remember when friend

I have been on quite the clean household kick this past week or two.  Sure, I strive to maintain a clean and orderly home, but it’s not second nature to me.  It keeps the hubbie happy though and a bit less stressed.  I do enjoy a clean household, too, of course.  But, today: I wanted to wreck it.  In a bout of feeling oppressed and constrained, I wanted to destroy something.  Mess up the sheets, pile up dirty dishes, rearrange the bookshelf.  Oh, how futile. 

I decided to do something more worthwhile.  I thought of my friend T.  She was my go-to girl my senior year in high school and most of college.  Oh, the stories we could tell!  And, that was all the remedy I needed.  I needed to think of my “remember when” friend and contact her.  She would remember the crazy blonde that never kept a clean room.  She’d appreciate and think fondly of the wild laughs and late nights out.  I love being Mrs. Bauer, but she’d remember me before I was a Mrs.  She’d simply remember me as her best friend, Laura.  Or, Flirt, my nickname in high school- oh, yes, a lot has changed! 

I think we all need “remember when” friends.  Having them know us personally is a more productive way of breaking the cycle of bored and boring.  She can laugh with me over dumb ex-boyfriends and late night gossip sessions.  She can appreciate that I am not with any of those losers I loved in my late teens and early twenties.  There were dozens of ‘em!  ha  She will remember when with me and yet still let me love the now moments in my life: a house cleaning, husband loving housewife who has a spark that’s yet to be put out entirely.  *smile*

Hope you have a remember when friend or can start a new friendship that will be a great reminder in your life for years to come.

lots of love, Laura

the Rolling Stones were right

It’s a boy!  My brother and his wife announced the exciting news of their baby number two.  Baby number one?  Already a boy.  I am thrilled at the idea of a third nephew.  Although, I think I’d be delighted either way… being the spoiling, fun aunt is a pretty cool job no matter what.  I am a bit of a traditionalist, too: carrying down the family name and whatnot.  I like knowing my maiden name will live on and didn’t stop with my dad’s traditional girls (we both gladly took the name of our grooms).  I think everyone was delighted this new baby was a boy except for my sister-in-law and her mother.

I don’t blame them.  Well, not anymore.  I felt the cart was ahead of the horse when they’d occasionally refer to the baby as “she” in the weeks leading up to the news.  Or, “her.”  Irritated me.  What does it matter?  I mean, my brother’s wife has always let it be known she wanted a girl.  I’d go as far as to guess she might have had a bit of ill-will toward my sister when she was pregnant with my niece.  Que sera sera.  Right?  Whatever will be, will be…  Yes, I did blame them a little at first.  Babies are gifts from G-d.  Who cares of the gender if the child is healthy?  Then I thought of our situation.

I have a large box of baby clothes sitting in the closet of our (future) baby room upstairs.  Clothes for boys and clothes for girls.  I have been collecting them through the years.  I never thought I jinxed myself in buying them too soon or too early.  If there was an item I truly adored, I bought it.  So, it sits, untouched, in a far away bedroom (feels far away, not physically far away, ha!).  I think of the items that sit in it, and I think about our desire to adopt, and I realize we will likely be blessed with baby girls.  Hmmm…  I have longed for a baby boy for years.  I would be thrilled to be a mother of boys.  One, two, five- I would be perfectly content having no daughters.  I blame my DNA; my mother likely cursed me with a mini-me once my little angel becomes a teen.  I have seen the wild and defiant streak from my mother’s side.  You’d want to skip having girls, too.

If we adopt from overseas, the majority of babies available are girls.  I feel a small pain in my heart.  What if I never have a son?  Even if we had biological kids, it’s flipping a quarter, right?  No guarantees.  Not unless you get science involved.  I think it makes me sadder than my husband.  What if we don’t have a son to pass on the Bauer name?  Will my husband not have a son to teach how to play baseball?  Will we not get a “pass” in paying for a wedding?  ha  I think I am more bummed about the boy thing than my husband.

I stop the endless unravel of my thoughts and remember: G-d is in control.  That makes me breathe easier.  After all, our eldest nephew adores Joseph.  At fifteen months old, he could say “Unkell Joe-SEPH!”  It was precious.  It helped that my sister read him the Christmas story often.  Joseph can still play ball with him.  He has nephews, too, that carry on the Bauer name.  Who knows- our girls might keep it, too?  My sister in law has my niece to spoil.  Taking little Miss C to get manicures and buy dolls and dresses.  She’ll appreciate not having “the talk,” the hormonal fits, and the bride’s cost of a wedding! 

I think my brother’s wife may mourn the “loss” of a daughter a little longer.  Maybe a while.  She generously gave my sister a mound of her baby girl clothes today.  Sure, they may try for a third.  Sure, they may have a girl… or another boy.  I think we all go through states of mourning.  Mourning the loss of something that we wished for or wanted.  Something that was intended or planned and didn’t happen.  I think the Rolling Stones may have been right.  You know, we can’t always get what we want, but, like the song says, sometimes we get what we need.

To baby boy nephew #2, I love you and look forward to meeting you shortly.  You are G-d’s perfect gift and planned.  And, I cannot wait to buy you a lot of blue and spoil you :-)  Aunt Laura

little things

We had dinner with newlyweds a few weeks ago.  They are coming up on their first anniversary in just a few weeks.  I was blessed to help in many of the preparations (thanks to a hubbie that volunteered me!) in both weeks that led to the wedding and the day of the wedding.  My husband and I attended the wedding and reception.  And, we imparted our “marital wisdom” on the couple at the time.  Yet over dinner, I gave them the advice I list over and over: ignore the small stuff.

So much of life is building.  We can become rich the same way we can become poor: a little at a time.  We can gain or lose weight little by little.  Our relationships can deepen and grow or strain and deteriorate.  It seems that many couples dwell on the small stuff, too, so that it builds and builds until it becomes big stuff.  Or, they don’t address the big stuff- they shove and hide it away- until it erupts after attacking the little stuff.

I told the bride of my groom’s little nuances.  Things that drive me nuts.  He leaves his socks on the floor by the coffee table every night after I rub his feet while we watch TV.  He starts putting away items I am using while I am mid-use (like, cooking dinner).  He folds his clothes and places them on the laundry hamper.  Ummm… are they clean?  Or dirt?  Clean or dirty?  I’m not gonna smell them, and I don’t want to waste laundry space.  He forgets to put the milk away after breakfast until I come out and find it.  It likely wouldn’t bother me if he didn’t nag me about not putting stuff away.  *SIGH*

A friend of my husband vented to him about his own wife this week.  He towels off in the shower.  She “air dries.”  Drives him crazy.  I laughed.  I do the same thing.  Well, walk around in my towel while doing my makeup and getting dressed.  Have since high school.  You learn quickly after a spill or two on a blouse or skirt.  What I didn’t realize though was that my drying habits irk my husband, too.  Luckily, not to the annoyance of his friend.  “I got over it,” my husband smirked.  “It’s just your thing.”

He’s learning, too.  He knows I am forgetful and a wee bit absentminded sometimes.  He knows I love a clean house, but it drains me in doing so.  I try really really hard to keep an orderly home.  He knows that.  We don’t fight about it like we use to.  He shuts pantry doors that I leave open.  He takes my plates to the sink sometimes when I forget them.  He has learned to praise me over a clean kitchen.  Yes, it’s part of my “job,” but a little praise and appreciation go a long way.

That’s what we encouraged this couple to do: ignore the little things.  Learn to lighten your sigh.  Remember that your spouse does something different from you, but it’s not wrong.  You are two different people approaching things differently.  Like, parking.  I am a first spot I see, no nonsense, type of car parker.  My husband drives around and usually parks across the lot.  Drives me crazy.  More so this last month when I am hobbling on a broken toe!  But, I bite my tongue.  I respect my husband.  He doesn’t need me critiquing him.  We are a team.  Team Bauer (woot woot!). 

Be a team with your partner or spouse and build each other up.  Ignore the little things that try to tear you apart, and it will help keep you two together.

Sweet dreams, L

sowing seeds of chaos

I know I still need to finish my “scarred” series, but I am not ready.  I know once I write the last chapter, it is done.  I will have said my peace, packed up, and said “finito.”  But that day is not today.  I want to wrestle up those last thoughts and issues and lay them down.  I crave exhaustion and the ability to bow over my work.  (Dramatic, yes, but the thought still dances in my mind.)

I did hear about D a few times in the last week- the benefit of running in the same circles, yet still two states apart?  She is pregnant again, but she has had many complications. 

Did I mention before she bragged to me that she is super fertile?  Yeah, according to her, she “can get pregnant any time I want.”  Not words you want to say to a “friend” whose doctor advised her to err on the side of caution in wanting to get pregnant.  I love my sister who retorts, “That’s not something to brag about- it’s not like she has any control over it!”  (My sister, who has gotten pregnant with two children immediately twice).  I replay her comments in my head today.  What a snotty person she is!  And, let’s see…  Before January, she had been pregnant six times but only has three kids.  Fifty-fifty odds aren’t good.  Now on her seventh pregnancy, she has been hospitalized and put on bed rest on and off. 

I want to say something snotty to her or backhanded.  But, I hear how her husband needs to get a second job to pay the bills or that they are selling as much as possible just to keep a float (which is totally bizarre because I know how much he makes).  Oh, yeah, her power was turned off last year.  And their water.  Oh, and they couldn’t afford gas making nearly twice as much as the national household average.  Wow.  Their lives are in chaos.  How sad for her children to live in a home where their mom is unstable, their dad cheats, and the utilities are randomly cut off.  They have farm animals that keep dying on their land.  All of their dozens of animals have died.  That is traumatic.  Seriously.  Your mother miscarries twice in one year and blames one of them on you and your siblings?  Yeah, seriously wicked.

I think of how many times D said something, and I brushed it off.  Or, I was drowning in her incessant talking, that I was swept away in daydreaming.  As I get out, I want to shake my head and go on the attack, but isn’t she already suffering enough?  You reap what you sow, though.  She pushed me away when I wanted to help.  She has pushed her husband into the arms and beds of numerous women.  She has pushed security, but for what?  So that she could sow seeds of chaos?  I realize I don’t need to hurt her- she’s far better at it right now anyhow, hurting herself.  I am glad I am out.  Stepped away from chaos and living a blessed life.  How much pain can someone bring on herself before she wants to stop?

So sad.  So, I pray she finds peace, put the seeds away, and step out of chaos into clarity for a life and heart the Lord truly wishes she had.

L

criticism

Have you heard it takes three positive affirmations to undo the damage done by one negative comment?  Sometimes, it feels like we need more than three.  That for all the positive, glowing words we receive, the things that often stick and torment our thoughts are the ones that are less than becoming.

When I was in college, I dated a cute guy.  A cute, smart guy that sometimes seemed brainless.  He was rash and quick and often absentminded.  He was an long distance beau, and I remember meeting up with him one summer holiday weekend.  I was so sweet on him, but my thoughts of him quickly began to sour.  He was constantly putting me down.  I wasn’t some emotional, needy, flighty gal.  He was just mean.  Most of the time, though, I don’t think he even realized it.  In fact, I think that’s how he communicated or just interacted with people.  Again, rash and unthinking. 

One day, when we were in the car, he put me down, and I decided that was enough.  “Tell me three good things about me,” I said.  I wasn’t going to let me get away with that behavior again.  He was stunned but obliged.  Took him a lot longer to think of three things than I wanted, but I decided I would give him grace.  Later that day, he put me down again, and I asked for another three compliments.  (I don’t know, tell me I’m pretty, smart, or funny.  Impress me with something deeper, like, remembering an article I wrote, applaud me for a poem I had sent you, tell me I have great taste in clothes or nice hips.  lol  Tell me you value me.)  I made him think of three new and different positives, and it seemed to come easier the second time.

We broke up not soon after.  I don’t remember who broke up or why.  I had a new beau by the end of summer anyhow.  I think of him time to time and hope he’s changed for his current relationship.  I pray he loves and values her.  I pray she seeks more from him than he will readily give. 

I thought of him this weekend because of my husband.  I don’t even remember what Mr. Bauer said to me, but it rubbed me the wrong way.  “Tell me three nice things about me,” I stated.  Thankfully, he answered more quickly than the former beau!  I wasn’t snotty or demanding; I explained I wanted to make sure we both knew I was loved and appreciated.  His tone wasn’t mean, and his words weren’t harsh.  However, it made something inside me make sure it wasn’t going further than that. 

My parents raised my sister and me to be strong women and stand up for what we believe it.  It is never okay for a man to mistreat us.  I pray I can pass the same thing on if I have a daughter some day.  Pray she’s strong.  I want my niece to be diligent in being giving and getting respect.  Hope every women who reads this blog is earnest in seeking to be heard and listened to, as well as, appreciated and loved.  Hope you men treat your gals with respect (and vice versa) so that your words won’t sting and hurt but bless and build.  Pray you all can raise amazing little girls that become amazing women, who- without trying to correct something misspoken- deserve to be complimented quickly in the first place.

Happy Monday, love, L

sort it out

I wish gossip tasted sweeter.  I mean, I love it, of course.  I shouldn’t, right?  That’s not very “Christian” of me, but it is true: my flesh can eat it up like candy.  Tonight I was fed some of the juiciest, sweetest gossip I had heard in a long time.  Yummy. 

But, it’s not sitting well with me.  A soulful indigestion, if you will.  Sure, in our sad, sorry, core we all want to “win” when we compare ourselves to our ex(es).  It is stupid, petty, and ridiculous, but we cannot help ourselves.  Tonight the gossip was about an ex of mine.  I admit: it felt good to hear (and I hope to share the details of it later), but, as I replay the words I heard, I actually feel sad for him.  Yes, my loser ex that has turned his life into disorder since we separated has my sympathies tonight, which brings me to this blog and my words of wisdom tonight: get help.

Get help when you get divorced and try not to rush into a new relationship.  When I first separated from my first husband, I shouldered the entire blame.  I took it all on and blamed myself completely, but, in truth, it wasn’t all me.  I needed time to sort through what was my fault and what was his.  I needed to find my way and figure things out.  I started seeing a counselor, too, because I didn’t want to make the same mistakes going into my next marriage.  Like this second marriage?  I found a man I respected and saw as my equal not less than me (yep, I use to be a wretch). 

My ex was in a serious relationship right before he met me.  He dated her through most of high school and into college.  He broke up with her to date me his senior year of college.  We were engaged and married within the year.  So, one serious relationship to another.  When he and I separated, he proposed to two women, and he married the second.  Mid-to-late spring, they met.  By summer, she was pregnant, and, before fall, they married.  I remember how sad I felt for them both when she previously admitted she wished they had known each other longer before getting seriously and that she likely would have never married him.  That breaks my heart.

I just feel bad for him for never truly “finding” himself.  I feel bad that he’s married twice and both women regretted being his wife.  What if he had sought help before jumping into the arms (and sack) of another woman?  Their lives have been filled with chaos since day one.  While I have snickered before and said they are made for each other, I wish they had better clarity before diving in to the life they have now. 

That’s some of my best advice after a serious relationship: to sort it out.  Figure out what happened and why and how to go forward.  Find peace with it ending.  Find peace with moving on.  I was blessed to change my life and heart- and come to Jesus!- and take my time finding love.  I found plenty of potential loves!  But, I took my time getting serious again and stepping into a big commitment.  Sort out your stuff so you can move on to bigger, and, hopefully, better things. 

Good night, L

like a boss

Have you ever played “I Never”?  It is a game I recall playing in high school at sleepovers or bachelorette parties and bridal shows.  I am not sure if they became racier or tamer as we all got older, though!  Anyway, the game is “I Never,” and each player holds out ten fingers or is given ten M&M’s.  Each player takes his or her turn confessing: “I never [FILL IN THE BLANK].”  Or, “Never have I ever _______.”  If the other players has done one of these never ever’s, that person puts a finger down or eats an M&M.  Thus, the person with the most fingers up or most candies left is the winner.

My go-to’s keep dwindling every year, though, it would seem.  You know, you get older, wiser, do more, and see more.  Tonight, I lost another one of my never have I ever’s: I broke my foot.  Or, rather, I fractured it.  Same thing.  However, the little fracture in my baby toe made it swell up and turn purple.  So hot, right?  How did I do it, too, you might ask?  Mad skills, baby.  I dropped my phone on it.  Ouch.  Blah.  It’s never something cool you’d see in the movies, right?  But it was a bit comical, I am sure.  While in my kitchen getting water from our filter, I received a text on my phone.  I tried to flip my phone to see who was texting me, and (apparently with great ferocity) I dropped my phone on my foot.  The right angle at the right time with the right speed.  Ouch, again.  I hunched over our counter, glass still in hand, and water filter still running, filling our kitchen floor.

When I “came to,” I stopped the waterfall.  I looked at my reddened toe and felt the throbbing.  I walked on it and teased my husband in a text that I thought I broke my toe.  He offered to rush home and take care of me, but I calmed him and told him it wasn’t necessary.  Because, well, it wasn’t.  Surely, I had only a minor injury.  Only, an hour later, it was twice the size it should be.  And, again, now purple.  Oh, and I couldn’t walk on it without crying.  The urgent care nurses and doctor were kind, but they could believe the damage was caused by a cell phone.  They kept asking me how heavy it was.  That’s when I knew: I have mad skills.  LOL  Yep, I broke my baby toe like a boss.  ‘Cause, you know, that’s how I roll *continuous laughter*

So, I am sore, and I am in pain.  And, I have a very stylish boot to wear, which, in all honesty, I would rather go without.  Yes, I am that vain in my core.  So, last year: never had I ever used crutches until I had knee surgery in November.  Before tonight, never had I ever had a broken bone.  At least I still have one left: never have I ever died my hair.  I said I wouldn’t die it until it goes gray, so I am praying that is not for another decade… or two.  Yes, definitely, two.  Maybe three.  *wink*

Sweet dreams and praying for whole bones for you!

Good night, love, L

p.s. I decided to spare you the pics ’cause I love you!  :-D

happily ever after

I am determined to make our master bedroom more “adult.”  Okay, clean up you mind.  Maybe, I think I mean romantic.  And, like some broke college kid doesn’t occupy it.  I want to, want to, want to buy a bedroom set, but my desire is conflicted by one thing: I am cheap.  I don’t like spending money.  I don’t like high priced items.  Yes, even typing that sends my heart racing.  *GULP* 

Two Christmases ago, we updated our bedding.  My parents gave us some holiday cash, and Kohl’s had huge discounts on their fall bedding.  Score!  We can think my parents for grown-up bedding.  Then, we bit the bullet and finally lifted the mattress off the floor with a sixty dollar-ish basic metal bed frame from JCP.  Movin’ on up!  Our big purchase came just a couple months ago when we bought an inexpensive pair of nightstands- under a hundred for both- YAY!  Baby steps.  Yes, baby steps are how I’m dragging encouraging our bedroom to look inviting. 

Now, I am at it again.  I have been researching dressers and headboards.  Not sure how soon we’ll get ‘em, but I am pricing.  I want the best and cheapest deal possible.  But, we have lived without a dress for two or three years now, so it’s not necessary.  Plus, it’s just a temporary thing in my mind.  No need to spend hundreds now.  The words “someday” and “when we’re older” are magic to my ears when I think about when we’ll buy that lusted-after bedroom set.  It can wait.

As I scroll through Pinterest ideas, I have become quite smitten with the “Mr. & Mrs.” and the “I am my Beloved’s” and “Happily Ever After” decals that grace themselves above beds of many.  And, I get stuck on one: Happy Ever After.  Oh, sorry, “and they lived happily ever after.”  I know many of us smirk at that saying.  We accuse Disney of having us buy into a line.  We are quit to point out that the wedding day isn’t the end.  We see movie after movie of boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, some miscommunication ensues and boy and girl are ripped apart only to be brought back together in the final scenes.  That’s where the story ends: with a happy ending.  Yet some become jaded when happily ever after doesn’t find them.  When the love story seems to be missing the ink to finish strong.  When the leading man or woman doesn’t seem to show up.  Or, worse, they do, and you find out the wrong person was cast!  ha  So, you resent the happily ever after and say it doesn’t exist.

I think about that happily ever after, and I realize one thing is true: it’s not a promise.  Just because you say “I do” doesn’t mean it’s all rainbows, roses, and sunsets with long walks on the beach.  No, happiness is a choice.  Plus, it’s doesn’t say “they lived perfectly ever after.”  I know I have fallen victim to thinking I picked the wrong man to marry when we had an argument.  I know I have doubted my decision when the road is rocky, and I’ve come unprepared.  But, I have a choice, and I can still choose happiness.  I can remember happily ever after isn’t perfect, but it makes me better.  I become a better wife, a more loving wife, a stronger woman, and a wiser believer.  Life is not perfect, but I was blessed to find love.  That is reason to choose happiness and live happily ever after, no matter what the storms may bring.

Wishing you happiness, love, L

oh, honey bear

When I was in a new starter relationship with my now-husband, I tried a rotation of nicknames for him.  Hottie Hotpants was the original, and it still appears time to time.  I also tried, Honey Bear, Honey Bunny, Baby, and Sweetie.  Surely, a few more as well.  But, Bear is what stuck, so he has been my Honey Bear for a few years now.  Bear, for short.  And, I have been his Bunny.  (Super cute and sugary sweet, right?).

In the last year, I have started answering my husband’s phone calls with a syrupy sweet, “HI, HONEY BEAR!”  I want to always eagerly receive his phone calls and have calling me be a joy in his day.  I do love having him call!

I remember it started one day when my (former) friend D told me about her and her husband.  She had nagged asked him to empty the dishwasher repeatedly.  When she called him later that morning, he answered, “I know, I know.  I should have emptied the dishwasher.  I am so sorry.  I forgot.”  What a crappy way for a husband to expect a call from his beloved!  She told me she called him specifically to discuss the dish situation.  Now, I know how the girl feels, but come on: it’s just the dishes!  Do you want to disrespect your husband and treat him like a child over dishes?!  I have a happy marriage, and I’d like to keep it that way.  So, from that day forward, I answered the phone with great expectations whenever my husband called, “HI, HONEY BEAR!”  Sweetness, adoration, and love just oozes through the phone.

There was one awkward instance last year with my phone answering.  Unbeknownst to me, my husband got very sick at work.  His co-worker called me from Joseph’s office.  The phone rang, and I jumped to answer it, “HI, HONEY BEAR!!!”  The other line said, “Ummm…  This isn’t Honey Bear.  This is C…”  At the time, I admit it: I was mortified!  Oh-emm-gee moment, if you will.  I think I may have shrunk that day.  Later, though, I thought: I am glad I answered the phone with love.  I am glad I look forward to my husband’s calls.  It would have been awkward if I talked provocatively to him.  Or, more awkward: scolded the expected husband through the phone.  Yikes.  That would have been an uncomfortable call.  And, I wondered later: I wonder if C went home to his wife asking her why she didn’t greet him overjoyed?  He knew marveled at my dear Bear.  That what most men want most.

Today, I absentmindedly answered the phone.  Oops.  “Hello,” I said.

“What’s wrong?” my dear Bear asked.

“Nothing.  Just working.  Why?”

“You’re suppose to call me Honey Bear,” he lamented.  “That’s how I know you love me and that everything’s okay.  And that you are not mad!”

I smiled, “Sorry, Bear…  Hi, Honey BEAR!  So glad you called!”

When Honey Bear’s happy, everyone’s happy.  So, I’ll keep pouring sugar through my phone every time he calls.

Hope you keep your marriage sweet, too.  Love, L

 

quick wit

A friend of ours recently admitted to my husband that he is a “Greek in a Moroccan body.”

I laughed, of course.  And, without missing a step, I asked my husband, “Did you tell him you’re a Jew in a rockin’ body?”

Always think highly of your spouse, and treat him as such.  All of us have insecurities, even our strong men.  So be sure to be in the habit of building him up and not tearing him down.  Adore the man you married- I do!  He may think it corny, but he will appreciate it.  He does!!