Category Archives: Marriage Monday

Because your spouse matters

Starting to Prep for Valentine’s Day

I’m so thankful for people like Lori Byerly (The Generous Wife) because she is such a marriage encourager. Every year she starts a countdown to Valentine’s Day a month out. I love it because it gets me thinking about what to do for Michael with plenty of time to plan.

  • Do I want to make him a dessert he likes?
  • A special dinner with special dessert? (wink wink)
  • A several day surprise (like 12 days of Christmas)?
  • Take him out to eat the weekend before or after (he hates crowds, so Valentine’s Day is out of the question ;) )

So now, thanks to Lori, I’m thinking about Valentine’s Day and beginning to do some searching for some good ideas. It’d be nice to do something different this year. ;)

What are you planning? Have you got any different ideas?

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Handling a Change of Routine

With the holidays came  big change in our household routine. Of course it was a nice change of pace and made for enjoyable holidays. But when it gets extended it can throw a wrinkle in the normal routines, which isn’t always welcome or pleasant. ;)

As a self-employed paint contractor, Michael’s work can really fluctuate. It’s difficult to find the time to take a vacation because when work is abundant, well, he has work he needs to do and can’t generally just take off. And when work is sparse, it is difficult to go and spend money on something like a vacation when money is not coming in. It is understandable why people wouldn’t want painting done in their homes over the holidays or in January.

All of this can change the routines in our home. When the guys are home, Tiffany and I don’t follow the same routines we normally follow. For me, that starts with bedtime and the time I get up in the morning. I prefer later nights and to sleep in each morning. But left on my own, I end up going to bed a bit later each night and then sleeping in a bit later the next morning. I’m not really a morning person and only set my alarm in order to get up to start my day off right and be able to make Michael’s breakfast and lunch before he heads to work. So when he doesn’t have work, I don’t set the alarm and I usually end up staying up a little later than normal.

It is nice to have a break in routines for a short while but at some point my mind just screams to get back on schedule. I haven’t read much since before Christmas and I miss it. I haven’t done any Bob Ross paintings for several months and I miss that as well.

Tiffany and Michael both got sick between Christmas and the New Year and so that threw things off kilter a bit too. I like to get my bullet journal set up at the kitchen table with Tiffany but really felt uninspired to do any of it (and then there was also tending to the sick ;) ).

So the way I handled these hiccups in my routine was to make sure I spent some time with God each day. I did some calming exercise: either took a walk or the Ring Fit Adventure game on the Switch. I also made sure to take St. John’s Wort each day and L-Theanine as needed for added calming effect.

It’s helpful to keep the parts of the routine that I can but not to be a Nazi about it and be flexible. When hit with a difficult moment, I try to take a deep breath and not overreact but of course, I’m not always successful. ;)

So how do you handle changes to your routine?

Michele ºÜº

Knowing When to Push and When to Stop

Sometimes Michael mentions doing something and I get all excited and want to move forward. The problem with that is that he is slow to commit to things, especially spending money, which is not a bad thing as it has saved us some money. :)

However sometimes I need to push to proceed with the thing because it is best for us. In other words, sometimes waiting has a cost. The important thing for me is to learn when to push and when to let go.

If I push when I need to let go, it is probable that I will frustrate him. Of course, if I stop when I should push, we could miss out on an opportunity that would be beneficial to us. It’s a big balancing act that is best approached with prayer.

I hope we all can find that balance, knowing when to push and be still.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Adding a Little Marital Fun

For Christmas, a friend of mine gave me some really nice kitchen themed serving dishes and this cute little bell.

It’s a cute little thing and we’re having fun with it. :D

I showed it to Michael and then rang it. ;) He dutifully gave me a kiss. Several times throughout the rest of that day, I rang the bell and we both laughed but he did come over and kiss me. :)

I forgot all about it for a couple of days with all the holiday festivities but remembered it yesterday and rang it again. :D He’d just sat down and didn’t want to get back up right then but I just kept ringing the bell until he did come and kiss me. :D It was all in fun and I believe it is good for our relationship.

Sharing laughter is something we both enjoy. Thankfully, we both see this as good-natured fun. Even when he ‘refuses’ to come kiss me when I ring the bell, we both get a laugh out of it.

I encourage you to find some fun to have with your honey, be it a whistle, a specific tune, or even a bell, like us. ;)

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Christmas Time Snuggles

Wow! It’s Christmas week! Things can get so busy and hectic that it can be easy to forget to give your sweetheart some extra sugar this week. But I promise, if you remember to do some little “act of kindness” or little extra for your love each day, it will bless your marriage.

Consider sneaking him a piece (or even just a bite or two) of his favorite treat that you’re making for the holidays, bring him a drink as you get your own, or just take a moment and give him a smooch.

Sometimes I’ll go over and sit on Michael’s lap and stare into his eyes or just smile and tell him I love him and give him a quick kiss and then go about my business. I keep interruptions short if he’s doing something important or when he wouldn’t appreciate it. ;)

So that is my encouragement today: take a little extra time to snuggle with or do something nice for you love each day this week. :)

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

 

Stressed?

I went to have an overall health check about 6 weeks ago. My cortisol levels were high, as well as insulins, and my adrenals were ramped up; this is my paraphrase of what I was told. Bottom line, my body is stressed. Thankfully, I don’t feel stressed, which I attribute to God and prayer.

I now have some supplements to help my body deal with the stress. I have also had an attitude shift or mental adjustment towards exercise. Exercise is no longer a suggestion for me; it’s a prescription–something I must do for my health. So I really try to get a decent walk in each day. I prefer it to be at least a mile but some days it is a bit shorter. The point is to get some fresh air, breathe deeply, and some stress-relieving exercise.

I’ve realized that when I have a moment when I am aware that I’m feeling a bit stressed, I must be uber stressed and need to take some deep breaths or go on my walk for the day. I’m also very thankful for prayer and worship, which can also help to relieve stress. (As well as supplements like L-Theanine. ;) )

So during this busy season, if you are feeling stressed be sure to

  • pray
  • worship
  • breathe deep
  • exercise
  • Oh and make time to snuggle with your hubby

It’s important for your health. Not only do you want to be around for another year but your family and friends want you around for another year. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

 

What is Self Care?

Even in marriage it is important to take care of yourself. You cannot expect your spouse to do everything for you to feel good about yourself. You have to do some things for yourself.  ;)

My daughter Tiffany wrote a about what self care means to her on her instagram account recently and I thought I’d share it with you today.

Self care to me is sleeping in some days but getting up early other days. It’s going on a walk even when you don’t feel like it. It’s the occasional manicure (I do them myself cause I brokkkeee) and the lazy Sunday/Saturday. It’s taking the time reading a book with hygge lighting and drinking cocoa.

It’s stopping what you are doing to take a few deep breaths. It’s getting rid of the toxic people in your life and it’s having hard conversations. It’s reading the Word and worshiping while you ugly sob.

Consider your body, soul, and spirit a garden. Self Care is you being a Gardener. Sometimes it’s an enjoyable task of watering or singing to your plants. Other times it’s hard, weed pulling or digging out a plant that died. And occasionally it’s fertilizing your soil.

Self Care is adulting as much as it is indulgence. It’s being kind to yourself by doing that paper sooner rather than later. Keeping your sleep schedule and being still with our Father.

“Self Care” is the call to balance in our lives. If you fertilize the garden too much then it rots. But if you don’t fertilize at all, it will never reach its full potential.

For the past several weeks I’ve been taking a daily walk for my health–not a long walk, mind you, but a walk all the same (that is except for yesterday when the day completely got away from me before I realized it). It’s a little thing but I’d call it self care. :)

I hope this gives you a little something to think about and is a blessing to you.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Marriage Peaks and Valleys

Marriage Advice from a Movie

One of the Hallmark movies we own is Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade (2017). In it our two main characters go to watch the Starlights dance practice; most of the couples have been married 30 years or more. He asks how they do it, to which she replies that she asked them that once. The answer:

Peaks and valleys. Realize that all days are not going to be peaks but hold on to them to get you through the valleys. That and affection, compromise and a good pair of dance shoes.

I thought it was interesting and it has stayed with me. Although I think I would change it slightly because when I think of valleys, I think of lush green meadows with a stream and nice trees for shade.

Life isn’t made up of all peaks/mountain top excitement and valleys of refreshing and rejuvenation. Most of the journey is making our way up to the top or down to the valley. When we get to the top, we celebrate and rest from our journey up. When we get down to the valley it is similar, having made our way down the mountainside.

The journey up and down through life can be difficult at times. When I walk up our hills here, I have to stop periodically and catch my breath. In our marriage it is important to take times to laugh and remember those enjoyable peaks and valleys of our time together.

Overall, I liked the bit of marriage advice in the movie and thought I’d share it with you. :)

Hope you have a great week and are preparing to make your month enjoyable for you and yours.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

My love and I at zoo ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Touch can be Stress-Relieving

This week is Thanksgiving in the USA. I hope that you are preparing to make it a good memorable day. :)

With all the planning, preparing, baking, going, and doing, it can get a bit stressful, so be sure to take some time to breathe deeply and cuddle with those you love. :)

Did you know that touch can relieve stress? Well, good touch that is. ;) Lately I’ve taken to getting up close to Michael and saying something like “love me.” :D Or I sit on his lap in his chair and have him hug me. He has also been more touching as late, kissing the top of my head or running his hand across my back as he passes by me in the kitchen.

My encouragement to you this week is to not get so rushed and busy that you get frustrated with the ones you love (and especially the ones you live with). Spread things out enough throughout the week or get enough prep work done ahead of time, so that you can enjoy the special time with family and friends (who are one and the same for me :) ).

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Take Time to Relate

This weekend Michael and I went out for a few hours. We still have some of those restaurant gift certificates I bought us for Christmas a few years ago, so we picked one (Olive Garden) and headed out.

You might think that it would be difficult to eat low-carb at Olive Garden (a pasta restaurant) of all places, but I’d heard that they offer zoodles (zucchini spirals) or you can ask for your chosen sauce/dish be put over broccoli. I was optimistic and if it didn’t work out, I just planned to enjoy myself on this rare day out with my honey. :)

They sat us in a very chilly spot, mostly because they had a couple of very large parties coming in, I’m guessing. If I’m chilly, it’s pretty  chilly. ;)

We had a very nice waiter who was obviously pretty busy elsewhere in the restaurant because we didn’t see him often but he did check on use several times regardless. I asked him if they had zoodles; they seemed to have a particular dish with zoodles, so we gave it a try. Zoodles Primavera with grilled chicken.

Michael likes his food really really hot and wished this was a bit warmer. I like my veggies really really done, so I would have preferred them a bit less al dente. But all that aside, it was really good and filling. We got the house salad to go along with it. I did eat a bite or two of the breadsticks, just to see if they were very good but I definitely could have gone without it. If we ever go again, we’ll definitely ask them to hold the bread. ;)

I realized as we drove into town and actually had time to just talk, just the two of us, that we don’t really have much time to do that. It takes a little priming to actually get to talking/communicating. At first Michael thought I had some issue I was trying to bring up. I explained that I was just conversing and he gradually relaxed and we communicated. :)

So my encouragement for today, try to find a time to have a real conversation with your hubby at some point throughout the day at best or at least once a week. Make this conversation one where you don’t talk about the children or to-do lists or issues, you know what the touchy subjects are . . . think about the things you talked about before you were married, hobbies, or some tidbit you picked up. (Here’s a post I wrote a few weeks ago that gives some more ideas.)

All this to say, conversation helps you feel closer and builds your relationship. Don’t forget to converse with God too, because He really helps you in all aspects of your life. :)

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº