Home Lessons

PICTURE: Becoming a U.S. Citizen. Amazing day with my family next to me. My sister in law Meredith (no longer pregnant, baby boy born yesterday!), me, my father in law Dennis holding our boy David Dennis, my mother in law Lynette, my sister in law Suzanne. My wife is sitting down holding Canela and Isabela.

Welcome back. You belong here.

Random thoughts while on a small break. Just put David (2) down for a nap, changed his diaper (again) and our two girls are in their room playing with Ana their 10 year old friend from down the street. Rachelle is upstairs passed out on Vicatin for her joint pain. She has a 3 o’clock with her dermatologist. I’ll be home with the little ones. Maybe I’ll squeeze in a run later today, already did 15mns. of abs (reverse/regular crunches, core work on the ball). Maybe I’ll even do chest/back once R’ gets back. I made dinner last night, couldnt’ bear spending $20 on Charro Chicken (I can’t get used to that stuff). Tonight, a family from church is bringing us dinner, so kind of them. Huge help. Thank you.

Random thoughts while running the household for a week or two:
1. On poopy diapers (sorry about this one). When dispensing of the ‘goods’ from the diaper (we use cloth diapers half the time), unto the toilet, watch out for splash unto lips and mouth. Again, sorry, but thus is my life this week.

2. R’s love language is ‘acts of service’. Men, it’s about the love language, over and over again, more, more, more. Just give in already and start doing it. What is your wife/husband’s love language? Don’t know? Better get knowing.

3. I think the right side of my brain (concussion side) swells up every time I lift. Post-lift I get headaches, see spots and feel pressure in the injured area. Nice. I’ll try taking Advil prior to lifting next time. Stop lifting? Never. I see my doctor next Monday.

4. Food is expensive. I’ve been to Smart ‘N Final twice this week. Each trip, $80 to $90 bucks. I hardly bought anything! Eggs, milk, fruit, bread, tuna, bananas, apples, crackers, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, the usual stuff.

5. My wife’s car has not moved in 2 weeks. It’s amazing how much that car usually moves. The only time it moves now is when I roll it out of the garage so I can get to my weights (I have a home gym).

6. I’ve had the lawn mowed by other people twice this month. I’ve NEVER had that happen, I mow my own lawn about once a month. But it’s just been too much with all the sickness and stuff. When you’re going through junk, you gotta know what is priority and what is not. R’s health, priority. Me doing the lawn v. paying $20, no brainer. I’ll mow my own lawn soon enough.

7. Talbot Seminary School of Theology. Oh yes, school. I’m behind on my paper already (it was due last week) and our midterm is next Thursday. I’m studying as much as I can. About 2-3 hours this week so far, but I need another 4-5 hours.

8. Work. Churches should give their pastors as much time as needed to tend to personal illness and their wives. I should not have to take vacation time to care for my wife. This should be paid sick leave not vacation.

9. Reach out. I used to do this alone, meaning the whole I’m struggling bit. Now, I call friends, ask them to help us, etc.

10. I complaint a LOT less. I used to have weeks or days like this when I’d do a lot of stuff around the house, but I’d complaint about it. Points Scored with Wife = ZERO. Now, I hardly complaint, keep score or notice how ‘much I’m doing’. Guys (or ladies), if you’re still keeping score, you better stop it, it’ll get you nowhere and your face will turn sour. Smile and do your work.

11. My gramma (abuelita) was right on so many levels. She used to tell me “serve your wife, love her, help her, help her, help her.”

12. Domestic work has a routine. You can’t go crazy doing everything at the same time. I do dishes at night, empty the dish washer in the morning, do laundry in the mornings about once a week, do grocery shopping about twice a week, should be once. Bathe the children every other day, they’re down at 7:30pm, up at 7am. Naps/rest time at 1:30pm, wake up around 3pm, snacks graham crackers and toast while they watch 30mns. of their favorite video. Mondays and Fridays are No-TV, No-Computer days. And remember, don’t beat them up or harp on them, be kind, love them, praise them often.

13. Children are messy. At least ours are. I ask them to pick up their toys all day long, but then I back off, I don’t want to be a noise in their ears. Sometimes our 7 year old says, “I know papi, I know…” Yes, she knows, let her be. But they are messy!

14. Children are fun. They smile, dance, hug you. They play outside, get tired and enjoy their milk, peanut butter and apple sauce. They notice everything. Mom’s rash on her arms when she took off her sweater today, “mom, your arms are red!” They also miss the routine Rachelle usually brings, my wife has taught them SOOOOO many good things. Wow, okay, now I’m about to cry. She is such an amazing teacher and friend to these little ones. They love me, but they miss her.

15. Children have their comfort stations. When Rachelle is back home (usually after being gone for 2-3 hours at the doctors), and she sits on her chair and picks up the phone to call the doctors, again, little David runs to his comfort area, his I’m happy station – the piano. He then grabs his red bucket full of cars and trucks, asks for the piano lid to be closed (it’s usually open from Canela and I playing it) and he begins to line out his 20-30 cars on top of the piano. It’s his comfort station, his comfort activity, something he does when he feels happy. I’m officially in tears now.

We all have a comfort station don’t we? Mine is probably this laptop and blog. What’s your comfort activity or station? When life is good, what’s the thing you naturally veer to?

I love my life, I love Rachelle, I love our marriage. It’s real, it’s sacrificial, it’s normal.

Our romance comes in me holding R’s hand full of rash, red bruises and bumps while she cries in bed late at night and I’m praying for her, stroking her beautiful black hair telling her “God is with us, I’m right here, it’s going to be okay.” I love my life. Thank you Lord.

Have a great day.

Into the future,


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