Because my Husband is Here.

Can I tell you something about my husband?

He is the best.

Don't get me wrong. He drives me insane sometimes. And sometimes he forgets to take out the trash. And sometimes he makes me stay up late watching scary TV shows. Listen, I'm not saying he's perfect. But, you know what he's really great at? Being here. 

Last night I was frantically running around my house cleaning/preparing for a friend's birthday party. Zack was happily loading the dishwasher just as I'd asked. And my kids were...well let's just say they were complicating things.

For every one thing I put away, they pulled three things out. They were pulling on the vacuum cord and whining about needing this, that, and the other thing.

After the long day I'd had with them, and with the mounting pressure of guests arriving any minute, I lost it. I mean I really lost it. I screamed at my children with just about all the energy I had left. I told them to go play in their room and get out of my way and to leave me alone.

I'm not proud of this moment. In fact I cringe at the thought of even sharing it. But it needs to be noted that I really lost my cool. And both kids were terrified and traumatized. But I was so frustrated and frantic that I just walked away and got back to cleaning.

Before long I noticed they weren't crying anymore and went to see what they were doing. Zack was quietly comforting them and reminding them that Mommy had an important night and they needed to let me clean.

Then he caught me totally off guard when he asked them if they'd like to help him do the dishes. My kids are still young enough to think that's a treat. So he stacked the stools up next to him and the three of them stood there scrubbing and rinsing and having a grand old time.

I was so thankful that he was here. In this moment when I had lost control of my temper and had hurt my children's feelings, I was so glad that he was there to comfort them; to hug them and reassure them. I was so glad that instead of criticizing me, he reminded my children that mommy has needs too. And I was SO thankful that instead of telling them to stay out of the way (like I did) he included them in the work that needed to be done. It didn't make the dishwashing process any faster, but it kept them happy and occupied, and that made my work easier.

Last night, and pretty much every night, I am so thankful that he is here. Like really here. 

It's because he's here that I know I don't have to prepare the house (for a girls night that he's not even invited to) on my own. Because he's here, he's aware of my needs and of our children's needs and I know I can "tap out" if  I need to. And because he's here in the moments when I can't see or think clearly, he is able to pick up my slack, and make up the difference. I find an immense amount of comfort in that.

He could stay late at work. He could work on projects during dinner. He could be a lot of places physically and mentally. I am so thankful that he's here.  

Having Zack home by dinner has always been a priority for us. We have made our education and career decisions as a team, and based on what will be best for our family. We both make sacrifices to ensure we are able to give the very best of ourselves to our children and to each other. Individually, we are far from perfect. But what makes it work, is that when one of us fails, the other is here and willing to pick up the pieces. 

I know having a dad who is home for dinner every night isn't a possibility for everyone. Moms and dads make huge sacrifices to provide for their families. And what works for us, doesn't work for everyone. I would never assume to know what would be best for anyone else's family.

But after that ugly moment last night, I was so thankful that he was here. 


P.S. What helps you guys to be present with your family? I'd love to hear your experiences!


Thick & Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

Let me start off with a little secret about these cookies. I had never had them, and never had any interest in trying them (how gross does molasses sound??) , until someone requested them for their birthday treat. So I gave them a shot, with extremely low expectations. The first pan came out of the oven and I bit into one as soon as they had cooled enough and I was hooked! That was all it took.

So these are kind of a traditionally Christmas cookie. But when have I ever cared about traditions?? Never. (Not true.) So, I make these all year round. Literally. And guess what--No one complains. So there. You have every right to make these delicious chewy, spicy, (christmassy) cookies whenever you darn well please. If anyone gives you trouble, give them a cookie.

You'll find a lot of recipes for this type of cookie out there. And most of them will have almost identical ingredients. But there are a couple little technique changes that will make a big difference.