MARRIAGE: Day 16-18 of 30 – Family First

Family First

Family reunions. They’re usually stressful event for couples.  A topic of contention. A partner’s moment to get creative with excuses to ditch.  On Day 16, 17 and 18 of this 30 Day Marriage Challenge I’m relieved that the tasks came easy, not despite the fact that we were having a huge family reunion but because we were hosting it.

Day 16
Thank him for all he does for your family. 

I had that cliche movie moment – when I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this guy.  I was on the other side of the world, studying abroad, and called my mom to check in.  There she was, having lunch with my aunt and my cousins (just babies at the time) – and there he was, without asking.  I didn’t expect him to spend time with my family when I wasn’t around. That was when I knew: he was the one.

Today, as I was preparing our house for the big reunion of my relatives visiting from across the country and from around the world, without asking – he was cleaning bathrooms, the basement, the kitchen. He wasn’t doing this for me. He was doing this for my family.  Our family.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Marriage

Day 17
Laugh with your husband today.

Easy! There was a lot of laughing today. There also happen to be a lot of wine.

A lot of the time I find him embarrassing because my husband is blunt and crass. But it balances my dry sense of humor. Together, we laugh a lot.  Nowadays, mostly about the things are kids say and do.  What made today even more special is being surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins – from ages 1 to 90 – all laughing together, in our home.

Day 18
Who is a wife you admire? Try to be more like her today. 

I really had to think about this one. There are definitely moms I admire, but I couldn’t think about a single wifely figure. It actually made me sad but also happy. One thing I’ve been working on is not comparing myself.  It puts me in a bad headspace.  So, I concluded that I’m content with what I am as a wife. And therefore, I will be ME today.

“Why compare yourself to others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.”

With all that said, there were people missing from our family reunion. People who have torn our family apart.  It made me even more grateful for the man who is my partner.  His presence in my life actually made my connection with my family stronger. Our extended family is bigger, yet tighter, because of it.  I don’t want to be bold and say that we are the bond to this family, but I’d like to think that there was a reason we were asked to host.  That the reunion was held in our home because everyone feels like its also their home.  It makes me hope that we’re doing something right as a couple.  And maybe I’m the wife to be admired.

Want to read all 30 Days of the Marriage Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

MARRIAGE: Day 13-15 of 30 – I’m Back! Just in Time

I’m Back! Just in time

We’re half-way through the 30 Day Marriage Challenge and I’m glad to state that whatever was bogging me down the past week has passed, and I’m back! No more dark cloud.  My smile has returned. The sun is out. I took the tasks for Day 13, 14 and 15 with a positive attitude and skipping into the second half with a better mindset.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Marriage

Day 13
Do not use sarcasm with your husband today. 

This reminds me of Day 2 where I had to go the whole day without correcting my husband. It was easier for me to just not talk! I was hoping today he was going to the office, which would make this task even easier to accomplish. No luck. He ended up having to work-from-home and I ended up having to bite my tongue quite a few times.  Sarcasm is just how I deal with life.

But, really? Don’t most marriages, especially with kids, communicate with varying levels of sarcasm?

Day 14
Remember that being a wife is a blessing. 

I know I’m blessed. Like I said on my “About Me” page,  I must’ve done something good in a prior life to be so lucky in this one.” I found what some people spend their whole lives searching for.

For 18-1/2 years we’ve been together.  8-1/2 of those years, married.  Whether as a girlfriend, fiancé, wife and mother of his kids… I’m am blessed to go through life with him as my best friend.

Day 15
Think only positive thoughts about your husband. 

Today he gave me so many reasons to think only positive thoughts about him.

He took the morning off to hike with the kids while I went for a job interview.  Before I left he said to the kids, “Wow, mommy looks beautiful.” It gave me a little perk in my step. Afterwards when I told him I think I bombed the interview, he reassured me but also told me to just keep moving forward. He’s also been my biggest supporter, but also my motivator.  He took us all out for lunch, then off he went to work (looking all handsome).

I’m glad whatever mini-rut I was going through in my head is gone, but I’m not going to ignore the thoughts it conjured up.  I hope that the remaining 15 days of this challenge continue to be interesting. I said I wanted this 30 Day Marriage Challenge to be a fun experience, but not all parts of marriage are fun.  So let’s see what else happens…

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Marriage Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

MARRIAGE: Day 10-12 of 30 – I’m Struggling

I’m Struggling

I feel so off because once again, tasks that seem menial I’m making difficult by overthinking them.  My marriage doesn’t need “help”, meaning there are no problems I felt needed fixing when I got into into 30 Day Marriage Challenge.  Yet I’m struggling. Mostly in my own head. With my own feelings. I’ve been sick for a week. Maybe the medicines are screwing with my mind.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Marriage

 

Day 10
Today’s focus: kindness

take 1
Not that I wasn’t kind to my husband today, but I didn’t feel like I went out of my way to be extra kind. This is the problem I had with the 30 Day Kindness Challengethe difference between common courtesy vs being out-of-the-box kind.

take 2
I came down with something, again!  My head was pounding and my body was achey.  My husband had to take care of the kids and me, again. I asked him, “How can I help?” as I laid on the couch watching him cook dinner for us.  Although this isn’t an extraordinary act of kindness, I take it back to Day 1-3 of the Kindness Challengedo it from a place of service, honestly and fullness. And from my Kindness Challenge Takeaways, that the most simple things can make the biggest impact.

Day 11
Tell him, “I’m so glad I married you.”

Why was this so hard? I was trying to find the perfect time to slip it into a conversation. I finally gave it up and just blurted it out, completely out of context, before the clock hit midnite.  It totally took away from it’s potential impact, and my husband’s WTH reaction was fitting.

Funnily enough, we were gossiping earlier in the day about someone whose wife recently passed away and how he remarried just a few months later.  Both of us stated – we probably wouldn’t remarry if that ever happened. As we held hands watching our kids run and laugh in the park, we concurred that we got married for this very moment – to be our own little family.  So, in our own way, non-verbatim, we said “I’m so glad I married you.”

Day 12
Pray for widsom in being a wife.

Since becoming a mom, the role has defined me.  It’s hard sometimes to distinguish the job of wife vs mom.  I take a conscious effort make sure him and me are alright, because I believe we are the foundation of our family. If we’re not right as husband and wife, then we can’t be good as dad and mom. That’s the reason I chose the 30 Day Marriage Challenge after-all.

A wife to me is…  a partner, not a servant. A supporter, not a yes-man. A motivator, not a deterrent.  Basically, all the things I expect of him as a husband, I need to deliver as a wife. I pray to remember this in those moments, like when I was acting like a bitter wife on Days 7, 8 and 9.

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Marriage Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

MARRIAGE: Day 7-9 of 30 – Boy, I Sound Like a Bitter Wife

Boy, I Sound Like a Bitter Wife

Up to this point, the 30 Day Marriage Challenge was all fun-and-games.  Then it got deep.  Day 7, 8, and 9 were seemingly simple tasks, but I had trouble letting go of things I didn’t realize were bothering me. Things I thought I reconciled in my mind a long time ago.  I stated one of my goals of this challenge was to be raw and unfiltered; not to sugarcoat. My marriage is not perfect, and I’m not going to pretend like it is.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Marriage

Day 7
Leave him a sweet note

Today is Valentine’s Day. I mentioned on Day 0 that we stopped exchanging gifts a long time ago.  Along with that, we also stopped giving cards, which I’m actually sad about.  I love cards – namely the art of thoughtfully written words.  I like to read and I obviously like to write (hello, blogging over here!). But years ago I discovered a letter I wrote to my husband that I had given him a year earlier still sealed in his drawer; it broke my heart. I know he didn’t not open it to be rude; he just doesn’t care for sentimental notions. After that I gave up on showing him my love in that format.

So today, instead of wasting my time and setting myself up for disappointment… I opted for something simple.  My kids (who still create cards for any occasion) had valentine’s cards ready for their dad.  So I asked my son for one of his Blaze and the Monster Machines Valentine’s and wrote one out to my husband.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Marriage

Today he was working from home, so we slipped it under his home office door giggling the entire time.  I don’t even know if he saw it, picked it up, or read it. I just know, he never acknowledged it. And I can’t say I’m surprised.

Day 8
Put at least one date night on your calendar this month.

Does anyone else not enjoy date night with their significant other?? My husband and I will go out to eat, with or without our kids, for survival. We need to eat.  But put that in the context of a date, and I dread it.

Not that I don’t enjoy my husband’s company, but ever since the normalization of smartphones it’s like he can’t hold a conversation. And since his jobs aren’t 9-5, I can’t really ask him to stop checking messages. Besides, I’m not exactly innocent myself.  Also, ever since we bought our homes and had children, we really don’t talk about anything else except the good and bad of those two things.

So like an old boring couple, the idea I came up with is having the kids sleepover their grandparents and have us cook a meal together.  It’s not a novel one, I know.  But, the out-of-the-box ideas I’ve suggested (i.e wine tasting, indoor-rock climbing, etc.) he shot down. Rejection is exhausting.

Day 9
Imagine how it feels to be in your husband’s shoes

Although I’m not that nice to him all the time, I definitely respect him and cater to his needs before my own.  His parents and mother-in-law spoil him.  His kids think he’s the the cooler parent. And his friends find him entertaining. I think he feels minimal pressure to fulfill these roles because being a good son, husband, father and friend comes naturally to him. He’s a good guy. However, I think he puts a lot of pressure to support and maintain it financially.  Meaning, he feels he needs to take care of his family is a very traditional sense, in the bringing-home-the-bacon way.

I imagine, in my husband’s trendy shoes (he actually has good taste in shoes – one of the things I find attractive in a guy), that he walks proudly of the life he’s created.  I also imagine him dragging his feet, tired from long hours. I picture him running, because he’s always in a rush to get to the next thing. And lastly, I see him kicking off his shoes, leaving them by the front door haphazardly knowing that he doesn’t have to put them away himself.

I had to step away from this post a few times because I feel like I’m coming off like a bitter wife.  Then I reminded myself that the purpose of doing this Marriage Challenge was to identify and address parts of my relationship with my husband that needs tweaking. Days 7, 8 and9 remind me of something I tell my kids all the time – you can’t control what other people do, but you can control how you react to it.

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Marriage Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

MARRIAGE: Day 4-6 of 30 – Take Care of Them, They Will Take Care of You

Take Care of Them, They Will Take Care of You

As a wife and parent my days are filled with taking care of my family.  Getting our morning started on-time and efficiently, making sure our days run smoothly and on-schedule, and then tucking our days in at night.  I can easily complain about how much thankless work it all is, any mom can – a working-mom or a stay-at-home-mom.  Most days I feel unappreciated and my efforts overlooked.  Sometimes I resent the people I love most because I feel like they don’t understand the heart and energy I put into their lives.  But then on days like Day 4, 5 and 6 of the 30 Day Marriage challenge there are bright moments that make choosing an unpaid career more rewarding than any paycheck can provide.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Marriage

Day 4
Kiss your husband the first time you see him in the morning.

Actually, he kissed me… on the forehead, then tucked me back into bed.  I made a kissy-sound back; that counts, right?

I had a rough night, catching a bout of the notorious stomach virus had me spending more time at the toilet than in bed.  So really I shouldn’t be kissing anyone.  I slept the rest of the day, and he took care of the kids.

I am not a meme!

30 Day Challenge Accepted Marriage

Day 5
Tell yourself, “He really loves his family and he is doing his best for us.”

After finally crawling out of my sick-cave, I discovered my house (when not under my control) is complete disarray! I wanted to turn around and run right back under my covers.  So, I had to repeat this sentence to myself several times while I attempted to clean up after my children and man-child.

But let’s look at the big picture… I was sick and my husband had no issues stepping up.  He took care of the kids, he took care of me and, most importantly, he had the kids learn to take care of me too (checking on me, bringing me water, etc.).  He loves us. He didn’t do everything MY way (the right way 😜), but he did his best. (And not just today – every day.) So, “bless this mess.”

Day 6
Bake, make or buy his favorite food.

This was a tough one. He’s so picky.  And I can’t cook (read: About Me).

He was only going to be home for breakfast today because he’s going into the office late and staying late. So after dropping off my older one at school, I made a quick run to the market. Operative word: quick.  No one got sleep in our house last night. While I’m still weak and recovering, our younger one caught the virus and had been puking since 3am. I got the ingredients to make his favorite breakfast dish – loaded hash browns.  And since I can finally eat solids, I made a little extra for myself.  

Unexpectedly the husband ended up coming home in time for dinner.  He was hopeful that today’s Marriage Challenge task would cover two meals.  He’s lucky I was in a good mood.

Want to read all 30 Days of the Marriage Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

MARRIAGE: Day 1-3 of 30 – Already Awesome Wives

Already Awesome Wives

Unlike the other 30 Day Challenges I’ve done, I gave my husband a heads up about this one. Usually I don’t involve/include/inform him of my challenges, because they’re mine to do.  But since this involves him and I want to fulfill the tasks to the max, I let him know that the next 30 Days is about him. He said, “finally!” So, let’s go…

Day 1
Ask “What can I help with you today?”

I had to ask him twice! He finally responded, “Oh. I thought you were being a wiseass.”  Welcome to our relationship.

I was ready for him to take advantage of me, asking me for something in the bedroom – if you get my drift. But instead he gave me the most menial task – “Bring the Home Depot gift card to your mom’s” (where we were going to be having dinner later).

Day 2
Go the whole day without correcting your husband

IMPOSSIBLE! Even he laughed when I told him what today’s task was.  We were both stuck at home today, and the only way for me to fulfill this task was to not talk (which is also impossible).

Many times I opened my mouth ready to make a remark and quickly stop myself.  But my eyes speak louder than my mouth, so it was really pointless.  I tried, I really did! I still consider it the task fulfilled, because we didn’t bicker at all.

Day 3
Hug your husband three times today.

EASY! We read a long time ago, probably a random Facebook post or something, that you should have skin-to-skin contact every day for at least 10 seconds. Hugging comes naturally to us, and this “study” justified doing it.

The best part about today was – usually when we embrace our kids pretend to act like it makes them uncomfortable.  But this morning, when they saw me going in for a hug, they jumped off their seats and joined us! Family hug!!! #blessed

So, I thought that by telling my husband I was doing this challenge and letting him know the daily tasks, he would milk it.  But he’s not, and I’m actually a bit bummed.  Coincidentally, my mommy friends are having the same experience with their husbands.  I think it’s because we’re already such awesome wives. 😝

30 Day Challenge Accepted Marriage

Want to read all 30 Days of the Marriage Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

MARRIAGE: Day 0 of 30 – Happy Un-Valentine’s Day

Happy Un-Valentine’s Day

30 Day Challenge Accepted Marriage

It’s February. Valentine’s Day is a week away. The last time my husband and I celebrated was probably the first year we dated, 18 years ago. After our 1-year anniversary we decided not to do any presents for any celebrations (birthdays, holidays, etc.) but to simply get gifts for any reason at any time just because, and to just be together on designated special dates.  It’s worked out great – no expectations, no pressure, saved money, headache and heartache.

So why did I choose the 30 Day Marriage Challenge? Preventative measures.

I come from a “broken” family, so I know how gradually yet swiftly things can go bad. In constrast my husband comes from parents who just celebrated their 40 year anniversary. Combine these two drastically opposite experiences, and oddly it works.  I’m cautious of things falling apart while he doesn’t even consider being apart an option. That requires all those token words of wisdom we are told result in a “successful relationship” – trust, communication, compromise, patience, support, etc.  But these practices should be happening all day, every day; not once discontent rears its ugly head. So, that’s where the 30 Day Marriage comes in. I’m not trying to fix anything. I’m making sure there’s nothing that needs fixing. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with showing more love to your love.

30 Day Challenge Accepted MarriageI came across a few Relationship and Marriage challenges on Pinterest, finally choosing this version created by iMom because it was the most realistic.

     My Goals are simple:

  • to complete it in 30 days
  • to do each task genuinely
  • be honest to you with every post; no sugarcoating.

I’m speculating that this challenge won’t be too challenging, but I know the reward will be worthwhile.  Mostly, I want the next 30 days to be fun and to remind me why I married this guy.

The most awesome part is that I have wifey friends joining me on this challenge and I’ll be sharing their experience doing the same daily tasks.  So, I invite YOU to join us too.  The more happy husbands there are out there could only make for a better world because people who feel appreciated pay it forward.

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Marriage Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

SLEEP: Day 28-30 of 30 – Best Decision I Made – Challenge COMPLETED!

Best Decision I Made

Taking on the 30 Day Sleep Challenge was a last-minute decision.  For most adults, getting the recommended 7-9 hours of a sleep doesn’t seem that difficult, but I’ve always been the person who was more productive at night… so even the thought of going to bed before 1:30am seemed impossible.

Especially now that I’m a parent, I procrastinate on personal tasks, pushing them to the hours after my kids have gone to sleep.  However, because I’m a mom, these hours are even more limited because I have to maintain a home.  But running on EMPTY was taking a toll on me. I needed a change.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Sleep

As I finished up Day 28, 29, and 30 of the Sleep Challenge, I cannot believe the changes that have easily happened in the past month.  I have gotten more sleep than I have had in years.  My body adjusted quickly to the new bedtime (12:00pm).  I’ve stopped hitting the snooze button.  And while I don’t feel more energetic physically, my brain doesn’t feel like a blob sloshing in my head.  Sure, our house isn’t spotless (truth: it never was!). There are still dishes in the sink and I haven’t clean laundry I have yet to fold. But I’m still taking care of work that needs to get done, and more importantly… I’m taking better care of me.

Day 28
1:30am – 9:30am + 5pm cat nap (8 hours), Snooze: 0x

I wish it was a lazy Sunday, but as with most weekend my social calendar is taking my kids to their socializing events.  I have no social calendar. This was also the reason for the cat nap I snuck in while the kids played with their cousins.

Day 29
12:30am – 7:15am (6 hours, 45 minutes), Snooze: 0x

The excitement of the superbowl is the reason I went to bed a little later than usual.  But I popped out of bed in the morning.  The sun was shining bright and I am ready for this week.

Day 30
12:00am – 7:15am (7 hours, 15 minutes), Snooze: 0x

My daughter woke me up at 2am asking if I could go lay with her in her bed. I slept walked my way to her bedroom and it was probably better because the husband was snoring up a storm.

So although the Sleep Challenge wasn’t on the top of my list, it was the best decision I made.  Now my beloved latte isn’t wishful thinking to improve my day, it’s a reward… which already makes for a better day. Cheers!



My Goals were:

  • ✔️sleep at least 7hours a night for 30days, with the ultimate goal to get 8 hours
    • The average for the past 30 days was 7.31 hours of sleep a night. 😴
    • I can’t get a steady 8 hours because that would leave me with no time to do the things I do when I’m not with the kids 💻
  • ✔️finish this challenge as close to 30days as possible
    • as a night owl, this challenge was surprisingly easy… probably because I desperately needed it. 🤤
  • ✔️eliminate sleep distractions for good
    • still laugh at the fact that the simple act of putting my phone in a different room was all it took 👋🏼📱
  • ✔️find ways to induce sleep
    • didn’t need to. I was so ready for sleep each night 🛌
  • ✖️become a better morning person
    • that’s a different challenge altogether 😝

Let’s take a look at how my Status Quo has changed:

  • My current bedtime is ~1:30am 12:00am and I’m up and struggling by 7:30am at ’em at 7:15am.
  • I have a very difficult time falling asleep, unlike my husband who snoozes as soon as his head hits the pillow
  • I’m not a morning person. I hit snooze a few times before I finally roll out of bed.
  • I usually (accidentally) take power nap when I’m putting my younger one down for his nap [still true. i can’t help it.]
  • On weekends, my family let’s me sleep in and I don’t wake up until almost 11:00am 10:00am
  • I love my bed [or any bed really. i think the major preference is sleeping solo.]

CHALLENGE: SLEEP – ✔️ COMPLETED

Want to read all 30 Days of the Sleep Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

SLEEP: Day 25-27 of 30 – Too Excited to Sleep

Too Excited to Sleep

Since I started the 30 Day Sleep Challenge I’ve been shocked at how I’ve been able to fall asleep so quickly by simply putting my tempting phone far away from me.  I notoriously had trouble falling asleep, and my solution before used to be sleeping in the opposite direction (head where my feet are) or in a different place altogether (usually the basement because it’s pitch dark).

On Days 4-6 I spoke about being stressed and using the emotional exhaustion to fall asleep. On Day 25, 26 and 27 these stress factors still exist, but the reason I couldn’t fall asleep is because I was excited. After a year on the journey to get myself back on the career track, I got the phone call I’ve been waiting for.  The interview was scheduled rather quickly, which is probably better because I had less days to ponder what to say and how to say it, what to ask and how not too seem too excited.  This is not a bad reason not to be able to fall asleep.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Sleep

Day 25
12:30am – 7:15am (6 hours, 45 minutes), Snooze: 0x

Got into bed at 12:00am but didn’t fall asleep right away.

Day 26
12:30am – 7:15am (6 hours, 45 minutes), Snooze: 0x

Got into bed at 12:00am but didn’t fall asleep right away, again.

Day 27
1:00am – 8:30am (7 hours, 30 minutes), Snooze: 1x

Knocked out and only snoozed because I forgot to turn off my 7:15am alarm

I didn’t completely bomb the interview, by the way. There’s still a long road ahead for me, but it was a proud moment because I felt like the chances I have been taking with my career lead me to this.  It was the first time I mentioned the creation of this blog to an interviewer, taking it back my initial purpose of starting this project and one of my goals – to be able to put this on my resume.  It was a great feeling.

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Sleep Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

SLEEP: Day 22-24 of 30 – Stopped Using the Snooze Button

Stopped Using the Snooze Button

30 Day Challenge Accepted Sleep

In an attempt to escalate this 30 Day Sleep Challenge, I decided on Day 22, 23 and 24 I will no longer hit the snooze button.  The attempts to extend my sleep to either catch more zzz’s or to recapture my dreams only makes me more tired, and ultimately more stressed since I have to manage getting two kids out the door – teeth brushed, fed, dressed and with matching shoes on.

Day 22
12:15am-7:15am (7 hours), Hit Snooze: 0x!

Had a slightly difficult time falling asleep. Although the kids didn’t give me a reason to be worrisome, I was half awake most of the night.  Then funnily enough, I had the most intense dream – like my brain was making up for letting me down this past few days – and wanted to hit snooze, but instead I dragged myself up and started my day.  There was a lot of yawning, but oddly enough also a surge of energy. I even jumped on the dreaded treadmill after dropping the kids off at school.

Day 23
11:45pm-7:15am (7hours, 30minutes), Hit Snooze: 0x!

In the middle of the night, both kids came down claiming nightmares (at different times).  Too tired and not in the mood to teach a lesson in the wee hours, I let them take over the bed and went to sleep in my daughter’s bed. (Secret: I actually prefer sleeping solo). Sure, I didn’t hit snooze, but I laid in bed for 20minutes struggling to get up. Then again, a mini surge of energy mid-morning, I did a yoga session.

Day 24
12:00am-7:15am (7hours, 15minutes), Hit Snooze: 0x!

My husband knows I have a difficult time falling back to sleep, so to prevent the kids from sneaking into our bed (which he actually loves), after they fell asleep he moved the younger one into the older one’s bed.  It worked!

I didn’t actually discover the function of the snooze button until college.  What a horrible time to discover it and test its limits.  I’ve never been a morning person, and having safety net of a secondary alarm only encouraged my poor habits.  These past three days weren’t as hard as I thought.  But the timing of this mini-test if funny because just this week an article came out saying that hitting the snooze button actually means you’re a smart person. Ha!

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Sleep Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE