Tag Archives: Husband

Male Nesting?

Pregnancy!  Can a husband feel anymore helpless than when his wife is pregnant?!  Sometimes I just felt ashamed because Julia was having to go through so much to bring our two sons into this world.  A lot of times I felt tremendously blessed that I am a man and not a woman.  There is NO WAY I could ever endure a pregnancy; hats off to all you Moms in the world.  So, what is a man to do as he watches his wife endure exhaustion, vomiting, nausea, hormone changes, vision changes, emotional ups and downs, body changes, weight gains, pregnancy brain, and all sorts of aches and pains?  Aches and pains such as feet swelling, back pain, hip pain, sciatica nerve pain, leg cramps, lack of sleep, heartburn, and not to forget the pain of actually having the child! 

I have heard of men experiencing sympathy pains and sympathy gains.  Mysterious pains that are an exact replica of their pregnant wife’s ailments.  Non-mysterious weight gains to equal their wife’s added weight.  I assume all of this is an attempt to mitigate that sometimes shameful feeling of complete and total helplessness.  But my question is this, have you ever heard of sympathy nesting?  Yes, sympathy nesting.  Instead of the pregnant wife preparing the home for the new arrival, the man turns into so much of a handy-man machine that he actually allows himself to see the end of the never-ending honey-do list.  I never thought seeing the end of the honey-do list was humanly possible, but when male nesting kicks in anything is possible.  Check out what I was able to knock out in about 10 days, just before Summit was born.

Not even included in this fancy slide show was my handy work in re-caulking the bathtub, extensive backyard fence repair, changing out broken deadbolt locks, and repairing the broken toilet paper holder.  You might be thinking, “Taylor, this really isn’t that much”!  But please remember, I haven’t done this much handy man work in two years.  Thanks to sympathy nesting I did all of this work in 10 days! (Infomercial coming soon)

This whole nesting thing might not be a big deal for a lot of you men out there, but this sudden burst of “get it done” intensity was a big thing for me in two ways.  First of all, home projects are not my favorite thing to do.  The last thing I want to do after a day at work is come home and rebuild the fence or re-caulk the bathtub.  The second reason, I am not the handiest guy in the neighborhood. I am so not handy that I use Handy Manny episodes as instructional videos on how to fix things around the house.  Never heard of Handy Manny?  Shepherd introduced me to him about 6 months ago.  Handy Manny is a cross between Dora the Explorer and Ty Pennington.  Check the Handy Manny trailer.

If I had to choose between sympathy pains, sympathy gains, and sympathy nesting, I would definitely choose the nesting every time.  I wouldn’t have to keep my feet propped up, ice down my lower back, experience a bad case of heart burn, or join Weight Watchers.  I think Julia would force me to make the same choice.  Think about it for a quick second, now she can add so much more to the honey-do list! 

So men of pregnant women get your nesting on, because after the baby arrives you won’t have time for anything else!


Lipstick and Six Years

Victim of a Shepherd Circumstance

This post begins exactly were the last one left off.   It was about seven o’clock in the morning and I believe the post ended with this line, “Now, off to clean up the lipstick  Shepherd just used to paint the carpet and himself! No joke – Julia is going to love this one”!  As I was finishing things up, I looked over to see Shepherd at my side, maroon lipstick all over his hands, giving his uh-oh uh-oh speech with an inquisitive “how in the world did this happen” expression on his face.   Since you can’t find lipstick at a BassPro Shop, I knew this was a job for Julia.  I walked back to the bedroom to wake Julia up for an amazing morning.  Her day began with a blurred view of my face and the muffled sound of my voice saying, “Babe, how do you get lipstick out of carpet? And by the way, happy six-year anniversary”! Yep, that is how far we have come in six years! No longer are anniversary mornings beginning with a good sleep-in, followed up with breakfast in bed and a peaceful cup of coffee.  It is now a 6:30 am wake up call from a two-year old down the hall, a uh-oh, and lipstick in the carpet that jump starts the anniversary.  The battle to celebrate six amazing years of marriage was officially a go!

Valentine’s Day and our anniversary day are big productions in the Faught marriage.  These days are usually celebrated by a weekend getaway, fancy dinner, or a crazy fun date night.  This is just one way we try to keep each other and our marriage first.  After six years, really after having two young children, these special days have become something we desperately have to fight for to make good on.  We have to fight our children, stress, sickness, and ourselves to happily celebrate these special days. 

Our day began with no rest or relaxation.  We jumped right into cleaning permanent lipstick out of the living room carpet.  We then continued to chase around, for some unknown reason, an extra ornery Shepherd through the house.   We had a lovely non-peaceful breakfast with scrambled eggs, toast, sausage, and tears being thrown on the floor.  Shortly after breakfast, the decision was made to attend the annual Siloam Springs Dogwood Festival.   So, we have a dirty house, a toddler on the loose, a crying newborn, and a mission to head out the door in less than an hour.  Of course, this creates an opportunity for an explosive marital conversation on who is going to do what and how we are going to get out the door with a clean house, babies packed, and diaper bags in tow.  We then leave for the Festival and return for naps.  Three hours later, Shepherd wakes up from his nap with a fever (this explains his extra craziness).  Not only does he wake up with a slight fever, but we have family pictures to attend with Julia’s family that includes 8 children, 6 out of the 8 being 2 years old or younger.  There is one word to describe family pictures with 8 young children and the word is INSANITY. 

So, here we are after a long stressful day wondering if we will even celebrate our big day.  Our plans for using family for babysitting are useless, since you can’t have a sick toddler around everyone else’s kids.  Our anniversary date night out on the town was doomed and it looked like we would be regulated to a big glass of wine and an early arrival to a good night sleep.  Thankfully, Julia had a backup plan and an amazing anniversary present for me.  Since I am extremely paranoid that life and children will come before our marriage, Julia gave me eight envelopes filled with pre-designed date nights from The Great Date Experience, provided by Married Life Online  (I highly recommend checking the website out, and more to come on this in the near future).  What an amazing idea and relief to a paranoid husband! We ended up putting the boys down early and using one of the envelope date nights for a home date to celebrate six years.  It turned out to be one of the best dates we have enjoyed in recent memory.  

A wise mentor once told me that marriage gets hard when you have multiple kids and each spouse is stressed from the events of the day.  It is at these times that your marriage is truly put to the test.  So many times throughout the day Julia and I said to each other, “We are not going to let this lipstick bother us!”  Wether it was lipstick in the carpet, food on the floor, a tense conversation about family duties, sick kids, or family pictures, we were going to fight for our anniversary and marriage.  Thankfully, by the grace of God, we conquered that battle and we have hope to win the war!


A Summit of My Own

 

 

Every summer a group of men from our church take a trip to hike a 14,000 foot mountain in Colorado.  The name of the trip is creatively and cleverly dubbed The Man Trip.  This  trip is a “Man Trip” in every single way.  All done within 72 hours the round trip covers 1700 miles and spans over 25,800 feet in elevation change.  Some guys take off from Arkansas on an early Friday morning, arrive at base camp Friday evening,  hike the 14er on Saturday, and return home by Sunday evening.  Seems a little crazy? Absolutely, but this is what happens in a trip that includes over 20 men and 0 women or children to slow them down! 

I set my eyes on conquering Man Trip 6 months in advance.  I gained “clearance from Clarence” (aka Julia), scheduled a day off work, and decided on a training regimen. Of course, a trip like this takes some training to develop leg strength and respiratory stamina to handle the mountain incline and the thin Colorado air.  So, my training goal was to conquer the dreaded JBU stairs. The stairs located on the John Brown University campus are 100 hundred steps that have a monstrous incline.  I planned to conquer the stairs by running 10 up and downs with out a break; I was certain this would prove my readiness for Man Trip!  

In the six months leading up to Man Trip several hurdles were thrown into my path to impede my training and the hurdles convinced me to abandon the manly excursion.  The first hurdle was a badly sprained ankle, acquired in a pick up basketball game with kids half my age!  After a long and slow recovery,  I was still determined to conquer Man Trip and I quickly resumed my training regimen.  The second hurdle came way of a mysterious alignment to my healthy foot, later to be diagnosed as planters fasciitis, just another form of  getting old.   I could barely walk the stairs a month prior to the trip.  The third hurdle, everybody at work began to take vacations the week of my excursion – perfect timing!  And yes a fourth hurdle 10 foot tall was thrown my way.  It was a little tap on the old shoulder from Julia distributing the notification that Man Trip took place on “ovulation weekend”!  Of course she handled the notification very graciously and it was a notification that included no hint of a guilt trip.  She gave me total freedom to go or not go on the trip. 

He wasn't meant to clear this hurdle!

The fourth hurdle was different from the three previous hurdles.  A few months earlier Julia and I decided to try for our second child.  In our experience, this decision always brings its ups and downs.  We quickly received news we were expecting not one child but two.  In the same week we learned of our expectations, we lost our expectations.  So at the notification of “ovulation weekend”, I began to recognize a sovereign God moving.  As the last hurdle was thrown up, I recognized the three previous hurdles were cleverly placed by a higher being.  I recognized the fourth hurdle was not meant to be cleared and I gave up on my goal of conquering a Colorado mountain.  I knew God had something in store for us and sure enough he did!  We found ourselves expecting once again!  

As I look back on this time and examine all the hurdles placed before me, I began to contemplate one of the greatest theological debates of all time.  The absolutely sovereignty of God and the free will of man.  While I can not answer all of the questions that surround this long-standing debate, I do know what I have experienced.  It was a human choice to train for Man Trip, it was my human choice to jump the first three hurdles in my path, and it was my human choice to stop at the fourth hurdle and choose another path.  A different path that accomplished what God had planned before the beginning of time.  I experienced human will miraculously running in stride with divine will  to achieve God’s ultimate plan.  A plan that is greater than our hearts could ever dream. 

The heart of man plans his way,
   but the LORD establishes his steps.  Proverbs 16:9 

My plan was to gain myself the summit of a mountain. God’s plan was to give me a Summit of my own.

                                                      David “Summit” Faught


Double Team

Double team was the strategy going into the 21st day of May in the year 2009.   The four years previous to this day Julia and I were on the court shooting a friendly game of Horse.  There was a lot of valuable time spent together communicating, planning, and growing through life.  Those four years of Horse were absolutely amazing and a time to be cherished.  Shot after shot and game after game, I grew to love Julia more than life it’s self.  God showed me there was no other person on this planet that was a better match for myself.  Where I missed the lay up, she nailed it.  Where she struggled with three ball, I called nothing but net.  Together we were the best at creating and mastering the trick shot. If we where to play another team in Horse, we couldn’t be beaten, we couldn’t be separated. 

Then Shepherd on that 21st day of May in the year 2009 walked on to the court.  This baller brought a new game to the playground, and we were no longer playing Horse.  It was a full-fledged pick up game of 2 on 1.  Shepherd’s height was deceiving, but he quickly revealed his mad skills.  The only way Julia and I were going to make it was if we used the double team.

Luckily, we could see Shepherd coming from 9 months away.  We had a lot of time to worry, plan, and prepare.   I say worry, because I absolutely loved our four years of playing Horse.  I didn’t want to flush all those hours and memories down the drain, because a new baby came to the playground.  I feared Julia, being an amazing and loving mother, would forget about me.  Also, I feared we could both be so consumed with Shepherd that we would forget about each other.  See, I know that after 18 years Shepherd is walking off the court to go play his own game.  When he does leave (or the last child leaves), I know we are back to playing Horse and I want to know my partner!  So, double team was our plan and it worked well.  We worked closely as team and were both ready to jump in when the other was exhausted.  My fears were relieved after a year and a half when I looked up at my teammate and realized we were closer than ever before.  Sure, 2 on 1 one had its highs and lows, but I was glad I was playing the game with Julia and Shepherd.

Those of you who have experience playing 2 on 1, what are some suggestions for keeping your marriage the main priority? 

Van Damme and Rodman Suggestions:

  1. Double Team – two parents involved is easier than one parent.
  2. Make time for each other and make sure you have a date night often!
  3. Weekend trip – take the kid with you at times, but leave them behind at times.
  4. Strict bed time for the little one – this gives you time for yourselves in the evening.
  5. Guy time/Girl time – everyone needs a break and don’t keep tabs!

Oh, but wait this blog is not over!  I can see another baby boy making his way to the playground and he will be here in a matter of days.  The game is about to shift from 2 on 1 to 2 on 2.  Goodbye double team!  Man to man here we come!  So, of course I have my jitters about the new game to be played.  Honestly, this man to man strategy looks tough and grueling at times.  There won’t be many timeouts and rests on the bench will be short.  I know there will be ups and downs, but I have faith in my ole Horse partner and the good Lord to care us through. 

Does anyone have any advice on the man to man strategy?  And what about those who are down one man and forced to play zone?  Please comment because we need the help!

WARNING: Do not watch the movie Double Team!  I am certain any movie with Dennis Rodman and Jean-Claude Van Damme is horrible!


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