Love and Marriage- Ten Things

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Let’s be truthful.

Sometimes life just isn’t what we anticipated it to be.

The last five years of my life has been full of roller coaster emotions, life throwing its occasional mud ball in my face, but at the end of every day, no matter what happened that day, I am still sitting next to the same person.

If there is one thing I have learned in my five years of marriage, it is that we are in this TOGETHER. The TWO of us.

We HAVE to talk, ignoring each other when we’re mad gets us no where. And a conversation needs TWO people.

I am very lucky my husband is up for anything fun! Love him!

I am getting personal in this post today because I always believe, I can’t be the only one who needs this!

Here are Ten Things we have done -and continue to do- to keep marriage fun!

1. Say 3 nice things.

Real things. I wouldn’t let him say “you’re beautiful.” I want specifics. Long drawn out paragraphs of admiration are great! 😉

I confess and apologise I have no reference for this but I remember many years ago I saw a couple on TV who said they did this very thing. Every morning they started their day saying 3 nice things they liked about each other. Noted.

He takes his turn and I take mine. Who can resist nice things being said about them to them from the one person they love most!

2. Romantic gestures.

My husband surprised me one day with flowers! I really love this old tradition of giving flowers! Broke? Draw some! She’ll treasure it forever!

I appreciate the random love messages on the bathroom mirror. The lit candles at dinner. A letter posted to me- I love mail!

Just like when dating before marriage, these small acts score big.

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3. Date night.

With young children we have spent many date nights at home but it is something we always look forward to.

To be honest, friction does not cancel date night. If you don’t feel like talking to each other you can still play cards! Or other games 🙂

My favourite nights are the ones where we do interviews or play 2 truths/1 lie. There is so much we still learn about each other!

4. Traditions.

I’ve heard some couples/families make a yearly playlist of their favourite songs from that year.

Or go to the same place each year and take a couple/family photograph.

Whatever it is, making and keeping traditions is special.

5. Writing journals.

It is very funny when we document vacations/date nights/road trips and compare how we both experienced it differently! Re-reading them together makes for a fun night reminiscing.

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6. Smell good.

I really don’t have to elaborate on this do I?

I swoon when my husband wears cologne, especially the one he wore when we were dating. Ahhh!

7. Have pictures taken together.

I love looking at all the photos we have as a couple. Kissing ones. Laughing ones. Posed or candid. Photobooth! I personally think it’s important to have pictures as a couple. Memories, reminders and just a sweet keepsake.

8. A kiss before work.

I read an article where a study showed that men performed better at work when their wife kissed them before they left home! Sorry I don’t have the reference!

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9. Celebrating those Hallmark holidays.

It is not my intention to offend anyone here! I have heard many sides and different opinions but at the end of the day, doing something makes everyone happy!

I came up with a brilliant idea for those who tend to forget: plan ahead, buy a shoe box full of different cards and small gifts, and each year you save a trip to the store, just write your message and give it to your love! hahaha

10. The notebook.

This lovely article from a blog I randomly found, gave us this fun idea!

Have a small notebook, write a message in it, put it somewhere you know your spouse will see it and take turns writing messages to each other. It’s fun finding it in strange places and sweet when it is so unexpected!

If someone were to have shown me what life would be like before I married my groom, I know I would have just held him closer and said- let’s stick together no matter what!

A lovely quote I found somewhere:

"We are the perfect couple. We are just in imperfect situations."

Happy Valentine’s Day!

xx

Title photo by LeoPhotography

2. photo credit

5. photo credit

8. photo credit

A Woman In Her Element

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Is a way of really seeing HER.

An old friend before he passed away said to us, “I’ve been married to my wife for over 60 years and I am still learning new things about her everyday!”

This struck me significant because sometimes we feel we do know our other half SOOOO well! But there is so much in a person, and people change all the time, so how does one continue to learn about his wife. I am speaking in the point of view of getting to know a wife because I am a wife 🙂

The other day as I was preparing dinner I was pondering upon the expression “when you are in your element”, when we are in comfortable surroundings we are truly ourselves.

If a woman’s element is cooking, watch her. She will glide from the stove to the sink to the table, to the children, back to the stove and then the counter next to it. In and out of the cooler and the cupboards. She will dice and chop and sprinkle and dash a bit of this and that and serve a delicious meal. Stop. Take a step back and watch slowly. See the knife? A woman in her element is thinking about that knife and has a story to share. See the combination of seasonings with onion? Her eyes are not looking at the same pan as you are, her mind is somewhere else, because she learned to cook that meal in another country and her thoughts are running there to visit but will be back by the time you sit at the table to eat.

If her element is reading a book, watch her face. What situations stir her emotions? Do you read the same thing and think, “why is she crying about that?” At what parts of the story does she put the book down and ponder about what she has read? These are the things in her heart. Engage with sensitivity if you truly want to know. A scorned heart bleeds a long time.

If her element is photography, you will see the world through her eyes. Is her world dark and hazy? Why? Or is it colourful and bright. Why? Through her photographs one can find her hopes, her reflection, and things that move her heart. A laughing baby. She loves her children. She longs for children. A heart-shaped cloud. She values freedom and love. I knew a girl who included the same book in each photograph she took. That book had been given to her by her father who later left the family. It represents the importance of having him be a part of her life.

Each woman has an element, a place or hobby where she subconsciously reveals herself. You will get to know more than the heart she wears on her sleeve, but the one underneath the skin that she guards because of its fragility. This is the place where truth gets told.

Have you ever walked in a woman doing dishes, staring out the window with tears in her eyes?  She insists she’s fine. Just thinking. The running water noisy like a waterfall, drowning the screams in her head. Her hands constantly washing away her sorrows down the sink. The water cleaning the dishes while her tears are cleaning her soul.

Getting to know a woman is more than just watching and talking to her, it is being truly engaged in her life.

x

(photo credit)

Remembering You Then, Seeing You Now

As newlyweds!

Marriage can sometimes cloud the mind and make you forget what led you there.

We get caught up in the monotony of everyday housework, routines, to do lists, whining children and lack of sleep.

To keep dreaming, laughing, flirting, and having new adventures takes more effort.

The love songs we once listened to gets replaced with nursery songs and children’s DVD’s.

Even attempting a conversation can often be constantly interrupted by a crying child.

Our quiet evenings alone are now rushed to squeeze in a few hours of sleep before the baby wakes up again.

I know I take you for granted. I know you will always come home. I know how big your heart is.

Year after year life throws us challenges to see if we continue to stand side by side. We are both still here.

 When I look at you, I remember when we first met. That boy you once were. And I love the man you’ve turned out to be.

There are moments where I catch you looking at me, and I think you remember me as a young girl too.

When we longed for the perfect love and knew that when we found it, we’d hold on forever.

We were both there, as friends just dancing together, talking, laughing, and had no clue it was going to be us eight years later.

And here we are. With two beautiful sons and a love story.

The qualities I fell in love with hasn’t changed.

I still the love the green in your eyes.

I still love that you eat whatever I make you for dinner.

I still love that you try to make me laugh.

I still love listening to you play the guitar.

I still love it when you hold my hand.

There is so much about marriage no one told us about.

I imagine that when we got married, other married couples looked at us and said, “They’ll figure it out. We did.”

Yeah we do, one crazy day at a time we do.

I’m just glad it was you all along. The man I was meant to be with. No one else could have shared this journey with me.

I love you. x

The Competition Between Husband and Wife

(tired) I’ve been working all day.

(rolling eyes) If you were single and on your own, you’d still be working all day.

(annoyed) I’m tired.

(giving the “I dare you to take this further” look) I’m exhausted.

(glaring) I work long days.

(glaring back with a raised eyebrow) My days have no end or beginning.

(defensive) I don’t get much sleep around here and still have to work all day. No breaks.

(sarcastic) Sleep? What’s that?…. (whispering loudly) I’m lucky to get 2 straight hours of sleep!

(explaining tone) My work is physical and my body feels destroyed. I’m in a lot of pain.

(matter of fact tone) Try a round of pregnancy, a day in labour and at least 6 months of breastfeeding, times TWO! My body feels beyond repair! Pain is my constant companion.

(despairingly) Everything went wrong at work today! It’s so stressful.

(in a zone tone) I don’t remember when I last peed, I should go now that you’re home…..I’ve hardly had a chance to eat, I’m hungry. There’s been spills, poop dramas, tantrums and timeouts, all of us crying for different reasons, and everyone goes to mom for comfort or to complain. What about me?

(sighing, defeated) Sounds like we need a big family hug….. By the way, what’s for dinner?

(exasperated) Oh the added guilt of the less-than-perfect housewife, I have no dinner prepared! You want dinner? Me too! And a shower please.

Then there is silence. The kind of quiet that couples understand after being together for a very long time. It’s not awkward, it’s not tense, it is just there. The argument isn’t really an argument, just how-was-your-day chatter. We then look at each other with tired half smiles and eyes that say ‘I love you’.

Ok, I’ll order a pizza.

And pepsi please. Thank you babe….. Hey, who won tonight’s competition?

You sweetheart, always you.

(smiling) I love you!

I’m Dancing With You

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I started off dancing alone. And that was okay. Until I danced with you.

Now I know I need a partner. To hold me steady. To hold me up. And to just hold me.

You are the music that make my feet move. 

You remind me I have the strength to finish.

You are the only applause I hear.

This life would be without song if you weren’t here with me.

In your arms is where I belong, always.

(photo credit)

The Wonder of Being a Wife

Sometimes I feel insignificant, unseen and small in the world. But then I think, hold on, forget what the world makes me feel, I am a wife! And in my husbands eyes I am someone special, I have to be, he married me! So here are my reminders of the wonder of being a wife:

He looked at you and saw Forever.

It is you he goes Home to every night and wakes up to every morning.

You are The Woman who bore him sons.

More than a girlfriend, you are an Eternal Companion.

You witness the highs and lows of his life, the tears he supposedly doesn’t cry, and you show him Love each time.

He’s the silliest around you and you may even Laugh at that joke he’s said a hundred times!

There’s no one else you’d rather argue with because with him you Know how to win 🙂

When you’re sick in bed, he’s the one who brings home Flowers and sets it in your room.

You’re the First One he calls when something has happened.

Growing Old is a wonderful thing because as his wife you will still be by his side.

When he’s Thinking of love, you know he’s thinking about you, his Wife.

 

Here’s a lovely video about love and being a married a long time xx

 

I Know He’s THE One

Years before I was married, I had gone to a singles convention in Manchester. One of the classes they had was about dating and for the umpteenth time in my life, they had us write down the most important qualities we wanted in a spouse. I thought that would be easy. So on the paper I made my list, tucked it in a book and forgot about it.

Years later, I found my One and we had a lovely winter wedding. Months after our big day, I was tidying my huge heap of books and a slip of paper was found. Ah-ha! I suddenly remembered sitting in that class contemplating qualities that were most important to me. I had to show Him. After He read it, He simply said, “That’s me!”

Here is what I had written so long ago: I wanted a man that would eat anything I cooked. He had to have green in his eyes. I wanted a man who could play the guitar. I wanted a man who had a strong belief in God. And of course there were other things too.

Don’t you love those moments when you feel a warm confirmation that you are with the One? He’s just for you. XOXO 

Theory on Marriage


When love started to bloom...

You know that feeling when you get the perfect gift and you think, “wow this person really knows me” and you feel more connected somehow?

I have a theory on marriage. A wife and husband both benefit if the wife receives a present on a regular basis.

If my husband gives me a present often, it gives him the opportunity to NOTICE me; my likes and dislikes, my personality and style. He will show that he put in time, effort, thought and that he really knows ME.

I, as his wife, benefit as well because I will be happy to get lovely presents and feel so SEEN and loved. He will feel good to see me happy.

Tell me, what do you think of my theory?

 

and love continues to grow...

(Note to the reader: This is NOT to encourage maxed out credit cards, gifts do not have to cost or cost a lot. It is more a point of thought. AND my husband gives me the best presents ever 🙂)

He Said He Loved Me- Continued.

Deanna picked me up. She was my best friend and most trusted ally. Deanna was tall and beautiful with hair so blonde she made every season feel like summer. We were on a mission. Deanna and I drove her car and parked two blocks away from his house. As a joke we got Dunkin’ Donuts to eat and wore baseball caps for our amateur stake-out. We didn’t have to wait long. We saw him leave the house and my heart dropped. He always wore those Levis. His weird friend was with him. Do guys have sleepovers? They got into his friend’s car and drove off. Nerves took over my body and my hands shook. In a minute they were gone.

I took a deep breath and walked up to the house. Everything so heartbreakingly familiar, but this time I felt awkward. I knocked on the door. Quiet. I knocked harder. Still nothing. Should I just go in? I started to turn the doorknob just as his mom answered apologetically. That was close. She was in the kitchen frying up dinner. I told her I had lost something and would like to check her son’s room if that was okay. She didn’t seem to mind.

As I stood in his room, it was strange to realise how quickly everything between us had changed. I opened the cd player to his stereo. It held the same CD we listened to on prom night. Odd. I layed on his bed. His pillow smelled of his hair gel, but his blanket smelled of a cologne I knew he didn’t wear. Suddenly I realised I didn’t know when he’d be back. Ten minutes? A few hours? I had to hurry. The truth was I had come to collect, but not something I lost. I searched his room. Would he miss this bracelet? Probably not. What about this photo? Who cares, mine now. Then I saw his CD case. Bingo! It was under a big binder full of handwritten papers. His songs. I couldn’t help myself, I quickly scanned some he had written. Kind of wish I hadn’t. When he said I was the kind of girl guys wrote songs about, I thought it was a compliment. I bit back tears. He was so unfair. I unzipped his CD case, flipped to the page which had the U2 album and found the $100 I knew he hid behind it. Although not because he told me, I just happened to see it when I was there months ago. Glad it was still there. I tucked it quickly in my pocket along with the photo and bracelet, but before leaving I squeezed his hair gel between his bed covers. Good-bye room.

At one point did you think you were taking things too far?” It’s just like TV. Dim, bare room with one table, two chairs and a mirrored wall. The man looks like he had a rough night. His coffee is smelling up the room.

I didn’t think I was at all. A bracelet, a photo, some money. Big deal.” Remorse was overwhelming me. Deanna and I should’ve stayed home that day.

A misdemeanour is no big deal to you?” Why do people complicate things?

Not compared to what he did! You think material things are more important than a person’s emotional trauma?! He made a joke of me!” This man don’t care. I cup my face with embarrassment.

After you two girls left the house, what happened next?” He’s tapping the table. Annoying.  I let the events slowly play again through my mind.

Him and his friend had just come back in time to see me walk towards Deanna’s car. They stopped the car and this time waited for us to drive off. I was shocked and scared to see them follow us. He had never been aggressive towards me before. I had no idea what they were going to do or say. This was not part of my brilliant plan. Nothing felt real anymore. Deanna improvised pretty good behind the wheel. They were literally riding our tail. At a red light we all looked at each other and, I assume he did this to rip me apart even more, they kissed. Been cheating on me with him! Him! That creep! We decided to get whatever-was-about-to-happen over with so we pulled into a Kmart parking lot. They parked like ten spaces away from us and just stared. Nobody got out. I thought they would since they followed us, but nothing happened. After another minute Deanna and I just drove off.

Is that the last time you saw them?” He sits up straight and raises an eyebrow at me.

Yes.” Do I look like the kind of person who premeditates murder? Come on!

Silence.

I swear it was the last time I saw them! I had no idea there was a shooting until the police called. Look, I was an angry girlfriend seeking innocent revenge, but I would never take it that far. I wanted him mad, not dead!” How stupid and trivial everything now seemed. He didn’t deserve to get shot. I should visit his mom and give her my condolences.

Mm-hm. Don’t leave town in case we need to call you in again.” He stands up without making anymore eye contact. I sit a few seconds longer before following him out.