Category: living life

Weekly Roundup

Sometimes I have a whole bunch of cool things to share and they don’t necessarily need a whole post. I am going to attempt to start a Weekly Roundup with those items in it. Have a great weekend!

 

{1} This post about marriage.

{2} 27 Underrated Things About Being In Your 30s

{3} Couldn’t agree more with this post on Thoughts on Parenthood from a Childless Girl

{4} 11 Life Hacks for the Emotionally Struggling 20-Something

Three Ohhh

My 30th didn’t start out great.

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Let me back up by saying that M accidentally emailed me Sept. 30. He sent a reminder for my birthday instead of an invitation when he set up his Google calendar.  So, that was fun.

See, logically I shouldn’t think about him or talk about him or miss him. I do though. I find myself saying things like “well Matt used to do X that was so funny” or something like that. When I tore him a new one emailed him around Easter, I purged everything. I was hurt to the core, and I let him know that. So why aren’t my head and heart on the same page?? That’s an excellent question. One I pray about daily.

I can deal with my feelings, but having him contact me is an entirely new level of confusing that I can’t wrap my head around. Of course all the old feelings came to surface, and I let him know. He said I mindfucked him. Because I woke up that morning knowing he’d email me..

As I was driving home from my picnic with the bestie for her birthday, I saw an email from him. My first thought was OMG STOP EMAILING ME REMINDERS!! Then I realized that it was an actual email he typed out. I read it, picked my place up a bit, got ready for bed, and then figured out my response. My response received no response, which I think hurt more than the initial email.

I woke up on my birthday confused and sad. As I was thinking about things tears streamed down my face and I began praying again. Why can he affect me this way? Why am I not over this already? What is the bigger picture here? What am I missing? PLEASE show me what all this means because I can’t take this back and forth limbo anymore. It’s very frustrating.

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I started cleaning my place up for company arriving later and took things to storage. When I took a break from all the cleaning, tears streamed down my face again. You’re not supposed to cry on your birthday! I decided I would not let it get to me and it would not ruin my birthday, especially my 30th. I’d already had one ex ruin my 21st. I began cleaning again and around that time the bestie showed up. Thank God for that angel. She brought me a mini cake and some champagne for us to toast to. I gave her a hug after she put her stuff down and she told me NO TEARS! Not anymore. I love that she gets it. She gets the tears, the anger, the frustration, the sadness, the whole picture.

After the toast we got lunch, got a mani/pedi and our hair done. What a great way to spend your 30th. Being pampered with your best friend. After getting our hair done we headed to my place to get ready for the evening. I planned a small dinner with close friends, then dancing. I have never had so many people flake out of plans in my life.

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The older I get, the more I realize who I can and cannot count on to be there for me. In the past I have allowed myself to become upset when I realized I couldn’t count on someone. I’m not sure if it’s an age thing or everything I have been through in the last year, but recently I have had the whatever attitude towards people when I realize that I can’t count on them. I tend to hold my friends to high standards. Maybe those standards aren’t necessarily fair to hold people to. Because of these high standards, I have been able to weed out the people that I don’t need in my life. I recall a convo between M and I from years ago.. He said he always thought he was a good friend, but since knowing me, he realized I was a GREAT friend to my friends and that he could be a better friend. I pride myself on that. If we have a connection and you need me, for something big or small, I am there. What ever gene that is, I’m glad I have it. I think it makes me a better person.
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I love birthdays, especially mine. I love all things that go with it, celebrating, cake, friends, dressing up, etc. I originally started out with 10 people coming to celebrate my birthday  with me. Minutes before dinner, there were not 10 people. Maybe I should gift some Emily Post books for Christmas? It was actually me, Ashley and a guy she worked with that I’ve met once. Major props to him, he barely knew me. I had two more friends that joined me afterwards that couldn’t be there for dinner due to scheduling. Where the rest of my friends were, I don’t know. The people that knew it meant a lot to me showed up, and I truly appreciate that.

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I just wanted to document my milestone birthday.. Here are some pictures from my bday.

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My office sent me flowers on Friday. They care!

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Saturday night. You can’t tell in this pic, but I figured my 30th was the perfect occasion to wear my Louboutins.

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Making fun of Ashley for how she was posing in the first pic.

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G and me

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Me and Ash

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Obligatory shot. Ugh, I’m so not a shot girl.

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G, me, Ash and Laura

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cake!

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Blowing out my candle

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I was taking a pic of Ash and my friend Nick photo bombed the pic. Hilarious.

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Laughing with Laura

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Hilarity

23 Things Every Woman Should Stop Doing

At times women are too hard on themselves.   I heard my morning radio station talking about things every woman should stop doing. There was a total of 23 things. Here is the list, created by Huffington Post

 

It is conventional wisdom that we’re our own worst enemies and despite the cliche, the idea rings true. We often drive ourselves insane striving for perfection in our experiences, relationships and selves, and honestly it just becomes exhausting. So here at HuffPost Women we’re issuing a challenge to ourselves — and other women — to stop doing these 23 things. (Of course it’s all easier said than done, but to employ another cliche, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.)

1. Apologizing all the time.

2. Saying “yes” to everyone else.

3. Saying “no” to yourself.

4. Viewing food as the enemy.

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5. Body-snarking — out loud or in your own head.

6. Feeling like an impostor when you accomplish something professionally.

7. Obsessively untagging every “unflattering” photo of you that ever existed online.

internet addiction

8. Comparing your real life to someone else’s virtual one.

9. Holding on to regrets and guilt.

10. Wearing heels every day.

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11. Judging other women’s sex lives.

12. Judging your own sex life.

13. Trying to be “chill.”

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14. Fearing the label “crazy.”

15. WebMD-ing everything.

16. Worrying that your life doesn’t look like Pinterest.

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17. Fearing being alone.

18. Being in relationships for the sake of having a relationship.

19. Not taking advantage of your vacation days.

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20. Holding on to toxic friendships.

21. Spending time with people out of obligation.

22. Being embarrassed about your interests.

23. Setting deadlines for major life events.

7 Cardinal Rules in Life

 

  1. Make PEACE with your PAST so it doesn’t spoil your present. Your past does not define your future – your actions and beliefs do.
  2. What others THINK of you is none of your business. It’s how much you value yourself and how important you think you are.
  3. Time HEALS almost everything, give time, time. Pain will be less hurting. Scars make us who we are, they explain our life and why we are the way we are. They challenge us and force us to be stronger.
  4. No one is the reason for your own HAPPINESS, except you yourself. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside.
  5. Don’t COMPARE your life with others’, you have no idea what their journey is all about. If we all threw our problems in a pile and  saw everyone elses’s, we would grab ours back as fast as we could.
  6. Stop THINKING too much. It’s alright not to know all the answers. Sometimes there is no answer, not going to be any answer, never has been an answer. That’s the answer! Just accept it, move on, NEXT!
  7. SMILE, you don’t own all the problems in the world. A smile can brighten the darkest day and make life more beautiful. It is a potential curve to turn a life around and set everything straight.

Rules for Being Amazing

By Robin Sharma

Risk more than is required.

Learn more than is normal.

Be strong.

Show courage.

Breathe.

Excel.

Love.

Lead.

Speak your truth.

Live your values.

Laugh.

Cry.

Innovate.

Simplify.

Adore mastery.

Release mediocrity.

Aim for genius.

Stay humble.

Be kinder than expected.

Deliver more than is needed.

Exude passion.

Shatter your limits.

Transcend your fears.

Inspire others by your bigness.

Dream big but start small.

Act now.

Don’t stop.

Change the world.

Running

When I was little I was equal parts tomboy and girly girl. Over the years I seemed to have gottent rid of the tomboy part of myself. I played softball one year in middle school and I hated it. I suppose I’ve just never found anything that has kept me interested. Except gymnastics, but the whole doing a flip in the air and landing on a bar and not killing yourself really terrifies me.

As I’m nearing 30, it has become more evident that this tiny petite body I’ve always had won’t stay long if I don’t work at it. Overall I eat pretty healthy. I love all things cake and cupcakes, but in moderation. Not that I’ve noticed gravity taking place, but I want to be lean and tone. Jiggles aren’t cute. There’s no other way to say it. I’ve always been the girl that thought..

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In order to expand my horizons, my BFF decided we needed to participate in C25K. I actually agreed to do it! I figured that it would be fun to do little 5Ks in other cities. That way not only are we being all healthy and stuff, we get to travel and see different cities. It’s a win win, right? c25k

We decided a few weeks ago to actually go through with it and last night was our first night preparing. It honestly wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. At times I could feel my calves getting sore, but I wasn’t dying. I was pretty happy when it was over though. I’m a little sore today, but I was also sore from dancing over the weekend. Tonight is night 2. It’s a little scary to think that I can actually do a 5K.

My first walk/run is this weekend. My coworker’s wife asked us all to participate in an event for Lekotek. It’s a walk/run for 4 miles, so it shouldn’t be too hard. Wish me luck!

JT

I know I’ve already posted the JT song Mirrors butttttt I just saw the one where he performed it on SNL. This is going to sound so cheesy, but this song makes me hopeful, again, that I will find my mirror. See what I did there?

UH JT still has it goin on. Those moves! That voice! Jess Biel is one lucky lady! Not joking, I’d love to be her for 30 minutes. He could just sing to me. ha!

[Verse 1]
Aren’t you somethin’ to admire
Cause your shine is somethin’ like a mirror

And I can’t help but notice
You reflect in this heart of mine

If you ever feel alone and
The glare makes me hard to find
Just know that I’m always
Parallel on the other side

[Bridge]
Cause with your hand in my hand and a pocket full of soul
I can tell you there’s no place we couldn’t go
Just put your hand on the glass
I’m here tryin’ to pull you through
You just gotta be strong

[Chorus]
Cause I don’t wanna lose you now
I’m lookin’ right at the other half of me
The vacancy that sat in my heart
Is a space that now you hold
Show me how to fight for now
And I’ll tell you, baby, it was easy
Comin’ back into you once I figured it out
You were right here all along
It’s like you’re my mirror
My mirror staring back at me
I couldn’t get any bigger
With anyone else beside me
And now it’s clear as this promise
That we’re making
Two reflections into one
Cause it’s like you’re my mirror

My mirror staring back at me, staring back at me

[Verse 2]
Aren’t you somethin’, an original
Cause it doesn’t seem really as simple
And I can’t help but stare, cause
I see truth somewhere in your eyes
I can’t ever change without you
You reflect me, I love that about you
And if I could, I
Would look at us all the time

[Bridge]

[Chorus]

[Break]
Yesterday is history
Tomorrow’s a mystery

I can see you lookin’ back at me
Keep your eyes on me
Baby, keep your eyes on me

[Chorus]

You are, you are the love of my life

[Verse 3]
Baby, you’re the inspiration of this precious song
And I just wanna see your face light up since you put me on
So now I say goodbye to the old me, it’s already gone
And I can’t wait wait wait wait wait to get you home
Just to let you know, you are

[Chorus]

[Verse 4]
Girl you’re my reflection, all I see is you
My reflection, in everything I do

You’re my reflection and all I see is you
My reflection, in everything I do

[Chorus]

I also found a Part 1 and Part 2 of him on The Jonathan Ross Show. He is so funny and I missed the memo that he was the voice of Boo Boo?!

Part 2

March Bucket List Completions

Go to the movies alone

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Have drinks at the St. Regis

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Eat at Tomo

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Advice on Men

Advice from Oprah about men

Oprah-Winfrey

If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away.

If he doesn’t want you, nothing can make him stay.

Stop making excuses for a man and his behavior.

Allow your intuition (or spirit) to save you from heartache.

Stop trying to change yourself for a relationship that’s not meant to be.

Slower is better.

Never live your life for a man before you find what makes you truly happy.

If a relationship ends because the man was not treating you as you deserve then heck no, you can’t “be friends”. A friend wouldn’t mistreat a friend.

Don’t settle.

If you feel like he is stringing you along, then he probably is.

Don’t stay because you think “it will get better.” You’ll be mad at yourself a year later for staying when things are not better.

The only person you can control in a relationship is you.

Avoid men who’ve got a bunch of children by a bunch of different women. He didn’t marry them when he got them pregnant, why would he treat you any differently?

Always have your own set of friends separate from his.

Maintain boundaries in how a guy treats you.

If something bothers you, speak up.

Never let a man know everything. He will use it against you later.

You cannot change a man’s behavior. Change comes from within.

Don’t EVER make him feel he is more important than you are… even if he has more education or in a better job.

Do not make him into a quasi-god. He is a man, nothing more nothing less.

Never let a man define who you are.

Never borrow someone else’s man. If he cheated with you, he’ll cheat on you.

A man will only treat you the way you ALLOW him to treat you.

All men are NOT dogs.

You should not be the one doing all the bending…compromise is two way street.

You need time to heal between relationships…there is nothing cute about baggage… deal with your issues before pursuing a new relationship.

You should never look for someone to COMPLETE you…a relationship consists of two WHOLE individuals…look for someone complimentary…not supplementary.

Dating is fun…even if he doesn’t turn out to be Mr. Right.

Make him miss you sometimes…when a man always know where you are, and you’re always readily available to him – he takes it for granted.

Never move into his mother’s house.

Never co-sign for a man.

Don’t fully commit to a man who doesn’t give you everything that you need. Keep him in your radar but get to know others.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them and an entire lifetime to forget them.

 

As seen on Tailored to an E.

Thoughts and Prayers

I do my best praying and thinking in the shower. Depending on my day, I take a shower in the morning and one at night. Tonight after working out, I started thinking about God and why things are the way they are. Let me see if I can word this..

There’s a particular situation that I absolutely do not understand. Most of what I don’t understand are the feelings that I have. Do we actually have control over our feelings though? Which is probably the main problem. I am a control freak. I can’t do anything about the situation and it’s in the past. It hurts and makes me sad. All I have are the make-me-want-to-vomit feelings. Literally sick to my stomach. WHY? I don’t want to. I want to not care. Yet I do. A lot.

In the shower I started thinking, that’s your problem. HELLO! You’re a control freak. You need to let go and let God. Only, where and how do you begin? How do you change the pattern? Which lead me to thinking, why didn’t God make it easy? On the flip side, if he made us all perfect, what would the point of everything be? Everything as in, life, Jesus dying for us.. Why can’t we all just be happy and healthy and worship Him? That probably sounds really stupid but that was really my thought process. Can you tell that even when I’m praying I seem to get side-tracked?

I’m not sure if it’s my age or what, but I’ve started feeling ..empty. I think maybe that’s the best way to word my feelings. I’ve started to realize that just praying is not cutting it. I’ve actually read a few blogs in particular (Bloom, The Little Things We Do, and Butler: Party of 2)  that made me think, wow they are so into their relationship with God and you can tell. That’s definitely something that just praying is not doing for me. I downloaded the YouVersion Bible App that Kerri mentioned in her post. I think this should help me tremendously. I think that daily devotion is a good start for me.  It’s not fair for me to ask God to bless me with all these things that I want in the future (husband, family, etc) and only interact with Him through prayer. I figure I have absolutely nothing to lose. I mean, I want to feel joy too! That’s the one I am starting with – A Jolt of Joy. There are several others that caught my eye, but I think for now I need to stick to doing just one.

Vacation Bug

It’s safe to say that the vacation bug has officially hit me. Only, the vacation I’m planning isn’t until October. What can I say, I like to know details. See, it’s kind of a big deal. It will be my 30th birthday! My bestie’s birthday is the day before mine so we are going on vacation together. Since I’m all about knocking things off my bucket list, we haven’t really decided on where to go yet. There are so many things to factor in! Do we want to rent a place, or stay in a hotel? How many people are going with us? Right now, we are thinking about 3 possible vaction locations..

Virgin Islands – St. Croix

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Cancun, Mexico

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or go on a cruise

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Honestly, you can pretty much put me in sand and water and I’ll be happy! I’m a little nervous about the cruise idea – they haven’t had a good rep the last couple of years. I’m hoping we can take advantage of a free place in Mexico. Either way, I’m  so excited!!

Waiting

You may remember this post about love. Some times you come across things that can only be a sign from God. Like these two posts. Click on the title and it will take you to each blog post. I only pasted a few parts from each blog.

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Not Open for Business

A few years back my friend Amanda was hell bent and determined to put me on match.com to find a man. Thank goodness she never did because I don’t necessarily believe in the whole online dating thing. Not to mention my roommate in college did it and went out on some dates with real whack jobs. Online dating should have a mental health screen first….

I believe that God – big man upstairs – has something better planned for my love life. I trust that He is going to put the right man in my life at the right time. I’m just wondering WHEN. When making my cheesy wedding website, I don’t want to have to tell everyone and their mother that we met online. DISCLAIMER – I am not knocking online dating and those who have done it and or gotten married from it. My big met her husband through it. If you found the love of your life then more power to you sister!

They say that you find love when you least expect it – whomp whomp – well isn’t online dating basically a supercharged way of looking and finding a mate?

On that cheesy wedding website I want some kind of equally cheesy or nauseating love story about how we met. I am sure that I sound ridiculous right now. And if you are a man reading this you might call me crazy and I’m going to let you in on a little secret…I pretty much am and so are all the rest of the women on this planet. I hope you have figured that out by now. And if you haven’t, I hope I just didn’t blow your mind.

 

Thank you, my thoughts exactly! It will happen when it is supposed to, not just because you set up an online dating profile.

 

God’s Perfect Timing

 

Here’s what I’m learning. We claim we trust God….and most of us think we trust God. But when it comes down to it, do we REALLY trust Him??

We trust God with our eternity, but it’s so much tougher to trust Him with our NOW. We live in a generation where we like quick fixes, and we expect our prayers to be answered in the same way. Quickly. Preferably in our own time, and in the way we want. We are not content with anything else.

We assume when God doesn’t answer us immediately that He doesn’t hear us; that He isn’t working in our life; that He doesn’t love us; that we have done something wrong and are being punished. It seems like He is blessing everyone else BUT us….and we begin focusing on and comparing our journey with others’. That is NOT at all what God intends.

Your journey is your own, and God has you EXACTLY where He wants you, and for a reason. Our goal as believers should be to continue to seek Him, draw closer to Him, TRUST Him, and have faith in His works….which includes (as difficult as it may be) accepting HIS TIMING.

God is ALWAYS at work. And God is LOVE. He always has your best interest at heart. He wants the VERY best for you, and that includes HIS perfect timing. We forget that we  can only see right now, but God sees big picture. Sometimes He is busy working other things out so He can bless us above and beyond all we have asked or imagined (Ephesians 3:20). Sometimes he is trying to help us to grow closer to Him….to learn to trust HIM alone, lean ONLY on Him (Proverbs 3:5-6), and develop our faith. When we try to rush things and make things happen in our own timing, we can end up causing ourselves a lot of heartache and pain. I know I have seen this time and time again…particularly when people rush into marriage. We tend to always be thinking of the next step, and sometimes God just wants us to BE STILL. To listen. To let Him finish a work.

So here’s my challenge. Id you are in a season of waiting, do not give up. Try not to questions God’s timing. Rather, ask Him what He is trying to show you during your waiting. What is it He is wanting to do in your life, right now?? Dig into the Word, spend more time with Him in prayer, and find comfort and peace in Scriptures that speak to you. And definitely do NOT make a move until you hear clearly from the Lord. So many times we try to rush things and make them happen in our own timing, and like I said, when we do things out of God’s will, that usually results in chaos and heartache.

 

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EEEEEEEE

So many wonderful changes going on in my life right now that I am super excited about. So blessed!!!!

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I Can’t Wait

In the past week or so I have noticed a reoccurring theme that keeps popping up when I least expect it. Love.

I am slightly obsessed with Ashley & J.P. I didn’t watch their season, but I do follow her on twitter because I think she is the cutest. I know that their wedding was televised and I missed it. A few days later I remembered it so I watched in online. Now, I am not typically a crier at sweet things, but I was bawling happy tears. They are adorable together!!! They sort of remind me of Carrie and Mike. Maybe not physically, or their story, but their love for one another does. It’s the real deal…

As I was browsing Pinterest earlier, I came across what I thought was a wedding picture. It was pretty and I thought it would be a cute idea for when that day comes. So I clicked on the link to find that it was a blog post someone had written about How to Ensure Your Marriage Will Get Better with Age. I was curious to see what all she had to say so I read her post. She was pretty dead on with a lot of things. I am pasting her post below for easier access to reading it.

how to ensure your marriage will get better with age

 

I have been really hesitant to write this post, not only because it is a personal subject, but because I don’t want anyone to think I’m claiming to be a marriage expert. I’m not one, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to write this. Finally, I decided that even if this post helped to strengthen just one marriage, it would be worth writing.  Every marriage is different, everyone has their own struggles and challenges, and I don’t claim that this is a comprehensive list.  It is a sincere attempt at dissecting why my marriage is the best thing in my life, and what it is that makes ours and other marriages successful.

Today is our five year anniversary. I can’t believe how fast five years has gone. It’s crazy how in a way five years seems like a big deal, but at the same time it really feels like we’ve been together so much longer than that. Recently we traveled home to attend Bryce’s little sister’s wedding. One morning all the girls went for a walk and my MIL asked us if we wished we could go back to being “newlyweds.” I was shocked at how quickly everyone responded “no way,” including myself. Although I loved being a newlywed and cherish those memories, I could never give up the things I have learned in these five short years. We have grown so much. Overcoming challenges, making decisions together, growing together, changing together, really getting to know this amazing man I married, I could never give up what we have learned and shared. Yes, things change. Bodies change, lifestyles change, children come and eventually they will go out on their own, but one thing I will always have is my husband, so here’s to making sure marriage gets better with age.
Don’t keep score. Marriage is not a game. It’s not a contest either. So why are we inclined to keep a mental tally of who is ahead? If you notice yourself checking a mental scoreboard when you do something to benefit your spouse, chances are your heart is not in the right place and you probably aren’t even noticing all the things he does for you and your family.
 
Learn to communicate well. Men and women are so different (duh) and it seems like communication is one of the ways these fundamental differences like to manifest themselves. When we were engaged our ecclesiastical leader strongly recommended that we take a marriage prep class. I’m so glad we did.  When it comes to communicating I always remember one particular story the instructor told. He and his wife were newly married and they were driving somewhere in the car. His wife asked him if he wanted anything to drink. He replied he did not. She responded, inquiring if he was sure he wasn’t thirsty. He assured her he was fine. She said, “there is a 711 right up here on the corner, it would be really easy to stop if you are.” He said again that he didn’t need a drink, but thanks anyway. When they arrived at their destination he was shocked to realize that his wife was upset with him. All she wanted was a drink. The reason I remember this story is because as comical as it is, I catch myself doing this even after five years. As soon as I realize what I am doing I force myself to say, “babe, I want a drink, can we stop?” and amazingly he is always quick to agree. Ah, direct communication. Everyone’s communication issues are different, but miscommunication causes fights and tensions that can otherwise be easily eliminated. Try to figure out what your communication differences are and breach the barriers.
 
Forgive immediately. My husband is so good at this. I remember one night saying something so mean to him in a hormonal frenzy and running up the stairs to our room. I am a proud person, and even though I knew even as the encounter happened that I was in the wrong, it was still hard to make myself go downstairs and apologize. I remember getting up my courage and finally going down. No sooner had a tearful “I’m sorry” escaped my lips than my husband had swept me up into his arms and told me it was okay, and how much he loved me. I was ashamed at this moment to realize how often my husband had committed smaller offenses which I then made him suffer for as he laid out extensive explanations for his tiny misdeeds. Or, the times when he had sincerely apologized and I had responded with an indifferent “it’s fine.”  I am trying to teach myself to forgive right away, acknowledging that no one is perfect, and remembering how much I love him despite any weaknesses. Not to mention how I want him to forgive me mine.
 
Make the time you have together count. Life is demanding. Sometimes it seems like there isn’t time in the day to get your chores done, let alone go out on a date with your spouse. One thing that has really blessed our relationship is that we have always tried to make the time we do have together worthwhile. For example, if you are going to watch a show, don’t sit on separate couches while you each browse your phones during commercials. Hold hands. Talk about what you’re watching, Talk about anything. Another way we have tried to do this is by establishing an early bedtime for our son. As soon as my husband gets home he focuses on our son, giving him his full attention, playing, laughing, teaching, and then he puts him to bed so that he gets a good amount of quality time with him each day. It has been such a blessing for us to have a few hours together before we go to sleep when we are kid-free. I realize everyone’s schedules and demands are different. Ours have changed several times since we’ve been married, but the point is to make an effort to spend meaningful time together.
 
Pray and read scriptures together.  I know that not everyone is religious and I’m not saying you have to be to make a marriage work, but I couldn’t leave this out if I am being honest about what strengthens our relationship. We read our scriptures and pray together every night and I can’t begin to explain how it has blessed our marriage. For starters, it is really hard to hold onto a silly grudge or argument as you hold hands and pray together. To take it deeper though, I can’t explain the love I feel as I hear my husband plead with God for me and for our children, for strength to keep our marriage covenants and for solutions to our problems. It is also a time when he gets to see that I recognize the things he does for our family as I tell my Heavenly Father about them and express my gratitude for such a loving husband and family.
 
Keep the sexual flame alive. Since this is a personal subject I am not going to go into details, I’ll only say that the physical side of a marriage not only matters, but is critically important. It always makes me sad to hear couples joke about how this dies out over time, after kids, etc. It doesn’t have to (shouldn’t) be that way. I’m not saying things don’t change, I’m simply saying make the physicality of your relationship a priority.
 
Don’t ever talk negatively about your spouse to others, especially your parents. If you and your spouse are having an issue or disagreement (and we all face them), it should stay between you. Complaining about your spouse to your mom not only doesn’t solve anything, but is a breach of trust and sews seeds of worry and dislike of your spouse in your parents and friends. Write in a journal, talk to God, talk to your spouse, and sincerely try to deal with the issue on your own. If you still struggle, consider consulting a councilor or ecclesiastical leader. Once you’re past the problem, you will be glad you didn’t tell the whole world about it, and so will your spouse.
 
Focus on the positive.  To state it simply, every relationship has good things and bad things. Focusing on the bad things only blurs the good ones out of your line of sight.
 
Serve your spouse. All relationships have peaks and valleys. It’s totally normal to have times that are particularly good and times when things are just static. During times when I feel static and not head over heels in love, I ask myself “what have I done for him lately?” “What am I doing to make this relationship fresh and exciting?” “What am I doing to make him love me more?” Try to do something special. Write a love note, clean his car, set up a date, or simply look into his eyes and tell him you love him so much. It’s amazing how when I change the way I treat him, it automatically changes how I feel about our relationship.
 
Set goals together. You are a team and it helps to have common goals. Talk about your hopes and dreams and then set about to work hard and realize them. As you work and sacrifice toward the same things it will bring you closer together and neither partner will feel like they are “doing it alone.”
 
Live frugally. It would be naïve to act as if money doesn’t often cause marital discord. Monetary issues are one of the top three reasons cited for divorce in the United States. There is a really simple solution to this: live within your means. Be grateful for the things that you have. If you focus on how you can work together and save to achieve your goals it will bless your marriage and help you focus on what is really important in life. I have loved writing this blog because it constantly reminds me to simplify and live frugally, which in turn has blessed our relationship.
 
Shed your selfishness. If I was going to give only one suggestion to anyone who was having marital trouble it would be this last one. Put your spouse first. If you let go of your own wants and needs and seek to meet the wants and needs of your partner you will be amazed at how your love will grow and your happiness will multiply.
 
Even though I am nowhere near perfect I am willing to work hard every day to make sure that my marriage succeeds, so now you have a list of the things I work on. I hope that this post helps someone else to do the same.
If you have any other thoughts on what makes a marriage work or ideas that have helped you strengthen your relationships I’d love for you to share in the comments, I am always learning from your thoughtful responses.
 
 
 
I am so excited about falling in love. Real, honest, sweet love. 🙂

Do Me

I hope everyone had a fantastic New Years!

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You know how you always hear people throw around the word Resolution towards the end of the year, and how 9 times out of 10 its to lose weight? Well, I’m a little different. Sure, I could lose 10-15lbs.. I {try} to become a better version of myself daily. Some times I fail miserably and some times I succeed. Luckily each day is a new beginning and all you can do is put your best foot forward.

Those of you that have followed my old blog and this one know that I’ve had my share of ups and downs. This past year was definitely a roller coaster . Over my 29 years on Earth I have learned a lot about myself; my faith, my heart, and my mind. I try to live in the moment because you only get one chance at this thing called life, and when it’s over, GAME OVER.

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With that being said, this year’s resolution is to not only be a better me, but for me to DO me. Do what I want. Accomplish my goals. Don’t let any thing or any one stand in my way. This is The Year of the Bucket List. I’m going to be in the front row with my hands in the air and hair blowing in the wind. Or my hair blowing in the wind while I scream and grasp on for dear life. All I can do is get on for the ride.

With the death of my dad came many emotions. I think maybe the greatest lessons I’ve (re)learned are:

1) hold on tight to those that I know without a shadow of a doubt love and cherish me, while showing them how much they mean to me; and

2) I am the only person that will have my best interests at heart.

I have some phenomenal friends that keep me grounded, and for that I am thankful. I am pretty lucky to also have a boss that is like a father figure to me and gives me the best advice and truly does look out for me. In the last few months I feel lucky enough to have two father figures at work. Sometimes we don’t get along, but we have become a little family. (This year will mark my 6th year). I feel very blessed to have friends that I can ask, “Will this choice take me down a path I will regret?” and they will give me the 100% truth. I’ve always felt closer to my friends than my family which is why I cherish them so much.

I think I may have gone off on a tangent… You get my point though. The whole idea behind a Bucket List is to live, experience, and have great stories to tell. That’s what I want {to continue} this year. I don’t see any one or any thing standing in my way, and that, my friends, is a wonderful feeling.

Here’s to 2013!

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