Sunday, July 31, 2011


I found a pin on Pinterest about how to keep your marriage strong. Jared and I have a great marriage, but we don't put a TON of effort in it. And just like anything else, if you don't put a lot of effort into it, someday, it might fizzle. And even if it doesn't fizzle, it just won't be much fun! So these are some great suggestions to keep marriage strong and an important part of your life. Jared and I sat down and read these suggestions and came up with the ones we really wanted to work on.
  • Life in general can make us tired, but sometimes we are trying to do too much and that makes us really tired. When we are really tired we don’t have the energy to “be together”. Assess your families life. Are there some things that you could cut out so you have more energy to be together. Be sure your family isn’t over scheduled. Activities are good, for you and your kids, but too many will mean your family is not getting stronger, instead you get weaker because there is no energy to spend with one another.
  • Establish a bed time for your children, and stick with it. Not only will it be better for your children, but it will give you and your husband time to be together everyday. This alone time is very important when you are trying to establish “similar temperatures”.
  • When you have time together at night because the kids have a bed time you stick with, spend that time talking. Turn off the television, turn off the computer and any other technological distractions and Talk. Remember when you were courting, when things were “how they used to be”. Remember when you fell in love? You probably talked a lot together. Try it again, only listen and learn as if it’s the first time, and don’t interrupt. You have to make time to do this on a daily basis. 15 minutes of talking daily is one of the surest ways to keep the two of you from “drifting apart”. 15 minutes doesn’t sound like much, but most (like 80%) of couples, don’t talk to one another for 15 minutes a day. Pay attention to one another the way you used to.
  • Along these same lines, if you have a television in your bedroom, take it out. Let your bedroom be open to connection through words and touch.
  • Go on dates. Weekly. Or at least every other week. Baby sitters are much less expensive than therapists. It is okay to leave the kids and go do something together. This sends a message to your children that your marriage is important. Hold hands, walk slow and enjoy being together. Treat each other with kindness and respect and you will feel the temperature rise as you spend time just the two of you. This can include a night away with one another. You can’t expect to retain feelings of love when you neglect your companionship.
  • Find things you like to do together and do them. Don’t give up the things that made you so happy at the earlier phase of your marriage. Be intentional and do things together.
  • Say hello and goodbye to one another. When your husband leaves for work, don’t just holler “bye” from the kitchen. Go to him, give him a kiss, an I Love You, and say goodbye. Connect the same way when he comes home. When you were dating I bet you wrapped your arms around him and wouldn’t let go. Do that again.
  • Go to bed at the same time. Establish a nightly routine that allows you and your husband to climb into bed at the same time. Laugh and chat while you brush your teeth. This routine should happen every night if possible.
  • This one is direct. For the next three months, you and your husband each commit to being intimate twice a week. You are responsible for initiating once, and your husband the other. When it’s your turn, set the mood, the place and the time, the agenda. When it’s your husbands turn, be a willing participant. You will quickly see that those two days of the week you may treat each other better than you did when you were first married. Set aside time and make it a priority.
  • Don’t be so judgmental and hard on yourself. Let go of the thought that you don’t look like you did before you had kids, or when you were younger. Be comfortable and confident in your own skin. We are always hardest on ourselves. Relax and learn to love yourself.
  • Make your bedroom a safe haven. I am so guilty of this one. If I am not careful, our bedroom becomes the dumping ground for everything undone. Especially unfolded laundry. I always think by putting it on the bed, it will force me to fold it before I go to sleep. Yeah, doesn’t always work. It is the last place in the house to get vacuumed and dusted. Our bedrooms should be a safe and comfortable place for our relationships. Make the bed everyday, don’t let it become the laundry room, and attend to it just like you do the rest of your house. It will make a big difference when you climb in to bed with your spouse each night.

Here are the ones we are working on:

Establish a bedtime for your children and stick with it!: We had been doing pretty badly with Ryan's bed time. We mean to get him to bed earlier but during the summer it's just been hard. So this suggestion really helped us commit to sticking with a set bed time.

Spend that time talking: We decided that this is really a great suggestion! We often put the kids to bed and go our separate ways, Jared playing games and me on the computer. We can still do these things, but we make sure to connect with each other and spend at least 15 minutes going over everything in the day.

Go on dates: We don't really feel that we can go weekly, so we decided to go every other week. And we can easily keep it pretty cheap. We just had our first date on Friday where we went to see Harry Potter, went to eat at Cafe Rio, and had dessert at Farrs Ice Cream. All for $15! We really planned ahead and got good deals. Our next date will be our anniversary! We're excited for that!

Don’t give up the things that made you so happy at the earlier phase of your marriage: We decided to read books together. We both like to read so sitting on the couch, cuddling, and reading books would be really nice. Some times we watch movies. Some times we play video games. But the reading will be more often and I think will be fun.

Say hello and goodbye to one another: We have been guilty of just saying Bye in the mornings without a kiss. We decided that no matter what we will kiss hello and goodbye. Ryan now wants kisses too! I'm glad to see we're rubbing off on him. :)

Go to bed at the same time: We hadn't been doing very well with this one. This one is so important because pillow talk is such a great way to connect at the end of the day. We also decided that along with this, we need to start going to bed at 11 pm. As you can see, it is now 12:14 am, we aren't doing a great job! :) We need to be lots better about our bed time.

Be intimate twice a week: When I read this, I thought that it was about once a week too many for me! Jared was pretty excited about this suggestion. I wasn't extremely excited, but what is funny is that I've done my job two weeks in a row and he hasn't done his. So nothing has changed much except for the fact that he can't say I refuse because I'm the only one initiating at this point. :) It makes me smile. When I read this, it just really hit home to me how important being intimate is. Even if you are too tired and don't put much into it, it's better to do it than put it off. It makes me wonder if a lot of people who fall out of love, do so because they have stopped being intimate. Of course that may not be the only reason, but it plays a huge part. I am going to try a lot harder and do my part. And quite honestly, it's been kind of fun knowing that I have to initiate. It definitely has made things a little more exciting.

Another thing we have decided to do is to have Family Home Evening once a week. If we don't get to it on Monday, we do it at the first possible opportunity. It's been really nice. We've done FHE twice so far and I know we'll continue doing it.

"Use your alone time to compliment one another and express gratitude for all your spouse does. Thank him for all the ways he supports your family. Tell your husband how you feel when he acknowledges all the hard work you do for him and for your children."

This last quote is something I need to work on. If I can do this better, we will definitely be on our way to being a lot happier and more "in love" like we were when we first got married.

It's been kind of exciting trying these new things and I know that they will be worth it.

Monday, July 18, 2011


We had family home evening tonight!

For the first time!

I found a website dedicated to 52 lessons for FHE for the whole year. The lessons have everything included in them so it was really easy to print and look over and do the lesson.

We sang I am a child of god, which is one of Ryan's favorite songs. Then we talked about how we are children of heavenly father and that heaven is far away. We talked about how heavenly father gave us all talents and stuff that we like and these things make us different and special. And that heavenly father gave us all of this because he loves us. Then Ryan drew himself... it was stinkin' cute!.. and glued activities he likes onto the paper. He loved this!

We also had family prayers tonight.

It was so nice. Even though the message was simple and Ryan was being a little grumpy, I totally felt the spirit. I felt my heart swell when I bore my testimony about how Heavenly Father loves us to Ryan.

Oh and an update about Facebook. I really do need it to keep in contact with people so what I did was go through and hide a lot of my friends. I hid the ones that I never comment on their stuff or they never comment on mine. I kept all of my friends in my neighborhood and ward and family members. And of course I kept my close friends that I never see, but talk to almost daily though Facebook. It has decreased the amount of time I spend on Facebook SO much! And I love it.

Since I am not on Facebook, today I cleaned the living room, swept the kitchen floor, vacuumed the living room, did some laundry, packed some 0-3 months clothes and put away the 3-6 months clothes, did all the mommy stuff and worked a ton today during ryan's nap. It was just nice to get some things done, especially the cleaning.

Church was interesting. I actually got more out of sacrament meeting than any other meeting. Usually I don't hear a word in sacrament because of Ryan and I find my uplifting messages in the other meetings.

I think Faith was the main thing I got from Sunday. Faith is something that I definitely need to work on. I don't rely on the Lord nearly as much as maybe I should. I am more of a think about it and then do what's best. If something is out of my hands, I accept the consequence, but ask the Lord for assistance being fully prepared for none to come. Is that being negative? I feel like if I "practice faith", I am just putting myself in a position to be let down or to be disappointed. For me, maybe, faith is just doing the best with what you're given? The story the speaker gave was about a pioneer woman who had a very hard life, but she endured and had faith in all things. In relief society, the lesson was about our different levels of willingness. One is to do things because you don't want the consequence, second is to do things because you want the reward, and third is to do things because you love Heavenly Father.

I didn't think this at the time, but I wonder if you can do all of them. Obviously, if you do something because you love Heavenly Father, you want the reward as well and you don't want the consequence. Maybe I missed the point of the lesson. The teacher asked us where we stand. And I stand in all three places a lot of the time. Say with tithing... that is my main vice right now. I do it because I don't want to burn in hell. You know it's "fire insurance." I also do it because I know that blessing come from paying your tithing. The one I am working on right now is accepting that everything we have isn't ours. It was given to us by Heavenly Father and all he asks is to give 10% back. I'd rather just give it to him because I love him and want to obey his commandments, not because the thought that it is all his.

We have been fortunate lately and I know it is because we paid our tithing. It is really hard for me, but I do it. I know we will be blessed and I also want to be obedient.

Sorry I am totally rambling, but it's after 1 am and I'm trying not to think much before I type. I really should be in bed right now! :) I guess this post has gotten a lot longer than I planned.

The main point I guess is that we are trying really hard to be better and I love that I can see it working. I will write more on it maybe tomorrow. It's a great feeling. :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I LOVE facebook. It is one of my favorite things. I love keeping tabs on people and sharing fun stuff.

But let's face it. It's not important and probably takes away more from my life than what it brings to it.

I am thinking about shutting it down. But like any addict, I feel extreme anxiety thinking about doing that.

I may just do it though.

Really I should shut down my internet, but that's just crazy. I need it for work and I need to blog. Therefore, we can't get rid of it.

But Facebook, your time may be coming...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Do You Feel Good Enough?

I am pretty sure that no one does and those who do feel like they are, probably aren't.

I am talking about the second coming.

We had a discussion in Sunday School (my first in a very long time!) and whether we are doing the things we should be to be prepared for the second coming and how if you are worthy enough to hold a temple recommend, you are worthy enough for the second coming.

(Side thought - we all talk about the second coming as a "someday". I know that I often say that I am not ready for the second coming, but really our own second coming could be any time if we were to pass away, so we can't really rely on the "someday".)

I was thinking that I hold a temple recommend, but I know I don't feel like I am good enough to stand in front of Jesus and know I've done all I can here.

Then I started thinking of all the things I should be doing. Praying more often, like morning and night and family prayers. Reading my scriptures and the Ensign. Going to the temple. Doing much more service. Holding family home evening. Looking for opportunities to enrich my soul.

My list is very long. But whose isn't? Anyway, I left Sunday School feeling pretty depressed and trying to find the motivation to actually make these changes in my life.

One of the things I know I can do is to be more Christlike. I need to look for opportunities to serve. I am usually pretty shy and scared and make excuses and I need to stop that. I also get too busy and forget to do the things on my list. So that is something I can really do.

Now sitting down to read scriptures is a much harder task. I was talking with the ladies at Bunco when one of them, a mother of teenagers, told me to stop feeling so bad about not being able to read my scriptures. She said that where I am at in my life right now just doesn't allow deep scripture study and pondering and that's okay.

She told me that I needed to write a scripture or a few scriptures around the house and make sure to look at them and ponder those through out the day. That that is just as good as sitting down and reading out of the scriptures, especially for where I am at right now.

Another friend told me that at a Relief Society meeting, I wasn't able to attend, Elder Nelson's wife said that being a mother is number one basically. If you're going to ignore your children so you can study the scriptures, you're missing the point.

Now I am not saying that it's bad to study the scriptures. If you're able to do it, yay for you! But maybe I need a more gradual approach and posting scriptures around the house is definitely the way to go. I think maybe we'll start doing family home evenings and Jared and I can pick two or three each and post them. I can't wait to start. :)

I guess one of the things I can do is prioritizing my days. I have been SO bad at this. I really need to write out a schedule for my day and stick to it. In this schedule, I can make sure I do something for someone else that day. Whether it be in the family or outside the home, whether it be a big act of service or just a kind word.

I really believe that being charitable and kind and loving to everyone is THE best quality of being Christlike. If I can achieve that, the other stuff will follow. I'd much rather be a person who helped people every day than one who sat down to read the scriptures for an hour a day. Some people may not have to choose, but at this time in my life I have to prioritize and I will focus on being a better person to my family, friends, and neighbors. And hopefully the scriptures I choose to focus on can help me with that. Also praying. I am really bad at praying and that is just something you really need to take advantage of. It is for US, not for Heavenly Father.

So I don't think I will ever feel good enough, but I hope that I will always be working on something to better myself and be worthy to stand at Christ's feet.