Speak love to your spouse in the language of t-shirts

A few years ago, Baker Book House got a call from someone organizing a marriage retreat for their church. They asked whether we had any mugs that said “I love my wife,” and “I love my husband.” At the time, we didn’t. But the beauty of being an indie bookseller is that we don’t have a lot of red tape. We asked when they needed the mugs, then had them made up at a local print shop.

Seeing that there was a market for that sort of thing, we ordered more than we needed so we would have some stock to sell in the store. We also ordered t-shirts that matched the mugs. They all sold out pretty quick.

The following year, we noticed that a t-shirt company in our industry did a very similar exclusive design with the major Christian bookstore chain that was headquartered down the street from our shop. Coincidence? Probably not.

Anyway, after that initial printing, we got busy with other things (hosting big-name author events, completely renovating the bookstore, etc.) and we didn’t make time to design new “I love my spouse” shirts. But the demand never really died down. At least, I assume it hasn’t given that every time I wear my “I love my wife” shirt out in public, I get at least one or two positive comments on it. And the people always ask the same question. “Where did you get your shirt?”

Well, we made time this year and worked with another local print shop to make up some new shirts. I think they look pretty good!

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Even better, they are included in Baker Book House’s 12 Days of Christmas sale, which starts today. They retail at $13.99 each, but they are on sale for 2 for $20. Do you have someone on your Christmas list that could use these shirts? Call the bookstore at 616.957.3110 and get yours today!

Oh, we also have mugs, but they aren’t on sale at the moment. Still, they’d go well with the shirts, so you should probably get those too.


Happy Birthday Bunny!

deanne_profileI love my wife and today is her birthday. In honor of that fact, I would like to share with the world 28 things that I love about DeAnne Lynne Mosey.

I love:

  1. her taste in music.
  2. that she would rather see a horror movie than a chick flick.
  3. that she makes her own strawberry jam.
  4. that she takes care of our finances so I don’t have to worry about late payments, penalties, or services being cut off because I forgot to pay something.
  5. how encouraging she is.
  6. that she loves spending time together.
  7. that she enjoys museums.
  8. when she holds my hand.
  9. what an amazing mother she is to our girls.
  10. that she knows the correct way to pronounce “coupon” (it is coo-pon, not q-pon, btw).
  11. that she is a safe driver and would rather save gas than drive like a maniac.
  12. that she showers on a regular basis.
  13. her smile.
  14. that being emotionally close is as important to her as being physically close.
  15. her sense of humor.
  16. that she is a reader.
  17. that she has good taste in books.
  18. that she is quick to forgive me.
  19. how she respect me and builds me up in private and in public.
  20. that she is a Christian and encourages me in my devotions and prayer.
  21. how beautiful she is.
  22. that she would rather watch cartoons than soap operas.
  23. when she reads books out loud with me while we drive (but she doesn’t read while she is driving).
  24. that she tells me about her day. Even the stinky bits.
  25. that she puts up with my stinky bits.
  26. that she doesn’t waste time, money, or unnecessary effort on wearing makeup.
  27. that she is such a hard worker, putting 100% of herself into every task she does.
  28. that after 8 years of being together, she isn’t tired of me yet.

She really is the best wife in all of the world and I can’t wait to spend the weekend with her. We have fancy pants dinner plans tomorrow before heading to Miller Auditorium to see the live production of Les Mis. I’ll let you know how it goes.

And if you are friends with my wife, be sure that you send her a message today. If you are not friends with her yet, why not leave her a message in the comments! I’ll make sure that she sees them.

I love you Bunny Lynne!

Balancing Family, Marriage, Chores, and Writing. Oh yeah, and the Unexpected too.

My wife loves me.

I value my wife above all else.

But sometimes I struggle with managing my time in such a way that she feels that she’s number one. The last few weeks and months have been very busy. And although all of the things that we are busy with are either good or innocuous things, we are left with little discretionary time. My wife and I both work full-time. Her mom watches our girls while we are at work, and in order to get to work on-time after dropping the girls at her mom’s house, my wife needs to be out the door by 7am, so we are usually up by 5:30am to begin the morning routine. This is especially hard after our 3-month-old decides that she doesn’t like sleeping at night.

After my wife leaves at 7am, I have until 8:30am to write on my blog and take care of a few small chores around the house (taking the dog out, making the bed, etc.). Usually, this works out just fine, but problems arise when my morning is usurped by the unexpected. When that happens, I wait until evening after the girls go to bed to write. But back to the schedule.

After work, I get home and start making dinner, usually having it ready by the time my wife has picked up the girls and arrives home. We eat dinner as a family and enjoy some time with our girls before it is the oldest’s bedtime at 7:30pm. The 3-month-old doesn’t understand bedtime yet. I take the dog for a walk, my wife packs our lunches for the next day or does the dishes from dinner, and we head to bed at an embarrassingly early hour so we can try to get some chunks of sleep in-between our baby’s wakeful times.

Our goal for each weekend is to have at least a little time together where we aren’t running around like headless fowl, but for the last couple months, things keep coming up. First, our only car that holds both car seats broke down and we had to buy another. Then family stopped by. Then a friend needed help with some projects. So, while each other these things aren’t bad in and of themselves (except for the car thing, that could have been better), our time together is chipped away by the unexpected.

The thing about all of this is this: my wife feels most loved through quality time spent together. When we don’t have time together, her love tank starts to leak. And when I choose to spend time writing instead of spending time with her, I pretty much knock the tank over. And in the last few weeks, this has happened a few times. Why? Because I like writing, I take pride in knowing that other people are reading what I’ve written, and I haven’t missed a day of blogging since I started quite a while ago. Though, looking at those reasons in light of the fact that I wasn’t taking the best care of my wife that I could, I can only conclude that I was being selfish. Not that doing what I like doing is selfish, but that I was choosing my desires over my wife’s and without her consideration.

This all came to a head recently, and I hate when I have to admit to being selfish, but after talking it out, my wife and I have a new plan where my writing is concerned. In theory, in a few months, our baby will be sleeping a bit better. We’ll still have the daily grind to deal with, but that’s just part of life. I’m going to try to get a few blog posts in the hopper so if I need to miss a day of writing, I’ll still have something to post. And I’m going to be savagely protecting our weekends from the good things (like extended family time) that aren’t the best things (like quality wife time).

Things will improve. Our marriage is strong. I love my wife more than bears love outdoor defecation.

I am a writer, but I am a husband and father first.

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Are you a married person who has dealt with these issues? I’d love to hear your ideas for balancing life in the comments.