Monday, June 24, 2013

love and marriage

Today Michael and I celebrated our 7th anniversary. I am not the - 7 years ago today I married my best friend and soul mate status update leaver. Our life is far from a Hallmark card.

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My update would be closer to, 7 years ago today I married the biggest pain in the ass I've ever met in my life. We bicker all the time over the stupidest stuff. He snores and leaves dishes in the sink. He leaves a trail of stuff in every single room he was in... However, he's got a great heart, and is honestly the smartest guy I know. He always means well and he loves our boys just as much as me and I can't even believe that is humanly possible. He still says I have a cute butt and I'm pretty even when I look like crap in the morning.

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Did I mention he is really amazing with the kids? 

He is also so excited about our new Friends on the blog- YOU- which is so sweet. He will send me texts like, 2009 likes on the Life with Greyson + Parker Facebook page! He gets (almost) as excited as I do each time someone likes the page. We are so giddy and grateful to YOU because you are helping us change the world too. And don't worry you non-Facebook readers- WE LOVE YOU TOO.

I will talk to you honestly about my marriage because it feels good. It's a little scary sometimes but more good than scary so I will continue to be honest. I think it's one of those things that you are supposed to keep private and shiny and publicly Hallmark-y, but I can't.  I hope it gives you permission to do the same.

Sometimes when you are on different sides of communication worlds you must create a bridge to help connect the two sides. I used to think it was necessary to be on the same side to connect, but now I try to look for a bridge.

Michael and I struggle with intimacy related to communication. I appreciate with love and words and he appreciates with acts of service. Yes, I've read The 5 Love languages. At the end of the day- I still need words though- but I'm leaning to realize he doesn't mean to punch me in the face when I say- I'm really sad today and he says, Don't be sad, and then brings me a Starbucks later. That's actually him loving me in the way that he knows how. So I love him the ways that I know how and we work on it.

Yesterday we celebrated our anniversary. Michael surprised me and lined up a babysitter all on his own. We went shopping, got unfancy massages and went to dinner. We were home by 8, which is perfect for this old Grandma.

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I was dying when I read this little massage translation card they had at the massage place, And by the way, this card is totally a bridge.

We were walking around on our date and Michael kept holding my hand. I would hold back for a few minutes but then think- Gosh my hand is hot. And the more I thought about how hot my hand was the hotter and sweatier it felt- and I would pull away. Michael said, I like to hold hands. I told him Oh- I'm glad you said that-I didn't know. I don't like to hold hands. It makes my hand sweat. But since you like to- I will for a few minutes.

It was a nice little stroll on the communication bridge.

When we started Early intervention for Greyson people were eager to tell me how hard this journey would be on my marriage. So far that hasn't been the case for us. Autism is stressful on me and on Michael but so far I haven't seen that parlay into our marriage. I think autism just brings to the surface struggles that had the potential to already be there. I know we are really lucky because we completely line up on thoughts about therapy, current expectations and realistic yet unlimited hopes for the future. I am grateful to live in an area that has amazing funding and coverage for services, and so blessed that we have health insurance to cover the extras that aren't covered.

There are often things that I want to do that Michael doesn't have an opinion on,  but he trusts mine. I am hard wired to be a bus driver when it comes to the boy's therapy. At the beginning when there were just so many decisions to make- there were times I asked Michael for input. He would say- I don't care- whatever you think. I trust you. And sometimes I would secretly get pissed. WHY DO I HAVE TO DECIDE EVERYTHING? I wondered. But then one day I realized, Because, that's how you like it silly. You both can't drive the bus. You picked a man partially based on the fact that he is also comfortable being a passenger- which is a great match for you. And then I wasn't mad anymore. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and something seems too hard or too paper-worky or too confusing and I will ask Michael- Can you just totally take this over? And he does...and I can't believe it was that simple- instead of stewing, all I had to do was ask.

Speech therapy is another bridge between my boys the Typical World.  It's one of the most important pieces of our therapy regimen. I get so excited in the moments that it helps me reach them.

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I'm extra lucky because on Mondays both boys get to speech at the same time.

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Relationships and emotions are simple, incredibly complicated things. Greyson doesn't understand the meanings behind facial expressions. For most Typical children that type of learning comes naturally. They will learn- when Mommy is yelling and her face is scrunched up like that she is mad. I've full on boo-hoo cried in front of Greyson and he doesn't recognize a single thing to be out of place. Sometimes it makes me feel like a ghost.

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Facial expressions and emotions are something Grey has to be taught specifically. He is learning them by pictures first.

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Grey-Which one is happy? He will just memorize what the expressions look like from the cards. Then he will learn in the real world, which is called generalization.

Seven years and two kids. 

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Lots of laughs and many tears, both good and bad ones. I looked up from the kitchen today and completely stopped in my tracks from the view. I felt so lucky.

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And I felt that numerous times today.

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Lucky, lucky, lucky. Parker takes the water table very seriously.

Have a great day. And I like more pound.

So much Love,



  1. I'm a new reader, over from Momastery. Thank you for sharing your story, I really believe it makes it just a little easier for others to share theirs. And the more they share, the more they realise they are not alone. I am currently mid-way through my PhD and clinical masters in psychology, with many years behind me as an ABA therapist and programmer. And let me tell you, the impact of all the studies and paper and reviews pale in comparison to what the parents of these amazing children can tell us. Thanks again for sharing. Katia

  2. I am a new fan from Momastery and I just love your blog! Thank you for being honest and un-hallmark-y with us. As I was reading your words, it felt as if I was reading a very close description of my own life. It means so much to know that I am not the only one who thinks and feels this way. Thank you!!

  3. hi there I've really been enjoying reading your blog...I love how real you are & how of my foster/heart daughters is the parent of a dear little boy with any perspective about autism is this post...I've been married 27 years to a wonderful guy that's a really good dad, great friend etc. etc. but drives me nuts by making us late to everything...we are real partners with a real life of all kinds of real problems & joys & mediocre's been a goof life together

  4. Thanks for this and for this blog! I love that you are honest and open about everything, the world needs more people like you! It helps us all be a little more open and honest about things in our lives...the pretty things and the not so pretty things. I totally agree that I married the biggest pain in the butt of my life and I love him just the same. He and I did the 5 Languages study together..I need words, he shows acts of service. Even knowing this about each other, it is very difficult sometimes to REMEMBER it....especially when he is cutting the grass because I had a bad day. But, we work though it. That's how life and love works, I think. One day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time, one second at a time, and sometimes one breath at a time. Love those sweet boys of you and always remember God has given you a higher purpose and that all things are possible through him. He will be your strength when you feel you have none... Thanks again for the wonderful writings!!!!

    1. The cutting the grass line was the funniest thing EVER!!! Thank you for all you sweet words!

    2. Back at cha, girlfriend! Your words help to keep us all a little SANER in a sometimes insane world........... just know you are not alone!

  5. Thank the holy lord you are not a "seven years of wedded bliss" kind of person. To actually read "i married the biggest pain in the ass" allowed me to exhale and to breathe into the truth. I am slowly learning how to uncover my truth instead of always hiding behind it. Thank you for keeping it real. Your boys are BEAUTIFUL!

  6. I'm a new reader, also from Momastery:) I don't think I've ever left a comment on a blog before so this is a first, but I just had to tell you that I was an instant fan the first time I read your blog. I love the way you write and how honest you are. But more importantly, what struck me is your ability to see the good in your life. Your appreciation for life and all the things in your life, has made me realize how much I have to be thankful for. Reading your blog has been like a blast of cold air in my face to wake me up, and a little bit of a reality check. Like, hey, I have lots of things to be thankful for too and I need to start being thankful before I miss them all. I just wanted to say thank you for that.

  7. I found you through Momastery too...and thank my lucky stars I found another 'friend' via the fabulous web!!

    I love your words & your honesty and how I say to myself "yep me too" after every 2 sentences I read! I have four boys - an 8 year old & 6 year old triplets. One of my triplets is on the spectrum (or has super, SUPER powers, man!). I can soo relate to you!! Keep the fight going, your boys are beyond beautiful and they will go sooo far with a Mama like you!!!! Your boys are perfect just as they are!!! (Oh and those eyes!!)

    Peace to you!

  8. I love Parker's toes. They are expressive all on their own, just like my little guys' toes. =)

    I am also a bus driver who married a passenger- what a perfect metaphor- and I get that same frustration over having to make all the decisions. But, like you said, I want to make all the decisions!

    So much truth

  9. I can totally relate--my husband is also "acts of service" and I'm also "words of affirmation". Makes it hard sometimes! I'm one of the ones who found your blog last week via Momastery. Love it!!

  10. Love the reality of your words. Keeping it real!

  11. Also coming from Momastery and happy to have found you. 5 Languages of Love is great, but a conversation about why some language don't speak to us is helpful too. My mother was very hypocritical with her words, so I find words of affirmation to be phony. Also knowing each others Myers-Briggs letters sheds light on communication too. I find the "why's" of things to be helpful and you guessed it, my husband likes "do's"....

  12. Thank you for helping feel less weird about not marrying "the man of my dreams". I love my husband; we are very good for each other and very good together; and my life with him is nothing like I dreamed my life would be. Part of me sometimes feels a little guilty that I wouldn't classify my husband as "the man of my dreams", because it sounds like my husband is "less than" or that I "settled". But I didn't settle; I chose. And I chose an amazing man who has expanded my world in so many ways. And since this is the Real World and not Disney World, he's not Prince Charming (but then I'm not really Snow White, either). Anyway, I'm thrilled to have found you from your guest post on Momastery and look forward to catching up on your chronicles. --Jennifer

  13. I think I really like her outfit. It's too young for me at this point, but super cute. Who cares if the purse is empty? love and marriage