The time I counted all the way to 60 at Walgreens

It’s been so long since I’ve written that I forgot my own blog address. That’s embarrassing.

Why have I been absent? Just busy. And my computer is about to quit on me. It’s very slow and just thinking about turning it on gives me a headache. I’m on Brent’s now, but the keyboard is funky and I don’t like typing on it. But here I am, because I have a story to tell.

I need to post pics of Scott’s first birthday at the beach.
I need to tell an amazing story of how God provided for us in big ways.

But those are for another day with more energy than I have tonight.

Tonight, I have a story about Walgreens. And math.

Yesterday, I ordered our Christmas cards and two 8x10s via Snapfish and had them printed at Walgreens. The order confirmation said the pictures would be ready at 3:09 pm. I gave them an extra hour and didn’t leave my house until after 4.

I got to the photo counter and waited for the cashier to finish with a customer at the beauty counter. Who knew Walgreens had a beauty counter like it was a department store? I didn’t. But I’m also very loyal to my Bare Minerals so I don’t have a need for the Walgreens beauty counter. Also, I don’t think the employee that is specialized at the photo counter can be equally specialized at the beauty counter. Seems like a lot to handle.

The employee asked for my name and I gave her both my maiden and married name because I think my Snapfish account is still in my maiden name (7 1/2 years later). Turns out I’m right. Or Wright. Ha!

Anyway, I gave her both names and she starts rummaging through a bunch of envelopes and boxes on the counter. I see my name and pointed it out to her. She seemed confused until I put my finger right on my box and said, “That one is mine.”

“Oh yeah. We called you.” (there was a handwritten note taped to the box)
“You called me?”
“Yeah. We called you.”
“And…?” I needed a little more info, considering no one from Walgreens had called me.
“We left you a message.”
“No you didn’t. I don’t have a missed call or message on my phone.”
“Well, this is the number we called.” (she proceeds to point to my phone number on the box…which contains an area code other than the one in which I live).
“Did you dial the right area code?” as I point to it on the box
“Oh…”
“It doesn’t matter. Why did you call?”
“Our printer is down.”
“Oh ok, when will it be working again?”
“See that’s the thing. We don’t know.”

At this point I’m still in a fairly good mood. I usually don’t get my Christmas cards printed until well after Thanksgiving. It’s okay that the printer isn’t working. I’ve still got some time. I was about to leave the store when I noticed a stack of my cards sitting on the printer behind the counter.

“Those are my cards behind you. Can I at least see how they turned out?”
“Umm…oh…yeah.”

She hands me a stack of cards. I hold them in my hands and it was a good chunk of cards. I only ordered 60 and I started thinking that maybe all of them were in the stack. I didn’t need all 60 anyway, so even if it was short a few pictures, I could still take them.  There didn’t seem to be anything wrong with them, so I asked her…

“I’m confused. Is there something wrong with the picture? Why can’t I have these?”
“We don’t know how many pictures the machine actually printed.”
“Ok, but the pictures are okay?”
“Oh yeah, the pictures are fine. We just don’t know how many were printed.”

She shows me the printing on the back of the picture. Some of them say 1/60, 34/60, 28/60 and so on, all in the wrong order. She explains that the number shows how many have been printed out of the total number ordered and since they are all out of order she has NO WAY OF KNOWING HOW MANY PICTURES ARE IN THE STACK.

No way of knowing.

Like, counting to 60 is completely out of the question.

So I asked her very hesitantly, “Can I count them to see how many printed? I don’t need 60 cards so if it’s close, I would like to go ahead and buy them.”

And she doubtfully says, “If you really want to” like I just suggested I count to 6,000 while saying the alphabet backward in Chinese at the same time.

And I got all sarcastic…”All I need to do is make 6 stacks of 10″
What I’m suggesting is totally doable and reasonable. 

So I began making stacks of ten like I was hanging out with my first graders. And lo and behold, I had six stacks of ten and one stack of nine! The printer that stopped printing in the middle of my order printed more than I ordered! Well hot dog, problem solved!

She gathered the whole stack of 69 cards, then removed nine cards from the stack.

“Wait…hold on. What are you going to do with those extra cards?”
You can’t resell them.

“Umm. I don’t know.”
“Well if you are just going to throw them away, can I have them?”
“Umm, sure”

She neatly packaged up all 69 cards and counted 69 white envelopes and packaged them up in their own box. And she also remembered that I had two 8x10s in the same order. I wasn’t counting on those being ready, but they were! And they looked great! So all this was for nothing! She should have counted to 60 before she called the wrong number and left a message with the wrong person telling them that their order wasn’t ready…when actually it was ready all along.

Oh, but it’s not over.

Because I ordered from Snapfish, there was already a receipt ready to go with my order of 60 photo cards and two 8x10s. However, those nine extra cards that the printer accidentally printed? Those were not part of the total.

So the beauty/photo counter employee pulled out her calculator and price sheet ready to punch in the amount for one photo card times nine. I really didn’t expect her to charge me for pictures she was just going to throw away…but whatever. I thought it would be a nice gesture to just give them to me since this photo situation was kind of taking a lot of my time…and precious math skills. But she was going to charge me.

And she started to get confused because the price for photo cards was not on her price sheet and her manager was working on the “support queue” for the printer. I could tell she was getting a little frustrated, so I just told her, “Look, if you are going to charge me for these extra photos, then don’t worry about it.”

Again…I was thinking she would just forget about it too and give me those nine extra pictures. Instead, she cut open the box she so carefully packaged, counted nine pictures, removed them from the box, and set them on the counter.

Finally, I was able to pay for my 60 photo cards and two 8x10s. Done. Thank you. Turned around to leave the store.

“Ma’am, I’m going to need to see your box!” she yelled at me before I stepped outside.

I turned around, made sure she was talking to me, and walked back to the photo counter. She held those nine extra cards in her hand, looked in the trash can (like she had already thrown away the nine cards, which I never saw her do), and placed those nine cards back in my box.

I was extremely confused at this point. I had no idea how many photo cards I was actually leaving with.

So let’s do some math. The way I see it, I was leaving with either 60, 69, or 51 cards. I think 51 is the least likely amount due to the nine cards she placed back in my box after she yelled at me to come back to the photo counter. I think 60 is very likely, because that’s the amount I ordered. But I think 69 is the most likely because I don’t recall her throwing away any cards, so the cards she put back in the box were the nine extra.

When I got home I counted the cards and I have SIXTY ONE cards. It’s a Christmas photo card miracle! I can send one extra person a lovely picture of my family this year.

Scott’s 12 Month

What?! Wasn’t this just a couple of seconds ago?

I have no words, bud. We just love you to pieces. God is so good to entrust you to us. You will never know what a special little guy you are. 
Firsts: Mandarin oranges, apple slices, and cucumber; breakfast at Waffle House;nuggets and playing at Chick Fil A; VBS Agency D3
News Headlines: I’m not sure why I keep this category on here. All news, national and local, is beyond me. If I don’t read it from the people I follow on Twitter, then I don’t know a thing about it. 
Favorite Toy/Activity: eating at Mexican restaurants so you can dance to the loud, fun music; Daddy’s matchbox and hot wheels cars (you almost always have one in your hand and it’s the first thing you ask for/point to when we get you out of bed in the morning); rolling around on the couch, bed, or pillows; playing in your sister’s princess tent (you call for it, saying “te, te, te” until we pop it up and put you in it); all musical toys; moving furniture around the room; watching the “daw” (dogs…or every animal that exists) on the screen saver for the Apple TV; drums or beating on things; the phone, which is a means to talk to dada (I guess because that’s really the only person I talk to on the phone)  
Mommy’s Favorite: I love that you start to dance every time you hear music, you are a FUN baby!  
Daddy’s Favorite: You are obsessed with “dadow” or “dada” or “da” (Daddy’s cars) 
Lily’s Favorite: She’s really excited about celebrating your first birthday! 
Milestones: You finally have two bottom teeth barely peeking through and it took you a grueling 3 weeks for them to finally make an appearance, you can drink from a sippy cup and have officially made the switch to cow’s milk (for whatever reason you were really fickle about the sippy cup but you just decided one day recently to start drinking out of them. See ya bottles!), you pull up and walk all over the place holding onto furniture but no standing or walking without holding on yet, size 4 diapers, 12-18 month clothes
Words: You are saying several words now: daw (dog) was definitely your first word that you used in the right context; dada (which is used to refer to Daddy and cars); dadow is your word for Sanibel (we thought for a long time this was your word for everything, but we’ve realized that it’s your word for Sanibel), daw is also your word for down; uh-oh; yeye or something like that (Lily); te for tent; you point and grunt or say da (that) when you want something
Weight/Length: I’ll update after your one year visit, but I’m guessing you are still 24 lbs
Like Mommy: You are pretty grumpy when you go several days without getting enough sleep
Like Daddy: You love cold treats, like ice cream and popsicles 
Like Big Sis: You like to help us get dressed. You will crawl around our room and in our closet and hand us things like shoes, belts, socks. Lily did the same thing. 
Best Memory: Riding the train at the kiddie carnival 
Biggest Challenge: Those 3 awful weeks of teething. You wouldn’t eat or sleep, so that just made for a super fussy and clingy baby. 
How We Spend the Day: It’s summer! Doing a bunch of nothing. And I’m not sure what your routine is since it was totally thrown off by your weeks of teething. You go to bed anywhere between 7 and 9, up in the morning between 6-7, and I push for two good naps a day. You will sleep at both naps, but they aren’t always long. Your afternoon naps are usually 1 1/2 hours. You eat 3 meals a day and have snacks in between. 
Nicknames: Little Bud, Buddy, Scotty 
Funniest Moment:  Pretty much everything you do makes us laugh, from dancing, to talking, to playing, to learning, it all makes you a fun little rascal.
How We Celebrated: At the beach! Which means Mommy didn’t have to decorate, clean, cook, or anything! That’s the best kind of birthday party if you ask me. Zero prep, just a celebration of YOU! We did, of course, have cake and you got to dive into your smash cake. And the best part is it worked out for (almost) everyone to be there! 
And here we go with a ton of pics! 
Rockin’ in the hardware store 

Grocery shopping driving 

We got you a water table for your birthday and you love it! 

Kisses from Mommy!

Summer days

More summer days

You like to hold Lily’s hand in the car

You and your buddy Noelle at church 

Trying on the hats in Target 

Playing with the cars

Father’s Day with your wonderful daddy 

Giggling with Granddaddy 

The aftermath of a popsicle 

Playing at CFA

Horrible pic, but you were a secret agent for a week at VBS! 

First trip to Waffle House, and if it’s up to me…it’s also your last trip. 

Notice the car in your hand…they make you happy 🙂 

Fun at the popsicle picnic…until the fire ants found our melted popsicle

You and your buddy Parker! 

Summer time means Kiddie Carnival time! 

First time on the merry-go-round 

Trying to convince Parker that he should ride the train with you

Lily showing you how to properly ride the train

You loved it! 
Our handsome little man!
We love you Scott!!! Happy birthday! We’ve had the best year with you and pray God gives us many, many more! 

Lily is 4 1/2!

 

Lily you are joy. This time last year we were soaking up our last few days with you before little man arrived. We were stoked about seeing you as a big sister, knowing you would be a wonderful one. We were so right! You have so much love for your brother and it’s not just in your words, it’s in your actions. You are a servant. You jump at the chance to help us and you do it with enthusiasm.

You are our little entertainer. You love to be the center of attention. You welcome yourself into any adult conversation because you just can’t stand to not be a part of everything that goes on. You love all things music and dance, always have. You have quite a wild and creative imagination. You remember everything. You are learning to read. You are hilarious. You are generous. You love to surprise others with pictures you have drawn. You are bright. You are confident. You can be shy sometimes, which we totally didn’t see coming.

We think you have your first legitimate crush on a cute little boy named John Tyler. And it might be mutual. The only reason I am putting this here is so we can remember this in several, SEVERAL years when you get married. We are certainly not encouraging it, and I kindly ask my readers that know Lily to do the same :).

You will be FIVE in less than a year. I’ve said it countless times, but it’s unbelievable how fast you have grown. I feel like once you hit kindergarten time is just going to run away from us and it will be your college graduation in a matter of seconds. I’m going to enjoy this last year I have with you before you hit this big milestone.

Lily we love you more than we could ever express to you in words. More than anything, we want you to know and love Jesus.  Always know that He loves you with a perfect love, like no other. He is always working for your good and His glory. Trust Him at all times!

Favorite Toys: Plastic princesses

Favorite Movie: Tangled and Frozen

Favorite Show: Bo on the Go

Favorite Chore: Cooking

Favorite Song: Let it Go (are there any other songs?)

Favorite Food: Hootin’ Annies (recipe here) and Beast’s Quiche (just a quiche with broccoli, bacon, and cheese from her Disney Princess cookbook)

Best Friends: Laney, Dusti Jo, Davis, Logan, John Tyler, Cooper, and Irianna

What You Want to be When You Grow Up: Police Girl

Mommy’s Favorite: Your joy and enthusiasm for all things, your servant’s heart, your love for Jesus, your wild imagination

Daddy’s Favorite: ditto

Scott’s Favorite: When you squeal at the top of your lungs

Biggest Challenge: Arguing and talking back, but even that isn’t a big deal. You are usually well-behaved as long as you get enough sleep. You also have become a picky eater, which you used to not be.

Make Believe Friends: Toni is the one you talk about the most. Your relationship to her is always changing even though you call her your sister. I laugh every time you talk about “Sister Toni” because she sounds like a nun or a sketchy psychic. The other sister you have is…get this…Dirt Coconut Scott-Kirkland. You don’t talk about Dirt as much as Toni, but she hangs around every once in a while.

Funny Moment: When you wrote “Funny Butt Fart” on Grandma’s patio with sidewalk chalk

First slumber party with Laney

First homework assignment

Taking care of Scott

Playing with your princesses

Family band

You still rub your eyelashes to fall asleep

Still working on riding that bike. It’s not your favorite thing to do, but we still encourage it! 

SNOW!!!

Mommy’s bundled babies

Those plastic princesses that Mommy spent $2 on. You play with them every waking hour. 

Rapunzel hair. Almost an everyday thing for you. Funny, because Mommy used to wear sweatpants on her head for long hair. 

You are beautiful! And you look really grown up in this pic, by the way. 

With Daddy on Valentine’s Day. He took us to the Auburn/Alabama gymnastics meet

Got your shades on at the dentist 

Play, play, play

And play some more

Frozen and licking the brownie bowl. There is nothing else this girl needs.  

Driving with your buddy in Lowe’s

With Logan at your first soccer practice. We won’t be doing soccer again, ha! Not your thing.  

Where all our warm, dry days are spent 

Mommy Daddy kisses are your favorite 

Making chocolate chip pancakes

Reading to your brother in the early morning 

“Rose from the dead rolls” as you like to call them. You love these so much we don’t save them just for an Easter treat. 

In the middle of a sneeze. HAHA! 

Playing Guess Who. One of your favorite games. Also one of Mommy and Daddy’s favorite games when they were kids! 

Helping Daddy and TBone with our first garden

Playing with cow poop 

Princess everyday

You and the fabulous Mrs. Connie at award’s day. She gave you the kite award for always soaring above! 

Clip on earrings from a yard sale
We celebrated with a donut date! 

And I saved the best for last. All the words you can spell (thanks to your dad) written on Grandma’s patio. “funny butt fart fog” 
Happy 4 1/2 years Lily! We love you!

Scott’s 10th and 11th Months

And here we are at 11 months 

Let’s be honest, the guy is almost a year old, so who really knows if the statements below are true of his 10th month or his 12th month? It’s really all running together at this point. I think with the subsequent children (IF that happens, y’all) I’ll just give a yearly review. So much easier than this monthly thing. I just can’t.

Firsts: Probably some foods that you’ve never had before (you don’t prefer cantaloupe or watermelon), hanging out in our storm shelter, ice cream, stomach bug
News Headlines: Not a clue, I figure if you really want to know we’ll just buy you one of those booklets from Cracker Barrel that tell you all the big news that happened the year you were born
Favorite Toy/Activity: Opening and closing things, climbing stairs, kitchen cabinets, brushing your hair, listening to the harmonica (you hand it to us to play for you)
Mommy’s Favorite: Hearing you talk
Daddy’s Favorite: When you call his name
Lily’s Favorite: You are about to turn one!
Milestones: Were you crawling in the last update? You are now. And pulling up. You are very verbal: dog, dada, mama, bye da, dadow, and something that resembles thank you
Weight/Length: 24 lbs
Like Mommy: Finally showing some curls in your hair
Like Daddy: You love ice cream!
Like Big Sis: Very smart!
Best Memory: Your sweet teachers made a memory book of you and your friends from school. I love it!
Biggest Challenge: Getting you to drink from a sippy cup. It’s not the liquid or the temperature because you’ll drink anything out of a bottle. And you’ll also drink anything out of a cup. I have a cabinet full of different kinds of sippy cups that you just simply aren’t interested in. I know it’s silly of me to even worry about this. I’m not worried, actually. You just have a sister that was able to drop the bottle and formula cold turkey just before she turned a year, and I have the same expectation of you. Sorry. You can take that up with her.
How We Spend the Day: Same as it’s been since January.
Nicknames: Scotty and Buddy
Funniest Moment: I’m sure we’ve shared a lot of laughs lately. You’re a pretty funny guy. But forgive me, I didn’t make a note of any particular moment that produced a lot of laughter.

Just some young doctors giving Scout the dog a check-up 

You had your first stomach bug and it was BAD! It wiped out the whole family.

Headed to a superhero party for one of Lily’s best friends 

The two handsomest guys I know. Your first Easter! 

The sun was a little bright 

SO HAPPY!!!! 

But for real…you are a happy guy most of the time. And you have the BEST sister! 

FroYo date with your buddy Parker

Riding out the tornadoes in our storm shelter

Painting with chocolate pudding 

Harmonica love 

First taste of ice cream! 
Getting into anything you can!

Rides in the wagon with your goofy sister

And rides on the lawn mower with your daddy. He’s ready for the day you can do this job by yourself!

We love you Buddy! We’ll be celebrating your first birthday at the beach!

To the 1300 Square Foot Brittany

I daily live in two extremes.

To one extreme, I’m driven by the “need” for things in my home to make it more complete. Among the list of things I’ve been constantly searching for on Craigslist lately: a sofa/love seat instead of our sectional because it will function better in our open living area, patio furniture, a futon for Brent’s office. And then there’s the list of things we “need” to help our home’s appearance (and also help maintain it): painting the house (in and out), replacing the carpet, fixing the slanted floor in the first two bedrooms, cutting down some trees, destroying the awkward backyard landscaping that is IMPOSSIBLE to care for, and for that matter doing something with all the landscaping.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I find myself searching for 1300 sq foot or smaller homes in the area. If I had a smaller home, I wouldn’t need all the extra things. We would have less to maintain. Instead of needing to buy more things, we would need to sell our things because we would not have room for it all.

I’ve lived in the 1300 sq ft home, I’ve lived in the basement apartment with 1 bathroom, and I now live in something larger.

Let me be clear. I am grateful for my current house and I don’t look back with regret. It would take more than a blog post, but it is SO evident that we are right where He wants us (maybe I should write a book!).  God richly blessed us with the house we are in. It serves our needs and then some. It has room to grow and I can see us in this house for the long haul.

But I want to say something to 1300 sq ft Brittany.

Enjoy your one living space. Joyfully smile at the fact that Lily’s toys take over that one living space. Fill your quaint home with loud laughter and not quiet complaints about it’s size. Don’t complain about doing laundry in the garage because one day you’ll be carrying it up and down two flights of stairs. Spend your time making it a home instead of dreaming of the day you call a bigger house your home. Have people over and don’t worry about how everyone will feel crowded, or that there won’t be enough places to sit down to dinner, or how people might compare your small estate to their larger one and think pitifully of you. There is something beautiful in that small space of yours and though it may not be the bright mustard yellow walls in your kitchen that you never found the time to paint, it is woven in the love and fellowship with the people that reside there.


The grass is always greener where you are, never where you are not. 

I call a bigger house my home now. I find myself dreaming of days that used to be reality. Being able to hear every word spoken from one end of the house to the other. Being able to clean my entire house top to bottom in two hours. Not having to chase my toddler around the house because it was small and there wasn’t any place that was off limits (like stairs).  Watching TV, cooking dinner, and playing in the playroom all in the same space. All the things I desired to be different, I realize they were all I needed. Because I now have more than I need and I’m missing the bare necessities.

Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: 
Remove far from me falsehood and lying; 
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me, 
lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.  
Proverbs 30:8-9

May this be an encouragement to those in a small home or apartment. The grass is the greenest right there in your tiny kitchen. 

At the end of the day…we just love Mrs. Connie

I came to bed one evening with this at my bedside table. A note that I’m sure says something sweet and a picture of me with a smile holding Lily and Scott in my arms. What makes it even more meaningful is that Lily drew the picture on her favorite book (the cover is torn off).

Lily was having a hard time going to sleep on this particular night, which usually results in discipline, crying, and screaming. Never fun. This night was no different. But while she was sobbing on her bed, she drew this picture for me then sneaked into my room to put it beside the bed.

After such a hard night with her, seeing this picture before I shut my eyes was just the grace I needed to sleep peacefully. To know that in the midst of her disobedience, she was thinking of me. Not in a my mom is so mean to me kind of way, but in a I love my mommy and she loves us kind of way.

I have my moments. Don’t we all? And my moments come more frequently specifically when there is a teething baby in the house that won’t stop fussing and wants to constantly be held and there is a little girl who just needs to get out of the house and do something but it’s been raining for 128,947 days.

I worry a lot that at the end of the day Lily only remembers my attitude, my sighs of frustration, my impatience, my tone, my selfishness. After all, it’s all I remember about myself at the end of the day. All the ways I messed up and the things I could have done better.

But after seeing this picture beside my bed, I realized that at the end of the day in the middle of her punishment, she’s not thinking about my sinful ways, she’s thinking about my God’s loving ways. If I can use the picture as evidence, she thinks of me as a mom who just loves her kids and loves being with them.

And at the end of my day, there’s nothing more true than that. I love my family and I love being with them.

The next morning when Lily walked down the stairs for breakfast, I got down on my knees, looked her in the eye, and told her how thankful I was for that picture and how much it meant to me and how it made me tear up and how sorry I was for being impatient and getting frustrated…and so on.

And Lily said…

“You’re welcome, mom. But that picture is for Mrs. Connie. That’s why the card says ‘Mrs. Connie’ on it. I even drew hearts around her name. And it’s a picture of Mrs. Connie and me meeting Snow White for the first time.”

Oh.

Well that’s a very nice picture you drew for her Lily and I guess if I could read your nonsense words I would have known this was for Mrs. Connie and all of my irrational mommy pondering could have been avoided. 

At the end of the day, in the middle of her madness, Lily just loves Mrs. Connie!

{For those of you who have no idea who Mrs. Connie is, she was Lily’s FABULOUS teacher last year.}

Father’s Day 2014

My dad pretty much rocks. Growing up, he did it all. I was always aware that he was a busy man, doing all the things to take care of his family. Other than what is expected from most dads–working to provide for his family–there were countless other things that he did for us outside of that major responsibility…all of which required a constant putting aside of himself.

I’m sure my parents would never agree with this statement, but I was a little on the bratty side. SARCASM. They would totally agree. Because I knew my dad could and would do it all, I expected him to do it all. Although he taught me to be independent, I just kind of thought I was the center of his world and if I asked him to do something for me he should just do it, because he can’t possibly have anything else going on or anyone else demanding his time, skills, and money, right?!

Chick-fil-A was always our fast-food restaurant of choice…or maybe just my preference and my parents always gave in. I can’t be sure :). There were many nights, especially in the summer when my mom was busy with kid’s ministry stuff at church, that Dad would drive to CFA to grab dinner. I always got the same meal: the 8 pack nuggets with fries and sweet tea (and a brownie if Dad was feeling extra nice). But under no circumstances would I eat the nuggets and fries unless I had the honey mustard. I was pretty hard-core serious about that requirement. There were countless times that my dad would forget to ask, or the employees would forget to put it in the bag, and my dad would drive back to CFA (which was close…but not really thanks to HWY 280) just to get the princess some honey mustard.

Go back for honey mustard? Check.
Let me have his home office for the afternoon so I can download stupid songs on his work computer and make a mixed CD? Check.
Change the oil in my car? Check.
Rotate the tires on my car? Check.
Wash my car? Check.
Take me on a 4-wheeler ride on the trails near our house (that is now The Summit)? Check.
Patch the roof at 3 am because it’s raining and there is water running down the wall in my room? Check.
Pick me up from Rachel Kelley’s house approximately 237 times in the middle of the night because I am homesick? Check.
Take me to school every morning of middle school because I refuse to ride the bus? Check.
Bring me chocolate milk in bed every morning so that I would actually get out of bed? Check.
Pay for my education at Auburn, and not just that, buy a condo in Auburn for me to live in? Check. (He’s an Alabama alum)
Give me money for this and that, and that and this? All the time. Check.
Fix my baked potato? Check. He does it perfectly!
Find a super secret way to have a single rose delivered to me every Valentine’s Day? Check.

The list could go on and on and on.

I’m now married to a busy man who does numerous selfless things for his family. It is in seeing his great effort to carry out his responsibilities in our own family that I have gained utmost respect for my dad.

Brent’s job is pretty demanding. Yes, he works from home but all that really means is that he doesn’t have an office to go to every day. Instead he drives all over creation performing a job that is usually unappreciated by the general public. His job doesn’t fit within the 8-5 work window and because of that it is demanding of his time. His job is also physically demanding. It wears him out. His job is mentally exhausting. It can easily overwhelm him and invade his thoughts in the middle of the night. It can be incredibly stressful and frustrating.

Yet, he comes home in the evening to greet his wife and kids with a smile on his face and his arms open wide for a hug.

He helps his wife with the kids. They need to learn to ride a bike. They need to be pushed in the swing. They need discipline. They need dinner. They need baths. They need bedtime stories. They need lunches made for tomorrow. They need clean bottles. They need one-on-one time with him. They need to be prayed with and for. They need to be tucked in bed.

The grass needs cutting. The mower needs repairing. The bathroom is flooded. The car needs new tires. The yard needs ant killer. The trash needs to be taken out. The windows need painting. The trees need trimming. The air unit needs a new part.

His wife is exhausted and needs to go to bed early. She needs a coffee date with her best friend. She needs a few minutes that no one needs her or calls her name. She needs him to cook dinner. She needs a night to just lay on the couch and watch The Office while he tidies up the house, makes the lunches, and does the dishes.

And what does he need? He needs rest, but he rarely gets it. After a long day of working hard to provide for his family with integrity, he comes home and works hard to care for his family with love.

And if all of the above isn’t enough weight on his shoulders, he also has the responsibility to lead his family to Jesus. The weightiest of all. To lead his wife and raise his children to know and love the Lord. To make decisions for his family that honor the Lord and affect the future. To leave a legacy of faith and obedience to God for his family.

So to the man in my family who does ALL THE THINGS and wears all the hats and has a heavy load upon his shoulders, I see it. I am grateful for you. Your hard work in and out of the home does not go unnoticed. I understand the constant weight of all the demands in your life. I have utmost respect for you, I always have and I always will. I love you. I support you. I trust you.

To my dad, I know you do all of these things too. And you do them well. I am grateful for the multitude of sacrifices you made for me. Thank you for being an earthly father that points me to my heavenly Father. Your hard work has never gone unnoticed. I’m now getting to see the great responsibility you had in raising my brother and me among the thousands of other things life threw your way. It’s anything but easy. Thank you for doing it all with love. Thank you for seeking the Lord and making decisions for your family that pleased Him.

For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice 
Genesis 18:19 

I’d say my job as a mom is hard. It’s physically, emotionally, and mentally draining. Brent, yours is far more difficult than mine. May God strengthen you and uphold you to fulfill His calling on you as my husband and the father to our children. Lean hard into Him on the tough and exhausting days, call out and seek Him with earnestness. Trust Him as you lead us and know that we are behind you 100% when you get it right and when you (we) get it wrong. We love you!