Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Twelve Months of Loving: Have Fun Together!

Well, February is almost over and I have not blogged at all about my journey to love my husband better this year. The fun thing about making my husband my "word" for the year, is that I am constantly thinking about how I am keeping him a priority. This month, with our anniversary kicking us off in the right direction, the focus in our marriage has really been on having fun and enjoying each other.

Throwback pic: Trying on awkward hats. 
Sometimes, in the midst of work, chores, little ones, and just plain life, we can lose focus on enjoying each other's company and laughing together. One of my favorite things to do with my man is to laugh with him. And, coincidentally, one of his favorite things to do is to make me laugh. When I take the time to focus on him, engage in conversation with him, and not multitask every time I am with him, it renews my sense of awe at how lucky I am to be married to this man and it also rejuvenates me to just have fun.

Little ways we have had fun together this month:
  1. Went on a date...perused a bookstore and had dinner together at a fun restaurant neither of us had tried.
  2. Played card games together during a weekend nap time when the little one was down and we were both home.
  3. Played "The Question Game" (I had a jar of questions I wrote out and we took them out one by one and talked about how we might respond to each.)
  4. Instant messaged each other flirty messages on Facebook.
  5. Watched a Tim Hawkins stand-up comedy video we both enjoy. 
  6. Smiled at each other and laughed at each other's jokes. 
  7. Spent time talking about life, dreams, and rambling thoughts. (I am learning to take advantage of the times my husband wants to engage in conversation, and if at all possible I avoid multitasking when we do, so that I can really enjoy the connection.)
  8. Played together with our little one. It is easy to use the time our baby girl is playing with daddy to get things done, but sometimes it is more important for me to join in and spend "family time" together...laughing with him at her antics and enjoying the parenting experience together.
  9. Kept up goofy habits. My husband and I will do silly things like swipe each other with our toothbrushes when we are brushing our teeth or smack each other on the rear as we walk by. They aren't daily, but silly ways to flirt and acknowledge one another's presence bring a smile.
  10. Tease (in fun). Both my husband and I enjoy kind-hearted sarcasm, and we know how not to take it too far with each other. A little ribbing from him over the fact that my anniversary card to him was two-weeks late made me laugh and finding a Valentine's card in the garage that he never gave me from last year gave me ammunition to rib him right back.
Family day at the dunes!
So there you have it. My February focus has been on simply having fun together. When I make it a point to connect with my husband I almost always feel closer to him. It is so easy to focus on kids and work...but when we take the time to remember why we married our man and learn to laugh with him again, we can take a good marriage to great!

This week I am linking up with Messy Marriage and Marriage Mondays.

Friday, February 21, 2014


It seems to be that a couple of times each year I have a strong pull towards thinking about seasons. Maybe it's the anticipation of spring and warmer weather, maybe it's smelling the changes in the air as winter slowly starts to fade and spring takes its first morning stretches. In any case, thinking about seasons inevitably gets me to thinking about the seasons of life. It is so like God to create a physical representation of what happens in the hearts and minds and even lives of his children. When in the midst of a dark and bitter winter we can know that, though we know not when, spring will burst forth in our future. When we are wilting in the dry and weary heat of summer we can know that autumn will arrive with its bountiful harvests if we but hang on.

In the midst of mothering a little one and wrestling with the ups and downs of pregnancy hormones I
find comfort in knowing that the season I am in won't last forever. I love watching my little girl learn new things and broaden her abilities and thought-processes each day--it is utterly amazing to me to watch her transform before my eyes from baby into toddler. I wouldn't trade these days for anything, and yet I also look forward to the days ahead...swinging side by side as high as we can go at the park, laughing as we share an ice cream sundae, getting mother-daughter pedicures together, and listening to her pour her heart out about her passions, dreams, desires, and fears. I look forward to the future seasons that, Lord-willing, await us.

 I find though, that in order to most appreciate the next season we have to fully immerse ourselves in the season we are presently in. For this California girl, it is easy to spend the cold and windy days of Idaho winters indoors wishing them away and pining for spring. I have to admit to my fair share of inward whining over the injustice of yet another wind-whipped day. And yet, when I get outside of myself and my own preconceived notions of how things "should" be, I find that I can appreciate the beauty of the wind swaying the trees, the frost adorning the branches, and the blankets of fluffy clouds overhead. I can even find ways to celebrate the season...through lighting candles on gloomy days, bundling up and letting my toddler experience the sensation of wind-blown cheeks, and having hot cocoa ready to come back in and enjoy after our fun in the cold is done.

There are days I still pine for spring, but if I find the things to celebrate in the midst of this season I notice the smiles come easier and a thankful heart bubbles up more quickly. So let us not give up hope on finding beauty where we are right now. It is all around, if we turn our eyes outward. And if the season you are in happens to be a long, harsh winter remember that spring is preparing to bloom underneath the layers of frost and snow. The sun will come out, the snow will melt, and the flowers will burst forth.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Frogs, Snails and Puppy Dog's Tails

 I will be his first kiss. I will be his first love. I will dry his first tears. I will give him his first hugs. I will be his first best friend. I will sing him his first songs. I will watch him grow and learn. I get to be his mom.

We are having a little boy! A noise with dirt on it, as I have heard tell! I have to confess, when we first found out our little kicker is of the male gender I was a little distressed. Not that I wasn't joyful to have a healthy baby boy inside of me, but...well, boy is a foreign word to me. I mean, I am married to a grown-up boy-turned-gentleman but I obviously skipped over the whole boyhood part of his life. I have not had much opportunity to spend time with littles of the opposite gender. The horror stories of being peed on in the middle of the night and having to explain to a preschooler why he can't just pull his pants down wherever he deems necessary make my eyes wide and my throat dry. And yet, I have to smile as I think about the joyous adventure that awaits me in the form of this little xy chormosome. I will most assuredly be kept on my toes in wonder and on my knees in prayer as I mama my new little man.

So here's to being stretched and grown as I venture into the territory of mamaing a little mancub. May God give me and the Hubs wisdom and discernment to raise him up to be a courageous, joyful, strong, and godly man someday. May we have many opportunities to laugh at boyhood antics and teach him God's love and goodness. May we exemplify to him that life is a joyous adventure and is best lived with faith, laughter, and buckets of unconditional love.