All posts by Life of Joy

Family Time, Photography and Grandson

Well, I did not catch up on Valentangle2019 this week. With Valentine’s Day approaching, I was busy planning that, my kids came for the weekend, and my nieces are coming today. :) Busy but fun times. So it is my plan to work on the rest of the Valentangle2019 prompts throughout the rest of the month. :) There’s no law against it. :D

Daughter-in-Love Bday ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe celebrated Lauren’s birthday last weekend. :) Since her birthday is so close to Christmas, it was hard for her to come up with a wish list, so she just asked for cash to spend as she sees things and for spending on their vacation this spring.

We gals generally put cash on or in something little. I got her some pretty glitter washi tape . . . I know, shocking . . . she really liked the chevron one in the small package. Tracie put hers on the back of a print that Lauren really liked and Mom put hers between the pages of a notepad–we all did good. Then poor Sean is the lone male that gives gifts himself (I know he’ll be glad when he has a wife to help with these things ;) ). He leans towards money origami. :) In the picture above Lauren is holding the hearts he made with the money.

Liam is such a ham! Well many children are these days with all the pictures taken with phones but also he goes to a daycare where they send pictures to the parents daily and have taught him to smile and say cheese. It’s adorable.

Grandson the ham ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s funny because he had been over there playing with that activity center on the sofa by Lauren when I took the first picture. Then he came towards me, smiling and saying cheese the whole time. He kept it up, doing different things but keeping eye contact with the camera for a good few minutes. However my poor picture taking skills did not do any of this justice. Even the picture above had to be edited because the flash made it sooooo bright. Hey, at least I’m getting the camera out to try and take some pictures. :)

Here’s an example of my poor camera skills (raw, unedited in any way):

Grandson ~ Grandson ~ Grandson ~ Grandson ~

Great photography ~
The blur is my grandson moving.

On each person’s birthday, I let them choose their food. Lauren chose No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake (THM) version,

Birthday Strawberry Cheesecake ~ Lifeofjoy.meand open-face sausage sandwich-low carb version – (and tater tots).

Open-face Sausage Sandwich ~ Lifeofjoy.meI added cooked mushrooms, onions, and peppers to mine and we had veggie tots which are not really compliant because they have the wheat breading but I was doing so much cooking that I did not feel like making something different for us . . . in hindsight, I should have just made the green fries.

Bday dinner 2019 ~ Lifeofoy.meFor breakfast the next morning we had Cinnamon Pecan Baked Pancakes  (Trim Healthy Table pg 338), bacon, and eggs for those that wanted them. Once Liam finished eating, he made his way to sit on Uncle Sean’s lap.

Uncle and Nephew ~ birthday breakfast ~ Lifeofjoy.meUncle and nephew ~ Lifeofjoy.meI love it when I see similarities in them. :)

At one point the kids were getting ready to play a video game together. Lauren snapped this shot of Liam getting right into it too (at least sitting with them and holding some kind of controller–this controller thing doesn’t always work, as sometimes he realizes his is different and wants the real thing).

Video game togetherness ~ Including grandson ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was a good weekend, especially because I hadn’t seen them since Christmas and I’d only seen my sister and her family at the hospital when Mom had her knee surgery. We used to get together every Sunday! It’s a bit difficult adjusting to seeing the rest of them so infrequently. (Then there is my other sister and her family in Missouri that we see even more infrequent!) Life goes on and changes as it does. In five and ten years, things will look even more different . . . I hope it will include more extended family time than we’ve been having the last year or two. Well, only God knows. :)

Earlier this week Tiffany and I decided to go to our local (used in a very broad sense) library. Okay, it is as far away as the Tulsa library we were frequenting and in the opposite direction, but it is the one that we pay taxes towards and therefore free to us. We decided NOT to pay the $50 to borrow from the Tulsa library system.

Library Time ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’d taken a picture from a different angle using a different app and forgot to save it. Ugh!!! See! My photography skills are severely lacking. So this one is courtesy of Tiffany. :)

Sean went with us too, since he was working at home that day. We took our laptops and even did some writing after looking around. It really is a lovely building. Maybe next month I’ll take my camera and get some nice pics to share.

I’ll run for now. Have a great weekend; I intend to.

Until next tie, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Blind Date with a Book

Blind Book Date ~
Probably should have used a few more words but I did it quickly. ;)

Have you heard of Blind Date with a Book? I hadn’t until Tiffany told me about it when I was contemplating what to write for today’s post.

It looks like this was the idea of Karissa, a librarian in Canada. You can read about how she did this here. From what I’ve gathered, she wanted a different kind of display for Valentine’s Day and came up with idea to wrap the cover of a book with brown craft paper and give some key words to describe the book. As she said, the descriptions were kind of like a dating ads. The idea is to get people to try out a book based on the keywords, not on the cover. It seems that she started this back in 2015.

There is actually a company that sells books this way, except that they are completely wrapped and you must unwrap them to read them. I think this takes away from the ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ aspect though.

Karissa said that she was playing with the idea of a ‘what did you think’ form to get some feedback from patrons. Another library in Virginia took off with that idea and included a ‘Rate Your Date’ questionnaire in each book and enticed patrons to fill them out and return them to be entered for a prize drawing. :) What fun.

So, are there some books you have wanted your kids to read but didn’t want to just make them read them? How about covering several different ones, putting some key words on the cover, and letting them pick one to read? It could be biographies or fiction or even easy picture, whatever books you want to dress up and make a fun ‘game’ of it with.

If you are part of a homeschool group, you could do this as a group. It could either be done as a secret santa kind of thing or as a book loan, where the owner of the book has their name in the back to be returned at the next gathering.

If you give this idea a try, let me know how it went.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

PS. I came across this really neat idea for some YA books. I don’t know about the books themselves but I thought the approach was quite well thought out, to enable the blind date with a book virtually. When you click on the ‘ad’ you liked, you are taken to the book on amazon. I loved her descriptions/ads


Valentine Tangling

I’ve not kept up with #Valentangle2019 very well. Thankfully it isn’t a whole month long “challenge,” so I’m okay with taking the whole month to do the two weeks of prompts.

The puzzle 3Z one I did last week is a favorite of mine and my daughter’s evidently. This past weekend she changed up the tiles in my gallery frame, including this tile.

Tangled Tile Display ~ use plasti-tak to position the tiles. It takes a bit of patience and Tiffany is fast at everything she does, so I’ll need to go back and straighten some of these out. That one in the middle of the top row fell twice on her and she just didn’t have the desire to fix it yet again. :D) It would look a lot better with a proper matting, but it is what it is. Maybe one day I’ll do something with it but for now, this works. ;)

I have a hard time choosing the pieces to put in the frame because I like so many of them. It is difficult to take down some of the older ones. :) So, she decided it was time to update the the pieces in the frame. I don’t think we changed the tiles at all last year. :( The removed ones will go in my album. (I’ll have to share pictures of that another time because I don’t have time or gumption to get it out, take pictures, and connect the camera up to my laptop for a third time today. :(

Well day five of Valentangle2019 tripped me up. I still haven’t done that one. It was to tangle on something other than a tile. Now even though she used a rock, it did not have to be a rock; it could have been anything–an envelope, a bookmark, really anything. But it still tripped me up because I didn’t want to just settle for some other paper and ended up not doing it yet.  I still may before the month is over; I’d really like to use paint on a rock. OH! or maybe paint on one of those little canvases I think I have . . . I’ll have to look into that.

On the 6th the prompt was to do Wholy Hollibaugh with hearts in the lines. I had not done this before and was excited to give it a try. I always like the contrast of black and white so Hollibaugh is one of my favorite tangles. This however was a bit challenging. I decided to make the strips different: lined, diagonal, dotted, and plain. I tried to cross them enough that there would be some good variation and depth. I forgot to take a picture before it was shaded but the shading still adds significantly to the depth. I drew it in my old Tangle A Day Calendar.

#valentangle2019 Day 6 ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt looks like I might have one layer wrong somewhere but my mind cannot process it correctly right now, so I’m not sure. ;)

The prompt for day 7 was to use the “love fragment” and make a flower with it or use other flowery tangles. I thought that my version below looked a lot like a Narcissus. So I added a bit of two yellows and a light orange watercolor pencil.

Here it is before shading and coloring.

unshaded #Valentangle2019 day 7 ~ Lifeofjoy.eI don’t remember why I blackened in the hearts on the larger one . . . I think it was just for some difference/contrast but then I realized you couldn’t make out the heart shapes very well so I went over the outline of the hearts in white and added the dots in the points. here it is shaded and colored.

#valentangle2019 day 7 ~

That’s as far as I’ve gotten with Valentangle2019 so far. I even did those last two this weekend while my son and his family were here. So that brings us to the Diva Challenge, which is to be inspired by Valentine’s Day. This is great because I was going to make a card for my hubby this week as he prefers homemade cards to purchased. :)

I asked him which he prefers: tan, black, or white tiles. He had a hard time deciding and then said he liked the shiny black one. Great. That meant the scratch off tile instead of any of my others. Oh well. I made it work.

Here is the front of the card. I stuck the scratch-off tile to the center of a folded piece of black paper. I used Luv-A for my scratch-off tangle and Heartline around it, once I glued it on. It got a little wonky but it’s okay.  :)

Valentine Card 2019 ~ Lifeofjoy.meInside I put coupons for him. :) I folded a piece of paper and wrote inside. So he’ll have to lift the flaps to see the 7 ‘gifts’ I’m giving him. The instructions on how to redeem them are on the other side of the fold.

valentine card inside ~ Lifeofjoy.meI think he’ll like it. :)

Thanks for stopping by and for your sweet comments. I hope you have a great week!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

IP Creamy Chicken Broccoli Rice

Although this dish is not pretty by any means, it is very good. I cooked the broccoli in the instant pot with the raw rice and frozen chicken breast and all the other ingredients because we like our vegetables really well done. Well, the broccoli totally disintegrated. I mean, no lumps at all, which was good for Sean ;) but not good if you actually want to chew broccoli. In which case, I recommend steaming the broccoli separately and mixing it into the finished dish. :)

One other ‘mistake’ I made was with the amount of chicken for the amount of rice, so I’m adjusting it here. This is basically a dump and go recipe that could be done in the crock pot, I would think.

So here goes: Place two pounds of frozen chicken breast in the instant pot. Then add rice, broth or water, broccoli, mushrooms, almond milk, and spices. Place the lid on the pot, close the vent, and press pressure cooker, high, for 25 minutes with keep it warm for an additional 10 minutes.

IP Chicken Broccoli Rice ~ Lifeofjoy.meI used water and some homemade (THM) bouillon.

water ~ Lifeofjoy.meReady to go ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe had one bunch of broccoli and knew it wouldn’t be enough, so added a bag of broccoli florets. Did you know that some Dollar Tree stores carry a pound of frozen broccoli florets for only a dollar? That’s awesome because it is more for less at most other stores; I think it is because the bags I can find are “steamable”.

When it is done, break up the chicken breasts. I use a potato masher or a meat “chopper” similar to the Mix and Chop by Pampered Chef.

IP Creamy Chicken Rice and Broccoli ~

IP Creamy Chicken Broccoli Rice


  • about 2 pounds chicken breast
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 3 cups water or broth (I used 3 tablespoons of homemade THM Bouillon)
  • about 1 1/2 - 2 pounds broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon each onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and parsley
  • dash of each black pepper and paprika
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon glucomannan powder


  1. Put all ingredients (except broccoli if you so desire) in the instant pot, vent closed. High manual pressure for 25 minutes then keep warm for 10 minutes.
  2. Release pressure, removed lid, and break up the meat.
  3. Enjoy!
  4. I believe you could do the same thing in the crock pot 6-8 hours on low.

IP Creamy Chicken Rice and Broccoli ~ Lifeofjoy.meFYI: It really does look a bit more green in person. I modified this THM Cream of Mushroom Soup recipe.

I hope you like this. We’ll make it again and even put the broccoli in it (but will probably steam some on the side too).

Oh, by the way, we eat this as an E meal on the THM program. (Watch the amount of rice.) Best to add a salad to eat with it, keeping the fats on the salad in E limits, as there are added fats in the dish itself. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

That “Lovin’ Feelin'”

That Lovin' Feelin' ~ Lifeofjoy.meI listened to a webinar, at least that is what the author called it. I call it a pre-recorded presentation. But I’m always looking for ways to better myself and our marriage; I can be such a mess at times. A link came up for a marriage webinar on facebook the other day and since it was to begin in a few minutes, I decided to click over to it and see what it was about.

First off, her voice was a bit breathless and annoying to me. I don’t know exactly what it was that made me annoyed by her being so chill and breathlessly quite, but I was. There was a chatroom but nobody chatting, even when I asked, after about 30 minutes, how long the presentation was going to be.

Having said that though, she did say a few things that struck me and I will definitely continue to ponder and pray about. One was to stop “dropping” your love. Hmmmm, this thought intrigued me a bit. I’ve pondered a bit about how one “drops” your love. I’m reminded of something that has happened several times in the last several months (about four months or so) and I have mentioned here before . . . a Christian song came on the stereo and all of a sudden I was overcome with deep feelings of love for my hubby. If that feeling can be aroused merely by a song being played, then it seems that I should be able to protect that feeling and hold on to it. Don’t get me wrong, I did manage to hold on to it for a while, as is evident by writing the blog post, but it eventually gets covered by other stuff/feelings.

At any rate, it is something to consider. If you have an idea of how to protect that “lovin’ feelin’,” I’d love to hear it.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Art and Reading

#valentangle2019 day 4 ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere we are, knee deep in February. Although only a week has passed, it already feels as if I haven’t much of it left. I guess part of it has to do with the art challenge I’m doing this month, Valentangle 2019, since it is only two weeks long. I was doing quite well with it until Tuesday when the challenge was to tangle on something other than the usual tile/paper and the example was a rock. This caused me to think too much and I wanted to read the novel Tiffany and I had started, instead of thinking outside the box on this one. So, I got de-railed. Then Wednesday, I had to finish off the book (more on that in a minute) and wanted to play the new Kingdom Hearts game that Sean bought and didn’t do that day’s prompt either. So I’m behind, but will probably catch up before the weekend is over.

Tiffany and I started reading the The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson together. Well, together as in, I read and she reads up to where I am, and so forth. It’s nice to be able to talk about the book together as we read it. Of course that requires that we keep up with each other.

We’d gotten to a bit of frustrating and slow part, which did last for a while but was sooooo worth it by the last several chapters. Now, if you are not familiar with The Stormlight Archive series, it is a fantasy series and each book is over 1000 pages long. No that is not a typo! It is actually in the science fiction section of the library which is how I would classify it. There is much character development and many questions throughout most of those 1000 pages. Thankfully, some of those questions are answered in the final several hundred pages and make the tedious pages worth reading. :)

There are currently three books in this series purported to be ten books when it is complete. I’ve really only ever read one longer series like that where I had to wait on the next book to be published and it was very difficult to wait. Before the new book’s release, I frequently reread the existing books, only to be very frustrated when the author did a lot of review. I hope this doesn’t turn out the same way.

Reading Tomes ~ Lifeofjoy.meAny way, since the books are so long, the first one is usually checked out of the library because people don’t get through the second one before realizing that they need to reread the first tome again. So, we had the second and third books in the series before the first. Then went through all kinds of things (ebooks, audio book, kindle prime, litsy and others) to get our hands on the first book. We got the audio book, a whomping thirty-some cds, and started listening. Big mistake! This was the first audio book I’d done in a very long time and the first Brandon Sanderson novel. I had Tiffany stop it several times in the first couple chapters just so I could ensure I was understanding right. Funny thing was that our player was on shuffle and it wasn’t being read in order. :o :o However even after playing in the right order, I still found I needed the visual support, so we looked for the ebook or printed book again. Low and behold, it was already ready for us to pick up. :) But it would have to go back in just two weeks.

Two weeks to read 1007 pages. Not hard to do if there are not any other responsibilities but writing blog posts for five days in each week, daily art, household chores, and cooking; oh and don’t forget self-care . . . still gotta bathe, brush hair and stuff :D. At any rate, I finished it in the time allotted and hubby dropped it off for us so as not to accrue any MORE fines. ;)

Now I have the new Kingdom Hearts game to play and the second book has 1087 pages. I won’t go into the whole library debacle this week. I’ll save that rant for another time. Brian, Lauren, and Liam are coming up this weekend, so I should have pictures to share next week. Lauren’s birthday approaches, so we will be celebrating with her.

Well, I’ll run for now. Have a great weekend and stay warm! (It’s freezing cold again here in Oklahoma–with virtually NO SNOW! Ugh!)

Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº

Scheduled or On-Demand

scheduled or on demand ~ Lifeofjoy.meI was one that believed you “don’t wake a sleeping child.” This led me to feeding on demand, as in when the child was hungry. However in recent years I have had my thoughts challenged and am now leaning more towards a scheduled child.

One of the reasons for this is that I’m finding that even I can get on a schedule and by doing so, train myself to be hungry at those times. And if I should be hungry sooner, I can always practice a little self-control and drink some water to help tide me over until it is time to eat again.

Some of this realization has stemmed from the book, Bringing up Bebe, which I have talked about before here and here. But I must admit that I woke my babies up during the daytime when they were newborns and threatening to get their days and nights mixed up. So even in that I was scheduling to a degree. And when it seemed that my child would nurse around the clock, I put them on a semblance of a schedule and was thankful when it was successful.

The benefits to having a scheduled child is that there seems like there would be less frustration and tantrums, once the child is scheduled. Of course, ensuring that your child can sleep any where would be a good idea unless you want to be bound by your schedule daily, even with naps and such. One way to accomplish this is to avoid the tendency to be quiet during nap time but also avoiding doing the same thing every nap time. Basically, you want to keep things varied, so that your child does not need his/her environment to be any particular way to be able to sleep.

Schedules and routines are tricky things. They look binding but are freeing. In giving a child a schedule, they know what to expect. They cannot tell time yet but they know that after lunch, it is nap time/quiet time or after a bath in the evening it is story time. These things can give a child security.

Remember, you are the parent. You set the schedule. And consequently, you can choose to change things up as you desire. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Valentangle and Anthem

I am participating in Valentangle this year. Of course, I didn’t do yesterday’s prompt because it was a busy-ish day for me and you were supposed to tangle on something other than a tile. Since it took a bit more effort to figure out, I decided to wait for a day that I had a little more time to devote to it.

The 1st prompt was to use fragment given (play with the fragment). Since I’ve been enjoying Ratoon, I put it in the center of Ratoon. :) Here it is unshaded.

#valentangle2019 #lovefragment #ratoon ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd here it is shaded.Shaded ratoon love fragment ~ Lifeofjoy.meDay 2: Use a heart shape in the center of Ratoon. Yay! I got to play with ratoon some more. :)

#valentangle2019 day 2 #ratoon ~ Lifeofjoy.meI didn’t really know how to shaded/highlight it and once I started decided I liked it the way it was and didn’t want to mess it up any more. ;)

Day 3: Fill only a small area of the tile. I decided to go with the fragment, doubled, in the corner. But then it looked to bleh. So I added a little bit of pink watercolor pencil on the hearts and it was better but still bleh. So I added a bit more on the outer edge and spread it toward the center. :) Now I like it.

#valentangle2019 day 3 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI like to smudge the border shading to make it kind of look like a window or ledge or something.

Day 4: Make a 3Z mosaic or puzzle using at least 2 3z tiles. Thankfully I remembered Pam Neumann, a local CZT, had given me a couple tan 3Z tiles several months ago and I hadn’t used them yet. Yay! Thanks Pam. :)

I’d seen what a few people had done with the prompt and didn’t want to be a copycat, so I put mine together in a different way. I used Luv-A by Sharon Caforio and Heartline by Helen Williams. I like how this one turned out. I’m still not very proficient at adding the white highlights but I’m getting a bit better. :)

#valentangle2019 day 4 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI worked really hard at learning Heartline last year and was surprised how easily I remembered it. :) Luv-a and I were not very friendly last year but it too returned much nicer this time around. :)

That brings me to this week’s Diva Challenge. Since this is the first week of the month, she chose Anthem by Jody Genovese. I think it looks like crystals. So, I looked at Vitruvian Art’s video tutorial on how to color clear crystals and tried to do as she suggested. I watched one she did with gel pens but opted to go with the other version.

#DC384 Anthem ~ Lifeofjoy.meThat asterisk is supposed to be a sparkle kind of thing but I don’t think it works. I kind of wish I hadn’t added it. I used my Faber Castell watercolor pencils that I got dirt cheap last summer. I really like them though. :)

Well that’s it for me this week. I’ll continue posting my Valentangle pieces on IG, if you’re interested. But I’ll probably recap the new ones here next week too.

Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment; it’s so nice to know you liked my work.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Thighs, Thighs, and More Thighs

Thighs were on sale for 79¢ a pound here and I bought around ten pounds of them. I bagged them in freezer bags in about six per bag, which is usually more than enough for this family of four adults. These are rather large thighs and, believe it or not, one is enough for me at dinner, with a couple sides.

Today I thought I’d share some menu ideas for thighs. I have a freezer full of other meats that I’ve bought on sale, so I’m not stuck with just the thighs but thought I’d go ahead and share some different ideas, in case you find yourself needing to focus on one meat.

  1. The first one is super easy. Soup. Chicken soup is inexpensive and the bone and skin add a great flavor to it.Chicken added ~ Granny's Chicken Soup ~
  2. Baked. I place the thawed thighs on rimmed baking sheet, preferably on a silpat for easier cleaning, season, and cook. Serve with a couple side dishes: our go-to side dishes are green beans and salad.Baked Chicken Thighs ~
  3. Baked but with a barbeque flavor instead of the one in the previous link. We just sprinkle some onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, a dash (cap full) of liquid smoke, a couple dashes worcestershire sauce, and some brown sugar substitute. (We use Sukrin Gold but I believe Swerve makes one too.)
  4. San Francisco Chicken. Normally this is made with chicken breast or pork chops but browning the thighs and then adding the sauce, covering and letting it cook about 20 minutes or until the thighs are done, should work nicely. (The original recipe used this procedure with the thicker cut pork chops.) Serve with noodles (we use either Dreamfields or konjac root noodles) or thinly sliced cabbage and broccoli.San Fran Chicken on Noodles ~
  5. Breaded and either fried on the stove top or in the oven. We just coat with a mixture of baking blend and Parmesan cheese after dipping in a beaten egg.
  6. Alfredo. For this one I’d bake extra thighs earlier in the week and get the meat off the bone saving it for this day. When I make plannedovers, I have to hide the extra or my gang will eat it. :D  At any rate, this sauce can be a bit pricey and caloric, so you can just use a cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup for the sauce. It’s good with cauliflower and or broccoli. You could just thicken some almond milk up with some xanthan gum and add some onion powder and garlic powder to it for flavor or you could use the water from a can of mushrooms for part of the liquid and add the mushrooms if your family will eat them. I’ve chopped them up finely to hide them from my kids when they were young. As they got older, I just tell them to pick them out and give them to me. :)
  7. For the last one, I’d make some like for number six but put it as a topping on pizza. If that isn’t an option, make Chicken Parmesan baking breaded chicken and when nearly done, add some tomato sauce (or spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce) and a little cheese to the top.Chicken Alfredo Pizza ~

Well, that’s my week long menu for using chicken thighs. These links are all mine but have been taken from my many different ways of cooking throughout the years. If you have a particular one you would like me to make suggestions on how to conform it to a particular fuel source (fats or carbs or light on both counts), let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Connect Daily

Dinner Together ~ Lifeofjoy.meThere was a good post with ten budget-friendly date night ideas over on To Love, Honor, and Vacuum recently, suggesting things like go out for dessert or coffee and other such things that I won’t spoil here (go over there and read it and I get nothing for suggesting it).

Those ideas seem good if you are either an extrovert or live in town. I, on the other hand, live way out in the country and am in introvert and although Michael is an extrovert, after driving into town for work, he does not want to go back out once he gets home. We are both content to just be at home. :) It truly is how we spent the majority of our dating life as well: just hanging out together at someone’s house be it his sister’s, my parents’, the place he lived with others, or even others’ homes. So it is no wonder that our married life has looked so similar.

However, it is important to connect each day! Talk to each other. Eat together. Take a walk together. Share experiences together. Marriage is about living life together not living your separate lives but in the same house with benefits. ;)

I have come to realize that we are not normal in our home. We eat the vast majority of our dinners together, at the kitchen table (we do not have a dining room). We don’t usually have anything on the television either, unless it is just music or for noise. (Michael hates to hear people chewing their food. :D ) We talk at dinner. We fellowship together. Then the rest of the evening, on many occasions, we will put on some videos (tv show–Stargate is a frequent one) we own. We are each doing our own thing but all still kind of paying attention to the show; we interact with each other but are all still doing our own thing but we are doing it together in one room. Yeah, it’s been challenging at times, as they people that the guys play with online can hear it too, but enjoyable all the same.

I guess what I’m saying is that date night is a great idea but I think the point of date night is to interact with each other. So, although Michael and I don’t really have many date nights, we interact with each other on a daily basis, outside of the to-do lists and frustrations of the day. One thing I’m hoping to do when it warms up a bit, next month probably, is get him to go on a short walk with me in the afternoon/evenings. I need the exercise, so he’ll probably agree to it, to encourage that. :)

Well, I hope you will consider how you are living life with your spouse. Don’t just put it off for one night a week. Engage with each other, each day. And as special days approach, add an extra little touch to make it a bit more special. Marriage takes work to have what you thought it was going to be.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº