marriage

Are You Loved or Wanted?


As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I thought I’d take it a little further and explore the underlying motivations of some of the relationships I myself have experienced and/or observed.

I was never the guy who went on lots of dates. If I approached girls at all (you know, shy introvert and all), they would be girls I found attractive and those I could see the potential for something long term.

I know there are many of us who sometimes get into a relationship, not because we are looking for love, but are instead longing for affirmation. We convince ourselves that we are satisfied with being wanted, although not necessarily loved. The fact that some person wants us becomes enough upon which to base a semblance of a relationship. Even if, in many cases, it is destined to fail because of the shaky foundation.

Of course there is a huge difference between being LOVED and simply being WANTED.

To have someone LOVE us typically means that they’ve committed to accept us; an imperfect person with all of our relationship baggage, emotional filters, and strange family dynamics. They’ve identified something within us that makes us someone they’d rather not live without.

To have someone WANT us often means that we are more akin to a possession. It’s not so much about who we are, but rather what we represent. We’re an award, proof that the person is capable of being with someone (anyone?), or perhaps we provide the person with bragging rights or some increased level of prestige. Depending on our previous experiences, either with family or prior relationships, we somehow find this acceptable.

If we settle for just being wanted, it can leave us feeling empty, unsatisfied and undervalued. And that’s an unhealthy dynamic for any relationship. Some people see being wanted as a means to an end. Some of the women to whom I’ve spoken are in their early 20s and are afraid that if they don’t settle for someone now, they’ll have no one later. They have convinced themselves that a relationship built on being WANTED can become one revolved around being LOVED. Unfortunately, shallow relationships rarely, if ever, achieve any depth beyond their initial superficial existence.

However, I can tell you unequivocally that LOVE is worth waiting for.

My amazing wife, whom I absolutely adore and thank God for every day, was 34 years old when she married me. That would seem late to some people, but we’re going more than 15 years strong and have six (6) beautiful children. As the Rascal Flatts song says so well, it was well worth the broken road that led us to each other.

So please don’t sell yourself short because of a false perception that you’re running out of time. Because when you have a fulfilling love, it can make the rest of your life feel like an eternity.

…entirely different.

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No More Wishes


Sometimes I wish I could take you back to the point before it all happened. You know, the moment where the direction of your future rested on one critical decision. I can almost see your distress and confusion about how to proceed. I wish I could’ve been there to turn you around, look directly into your eyes and say, “This is NOT the only option. You have other choices.” And perhaps even back then, you would’ve chosen me.

When you wish…

I wish I could’ve shown you what was to come. I’d describe for you the inevitable frustrations and faulty relationships that were just a waste of your time. I would’ve told you about the one who’d break your heart and leave you wounded and guarded. Hopefully, my words would help you envision a better future and together we’d figure out how to obtain it. I would’ve told you to wait. Be patient. I would’ve told you that you have time and that someone better will come along. I would’ve told you that even if now was not the right time for us, I would wait for you.

I was thinking about this the other day when we were talking, and I realized that everything you’ve experienced in life has made you who you are today. And then I thought about the fact that you’re in my life right now, and I wonder if things had actually gone differently, there’s a chance we might never have met. How do you even hold onto the regret of losing something you never had? It’s quite possible that our paths wouldn’t have crossed and I wouldn’t even know you… there would be no occasion to think about you or your past. I would be completely oblivious to the wonder that you bring to my life. That’s when I stopped and told myself…

No more wishes.

Categories: marriage, personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Static Intersections


Ever have one of those conversations where it seems like the more you try to explain, the more confusing it gets?

“No, that’s not what I meant.”

“See, you’re not hearing me.”

“I never even said that!”

“Wait, let me start over.”

You know, there comes a time when you realize and have to accept that your explanation only serves to further frustrate the person to whom you’re talking. For the most part, I try to avoid those moments whenever possible. The good news is that my wife and I are usually very good communicators. We talk A LOT. And that truly helps mitigate any potential misunderstandings. The bad news is that even under the best circumstances, confusion will sometimes still manage to creep in unaware and I have to step back, see it for what it is, and just laugh.  See, I’ve realized that I have to make a very serious decision once a discussion arrives at the intersection of confusion and frustration.

Doh! Life would be so much easier with a hovercar.

At this point, I find that it’s better to re-evaluate the wisdom of pushing ahead and risking hurt feelings or anger. Besides, the love I have for my wife outweighs any selfish need to win a debate. In those moments I ask myself a simple question: Why?

Why am I doing this?

What exactly am I trying to prove?

Emotions can sometimes cloud the thought process. So I have to first understand and be clear about the purpose of what I’m saying, for myself. Once I determine why I’m having a particular discussion, it becomes a whole lot easier to convey my point without emotional distraction. Meaning, I cease trying to hammer my wife down with my perspective or somehow convince her I’m right by aggression or volume. I can put my ego and pride aside and either diffuse the situation or let it go altogether.

This works for online conversations as well. Just sayin’… 😉 

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KNOWING LOVE


This is a picture of my wife at 4 years old.

andrea-at-4

Every time I look at this picture, I smile and think to myself, “I wish I’d known her then. I would’ve been her friend!” Seriously, I would’ve friended her so hard. lol I would’ve rode bikes, made mud pies, endured protracted doll activites, discovered bugs in the yard, and listened to every fantastic tale her young mind could conjure. I would’ve done all of it. Gladly.

I used to lament the fact that I didn’t know her when she was younger. That is, until I understood something very important…

She is still that little girl.

That 4-year-old little girl lives inside of her. And every time she shares with me stories of her childhood, or introduces me to cousins she used to visit in the summer, or I sit and watch while she reminisces over faded, old photos of Canadian farmland, I learn more about her 4-year-old self… and her 13-year-old self… and any other year-old versions of her that I may not have witnessed firsthand. And I fall in love with each and every one of them.

Because they are all still there.

As I picture this beautifully blonde, rambunctiously creative, spirited little girl, I realize that I love and have loved… all of her, throughout time. It is impossible to separate the woman she is, from the girl she was. They are one and the same.

So I no longer wish I’d known her at 4-years-old, because… I do. I know her as a preteen in the school performance at Play Mountain Place. I know her as the high school graduate who set off on her first year at UC Santa Cruz. I know her as the coed who took a summer trip to a lake house with friends. And I know her as the woman who bought her first house in Pasadena. I know… HER.

Instead, I now wish that I will continue to know her until she’s 104-years-old. Because I can’t imagine a more amazing gift than over a century of knowing and loving someone like her.

Happy Valentines Day, my love. ❤

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Social Suffocation


Disc-LAME-er: There will be cliches, self-quoting, photos and a few words strung together to attempt an explanation as to why my last post was in January. But all that is lame. So…  how about we just enjoy moving forward from here? Work for you? Awesome! 😀

Okay, so let me start by saying that life can get the better of us at times. I’m not immune to its affects. It has certainly gotten the better of me. Well, at least it did back in January when I was laid off from my job of 6+ years. Lots of wonderful things have happened and I honestly meant to chronicle it all. But we all know how that turned out. 😛 I just hate the fact that when I finally come up for air, months have passed. 😦 So this is a public apology… especially to certain people who may have felt slighted by the circumstances of my life. I’ve been absent from most social media, with the exception of photos posted to Instagram that are cross-posted to Twitter and Facebook. (So follow me on those sites to stay up-to-date on my crazy, awesome life!) 😉

That being said… here’s what has been going on for the past 8 months.

January – I was laid off from my job. But instead of seeing it as a setback, my wife and I saw it as an opportunity. I’ve since gone back to school, working to obtain my degree in Human Development.JAN 10928856_10152855775201773_479394116374237407_n

February – We’ve been working together to homeschool our four younger children.I’ve always loved to teach, and now I can
play and active role in the overall education of my children! We alternate days of teaching the children and being full-time writers. We get to enjoy our children, as well as the beauty of each day.

FEB 1509885_10152936578756773_2315914500998318247_nThis month we also celebrated Aaron’s 8th birthday!

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March – My oldest son finished his run as the lead in USC’s “Six Degrees of Separation”. He was brilliant in the role and I couldn’t have been more proud.

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April – In April we celebrated, not just one, but two birthdays! A kid turning 2APR 10957005_10153012293131773_7301658854740171243_n

…and another turning 4.APR 11159983_10153060443701773_1136301091559878253_n

This was also the month that my amazing wife ran one of the most intense marathons! It was the SoCal Ragnar Relay Series! It consisted of 12 amazing women who came together to run all day and all through the night from Huntington Beach to San Diego! That’s like 200 miles! I was so proud of her and her team. We actually collaborated on a little video that chronicles the journey. You can view it here: Ragnar Relay – Lola’s Moving Co. Video.

May – This month, one of the highlights was my only daughter and I having another one of our Daddy/Daughter dates. She is just the most warm-hearted person ever, and I am so thankful that she is mine and I am hers. ❤

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June – As I mentioned briefly, we are both pursuing our dreams of becoming published writers! Well, this month we made that dream a reality by publishing my wife’s first (of many to come) book! She started working on it in March, and in about three months time, she finished writing it, and together, we self-published it through Amazon.com. It’s titled, “How To Shop Mostly Organic At The 99¢ Only Store” and it’s fantastic! It gives in-depth pointers on finding Organic, Gluten-Free and Non-GMO foods, so that you can live well and get the most out of your shopping trips to the 99¢ Only Stores. Click on the book to check it out. It’s available as both a hard copy and e-book!

Click here to purchase your own copy!

This was also the month that my second oldest son graduated from High School.

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He is now in his Freshman year at Fresno State University. Wow… time really flies. I can remember when he was 9 like it was yesterday…

Micah 2007-08

July – This month we enjoyed some good ol’ fashioned family time. You know, just being silly…

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…or roughing it in the woods, camping with 20+ family and friends from our church. It’s one of the things we most look forward to during the summer. This was our 5th annual camping trip and each year it only gets better.

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August – This month we sent our second oldest off to college, and finally had an opportunity to get away, just the two of us, for our wedding anniversary. The first time we’ve been able to do so in more then five years! We went to Ojai, CA and stayed at the Capri Hotel. It was a dazzling few days (with intense heat to match) that we both loved. 30 mile bike rides. Midnight pool swimming. Sushi for lunch and frozen yogurt runs in the evening. One of the best times I’ve had in like… forever! lol

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There’s a ton more I could say, but I’m hoping that this will help to spark my writing and get me back to being more consistent with my blog. Thank you for everyone who’s stuck around. I won’t keep you waiting like that ever again. 😉

Categories: family, marriage, personal, photos, relationships, stories, writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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