Browsing the archives for the love tag.

Marriage Challenge Round-up

Domestic, Marriage

In this post, I’m participating in Completing Him Challenge and Marriage Mondays.

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



Marriage Challenge #5

Churchy, Marriage

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
3. Listening
4. Sex
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


Marriage Challenge, Week #4

Churchy, Marriage

This week’s marriage challenge from Women Living Well was to list 10 things we admire about our husbands – and to show it to them. The premise is that while we may think our husbands know we admire them, we can’t really know for sure unless we actually tell them. I say all the time I’ve been with my husband for 11 years and I still have a major crush on him, so this list will be fun.

1. He is so smart it’s creepy. Obviously, he’s brilliant in his field and it’s amazing how often this sort of knowledge comes in handy, and I’d like to add here that he is 100% self taught! Aside from that, he’s got this overall level of awareness and smarts over the most random, and thankfully very useful, subjects!

2. He is a very goal oriented hard worker. Clearly, he works his butt off for his family and we are all very appreciative of that. He has since before we were even a family, when it was just the two of us before we got married. His work ethic and drive have brought us so far! Most couples do not recover financially to the place we are in after having their first child at 19 (and two more before 30)!

3. He is a very, very moral person. He always takes the high road – always. Sometimes it’s a little amazing, especially when a friend who doesn’t know him well sees it come out. I know how lucky I am to be with someone who ‘thinks with his big head’, you know? 😉

4. He is outrageously silly! Sometimes, if he hears me coming, he’ll hide behind the kitchen counter, or under my desk and jump out and scare me. I love it. Or when I’m taking food photos for the blog, he’ll get in there and make it silly and fun. We’ll stay up into the wee hours of the morning watching back to back episodes of the Simpsons laughing our heads off.


5. He is also such a grown up. He’s miles ahead of me, he can look at serious grown up stuff, like mortgages and taxes and health insurance and calmly formulate a plan. Or call our financial planner, which is also a pretty grown up thing to do, yes?

6. He is a serious family guy. Given the money and time and space, I’m sure he’d want some TLC-style big family. He is a sucker for babies and is the most protective father of an infant I have ever seen – even on this third time! Whenever he plans a weekend or day trip, it’s geared for the wee ones and all the major decisions are made with them in mind.

7. He’s a great husband – he’s a great husband when it really matters. When I was terrified and in labor for the first time at 19, he really stepped up. He was amazing. Even more amazing 5 years later when we did it again, and by the third time around, we could have done it ourselves in a cabin in the woods – now that’s a partner. 😉 And really, who gets a girl pregnant at 21 and actually marries her and lives happily ever after? He does! <3

8. He’s my biggest fan. 😛 The ways he supports my efforts all across my life, my friendships and my hobbies inspires me to always be supportive! He holds me to an ever-higher standard, which just pushes me to get better at all the things I do.

9. He is a genuine person. He just is who he is all the time with no excuses and I loooooove that about him. From the silly things, like a real love for bad movies to lifestyle things like how we run our family.

10. He has big dreams – and the drive to go after them. He inspires me to set new goals for myself every time I achieve something.

I hope it doesn’t sound too cheesy, but he’s a rad guy so it’s all true! Now, off to show this to him. <3


Marriage Challenge #1-3

Churchy, Marriage

I’ve been participating in a challenge set out by Courtney at Women Living Well for a few weeks now, and I’ve yet to blog about it. Since I don’t tend to get too personal around here I was holding off but frankly I don’t want to deal with keeping up two blogs, and so much of the rest of my life is touched on in this blog – here we go.

Seeing as how I’ve missed a few posts on this topic already, I’m just going to touch on each week’s topic and what the participants should have written about. Essentially, Courtney created a challenge for like-minded women to put their marriages first and try to be the best they can be. I’m always down for trying to be the best me I can be, so let’s have at it. Plus it’s my blog. So there. 😛

The first week was an intro post, talking about what the challenge is about (done above), the second post was to be about remembering when we dated our husbands and the third was Monday, about praying for our husbands.

Here’s my intro: I’m doing this challenge because I’ve always been one of those sometimes annoying self-help book loving eager beavers. When I got pregnant for the first time, I read everything I could get my hands on and plunged in with both feet. That was 10 years ago and we have 3 kids now, but I’m still reading books and going to classes and workshops on how to be an even better mother. All along the way, I’ve been doing the same with my marriage, so this challenge makes perfect sense to me.

So, part 2: We met through mutual friends and spent a lot of time together in a large group, eventually we had fallen head over heels for each other, but we didn’t want to mess with the dynamic of our group of friends. So we just didn’t say anything to anyone – including each other. This went on for at least 6 months, until one day we were sitting around listening to music and we spent a night talking and talking about talking and finally admitting to each other how we felt. I was 18 and he was 20. We got married exactly a year after that conversation and had wee one #1 shortly after that.

Part 3: Prayer is a fantastically personal thing, but it can be done a sentence at a time over the course of a whole day. It can be lighthearted and down to earth, it doesn’t always have to be something you set aside a chunk of time for. Courtney suggests we use our wedding rings as reminders to pray for our husbands throughout the day. If you know there’s an issue your husband could use some help with, you already know what to pray for. Otherwise, his health and well being are always a good start. Every time I have noticed my wedding ring in the past couple of days, I’ve had a positive thought about my husband and said a little prayer for him. Life is all about the power of positive thinking, people! 😛

*Most people who are participating in this challenge posted photos of themselves with their husbands from their dating years. My husband is not fond of any of our early photos. I will put a recent one in the sidebar for you, but no dice on the wedding pics. 😛


50 Things!

Crafty, Domestic, Healthy, Naughty, Nerdy, Pretty, Toronto

In the spirit of new blog friends, and good friends starting new blogs, I’m posting a rando ’50 Things’ list of stuff about me that isn’t too obvious. Consider it the intro I never wrote. I’d love to read your 50 things!

1. I got married when I was 19 and my husband was 21, and we just celebrated 10 years of marriage!

2. Our first child took us by surprise, it took four years of trying to have our second, and we patiently waited for our third (who arrived 3 years later).

3. I am a very good long distance friend. So many dear friends have left our amazing city for adventures in other countries and then settled there. I’ve also made some wonderful friends online over the years that are scattered all over the place.

4. My husband is a hard core computer geek and he works from home 100% of the time. I shudder to admit how many computers we have in the house – all actually doing something I swear.

5. I go to a big Sunday dinner at my 87 year old Grandmother’s house every Sunday where I get to see my parents, my sister, my aunt and my uncle.

6. Every weekend I host a knitting/board game night with my girlfriends and my sister, there are 5 ‘regulars’ and another 10 or so that are in and out from one week to the next.

7. I was born on University Avenue and am an unapologetic Toronto snob.

8. I am still very close with the two first friends I ever made in kindergarten.

9. I am firmly planted in 1996. Soundgarden is still my favourite band, Party of Five never gets old and I still say ‘duh’ and ‘rad’ like they never went out. However, I do not wear plaid flannel shirts or babydoll dresses with no stockings and mary janes like I did in 1996 – there are limits.

10. When I was 24, I was freaked out about turning 30. Now, I’m 29 and totally fine with it.

11. I am way more religious than I ever let on. Partly because it’s really none of your business and partly because I can’t help but feel people will look at me differently, even though I’m still just me.

12. I am still totally head over heels for my husband, and we are so into each other life is still spicy! Yes really.

13. I got hooked on fitness and nutrition after my third wee one was born. I work out 6 days a week and allow myself one cheater meal a week (but not on my off day lol).

14. I am the opposite of a helicopter parent. I really think it’s important for kids to do kid things like playing in the dirt and sneezing on each other and making messes and splashing in the tub (with the curtain or shower doors closed!)

15. I have 9 tattoos (both shoulders, back of my neck, side of my neck, right breast (scandal), right leg, left big toe and both wrists). Somehow, I don’t look like a biker. 😉

16. I am a 50s housewife to the bone. I own a closet full of cute dresses and only 2 pairs of pants. I cook almost all meals from scratch, handle the kids on my own, keep the house impossibly tidy and fetch my husband coffee. Sometimes with pearls on!

17. Ever since I got pregnant with my first wee one, I’ve been reading books on parenting and I have learned so much. I also read heaps of classic fiction and my friend Romi has got me into new fiction – which I also love.

18. I learned to knit 6 years ago and I loooove it. I feel like I hardly knit anymore, but I still do. My preferred thing to knit is socks and small creatures. I taught a bunch of my girlfriends how to knit a few years ago and now one of them knits way more than I do.

19. I’ve been off and on with blogging a lot, but lately I’m so in love with it I can’t picture stepping away again. I think I just needed to find my groove.

20. I got hit with awful postpartum anxiety and it lasted a year. I am terrified of it happening again, so no more wee ones. Otherwise? I’d have two (hundred) more. I recently feel like I’m coming to be ok with this and really, if I had a fourth would I have a fifth? Where is the line? I live in a major city!

21. I call my Dad at least once a day, sometimes more. He gives good advice, has great recipe ideas and is really good at listening. I refuse to believe that one day he wont be there, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

22. I am more addicted to my BlackBerry than I care to admit. But it tends to keep me off my actual computer during the day.

23. I aspire to be an amazing gardener, but I’m not very good and mostly just resent my flower beds for allowing weeds to sprout. I’ve also been known to say ‘I wish my lawn was emo so it would cut itself’ (yes, I stole that from a tshirt).

24. I won a beauty pageant when I was 8. My mother was terrified of pageant moms and didn’t encourage me to go to to the next level – which I am so thankful for!

25. I quit smoking over 2 years ago!

26. I have dyed my hair every colour possible in the last 14 years. Currently, it is black with blonde chunks. Yes, I am ‘that’ girl. I even sometimes rock the guido poof!

27. When people say ‘and Becky was all like, OMG, I know!’, they’re talking about me.

28. I have broken my right ankle 5 times, all my fingers and toes at least once, and my left arm once.

29. I took pre-law in university and honestly thought I’d be able to put my kids in child care and go off to law school and be a lawyer. Maybe when they’re all grown.

30. I’ve given birth three times. First and third were natural, second time I had an epi and later wished I hadn’t.

31. My husband and I have a monthly date night, even though we hang out every night.

32. My three favourite magazines are Martha Stewart Living, Cosmo and Today’s Parent. Which is actually a pretty good layout of my life. 😉

33. I caught chicken pox from my sister when I was 14. It sucked.

34. I love really, really bad television. Like Bromance and Paris Hilton’s new BFF. I know it’s awful but I can’t help it.

35. I could play Mario Kart everyday and I played an 8 hour game of Mario Party last year.

36. My husband and I are huge on movies and watch at least a few every week.

37. I have a serious crush on Anderson Cooper.

38. I once dropped a butcher knife in the top of my right foot and I had to *pull it out*. Yuck.

39. I used to hate cars and never wanted to learn to drive or buy one. Then my husband got his license and a car last year and now we go on road trips all the time and I loooove having a car.

40. It is eerie how quickly and easily I adapt to new situations and circumstances.

41. Our favourite date night activity is going to the drive in <3 42. I wear makeup every day, even if I stay home all day. 43. I used to drink 3 + cans of pop a day. This year, I quit! 44. I have alarmingly ugly 70s tile in my kitchen and I embrace it. My dear friend Brigitte made me an apron from matching fabric. Bless! 45. I keep a 'quote book' file on my BlackBerry to record all the hilarity that goes on with my girlfriends, my husband and our kids. The funniest quote is too graphic to even put here! 46. My bestie, aka my girl soul mate, aka Talea moved 5 hours away almost 5 months ago and we both feel like we lost a limb. We text and Facebook message each other like we’re 17.

47. I really love red wine. I didn’t at all until a few years ago when the above-mentioned Talea got me hooked. Now, it’s all I drink, aside from theme drinks for parties, of course. Thanks for turning me into a wino!

48. I’m awesome at Monopoly and suck serious ass at charades.

49. I have drank my coffee black since I was 14.

50. Technically, I was a teen mom. My oldest was 3 months old when I turned 20.