Diary of A Mad, Interesting Woman

Welcome to the random (and sometimes ratchet) ramblings in my head about life, love and pop culture.

Tag: wife

For My Love …

Bryan-

For days now I’ve looked for the perfect Valentine’s card to tell you how I feel. After all of these years, it seems that every card “just works” because we’re still in love and we’re happy. But … “just works” has never been our style. Our love is extravagant. Our love defies the odds. Our love is what storybooks are made of. Our love is main stage, principle actor love. It’s the 80’s freeze frame shot at the end of the movie. It’s that intangible thing that people search for their whole lives. And, I’m so incredibly grateful for it.

I’m reminded of your final words and promise to me at the airport when you were moving away to California in 2004 and were unsure of what a long distance relationship would bring, you said, “I won’t let anything happen to us. I love you more than anything in this world.”  And you’ve done just that. Being loved by you is … a miracle. I know there are days I take it for granted and for that I’m so sorry. Life becomes a sea of moments to “get everything done” and there are times that I forget that you’re my priority. You’re my person. Everything that I do in this life is for you. Every step, every decision, every goal, every hope, dream and prayer is fortified by your love. You have given me life, Bryan. I don’t know what this life would have been without you, but I DO know that with you it is full of color. Brilliant, bright color. I’m so blessed. Together we have created something beautiful.

I want to make you happy. I want to make you feel the way you make me feel every day. I feel vibrant, vivacious, fearless and indestructible because of your love. I pray that by some measure, you feel the same. I pray that the love I reciprocate makes you feel every bit of the incredible, loving, powerful, sexy, wise, generous, patient, loyal and kind man that you are. I pray that every morning you are still happy to wake up with me. I pray that every night you look forward to doing the same. I pray that God grants me supernatural wisdom and knowledge to be a blessing to you … just as you’ve been to me.

We don’t really make a spectacle of Valentine’s Day because our love is 365. We don’t need a day to celebrate what we spend every breath honoring. BUT, since it IS Feb 14th and the world is focused on love, I wanted to take a moment to remind you just how much you mean me. How much you move me. How deeply I feel you. How I still want you and need you. And that there’s not a moment that goes by that I don’t thank God in heaven that Keesha looked at me 16 years ago and said, “He’s cute, huh? And SO nice!” Right there. That was all I needed. I took one look at you and I knew. I was young and wild and couldn’t quite diagnosis it, but I knew that you were different. And my God was I right. You are the dream. And you’re mine.

If ever there was a doubt as to how much God loves me, how highly He considers me, how deep His promise is to me, I need only look at you. You are a beautiful, tangible example of His love. Thank you for being an incredible Husband and Father. Thank you for being my best friend. Thank you for making this one shot at life the most incredible experience.

I love you … past my behind, beyond my heart.

Always,
D

P.S. Thanks for the gifts given via the kids this morning. You still know how to surprise me 😉

And the Award Goes to …

Tales in being #WifeoftheYear and the day I made my Husband squeal (for a reason other than the one that just popped in your head)

Hands down, my husband is the greatest man walking the earth (to me). He’s wise, just and fair. He’s level-headed and calm (which is great because I’m generally a nut case 80 percent of the time). He’s a great father and an excellent example of just about everything for the children (which is great because Lillian started cursing at two because of me). He’s funny, sensitive to our needs, a hard worker and a great provider. I know, right?! We hit the jackpot, people!! You know this by my social media posts. Those posts aren’t to brag, that’s our real life! Honest!

My Hubby-Honey deserves all of the good stuff we can find to give him, but life gets in the way at times. Between buying a new house last fall, my brother and sissy-in-loves wedding, keeping up with the children and work schedules that continue to intensify, finding time to “check-in” with each other becomes harder and harder. Even more so, finding time to celebrate / appreciate each other is even harder. BUT, we’ve made the commitment to keep each other first so it’s an imperative that we refuse to let slip.

For Mother’s Day, my husband bought me a new MacBook and accessories.

What the hell am I supposed to do to top that??? It’s not a competition, but IT IS AN EFFING COMPETITION, you know what I mean?! He got the children looking at me like, “Whatcha gonna do for Daddy??” Son of a b*tch! I thought we weren’t spending money like that this year. I was unprepared! I was planning a nice dinner and some kid-free time. You can’t do that after someone surprises you with a new freaking MacBook! And so, I re-calibrated. Time to figure out how I can top his ridiculously awesome gift. This. Is. War!!!!!

I remembered that Dave Chappelle was coming to Atlanta for a week. BINGO! Dave Chappelle is on Hub’s top five list of comedians to see live. YES!

BUT, tickets have been sold out FOR-EVER. DAMMIT!

OH! STUBHUB!!! (note: NOT an endorsement or promotion. A b*tch just remembering her options.)

I race to the site and begin looking at ticket options. HOLY HELL! WHY are people trying to petition a lower left section of my lung and a ventricle for these tickets?! I’m not paying you $700 per seat!! Have you lost your …

WAIT! LOOK! Seats in the third row for less than $300!!

COME THROUGH JESUS! Grabbed the seats and began my plan to make my very reserved, humble, salt of the earth Husband, squeal like a girl.

On Father’s Day, he woke to a full-cooked breakfast and gifts of love from the children. After we ate, he plops onto the couch prepared for his “Daddy Do Nothing Day” (an unspoken rule on celebratory days in the Haley household). Just as he pulled up the blanket, got cozy on the couch and grabbed the remote, I hit him with the old Kansas City shuffle (note: I have no freakin idea if that’s what I did because I’m not actually familiar with what the eff a Kansas City Shuffle is, but it sounds good so let’s just go with it, kay?).

Me: Babe. I need you to go upstairs and pack an overnight bag.

Hubs: Overnight bag? For what?? What’s happening? What’d you do?? *insert excitement*

Me:

Me: Just do it! And pack something for going out tonight. Need you to look nice. We’re leaving in one hour.

Mom comes over as planned and we say goodbye to the children. We head out to the mall to take him shopping, check-in our hotel and grab lunch.

Side note: If you EVER visit Atlanta or need a staycation locally, I highly recommend the Intercontinental Hotel! Service is always great and they have a ham bar. Yes! A. Ham. Bar. Thinly sliced, cured ham served with house-made crackers, whole grain mustard and this dreamy apricot and peach jam. Lawd ta mercy!!! It’s heaven!!!

Back to my story … sorry about that intermission from my inner fat girl.

Hubs: Soooooo … what’s up for tonight?

Me: Welllllllll ….. I wanted to surprise you with a romantic ride on the Atlanta Skyview!!!!!

Now … my Husband does NOT do heights at. all. And the Skyview is a GIGANTIC Ferris Wheel. If a black man could turn white, this would have been the moment when it happened. But, true to form, my Husband would NEVER poo poo something that I’m excited to give him. He loves me too much to make me feel like a gift from my heart isn’t everything to him.

Hubs: OH! *looks nervous* That … sounds great, Babe! I’m sure it’ll be … *gulp* GREAT!

Me: JUST KIDDING!!! YOU HAVE THIRD ROW SEATS TO SEE DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAVE CHAPPELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLE!!!!!!!! TONIGHT!!!!!

Hubs:

We head to the show and have a wonderful time. The opening act was a girl who could only be described as a dirtier, darker Amy Schumer. I loved her. The second act was a guy named Mo Amer who has appeared on the Late Night with Colbert. He KILLED it. We laughed SO hard. My face was hurting when he left the stage.

And then it happened.

DJ Trauma (Chappelle’s tour DJ) said something about “From Broad City” and I felt my Husband’s body tense. All of a sudden, Hannibal Buress walks out and my dear, sweet husband let out an audible man squeal.

BEST. MOMENT. OF. MY. LIFE.

And then … there was Chappelle.

He was incredible!! He’s clearly having a glorious moment in his career. He tackled issues of relationships, politics and more. It was such a great thing to experience together. And like a kid enjoying his favorite activity in the world, my Honey soaked in every minute. My shy, introverted, reserved Husband gabbed ALL THE WAY BACK to the hotel about how much he enjoyed it. His exuberance was infectious. And cute.

We ended the night with a ridiculous room service spread that should have fed five people, but we were high off laughter and didn’t want the fun to end. We talked and talked, laughed about nothing and then … he made me squeal … (and yes, I mean THAT … this time … *side eye glance and wink at your dirty mind*). #marriedandunashamed

While I thought it would certainly merit a fair share of “thanks Babes” for a night with Chappelle, I didn’t realize how much it would mean to him. This night was more than a cool experience. It told my Husband that I’ve paid attention to what delights him and THAT was what made the gesture, the element of surprise and the actuality of the experience so much more special. I paid attention during a time in our lives when doing so has become harder and harder as we get busier and busier. I paid attention.

And so, I humbly accept the award for #WIFEoftheYear. I’d like to thank my Mama for always rolling through in a clutch to keep these kids. I’d like to thank my covenant partners and friends who have been in marriage MUCH longer than me because they constantly remind me not to sleepwalk through my relationship, and never take it for granted. I’d like to thank my children for being well behaved enough that people will still babysit them. Shout out to Dave Chappelle and Hannibal Buress for sealing the deal on this much deserved honor. And, I’d like to thank my Husband, for making it so damn easy to want to  lean into him. To pay attention to him. He’s worth every moment of effort.

Love you. Mean it.

@AskthePRGirl

All gifs sourced from Giphy

 

Introducing “AskThePRGirl”

dear-abby-sample

It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t left you …

Soooooooo … it’s been a few weeks!  Life got really busy for me.  Work has been so busy I’ve barely had time to breathe!  Trying to manage my personal and professional life has been a seriously difficult task.  Thank the good Lord for my husband who has stepped in to be Mr. Mom.  He’s been taking the baby to school and picking him up.  He’s been “cooking” :-).  He’s been my right hand.  My  rock.  I couldn’t do this … be this brilliant … shine this bright without his support.  I love you, Bryan … more than anything in this world.

When I was a little girl, I used to LOVE the “Dear Abby” column in the newspaper.  I would wonder, “Who is this woman who knows everything from the best cleaning tips to etiquette to relationship and family advice?! She’s amazing!”  She was my idea of the “perfect” woman.  Well … my Mom, Claire Huxtable and Abby.  They were my top three.  Abby was sensible and never chastised too harshly.  She seemed loving, and from what I remember, showed an endearing level of honesty that I truly respected.  I always dreamed that one day I would be her.  I just knew that I would be able to eventually provide my own quirky, tell-it-like-it-is advice to all people.  So today feels pretty cool to realize that dream in my own little way.

Allow me to introduce “AskThePRGirl”, a place where you can talk to me about anything.  I’m a wife, mother, sister, friend, executive and woman of God (when I’m not being incredibly ratchet).  I have experienced SO many things in my life and one of my “gifts” (and we all have many) is prescribing a good dose of loving and common sense advice for just about anything.  I’m not always right, but that’s not my goal.  My goal is to listen, or rather, let you know there’s someone here to listen.

This is a judgment free zone so feel free to ask me anything.  Your identity will be protected so never worry about that. If I know, I’ll share. If I don’t, I’ll tell you, and even better, I’ll pray with you.  I’m not here to solve your problems.  I’m here to be an objective, loving sounding board or simply provide best practices that I’ve learned through ALL of the roles I carry.  Once a month (or as my schedule allows), I’ll answer a few of the questions submitted through DM on Twitter (follow me @AskThePRGirl) or email (dhaley@haleygroupllc.com). And don’t fret! This is in addition to my other schedule weekly posts :-).

Let’s get started!  Below are a few questions that I received the past few weeks:

Dear AskThePRGirl – My man and I have been together for many years.  It seems that since the birth of our children, we don’t talk or hang out as much as we used to.  And our love life has slowed as well. I really miss that.  I miss him and us. What should I do to turn things around before too much time goes by and we just don’t know each other anymore?

Thanks, WorriedAboutUs*

Dear WorriedAboutUs – First, you should know that you’re experiencing something that every relationship encounters, especially once you introduce children: a lack of intimacy.  I would first caution against a few things that women tend to do when our men ain’t (yes I said “ain’t”) acting right or when the relationship is not giving us what we need.

  1. Don’t nag him. Much like you, he’s tired and doing his best to take care of the family and make it to the weekend. Nagging him makes him likely to avoid communication with you at ALL costs which defeats the point. By nagging, I mean complaining about the state of the relationship at really inappropriate times. For example, when he FIRST steps in the door after work.  He doesn’t want to hear your mouth as soon as he gets home any more than you want him climbing on top of you after a day of house cleaning, wrangling the children and the 365 million other things you take care of in a day. #RealTalk
  2. Don’t communicate the issue using EVERY OTHER communication tool BUT communication.  What do I mean? He asks you to pass the salt at the dinner table and you angrily slide it down the table.  You snap at him for the smallest things.  You start fights about things you wouldn’t normally fight about. Don’t cower to your feelings and insert randomness and chaos into your relationship by refusing to clearly communicate your concerns.
  3. Don’t withhold sex as punishment. Sex is where you two can commune, look into each other’s eyes and speak without speaking.  It’s such a critical part of your relationship and certainly the part that speaks the loudest to your man.  Please believe … what I can’t audibly tell my husband is communicated when we are intimate. I make sure he “feels” me. Understand? 😉

My quick and dirty advice: be the example and tell him how you feel. Don’t start the conversation when he’s tired and he’s had a LONG day.  Schedule a date night.  Get someone to watch the kids and make reservations at a nice restaurant.  Use that time to talk about things.  Not just about what’s “wrong” with the relationship, but about everything!  Ask him how he’s been.  Ask about how work is going and if he’s still happy at work.  Plug into him and show him (rather than tell him) the type of communication and intimacy you’re seeking.  Do for him exactly what you’d like done for you.  And do it often!  The best way to teach behavior is to demonstrate it again and again.

Know that it will take time and it will not happen overnight, but the more you invest the effort, the more it will become clear that you need this shift in your relationship.  And while men are simple and sometimes must be hit by a rock to get things, I’m sure your man will eventually tune back in to the need to restore intimacy in your relationship.

dividerDear AskThePRGirl,

I feel an insane amount of guilt every time I stop at a drive-thru window on the way home from work to feed my family.  There is simply not enough time in the day to do everything and I find myself having to cut corners on the things I deem important like cooking for my kids and taking care of my home.  My house has been a mess for weeks now. I clean as much as I can, but my focus tends to be on what’s necessary to make it through the week.  You’re a Mom. Do you feel guilty when you can’t be the “perfect” Mom?

Thanks, Imperfect Mom*

Dear Imperfect Mom,

Join the club, lady! I hear you and I feel you.  My house looks like a modern day war zone on most days. My kid has eaten more fast food than ANY parent should deem safe.  My family used to get home cooked meals at least 4 – 5 days a week. These days, we eat out WAY too often.  I can’t seem to get the laundry done before it piles up and needs to be done ALL over again. My friends tease that I need a nanny and a housekeeper, but I’m not comfortable having another woman in my house doing the work that I’m supposed to handle.  I know it’s crazy, but as I discussed in my past blog entry “I Don’t Know How She Does It”, I wanted to be just like my Mom. She worked, raised us and took care of everything in the home.  And she was a single parent! I have help and I’m still beyond exhausted most days. But, my desire is to be my family’s hero. I want my husband to beam with pride that I bring home a little bacon and I STILL cook in the bedroom. I want my son to think Mom can leap tall buildings and still make his lunch every day.  The reality is that life just doesn’t work that way.  The good thing is that my husband sees my flaws daily and he still thinks I’m perfect.  And, my son still hangs the moon on all of my words whether he eats McDonald’s or Mama’s meatballs.  I’m learning (and I’m still a work in progress) to let myself off the hook.  As long as there is love in my home, it doesn’t have to look perfect.  As long as my family is healthy and smiling, then my most important job has been done.

So … damn the laundry.  When I can’t get to it, I buy my son new stuff. Is it smart? No. Does it make my life easier? Yes!  Research healthier fast food options or on-the-go meals like they those at Trader Joes and Whole Foods so that you don’t feel so bad that you didn’t hand make the meatballs.  Hire a housekeeper. Even if she only comes once a month, that’s better than nothing at all and certainly, if you’re anything like me, more times than you’ve actually cleaned that month.

Let yourself off the hook.  You don’t have to be THE perfect Mom to be a perfect Mom. Cross my heart. 🙂

dividerHey AskThePRGirl! What are you reading these days? Thanks, NeedAGoodBook*

Dear NeedAGoodBook,

When I have a moment to read, I am ALL ABOUT author Beth Kery’s new series When I’m With You. It’s an eight part romance series and it is hot as all hell. I like my romance and I like it dirty … and NO ONE is more deliciously dirty that my girl @BethKery.  If you like a little kink with your love story, I definitely suggest you try her work.  She is absolutely brilliant and will keep the sizzle in any relationship. I think my husband would kiss her if he could just to say THANKS! 🙂

If you’re looking for something a bit more self-help-ish / “I am woman hear me roar”, I would suggest Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg. My friend @MsRobertsIsThe1 suggested it to me and I can’t wait to dig in.  It’s next up on my Kindle. I have heard of Sandberg’s infamous TEDTalk and I look forward to learning how this “Wonder Woman” addresses women in business and our potential to be true leaders. I’ll be sure to review it on my blog real soon.

That’s all for now folks!  Be sure to submit your questions through DM to @AskThePRGirl or email them to dhaley@haleygroupllc.com.

Love you. Mean it.

P.S. I can’t even begin to describe how amazing this moment is. I just got a chance to be “Dear Abby”. I hope I made her proud 🙂

*Names created by AskThePRGirl to protect the identity of submission