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Category Archives: Christian Marriage Bloggers Association

Guest Posting over at Modern Alternative Mama’s Blog

I’ve been a little MIA lately, I know. The first couple of weeks of the month I was busy writing several guest posts for other blogs – one of which has published this morning over at Modern Alternative Mama! The last week or so, I was on a fast-track for being done (yes, DONE!) with Christmas shopping, gift-wrapping, etc….and then, I fell headlong into some rather challenging breastfeeding issues. The entire family is currently at a stand-still and in “survival mode” since mama is down and out. But I’m really excited about the New Year and all my grandiose plans for writing. Until then, MERRY CHRISTMAS! May you find Christ your reason for celebrating this week, and every week!!!

If you’re finding our little corner of the world by way of Modern Alternative Mama, welcome! It’s great to “meet” you! =) I’ve listed a few of my favorite/most popular posts below. I’m sure we’ll be great friends by the end of the read!

  1. The good news is – it’s triplets.” – how we found out there were THREE babies.
  2. All in a year’s work – some fun facts on life with triplets.
  3. 1/2 marathon blog challenge – marriage series.
  4. Happy Birthday, part 2 – the babies’ first birthday.
  5. A frog and two princesses – the cutest ones you ever did see!

Happy Thursday, folks!

 

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1/2 Marathon Blog Challenge – Recap

We did it! We blogged 13 days in a row!!

Thanks again for joining us for the mini-series we just finished! We’ve loved hearing from you how our thoughts have mirrored your own and, at times, been new suggestions for you. It’s neat to see how the Lord chooses to work in us; we are very grateful for the gift of technology and the opportunities things like blogs provide. They can, like so many things, be instruments and means of grace in our lives. We hope to learn from you, too. Leave a note with your favorite post and be sure to link to your blog so we can visit!

If you missed any of the posts, you can either click on the “Christian Marriage Bloggers Association” category or any of the links below.

  1. 1/2 Marathon – My Style
  2. I Don’t Need the Ritz (blessing your wife)
  3. Diapers, Bottles and Carseats – Oh My! (revisiting your budget prior to Baby’s arrival)
  4. What Am I? (showing her you think of her)
  5. Just a Little High School Romance (recalling the small anniversaries)
  6. The Place of Choosing (fighting together against sin)
  7. Coconut Lotion Does Not Equal Stress (giving your spouse a massage)
  8. Small Beginnings (praying and reading together)
  9. Just a Little Effort (blessing the hubby)
  10. Run for the Border (bringing dinner home)
  11. Captivated .Again. (dating your wife)
  12. “List-maker, List-maker, Make Me a List!” (choosing tasks)
  13. What’s Netflix Got To Do With It? (feeding on the weekends)
 

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What’s Netflix Got To Do With It?

Today is the final day in the series with the ½ marathon blog challenge with CMBA! We made it!!! Whew! =)

The last suggestion we wanted to share was borne out of our specific and unique experience. David and I became parents on October 1, 2011 to three babies – Makenna, Noah and Emma. There was just one slight problem…there were only the two of us. We actually brought all three of them home from the hospital a year ago this week! They were exactly one month old but between 4 lbs 13oz and 5ish-ish pounds each. We were blessed to not have any health issues or monitors or machines to bring home with them. But we were working around the clock to care for them. Even though they were on a three-hour schedule in the NICU, somehow that didn’t quite stick when they got home. They seemed to know they were in their own digs now and wanting to check it all out…at all hours of the day. And night. We would feed two babies at 8pm and the third at 8:30pm. We’d finally get everyone settled and everything set up for the midnight feeding and get in bed about 10pm. But more often than not, a baby woke early at 11:30pm. And then we would start all over again, get back in bed around 2am (because a different baby couldn’t fall asleep). And then another baby would wake back up around 3 or 3:30am for the 4am feeding. Then we’d fall asleep somewhere around 5:30 or 6am and David would have to get up at 7am for work. If you do the math, it means we ended up getting around 4.5 hours of sleep a night. And this was with both of us getting up and caring for them at the same time! So David was just as sleep-deprived and exhausted as I was.

We were so blessed to have my mom practically live with us during the week the first six weeks they were home! After the first couple mind-blowing exhausting weeks, we settled into a routine where my mom got up for both the night-time feedings and David got up at one of them with her and I for the other. So we could get about a four hour stretch of sleep! Mom slept some the next day and we sent her home on the weekends.

We love Netflix!

You’re probably saying, “Yeah, that’s crazy, but what’s the point.” The point is, David had to get up for the middle of the night feedings with me on the weekends. All the parenting resources I read during the pregnancy suggested husbands help their wives out by getting the baby from the nursery in the middle of the night for her to nurse. I’d like to take that a step further and suggest that, guys, you try staying up with her for a feeding or two on the weekends. Wait-wait-wait! Don’t leave yet – hear me out! =) We were absolutely exhausted. But we were exhausted together and we began to see those times as some fun new “family time” the Lord had provided us. Since I wasn’t breastfeeding yet, David had to feed a baby a bottle (or two, so I could feed one and then pump). While we fed, we watched a show. When we finished, we often had a snack while we finished watching the show. Some of my favorite (only? Ha!) memories of those early months are of these times David and I spent together. There’s nothing really spiritual about this suggestion. It simply provided us with a different kind of time together – in the quiet of the early morning hours. Those moments forged in us both the conviction that we could do this thing. We were tackling the ultra-tough moments together. …It also gave David a really great picture of just what it is like to nurse a baby – the sacrifice it entails. =) Ladies, I’m sure your husbands will have a new appreciation for you, too. If they’re already getting the baby from the nursery and taking her back, why not spend the next few minutes together, too? C’mon guys – give it a try. Your wives will be quite impressed!!! =)

Day 13 of the marriage blog challenge from CMBA. To see other CMBA bloggers, click here.

 

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“List-maker, List-maker, Make Me a List!”

Welcome back! We’re already on Day 12 of our ½ marathon blog challenge with CMBA!! Yesterday we discussed date night importance. And today I wanted to share a tip I learned from a married woman years and years before David was even in the picture!

Task lists. Either you love ‘em or you hate ‘em. But actually, we all use them. You may not actually write your “to-do’s” down on a notepad but you more than likely keep track of them in your head. Either way, we all have a growing list of tasks to accomplish and cross off. These lists seem never ending and, at times, quite daunting. Personally, I am a list-maker-lover. I am one of those who writes down already accomplished tasks in order to be able to cross them off. It’s true. And I am not ashamed. It helps to see what I have already taken care of for the day. (Bed made? Check! Ahhhh…)

Still, it is super easy to be overwhelmed by all that must be done in any given day. I find it quite funny that what I used to do at my pre-mommyhood job often seems far more challenging and worthwhile than all the things I might now get to in an entire week! Everything I now do gets quickly undone – and must be re-done in the all too near future. Earlier in this blogging challenge, I shared that these days it’s sometimes not unusual to find me in the same clothes I wore the day before (“What Am I?”). In spite of all I used to be able to accomplish, these days it is often a good day if I get dressed, make food for all five of us and have clean laundry. It’s not that my capability for getting things done has changed…but the things needing done have. The demands are different. Not quite as…controllable. .smile.

Enjoying our babies together, instead of rushing through the myriad of unending tasks.

So besides the obvious challenge this presents (of getting used to getting seemingly less done), I am also faced with choosing to which tasks I will give my attention. Often, the tasks I choose are the ones most important to me. Understandably, right? Sort of. But what about what’s important to my husband? Well, getting back to the tip I learned from a married woman, some time ago…I’m learning to ask “What tasks would serve my husband for me to accomplish?” Would he prefer to come home to a wife who’s striven all day to bake, cook, clean and empty the laundry bins (oh, there are SO many these days!!)? Or would he prefer to come home to a wife who’s pulled together a simple meal, leaving the cleaning for after they’re in bed, in order to spend time enjoying the babies? Or would he prefer I skip writing that blog post in order to get those shirts ironed so he doesn’t have to do them himself?

I don’t always do a great job thinking of his preferences throughout the day. But, if truth be told, he has far fewer expectations of me than I do of myself! So, really, it should be pretty easy to get to the tasks he is blessed with. Of course there are certain things that need to be done but I’m thinking we’d save ourselves a lot of frustrations and tears, ladies, if we instead seek to do what is truly important. My goal is to daily do something that blesses him, focus on my children and get something done off my task list. At the end of the day, to the outside world, I may have accomplished very little. But if I’ve blessed my husband and enjoyed my babies and gotten some other task taken care of…I think it’s been a really good day.

Tomorrow we’ll be closing out our little series. I’ll be sharing an idea that, pre-babies, I never would have thought I’d enjoy so much. See you then!

Day 12 of the marriage blog challenge from CMBA. To see other CMBA bloggers, click here.

 

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Captivated .Again.

We’re nearing the finish line; our ½ marathon blog challenge with CMBA is just days away from completion. I hate running…but this is fun. Haha! Today, David’s little tip is a well-known and most desired event but it often feels as if it might require the moving of a mountain.

Date your wife.

There is nothing like a new baby to make you long for those care-free days when you very nearly did as you pleased, yet leaves you too exhausted to do anything at all. However, dating your wife (post marriage, obviously. Obviously.) is pretty important since it, for a few hours, separates the two of you from everyday life. It gives you the chance to reconnect, to have unhurried conversation, to focus on how each other is doing in this new season. Dating enables David to pursue me as his wife and to communicate with me as such and not just as the day-to-day laundry-doer. It also provides the opportunity for me to do the same with him. Prior to this crazy-fun season, we were husband and wife. And we still are! But it is really, really easy to forget this amidst the challenges of our new roles as “mama” and “dada.”

Valentine’s Day after the babies were born! ❤

Admittedly, this one will take a bit of planning, I’m afraid. But I promise it’s worth the effort and will be so super enjoyable once you’re out! David and I have been so blessed by my parents to get out on a monthly basis. They’re all for more frequently, but that’s all we have managed so far. Since I’m still breastfeeding, I have to stick a little closer to home. But that’s ok, we’ve learned to be creative with our date nights. We’ve done everything from dinner and a movie to walks in the park with coffee. We may or may not have run errands on a date night. And we’ll definitely laugh about the night we ran over to pick-up a Craigslist purchase. But you know what? It’s not about what we do together, it’s that we are together. Alone. Face to face. Even if we only talk over dinner, before running some errand, I’m refreshed and reminded of why I love this man. My focus has been infused with a bright outlook on this calling God has given us – to honor and serve Him together as we raise our children.

So ladies, it is worth it. The glorious, tempting illusion of date nights that have faded away into the past can be part of the present! They are worth the effort of finding a sitter, dealing with a cranky baby (pre or post date night), spending nap times getting yourself presentable to the outside world, etc. And guys, may we encourage you to have a plan? It is such an honoring thing to find out that date night has been thought through! Maybe even help her secure someone to watch the baby! Of course, this is often the most difficult aspect for David. But our friends, Tom and Debi, over at The Romantic Vineyard have made this uber easy!! Not only do they write about all things marriage-related, they also gather up an ongoing, amazing list of all the fun activities to do in the Orlando area. (Even if you’re not in the area, I’ll bet their ideas will spark some of your own!) Click here to view their current list of date night ideas. We are so grateful to these dear friends for their investment in our lives and marriage – not just in person (they go to our church!) but through the gift of technology and this blog they run together. We’re pretty sure you’ll fall in love with them, as well!

So anyways, guys – date your wives! =) And ladies, let’s respond and get out of the house eagerly to spend time with our men. The Lord promises it will be well worth the effort. (Song of Solomon 4:9)

Day 11 of the marriage blog challenge from CMBA. To see other CMBA bloggers, click here.

 

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Run For the Border!

So if you’re following along with my hubby and I as we discuss ways we’ve survived the early days of new parenthood, you may have read yesterday my mention of one of the best ways to make this Mama happy. If you’re a mom, I’ll bet you can guess. Go ahead! Yep. You are SO right!

Bring home dinner.

It is uh-mazing how much stress is removed from my plate (pun intended) when David offers to bring dinner home. If it’s been a particularly crazy day, he’ll often ask once he arrives home if we should just order in. What a blessing!!!!! We’ve had a bunch of meetings lately which means that I spend naptimes just picking up the house and getting myself ready. Dinner is sometimes just not an easy thing to make happen. (It is incredible how quickly the day can fly past when you don’t want it to!) Especially when one baby (or more!) happens to be extra fussy and clingy.

A 10 lb bag of carrots…could end up being David’s dinner!!

Of course, this impacts the budget which, as we discussed earlier in this 1/2 marathon blog challenge with CMBA, is often very limited in this season. But I am more than willing to make sacrifices in other areas in order for a treat every now and then! It is a season of adjusting to caring for the needs of others who are rather demanding. Up till now, I have cared for me, myself and I…and one very independent husband. These days my “free” (ha!) hours often do not look as planned. Like this morning – fixing a second batch of steamed carrots for the babies because I burned the pot for the first batch. Yeah…so frustrating. And stinky!

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love cooking for my family. As much work as it has been, I really love the challenge healthy baby food and grown-up food has been. I often feel like Ma Ingalls as I cut up my fresh produce and wonder if the pie on the pie shelf has been stolen again. (Ok, except for the pie part!!) But let’s face it. There are days…and then there are days. This historically very independent woman has learned to accept help. So when David offers, I take him up on it. And all God’s children said, “Aaaaaamen!”

Until tomorrow…

Day 10 of the marriage blog challenge from CMBA. To see other CMBA bloggers, click here.

 

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Just a Little Effort

In an earlier post within our 1/2 marathon blog challenge with CMBA, we discussed some simple ways for the hubby to bless his wife during this crazy and challenging yet beautiful season of new parenthood. But ladies, we didn’t want to forget you! Between feedings and sopping up spit-up and changing dirty diapers, there are ways we can bless the hubby. …easy ways. I promise.

One of the biggest challenges of having little ones is the amount of mental energy they consume. I mean, let’s face it; we all know they zap our brain cells. I’m just hoping my brain will replace those cells so I can one day not need my calculator to figure out how many ounces 8 and 8 are…yes, folks, it can be that bad. When I’m not actually attending the needs of the babies, I’m mentally making a check-list of things I need to look up online for them. Or read in this book. Or ask that friend. Or pick up at the store. Or make that doctor’s appointment. It’s never ending. And time flows from one day to the next. I only know it’s the end of the weekend because my hubby goes back to work. (Ok, so it’s a little easier with technology, but still. You get my drift.)

Since so much of my day is spent physically caring for the babies, another good-sized chunk is spent physically caring for the random other needs of running a family and household. And so a small portion is left over for caring for my poor husband. How many times have I looked at the clock at 5pm and realized I have no idea what to do for dinner?! It’s not as if I’ve whiled away the day – I have done laundry and fed babies and prepared baby food and made a grocery list and changed dirty diapers, broken up fights and kissed booboos. But the needs of my hubby often become “after thoughts.” Prior to babies, I hoped he would notice how I made this or that meal with something he liked. Post babies, I hope he doesn’t notice we’re having spaghetti. Again.

Thinking through how I can continue to seek to be a blessing to him can seem overwhelming. It’s super difficult to get out of the house (and besides, the energy is very rarely worth it). And I often have few moments where an idea has time to develop into anything further before I’m interrupted. But the truth is, I can do it. I need to do it. Nothing has to be fancy, and part of the blessing comes from the effort. One of my favorites is contacting one of his co-workers and getting them to pick up a surprise Starbucks during their afternoon run. If I’m feeling extra creative, I’ll mail a card to the office so they can give it to him with the coffee. (Thank goodness for that stash of cards I bought years ago!!!) You could take care of some task at home and let him stumble upon the fact that you’ve already taken care of it (David does the coffee every night – are you seeing a theme here? – and loves to find that I’ve already prepped the coffee.) Make a special treat. David comes home ready to eat but because of the babies’ schedule, we prefer to wait till they’ve gone to bed to eat unhurriedly. So if I have actually thrown stuff in the bread machine on time, it’s torture for him to smell the bread baking. Muahaha. Haha. Hahahaha. =) Send him an email (text/phone call/card, etc) letting him know how you just prayed for him and what you’re asking the Lord for him today. Surprise him with a guy’s night out. (Just don’t forget that you have planned for a friend to come pick him up to hang out until said friend comes walking in the garage. Yeah.) Etc.

These are a few of the things I’ve managed during the past year and a half. Not much. Super cheap. And not as often as I would like to make the effort (is it really effort when it comes to loving the one we love?!). I really want to grow in the frequency and creativity. Got any suggestions for me? Husbands, what are some of your favorites?

Tomorrow we’ll be sharing one of my all-time preferred ways to make Mama happy. This one wins him major points. Every time. Anyone care to guess?

Day 9 of the marriage blog challenge from CMBA. To see other CMBA bloggers, click here.

 

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