Tables and Turns

Loveys, how are you? I'm tired today. It was a great weekend and I'm moving slow this Monday. It's a little breezy and overcast and I've got a roast cooking in the crockpot, making my house smell all kinds of amazing and making me want to tear into that thing. We had small group on Friday, I had supper club (aka Nicole's birthday!) Saturday (and then Outlander season 2 premiere that night. Please, if you love Outlander, tell me and let's be friends). Sunday there was a birthday party to go to(I feel like we've entered the season of birthdays! Bring on the cake).

A fabulous thing happened this weekend, loveys. I got a pergola. I've wanted one for . . . a long time. I've already strung lights (well, technically, the Jeffster did all the work. He loves me. Seriously, I'm so lucky to have Jeff). And I'm desperate to sit outside on a warm summer night, under my pergola strung with lights, and drink wine and talk (preferably about Outlander, but I'll settle for almost anything! Girlfriends, come over!).

I keep stopping by the back door and just staring at it (and I keep hoping my neighbors don't think I'm creepy and staring at them). Because I've wanted one for so long. It's sort of like how I wanted a fireplace. And sweet Jeff kept buying me houses that did NOT have one. And we moved from one place to another and, sigh, no fireplace. Finally, he bought me a house with a fireplace. And the boy put up a pergola for me. I'll keep him. I am now ready for summer. Bring it.

As I said, it was a full weekend and one spent with lots of friends and time spent with people around tables. These are my favorite times, loveys. We sat around June's table on Friday night and talked and laughed and kept talking, and it was good. There's something about sitting with friends who want to be there with you. Who care about you for real. Who accept you as you are. It's a blessing to share perspectives, and food and wine, and just be yourself. Saturday night was supper club (and Nicole's birthday celebration!) and Shari did an awesome job hosting and it was so fun. Cheese trays and wine and chocolate and cheesecake. Really, all those things make me extremely happy, what's not to love? It was a good time. If you can talk about anything from breast-feeding to Harry Potter, you're set.

It seems to me that community looks different for us at different seasons of life. Pre-kids, the Jeffster and I joined a small group at our last church and it was great time of hanging out with other couples and growing together. I remember having people over from work, spending time with other friends, enjoying our time alone together--dinner and movie dates, cooking together at home, all that good stuff. As babies came into our lives, things changed of course. Now, with three busy kids running around, we still do things with other families, but often our time with community is in separate camps. Jeff plays basketball with his guy friends while I stay home and put the kids to bed. Or he goes out to watch the UFC fights with his buddies and I babysit. Or I go to supper club and he stays home and takes care of the kids. Or girls' night out or drinks with my neighbor girls. We take turns.

That is so much of what marriage is about to me. Taking turns. I need this. You need that. This is for me. This is for you. Give and take. Push and pull. Don't you think? How else can we make each other happy? I obviously don't rely on Jeff for all my happiness. He's not here to fulfill my every dream. This is a road we walk together. But his dreams matter to me, and mine matter to him. What he needs is a priority to me, just like I am a priority to him. And I know when we drop the ball on that (and it's happened so I know this to be true), someone's left feeling very unhappy. And when one person in a marriage is unhappy, the whole thing can go downhill quickly. Our home is a reflection of us. Our children are a product of us. Our life together is something that's all about the both of us. We take turns, lovey. You then me. Me then you. It's saying, tell me what you need and I'll help, because it absolutely matters to me.

When he finished the pergola, I was basically giddy with happiness, and I kept looking at it and then hugging Jeff. He just smiled and would hug me back. He's excited about it, too, of course. But, really, my happiness translated into gratitude for who Jeff is and all he does for me. And this journey we're on together. Sometimes, being happy takes effort, lovey. You work at it. You choose it. You take turns.

It's life. The effort is worth it. I want a happy life. There will always be hard times and moments of sadness. But I do think you can make your home a happy place. Where he wants to be. Where you want to be. Where your children can thrive. Where love matters the most. I think it takes both of you wanting that, working toward that, and when you do, it's good. (Sometimes it takes one of you deciding to start, and see what happens. And sometimes things don't work out, I know that as well. But you start where you are, lovey. And just see where your journey takes you.)

I've had about an hour of total quiet while Lily has FINALLY napped today. Honestly, I desperately needed this hour. A cup of coffee to go along with it would be fantastic, but I'm too tired to walk downstairs. So I'll sit here and talk to you.

We're at the start of our week, loveys. I know next week is jam-packed for us, so I'm hoping this week is a little more low-key. I need just a few quiet afternoons. Whether you need people and connection this week, or you need a little more rest, I think we could all use peace and happiness. I was thinking of my dad, which made me think of Fernando Ortega (my dad's favorite singer). I was thinking of the song This Good Day. That's how I feel:

This good day.

It is a gift from You.

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