On Putting Marriage First

– In visiting the long neglected blog, I realized that I had this post here that I had failed to publish. I may have written it two months ago, but It was a good reminder of something we need to constantly work at. –

Growing up my mom always prepped me that “marriage is not easy, it is a lot of work.” Of course, I never thought too much of it when I could see my parents happily married and I wasn’t in that chapter of life yet. Then I got married, and I heard plenty of newly wed advice like, “have a date night once a week” and “make time to date your spouse” and “never go to bed angry.” Sure! I was now living with my best friend and we hung out all the time. Life was fun!

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(^^ throwback to our engagement photos ^^)

Then real life settled in more. If you’re married, you might be smiling to yourself because you know what I’m talking about. Sure, there may be quirks you hadn’t noticed before or petty arguments about picking up after each other or who is hogging the bed. – Or perhaps your husband gifts you a really nice box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day and then eats it himself because you didn’t “eat it quick enough!” There can be nothing more devastating than going for that favorite piece you have been saving to find an empty box of crinkled paper. – I have since learned to hide my chocolate. But jokes aside, there can be really tough things to deal with. Adapting to a new second family and their way of doing things isn’t always easy, not to mention balancing time spent with each family. Finances can definitely put a strain on the newly wed bliss. And all of your decisions now affect not just yourself, but another person and your life together. It’s true, marriage is not easy.

What I have been dwelling on frequently is where James and I are at right now. We have two kids and are coming up on five years of marriage. It has been such an adventure so far! We have had some really low lows and also some incredibly great memories. But we are definitely at a stage in our marriage that is requiring the most work so far. When we decided to have children, we decided to not just share our hearts with each other, but with these beautiful little people. Hands down that has been an easy thing to do! However, it has also been easy to let those little people come first before our marriage.

Being a parent is absolutely a priority. They say that having children is like having your heart walking around outside of your body. I understand that completely! As a mother, I decided to quit my photo business because I wanted to give my baby and almost three year old more of me. Taking care of them and being there for them is my life. It can be too easy though to make my kids become more important than my marriage by letting them get more of me than James does.

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(^^ our attempts at a family picture this year on Easter haha ^^)

James is in school full time right now and working full time. He is SO busy. I’m at home with our two babes, trying to keep up with their needs, our home and our yard. We also both have responsibilities at church and often commitments with other people and events. At the end of the day, we are both pooped. I will readily admit that our marriage has suffered. We get stuck on auto pilot. I deal with the kids, he has work and school. Our lives could easily stay very separate because there is lack of communication with each other – it’s so easy to feel frustrated and worn out. We don’t take time for each other to bond, connect, work things out and take care of one another’s needs when life is hectic – but that is when we need it the most. It causes distance and maybe even bitter feelings toward one another.

I know that James and I aren’t the only ones that face this struggle.

I think about this a lot lately because it is the biggest thing James and I are working to improve: that each other – our marriage – should come first before our kids, our jobs, our other family members, or hobbies. It can be a really hard thing to do! And it is a lot of work. A lot of communication. We have become so much more open with each other and know that we don’t want to be the empty-nesters facing retirement that are uncomfortable and scared about having to live life alone again with a spouse we have allowed ourself to become disconnected from because of years spent focused on work and children instead of each other. (longest sentence ever!)

I really don’t know what the purpose of this post was, just that this afternoon James and I had to revisit how and where we can fit time in for each other. A time each day where we know we push pause on everything else to reconnect and talk or just spend time together somehow uninterrupted. Every marriage needs and deserves that. It reminds me of a quote I love…

“If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently. You shield it and protect it. You never abuse it. You don’t expose it to the elements. You don’t make it common or ordinary. If it ever becomes tarnished, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new. It becomes special because you have made it so, and it grows more beautiful and precious as time goes by.”

― F. Burton Howard

xoxo

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Ruby Gossling

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Our family was blessed with a sweet new little love – Ruby Lavinia Gossling – on November 27th 2016. (She was named after my Great Grandmother – Lucy Lavinia – We get a lot of questions about that middle name)

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Sometimes we refer to her as Ruby Sunday because she was born on a Sunday instead of the Monday we had her scheduled for. Ruby was a repeat c-section and we had it all planned for the 28th of November – two days before her actual due date. Jude was six days late, so we figured that our scheduled delivery would work out well. But the little girl just could not wait another day, and Sunday morning it was.

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Contractions hit me – like they usual do – in the middle of the night about 3:30am. Luckily, since I already had a scheduled repeat c-section for the following day, it was not as long of a wait to head to the hospital. I really was hoping to avoid the whole contractions bit of delivery, but at least it only lasted about 4 hours before I was in the OR and numb.

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Everything went well enough. I was nervous (surgery does that to most people I think). I remember the first thing that the doctor mentioned was that Ruby had plenty of hair and was a chubby little thing. 7:55am – 8lb 8oz. She was beautiful and I was in love.

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James snagged all the first photos in the OR on my phone since I was numb and strapped to the operating table. One downside to c-sections. But I am okay with knowing that each of our babies get their first hour in the world snuggled with their daddy.

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Ruby is the sweetest little thing. She slept wonderfully from the beginning, nursed well, and cried only when she had to be unswaddled and changed. Or when she spit up – which was frequent those first couple of days. The poor thing had a lot of amniotic fluid coming up and lost about one pound pretty quick.

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(^^Meemaw Tutt & Grandma Goose^^)

We were fortunate to have my mom fly in from Arizona the day after Thanksgiving, and Ruby was born two days later. She brought Jude to the hospital that first day. I was anxious to see how he would react to the baby, and he loved her from the beginning. He asks, “hold?” often and is constantly covering her with kisses and hugs. He calls her, “Beb- bee!”

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Jude and Daddy

Jude’s delivery left me super sore and I was hardly getting up and moving for a week. This time around, I forced myself to get up out of bed on my own and move. I mean, it may have taken me a couple minutes to lift myself out of bed and I walked around at a glacial pace, but I was moving! They always told me that the more you move, the easier the surgery recovery would be. So true! Granted, I did not labor naturally for 16 hours before the c-section like I did with Jude. My body and muscles were so worn out from that day.

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This time around we actually were discharged from the hospital after 48 hours! We could have stayed for four if we really wanted, but we were ready to get the heck outta dodge and be home with Jude.

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Below is a photo of her from the hospital right before we left. I swear her face looks so chubby straight on!…

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I can hardly imagine life without our little Rubes. She is so perfect to me in every way.

xoxo

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Gossling News! – January 2013

1.  We are a happy little family!!! No babies, no…not even one “brewing”…WE ADOPTED A KITTY! Little Pepper is so sweet. We’ve had her a little over a month now. We got her for $20, a little sick, 3-4 months old. Now she has warmed up to us quite a bit – a little too much of a people person sometimes. She loves her belly to be rubbed and curling up on my chest/neck in the middle of the night. I am also convinced that she has kitty conversations with me and likes me more than James.

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…taking her into the shower is always fun! (our shower has a door…she wanders around my feet and meows. sure beats getting scratched if we try to clean her any other way. and yes, i know cats hate water. we don’t “shower” her often at all)

2.  James is the funniest, sweetest, and full of surprises! I came home from school one day to….a celebration of my “25 2/3 birthday”?! Homemade dinner, decor, presents, and my favorite desserts that he brought home for PF Chang’s. Seriously….they have THE BEST assortment of mini desserts!

Just look at how good he is to me!….

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such a shocker…James has made me the proud owner of a brand dew MacBook Air!…& PS Elements 11…

IMG_5962i love it so. it makes school and photo editing much more fun! Happy 25.63 to me!

3.  I have a full load this semester. Between James and I, the amount of textbooks coming in the mail from Amazon are ridic…

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However, I am thoroughly enjoying my Sewing class and Interior Design! I’ve always wanted to learn, more technically, “the art or sewing”. Growing up, my mom showed me and helped me with projects here and there, but I never learned or paid attention very well. Now I can!

4.  Although school seems a burden every day, this is James’ and my LAST SEMESTER IN PROVO!!! …….wait for it……. We are moving home to Georgia in the end of April! We are both so excited. Georgia is home to us. James….will never live anywhere other than Georgia. We came to the conclusion that since we will end up there anyway, why wait? It’s either move now, or be stuck here in Provo 3-4 more years for James to graduate. So, James is in the process of transferring to UGA, and I will be able to finish up my BYU schooling online.

We will be living in my parents’ house until we figure out where we want to be more permanently. Only, my parents will not be there, they are moving to Arizona (more new on that later). So, living just the two of us….in a house….with a big yard/garden to keep track of….will be a fun and new experience as newly weds! And although it is sad that my parents are leaving, we are happy to be heading back east and be with all of James’ family….and close to my sister’s family in VA.

We do have a handful of really amazing friends here in Provo though that we are SO SO SO sad to leave. We are already trying to convince them that vacations to Georgia should be planned into their near future : )

5.  Two weeks ago, Jan 19th, my Grandpa Bluth passed away (on my Mom’s side). It was terribly emotional news for me. Though, I counted my blessings that him and my Grandma felt inspired to make the drive all the way from Mexico for James’ and my wedding in GA in September. I will be forever grateful for that last memory of my “abuelo”.

James and I made the road trip last weekend down to Mesa, Arizona for a family service….and then a second drive down into Colonia Dublan, Mexico for a second funeral service and burial. It was SO WONDERFUL that we went and saw all of my family, that they got to meet James, and that we made it to Mexico. I hadn’t gone in 5-6 years. Showing James where I used to spend my summers growing up was really neat, if even for a brief trip.

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MEXtruck3james thought the truck looked dustier than ever after driving through Mexico…

then we went through a blizzard on our way back to Utah…

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I will post more on Mexico, the funeral, and my amazing Grandpa later.

love, whit

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merry and bright

my sister, Dacy, and her familia drove down from Virginia the day after Christmas.

there was some gift opening…(zia loves her papa tutt)…

quinlan loving her OWN new camera…

ry LOVES his kindle fire…

this little man is SUCH a bundle of love!!…

..my family makes cute kids. no big deal.

and of course…the usual crazy Papa Tutt tickle attacks of never-ending squeals…

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and…being the favorite aunt… (yes, true statement)… i gave “makeovers” to the girls. something i’ll probably be begged to do every day until they leave.

3 year old Zia, all glammed up:

…trying to “pucker up”…(don’t you just love her glasses?!)

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max…happy to be a boy…

and Quinlan…in her mom’s old cheerleading uniform…

Zia reminded us of Madonna being a “Material Girl”…

love these kids.

(nevermind my overly-happy baby face)

love, whit

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enthused.

mom puts together this Christmas newsletter every year to send out to family and friends. actually…she does it in poem form. rhymes and all. and for quite a while around the house in the month of December, we get to hear about how she needs to get it done and how she needs help in finding a good picture to put with it. generally, no ones pays any mind to it until it becomes overly annoying. ha! so last night…we finally succumbed to getting together and making it happen. this is how enthused we were…

happy holidays. from the Tutt’s! ….ha.

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speaking of enthused. today is one of those days…where i ended up having to take a trip to the store during my lunch break to pick up the following…

…all my feel-better comfort food cravings. gushers. flaming hot cheetos. dark chocolate. and odwalla. a sick and unhealthy combo, i know. but the day called for it. so judge me! Odwalla was on SALE though…total perk. i bought three.

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found this in my coat pocket today too…

remember enthusiasm. indeed.

love, whit

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Troy Lyman Forsyth – our halloween baby!

both of my best friends growing up are having babies…and coincidentally both of their due dates are the first week in november! one is out in SLC, Utah and i’ve been so excited that i’ll be out there this coming week and hopefully not miss the event!

but that meant i would miss out on lisa’s little man when he came. they live here in GA.

BUT! yesterday couldn’t have been more perfect timing…little troy decided to join us on Halloween! and it just so happens that i got off work early at 3:30 and was able to head to the hospital in Fayetteville right away!

lisa is just a natural mommy!

auntie amber came by for a visit! (college roommate bestie)

and turns out we all knew emily…one of the “cone head” nurses! (even the hospital had fun on Halloween)

after a few hours they switched mommy and daddy to a more comfortable room

getting help from the nurse….(i love seeing babies all bundled into a ball of joy!)

pete is SUCH a good daddy already…

the nurse would come to check troy’s temperature and re-swaddle him

(he has big feet and long fingers like his momma! haha)

i LOVE his head full of hair…and blonde! lisa was blonde when she was little.

(they used the vacuum to get him out…so his head is extra long for now)

i played Aunt Whitney for a while…

(the lil guy does not like being moved much!)

i am his official babysitter. i decided.

love, whit

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atlanta segway tour

so, as i mentioned before, my parents’ birthdays are this week.

as a present, something different and fun to do – we went on a SEGWAY TOUR of ATLANTA! it was – SO fun!

the rents:

let’s back up a bit…from the beginning…

mom, getting a feel for what we’re about to do before the segway safety/warm-up…

helmets and the safety video were mandatory…

then a little one-at-a-time practice on the segway. our group was my parents and i, a very cordial young bloke from the UK (it was his first time ever to the states – loved his accent), and a french canadian from montreal.

i didn’t get many pictures of the tour – it’s hard to manage a sensitive segway and a DSLR. but we did take a stop and walk around a bit at the capitol. mom really wanted a pic with good ol’ jimmy – the only US president from GA. the statue is life size of him, too…

our group:

mom took this one,

the shot i was taking in that picture:

a couple more from dad’s camera…

when we passed the Ritz Carlton, we made it at the same time as the pro football team from Philly. the Eagles – coming for the game against the Falcons. there were tv cameras and crowds – i managed to get my balance enough to snap a couple…too bad it’s just the back of some of the players…

the last “break” stop was at The Varsity. atlanta’s famous chili-dogs…

i wish i was able to get more pictures, but my coordination on the segway wasn’t the best…i didn’t want to bring my camera into it. i thought mom would have problems on the machines….turns out i was the one with “incidents”…yes, there was blood…

each segway had a name, mine was “Jack”…just when i got the hang of how to ride him, the day was over…

it was definitely a well-spent 3 hours…and the rents loved the adventure…

afterwards we had some straight-up southern cookin’ downtown at Mary Mac’s. check out my fried fish platter…

…i’ll be eating on it for DAYS. after i ate my fried green tomatoes, cabbage, and broccoli souffle…i had no room for much more.

a few more photos…some more of my favs from my claire marie “photo shoot”…

 

ok, that’s enough pictures for one day.

love, whit

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facebook: no, please!

first things first…

my sister, Dacy, had her baby last night around 10pm…#4 child for their family – little Miles August. 8lbs 8oz.

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thought for the day:

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rad photo of the day:

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rant of the day:

Facebook. I opened my account in 2004…back when you had to have a college/university email to do so. I wasn’t quite sure what it was or how to fully enjoy its benefits – but the word had spread that it was the newest hip online social network for college kids to interact and find out what was going on in the area.

NOW – clearly, it’s THE social network. THE social interaction. For everyone. Everywhere. That’s great, right? I guess; however, I am currently not a fan. For the first time since 2004, I’ve deactivated my account.

 It’s quite liberating actually!

 I get disgusted with myself thinking of the hours wasted “stalking” people. That’s what we’re doing basically, you know. And it’s creepy when I realize that somehow, i’ve ended up on a page of a person I don’t even know, looking at their photos (we’ve all done it before, so I know I’m not alone. but still). It’s like twitter (something I am not a part of) – Why is there such a need to let everybody know what you’re doing and thinking every hour in the day? Or why do we need to KNOW what everybody is doing and thinking every hour of the day? People should spend more time living their own life instead of investing so much into what everyone else is up to. It only makes us more susceptible to comparison.

Also, it’s silly how “nothing’s official until it’s Facebook official”. There have been numerous occasions when talking to people, that they’ve responded with “WHAT? I didn’t know that! How come it’s not on your facebook?!”  – It’s as though Facebook is everything, reality, our world – our identity. We can become involved in people’s lives without actually being involved at all because Facebook has no secrets. It’s gossip central. Especially with that blasted news feed. People know it, too, and use that as an advantage and disadvantage to others. Yeah, they have all the special “privacy settings” now where you can block even your “friends” from seeing specific things you post – but if it gets to that, what’s the point then?

I mean, what did people do before Facebook?  They lived their lives, minded their own business, and did other things with their time like have REAL social interaction with friends and family. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve loved it as a means to communicate and share news. It’s cheaper than an international phone call. And yeah, it is neat to see what everybody is up to now and then. I will be back on it I’m sure, one day. But for now, I’m over it.

Besides, I still have a blog – which is more for my own personal rants and raves – but means I still have a small online connection to people who know about it. and that’s enough for me.

love, whit

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