okay

I finally finished watching last night’s Bachelor episode.  Oh, the drama.  Of course, ABC makes it sound way more outrageous than it actually is/was, but, it’s all about numbers- isn’t it?

I was giving my hubbie the play by play this evening over dinner.  The back and forth between Andi and Juan Pablo.  She’s not happy with him, and she thinks he doesn’t care because he’s not asking questions of her and her family.  And, I felt sympathy for him.  Now, before anyone gets upset at me, I am giving him the benefit of the doubt.  Because, I was the same way with my hubbie while we were dating.

My husband has an engineer mind.  He sees things differently than the rest of the world.  He’s smart and analytical and approaches life as such.  Like, when we were getting to know each other, he googled things, like, “Top Ten Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married” and “Questions to Ask Your Significant Other,” and he would ask me (often through e-mail) these questions.  He asked me about my family, my relationships with friends, and about past relationships.  He asked me about dreams and goals and basic dog or cat, hot or cold preference questions.  I remember him asking if I had any questions for him.  Umm.  Not really…  What’s your favorite color?

That’s when I felt sympathy for Juan Pablo and wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt.  I am the kind of person who didn’t need to know some of these things.  I am an optimist.  My dear hubbie is a realist.  And, while I watched Andi get so irritated at Juan Pablo, I thought: it’s all lost in translation.  Sure, there seems to be some cultural disconnect, but I think it’s a personality disconnect.  I know: Joseph and I have had a few bumps in the road to understanding each other.  Andi kept getting upset that he kept saying everything would be “okay,” but I think it was a tick.  His tick is saying “okay”.  That’s what he does, that’s who he is, and I don’t believe that he was meaning to disrespect her.

Some of us need to ask dozens of questions before knowing if someone’s the right fit for us.  And, some of us don’t need to know anything at all except that the other person will love us and be true.  And, in my opinion, that is okay.

Happy housewife Wednesday, Laura

babies and baguettes

A light, late night blog…

Have I mentioned I am desperately planning a trip to Europe this year?  I want to go to Paris before we have kids.  My poor heart aches, though, as I keep having to push it back.  Paris, not the kids.  Well, kids, sometimes!

Spring break 2014?  Nope.  Hubbie doesn’t get a spring break for his MBA.  Summer?  Nada.  We have other obligations.  And, I was praying for and pricing a winter trip when other things are popping up on the horizon.  Tonight, I become bummed.  My husband rolls his eyes at me as I whine.  “Rich people problems?” he mocks me.  We’re not rich, which is why I keep editing and pricing.  How can we make this work???  And, where’s the sympathy, my love?!

I mentioned putting the trip off another year, and my husband says no.  He wants me to have this trip.

Hmmm.  Well, I want us both to have this trip.

He says maybe we should put it off, and I sigh, “I wanted to do this trip before we have kids.  I might start losing my mind if we keep putting kids off…”

It hits me- two birds, one stone: “We could go to an orphanage in France and pick up a little Parisian baby!-”

“No,” interrupts Joseph.

“Yes!”  I keep going.  “Pick up a sweet little baby eating a baguette!”

And, he bursts out in laughter.  I hadn’t even gotten to the beret and stripes wearing description.

Truth is, the Lord provides.  He has perfect timing.  I wanted kids years ago, and they will happen when they happen.  I wanted to find the perfect man for me.  I was praying I’d marry before forty, and I married him before thirty.  I had always wanted to go to London, and my love made it happen a month before we married (I lucked out in getting to tag along with him on a business trip).  If Paris is meant to be, it will happen as well.  It might not happen in April, like I dreamed, and it might not be this year.  But, I have time to dream and save in the mean time and know when it happens that the time will be just right.

fighting

My husband and I attended a marriage conference earlier this month and really enjoyed it.  The thing that stuck out in my mind from the weekend was about conflict.  We were still experiencing the same conflict we had a year prior from the last conference we attended.  Hmmpf.  I have heard that some couples have fights that last for years and never get resolved.  Well, that’s not good enough for our marriage.  We gotta pull up our boot straps, roll up our sleeves, and dive in to it all.  That’s what we did and have been doing for the last week.

We have been busy communicating and sorting through and FINALLY reaching agreed up resolutions.  Yay!  But, in all those big “research and development moments” we seem to have found a residual mess.  I cannot describe it.  Tension?  Push back?  Friction?  That seems close.  This last week, we’ve had nearly a disagreement every day.  Something that frustrates either of us, and we push back.  Something said or done, and the other resists the bend of will.  We get uppity and irritated.  We go back and forth until finally: one of us laughs.

It’s awkward.  One of us cracks and smile and begins to giggle a little or chuckle a lot.  Then, the other spouse chips in to the laugh fest.  It is bizarre.  I think we’ve been adjusting to the leftover crud in our conversations.  And, suddenly, the stuff we are baby-bickering about just didn’t seem to matter.  That is true- how many of your arguments really don’t matter?  I’ve said it before: fights over dishwasher loading aren’t important.  Neither are intense discussions on who makes the bed in the morning.  My husband complained I didn’t do the grocery shopping this past week.  Ummm.  Yeah, on Tuesday.  And, I only asked if you wanted to go back to get more of your favorite almond milk before the busy week.  Oh, yeah, stupid fight.

I find that when fighting, it helps to keep your voice down and calm.

Increasing your voice or making your tone harsh only escalates a fight.

Try to find the heart of the matter.

One of our biggest fights this year was the school my husband chose to get his MBA at.  It wasn’t the school itself that bothered me, it was that I felt my opinion on the matter wasn’t valued and discarded.  We didn’t feel like a team in the matter.

It always helps to say “I’m sorry.”

Because you are.  Even if what you said was true or maybe even needed to be said, you can still be sorry for hurting your significant other.  Attack the problem, not your partner.  Your apology doesn’t make you weak; it makes you loving.

Decide if it matters.

Sometimes, not saying anything is the best thing to do.  I am often irritated at my husband at his dirty clothes.  I almost wish they were crumpled up and lying around the house at the end of the day, but that isn’t him.  He folds them up and lays them next to the bed or on top of the pamper.  Thus my frustration: do they need cleaned or was he folding them and setting them aside to wear again?  I tend to pile my clothes on the counter if I cannot decide what to wear.  He doesn’t pick on me, so I’m not going to pick on him.

Be willing to walk away- only to cool down.

Or, have an icebreaker.  Bust a move in the middle of your fight.  Make a funny face.  Tell a cutesy joke.  Lighten the mood to lighten the attack.  Perspective matters when dealing with the one you love.

Happy Monday, Laura

 

love is

my fave photo of us- in the reflection of his frames, you can see we're holding hands!

my fave photo of us- in the reflection of his frames, you can see we’re holding hands!

A special Valentine’s Day post.

Blame it on television and movies, but I love love.  I love the big romantic gestures and falling in love and knowing instantly that you met (and will happily spend your life with) “The One.”

And, while I did meet, instantly fall in love with, and married my “one” and love of my life, it has been a teaching experience.  Love can be grand, but it’s not perfect.  This blog is about what Valentine’s Day 2014 has reminded me about love…

Love is

letting your hubbie sleep in on his day off

volunteering to rub his back before he gets out of bed because he likes it

offering to take care of the new garbage bag so he can eat breakfast

having a Valentine’s Day lunch when your spouse needs to spend the evening doing schoolwork

biting your tongue while your husband drives…  Like, when on the way to lunch, you need to turn right, but the right lane is backed up.  So, your dear husband turns left to avoid the line, drives a bit, turns left into an empty parking lot, and then turns back onto the road on the way to the restaurant…

giving your husband a “dap” (fist bump) because he’s happy he went out of his way thus saving time and hassles when he didn’t turn right

knowing your V-Day flowers will come the day after because your spouse is too busy to stop by a store

rubbing your husband’s feet nearly every day of your marriage (yeah, he’s a very lucky man!)

respecting him even when you don’t feel like it

not griping that your husband folds his dirty pair of pants and lays them on the laundry hamper instead of lifting the lid because surely you stacking your sleep pants on the bathroom counter drives him crazy, too

knowing that you are lucky to have love and be loved and give love.

I pray you have love in your heart and life today, too.

Love and Happy Valentine’s Day, Laura

 

relationship testing

Have you heard one of the best ways to get to know someone is to travel with them, or, more specifically, to take a road trip?  Joseph and I realized early on in our relationship that we travel well together, which is a great thing because we both love to travel.  Although, the first time we took a “road trip” it was a mini one from Houston to Galveston.  The night before I knew: this is the man I want to marry.  On that hour drive, though, I began to think: who is this man?!  My dear husband is not a happy camper without food.  [Note: I use to carry snacks for him when we were together to instantly put him in better spirits!]

While road trips are a good way to gauge compatibility, I think anyone wanting to get married should take a different test: put together a piece of furniture or equipment.  *Insert groans*  Tonight, my husband and I (finally) put together a stationary bike we bought back in November; a bike we had planned to help me sooner after surgery for a strong recovery.  And, surprisingly, the process of putting the bike together went well.  We enjoyed the time we spent together helping each other out.  Joseph said he had fun.  Uh, I don’t think “fun” is the correct term, but it was good to hang out together.

I have helped other guys put furniture together before.  Big mistake.  I know “the man” sometimes thinks it’s “the man’s job” to put together a dresser, but I disagree.  I think it’s a job for whoever is up for it.  I enjoy putting bookshelves and dressers together, and I stay fairly sane.  I like seeing the completed project.  I do not like hearing my guy from another room swearing and grunting and yelling at a poor piece of wood.  Follow the freakin’ instructions, dear.  Or, remove your pride and move over- I’ve got it from here!

It’s something my husband and I laugh at together.  Shoddy old pieces we have since sold cheap or donated.  Laughed from the funny stories I have of old beau past helping me only to annoy me.  If the item had been put together at the beginning of the relationship, we might have been able to avoid the mistake in the first place.

So, to the road trip, I encourage the build/put something together milestone.  If you’re lucky, it will be smooth sailing, and you will learn to work well together.  If not, you may hit another relationship milestone: your first fight!

Happy building life, Laura

the Art of marriage

My husband and I attended a marriage conference this weekend.  This is the third Family Life marriage conference we have attended, and the first of their series, “The Art of Marriage.”  We really enjoyed it!

People look at us weird though whenever we mention we have been to or are going to a marriage conference.  Oh, they reply, in a condolence ridden tone.  I explain to them, “We have a great marriage and want to keep it that way!”  They don’t seem to always believe that explanation.  Oh, well.  It is true.

The conference ended on Saturday night, and I have mulled over the thought of it more and more.  The “art” of marriage.  Yeah, there is a bit of art to it, like a dance.  You have two people (usually total opposites) that fall in love and get married.  They are ever changing and evolving and adding new dynamics to the equation.  College, kids, house shopping, mortgage payments, ailing parents, job stress, and strained friendships.  You keep on dancing and adjusting.

That’s why we attend a marriage conference every year.  Well, our first two were kind of for fun and a bit of a way to get out together and strengthen our marriage.  Then, a couple of years ago, two strong couples we knew divorced.  I was shocked.  One couple had been together about ten years and had three kids.  They looked so happy.  The second couple had four kids and had been married over twenty years.  Surely, I had admired them for years.  I realized then that no marriage is safe in an ever changing world.

Then, another marriage we knew failed this weekend.  It breaks my heart.  I keep wondering: what if they took one weekend a year to focus on each other?  Or, spent two hours every week having date night?  A five star dinner and a movie is nice, but what about a simple coffee date?  Or conversation with some 99 cent fries and shake?  I heard of a gal complaining at the “steep” cost of a $50.00 marriage conference.  I am cheap, too, girl!  But, I’d gladly forgo the eating out or tighten my grocery budget a little more for however long to spend time with my husband, strengthen our marriage, and get the tools we need to stay happy in love with each other.

Marriage is not easy, and you truly are never ready.  But, finding people and programs that keep you focused on your spouse is worth it.  Art is something that can be improved and perfected over time, just like a marriage.  Learning how to make your relationship beautiful is an art worth learning and perfecting.  Hope you look into it!

Love, L

http://theartofmarriage.com/

 

Note: Not a paid endorsement.  Just a happy wife’s opinion.  :-)

GIVEAWAY!!

Happy Thursday!  I don’t normally post on Thursdays, but I was SO excited to share this it couldn’t wait…  Like how I gave my husband his Valentine’s Day gift last night… nine days early because I couldn’t wait!

My new company Better Choice Dinners is raffling off and giving away a $50.00 grocery gift card in the month of February!  And, there are TONS of ways you can be entered.  Just click the link below, and you’re on your way at a chance to win!

Happy Thursday!!  Laura

http://bcdinners.com/giveaway

 

Dis R-E-S-P-E-C-T

My husband wanted me to drive him to the bus stop this morning because he was running late.  Yep, I answered while dragging my feet.  I didn’t want to leave the warmth of my home or put on shoes and a jacket.  I wanted to happily stay in my jammies and socks and bed.  However, I got up and got ready and got to the kitchen to pack his lunch.  Hmmm… there was no lunch to take.

My best efforts as a bride are kept up when I make dinner every evening with extra that we both have lunch the next day.  I didn’t make dinner last night.  I took my friend to the airport, picked up our favorite sandwiches from our favorite deli, picked up my hubbie from work and headed home.  What’s he gonna have for lunch???  I scoured our fridge and found with delight an Amy’s frozen burrito- lunch!  He wasn’t satisfied with the burrito only for lunch.  I offered my leftover broccoli from Monday’s dinner, and he groaned because it would smell up the office.  And, that’s when it happened.  I rolled my eyes and sighed.

*GASP!*

If this had been any year prior, he would have gotten mad.  I would have gotten defensive.  We would have broken into a HUGE fight over broccoli and eye rolling.  It would have been massive and likely felt the aftermath for hours.  I may be learning to truly disrespect my husband, but I do not walk in perfection yet.

Instead, I laid my hand on his forearm.  “Honey, I am so sorry.  I didn’t mean to be disrespectful.”  It was true.  “I am tried and my knee hurts.  And I shouldn’t take that out on you.”  All true.  He was quick to thank me, and we went back to the business of packing his lunch… an orange, some vegan tortilla soup, and some trail mix for a snack.  Whew!  Crisis averted.

There’s a book called “Love & Respect,” which we own, but I regret we have yet to read.  I get the concept though from our premarital counseling and reading other relationship books.  Most of us women want to feel loved, but most men would rather feel respected when it comes to their relationships and marriage.  So, every time I make some snarky remark or backhanded comment (intentional or not), I am being a bad wife.  I want to support and encourage my husband and keep him happy.  Many women would gladly go after my husband; I don’t want to give him reason to wander.

The Bible encourages us to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.  I want the same thing in my marriage.  Although, I might say I want to be quick to respect him, slow to poor reactions, and slow to make the situation worse.  Some day, I pray, I will be self-controlled enough that the eye rolling will not occur.  Even better: not have the eye rolling thoughts!  But, I do what I can in the meantime: watch my words and actions and be quick to correct them.  I may not nip the action before it happens, but I respect my husband enough to not let it escalate.

Happy Housewife Wednesday, Laura

 

I believe in love

I hate the term hopeless romantic.  Yet, it seems so lame to say “hopeful romantic” to me.  But, either way it is true: I like to root for love.

One of my girlfriends was saying this week that she doesn’t watch “The Bachelor”anymore because it is fake TV.  Really?!  I laughed, but everyone loves to watch.  Yes, we love the drama and tears.  We enjoy the crazies and wine induced whines.  But, at the end of the day I think everyone hopes for love.

Without meeting the contestants in person, you cheer for them in love.  You want them to find their soul mate and one true love.  Or, the truest love that will work for them.  I think that’s why I watch it.  I do appreciate not being one of those crazy girls anymore.  My heart breaks for almost every one of them when they are rejected and want to know what’s wrong with them.  Nothing, honey.  Go home and get online.  Find a nice guy off eHarmony.  (It worked for me! :-) )  Out of twenty-seven girls, you only have a 4% shot of being the one for Juan Pablo, for example.

I root for Juan Pablo though.  Him and a few contestants before him.  I didn’t find the one for me until my late twenties.  I am grateful and thankful.  And, in a world of harness and hate, I want to root for love.  That’s what matters and what writes stories.  Let’s be honest: love may not conquer all.  However, it’s worth rooting for and voting for.  Love is worth believing in- whether on TV or real life.

Laura

forever changed

*a special Saturday post*

I stayed up until 1 a.m. this morning.  I admit: I feel a bit zombie-ish.  Totally a word this morning.  I think it was worth it.  Hope it was worth it.  My business is up and the website is launched.

Better Choice Dinners

http://bcdinners.com/

For all the hard work and late hours and hundreds of revisions and edits, I can stay it’s done.  Or, at least up and running.  Because, as it’s now official and no longer a “eventually” or “soon” or “some day” thing, my mind races with more things to be done.  I think of editing the advertising, tutorials I should be typing, recipes I should be reviewing.  I am no longer a housewife only; I am an entrepreneur.  It’s like something instantly changed in my heart and my mind.  I am overwhelmed and anxious but totally excited.  If we crash and burn, it will be one of the biggest things I have ever done.  And, if it succeeds and blossoms, I will amaze no one more than myself.  I am proud for even taking that first step.  Change can be good, but it’s always coming.