Category Archives: Wedded Wednesday

Year of Fun Pledge – Free Printable!

Since the previous 2 years were rough, we’ve declared 2016 the year of fun! I decided to make a list of vows for the year. Some of these were really hard to write. Some of them might not make sense to everyone, but I still think we should all have something like this on our radar.

I’ve made a free printable of these vows, too! However, they are simplified so that they could work for most couples. ūüėÄ

year of fun pledge

 

All you have to do to get the free printable is sign up for my email list here.

And now, my own personal vows for fun!

1. I vow to laugh, especially at myself, with every opportunity.

2. I vow to say “Yes!” to spontaneous plans, rather than be my boring, comfortable, No-saying self.

3. I vow to teach our children that life can be enjoyable, regardless of our circumstances.

4. I vow to not get frustrated when I do something poorly, casting off perfectionism.

5. I vow to have more sex…because covenantal marriage is fun.

6. I vow to nurture our friendship by holding hands, looking into your eyes, and letting you in on my elusive thoughts.

7. I vow to pull as many pranks as I can think of. Be ready.

8. I vow to quit convincing myself you’re judging me for my performance and just be who I am.

9. I vow to let the wind mess up my hair.

10. I vow to kiss you every day until we fall off a mountain together.

That last one may seem strange – it’s an inside joke and totally appropriate for us. Don’t worry – the printable doesn’t include that part. ūüėČ

The Worst Years

My Worst Years

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jesusabizanda/ (changes mine)

The two years before this one have been the pits. The absolute worst. They haven’t been the worst years of my marriage – those were the seminary years – but they’ve been filled with suffering, pain, depression, and doubt.

The pattern of pain started with postpartum depression after having my second child. It lasted for several months, and while I am fulfilled as a mom, it just left me feeling empty and alone.

Then, on our road to adopting a beautiful 4-year old from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we found out his birth mom was alive and had taken him home. A mixed blessing filled a hurting heart.

For some reason, my marriage wasn’t so hot by this point. It didn’t worry me, but we needed help. After a marriage counseling intensive, we were able to heal tremendously and move forward.

Then, my mom found out she had breast cancer, and she went through a year of hell to be free of cancer.

It was in the middle of her treatment that I found it I was pregnant with Katherine. Oh boy, did this surprise make me cry out to the Lord in doubt and fear.

He didn’t mind that I yelled at him inside. He patiently listened while I ticked off the reasons I could not have another baby. He assured me that He was giving me a gift, a gift I was afraid to accept.

He intended all of this for His own glory. My story is His story, the story of Him always, always drawing me closer to Himself.

I don’t have a conclusion here, or a poignant point. It’s all been said in His holy word, after all. I’m just laying this out there because it is. It was. It may be again soon. But He doesn’t change. He’s there, holding me close. An unmoving rock of grace and mercy.

The App I’m using to Flirt with My Husband

snapchat candidpw

Follow me – candidpw

I don’t know how it’s possible, but I’m on snapchat, the app that confounds me.

The ghost truly haunts me, saying¬†You don’t understand me. You’re getting ooooooooold. These kids updating their life in snaps? They’re going to¬†change your bedpan sooooooooooooon!

Eek. I’m scared.

However. I have found it be a great flirting tool for my marriage – go figure!

Why? Well, I guess because it’s fun, and that’s what we’re focusing on¬†in our 13th year of marriage. We’ve had plenty of tired years, years to suffer, years of conflict, painful years, boring years. It’s time for some fun ladies and gents!

So if I want to send a pic of me throwing up a rainbow to my husband to make him smile, I guess a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

If I need to snap a video singing a random song with the wrong lyrics, that’s what is going to happen.

Show him what I’m truly dealing with in the moment, especially if it’s poop, so we can laugh at it later – yes ma’am.

Mostly I just send random videos of myself to him, and it’s helping me feel more connected during the day.

Have you tried this in your marriage? I want to know if you like it! And what’s your handle, so I can follow you and see what the youngins are up to?

Save More on Date Night (and everything else)

This post is sponsored by Groupon Coupons. As always, all opinions are my own. 

We have a date night coming up Friday! Woooooooooooooo!

Sorry, I’m a *bit* excited. We’ve had some dates since our baby was born, but this will be the first where we will LEAVE.HER.AT.THE.HOUSE.

Excuse me while I shed a tear for babies growing up!

As the chief spender (and saver) in our house, Groupon, one of my favorite sites to check for local deals, just became a favorite site for all deals with the launch of Groupon Coupons.

datenightGrouponCoupons

Let me help you plan your date night for Friday. I have a small baby at home, so going to the movies is out of the question. I mean, who wants to leave halfway through a movie because baby bombed the date night? Hence, all I want to do is go see a movie. Well¬†Groupon Coupons currently has $3 off Fandango purchases! You’re welcome.

Haven’t finished your taxes yet? How about 40% off at H&R Block (P.s. taxes are due in 2 days.)

And¬†you still haven’t picked up a DVD of I Am Gabriel (a film I have a supporting role in!)?

I Am Gabriel

Since it’s sold in Family Christian stores, you walk right up, open your Groupon app,¬†swipe to Coupons, and search for the store. All available coupons will be presented to you!

There are actually over 60,000 sales and coupons current in the app, so I think you’ll find something you can¬†save money on. Since you probably already have the Groupon app on your phone, you really don’t need to do anything else but check that app for some money-saving deals!

Oh, I guess you could also follow them on Facebook and Twitter so you don’t have to check the app every day.

Date night and money saving all in one post. I feel accomplished now. ūüėČ

Make Eye Contact with Your Husband (and Kids)

Make eye contact with your husband and kids

How much steady eye contact do you make with your husband – or even your kids?

I don’t think I make much at all, and I’ve been trying to improve so I can boost my oxytocin – you know, the wonderful hormone that helps us attach to our babies? Well, it is the same hormone that floods our system when we feel bonded with anyone.

Apparently, oxytocin makes us look into each other’s eyes¬†more. The latest research hasn’t really attempted the reverse: Does looking into someone’s eyes increase your oxytocin or bond with them?

Regardless, we’re already bonded to our husband and children, so I’d bet my bottom dollar research would say that eye contact with our family members boosts our bonds with them.

Because betting your bottom dollar is super scientific.

So. All that to say, I’m taking the time to not break eye contact constantly.

Like when my husband comes home, and I’m cooking dinner? Yeah, that. I’m only glancing his way. Could I take even a solid minute to look him in the eyes and listen? Or even look while I’m talking?

Trust me, from a lover of all things delicious food, our marriages are worth way more than perfectly cooked dinner.

I shared some words of affirmation with him last night, and I had to talk myself up to looking him right in the eye and holding that gaze while I said it. Whew Рwhy is that so hard!? Our connection was solidified.

The lover (bridegroom) in song of solomon tells his bride,

Turn your eyes from me; they overwhelm me. (Song of Solomon 6:5, NIV)

With my kids, I’ve been giving them more undivided eye attention, too. Having three kids means a very¬†split¬†attention span. They all want mommy for something, so when it’s their turn for my attention, I need to give it undivided.

That third baby that I’m worried will just have to hang along with everything? Eye contact.

That middle child who plays so well by herself because she has to? Eye contact.

That firstborn who loves one-on-one time because he started out mano a mano? Eye contact.

I’m turning my eyes back into my ears and my mouth, using them to listen and to speak.

April Fools Pranks for Your Husband and Kids

April Fools Pranks for Husband and Kids

This year has been declared the year of fun in our house, so I decided to gang up on my family with some April Fool’s Day pranks.

Watch the videos to see¬†what fun we’re going to have!


I thought he might have figured out what was up, so I upped my game with this:

And then sweet Em and I got ready for Samuel:

I haven’t thought of a great one for my 3-year old daughter yet. Do you have any ideas?

Wisdom or Death?

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Just as Wisdom is personified as a woman, so is another path – a path that leads to death: the path of the adulteress.

And I have to ask myself:

Am I a woman who personifies Wisdom or Death?

Am I the adulterous woman? A path of death?

Read Proverbs 7 to get the whole picture.

Let’s look at her characteristics:

She’s a smooth talker.

See verses 7, 11, 14-20, and 21.

She knows exactly how to seduce by making a man silent. She’s “loud” – and she efficiently and breathlessly talks the youth into her web of lies.

She provides him all of the safety and excuses he needs to be with her, feeding on his passivity and lust.

She makes him feel like a stud – knowing exactly the words a man needs to hear – words our husbands should hear from us. “I’ve been waiting all day… I’ve prepared for this moment… I’m so glad you’re here… I want you to take me… you’re the¬†real¬†man in my life… we’re safe…”

Questions: Do you talk all day with colleagues or even your bestie but are silent or degrading to your husband? If you’re single, are you using speech as a way to dominate men – perhaps at work or in relationships?

She’s premeditated.

See verses 12, 14-17.

The adulteress has prepared for this moment. She didn’t get caught up in something confusing. She put herself out there. She made it clear that she wants the youth, and that she’s free to be taken.

Questions: Are you sending flirty texts with a “friend”? Do you pass by the lunch room at the same time every day because a friend who gives you butterflies will be there? Do you go to his house just to “drop something by”? If you’re married, these are sure signs that you are caught in infidelity of the heart. As a single, ask yourself if the way you seem available is godly or ungodly.

She’s immodest – physically and verbally.

See verses 10, 11, 13, 17-20.

This lady is quite aware of how she dresses: like a hooker, probably with braided hair and plenty of adornment. Rouge and perfume have been used. The finest garments she can find are on her couch.

Not only that, but her speech leaves nothing to the imagination. She has no restraint, but pulls out all the stops to trap this man in his tracks. She mocks her religion (v. 14), she’s publicly prowling for men (v. 12), and she says, “Let’s have sex all night since my husband is gone” (vv. 19-20, my paraphrase).

Questions: What are you doing physically and verbally that are without restraint? How much of that is to gain ungodly attention?

She’s unhappy at home.

See verses 10, 11, and 19-20.

I see an unwillingness in her to be at home and to be happy at home. She’s “wily” and “wayward”. She can’t even be in her house because it reminds her of her true calling. She is grateful and eager because her husband isn’t there – so she can act like she’s not even married.

Questions: Do you escape your home because you’re escaping your marriage? Or, if you’re single, because you’re so desperate that you’re willing to sacrifice your integrity?

The caveats.

Yeah, this wisdom is written to “sons” against the adulteress. And this man, even though he’s written as a witless fool, he’s no dummy. He’s taking the “road to her house” on purpose. He¬†wants¬†her to seduce him. He wants her to give him no excuses. He’s just as guilty in this; maybe more so since he is called to lead.

And, there are¬†guys that play the adulteress (obviously adulterer, but you get my point) too.¬†Charming, smooth, always dressed nicely. Always seems to be right where you’re heading. Don’t be a fool and walk on the road to his house, ladies. His house is a house of death (v. 27).

It pains me to think about the times I’ve played the adulteress. It’s shameful and empty. I hate it and praise God for the years of redemption he’s given my marriage! My sin is covered by the blood of the only worthy Lamb, Jesus.

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV)

Photo source

Give Your Husband Some Freedom

What does your husband do for fun?

Can you answer that? Now, I know YOU are definitely the funnest person in his life.(right? You should be best friends!)

But what about when he’s not with you?

If you’ve been married for awhile, it’s likely your husband’s interests have changed. Have you kept up? Do you even know what he’s into?

If not, get on board with the program! Start asking questions about the things he mentions. Say YES when he invites you to something he likes. Truly enjoy seeing him take pleasure in his down time.

And maybe most importantly, let him go do those things with the guys, too!

How often does your husband get to go hang out with the guys?

To be honest, no matter what answer I give for that, my flesh wants to say he has enough. But that’s not true. I will always try to squeeze more of his time for me. It takes a conscious effort to not only “approve” of his plans but also encourage him and sometimes kick him out the door!

Please understand that there is a balance, and I know that some men choose to abdicate their family responsibilities for guy time – all the time. Those guys need to grow up. (Yeah I said it.)

I’m talking to you wives whose husbands are doing a decent job. They’re not perfect, but they’re trying. Show them that you respect them by releasing them into the wild (or to go play board games – whatever they’re into! To each his own!)

At the very lease, it communicates to him:

  • you are not¬†his mama.
  • you trust what he does when you’re not with him
  • you are a big part of his fun
  • you enjoy sacrificing a little to let him get filled up
  • you approve of his masculinity – better yet, you think it’s hot!

And I bet that the more you give in this area, the more he will, too. So if you feel like you need some girl time, send him out for guy time, too! You both need it.

Words Are Important

Sometimes it’s hard to believe, but to guys, words are really important.

The March Redbook magazine had a very interesting article where they chose things that husbands typically value, and then they pitted them against each other bracket style (a la March Madness).

Are you dying to know what the top two were?

1) Hearing you express that you enjoyed your intimate time together (ya know, in the bedroom).

2) Hearing “Thank You” when they help around the house.

OK so number 2 is pretty surprising right? Well, the real shock is that number 2 beat number 1 for their top value in marriage.

!!!

I mean, they didn’t even value the act of sex. They just want to hear that you liked it!

He wants to hear that you think he’s king! According to number 1 that is.

But apparently, they’re trying really really hard to do what you want them to do elsewhere. They’re marching around, marking off honey-dos, and they just want to know they pleased us.

He just wants to know you appreciate what he’s offering! That you don’t comment on how he did it or when.

This was a really good reminder to me that words matter to my husband. I can’t just expect things from him, ask him to read my mind, or even a list, and then just go to the next thing that I wish he’d do more.

It sounds like we need to nurture our relationship a little more rather than our to-do lists, huh ladies?

Perhaps we should practice more of number 1… ? ūüėČ