Tag Archives: commitment

Our Anniversary…..13 years…. and advice for a newlywed….

Today the hubby and I celebrate 13 years of marriage.

wedding shotI truly couldn’t love this man any more than I do.

It hasn’t always been easy….but it’s our story.

Everything that the last 13 years have brought us, we have weathered together.

We have laughed, cried, struggled, and celebrated our love.

And every morning, we woke up and made the decision to love each other.

IMG_1197When I was in high school, I was told by my religion teacher that I should pray for my future husband. I prayed nightly for his decision making; that the Lord would prepare him for me; and that we would continue to follow Christ. We truly believe that those prayers have helped anchor us.

So in the spirit of celebrating, I thought it would be fun to generate a list of “lessons” for the newlywed “Tammi”. You know…the things I wish I could have told myself when I was first married that would have saved me a lot of hurt, anger, and frustration.

(Feel free to share this with any of your newlywed friends or family)

I’m sorry. Ok….Tam, you need to practice these two words. I know you “think” you are great at apologizing but…you really suck at it. In fact, even when you are apologizing, you don’t really mean it. In fact, almost all your apologies end with some sort of justification of “why” you did what you did. Any justification of what you did….negates any apology. Listen…….you will hurt people in life. Say “I’m sorry” and leave it like that. If you can take a few minutes to understand how the person feels, it would even be better if you could follow it with your understanding of the situation. “I’m so sorry. I’m sure what I did really hurt you”.

To love is to risk hurt. He has the ability to love you deeply and immensely. He also has the ability to crush you like no one else. To love is to risk hurt, but the reward is worth it. You will experience love like you have never known. Prepare for heart ache. There will be times that you will cry for him, with him, and because of him.  Love like you aren’t afraid of being hurt.

beach shotBe direct.  Communication is key to being best friends. Talk to him. Tell him what you don’t like. Tell him what you love. Tell him what worries you and what brings you peace. Explain yourself. Don’t expect him to “figure it out”. You will only help yourself by being open and honest.

Be true to yourself. To be the best wife, you have to be the best you. You need to spend time on your talents, your hobbies, and your interests. You have to cultivate your life outside of your family unit. Sign up for zumba classes; join a reading club; take that cake decorating class. Enjoy the time you make for yourself.

Be selfless. Throw out the paper and tally system. Love him everyday in your actions. The more freedom you give him to be himself, the more he will love you. The more you support his desire to be himself and have “his friends”, “his activities”, the more he will want to spend time with you. The more he will look for “us” time.

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Laugh. There is too much in life to be serious about. Find time during the day to play jokes on him and laugh. Send him funny text messages and leave funny notes in his car. You will fall in love with his laughter….

Listen. When he talks, look at him. Don’t multi-task when it comes to him talking to you. He will question whether you really care. Show him that he is worth ALL your attention. Even if its hard. Even if the timing is not right. If he can’t come to you with the small stuff, he won’t come to you with the “big” stuff.

Enjoy where you are, God has you there for a reason. I know you want to have a baby right away, but treasure this time that its just the two of you. Take last minute dates, and hit the movies at midnight. Drive to the beach for the day…just because you can. Don’t worry about what others have or what they are doing, be content. I know you might want a home right away, but treasure the joys of a cleaning a small place. The grass will ALWAYS be greener.

Do stuff together. Make sure that you have “us” stuff. Start traditions that you will always have. Eat brunch after Mass every Sunday or hold the annual Superbowl bash for your friends. Go shopping and buy bikes to ride together. Take time to learn what each other likes and then “suck it up” and do that. It won’t kill you to watch a little football….maybe you will even become a Notre Dame fan. =)

Pray with him and for him. God has brought you together. You will need his help to tackle the outside influences that will try to come between you. When times get tough, get on your knees. Pray for prudence in all your decisions and pray to be able to love each other. When you are afraid, pray for faith. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.

IMG_1118Lord God, I thank you for the gift of my marriage. I thank you for being the pillar that my husband and I have anchored ourselves to. When times have been tough, we have been able to “do all things through Christ who strengthens us”. Phillipians 4:13. I thank you for my husband’s unwavering faith in our marriage and his daily “yes” to a life with me.

Thank you for taking the time to reflect with me.

May God bless you,

Tammi

 

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Part 2: Are you a fighter?

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So….are you still in the ring???

 I wrote a blog a few weeks ago called “Are you a fighter?” I was pleasantly surprised at the wonderful response to this blog. It seemed that so many people were either feeling the way that I did, in that they wanted someone to fight for them, or they felt convicted about not fighting for their spouse or loved one. The challenge I presented was for us to challenge our loved ones to “fight for us everyday.”

So….how can I fight for my spouse or loved one? How can I fight for my family?

Well,…how about letting someone know that you are fighting for them?

  Communication…

Wow…this one is so tough. It requires us to be vulnerable and possibly open to hurt. Since my blog, my husband has pulled me into a hug several times and told me, “I’m fighting for us.” He has also told me that the challenge that I presented to him was…..“life changing”.

“It was exactly what I needed…”  he said.

We all want to be heard. Sometimes we want others to “know us” and “figure out” what we need. That’s ridiculous…and you know it. That’s our way of not being “real” with ourselves or our loved ones. We need to communicate our feelings, our hopes, our dreams, our anxieties. Have you ever noticed how sometimes just hearing yourself say something relieves your anxiety?. Especially if you are a SAHM, you NEED to talk. You need to have adult communication.

What about in our family? Does every family member have a “voice”? Do you know what your kids love doing? What their interests are? Do you really “know” your kids, or wife, your husband? I have found that the most important tool we can give our children is the ability to listen. Don’t assume what a person is thinking….ask them. Don’t assume that you know why your child is frustrated…ask them. Maybe you don’t like the huge temper tantrum that your child is throwing but….could you have avoided it? Do they have certain “triggers” that if you knew them well enough, you could have helped them work through it? Last night, we sent our kids to bed early because they were being totally crazy….well, most of them. Well, I could hear the sobs of the Fashionista…and it was not her typical cry. It was heart-wrenching. I turned to my husband and said, “we need to call her back down and ask her why she is crying. I think I know why but I want to hear her say it.”

I had a feeling she felt..betrayed.

She was awesome….all day.

She banged out all her chores, happily and worked so well playing with the other little ones. When she came down, she said what I was thinking, …

“I don’t think it’s fair that I go to bed early. I had a GREAT day!”

And she was right. She got to stay up til 8:30, her normal bedtime.

We teach our kids to talk to us. We have taught them that we may not like what they have to say but we want to hear it. We want them to communicate with us.

2    Change the priority…make this person more important than yourself.

Instead of asking yourself, “What have you done for me lately?” Look to see how you can do for this loved one in your life.

When we start the game of tallying, we are never satisfied. By tallying, I mean, “well, you let me go out once last week, but you went out twice this week.” If you think like this, you will always have the short end of the stick. If you are communicating with your spouse or loved one, and address the need to have some “personal time”, that should be enough. If your voice is being “heard”, what does it matter how your “tallies” fall. In addition, if both you and your loved one have accepted the challenge to “fight” for your family, then you have someone who is already looking at putting you first. When you have your “biggest fan” living with you, it changes your whole outlook on what your home life can look like. You are competing to see who can love each other more….everyone wins!!!! Look at the following scenarios:

Scenario#1: I want to sleep in but my wife has been up all night with a sick baby.

Action: I’m going to jump up and grab the baby when I hear him/her. I’m going to allow my wife to sleep in. I’m going to start the coffee so when she wakes up, she knows that I’ve thought of her.

The results: most likely your wife wakes up and is overwhelmed by this act. This act, that required little money/time, has catapulted her day. You have been influential in putting that extra “pep” in her step. In addition, you got to have some quality time with the baby. Maybe he or she snuggled with you or laughed and it was a moment that you would have missed.

Scenario #2: My husband has been so stressed lately. He’s been rubbing his neck and complaining about not sleeping due to a pain in his neck.

Action: I’m going to surprise him with a back massage early Saturday morning. I’m going to leave him a note on his pillow for when he comes home to get changed from work. I’m going to tell him in my note that I’m so thankful for how hard he works and that I think he could use this appointment. I have taken care of everything. It’s paid for and the time set.

Result: Your husband might come down and just hug you. You recognized a need and you met it. You addressed the need for him to provide and thanked him.

The fact is that selflessness breeds more selflessness much like selfishness breeds more selfishness. When my husband does something loving for me, it makes me want to do something for him as well. If he lets me sleep in, I might ask if he wants to grab a nap during the day or maybe catch some time by himself.

Which is more life-giving? Being selfish or selfless? Which one is truly “fighting”?

    Decide what kind of marriage/relationship/family you want….and go for it!

If your loved ones biggest complaint is that they have no time with you, what can you do to change that? Can you have one day a week that you come home early and hang out with the family? The hubs and I try and take out one child once a month. These are typically father-daughter, father-son, mother-son, or mother-daughter dates. They don’t have to be really expensive….ice cream out….bowling….shopping. Some months are crazy and we do more as a family and then other months we might have two dates in one month. In our family, its our way of having quality time with a growing family. Does this sound possible?

Do you feel like you will never have time? It’s amazing how little quantity time you need to have quality time. My husband was always making promises to DDD of things they could do. He  would promise him that they would go to the park and shoot hoops or throw the football after dinner and he always had other things come up. He would feel so bad. I remember one night telling him…”don’t make it such a big event. Just randomly give him time. 5 minutes here…10 minutes there. It means the world to him and its a nice break for you.” Sometimes, he will just text me to send DDD up to his office and they will wrestle. Sometimes he will have DDD set up a lego battle in his room and they will randomly take 10 minutes and battle. These “little moments” really mean nothing in terms of the work required by us, but to a child it shows we care.

Can you surprise your family with a four day weekend? What if you planned everything? Do you want to be more involved in your kids’ lives? Are you just so busy that you are like ships “passing in the night”??…plan a family meeting. Sit down and share schedules. Make it your responsibility to  know what your families schedule is during the week. Make sure you are “involved” in the life of your family. Make time for a family dinner. Ask your kids to talk to you about their project at school, or their favorite activity this season? Can you pick up a child and take them to practice? Can you alleviate one of your spouse’s errands for that week?

If you want more of a romantic relationship, work on that….plan romantic “moments” in your day. Send flowers from work. Grab her hand while you are watching TV and just hold it. Have a babysitter “show up” at your house with a pizza for the kids and tell your wife that she is going on a date. Surprise her with sweet notes when she opens the fridge, or her dresser. Leave notes for your husband on the bathroom mirror. Text him little loving thoughts during the day. Give her/him reasons to think of you during the day. Create a romantic basket (like the one pictured below) and sit it out on the counter…..plan a time this week when you can open it and have time after work/school. Additionally, we have to remember that our children are also taking “clues” on how relationships work. If you are trying to raise a gentleman, be one! If you are trying to raise a loving daughter with self-respect, be her ultimate role-model!

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a romantic gift basket…

   Admit your failures.

This is sooo key. I can’t tell you how awesome it is when my husband shares with me that he was planning something that didn’t work out. He may be frustrated and I don’t know why. Simply admitting his own frustrations at his time limitations or work burdens makes me smile that he was trying to put me first. “I was hoping to get home before dinner to make dinner for you but I got stuck at a meeting that lasted too long.” Or how about, I have really been trying to put you first but I’m really overwhelmed at work and it’s affecting us.” Sometimes, it’s really nice to know that there was a “plan of action” that didn’t work out. You know?!

Pray

Pray for the desire to love and be loved.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.“- Phillipians 4:13

Pray for added strength when selfish tendencies surface. Wake up everyday and renew your commitment to fight the good fight for your partner, and your family.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” 2 Timothy 4:7

My prayer is that you will continue to defend yourself over every “blow” that comes your way. That you will stand tall as you defend your loved one and your family.

God bless,

Tammi

 

Are you a fighter?

My husband is a natural born fighter. It’s one of the things that I love about him. I always feel safe when I’m with him. I know that, physically, he could protect me in any situation…and maybe die trying.

He’s also an idealist. Nothing ever seems clean enough, perfect enough, etc. Sometimes…it drives me crazy. He has these visions of how our children should be raised and how our house should always look (yeah…good luck with that, buddy). But on the other hand, he believes that all things are possible….he’s an idealist!!! He dreams of owning his own business and talks about how we are going to retire owning our own bed and breakfast. If only he married someone who was more of a doer….unfortunately, he looks to me to help make all that happen.  Hopefully, we can make SOME things happen.

In addition…he’s the guy that you want on your side in an argument. He is precise in his thinking…persuasive in his arguments. He doesn’t back down unless he comes to your way of thinking…then heaven help the other side. I love to watch him in a good debate or a family “discussion” for that matter. People are drawn to him when he speaks, which makes him the incredible salesmen that he is.

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My husband with his best friend and faithful “fighter”, his brother Shawn.

He’s a fighter.

He’s passionate about fighting. He can be found sparring in the mirror and he’s been teaching our son to box at night for a few months now. I love to watch his enthusiasm if my son gets a great right hook in. It lights up his face. My son just loves that time. Getting his aggression out, while spending quality time with his dad.

I married a fighter.

But sometimes…I think he misses the ring.

He misses the fight.

Life gets the best of him. He feels old and tired and just gets stuck in the rut of waiting for the next fight. The routine gets old…it seems like the same thing every day. Work, eat, sleep….repeat. I think a lot of men feel this way.

They don’t know what’s wrong but they feel kinda depressed. If you ask them what’s up…they don’t know. They could get snippy, angry or just moody. The family starts to suffer. .. Tension abounds. Then…we, as their wives, or girlfriends start thinking that its “us” or that they don’t care. Our doubt, or insecurities take over and we start a downward spiral. They say, “it’s not about you”. We feel frustrated and helpless.

Let me stop here to make a quick point…..you deserve the best! Did you know that? Do you really know that??!!! Expect it….demand it….dream big. This is where I plug an awesome book that I read a few years ago….

https://i2.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41XbgtaNVgL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge

“Most women think they have to settle for a life of efficiency and duty, chores and errands, striving to be the women they “ought” to be but often feeling they have failed…..but her heart is still there.  She loves to be swept up in a romance, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, to be the Beauty of the story.”

Could your heart be longing for more?

Are you afraid to ask for it?

Afraid to admit it?

Throw this book in your amazon cart if you haven’t read it. You won’t regret it!

Learn about being the beauty. Starting with your worth as the daughter of a heavenly king.

Ok…..sorry…I’m random.

Now….back to our main blog point…..

 What if we challenged these fighters????…….

what if we gave them something to fight for???…..

This was what my husband heard when he entered our kitchen a few days ago. It was really quiet and I was washing dishes. He had been emotionally distant and I finally had a few minutes to think about it. I started thinking about what was really bothering me about his behavior. I know I have an incredible husband and father but…I thought I deserved more…

This was our conversation:

Hubs: What’s wrong? Are you crying?

Me: yeah…I’ve got a lot of stuff to talk to you about. I’m just not happy.

Hubs: Please stop crying…it makes me so sad. What’s up?

Me:

…….. I want you to fight for me. I want you to wake up every day fighting for the chance to be loved by me. Only me. I want to go to bed knowing that you loved me in the way that only you can. I want to be assured of your love on a daily basis.

Hub: So…you don’t think I fight for you? (thinking…)

Me: nope.

Hub: ok….

Me: I think you rest on the notion that I love you and will always be here. I don’t think you try and “keep” me here. I think you can sometimes take me for granted.

Hub: wow…ok. I need to think about what that means.

Me: Well…you are heading out of town. Take some time and think about it. It’s going to be something for us to have a big discussion about.

Hub: Ok…you know I love you. (embraces me)

Me: (smile)…yeah.

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Talk about throwing him a right hook. I started the fight…..a fight that I hope will last a lifetime. Now for some reassurance…

Through a text on this ride, he received this…

Please read this later…..

I am madly in love with you. I have been since our first deep discussion as we walked the campus in college. I don’t EVER want to doubt that you feel the same way. I want to know it. I want it to be integral to who you are. We need to be the FIRST thing we work on….otherwise nothing else matters….

I got this text back, from the hubs, that afternoon…

             I read your message. I love you madly as well. I am thankful for you in my life. You are the best thing that ever happened to me. I love you.

vacationing in Puerto Rico, this past Spring 2013

vacationing in Puerto Rico, this past Spring 2013

The hubs checked in with me several times a day while at his conference. Some to tell me that he loved me; to check in on my emotional state; and to let me know in the words of Kevin James on the King of Queens, “I’m thinking of you!!!”

When he returned home Wednesday night, all the kids ran to meet him at the door. I walked happily behind them.

When he kissed me, he said,

 “I’m going to fight for you. Everyday.

Sometimes I think all I need, when I’m in a funk, is you. I need you to remind me of where my focus needs to be.”

While he was away, I secured a sitter to watch the kids on Thursday night. We did something that we rarely make time for. We didn’t get dressed up. We didn’t eat at a fancy restaurant. We grabbed our laptops, papers, pens and our cell phones and we had a business meeting at Red Robin.

We talked about our schedules and our family.

Our house and how to make it more of a home.

Our children and how to make them better Christians.

We are fighting for our family.

Are we finished?

Nope….

we just entered the ring.

Is this speaking to your heart?

Is this possible for you to have a discussion like this with your spouse or loved one?

Are you in the ring fighting for something?

Or are you not even aware that you, your husband, or your family are worth fighting for?

My challenge is for you, me, and everyone……

…….to be fighters.

To fight for our marriages.

To fight for our loved ones.

To fight for something.

You can read Part Two: Are you a fighter? here.

God Bless,

 

Tammi