Making time for date nights with my husband is a real struggle with our busy schedule, but every time we make it work it is so worth it. It can be so easy to push it to the back burner and let budget, busyness, and kids get in the way of quality time together. One of goals this year is to have at least one quality date night out a month, and we are working hard to make that happen. Today I’m sharing tips to help you make date night a priority, plus some fun details from our recent #lobsterworthy date night out at Red Lobster.
When someone you love makes bad choices, it wrecks you. Every part of your life is affected as you try to do damage control, fix it, cry, pick up the pieces, and pray. Life seems to stop momentarily with every crisis and you wonder how you got to this place again through no fault of your own. How do I know? Two adult members of my family are constantly getting in to trouble and I am watching it damage their lives and our family helplessly. On top of that, over a decade of ministry to hurting kids who struggle and fall and make terrible decisions has broken my heart a thousand times.
I am not a perfect person. I make wrong choices every day. We all do. This is not a self righteous rant of someone who thinks themself sinless. This is a love letter to all of you who are watching loved ones lost in addiction, alcoholism, crime, and mistreatment of others. You love them in spite of their mistakes and their bad choices are killing you inside. I am right there with you.
Marriage is the best, hardest, most challenging, and most fulfilling life relationship. My husband is an amazing man and his love is a blessing to me every day of my life. We’ve been married six years, so we are still total beginners in the grand scheme of things, but we’ve picked up a few habits that help keep our faith in Jesus in the center of our marriage that I’ll share with you today. Much like my post about Simple Ways to Bring Jesus in to Your Child’s Daily Routine, I’m not coming to you from a place of having anything figured out. I write this more as a fellow traveler on this journey of marriage who wants to share and encourage and protect marriages. Everyone wants their marriage to succeed, and I think that best happens when both partners are on the same page about faith, money, and family goals.
A big family photo shoot is one of those things that I’ve wanted to do for a while, but is nearly impossible to actually make happen. Obstacles were stacked against me. My family is large and spread out, four siblings, 3 spouses, 3 states, 4 cities. We hadn’t posed all together in any organized fashion since before Chris left for Afghanistan and any of us were married. It was time. Over Christmas break there was a 12 hour window when we were all in the same place at the same time, so it was go time. As the oldest kid and natural born bossypants, I basically forced everyone into it, but most thanked me later. Just kidding, but maybe they will someday. I told everyone to wear any shade of grey, white, black, or red, and put a brush through their hair. Somehow my daddy managed to sneak in a baseball cap, but you can’t win ’em all. We called our friends the Filipeks and had them send down a photographer or two. We had three cameras going to get lots of pics. I marched the group down the street to the other side of the lake behind my parents’ house for a scenic backdrop. It was like herding cats. Finally we got to posing, and the results are pretty great.
Nice and normal, grouped close together.
Each little family group separate, looking at each other.
You’re a tiger! Roar!
Big thanks to the Filipek family for snapping our pics.
The silly ones are probably my favorites. After the group shots we took a couple of the grandkids with Dede and Poppy. My goal was to get these printed on canvas for my mama’s birthday, which is today. Over the weekend we sat down and edited them using Picnik and ordered a few canvas prints. I can’t wait to see the results. All in all it was totally worth the hassle and cat herding to get pictures we will treasure for years to come.
What tasks are on your “Make It Happen” list this year?
Our boy is changing so much, doing new things daily. We have both been sick this week, and I had 2 big YL events that totally overwhelmed me. It was a beautiful afternoon and we are both feeling better, so we spent sweet time on a blanket in the yard.
Look at that chub. Don’t you just want to squeeze him? Our boy is growing so fast. At three months he is wearing 3-6 and 6-9 month clothes. He weighs over 15 pounds and had amazing rolls everywhere. He is cooing and making the sweetest noises when awake. He loves looking in the mirror and at pictures in books.
He is probably the only person in the world who appreciates my singing voice. Jed and I are both totally tone deaf, yet Fisher can’t get enough of our singing. He even smiles through diaper changes if we are singing. We are doing mostly cloth diapers at home now, and trying to transition to using them all the time.
Breastfeeding is finally going well, but know he won’t take a bottle of pumped milk. We are trying some different brands of bottles to see if that will help. Fisher can now sit up and hold his head up when assisted. He loves lifting his feet up and putting them together, and grabbing his hands together. Outside is his favorite place to be, even though we are still in triple digits.
He is on a pretty good 3-4 hour routine with a long 8-9 hour stretch of sleep at night. He is happy most of the time, except for when I haul him too many places or forget when naptime should start. I went back to work last week, and it has been a challenge working from home with him, but I love getting to be with him. He is the sweetest boy in the world and we fall more in love every day.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5
Since giving birth to Fisher, I have realized more than ever that I desperately need the Lord to give me wisdom. Parenting has been the most humbling, dependency-on-the-Lord-driving experience of my life. I know it will continue to be so and am so thankful that the Lord is in this with us and will not leave us to fend for ourselves.
Thirty years ago today my love was born, and I am so thankful every day. He is everything I needed and nothing I expected and exactly who the Lord intended for me. He loves me so well, and I am so blessed to have him in my life. He is a man of God, kind, loving, faithful, selfless, hard working, and so much more. I cannot wait to see him hold our baby in about a month. I know he will be an amazing father. I pray that we get to grow very old together and have a long and blessed marriage. Happy birthday my love. You are the very best man I know.