Welcome Koda – Our Newest Addition to the Family

It’s FriYaY!

I hope that your week was as crazy adventurous as mine (minus a bit of the emotional stuff, but I blame that on the Super Blood Moon Eclipse) I have been working really hard to live “Intentionally”, but it proving to be more difficult than expected. People and circumstances are unpredictable and often discouraging. I don’t do well when people cancel plans or things do not work out the way they are supposed to. That is part of why I just DON’T do things. Today I was about to cancel plans with someone because I assumed they would not want to after someone else canceled in the group. Come to find out they felt the same way. We were both afraid the other person wouldn’t want to do something and assumed instead of being open and expecting a good turn of events. Now we have a great day planned and I am stoked for some Friend Time!

 

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Every Thursday I am doing a Journal Prompt on Instagram. This week’s was very appropriate to what I am dealing with right now. I self-sabotage my Friend Time by assuming they have plans or will cancel or don’t really want to spend time with me… and I miss out! I need to stop those negative thoughts and words and replace them with intentional words and thoughts that will bring me to a place of being able to spend quality time with people and invest into relationships and myself.

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Another place in my life I am being more intentional is in my Dating Life (yes, I am still married). When we were first married we made it a point to have Date Night no matter how busy or poor we were. Somewhere in the midst of moving, Careers, job changes, car accidents, kiddo with ASD, and new puppy we have forgotten about Dating. (yes, I threw the new puppy there in the middle of a sentence) Now I plan one Date Night a month on the calendar (and get a sitter in advance) and we have a lunch date once a week when Kiddo is in school and we are both off from work (if the stars aline once a week that is).

 

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Today we went to Brunch at “First Watch”. It was amazing! That bacon was caramelized in Maple Syrup, brown sugar, and cayenne. I have honestly never felt so good after indulging in pancakes. I think this will be my new favorite brunch spot.

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And the moment you’ve been waiting for… meet Koda! ❤ He is Labmix and Great Pyrenees. 6 weeks old. These two are already best friends. Our goal is for Koda to become Kiddo’s Service Dog.

 

I hope you have a Great Weekend!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Date Night Ideas

I got my hair cut today and it feels AMAZING! I keep saying I want to grow it back out long… but I really LOVE it short. The woman was incredible patient as kiddo sat in the cart (I went to the Salon inside Wal-Mart) and played the same game over and over (annoying sound effects and all). In case you didn’t recolonize it, that’s my $1 Thrifted Sweater (so cozy with the 59 degree weather today)

 

I wish it were Date Night because I feel amazing, but unfortunately he has to work tonight. I was thinking of taking kiddo to see the Tree Lighting and Parade tonight, but I am going to NOT put us through that. Downtown Ft Worth is EXTREMELY crowded and I know he would be overwhelmed and I could not keep tabs on him by myself. I am going to check a more local listing and see if there is a smaller tree lighting happening later this month.

Back in October we had a really FUN date night. One of the best I’ve had in a while. I decided to plan everything out 2 weeks in advance. Sitter, times, where we would eat, where we would go, what we would do, etc. I “schedule texted” the addresses to Hubby in a specific order giving us enough time at each place without feeling rushed and without getting board. It was PERFECT. The worst part about Date Night is deciding what to do. This took that conflict away and we had a blast. First stop was a Hole-in-the-Wall restaurant we would have never tried without prompting (it was delicious) Second stop was a Book Store (we bought a game to play) Last stop was a Coffee Shop (I had a list of questions to ask each other and a 30 second timer off of YouTube). If you struggle with making decisions in the moment or procrastinating planning Date Night, I have one more idea for you…23768737_10214358109527575_137599240_o

 

I received this game from Blogging for Books. It is a fun, role playing game to get things interesting on Date Night. If you are bad at choosing where to go or just want to spice things up, give this game a whirl. Don’t worry, not all the options are something you could get kicked out of a restaurant for 😉 23798324_10214358108967561_1505257840_o

Pick a “where” “what” and “who” card in put it in the envelope then give it to your partner with a Date and Time card that you fill out.23768733_10214358108807557_1033702039_o

I hope you have a great weekend!

Leave me a comment about how you make Date Night amazing!

Closet turned Office

After 2 weeks of being laid up and not working or doing much of anything I had the urge to organize today (let’s hope I don’t regret it soon)

I ended up cleaning and organizing the Laundry Room (it is the size of a closet) that I had made into an Office a few months ago, but unfortunately it had become a collect all 😦 and there was nothing productive happening in there. (I don’t have a before picture, sadly)

I thought I would share with you what my home (apartment) looks like on a good day:22641842_10214082175429395_712139503_o

This is our living room, some sun still shines through the hand print plastered sliding doors. The futon next to the porch folds up to a couch and even has cup holders. The chair in the back corner has freshly cleaned toddler pee and marker stains under that blanket.22546698_10214082176429420_1293752484_o

The other side of the living room is my husband’s office and our wall mounted TV so that a certain someone doesn’t knock it over onto himself (that could be very dangerous and honestly if you have small children get a good wall mount so they don’t climb the TV stand and knock it over onto themselves)

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I paid $0.99 for that clock and no it does not work, but I love how it looks! Our cables are all zipped up with cable keepers, another way to stop the tornado from dangerous stuff.

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Kitchen! In the far back corner behind like 3 other things is a jar with all the sharp objects (he has gotten into them once, but not since) and everything valuable, dangerous, or breakable is in a top cupboard (because he can open all the child safety locks I put on all lower cupboards 😦

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Note beautiful flowers from Hubby (and yes that is an elephant holding random tiny dishes while they dry)

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Dining Room. Behind those bi-fold doors is what would normally be a laundry room (closet)22556022_10214082177069436_1011399477_o22556001_10214082175229390_1630685565_o

My favorite part is that I can close the doors and forget about whatever is in there when I need to, and when I am in there it is almost like being in another room, but I can still see and hear the kiddo. I also love that the locks I installed are up so high he cannot reach them even by standing on a chair so my stuff is safe… ish.

Inside I have my books, journal, board games, paperwork, work stuff, craft stuff, essential oils, electronics, our embarrassingly large for 2017 DVD collection… and there is a power outlet for my laptop and if I want to put a lamp or diffuser in there 😀

Down the hallway and in the rooms are some of my favorite wall art… all free or under a dollar at thrift stores.

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Kiddo’s bathroom (vinyl letters on the wall that remove with no residue or marks) and the only way that I can make the house look like this and have time to sit down and blog… passed out while playing on the tablet.

Toys are locked away in the closet, he asks to go in and can pick out a few toys or buckets at a time (makes life less overwhelming for everyone) I swear he has more books than any other kid. All of these are for at least 5 years from now.

Master Bath has some sweet little wall storage places (since we don’t have a cupboard or shelves in there) The clear drawers are one of my favorite (Amazon)

 

That messy picture is a folding card table with all the stuff I am sorting out for donations and doing laundry (the never ending task). I really try to clear out clutter and things I don’t use or need at the start of every season. Project 333 is my minimalist go to (I am far from a minimalist, but her way of thinking and living help me stay humble and sane…ish)

The photos and art on our bedroom wall are so special to me. I even framed a letter my husband wrote me while we were dating. The Daisy is by Sarah Ann Photography

The shelf above my dresser has specific items representing each of us and then us as a whole.

Curtains… I know they don’t match (not much in my house does) but they are amazing! One is shear and lets the light in and the other is a black out curtain. Both are a MUST if you live in an apartment complex and your bedroom window faces the parking lot on the first floor.

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Last but not least, Master Closet… where laundry goes to die. It is usually quite organized (or at least somewhat organized) this last week we had to get laundry done (at the laundry mat) and I could not lift or bend. So here are all the clean clothes until further notice 😉

 

I hope you enjoyed the humorous tour and were inspired by the Closet Office. Check out my previous post, Closet Nursery, and see how I turned our Laundry Room (Closet) into a nursery for kiddo when he was a newborn in our old apartment.

 

Have an amazing week!

I Did Not Marry My Best Friend

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I didn’t marry my best friend and I didn’t marry my soul mate.

Most people are thinking right now, ok here is where she breaks the news of her divorce or separation. Quite the opposite.

Growing up I was always told, “You’re supposed to marry your best friend.” So as a 22 year old I decided to try dating my male best friend, it was a disaster. I would hate to see where we would be if we were to get married. Now most of you are thinking, this is the part where she says don’t get too close to a guy you’re not going to marry. Wrong. The only thing I regret about my friendship with him is when we fell to the pressure to make it something socially acceptable. People are sent into your life for a reason and for a season. That season may be a weekend retreat, a lifetime, or a span of a few years. Whatever the season is, accept it with an open heart. I spent way too long becoming bitter when friendships and relationships ended, instead of grateful for what those relationships brought me.

As far as the topic of soul mates goes, hear me out. I know so many people who are “looking for their soul mate” “For their other half”. I’ve even heard Youth Pastors and Musicians use the whole, “God has one special person out there who will complete you” line. If a soul mate is someone whom your soul is tied to, one with, “And the two shall become one”, then I believe you create your soul mate. Becoming one soul through time, intimacy, and building relationship.

At this point you are either confused, completely opposed to this view, or considering this thought process. Either way, my goal tonight is to get you to think. Step outside the box of what you may have always heard.

Stop searching for your soul mate. Live each moment as the person that you are , and then you can become soul mates with the person your path leads you to marry. Don’t be afraid to make friends and have relationships. Kindred spirits are the best treasure life can offer. People who are there for a season. If you are bitter about those who leave, you will miss out on the joy and purpose those relationships give. Stop regretting them as mistakes. Embrace them as molding a part of who you are today.

As for my best friend, we’ve moved on. I treasure every second we had and I’m grateful for the things he poured into my life. I have day by day created a soul mate in my husband. I still make new friendships with people of all ages and genders. I’m fortunate to have a few kindred spirits that stand the test of time. I have learned the joys of embracing every choice in life instead of letting the fear of the wrong choice steal away my life.

Stay at Home Dads (and Moms who Work outside the Home)

While our culture has become very accepting of women working and having careers, it still isn’t 100% supportive or conducive to working moms and stay at home dads.
They still get those looks, comments, and judgements.
It may just be my circle of friends, but I feel that SAHM and WAHM are becoming more popular lately. It is difficult some days seeing their posts on FB about being so bored and annoyed with their kids, while I am missing milestones in my son’s life or viewing them via picture message from my Hubby. It is even more frustrating when I get snarky comments about men not being capable or hearing women put husbands and fathers in general down.
I want to rage. I want to cry. I want to share with them my experience and educate them to a different, wonderful word.

I know several SAHD. Most of them are also full time students, or have a small job they can work from home or at night. ( that would make them WAHD) They are some of the most amazing, interesting, and strong men that I know.

When I first went back to work after 6 weeks of Maternity Leave, I was nervous about how it would all work. Would my husband be happy staying home? Would he have to support he needed? What would I say to people who had negative comments about our choice? I did a lot of research on SAHD and their growing world. Here are a few great articles I discovered.

http://www.npr.org/2013/05/15/180300236/stay-at-home-dads-breadwinner-moms-and-making-it-all-work

http://planningwithkids.com/2011/05/05/ten-things-i-have-learnt-as-a-stay-at-home-dad/

http://www.thebookofjimmy.com/night-capping/

The decision to have him be the stay at home parent was right for our family, it might not be right for everyone. Do what fits your family. I have heard a lot of comments about how one spouse resents the other for being the stay at home parent, those couple have much larger issues and need to deal with communication and priorities. Open and honest communication is one of the biggest factors in making our parenting situation work. Respect is another key factor. I still treat him with the respect he deserves. I treat him as the head of the house, no matter who brings in the bigger pay check each month. He still pays bills. I still thanks him after he takes me out to dinner.

Is it tough on the days when I don’t know what’s wrong with my screaming son and in 2 seconds my husband can make it all better? Yes! But it is worth it when I come home to witness moments like this ❤

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Why I Post About My Relationship on Facebook

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Some people love to put their entire life out there for the world to see, others hide it locked away in a closet. Some find a healthy balance. My hope is to have a healthy balance with a slight leaning towards having it out there for the world to see. Not in an extreme way, and tastefully “out there”. ( I can’t tell you how many times TMI made me uncomfortable around a couple who wanted to be “transparent” with the world.) I believe there is a time to resolve conflict in public, and a time to do it behind closed doors. A time to show affection in front of others, and a time to keep that “adventure” between the two of you. A time to let the world in on decision making, and a time to let your convictions be your own. With that said, I want to talk a little about the fact that I purposefully post about my relationship with my husband on Facebook. Why? Because of all the nagging wives out there that post negativity about their husbands. Because of all the selfish wives that post about “me time” and pictures of them and their girls hanging out all the time. Because of the “solo wives” who’s profile picture is always of only them and you would never know they were married by the posts they put up and the comments they make. Because of the wives who are more obsessed with their kids than their husband. Those women who post picture after status update about their pride and joy and never a word about the other person who made that child possible. That is why I post purposefully about my relationship.

There are so many negative views on marriage out there. As soon as people found out I was getting married, the flow of “advice” pour in. I had to step back and try not to lash back as they “encouraged” me. I still get a little hot under the skin when people tell me how my marriage is going to end up or suffer, “Well, you’re lucky, but it won’t last for long.” I want to respond, ” Not with that attitude.” I can’t go two days without seeing someone post something negative about their husband (directly or indirectly) or be a prime example of the wives I listed above. (Mind you I’ve weeded through my friend list several times) The most well meaning, successful, happy, church involved women do it. They let it slip. Out of habit. Out of an influenced belief. Out of bitterness. They show the Facebook world a negative image of their marriage. Of marriage as a whole.

At a marriage conference the year before last, the speaker challenged us to post something publicly to Facebook praising or encouraging our spouse, as well as do it privately in the day to day at home. It was wonderful 14 days. I learned so much about lifting up and loving my husband. As well as showing others how I felt about him. Why shouldn’t they know how wonderful he is? Why shouldn’t they know how much I love him? Why shouldn’t I be proud to stand beside him in this adventure? To spend nights together in laughter or tears. With so many jaded views of relationships and marriage, why shouldn’t I try and show others what a healthy relationship looks like? I read something recently that stated, “I want a marriage that makes my children want to get married.” I agree. I also want a marriage that makes the single people in my life see hope and realistic love in marriage, and want to be married. I want a marriage that makes other married people want to be married to their spouse and appreciate what they have. I want them to be reminded of the little sparks and grateful for everyday with their spouse. I want others to see that it isn’t perfect, but it is real and it is very, very good.

So excuse me if I rant about my amazing husband’s cooking abilities, or check in “On the couch watching Sleeping Beauty with the Hubby eating ice cream”, or post a cheesy picture and quote on his wall. I’m just loving my husband, loving the time I spend with him and I want the world to know it! I want them to love that part of their life too. I want them to envy it in a healthy way. A way that makes them go out there and do something meaningful with their Hubby, not be bitter because he didn’t buy them Reese’s and Daisies.

I want to challenge you to start posting purposefully about your relationship on Facebook. It might be that your attitude towards your spouse needs to be changed a little. It might be that you’re FB is full of only you instead of including the person you became ONE with. Maybe you’re not so great at praising or encouraging your spouse. That might be a boost they need, but don’t know how to say it. Or maybe you’re head over heals and just never thought that someone else might need to see that in you’re life. Whatever the reason you do this, I promise it will grown you as a person and grown your relationship.

-TMW