Sunday, July 29, 2012

Day 17: Love Promotes Intimacy

"Nothing rivals the closeness that's experienced between a husband and wife...Someone who knows us this intimately can either love us at depths we never imagined, or can wound us in ways we may never fully recover from. It's both the fire and the fear of marriage...would they say you make them feel safe, or scared?" The Love Dare

This dare wasn't to difficult for me since Alex has helped by setting the example of keeping my trust in him whole. Whenever I hear him speak about others he always treads with sincere caution as not to allow gossip begin.  He speaks well of others and always wants to do the same with me.  

Day 16: Love Intercedes

"Beloved, i pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers."- 3 john 2

I still remember some of the first times I prayed specifically for Alex.  It was ... awkward sadly enough.  I wanted to pray for him, but the awkwardness made me realize that I didn't know how.  This area helped me work on how much I really do love Al.  I honestly believe in "Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7) I figured to pray for Alex and his wellbeing.  His strength and patience with me.  Then I realized those areas are ones he already has covered.  So to point out some difficult flaws to God made me fee like I was a hyprocit. Though when I finally did I had a realization, Yep for those who know God can answer your prayers and he did.  He gave me insight right then of small things I can do to help with these areas.  Though It's difficult to keep my tongue held, or to keep myself at bay with patience.  I have learned even more to pray, pray for areas of your marriage that are difficult and I KNOW and you have to know that you will be answered... maybe not then but it'll come and you'll be happier, no excuses, you'll have your answers!!!

Day 15: Love is honorable

"Of all the relationships I have, I will value ours the most.  Of all the things I'm willing to sacrifice, I will sacrifice the most for you.  With all your failures, sins, mistakes, and faults-past and present- I still choose to love and honor YOU"  -The Love Dare

I Chose to honor Al by the way I spoke to him.  Things went well and it was rather of an enoyable day.  I fell I can always work on helping him out with his clothes.  I struggle with keeping my temper when it comes with disorder.  I have been working on that and feel it's some other way I can honor him by taking care of him here at home.

Day 14: Love takes delight

"One of the most important things you should learn on your Love Dare journey is that you should not just follow your heart.  You should lead it."-The Love Dare

I do some volunteer work on the computer for our ward.  I had set some time apart for it today, but it can be done anytime.  So when I saw this dare and Alex had come home.  He wanted to go out and get a slushy just around the corner.  I was midway through my project and while he had been asking me for awhile to go I realized I could work on taking sometime specifically for something he wanted to do right then.  I paused my project and off we went.  It was a nice peacefull walk and soon after we hung out for the remainder of the evening watching shows together and talking.  It was Very enjoyable. Taking time for another is always as or more enjoyable then spending that time doing what you yourself wants to do.

Day 13: Love Fights Fair

"If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand." - Mark 3:25

Setting boundries and rules for yourself ESPECIAlly when arguing is very important!  Letting things get out of hand is simply not acceptable.  Something I have personally learned from family and friends.  Some things are just not accaptable.  Luckily enough Al and I had set some rules when we where first married.  And it's been helpful to follow them. 

Arguing, I understand, can get out of control if you don't check yourself so Al and I brought up our previously set rules and made sure to modify them or just talk over them again.

1. We Will Not Mention Divorce.
2. Never touch one another in a harmful way.
3. When voices begin to raise it's time to call timeout.
4. Never Go to Bed Angry.

While it's rather difficult to calm yourself down especially when you believe your the one with the pont.  It all goes back to all the lessons we've previously learned.  I am very grateful that we have set rules.  God has given us commandments and rules and he does it because of his love for us then why not set rules within our household to protect one another.  I mean honestly Are we really going to call it quits because an argument escelated from something silly like who didn't put the cap on the toothpaste?.... Is that really what our marriage is worth a $1 cap!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Day 12: Love Lets the Other Win

"The wise and loving thing to do is to start approaching your disagreements with a willingness to not always insis on your own way..."" The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield" - The Love Dare & James 3: 17 NKJV

Oh Goodness me.  This one is So difficult for me.  I am stubborn... I know that... I have also come a far ways from where we where when we where first married I know because Al and I take a look down memory road and realize how my reactions have changed.  I am realizing that being stubborn is a good thing when it concerns moral issues or conflicts of the world attacking my family.  But it's the way I react that changes the outcome of having stubborness is a good thing.

It's difficult to keep the Dare in my mind when it challenges your reactions.  Well I've had a dissagreement with how Al should spend his time when he's home.  More time with Zoey maybe.  Read rather then watch tv.  Help me clean up after Zoey's caused a disaster...etc you get the jist of it.  That's not fair though

He works out of this home.. I work in the home.  Being a mother and wife is a 24/7 job, so is his.  He protects the home, cares for us, always provides, works out of the home, and he constantly has a great attitude about it. Alex has his "daily"  talks with Zoey and He makes time to talk, play, eat, read and pray with us daily.  When he gets home and he has 2 hours of free time, and he watches sports center and gives Zoey a bite of his ice cream.  I will not spazz out!!  His time is spent well because I know he lives for us and we for him.

So many tiny disagreements begin with "shouldn't you be helping with...."  This will change and has change everything since I've made it a point to let it go and change. I guess now I have the right to be stubborn... stubborn to protect the small amount of free time Alex has.

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.-Romans 12:18

Day 11: Love Cherishes

"...When you mistreat your mate, you are also mistreating yourself.  Think about it.  Your lives are now interwoven together.  Your spouse cannot experience joy or pain, blessing or cursing, without it also affecting you.  So when you attack your mate, it is like attacking your own body."- The Love Dare

My intentions where to wash the car today... Yeah didn't happen and intentions are worth nothing if they are not followed through.  What I did do for Al was I finally replaced the button on his favorite shorts.  He had been asking me for some time now... I just hadn't put them together.  I thought this Dare would be a great opportunity to show him that I was listening to him.  I asked for his forgiveness for waiting so long to mend them.  He's such a sweetheart....  He was grateful and very understanding.  He's favorite shorts went right on and well we have grown that much more closer! Small Acts, small acts...

Day 10: Love is unconditional

"The truth is this: love isnot determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love."- The Love Dare

One thing I have noticed is that when we do something for our spouse No Matter how small.... They notice sooner.... or later.  Many times we'd rather it be sooner.  For me at times I'd like it to be RIGHT AWAY!  But, I have noticed that if we are patient and don't get on our spouses case for not noticing the small acts- when they notice it feels better then ever! 

Another small act of kindness, You know what I like I like that I didn't write it down right away.  Now that I look back to see what it was I can't exactly remember so I begin to try to figure out what it was that I did for Al today.  I may name off a few things but then it doesn't matter.  I remember I did it but that's not what matters I believe what counts is that I am doing this because I love Alex so much and as long as he's happy that is what truly gets us closer!

It does get a bit difficult when nothing is returned not a mention of what I've been striving for all day.  I am learning to get over it because when I am looking for something in return it turns around to being about me instead of being about Al.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day 9: Love Makes Good Impressions

"being godly included being humble and gracious enough to address even your enemies with kindnesss"- Restated from Bible from The Love Dare

I like how the book talks about the story of the Prodigal Son.  I thought this was interesting because in Sunday school I taught this story and we all learned that Prodigal meant wasteful.  I never knew that but throught the story it's understood that the boy becomes very wasteful of the riches he received from his father.  Anyways even his his son had done all he had done and been a prodigal his father greeted him with such love and excitement that he had returned home.

What a great example.  At time I've got to admit I've seen Al and been like "hi"  when I used to say "MISTER... Your Home... Welcome" with a big kiss and  a hug.  My family has always been a great example in being fantastic greeters.  I am happy I have learned that it feels off to me when I don't greet Al like this... But it happens.  So today I made that effort.  Of course he takes it so well even on his rough days and always replies with as much enthusiasm as I demonstrate or more.  Guess that shows me how much he does Love Me!

Day 8: Love is Not Jealous

"It is time to let love, humility and gratefulness destroy any jealousy that springs up in your heart...draw you closer together and give your greater opportunities to show genuine love."-The Love Dare

So Thankfully, I had the privilage to burn the list of negatives.  Who wants that sticking around when you risk hurting your spouse.  I felt so worried he may discover it and I just wanted to get rid of it.  Last time I burned the list it set the fire alarms off in the home AND spontaneously Alex came home from work early.  He asked why the house looked a bit foggy and what that smell was.  I honestly don't remember what I told him but that was too risky so this time its to the paper shredder for me and that list!!  Anyways This negativity thing and staying away from saying anything has actually been difficult.  Al and I tease each other and yeah sometimes it goes a bit to far.  So keeping the fun times without the little smirky remarks actually is difficult for this sarcastic family!

This goal centered itself with focusing on the achievements of your spouse.  You know I am glad to say I've never felt jealous towards Al, if anything I've always been proud of him.  I am very proud of Alex and what he sacrifices and all the hard work he does for the family.  Sometimes I focus on what he doesn't do rather than what he does do like taking out the trash and how I have to cover for him.  But then I realize.... Alex sets such a great example by getting up early, being on call 24/7, going to school and doing homework for hours at a time, still finding genuine time for us, doing service, fulfilling his calling at church, and fulfilling his roll as a father and husband.  ALL in one day.  I am very proud to have a husband that works so hard for us!  Why would I be jealous when he supports me to stay home and have fun teaching Zoey every day and never misses a day to tell us he loves us very much!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Halloween chili, mummypops, cornmaze, and pumpkin carving

Zoey put on Quita's scarf.  Of course with a little help from quita she was looking fashionable.  Grandma had invited us over for Halloween Chili Dinner.  Then we make mummy pops.  They where way fun I'm so excited for Zoey to have more of a part in 2012.  Zoey and Grammy had some time to hangout while we took off to the Payson Cornmaze.  It was fun to get into the vibe.  This was Al's first time in a cornmaze.  Sadly enough it was over too soon.  We plan to go somewhere bigger for the following year.

 We really enjoyed carving our hand picked pumpkins this year.  We where so shocked that Zoey was so interested in carving her own pumpkin.  Then again maybe she was so much more interested in eating the pumpkin.  She loved it she would have eaten so much more if I had let her but it was so good for her!!

 Our masterpieces!!  Al had the scary one, I had the wich and Zoey's of course the little Ghosty!!

Happy Halloween 2011

Day7: Love Believes the Best July 13

"Spending time in the Depreciation Room kills marriages.  Divorces are plotted in this room and violent plans are schemed.  The more time you spend in this place, the more your heart devalues your spouse...  You muse decide to stop running to this room and lingering there after every frustrating event in your relationship.  It does you no good and drains the joy out of your marriage" - The Love Dare

 I made two lists one positive one negative.  I've got to save them for another day.  I've done this before and it's sad to admit that I was itching to get to the negative list back then.  That list had longer.  This time through, I was wanting to get to the negative list just be be able to focus on the positive. The positive page was entirely filled top to bottom.  I struggled with the negative once I got a couple complaints down.  Thankfully Al and I had talked about these when we made a top 3 things to change a few days ago. I guess I am very happy that I have changed that much from a couple years back.  Marriage is making us stronger with the willingness to try.  Happily, I can honestly say that I look up to My Love for who he is and what he stands for. To name a few his support, optimistim, giving others benefit of the doubt, Helping those in nheed, understanding, patience, and the love he has for his calling in life an Honest Husband and Respectful Father.  I am a very blessed and lucky woman to have a husband for all that he is I couldn't be more happier!

Day 6 Love is Not Irritable July 11

" A Loving wife is not overly sensitive or cranky but exercises emotional self-control. She chooses to be a flower among the throns and respond pleasantly during prickly situations."-The Love Dare

Oh goodness!  This is getting much more tough as day's go by. I am beginning to realize that I really didn't make THAT much of an effort all the time like I thought I did.  I completed today's Dare but I'm beginning to think that I didn't put that much effort into finding the truth in this Dare. 

I Need to add give more space to becoming flexible.  We discussed this but when I have the opportunity I realize that I become irritable.  I also need to not expect so much from Al I can do more of the things expected so he can have some time to relax from work and school.  I overreacted when Al wasn't able to come home at the time he thought he would.  I mean honestly I know his job is actually a 24/7 job.  Receiving calls at all hours of the day... or night!  Sometimes I want  him to just stop though and spend time doing nothing with me.  He already has though.  He makes times recently putting homework and work off for a bit more then he should have just for us.  I could have handled it a lot better, being slow to be irritable, it doens't help him in sressful situations. I guess I just struggle with not having a set schedule.  So Today I have set that I will not become irritable if he doesn't come home in time for dinner.  That we can't have all 24 hours with him but when we do have time that we spend it wisely!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day 5: Love is Not Rude July 10

"Do you wish your spouse would quit doing the things that bother you? Then it's time to stop doing the things that bother them"- The Love Dare

This is an amazing Dare in the book.  I love the 3 principles to marriage ettiquette.  So many times I have noticed couples point flaws and have learned during dating time that we must be the ones to set the example and change first.  I actually had the liberty last year to find out the top 3 things Al wished I would change about my personality, or simply anything that drives him nuts!!  This was tough for him at first because I knew that he didn't want to hurt my feelings so I set a strict "we will NOT be allowed to get angry"  We listed some last time and discussed the changes and how we had conquered a few.  So this time around we both mentioned our current top 3 annoyances.  You can imagine that this would get gritty but we had a lot of fun talking about examples of course also mentioning the "So... no getting mad right?" before our list went out.  I guess I brought my journal to this blog soooo here it goes Al's list is left alone since this is about me changing.

1.Bringing conversations in on inopportune times (sports watching, homework time, relaxing times etc).
2. More one on one time 
3. Be more flexible with schedule if things don't work out or are changed Don't freak out!

I guess after discussing these I realized that I had been working on all of these but simply not enough.  Especially if things seem to be going up in smoke and I have no control over what is going on I push my attempts aside and get moody.  Alex has mentioned several times how my attitude can change the mood in a room simply by walking in.  Which could be both good or bad. 
It was easy to take in I'm just happy we are a couple that can talk about things and not blow up on each other!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Day 4: Love is Thoughtful July 9

"If you don't learn to be thoughtful, you end up regretting missed opportunities to demonstrate love.  Thoughlessness is a silent enemy to a loving relationship." -The Love Dare

Remember I did not skip July 8th intentionally I really couldn't get away without Al knowing so Monday is where I begin on Day 4.  Al has been so busy with homework, his midterm is coming up and I knew this would be a stressful time for him.  I took the advantage to call him when I figured he would be most stressed maybe so that way he would accept my offer of doing something for him today.  Well I guessed right he was pretty busy and time was flying for him so when I asked him how he was doing and if he needed anything today anything at all he thought for some time about it.  At first his response was a quick no I'm ok.  But when I sincerely asked he asked in a round about kind of way, if he came home to finish his midterm test, if I could make sure Zoey and I let him work without much disturbence.  Now this is Al he's so sweet and kind especially how he get's tough things across to someone.  Of course I had missed him but when he got home I held my questions of the day back. I went food shopping on my own and well Zoey went to bed with me.  I know it was hard for Al not to participate in our daily schedules especially with Zoey.  I also knew that he really wants to pass this class so he doesn't have to take it again.  We both know if we work really hard and endure then we'll get our free time soon enough!  Alex was able to finish his test, and spend sometime tweaking his program he created.  Above that he was able to understand concepts that had been difficult before.  We where both so excited now we can look forward to relaxing for the next day and that stress is GONE!! I guess being thoughtful to what someone is going through at the moment and seeing how to be helpful with the situation really pays off.... for BOTH of us!!

Day 3: Love is Not Selfish July 7

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honer. Romans 12:10

"Why do we have such low standards for ourelves but high expectations for our mate? The answer is painful pill to swallow.... Whatever you put your time, Energy, and money into will become more important to you.  It's hard to care for something you are not investing in."  - The Love Dare

Al was home all day and there was no possible way to read my next challenge without him knowing.  Remember I want to keep it a secret for now... see if anything changes just with my own actions.  So honestly... it has!!  ALREADY  shocking... Al is just so happy all the time.  Not that he doesn't love to come home I mean he tells us all the time.  There's just a difference in his character a little more dashing I believe... hmmm it may also be that I have began to conciously study Al.  I remember we did this all the time, just thought of each other well into our 1st year I remember into our 2nd also.. but somewhere along the way I guess we just.... Forget! 

Today's Dare I bought him some shorts he had eyed awhile ago.  I came home had the room fixed and set them on the end of the bed.  When he came home he brought them out saying "what's this for?"  he was rather shocked, maybe a bit confused.  I just let him know I was strolling by and saw something he may like!  The remainder of the day he tried to get me to buy something for myself... I didn't want this to turn into a shopping spree besides, this was about him anyways.  We rather enjoyed a Saturday of fun.  He spent it all with us, no work, no homework, nothing just with us.  Very Very rewarding!

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Dog sitting and Pink Bears

We had a great opportunity to dog sit our neighbors dog for a couple days.
I miss working with animals at times since being a Vet Assistant I was able to work with some neighbors dogs.  They included this new little puppy and while he was geting used to his new home they wanted us to spend sometime with him.  Zoey really enjoyed the Koda he's such a cute little thing and actually a well mannered dog.  Zoey was able to play a long time with him

 She ended up sharing some of her toys with him and though puppy breath is cute puppy bite marks on toys aren't so much! 

 Al brought home a presant from work It was kind of a sad story of how he got it but I guess it worked out for Zoey she loves her new big pink bear and takes it with her many places.  Zoey Loves bears soooo much.  I'm just shocked how she can carry it with her being so little.  I wa sure she was going to topple over but guess not!

Day 2: Love is Kind July 6

Gentle, Helpful, Willing, and Initiate.

So I guess I could have skipped adding an extra 1st day since with this challenge, you keep adding new dares with with ones previous to it.  I guess it was a good thing though cuz I had a little more practice.  Being kind isn't too hard as long as you enjoy what's going on around you and the people your around.  So I didn't think this would be to hard until we where thrown into some situations that made me hold my tongue. 

We took Zoey Jane to the doctors for her two year visit.  She had to receive shots and I forgot to bring a paper that was suppose to be given to the doctor.  Of course being pregnant and tired I really just wanted to send Al to grab it.  I figured though I had left it at home and lets face it our doctors office is a few blocks down from the house so it wasn't too bad.  Knowing that if I had sent Al he would have been confused at where I had left it maybe causing him to be frustrated.  Later the evening we set fireworks of with neighbors and Zoey got so scared.  Poor thing she was shaking but Al wanted to keep firing them off.  I was getting a bit frustrated but instead of getting angry I decided to comfort her the best way possible and let Al enjoy his evening since he had been at work all day.  Both of the situations could have gone very different if i had acted up.  We really enjoyed family time together!  My initial act though was to clean and organize his side of the bed.  His little isleway to the bed was lined with computer boxes, random paper, school books and who knows what. 

My side of the bed is usual really well kept and I get on Al's case to clean it up. He usually can't get into bed without tripping or hopping over things.  How frustrating is that in the mornings to start your day off like that or night when your all pooped out after a long day.  His nightstand is a shuffle of... well I don't really know but things get lost once set down!!  So I figured I would put forward some effort and clean it up for him.  I mean usually being a SAHM you clean things up and they may go unnoticed.  Alex noticed though, with a hug and a thank you I noticed he had laid out all his things exactly where they should be.  It did not go unnoticed at all and if anything it made me love him even more for his appreciation.  One RANDOM Simple act of kindness can really change the attitude of in the home.

Friday, July 06, 2012

The Pumpkin Patch

A New Tradition

 I've always wanted to go to the pumpkin patch as a kid and we never got a real shot to go.  I only went when I was in elementary with my school and I loved it.  I thought it would be so fun for our kids to pick out their pumpkins and when I found out we have a pumpkin patch a few minutes away from our Home I was so very excited!  Alex and I went Mid October 2011 and boy was it chilly but it was very fun.  We took Zoey into the corn pit she didn't know what to think of it.  To be honest I'm not sure she loved it maybe this year she will!

 Just a tiny section of the pumpkin patch.  I was driving to the doctors office and I passed the patch.  I saw a bunch of workers putting checking on the pumpkins and I felt nostalgia for the Autumn season.  Have I mentioned how much Al and I love the time of the year!!
 We picked out our pumpkins and I simply had to have a photo of Zoey with them all!

 The fun thing about this pumpkin patch is that they had a whole family center set up! 
the Pumpkin Patch, a Hay Maze, a Petting farm, Corn Pit, Wagon rides, well of course the Ambience!!

 We went shopping afterwards and I had to catch this stage in Zoey's growth.  She LOVES to push well anything from carts to strollers around.  In a sense she hasn't grown out of it yet but she's becoming more helpful in pushing the cart forward instead of running whoever over.... ok maybe she hasn't completely grown out of that!!


Day 1: Love is Patient July 4-5

  "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels,
 but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a
       clanging cymbal" 1 Corinthians 13: 1

So I figure I'll write the day after since Al is around all evening long. I kind of extended the end date for this one.  July 4th was busy and I felt like I could have done a lot better.  I thought "hey it's the first day I'll try it again on July 5th."  Well  I have to say that This challenge was a bit more tough then I anticipated it to be.  The "It's better to hold your tongue than to say something you'll regret" that is challenged in the book, especially on high stress day's is difficult.  Alex always has a way to stay very calm, he's a very patient person especially with me.  Last night we watched a movie called 1000 words and It's all about choosing your words carefully.  I thought what a coincidence that Al chose this movie when I had a challenge going on for myself at the time. 

The 4th was difficult to stay optimistic and to choose my words carefully.  We thought we had lost the phone, I seriously thought we would start pointing fingers at each other HA!  I guess I then realized I'm usually the one that starts pointing fingers because Al didn't say anything and began to act.  Of course he found it and I was proud of myself for keeping my cool.  It only followed with traffic, long lines, heat, and Zoey testing us.  I can't say I didn't slip up once in a while mostly with disapprovign thoughts and trying to hold my tongue, but it sure made me concious of myself and my attitude.  This is why I wanted another day with this challenge. I realized that more chaotic day's bring out true colors.  Actually rather a struggle for myself to accept that my husband is right in that I can change the mood in a room by how I feel I wear it on my sleeve!  I believe I have witnessed this for myself now the real struggle is to figure out how to change that!

Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.   James 1:19

The Love Dare

  The Love Dare

Beginning the Journey July 3, 2012

I don't know how many of you have ever watched the movie "Fireproof". It has been added to my collection of favorites. You should watch it... for fun... or motivation... either way I hope it makes a difference how it has for me. Well I had received the book "The Love Dare" oh about 2 years ago. While my intentions where to complete the book I did not wan to begin it just then. Mostly because Alex knew I had received it and may be suspicious of my changed attitude (if there was one). I wanted it to be done without his knowledge. I have to say that recently I have wanted to accomplish this mostly because I feel our life has been changing rapidly. Al's in school, accomplishing work and we have another baby girl on the way. On top of that I just turned 24 and feel like i'm having a midlife crises time! Anyways back to the point...

The love dare is, simply put, a book that changes your relationship (for the better) within 40 day's. Without your spouse knowing (that's the fun part)! Give it 40 days Granted basic primary answers (scriptures, going to church, FHE, prayer, etc) can accomplish that. This is just another way to accomplish that and well I LOVE deadlines!! There's something about a time period that gets me motivated. With that I love challenges. I especially love that it ties in scripture. With that said I wanted to treat this segment as part of my journal. I figure if I have others reading this I will stay ontop of it and who knows, maybe someone else will accept the challenge maybe even get a little feedback!

Oh and I've been a slacker with our family blog so I don't suspect Alex will check on this anytime soon so if anyone runs accross him don't let him know atleast not until the next 40 ays are done!!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Painting for the first time

 At about 18 months I decided to take out the paints and let her go at it.  Zoey was having so much fun.  Zoey Jane had difficulty painting on paper she  rather mix all the colors together on the plate.  But who cares We loved it!!!!

 Bedtime Story time with Daddy! 

New Hair

 I love messing around with Zoey's hair, the best part of it is that she lets me.  With her favorite toys, snacks, or show.

Getting into the laundry!