If you haven't read last week's post on this topic, you might want to take a few moments and read it before you move on to this one.
How was this week for you? Did you take some time to be a treasure for your spouse? This week was a little hectic at our house this week--cleaning, taking down Christmas (sniff, sniff), church, back to school, back to work, The Lion King!!!, and just the regular hustle and bustle. There were more than a few moments in there I really just wanted to wear my pj pants and lounge around the house, but as a general rule I really tried to look presentable. I spent a few dollars on a new shade of lipstick to remind myself to put it on and freshen my face (it was from Rimmel, so you know I didn't break the bank--but, can I take a moment and say I like Rimmel? Cheap and fairly long-lasting!) I tried to be agreeable, and I tried to phrase things much nicer when speaking to my love this week. I tried over and over to be considerate.
I'm not even sure if Chris is reading this or not, but I thought it was a really good week at the Avery house despite all the chaos.
Week Two is about reflecting on your time together with your spouse. Do you take time to do things together on a regular basis? Or, is it more fly by the seat of your pants and hope to see each other at least once a day (or week, or month, or by next Christmas!)
I know how insane life gets--between work, school, church, and household tasks that it is so easy to let your relationship with your spouse get pushed way back. Chris and I tend to go on long stretches in which we don't do anything for just the two of us. We're too busy tending to our lives that we forget to stop and remember those people we were pre-marriage and children.
This has got to stop!
Why do we allow other mundane tasks and life get in the way of our relationships with those who matter most to us?
Chris and I usually cook family meals together. One chops, one stirs the pot. It's our time for communication, completing a household task together, and creates an atmosphere of togetherness in our family. Our girls see us working together in the kitchen and they usually end up in there as well--drawing at the table or singing crazy songs. It gets a little busy and crowded, but it keeps us from being isolated. I appreciate the fact that Chris rolls up his sleeves and works beside me in the kitchen. It's nice to have the extra help.
What about you and your spouse? What are things you can do together? Here's a list of ideas for you to try:
1. Clean out something in your home.
I know, I know, I know you are rolling your eyes in disbelief and before you slam your laptop shut, hear me out! We cleaned our out attic this past weekend and it was actually. . . not terrible.
The time was not terrible. . . the mess was over the top!
We laughed at old photos and letters, smiled and talked about how much we had changed, and ended up with a clean attic. We were able to donate a ton of items to Goodwill and threw away years of accumulation. It was such a fun afternoon!
2. Paint or redecorate.
Chris and I love to paint walls. It's a cheap fix to a plain old room, and if you hate it, well, then repaint it again.
3. Take a stroll in the neighborhood. If your kids are of the riding bikes age, let them go in front of you. It's good exercise, fresh air, and time out of the house distractions of cell phones, computers, and that ever-growing laundry pile.
4. Take a stroll around Lowe's or your neighborhood home improvement store. I love Lowe's. My husband loves Lowe's. We love to walk around and look at it all. It's fun to window shop and dream and talk about making your house more of a home. And, they have fancy car shopping carts that my girls love to "drive" while in the store.
5. Take a mini vacation to celebrate important events. The past two years Chris and I have made a point to go somewhere for our anniversary. It doesn't have to be very far, it doesn't have to cost a lot, you don't have to do anything while you're there--but you need that time alone!
5. Rent a non-cartoon movie, turn down the lights, and snuggle. Perfection! You can visit the Redbox, borrow a friend's movie, or watch one your own already.
6. Invite other grownups to join you. Remember how much fun it was to double date in college with another couple? Recently, Chris and I went out to eat with the Collies before their return to South Africa and it was GREAT to be out with another couple in the same stage of life.
7. Appreciate those small pockets of conversation. Got a 10 minute drive to the store or church? Talk to you spouse instead of turning on the radio or checking messages on your cell phone.
8. Call Grandma. Chris and I are so fortunate to have parents who are living close by--and the girls love to spend the night at their homes. If you don't have a family member around, trade nights with a good friend who also has children. It's such a nice feeling to know that you can go out or go home, and someone is loving on your children as much as you would. Thank you, thank you, thank you Bobbie, Carolyn, John, and Curtis!!!
9. Sit outside. Let the kids play in the yard or pool and sit with your love. Talk, enjoy a beverage (tea or lemonade are our household favorites), and just admire the weather. It's so good for the soul to be outside at the end of day and smell grills, watch the sky changing colors, and listening to the sounds. Just don't forget your bug spray--the mosquitos love Christacular's sweet meat!
10. Go on a real date. Yes, hire a sitter (or grandparent), dress up, and go out. Take the time to put on makeup and perfume or cologne and wear something other than jeans or yoga pants! Brush and floss your teeth, wax or pluck your brows, everyone needs to shave, and consider their appearances before going out the door.
Stop with the mentality of "He/she won't care. We're married!"
The reality is: We still care!
Stop "dating" just because you're married--take the time to make it special. You'll feel good, you'll appreciate your spouse's good looks again, and you'll be inclined to be more romatincal (a classic Chris phrase) while out and about.
Your assignment this week is to spend some time together.
I'm curious--what do you and your spouse or significant other do for together time?