12 Days of Romance Challenge–Give The Gift Your Hubby *Really* Wants This Year!

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12 Days of Romance Challenge -- Give The Gift Your Hubby *Really* Wants This Year!

Ready or not we’re into that wonderful, stressful, crazy, fun time of year again! Last year I shared ideas on How To Keep Your Marriage Happy & Hot During the Most Draining Time of The Year so this year I wanted to follow that up but take a slightly different twist!

I don’t know about you, but my hubby is by far the hardest person to buy for on my list every year! It’s always a challenge since he never has a list of things he wants that I can get for him. Usually this means that I resort to going shopping with him and letting him pick out a fancy new electronic toy. I tell him “Merry Christmas” while we purchase it and we call it good for the year.

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How To Keep Your Marriage Happy & Hot During the Most Draining Time of The Year–Spice Things Up!

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The “most wonderful time of the year” is usually anything but that for couples! I never realized how hot-spot laden holidays could be until I got married! Suddenly a time which before was just full of fun and traditions now became wrought with tight finances, merging plans, in-laws, travel, and loads of expectations on all sides. Talk about a mine field! The fact that everything is “supposed” to be wonderful can sometimes just add to the trigger points.

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Top 5 Tips for a Happy Marriage

Top 5 Tips for a Happy Marriage

9 years ago today I walked down the aisle to Pacbell’s Cannon and began the adventure that is my life as a Wyoming Girl turned Coastie Wife! It’s been a lot of crazy and a lot of fun, and I can’t wait for the next 50 years of life with my Bob. So here are my top 5 tips for a Happy Marriage in celebration of today!

Also! Just wanted to add a little note to encourage those of you who might *not* feel so happy right now, and that’s is that the biggest tip outside of these is that even happy marriages have un-happy times. That’s the nature of being married and living this thing we call life!

1. Always, always, Stay friends — Spend time together, laugh, joke, play with each other. just make sure that your spouse is your very best friend. During the crazy, insane, hard times that will pull you through like nothing else ever possibly could.

Proverbs 18:24
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

2. Fall back in love. Go back from time to time and look at pictures from when you were dating/engaged, go back and re-read your love letters to each other, look at cards, look at presents etc from that time period. Remember WHY you fell in love and chose to spend your life with this person. I have a “Bob album” where I keep all these kinds of things. It makes it easy any time I’m feeling sappy like a few “Awwwws”

1 Cor. 13:7 & 8 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

3. Comparison is the thief of joy. You’ve probably seen this quote floating around and that’s because it’s SO good and SO true. Never ever ever compare yourself or your marriage to other couples. Everyone can put on a pretty face or gush about each other on Facebook but you have NO idea what’s going on behind closed doors. Just wish them all the best and hope they have as amazing of marriages as it looks like they do–and work your hardest to keep yours amazing and strong as well. Also realize that each couple is faced with their very own and very unique set of challenges in their marriage. Holding your husband or yourself up to them is an unfair measuring stick for everyone and will leave you feeling unsatisfied or pridefully vain. If you must compare, compare YOU and only you to the instructions laid out in scripture.

James 3:16 ESV For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

4. Be careful little mouth what you say. Other than perhaps your Godly mentor that you share all your life/spiritual struggles with do not EVER speak badly about your spouse in a public way online or off. Be careful of even little things that can under-cut them and wound them. They are already super insecure (we ALL are) so always build them up!

Eph. 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

5. Find Godly resources on marriage and read, read, read, and re-read them.I have an entire pinboard called Happily Ever After that I use to keep track of amazing blog posts and our bookshelves are full of Christian marriage books-not because we’ve ever had a bad marriage, but just because we want to be so sure to keep having an *amazing* one! Other resources that I love are here:

#1 The Bible — I mean–really. Should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyways. Did you know you can even download it for free for your e-reader or read it online in ESV? Check it out!

Favorite Blogs:

To Love Honor and Vacuum — an amazing blog! She deals a lot with marriage and also wrote the book A Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex   which is in my very narrow “must read for every married woman” category

The Peaceful Wife — Oh! What a blessing this blog has been to me!! Seriously–she speaks the truth about marriage from God’s word and I always go away convicted, blessed, challenged and refreshed!

Carla Anne — if you’re a wife whose husband has to be gone for long lengths of time for any reason you NEED to aquatint yourself with Carla Anne’s site–and also her book Married Mom, Solo Parent

Favorite Books: (in addition to the two above ^^^)

For Women Only –This book really is everything your husband wishes you knew about him–but would die before telling you himself, or simply doesn’t “get” that you don’t “get”! As I said–this is one of only three books I’d call absolutely MUST HAVE marriage books! It’s a short, easy read but wow, what an amazing little book it is!

Created To Be  His Helpmeet — I feel like I need to give a “disclaimer” now as there are several things about the Pearls that I do NOT agree with and have seen since the time I first posted about this book. In fact most of the other Christian authors I love to read who write about marriage dislike the Pearls very much. This book for me, however, was my “lightbulb” book. It helped me to open my eyes to so many things in my marriage and I am so very grateful to it. Also her chapter about the three different kinds of men changed my life–if you ONLY get it to read that one chapter, it would be worth it in my eyes.

Worth Owning/Reading:

Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman — a very popular book that added another layer to the love and understanding in our marriage–a great one to own!

The Language of Love and Respect — another good read!

The Love Dare & The Respect Dare are both worth owning and doing! Oh and watch Fireproof with your spouse for a date if you never have!

Proverbs 15:22 Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.

Are you happily married? Please share your favorite tips and best advice in a comment below!

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Are you "his wife" or "this kiddos mom"?

To Love, Honor, and Vacuum is quickly becoming one of my new favorite blogs. In fact–I was so impressed that I wrote her an email asking her if I could “pretty please with a cherry on top” review her new book. (This all while I’ve been turning down other book pitches because my stack to read it reaching precariously high on my dresser).

Today in her Wifey Wednesdays post she posed the question–are you a better wife or mother?

I think that her post hit several amazing points so be sure to go read it!

As I’ve mentioned before the only thing I ever wanted to *really* be when I grew up was a stay at home mom. I always knew that was what I had a heart and joy for. The day after I found out that I was pregnant with Amber (although we’d been married a little over 2 years at the time she was a surprise!) Hubby and I headed to the beach. We lay on the warm North Carolina beach, held hands, gazed up at the sky over the glistening waves and marveled at the fact that life, our child, was now growing within me. We were suddenly parents, a family! At just 21 and 22 years old the weight and wonder of this swelled and overcame us with joy and anxiety.

As we lay there hubby turned and looked at me and said, “I’m excited. So excited. I’m just a little sad though.”

“Why would you be sad????” I questioned.

“Because I’m no longer the number one in your heart.” He replied.

I looked and him long and hard in the eyes and told him, from my very heart, “No, NO. I already love this baby with all that is in me and an amazing, incredible love. But you will ALWAYS be the number one in my heart.”

If you notice my blog’s name–I have Coastie Wife as the name–and I chose that name after both my precious kiddos were born. Though I love and thrive on being a mommy I have always worked hard towards being first and fore most knows as HIS wife, not Amber and Tyler’s Mom.

It’s hard to be a wife first. When kiddos whine for attention and dishes pile and books to review stack, and emails flood it’s hard for me to take a few hours when I could be “accomplishing things” and instead sit and talk, flirt, and play World of Warcraft with hubby. But that’s exactly what I did a few days ago. Because when Tyler’s napping it’s important for me to tell Amber that when Daddy is home he wants Mommy to play with him, and I can play with her later. I want my kids to see us talking, laughing, sharing,  poking each other. I want them to be in marriages someday like ours–

Perfect? Absolutely not! Easy? You must be kidding! Disagreement free? Of course not.

But rich, wonderful, deep, sustaining, fun, and adventurous? Yes, for sure!