So Very Domestic started as a food and crafty blog and has grown to be so much more than that! It now documents the domestic bliss, Southern California adventures and homeschooling that is this life of ours in pretty pictures with recipes and tutorials and reviews. Thanks for reading!
It’s Marriage Monday again! Last week, my Good Morning Girls group was talking about something Courtney had said in a recent blog post. Essentially, that if you bump a cup full of water, water will come out (duh lol) but that it’s the same with our hearts! If you have a heart full of frustration (or anger or resentment etc), that’s what will come out when you hit a bump! So if we work every day to fill our hearts with love and joy, that’s what will come out! I’ve been thinking about that a lot this week and it makes so much sense!
We are all human so it’s easy to do things that annoy the people around us, and it’s easy to let ourselves be annoyed. This morning, it is -37 with the wind chill and though I know I saw him wear it home on Friday, Wee One #1 could not find his hat as he was getting ready for the school bus – this bumped my cup. If I was already frustrated, (perhaps with him constantly losing tupperware at school), frustration would have spilled out and he would have taken off for the bus with a cloud over him and a chilly head. Instead I told him that he needed to keep track of his things, especially necessary things like that, and I gave him a spare hat! Had I reacted angrily or meanly, I may have ruined his day and likely mine too because I’d spend the rest of it feeling guilty!
My husband and I went to bed at 3:30 this morning because dear, dear friends we only get to spend time with once a year were here. When we went to bed he said he’d like to get up at 7:30 when I do – it is 10 and he is still sleeping. This doesn’t really bump my cup at the moment, but when he gets up in a few hours annoyed that I was unable to get him out of bed when he asked me to, I will not respond with anger or resentment for being the one that gets up early. I’ll make him and coffee and tell him playfully not to be so grumpy. When his Eeyore cloud passes I’ll be very happy that I didn’t incite an argument just because he can’t get by on as little sleep as I can.
I have tired to live like this since I noticed myself not paying attention to my reactions a couple of years ago and of course every day I can get better and better at it. I’m human so I’ll never totally get it right, but as long as everyone around me knows that I am trying, and if I get it right more often than not, it’s a win!
My husband works from home – we are incredibly blessed to be able to say that!! That means we are together pretty well all day, everyday. We each have things in our days that do not involve the other so we’re not as connected at the hip as that may sound, but being around each other this much could be horrible if we were not mindful of what’s in our cups!!
I’m ending Marriage Mondays now with my husband’s favorite recipe form the previous week. Last week it was Chicken Pot Pie!
This version of Chicken Pot Pie is the short of shortcut my Granny would take and then never tell anyone about. She was up making muffins almost every day at 5am for her family, so she could take as many shortcuts as she needed to in my book!
Shortcut Chicken Pot Pies Makes 6 individual 6″ pies
2 1/2 cups mixed frozen veggies
2 cups (or more) chopped cooked and seasoned chicken
2 cups thickened chicken stock or cream of chicken soup
2 cup Bisquick
1 cup milk
Preheat your oven to 400. Thicken your chicken stock by taking a little and mixing it with about 1 tbsp or so of cornstarch, then add that back into the rest of the chicken stock. The original recipe calls for cream of chicken soup, I’ve also seen it done with a can of gravy (!) but my husband likes it best with thickened chicken stock.
Mix 1 cup of the Bisquick, 1/2 cup of the milk and 1 egg together and pour that into the bottom of your pie pans (of course you could also just use a big pie pan), and bake for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, stir the veggies, chicken and thickened chicken stock (or soup or gravy) together. Once the bottom crusts are ready, pour this mixture over them. I made little fork indentations in the bottom crusts because they puff up a bit. The mix the rest of the Bisquick, milk and remaining egg and pour over top the veggie and chicken mixture.
Cook this for another 25-35 minutes, till puffy and golden on top and voila! Amazingly simple chicken pot pie without rolling any pie crust at all!
The original recipe just puts the veggies and chicken mix directly into the pan(s) with no bottom crust, so you only use half the Bisquick, milk and eggs but then you sacrifice having a bottom crust so it’s less a pie and more a savory cobbler situation.
Last week’s challenge was to read the story of the birth of Jesus in Matthew 1, 2 and Luke 1,2 and to have a serious bubble bath. I opted for a serious pampering night instead, but with the same mission. Time to think about life and love and God and time to reflect on whole reason we celebrate Christmas!
This week’s challenge was amazing timing for me because my husband bought me a big box of goodies from Sephora so I had new gear to pamper myself with. I’m going to go on an unrelated rant for a quick minute here. As you know, we live in the woods, and I rarely leave the house. When I do it’s usually to the post office. My husband actually likes running errands (I know, he should be studied), so I never have to go to the grocery store or Walmart or anything like that unless I want to, which is pretty much never lol. Also, visitors are few and far between, the mail is dropped in the box at the end of our (ridiculously long) street, and the kids take the school bus to school. That’s all to say that for fairly long stretches of time, the only people that see me are my husband and our children. You can stretch that to include the bus driver waving to me as he drops the kids off and the lady at the post office every Tuesday when I pick up and drop off packages. And yet, every day since my Sephora package arrived, I’ve done a full face (with false lashes, no less) and not left the house. In part it is for my husband and kids, sure. I want them to see that their wife/mother hasn’t frumped out because that’s the easier thing to do. More than that though, getting all sparkly and dolled up just feels good. I think it’s wonderful that Courtney has included ‘me’ time in this challenge, of course to read your Bible and think about God and the meaning of Christmas, but also to just shut out the rest of the world and have a moment with yourself. I used my pamper time to blast away sore muscles, do my nails and think about how we can happily mix wish lists and Christmas parties with the birth of our Savior and how I can really instill that in my children.
Ok, rant over. Moving on. I recently came upon a blog that I am instantly in love with, A Holy Experience. They have made a beautiful Advent calendar with prayers and readings to count down to Christmas with – and it’s free. Amazing. Clearly a lot of work went into making it and I adore it. This, in addition to the introspection time I had on my pampering night has led me to look at Christmas a little differently this year and I think honestly, all of this thinking and reading has peppered my outlook on life in general.
I will still keep on baking my 300+ Christmas treats, but I will do so with the spirit of giving in my heart as I knead and roll and bake. My kids play in the kitchen with me quite a bit, but I will be sure to include them even more than I usually do when baking for others. This year, we’re also choosing a gift from the Samaritan’s Purse catalog for a child and their family in a developing country, in additional to our annual Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Generally, when we do shoeboxes we include more ‘hygiene items’ and school supplies than toys. As much as I’m sure they’d adore a little Winnie the Pooh toy set, having pencils, paper, a toothbrush, toothpaste and even underwear is far more treasured, you know?
If the idea of this appeals to you, but you don’t have time to pack a shoebox yourself, you can make a financial donation. Some of that money will go to pack more shoeboxes and some will go to the transportation costs involved in getting all our boxes to the children that need them!
Now, this week’s challenge is to schedule a night when we go to bed early! Take a few minutes to read your Bible and get a connection and then actually go to sleep early. This too is in good timing, as I started feeling sick on Saturday night and actually had a 3 hour nap after the kids were in bed. I woke up to a silent house, did some knitting and put myself back to bed again. I’m was still sick, but much better than if I hadn’t taken the rest when I could get it! I think I will make Thursday night my bed early night this week. What a great challenge!
I am so excited to get to this week’s challenge I want to breeze through last week, but I wont.
So last week was about tenderness, and the suggestion was a serious pillow fight in the living room. We had a pillow fight, but in the interest of not breaking our TV, we had the pillow fight in the girls’ room – home to many pillow fights already! I gave back rubs to everyone and they all got into it and they were all giving back rubs to each other! Wee one #3 is in the ‘mimicking everything everyone does’ stage and was really, really into it. It was both heart warming and hilarious. I said last week that I don’t know how long the tenderness will last with the kids as they grow up, especially my son! You never know what the future holds, so for now I’ll take as many snuggled as he’ll give me!
This week’s challenge is to cook things that smell good. As anyone who has ever read my blog knows – I’ve got this locked down. I have considered cooking and baking to be art since I was a kid and first decorated cakes with my Mother and sugar cookies with my Granny. I cook every meal from scratch with the exception of lunch for the kids when they want something ‘fast and boring’. Even breakfast is pancakes or french toast or oatmeal (you know, the kind you actually cook in a pot and not the instant ‘just add boiling water’ kind).
Sometimes I fall in love with a recipe that uses store bought pre-made stuff, I’ll take it a step further (most of the time) and make as much of it from scratch as I can. It sounds a little crazy but I swear it’s never as much work as you think and the house smells so so so good!
These mummie hot dogs are a great example! The recipe I first saw used refrigerated crescent roll dough and hot dogs. While I am not above making my own sausages I do use regular hot dogs, but never pre-fab dough! So I took an extra 10 minutes (literally) and made some pizza dough to wrap around our hot dogs! 10-15 minutes in the oven at 350 and they were done. Even if you do use the pre made dough, the whole house will smell a lot yummier than it would if you just cook up some hot dogs and pop them in buns.
My kids are 10, 4 and 20 months and already I know they all associate me with the kitchen and yummy smells. I even started sneaking veggies into their treats a couple of years ago and no one noticed the chick peas in the chocolate chip cookies or the black beans in the brownies (thanks Gilly!!)
These candy corn cupcakes were made with apple sauce instead of oil and no one even notices!
I made these cakeballs as Halloween treats for the kids classmates and they are made using mashed bananas instead of oil. The orange pumpkin though, he’s 100% orange candy melt, no nutrition there.
Of course there is a spiritual side to this too. The whole point of this challenge series is to make our homes more welcoming and inviting and full of love for our families. This only happens in the kitchen if you’re focusing on your family and your positive intentions while you’re in the cooking and baking. Have you ever seen an overstressed woman preparing a serious supper? It smells wonderful, but the moment a little one tries to cross the threshold into the kitchen, mama freaks out and wants the kids out of her way. It’s not about that, it’s not just the smell. It’s about the feeling of togetherness and warmth we’re creating, and coming from someone who is literally in the kitchen most of the day, I can say with certainty that sometimes it is a little stressful. But just like with everything else in life, when it gets too much for me, I give it up to God and feel a lot calmer. A kitchen that smells amazing is spoiled by a grouchy cook!
I am thankful that today’s post is food-focused so I can post about some of the fun treats I made and didn’t have a chance to post on Thursday and Friday. I’ll sneak in two more pics for this post! Chocolate coated and candy covered mini marshmallows!
There will be a handful of Halloween treats left that I’ll save for another foodie post tomorrow.
I am love, love, loving this challenge series! It occurred to me today that I will likely be begging Courtney to start another one when this one winds down! <3
So with my candle going and with softer music playing in the house (most of the time), I kept my mindfulness of being peaceful and kind to everyone in my home. Recapping last week, I tried to attack the mental clutter. Knitting, baking and cooking have helped a lot with that, as weird as that may sound because I have to focus my attention to the stitches or the ingredients and I can’t let my mind wander. While this is a decent quick fix it does not get to the root of the issue, so that every time I am not knitting or playing in the kitchen I am horribly distracted by hundreds of tiny thoughts that add up to a whole lot of mental clutter. So all week now, when I’ve noticed that it’s creeping in – these completely irrelevant thoughts, I’ve just turned them over to God and refused to make a big deal out of it. That’s not said lightly and yes it is difficult, but this week has been easier since I’ve been shelfing all the internal chatter. So far, so good.
As for the clutter in the house, we’ve been over this. I am very thankful to say there isn’t any, but of course that’s because I clean every day and not everyone has time for that. I wasn’t always this neat and I can honestly say that the overall feeling in a home when everything is put in it’s place is so much calmer and laid back than when there are piles everywhere and everyone is running late and where is that permission slip?!.
This week now we turn our attention to physical tenderness in our quests to make our homes havens for our families. This is an important but sometimes neglected part of being a close family to a lot of people. We’re big on snuggled in our family, but I can sense that it gets harder to keep that up the older they get. My oldest is 10, and he’s always got a hug for me when he gets off the bus after school or when he’s on his way to bed – but will it be like that when he’s 15? I have my doubts lol. For now though, we generally watch movies together on Friday nights and sunggle up under a huge blanket on the big couch in the living room. We also do a whole lot of blanket forts, and that usually results in some close together time too.
I will be mindful of it though, and encourage a serious pillowfest in the living room. I give back rubs to my littlest and to my husband. This week I will be sure to also give some to wee ones #1 and #2, and ask them how they feel about this challenge. I always move the pillar candle form the kitchen counter to the table for supper and they have all seemed to enjoy that. When I was a kid we ate a formal supper in the dining room every night, with candles, linen placemats and napkins – the whole nine. My mother is a very classy lady, one day I’ll get there!
So far in this challenge, we’ve started a routine of lighting a large candle every day in the hub of our home to help us to be mindful of creating a peaceful environment and to say a little prayer for peace when we see it. We’ve started listening to softer music in our homes to set the mood to our homes as welcoming and inviting. I have honestly noticed a difference – and our house is usually really laid back and approachable as it is.
This week’s challenge is to clean up the clutter. I know I mentioned this already recently, but when we moved last month, we eliminated all of our clutter. No really. However, there are three areas that need to be better organized. My accessories collection (I have an unhealthy obsession with sparkly, clinking and/or plastic jewelry and headbands), my craft supplies (this is way more under control that my headbands lol) and my husband’s office.
Spiritually though we are to be looking an our internal clutter. I was going to run around my house and show off my tidy bookshelves and my organized laundry room and pantry with all the labels facing out in neat rows like the grocery store – but that’s not my struggle. I can keep my home free from clutter – I have a serious issue with internal clutter. That’s what I have to work on this week.
When I’m putting wee one #3 down for a nap, and I’m sitting there knitting away, quietly at peace with myself, the internal clutter starts. I start thinking I should have done my fitness DVD twice that day because I had time and I was just lazy, or that I should move yardwork day from Friday afternoon to Saturday afternoon so the kids can be playing out there while I’m working. Sometimes, it’s even other people’s clutter, like my husband’s cousin’s relationship issues or problems my friends are having in their jobs or marriages re-sorting to do lists in my head that are actually written down somewhere else. It’s mental clutter because it doesn’t matter if I did my fitness DVD once or twice once it’s done. If I’m thinking of switching yardwork days I should just do it and be done with it, it doesn’t require hours of mulling over. Neither, of course, do problems other people are going through! Seems like a little issue till I realize that I haven’t accomplished much in an afternoon because I’ve been fretting over my sister’s relationship issues or my best friend’s fight with her boss. It’s not that I shouldn’t ever think of these things, it’s that I should not let them rattle around in my head when I should be focusing on what I’m doing, being in the moment, to stop myself from snapping at those around me – those whom I love the best simply because I’m distracted and not giving my full attention. Does anyone else have this problem?!
So that’s what my focus will be this week, cleaning out the mental clutter and fighting to stay present.
So far, I am really enjoying these challenges. Last week, I lit my candle every morning and remembered to say a little prayer for peace in our home and family every time it caught my eye. I found that having the candle there as a reminder, when I started feeling myself pulled in too many directions, I was able to collect myself there at the kitchen sink, turn to my children and say ‘mommy is doing ___ right now, I’d love to help you with ____ in a few minutes just as soon as I can.’ Amazingly, it worked and the wee one who needed me for something so very pressing (like changing a game in the wii or to hear them tattle on one another), stepped back like I made perfect sense and let me finish when I was doing. So that rocked. I will be keeping that going for sure.
This week’s challenge is to play soft music and focus on using peaceful words to maintain peaceful relationships. I’ve always listened to loud, angry music. I’m not a horribly angry person, I just really love Soundgarden. However, at the same time, I have also got a real soft spot for Bing Crosby and Glenn Miller – music my grandparents adored. So this week I will not listen to my 90s rock and will instead focus on that. Courtney also posted a sample of the music she likes the most, it’s a lovely wordless piano piece and it really does change the feel of the house. I think I will switch to that at supper and keep it on through bedtime. I also really love Point of Grace and listen to them quiet a bit throughout the day, which is poppy and borderlines on country, but is also churchy, so I think that fits too.
Once the music is playing, it’s time to focus on the more important aspect of this week – our own reactions to others. As humans in general, I think most of us are guilty of this. I know that as I sit here typing this, I have a clear head and a positive attitude about greeting my husband when he gets up later. However, I also know that when he gets up and he’s got his morning grumpy cloud over him it will be very hard not to react to that! Maintaining a calm voice and greeting him with a smile will be my top priority this afternoon, so far it has worked well this morning with the kids. Anything that keeps the peace around here makes me happy.
Today is Thanksgiving here in Canada and as a family we all have so much to be thankful for it’s wonderful – and important to keep in mind when the little things in life are not going our way. We drove down to Toronto to see my parents, sister, aunt and uncles and had a great time with everyone. My father encouraged our two older kids to climb the tree in their yard and there was wee one #2, up in the tree in her stripey tights and jumper. So cute!! Sidebar: my father later climbed the same tree and broke a branch off! Really! He is 61 years old and still climbing trees!
With this mindset, I have already broken up many sibling squabbles without raising my voice this morning. This is something I am aiming for in my daily life. One squabble at a time!
I have been looking forward to this challenge!! When I mentioned it to my husband, we both thought how perfect a time it is for this challenge to enter our life, as we are just getting settled into our new house. We’ve been here for a month this weekend, and we’re all unpacked and solidifying our schedules and routines.
This week, we are to light an extra large candle and say a prayer for peace in our homes and families every time it catches our eye. I lit mine around 6:30 this morning, so I’ve already said a few prayers for peace. I have been pretty open on this blog about being a bit of a ‘self help junkie’ where I’m always pushing myself to be better, but it’s not that I ever think I’m perfect. So, so, so very far from it. I struggle with daily frustrations and obstacles. Maintaining my patience with my children when they are misbehaving and staying cheerful when my husband is feeling grumpy or stressed out are challenges I face daily. Those are two other things I will pray about when I see my kitchen candle throughout the day.
From an example on Courtney’s blog, I’m focusing on staying engaged with my family, smart in my time management, content with my life and to keep praying everyday. <3
These examples are some of the reasons we left the city for the woods!! It’s only been a month, but I do feel that the slow down of our lives has helped our family already.
This summer, I came across a blog called Women Living Well, and it quickly became one of my favourites. I have been striving to be a better than average wife and mother for the last five years and though there are a lot of lessons to learn along the way, it is clear that I am getting better all the time – and not from sitting on my butt hoping! The first post on Women Living Well that I read was about her summer marriage challenge, which I fell in love with and participated in. I know my husband was thankful and I really enjoyed it. Even if the challenges were things I was already doing or working on, it was nice to have an entire community of women all doing the same things right along with me!
This challenge, which focuses on making your home a nice welcoming place to come home to, could not happen at a better time because (as I endlessly keep posting about), we have just moved to a sweet house in the middle of nowhere and I am here literally all of the time – hoping to make it a welcoming home for my family.
As with the last challenge, tips and ideas are posted every Monday to be applied the following week. I am still doing most of what we started doing during the marriage challenge, so hopefully whatever I pick up from this will stay with me as well! Great idea Courtney!!
Week 1 we are to light an extra large candle every day, and to say a prayer for peace in our homes every time it catches our eye. Courtney mentioned she’ll be placing hers in a high traffic area in her home so it will catch her eye often and I think that’s the best way to go about it.
Week 2 focuses on setting the tone of the home with peaceful music and to remind our families to avoid harsh words, tattling, and general back talk. I listen to a lot of loud and maybe if I’m totally honest, aggressive music. Since we moved to the country, I have been collecting more ‘fitting’ music, but so far the only switch I’ve made has been to classic rock because that’s the radio station that comes in the best and I have a thing for radio. I will make the change to Glenn Miller and Bing Crosby, both remind me of my grandparents.
Week 3 turns attention to decluttering problem areas in our home and also in our spiritual lives. When we moved a few weeks ago, my husband had the genius idea to leave absolutely everything we do not use in a storage area in the basement, to avoid clutter in the living area. So far, so good.
Week 4 encourages us to keep up the activities of the first three weeks and to add in some tender family time and gives some ideas. Our family watches a lot of movies together, we go for walks to the shore a lot since moving to cottage country and baking has always been a serious family event around here. We are to ask our families what they think about this challenge so far during these tender times.
The last week of this challenge is to focus on the kitchen and cook meals that smell great, to involve the whole family in cooking. This one is very us as it is, lol. Anyone who reads this blog know my kids love to help in the kitchen and my husband is always around to lend a hand. In our new house his office is just around the corner from the kitchen so he passes through it all day!
I am really looking forward to this challenge. I’ve been reading Sugar Pie Farmhouse a lot. I love that site so much. The point that is always driven home on that site is to play some uplifting music, put on an apron and pop a pie in the oven. It’s all about creating a happy home, so I’m ready to jump into this with both feet!
As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I lost my Grandmother in the last few weeks and stepped away from the blog for a bit. Though I wasn’t blogging, I was still participating in the marriage challenge. My Granny loved my husband and always thought he ‘had a good head on his shoulders’, which is a phrase I hold dear because only my Granny, my parents and my husband ever say it and when they do, the person they’re talking about is always special. I’ll recap the weeks I missed here, and then thoughts on the whole process.
I last posted on week #5, which was priorities in marriage, and making sure mine are kept in line with his. The conversation was very helpful, and surprising that it was actually, because we routinely talk about every item on the list, I just always had them in a different order!
Week #6 was about following your husband’s lead and his vision for your family. Depending on how this is worded, the idea is received differently. The very concept of a wife following her husband’s lead simply because he is their husband is so foreign it even seems wrong to some people. I tend to think of it more like, I picked him as my husband 10 years ago because, among other reasons, he is a good leader and is a smart, level headed guy. I would not have married him if I didn’t think I could trust his judgment. While he’s figuring stuff out, he’ll bounce ideas off me, we talk about possible plans and I’m usually part of the brainstorming process, but to me it’s not the end of the world if I’m not. Very few times have I been hesitant to do something he’s planned to do, but since his decisions keep end up being sound, I haven’t had any reason to be!
The week 6 challenge suggested we talk with our husbands about their goals for the family in 1 year, 5 years and 10 years. We love talking about this stuff so we do it often. I already knew his vision for our family, and I am totally on board. <3
Week 7 was about respecting your husband, and asking what it is you do that makes him feel disrespected. Sometimes it really is little things that we do that can have the biggest impact. Think about the little things that bug you about your husband – do you think he even knows? My husband reaffirmed a few things I already knew, like eye rolling, information overload when he gets up, bugging him to hang out, and not keeping up with the house or going horribly off budget. He also mentioned a few things I didn’t think would be on the list, and I am thankful for the heads up.
I think it’s important to be mindful of the things I do that bother my husband, if for no other reason than to have a peaceful home. How much better is everyone’s day if I’m not part of whatever happens to contribute to a rough day for him? Plus really, he’s respectful to me, so why wouldn’t I be??
Our last week was my favourite as any regular reader would know. Week 8 was about sex, mainly focused on being open to having it as much as our husbands want it. In my marriage we have the opposite issue where I bug him for it more than I probably should. As I mentioned in my post on priorities, my husband says ‘there are more important things’ – it has been suggested that he feels this way because he knows I’m always into it so it’s not something he ever has to stress about. Having said all of that I know we still fit into the ‘often’ category, so it’s not like I’m horribly neglected. The overall goal of this challenge though was to get on your husband’s wave, either way. If you happen to be in my shoes instead of the more often written about ‘SAHM is exhausted and husband wants to get it on every night’ situation, it’s just as important that we lay off our husbands as it is the tired new mommies put out. You dig?
I really liked this challenge and I’m sort of bummed that it’s over. I’m going to take everything I’ve learned and be mindful to apply it to daily life – where it really matters. I would love to get in on more group challenges like this one. Even when I’m left shaking my head and not sure exactly how I’m supposed to handle the situation, I just love him like when I was 18, so I want to do the best I can. <3
This week’s marriage challenge from Women Living Well is talking about time management in your marriage.
We were to make a list of (what we feel are) the top 5 things we do and ask our husband to prioritize them according to how important he feels they are.
This was my list, ordered under the importance I thought he’d place on them. So here’s the list I thought he’d write:
1. A clean and tidy home/laundry up to date
2. A home cooked meal every night
5. Being mindful of money
I was off. This was the list he gave me:
1. Health, happiness and well-being of our family
2. Honesty and integrity
3. Being supportive and providing quality input
4. Household work (ie: cleanliness of house/yard, laundry, dishes)
5. Sticking to budgets, and saving money
Interesting list for a man to have written, yes? I really love this challenge because I love you all getting a little glimpse of my husband.
1. Health, happiness and well-being of our family
The first item on his list covers quite a bit. The health part includes healthy, well balanced meals every day, and being up to date on doctor, dentist and optometrist visits for all of us. Our family’s happiness includes things like daily outdoor play, trips to the playground and time with all of our friends. As far as well being goes, this is mainly me working on ensuring that everyone’s overall needs are met and being aware of not raising my voice at the children and ensuring things like sunscreen, hats and bicycle helmets are not forgotten.
2. Honesty and integrity
I LOVE that he put honesty and integrity on his list. In terms of honesty, aside from the obvious never lying to him and teaching the children the importance of honesty, things like always following through on promises, no matter who they are made to, fit in this category as well. To be known overall as an honest person, as that reflects back on our family. Also situations like enforcing house rules with friends (both kids and adults), to generally be on our best behavior and aim to be upstanding people.
3. Being supportive and providing quality input
My husband has big dreams, and that’s one of the things I love so much about him! He has clear ideas of how to get to where he wants to be, and while there are some stumbles along the way and occasionally a decision that forces us to take a few steps backwards, I trust him and his decisions. No one is perfect, and I respect that things are going to come up and then more than ever, I need to be supportive regardless of what choices are made. I have to work on providing quality input though – especially if it’s an area I’m unfamiliar with or an idea I’m a little resistant to. Even if I don’t necessarily agree with a decision doesn’t mean I shouldn’t help formulate a plan if he asks me.
4. Household work (ie: cleanliness of house/yard, laundry, dishes)
My husband is such a neat freak I thought for sure this would be at the top of his list. The overall sense of calm and order everyone gets from a clean and orderly home is one reason for this item, but he also says he wants that for his children. For all of them to know where all of their toys and books are, to be able to find whatever they happen to be looking for when they need it. It’s also a nice gift to myself to not ever have a pile of laundry or a whole sink full of dishes to do. We both love a tidy and well maintained yard, and really making sure the outside of your house doesn’t look like an eyesore is being a good neighbor.
5. Sticking to budgets, and saving money
This and cleaning were the only two out of five I got right! No matter how much money we have, there is always something else to pay for, and there is always something important to save for. Car emergencies, dental emergencies, vacations, holidays, birthday parties, and onto the serious, like a corner house with a huge driveway and a cute cottage in Wasaga. Or you know, our RRSPs and savings for the kids education and the girls’ weddings. We are tracking all of our money in jars, Till Debt Do Us Part style and that helps to keep both of us on track.
Please note that sex is not on it at all. If I had written this list for myself, sex would be on it, for sure. I know some of you are rolling your eyes and either assuming that he’s just being polite, or that I’m not being entirely honest. In the interest of full disclosure, I wish it was on his list! Of course I asked him about it! He had two thoughts on the subject, the first was that he knows I’ll never say no to it so it doesn’t need to be on the list (blush), and (yes, I swear he said this) ‘there are other more important things in life, don’t you think?’
There are two benefits to this challenge. The first, of course, is knowing exactly what your husband is hoping for, in his own words! The second is the conversation that will end up happening as a result of asking for his input. <3