Valentines weekend

As you can see it was a busy weekend complete with demolition and rebuilding our bathroom, Valentines day and a curling bonspiel. Here is Roman in his dream job. He keeps asking when he can smash up our other bathroom. It does need to be renovated to so I assured him he would be the first to help with the demolition. This was one of those jobs that took a lot longer than it should have. One moldy shower led to a moldy wall, insulation etc. Terrible plumbing , awful wiring. I think Nathanael felt like a Holmes on Homes episode. We now have a functioning, non rotting, shiny new bathroom though. Pictures to follow.

Aili , our resident party girl, helped me make Valentines cupcakes to surprise the boys and Daddy. That's about as festive as I get. Its a good thing I have Aili or I would completely flake out on most holidays.

Here is Silas getting a turn to "help". Much to his Daddy's frustration. Silas' idea of helping is dumping out the boxes of screws, stealing the tools and hiding them, and bending ceiling panel supports.

Last Friday was our school's annual curling bonspiel, complete with food booth (which I had the pleasure of working in with two toddlers), and a bake sale (which I kind of forgot about, fortunately I had cookies in the freezer)......and a prize for every participant. Even the ones who spent most of the time rolling around on the ice or thought it was cool to try to throw two rocks at a time. Yes Roman was a participant this year. I'm thinking curling might not be his thing...not enough body contact , speed or adrenaline. I really can't blame him,
in fact in my opinion there is not a more boring sport. There my secret is out, I might just be stoned for heresy in this curling fanatical community. I think I am the only woman in a 40 mile radius who is not a part of a curling team or has not played in the woman's bonspiel. I may be a social outcast because of it...but I just can't bring myself to stand out on that cold ice holding a broom. I spend enough time holding a broom in my own house.

Saturday my husband and I went on our big date. The one I wrote about earlier...yes I was that excited. We decided that since we were driving an hour to get to the church that was showing the movie "Fireproof" that we would leave a little earlier drive half an hour further to go eat in the City. We forgot however to factor in the reality that everyone in the world was eating out that night and every restaurant had at least an hour wait time just to be seated. We consented to eating "ee burritos" in our car (which is still much more pleasurable than eating with 4 kids so I wasn't all that disappointed) when we decided to try one last restaurant. To our surprise they got us right in and we were served an amazingly delicious meal complete with candle light, table cloths and wine. I know table cloths aren't that big a deal to the average person but keep in mind I could clean off our table with a fire hose after two toddlers are finished with it...so sitting at a table with a table cloth seemed so ..well...refined. No noses to wipe, no spills to clean up, no chasing two year olds back to the table , just peace and conversation.

Even the drive was nice, silence, adult conversation and no Vegi Tales playing over the stereo system. It was worth all the effort, money and the long drive! The movie was really good too. They even had popcorn and treats for us! I'm a sucker for movies and popcorn. It wasn't as cheesy as I kind of expected it to be, it was hard hitting and dealt with tough marriage issues. I'd recommend it to anyone, especially if your marriage is under stress or seems beyond hope. The book refered to in the movie , although hand written in the movie, is a real book called "The Love Dare". My in-laws wisely bought each of their kids one for Christmas. At the time it kind of flew under the radar but as we got home and started reading one day at a time (there are 40 days worth of readings.) I realized what an amazing resource it actually is.
So many of those types of books are super lame, or irrelevant but this one is different. Each day is a couple pages of reading (totally manageable , even late at night) incredible insights into what real love truly is and not in a pie in the sky unrealistic kind of way or in a lame, duh, kind of way (I realize that I have just stooped to a new low using the word "duh" in a post).

One of the lines in the movie( that is also in the book )that stood out the most to me was "Don't follow your heart, your heart can be deceived, but lead your heart instead."
Our hearts tell us the grass is greener on the other side, our hearts can tell us that we are no longer "in love", our hearts can grow cold, our hearts are naturally selfish, our hearts are full of hurts and resentment, our hearts lead us into so many dangers and heartaches. But instead we should intentionally LEAD our hearts , that does not mean our hearts are not involved, but rather we CHOOSE to love, we choose to be faithful, we choose to honor and treat our partners as sacred, we choose to show patience, kindness, and self control....even when sometimes those things are not reciprocated. God doesn't love us because we are so extremely lovable or deserving, but he loves us in a way that is sacrificial, pure, and unconditional. That is the kind of love that must be nurtured in a marriage if it is to last.

It is not limited to marraige though....I could be anyone that we are in contact with that seem "unlovable", difficult, inconvenient, or just irritating . They can also be the recipient of this type of love. A love that is not based on rewards, or fussy feelings but that has been intentionally cultivated and nurtured and can withstand snotty noses, temper tantrums, cold shoulders, and hurt feelings. It is a love that cannot come from ourselves unless we ourselves are recieving it from the source. That source is God.

So often, especially in marriage, actions come first and the feelings follow. Marriage is tough, it is tedious, it is amazing, it is painful, it is fun...it is so many things , often all in the same day! I can honestly say that this Valentines day was better than any Valentines day in our 12 years of marriage...at least that I remember. Not just because we went on a wonderful date, not only because my husband bought me three presents (and I gave him a card and cupcakes...will have to reevaluate next year)....but because this year we are more in love than we have ever been. We weren't just going through the motions. A few years ago I didn't even know it was possible ....and now we are living proof of a marriage restored. We aren't perfect, we still have our struggles, but we are committed ...and we are working on building the kind of marriage that God wants for us. Another line in the movie was something to the effect of ' Fireproof doesn't mean that we won't face the fire but that we are able to withstand the heat. ' That's what I want for my marriage...we will face fire, life has a way of bringing us face to face with it sometimes..but we will make it through together.

That brings me to my next adventure with my beloved hubby and best friend......3 days until we leave for Mexico!!! Can you tell I'm excited? Its hard to type while jumping up and down so I'd better stop here.

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