Monday, November 30, 2015

5 Easy Ways to Stay Connected Through the Holidays

Hi!! I promise I am still around! How was your Thanksgiving? Ours was wonderful. It was the first year in a while that we hosted and had his parents and my family over and it was great. There was one simple rule: you had to bring something. We played UNO and had lots of laughs and watched our nephews play together. Then after we did our annual Black Friday shopping. Can I brag a little? Well, not only do we have all of our little nieces and nephews Christmas shopping done (there are 9!!) but we got some awesome toys half off!! We LOVE Black Friday shopping. After the busyness, we had 2 wonderfully laid back days where we spent a lot of time together. It was amazing.

Because of the busyness of Thanksgiving, I was inspired to share some tips of how to keep your connection during the Christmas season from disappearing. Here are 5 simple ways to stay connected:


1) Have a Christmas movie night- I am stealing this idea from my sister and expanding on it. Starting December 1st, she plans to watch 25 days of Christmas movies. I thought this was a cute idea for K and I to do also! I love Christmas movies. I have to watch a Charlie Brown Christmas and A Christmas Story every year. So why not do it together? I have to tweak this a little though because some nights K works late. So on late nights, I will find Christmas episodes from our fave T.V. shows.



2) Pray together- When K and I pray together, I feel so connected to him and God. This is a great way to not only stay connected to your spouse, but to God. Pray about everything!


3) Buy for each other- Have you ever run into this problem? You have been together for years and buying for your significant other becomes frustrating. You don't know what to get them anymore. K and I have been there. Several years! But last year we tried something new. We set a limit and each of us made a wish list of ideas the other could pick from...items that could fit into a stocking. On Christmas Eve, we opened them together. It was a lot of fun and put the magic of gift giving back in our Christmas!


4) Turn off the electronics- After K comes home from work, I try to stay off my phone and kindle. It doesn't always work, but I try. During this holiday season, make an effort to put down the electronics and limit your browsing to really spend time together.


5) Communicate throughout the day- I am a texter. Blame it on the fact that I love to write: texting is my go to communication. Because of this, K and I text each other throughout the day. This helps on busy days and late working nights. It helps you stay connected and remind them that you are thinking of them.

What are some ways you plan to stay connected to your spouse this holiday season? Do you have any special traditions? 

Until next time, have a Merry Christmas!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Not your typical love story...

I've mentioned to you that I am an avid reader. I was so skeptical of getting a kindle, but I have to say it has been one of my favorite purchases ever. I LOVE my kindle. One of the perks of a kindle is free books. I have been stocking up on free books lately and since I recently finished a children's book series, I dove into one of the free books last week.

One of my challenges to myself for this blog was to find good marriage books and I increased that challenge to good romances. So this is what I started with:


The book opens introducing us to a man who is unhappy with his life. During a trip to his hometown, the main character runs into an old love. We learn that this was "the one". Flashback to the 1970's when times were different and Shawn literally falls for the girl next door: Dawn Adele. At first what seems to be a brother/sister relationship blossoms into young love. Because of their age difference, (Shawn was 4 years older) her parents tried to keep a tight leash on the growing relationship. But choices were made, consequences happened and because of huge hurdles, Shawn and Dawn spend 31 years apart before they find each other again. 

I will say that I finished this book in one sitting. That normally only happens if a book is that good. The funny thing was it was pretty good, but not great. I found his writing style a bit lacking in detail and very matter-of-fact. However, he was a good storyteller. I had to remind myself that this was a true love story. That it really happened. I really felt for him during some rough times he experienced and hoped he could find happiness. I did find it hard to connect with Dawn. She also wrote a book and tells this story from her point of view and I think I may read it. I would like to learn what she was going through during their separation.

I would recommend this love story. While reading it I couldn't help but reflect on K and I's past and the trials we have overcome together and how far we have come. He also had strict parents since he was an only child and I was his first girlfriend. His mom had him late in life and he was her everything. At the time, I didn't see how she was trying to protect him. All I knew was that I wanted to be with him and she was a barrier. But for 6 years, I was determined to stick through the strict rules. Of course, we didn't always follow the rules.

We were also friends first before we started dating. K has always been my best friend. I can tell him anything. When his mom and dad would go to car shows (they used to own an old 1940's Ford they would enter into shows), we would stay on the phone for hours talking about nothing and everything. 

I thank God that we persevered and stayed together during the rough times while we were dating. But we didn't face consequences like Shawn and Dawn did. This book even sparked some good conversations about the past that we had never addressed before. And I can say that my mother-in-law and I now have a good relationship. She now knows that I love her son with everything I have and I take good care of him. We have overcome a lot as a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.

I would encourage you to take this trip down memory lane with Shawn. It's a very interesting read. It wasn't great, but he will wrap you into their story and you will definitely want to know the outcome. I would give it 3 stars.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Dangers of Romance Novels

I completely forgot I was supposed to review romance novels and movies from time to time. It completely slipped my mind. With reviewing marriage books already, I forgot about it. Unfortunately, I haven't read a romance novel in a while or seen a chick flick. I promise to get back to this idea, I will make it a point to review a book or movie once or twice a month. It will be fun. But...I felt the need to share my thoughts with you on the subject. Again...

I read this wonderful blog post about lies romance movies tell us, and she was so right! I had to comment right along with her. I love a good romance...they have a feel good feeling and you always root for the heroine and hero to end up together. There are always obstacles standing in their way, and most of the time they fight the odds and end up together. I have to admit, it feels good when we read how they fall together and end with a happy kiss. 

Here's the danger of romance novels and what they don't address and what they don't cover:

  1. We wish our men were like the hero: Most of the men depicted in romance novels are the same. Handsome, rich, successful, romantic, and so on and so on. As it's fun to read about these heroes, we chose the men we are with for many reasons and it is very dangerous for wives to fantasize about how they wish their husbands could be more like the character in the story. I have even seen things on pinterest or facebook with sayings like "I wish my husband was more like Mr. Darcy" (Pride and Prejudice) or "Every man should have a little "Christian" in him (referring to Christian Grey). We chose our real men for our own reasons, and appreciate who they are; not what they aren't. Because these characters aren't real.
  2. Sex does not happen like that: Making love is a sacred bond between a husband and wife. I plan to devote a series to this topic, but I have to do some more research and praying about it, because it is something that is talked about so much, but not in the right context, especially for a married couple. And I want to share with you how important sex is to a marriage. In romance novels and movies, the couple falls together and everything is perfect. No problems, she is always ready, and they both achieve happiness. HA. Here again a danger lies because we start to think we are doing something wrong or something is wrong with us or wonder why our husbands don't act like that. What they fail to show is the realness of making love. The weird sounds, the times we may not be in the mood, some problems that happen...making love isn't perfect. But, it's a beautiful experience for a couple and all of the weirdness and hiccups that aren't shown are what makes it fun. 
  3. The romance: There is so much I can say about this topic. In the novels and movies, men are depicted as romantic heroes who sweep their women off their feet and carry them off into the sunset. Sigh. Romance can be displayed in many different ways, and most of the time for real wives, it's the small things that matter. Sure, I love when K brings home a bouquet of flowers to me and he will score major points with that. But does it happen often? NO. What does happen is he works hard and takes care of me...makes me laugh and I know the safest place in the world is in his arms. That to me is romance. Look for the small things your husband does for you. That is his way of displaying romance.
  4. Feelings and being in love: This is something that the post addressed as well, and I wanted to add to it. Most romance novels and movies show that as long as you are in love and you feel a certain way, it will all work out. As she states in her blog post, what isn't shown is the commitment that goes hand in hand with love. I have read so many times that a marriage has ended because "they just didn't love each other anymore". This is just my opinion, but I think it's because of what Hollywood tries to tell us through their love stories and movies. That as long as you are in love, things will be ok. But fights happen, hard times hit, we get sick. Then when they "fall out of love" they hunt for that feeling of "newness" and being in love. The truth that isn't shown is that the butterflies and feelings of "being in love" fades. The hard work that goes along with a successful marriage is never shown in the movies. What makes true love happen is the choice to love your spouse through the fights and ugly times. True love is the commitment to stick by them when hard times hit. That my readers, is real love. Being in love with your spouse can be found when these hard times fall. Focus on why you loved them in the first place. Or here's an idea...do little things for them to show them you love them. Choose to love your spouse everyday.
  5. Sometimes uglyness is shown: I wanted to dive into this a little deeper...in romance novels and movies, most of the conflict that is shown is what is keeping the couple apart and what stands in their way. But, in real relationships...fights happen. Arguements keep us from feeling connected and battles must be resolved. There are also hard times that couples go through: loss of family members, financial crisis, chronic pain, and sickness. All these things are to be fought together. Real couples fight all these battles together to find their way back to a common ground. And if you are like K and I, you pray through these rough times. God helps us through it.
My mission wasn't to burst anyone's bubble or ruffle anyone's feathers...I love fiction. I love to read a great story that will transport me into another world. But I remember that all this is just that...fiction. The same has to be remembered with romance stories and movies. We have to remember that our relationships are real and that what is depicted on screen or on the page is not. 

Until next time, have a great day!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Show Your Husband Some Love

There are so many ways I show K that I love him. Cooking his favorite meal, spending time with him, doing something he wants to do...watching the entire Star Wars collection because of the new movie being released in December. There are many ways...


This book by Lisa Jacobson gave me more great ideas to show K that I love him. I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a very quick read as she lists each way on separate pages with a brief reason. Here are some of the ways that stood out to me and some I need to work on:

  1. Welcome him home (12)- When our husbands come home, we want them to feel welcomed and loved. This is their safe haven from a day full of hard work and stress. I wish I could say this is something I have practiced since the beginning, but hey, I am still learning. And I am working on it. So when K comes home, I greet him with a smile and a kiss. 
  2. Pray for him (16)- I love how she says that he needs a praying wife and to ask for protection. Who better to protect him than our Lord? 
  3. Be best friends (18)- This is so important to me and has been since the beginning. K is my best friend. He knows me best and everything about me. There is no one else in this world that I want to be with more and who to share everything with. (Except for Jesus, of course). Make it your mission that your spouse is your best friend. It changes your whole outlook and marriage.
  4. No Plan B (19)- Stick through it together until the end. Experience everything together: the good, the bad, and the really ugly. 
  5. Be affectionate (37)- Touch, kiss, play, hug...all the fun stuff
  6. Speak well of him in front of and around others (38)- As I have mentioned before, this is very important to me and was so glad to read it here. As she states, "never let anyone doubt you're his biggest fan." I don't want anyone to think negatively of K, and this is something I always practice. I want who I am in contact with to know how special he is to me, and I want him to know his reputation is safe with me.
  7. Let him take care of you (40)- For some reason, I struggle with this. My issue is I don't lean on him. I take on everything so he doesn't have to worry about it. But, I need to let him take care of me too. We are in this together and sometimes I need his help.
  8. Thank him for all he does- (69)- Not taking him for granted is something that needs to be practiced on my part. He is a hard worker and makes so many things possible that I want to make sure he knows how much I appreciate him. 
  9. Put your love for God first- (96) God is the third person in our marriage. He is a vital part and rock of our relationship and he deserves our love and praise. 
  10. Compliment him (123)
These were just a few of the great ideas and reminders that she had in her book and ones that I made my own. I would recommend this easy read to anyone who needs reminders. It's a perfect book for those whose life has become routine and you need some ideas to show your spouse how special they are. 

Until next time, have a great day!

Monday, August 31, 2015

A Much Needed Vacation

K and I love the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg TN area. It is where we got married, honeymooned (2008), and returned in 2009, 2013, and now 2015. Every trip we have made a different adventure. This time was definitely no exception. We did a few things that I thought we would never do...considering we are very indoorsy people (I think I just made up a new word.)

But, before I get into our fun adventure, I have to say this: I strongly urge couples to take a vacation together...ALONE. I know many of you have kids and I understand the want to be close to them. But I think it's so vital to a marriage to even just take a couple of days to get away together. Something to get away from your everyday life and routine in order to reconnect as a couple. No responsibilities or big decisions except where you will get some tasty food. It is amazing what a little trip away together will do for not only yourself, but for your marriage. It's not that troubles disappear or responsibilities aren't important, but it's nice to get away from the demands of life. While you are there, try some new food and definitely do something you have never tried before. But most of all, have lots of fun. This trip not only refreshed us as I am approaching a new school year with my 3 year old class, but it also rejuvenated our marriage. It was exactly what we needed. So I wanted to share some pictures with you:

Our Cabin:


Can you tell we are LSU fans?



We relaxed in those recliners every night after a fun filled day. Some day I think we will buy a recliner to put in our living room. There were two in the cabin!!


There was a place recently built called The Island that had amazing little specialty shops (one called Kyrptonite filled with superhero memorabilia that my nerdy husband and I loved) and a 200 ft Ferris wheel with closed in air conditioned rides. It was amazing!!






We ate some amazingly great food!!


Pot Roast at Old Mill Restaurant


Apple Fritters at The Apple Barn


Bacon Burger at Smoky Mountain Brewery


Our new adventure: ATV ride on a mountain trail!




 K and I aren't outdoor people. But we are from South Louisiana where 4 wheeler riding is a past love of mine. I used to love to go mud riding when I was a kid. This takes our southern ride to a whole different level. We were taken up rocky, steep, and wet terrain and through streams. We ended on the bluff of the mountain and although the view was foggy because of rain, it was completely worth it! The ride back was so much fun!! We loved it!

Our second new adventure: Zip lining!

I will be honest, I was not looking forward to doing this. K really wanted to try it, so I very reluctantly agreed to it since he was going to try the ATV ride. After the first line, I was done. I didn't like it. Our guides were amazing, I just didn't like the feeling of loss of control. K, on the other hand, loved it!! He did all 9 lines and even went upside down!! Can you believe it??





Hillbilly Golf:





Thanks to the encouragement of my sister (check out her awesome makeup blog and her fun and informative life experience blog), I definitely want to shed some light on traditions. I think traditions are very important for a couple. I know I am big about it. It wasn't something very big with my family, so I wanted to make sure K and I make traditions. Why? Because it is fun and you are able to revisit memories while creating new ones. When we travel together, especially to Tennessee, we have many traditions since we started for our honeymoon in 2008. 

Our TN traditions:

1) We always play the license plate game. We find different license plates along our journey as a competition. K almost always wins because I use a long drive to catch up on reading, but it is so fun seeing the different areas visiting with us. I even found Hawaii this last trip!

2) We always make a stop at No Way Jose's. It's a little Mexican restaurant we first stopped at with another couple who had joined us for our wedding trip. We love Mexican food and this restaurant is very authentic and has great tasting food.

3) Putt Putt Golf is a must. Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg have so many different courses to try and since our first TN trip, we have went to at least one. This time we revisited Hillbilly Golf, which consists of traveling by cart up the mountain and playing putt putt golf down the mountain. We always make it a lot of fun!

4) We make a stop at Smoky Mountain Brewery for some good old fashioned bar food. They have the best burgers and calzones!

5) Every time we are in the area, there are two shops that we have to stop at, one for me and one for him. For me, it's the Christmas Place. It's a huge building that transforms into a north pole like atmosphere and will make you think of Christmas even on the hottest of days! And K always visits Gatlinburg's China Bazaar. It has various swords and daggers. He has a small collection of swords and knives.

6) There are three things we always come back with from our travels: a shot glass for K, a key chain and an ornament of where we have been for me. 

And finally, I have to talk about hiccups. Every vacation is not without some snags and troubles. This time, we did have a few. At first, it seemed nothing was going right. Our cabin wasn't ready when we got there and the A/C went out. But the owner was amazing and quickly handled it and we only had to sleep one night in a hotel room that she took care of. I caught a bad allergy in my eyes that affected our morning ATV ride, but the guide graciously rescheduled us that afternoon and we missed an all rain morning ride! How do we handle these hiccups? I will admit, at times I thought our trip was not going to be so great. I was discouraged. But, with the encouragement of K and lots of praying, everything turned out great and we had an amazing trip! 

I hope you enjoyed our pictures and stories from our adventures! Until next time, have a great day!


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Embrace the Differences...

I think my brain is taking a vacation. It's possible that it's because in 4 days, K and I will finally be taking a much needed vacation. He told me last night if we could, he would have the car packed and ready to go and we would already be on our way...but of course there are things to finish this week like work.



We try to take a vacation once a year. Last year with so much going on, it didn't happen. So we were determined to go somewhere this year. Many things cropped up, but we are leaving for our favorite place, Gatlinburg TN, on Saturday!!  This will be our third time going and each time we have made a different trip. This time we will be riding ATV's, going to a cave, and even may try zip lining! I will definitely have a post about it with pictures!

Until then, I still need something to blog about so I thought I would post some interesting differences about K and me. We have a lot in common and enjoy spending time together and doing fun things together. We both have a love for classic rock music and action movies. Dr Pepper and sweet tea are both our favorite drinks and we share many favorite T.V. shows. But, like every couple we have many differences. Here are some differences that you may find interesting:

  1. Although I am a very organized person, I can be a bit messy with a few things. I squeeze the toothpaste in the center. I don't care how I squeeze it as long as it comes out. K on the other hand, will squeeze very neatly from the bottom and get every last drop out of it. If I am not getting anymore toothpaste out, it's in the garbage.
  2. I tend to leave doors open. I will leave the closet or pantry door with a crack in it. I didn't know this until recently, but it drives K crazy. He just goes behind me and shuts it.
  3. K loves tomatoes...I hate them.
  4. I get hot easily and love having the fan on...K, on the other hand, is always cold.
  5. I am a spender...my spending money is already spent before I get it. K still has money from Christmas (and gift cards from his birthday!) he hasn't spent yet.
  6. I love the beach and love to swim...K doesn't know how to swim.
  7. K loves sci-fi movies as I love chick flicks. Both of us don't like watching the other. Although, I have finally surrendered and am watching the Star Wars movies with him. (It only took 15 years for him to get me to do it.)
  8. I LOVE country music. I grew up listening to it and can listen to it all day. K only likes some older country. At times. He is much more of a hard rock fan. (Which I do like also. Never did before though.)
  9. K loves biscuits, but I love cinnamon rolls.
  10. I love shrimp any kind of way. Grilled, fried, sauteed, boiled...K does not.


What about you? What makes you and your spouse different? Any that you share with us? Until next time, have a great day!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Another One Bites the Dust

I grew up on their music. I was in grade school and Glycerine was a song I listened to daily and in high school No Doubt was a band I loved to crank really loud during the 90's. So when I found out the lead singers of my favorite bands, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, were married, I knew they would be rock solid (see what I did there?). 20 years later, (has it really been 20 years since we experienced the Spice Girls, Saved by the Bell, Rugrats, and Clueless?  AS IF!!) I have a wide variety of music interests and that includes country music. I love to listen to country and know plenty of the old and current artists.

I have been very disappointed with entertainment news lately. First it was Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert who called it quits after 4 years of marriage. Especially after they had said divorce was never an option. Then this morning I turn on the television to find out that Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale are getting a divorce after 20+ years, along with Reba McIntire and her husband of 25+ years. I understand that touring and the entertainment world is full of its hardships...but isn't marriage worth working on? Is a career really more important than making sure you have a happy marriage that lasts?? Everyone has dreams and I am a firm believer in pursuing them, but when you get married, pursue them together. I don't know what happened in these situations and it's definitely their business not mine, it just seems to be an epidemic. Every time I turn on the news, another couple has fallen prey to divorce and has called it quits.

I know that there are situations that divorce is unavoidable. I know a few people where that was the only option that was presented to them, know matter what they tried. So, it happens...


So for this post, I want to share with you what makes K and I's marriage special...things that make it divorce proof and I pray that you can use some of these tips for your marriage. And just maybe there will be more marriages out there that will stand firm and make it work...
  1. There is no plan B. We will work through it...no matter what
  2. When we have a problem...we go to God with it and we trust him to handle it and get us through it
  3. We forgive each other...EVERY TIME.
  4. We laugh.  A LOT.
  5. We trust each other and don't hide anything from each other...or lie to each other. That isn't an option
  6. We do things together and have fun together. We date each other...often. It didn't stop when we got married
  7. We trust God through good and bad times
  8. We lean on each other for everything
  9. We pray together (the couple that prays together, stays together)
  10. We say I love you...daily
Until next time...have a great day!


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How To Fight Fair...Even When You Don't Want To

I can be very moody. Seriously, just ask K. All he has to do is say one thing, and I snap at him. Then I see the look on his face after I snap and I feel horrible. Because it was so unnecessary. He didn't deserve my moody response. Just because the universe isn't turning like I think it should, I shouldn't take it out on him. But, I do anyway. And what does he do? He forgives me. Every time. He still loves me despite the moods and testy attitudes.

All of this came to light while I studied Song of Solomon this morning. With such pretty words, you wouldn't think that this book would tackle conflict, but it does. In Chapter 5, Solomon returns home to be with his beloved bride.

"Open to me, my treasure, my darling,
my dove, my perfect one.
My head is drenched with dew, 
my hair with dampness of the night." (Song of Solomon, 5:2)

In this chapter, some time has passed since their wedding and their marriage has lost some of that spark that was originally there. We know that feeling, right? Our wedding day was a fairy tale and a a couple years pass and he leaves the toilet seat up, hairs in the sink or laundry on the floor and we think, really?  This is a fairy tale??

"But I responded, 
I have taken off my robe.
Should I get dressed again?
I have washed my feet,
Should I get them soiled?" (Song of Solomon, 5:3)

Can you see what happened here? Solomon wants to be intimate with his wife and she has refused his advances. This is a perfect picture of how a marriage grows and bumps in the road creep in. It's not all happy and pretty. It's how we handle the conflict that matters. What did his bride do?

She went to him.

And what did he do? He forgave her. 

"I would still choose my dove, my perfect one" (Song of Solomon 6:9)



So here are some tips on how to fight fair even when we don't want to:

  1. If you have a problem with your spouse, pray about it first. Give it to God
  2. Talk to your spouse about what is bothering you. Don't give them the silent treatment (I have been so guilty of this. I learned that talking to K really helps the situation instead of keeping it bottled inside.) If you need a few minutes to yourself to calm down, take them. But come back together and talk about what is wrong and how you can fix it.
  3. Compromise! 
  4. Forgive them. Don't bring up something they have done in the past...let it go. And when they say they are sorry and want to move on, let it go and forgive them. 
  5. Don't seek victory and winning the fight...seek resolution. Ask yourself, "How can we resolve this?" 
  6. Listen to them. (I really really have to work at this.) Listen with both ears their reasons and why. Even if you still don't agree, at least listen to them.
  7. Follow the bride's example in Song of Solomon and seek your spouse. Don't let him be the first for reconciliation. 


I hope these tips have helped you as this study has helped me! Until next time, have a great day!




Friday, July 24, 2015

The Ultimate Marriage Vow...

I love to read. I know I have mentioned that before...but I want you to understand how deep that love for reading goes.
It started in 1st grade. There was this program called "SRA" and it was to encourage recreational reading as well as our development in learning to read. The minute I picked out my first book, I was hooked. I wanted to learn how to read so I could read every book I could get my hands on. I quickly learned that I don't just read...I am in the book. In elementary school, I was a part of the babysitter's club, I went through all the horrors in the Goosebumps series, and I was a Sweet Valley girl. (Does anyone remember the Sweet Valley Twins?  I read all the junior books!)


When I hit high school, I was teased for reading so much, but instead of it bothering me; I became rebellious. I read all the time and I made sure they saw me reading. Fear Street was my favorite series. I majored in English in college so I could study literature. (I'll be honest, I like pop culture fiction better. But I do love Huckleberry Finn and Frankenstein. I have read those at least twice.)


Now you can find me reading 3 books at one time! I love being able to just sit and read for hours. Now I love reading autobiographies, fantasy (especially anything supernatural), children's and some young adult fiction, anything that catches my attention. 
What does this have to do with marriage? I have grown to love reading all about marriage and have made it my quest to find good marriage books. And, I have a new review for you. 


I have read Darlene Schacht before and really enjoyed her book, The Good Wife's Guide. Her website, timewarpwife.com, is amazing, so I was looking forward to reading another book by her. And this one didn't disappoint. She made vows for 21 days to make her marriage better. She incorporated personal stories about her and her husband and how each vow would make her a better wife and how we could also make them our own vows. Since this was a 21 day challenge, I read each vow daily. Some of these vows really made me evaluate myself, and I made some of these vows also.

"Whatever we focus on are the thoughts that will continue to grow in our minds. They can either be thoughts of adoration or bouts of frustration, but let me assure you whichever you choose to feed will certainly grow. (Ebook, Location 143)

She touches on topics of negative thinking, making friendship a priority in marriage, and praying for our husbands often. 

One point that stood out to me was her vow to to honor our husbands' role as head of house. This is so important to me as well as I talked about submission in my last post.

"Marriage, the way that God designed it, should be a reflection of our relationship as a church to Jesus Christ."  (Location 299) 

She encourages us to honor our husbands as the leaders of our home and encourage him. I agree with her wholeheartedly that we are equal partners and there are times when arguments are not our fault. But it's how we handle those situations by this vow that is what matters. She suggests being humble and taking a step back and letting him lead in order to honor God. I LOVE this and will do everything I can to practice it. 

She also addresses communication with her husband and honoring him in front of others.

Another point she made that really resonated with me is protecting his reputation. She told of a story about a job she had where after a meeting she had relayed concerns she thought would stay private, the employee went and gossiped about her. She talked about how important it is for us to protect our husband's reputations by "keeping the details where they belong-between he and I." (Location 445)

I touched on husband bashing in my previous post, but this goes further. Keeping details to ourselves and refraining from gossiping about our husbands' mistakes are so important. What happens between K and I is handled between the two of us. If we have a problem, I don't run to others and tell them all the gory details of our arguments. Sometimes, I do go to someone I deeply trust to get advice on something I don't know how to handle. But this is someone I know won't hold what I tell her against him or won't take it and tell someone else. It amazes me that many people take it to a whole different level and will "air out" their marital problems on social media! That just baffles me!

The last vow I am going to address is her vow to be a good listener.

"Practice listening with both ears. Let go of things that are on your mind so that you can be in the moment." (Location 544)

The reason I want to talk about this one is because I struggle with it. I need to remember it and write it down on my heart and in my head. I tend to be a bad listener. While K is talking, I am already planning what I want to say and how to fix his problem. Or when we are arguing, I am preparing what I am going to say instead of listening to him. I tend to interrupt while he is talking so I don't forget what I want to say. There are many ways to listen: listening to his day, listening to his point while we are arguing, listening when he needs comfort after a hard day. I have gotten a lot better about putting down what I am doing to listen. It bothers me when I am talking to someone and they are playing on their phone or texting, so I know I shouldn't do it to someone else especially my husband! There are so many places I can practice to be a good listener and a better wife. I am making this my own vow to listen to him with my whole heart and both ears.

So, what about you? What is your vow to yourself for your marriage? What will you vow to work on?  Definitely check out her book. It opened my eyes on a few things I needed to work on as a wife.

Until next time, have a great day!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

It's not a bad word...

I didn't realize how hard this post would be for me. I have been sitting here trying to get it together for about a week now. It's a topic that is very important to me and our marriage. After I read and studied my chapter in Song of Solomon, I felt God was telling me I was ready to talk about it. But, it was finding the words to do it.  It is something that is completely lost to our society and hard for us to follow as wives.

Submission.

The definition of submission from Merriam-Webster: 2) the condition of being submissive, humble, compliant  3) an act of submitting to the authority or control of another

We are taught in today's day and age that submission is a bad word. It is a belief that is long lost and forgotten. But submission is a teaching from the bible; a teaching from God. As wives we are to submit to our husbands as we would to the Lord.

 The Bible's definition of submission: 


When I say submission, there are many ways I submit to K. And let me say that I don't think submitting to your husband means to be a doormat or do whatever he says because he says it. We can and should voice our opinions and be an equal part of the marriage. If it is morally wrong or goes against what you believe, you have a right to go against him. (for example...abuse. I do not condone abuse).

By submitting to my husband, I put my trust in his hands and allow him to make the decisions. Yes, we talk about it and he considers me an equal partner in this marriage. He listens to my opinion on the decision. Sometimes, we argue about whatever the decision might be if we disagree. And believe me, it happens. We are both headstrong. But, ultimately, he makes the final decision and I support him because I put my trust in my Lord and Savior and I submit to Him. He has blessed me beyond words can describe with my marriage and the ability to share it with you, and the least I can do is what he asks. I also do it because I love and trust my husband.

Here are some ways you can practice submission to your husband

1) No husband bashing
I was at a friend's house where we were getting together with other couples. The husbands were in one room and the wives were in another. One friend starting pointing out her husband's faults and mistakes and the other wives quickly chimed in. They even talked about very private details. After listening to the continuous bashing, I sat back and vowed that I would not participate in husband bashing. It made me sad. Our husbands should be able to trust us in the company of others to respect him. Don't get me wrong, I think you should have someone you can go to when there is an issue you can't handle. A reliable mentor you can trust they won't hold what you tell them against your husband. But if something is bothering you about them, the biggest thing is to pray for your husband. Go to God with the issue that is bothering you. Out of respect and love for K, I refrain from airing out his faults and mistakes to others.

2) Supporting the final decision
I touched on this earlier, but it is so important. We were faced with a particularly hard decision not long ago about my car. It is 11 years old and for the most part has been running really well and getting me where I need to go. Last year we had a pretty major repair and then a few weeks ago, the transmission solenoid went out, which is a pretty big repair and would cost quite a bit. We had a big decision to make: whether to get into another note or just repair it and not have to worry about a note. We talked about it and prayed about it, and in the end I supported his decision to keep my car and fix it. That's just one example of the many decisions we have had to make as a couple.
It's not always easy; there are times when I wonder if he is making the right decision. But, I trust him and know he wants the best for us.

3)Pray for him
I try to go to God for everything. I used to pray about K a lot, but now I pray for him before I pray about him. I pray about his role as a husband, his growth as a Christian, his job, everything. I trust God to take care of K and he always does.

4) No punishing
After 7 years of marriage, I am learning how important it is to my marriage to be intimate. I am not just talking about making love, but also connecting on an emotional level. I am also learning how important it is to make love with my husband. It is how they know everything is ok, and we can show them how much we love them. It is one of the reasons God created sex. I know women who withhold and punish their husbands by not having sex with them. This makes me very sad.



I know there are times that we are beyond tired, so much going on, work, children, taking care of our house, or even not feeling it, but our greatest and most powerful tool is our minds. If we set our mind to love our husband, we can.

Please don't think that I am attacking wives or that there aren't hard situations out there. I know there are situations that would make my head spin. I am praying for you. I just want to offer some insight into what can make a marriage happy. Our marriages and husbands are worth it.

Until next time...have a great day!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Seeking God Together through Rough Times

Life is starting to get back to some normalcy. This has been a rough year.

I hope this doesn't sound like complaining, because I'm not. I just want you to understand that K and I aren't perfect. Even though we have a happy marriage, we hit bumps, hurdles, sometimes pot holes that swallow us. The main point of this is how we make it through it. Like the country song says, "every storm runs out of rain".

It started last Sept with a death in my family.. Shortly after, I started with chronic back pain that kept me out of work for a month. (Which I am still and apparently always will deal with it.) Fast forwarding through the year, we went through changes with K's job (involved many late nights), my grandma's knee surgery (and recovery with us), and two huge car repairs we were not expecting. There were days and nights we were beyond drained and exhausted.

Enough of the depressing stuff, right? Here's the bright side...there are two big things that happened in the mist of this rough patch.

1) K and I are closer than ever. 
I have heard many couples drift apart through hard times. I was determined not to let that happen. It was hard...don't get me wrong. There were a few late nights he worked that it bothered me and I let him know. I missed him and wanted him home. I needed him. But after a lot of praying, I realized he needed me too. K needed me to be strong and supportive. Instead of nagging him about the late nights, I thanked him for his hard work. There were times when something he did would aggravate me. And I have a bad habit of taking my frustration out on him when I am stressed. But with even more praying and K's amazing patience, I have gotten a lot better. When I feel overwhelmed, his arms are the first place I go. God gave me the strength I needed to get through this with K. Instead of pulling apart, God pulled us even closer together.

2) The key to getting through these storms was our trust and dependency on God. 
My relationship with God has gotten stronger. And a lot of times that is why we go through the storms. To see God on the other side. I have learned to trust him when it's the hardest. Sometimes the waiting is worse than the storm, but I know God will take care of us and trusting his plan is greater than mine is how I get through it.


Until next time, have a great day!




Monday, June 29, 2015

I have Two Love Languages?

I love to reread books. Being an avid reader, I want to read as many books as I can. This year, I increased my goal to read 22 books. I have read 12 so far. Rereading a book counts for me. Sometimes I catch something that I didn't the first time I read it or my opinion is a bit different. I also remember why I loved the book so much.



Rereading The Five Love Languages so I could post a review for it was fun. I loved revisiting this book. I read it back in 2010; two years after K and I were married. I loved Gary Chapman's idea of love languages and how each person has one. His idea is that you want love displayed in your particular language:



First I want to address his idea of "being in love" vs. "real love". I really think he is onto something here. When you fall in love, you can't control your feelings. You constantly think about the person; want to always be with them...they are always on your mind. You don't see their flaws or the mistakes they make are funny. I remember when I knew I was in love with K. When we met, we became close friends and then started dating and went to each other's proms and dances. I was never one who worried about ruining a friendship with a guy friend by dating. I knew it would only make it better. I am a firm believer in being your spouse's best friend. Anyway...He was consuming my mind and we were talking everyday on the phone and trying to see each other as much as school, work, and our parents would allow. It still amazes me how much time we did get to spend together in such a crucial part of our lives: graduating high school. We attended each other's graduation ceremonies and the parties after. We were sitting together talking and laughing like we still do and he looked over at me while he was playing with my hair and said "Do you know how much I love you?" It was the first time he had said that to me. I had been feeling a deep connection to him and knew I was falling in love with him. But that just sent me over the edge. Hearing it out loud was something I still can't describe. 

After 15 years of being together and 7 years of marriage, I still am completely in love with my husband. The initial feeling of being in love isn't always there, and Gary Chapman describes it beautifully of what it turns into:

"We can recognize the in love experience for what is was-a temporary high-and now pursue "real love" with our spouse. That kind of love is emotional in nature but not obsessional. It is a love that unites reason and emotion." (Chapman, 35)

We can't control falling in love, but we choose everyday to love our spouses and that this love is true. We go through hard times together, everyday routines, endless things that interrupt and take us out of the "in love" feeling, but real love survives all of that. We have to choose to love our spouses through it all. By learning your spouse's love language, you are choosing to love them unconditionally and make your marriage better.

In 2010, I took the test to see what love language I had. I didn't give the test to K; I figured his love language was physical touch. My result was Words of Affirmation. So when I took the test this time, I assumed my results would be the same. And this time, I wanted K to take the test too. 

Surprisingly, K and I have the same love language. We both value Quality time. Spending time together, no matter what that might be is very important to us. 

"By quality time, I mean giving someone your undivided attention. I don't mean sitting on the couch watching T.V. together. When you spend time that way, ABC or NBC has your attention." (Chapman, 59) 

Chapman goes into further explanation that there are different dialects to the love language quality time: quality conversation and quality activities. Quality conversation deals with talking with each other about thoughts and feelings and having intimate conversations (no interruptions) and quality activities involve doing things that you both enjoy. Both are equally important to me. I like to make sure K and I keep the T.V. off for at least 20-30 minutes after he gets home so we can talk about our day without any distractions. And we have found many things we love to do together. 

I was also surprised to learn that I scored equally in physical touch as my love language. (K's second language is also this one...there was a one point difference.) I never was a "touchy" person. Hugs and affection didn't come easily to me at first, but it is very important to K. I have been working on being more affectionate to K, and now it happens a lot more naturally. He is very affectionate...he always reaches for my hand and he gives the best hugs. 

"Physical touch is also a powerful vehicle for communicating marital love. Holding hands, kissing, embracing, and sexual intercourse are all ways of communicating emotional love to one's spouse." (Chapman, 115)

I am going to leave this topic for now; I plan to explore this topic more in my next post after I studied Song of Solomon Chapter 4. 



Overall, this a great book and an incredible tool for marriages. I learned so much about K and me and will probably revisit it in a few years. I want to make sure K's love tank is full, so I choose to do what I can to make that possible. Definitely 5 stars and should be read in every marriage.

On a side note, I am still doing really well with my challenge of fighting the frump. I have been wearing t-shirts, but dressing it up with earrings and makeup and no cotton shorts. I feel great! :) K has definitely appreciated it! 

Until next time...have a great day!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I feel pretty...

I have mentioned several times that I love Sheila Wray Gregoire's blog, To Love, Honor, and Vacuum. I have learned so much from her and have gotten some great marriage tips and ideas for this blog. In fact, I may even sound like a broken record. But you should check out her blog. It's really amazing. I don't always agree with everything she says, but I don't expect you to always agree with me either. :) Well, I have been inspired yet again by her. And this time I am challenging myself. She posted a blog titled Fighting the Frump. It definitely hit me at the right time. Lately, I have been wearing frumpy shorts and old t-shirts and no makeup. It was the easiest and most comfortable and I had just really focused on taking care of my grandma and didn't care. After reading her post, I realized I need to care. I had lost respect for myself and what I looked like. It wasn't fair to me or to K. He doesn't say anything...he even tells me I don't need makeup. But I don't feel good about the way I have been looking. And I want him to like what he sees.

Taking care of ourselves should be important to us as wives. Now that may mean different things to you. Whether it's wearing nice clothes, wearing makeup, accessories, whatever it means to you, it should convey and show respect for ourselves and our husbands.



This is what fighting the frump means to me: I am challenging myself to only wear cotton shorts or pajama pants if K and I are having a pajama day. And here's the real challenge: for the duration of the summer. Why might this be a challenge? Because I am off of work and won't return until September. I want this to become a daily habit. I want to feel better about myself. I don't plan to dress up; I will stick to casual dress like blue jeans or blue jean shorts. I mean,this is South LA...it's hot. But I can make a pair of blue jean shorts look cute ;) And I love a good fitted t-shirt. So that maybe a look I go for on a stay at home day. But I plan to dress it up and stay away from frumpy. I challenge myself to start wearing makeup more. I like wearing makeup. I have gotten lots of tips from my sister (check out her blog...she is an amazing makeup artist). But even something as simple as powder, eyeliner, and mascara can go a long way.

So, this is me starting my challenge today! Here I am with no makeup...


 And here I am with my hair brushed, a little powder, eyeliner, mascara, lip gloss, and simple jewelry.

I have to say, I am excited and motivated to do this challenge. I will post periodically with pics and keep you updated on how I am doing. I am doing this for K, but I am mainly doing this for me too. I love feeling good about myself and feeling pretty. And I don't think there is anything wrong with something that will help us and motivate us to feel pretty :)

So what about you? Will you join me in this challenge?

Until next time...have  great day!


Monday, June 22, 2015

A Lesson in Communication

Have you ever read the book the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman?


I plan to reread it and post a review on here...I love this book. It not only taught me about myself, but it taught me a lot about how a man thinks and what they want from their wife in terms of love. My love language is words of affirmation, which means I love above everything else words of encouragement, compliments, a simple thank you. I love when K tells me that I smell nice or he likes how I look. I struggle with my image and compliments lift my spirits and I want to know that he appreciates what he sees. I like looking nice for him. Sometimes he struggles with the compliments and I have to remind him how important it is to me, but he never fails to thank me for something I have done for him. Even if it is something small like fixing his lunch in the morning. That will set my day just right. 



The reason I wanted to talk about this today is because this morning I spent sometime with God and studied the second chapter of Song of Solomon. These two lovers knew how to talk to one another and compliment each other. This chapter tackles serious topics like not rushing love and intimacy, but the main thing I appreciated about this passage was their way with words about each other. 

I think communication is one of the foundations to a great marriage. I have posted about communication before, but it goes deeper than just what to talk about. It's also how we talk to each other that is so important. 

"Like the finest apple tree in the orchard
Is my lover among other young men." (Song of Solomon 2:3)

The young woman is basically saying her lover is the best thing in the world to her. According to the notes, middle eastern climate is very hot and intense and a tree can provide shade and be life saving. It's also a sensual image. She continues praising him by commenting about how he is her provider and talks of the desire for their intimacy. 

He responds with words of wanting to see her:
"Let me see your face;
let me hear your voice.
For your voice is pleasant,
and your face is lovely." (Song of Solomon 2:14)

I try to give K compliments often. Since it is important to me and my "love language", I convey it to him. I make sure to thank him when he does something nice for me, and if I think he looks nice, I tell him. I don't think we should keep things like that to ourselves, or "assume" they know how we feel or think. (I really struggled with this when we were first married...I had to learn the hard way that he is not a mind reader.) I don't think compliments and encouragement should stop once we are married; on the contrary, I think on our journey as husband and wife it is even more important. They need to know how important they are to us and how much they mean to us. Just because we think it, doesn't mean they know it. 

Great communication also shows our respect for each other: in the way we talk to one another and even argue. I try really hard when K and I argue never to insult him or cut him down. We also don't yell. With this practice I am showing him that even though I am mad and upset, I still respect and love him. I also show respect  for K by not talking badly of him to others. We all have faults and make mistakes, and gossiping about his to others is not a way to show him respect. 

We can learn a lot from the language of this couple and how to communicate with each other. They used very romantic poetry which I don't expect us to use, but I got the underlying message. And that is what I really enjoyed about this chapter of Song of Solomon. It reminded me of how important it is to communicate my appreciation for K. 


Until next time, have a great day!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What Will You Choose?

After reading a post by Sheila Wray Gregoire about daddy issues and  a conversation I had this morning...this post sparked in my head and I prayed about it. My first post explained why I wanted to do this blog, but it went deeper than that and now I feel it's a good time to elaborate on it.

Marriage wasn't an easy topic for me. My parents divorced when I was 2 and both remarried. I also saw divorce in other areas of the family and wondered if it was going to be possible for me to have a happy marriage. I even went through a brief period before K and I got married where I was scared to get married. I didn't want to fall into another failed marriage listed in my family. I wondered if I could really do this?? 

I had one serious boyfriend before K and I thought I was in love with him. But, I knew in my heart he wasn't the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. After we broke up, I had in my mind what kind of man I wanted to date. God blessed me with K even when I wasn't looking. When the fear crept up about marriage, I prayed about it and decided I was going to have a good marriage. That K and I would have not just a good marriage, but a great one. Just because I had seen a lot of divorce and failed marriages didn't mean I had to fall into the same category. In fact, I was going to make sure we didn't. I was determined my relationship was going to be different. 

Now K comes from the opposite side of the spectrum. His parents have been married for 48 years and have a great marriage. He has family members who just celebrated 60 years of marriage!! And they couldn't be cuter! 

So you maybe wondering why I am posting all of this to you? Well, I want you to know that I have a happy marriage because I choose to. And some of you maybe thinking several things: it's easy for you to say you choose a happy marriage, you already have one or you don't know what I am going through and what I have to put up with. And you're half right. I have been through a lot to know that marriage isn't easy and some situations are really hard. And I don't know what you are going through. But I just want you to know that I am praying for you and a happy marriage is possible if you choose to make it that way. It doesn't have to be miserable.

One thing K and I live by is there is no plan B. We are going to work at it no matter what we go through in this life. God put us together for a reason and we will see it through together. So while we are at it, we are going to have fun and laugh a lot. (That's a biggie.) God has helped me so much and helped me see that a happy marriage is possible. I have given many many tips in the past year on what makes K and I happy together and I plan to give plenty more. It all comes around to choices. We can choose to be happy and have a happy marriage or we can choose to be miserable. What will you choose?




Until next time, have a great day!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes



Are you a creature of habit? Do you like routine? Do you work better with a schedule? All of the above applies to K and me. We thrive off of routine, habit, and schedules. I've even posted about our habits before. But, this week we are experiencing change. And it has made me realize how important it is to lean on each other.

My grandma had knee surgery Monday. And now that she is recovering, she is staying with us. She is doing well with it, but it is very demanding on her. She has a lot to do with physical therapy, so I stay busy being her nurse.

I think it is very important during a season of change to lean on each other and not forget you are married. K has been very helpful picking up anything if I need him to, and just being available if I need something. But it has to go deeper than that. I am taking time to myself. Like right now, she is napping, so I am doing a few things I love (like posting this blog.) I read, check email, catch up on housework, check pinterest. As a couple though, we also need to find time together. We need to remember to be affectionate and laugh at the little things. We try to stick to some habits...like texting each other during the day and eating supper together. And communication will be a key...we will need to communicate about mundane things...how our days are and how we are doing in general. It's these important things that will help K and I stay connected during the changes.

Until next time, have a good day!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Fun New Adventure

K and I aren't very adventurous. We are creatures of habit; change doesn't sit very well with us. These last few weeks have been full of change. K has had to work long hours and we haven't seen much of each other lately, plus we are preparing for my grandma to stay with us while she recovers from surgery.

So I wanted to spend Memorial weekend with K since he didn't have to work, and I tried to think of a fun date. Something different, but that we would both enjoy. When we get away, we always go to Baton Rouge to shop at the Mall of Louisiana. I started looking on Pinterest for ideas for dates and came across an idea for a bookstore scavenger hunt. Of course, I was beyond interested. I love books; reading is one of my favorite hobbies. Libraries and bookstores are my safe haven. I came up with 20 ideas and a point system in order to convince K this would be fun. We can be quite competitive. The ideas included: a book you loved in high school, a book made into a movie you have not seen, a book with your birth year, a book with a recipe you want to try, etc. As I kept writing down the ideas, the more excited I was getting. This was going to be fun! I just had to convince K.

At first, he wasn't thrilled, but he was willing to give it a try and wanted to get away as much as I did. We traveled to Baton Rouge and ate at Walk Ons; a wonderful restaurant with great American food with shopping after.



The shopping was fun, but I was looking forward to the scavenger hunt. We split up when we got there and had an hour to find all the books on the list. We had to take pics of the books to prove we found them.


A book from my all time favorites list


A recipe that I would love to try from Hungry Girl


Two favorite books from my childhood


A book made into a movie that I haven't seen

After we found our books, we found a quiet little table to share our pictures and some delicious cheesecake. I found out a few new things about K...he thinks that a book everyone should read is the bible and a book he liked in high school was the Hobbit. He beat me in points, but it definitely was a lot of fun roaming around Barnes and Nobles taking selfies with books and sharing them with K. It may not sound very adventurous, but for us that is as adventurous as we get. What can I say? We are total nerds.

My advice for today is not to be afraid to try something new together. It could be lots of fun and a great way to reconnect!

Until next time, have a great day!