Special Seasonal Offers

Marriage is teamwork. Especially in the Santa Line!

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Nashville Marriage Counseling | 0 comments

santa fightYesterday we strolled around Opryland Hotel to look at lights and check out the Santa. Otis decided he didn’t want to sit on Santa’s lap this time (I think Mrs. Claus scared him) so we sat off to the side and just watched as Santa did his thing.

As we watched kids sit on Santa’s lap and parents sneak pictures with their iPhones, I noticed a couple close to us. They had tried to get their son to sit on Santa’s lap, but he wasn’t having it. I’m not going to lie, I noticed them when I heard the wife basically spit out her husband’s name while trying to get his attention.

She looked exhausted. Like she had been planning this day for a while. Her son’s Christmas outfit was on point. They were one of the first families in line. You know that she had dreams. Dreams of a billion Instagram hearts. Dreams of an adorable photo gift for the grandparents. Dreams that died because Santa gave her son a panic attack.

It didn’t make sense, but the way that she said her husband’s name, you knew she was mad at him. You knew that he was about to get the blame for things going wrong. Cognitively, she knows her husband isn’t to blame, but her feelings, y’all. She is hurt. And, yes, it’s a ‘first-world’ problem, but it still hurts when you want to make memories for you children and no one wants to cooperate.

Of course, I looked over at him when she spit his name out. He was standing next to the stairs holding the camera, the umbrella stroller, a toddler sized backpack, a normal backpack, and everyone’s discarded coats. He was the pack mule. He would love to be at home eating a burger and watching the game, but he knows that this is his job. He knows that she needs his support in creating the Christmas magic, and even though he doesn’t understand why he’s doing any of this he loves her. And he shows that love by staying out of her way and holding on to all of the stuff she said they needed to bring.

He wants to roll his eyes at her when she snaps at him. He wants to tell her to get over it. He knows he is in trouble anyways, so why not go out in a blaze of glory? But he doesn’t. He helps her calm the crying kid down while she digs around in her purse.

I hope they are fine by now. I hope this was just a blip on their radar. (Lord knows Mark and I have lots of blips all the time) But, more than anything, I hope that they know that they are on the same team. I hope she knows that he wasn’t playing pack mule because he had nothing better to do. I hope she knows that he did it because he loves her.

I hope he knows that she isn’t snapping because she’s mad at him. I hope he knows that she is just frustrated and disappointed that she couldn’t make Christmas magic happen. I hope he knows that a big hug and a “Thanks for trying, Best Mom in the World” will make him quite studly tonight.

Marriage is teamwork. We need each other. Especially while in line to see Santa.

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Don’t Let Expectations Kill the Holidays

Posted by on Dec 1, 2014 in Nashville Marriage Counseling | 0 comments

My grandmother moved from the Philippines to live with us in Tennessee when I was in 2nd grade. My best friend at the time was a Korean girl and her grandmother had moved to the states to live with their family the year before. She was so excited for me because, according to her, grandmothers from Asian parts of the world come bearing all kinds of Hello Kitty amazingness.

So I was basically at the airport waiting on my grandma like this:

Well, my grandmother didn’t have any gifts other than her awesomeness. Which was great except I was 7 and I really wanted some Hello Kitty stuff. My grandmother’s arrival ended up being a complete letdown for me because I was way too focused on the gifts instead of the person.

Here’s the really sad part: My grandmother and I lived in the same house for over a decade, and I never really had a relationship with her. Me and her never seemed to ‘click’ the way that she did with my siblings. My brother has memories of playing tag with her in the backyard, and my younger sister was practically raised by her. I didn’t hold a grudge against my grandmother, but I do think that my initial disappointment gave me a different set of lenses than my siblings.

Our expectations can rob us. It is so easy to get carried away with what we want to happen that we are unable to be present and thankful for what is happening.

I don’t know that there is a time of the year with more expectation pressure than the holidays.

We expect everyone to get along at the family get together.
We expect to complete everything on our Christmas bucket list.
We expect that Pinterest craft to be easy.
We expect our holiday card will be amazeballs.

We expect our kids will love everything Santa gets them.
We expect our husbands will know exactly what we want for Christmas.

And when those things don’t go as expected (you get into a fight with your uncle about Ferguson, your kid plays with the box more than the toy it came with, your husband gets you a toaster oven) we lose sight of the bigger, more beautiful picture.

We let our disappointment take over, and we can’t see the beauty of loving and hating Uncle Bob all at the same time.

We can’t see the beauty of the 3 year old wanting to be pushed around in a box rather than riding a shiny new bike.

We can’t see the beauty of a husband that legitimately thought the toaster oven was a solid gift.

When something doesn’t go your way this holiday season (and things will not go your way), don’t give your disappointment the power to color the situation. Instead, give that power to your sense of humor and find a way to giggle. Or give it to your gratitude and find a way to say thank you. Or give it to your peace of mind and let it go…

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Do you hate your spouse’s wardrobe?

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 in Nashville Marriage Counseling | 0 comments

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday of all time. And I should probably write a post about how you should be thankful in your marriage or ask you to tell me why you’re thankful for your sweetie… but I’m not. Because it’s kind of expected and maybe a little boring?

Instead I’m gonna tell you how the sweater below started a fight:

(I can’t tell you how awkward taking this selfie was. I am not a selfie taker, and usually make fun of people over 30 that take selfies, yet here I am. Sigh.)

I bought this sweater last year at Target. It was cheap and I buy cheap stuff. I don’t necessarily lurve the sweater, but it gets the job done. I can go out in public in this sweater and not be mistaken for a homeless person, something that can’t be said for all of my wardrobe choices.

So last week I wear the sweater. All night long I wear the sweater. Go out in public in this sweater. Like I have done many times since buying the sweater.

We get home and I get ready for bed. I go upstairs to change and Lazy Marie whispers, “Eh, change into pajama pants but don’t worry about finding a night shirt. Just wear the sweater to bed.” Ok, Lazy Marie.

So I go back downstairs wearing pajama pants and the sweater.

Mark: That’s goofy looking.

Me: What is?

Mark: The sweater. That pattern is goofy looking.

Me: You don’t like my sweater?

Mark: Not really….(talking slowly because he knows he is trouble but he doesn’t know why)

Me: This is one of my favorite sweaters (a little hyperbole never hurt anyone).

Mark: Why are you wearing it to bed?

Me: I’m being lazy. But stay on topic. You think I look goofy in this sweater?

Mark: I’m just saying it’s ok to wear to bed, but I wouldn’t wear it, like, out.


Me: Um, I did wear it ‘out’. I wore it all day long. And according to you, I have looked ‘goofy’ all day long.


Mark: I am so sorry. I didn’t know… You look pretty?

Ok, so it wasn’t really a fight, but it did lead to me developing a plan to get back at him for not liking my sweater:

The whole time he is telling me how goofy my sweater looked all I could think was, “Oh, I’m going to make you LOVE this sweater. Every time I wear this sweater from now on I’m going to initiate sex and cook your favorite meal and tell you how amazing you are. And you’ll subconsciously start to connect this sweater to orgasms and your favorite food and confidence and just like Pavlov’s dog you’ll be wagging your tail every time you see this thing on and you won’t even know why you love this sweater BUT YOU WILL LOVE THIS SWEATER.”

Because I’m insane, and will gladly abuse my psychological power in the name of making Mark like everything I wear.

So instead of a generic why are you thankful for your spouse, what article of clothing does your spouse wear that you think is, well, ‘goofy’?

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