Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thoughts on Marriage

In talking with a friend recently, I realized that I have a "view" on marriage.  I believe that entering into and maintaining a marriage that honors and glorifies The Lord is a blessing, a challenge, and takes a massssivvve amount of intentional living.  It's a series of decisions that have to be made over & over again.  Every. Single. Day.  The decision to place your spouse before every other person and thing.  Even yourself.  The decision to enjoy your spouse.  The decision to forgive your spouse.  The decision to be gentle and kind toward your spouse.  When these thing don't happen, I absolutely do NOT believe it's always because we choose NOT to.  I think a lot of times, it's just that we forget to make a choice either way.  We get caught up in the millions of other things in life.  Our spouse is one of the FEW constants in life, so I guess it can be easy to just overlook them...  So, my "view" on marriage is that it should be the most intentional part of your day, your energy, and your life.  Although I am by NO means an expert or a master at marriage, I know that I try to be intentional in my relationship with B-Riz (he usually makes it really easy!), but there are plenty of occasions (a lot more than I care to count) that I fall into the trap of marital stagnation/selfishness.

Brian and I were super into talking about marriage when we were dating/engaged.  I feel like we made a pretty intentional and informed decision on who we were choosing as a lifelong spouse.  Um, don't get me wrong here...

I mean, did he sweep me off my feet when we started dating?  YES.  
Was I blinded by love like so many other young & in lovvvve females?  HECK YES.
 ... but luckily B-Riz is the bomb, so my unconditional infatuation didn't result in any regrets :) 

But, seriously.  We talked about marriage SO much before we were actually married, that I literally can't think of one thing that took me by "surprise".  We discussed how we expected to be treated privately & in public, spending habits, banking, working aspirations, parenting, disciplining, temptations, what we wanted our kids involved in, what kind of church we envisioned our family being a part of, what we pictured evenings at home looking like, if we wanted to be the hosts or guests on the regular, what kind of house we wanted to settle into, pets, # of kids, where to live (something we never have/will be 100% in agreement on!), how often we wanted to visit parentals, strengths, weaknesses, pet peeves, concerns, dreams, travel, hobbies... you name it, we probably talked about it.  Like... 12 times.  We talked about our parents' marriages alllll the time.  The amazing qualities we saw in them that we wanted to adopt for our own marriage.  We looked at their marriages and discussed all the little things that we saw would be an inevitable challenge at some point, and tried to come up with ways we could avoid, or at least be extra aware of, these issues.  We discussed our opinions on every little teeny tiny thing, and where we differed, we just talked some more.  Until we came to some kind of COMPROMISE (one of the most beautiful, yet easily forgotten, parts of marriage if you ask me!).  

We tried to foresee what could potentially be the biggest trouble areas for each of us, in terms of being a good and BIBLICAL wife/husband, and figure out ways to be prepared.   I'm not sure if it's a personality thing, but we have approached our marriage as some sort of challenge, without even realizing it!  Brian's competitive nature won't really allow him to fail at anything he puts his mind to.  And my analytical thought processes want to know the root of every word/action/facial expression.  This has resulted in us talking almost everything out.  Honesty is the name of the game.  When we're not rolling smoothly, neither of us is down.  Sure, we have had our seasons of frustrations/annoyances, but (SO FAR) nothing that has festered into a serious issue. 

We are both acutely aware of the fact that satan is just WAITING for his moment to attack us.  We know that at some point, and probably MULTIPLE points, we will find ourselves in the midst of some major marital discord.  I hope and pray that our approach will have us as prepared as we can be for those times.  I know without the slightest doubt that The Lord will see us through thick & thin as long as we continue to use Him as the glue that holds our marriage together.  We are one, now.  Two souls bound by God.  Since June 2, 2007:  Brian and Roxanne = brianandroxanne

I'm super thankful that thus far, we have experienced a pretty smooth ride on the marriage train :)  I am genuinely looking forward to the triumphs, trials, great times, and not so great times ahead with B-Riz as my husband.  I know there are many laughs, many tears, and many learning experiences on the horizon.  It's amazing how much God can move and teach and work through this supercool and GENIUS creation of His: Marriage.

Daddy's Little Elf :)

It's beginning to look a leeeetle bit like Christmas at the Bradford Casa.  Woohoo!!  


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy T-Giv, Fools. Love, The Stomach Bug

DISCLAIMER:  This is not for the weak of stomach! 

**You have been warned...**

It all started a week ago.  On Tuesday evening we took a nice little Family'o'Four outing to Cristina's Mexican to enjoy our last meal in McKinney before traveling for the T-Giv holiday.  All was well, until an explosion of vomit erupted from poor little CamCam's adorable little body.  Over.  and Over.  and Over.  I wrapped her in my scarf and Brian's jacket and exited the premises as quickly as possible while Brian & Aves stayed behind for damage control.  This continued off & on for the next 5ish hours.  But by morning, C-Lil was a champ!  She acted like nothing had happened.  We let the day play out and decided we were safe for travel, so we packed up as planned and hit the road for Lufkin!

T-Giv day was a blast!  Everyone was happy & healthy, full & exhausted by day's end!  A Longhorns victory was a perfect cap for a TEEriffic day.  After a good night's sleep for everyone, Friday's plan was to relax with fam, watch football, and let the kiddos play. Unfortunately, my supercool SnL came down with the dreaded stomach bug early in the day and was down & out for the next 24 hours.  After a trip to AcuteCare, some prescription meds, & some crackers & Sprite she was finally ready to emerge from her bedroom come Saturday morning.  We met up with some old friends and their little man for lunch on Saturday (dear Lord, I hope we didn't spread the germage to that sweet boy!) and watched lots MORE football that afternoon/evening.  MarshMarsh hooked us up with a delish dinner that night and everyone hit the hay pretty early.  We were all wiped.  Um.  FF to 12:30.

Little Averton was puking her little angel face off.  I was having chills and aching to the max anyway, so I didn't lose any sleep by spending my night assisting my sweet firstborn.  Poor sweet girl did so great!  She was a champ and by the end, didn't even cry anymore when the vomit sessions would hit.  She even talked/waved to a train that was driving by at about 3am in between gags.  Haha... sad/funny/precious all at the same time.  By 3:30, Aves tummy had chilled out and she slept the rest of the night.  This momma, on the other hand, was straight up MIZZZZ.  Achiness was O.O.C.  Feverish and freezing.  Dramatic?  Maybe.  True?  Heck yes.  I woke up to find out that Brian had begun throwing up that morning and was locked in the back bedroom.  My poor familia.  Brian's ANGELIC parentals saved the day and took the kiddos while I took some advil for the aches and tried to sleep off my fever.  I finally got a few hours of DEEP sleep and started the slow but steady road to feeling better. 

Brian and I were quite a scene in the car on the way home.  We looked like death, both felt like we had been hit by a bus, and hardly uttered a word the whole way.  Our girls, however, were happy as ever!  SUPER thankful their illnesses were short-lived :)  On Monday, Brian was as good as new and I was def improved.  Last night I felt great and was pumped to start a new HEALTHY week. around 12:30, I had this dream of total DejaVu.  Brian busted into the room with Cameron in his arms because she had just started throwing up...  Wait.  Um.  I wasn't dreaming.  SERIOUSLY?  Thankfully, that was the only time Cam threw up last night.  HOPEFULLY we are now in the clear and can start venturing out in public again by tomorrow! 

Despite all of our tummy issues, we truly did have a fantastic Thanksgiving!  We enjoyed tons of quality family time, the girls spent hours upon hours with their big-kid cousins, and we enjoyed lots of football/rest/food!  Thankful for a family who is willing to HELP in times of need :)   Hope your T-Giv rocked too.  I think 2011 will not be forgotten anytime soon in the Bradford Casa!

Missed you, Curry familia! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Building Towers

Aves is SUPER into towers & castles.  Our backyard "playground" is now known as Avery's "castle" :)  AND, she drags the girls' bag of wooden blocks around the house to build her "tower" wherever we happen to be hanging out.  And she FUUHHREAAAAKS out when it starts tipping over.  I mean like... you would think her life is being threatened.  Silly child.  SUCH a perfectionist.  :)  I love watching her build her towers and love seeing how proud she is when she builds it almost "as tall for (aka-as) me!!"

What's not to love about that proud, SUPERpumped little face??  Love my Aves :)