Finding Romance in the Small Things – Part 1

Turn That Spark into A Flame That Burns Bright!

     Finding romance in small things

     How many of us struggle to find romance in our everyday lives? We go to work or stay at home with kids, clean the house, pay the bills, make breakfast and dinner, play with the kids, take them to church, practices, and so many other things. Even when we go out on a date, ,most of the time we talk about the kids. Trying to find that spark that makes you feel sexy or even think about being romantic, seems to be like finding enough time to sleep. How can we break this cycle and bring some life back into our marriage?

Chores To a Woman

     You are probably asking yourself how you can find romance in doing the house chores? Well, my husband and my favorite way begins with dinner! We love to spend time making dinner together. Even, with the kids around, we will open a bottle of wine and each have a glass, while we make dinner together. We will even play some music that we both like or light some candles. As we laugh and sing some of the songs together, we are busy cutting up the veggies for dinner and cooking up the chicken. We even take the time to dance with each other, while hoping that we do not burn dinner.

     When dinner is done, washing dishes together makes the work go by faster and with more joy. I love watching my husband help me with the house chores. It lets me know that he cares. Seeing the side of him that loves me enough to do the dishes, reminds me how lucky I am.

     Men, if you want to know what is really romantic to most women, start by helping with the chores around the house. Give her sometime to decompress from the day. Whether she is a business woman or a stay-at-home mom, every woman needs time to wind down. Let her know that you love her by pitching in with the laundry or dishes, bathroom or getting the kids ready for bed. I promise that you will have a wife that is less stressed and more ready to be romantic.

Chores to Men

     Most men do not really care if their house is completely clean. They care more about you loving them physically than if there are dishes in the sink. So to meet this need last year, I decided to make dinner with my husband in a whole new way.

     I had my mom take the kids for the night, without my husband knowing, and had the plan all set to make dinner before he came home. I had gone shopping the day before to get all of the ingredients for his favorite dinner, fish tacos. I had also bought a really cute apron. I spent an hour before he got home, doing my hair and make-up. I had even put on really red lipstick. I then put up sheets on all of the windows, because what goes on intimately between my husband and I, stays that way. Finally, I put on just an apron about 10 minutes before he was suppose to be home. I went into the kitchen, got all of the ingredients out of the refrigerator and cupboard, and put the recipe on the counter. I poured each of us a glass of wine and started to work on dinner. I made sure that I knew exactly what time he would be home, so that I could look like it was just another day at home, making dinner as usually.

     I tell you what, the minute that he came in the kitchen and found me cooking dinner, looking fabulous (especially for a 34 year old stay-at-home mom, who usually wears athletic gear all day), in high heels and just an apron, his mouth about hit the floor. He came right over and started loving on me, but I stopped him and said that we were going to make dinner together first. It was so much fun walking around, feeling sexy, watching my husband barely able to cut up the vegetables. He was having a hard time even talking. Being next to him, lit a spark that we had only felt a few times since we had three kids.

Lets just say that we finished making dinner, but didn’t make it to eating the dinner first!!!

Small Things 

     Now, we do not have the time to make special occasions that often. Having kids relies on us being creative and spontaneous with our romance. Creating moments during the everyday mundane chores helps us to keep our romance alive.

     Learning to not have any expectations and just enjoy each moment as it comes is a must. I can find myself dreaming about a man that sweeps me off my feet for a wonderful weekend vacation somewhere. A man that would plan the whole thing, even get the babysitter all lined up, have the kids packed and shipped off before I even knew what was going on. But, lets be realistic here. Life gets in the way, especially if you have kids (who are a beautiful blessing in themselves). We have to learn to roll with the punches and find the light in the darkness.

     Learning to make the most of your crazy life together is a must. So go have fun completing the chores around your house together and in new ways. How are you going to make your life a little more romantic today?

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I Stumble, I Fall, I Get Back Up Again!!

How I Wish That I would Quit Falling

     repent

     Falling is something that we all do. We are human and weak at that. No matter how much we want to believe that we are a strong being, the truth is we are anything but. The more that you fall, the harder it is to get back up on your own. Learning to rely on another, to help you get back up is required. Till we hit our low points do we realize this though. When things feel like they are never going to get better, we can find the light in the middle of the dark and start to walk in the right direction.

We All Fall

I do not know about you, but I feel like I fall down more times than I would like. I get so frustrated with myself. Why can’t I learn more from my mistakes than I do, so, that I do not repeat the same sin? Why can’t I stop falling? But, I still continue to be the same old weak human self, that keeps stumbling in the midst of my life. How I have beaten myself up so many times for my failures. What if my mistakes are God’s way of molding me into what He wants me to be? To bad it hurts so much, this time of molding and learning.

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7) Oh, to read this and just weep for joy. God has already made me strong. I will keep becoming more powerful in love and self-discipline, as long as I keep getting up and following him. “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Philippians 3:13-14). Looking back at my past mistakes and condemning myself for them is Satan’s way of holding me down. If he can keep me there then he has won. I will no longer continue to look upward, to find the strength to strive towards my awesome God waiting for me in heaven. The life around me pulls my visions towards the ground and to the things around me, when all I need to do is keep looking up. “We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:9).

Finding Hope When You Fall

For over two years now, I have gotten up early and read the Bible, most days. I have spent more time with God then ever, yet I struggle so. In my marriage we have had the same difficulties that we had 5 years ago. We still fight about sex all the time. We both are trying as hard as we can to keep this marriage together. We have tried everything. We have tried having sex mostly the way that I like it. Then we have tried to have sex the way that he likes it. We have tried to alternate the way that we have sex each time. We have talked, and cried and yelled so many times that I literally get sick to my stomach every time the thought of sex comes into my head. I have no libido left at all. I am exhausted and everything in my body wants to quit. But, that is not an option. And as I sit here and type this blog up for you the solution seems to obvious, what we have been trying to accomplish on our own, could be fixed if it was just given to God. “The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads.” (Psalm 145;14). How I need Him. With our human ways, with all of our emotions, and the way that we understand the world around us. How we try to make sure that we get what we want, to make sure that we are happy; when all along God is right there to show us the true way, the right way, if we just let him. “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:8). Alleluia, I do not have to keep trying to hit my head against the wall and try to figure out a way to fix my problems.

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10). The only way to truly rely on God is to give him complete control of the situation. Well, he can have complete control of our sex life, because I do not know what else to do. It is not easy to do this though, to give over the whole problem to him, because the minute that the problem is not working out the way that you want it to, it is so easy to want to take back the control again. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do NOT depend no your own understanding. Seek his will in all that you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Amen, I do not have to keep crying and feeling hopeless. All I have to do, is truly rely on God’s ways. Have patience in his ways and let the problem work itself out.

Easier said than done though. When things fall apart again, I usually want to blame someone, or lash out. Neither of these ways have ever led to a promising outcome. What I need to do instead, is pray, pray, pray. So I have decided to write the word pray next to the verses that I put in this blog and tape them up throughout the house. This way when I feel weak, when I want to give up, I can read one of these cards and remind myself who is really in control. Having faith in the one that I know has a better understanding of how things are suppose to work. “When the calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous seek refuge in god. (Proverbs 14:32).

How About You?

Where are you in life? Do you feel hopeless? Have you been struggling with a problem in your life, that never seems to get better? Do you have an addiction that doesn’t seem to go away? You want so much to do the right thing, but keep falling? “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.” (Psalm 37:23-24). How wonderful to know that even though we will stumble, we do not have to keep falling into a pit of despair, where it feels like there is no hope. God is there for you. Keep reaching and he will continue to pull you up and give you the hope that you need to move on.

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The Real Truth About Marriage

Advice to Someone Before They Get Married

submissive

     Marriage is often considered two ways in America. One, it’s like having a ball and chain around your ankle. You become a slave to your spouse and marriage is a burden, hindrance and weighs your life down. Or, two, it will be like a fantasy. You will both live happily ever after. Everything will be easy and you will get along all the time. And most important, that person will make you happy!

What if I were to tell you that most movies and the ideas of what marriage is, in our society, are false.

What is Marriage?

Marriage takes work. Now, I do not want you thinking that it is going to be this horrible slavery, that is going to hold you down and supress your dreams. Marriage is a binding agreement between two people that requires you to give. You must learn to put the other person first and then yourself. But that is not what our society teaches us. Our society says that , you are to take care of yourself first. Make yourself #1 in your eyes. You are the most important thing in your life. Lie, lie, lie. All our society is doing is feeding you false lies as to how a marriage should really work.

My First Marriage

My first marriage was hard. We had been together since I was 17 years old. We had a daughter, out of wedlock by the time that I was 19. It was a hard time to say the least. I was not grown-up and neither was he. We both still wanted to hang out with friends, have a good time and just be kids. But, those days were over. When our daughter was a year and a half old, we split up for awhile. I wanted to be able to be with my friends, he wanted to control me and in the middle was our daughter. What a nightmare. I lived on my own, while taking care of our daughter most of the time, going to work, going to college and feeling tired. But, I did it. He kept coming around. Wanting me to come back home. We talked for a long time. We tried to work through our problems, as best as we could and in the end, I moved back home.

For awhile things went really well. He stopped drinking as much as he was. I started to be a better mom and girlfriend. I thought that things were going to become the fairy tale like what the movies painted. A life full of passion, and feeling alive with joy. So on this high, we decided to get married. When our daughter was 5 years old, we both said “I do.” Then it all came crashing down.

Right after we became married, I got a job as a kindergarten teacher. So we went to look at buying a new house. We had lived in our small trailer for 7 years, it was time to find a bigger and better place for our new future together. Then he decided to open his own electrical business and do electrical work for people in the area. We were only going up, so we thought. But it came crashing down about 3 months after we were married. He started drinking again. I wanted to go to church, he wanted nothing to do with it. We fought terribly. The fights escalated and we emotionally bruised each other. Then his words turned into his fists. He started putting his hands on me, and threatening to kill me. I had never been in a situation like that before. I was at a loss for words and didn’t know what to do. Sometimes I would lash out. Sometimes I would cry. Mostly I just started to die inside. I became depressed and anxious all the time.

Then the calm in the storm came briefly. He wanted to change and make the marriage work. I wanted another child (our daughter was already 6 years old). So we became pregnant, then things sunk even lower. I found out that he had been having an affair for quite awhile with a girl that was much younger than me. I was so heart broken and 6 months pregnant at the time. I cried for hours and didn’t know what to do. I thought that I was going to lose the baby that night. The pains in my stomach were horrible. But, thank God, the baby was ok. I started to realize that there was nothing left in this marriage, but I didn’t want to get a divorce. I felt so embarrassed at the idea of getting a divorce. I had watch both of my parents get divorced and I didn’t want that. I wanted to be able to say that I tried everything under the sun to make it work. So I started to look at rehab centers, counselors, anything that would maybe help our marriage. Each time that I found something that he agreed with, and made an appointment, he would back out. Our marriage turned into a roller coaster ride. Each time he said that he would get help, it was followed by the feeling of hope, only to find out that nothing was going to change.

I started to go to counseling for myself behind his back. I even started doing an anxiety program at home, created by a wonderful person named Lucinda Bassett. I had to build myself back up. I needed a backbone to leave him. I also needed a plan. He constantly said that he would kill me if I ever left him. That he would rather see me dead instead of with someone else. So on August 25 2008, I finally found a way to leave. I moved in with my step mom and prayed every night that it would not be my last. The nightmare kept on playing for awhile, but at least I had finally left. I was so upset that the fairy talk of living happily ever after was a lie.

My Second Marriage

When I first met my current husband (Jason), things were very open from the beginning. One thing that I learned from my counselor, was I was going to attract a man from the type of vibes that I was putting out. So, if I put out a vibe that I was willing to help someone, then I would find someone that needed fixing up. I didn’t want that. So when my current husband e-mailed me for the first time, I replied with, “I have a crazy ex, 2 daughters and a lot of debt. If you can handle that then we can start talking.” I was so surprised when he wrote back a positive reply about how I must be a strong person and that he wanted to talk with me still.

From there on out we asked a lot of questions and talked with each other all the time. I wanted to know if he was a christian. I asked things about his financial background, his job, prior relationships, if he had any prior kids, if he owned a house, and so many more questions. I wanted to know right away who and what I was dealing with. I wanted to know that I had someone that could stand beside me, not behind me.

After we talked for awhile, we started dating. Our first couple of dates were playing indoor soccer at my church. It was nice to play a competitive sport with someone who didn’t mind if a woman beat them, some of the time. It was nice to not see him intimidated at my soccer skills. Someone who would laugh and have a good time, no matter what.

Once I felt comfortable, I introduced him to my daughters. I knew that if they did not like him, it was over. They fell in love with him quite quickly. I was pleasantly surprised. After that, I started to fall head over heels in love. We went to church every Sunday together. We talked on the phone all the time and kept growing in our relationship. Finally, we moved in with him (I know now that I shouldn’t have moved in with him till after we were married). You see, once I moved in things changed.

I quickly realized that I was living with someone again, and I was waiting for something bad to happen. All of my anxieties and fears came surfacing again. I became distant and started pushing Jason away. I was still carrying baggage from my last relationship and I felt horrible. I didn’t want to put those negative feelings on Jason when he didn’t deserve it.

About two months after I moved in my phone died. Jason found one of his old phones and said that I could use that until we could get a new one. Being me, I was curious as to what was on the phone. Little did I know that past conversations with old girlfriends were on there. I was so scared and hurt that I took off and talked with a good christian couple about what to do. I found a side to my boyfriend that I wasn’t as aware of, and it frightened me. That couple took the time to explain something really important to me: that everyone that has been married for awhile has had to go through some sort of disappointment caused by their spouse. That learning to talk about how you feel and forgive that person is important to a healthy relationship. I stayed there crying for awhile, till I found enough courage to go home. We talked about the situation for quite awhile, till I felt comfortable enough to continue on with the relationship.

We started going to marriage counseling. We each had to go online and complete a survey to see what trouble areas we had, before we got married. It was nice to find out that we were very compatible in all areas except for finances. We found that the reason why we were not on the same page with our finances was because I had kids and he didn’t. Jason had never been married before or had kids. He was a lot more at ease with spending his money. We were able to figure out how to compromise in this area to make sure that we stayed married. Going to marriage counseling was the best thing that we have ever done.

Then the best news came. Almost three years after I left my first husband, the divorce had been finalized. I was so excited. It had not been an easy divorce to say the least. Going to court and seeing someone that you have a restraining order against was nerve racking. I was so excited, I remember just sitting outside the court house, talking to Jason and crying that finally it was over. In the next three days we were married. It was the best, small, simple ceremony ever. I had never been so happy in my life.

For the most part our married life has been wonderful. But, we still have our down times just like everyone else. One of the biggest areas of tension in our marriage is being intimate with each other. If he had his way we would be intimate everyday. I feel worn out and annoyed when he pushes me to be intimate more than 3 times a week. Besides having sex 3 times a week is great for a couple that has 3 kids (we now had a son on top of two girls). That is not how my husband felt. He wanted sex more, I wanted more time for myself. Let the arguing begin. For about 2 years we went round and round about sex, and who was right, till finally we started to compromise. I started to be more sexual in ways that pleased him. He learned to back off, help around the house and not be so horny all the time.

Tips to Help You Have A Better Marriage

1) Put God First – Without God it is really hard to make a marriage work. When my husband and I find that we can not agree on a topic, we sit down and pray about it. God will let us know what is the right way to go. God protects our hearts and keeps us true to our spouse. There are so many temptations in the world and we are only human. With God our marriage stays stronger.

2) Learn To Really Talk To Each Other – When you are talking to each other make sure that you are really listening. You should not be thinking in your head, well you do not know how I feel. And then the minute that your spouse stops talking, start telling them about your feelings. This negates everything that they were just trying to tell you. If you can learn to listen to your spouse and validate their feelings, before you tell them how you are feeling, then you will have a better outcome.

3) Compromise – Realize that marriage is not all about you. I have met so many people lately that wonder why there marriage is going down the drain. I want to tell them it is because you are being too selfish. It is human nature to be selfish and want what you want. We all have dreams and things that we would like to accomplish in our life, but if you have to step on your spouse to accomplish your dreams, then they really are not worth it. Gaining a dream, to lose your marriage is not the way it is suppose to work.

4) Have More Sex – I know this may sound crazy, but guys love to have sex (this is no surprise). Your man feels loved the most when you are having sex with him. Even if you do not feel like it, sometimes you should just put out. Also take the time to try something new. Surprise your man some night by having someone take the kids for the night while you make dinner for him wearing only an apron. Maybe just make out for a few minutes and remind him that you need him. Anything to keep the fire burning. It is worth it.

5) Help Around The House – men helping around the house more gives your wife the much needed break, to relax enough, to want to give you more sex. The favorite thing about my husband is, if I ask him to help me with something around the house, he gets right up and does it. He doesn’t complain, throw a fit or get grumpy. He just helps me. When he helps me around the house more and with the kids, it makes me want to give him sex more. I want to love him and show him that I appreciate his willingness to help me when I need it. Husbands please understand that helping around the house does not mean that your wife will be having sex with you that night. Learn to help, because you love her. She will notice that you are helping without expecting something and will feel loved.

“Wives, submit to your husbands, as it is fitting in the Lord. 

Husbands, lover your wives and do not be harsh with them. (Colossians 3:18-19). 

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Pride in an Unparalleled World Against God

How Many Times Have We Gotten In Our Own Way?

pride

     Pride is a feeling that you are more important or better than other people. “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2). Pride can destroy everything around us if we let it, including ourselves. When we do not take the time to back down enough for others to even breathe, we are destroying the wonderful, good nature person inside of us. When is the last time that you stopped to evaluate the value that you place on yourself over the others around you?

Personal Conflict With Pride

I have been doing a Beth Moore Bible Study on the book of Daniel, with my teenage daughter. Beth made the comment “Your life and mine will be well lived and greatly influential if we simply ask God to empower us to do that for which we were created.” It stopped me in my tracks. I listen to God and try to follow what he tells me to do, but with my own spin on it sometimes. I keep pushing harder, faster, better. I feel the need to do great things, which is fine, but only if that is where God wants me to be. Sometimes I end up going so fast that I derail my own train. I am too prideful to ask for help, too prideful to admit that I have failed, too prideful to stop and turn around. “The pride of your heart has deceived you…” (Obadiah 1:3) That was till recently. God has shown me that he loves me just the way that I am. That to truly grow in life, I have to admit I am too prideful and turn from my old ways. That is so hard. All I have ever known is being tough, taking care of myself, not letting a man take care of me. I never liked to show my feelings and would hide from them. I would erect a wall bigger than the ocean so that no one could hurt me. I didn’t need anyone, besides my kids, so I told myself. I was so far off that I look back at that girl and wonder who she is. “Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” (Proverbs 13:10)

Three and a half years ago I surrendered my life to God. I literally sat down and prayed through my tears, “Lord please help me. What I am doing is not working. I give up. I give my life to you. Take it all God because maybe you can do a better job.” I did not know the difference that one prayer would make in my life. The thing is though, that I really meant it. I was driving my life into a ditch. I had only been remarried for a few years, but with so much baggage from my pervious marriage, we were already in trouble. My own insecurity, fears and pride-fullness was getting in the way. Our kids were doing ok, but we fought a lot. I had my ups and downs with my parents and siblings. Even at work I was frustrated and sick and tired of some of the people that I was working with. Instead of looking at myself, like a good humble person would do, I kept on walking through life, with my head so high I was ignoring people. After that one prayer, my heart felt like it was ten times too small. I knew that I was a good person, when I wasn’t being so stubborn, but I had never given any part of my life up for control to someone else. Here I was giving control of my whole life to God.

God started to work on me like crazy. He told me that he wanted me to quit my job and homeschool my three kids. “Yeah right,” I said at first. But I kept remembering that prayer. And I didn’t really want to tell God “NO!” So I started looking into homeschooling. It was a long hard process, because a lot of my family and my husband’s family were against the idea. Even my own husband was skeptical. In the end, I quit my job, almost a year and a half after God first asked me to. Then a few months after homeschooling God asked me to start a blog. Why would I do that? I knew nothing about blogging or building my own blog page. I started researching how to create your own blog, and talking with my brother, because he is a computer genius. Finally, after about three months later, I had my own blog page. I was shocked. I had never been good at writing. I had so many what ifs… What if nobody read my blogs… What if people talked about how crazy I sounded… What if I wrote all of these blogs and they didn’t help anyone… The list went on and on and on. Until, God reminded me that he was in control of the blog, all I had to do was show up and write. So that is what I have been doing. Slowly, but surely my blog is growing. Now, God has asked me to have a gathering in our own home. We have left our home church currently and are getting ready to have our first gathering in our home. I am so nervous again. The what ifs have started again and that absurd friend “doubt” is waiting for me around every corner. God wants me to teach others about his word. To lead others in our area to him. He keeps giving me these visions on what the gathering will look like, all I need to do is take the first step forward. I’m still praying and getting the courage for this new idea. I know though, that when I do, God will see to it that it goes exactly how he would like it to go.

My Marriage

The biggest problem with my pride is evident in my marriage. I struggle with not letting my pride make me into a selfish person. A person who shouts, “ME! ME! ME!”, all the time. That is not what makes a marriage work. You have to be selfless and build your spouse up. Together we can build our house up, but it needs to start with me first. I can blame my husband all I want for the things that go wrong in our marriage. That is not going to fix anything. It makes it easier for me, because then I do not have to work on myself so much. I do not have to take a nice long look in the mirror to see who I really am. None of that stuff is any fun, but necessary if you want your marriage to last.

I see so many couples that throw each other under the bus. Who tear down their spouse and never take the time to look at themselves as a reason that their marriage is in so much distress. I want to plug my own ears and say “LA, LA, LA,” really loud to drown out their rude comments about their spouse. I know there are times that you need to talk with someone about the problems going on in your marriage, but maybe you should be investing more of your time talking to your spouse. Talking gently though, without letting your own pride get in the way. When we say our wedding vows it should say “Do you promise to put your spouse’s needs first, to promise to make it your mission to help them with their happiness and have a marriage where you love the other person as much, if not more, than yourself.” Again, there are times when you have given everything you have to make your marriage work, but there are so many marriages suffering because of selfish pride. “Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.” (Proverbs 18:12). What will life be like if your own pride destroys your marriage?

Conclusion

Maybe your own pride is getting in the way of truly living your life. When is the last time that you prayed to God? Asked him for help or even thanked him for what is in your life? Have you ever tried to give God control over your life? If that statement scares you, ask yourself why? Why are you holding on to control of your life so badly? Has it worked for you so far? If not, maybe God is the answer. Maybe God will fill in the holes and show you a life you could have never imagined. Go, Go now and ask God. Don’t spend another day letting your pride get the best of you.

 

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10 Best Date Ideas

date

10 Best Date Ideas 

I know that as a mom of 3 kids it is very important that I have date night with my husband. It feels nice to be a woman and not a mommy all the time. Some of our favorite date nights are low key, cheap and different. Here is the list of our favorite date nights:

1) Cooking Dinner Together – the other night, my mom took the kids for the night. We went to the grocery store together. We bought halibut fish, a weird kind of fish (I don’t remember the name of it), and other items to make baja fish tacos.  Then we went to the local liquor store and picked out a nice red wine together. We went home, poured each of us a glass of wine and started to cook. We had fun, dancing to music, drinking and cooking together. When we sat down to eat dinner, the food was amazing. Then we enjoyed a movie and time to just hang out.

2) Bike Ride – there are a lot of beautiful bike paths around where we live. We love to take a day and go on a long bike ride. We usually stop for ice cream or lunch. We sometimes even stop and watch the boats at the local lake or just sit and talk. It makes for a lovely day outside together.

3) Jeep Ride – another one of our favorite activities is taking the top off of the Jeep and go for a long ride. We usually go on roads that we have never gone on before. We try to go to a new restaurant, ice cream shop or stop some where new. This allows each Jeep ride to be a little different. Sometimes we even park the Jeep to make-out somewhere. Even though we are parents, we are still a young married couple.

4) YMCA – we love to go to the local YMCA and work out together. We usually lift weights, run and play racquetball. Sometimes we play indoor soccer or one-on-one basketball. We are horrible at racquetball but we love to laugh at each other when we miss the ball.

5) Couples Massage – Another thing that we try to do once a year together is get a couples massage. We try to block out a time during the day, when we can spend time getting an hour long massage. Then we usually go out to dinner or lunch together. It’s wonderful because we are both so relaxed  when the massage is over.

6) Week End Get Away – Once a year we try to have a weekend get away. If you do not have the money to do this, try to have someone, or a few people to watch the kids for the whole weekend. Then spend the time at home enjoying each other’s company. Maybe even try a different activity. We find that going away one weekend a year, allows us to rekindle romantically and emotionally. We have enough time to remember why we first fell in love.

7) Snowboarding/Skiing/Tubing – my husband and I both love to snowboard. We try to go snowboarding at least once a year when it is just us. It’s fun to talk and laugh while we are riding the lift up to the top of the hill. Then trying to beat each other to the bottom or trying a new trick. Then eventually we end up in a warm hot tub or at a local coffee shop. It’s great exercise.

8) Boat Ride – my dad has a really nice pontoon boat, that we took out with another couple this year. It was so nice to ride around the lake, in the sunshine, wind in your hair, just enjoying the day. We took a few drinks to enjoy with each other. We laughed so hard and were able to just hang out. Maybe next time we will get out the inner tube!!

9) Bon Fire – sometimes after the kids go to bed we make a fire outside and sit around and hang out. If we are outside we try to find certain constellations in the stars. We even get out a blanket sometimes and snuggle under the blankets. No fire would be complete with out a drink and items for smores. You have to eat smores when there is a fire.

10) Hiking – there is a lot of state land and hills around where we live. We love to get lost in the woods with a few backpacks full of items for lunch. We usually stop and put a blanket down and eat lunch together. It’s a lot of fun just to spend time together out in nature.

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