Author Archives: Bryn

I Love My Husband More than the Kids

February 4th, 2016 | Posted by Bryn in My Lover Boy - (Comments Off on I Love My Husband More than the Kids)

I wrote this article in 2011 for the website CatholicMothersOnline.com, which is now Real Life at Home. With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought it was time to bring this (edited) article back! Enjoy!

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I am still totally smitten with my husband. We’ve been married over six years, and of course we’ve had bumps in the road, but we’ve still seen each other through everything. And we are more in love than ever.

When we had our first child, it was instant and amazing love. Unconditional, in fact. There is nothing my children could do that would make me love them any less. They make my life joyful, fun, and full of laughter. The kids also challenge me to be a better person because they deserve a mother who is patient, loving, and helpful all the time. There is no doubt that I love my children. SO much.

Me and my favorite. Photo courtesy of Tara Shay Photography

There are some who say, “I’m so in love with my baby.” And I’m sure I’ve said this before, but when I really stop to think about it, I’m not sure that’s true. The one I’m “in love” with (whether I feel like it or not) is my husband. Some of you will want to kick me for saying this, but I love him more than I love our children. More.

It definitely is a different type of love. When each of our children were born, we had the “love explosion,” the instant attachment knowing that this tiny person is a part of you, a decision made by the two of you to become parents. It’s completely natural and easy to love our kids.

But my husband and I took our time falling in love. We had to get to know each other – click here to read our story. Married love is so different because there are times we don’t even like each other, but we still love each other because of the choice we made, the vows we said in front of God and everyone we knew. Our love is a choice we make every single day to get up and love each other the best we can. Sometimes it takes a conscious effort to love one another, and because of that effort and that daily choice, I love him more.

He’s the one God created for me. I am the flighty, high energy one, and he always keeps me grounded, makes me laugh with his dry sense of humor, and is honest with me, even if I don’t want to hear it. When I look at him, it’s like looking in an opposite mirror. The reflection is as familiar and comfortable as looking at my own face, but he’s the perfect complement, the perfect opposite to me.

We were talking about marriage recently, and it went like this

Him: You know, marriage is between two people.

Me: Duh! We aren’t polygamists!

Him: Yeah, two people. God and me and you.

Me: What? Isn’t that three?

Him: No, God is one, and you and I are one.

He and I are one. When we got married, we became one body in Christ. We are just one person now, and nothing can separate us.

So what is love for my husband and me?

  1. Love is packing his lunch every morning, no matter how tired I am.
  2. Love is my four-year-old son asking, “Are you thinking about Daddy?” when he catches me randomly smiling.
  3. Love is attending Mass as a family, and always giving each other the sign of peace first with a kiss.
  4. Love is parenting together and acting as one unit when it comes to discipline.
  5. Love is putting him above all others, even myself, and letting him do the same for me.
  6. Love is growing together in faith through all means possible.
  7. Love is respecting each other’s feelings and treating each other as equals.
  8. Love is knowing that I’m his rib, the one God created for him.
  9. Love is when he puts the kids to bed every night, prays with them, and reads them stories so I can have a few minutes alone.
  10. Love is forgiving each other, no matter what, even when we don’t feel like it.
  11. Love is praying together, even if it’s awkward.
  12. Love is choosing to care, choosing to rely on him, choosing to put him ahead of everything else. Except God, of course. But that’s just a given.
Do you love your husband the most, forsaking all others? What is “love” for you and your husband? What do you do to show that love every day?

Funny Friday – The Grammar Nerd

April 13th, 2012 | Posted by Bryn in Funny Friday - (7 Comments)

Yes, that’s me. I have been known lovingly as a grammar nerd, a grammar cop, and even the grammar nazi by my honey. I get it, it’s difficult to type everything out in texts or even from your phone to Facebook, but when a reputable news source starts making grammatical errors, I start getting “grinchy”. And sure, I’m not perfect, but I appreciate when basic grammatical rules are followed. If you ever find any basic errors on this website, please feel free to correct me!

A short lesson:

it’s = it is
its = possessive form of “it” (referring to something that belongs to “it”)

there = refers to location (There it is!)
they’re = they are
their = possessive form of they (belonging to them)

your = possessive form of you (belonging to you)
you’re = you are

two = the number 2
to = preposition used before a noun or verb as an infinitive (We are going to the store. We are going to leave now.)
too = also (I love you, too.)

who’s = who is
whose = possessive form of who/whom

These are the few that were at the top of my mind today. Which bother you the most?

To relieve some stress from my mind, here are a few graphics from someecards and one from Piccsy.

Does bad grammar bother you? Which grammatical errors bug you the most?

Good Friday – What Love Really Means

April 6th, 2012 | Posted by Bryn in Faith - (2 Comments)

Today is Good Friday, the day all Christians commemorate the passion and death of our Lord, Jesus Christ. What He did on the cross was THE ultimate act of love, so let us remember today and always that we are NOTHING without Him. He was perfect in every way, never having sinned even once, and He willingly allowed Himself to be nailed to the cross for your sins, for my sins, for the sins of the entire world, past, present, and future. That’s what Love really means.

Lord, You are all that is good, our Creator, and our Redeemer. We are sorry for the sins we have committed that nailed You to the cross. Words cannot express the gratitude we have for Your sacrifice. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Please help us to always appreciate the gift of Your grace, and keep us close to You always. Amen.

Here’s a free printable to help us remember what Love really is.

Click on the image to enlarge. This is for personal use only. Please don’t crop out the website at the bottom.

Thank you, and have a blessed Good Friday.

All winter, every winter, my unused back porch turns into a catch-all room, a storage room, gathering dust and odds and ends including old lamps, stuff for Salvation Army, and who knows what else? Yesterday I spent naptime moving furniture and stuff, vacuuming, scrubbing and DE-CLUTTERING. It feels so good to have my cute little porch back.

Here’s the shameful before picture with a winter’s worth of junk:

Yikes! That's embarrassing... and this is the entrance we and guests use every time.

The view from the back door. Layers of dust and junk. I do like the bamboo shades though.

I included this one because you can really see the dust build-up under the bench. It's awful. Why am I posting these on the internet?! What is wrong with me?!

Okay, so here are the after pictures that (somewhat) redeem me as a wife, mother, and human being.

Aaaah. Much better. It's all scrubbed, washed, vacuumed. Much, much better.

This is a doll clothes armoire I had when I was a little girl. I love it as an end table!

No more dust under that bench!

Won’t my mommy be so proud of me?

Have a great weekend!

Funny Friday – Introducing Average Dan

March 30th, 2012 | Posted by Bryn in Funny Friday - (3 Comments)

My extremely entertaining brother-in-law is “Average Dan” on Fox 23 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A few months ago, he shot a series of promotional videos, some of which I’ve included here. Be sure to check him out on Fox 23 and click here to read his reviews of above average businesses in the Tulsa area.

The maniacs and I spent at least a half hour the other day watching the ten second commercials over and over and over. And laughing.

The five second rule should not be questioned. You can tell its a rule. How? Because of the way it is. Deal with it.

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Sneezing is a serious health condition. Do it carefully and responsibly.

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On Average, people laugh 17 times a day. In order to reach my daily laugh quota, sometimes I have to find a loophole, so I made this video for those days when I need a pinch-hitter and don’t feel like chuckling one bit.

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Make-A-List Monday – Quotable Kids

March 26th, 2012 | Posted by Bryn in Kids | Make-A-List Monday - (Comments Off on Make-A-List Monday – Quotable Kids)

Our three maniacs, from left to right, TT(4 1/2), Vanilla(15 mo.), and Peach(2 1/2). And yes, the two big kids crawl themselves into Vanilla's crib almost every morning and all three jump... Don't judge me.

On my other, extremely neglected blog, I attempted to keep track of funny or insightful things my kids said because they are constantly coming up with new gems. However, I often hear them say something, laugh about it and tell their dad, then forget about it. Today is redemption for my other blog, Out of the Mouths of Maniacs.

Here are some glimpses from that website as well as some new stuff the maniacs have been telling me lately.

1. After we returned home from vacation – TT: Mom, I just want you to be home for one day then go on vacation again.

2. Dad: What do you want to be when you grow up, buddy?
TT (age 4): What do I want to be when I grow up? Hmmmm…. A husband!

3.  Peach, our two and a half year old, has several nicknames for her little sister, and we don’t know where any of them came from. They are: Cakes, Quakes, and Little You-ee-high.

4. Lately, our baby, who is now 15 months old, has been saying, “Hi Peach!” and “Hi Sase!” (talking to her brother).

5. TT (age 4): Mom, you know how I can fly like Superman?
Me: How?
TT: I can get a cape on my back and a stick on my crotch and fly away!
Me: A stick on your WHAT?
TT: On my crotch. You know, like Harry Potter.

6. Peach (age 2, after painting her toenails hot pink): Mom, can I take my pink toes to bed with me?

7. Then there’s this conversation between a plastic goat and a plastic horse (via my two-year-old):
Goat: I love you.
Horse: Well, I love you too. Let’s run away from the hyheenas!

8. TT: That grape was disgusting. It tasted like yard.
Me: How do you know what “yard” tastes like?
Crickets, crickets.

9. As I’m wiping my four-year-old’s butt – TT: Mommy, I think you are just gorgeous!

10. Peach: I can do whatever I want!
TT: (in a very calm tone) No, you cannot do whatever you want. You are a child.

Which is your favorite? What are some awesome things your kids have said lately (or ever)?

Pledge to Wear Black on Fridays to End Abortion in America

March 25th, 2012 | Posted by Bryn in Faith | Kids - (Comments Off on Pledge to Wear Black on Fridays to End Abortion in America)

AbortionBlackout.com is turning into a movement in the United States. Their short video (click below to view) explains simple statistics regarding abortions. It’s heartbreaking to realize how many children we’ve lost to abortion just in the last 30+ years.

Even if you feel you can’t participate in the Abortion Blackout each Friday, please pray for the children lost to abortion, their mothers and fathers who are probably suffering, and the healthcare professionals that they may have a change of heart.

Thank you Father Daren for bringing this movement to my attention. Feel free to reblog, share on Facebook, Pin It, Tweet about it, just spread the news about the Abortion Blackout.

Okay, so this bag I keep in my van isn’t for actual emergencies, but more for normal “kid” emergencies. We were at a local indoor playground recently (Going Bonkers) and my newly potty trained two-year-old wet her pants. I frantically searched the diaper bag for anything that would fit her, then ran out to the van while my little girl cried quietly because she still wanted to play.

Out in the van, the only thing I could find was a pair of gym shorts (and it was below freezing out) that my four-year-old hadn’t quite grown into yet. Why did I have shorts in my van in the middle of January? Because sometimes I can be a bit way too unorganized, and this pair happened to fall out of a bag of hand-me-downs we had received from another family.

I brought the shorts, thinking we were just going to have to make them work, when a good Samaritan–another mom I barely know–offered her son’s extra pair of sweat pants without a second thought. All I could do was keep saying, “Thank you! Thank you so much!” And thinking to myself, “I wish I was her right now. I wish I was smart enough to have extra clothes for my kids. Why am I NOT a type-A personality?!”

Then I discovered that it doesn’t take a type-A personality to put together a kid emergency bag. Here’s what’s in mine:

The Van Emergency Bag for Kids

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Extra set of clothes for each kid, including socks and underwear
  • Jacket or sweater for each kid
  • Jammies for the baby

I just put it all in a bag, and it stays in the trunk of my van. Easy as pie! (I never understood this saying… it’s not really that easy to make pie.)

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I also found a car emergency kit placed in an adorably decorated plastic wipes case on the blog Rips in My Jeans (found via Pinterest, of course!). So I decided to make my own. Since I know I’ll never make the time to actually cover the box in cute fabrics, I’m just using Tupperware. Here’s what’s in my box:

The Van Emergency Box

I like that the Tupperware is clear so I can see everything inside without taking off the lid. This piece is a square #2 Modular Mate with a blue lid.

  • grocery bag for trash
  • hand sanitizer
  • Wet Ones
  • ibuprofen
  • lotion
  • white petroleum jelly (good to use for diaper rash cream or lip balm or for small cuts)
  • tissues
  • a safety pin
  • a small amount of cash & change
  • non-perishable snacks (I have Craisins)
  • a hair tie
  • a pen
  • bubbles (my maniacs go absolutely nuts for bubbles)
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Now I can feel like one of those actually-making-Pinterest-projects, wore-her-skinny-jeans-home-from-the-hospital, super-organized-tidy-house b moms… even though I’m really not.

Funny Friday – The Round-Up Kid

March 23rd, 2012 | Posted by Bryn in Funny Friday | Kids - (Comments Off on Funny Friday – The Round-Up Kid)

Last Friday my four-year-old son TT and I went to Kindergarten Round-Up. He’ll be attending our parish’s Catholic school, and he was pretty excited about the whole thing. My favorite quote: “Mom, you promised it was going to be so fun, and it was!” So now, even though I know I’ll be sad once August gets here, I know in my heart he’ll be well taken care of and happy when he’s at school ALL DAY next year.

Here are some shots of him after we got home from Kindergarten Round-Up:

My soon-to-be kindergartener with his new hat, handkerchief, necklace, and badge from the "Round-Up". Giddy-up partner!

Gram watched the girls while TT and I went to Kindergarten Round-Up, so she deserved a picture with the new cowboy hat.

TT sure loves his Gram. He cried when we figured out she was babysitting his sisters, but not him.

Me and V. She's still bald, but she ain't a baby. At 15 months, she's running all over the place and still cute as a button.

Okay, so this wasn’t the classic hilarious funny Friday, but a girl’s gotta show off her kids sometimes… right? 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone!

The Saturday Spruce-Up – Trading "Luck of the Irish" for Faith

March 17th, 2012 | Posted by Bryn in Faith | The Saturday Spruce-Up - (Comments Off on The Saturday Spruce-Up – Trading "Luck of the Irish" for Faith)

Today’s Saturday Spruce-Up is a quick fix in attitude and outlook on the wonderful holiday of St. Patrick’s Day. Jeff Cavins, a reputable Catholic author and speaker, posted this on Facebook today (with my highlights in bold).

Today we are giving up the “Luck of the Irish” for the “Faith of the Irish”.Photo courtesy of Jeff Cavins' facebook page

How many times have you discussed with your spouse or colleague what you would do if you won the Powerball? You can get lost in that dream world of “what if.”

Projecting out into the future what life would be like if you had the winning numbers, creates an illusion that more than likely will never come true. Instead of putting your hope in the lottery, put your hope in the same God that St. Patrick put his hope in.
Today for Lent, let’s emphasize that we are not dependent upon luck, such as Powerball and pulltabs but the providence of God and His faithfulness. 

Jeremiah the prophet said, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
There are things in life that are more important than material things. Jeremiah goes on to say, “There is hope for your future, says the LORD, and your children shall come back to their own country (Jeremiah 31:17).

Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20).

Just to show you how serious I am about this, I’m not even eating Lucky Charms for breakfast today.

PS: The Irish have a longstanding history of spreading the Catholic faith around the world. We need to pray for our Catholic brothers and sisters in Ireland today.

My own plans fall through all the time, but I trust in God that He knows what He’s doing, and He’ll take care of me. Why Catholic? this year is focused on prayer. Last week and the next few weeks, we are focusing on the “Our Father”. Although many of us can recite it without even thinking about it, the challenge is to really think about each line and what it means. Pray with me (and think about each line!)

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name. 
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen. 

“Thy will be done” is the phrase I’m focusing on this week. Which parts of the “Our Father” are the most challenging to you? Which parts comfort you?