Friday, October 31, 2014

Trick or Treat... 4 ways to treat your husband on Halloween

The Aussie doesn't really get in to the Halloween spirit. I'm not sure if it's because (as he puts it) it's more of an American thing to get dressed up, or if it's because he's only been home two times since he's moved to the U.S. so he really hasn't been able to celebrate. This year, we've decided to go to a zoo in a neighboring state to see their pumpkin display. I can't wait! I'm sure it will be wicked chilly considering we're expecting to welcome November with some snow tomorrow. So to show my appreciation for my traveling Aussie and to (hopefully) get him into the spirit of today, I'm going to share five ways to treat him this year. Most are silly little things, but I've found that no matter how goofy something seems, the Aussie reacts with nothing but gratitude when I show him that it's just for him. Life gets crazy, but I think him knowing that I've put the effort in just because, makes a world of difference

 1. Pick up a little something for him while you're out stocking up on candy to give to the ghosts and ghouls that will be paying you a visit. I grabbed a funny hooded sweatshirt from Walmart that I know he'll get a kick out of. Because he comes home from work before me today, I've left it on the bed with a little note.

 (He loved it!)

2. Whether you're dressing up to go out to a party, or to hand out candy- everyone will get to see your costume. Think about getting a costume just for him to see! It could be funny, sexy, cute, an inside joke, whatever- as long as it's just for him- that's all that matters!

3. We've all seen/heard/tried/wished for the rose petals leading us to the bedroom to find candles lit, soft music playing, and the promise of a wonderful night. Lets take a different approach. Put down bite size candy to form a trail leading him to the bedroom! If you're really feeling into it, go ahead and put that costume on and wait in the middle of the heart shaped candy form on the bed. Can't get more Halloween-y than that!

4. Once you've hit all the parties you need to go to, and filled everyone's bags with delicious treats for the evening, make him a hot drink of his choice, (homemade cider, tea, hot chocolate,) curl up on the couch, and pop in his favorite scary movie (old or new) squeeze him a little tighter and let him be your hero.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Secret to a Long Lasting Marriage...?

The Aussie and I recently went to St. Augustine with my parents. He had to work and dad was sleeping in- so mum and I decided to go to some antique shops on a rainy morning. We pulled into one that was connected to a furniture restoration place where we saw a petite woman sweeping the shavings off the ground outside while an older man was using the skill saw. I remember thinking "who makes a little old lady sweep the ground outside!?"
After treasure hunting it was decided that my father too would enjoy the store; so we returned the next day.
It was raining cats and dogs and I was on the phone so mum and dad went in ahead of me. When I joined them in the store they were talking to the same people I watched the day before. That's when I learned that the two were from Manchester, England originally and they had been married for more years than my parents had been alive. My mother asked them what their secret was.
The husband responded "we have a candlelit breakfast every morning." We all smiled and he asked me if I was married. I told him I was to which he replied "Good, I can say this then- and we still do it!" I tried to contain my laughter but when saw the woman hit him in the shoulder and giggle like a school girl I couldn't hold it in! He went on to say that he is more in love with her now than he ever had been, and she still gives him butterflies when he sees her.
It was then that I realized that that's the kind of relationship I hope the Aussie and will continue to have no matter how many years we're together.
The woman wasn't sweeping outside because she had to, she was doing it as another way of taking care of her husband after all those years.
When I told the Aussie about the encounter he laughed and naturally agrees with half of the secret...

So there you have it, a candle lit breakfast and sex.... the answer to the most commonly asked marriage question!

What are some ways you will continue to have a successful relationship?Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Happy Ash Wednesday, from the Aussie and I and don't forget to share the secret!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Who Are You

I have this unique fascination with journals. I just love them... a lot. I have yet to write on the first page of any journal and have not filled one to the end for fear of closure. (If that doesn't say a lot about me, I don't know what does)
My wonderful Aussie ad I went to Barnes and Noble on an exciting Saturday night and while we were reminiscing about our first date that brought us there ( a story for another day) he found me surrounded by journals. Old looking leather journals with the rawhide straps and silly ones with crazy prints, some had hardware that looked old and rustic, (though my first thought, was that I could make it better!) I knew that we had only gone I for one quick book for the Aussie for his next work trip, and had no intention of purchasing anything for myself but the Aussie insisted that I get the journal that he picked out for me it really is perfect...
It got me thinking of how much I used to write in them, and how now in the world of blogs and technology little thoughts are left as private thoughts. Being somewhat of an introvert I enjoy some thoughts as private thoughts. I enjoy carrying around that journal and knowing I put whatever I want in it and get those thoughts off my chest, yet keep them just for me. So I've decided that I will use this new journal as means for the exploration needed to rediscover, reinvent and distinguish who I am.

I am a:
  • Wife
  • Daughter
  • Sister
  • cousin
  • Niece
  • Aunt
  • Friend
  • Servant of the Lord
  • Peace maker
  • People pleaser
  • Employee
There are many others as I'm sure there are for you. While I love most every role I have, and I agree that they make me who I am, I can't help but ask myself from time to time "who am I?"

Wife by far has been my favorite role to play in this life and I look forward to the many years I have in store with the Aussie- constantly learning and growing together as a couple.

Have any of you gone through a transition that has left you happy, but curious as to who you are? Who you have become? What are some things you've done to reintroduce yourself to you?

Friday, February 7, 2014

5 Reasons He May Resent You

I was reading this article today about the reasons that husbands grow to resent their wives. While I'm proud to say most of these things, the Aussie and I have under control but it really got me thinking about some of these issues and how I've perceived some couples in regards to these points.

I know that nobody ever knows what happen behind closed doors, but I also know (thanks to my line of work) that perception is everything 
Marriage isn't being a ball and chain, its a partnership

The article has the following points:
  • Not fighting fair- OK, so this point talks about the fact that men typically withdraw their feelings to avoid an argument, while women start off on a negative using "you" statements like saying "you are such a slob" it goes on to talk about using "I" statements. This goes back to the importance of. communication in a relationship. The Aussie and I have been through this and I'm happy to say its something we are aware of and work on. Early on, I would only focus on what I thought he was doing wrong. As we began to grow as a couple it became clear to me that he is much more open to communicate and more in tune with what I'm saying when I say things like " I feel like you were treating me like I was stupid" and he would say "I feel very disrespected when you don't do something that needs to be done after I've asked three times" this was helpful for both of us. I didn't realize I was disrespecting him, knowing that makes me think twice before doing not doing something.
  • Treating him like a child- I don't think there is anything worse than one person in the relationship treating the other person like a child. I would say that more often than not it isn't intentional. Being in a relationship is entering into a partnership. You don't get married so you can raise an adult. You marry someone to grow together- so keep in mind that while he/she may do something different than how you would, it doesn't mean its wrong.
  • Involving other people in your marriage- I cannot stress enough how terrible I think it is to involve other people! You may think that by writing a blog about my marriage is doing just that, but I assure you that the purpose of this is to share experiences. The Aussie and I both have faults, we are not perfect. BUT that does not mean that you will find a "husband bashing" session in any of my posts. What you will find are some things I've learned along the way. I've said this before, but I really pity the people that bash their significant others to people! Keep in mind that it is human nature to complain about things, but typically when you talk about your significant other to people the fist reaction is to say the negative things. That is what people remember, that is what changes their perception of your significant other and your relationship Sure its easy to complain, and have a laugh at someone else's expense, maybe even commiserate with the girls/guys. Just because it's easy, doesn't make it right! Would you want him to do that to you? Its just not fair to him, or your relationship. Go back to the first point and communicate with the other person in your relationship!
  • Not showing appreciation for the things he does right- Hello!?!?! Everyone likes to hear something nice! Go back to this post for some ways to show appreciation. The Aussie does a lot of the housework and I try to always remember to thank him. Yes we share our home, but it's nice to know that he doesn't think its all my responsibility to clean or cook. And sure, I may have to rewash some of the dishes, but I'd rather do that and appreciate the effort than make him feel bad, or feel like we aren't equal!
  • Trying to change him- You married him for a reason! There are so many things you love about him. And lets face it- you're not perfect either. Changing who he is will send him signals that he isn't good enough for you.
There are some other points as well in this article but those are the top 5 that I feel strongly about. Do you think your relationship suffers from any of these or are you and your significant other on track?

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

5 Ways to Say I Love You Without Saying I Love You

Many of us that have been in relationships for an extended period of time have fallen into the habit of saying "I love you" to either fill a void in the conversation, break the silence, or because we didn't know what else to say. I find myself in the habit of saying "k, love you, bye" on the phone so much that I have to think before hanging up with a colleague! (you've all done it, don't pretend you haven't!)
In a world full of habit, run by creatures of habit, I've been looking for ways to break out of the norm and tell the Aussie I love him in other ways. Here's what I've come up with:

1. Make his favorite dinner, set the table with the "good stuff" that you usually reserve for company, light some candles, get dressed as if you were going to a 5 star restaurant. No TV, or other distractions, except maybe some background music that may lead to an impromptu dance.

2. Let him pick the movie! I don't know about you, but I married a guy who will watch anything  I want to see without complaining about it. This means that for a weekend or just one night, I should be able to watch whatever he wants. Even if he does pick Star Wars! Again, free of distractions, this means you cant play on Pinterest all night or read my amazing blog while the movie is on. Giving him, and the movie he picked full attention will go a long way to show you appreciate and love him.

3. Leave a note in a surprising location, I do this regularly for the Aussie. Because he travels for work, I put a note somewhere in his luggage and wait for him to find it while he's away. I used to do a note for each day he was away, but that didn't work for two reasons. 1. He saves them all, and that takes up a lot of space in the drawer he keeps them in! 2. They started to lose their meaning when I would write 14 at a time. One well thought out note goes a long way!
If you didn't marry a traveler, you could sneak it into his wallet, or a pocket he'll check, maybe even in the windshield wiper or front seat of his car.

4. Find something specific you love about him/her. Instead of saying "I Love You" try saying "I love knowing you kiss me goodbye every morning even if I'm not awake when you leave" or "I love your laugh" this will help show your significant other that you still notice the little things that add up to make them perfect for you.

5. Say Thank You! All too often we take for granted what the other person in the relationship does. For me, its that the Aussie always vacuums, and always says "can I get you anything, do you need anything" when he is traveling it really reminds me of all the little things he does. So take a minute and think about some of the things he/she does regularly that you would have to do if they weren't around.

What are some ways you break the "I Love You" habit? Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Monday, February 3, 2014

the $20 fight

So this one is from before we were married....
communication is key so neither of you end up here
I was fortunate enough to be raised in family that was extremely open about everything. My parents shared a bank account, and money was never a "mine" or "yours"
The same theory went for my group of friends, and ultimately in my relationships. The thought that most had was that it would even out eventually. So on the day of the $20.00 fight I was taken by surprise...
Picture it, Greek Festival on a crowded Cape Cod summer, singing, dancing, baklava, and vendors. The Aussie and I  decided it would be cute to get these magnetic bracelets with one matching bead each. I had no cash on me at the time, but the Aussie offered to pay for it.
About an hour later we were driving around and I found that he had taken me to the bank. I asked what we were doing to which he replied "so you can get the money you owe me for the bracelet" my initial reaction? "what the F__?!?" followed by an "Ok, didn't realize $20.00 would make or break you. Filled with rage, I went on thinking about what kind of guy does this, was this his way of starting to separate us so he could break up with me? what was going on?!?
I took out the money and gave him his $20.00 to pay him back for the bracelet that I didn't want at this point.
On our long silent drive home, I ran through every possibility that my imagination could muster up as to why this small amount of money meant to so darn much to him.
It wasn't until a few months later that I found out the Aussie had just spent the last of his money paying for his immigration lawyer. During the immigration process, his Visa had been denied and he was unable to get paid for over three months.
The moral of this story is to think before you react. I could have very easily asked what was going on, but knowing the Aussie the way that I do, I'm not sure he would have told me. He didn't want me to have to worry about his immigration issues or have it affect us. He didn't tell anyone, not even his family.  
Can you think of a time that through communication, your $20.00 fight could have been avoided?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Communication, Laughter and everything in between

It's an amazing feeling when you don't feel well and have to work all day, to know that once you get home from work, someone is there to take care of you.
It takes teamwork to accomplish things... like eating a giant lollipop!
You've heard before when I said how silly it is when the Aussie gets sick- lying in bed all day like its the plague. He's always asking how I manage to function when I'm sick... because things still need to get done, after all the world doesn't stop just because I don't feel well. Its nice to know that while I worry about getting things done all he worries about is what he can do to make me feel better.
I will say time and time again that it's communication and laughter that make a marriage; but today its the warm hugs and soft kisses on the top of my head that make my marriage!  Its putting a fresh glass of water next to the bed every night before bed. It's being tucked in before he leaves for work early in the morning.
All too often I hear married couples laugh at the expense of their spouses and quite frankly, it makes my blood boil! There are so many great couples out there that work together to make a great team.
When the Aussie and I got married we made a pact that the two of us would work through it all and nothing would be too hard to take on because we'd have each other to balance the load. When I think about the stories other married couples tell me, I find myself feeling sorry for them. They laugh at the faults of their partners, the look to commiserate with others and I cant help it... I pity them. How unfortunate that they entered into a union with someone that they don't treat well. You'll never find me telling you that the Aussie isn't good, that he doesn't do something. We're a team, and if you cant count on your spouse, who can you count on?
Part of marriage to us was joining our lives to have one life together.  When we exchanged vows we took on each other's strengths and weaknesses; the good the bad and the ugly. His faults are my faults, and my undesirable idiosyncrasies are his. His determination and strength became mine and my desires and passions became his. Though we may not have been married for as long as some others, we like to think that no matter what- its us against the world.
So take some time today to appreciate all the little things that make your relationship unique to you. Ours may not be perfect, but its perfect for us.
It's all the little things he's done, I've done, and we've done together that make up the meaning of the ring he put on my finger. He's my superman <3

Monday, January 27, 2014

10 unique paper first anniversary gifts

The toughest part about getting gifts for each other once you're married is finding something that you can live with too! The first anniversary can be one of excitement for most couples. The Aussie suggested that we remain true to the traditional wedding anniversary gifts. How sweet right? So far we've gotten to two, and I must say it can be difficult to determine what to get him that falls in the correct category and is creative... so here's my list of ideas for the first anniversary gift- paper

1. Make coupons like I suggested here 
2. Frame a picture (it counts if you print it on picture paper!)
3. Purchase tickets to an event, concert, movie, whatever strikes your fancy
4. Create a shadow box filled with tickets from an event you've attended in the past, with a picture or two from the event.
5. Write a good old fashioned love letter. This is also a great way to remind your better half why they're so important to you after that first CrAzY year!
6. Write the words "I love you" in multiple languages on one sheet of white lined paper. Use one pen and just write until the page is full. Once that's done, take a red colored pencil and write "I Love You" across the page and frame it. The Aussie found it really cute. You can also make a smaller one if you think its too large on a regular piece of paper. This can be a bit time consuming so you can click here to order one from me and save yourself the time.
7. Take a mason Jar and fill it with 365 quotes on love. One for each day of the year until your cotton anniversary. I'll admit, this one took A LOT of time to find 365 good quotes, to copy, paste, and cut. Or you can order one from me, and all you'll have to do is give it to your spouse!
8. Cut your wedding vows, or your wedding invitation and put them in a clear bulb to hang some place you'll see often. Not just on your Christmas tree.
9. Find a book of meaning (the older the better!) and write something personal to your spouse from your heart.
10. Fill all the walls in one room, or the mirror, or his/her car, or windows, (you get the point) with sticky notes of all the reasons you love and adore him/her. Don't forget to include some reasons why the past year as a married couple were wonderful.

I also wrapped everything in newspaper and construction paper. I realize that tissue paper and wrapping paper  are both paper, but it seemed more fun this way! 

I'd love to hear some other ideas out there on the paper anniversary and to see if others still follow the traditional gifts.

Good luck!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

how to "Light that fire"

I asked the Aussie what comes to mind when I say "Valentine's Day" his response- "Its another day I get to show you how much I love you a chance to make it like the first year. I think it's another day you make me very happy and lucky"

I was expecting a typical "excuse for women to get flowers" or "a commercialized holiday" and was ready to roll with that! I'll take the extra sweet answer though.

So every year the Aussie and I say "no gifts" and every year we sneak around each other for weeks trying to accomplish our secret little gifts for each other to show we care. We both try not to spend too much on each other, but I enjoy spending time creating something for him. I typically break out my craft supplies and come up with something new and fun to express my love and what our relationship means.

One year I made:
Lovers Coupons... who doesn't love coupons!

All home made and tailored to our relationship 

and of course with a picture of us <3 it is Valentines Day after all.
You can order a custom made coupon book here

Another year I came up with a fun game to play...

It's the little things that keep the fun in our relationship Its so easy in the hustle and bustle of the everyday world to forget to take time to enjoy each other as husband and wife.

I've even made a bouquet of condoms to send to his work. So while all of the men were sending flowers and the girls were oo-ing and ah-ing over their flowers, I won the "cool wife" title.
Every year I make  chocolate dipped stuffed strawberries for him as well. That always puts a smile on his face! I'll upload a how to on that when we get closer to the big day!

Its not all about the physical stuff don't worry :) Last year I got him tickets to see Blue Man Group too. This year however, I fear I may be stumped... well for now at least. What are some creative and fun ways to show the special someone in your life that you appreciate and want to celebrate them?
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Monday, January 20, 2014

The Silent Wife?

I'm very fortunate to have such a close family. My cousins are like siblings and my aunts and uncles are like additional parents. I used to wonder if when I found a husband he would be open to the closeness, or if there would be trade offs for holidays and the dreaded balancing act that so many couples have to endure each holiday.
Because the Aussie moved here without his family, it made for an easier transition for us in that department. My family took him in on our third date (Easter at my cousins house, that's a story for another day!) and since then I now find myself questioning who they like better!

All kidding aside, I know its hard for him to not have his family with him, to have the quick phone calls, or to help figure the tough stuff of this marriage thing with. I know I can pick up the phone and say to my mother " What was he thinking?!? And while he could pick up the phone and call my parents for the same thing, I know its not the same. So it was great when his father came over in August, and amazing when his mum came over for Christmas (again, stories for another day!) But again, the bitter sweet emotions I felt on his behalf when we dropped his mother off at the airport left me feeling like for the first time- I can't fix this for him.

The tears that strolled down my cheek were I guess partly for me- after all, I had just spent two weeks in small quarters alone with her- but mostly for him. She said to me that this would probably be her last trip to the U.S. A small part of me wanted to shake her and say "HOW could you say that?!? Think that?!? Believe that?!?" ok- a large part of me. The worst part is that he doesn't know that.

I do not- repeated- DO NOT keep secrets from the Aussie- about anything....I know that by telling him something like that he would be filled with guilt and possibly regret.
So there I stood, crying like a fool at 4:00 a.m. in the airport and he couldn't figure out why it was affecting me so much.

So let me ask you this... Is it ok to keep something like that from him? In my defense I'm choosing not to believe that this is her last trip here.

white stocking for her first(and last?!?) Christmas with him in  8 years