Momma’s Hot Date

Pull out the date night red lipstick, I have a hot date. It is the kind of date where I first drop the baby off at MiMi’s house. The kind of date where we already have a baby, and the baby is eight. 

I try my best to rush to meet him at home, but there is traffic. So, I sip my afternoon coffee. I’ll need one to stay up past “school night bedtime.”  I flip through the radio station, but I can’t find the LOVE songs!  

I hear songs about meeting for the first time, plenty rockin’ one night stands, and a having sex to say goodbye song (are we for real?!) I’m a girl, a sappy  girl headed on a date with my man, where are the love songs?

I want to hear a song about someone that has known each other more than a first hot glance, hey, what about someone that is…let’s say it, already married?  I want to hear about love, real love, love that has made it through the hard times, love that actually knows their date’s middle name and has met their momma. 

Surely we are not the only ones that have gone on more than a first date. Surely there could be a love song about more than a one night stand on the radio. 

Coming from someone that has been married for thirteen years, and plans to make it a whole lot more, LOVE IS MUCH MORE ROMANTIC THAN LUST!

The honeymoon isn’t over after having a baby. It grows. 

Love doesn’t leave. It stays. Love forgives. 

Love is like wine. It gets better with age. 

Real gentlemen do still exist and true love can be found. 

Singers, sing a song about my man working hard for a living for his family.  

Writers, write about that sexy man rocking his baby to sleep in the middle of the night. The man that loves that baby’s Momma, even when she has no makup on. And would chose her any day over the newer model. 

I wanna hear the song about:

Even now, I still chose you. Even that, can’t make me leave. Even he, has nothing to offer over you. ‘Cause you’re my man. Always have been, even before I met you. Always will be. ‘Cause God himself made us for each other. No one else shares these memories. No one else has been with me through that. No one else could ever be her Daddy. So, you may have seen these heels before and maybe this restaurant isn’t new. And we might have a hard week behind us.  

But you are my man, and tonight you are my date. And tomorrow, you will still be my man. And we are living a real love song. 

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A Link to My Longest Writing Ever

I have entered my novel into a contest.  If you like what you read here, please visit the link below and download my book FOR FREE!  Each download gives me a vote.  THANK YOU!  I hope you enjoy what you read.

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It’s Not About Me, It’s Not About Her

I could not have been happier to be the newly wed, trying to squeeze all our wedding gifts into our teeny tiny little one bedroom apartment.  I was in total bliss, as I would have been anywhere, because we were finally TOGETHER!

Not only was I anxiously awaiting being married, I just wanted to be with my man!  James and I had agonizingly endured six months in a long distance relationship, separated by a fourteen hour drive.  Ahhhh!  My body and my heart longed to have him with me!

When wedding bells finally rang and our honeymoon cruise ship had set sail and then returned home, we began our life together.  James drove off to his first real job to support our family of two and I finished college (tail between my legs, I am that girl!  but hey, I did finish in the end.)  Part of my more flexible schedule included the responsibility of building our new home for us to enjoy together.  OK, well home keeping is still my job and he can’t have it (I love it!)

So, I am going about new dishes stacked neatly in the cabinets, putting approximately eleven holes in the wall to hang one new picture, even enjoying doing laundry for two (that much has changed.  More of it and I can’t say I enjoy that anymore.)….and then I pull out the new bathroom rugs, the very ones I had registered for, but umm, yikes.  I had two rugs for this absolutely, ridiculously small master bathroom and neither one of them would fit without having to be folded completely in half!

So, let’s make a long story short:  I returned them.  For a new lamp.

Hey, I was liking my new exchange.  The living room looked brighter and more decorated than when James left for work.  And I thought he would be pleased with my exchange, my home cooked meal, and ME forever.  And life would forever be bliss.

I do believe it was the first time he spoke to me that his voice wasn’t complete admiration and adoration, “Caaaaaroooooline…..” I hear him yelling from the bathroom later that evening, “Where is the bathroom rug?!!!”

I thought my explanation of the return for the lamp was quite enough but he stared at me dumbfounded, “Where am I supposed to stand when I brush my teeth?!”

And although a small incident, I learned that my marriage would not be perfect.  We are two humans that think differently (oh how little did I know!), we act and shop and interact with family and spend money and joke and reason and even brush our teeth differently.  Which, let me be honest, took a while to iron out…and we still ain’t perfect.  Perhaps, it is just that knowledge that has been an aide to our marriage and a relief to my idealist mind.

So, wrap it all up, marriage taught me that life is not just about me.  There is an us.

James and I were strolling about a happy marriage that we were starting to get figured out.  I had, FINALLY, graduated from college and was working in an amazing school.  We were happy DINKS.  Double Income No Kids.  And then our happy life got even better:  Madison!

I had already grown in maturity through this marriage thing.  I was raised in a family with eight children, I nannied a family for four years with four children ages five and under, I was an elementary teacher with a freakin degree in Kids, I WAS GOING TO ROCK THIS MOMMY THING!

And then something happened:  MADISON!

She could care less what my background was!  She was not impressed with our happy marriage.  She didn’t care to be “polite” when there was company around.  Madison was not concerned with the fact that I had not eaten all day or that it was the VERY MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, or that I was in public with spit up covering my shirt and pants and arms!  Madison was concerned with one thing and one thing only:  Madison!

But even though she was selfish (let’s face it, newborns are selfish) and even though I took great pains to bring her into this world (and she has yet to thank me) and even though she is the most expensive thing that James and I ever invested in and even though she required more out of me than anything, I LOVE THAT LITTLE GIRL MORE THAN LIFE ITSELF!  There is absolutely nothing in this world that I would not do for her!  There is absolutely nothing she could do to lose my love AND NOTHING SHE COULD DO TO EARN IT!

Wow!  Is that how Jesus loves me?!  NO!  HE LOVES ME MORE THAN THAT!

So, if marriage taught me there is an “us.”  Being a mom taught me there is something even bigger than us!  James and I have a purpose that exceeds our great marriage.  We have a baby to raise!  We had to “grow up.”  Less dates, less sleep, less money…there is someone else to think about FIRST.

And life went on.  I wanted the best for Madison!  She must have squeaky shoes to teach her to walk, she must have healthy food to nourish her body, and swim lessons for my little fish, and friends to teach her to share, and this and that and more.

But then something happened, Jesus took my firm grip on my daughter and loosened one little finger.  Madison wanted to do things that were mean.  She didn’t want to speak kindly to her cousin when she was upset.  Shocker to me!  My daughter is a sinner!  And then even good things, “Mom, I want to swim in one of those cages with sharks in the water!”

“NO! NO! NO!”  That was not the plan that I had!  She wanted geckos for pets and to wear Nike shorts when I wanted her to wear a dress, and her plan for the day was not exactly my plan.  And Jesus loosened one more finger!

And bit by bit by little bit, I learned something:  It is not about me, it is not about my husband, and it is not EVEN about my daughter!  I love them both so much, so very much!  But it is not good for me and not good for them for me to make them an idol and give them the responsibility of being my god!

IT IS ABOUT JESUS!

So, my darling husband, I long so very much to be a wife after God’s own heart.  I desire to be a 1 Corinthians 13 wife, whose love is full of patience, kindness, humility, and all the qualities that can only be from God and not myself.  My baby girl, I want God’s plan for you, not my own!  He made you so absolutely amazing and he has a plan for you that is so much greater than my plan!  IF HE makes you a marine biologist that swims with sharks, I want to support that!  (OUCH!)

My family, I surrender you to God.  Lord, never let me be a stumbling block to those that I love the most!  I want to be a servant that seeks ways to be helpful, not demanding my own way.  I want to be wisdom that is godly advice.  I want to be an example to my daughter of God’s grace, forgiveness, and power that can come from no one other than him!

Lord, be a miracle in me so that those that know my weaknesses more than anyone would look at me and claim, “Wow!  That is God himself at work, because Caroline could never do that!”

Wonderfully Wrecked

My heart skipped a beat, my breath stopped, and my brain studdered. I stared in complete admiration of the man that stood before me. I could not take my eyes off him. Khaki pants and a red button down shirt. Dressed up for the special night at King College and just standing there in my path. He might as well have been wearing a president’s mask and holding an automatic because that is the night he stole my heart. 

Twenty year old Caroline lay stoic on my dorm room bed staring up at the white ceiling. I was holding my 2001 cell phone to my heart as a lonely tear slipped down the side of my face and then the gun fired and the race horses bolted through the metal gate. Tears raced down my face like the Kentucky Derby. I had a countdown. Four weeks and six days. Four Weeks and six lonely, miserable days. My love was fourteen hours away. I would see him again in four weeks and six days but I would die if I did not see him in the next minute. 

A proposal on his knee, a white dress walked down the isle and promised forever, and purchasing our first old one bedroom condo. I thought I was the richest woman in those newly wed days, pinching pennies to buy things for our home and making do with what we had. But immensely, lavishly, spoiled rotten in love, which is far greater than money. 

My life was wonderfully wrecked by this outrageously beautiful dream come true that has her Daddy’s smile. Miracle of miracles, she medically never should have been born. But one more time, God’s blessings did not depend on human logic. In one more way, she bonds and holds us together as we share the greatest responsibility of a human life we both adore. Her logical mind is due to her Daddy and her hosting spirit must belong to me. Her life and her smile and her blonde hair is because of us. 

Every other day I am grumpy and moody and outright mean. I demand and pout and insist on my way. And every single day, this man choses me. He listens to my rants and gives and serves and loves. Hot fresh coffee early in the morning, making new dreams on a Friday hot date because our old ones have already come true, a new handmade coffee table in my living room, and laughing til I’m crying with him when I should already be asleep.  

If love is an attraction, I have loved the deepest. Could love just be a desire to be together?  Then I have been made one. Is love promising my life to him?  Then that duty is done. But could love be a miracle of something otherwise that never could be?  Well then, she walks among us smiling so innocently. But I have come to realize, maybe love is when I am at my worst and he still choses me. 

It can’t be defined nor wrapped up and contained, but one thing is certain, I have been loved beyond explaining and I love beyond words. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY FAVORITE MAN IN THE WHOLE WORLD!  I LOVE YOU JAMES!  

I am the Biggest Feminist of Them All

The 6:15 alarm is painful. I am NOT a morning person. Hair sticking up, eyes still closed, and promising myself that “Tonight, I WILL get to bed early!” I drag myself into the bathroom. A few minutes later, my husband arrives with a hot mug of coffee. I’ve been waiting on it. I expect it.

Rick Johnson writes to dads in his book, “That’s My Girl,” telling them to teach their daughters how to expect to be treated. He tells a story of his then high school daughter stopping at the door outside of her high school waiting, waiting…most of the boys not knowing what was happening. Eventually, one of them would get a clue and open the door for her.

I recently wrote a post about James taking Madison to a Father – Daughter Dance. It included car doors opened for her, it included flowers, being guided through the dance floor and showing her that she is loved and protected.

I am one of the extremely small minority that has the immense blessing of being a stay at home mom. I have been supported in spending my days taking care of our family and teaching our daughter, while James works hard to financially provide for our family. This has allowed me the immense pleasure of pursuing my dream of writing. When my GPS acts up, I call my husband expecting him to guide me through directions, and he does. If the TV is turned on, I am getting a back massage. I expect to be protected, provided for, and just plain pampered.

“Oh, that is just you. You have no idea what most other women have to endure!” Yes. You are right.

“Women should be allowed to pursue a career.” Yes. I agree with you.

“You think women are weak.” No. I do not believe that at all. I do believe men and women, boys and girls, are different. But they are both strong in their own way.

Women’s Rights. Yeah, I believe in them! But sometimes I am just not sure what the Feminist Movement is fighting for. Those women look at someone like me and say, “You don’t need a man. Stand up for yourself.” So, my response: NEED? No. I could do this life on my own, but why in the hell would I want to when THIS is an option?!

So, you have decided you want this also? But there are not many men out there like James? Trust me, I know. There are a lot, a LOT, of jerks out there that think that women are only good for one thing. Do not accept that! Do not accept all men are like that, because they are NOT! Be a feminist and demand a man that respects you. Demand a man that will love, protect, provide, and pamper you. Women, realize just how strong you are. If this is what women demanded of men, trust me, they would change. Because, after all, we are women.

I am published!  Please click on the link below for more information and to purchase

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_15?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=caroline+hendry&sprefix=caroline+hendry%2Caps%2C186

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The Biggest Date of the Year

Last night, I found myself curling hair and giving advice to my seven year old daughter. “Madison, make sure you have good manners. Please take lots of pictures so I can see everything. And make sure you say thank you.” Madison had her first dance. Her date was Daddy.

James purchased the tickets. I ordered a pink dress that Madison kept a secret and kept hidden until the unveiling. Day of, James purchased a bouquet of fresh and gorgeous flowers.

Madison was counting down the days. She couldn’t wait until her date with Daddy. The fancy smancy YMCA father Daughter Dance. It was a big event. Madison was ecstatic to learn that so many of her friends would attend. It was the event of the year, after all. But she promised to keep her focus on Daddy and she promised to do lots of dancing.

An hour before they were to leave, Madison and I gathered in my bathroom. Her new dress looked beautiful! Then we stood giggling and taking selfies while I spent a good amount of time curling and fixing her hair. A little of Mommy’s lipstick was the finishing touch. With an announcement, she ran to present herself to her Daddy. He was waiting with flowers.

After lots of pictures, I sent them on their way. Fighting tears, I knew this was so much more than a fun night for the two of them!

Fast forward, for my sake, let’s just say many many years. For my sake, let’s emphasize many. Madison is dating. Or about to go on her first date. Or starting to “notice boys.” Let me tell you, THAT BAR IS SET HIGH! First of all, why would Madison ever date a jerk?! “My Daddy dates better than that!” She will expect flowers. She will expect her door to be opened. She will expect to be treated with respect, to be honored, and adored!

Madison is loved. She knows so, she is told every morning when she is woken. She is told every afternoon she is picked up from school. Her cheek is kissed as she is read to and tucked into bed. A dress is ordered and flowers are delivered in her honor. Madison will not go looking for love, it has been lavished on her since we knew she was in my belly!

No. James and I are not perfect parents. Far from it! No, we do not have a perfect daughter. Yes, she will make mistakes in life.

But my little girl, my Madison, she is amazing! She is beautiful! Good grief, she has a smile that will melt any heart! She is smart, I’m not just saying that, that seven year old has me on my toes! She is strong, athletic, kind, outgoing, serving, my girl is amazing!

Daddies! Date your daughters! Their husbands will thank you one day! (And they will be amazing men to achieve that status!)

A Hot Date with Cancer

I hit the town with my man. He is hot. I mean, he is that guy that turns heads and he is mine. How did I get him?! Not only is he hot but he is the whole package!

Babysitter for the night, we freshened up in our hotel room for the night then headed to Maggianos. Yum and fun. We took a “seat yourself booth” beside the bar and we ordered drinks. I needed a drink. Then we ordered some comfort food. We laughed and we looked …normal. We looked like a couple with a babysitter having a date. Well, my man knows how to treat me and we were not done after dinner. We hit up the Kroger for some dark chocolate for me, gelato for him, and we mixed and matched a six pack for us to share. We laughed and held on to each other. “This would not be fun with anyone but you.” His simple compliments mean the world to me.

Seeing us here, someone would almost think we were normal. I feel better than that. I feel like I have conquered the world. And so I owe the world to my husband. Because I am not wearing this scarf to make a fashion statement. When we return to the room and I pull it off, I am hiding a fresh scar and a swollen incision. And we have not traveled seven hours for our fun night on the town. I have a post op. appt. tomorrow at Duke.

But I strut through this town like I own it. And I walk through the doors of Duke University Hospital like I have an honors degree here. And I chat with the leading surgeon in MEN2A Cancer like we are BFFs. Because I can do anything. I can have cancer. And the very best husband in the whole entire world just makes it feel like one hot date.