Okay, so normally I destest snow. I have loved living here for that very reason . . . very little snow. But this year is a whole different story, and it's a good thing because it came record-breakingly early!! For some reason I just couldn't wait to get the kids out in the snow. Maybe it's because I've been feeling cooped up in the house for the past 8 weeks (yes, we are expecting #6 and morning sickness if finally subsiding!). Or maybe it's because JW was home for a whole week and I wanted to just make it a week of fun and games! Or maybe it's because the snow actually made it feel like holiday time because we've had such a warm, sunny autumn. I don't know why, I just know that I was eager to take the kids sledding! So, I had each of the kids invite a friend to go sledding with us. We only lasted a short 45 minutes before most of the kids were frozen (mostly mine because we really aren't equipped for snowy weather!). Afterwards I brought them all to our house for hot chocolate and sour cream twists (a yummy pastry created by my very own mother!). Delicious! We had all the fixin's for good hot cocoa, too . . . flavorings, cinnamon, wipped cream or ice cream. And then the kids just stayed to play for a good couple of hours. It was fabulous.
Also, thanks to the snow, our travel plans were cancelled which means we got to stay home and have our own quiet and lovely Thanksgiving dinner and day! Don't get me wrong, I love our families, but it was sure nice to have a week of nothing but our own family, games, movies and yummy food. I tried a small turkey breast in the crockpot this year (our large, ancient dictionary came in handy keeping the lid tight) and it was so fabulous & easy, I don't think I'll want to do a large turkey ever again! Loved it!
My marriage has never been better! Maybe it's after having lived together for almost 12 years. Maybe it's because I haven't been pregnant for longer than ever before in our marriage. Maybe it's because he has finally learned how to deal with me. Maybe it's all of the above! But I do know one thing. It's because I changed. I, not he, changed.
Life has been very good to us. Our marriage has been normal, I would say. Happy. Good. Nobody even close to threatening to leave. But I just discovered that it can be better. It can really be the best! I've hesitated for a long time even writing a post about this because #1) marriage is a personal thing #2) I know we've all got our ups and our downs when it comes to this most important relationship. So, this isn't so much about marriage as it is how I have changed, thus enhancing our marriage.
I read Dr. Laura's book, The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands several years ago, when it first came out. Love it! Love it! And highly reccommend it! For a couple of weeks after reading it, I was completely head over heels in love with my husband. It was fabulous. But, as we know, "Old habits die hard." It's so easy to sink into those behaviors that soon became habits. It's so easy to follow the traditions or patterns that were set forth by others in our lives.
Recently, several things happened that literally changed me. I felt the change, it was that literal. Like I said, I've always thought our marriage was good and I've been very good at preaching how to have a great marriage. As Elder Bednar says, however, "What we know is not always reflected in what we do." I can now say I do more of what I say I know.
The first thing that happened was a visit with a couple I know and love. They, too, have had what you would call a successful marriage. They're still together! However, while we visited I saw some definite patterns that have trickled into my own marriage. Communication was often lacking and feelings of frustration and bitterness were evident. I looked at them and saw myself. The rose-colored glasses had been removed and I was terrified. I wanted to change.
And then it happened. While reading Dr. Leo Sax's book, Girls on the Edge, I was given beautiful (and painful) insight about myself. Not to go into too much detail, I will just say that I had some personal obsessions that were affecting how I treated those around me, particularly my husband and children. I realized why I wasn't completely happy. I mean, I was happy on the outside and have been living a good life, but the internal worries were lifted. It was then that I realized I am living my fairytale dream. From the time I was ten years old, all I've wanted was a husband and some children!
Sometimes we tend to mock the newlyweds with their idealistic viewpoints on life. Well, I say, why not!?! I can imagine in my head every day the marriage I dreamed of "back then" and make it happen today. There will still be road bumps. The realities of life still sometimes encroach upon this fairytale life I long to live. But if we are meant to have celestial marriages, why not start now? For us, my change of perspective has made all the difference. It's turned the mountains into molehills because we know we're climbing it together, in love. It's no longer one dragging the other up the hill! Some day we'll be riding off into the sunset and I hope to look back and be able to say, "I lived my life by living my dreams!"