Woo-wee! Three years, Babe. It feels like just yesterday but also like a thousand years ago. I have truly loved these three years being married to you. I can't think of a better way to spend my life than right next to you. I couldn't dream up a happier life. I couldn't plan or lay out a more wonderful way to exist!
I still don't know how you put up with me though. I guess you vowed to but...I'm sorry it's so hard sometimes. I know I'm picky and naggy. I'm slow and detailed and you're fast and "get it done ASAP". I'm always hot and you're always cold. You love spicy food and I don't so I never make it for you. You're always needing some piece of laundry that isn't clean because laundry is the bane of my existence. I never make your lunch or breakfasts and you routinely make mine. I never add the receipts into our budget like you've asked me to one hundred kajillion times. (In fact, I'm staring at my receipts from yesterday as I type this... Sorry. I'll do it umm...later?) I always talk your head off while you're trying to read. I kiss you with my coffee breath. The list goes on and on...
All images by Robert Boylson
DO NOT USE WITHOUT PERMISSION
But I read this quote the other day...
...And I thought of you.
I know I'm not perfect - far from it. But please keep forgiving me. And I'll keep forgiving you. We make the best team, Baby. You're the best captain! Thank you for that.
Thank you for a lot of things.
Thank you for picking up on my flirting 5 years ago.
Thank you for thinking awkward, 16-year-old Hannah with braces was cute.
Thank you for hugging me for 20 minutes in my mom's driveway after you asked me to be your girlfriend.
Thank you for saying, "Gimme the best seats you got" at the Reds' game on our first date, I'm still impressed : )
Thank you for exploring New York City with me!
Thank you for loving me long-distance while I was in Rome.
Thank you for sneakily asking my mom for my Great Grandmother's engagement ring that means so much to me.
Thank you for asking me to marry you.
Thank you for helping me plan our wedding.
Thank you for tearing up during our vows. That was my favorite part...
Thank you for marrying me!
Thank you for dancing the night away at our reception even though you hate dancing.
Thank you for driving 10 hours each way to and from our honeymoon.
Thank you for being a good sport when I woke you up at 4am to tell you I was pregnant with Charlotte.
Thank you for encouraging the heck outta me during her birth. Sorry I mostly ignored you!
Thank you for picking up the slack when I had horrible morning sickness with Rosalie.
Thank you for going above and beyond when I was hospitalized after her birth.
Thank you for loving our girls so tenderly every single day.
Thanks for making stressful situations so funny!
Thank you for buying Adobe Premier Elements 14 for me :)
Thank you for being so selfless all the time.
Thank you for tolerating my insanity.
Thank you so constantly making me laugh!
Thank you for pushing me to be the best version of myself.
Thank you for being such a huge nerd about politics, fish, and the Rain Forest. It's really cute :)
Thank you for being my biggest cheerleader when it come to my blog and vlogs :) I would have given up by now without you.
But most of all thank you for loving me. I wouldn't change a thing about our lives. It's imperfectly perfect :) I couldn't do anything without you. Forever and always, Sweet Man.
By: Devishobha Chandramouli from Kidskintha.com
Let’s admit it: making mom friends seems ridiculously hard. The breezy style with which you made friends when you were in school and college without batting an eyelid, suddenly seems like another lifetime.
It’s hard enough to have a sustainable support system for the kids; it’s unimaginable to strike friendships that are just that- breezy, sunny relationships.
Parenting in the millennial age is hard work. We want to do the best for our kids and like it or not- Mommyland can get totally lonely.
Here are 9 ways to make long-standing relationships with other moms
1. Look for opportunities actively
Make a real attempt to get to know the other moms as people.
In my daughter’s new school, I had no idea who to turn to for help. The school was huge and had its rules. So, I picked my daughter’s birthday as an opportunity to invite the kids in her class and their moms for a nice get-together. The event went better than I expected. I got included in a Whatsapp group and this group is the support group I turn to even before I turn to the doctor when my child gets sick.
2. Don’t make it all about your kid
Once you have made your friends, refrain from talking/bragging about your child. Even though you may not intend it to come out that way, hearing about your child all the time can get really annoying. Show a genuine interest in them and their lives. One word- listen.
3. Take it offline
Facebook has any number of parenting groups that can connect you to parents from all over the world. Making a tiny clique of that group for local geographies by arranging mommy meet-ups in a cozy cafe is a great way to connect with the neighbourhood moms.
Some apps like MomCo and other networks like NetMums are exclusively designed to help you find moms in your neighbourhood.
4. Exchange contact information
Knowing them on Facebook is one thing. Knowing them personally is another. Take this opportunity to exchange numbers, emails and even each other’s work and hobbies. It might open up doors to future opportunities and if not anything else, just a real support system.
5. Offer Value
Even though everyone in these meets will not turn out to be your best friend, showing your genuine side will help you gravitate towards other “like” moms. Finding mutual interests and values is simply a matter of time.
6. Don’t be a gossip monger
Whatever happens, refrain from being the one passing on the juicy bits. People are likely to feel safer around people who don’t discuss others’ lives, even if they are not the ones being discussed at the moment. Imagine the girl in class who took nobody’s side. That girl was everyone’s friend. Keep it totally objective.
7. Take the first step
After the meeting, you may be battling with “ Is-it-too-soon-to-call” situation. However, most friendships do not go beyond the first stage because nobody took the first step and it gradually drops off. Don't be embarrassed about making that connection. That’s the only way you’ll know if this will stick.
8. Don’t stick to specific groups
Your mommy friends could come from anywhere. Your reading circles, your gym class or even your workplace. Avoid closing out options because it doesn't seem to fit in specifically.
9. Make it about yourself too
These people could grow to be your friends for life. The friends that you make at this stage of your life might be the ones you will be drinking a margarita with at the age of 60. So, don’t restrict it to issues surrounding the baby. Talk about your life, interests, passions. Be yourself and don’t be afraid of being judged. And, oh, please don’t judge.
Devishobha is the founder of Kidskintha - a platform that addresses parenting issues of the millennia age to help raise emotionally robust, happy kids. She regularly lends her voice to the Huffington Post, SheKnows Experts, LifeHack and other publications. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook here. Grab her free eBook on “53 Hacks to Raising Happy Kids” here.
Happy Tuesday, everyone!
This week my article is actually over on another website! I teamed up with the lovely team over at Kidskintha.com to bring you 15 self-care tips for moms! It was a labor of love putting this article together because we moms don't take great care of ourselves sometimes. I wanted to showcase a few easy ways we can squeeze it into our busy lives!
So click HERE to read how to really take care of yourself, Mamas. You won't regret it!
Have a wonderful day and don't forget to SHARE this with your mom friends!
So you're a parent. But not just any parent. You're in the trenches of teething like my husband and I are. You're in the throws of tantrums. You're in the deep end of disciplining...and you're drowning. BUT WAIT! You have a marriage to keep alive! I know it's not always easy, but it needs to be a priority. Without a strong marriage between mommy and daddy, what do your kids really even have? To best take care of your children, sometimes you parents need to put your marriage first. Here are my 5 easy, tried and true tips to help you do that.
1. Surprise Date Nights!
This last December an idea popped into my head. I thought it would be fun to trade months planning a surprise date night as a sort of "marriage New Year's resolution"! So I had January and we played it low key that month and just went out shopping with some gift cards we had. February was Tom's month to plan it and we went to nice Italian restaurant for Valentine's Day! You get the idea. It doesn't have to be anything special! In the summer I'm pretty sure we'll do some free picnics and cheap outdoor dates like ice cream shops and stuff like that. But even when it's something simple, the suspense of the date and not knowing what your spouse is planning adds some spice and fun into your marriage. Heck, being the one to plan the date is even fun! Seeing the look on their face when they finally realize what you've planned, no matter how simple, is so exciting!
You can do it however often you want though! Monthly, bi-weekly, or even weekly. Whatever suits your schedules. Have fun, love birds!
2. Surprise Massages
I don't know about you guys but Tom and I are both kind of obsessed with back massages. It is the. most. heavenly. thing. on. earth. when I crawl into bed at the end of a long day spent with the kids and he rubs my back. Plus, we use that time to talk about our day or anthing else.
Also, comment below if you frequently attempt to trick your kids into giving you a back massage like I do. #dontlie #youdoittoo
This is the most ingenious method I've seen thus far. That's a smart dad...
Alright back to the marriage part!
3. Date Night In
If you're a parent, you can't always go out. Kids get sick or babysitters cancel, the car breaks down or you're just simply tired. If you're not a parent maybe you just want to save money! But date nights in don't have to be boring!
After the kids go to bed you can:
- Netflix/Redbox/Hulu + pizza and treats.
- In the summer put some fluffy pillows in the grass or in your truck bed and listen to an audio book.
- In the winter do the same thing inside by the fire.
- Create your own, fun dessert from scratch while you listen to your wedding reception playlist.
- Just sit quietly and read some spiritual books together, or read to each other.
- Get a nice journal and write down all the important parts of your life together in them. Write about things from each person's perspective. Your first date, your engagement, wedding day, the births of your kids, and any other special memories! Tom and I started doing this when we were dating. We write in the book in real time right after something happens worth remembering in our life! (Save it for your kids to read when they're older! How special would that be?!)
- Play 20 questions (which brings me to my next way to spice things up!
4. Question Each Other!
No, not this kind of questioning...
Think less "DID YOU MURDER HIM!" and more "Who was your best friend growing up?" Play 20 questions with your spouse over coffee or drinks! Or Chipotle! Or iHop! (Or all of that. Hey, I don't judge...)
Here are some fun questions you can ask to learn more about your spouse:
1. If you could be an expert at anything what would it be? (Besides your occupation)
2. What's something you've been struggling with lately? What can I do to help?
3. What are two things you think I am really good at?
4. Tell me something I don't know about you.
5. What is your favorite memory of us together?
6. What is the greatest strength in our marriage?
7. If you could board a plane to any country right now which would you choose and why?
8. How have you seen me change since we've been married?
9. What are your top three strengths?
10. If you were in the Hunger Games which weapon would you choose and why? (Besides a gun.)
11. If you weren't working at your current job what other occupation would you love to be in?
12. What is your biggest fear?
13. What is your proudest accomplishment?
14. Who is your favorite child? KIDDING! : P
14 For Real. What is your favorite quality in each of our children?
15. What is your favorite book?
16. What is your guilty pleasure?
17. What's a belonging of mine you'd get rid of if you could?
18. What occupation can you see each of our children growing up to do?
19. What is one thing you love most about your family?
20. Was there a moment you knew you loved me? Or was it gradual? When/Where was it?
Of course the questions aren't just limited to these! I'll link a few fun spouse Q&A's below.
Q&A #3 <---- This one is my favorite!
5. Weekly Surprise
Once a week (at least) surprise your spouse! Here are some suggestions:
1. A massage like I mentioned above
2. Take the kids out for a few hours and give your wife/husband some alone time at home to do whatever they want. Or, let them go out and do anything they want!
3. Ladies, you could take his truck to get the oil changed for him.
4. Buy your spouse's favorite candy bar or Starbucks order and write a little love note to go along with it. (Do this for his work lunch as a midday surprise!)
5. Even when it's the other spouse's turn to plan the date for the month surprise them with an extra date just because! (They won't know it's coming!)
6. Surprise them by sending the kids to Grandma and Grandpa's for one Friday night (overnight) and sleep in until you can sleep in no more! Make them breakfast in bed too! (Don't tell them until the time comes! Let him/her be surprised when the kids' grandparent walks through the door to pick them up!)
7. Buy her a Lush bath bomb (which can be found HERE), take the kids in the basement to watch a movie, and let her soak in peace. DON'T ALLOW THE KIDS TO DISTURB HER.
8. Write a love letter to him or her and tell your husband/wife all the reasons you're proud of them
9. Do their chores for them that week
10. Ask them if there is anything you can take off their plate for the day. The kids' bath time? Doing the dishes? Calling the insurance company?
It doesn't have to be anything huge. Just let them know you care!
Have you tried any of these things to spice up your marriage? Which ones are you going to try? Remember, it's the little things. You don't have to plan a trip to Costa Rica (unless you can then please do!) but just keep the spark alive. Did you notice a theme in this post? SURPRISES. Spontaneity is lost when you have kids a lot of times. But if you plan something around the kids and surprise your spouse, they feel like it's spontaneous!
Please SHARE this post with your married friends!
I hope you all have a wonderful day! And a wonderful marriage!
My name is Hannah and I'm a lucky wife to Tom, and mama bear to two sweet girls - Charlotte & Rosalie. Coffee, lipstick, sunshine, and dresses are some of my favorite things! I love to blog about God, motherhood, "wifeyhood", food, health and much more.
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