Tag Archives: husband

A Blue Christmas

We are struggling with Christmas a little bit this year.  I was asking Titus yesterday morning why that is.  I love Christmas!  I love everything about it!  And I married a man who loves it just as much as I do.  He even called me a Grinch one year about something, which is just ridiculous because of how much I get into all the decorating and planning. 🙂


But this year we seem to be lacking enthusiasm for the holiday. Maybe it’s because of having a new baby, or sleep depravity, or the fact that this is the fourth house we’ve had Christmas in (we’ve never had two Christmases in one house), or lack of extra cash lying around wanting to be spent ;), or not having any extra family Christmases (we normally have 3 other ones!).  What ever it is Titus and I are struggling a bit.  On one hand it’s a good thing that our kids are still so little and don’t have expectations.  But on the other hand I want them to have a happy and exciting Christmas morning.


Yesterday, two days before Christmas we left the house for the first time since Faith was born and went and bought a tree.  We spent more than I wanted to, but did get a nice little tree.

(Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree!!)


It actually fits in that little corner pretty well.   To add to our already blue Christmas when we got the lights out we found that none of them work except half of two strands.  Titus was pretty grumpy last night, I think he isn’t getting enough sleep.  It amazes me how much sleep men need.  So the lights weren’t a very good way to start, and Titus didn’t want to try to fix all of them.  For some reason we have a whole bunch of lights but the strand is white, not green. We’ve never used them before (because they are white!), but they work!  So we put white lights on the tree.  There is a reason they make green stranded lights, in case anyone is wondering.  I tried to stuff them to the middle of the tree so the white isn’t as noticeable.


Then Titus put the star on the tree.  I really really don’t like the star we have…in fact we have had it for 4 years and I’ve gotten out of using it every year so far! But not this year, AND we couldn’t find the plastic thingy it sits on so the blasted star is zip tied to the tree.  No, I’m not joking!

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I love doing ginger bread houses and have done one every year since high school. I have been so sad that I haven’t done one this year.  But yesterday I found a kit at Sam’s greatly on sale and James and I decorated it last night!  It’s made me a little less blue!  And it’s a huge house, I’ve never done one this big before!


The frosting wasn’t gluing very well so I got the hot glue gun out to put the house together. I’ve never done that before! That worked remarkable well!  I highly recommend using one if you are frustrated with your frosting.


Another good thing that happened was that I found my long lost Ecuadorian manger scene that my Aunt Sylvia gave me as a bridal shower gift!  We’ve never gotten to use it because I couldn’t find it any where!


AND our stockings are done!  More on that later, but they look fabulous!


Today I’m going to go to the store and buy pre-made treats and cinnamon rolls for Christmas breakfast.  There are two presents for the boys that I really really want to still get them, that I actually ordered and never picked up at the store so the order was canceled. I have a feeling that the store might just have them in stock though, so I might drive over there and see what I can find.  That probably won’t happen though. 😉

And finally, the results of mommy getting out of the house: a new outfit for Faith, one that actually fits!  I was so sure it would be too small, it looked so small on the hanger.  It fits just right!


All this to say even though our Christmas might be a hot glued, zip tied, not home made Christmas, we do have so much to be thankful for.  We have three beautiful, healthy children.  We have a warm house, and good food.  The very first Christmas was less than ideal.  Comparing my Christmas with having a baby in a barn doesn’t look so bad after all.  Christmas isn’t about the tree, or the presents, or the food, or the decorations…it’s about Jesus birth.  The start of his life, that He gave for us.  So maybe by having a blue Christmas, in the end it’s really a good thing because our focus is more on Christ.  The only reason we even have Christmas.

Looking back 4 years

Last week marked four years ago I married the love of my life.  As I look back on our four years together I can see how much we have been blessed together, and how God has taken such good care of us.  Our first year was in Hawaii, which was amazing.  We lived in this beautiful little one bedroom apartment on the second floor. I loved it!


July 4th 2010


God knew we really needed time together as newly weds without any friends or family around.  We had plenty of money, and Titus didn’t work much.  We just went on lots of dates the first half of living there.  God blessed us with a son in September that first year.


Since James cried all the time it slightly changed our newly wed date life we had going on. 😉  But you can’t stay newly weds forever!

We went to Maui as the first family vacation ever!


Titus and I went to the Marine Corp ball.  I think it was our first date after having James. (Which I think got cut short because he started crying at the baby-sitter’s house ha ha!)


Our first year anniversary.  We didn’t do much (it was just too hard to leave James), but we did borrow a friend’s motorcycle and took a ride up through the island.  I don’t ride motorcycles when I’m pregnant and it was something Titus wanted to do.  I don’t think we even went out to eat or anything.  It was just a quick ride.


Our second year we moved back to Minnesota into this little house:


Titus’ grandma had moved to Kansas and she let us live here rent free for our second year of marriage.  It was a huge blessing since it helped us make ends meet that first year out of the military.  Our second year we didn’t do much, but reconnected with family and friends.

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We went to Texas and Kansas that year for vacations.  For our second anniversary we went out to eat at Bergen Bar.  I think we might have gone back home and watched a movie together too, before getting James. I can’t remember.


Our third year involved another baby and yet another move.

God blessed us with a second son, Gideon.


A month later we moved to this beautiful house:


We had a happy third year with our two little boys.

The 4th of July


For vacation we went up to northern Minnesota.  It turned out to be a horrible trip with the two little boys, but at least we spent some time with family. This picture sums it up nicely:


On our 3rd anniversary I forgot. Completely forgot! In my defense, I was under large amounts of stress, and incredibly sleep deprived!  Titus how ever went all out, dozens of flowers all over the house, chocolate every where, and a beautiful pink set of jewelry.  He is truly a wonderful man. Maybe he knew I needed some extra love that year!

That brings us to this last year.  Last summer I think was one of our best ones.  The boys were a bit older and loved going to the barn.  We spent lots of time there since we decided to move yet again!

Half way through our 4th year we moved to Denver, CO.


And God blessed us with a little girl two days before our 4th year ended:

Faith Natalie


In our four years of marriage:

we have lived in four different houses,

in three different states,

been blessed with three healthy and beautiful children,

Titus has had three different jobs plus going to school,

and I can truly see God’s hand in all of it.  From providing the money for our home births, to all our moves, and Titus’ different jobs.

And one of the biggest and best blessings of our four years together is the fact that other than when he worked at Mountain Power (for about two months) Titus has not worked a normal 8-5 job.  He has been home during the day a ton and we get to see him a lot.  There have been times that he has been busy (like when they bale hay or during harvest time), but for the majority of the time he spends a lot of it at home.  This has been an amazing blessing, one that I am very very thankful for!

I love you honey, here’s to another wonderful 4 years together, with hopefully more babies, and hopefully not as many moves. 😉


Family pictures reunion part 2

The point of a family reunion is to take pictures, right? I missed most of them but this is what I got.

Chantal’s family plus Grandpa and Grandma.

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Another try at family pictures:

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The best part of the reunion was seeing my dear cousin Kala and meeting her little family:

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Playing some kind of ball game

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My cousin and his boys:


Country boy. 😉 I told him we will have to get him some new clothes if we are going to fit in in Denver. 😀


The happiest day of my life.

I just finished reading a two-part series that went through 4 generations of women. It started with the great-grandma and ended with her great-granddaughter.  The great-grandma immigrated to the states and the rest of the story takes place there.  Needless to say the story included at least three wars: WW2, Vietnam and Operation Iraqi Freedom (Titus has a medal for serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom).   If I had known that 3 of the 4 husbands would have gone to war I’m not sure I would have read it.  Even now so many years later war stories and movies still bring it all back.  July 4th will mark 3 years and 7 months since the day that Titus flew into Oahu, completely safe and sound.

It’s kind of a funny story.  I had bought a plane ticket for Nov 5th but a few weeks before Titus’ return date changed to Nov 4th.  I will be forever grateful to the man from the airlines that talked me into spending the $150 to change my ticket a measly 24 hours.  “Just do it. It’s worth it.  You need to be there.” And he was right.  Two of Titus’ friends’ wives picked me up from the airport, took me out to eat (Cheeseburger in Paradise) and let me stay the night with them.  I’ll admit I might not have told the whole truth when I talked to Titus, but is it a lie if you tell the truth in the end? 😉  Titus’ friends on the plane with him told him they had a surprise waiting for him when they landed.  He thought it was a gallon of milk.  He’s such a country, dairy farmer boy. 😉

I didn’t sleep well that night.  It had been 10 months since I had seen him, about six of those he had been in Afghan.  Did we still love each other?  Did we still have things in common? Were we the same people? So much had happened in those few months.  I had moved back to the states after living in Ecuador for 8 months.  My dad almost died.  Titus had been in a IED blast that totaled the truck he was driving. He lost a friend, Garcia, the same week Dad got sick.  He was in a fire fight. He was drained, emotionally and physically.

Nov 4th was hot.  I remember being so warm in the capris and poke a dot shirt I was wearing.  We drove to the military hanger.  It was everything you’d see in a movie: a band was playing, there were flags every where, some people had made big banners that said things like, “Welcome home Daddy”.

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We all watched  the sky, waiting for the plane.

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A wrong one came first, which made us all mad that they would get our hopes up like that.  Someone in the crowd told us that the men are let off the plane alphabetically by last name.  I had to wait for P. Sigh.  When the plane came there was a line of higher-ups that gave them leis and welcomed them home, then they were left to find their loved ones in the crowd of people waiting.

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Titus was one of the first guys off, the whole alphabetically thing was not true. We looked at this picture and we both think the guy at the very very top might be Titus. 😀

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I was in the back and my plan was to wait until he saw me.  He wasn’t after all expecting to see me.  He thought he was going to pick me up later that day at the Honolulu airport.  But I was so happy to see him I ran up to him, put a lei around his neck and hugged him like there was no tomorrow. 😀  He had his gun in one hand and his computer case in the other, and he didn’t hug me back. It was like hugging a pine board. After a second he said, “Um, okay?”.  Ha ha ha, he didn’t know who it was hugging him.  He told me later that he thought I was one of his friend’s wives or something.  So I stepped back so he could get a good look at me.  Once the shock wore off he said, “You aren’t supposed to be here yet.” Now I had kinda thought it would take him awhile to process everything, so I wasn’t mad that he wasn’t more excited to see me.  Men need to think things through for a while sometimes.  We stood at the back and watched other people greeting each other. I distinctly remember this big guy with two huge duffel bags walking up to his girl, throwing the bags on the ground, and grabbing her and kissing her like there was no tomorrow. 🙂  It is a good memory, but at the time slightly awkward since Titus and I weren’t kissing each other yet (we waited until our wedding day).  Then they all had to leave on a bus to go turn in their guns, more waiting for us.  When they came back Titus was mentally ready to see me.  And gave me a big happy  hug.  It was the happiest day of my life.  Some women say it’s their wedding day, the day their first baby is born, maybe it’s your 16th birthday and your dad bought you a car, or the day you graduated from college.  But for me it is Nov 4th about 9:45 a.m.  The day God brought Titus safely home.  Thank you Jesus.

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A quick note, I did not take any of these pictures.  My camera was broken and I didn’t have another one.  All the credit goes to Dog Barney Productions.  Thank you for being there and taking these pictures!  It’s the only picture I have of that week in Hawaii after Titus’ homecoming.

Reading books or watching movies that have war things in them is good for me in a way.  Even though I cry through them all (I almost cried writing this post!) it reminds me of how close I came to losing Titus.  It reminds me that I need to treat him like a hero every day, because that is what he is to me.  It reminds me of the things we went through, to have the very happy life we have now.  Just this week he cleaned the very messy house for me, and had flowers delivered just because.

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He is so sweet, and I don’t deserve him.  I love you honey.  Thank you for serving, and thank you for marrying me.

Submitting to a big move.

I’m sure most of you know by now that we are planning on moving to Denver Colorado sometime this summer, most likely August.  Titus is going to go back to college, to a Bible school he found out there.  We have been talking off and on for the last 2 years about doing this.  Rocky Mountain Bible school is his school of choice.  A super super super small school that no one has heard of.

Titus first brought up the prospect of moving almost 2 years ago to the month (I think it was July).  I was terribly un-supportive and kind of unwilling and even slightly un-submissive to the whole idea (and apparently a bunch of those words aren’t really words according to spell check but I’m going to use them anyway!).  James cried a lot when he was a baby.  Like all the time.  My life was consumed with a cranky baby.  When James was about 10 months old Titus went to a church conference without me, James was sick so I didn’t go.  We had just found out I was pregnant with our second, which I greatly struggled with.  James still cried a lot.  Still demanded a ton of energy and attention from me.  It was overwhelming to think of having another baby.  Titus came home from the conference floating on ideas:

  We were going to go to a country in Africa as missionaries.

We were going to go to Denver and go to school.

The list goes on.

  I felt that he had made a bunch of decisions without me while I stayed home with a sick baby wondering how I was going to take care of two of them.  I felt my reasons for not moving were good ones:

Titus’ dream was to be a dairy farmer, and I didn’t think he should give that up so soon.  We

had just moved back to MN 7 months before.

I thought he should spend more time with his dad after getting out of the

military.  It’s good therapy for Titus .

I wanted to be close to family after living a year in Hawaii without them.

I wanted help after having the baby.  I was overwhelmed and to move was pushing me over the edge.

I cried myself to sleep that night.

I even at one point said I wished he could make the move without James and me.  It was a low point, I’ll admit. And I didn’t really mean it.  I was slightly worried that we would move out there for a semester and it wouldn’t work out and then he’d drag us all back to MN.  So we didn’t move.

Gideon was born which miraculously made James a happy boy. A year and half after Titus first brought up a move he brought it up again. Right. before. Christmas.  I didn’t think it was the time again.

We had other people living with us.

It was Christmas.

It would be a really fast move.  I don’t move fast anymore.

We had just moved from one end of town to the other 7 months before. I got sick from

that move and wasn’t ready to do that again.

Mentally, it was too fast.  I wasn’t supportive again.

I think I did some crying again.

So, we didn’t move.

In April we went to visit the school, finally.  It was something I had been encouraging Titus to do for a while as I felt like it would help us make a decision. And it did.  I told Titus, I can be supportive, and I can be willing, but that doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it. Which I thought was very clever of me, but I am trying to not complain about it, as Titus doesn’t see the complaining quite the same way I do. 😉  I still have reasons for not moving. And on a bad day, I still feel like crying  But they are mostly about ME.

I have made some good friends here and it’s hard for me to do that.  I am an odd duck and with the whole: big family thing, anti-oral birth control thing, homeschool thing, stay at home mom thing, breastfeeding thing, the list goes on. It’s hard for me to find women that have the same things in common.  And I have found two of them here!  I will miss them greatly.  I guess we will have to be phone friends. 🙂

I also love our house.  I could live here for years, maybe forever.  There are so many things I love about it.  The fire-place, the wood work, the flower boxes, the arches, the yard. The list goes on and on.  We have been here for a year which was my request when we moved here last May.  I told Titus I couldn’t move for a year.  We have moved every year since being married so I guess it’s time again. 🙂  Although I did tell Titus we couldn’t move yet because I haven’t had a baby in this house yet.  We have had a baby in every house we’ve lived in so far.


I don’t want to move from family.  I have been greatly spoiled here.  I have 2 sets of grandparents and 3 single sisters all in about 15 minutes of where I live.  When I get sick, or like last Nov both my kids were sick with the flu, they come over to help me.  I always have a baby-sitter when I need one.  If I have a lot of errands, or like last week I had to take the boys to the dentist I have someone to go with me.  I don’t want to move from all of that help.  It’s going to be all up to me now!

But I am supportive.  He has done the dairy thing for 2 years now and he is sure it isn’t want he wants.  I do want Titus to go to school.  I do want him to find what it is he wants to do with his life.  Maybe some of these things will be answered at school, maybe not.  My job is to be supportive and willing.  We have both been affected by other people’s marriages not working out.  Both older generations and even some friends or family close in age to us.  I am not trying to judge as I don’t know what happened.  But what if the wife wasn’t supportive, what if she wasn’t willing?  What if the husband wasn’t willing to wait, and just left on his own terms for his own life?  Everything about this move is important because my marriage, and my children’s daddy is more important than all MY reasons for not moving.

Fall 2012

Fall 2012

Some times a husband buys chocolate for his lady

Some weeks are better then others.  My children are sick this week, and Titus is busy with the fall harvest right now and I miss him.  As I moved about the kitchen Saturday morning I started discovering little surprises all over the place. M & M’s here, a snickers there:Image

With little love notes on each one:




I found 5 in all, plus another one today, when I reached for the spices basket to make chili. I love that man!


Leap Year Post!

One simply MUST add a post on leap day since you can’t do it again for another 4 years.  Even if the post is a rambling mess that doesn’t really mean much, it still must be done!!


I’m rather disappointed in leap day.  I think we should have parties, or a parade, or something fun to celebrate.  It is after all a very interesting day when you really think about it.  The most exciting thing I have found out so far today is that Bible reading plans don’t count February 29th, so you have an extra day to get back on schedule. (And yes I was behind, and yes I am now currently caught up) A friend’s post on facebook this morning made me laugh quite a bit.  It read:


4 years ago today i asked mary (name changed by blogger) to marry me. knowing how women like to celebrate important dates i figure proposing on a day like today has saved us a couple hundred bucks. i love you dear and we can celebrate again in 4 more years


On a truly exciting note, my husband fixed the bathroom shelves yesterday.  I am so happy.  The bathroom is very small, and while I am so grateful for it, it seems to have been getting on my nerves quite a bit lately.  I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting bigger (36 weeks and counting!), or if it’s just being grumpy about it.  But Titus fixed all the shelves and I was able to move all the towels and bottles and things into the closet.  I’ve gained probably two feet of space and it’s amazing.  Now I can bring in a chair to sit on while James takes a bath and I won’t have to hurt my back by sitting on the toilet.  And I was able to save two shelves for the new baby’s clothes.  I wasn’t sure where I was going to put them since all our dressers seem to be full, but now I have a spot! Now I want to wash some clothes just to put them in there so I can see them. Oh happy day.

Is it you or me?

My sister posed an interesting question to me last time I was at my parents house.  She asked, “When you are annoyed by someone do you generally think it’s because of you, or because of them?”  I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the last few days.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been quite grumpy these last few days and many things have been annoying me that usually I just shrug off.  For instance, it’s greatly bothered me lately that my husband generally doesn’t close cupboards and drawers when he opens them.  Most of the time I just close them and go on my way, but these last few days it really seems to tick me off.  My grumpy toddler is getting to me more too.  Plus he’s sick again, which also has me mad.  I wish I could figure out why he gets sick so much.

So why am I grumpy?

Maybe it’s the weather.  Maybe it’s the fact that our new baby is coming in little over a month and I’m starting to stress about it.  Maybe it’s hormones.  Maybe it really IS all the other people. 🙂  Maybe it’s because I feel like I’m letting my family down when I don’t have it together.  Which then makes me even more grumpy.  Maybe I need to get out of the house more.  Maybe I haven’t spent the time I should be reading my Bible and praying. Who really knows.

But to answer my sister’s question, I think most of the time it’s my fault when people annoy me. Not being tolerant and grumpy towards other people will always have at least something to do with me.  Some of the time I guess it really is other people’s fault, but for the most part it’s my attitude towards them.  Which, when I think about it in my grumpy state, doesn’t make me feel a whole lot better!! 🙂