Tuesday, February 11, 2014


It's 4:30 in the morning and I'm awake with two songs stuck in my head. Hubby got home at 12:30am and I tried desperately to stay up until he got home from work...which means I got only a few hours of sleep. So, what should one do when they've only had a few hours of sleep? Blog, obviously!

Can I tell you a little-known secret (because, at 4:30 in the morning, I'm ready to get real. How can I be anything less than at the crack of dawn)? I am a song junkie. Hi. My name is Mrs. Howard and I am addicted to music. I wake up singing, use music to get me through my day, and go to bed singing. I've been known to lay in bed stuck on lyrics to songs or drive around the block a time or two because I don't want to stop listening to a song. I use music when I'm stressed to calm my spirit; I listen to it when I feel like I'm going to cry and need to change my mood; and I put it on for the kids when I want us to giggle and dance around in our jammies in the kitchen or after baths. I listen to everything. Rap, pop, rock, blues, classical, country, dance. But my favorites are Christian, acapella, and acoustic guitar. There is nothing more honest or humbling to me than that moment in church when the lights are off, we're standing, and we are singing with our eyes squeezed shut, in a room of hundreds, hands over our hearts. I am addicted to that feeling. Music is such a part of me that it seems only fitting that I actually knew I was going to marry my husband at 17-years-old, when I saw him standing in a room full of 100 people and he was singing for just me. True Story.

So, it isn't unusual that this morning I'd wake up with a soundtrack to my dreams. This is one of the songs I was singing when I woke up:

The other one I've been singing in my head for weeks is Ed Sheeran's Kiss me.

 While we're confessing things...well, I'm confessing and you're listening...there are only a few things that make my heart beat as quickly as it does when I listen to a new song that I connect to. And that is friendship. Have you ever had one of those moments where you've been laughing - like REALLY laughing - with a friend and it just hits you: that overwhelmed, "I am SO blessed" feeling? One of the biggest life lessons I took from losing a baby was that I can't TRULY appreciate the rainbows without the rain. I had to learn to lean on friends when I felt like I couldn't even stand. Because of that, I hold my friendships as sacred. I'm not always the best at it: making it a priority and balancing it with my family life. And goodness gracious have I made some friendship mistakes! But I pick up, dust myself off, and try again. Because, at the end of the day, when we are with our friends, we are whole.

On Saturday night, Mr. Howard, the kids, and I went to a dinner party at a friend's house and I haven't giggled like that in a long time...like really-I-can't-catch-my-breath laughed. I had one of those moments, looking at our friends, where I thought, "How did we get so blessed in this friendship?"

They have two kids and I was able to get my baby fix for a little while (their youngest is eight months old) and if you know any three things about me besides (a) the fact that I am addicted to music and (b) I hold friendships as sacred - it should be that I was meant to be a Mama. I literally cannot recall a time in my life when I wasn't thinking about having babies or becoming a Mommy. Hubby is REALLY trying to talk me out of a fourth baby and so he was more than happy to let me get all my baby cuddles in! He kept encouraging me to hold baby Hunter.

I know this photo is horrible. I snapped it on my iphone and the lighting was off, but here was my little snuggler.

Our friend is an amazing cook. He won't admit it, but I swear he could be a professional chef! ((He had us over when Connor was a baby and even made homemade baby food for him!)) This time he made us a delicious halibut ceviche to start and then chicken and tomato soup with warm toasted tortillas. Everything was amazing!  
I was the designated driver, but you know it's a fun party when the tequila shots (in lilo and stitch shot-glasses) come out. Mr. Howard also had an espresso while we were there (Shayna is an espresso aficionado and has perfected her barista skills) and now he is convinced we NEED an espresso maker. I wonder if we can get one that comes with a Shayna to make them for us. ;-)
The kids had an equally amazing time with their friends. I'm not quite sure they hold their friendships as sacred yet - or laugh until they can't breathe - but hopefully, if I've done anything right - they'll eventually learn. It's sort of a staple in our household of survival. They'll have to learn to dance around our kitchen, laugh until they cry, and belt out a song with their eyes shut tightly - in order to survive our craziness. Because, after all, life is way too short to be anything less than wildly passionate about everything! 
It was pouring rain the whole weekend, so the kids were THRILLED to get out of the house and play with new toys. 
It is our turn to have them over to our new house (we're actually WAY overdue to host them), but I am intimidated to cook for him! I need to spend the next month researching awesome recipes to cook! 


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