girls playing

Dating my Daughters- It took me 32 years, but I finally learned how to date

I was never a big dater.  Historically, I have had one of two extreme reactions when encountering someone with the potential of a romantic connection- crush and obsess or run the other way. (Or, in some instances, crush and obsess, then run the other way.)

As I got older, I kept hoping I would become someone who “dates”, but it never really happened.  Even in the early stages of my relationship with my now-husband, we didn’t stay in the dating phase very long.

It’s funny to say that I didn’t really learn how to date until a few months ago when I began dating my daughters.

When we adopted our son three years ago, I got to do what I am good at.  I got to fall hard and fast for my son.  I crushed majorly for this boy, and everything moved so quickly, which made it even more intensified.  With my girls,  it hasn’t looked the same.  For dozens of reasons, it has had to be gradual, careful, and slow.  I knew that if I came across too strong, I would freak them out or shut them down.  But I didn’t want to be stand-offish or seem disinterested either.  Ahh! How do I do this?!”  I realized early on that I needed to learn how to date my daughters.

I worked hard at it and, after 32 years, I finally figured out a few things about dating.  So in the spirit of generosity, I will share my findings with you.

  1. Be attentive, but don’t smother or overwhelm.  When we first met the girls at a park, I wanted to run over and begin connecting immediately.  But that was about me, not them.  So I tried stepping back, but still engaging.  I let them come to me, and when they came, I was ready and eager to receive them.  Luckily, they didn’t have phones or I am sure I would have been blowing them up.  I couldn’t see them every day, so I couldn’t really smother.  It forced me to slow down, which also made me more attentive and purposeful.
  2. Make appropriate amounts of eye contact, but don’t stare.  This was hard because, of course, I was mesmerized by their sweet little faces, and I wanted to remember every detail about them.  But I knew that if I stared at them, it would be weird.  So no staring. (Or at least wait until they are asleep.)  When they did engage me, I looked right into their eyes so they could see they had my full attention- that there was nothing more important to me in that moment.
  3. Keep things light and fun.  DON’T GET TOO SERIOUS TOO FAST.  When dating, if things get too intense too quickly, the tone is set.  In my counseling office, I have seen this lead to an unrealistic expectation of relating that often results in conflict and tension.  When it comes to kids, it is important for adults to remember that trust and connection are established initially through positive, warm interactions, not big DTR’s the first time you meet.
  4. Physical intimacy should not be forced and it should occur in stages.  I am affectionate.  I love to hug, and it is not uncommon for me to want to put my hand on a shoulder during an informal conversation.  But there is a natural progression to physical intimacy that is important to honor.  It’s not just about me, so forcing my way of physically relating onto others (especially children with trauma) is not just inappropriate; it could be harmful.  Physical boundaries may be something people need help with if there is a history of inappropriate relating (both for kids and for grown ups), so asking permission is healing and empowering.  Asking “Would you like to high five or hug goodbye?” reminds the other person that you value their boundaries and aren’t trying to take power from them.
  5. Saying “I love you” too soon may seem desperate or insincere.  As I have stated, I fall fast.  I crush hard. I love easily.  But I had to find other ways of telling my daughters how much I care so that when I said “I love you”, they would not only believe it; they would rest in it.  I wanted to be able to back up my words with tangible examples of my love and commitment to them, and that takes time and work.  My husband and I decided not to say those words for a while when we got together because we had said them too quickly in the past.  We had to find other ways of communicating how invested and connected we felt.  And when we finally said it, we knew we meant it.
  6. Doing fun and exciting activities too often during the early stages sets an unrealistic precedent for the future.  If your first date is a flight to Mexico on a jet, it doesn’t bode well for your bank account or your relationship.  For my first date with Dave, we went to Moe’s.  It could only go up from there.  We made a decision not to woo our daughters with presents and extravagant outings because we weren’t trying to impress them.  This wasn’t a fling.  We were in it for the long haul, so going to parks and hanging out at our house felt like real life.  And that’s what we wanted to build with them- a life.
  7. Don’t shut out your friends and family when you start a new relationship. (or two)  It’s easy to isolate when you are dating.  It is important to pour into new relationships, but over time it can become secluding and alienating.  For us, exclusive bonding was and still is crucial.  We need to solidify our roles in our children’s lives, and that takes priority over incorporating other new dynamics into the system right away.  But because of our deep desire to stay connected to our loved ones and invite them into this process with us, we have had to find other ways to include them- sending updates, texting pictures, asking for prayer, looking at family photos, Facetiming, and casual group activities without too much pressure or expectation.  We don’t want to do this alone.  And we want to model community to our girls.
  8. Past relationships need to be honored and not minimized.  When starting a new relationship, we don’t usually want to dwell on past loves, but if we don’t at least acknowledge them, the relationship will suffer.  Making it clear from the beginning that there is room in the relationship for the past creates an environment that is open and promotes healthy relating in the future.  My children have all had lives that precede me.  So has my husband.  This in no way minimizes my relationship with them, and talking about the past when it comes up teaches them that it is not “off-limits” and it doesn’t threaten what we have.  It makes it stronger and more authentic.

My season of dating my daughters is coming to a close soon.  As fun as dating is, I look forward to the relief and comfort of making a symbolic and formal commitment to them.  I remember so vividly a conversation Dave and I had one night before we got engaged.  I felt angsty and unsatisfied about this “in-between” stage of our relationship, and he looked me right in the eyes and said, “This stage won’t last forever.” I felt such relief and peace in that moment.  I hope my daughters feel that soon, too.  In the meantime, I will enjoy this stage for what it is.  And I will keep falling more and more in love with my daughters.

Fields Party of 5: It’s a girl! (And another girl!)

Party of…

IMG_1587 (1)          IMG_1583          IMG_1625

After months of waiting, we have some HUGE news to share.  Our little party of 3 is becoming a party of 5! (I have so many Matthew Fox jokes to insert here since he is my husband’s man crush, but I will stay on task.) We have been matched with TWO (yes, TWO) precious little girls who we adore.  The details of how and when and why are private for now, but here is what I will say: God’s plans are better than our plans, and we are so grateful to have been chosen to parent these precious souls.

Things are about to get crazy in the Fields house!  Our 7-year-old son will be a big brother times two, and we will move from parents of an only child (a fairly self-sufficient one at that!) to parents of THREE kids of different ages with varying degrees of need and diverse interests and unique personalities.  On top of that, we are transitioning from an adoptive family to a transracial adoptive family.  This is both humbling and overwhelming as we think about navigating this world and raising our children in the cultural context in which we live.  We feel painfully ill-equipped, and we are reaching out, in and around for support, guidance and feedback.  My perspective on adoption has evolved significantly throughout this process, and I hope to share more of that in the coming months.  But one thing that hasn’t changed is my deep gratitude to our family and friends and various communities for embracing our family and loving our children. (Even before meeting them!)

Prior to our own experience with adoption 3 years ago, I must admit, I was pretty naïve about many things.  Our learning curve felt very steep, and many of our closest people learned right along with us.  There are tons of amazing resources available to facilitate deeper understanding about the adoption triad (birth parents-adoptee-adoptive parents), as well as specific areas of adoption, like international adoption, transracial adoption, adoption through the foster care system, single-parent and LGBT adoption, legal issues related to the adoption process, and services available for the various stakeholders involved in adoption.  My hope in the coming year is to devote more space on this blog to facilitate discussions, answer questions and invite other voices to share experiences related to adoption.

Surprisingly, despite a positive shift in perceptions of adoption, the number of adoptions in this country has remained about the same for the last 50 years.  The reasons for this are not simple, and I don’t believe that adoption is something everyone should do, but if adoption is something you are thinking about or want to understand more deeply, I hope this blog can link you to the resources, information and support you will need.  In my experience, the most poignant education I have received about adoption and adoptive parenting has come from the lived experiences of others.  So this is mine. Ours.

The girls (the most common reference in our household for our new family members) are not with us permanently yet, but they are very much in our lives and hearts more and more every day.  In the meantime, my family humbly asks for your prayers and positive thoughts as we transition to becoming a family of 5! It will be a huge change for all involved, but a change that we welcome and anticipate with excitement and hope.  Thank you for your care for my family.  It means the world!

Here we go…




To all the kids I don’t adopt

The process of adopting is full of intense and sudden emotions. On our journey to find the next child that will come into our family, there are countless children who need homes that won’t become mine. Some I may see on a website. Others I hear about locally. Still others I will never see a picture of or know their names, but they are still there. Waiting, like me.

This is hard. Devastating. Confusing. It could be a passing conversation with a friend or acquaintance about a child who needs a home. It may be a call from a case worker saying “maybe”, but there is no guarantee. The circumstances may not fit for one reason or another. And then there are times when you just need to slow it down a step to catch your breath, and then the door closes. Thoughtful inaction can lead to missed opportunity. Sometimes, the inaction may not be on my part. I may be waiting for someone else to do their job, to fulfill their role. And then a deadline is missed. An opportunity is lost. A child becomes someone else’s. There are also variables we have to consider as parents to our son. Adding a new family member is a life-altering process for everyone involved, and it requires a layer of sensitivity and care when other children are present. For these reasons and others, there are many children who cross my path (and thousands who don’t) that are not and will not be mine.

How do I make sense of this? How do I go “all-in” and deal with these continual disappointments? How can I keep envisioning possible children in our family only to be let down and skeptical of the whole process? I am sure people in my position have different ways of coping with this aspect of adoption. For me, it comes down to an anchor that I have to lean into if I am going to put myself through this.


There is nothing groundbreaking about this notion, but it is comforting and relieving in the midst of so much uncertainty. I have to trust that life is not arbitrary and random. That if all of life really boiled down to luck or chance or even hard work, then I would be obsessed with doing everything just right and filled with fear and doubt and pressure to make the best move all the time. “If only I had called that case worker back an hour before” or “What if we missed our child because we went out of town and delayed our home study paperwork by a week?” That’s enough to make a person (me) crazy.

There are certainly things I can do and need to do in this process, so I focus on those things.  I make phone calls, send emails, research things online, seek wisdom and counsel from others, continue working on being a good parent to my son and a thoughtful wife to my husband.  I pray. I do what I can do, then I let go of the rest.

I have to remind myself constantly that there is something bigger at work than my own agendas and plans. Sometimes, I feel called to be diligent and relentless and, other times, I feel the need to slow down and trust. It’s hard to discern the difference, which is where community is paramount for me. I need those who know and love me to anchor me, too.  I need people to remind me that my child is out there; that I am not forgotten and neither is she. That I am not waiting alone.

And when I feel my Savior Complex kick in when I think about all of the children who need permanent families in this country, I hold on to my anchor once again. I AM NOT IN CONTROL.  I cannot right all the wrongs in this world, and adopting children is not the only way to seek out justice and show love.  Instead, I can be faithful to fulfill my own life purpose, which I strongly believe involves adopting more kids.  But not 20. Not 200.  Not 100,000.

In order to make peace with the children out there that don’t become mine, I have to hold on to this. I want a family. And for now, my husband and I have made peace with some parameters for what it needs to look like to bring more children into our family. We try to be open to what falls into those parameters, and we push the parameters a little here and there.  We continually check in with ourselves and each other to make sure the parameters are not too tight because of fear or too loose out of desperation.  We want to be thoughtful, hopeful and wise.

In the meantime, as I scroll through pictures on websites or hear stories of children needing homes, I will whisper each name in a breath prayer up to God, and I will honor their story even for just a moment. Because they are valuable and worthy of love. And eventually, it will be my child I whisper a breath prayer for… And the next chapter will begin.


I got no patience. and I hate waiting.

I am not a patient person.  In fact, I can be a bit impulsive and rash at times.  It’s a consequence of being passionate, I tell myself. (And that’s called justification.)  Jay Z summed up the sentiments of our culture in an inappropriate song from my teenage years: “I got no patience.  And I hate waitin.”

Many aspects of today’s culture feed into this personality characteristic quite well.  My most common outlet is Amazon Prime.  Pretty much anything I want, I can get instantaneously streamed or shipped to me within 48 hours.  It takes so little forethought to order presents or to be entertained.

In a streaming culture with the world at our fingertips, waiting seems so passé.

I remember a time when trying to recall what movie a particular actor starred in or the definition of a word or a random sports statistic had to be analyzed and argued about instead of just googled.  I recall my family’s first encyclopedia on cd-rom.  It felt like magic.  So much information in one place accessible to me through my clunky desktop computer.

Most businesses have had to find their own ways of speeding up the wait in order to stay competitive.  Restaurants have apps for reserving tables and even pre-ordering your meal.  Theme parks have fast passes and online access to current wait times for rides and attractions. And despite all the increased efficiency in our society, when we are forced to wait for even a minute, we can fill that wait time with scrolling.  Check Facebook.  Check Instagram.  Check the latest scores. Text. Email. Tweet. Snapchat. (This one gets me. “Here is a picture of me waiting!”)

Waiting isn’t a time to talk or pontificate the meaning of life.  It’s a time to distract. To prevent boredom.  To minimize discomfort.

So what happens when all the technological and societal advances aren’t enough and waiting is unavoidable? In those moments, we have to decide how badly we want whatever we are forced to wait for.

That’s where I am.  Waiting.  When we decided to pursue adoption again, I had a feeling it wouldn’t be so quick or smooth this time around.  That was rare, and I know this now.  We had done our fair share of waiting prior to our son’s adoption.  We struggled through infertility and made an intentional decision to pursue adoption, which involved a lot of paperwork and conversations and classes and tons of little details.  It was not easy.  But looking back, it was not nearly as hard as it is for most.  I see that now, and I honor that.

This time around, our process looks a bit different.  We have a little boy to consider and that means more waiting and praying and exploring and information-gathering.  One of the reasons the adoption process is so intense is that it requires patience and discernment and intention, as well as courage and risk and even impulsivity.  It’s a wait, wait, wait….. GO! sort of process.  And sometimes it’s even a wait, wait, wait.. Go-no wait, maybe go?-no, go back to waiting process.

A question I keep asking myself during this ambiguous and confusing stage is “How am I waiting?”

Am I using this time well or am I biding time?  Am I scrolling and streaming instead of reflecting and praying?

I want to wait well.  Not just in our adoption journey, but in all areas of my life.  I want to be present, but also allow myself to have vision and imagination for the future.  I want to look inward and around instead of down or even straight ahead.  I want to share my waiting experiences with others and not pull away or avoid.  I want to feel uncomfortable instead of numbing myself with distractions and surface-level connection.  I want to lean into my fears and honor the uncertainty of life.  But I don’t want to do it alone.  And I don’t think I am supposed to.

I am not a patient person.  I will continue to use fast passes and call ahead to restaurants and get my tickets on Fandango because these conveniences make life less stressful and rushed for me.  But when I have to wait, I want to wait well.  And in my waiting, I want to be more attuned to those who are waiting, too.  I want to wait with people and invite people to wait with me.  After all, so much of the experience is the anticipation.  When I wait with others, the anticipation feels exciting and connected.  When I wait alone, I am much more likely to feel overwhelmed by the uncertainty and run away.  I can tell you this, I would never wait an hour in line for Space Mountain by myself.

Many things feel scary right now.  What would be most comfortable would be to forget the whole adoption thing and enjoy the comforts of my life as it is.  But that is my fear talking.  My flesh.  My physical body instead of my spirit.  So when things start feeling acutely out of my control, I have to ask myself:

How badly do I want this?

When I dig deep, the answer is loud and clear.  Enough to wait as long as I need to.


adoption quote

A letter to my son’s first mother on Mother’s Day

My becoming a mother came at a high cost to someone else.  And on this Mother’s Day, I want to honor that sacrifice.

My husband and I adopted our son when he was 4 years old. We had the opportunity to meet his biological mother once, which I am grateful for. When I think back to that day, I can remember the pain in her voice. The sadness in her eyes. The mixture of shame and anxiety and regret and fatigue that were evident in her body language and her distant glances. But I also remember her intentionality and the way she carried herself with grace and humility. I saw her son’s/our son’s face in her deep blue eyes. I knew in that moment she would always be a part of me.

As I celebrate my third Mother’s Day, my heart is drawn back to her. I have so many things I want to say to her now, almost three years later. So I wrote her a letter.

Dear J,

There are so many things I want to say…

First of all, our son is amazing. He is a fun and gregarious boy who makes others feel comfortable and valued. He is full of insight and awareness.   He has a beautiful imagination and sense of adventure coupled with a thoughtful care and respect for the world. He draws people in with his ability to connect and his sweet spirit. He is a special boy.

You are not forgotten. I think about you often, and our son does, too. I see it in his eyes. A far off look of wonder and concern. A creased brow. A wide-eyed expression of excitement followed by a pause. A feeling he can’t quite name. A deep connection to his past that will never leave him.

He remembers and so do we.

You are not alone. You carry us in your heart just as we carry you. You are an integral part of my story, and because of that, we will always be connected. Our son keeps you with him in his big smile and his cute nose and his memories. You are always with us.

You are mentioned. I do not pretend you don’t exist or quiet our son from speaking your name. I honor your presence by asking him what he remembers and leaving room for him to speak freely about you whenever he wants or needs to. Every time we meet someone with your first name, he jolts his head up and smiles at me with a knowing glance. He calls you his first mom, and I do, too.

You are still a mother. You gave me the gift of motherhood, and now that I have experienced it, I know I can’t ever go back. I will always be a mother, and so will you. Although he isn’t calling for you in the middle of the night or asking you to tie his shoes, you know the feeling of love for your child. You made choices to protect and support him. You intimately know the pain and guilt of wanting the best for your child and not knowing how to give it to him.

You are still a mother, and you always will be.

I want you to know that you are a precious and valuable human being. I don’t know what you believe about God, but here’s what I believe. He created you. He knows you. He loves you. Your love and sacrifice is a reflection of God’s love and sacrifice, and he hasn’t given up on you. I pray that you know how precious and valuable you are, to me and to God.

Most importantly, know that our son is loved.  As a mother, the most meaningful thing someone can do for me is to love my child. To treat my son with dignity and to honor his journey. To notice him and to value him, not for what he does, but for who he is. To put his needs above her own and to give sacrificially to him. And that’s what I promise you.

I want you to know that our son is loved. And so are you. 

Thank you for making me a mother and for entrusting me with the most profound job of my life.  Our son is growing so fast.  In the blink of an eye, he went from a preschooler with training wheels to a kid riding roller blades.  He is doing well.  We hope you are, too.

Take care,


100_2247        josh skating

Mother’s Day is not easy for many people.  My son’s first mother is just one example of that.  Remember that this weekend. Look around at church or at brunch or the grocery store and show love and compassion to those with far-off looks.  I hope someone does that for my son’s first mother today.

Lord, be with the grieving, with the barren, with the lonely, with the distant, with the orphans, with the broken-hearted… Today and always.

adoption blog 1

Consider this my sonogram

There is big news in the Fields Household! Our family of three is growing, and we couldn’t be more excited about it! I don’t have a belly shot or a sonogram picture to mark this milestone. I am not fighting back nausea and fatigue as I write this, grateful to be moving from the first trimester to the second. There is no big gender reveal party to attend where our friends and family stand by as we cut through the cake to find our destiny in the filling. We didn’t get Josh a cute shirt that says “Big Brother” yet, although I am sure I won’t be able to resist down the road. We haven’t started decorating the room because there are too many unknowns at this point. There is much we don’t know. But there is one thing we do know.


We don’t know who our next child is yet, but we believe that our child is already in the world. This is both exciting and overwhelming to think about. As a parent, I know that there is nothing I wouldn’t do for my kid. I want to be there for this child, but I can’t yet. I want to remind this child that he or she is loved and valued and worthy, but my words cannot yet be heard. I want to hug and kiss and care for this child, but it is not yet time.

So in the meantime, I pray. I pray that God would protect this child that He has predestined for us. I pray that this child would feel comfort and peace and strength beyond comprehension. I pray that God would hurry. And I pray that I would have patience. I pray for my son Josh. I pray that he wouldn’t doubt how much we love and want him as we pursue another child. I pray that he would see and believe that adoption is not and has never been a second choice for us. I pray that he would grow in his security of who he is and his role in our family. I pray that he would pray, too.

It’s complicated. Even our announcement isn’t simple, and I hesitated for a while because I didn’t know what to say. But I decided it’s too important not to announce. We are preparing. That’s what the gestational period is for, and we are pregnant, in a manner of speaking. We made it through the “first trimester” of thinking and daydreaming and feeling a bit queasy. We have moved into the “second trimester”, and things are getting real. Our paperwork is almost finished and we have begun the process of connecting. We are talking to our family and friends, making contact with agencies and other adoption entities, and we are beginning to make room.

The third trimester looks a bit different for adoptive families. I want to nest-to prepare a room, have parties, begin to make plans for work and school schedules, and talk more openly with others about our new child. But there are too many unknowns. I can do a little, but until we get matched with a child, I can’t really paint a wall picture with our child’s initials on it or register at Target. It’s hard to make plans for this summer because it is very possible that by then we will be a family of 4 instead of 3. It could take months or we could get a call next week notifying us of a child who needs a home. There is a lot of uncertainty. But there is also hope and anticipation and energy.

When I see a sonogram picture on Facebook announcing the pregnancy of someone I care about, I feel excited. I also feel included. I feel invited to celebrate this miracle and to begin loving that child.  It symbolizes the transition from an intimate secret known by a select few to a public proclamation of intention and expectation. It says to me that, even though they know things can still happen and there is no guarantee, they are believing that it will happen and wanting others to celebrate with them; to experience it with them.

So this is my sonogram picture. This is my announcement. And this is my invitation for you to celebrate with us.

I started this blog because I believed I had a story to share. It’s a story of love and helplessness and pain and redemption. It’s a story of adoption. And the story continues.

adoption blog 1                      adoption blog 2


dave and karin dancing

I am not cut out for a Long Distance Relationship*

I am not cut out for a long-distance relationship.  I have never really done it.  I have watched many friends go through seasons of extended separation from significant others, and I have always considered these people to be of a stronger constitution than the average person. (namely, me.)  I have so much respect for the commitment and sacrifice that is needed to maintain a relationship (not to mention a family, a house, a life) long-distance.  It’s just never been my journey.

My husband is away for a few days at a work thing.  He has moved in to a new phase in his career that has resulted in more travel.  And by more, I mean “any at all” because he never really had to travel before.

One main reason why it feels so profound to me when my husband is out of town is that we are truly partners.  I have mentioned often that Dave would make a better single parent than I would for many reasons. (As evidenced by the list below.)  But I can survive when he is out of town.  I know what to do and I can manage the family responsibilities on my own for a few days.  I just don’t want to.  I would prefer for him to be here.  I like him.  And his absence is palpable.

Here are some reasons why I miss my husband when he is out of town:

1) There’s no one to finish the last handful of the popcorn in the bag.  I love popcorn so much.  I eat it every night with grated Parmesan on top, just like my Poppy taught me.  But I have convinced myself that I am displaying some degree of self-control by leaving one handful in the bag.  My husband bats clean-up, making me feel better about myself because he technically finished it.

2) I have to make my own coffee in the morning.  I actually enjoy making coffee, but since we have been married, Dave has been setting the coffee timer for about 4:30 am every day.  I am not sure if he means to set it for that time.  But I have come to look forward to pouring my first cup of coffee and having to heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Dave teaching Josh to dust-bust 2 years ago.

Dave teaching Josh to dust-bust 2 years ago.

3) I used to laugh while watching my husband sweep the wood floors every night (yes, he sweeps the floors EVERY NIGHT), but I get it now.  I have taken for granted the freedom to walk around barefoot and not get a small crumb stuck in between my toes.  As my husband likes to say, “How in the world can so much sand get in to one boy’s shoes?!” (I may ask Josh to sweep tomorrow.  He has a bit of his dad’s compulsion to clean if directed effectively.)

4) Ironically, I watched football by myself.  After thousands of times requesting a channel change to “anything but more football”, I couldn’t help myself.  I watched the second half of the national championship game alone.  I think it made me feel closer to him.  Or maybe the indoctrination is finally complete. (After all, I did play Fantasy Football this year.)

5) Our son wanted to wrestle me before bedtime.  Let’s get something straight.  I snuggle.


6) The laundry gets backed up. My husband’s deep love for/obsession with laundry has always been one of his most attractive qualities.  I remember an older friend of mine telling me early in our marriage never to complain about his compulsion to do laundry.  I certainly don’t.  I think I can hold off until he gets home…

7) I miss my friend.  The relational extravert in me misses one of my favorite things about being married- coming home to my best pal every day.

8) Watching The Bachelor without him just isn’t as much fun.  Don’t misunderstand me, I still enjoyed it. But I wished he were sitting next to me, making funny comments and analyzing people with me. (Seriously though, what was the deal with that Ashley girl? Is she on opiates?) Another one of my favorite things about my husband: He boldly admits to watching The Bachelor of his own volition and never acts like he just sits through it begrudgingly because I want to watch it.

9) I stay up way too late because, when left to my own devices, I have little self-control and I get a rush from staying up later than normal and doing whatever I want.  I know, I’m a grown-up.  I can do what I want pretty much any time.  But my rebellious nature loves the thrill of being awake when the world sleeps.  Then I regret it in the morning when my son crawls on top of me and Dave isn’t here to get the day started while I maintain my “Morning Zombie Karin” persona for about 20 minutes.

dave and karin dancing10) I’ve grown accustomed to his face.  Like an old habit or ritual or security blanket.  He’s woven into my fabric now, and it’s just not the same without him. I am not the same without him.

I tend to cringe at the expression “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”.  For some reason, it feels like a game to me.  I picture a teenage girl advising her friend to “just not text him back for a while… Then he will realize how much you mean to him.” (I have a perpetual 16-year-old girl who resides in my head.) But I guess there is some truth to the old adage.  Separation doesn’t make me love my husband more, but it does help me appreciate him in a deeper way.  Missing him feels good and bad at the same time.  I think I like it that way. I hope it always feels like that.

*Alternative title for this blog post: Why my husband is a rock star and I should probably tell him that more often.