Tuesday, July 31, 2012

You Know You're a Mom When . . .

  • You tuck your cami into your pants
  • You catch yourself enjoying Mickey Mouse Club House
  • You know how to hold a kid in one arm and wipe with the other, and then pull up your pants, because there is no way you're letting them crawl around a public bathroom floor
  • When catching throw up or snot is no longer a fear . . . its an instinct
  • Going the bathroom by yourself is a privilege. 
  • When you wake up to silence instead of a kid in the morning, you try to wake up again because you think its a dream
  • When you are dreaming the baby is crying. . . or is he really?
  • When you wake up because you feel someone staring at you. Then you jump because there really is.
  • You blare your radio, not because you really like the song, but because you're drowning out the screaming kid in the backseat. 
  • You ask your child questions that you're really expecting your spouse to answer. (i.e You're stinky, why didn't Daddy change your diaper?)
  • When rinsing poop out of clothes doesn't even phase you.
  • You don't have to look at the words when reading their favorite book. Pout Pout Fish and Llama Llama
  • You make beds on your bedroom floor in your sleep.
  • You give the mom in the grocery store with a screaming kid the "I've been there too" look instead of the "shut your kid up" look

Monday, July 30, 2012

Social Media

I was perusing the world wide web the other day. I noticed people of all ages will say anything behind a computer/phone.

Then when I was on my run that night I started thinking about it again. Crazy right? I could actually think. I seriously TRIED to think on my run. I WILL love this eventually...right? I can't stop thinking about how this whole sit behind our computer/phone is effecting people each day. Why can't we just be honest. Or what's that old saying that your mama used to say, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all."

Then I was in the shower and it came in my head again. WHY?!?! Why do I keep thinking about this? Why does it bug me so much? Would these people take the time to write it in a letter and send it in the mail? Heavens sakes no, they would actually have to TELL the SPECIFIC person what is bothering them.

I am generally not the person to post something via facebook or twitter to "attack" someone. I did say generally. Or be passive agressive toward anyone. Sometimes I let my feelings get the best of me. When I see people posting things on social media I get annoyed. I get upset. It bugs me that people feel like they can talk like that behind their computer/phone. I am sure many people would NEVER say those things to a persons face. If they did, shame on them. It is ridiculous the things you find bouncing around on twitter and facebook. It is crazy how gutsy people can be!

This why my children will be locked in a closet...FOREVER! Ok, so I don't think I can get away of that. Honestly though I am going to do my best to keep my kids clear of all of that stuff. I don't even want to know what will be out there in another 10 years.

When talking to Jamie about this topic she told me about something she was reading on the web. It turns out that I had started reading that article two days before and had been interrupted. Surprised? Not at all. SO I finished reading the article and when I got to the end it was talking about this topic. I love the outlook she has about handling social media as a parent. Before posting a status or posting anything in general think about these questions. Would you go through and say that to EVERY person on your friends list? Or EVERY person who is following you?

I challenge you to do that. THINK before posting.

After I was done writing in my journal about honesty and what I want to say here. I started looking at old entries I made when in the hospital. I stumbled upon some things I wrote down from a devotional book.

"I know full well the thoughts and attitudes of your heart, so it is wise to be honest with Me."
-Jesus Lives Devotional

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Story of Tim & Jamie

Today Tim and I have been married for 3 years! We've had so many adventures together that it seems like it's been longer. Tonight I thought I'd share our love story (the abridged version).

Tim and I met the night of October 27, 2005. How do I know that? Because I received this Facebook message from him the day after—such a smooth talker. He's going to be so mad at me if he finds out I posted that lol.
"hey what's up i remembered to add u haha. hit me up sometime when u wanna party or just stop by brophy 40, outta here at 3 ish today ne time before that though"
We met at a party. And yes, we kissed in the bathroom that night. At the time I had just gotten out of a semi-serious relationship, and I didn't want to jump right into another, so we just hung out for a little while, before making our relationship exclusive/official at the end of November. It's not much of a secret that I went a little shall we say, crazy, my freshman year at Ferris. I always say that Tim reeled me back in and kept me from making a lot of bad choices.

This is the first photo we ever took together. Yes, he had fluffy hair, wore wife beaters and incredibly baggy jeans.

We dated all through out college, but our relationship wasn't without it's bumps. We had a couple pretty big ones, that will remain private, but through them we learned how to fight, how to forgive and how to move on and build trust again.

Tim proposed the Summer between our junior and senior year of college. I remember the day so well. We had talked about getting married, but I had no idea that he had the ring, and had stopped by and told my parents he wanted to marry me. The day he propose was dreary and it had been raining all day. I was wearing my blue athletic shorts and a grubby old t-shirt, since we were just hanging out at his house. When the rain stopped, he wanted to go for a walk. I didn't. I looked disgusting. But he somehow talked me into it. We were walking along the river, and slowed down and of course in true Jamie fashion I kept right on walking. He called to me to turn around, and there he was, down on one knee and he popped the question. I hugged him and he said, "so, is that a yes?" I laughed and said, "of course!"

That was the Summer of 2008. We were married a year later on July 25th in an intimate ceremony in my Grandpa and Grandma Brodbeck's back yard. Followed by a big reception with all of our friends and family were there to help us celebrate!

We honeymooned in Tennessee, and then I joined Tim in Chicago.

We lived in Chicago for just shy of 3 years. A lot happened with we there; we moved twice, had lot's of visitors, we welcomed Stella Marie into our lives!

And now, here we are back in Michigan celebrating 3 wonderful years together. And looking forward to all the adventures that await our family!

Love Bean 10 Months

5 days ago Love Bean turned 10 months old. She just started walking, has 6 teeth and 2 more poking through, is a mama's girl, and has started to refuse anything other than table food. I can't believe that in 2 more months she'll be 1 year old.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Girls & Boys

Alexis and I both have this weird obsession with buying clothes for our little girlies in the boy's section. I think it's a common misconception that many moms have is that there aren't as many cute boy clothes options as there are girls. Alexis and I beg to differ. We find so many cute pieces, and we've found that often times the boy's clearance racks aren't pick over as much as the girl's racks, so you can find some really great deals!

 I paired this boy's sweater from H&M with some army green leggings and motorcycle boats for a cute Winter look for Love Bean.

Roo's Captain America t-shirt is from the boy's department at Target. Alexis paired it with black shorts and a red bow to make it a little more girlish. Love Bean is wearing a boy's t-shirt from H&M. I went ultra girly pairing it with a black tutu, tights, a headband and red shoes.

The boy's blue and white pin striped shoes are from Target. I rolled up a pair of jeans into capris, added a bright yellow tank and a big flower headband.

Roo's jean shorts with suspenders are from the H&M boy's department. Pairing them with a girly shirt and red bow make them just girly enough.

Hopefully seeing the outfits we've put together for our girls will inspire you to take a look in the boy's section for your little girlies too. Or even better to raid your son's closet when dressing your little girlie. We'd love to see any outfits that you put together just share them on our Facebook page!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Good Intentions

I have the best intentions, but rarely follow through. Even the caption to my Pinterest profile is "I have good Intentions...". haha. Whether it be with making phone calls to organizing a room. My new challenge is to commit to something and do it.

It is going to start with this. . .
Yes, this does say Gat is getting his broviac out!!
I know it seems simple. But, I don't do it. I never write down anything. From now on everything gets written down. In the SAME place. Good Lord I hope I can do it! I need to remember everything better!!

Each week I am going to take one room and make it my "project". I want to get each room organized the way I want. Pictures hung up and a good cleaning. We have lived here two years and I have yet to make it feel really "homey". I hoping saying it on here will help me do it even more!

Another thing I am adding into my routine is writing and sending out a card each week. I feel like a hand written note goes along way. I am going to take it back a little in time and take time to make sure people know I am thinking about them. My sister and I did it a lot when she lived in Chicago and I couldn't wait until she wrote back. It seems juvenile I know, but it takes time and energy for somebody to do that.

The third and final thing is start running again. I dislike running soo much! But, the feeling that I get afterward is so rewarding. If I'm ever going to get this extra weight off I am going to have to. So, if you're in Clarksville and see me running-feel free to laugh;) If any of our readers run because that's when they do their best thinking, let me know what the trick is. When I run all I can think of is, "When and the heck is this going to be done!?".

Maybe someday my life will not be chaos, but I doubt that time is anytime soon!

I just popped over to Pinterest and seen this, how perfect?!

Running anyone?!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Purees to Table Food

We've talked about making your own baby food a few times on the blog (here, here and here). Aside the occasional baby food pouch, Love Bean transitioned to eating only table food about a month or so ago. But once she started refusing to be spoon fed, I had about of weeks worth of homemade purees made. Not wanting to throw it away, I came up with a couple ways to use it up.

  1. Spread it on toast. I used up the last of my Summer Squash puree this way. Love Bean ate it right up. Toast is like a blank canvas, you could spread any puree on it. Right one of Love Bean's favorite treats is toast with applesauce and cinnamon or her grammy's homemade jam.
  2. Use it as a "sauce" on pasta. I used up the last of my pureed carrots by mixing them with pasta. I mixed in some other whole veggies for a colorful fun meal to eat. 
I really enjoyed making Love Bean's baby food, and I think it's put me on a good track to feeding her healthy meals as she gets older and is in school. We're already in the routine of waking up and making blueberry pancakes or mushroom and cheese omelets for breakfast, so I think I'll be less likely to start shoving bowls of sugary cereal in front of her when she can hold a spoon.

I know we always say this, but making your own baby food really isn't hard, and it's less expensive. If you have any questions about making it, recipes you want to share, or other tips and tricks please share in the comments!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

10x10 Remix Part 2

This week we're sharing our last five outfits we put together for our 10x10 challenge. You can read more about why we're doing it and where we got the idea here.

 Lesson learned: Don't look at your clothing as this just a shirt or this is just a skirt. Ask yourself what else could this be?

I saw Alexis wearing her skirt as a top, and did the same thing under my tee as part of my last outfit. If we do something like this again, I'll definitely try to take better photos.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Juggling Life

After having three kids I feel like I have kind of lost myself somewhere. Whether it be in my style or friends. 

I have a tough time balancing the kids, Jess, friends and family. It is, I would say my biggest downfall. I have let good relationships with girlfriends slip through the cracks. I always have the "mommy guilt" if I leave the kids at home with Jess, and I go out. I honestly think I can count on one hand how many times I have. It is something I want to work on. 

Although I have found great friendships in my sisters. They are my go to girls lately and we all have so many things in common now. Since Jamie has moved to the Mitten, we all have gotten even closer. I LOVE that we have that great sister bond. That bond is not something I take for granted. I have seen families that take that relationship for granted and it is no good. Sisters, I love you guys, your support, advice (sometimes), and mostly your girlies;)

Maybe I feel that other people my age won't understand what I am going through? Or that they don't want to hear that I was up all night with a puking 9 month old? I mean seriously, I am 23 with 3 kids. We have had a crappy year full of stuff that sucks. I don't think anybody could understand that, just as I can't understand some thing other people go though. Ya know?

But, I think it is important to have friends other than my sisters. Lacey is my best friend, and honestly right now I don't know if I deserve that title. I guess I have "friend guilt" (I am just one guilty person). The last couple weeks I have been feeling really bad about being such an inattentive friend. She has always has been so good to me as my life has changed. Whether it be bringing birthday gifts for the kids, sending Father's & Mother's Day cards, and of course she won't leave out the birthdays. I want her to know that I appreciate that. I want to do those things for her too! I am so thankful/grateful for a friend like her. Lace is my friend I won't see for a few weeks, and then we pick right up where we left off. Lacey was the first one to know that I was pregnant with Andi, my maid of honor and bff since. . .uhh 1st grade? It could have been preschool but I was way too into trucks. And her and Em were into tea parties and house, way too much for this girl!

I am ready to be the fun Mallorie again. I am ready to spread the love;) I am ready for some BALANCE! C'mon now I can cook dinner, open fruit snacks, talk on the phone, pour a glass of juice at the same time. I can balance friends, family, wifehood, sisterhood, and being a daughter all at once right?!

I am not the only one who struggles with this am I?

My new outlook is that I cannot be a good mom unless I am sane. And for me personally to be sane, I am going to have to get out of the house. Not for doctor's appointments or family functions. But, go sit and talk with my best friend for a few hours:) Or go get a pedicure with my mama and sisters, even if it is at Meijer, haha! I am so thankful for all the people in my life and all they do for me. I think it is time for me to return the favor. 

Cheers to Balancing LIFE!
Found this picture and makes me even more excited for our upcoming trip to South Haven! Doesn't Gatlyn look like Rae??!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ruthies Room Makeover

So for the past 6 months Ruthie and I have been sharing a room. Well after weeks of being stranded in my room because she was sleeping and having to plan when I would get ready around her nap schedule I decided it was time for her to move out. My mom gave me permission to redo a spare storage room upstairs. So with the help of my lovely sisters, Ruthie got her own room (which she LOVES by the way!).

Take a look!

This was the room before. It used to be one of Owen's many rooms before he moved out aka why almost every room upstairs has been dark green and brown and "hunter" theme. After he moved out it became just a storage room. So first step move everything out!!
Second step: Rip nasty carpet out. Yes Ruthie and I did this by ourselves and yes I did use my mother's kitchen spatula to scrape off the extra padding. Third step: Paint! Thank goodness for my sisters helping with this part because I hate painting. I decided to go with a white ceiling and a really light powder blue. Paint was from Menards primer 2&1 which saved us a lot of time. We only had to do two coats to cover of that dark green.

 We did quite a few "redos" Throughout the room. This is the before pictures of the letters the spell Ruthie, the crib, and the cabinets.
 Jamie wrapped the letters in yarn. I did not have the patience and it was difficult task but They turned out really cute, the pictures don't do them Justice. I spray painted the crib yellow. After 8 can of spray paint I am really happy how it turned out and I think it gives a great "pop!" to the room. I did two layers of a primer spay paint first (I would do one more layer next time) and then continued to spary paint with yellow until I was satisfied and got sick of running to the store to get more. The cabinets were really simple, my mom had some of these extra knobs so I chose just to replace the old one and I think that simple change to a big difference. Those are from hobby lobby.
 Ruthie had this cute mobile over her crib as a baby, however it did not make it in the move as you can see. It was a tangled mess. I did not want to get rid of it, but I could not get it untangled. So I chose to cut the butteflies off and frame them. I painted one yellow to kind of tie in the crib, and hung it on the wall.
 The walls needed some more things so I went to Blue J aka my sister Jamie's design business. I went to with her with some ideas and she came up of some her own. She made me this silhouette of Roo eating her cake and the "R is for Roo" She also help me with the silhouette of the kangaroo. 
Well here is the finished product! I got the white curtain at Target and had that old lamp laying around to just bought a new shade. Just added her things like her rocking chair, rocking horse, books and toys! She absolutly loves it in here and often climbs upstairs to go sit in her chair and read books (yes I am aware of how old ladyish that sounds). 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Relationships: Part 3

Here is that last of the relationship series we have been sharing via Joe Martino. Hope you guys have enjoyed this series as much as we did. Let us know your thoughts on this series and topics so we can find more for you all in this area!

What is the one thing? Part 3

What is Emotional Security
        Emotional security is knowing it is safe to know and be known. Completely known by the people in your life.         
        I know a woman who is beautiful. By any definition, she contains all of the outer signs of beauty. She is also smart, articulate and funny. I met her because of a wound. Not a physical wound but one that was even more insidious. She’s never felt safe to share emotionally her entire life, with anyone. Sexually assaulted when she was nine years old, told she was worthless most of her life by her father and systematically tormented emotionally by her husband for nearly twenty years she vacillates between hating herself for being beautiful and hating herself for not being beautiful enough. She once told me, she was sick of men telling her she was beautiful because she wanted to meet some guy that was not just telling her that because he wanted to take her to bed. She was willing to go through hours of plastic surgery and spend more money than some people will spend on a house to make her body look a certain way not because she loved her husband, but because she thought that might be the final thing that would cause her husband to love her. Do you think she ever shared her dreams with her husband? If she felt that she had to go through all of that just to cause him to love her, do you think she ever really felt valued or heard? Is it any wonder that she finally came to the place in her life where she gave serious thought to suicide? Would you be shocked if I told you that she had three children that were all very angry? How good to you think Dad was at answering these core questions for them? Of course, the obvious question is how would he have been a different dad and husband if he had the three core questions answered for him by people in his life.
        I am convinced that the one thing we need is emotional security. But what is it? So far, I have told you that we need one thing and then told you that we actually have three core questions. So is it one or three? The answer is yes. Emotional security goes beyond emotional attachment. Emotional security (ES) is essential because it will glue you and your spouse to each other. If you have ever seen a person who inspires loyalty in the people that work for her, you have seen someone who knows how to create emotional security in other people. Emotional security comes from being able to answer all of three core questions in the affirmative. I believe we are hard-wired to get these answers from our parents when we are children. Mom’s and Dad’s who are reading this, please hear what I am saying, you will answer this question for your child. More than anyone else, you will form the emotional security your child will have as an adult. If you can answer these core questions for them as a child and teenager, it will set them up for life. Of course, when they get married, they will seek to have this answered from their spouse. Learning it from you will help them to be able to give it to their spouse and eventually their own children.
        Of course, your children will also learn it from how you and your spouse interact with each other. You are responsible for creating fertile ground for ES in your spouse. It is paramount for you to understand that you cannot grow it in your spouse, but you can and must create fertile ground for your spouse’s ES to grow. In many instances, you will be working against growth killers planted in the emotional heart of your spouse over the years. A person who grew up believing that she cannot trust others with anything but that one thing is not going to suddenly trust her spouse with it simply because they are married. Factor in the fact that we all know the divorce rates and to many people it only seems prudent that they would not share everything with a person that may or may not be there in the end. If you are married, your mission is to create the fertile ground for ES to occur. You get to pull the weeds that others have planted. You get to prepare the soil, and plant the seed. You may need to plant this seed over and over again. You get to water the seeds and provide sunshine. The part of this that no one likes is you get to wait.
        My wife and I have planted gardens in the past. Some have been an abject failure, and some have had a modicum of success. No matter the results could you imagine if the next time, we planted our garden we would become angry if we planted the seeds and then became angry because we did not see any results the same day. Would you laugh any less at us if we became angry over a lack of results a week later? How about two weeks? Of course, we think that would be silly. The analogy breaks down a little bit when we move it over to human relationships. Of course, even in gardens there is an end time. We know that eventually the corn will grow and if it does not it seems reasonable to assume that something is wrong, that we need to fix.
        The analogy breaks down a bit when we move it to human relationships. We know that they do not come with any such known timetable. I suppose, I could try to sell a lot of books by saying that I have finally figured it out and if you would just do these seven things, your spouse would have emotional security with you in seven short weeks. The problem is it would work as well as the next diet fad. Which is not to say that it would not work for some people but we all know it would not work for everyone. I do know if you are doing the things that cultivate fertile ground for ES that eventually your spouse will start to move towards a healthy place of EC. It may take some individualized counseling. It may take longer than you or I or even your spouse would for it to take, but it will happen.
You Can’t Build Emotional Security, You can only cultivate it

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Shot to the Heart

I'm addicted to four things, the internet, television, fountain pop and Zulily.  I've started a Parenting By Design devotional. How are these things connected? Let me share, I promise you'll see the connection if you can keep up with my ramblings. 

Last night after Love Bean went to bed, Tim's dad called. They talked for a long time, they always do so it wasn't unusual. But while he was on the phone I was thinking about how even right before our move, when we were only seeing each other once a week, we never had a conversation as long as the ones he has with his dad. I mentioned this to Tim when he got off the phone. His response? "I don't have anything I can talk to you about for that long." OUCH! Shot to the heart. My mind went immediately to this thought, "are we going to be one of those couples that has nothing in common after their children are grown?" Don't worry, we're not having marital problems. We're very happy together.

Cut to our bedtime and my nightly devotional. Last night's topic was "Hope in the Unseen" and how we need to be example for our children in having faith in the unseen so that we aren't swallowed by the desire to live for today's culture. It's easy to be distracted by media these days (TV, Internet, Magazines etc). They are in our face 24-7. 

However, what I gleaned most from last night's devotional was not about parenting, or faith. But rather how important it is not be consumed and distracted by media in my relationship with Tim. I'm constantly, on the computer, watching TV and checking my phone. Sometimes doing all three at the same time. Seriously, no wonder Tim and I haven't had a decent conversation. He never has my full attention when he gets home from work. So, I've committed to limiting my TV time after he gets home, to shows we both enjoy, and to not being on my computer at all from the time he gets home to the time he goes to bed. I'm not going tell him this is what I'm doing either. Just going to put it into practice.

It's funny how God will lead you to what you need to hear, even if it's a realization about your relationship with your spouse, through a devotional written to help be an intentional parent. What about you all, has God ever worked in your life in this way? Have you ever felt this way about an aspect of your relationship with someone in your life?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

10x10 Remix Challenge

The three of us mamas have been struggling lately with redefining our style. We all feel like we're caught somewhere between shopping in the Juniors Department and the Ms. Department (or as we like to call it the mom section). The Lauren Conrad, Jennifer Lopez and Simply Vera collections at Kohls seem to be a good in between—Alexis shops the LC collection a lot :)

In an effort to work with what we have, we took on our own version of Kendi Everyday's 30x30 Remix. We decided to start with choosing 10 pieces from our wardrobes and make 10 outfits from only those 10 pieces. We didn't count accessories like jewelry, belts, shoes and camis—because ya know after having a kid ya gotta wear one to suck things in sometimes. We started the challenge about a week ago and we're at the half way point. Below are our first 5 outfits, a list of the 10 pieces we chose, and a little bit about how we're feeling about the challenge so far.

I have been loving this challenge. It has helped me find outfits I never knew I had in my closet!

I am LOVING this challenge. I am in the process of making a new wardrobe. It helping me see what clothes I do have and what things would be nice to have. By the way, this blue dress is my FAVORITE! I would buy it in every color if I could. (I actually only saw this dress there, no other sizes or anything. I think it was meant to be!) Oh yah, Jess took all my pictures besides the one in the grey capris. Andi took that one. Maybe I will put my face in next weeks pics;)

Yes, that first shirt is a maternity shirt, but there is no way you would ever know looking at it, the back is completely sheer and sexy. So far I'm feeling pretty good about the challenge, it's actually been easier than I was expecting. I think it would be harder in the Fall or Winter when I do more layering.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cowboy is 9 months

Gatlyn Tobias is now 9 months old! Who ever would have thought we would have made it this far. 

He is. . .

  • a healthy 15 pounds and 7 ounces.
  • trying to laugh. (I have been SO close lately)
  • smiling at anyone and everything.
  • scared easily.
  • not digging his pacifier lately.
  • trying foods now, neither bananas and applesauce were a hit. (has had a little trouble with getting used to it.)
  • reaching for his toys.
  • still on his 24 hour continuous feeding schedule.
  • hating the heat.
  • happiest when he is in his jumper. 
  • hating tummy time.
  • stealing our hearts more each day.

We are so proud of Gatlyn and all he has done. The fact we have only had 2 ER trips is pretty exciting in itself. Only one of those resulted in a overnight stay. He is beating the odds each day. You can't help but smile when you see his huge smile! 

Hope you enjoyed your week:)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

July Love List

  •  Dad's 4th of July party—so excited we'll actually get to attended this year
  • A trip to see Tim's parents
  • Working on getting my freelance business up and running
  • Fireworks
  • Our 3rd wedding anniversary
  • The Barn Bash at our friend Amy and Jerad's
  • Getting to see lot's of old friends at said Barn Bash
  • I think Love Bean will start walking this month (she's taken a couple of steps, but nothing I'd consider walking)

  • My favorite week of the year is the 4th of July week. 
  • Dad's 4th of July party
  • Fireworks
  • Gatlyn should be getting his broviac out!
  • Pool Time
  • Starting a new adventure
  • Girl's Night Out with the sisters
  • A long overdue date with Jess

  • As you can tell from above; Dad 4th partay, its always a good time
  • My two great friends, nat and lissy, are coming for the 4th party
  • Lightning bugs
  • Patio nights
  • It is one of my bestest friend Natalie's birthday. 
  • Catching up with an old friend 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Relationships Part II

Remember the interesting relationship post last sunday? Here's part two, via Joe Martino

What is the one thing? Part 2

        Yesterday, I asked, what is the one thing? What do you believe is that one thing necessary for a happy marriage. I promised that I would answer the question today, so here it is.
        My answer to the question is emotional security. If you have emotional security, you will have a relationship that will not only last but it will thrive. It will be hot and heavy. Some people call this emotional attachment but I think that is one step away from the home run. Emotional attachment comes after I am emotionally secure. Look back at the list I gave you, they all lead to emotional security. If the relationship is to last, it will move past those things and end up in emotional security. Relationships that do not end up with a high level of emotional security will not last. The reason is simple. Things like romance, love and passion are not on a constant flow. They ebb and flow throughout a life time. Sometimes, they will flow hot and heavy. Sometimes, they will ebb slowly and trickle along. It is in these times that the emotional security will act as the glue that keeps the relationship together.
        You may have heard it said that most affairs are not about the sex. It seems so counter-intuitive but I think that it is right. Certainly affairs happen for a variety of reasons, but after talking to more cheaters than I care to count I am convinced that one of the key reasons for the affair is almost always an attempt by someone to feel more emotionally secure. Please hear what I am saying, I am not saying that the person who was cheated on is to blame for the affair. Who we need to blame is almost always a losing conversation. What I am trying to get at is the reason for the affair.
        You can have really hot and heavy sex without being emotionally secure for a time. If you don’t believe me, go walk a local high school hallway. Talk to some college students. Young people are having sex and often it is temporarily fulfilling and sex that they enjoy. It is really hard to be emotionally secure with your spouse and have boring sex. Guys, if you are having a hard time getting your wife to want to have sex, it is probably because she does not feel emotionally secure with you. If you don’t believe me, go ask her how emotionally secure she feels. Be prepared for an answer you might not like. This is the first place I start when a couple comes to me with an unhappy sex life. We almost never have to go anywhere else.
        Our level of emotional security is directly determined by the answers we find to three core questions. The first question is am I being heard? This does not just mean do you hear me, but are you actively listening to what I am saying. Are you hearing the words and examining my body language. Are you trying to understand what I am saying to the point that you want to figure out what I am not saying? If you want to convince me that you are not hearing me, just interrupt me and tell me how to fix the problem before I done talking (Guys, I am not trying to pick on us here but we are terrible at this business). There is something cathartic and healing in being heard.
        The second question we seek to have answered is Am I valued? Not just for what I do but for who I am. Is there intrinsic worth to you in me. Do you find time to be with me? Am I high on your priority list? Am I more important than Sunday afternoon football? Am I more important that shopping with the girls? Where do I fit in your priority list? Am I more important to you than the feeling you get when you angry with me so you avoid saying hurtful things? If you want to convince me that I am not valued, just ignore me. Don’t find time to talk to me. Of course, don’t find time to hear me and you can give me two no’s at one time. How much of our various youth culture movements are an attempt to be heard and to be valued? When a young man pulls up next to you and his stereo system is loud that it reverberates through your car, I cannot help but wonder if he actually just asking to be heard—I wonder if he is asking if you and I if we will value him. When someone covers his or her body in various tattoos or piercings, I wonder if he or she isn’t simply trying to be heard and valued. How much of our attempts to stand out (usually by fitting in) are simply attempts at being valued?
        The last question we ask is perhaps the most important. We all want to know if I can be safe to share with you emotionally. If you hear me and you even seem to place some value in me but I cannot trust you to keep what I share with you, I will not be emotionally secure with you. If you trust me and I judge you or use what you share with me in moments of anger (think of couples fighting), you are not going to be emotionally secure with our relationship. And like a tree that needs space, sunshine and water to grow, our relationship needs all three of these to grow. Take one away and the tree may grow a little bit but it will not grow to full capacity. Many times, it will whither and die. Emotional safety is the glue that keeps being heard and valued together.