Ross Jr. Family Creed
If you’ve followed me for more than a minute then you’ve seen that we hold nothing back on Instagram. Your DMs and comments are a special part of our day and proof that we have hit a new level of shamelessness.
Mainly, y'all are overwhelmed that Robbie’s derrière makes a weekly appearance. Sometimes it’s jaw droppingly embarrassing what he thinks is appropriate to post about me. But the most common reaction is just plain shock. Shock that we are still so in love and haven’t killed each other.
We try to keep it real on social media, but I always remind people they’re only seeing the highlight reel and that my highest highs and lowest lows don't ever show up on your feed. You just get to see the messy middle.
Just the other day, Robbie posted a video of me crying after busting my hand on a coconut water. Yes, those were real tears and a real fight. And without fail we get 10 to 30 DMs about our life and love and how we make it work. We are by no means relationship experts (as if I even need to preface that). But after 12 years, I do still really like him. There are zero days I think about divorce.
But in the spirit of honesty, there are many days I think about murder. Yep, you read that right.
Those are the days he’s peed on the floor near the toilet just for me to step in. I mean, can’t you shake that thing over the actual toilet bowl?! Or when I find his laundry on top of the laundry basket for the 17th hundred time. Because you know, the extra 1.3 seconds it takes to lift the lid and place the dirty clothes inside the basket is an actual threat to his life. Therefor he “absolutely cannot help with this in any way” and “it sounds like a personal problem” to him. Or when he shaves his body hair and leaves the remnants all over the sink – that's a real treat. Then, and only then, do I think about where and how I’d wind up on an episode of Snapped.
Nevertheless we—the Ross Jr’s—have come up with our family creed. The Ten Commandments of living in our home. This is the glue that keeps us together.
The Ross Jr.’s Family Values
1. Always have fun
Fun is first for a reason and we take having fun very seriously.
We live a fast paced life, it’s easy to become distracted and stressed. Baseball comes with very high highs and very low lows. It can all feel overwhelming and helpless at times, so our number one rule is to always have fun.
That includes our epic dance parties that I am sure you’ve seen. Admit it, one cannot be in a foul mood while dancing.
2. We take things very seriously
Look, hear me when I say this. There are some things in this world that are just important. Period.
Things like human trafficking, the global water crisis, kindness to and for all beings, our health, eating your veggies, and stopping for stray animals on the side of the road – always. No doubter. These things in our household are not up for discussion. When it comes to how we treat people, whether it be a waiter at a restaurant, a janitor or the former President of the United States, we believe in kindness.
We do not believe that changing the world is up to someone else. Every single one of us is either helping or hurting the evolution of the world. We cannot ignore the fact that people are still being sold into slavery, access to water is limited for millions of people around the world, and that if one family from every church in America adopted, there would be no orphans in the world
AT ALL. Those things move us to anger, which moves us to action, and that is why we take it serious. Because that is how shit gets done.
Awareness (take things serious)--> Anger (an appropriate and necessary reaction towards injustice)--> Action (getting to work- www.mission108.com).
Balance is a super power. Women, I’m mostly talking to you. We have the hardest, most challenging jobs on the planet. Anyone who tries to tell you our job as women is irrelevant is threatened by you and just plain wrong. We juggle working full time jobs with children or trying to make children while keeping our bodies fit and tight, and cooking meals for the spawns that can’t or don’t do so for themselves, while scheduling time with friends and wine because if your social life falls apart you will too, but while at social hour you realize there are lists of things you still haven’t completed like, shower, run for president, drink 64oz of water a day, craft with your children, PTA meetings, board meetings, volunteer, keep the pet alive, unload the dishwasher, dye the grey hairs, clean the house, walk the pet you’ve somehow kept alive, book the flights, respond to all the emails—oh, bless me, THE EMAILS—have sex with your husband, keep up with social media... I mean, for the Love! We’re doing it all.
But what I’ve learned is that you can’t go six months without sleeping. Your body isn’t designed to do that and, come to find out, I can’t go and go and go some more and maybe close my eyes on an airplane, recharge with a few dozen green teas and call it rest.
My body hit a brick wall and I got really, really ill. Several doctors told me that, to a certain degree, my body couldn’t keep functioning if I kept going at the rate I was. I was getting sick all the time and was exhausted during the day even though I ate healthy and slept 8 hours a night. Turns out, stress and trying to be superwoman is not a part of a human's job description and is the recipe for illness. Slowing down felt like failing. It felt like falling apart, being lazy and worthless. It felt all the things you would imagine. But slowly and by adding in a Naturopath and some supplements, I can feel my life leaning more towards balance and less towards swimming in a choppy ocean infested with sharks.
A sure fire way to help yourself know if you need to incorporate some balance in your life is to ask your body. The body sends us messages all day long.
Listen to them!
4. We celebrate
We celebrate life, each other, met goals, and accomplishments. This is so important. The Ross Jr’s celebrate big and small victories. It is sooooo important y'all – I can’t stress that enough.
As we get older, we create more and more false illusions as to why life isn’t all that great. We lose our awe. Which is the most devastating thing that can happen to the human race. Celebrating is about staying in love with life, staying in that state of childlike awe.
Find out what makes your soul come alive, and keep doing that every single day.
5. We do GRACE
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but no one is perfect. I am a recovering perfectionist turned hippie-free spirit. But I often forget that perfection is the enemy of good. That is why we do GRACE. I need grace more than I need air. Grace covers me and allows my husband to forget that I never flush the toilet and I spend too much money online. Grace is why, after twelve years, we still like each other. Grace is quite possibly the only reason I am alive. When a perfectionist meets grace it brings her to her knees.
I met grace through my husband for the first time when we got married and I was in charge of washing and drying our clothes. When you wash your clothes on a Monday, you can’t dry them on a Friday, unless you want to reek. I did this so many times I ended up throwing out and blaming our washer and dryer for our funk. I swore up and down that a mouse had crawled into our washer AND dryer, laid babies, died, and was making us smell like rodent death. THIS is when I learned what grace was.
My patient husband gave me grace, even allowed me to purchase a new fancy washer and dryer in hopes that we wouldn't have the rodent funk problem anymore. My father-in-law investigated that silver aluminum foil thing in the back of the dryer in hopes of finding the dead rodent family that was ruining my life and our clothes. When there was no trace of any sort of animal, it was determined that our only problem was me.
Robbie just had GRACE.
6. We Belong To Each Other
This is Mission 108’s Tribe vision statement. I first heard this from sister Glennon Melton, the best selling author of the book Love Warrior. (Side note: if you haven’t read her books, stop everything, go to amazon and order both now!) Her story and her books single handedly proved to me the power of connection, that I am not alone and that we can do hard things. She, too, struggles with laundry and adulting and it wasn't until I read her first book that I realized messy is just a way of life.
We Belong To Each Other means exactly that. Rob and I have an open door policy. If you've followed our journey from the beginning you know this about us. It is my deepest desire for people to feel at home in my home knowing they belong. When I created Mission 108 I knew this was our vision statement because I'd been involved in work with other non profits where not everyone had a place. Religion often dictated who could serve and who couldn't. That didn’t feel right to me, so I created a foundation where every person has a home, a place of belonging if and when they choose. Race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or whatever else you can think of will not exclude you from our tribe, our home or our hearts.
Friends, with this mentality we can change the world.
7. Honesty is not the best policy, it's a way of life.
I consider myself a professional truth-teller. A part of my job at Mission 108 is finding hidden injustices (or untruths) in the world and bringing them to the light. When I give talks, all I'm really doing is truth-telling. I'm telling stories, mostly my own, in the truest possible light. When I talk about women’s empowerment I haven’t reinvented the wheel. All I am doing is reminding women who we are, that we are enough, that we are loved, and that we are cherished. When you remind a person of their value, you offer them the gift of self love. I love writing because often, I don't know what I believe until I write it down. Good and honest communication is the catalyst for a healthy relationship. Words have power. EXTREME power.
In our home, our job is to tell the truth. First, to ourselves. Then, to each other. Truth-telling is a noble job in a world that hides its pain with food, gossip, and Netflix. Honesty is not just about telling your person facts about your day. It’s about getting real with yourself and facing hard truths. Uncovering vulnerabilities that, when they surface, become your power.
When I told Robbie that doctors said I would not be able to carry a full term pregnancy, he told me the hard truths. He said something like, “That might be true. But I don’t believe that’s true for us and we will not give up. But if you can’t carry our babies, we will figure it out together and there’s more than one way for us to have a baby.”
TRUTH. Also, CHILLS. Because he is the greatest. He immediately robbed me of all the downward spiraling thinking I tend to lean towards.
Just by telling me the truth.
8. Protect the home
Our home includes our in-season rental homes, off season home, hotel rooms, and our bodies.
Robbie is in charge of making sure no one breaks into our home, and if they do they will most likely lose far more than they came in with.
My job is to focus on the body. My yoga background taught me the importance of wellness and feeding our bodies with the best possible nutrient filled foods. It’s just a fact that you feel better and do better when you eat better.
9. Spirit of the law over the letter of the law
As far as religion goes, Robbie and I both live by this rule: Love God. Love People.
We could not have come from more different faith backgrounds. Okay, we could have but when you get married everything seems alien-like about the other person. We've both come to understand what we believe about religion through this lens: we choose the spirit of the law over the letter of the law.
This means that because neither of us is Jesus and are still royally screwing up, the Bible is one big long love letter to the world instead of a list of rules to obey. This has given us permission to be human which has panned out well considering that, well, we are. Living this way always magnifies the religious folks in our lives that we frankly want nothing to do with.
10. Robbie's rule
Robbie felt very adamant about adding our tenth family value.
Which is this: we only flush number 2s, not number 1s. So there's that.
If you’ve been to our house, you’ve probably heard him say that.
I just don’t understand what runs through his brain, y'all. He’s not quite nailed down number 7. But he is quite good at number 1 and 4.
Now you know how the Ross Jr’s make their way through life and love. Everything else is fair game.
We also feel that following all ten values every single day is a little hefty. A little overarching. So don’t you go thinking we’ve got this nailed. Mostly, we’re just aiming to do our best and hope we fall somewhere in between good and good enough.
What are your family values? Have you figured this out for your own life, family, roommates?
Tell me. Send me a DM!
Love you lots,