Enduring All Things

Friday, September 21, 2018

2 Ways to be Intentional With Your Marriage

Hey Guys! This month is turning out to be the month of guest posts! I've got another good one for you today. I feel like Amanda took these words right out of my head. If you're not doing these three things already, you need to! Your marriage will benefit so much. Also, she's a fellow PNW-er and Disney lover so we need to be like BFFs or something. Oh and she's gearing up for her first launch on Monday so go give her some love after you read this post!

Take it away, Amanda!

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It can be all too easy to let the days slip away and accidentally put your marriage on the back burner. I don’t think that anyone ever intentionally does it, and yet it happens so often. We get wrapped up in children, projects, work, etc. because they scream the loudest for our attention, or have deadlines. It’s especially easy for my husband and I to slip away from being intentional about our marriage because both of us are introverts and need time to decompress each day alone. When one of us says they need some alone time, the other one has no problem agreeing and finding something else to do.

Not too long ago, my husband and I got to a point where our marriage had been on the back burner for far too long and we were having connectivity issues because of it. Lots of miscommunications, and fights which led to wanting to spend even more time alone. It’s crazy how that works, right? We end up driven away from wanting to do what is most needed to help fix things. Which is where the idea of being intentional with your marriage comes in. Even when things are hard and you don’t feel like putting that effort in? Put it in. Here are just a few ways that my husband and I be sure to be intentional with our marriage so we can avoid getting to that point.

Scheduled Date Nights

Sure, it seems unromantic, but when we are having weekly date nights, our chemistry meter is so much higher. For a long time, we would attempt to have a date night during the weekends, but inevitably something would come up or we would be just too plain worn out after a long week to bother. So we picked a weeknight instead! Every single Tuesday (unless my husband is on duty), we have a date night. Here are our rules for our intentional date night:
  1. Date night can mean going out, or staying in. Especially for parents, going out for date night every single week and paying a babysitter can be expensive. But you can have a perfectly good night at home! Put the kids to bed a little early and get creative with what you do!
  2. We get dressed up for each other. We live in the PNW so sweats and yoga pants are the norm. However, we want to make sure we take the time to make date night special. So, even if we’re just having an at home date night, no sweats allowed.
  3. We have to actually spend quality time together. Date night is not a night where we can sit on the couch and cuddle and watch TV. As much as we love those things, we don’t really connect then.

Weekly Family Meetings

Every Sunday night, we sit down and discuss the upcoming week. That way, we are able to get on the same page about what’s going on, what our schedules look like, and what we expect from the other. This has helped us drastically when it comes to miscommunications. By talking out expectations and needs at the beginning of the week, we’re able to better serve each other. Here are a few of the questions we go through during our family meetings.
  1. What do our schedules look like this week?
  2. How are we going to split chores up this week?
  3. What expectations do we have for each other?
  4. What are we worried/stressed/upset about?
  5. When will we have date night and quality time together?

Setting Boundary Lines

This one is especially important for those with busy schedules. My husband works a ton of hours since he’s in the Navy, and I’m a preschool teacher who is also running an online business. Things can get pretty crazy between our two schedules! So, as you’ll see in question number five, we set boundary lines. Basically, this just means we set aside time specifically for being with each other and doing something together. Unlike date night, this can absolutely mean just cuddling on the couch. However, this time is not moveable. A friend asks us to hang out? Sorry, going to have to be another time. This came about because we were having issues lining up our schedules and then not being intentional with that time where they were lined up. So this forces us to make sure we get good quality time in!

Being intentional with your marriage isn’t hard, it just takes a little proactivity. And sure, it may not be the most romantic thing to plan all of this out, but it truly does increase the connection level between spouses, which could increase spontaneity! A long term marriage or relationship cannot survive off of spontaneity, or waiting until you “feel like” doing something for/with your spouse, alone. You’ve got to be intentional and make plans. What do you do to be intentional with your marriage? Leave a comment below!

Author Bio: Amanda Warfield, of https://amandawarfield.com, is a preschool teacher who got fed up with telling herself, “tomorrow is another day” as she got into bed each night because she felt so overwhelmed with what she hadn’t been able to accomplish each day. When she discovered minimalism, her life was transformed and she wants to help other women feel the same peace. Her goal is to use her passion for teaching and her passions for minimalism, organization, and productivity to help every wife and mom spend less time on their to-do lists and more time doing what they love with who they love! You can also find her here:

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Pinterest || Book Club on FB
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Friday, September 7, 2018

How To Rekindle Romance In Your Long-Term Relationship

I have another great guest post for you today. I love everything about this post and agree with all the points Clara makes! Some of these points I've actually blogged about myself. It's always a good time for a few reminders.

So without further adieu, here are some great ways to rekindle romance in your long-term relationship!

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Research with American couples suggests that there is a negative effect of marital duration on happiness. In other words, couples slowly become more dissatisfied over time. Only 35% of those married for ten years say that they feel intense love for their spouse.

Such research appears to support the cliché that ardent love and romance tends to die in long-term relationships. On the other hand, some couples do keep the flame alive. So, how do they do it?
Here are a few ideas:

1. Try something completely different and slightly scary: 

When you try something new and exciting, your body releases dopamine and oxytocin, two “feel-good” hormones that promote bonding. Family therapist Gary Brown advises that thrilling activities will strengthen your attachment.

If you aren’t sure where to start, put an “Ideas Jar” in your bedroom. When you get an idea for a new activity, put it in the jar. You or your partner can then pick one out at random when you have a couple of spare hours.

2. Take up new solo hobbies if you don’t already have your own interests: 

Spending too much time together can drain the romance and excitement from your relationship.

Make sure you have your own space, your own friends, and your own hobbies. Independence and confidence are attractive qualities. Read a few love yourself quotes every day if you need a self-esteem boost.

3. Take a trip down memory lane:

Revisiting old hangouts and listening to music you associate with the early days of your relationship can trigger nostalgic feelings. Reliving your most romantic moments can rekindle the spark and remind you why you fell in love.

4. Schedule a regular date night:

In the first phase of your relationship, you probably put time alone together at the top of your priority list. Unfortunately, when you started to build a life together, romantic evenings may have started slipping to the bottom.

Make a point of setting aside one evening a week to spend as a couple. This is particularly important if you have children. Parents often get stuck in their new role of “mom” or “dad.” Remember that you are still partners and lovers above all else.

5. Learn how to give a massage:

Intimate touch is both relaxing and romantic, and a massage is a wonderful way to show how much you care. If you want to give your partner a really luxurious experience, use some warming massage oil. Turn it into a special evening with the additional of soothing background music and scented candles.

6. Get to know your partner a little better:

Intimacy is the foundation of all good relationships. You may assume that you know everything about your partner, but they might surprise you. Use a couples’ app like Kindu to discover more about their tastes, preferences, and even wildest fantasies!

7. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude:

Remind yourself of all the things your partner does for you, and why they make you happy. Write them a letter expressing your admiration, or simply make a point of telling them why they are so awesome. When you make a point of admiring your partner, they are likely to do the same in return.

8. Take a few minutes to check in every morning or evening:

Don’t let yourself get so busy that you start detaching from your partner. Show that you are truly present in your relationship by setting aside all distractions and checking in. Ask them whether they would like you to run any errands.

It’s inevitable that your love for one another will change in time, but you can still enjoy plenty of romance. Make a game of keeping the spark alive, and you can look forward to many fun-filled years together.

Author Bio:

Clara Masters
Clara is an entrepreneur and content marketer. In a former life, as a corporate business executive, she relied on yoga, reflexology and other alternative practices to fight stress, anxiety and find balance. At Massageaholic.com she’s on a mission to bring massage therapy closer to those who want to live a balanced, healthy life, connecting body, mind and spirit. You can follow her on Facebook and Pinterest.
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Sweater Weather Couple’s Activities

Summer is coming to a close and the first subtle signs of fall are making themselves known, from the changing of leaves to the first pumpkin spice flavored beverage, it is a very exciting time of year! Fall is a season of change and new beginnings and with the changes taking place all around us, it also means new opportunities to spend time with your partner and make cherished memories. Get out your sweaters and flannels and let’s look at a few ways couples can make the most out of the fall season.
Related: I Love Fall
Related: Fall Date Ideas

Summer is coming to a close and the first subtle signs of fall are making themselves known, from the changing of leaves to the first pumpkin spice flavored beverage, it is a very exciting time of year! Fall is a season of change and new beginnings and with the changes taking place all around us, it also means new opportunities to spend time with your partner and make cherished memories. Get out your sweaters and flannels and let’s look at a few ways couples can make the most out of the fall season.

The Great Outdoors

Fall is the perfect time where the weather is cooling down enough that being outside is a bit more bearable. Basking in the majesty of creation around us in nature is a great way to bond with your significant other. Go on a romantic walk with your spouse in a local park or nature trail and have front row seats for the changing leaves and all of the beautiful colors that set the stage for a beautiful couple’s excursion. After the sun sets, enjoy a crisp, clear outing under the beautiful night sky, stargazing and looking at constellations together.
Summer is coming to a close and the first subtle signs of fall are making themselves known, from the changing of leaves to the first pumpkin spice flavored beverage, it is a very exciting time of year! Fall is a season of change and new beginnings and with the changes taking place all around us, it also means new opportunities to spend time with your partner and make cherished memories. Get out your sweaters and flannels and let’s look at a few ways couples can make the most out of the fall season.

Frugal Romance

Dates don’t have to be costly. Instead of going out to a pricey restaurant and the movie theater, save money by staying in and making it a dinner and movie date night at home. Cooking together can be a fun couple’s activity and make it a real special occasion where you treat yourself to something you both really enjoy. Afterwards, cuddle up on the couch while sharing dessert and enjoy a wholesome Christian movie whether it’s an inspiring drama, a clean romantic comedy, or even a classic Hollywood movie from a bygone era of romance on film. And if you want to make it a late date night, get in your PJs and break out some fun board games for friendly competition that only gets more fun, silly, and competitive as you get sleepier.
Summer is coming to a close and the first subtle signs of fall are making themselves known, from the changing of leaves to the first pumpkin spice flavored beverage, it is a very exciting time of year! Fall is a season of change and new beginnings and with the changes taking place all around us, it also means new opportunities to spend time with your partner and make cherished memories. Get out your sweaters and flannels and let’s look at a few ways couples can make the most out of the fall season.

Exercise

When you are trying to get into the habit of exercising, whether it’s getting back into a routine or setting a new personal exercise goal, nothing is more motivating than having another person alongside you to keep each other on track. When working out with the person you love, it is even better as you push each other as you reach for your goals together! Fall is the perfect time to go for walks or jogs in the crisp autumn air, by riding bikes through a park with all of the beautiful changing leaves or even finding a nice spot to do some outdoor yoga are a great way to enjoy time together this fall. And it’s go ahead and treat yourself to a post-Church brunch date on a Sunday once in a while as a reward for your hard work together!
Summer is coming to a close and the first subtle signs of fall are making themselves known, from the changing of leaves to the first pumpkin spice flavored beverage, it is a very exciting time of year! Fall is a season of change and new beginnings and with the changes taking place all around us, it also means new opportunities to spend time with your partner and make cherished memories. Get out your sweaters and flannels and let’s look at a few ways couples can make the most out of the fall season.

Fall Classics

Perhaps the most important couple activities to take part in are the classic fall staples that many look forward to every year! Most of these activities are fun outdoor visits like going apple picking at a local orchard, visiting a cider mill, picking pumpkins, or getting lost in a corn maze. If you are staying indoors, there are more fun couple cooking ideas like baking a pie or making caramel apples for this festive time of year. If you are sports fans, making snacks and watching football together this season is a great activity to look forward to and is fun to invite your other couple’s friends over for as well.

These are but a few great ways to enjoy the upcoming autumn season.

What are some ways that you look forward to spending sweater weather time with the one you love?
Thanks for reading!
*This post was inspired by PureFlix.com.

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Monday, September 3, 2018

Monthly Goals for September {2018}

Happy Labor Day!! Confession: I'm writing this on Tuesday, September 4th. The day after Labor Day. And I'm back-dating it for the first week day of the month so it will be like all my other goals posts. I also haven't written August's "Reading/Watching/Listening" post. And when I do, I will back-date that one for the last week day in August. I did the same for July's "Reading/Watching/Listening."

My name is Charlene and I have a problem with procrastination. And holding myself accountable. If nobody else is really counting on me to get something done, it often doesn't get done. Or I at least don't meet the deadline.

My name is Charlene and I also have a type-A personality and everything has to be organized and in place. Therefore, I back-date posts so they show up on the correct day.

How's that for some confessions? Haha and now for more confessions, let's talk goals!

How I did in August:

Spiritual:

Physical:

  • Eat intuitively.
  • Walk/run a trail somewhere at least three times per week.

Mental:

Marriage:

Blog:

  • Promote The Dating Divas' "Marriage Bundle" (Which I contributed to)
  • Implement the 10 Day Marriage Challenge I've been planning.

Home:

  • Put up curtains
  • Get the picture for our one still blank wall printed and hung up
  • Cook dinner at home 5 times per week
  • Buy new living room furniture!!!
So I sorta, kinda, did about half of my goals. Meh. I have a feeling this month will be better because it's almost fall and I'm always more motivated in Autumn!

Resetting in September:

Spiritual:

Physical:

Mental:

Marriage:

Blog:

  • Implement the 10 Day Marriage Challenge I've been planning.
  • Post 2 blog posts per week

Home:

  • Put up curtains
  • Get the picture for our one still blank wall printed and hung up
  • Re-arrange my gallery wall above my desk
  • Cook dinner at home 5 times per week
I think this goals are doable and I'm excited to get back into more of a routine this month as summer winds down.

Do you set monthly goals? Share your link in the comments or just tell me a few of your goals! Let's support each other!
Thanks for reading!

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All opinions are my own.
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Friday, August 31, 2018

What I've been Reading, Watching, and Listening To {August 2018}

Hi guys! Once again, I'm writing this post about a week late. And I will back-date it again to be published on the last week day of August. I don't know why I have such a hard time writing these. I think it's just overwhelming when I write all the reviews at once. I need to write them individually as I read, watch, and listen to each item.

Anyway, here are my reviews for August. Enjoy!

Books:

The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines - 5/5 stars

So of course this is simply a memoir of Chip and Jojo's life together focusing on their business (which was their life) and it was fascinating. For whatever reason, I fly through memoirs of famous people I look up to. I finished this book in two days. That's always the case with this kind of non-fiction. Anyway, I was mesmorized by their story and certainly impressed by their values. And now I'm determined to "thrive rather than just survive" in every stage of life!

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery - 5/5 stars

So believe it or not, this was my first time reading Anne of Green Gables. And I expected it to be good. But holy cow! It was incredible! I'm really not completely sure what to say about it because you all probably have read it or at least know the story. But basically Anne is an incredible little orphan girl and I learned so much from the book. I can only imagine the lessons I could have learned if I had read it as a child.

Also, the most recent medium I had consumed about Anne was "Anne with an E" on Netflix. I figured they had exaggerated some things for Hollywood and I guessed that some of the political/social issues addressed in the show would not be present in the book. But I had NO IDEA that the show added completely new characters that aren't even mentioned in the book. And HUGE side stories about certain characters spending years of their lives traveling. Crazy!

Oh and yes this book is about Anne from age 11 to age 16. It follows her life as she's adopted and goes through school. Therefore it is classified as a "juvenile" read. I am currently reading Anne of Avonlea which opens on Anne at 16 about to start her career as a school teacher. I'll be honest, I'm loving the story of this one even better as I can relate to her a bit more. The books will probably get better to me as the progress.

Manna by Marshall Brain - 3/5 stars

Ok so this "book" is 8 chapters long and completely published online. I probably shouldn't have given it 3 stars because in that rating system, I am comparing it to novels. I'm not really sure what to call it because it's not really a story. Marshall Brian calls it an "essay" on his website so I guess we can go with that. Anyway, it's set in the future when robots take over. I don't want to give too much away but it's certainly interesting and eye opening. I do think everyone should read it, just don't expect it to be incredibly entertaining. And it is only 8 chapters so you can read that, right? Oh and I don't recall any R-rated or even PG13-rated conflict, in case you're wondering.

Blog Posts/Articles:

Honestly, I read a lot of blog posts about the Marriage Bundle in August.

Also, this amazing gem of a post by Chelsea of The New Wifestyle: Are You Talented or Skilled?

And of course, everything Amberly of A Prioritized Marriage wrote all month!

TV Shows:

Twin Peaks - 5/5 stars

You guys, this show is the weirdest, most brilliant thing on Netflix! Okay I can't say that because I haven't seen everything on Netflix. But guys, Twin Peaks is amazing! It's old and creepy. It's set in the PNW. It has Kyle MacLachlan. What more can you want? We're so invested in what happens in this small town. It started with a single murder case and now there are crimes popping up all over.

Agents of Shield - 3.5/5 stars

Ok you guys. I love this show. Pearson laughs at me for that. I'll admit, it's not the greatest story or production ever, but... I guess I just love the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For whatever reason, I am very invested in these characters. And yes, the stories are getting a little ridiculous and outlandish. There's a reason there is only going to be one more season. They got a last minute renewal with only 13 episodes and it won't air until July 2019.

Anyway, what I care about is the people and the relationships. For one, they remind me so much of Harry Potter characters. When we watched the season 5 finale, I could not get this one part out of my head. It was so sad and it put me in a funk. I got super sad and mopey for a while and I think the show was a big part of it!

Stranger Things - 5/5 stars

Yes. We watched season 2 of Stranger Things. Again. Over the last weekend in August, because it's starting to feel like fall and we wanted to watch something creepy. Guys it was as good the second time as the first! But I'm guessing I don't have to tell you that. I hate that season 3 isn't coming out till next summer!

Movies:

Coco - 5/5 stars

You guys I knew this was going to be good. I mean it's Disney/Pixar. And I had only heard good things about it. Besides, I'm sort of obsessed with the Day of the Dead celebration. You guys, this movie was so good. It might be my new favorite Pixar movie! I'm so glad we finally watched it on Netflix.

To All the Boys I've Loved - 3/5 stars

This fun little high school drama, Netflix chick-flick was actually pretty entertaining. Of course, take it for what it's worth. But I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Get Smart - 4/5 stars

I watched Get Smart a long time ago. Probably when it first came out. But Pearson had never seen it so one night we saw it was on Netflix so we decided to randomly watch it. Anyway, it was hilarious and I enjoyed it even more this time than the first!

YouTube:

Sheila Gregoire of To Love, Honor, and Vacuum started a new video series called "Ask Sheila" where she discusses questions about marriage. I've enjoyed it a lot!

Pearson and I have been watching ALL the SNL on YouTube! It's our current favorite pass time!

Justine Leconte's videos about capsule wardrobes helped me to create mine!

This incredibly insightful video from The Gottman Institute explaining their concept, Bids for Connection.


Listening:

The Mamma Mia and Mamma Mia: Here we Go Again soundtracks! I forgot how much I love Abba!

Have you ever heard of the genre of music called Chap Hop? It's hip-hop/rap done by British gentlemen! It's hilarious and amazing!

What have you been reading, watching, and listening to lately? Have any recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!

Follow me on social media:
Posts on this blog may contain affiliate links. 
If you click on a link and make a purchase, I might get a little money. 
All opinions are my own.
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