Happy EDD To My Angel

stillbirthDid you know April is a crazy month?  At least around here it is.  I have been slacking so much on my blog, but just so you know there will be two posts for you here today.  April 22nd is one of those bittersweet days for me.  Today is my oldest daughter’s birthday.  She made me a mother 15 years ago today.  I will have a post just for her at 11:17 tonight (the time she was actually born 15 years ago on April 22nd).  But today was also the expected due date of her little sister who we lost in December 2008.  I’m afraid my oldest has had a hard time knowingly sharing a birthdate with the expected due date of a sister we never really got to know for the last five years.  I’m beyond grateful that I have her birthday to celebrate.

I’m not interested in what could have beens too much these days.  I am who I am because of the experiences I have had and that includes the loss of my angel.  So instead I would like to celebrate this day with my family and our guardian angel.  What could have been and never was has given us all so much over the last five years.

So to Celeste Alia, today we celebrate what you gave us in your very short life which was spent inside of me.  We have gained perspective and understanding that life is short and we should live life to its fullest.  We have been able to meet many other loss parents walking the same or similar paths as us who are some of the best and kindest group of people I have ever known.  They are always the first to openly remember you with me and that means the world to me.  We have learned that while it never stops hurting it does get better with time.  We are stronger for having known you my angel.

Five years ago I was looking for any sign you were with us, but now I know, you have always been with us.  You are in each one of your siblings.  You might not be here with us, but you are never forgotten.  Your legacy will live on Celeste.  We love you always.  Happy 5 year EDD!  Have a piece of cake with our family in heaven with you.  And remember you always have a place in all of our hearts.

12 Things

10170737_10151962442902653_7163878646663327259_nIt’s my middle daughter’s birthday today.  She’s 12 years old.  Hard to believe this is the last year she’ll officially be a kid.  Next year I will have two teenagers.  But it has become a thing with me to write some things about my kids on their birthday.  To be exact, I write the number of things as they are years.  So here are 12 things about my pre-teen daughter.

12 Things About My 12 Year Old

  1. She is very matter of fact.  She knows what she knows and doesn’t suggest she knows otherwise.
  2. She pushes herself and sets very lofty goals for herself none the less.  You will never see someone work as hard as she does.
  3. Her favorite color is green although, she is starting to get into pink.  Apparently yellow has been overdone as that used to be one of her favorite colors.  Times, they are a changin’.
  4. She wants to be a hairdresser when she grows up, or a teacher like her big sister, or a chef like her daddy wants to be.
  5. She is really good at math.
  6. Her favorite Disney character is Tinkerbell.
  7. She has a hard time throwing things away, but she has a plan for everything she keeps.
  8. She loves art.  She’s often in her room making something.
  9. She is very giving, always wants to get gifts for people and she very carefully thinks about exactly what they would like.
  10. She usually likes to help out with things.
  11. She’s very agreeable, most of the time.
  12. She talks, a lot.

And that is my newly turned 12 year old.  I hope you’ll wish her a happy birthday today.

Midlife Crisis Or Teenage Rebellion?

984056_10151932260957653_1473761948_nDo women go through a midlife crisis, and if they do what does it look like?  I don’t know, 35 seems too young for a midlife crisis, but I might just be having one, or it’s just really late teenage rebellion.

But can you have teenage rebellion when there’s no one to rebel against?  I mean sure my parents disapprove of many things I do and what I have done of late I am very well aware of the fact that my parents would disapprove, but it’s not like they can ground me anymore.  So is it rebellion if you can’t be punished for your behavior?

Well, whatever I am going through right now, midlife crisis or teen rebellion, I am really going wild. Of course I shaved my head 4 months ago, but that was for a good cause. It was definitely drastic and life changing though. A few weeks ago I got a tattoo. Well, it was my 3rd, so not unheard of for me although it is my largest.

And now that my hair is growing back I decided to dye it. I have dyed my hair before or done highlights, but I went really bold. Blonde bombshell bold! I warned my family before hand that there was a good possibility I would be a blonde and they all objected. Maybe it is rebellion, I am rebelling against my husband and kids, ha. Because I did it anyways. After much discussion with my hairdresser I made the choice to go blonde. I considered red, but it was just going to be too close to what I already have and I felt that if I was going to do this, then I needed to go all out.

So blonde it was and I think it works for me. My husband said it looks good, my son kept staring at me then said, “It looks like gold, I love it!” My oldest said I look like Pink or Miley Cyrus (which I’m not entirely sure is a seal of approval, but hey maybe I’m hip). My other two daughters haven’t had much to say about it.

I figured with my hair growing in, now is the time to have fun with this. It won’t be as hard to change back if I had it. I don’t hate it, but it is taking some getting used to. I have to go back in 6 weeks to touch up my roots. Right now I’m thinking maybe I need to make it a smidgen darker. But six weeks I just might be good with this shade.

Who knows what other wild and crazy things I’ll have up my sleeves. I think I’m good for now though.

What crazy wild things have you done lately?

The Couple That Suffers Together Stays Together

Tattoo CollageThree years ago when I gave birth to my youngest daughter I was understandable in pain. And my husband not wanting to miss out on the action had to go and fall on ice on the stairs the day after we came home from the hospital. This gave him one heck of a bruise and a whole lot of soreness. We were quite the couple for those days and weeks following our daughter’s birth as we were both healing.

Well, we couldn’t possibly make that the only time we shared pain. Today we both got inked. And while our soreness is far different and not nearly as bad as it was that day three years ago we have been quite the sight today.

It likely didn’t help that we literally spent the entire day getting inked. I went first and as soon as I was done it was my husband’s turn. And some 6 1/2 hours later we were done, we were exhausted, and we were sore. Not to mention starving. We couldn’t help but joke that we like to be in pain together.

My husband still has more work to be done on his so he will be on his own when that happens, I think. But what a way to start out the week. I have been mostly unreachable today. Totally anti-social media social. But I did something I have been wanting to do for the last four months.

Remember how I shaved my head for childhood Cancer on my birthday last year? Well, once I was clean shaven and was looking at the pictures my mother took of the whole thing I noticed that my neck was missing something. No, not the hair I had just shaved off, but some color. I pictured a tattoo resting on the nape of my neck. I thought a rainbow, but the more I gave thought to it the more I thought it should represent that day and what I did. I needed to commemorate that in some way.

129

And I could have just put a gold ribbon there, but I wanted more. I decided that Peace Frogs (something that those who know me know has been an important part of my life since I was a child vacationing with my family in VA Beach) was what needed to go there. So we began talking to our tattooist about this.

Now I’ll admit, this didn’t go exactly as I had pictured it. First of all the picture needed to be a little larger than I had wanted and second of all, one of the things I was afraid of, a few moles on my neck made placing a tattoo right on the nape of my neck not feasible. We had to go down a little. That’s okay though because I absolutely love it.

peace frog

This is not my first tattoo, but it has been a while since I have been inked. And it is my largest tattoo, but it’s so fitting and perfect. So that was my day today. I got to spend it with my husband. We are exhausted now, but both very happy.

What do you think of my memento from my head shaving day?

Walking Hand In Hand

PhotoGrid_1393989194104Sixteen years together. Fourteen years of marriage today. Four children, plus one loss of a child. He still sends shivers down my spine. I still can fall right back into our old rhythm pre-kids. Maybe it’s because most of our time together has been spent with kids. I like to think it’s because he truly is thee one for me. My one and only.

It’s not often over the years that we have been able to spend time together just the two of us. But now that the kids are getting older and the older ones can watch the little ones we are getting back out there and dating outside of the home. Even just walking to the store just the two of us. And without kids to hold the hands of we can now hold each others hand more often.

I might have almost forgotten what it feels like actually. Our fingers intertwined. I can feel the strength and warmth of his hand covering mine and it just gives me this feeling of safety and security. That one small act of holding hands makes me feel so loved and connected to him.  So protected and safe. But slipping my hand into his feels just as right as it did the first time I did it sixteen years ago. It just fits, it belongs there.

I hadn’t really given too much thought to the actual act of holding my husband’s hand.  We’re always holding someone’s hand that it never really occurred to me how special that actually is.  How that one small and seemingly simple act can do so much.  I’m sure it’s because we have small children.  As the kids grow and need us less and less we will begin to find our way back to each other more and more.  But why should we have to find our way back to each other?

I kind of wish I had realized just what I was missing all these years though.  We shouldn’t wait for the kids to need us less to hold hands.  I must admit, the other day when we were stealing a few moments away with each other and I slipped my hand into his, I was just as nervous about it as the first time I did it.  Like does he want to hold my hand?  It’s silly, I know, and as soon as I did it I realized how silly it was to feel that way because he accepted my hand openly.  And why wouldn’t he?

We have been through a lot together over the years.  Much of our family disapproving of our relationship or just us in general, several different moves, the loss of a child.  And through it all, in spite of it all, we have remained together.  So there really shouldn’t be a doubt in my mind that he wouldn’t want to be close to me and hold my hand, but those are my insecurities talking.

But if I could give out one piece of advice today to all of you parents out there with small children, hold your spouse’s hand as often as you can. At the dinner table, on the couch watching TV together, sitting in traffic.  Don’t wait until they are older, don’t even wait until you have a date night.  Do it now and do it often, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Twenty years from now when all of the kids are grown and out of the house here we will sit hand in hand.  And hopefully it won’t be foreign to us.  We have got to remember though, that the kids do grow up and they do leave us.  And it’s easy to get caught up in our kids need me and they are only little once.  Yes, this is true, but there are ways to steal moments of intimacy and connection with our spouse even when the kids are small and we just should.  Because I have to tell you, the more I gave thought to this and how I felt putting my hand in my husband’s the more I realize that the simple act of holding his hand was really the best medicine.  So please excuse me while I go hold his hand some more…

Thank You To My Children

4 amazing kidsBeing a parent is hard work.  Like really really hard work.  It’s no surprise, or at least it wasn’t to me that parenting is hard.  You’re always hearing people say things like, “No one ever said how hard this was going to be.”  All of my life growing up I heard nothing but how hard parenting is.  From my own parents, to my friend’s parents, to my aunts and uncles, and even on TV sitcoms.

And now in this day and age of “mommy bloggers” we have the bloggers keeping it real by showing us just how hard life is through writing and pictures of the chaos.  But there’s always another way to look at things.  Instead of an attitude of kids have ruined my ability to live life a certain way, maybe we should be looking at the positives that they bring.  And hey, maybe being the optimist doesn’t get you page views, but it can be just as real as the chaos and frustration.  People like to feel like they’re doing things better than others out there so reading about others failures is validating.

Don’t get me wrong, this morning I was screaming at my kids to sit down and eat their breakfast and stop playing so we could get out the door.  We are no Brady Bunch here.  Yes, my day to day reality is filled with more than my fair share of running here and there, yelling at children, and temper tantrums, but in that moment this morning I started thinking, where would I be without them in my life?  Even in the bad and most difficult they have brought so much to my life and have taught me so much.  Even when I want to just run away and hide because I can’t take one more “No!” or “Why Mommy?” question from them they have molded me into the person I am today.  So here is a list of reasons I want to say, “Thank you!” to my children.

Thank you…

  • for teaching me that nights spent cuddling and nurturing a newborn baby, teething toddler, and sick child are far more rewarding than spending all night out partying.
  • for helping me overcome my fear of public speaking.  Well, I shouldn’t say overcome, I still hate it, but I will do it if it benefits you in some way and to show you that you can do these things too.
  • for the laughs. The funny things each of you say and or do that make me laugh mean so much to me.
  • for letting me become the party planning extraordinaire I am today.  Who knew I had it in me to plan a party?
  • for teaching me how to be selfless and put others ahead of myself.
  • for the endless amounts of hugs and kisses.
  • for setting my life on this track of unexpected twists and turns of advocacy in education and health.  It has been truly eye opening and such a great lesson in how to effectively speak to people to get what you need out of them.
  • for helping me make friends.  With you around I always know that I have at least one thing in common with the other moms at the playgroup or school which is a great ice breaker.
  • for trying new things.  I stand in awe whenever you step out of your comfort zone and experience something new.
  • for being there.  I rarely have a chance to be lonely because I almost always have someone with me.  I mean it, I love that I’m never alone.
  • for your excitement.  Whether it’s your excitement over something I have baked for you or just to see me when I pick you up, it warms the soul.
  • for teaching me to cook.  Not really teaching me how, but giving me a reason to actually do it and want to be good at it.
  • for liking me even after I shaved my head.
  • for the lunch dates and the trips to the park to feed the ducks and someone to eat chips and queso with at Moe’s. Because every moment we spend together making memories is just another thing that makes me love you even more.
  • for my everyday reminders when I look at myself in the mirror that you spent nine months inside of me growing and thriving to be here and give me all these reasons to be grateful.

I could probably go on, but I think you get the idea.  What would parenting be like for us if more of us stopped to think about all of the things we got because of our children.  Instead of blaming them for the things we don’t like, lets blame them for the things that are great.  Because having children is really a pretty great thing and when we focus on that, then maybe it will help us to be the parents our children deserve.

What do you want to thank your children for giving you?

A Week In The Life Of Monica #7

It was another crazy week over here at Monica’s Mom Musings. Weather played a difficult part in our week as well. The kids were on vacation for part of the week, my husband was off, and there was just a lot of stuff happening. Now I need a week of vegging. That’s not gonna happen though. Back to the grind this week of chauffeuring everyone around. But here’s what our last full week of February looked like.

Saturday February 15

My husband had to work at night and so did I.  We had another day that snowed all day so everyone was stuck indoors, except my husband who had to go to work.  I spent the day doing laundry knowing I probably wouldn’t get to it much during the week.  My son was feeling much better and was able to keep things down so he was back up and about making trouble with his sisters.  It kind of ended up being a sleep where you fall type of day.

February 15

I started cooking dinner before I had to work and my oldest got it out of the oven.  When my husband came home from work he put the little ones to bed, had some dinner, and played Scattegories with the older two while I worked.  And that was how we spent the day.

February 15 2

Sunday February 16

Again my husband and I both had to work, but we were on mostly the same shift.  We had lunch after he came home from work and hung around the house for a little while before we went out to Walmart to get a few things that we needed.  Tried to find rock salt, but of course no one has it.  Went out to dinner and then went to Home Depot to get a new lock for one of the doors.  Then we came home.  We just relaxed around the house for the rest of the night.

February 16

Monday February 17

This was a big day.  My oldest got her braces put on.  Our appointment was at 11 and we didn’t leave until almost 1.  She was not at all happy with them, but I promised her a milkshake after they were put on so we went out for that and she got to explore trying to eat with braces on.  Then we went home where everyone else had been all day.  They were itching to go out and with more snow on the way we thought we’d try to go bowling.  But by the time we did we were too late as all places had no lanes because leagues were about to start.  We didn’t have much luck finding anything else to do.  We ended up eating out, doing some window shopping, climbing a snow mountain, stopping at the store to get some stuff for a smoothie the kids have been asking me to make, and picked up a few movies.  We came home, I had to work, and we watched some movies.  Then everyone went to bed.  The pain was really beginning to set in for my oldest.

BeforeWith braces

 

February 17

Tuesday February 18

I got up and made the smoothie everyone wanted.  My oldest was miserable.  She didn’t want anything, but she did eat the smoothie and then planted herself on the couch where she pretty much stayed for the day.  We were supposed to go out, but the weather didn’t allow for that.  My husband went out to shovel and the two middle kids went with him then didn’t want to come in to watch another movie.  They did finally come back in.  I wasn’t feeling all that great so I took a nap during that movie.  Got up and tried to figure out what to do for dinner.  My oldest couldn’t eat much of anything.  So it was hard with her.  Made some macaroni and cheese, but she couldn’t chew it so she had some mashed potatoes.  It was a school night so we put the two little ones to bed.  I was actually not working for the night, but that didn’t end up happening.  I kept getting asked questions and then we had some drama where someone wasn’t working.  Ugh, sometimes it can be a pain being in charge.  Went to bed late because of that and then couldn’t really sleep and had to be up early the next morning.

February 18

Wednesday February 19

Back to school for the kids.  I was up bright and early starting our day.  Everyone was in on time.  Did my usual get everyone off to school in the morning and then spent the rest of the morning doing our taxes.  I went to get my oldest daughter from school and took her out for a milkshake as she was still very sore.  Then I had to get stuff to make cake pops for my youngest daughter’s Valentine’s.  That’s right, five days later I haven’t done Valentine’s yet.  We went and picked up my middle daughter from her bus stop and then went home.  I baked a cake.  We went out for dinner which ended up taking much longer than I anticipated.  We came home and I had to work.  It was getting quite slick outside so we were thinking there might be a delay the next day.  I wanted to make those cake pops, but ultimately I ended up going to bed after I worked.  I figured I could make the cake pops after dropping my middle daughter off at school, if there wasn’t a delay.

February 19

Thursday February 20

There was a delay.  So the two little ones did not have school.  I got the two older kids off to school and then came home and got my husband and the little ones.  We spent the day out looking around at some stuff including baseball gear for my son.  Not that he wants to play baseball, but he put it on making me long for him to sign up.  He still says no.  Before I knew it it was time to get my oldest.  We got her, went to the grocery store for a few things, and came home to put that away.  My husband broke up the ice we had in the driveway and then it was time to go pick up our middle daughter.  We all went because in our travels that day we had seen a table we wanted to possibly buy.  So we went back to look at it and ended up buying it.  We were allowed to leave it and come back the next day to pick it up.  We went home and had dinner and put the little ones to bed.  My husband played Monopoly with the older two and I worked on writing some articles.  Then everyone went to bed.

February 20

Friday February 21

School was back in session on time for everyone.  Got everyone up and off to school.  My son had career day at school so he wore his fireman costume to school.

February 21 1

Then I cleaned my kitchen in preparation for our new table and chairs.  We went to pick it up and then set it all up.  Our son came home from school and we fed everyone lunch.  Then we got ready for his dentist appointment.  Went to his appointment.  Someone was there videoing things for advertising so they videoed my son getting his teeth cleaned.  Everything looked good and we went to pick up my oldest from school.  We came home where I laid down because I had a terrible headache.  My husband went and got our middle daughter.  He cooked dinner.  I still wasn’t feeling all that great.  Ate dinner and the kids did their chores.  We put the baby to bed and the rest of us stayed up and played Monopoly.  My husband won.  Everyone went to bed.

February 21

And that was what happened this week.   I don’t have much planned for next week.  It will be back to business as usual.  Hopefully I get to make those cake pops.

How was your week?

The Realization Of What You’ve Missed

Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev

Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev

As many of you know, I miscarried a baby at 20 weeks gestation.  It was a real game changer for me and our family really.  I’m so beyond elated that we went on to have our youngest 3 years ago and I am in a good place in my grief.  I’ll never forget what we lost, but it does not consume me.  And sometimes things come up that make me keenly aware of what I am missing out on by not being able to raise my angel baby.

Which of course in turn makes me sad and of course makes me think of her more.  Today I was shaken back into my loss mom reality a little bit too.

Kindergarten Registration

My angel would be registering for Kindergarten this year!  I’ll likely often be reminded of these things as my friends who I was pregnant at the same time go through these things with their children.  And no, they shouldn’t stop sharing about these milestones to spare me.  I would realize it anyways in the fall when school starts.

I know this is normal because my other loss mom friends have experienced it too.  First day of school is hard, last day of school is hard, graduation dates.  I’m sure the list goes on and on.  When we see kids that would be about the same age as our own it reminds us.

I’m Happy For The Reminders

Celeste lives on in my heart every time I’m reminded of her.  I feel closer to her when these things come up.  Yes, it hurts, but for me it’s a good hurt.  And it prompts things like this where I talk about her and I can get other people talking about her.  How do we keep someone we lost to live on in our hearts?  By talking about them.  By remembering them.  I don’t have memories of things my angel said.  I have very little memories of her to share.  I have shared all of my memories of her so the only thing I have left is remembering where she would be at this time.

It is hard to believe that she would be starting school this year.  I wonder if she would like it?  I like to think she would have.  Riding the bus with her big brother probably would have been so exciting for her.  Following in his foot steps.

But it wasn’t meant to be.  Instead of registering a child for Kindergarten we are registering a child for preschool this year.  And that’s really exciting in and of itself.  Hopefully our little guardian angel continues to watch over us.  I love these opportunities to feel her around me and to share her with you all.

Are you remembering anyone special today?  If so tell me about him/her.

Walking Down The Road Of Braces

BeforeWith bracesTwenty plus years ago I got braces and now here we are with my oldest daughter beginning the same path. She just had her braces put on today and she sure was nervous about it. She is not happy to be wearing them at all and while I wish this could be a quick thing we’re looking at about 2 years in braces. If she’s lucky, then it could be 18 months,but most likely at least 2 years.

But she’s lucky, because I had mine on for twice that time. So either her teeth aren’t as bad as mine were or braces are just better these days. But watching all of this happen for her and remembering a good chunk of my own preteen/teen life being lived in braces I can definitely sympathize with her.

She has set a goal for herself to get these off as soon as possible. She hates them, and I know the feeling, I did too. But hopefully she will come to see that this time was just a means to an end and what she’ll be left with is an even more beautiful smile than what she had. Of course I think she looks beautiful no matter what and she wears the braces way better than I ever did. And to maybe help her feel better about this whole process I am sharing my pictures from when I had braces.

Monica 1994

This was me actually on the day I got my braces off, 2 days after my 16th birthday. I thought I had a picture of the day I got them and the day I got them off, but I did not.

But needless to say my daughter definitely sports her braces much better than I ever did. I hope she comes around to see how great this is going to be for her. I know, right now she’s in a lot of pain and discomfort. We are medicating with Tylenol and plenty of ice cream, milkshakes, and smoothies. That’s one thing she is enjoying about this. But other than that she can see nothing good. Even getting a smile out of her wasn’t easy. But when all is said and done her extremely contagious smile is going to be even more contagious.

I am anxious to see the end results, but probably not more anxious than she is.  Here’s to a successful 2 years (hopefully less and definitely not more) in braces.

Did you have braces? How did you like the outcome?

Marriage And Kids

coupleI have been married to my husband for going on 14 years.  We have been together for going on 16 years and the majority of our relationship has had children in it.  Raising children is hard, but then again so is marriage.  It takes a lot of work and a choice every day to stay married.

My husband and I have made that choice every day to stay together.  We have had our ups and downs, but here we are still together.  Both of us are fortunate to come from families where our parents were together.  My parents are still married, going on 39 years for them.  That’s impressive.  My husband’s parents got to 25 years of marriage before my husband’s mother died.  So I suppose we had some good role models, but these are some of the things in our marriage that I think have helped.

Caring

We still take care of each other.  My husband will go to the store for medication for me in the middle of the night if need be.  He has held my hair back when I was pregnant and puking and he will take over the care of the kids when I’m not feeling well.

I do the same for him.  If he isn’t feeling well I offer him whatever he needs to make him feel better.  I don’t complain about it being like having another child to take care of because it’s far from that and because I know he would do the same for me.  It’s a mutual respect we have for one another.  He is not my child and I’m not his,but we all need a little taking care of every now and then.  And isn’t that one of the benefits of being married?  That we have someone there to take care of us when we’re not feeling well.

Respect

When you live with, are married to, or just generally care about someone respect is always something important to have.  And when it comes to respect that means understanding that someone else might have different opinions than you do and different things that they will find upsetting.  First and foremost with this we are honest with each other.  We don’t do anything to each other that would be disrespectful to our relationship.  That includes humiliating  and degrading each other in public.  We just don’t do it.  I listen to my husband’s opinions on things and he listens to mine.  Neither one of us always has the answer.  We talk things out with each other and come up with the best solution together.

Love

This goes without saying I know.  Of course I love my husband.  But I make a choice every day to love him and to make this work.  It’s not always easy to do.  There have been plenty of times when I would have thrown in the towel.  It’s not a cake walk, especially when you have kids.  But it’s important to understand that he makes this choice every day too, because you know what?  I’m a real bear to live with.  I kid you not I’m no gem.  I have quite a hot temper and I’m sure my husband could very easily say see ya, but he doesn’t.  He’s just as invested in our relationship as I am which is important because it just doesn’t work with one person.

Getting Creative

Now that we have older children going out to have dates has been easier.  When they were younger it was much harder because we didn’t have a sitter.  So we had to get creative, and still do.  Candlelight dinners after the kids went to bed.  Movies at home.  Playing card games after the kids are in bed.  We had to make time.  Our kids have always been both of our number one priority so it has been important that we don’t frequently leave them.  But set bed times has definitely made it easier to spend time together without the kids.  It has always been important to us both that we set those boundaries.  It works for us.  Everyone has to find their own way to spend time together as a couple, but also making sure family time is important as well.

These are the things I can look at in our relationship and say why I think it has worked for us as long as it has.  It’s not always perfect.  We had to work through many problems along the way, but we have and that’s why we have been together now for nearly 16 years, married for nearly 14.  When the kids are grown I hope we’ll still be able to connect on a different level.  I think we will just based on our conversations when the kids are not around.  It’s not all always about the kids.  And that’s important.

What makes your marriage work?