Learning to be Married

Family Friday

 

Often I feel much more qualified to talk about parenting than marriage here.  This November my husband and I will celebrate our second wedding anniversary.   I’ve been a parent since August 13th, 2009, I’ve only been a wife since November 10th, 2012.

But with everything, the longer you live it, the more your learn, the more confident you are.

I’m still figuring all this out.  I’m still trying to learn to balance work, and kids, time with my husband, housework, time to myself and time with my friends (the last two get sacrificed because I haven’t figured out the first four effectively).

 

 

This summer that I have had off work has been a great help in figuring out how to organize my cleaning so that it begins to look like I am actually cleaning the house.

I’m also learning that being a wife is more than being a house keeper, kid wrangler, and cook.

 

“Happily ever after is not a fairy (1)

 

Being a wife is about the choices I make, the mood I set for the household.  Not every day will be a good day.  Some days will be tense.  That is the nature of all relationships.  But when I make the choice to push through the tough times and set a good tone with my mood for the household, my children and husband will be calmer and happier.

 

“Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb. It

 

 

Our wedding day was a busy day.  By 7 pm I was a soup for brains worthless heap of human flesh. If you were to ask me a question (my husband did) it was met with a blank, I’m no longer home, look.

The wedding wasn’t the end of the work.  It was the start.  It’s not a natural thing to consider others all the time, but that is what marriage is.  There may be things I want to do or buy but I have to stop and consider what everyone else in the household needs.  What is going on with other’s schedules, and decide accordingly.  It is no longer about me, it is about us, and our “us” started out as a family of three with number four planning his appearance quickly there after.

I am thankful that God brought my husband into my life.  When it happened is seemed like the worst timing, but the long distance relationship at the beginning taught us something that many couples struggle with for years, being able to communicate effectively. Communication was all we really had.

Marriage isn’t easy, but if you’re willing to put in the work, adjust your attitude from “me” to “we”, you can have the fairy tail, and you won’t even need to wear a corset – well unless you’re into that sort of thing.

 

 

love

 

 

Comment and share with me what you have learned in marriage!

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Truly Blessed

I have friends who love shoes.  Their closets hold more shoes than outfits, and they have a shoe for every different activity they do.  If I were allowed and we didn’t have 8 months of snow… I’d go barefoot, ALWAYS.  If it wasn’t a requirement for society, I wouldn’t even own a pair of shoes.

I have friends who love handbags, and while I am a bag collector of sorts, i do not have a new purse every couple of weeks.  They serve a purpose but i do not find them a necessity.

My materialistic love are pajama’s.  I love a good pair of pajamas or night gown.  And I wear them a lot.  In fact, every night… Who would have thought!!?!! *gaps*

But I wind up with favorites, and i don’t buy new often.  I will wear the same pair of pajamas until they actually fall a part.

Tonight I came home to a surprise.  My wonderful husband bought me a “just because I love you” gift (and maybe a little of “because your pajama’s are more holy than my farm work shirts”).  In the bag I found a card, that was so sweet it brought tears to my eyes, and two pair of pajama’s and a night gown.

I thank God that He has blessed me with such an amazing husband.  We don’t often celebrate the normal celebrations (we exchanged text messages for valentine’s day… of course he was at work and not home).  We don’t need hallmark holidays to show our love for each other, and I love that about him.

Now before I get “ug, i don’t want to hear about your lovey dovey husband”… my husband isn’t lovey dovey, he is loving.  He doesn’t shower me in gifts (and he shouldn’t it’s not necessary), but when he does give me a gift it’s thoughtful and meaningful.

My husband and I are very different

My husband is mechanically inclined, calm and laid back.

I am creative, hyper, and from time to time rather intense.

My husband is logical, he approaches problems by looking at all the angles.  I am emotional and I tend to trust my instincts without giving too much thought to the issue.

My husband is patient.  He has to be, my mind goes in so many directions at times that I lack focus. And I do tend to get frustrated more than i should.

My husband is my best friend and I am so thankful that I said “yes” when he (sort of) asked me to marry him two years ago (march 6th 2012).

November 10, 2012

November 10, 2012

I don’t know if you read my blogs but…

I love you Mike Sacco!

 

Connecting and Communicating

When my husband and I met I lived in Louisiana and he lived up here in Pennsylvania. We met online, but it was not your normal online dating experience.

My husband and I graduated from the same high school.  When my grandmother found out about this she asked me; “Why didn’t you two date when you were in high school?

To which i responded, “Because he was a senior and I was in the seventh grade.”

“Yeah,” she said. “I wouldn’t have liked that very much.”

I knew who he was, we have mutual friends.  That’s how we connected on facebook.  One of his friends, who was one of my friends, commented on my blog, he saw her comment, and commented as well and then we began talking via computer and then by phone.

His youngest brother and I have biology class together, and his father was my English teacher in seventh, tenth, and twelfth grade.

The beginning of our relationship was dependent on communication.  Without it we would not have had any relationship.

A Valentine commercial by Kay Jewelers brings the issue of communication to life in our electronic, social media driven culture with their slogan:

Spend less time communicating and more time connecting.

My husband and I talk by text, and share stuff on facebook, but we also take time to just be together, to make sure we make that connection each day.

Family dinners (with no TV on), talking to one another face to face not through an electronic device — and really listening to the other person.

Having good communication is great, and cell phones and social media does make it easier to communicate.  But you can communicate yourself out of a relationship if you don’t take the time to nurture the connection you share.

In this era where we can communicate all day with never connecting with the individual (be it a friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, or spouse) I went to Holtz Psychological Services and borrowed their list:

10 Ways to Connect with Your Significant Other Daily 

  1. Leave a note in your significant other’s lunch bag, saying something like, “I love you” or I’m thinking of you right this very moment.”
  2. Text your partner throughout the day. Let him/her know he/she is on your mind, even though you are in the middle of a busy workday or taking care of the children.*
  3. Leave at least 10 minutes before you fall asleep at night. Hold each other’s hands, even if you are not talking.
  4. Say ‘Thank you” to your significant other for at least one thing every day.
  5. Compliment your partner before he/she leaves the house for work. A compliment goes a long way. Encourage one another.
  6. Show interest in your partner’s day.
  7. Give your partner a meaningful hug. A hug of about 20 seconds or longer releases oxytocin, a chemical that helps you bond and connect!
  8. Get up or turn toward your partner when they walk in after a workday. Say hello and give them a kiss, even if just for a second.
  9. Make eye contact.
  10. Laugh together. Sharing a laughable moment with your significant other improves your connection and hey, let’s face it, laughter feels great!

*Remember to leave something to talk about at home so you’re not left in awkward silence.

Finally Holtz Psychological  Services gives this reminder:

Small connections add up to much bigger rewards. Get connected. Stay connected!

 

Communication is great, but maintaining the connection is paramount.  And remember when all seems too hard, God is there and can do what we can not.

What are some ways you and your significant other connect?

The Proverbs 31 Woman

There are a lot of things in my life that I don’t like, and they all start with me.

I am not happy with my commitment to my relationship with God

I do not feel as though I am engaged enough with my children.

I don’t like my attitude most day and most of that comes from the unnecessary stress I place on myself trying to reach a perfect I know i can never truly reach.

Many times I feel as though I am letting my family down by not being what I feel I should be.

I have spent the past couple of months praying over this and reading my Bible and other books.  Proverbs 31:10-31 has become an inspiration to me, but the woman depicted in Proverbs 31 looked so daunting to try to imitate .

Then I found a book ……

My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife

I finished reading this book and thought, ‘I should do something like that’.  And as I continue to pray over how I have been feeling I’m thinking that is exactly what I need to do.  I need to look at the virtues of a Proverbs 31 woman and try to change the things in my life that I am not happy with.

I want to be a better wife, a better mother, a healthier woman, a stronger woman, a happy woman.  I know that doing this will please God, and being in the will of God will always make me feel better because no matter what life is like, there is always a peace that comes with being in the will of God.

So, here is where I stand… over the next 10 months I am going to focus on a single virtue each month (though I will continue with the one from the month before).  I know I will not be perfect, but any progress in bettering myself is my ultimate goal.

I may not do them in the order listed, but I will eventually get to them all.

Let’s see where God takes me!

Be What You Are

Brad Paisley’s “I’m Still a Guy” is one of my husband’s favorite songs [Above].  It has a special meaning to him, mostly because he is very much a guy.   I might paint my fingernails, exfoliate my skin, and occasionally put on a clay facial mask (and then he teases me that I look like the creature from the black lagoon). I use lotion.  I have different lotions for my face, my body, my hands, and my feet.

My husband feels if he had the same “routine” as I have he’d have to beat himself up.

Modern culture calls this chauvinistic, but the fact that he is a GUY is what attracts me to him the most.

My husband is caring, and affectionate, respectful, loving, but he is still a guy.  He thinks like a guy, reacts and responds like a guy.

I’ve started to notice ways men and women are different.  If I say to my husband “that [object] needs to go upstairs” my husband will go upstairs and not take it with him.  Did he hear me? Yes!  Did he ignore me? No!  But since I did not straight out ask him “hey hun will you take [object] upstairs?”  He doesn’t realize that was the expectation.

Like wise if he said the same thing to me while I was busy doing something I would tend to get upset with him that I was busy and why couldn’t he do it.  And he would get confused and flustered with me snapping at him for something he was trying to tell me that he was going to take it up later.  He was trying to tell me not to worry about it being there that he plans on moving it later.

Same phrase, we both react to it differently.  Why?  Because I’m a woman and he’s a man.  There is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing derogatory about that.  We were created differently.  The Bible says that woman was created to be the man’s help mate.  We were created to be compliments of one another. NOT THE SAME.

I have one friend who wrote a blog recently that says it better than i can even express it here.  Check out Pittsburgh Writer’s:

Dating a Male Writer – 1

Where we as woman need to remember that the men in our lives are just that, Men, to expect them to think and react like us is a great disservice to them.

Likewise we as women should be allowed to be women.  Yes we live in a man’s world. But we can still be successful women in that world.

Recently I reread a book called Let Me Be A Woman by Elisabeth Elliot.  Elisabeth Elliot is the widow of missionary Jim Elliot who was killed by a native tribe in South America.  At the time her husband was killed she was pregnant with their daughter.  A few years later she went with her young child as a missionary to the very tribe that killed her husband.  The tribe was weary of outsiders and often attacked first and asked questions later.  When she had built a report with some of the elders of the tribe she asked about the incident and was told that after the 5 men had been killed they realized that the men had guns.  They had guns that could have been used to protect themselves but had chose not to fire upon the tribe.  When other missionaries came again later they let them in.

In Let Me Be A Woman, Elisabeth is writing a book to her daughter who is about to get married.  She talks about how the feminist movement did much to bring us as women equality in a world that was male oriented.  However it went beyond that to the point where women are forgetting how to be women.  We’re taking on the man’s role, leaving the men with the woman’s role to fill, and this is not how either of us (men or women) function.  This leads both to stress, frustration, and many failed relationships.

It is a naive sort of feminism that insists that women prove their ability to do all the things that men do. This is a distortion and a travesty. Men have never sought to prove that they can do all the things women do. Why subject women to purely masculine criteria? Woman can and ought to be judged by the criteria of femininity, for it is in their femininity that they participate in the humen race. And femininity has it’s limitations. So has masculinity… To do this is not to do that. To be this is no to be that. To be a woman is not to be a man. To be married is not to be single… To marry this man is not to marry all the others. A choice is a limitation.

~Let Me Be A Woman~

Elisabeth Elliot

Here is the base of it.  Man or woman, writer, teacher, mechanical genius (my husband — at least he is to me)… Whatever it is you are.. be that proudly, and accept what others are.  Don’t expect others to be what you are, let them be who they are and appreciate them for that.

God in the Middle

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Only one month after moving from Pennsylvania to Louisiana, I met Mike.  We met online, on Facebook actually.  We had some mutual friends and when one of his friends who happened to be a friend of mine as well, liked my blog post, he saw it on her feed. He commented and we started talking. My last relationship had been my daughter’s biological father whose response to me telling him I was pregnant was to tell me he’d been seeing his ex and that he wanted to get back together with her. I haven’t seen or heard from him since. I chose not to look for relationships after that.  I had a child to focus on and the pain wasn’t worth the effort. While I had been out of a relationship for going on two years, Mike had been single for close to six. After breaking up with his college girlfriend he had had the same epiphany that i did. it wasn’t worth the effort to look for a relationship, that it just made more sense to let whatever happens happen.

 

We started talking in September of 2010, and in October/November sometime he came to visit the two of us.  Alayna took to him immediately, I did too. And our relationship began.  

 

One thing that was always a part of our relationship was prayer.  He lived in Pennsylvania and I lived in Louisiana, We talked on the phone every night and we always ended our conversations with a prayer.  We often prayed for guidance, that if this was not the relationship that God wanted for either of us that he would close the door to it. We prayed this prayer right up to our wedding day.

 

We still pray together, it is a vital part of our relationship. Recently Mike has begun praying for God to guide our relationship again. I’ll be honest, i was freaked out the first time he did that.  My type A perfectionist personality started analyzing every little thing I’ve been doing and wondering what i’m doing wrong to make him think we need guidance. Then I heard a song on the radio.  I listen to Klove Christian Radio.  The song is Restore by Chris August.  The song is about a married couple who learn the best way to maintain their marriage is to keep God in the middle of it all.  And then my husbands prayer makes sense.  It’s not that either of us is doing anything wrong, it’s that the work doesn’t stop with the wedding vows. Reality sets in and you realize that you need God even more in the marriage than you needed Him in the courtship.

 

I love my husband, and am so thankful that while my mind is stuck on day to day life and baby preparations that he is concerned with maintaining the spiritual health of this household.

 

 

A Crazy Year

A year ago today… I lived in a camper in my father’s backyard in Livingston Parish Louisiana.

My toddler spoke with a distinct southern accent…now as a preschooler, you can still tell her early years were spent in the south (10 is not a two syllable word, at least not up here it isn’t).

Since I moved from Louisiana back to Pennsylvania I have started a new job, married, moved again, and learned I was pregnant.

We now have approximately 6 weeks until a little boy joins our family.

My mind is baby focused and I have a zillion things to accomplish before he arrives… however… I am far too tired to care that my tornado of a daughter has made our living room look like a toy store blew up in it.

My job is good.   Married life is a fun challenge. Parenthood requires you to sacrifice your sanity and logic and respond to what is in front of you.

I don’t want physical and material preparations to be the only things i do to get ready for our family to expand.  I want to prepare myself spiritually.

I use to have a blog that was for things i was learning at church, and one for things happening at home, and one tracking my progress as i work towards living a healthier life and being a good example or healthy living to my children.

Here soon, i’ll have two children, a husband, and a house to keep up with. I won’t have time for 3 blogs, so this is it.  Everything I do, learn, and experience is going here.

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If it inspires you, comment

If you disagree with me, comment (i reserve the right to delete anyone who is disrespectful towards myself or others who may comment).

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