Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category


(Living Love) Parenting Affirmation

When we interact closely with our children, we can often overlook a special way that our children look at or respond to us. You know, those moments that tell us we are doing something right. Parenting is hard and we get relatively little feedback, so somebody pointing out one of those moments can be really encouraging.

Watch for those little moments to come up when your spouse is interacting with your children. Make note of it and point it out to him later when you the two of you alone. Tell him how you saw the child’s face light up when your spouse complimented them on the way they completed a task or how you noticed their mood completely change after your spouse took a moment to ask them why they seemed to be having a hard day. These little moments in the life of our children are so significant, but we often don’t give them enough credit. Just a little bit of affirmation on our parenting efforts can really lighten our step and make a difference in our energy and motivation to push forward. It is a little, but great gift that you can give to both your spouse and to your children.


(Date Ideas) Q & A

A date can be romantic, fun, and refreshing. It provides a time to focus on the two of you as a couple, your dreams, your goals, your relationship.

When all of the demands of life and kids are removed, though, sometimes we can find ourselves at a sudden loss for conversation topics. What do you talk about other than kids and work?? Here is a fun way to get the conversation rolling.

Take turns asking each other random questions. What is one place you would like to work if qualifications weren’t an issue?  What is one book you want to read this year? What is your favorite outfit that I wear? Where is one place in the world that you want to visit? Tell me one thing I did this last week that made you feel really loved? What character trait do you most want to be known for? No topic is off limits. The only rule is that you cannot reask a question that you have been asked.

Conversations don’t have to be deep to be significant. By asking simple questions like these, you will be amazed at how much you learn about your spouse of so many years…and how much you laugh.


(Living Love) Winter Warmth

coffee1Warm up your spouse inside and out by surprising him with a steaming cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Drop it off to him at work or pick up a cup for him on your way home from the store.

Large tokens of affection make for lifelong memories, but those little tokens of affection breathe life into our relationships during the day-to-day.


(Living Love) Childhood Traditions

Traditions are important to a child and the warmth of those memories carries far into adulthood. A sound, a taste, a smell…it can take us back in an instant.

Ask your spouse what some of their favorite holiday traditions were as a child. What are the details of that tradition that made it so memorable? Then find a way to work at least one of those treasured traditions into your own family’s holiday activities. It is a unique gift that you can give to both your spouse and your children. The best traditions are those with a story behind them, because it makes us all realize that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves.

Creating new family traditions is an adventure. Carrying on old traditions is enrichment.


(Living Love) Towel Hand-off

towelLiving love is all about finding little opportunities in your day to serve your spouse. Small gestures aren’t always so small to the recipient.

The next time your spouse is taking a shower, meet them stepping out of the shower with their towel. It is a small act of service, but is a physical way of showing them that you love living the every day with them.


(Living Love) Patterns of Relating

Patterns of relating are developed, learned, and created. As much as we sometimes wish that we could simply will healthy patterns of relating into existence, it takes time, love, and repetition.

We could all pretty easily come up with a lengthy list of improvements we would like to see in our spouse and ways we wish that they would show us love more often. Yet sometimes the things that we wish they would do for us the most, we ourselves withhold from our spouse. Maybe it feels as if the wishes we hold closest to our hearts are threatened if we release them or admit them?

In all relationships, patterns of relating become habit. They are repeated and, when we do not oppose them, we in fact affirm them. Do not sit and simply wish that you spouse was more physically affectionate or complimentary.  Most likely, you have been a part of the cycle. If you want to see a change, you reach out to your spouse. Touch them, compliment them, pursue them. The desires in your own heart can be a reflection of relational shortcomings in your relationship.

Break the cycle. You can be the one to start the learning and development process of integrating new patterns of relating into your relationship.


(Living Love) Saturday Solitude

Moments of solitude become rare once you enter parenthood. We adore our children, but those quiet mornings of sleeping in and waking up slowly while sipping coffee are often missed. Sometimes as we wish for a few quiet minutes to ourselves, we can forget that giving some time of solitude to our spouse just might be the breath of fresh air that they need.

Arrange to give your spouse a Saturday morning of solitude. Get up with the kids, close the door, and let your spouse catch up on some much needed sleep. And then take it a step further. After letting them get some extra sleep, sneak in with breakfast, coffee, and the newspaper and create an atmosphere for them where they can relax and have an easy morning away from demands and expectations. By allowing them some extra time tucked into the sanctuary of your room, you will breath a little bit of life into them, and certainly a little bit of love.


(Date Idea) Dollar Date

After being in a relationship for any length of time, keeping dates fresh and creative can be a challenge, especially when you are on a budget. Here is a fun idea for a date that you can do with just a few dollars…

Go to a local store such as Target, Wal-Mart or even the dollar store (you might be surprised at the treasures you can find there!) and set a budget between $3-5 per person. Then explore the store together to find fun items that you can purchase with your cash. The only rule is that you can’t spend more than $1 per item!

Whether you find real little treasures or just a lot of laughs, it is a reminder that dates don’t have to be expensive to be fun.

Note: A local dollar store is a great option for those who find it challenging to stay away from the more expensive items.


“Not Me” Monday

We all have those days…or weeks. “Not Me” Monday was created by MckMama to give us an outlet to laugh at our own imperfections. Will you join me? When you are done here, you can head over to her blog and read about what everyone else has “not” been doing.


img_5181I am always fabulous about remembering to bring essential items. Things like diapers and camera memory cards. So it couldn’t have been me that left with the family for a day at a local pumpkin patch and farm without the diaper bag or a single backup diaper or me that packed the camera without a memory card inside. Nope! Not me!

My kids are always appropriately dressed. So it was not me that left my children in the same pairs of pajamas for 48 hours. I would never do that.

And it was not me that sat my baby in the bathrooms sink for her first haircut. How weird would that be?

What did you not do this week?


(Living Love) Dry Erase Love

Love notes are a powerful way to express love. They are usually unexpected and affirming in word and action.

One of my favorite forms of love notes are ones that are written with a dry erase marker on the bathroom mirror or shower door. They make you smile as you brush your teeth or remind you that you are loved as you begin your day. And if you leave a dry erase marker in a bathroom drawer, it is token of affection that can be done spontaneously and easily.

A few loving words and the effort spent to show affection can make all the difference in your relationship and in the day of your loved one.