How do you teaching a sassy two year old and four year old with sensory challenges to process their feelings all while gaining emotional intelligence? Check out my collaboration with Generation Mindful. We’re already seeing some pretty powerful results!
Do you wish you had more money? More social media followers? A bigger house? A nicer wardrobe? We all wish we had more stuff, but what would life look like if we were actually grateful for what we already have?
So, my husband sang at a surprise wedding proposal this weekend, and I got an extreme case of nostalgia. The combination of how beautiful the surprise was and watching my husband serenade this fantastic couple almost made me drown in tears, but I couldn’t because I was a super multi-tasker that night.
I was chatting with the bride’s parents as they stood right next to me beaming with pride while catching the whole event on camera, and stuffing my kids with snacks to circumvent them from making a scene because…they were about to clown… #momlife. Never the less the proposal went off without a hitch, and she said YES!!!
Kenny and I will be celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary this year, and it really does seem like we just got hitched yesterday! Usually, we plan mini trips for our anniversary and create our marriage goals for the next year. This is something that we always look forward to, but I’ve been thinking about adding something else to our anniversary tradition. I never really thought about traditional wedding anniversary gifts until I read this article! It looks like we have some catching up to do.
Since we are ALMOST 5 years in, I’m going to share some great traditional anniversary gift ideas for the first 5 years of marriage and where to get em!
Year 1 Paper: After a year of marriage, you may need some new date night ideas. Here’s a set of cards that will help you walk down memory lane.
Year 2 Cotton
Where did your love story begin? How about engraving it on a pillow? 🙂 Get a personalized pillow here.
Year 3 Leather
Travel in-style with your Mr. and Mrs. monogrammed, made-to-order leather piece from MAHI Leather.
I love these gifts ideas because they are thoughtful, and they encourage the giver to reflect on why and how they fell in love. If you are married veterans, married longer than 5 years, and want to find know what customary gift category you fall into, check out this article.
Got kids? I mean little kids, toddlers even? We do and date night isn’t as easy as it used to be, but we are committed to fighting for date night, even if we fall asleep in the middle of it from exhaustion. While we love our babies to pieces, we also recognize that it’s important to continue cultivating our pre-kid relationship. We are proponents of sowing quality time into our relationship and having kids– and sometimes no babysitter has forced us in an ungrudging way to get creative. So, I thought I’d pass along six ways that some of our friends and us fight for date night.
Dinner on the Deck
When Shiloh was first born, we weren’t used to not being able just to go. The first few months of parenthood were an adjustment. One of the ways we got some time alone was having a date on our deck. Shiloh was born in the summer, so the weather wasn’t a problem. We pulled out our “fine china,” stemware, and cooked a delicious meal. Shiloh wasn’t sleeping a lot at the time, but we got at least a good hour of alone time, and It was special.
The weather, in St. Louis, isn’t deck friendly at the moment– unless you like the cold– so this gem came from our good friends Mark and Marqueta Goins– parents of four under five years old. I thought this was such a sweet idea. They spread out a blanket on the bed with some bubbly, cheese, and grapes and they will look at their wedding photos or watch their wedding video or a movie. How romantic? Looking at old photos and videos serves as a great reminder of how and why you fell in love and got married in the first place, and it’s probably a reason for all the babies:).
Kenny and I both work, and it’s a blessing that we don’t work far from each other. After I had gone back to work after having Tiago, Kenny and I started taking advantage of our lunchtime to hang out with one another. Sometimes he would come to my work, and we would eat there, other times we would meet for coffee, and whenever our schedule was flexible enough, we would go to a restaurant. If you don’t work super close to each other, you could cut down on time by packing a lunch and meeting in the middle.
Do Something Creative
This one is really cool and something that I want to try with Kenny. This idea comes from some New Jersey friends of ours– Victor and Amy Chambers. They are parents of one, and they don’t have a lot of family near them to babysit, so they thrive on discovering ways to spend time alone. They are both exceptionally talented musicians, and when their little one goes down for the night, they spend some time together playing their instruments and singing. Maybe music isn’t your thing, but painting or experimenting with food or playing games is– Do something creative together.
Here’s another great idea from Mark and Marqueta. If you can’t get away from the kids a night drive is always a good idea. Take a scenic drive through your city, let the kids fall asleep, hold hands, talk, and enjoy each other’s company.
The YMCA is a great place to have an active date night. They offer 2-hour child watch while parents enjoy a worry-free workout. Kenny and I love seizing the opportunity to get in shape, spend some time together all the while our kids are having fun and meeting new friends.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. There are plenty of other ways to date your mate even though you have little people hanging on your leg. Please share with me how you keep the fire going!
For a while now #goals has been trending all over the internet, but I’ve been wondering if it’s just a hashtag or if people are really serious about achieving what they deem worthy of pursuing? It’s still the beginning of the year, and many of us have made #goals for the new year. I highly suggest that if you’re in a marital relationship that #marriagegoals be a part of your yearly review and revision.
For the past 3 years of our four years of marriage Kenny and I have followed and partnered with a marriage ministry called Marriage Today. They have a workbook that I highly suggest called Marriage on the Mountain Top. Every December around our anniversary (the 26th) we get alone for a few hours and work on our marriage vision.The first year we went through this process it actually took a day in a half to complete. The subsequent years it was only a matter tweaking and took just a few hours. I can tell you that it’s exciting looking at our marriage vision at the end of the year and seeing the check marks of what we accomplished! All glory to God! Every year we are accomplishing more and more. Here are just a few of our checks: we paid off debt, transitioned into better and more fulfilling jobs, bought the lot next door to our house; enclosed it with a custom made fence, purchased two new cars, disciplined our health and spiritual life, found new areas of creativity, and the list goes on. All of these goals accomplished were written a year in advanced on our marriage vision.
You might be asking why a marriage vision is important? Well, we didn’t know why it was important either until we did a little investigating. Check out this video about why a marriage vision is important. Two really cool things that we learned in our discovery was that we were together for a bigger reason than we initially thought. God has plans to not only use us individually but as a couple, and that’s exciting because we can work towards a common goal. Secondly, we didn’t know it at the time, but we were dreaming together. The last several months the phrase “I want to dream with you” has been a major part of our everyday language. When Kenny and I sit down and talk about our future as a married couple, we are actually dreaming together. We write our vision. We make it plain. We pray over it constantly, and we watch God do what he does! It’s so awesome! It’s been a great experience dreaming and discovering God’s plan for us as a married couple and also celebrating our successes through accomplishing our goals.
Why do we partner with a marriage ministry? There’s a spiritual and natural law called the law is sowing and reaping. Just as the farmer sows because they know they will reap a harvest, we sow into Marriage Today as an investment into our marriage. We’ve seen great fruit and are expecting even greater to come.
So what are you expecting to reap this year? What seeds do you have in the ground? Don’t let your goals this time around just be a hashtag.
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