Mother or Wife

8 Aug

A few days ago my husband and I were in Seattle for a couple Navy gigs. He was on a kick of running around like Bear Grylls and doing his version of parkour. Basically he was being silly and it was really funny and endearing. I like that he can be so carefree.

One of our coworkers, in response to his silliness, asked me how often I feel like a mom and how often I feel like a wife. He quickly followed the question with, “You don’t have to answer that!”

I said I didn’t mind answering because I rarely feel that way. Instead of looking down on silly behavior as childish, I think it’s great and funny! It’s a choice. It would be easy to take on the mom viewpoint in response to that behavior. Thinking to myself, “Grow up, stop acting immature, be a man.”. But that destroys relationship and makes him less than me in my mind, not my equal partner in life.

In our first year of marriage it was a learning process of choosing to respond in a way that was healthy rather than destructive. But it was and is definitely a choice.

Do you ever feel like a mom to your husband? How do you combat those feelings?

Genuine Appreciation: Why It Works

30 Jul

Are you polite?

Most people would say yes.  We generally use good manners with coworkers, friends, and people we encounter out in society.  But are you polite to your spouse?

I have heard it said that most of us treat strangers better than our own family.  We are patient, courteous, and kind to someone we don’t know well and those we work and socialize with, but it is easy to forget those qualities around family.

The great thing about family is the deep connection and knowledge that they love you.  We feel like we can relax and have our guard down with them.  This is great, but we can’t let this freedom translate to no social filter.  Acting rude, entitled, and unappreciative is still hurtful to family.

In my family we have manners!  Please, thank you, and your welcome are very common words in our house.  I really love when my husband thanks me for making dinner or walking the dog, and he likes it when I thank him for unloading the dishwasher or folding the laundry.  All this politeness really adds up!  It creates positive and loving interactions that build trust, which makes us better able to deal with challenges.

Recognition is a great motivator and great for developing and keeping trust and goodwill.

Some would say that there is no reason to thank someone for something they should be doing anyway.  But that type of attitude (assuming and selfish) takes advantage of people and destroys an opportunity to create a loving interaction.  Why not recognize the effort and appreciate it instead?
Most of us want to have great relationships.  Using manners, and being appreciative is a great way to start.

Do you notice and recognize what your spouse does to contribute?

If you could improve, try to say thank you today for something they do today and mean it!

Back In the Groove

26 Jul

The first few days are the hardest when you come back from vacation.

We had a great time going all over Washington and Idaho backpacking and seeing nature, so it was a little tough face the reality of work.

I just tried to keep in mind that the jobs we have allow us to do the things that we want.  And I don’t have much to complain about, I play music for work!

It is nice to be home and get back into the routine of life with my husband and dog.  I like routine…I thrive in it!  Eating healthy.  Working out.  Reading.  Going to school.  Blogging.  It is all great stuff!

These next few months before our next vacation at Christmas we be full of preparing for what is next.  I have just over a year left in the Navy and have some planning to do.  It is finally dawning on me how soon it will be over and what was my life for the last five years will totally change.

Until then I am back in the groove.

Vacation

12 Jul

I hope you are having a great July!

The weather out here has finally turned the corner and I remember why I love the Pacific Northwest. Mountains, water, and clear blue skies!

My husband’s family just left, and we had a great time showing them around Seattle. We also visited a few places on our Northwest bucket list.

Mount Rainier, Hurricaine Ridge, Northwest Trek, kayaking in Liberty Bay, and the Point Defiance Zoo were all so fun and beautiful!

Today my husband and I are heading out to northern Idaho to visit family and do some backpacking. I will fill you in when we get back. Below is a picture of me on with Mt. Rainier in the background, and Narada Falls on Mt. Rainier. Get out there and have some fun this summer!

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Family Visits, Vacations, and Stress

3 Jul

Have you ever gotten close to a family visit  and started to get stressed?  Have you gotten into arguments when planning a vacation?If you have then you are like me!!  Good for you!  At least you know you aren’t alone.

It is sort of humorous actually.  In just three days, we start 17 days of vacation.  For the first few, my husband’s dad, brother, and sister are coming to visit.  Once they leave, we are off to Coeur d’Alene to visit my sister, and then heading to Priest Lake for some backpacking.  Then on the way home to Seattle, we will likely stop around Leavenworth and backpack for another night.  It is going to be a great time!

The funny thing is that the last several days I have started to feel stressed.  I have been constantly thinking about the cleaning and preparing that I need to do before his family comes.  It is all self imposed stress.  My house is neat, and I could get away just cleaning the bathrooms.  Nonetheless, I have made a long list of tasks.

On the top of Mt. Walker in the Olympics.

Why do I do that?  It is so unnecessary. The important thing is that they are coming, and it will be great to see them!

So along with getting self-imposed stress, my husband and I have had some small run ins about our trip.

At first we decided we wanted to go to Yellowstone.  Awesome right?  Well, you actually have to book that a year out if you don’t want to pay $200 a night!  So we scratched that.  I will chalk it up to our vacation inexperience.

The next plan involved a trip down to Portland and California, but I was dead set on seeing my sister.  Putting my foot down on vacation plans didn’t make for a fun start.

It was a case of my expectations verses  joint decision making.  I realized I didn’t have to see her during this vacation, and that it would be better to start the planning from a blank slate and open mind.

With my more mature mindset, we continued our trip evolution…

Next we decided that we wanted to do at least one overnight backpacking trip.  I found this great place called Priest Lake north of Couer d’Alene.  Lots of wildlife for the husband, and we would get to visit my sister’s family. Score!  Husband found some great places in the Central Cascades near Leavenworth for camping as well.  We will stop there on the way home.  Thus our plan is born!

So there is my vacation planning and family visit confession.  Have you ever had a similar experience?  Do you think that it is misaligned expectations causing the problem?  Tell me about it in the comments!

Virtues of a Wife

28 Jun

I was at a military ceremony the other day, and the retiring Admiral quoted vs. 10 of Proverbs 31 to describe the virtues of his wife.  This prompted me to re-read this chapter and  get some relational inspiration.

Even if you aren’t religious, these beautiful words provide a beautiful picture of what to strive for as a partner.  They show a strong, confident, capable woman with all the character qualities of someone patient and loving and true.  

If you are married these are good qualities to shape your actions and character after.  If you are not yet married, these are the qualities that truly speak to a man and make him want to align his life with yours.  I have highlighted a few words that speak to me, enjoy:

Proverbs 31 Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Guy Time: Why Giving A Man Space Is A Good Thing

26 Jun

When my husband and I were dating, one of his best friends had this really jealous girlfriend.  We will call the friend George and the girl Kelly just to make it easier.

My husband would come home to visit after not seeing his friends in months, and Kelly couldn’t stand that George wanted a few days of  guy time.  They spent all their time together, and she still hated to give him up to spend time with his best friend!  Kelly was jealous of my husband and that George wanted to hang out with him.  Selfish right?

I also hadn’t seen my then boyfriend in several months, but completely understood that it was just as important for him to be with George and his other friends as it was to be with me.  That just made sense to me because that is how I would want him to react.  Well this made me look REALLY awesome, which is always nice when you are dating and getting to know your significant’s friends.  The comparison was drastic.

Kelly was a nice enough girl, but the minute she started whining about George leaving to be with the guys she became as ugly as you could imagine.  When a man’s friends thing the woman he is dating is childish and immature, the relationship usually doesn’t last.  No one wants to be around someone who is grabby and needy and selfish.  It isn’t endearing and certainly not flattering.

Sometimes it can be hard to let people have space, especially when we want to be with them.  The nice thing about space is that people come back wanting more of you.  When you are apart, you appreciate when you are together.

Have you ever been like Kelly?  Sometimes those feelings creep up, but it is important to let people have space.  Why not suggest a guys night out, and take the opportunity to spend some time with your girlfriends too!

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