Five Things Magnolia Will Grow Up Experiencing At Home


We had the best October weekend. On Saturday, Ryan and I went on our first date since Magnolia was born. My sister and niece came over to watch our baby girl so that we could go out to lunch for our two year wedding anniversary. We had one cocktail before our food came out, it was called The Bees Knees (I was quite fond of the name), and it had us both feeling pretty good. We don't drink often so it doesn't take much. We held hands, laughed about life, reminisced about all that we've been through in the past three years, and dreamed about our future together.







On Sunday we went to the pumpkin patch and bought all kinds of fall goodies to decorate our front porch. We actually went to the pumpkin patch three times, because we realized we needed more gourds once we got home, and we also went to the grocery store and two nurseries hunting for just the right white and pastel pumpkins. We drank pumpkin spice lattes and salted caramel mochas as we drove around town on a mission. During all this driving and hunting around, we noticed something about Magnolia that brings me to my writing this morning. When Ryan and I are in the front seat talking, when we start laughing, she starts laughing with us. It's the most adorable thing Ryan and I have ever heard. She does it all the time, when others are laughing, she'll wrinkle up her nose, squint her eyes, and then do an inhalation laugh (just like her momma and aunt Hay).









As Ryan and I are celebrating our two year wedding anniversary with our miracle baby girl, I'm reflecting on us and her. I realize that every single thing that we do affects her. She senses our emotions, she hears our conversations, she sees our affection, and on the contrary if there is tension or harsh words or negativity, she'll experience all of that right along with us. Of course Ryan and I are very aware of this and thankfully we don't have bad days often, but we do, just like anyone else. It was when she laughed with us in the car, when she had no idea what she was laughing about, but she heard her parents laugh so she did too, that it did something to me. It moved me to be even more conscious of myself and us. I want more than anything in this world for her to have more days of laughter and happiness than anything else. And it's on us for the most part; it's on Ryan and me to make that happen. It's our responsibility to make sure she experiences all the joy that is in this world. Instead of us focusing on the tragedies and the pain and the fear and the terror that fills our news stories, I want us to be present and show her the love that always surrounds her. All of that love starts at home, even on the simple Sunday mornings when it's just a coffee brewing kind of morning, when all we do is hang around the house in our jammies. I want her to see so much love & gratitude she doesn't know any better.

There are five things that Ryan and I do regularly, that I hope she'll look back on someday with gratitude.

1. Laughter. There is quite a bit of laughter shared between us and I didn't realize how often we laughed until Magnolia started to imitate us. I woke up Sunday morning to the Letter Board on our fireplace quoting a rap song. I sent a photo of it to my sisters who couldn't hold back the crying tears. Ryan is good about making sure his girls are always laughing. I want Magnolia to grow up knowing that moms & dads and husbands & wives spend more time laughing than anything else.

2. Affection. Ryan always opens the car door for me (unless his hands are full 😉 ) and when we are out shopping he'll jump in front of me to open the door for me and everyone else. He's a gentleman in this modern world. We often hold hands in the car and he hugs me all the time. He rubs my back and tickles my neck when we are waiting in line at places. He'll give me sweet kisses out of the clear blue sky. This weekend he was hugging me tight, for one of those extra long types of hugs, and Magnolia was watching us. I could see her taking in the love that we were sharing in that moment and I'm grateful that she'll grow up knowing that moms & dads and husbands & wives show sweet affection to one another.

3. Household chores. Ryan works very hard for us so that I'm able to stay at home with Magnolia. There are no words strong enough to express how grateful I am to be at home with her each day. Our roles within our marriage are very clear. I know that the household duties are my responsibility. I don't ask for help often, although Ryan often tells me to. Magnolia will grow up seeing a very traditional style of man & woman roles. The great part about all of this is that when Ryan comes home from travel he jumps in to help around the house without me even asking. There are mornings that I wake up and the dishwasher is completely emptied and all the towels are folded and ready to be put away. If I make a list of things I want to get done around the house on a particular weekend, it'll happen. He's a hard worker and when the weekend comes around he's here to take some of the weight off my shoulders. Magnolia will grow up seeing that moms & dads and husbands & wives help one another.

4. Dinner. We sit down to eat dinner together (without our cell phones) and we thank the Lord above for all of our blessings. It's a such a simple habit, but one that I believe can easily be taken for granted nowadays. Magnolia will grow up with this tradition engraved into her soul.

5. Communication & Gratitude. Communication is the foundation of a healthy relationship, of any kind. Ryan and I have always been good at connecting and talking and just understanding one another, whether it be casual or serious. Being able to talk about the serious stuff from finances to work, morals, expectations, disappointments, goals, and dreams, is so very important. In my anniversary card Ryan listed the profound blessings from above that we've experienced since being together. I find that being grateful brings more happiness into life, than anything else. Being able to talk about and share our gratitude really takes it to the next level. Think about how great it feels when someone gives you a sincere "thank you," it sets the tone for the day. I woke up to Ryan thanking me for baking his mom's birthday cake. I didn't need a thank you, not at all, I loved making it and celebrating her birthday. I feel grateful for his sweet note of appreciation. It's really the most beautiful cycle. Magnolia will grow up in a home that overflows with gratitude and thanksgiving. I'll never tell her to say the words "thank you," but she'll surely witness and feel the love that comes from it. I hope that her heart is always full of gratitude.


This is just a very short list of all that I hope Magnolia witnesses and learns at such a young age. Ryan and I aren't perfect, we have bad days, and we argue and disagree and get frustrated like anyone else. I simply chose to focus on all the good stuff, and we have so much of it going around that I'm forever grateful. We are best friends and that is the first thing we'll teach Magnolia about life & love and husbands & wives.

XO
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Wendy Correen Smith
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