Tag Archives: love

Tip Tuesday: Live in the moment….

Have you ever been in the middle of something but your mind is racing? People are talking to you but you really aren’t hearing anything that they are saying.

You are just not present….

You are busy planning a list of things to be done…

or maybe you are working out a problem in your head.

Whatever it is that you are doing…you are not present.

It’s really such an unfortunate occurrence.

It’s so important that we “live in the moment”.

Hanging with the littles..

Hanging with the littles..

This is me having one of ” those ” moments.

The hubs decided to take the three older children out for the evening, and I just had the two little kids. Within the first 10 minutes that the hubs had told me of his plan, I had visions of checking things off my “to do” list.

I had already decided that Dora was going to babysit those two little ones and I was going to tackle some paperwork and projects. I was sitting in the floor with my list when Mini Me came over and said, “Mom…my nose is stuffy and letting me know it doesn’t feel good. But my heart is saying….I need to cuddle with my mom”.

I mean…really??!! How do I respond to that?

“Well, honey…tell your little heart that mommy had big plans for putting the school room back together. I will take a raincheck for a more convenient time though……”

That’s the kid equivalent of the middle finger.

So….that wasn’t going to happen.

What did happen? This picture…..and a bunch more like it.

We took a bunch of selfies.

IMG_2243We took advantage of it just being “us”.  We played hide and seek. We had a little dance party and we pretended that we were princesses.

It’s not what I wanted.
It was what they wanted…

and I was determined to live in the moment.

My daughter has a real problem with this. We can be in the middle of a fun activity and she wants to know what we are doing next. I used to go through a schedule with her of the daily activities. However, with her personality, I realized that this makes it almost impossible for her to enjoy herself.

I give her last minute notice of everything. I don’t talk about events of the day with her. She needs to be able to live in the moment. In a society where everything is about convenience and getting things faster and easier…..she can venture to learn a little patience and just enjoy what she is doing.

What about you? Do you live in the moment? or do you plow through these precious moments thinking about the next “best thing”?

Do yourself a favor….slow down.

Imagine yourself out in the sun…and soak in everything that the moment offers you.

Moments and memories are fleeting….we are always chasing them. Try and hold on to them while you can……

God Bless,

Tammi

Part 2: Are you a fighter?

wedding rings

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

 

Tip Tuesday: 5 things I wish I would remember….

Five Things I wish I would remember…..

I feel like I’m losing my mind. Call it “mom brain” or maybe I’m just trying to juggle too many things and some stuff just “slips out” but…

I forget just about everything.

I start conversations and then get distracted. I enter the kitchen and forget why I am there. I call someone and have to look at my phone to see who I called. It’s crazy. It’s probably a sign that I need to SSSSSLLLLLOOOOOWWWWW down…

So…while I have a focused mind, here are five things I wish I could remember everyday:

1.   Wake up early, happy, and ready. It’s the days that I jump up before the kids and jump in the shower that seem to go the best. I don’t let my mind wander onto my Thing to Do list until I’m showered; I’ve prayed; and I’m ready for the day. I grab a few cuddles from the kiddos and just start my day off smiling.

2.   Prayer changes everything. Prayer changes me. It gives me the opportunity to ask the Lord to reign over my day. It allows me to ask the Lord for the virtues that I need to conquer my day. It changes the moods of those around you. It can refocus my family if things are crazy. It can calm me when things seem to be out of control or desperate.

3.   I am one of the greatest role models my kids have. This is NOT what I want to be thinking about when I’m yelling for the 10th time or telling my son how frustrating he is. =( How humbling it is to be correcting my kids behavior and yet I’m the biggest hypocrite when it comes to calm and productive behavior. If I want productive children, I should show them how hard I work. If I want my kids to be loving, they need to learn that from me.

4.   Plan, Plan, Plan. Not having a plan leads to havoc. I can’t emphasize this enough in my life. Does this mean no time for a spontaneous day? No…because you can plan to have a spontaneous day. I love when I really focus and finish a two week menu plan. I mean….to be able to do some dinner prep at 2 when the toddler is napping is WAY easier than deciding at 5pm that I don’t want to make dinner nor do I have anything to make. If I can plan and tackle schoolwork and household errands early in my day/week, I will not have to decline fun field trips or possible last minute fun due to poor planning.

 5.   My life is great. Even when I’m stressed, overworked, frustrated, or worn out…I must remember that my life is great. I have an amazing husband, good and loving children, and an amazing network of family and friends.

I’m thinking about printing this out and posting it on my mirror for when I wake up in the morning. I am hoping that these statements will be branded on my brain and on my heart.

Wishing you much peace.

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.

IMG_0307

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://i0.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

Tuesday Tip: Three simple words…” I love you”….

I love you.

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Three simple words but…they can be the hardest to say.

My tip for today is simple.

Say it.

Say it with your words.

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Say it with your hugs.

IMG_0474IMG_1196Say it with your quality time.

IMG_0802Say it to your kids.

Say it to your mom who “hates that kind of stuff”.

daddy pileSay it to your dad who “doesn’t say that kind of stuff”.

daddy comes home

Say it to your older daughter who thinks its “not cool” or “already knows how you feel”.

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Say it to your son when he rolls his eyes and says, ” Come on…”

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Say it as often as possible.

Don’t wait til its too late.

People NEVER really regret telling people that they love them.

They regret NEVER saying it.

Daddy’s gifts…..priceless loveletters…

My husband recently returned from a work trip to Florida with two little yellow ducks for Mini Me and Miss Missy. Work trips are always hard on the kids but sometimes Daddy will surprise them with a little “I was thinking of you” present. As I came in Miss Missy’s bedroom to give her a little kiss goodnight, I saw her sweet little face asleep with her arms wrapped tight around that duck……with her arms wrapped tight around the neck of her dad, cause…let’s be honest….that’s really what this duck is all about. This  little duck reminds her that she is loved….deeply….by her daddy. Who wouldn’t want a crazy, yellow duck!!!!

Two girlies and a duck

Two girlies and a duck

Vintage Teddy Bear Figurine Collection

It looked something like this……=)

This duck reminds me of my own “duck” growing up. It was a teddy bear figurine that my dad had purchased in a little country store in North Carolina. But to understand…..let’s go back for a minute….

When I was a young girl, my dad wasn’t very involved in my everyday activities. My mom would buy me birthday presents and say that they were from my dad and he would smile, looking to see what he got me. I was a kid…but I wasn’t stupid. I knew my dad would have no clue what to get me or what I even liked. But, I was a daddy’s girl and I hung on his every word. I longed for anytime I could get alone with him, which wasn’t very often. My dad was traditional…he worked long, hard hours as a fire chief, and expected his wife to take care of everything “inside the house”. However, I think he neglected to see his true “calling” as a young father. His upbringing lacked the tenderness that my children get from their dad, and I believe that made it difficult for him to assume that he would really know how to be tender…he just struggled not to be rough. I think he neglected to see how vital he was to my upbringing. What he didn’t realize was that…I thought he hung the moon…=)

My birthday weekend, my dad was out of town. His dad was physically struggling and my dad had returned to his childhood home to help out. I will never forget that night when he returned home. He said, “hey…Tammi. I have a birthday present for you”, and handed me a brown paper bag. My mom, who was busy in the kitchen, came through to see what it was. I’m sure she was just as stunned as I was. From that bag, I pulled out the coolest bear figurine. My dad proceeded to tell me that he stopped off at our “family favorite ” antique store and picked it up for me. At the time, I was obsessed with teddy bear figurines and had started a collection on top of my dresser. I had NO IDEA that my dad even knew that. After thanking him, I ran to my room to find a place on my dresser for that bear, a huge smile across my face. My dad…remembered. =) My dad…thought of me….=) My dad doesn’t remember that bear or that memory….but I do. That bear found his way to my college dorm and later in my first born’s baby nursery.

My dad was the first “knight”, this princess ever met. He taught me to respect myself and desire the best. What about your princes and princesses? Do they have a knightly daddy? or A queenly mommy? As parents, we must constantly be aware of the genuine needs our children have for love and affection. Our children just want to be loved. To be cherished. To go to bed at night with happy memories of a childhood filled with yellow ducks and teddy bear figurines.

God bless,

Tammi

Puerto Rico!!!!….(can’t I just go back….)

Our resort, the El Conquistador

Our resort, the El Conquistador

Vacation……even the word makes me smile…….

it was just like I imagined….hot sun….cool breeze…no rush…

The hubby and I just returned from a trip to Puerto Rico. It was an opportunity to be spoiled, by his company for a great sales year, and a chance for us to be rejuvenated, and refreshed. We stayed at this beautiful resort called the El Conquistador, that was nested in the side of a mountain. It was heavenly.

Here are some of my favorite “souveniors” from the trip:

  1. I am married to my best friend. Our marriage requires my time. Our relationship needs to be nurtured outside of monthly dates and business meetings. On this trip, we made sure we held hands and turned off our phones during our dates. We enjoyed not discussing our jobs as parents, but just talked about each other. We didn’t need a reminder that we are in love…we just needed time to indulge in it.
overlooking the Caribbean sea after drinks

overlooking the Caribbean sea after drinks

getting fancy for dinner

getting fancy for dinner

2.) Sometimes its fun just to goof off. To take insane photos and laugh about them later.

because...we think we are funny...

because…we think we are funny…

all for my son....he would have let that iguana crawl on him if I could get a shot...

all for my son….he would have let that iguana crawl on him if I could get a shot…

acting like I'm a model...can you tell I just went shopping before the trip?

acting like I’m a model…can you tell I just went shopping before the trip?

3.) Be willing to do something that you have never done before. You will gain a new sense of confidence and pride that you don’t expect. The hubby and I had so many opportunities for fun when we were in Puerto Rico. It was just a matter of making the time/effort and going. One of these opportunities included taking a water ferry to a private island called Los Palominos and going horseback riding. It was, initially, very intimidating and scary. Neither one of us felt confident in handling a horse up the mountain top and being in control. We were going up a rocky mountain on the island and it was stressed that we needed to be able to be calm and exhibit control. It was tought…but the view was sooooo worth it.

A view of Los Palominos

A view of Los Palominos

yep....

yep….that was one bad ass horse. She gave me trouble the whole time. I felt like I was correcting one of my kids.

the hottie hubby

the hottie hubby

our view from the top

our view from the top

4.) Enjoy MANY of the local favorites…..no worries there.

mango daiquiri

mango daiquiri

appetizer and drinks

appetizer and drinks

5.) Never take beauty for granted. Stop and take in the beautiful surroundings. I think I must have taken several pictures of the same things. I was so overwhelmed by how gorgeous everything was.

view of the marina

view of the marina

the view from our tram looking down into the marina.

the view from our tram looking down into the marina.

hot tourists...

sorry…that one was just “begging” to be in the mix. =)

view from our hotel room

view from our hotel room

the cathedral in town

the cathedral in town

6.) Take pictures together. Make a point of having other people take photos for you. Try and not delete them.  Treasure those memories even if you think you look fat, or short, or whatever.

before the beach...

before the beach…

before dinner

before dinner

7.) Most of all, try to “capture time”. This last picture is my favorite from the trip. It really shows how relaxed my husband and I are. It was taken our last day in Puerto Rico, and we were leaving in a few hours to go home. At this point, we were ready to see our kids….ready to get back to reality…..cuz, see….we really LOVE our life!!!

lovin' this guy

lovin’ this guy