Seven years.

November 26, 2010, Nick and I became one. I was 21 at the time and Pinterest was not even out yet. (Thank goodness.) In seven years we have experienced some of the best and hardest days of my life and it's crazy to think that we have technically “grown up” together as far as maturity (or "adulting") goes. 

I didn’t know it then, but surprisingly our life together is very much what I imagined it was going to be like. God has been so faithful to us and I can still say to this day that marrying Nick was easily the best and easiest decision I’ve ever made.

Here are seven things I have learned so far about being married: 

1. Saying sorry is always better than being right.

2. Unspoken expectations can damage a relationships growth, 

3. Dating your spouse after marriage is as crucial, if not more, then before you were married. 

4. Roles in the house will change with each added child.  

5. We are husband and wife, first, and then mom and dad, second. 

6. Communication. Communication. Communication. 

7. Pray for your marriage.  

Nick and I celebrated our 7 year anniversary with a day away exploring beautiful San Diego all over again. (Without our kids, of course.) Our anniversary is sandwiched between Thanksgiving and our middle's birthday so we tried to keep it simple.

Good food, good company and good drink.

We are planning a little tropical vacation in a few months with some saved up mileage points so that is something where we can look forward to some more extended time together.

I love you Babe and thanks for editing this post for me. You are and always will be my best friend and my better half. 

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i am my own worst critic.

There is always talk about how moms put each other down and of the immense pressure put on moms to always meet expectations. It got me thinking about my own walk through motherhood and I realized something profound. I have never personally experienced anyone shaming me on what type of mom I am, and my husband and close family do not hold me to any unspoken standard either. 

I am my own worst critic. 

I hold myself to a standard that is hard to reach. The days that I'm most exhausted is due to setting myself up to reach this unattainable goal or when I am trying to become and be like someone I am not. In past posts I have opened up and spoke about how sometimes the mommy blog world is very much like Keeping Up with the Joneses, and in my case, this is only because I am the one trying to be this sort of make-believe superwoman. 

On the days I don't finish a task (like laundry, for example) or if dinner doesn't come out picture perfect, I put unnecessary pressure and guilt upon myself. I know it doesn't need to be there, but I put it on anyway. Each evening my husband is thankful for the time, sacrifice, and energy I pour into our home and kids and each evening my kids go to bed thinking I am pretty awesome. Why then do I often sit on the couch after bedtime and criticize everything I didn't do? 

It's mid-October and I have not made or tasted anything pumpkin. My kids are wearing hammy down Halloween costumes this year and I have no plans to give Max a 2nd birthday party next month. Normally, I would let this bother me because I have my own idea of what type of mom I want to be like. (In some sense I guess it does bother me since I am mentioning it.) The point is I will never find joy and satisfaction in what I do and the type of mom I am if I don't stop focusing on who I am not. 

If you are like me and find yourself always setting yourself up for failure, know that you are not alone. We are called to be mothers, wives, neighbors, and friends. There is no ultimate mom and just because your life might not be Instagram worthy most of the time does not mean you are not a good mother to your children. Our kids do not care how creative our meals are or how creative our art projects are. They care that we are present with them, spending time with them and feeding them. (That's especially true with my boys. Boy do they love to eat.)

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watching my tongue.

I hope I am not alone in this after sharing, but if so then maybe I can get some encouragement.  My kids definitely bring out the worst and best in me.  Being a mom means that you can always expect the unexpected and for a OCD A-type personality person this can sometimes be pretty inconvenient. February has been a challenging month for us with me and the kids being sick and when I am not feeling my best people know it. I have noticed that when I am frustrated about something or when things are not going my way with my kids I take it out on my husband. It is so much easier for me to get upset or to be snappy with him than it is to be like that with my kids. 

There are way too many moments where I remember I was stressed about something and since my husband did not know what I needed at that moment or what I was thinking I in turn made him feel small or not valued. In those future nights when the boys are sick or when there is milk spilled all over the floor or I have no gas on a Sunday morning I pray that I would consider Nick's feelings and honor him in both my words and actions.

My tongue and the words that I say can truly hurt and I know that. But when I am in the heat of the moment or juggling a thousand things at once I can be blunt and too forward. I am not talking about swearing or saying nasty things but more scenarios like "can you help me, already?", "run, hurry I need you", "how could you not see that mess?" The delivery, body language and actual word choice can be changed and if I did that I think in turn I would receive the response and action I need. 

My goal and prayer this year is to breathe, think, and then speak. I want Nick and my family to know that even when I am not at ease that I will treat them with love and with respect. It isn't right that I do this normally with strangers or friends and not with those who are closest to me. Of course this is due mostly to being too comfortable around those I love but it is not an excuse for not watching my tongue. 

Do you ever find yourself stressed or overwhelmed by the day? How do you handle yourself? Do you have to watch your tongue and heart when you are upset?