Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The M Word

Marriage. Oh man. If I have learned anything lately, it's that I don't know everything. That revelation was quite a letdown, if little ole me is being honest. I was a know-it-all in school (not the loud, annoying one; rather the quiet, nobody-knows-who-she-is-but-she-somehow-always-ends-up-on-honor-roll type). I am NOT a know it all when it comes to marriage. My husband would firmly nod his head in agreement right now. But! I am learning.

For example: When we first got married, I was overly sensitive. I thought Walt Disney had it right in the way women are supposed to be treated. I'm referring to the princesses, of course. Can I just throw in there that Belle was always my favorite? I have a soft spot for being a bookworm. Plus her prince was rugged with long blonde locks and piercing blue eyes...
Okay, okay, I'll stop now.

Anyways, I thought my husband was supposed to make those guys look like newbies in the romance department. Mr. Walt you made some great movies but TOTALLY led me astray when it comes to the romantic expectations I should have of my husband. He lets me down. Not because he doesn't try (or hasn't ever tried is probably a more accurate way to say that) but because his 'romantic' actions aren't things I would have thought to be meant to sweep me off my tired, swollen feet. So when we first got married I spent a lot of time building up resentment and frustration and hurt feelings over things that, for the most part, weren't his fault. Lesson learned. Things are much better now. :)

It all really boils down to communication. That idea was emphasized in a major way today. We have no water right now. No stinkin' water. Thanks to not paying attention when the wife is talking and not following up with the husband to make sure he heard, we won't have water until tomorrow. If they are quick about turning it back on. So, who is left without a shower and a way to wash dishes tonight?! That would be me. Oh and don't forget the $40 they need to conveniently charge us just to turn it back on. *It's a hard knock life, for us; it's a hard knock life, for us...*

I am so mad I want to take a light saber to my husband. I am so tired. I am so ill (if you can't tell). I am so dirty (well not really, but just knowing I can't have a shower makes me feel that way. Tell me I'm not the only weird person like that?). And lemme just add *so broke* to that as well. OH man. I don't know everything about marriage.

So, if you are having a not so great day or you yourself are finding you don't completely understand your marriage- take heart. You could be disillusioned by Disney movies and longing for a light saber. You're not the only one. If you are having a great day and have a perfect marriage- bite me send a little cheer my way. I could use it. ;)

I need to go apologize to hubby for wanting to dismember him with a light saber. He doesn't deserve that. Maybe a soft kick to the shins, but not a light saber. Afterwards I'll probably just pop in a Disney movie and chomp on a PB&J since I can't cook.

Communication, people! Don't forget it.

Until next time,


Sunday, September 11, 2011


MAN! I am SOOOOO sorry it has taken me this long to update our blog. It's ridiculous, I know. I'm committing to doing better; right.... now!

I hope this post finds everyone reading it well. Things in the Atkins household seem to be resemble a revolving door- constant movement always ending up back in the same place. Thankfully, our little family is settling into a routine. God is so incredibly good and we are learning more and more every day to be better stewards of our finances and to trust Him to provide for our needs. It's pretty cool to see that He does this in ways we would never expect!

As I think back to Fall of 2010, I can't help but recognize and appreciate all of the changes that have taken place. #1- My marital status and last name. We have been married almost 3 months! Woo hoo! I can't lie, though; there have been some dark days in the infancy of our marriage. Not every day holds rainbows and french kisses. There have been days where I have brooded, shouted, stormed through the house, and even left to clear my head. The love (and need) of money is the root of all evil and until my precious husband and I learned that we need to work together instead of against each other to solve our money issues, our relationship took a few blows. Don't misunderstand me; we are definitely not rolling in money now- in fact we are still struggling to get back on our feet. It's just that we have put our pride and human selfishness aside for favor of the commitment we made to each other to fight for our marriage (for better or worse) instead of in our marriage. Things are incredibly sweet now that we refuse to quarrel over the stupid green stuff. It leaves A LOT more time for mushy moments and stolen kisses in the midst of the whirlwind our lives are right now.

#2- The location of my occupation. I rhymed. Tee hee. Last school year I went through an incredibly hard time. Some might say I was too vocal about how I felt regarding the way the other teachers and I were treated; others publicly (and secretly) applauded me. Either way, due to my "weakness" in assessing students (even though my PASS test scores were higher than those at the other middle school and even the Greenville County average), I was forced to leave a place I should not have stayed in anyway. April to June was a time of some serious spiritual growth for me. I experienced a lot of what I imagine lots of people in the Bible felt. I was helpless and at times hopeless; I knew that what I was going through was nothing I could fix on my own and the cry of my broken heart every. single. day. was for God to heal and restore and provide, because I knew I couldn't. Well, being the faithful God He is, He answered my prayer. I had to work my booty off when He presented such an amazing opportunity, but my efforts were rewarded with my dream job. Is it easy and life a piece of cake? Heck to the NO. BUT! The crucial difference is that I arrive at and depart my job each day with joy in my heart and a feeling that I belong and am appreciated and valued. There's a "proficient until proven otherwise" mentality- it's incredibly refreshing when you are used to the opposite. Don't get me wrong. I have forgiven and I have moved on, and I will not pass judgement for I cannot pretend I know the condition of anyone's heart; but treating those you are in a position to support and mentor as mediocre and unworthy of your praise is not something I would be proud of when it came time to take stock of the actions and choices I have made in this life. Just sayin'.

#3- My furry family is complete!! I have acquired a puppy sister and kitty brother for Scoobert. He may not acknowledge it, but I know he's happy and could not live without them. I can see it in his eyes. Or maybe it's just gas. Either way, we love snuggling and laughing with our furry little ones and couldn't imagine anything better- at least until the pitter patter of little feet no longer applies to paws. ;)

#4- I have a beautiful, safe, HOME to call my own! Of course, not without some pretty pennies, but I am so in love with our home. It has nothing to do with the structure or features or conveniences. It has everything to do with the touches of our personalities- fresh, colorful paint; pictures on the walls; new and old furniture packed with sentimental value; and the sweet memories we make as each room comes to life with the love and life we share as a little family unit.

Things have changed A LOT in 12 months. Some, in fact most, changes have been bittersweet. This life is the only one we have to live, and we are learning more and more every day that as we simplify our attitudes, desires, goals, and possessions, each breath we take (every move you maaaake... I'll be-- sorry, I can't help but sing when I hear that phrase) becomes more and more precious. Like someone important (whose identity I cannot recall) says, "It's not about the number of breaths we take. It's about the moments that take our breath away".

LOTS more entries to come soon. I'll be sharing some Pinterest loves (if you wanna join lemme know and I'll send you an invite! It's sooo addicting!) as well as some HILARIOUS stories from my new students. 7th graders are even funnier than 6th graders!!! And once my camera gets fixed---which I am SUPER SAD about--- I will have oodles of pictures to catch you up on.

I hope you all are enjoying the crisp mornings and lazy evenings as summer begins to meander off and fall approaches to settle in.

Much love from the little Atkins household and until next time,

J + A