Anniversary Truth…and love.

Neal and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary yesterday.

Much to the disgust of our children, we did not go somewhere romantic, have a dinner out or holiday somewhere advertised as a couples’ getaway. Instead, he slept so he could work again last night and provide for us while I spent the day with my mum and aunty and the kids.

We bathed dogs, made Anzac biscuits, sat in aircon, picked up my cousin’s car, moved furniture and made dinner. The day before we bought a car, which, contrary to registry lists and romance novels was not platinum and was fully financed after a slightly nervous wait. We will pick it up sometime.

Hopefully prior to me taking the small kid away for the weekend to see friends and have a Wild Mountains adventure.

I decided not to post to Facebook yesterday as Neal already had and he’d written some really honest and lovely things about me and our time together so far. People have congratulated us and I really appreciate that.

This morning though, I saw one of those copy and paste and share posts and, as I read it, felt the honesty of it and decided to share it here instead. I don’t want to get too caught up in the idea of writing for likes.

If I’m really honest, which isn’t easy, even some of what’s written below isn’t always the truth of long term relationships, be they friends, family or spouses.

Sometimes it’s weeks of being irritated with everything the other person does and not wanting to admit that it’s more because you’re irritable than anything they may or may not do. It’s about not having been effective budgeters, again, and trying really hard not to argue about that. And sometimes succeeding. It’s about figuring out your life isn’t a romance novel or movie and being ok with that, even when you love them (books and spouses). Sometimes it’s about having one person always giving massages and the other one pretending to for about 3 minutes each year to ‘balance things out’ even though they never intend to change the status quo. (Let’s all make assumptions about who does what in my relationship and be kind to the author, ok?)

Sometimes long-lasting relationships are about reading books or going to seminars that will help, in the hope that some of your newly-found knowledge will transfer to the other person by osmosis, because they clearly need to learn this stuff! It’s about awesome kids you’ve created together who you now disagree how to raise. Or loving one another even if you don’t always like one another.

Despite my many qualifiers above, it isn’t all tiptoe and testiness; compromise and buts. Sometimes it surpasses rom coms by miles! Sometimes you say the right thing at the right time and your spouse really understands how you feel about them…in a good way. Flowers and chocolates are always good, so are Xbox Gold passes and 3D printers and pies or Coke at the right time.

We’ve found love exists in silently agreeing to listen like you care to stories of ‘a student of mine’ or admiring ‘the best blood-spatter painting’. Or just knowing that you cook and I fill in all forms. Ad infinitum.

We’ve found love is hanging onto God because you can’t hang onto anything else and make it. And if we can struggle and succeed through like this, you can, too.

Thanks to Catherine for sharing.

*Lifelong commitment is not what everyone thinks it is. It’s not waking up early every morning to make breakfast and eat together. It’s not cuddling in bed together until both of you peacefully fall asleep. It’s not a clean home and a homemade meal every day.
It’s someone who steals all the covers. It’s sometimes slammed doors, and a few harsh words, disagreeing, and the silent treatment until your hearts heal. Then…forgiveness!
It’s coming home to the same person everyday that you know loves and cares about you, in spite of and because of who you are. It’s laughing about the one time you accidentally did something stupid. It’s about dirty laundry and unmade beds without finger pointing. It’s about helping each other with the hard work of life! It’s about swallowing the nagging words instead of saying them out loud.
It’s about eating the cheapest and easiest meal you can make and sitting down together at 10 p.m. to eat because you both had a crazy day. It’s when you have an emotional breakdown, and your love lays with you and holds you and tells you everything is going to be okay, and you believe them. It’s when “Netflix and chill” literally means you watch Netflix and hang out. It’s about still loving someone even though sometimes they make you absolutely insane.
Living with the person you love is not perfect, and sometimes it’s hard, but it’s amazing and comforting and one of the best things you’ll ever experience.
(Go ahead and share a picture of the person you love and copy and paste this, make their day.)*

Love and veritas,

Eski 🐛

Another child arrives

This morning, for the first time in a long time, all 6 members of our family have piled into the van. It’s quite fortunate that this hasn’t happened any earlier, as up until last Wednesday, I had the back seats rolled down and the back of the van absolutely chock-full of costumes for the upcoming school musical, ‘The King and I.’ I was fortunate enough to be able to borrow them from a friendly teacher at another school just before the holidays. We’d picked them up, stuffed into the boot, with all good intentions to go home and sort, select and allocate them. This did NOT happen.

We got home and left them there. For two days. Then they were unceremoniously dumped into a spare space in our house for 6 weeks. Untouched. Then piled back into the car for the short drive to school….for the whole week BEFORE I went back to school. They’ve since been taken out, and so I have the opportunity to head out in the family van, with said family. We don’t want to rush these things.

(I share this with you not because it’s necessarily important to this story, but in the interests of being real. I found out that I’d ‘scared’ a friend with my plans to sort, select etc. Far too organised for holidays apparently. Never mind Miss J, I promptly went home and began real holidays. Novel reading reigned supreme! So, in the interest of not having what I term a ‘Facebook status’ type relationship with anyone, I like to share the reality of life, disorganisation and mess and all its glory!)

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Back to the titular role of this post; we are expecting another child today. Mr 16 is from Thailand. We are volunteer hosting him for the whole of this school year. He is the youngest of two boys with parents who are a doctor and professor of paediatrics in a university city. Mr 16 has been an excellent student at his school and expects to follow the rest of his family into the medical field. He would like to experience the world, see what other options are available in the world and improve his English. And he’s chosen to do this with us!

Having Mr 16 stay with us was definitely a God-driven experience. Miss 15 is particularly keen on participating in an exchange to the US next year. She and I went to an information evening to see what was to be done to drive this. In the midst of other information, we were given a sample profile sheet. This was to show the prospective students how their information would be displayed to their possible host families. As we read through the profile, Miss 15 and I enjoyed pointing out to one another the things that would have fit in to our family: he liked games; he liked nerdy card games; he enjoyed anime etc. Whilst still listening to the presenter, I texted my husband in the normal detailed way that usually accompanies my spur of the moment ideas: Hey, want to be host parents? Pause. Sure. Great.

And then I prayed. God, if this isn’t the right plan, please don’t let it happen.

At the end of the presentation, we asked questions relevant to Miss 15’s exchange. We explained how we’d enjoyed reading the sample profile and that we’d have liked to host that student, but we’d apply for hosting anyway. The presenter smiled, “We aren’t silly. He’s the last student we need to place for January.” And so they did.

We’ve chatted via Facebook with Mr 16 and his mother and I’ve been so excited to have him arrive. Today’s the day. Mr 2 ran straight to him and gave him a cuddle! Icebreaker achieved. We’ve spent the day together, just sharing ideas, playing with playdough and getting to know one another. We Skyped his Mae and Papa, who were very pleased to know he’d arrived safely. We’ve established the few basic house rules that we have and are now all safely tucked in (some sooner than others) for a reasonably early night.

What will the future bring? I don’t know, but it looks pretty good from here.

😍 Eski