We chuckled at our cleverness and near miss…that is, until we snuck into her bedroom a little while later. Our princess was fast asleep, and right next to the bed, we found this…

Blog-photo

Best.Parenting.Moment.Ever. So, my friends? What does true romance mean to you?