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 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 19-21 of 30 – I Have No Dreams

I Have No Dreams

I love having dreams.  But on Day 19, 20 and 21 of the 30 Day Sleep Challenge I didn’t have any – that I can remember.  I used to have such intense dreams I would carry those emotions with me throughout the day, even though I couldn’t remember exactly what my dream was about.  There was a time I wanted to keep a notebook by my bed so I could write down my dreams as soon as I woke up, before I forgot them.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Sleep

 

Day 19
12:15am – 7:45 am (7hours 30minutes), Hit Snooze: like 10x? 

Day 20
2:00am – 8:30am + 5:00pm-6:00pm nap (7hours 30 minutes), Hit Snooze: n/a

Day 21
2:15am – 9:45am + 5:00pm cat nap (7hours 30 minutes), Hit Snooze: 0x

Why we dreams and what they mean are different to everyone. I believe that dreams (and nightmares)  are subconscious thoughts and feelings, hopes and fears, you’re unable to express when you’re awake. It’s the ultimate mental escape, which is just another reason that getting sleep is so important. It gives me a window to a part of my soul I’m either ignoring or am oblivious to.

So what does it mean that I’m not having any dreams? Does that mean I’m content? Or does it mean that even my brain needs a break from everything?

 

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

SLEEP: Day 7-9 of 30 – I Love Lattes

I Love Lattes

I’m on a roll with this 30 Day Sleep Challenge!  Wasn’t sure how the weekend would look, but I was able to fit in at least 7hours on Day7, 8 and 9 even when I went back to my usual, preferred, bedtime of 2:00am.  But with all this sleep, I have no physical reason to make a Dunkin Donuts run. What I feared is coming true! But it’s even worse. I never thought myself as a coffee drinker.  I don’t like hot beverages. I don’t like hot coffee, especially the smell of it.  I didn’t start drinking iced coffee until I had kids.  Then I discovered the iced caramel latte (regular milk, no whip cream).  And now I can’t deny it.
“Hi, my name is 30DaysV, and I love lattes.”

Day 7
2:00am – 9:00am (7hours), Hit Snooze: 0x

Yay for Saturday! And for a husband who takes the kids on weekend mornings.

Day 8
2:00am – 12:00pm (10hours!), Hit Snooze: 0x

Yay for grandparents who take my kids for a sleepover when the kids don’t have school. Had a relaxing night with family and friends that included a lot of wine and a continuation of my House of Cards marathon.

Day 9
12:15pm – 7:15am (7hours), Hit Snooze: 0x

Shocked I was able to fall alseep relatively early. But even more shocked that I went into the office and survived the day without coffee.  I was definitely craving it all day, but didn’t need it. I wasn’t sleepy. I wasn’t yawning. My brain was focused, except for the nagging need of caffeine.

As a reward for how well I’m doing, I’m treating myself to a iced caramel latte tomorrow. 😋 And as a DD Perks member, I have a FREE Beverage Reward waiting to be used. Winner!

30 Day Challenge Accepted Sleep

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

SLEEP: Day 4-6 of 30 – Sleeping Stress Away

Sleeping Stress Away

It’s been a tough week. Usually I’m good at keeping a positive attitude, but as little things kept piling up I felt like I was getting hit left-and-right.  I face-planted at the train station.  I dropped and shattered my iphone.  My son caught the stomach flu.  My daughter was pushed during basketball and scraped the skin right off her knee.  This is all on top of the biggest problem that I can’t even mention here.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Sleep

Stress and sleep have never went hand-in-hand for me.  But on Day 4, 5 and 6 of the 30 Day Sleeping Challenge I was more conscious of the need to escape reality, not using vices like wine or comfort food, but through the best option – sleep.

Day 4
12:15am – 7:00am (6hours 45minutes), Hit Snooze: 1x

This week I’ve been dealing with some annoying information that’s causing me a lot of stress.  Usually when I have a lot on my mind, I have trouble sleeping. I will lay in bed for hours, either sulking or brainstorming solutions, usually a little bit of both.  Tonight I decided to prevent a sleepless night by succumbing to my emotionally exhausted brain and shutting down early.

Day 5
12:00am – 7:30am (7hours 30minutes), Hit Snooze: 0x

My little guy came home sick from school.  He had a febrile seizure once when he was an infant and since then I take his fevers seriously, even a mild one.  So tonight I wanted him to sleep in bed with me so I could keep an eye on him.

Day 6
1:45am – 7:15am, 7:30am-9:15am, 9:30-10:30 (7hours 45minutes), Hit Snooze: 0x

In an attempt to relax and spend time together not talking about adult stuff, my husband and I decided to watch a light-hearted movie to bed.  Thank you Zack Galifianakis for giving me a few laughs.  I really needed them.  At 7:15am my little guy snuck into my bed, and together we snoozed the rest of the morning away.  When I woke up at 9:30am, everyone was still sleeping so I snuck away to the basement and watched an episode of House of Cards with my eyes closed (aka I listened to Season1 Episode11 – poor Peter. I was really rooting for him).

Since starting the Instagram account for the 30DayChallengeAccepted blog, I’ve been surfing quotes on whatever topic is on my mind.  Whether that’s ‘challenges’, ‘sleep’ or ‘stress’, reading these inspiring words has helped me keep my problems in prospective.  Luckily most of the issues I listed are passing, and the big one (hopefully) financially burdening only short-term. I can’t control any of it.  But the one thing I can try to control is my response to it.  Sleep being one of those important things.

 

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

SLEEP: Day 0 of 30 – Need Sleep

Need Sleep

Choosing this next challenge was actually a last minute decision. I had another challenge I really wanted to do, the Spending-Hiatus Challenge, but since the money I spend is usually essentials for my children – the only personal sacrifice I would be making would be my Dunkin Donuts trips. And taking my iced caramel lattes away can prove to be dangerous.

As I spent late hours trying to find a saving/spending/money challenge that made sense, I found myself scouring Google and Pinterest with heavy eyelids.  Which made me think – I really need to sleep.

30DayChallengeAccepted Sleep

We’ve all heard of the benefits of a full, good night’s rest, but how many of us adults, specifically parents, actually get the recommended 7-9hours? I assure you that this will be a huge challenge for me. I’m a night owl. I get a surge of energy after the kids are settled in for the night, so their after-hours are usually when I take care of tasks I don’t do during the day, like this blog.

 

3Day Challenge Accepted SleepThe Sleep Challenge post that kept popping up was by OurHeritageOfHealth.com.  There isn’t a calendar with daily tasks to fulfill like the previous challenges I’ve done, but it had three simple rules that I can work with: 1) set reasonable goals, 2) reward yourself and 3) do what you need to do to reach those goals.

Before I list my goals, let’s first state my Status Quo:

  • My current bedtime is ~1:30am and I’m up and struggling by 7:30am.
  • 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
  • On weekends, my family let’s me sleep in and I don’t wake up until almost 11:00am
  • I love my bed

I have to be aware not to make potential results my goals (like ‘have more energy’, ‘be more focused’, or ‘get better skin’). So My Goals are:

  • sleep at least 7hours a night for 30days, with the ultimate goal to get 8 hours
  • finish this challenge as close to 30days as possible
  • eliminate sleep distractions for good
  • find ways to induce sleep
  • become a better morning person

Watch this challenge reduce my trips to Dunkin Donuts anyways! How ironic would that be.

 

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