DECLUTTER: Day 10-12 of 30 – … One Month Later

…One Month Later

This was done more than a month ago, but I never got around to posting it.

Day 10 “Mud Room / Closet”
Total Time: 30 minutes. Total items for donation: I don’t remember. 

take 1 – I’m lazy.
take 2 – I don’t have a mud room, but I think our main closet serves that purpose. As an asian family, we don’t wear shoes around the house so with the entry way closet, I made sure to build max out on shoe storage. I laughed that I ended up allotting more shelves for my husband than myself.

BEFORE / AFTER
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BEFORE / AFTER
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Day 11 “Shoes (in bedroom closets & entryway closet)”
Total Time: 15 minutes. Total items for donation: 0

take 1 – I’m lazy, again.
take 2 – Since I did the entry way already, today I focused back at the master closet and my hidden shoes. Mostly heels I buy and never wear, but they’re so pretty to look at.

BEFORE  /  AFTER
30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter   30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter
30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter   30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter

Day 12 “Desk”
Total Time: 20 minutes. Total items for donation:  a lot of garbage

I decided to focus on my make-up desk for this task.

BEFORE/AFTER

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STORAGE
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MORE STORAGE
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DECLUTTER: Day 7-9 of 30 – Beating the Clock

Beating the Clock

Although I skipped a few days, on the days I finally did Day 7, 8 and 9 of the 30 Day 30 Minute Declutter Challenge, I completed each task in less than 30 minutes!

Day 7 – “Medicine Cupboards”
Total Time: 13 minutes. Total items for donation: 0

Our medicine cabinet is in our 1/2-bathroom and it’s filled with completely random stuff, and mostly gauze pads. Don’t ask.

BEFORE / AFTER
 30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter

Day 8 – “2nd Bathroom”
take 1… i’m lazy
take 2… i’m still lazy
take 3… Total Time: 20 minutes. Total items for donation: 1

This is our kid’s bathroom. My goal is to keep the tub area clutter-free and prevent it from being an eye-sore, which is a huge task with the amount of bath toys, but from this photo you can see I’ve been successful. (They’re all in a big hidden between the toilet and the tub.)

30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter

Same for their linen closet. It’s pretty bare.

BEFORE / AFTER
30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter

The kid’s vanity however, is another issue.  Most of those drawers are empty, except for two designated for my mom. And the cabinet above hasn’t been looked at all, so there were items from when my kids were infants. The one item for donation is a tub of Desitin!

BEFORE / AFTER
30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter 30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter
30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter 30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter  

Day 9 – “Laundry Room”
Total Time: 11 minutes. Total items for donation: 0

This took me longer than I thought it would. The pile that’s collected in our Laundry Room (which is more a closet) are things that just needed to be put away in our guest room.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter

BEFORE / AFTER
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MARRIAGE: Day 25-27 of 30 – This Lacks Excitement

This Lacks Excitement

30 Day Challenge Accepted Marriage

I tried to be more positive with Days 25, 26 and 27 of the 30 Day Marriage Challenge but I can’t help but still feel bored with these tasks.  At least they’re are a bit more interactive.

Day 25
Ask your husband’s opinion on something. 

Sure I ask for my husband’s opinion, but it’s supposed to be the same as mine.
Kidding! (Not kidding.)

I had a simple question this Saturday – “What do you want to do with the kids today?” And I went along with his suggestion, no arguments. It’s actually nice to not be a planner/coordinator once in awhile.

Day 26
Encourage your husband.

I’m leaving in a few days and will be gone for a week. So today I gave him a run-down of the kids’ daily schedule, which is different every single day. And I encouraged him that he will be a great substitute mom. But honestly, good luck!

Day 27
Do something for his health – ie. eat better and exercise together. 

One of our biggest struggles is deciding what to eat and the worst part is that neither of us cooks.  He usually ends up ordering Chinese take-out for himself, while the kids and I survive on whatever I whip up.  Tonight, I told him to pick any baked chicken recipe he wants me to attempt and I cooked for him. That alone is already a healthier option than fried chicken with white rice.

I’m bummed that I’m looking forward to this challenge to be over. I was really excited to do a Marriage challenge and my excitement has waned with each passing day.  On the bright side, great things are going on here at home that we don’t really need these tasks to test our marriage’s strength.

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

MARRIAGE: Day 19-21 of 30 – I’m a Better Wife Because I’m a Mom

I’m a Better Wife Because I’m a Mom

My role as a wife and a mom is blurred. On Days 19, 20, and 21 of the 30 Day Marriage Challenge I discovered that being a mom makes me a better wife.  As a mom I have to do things myself if I want things done. I have to have patience if I want to teach. And I have to forgive if I want to love. As a wife…

Day 19
Don’t ask him to do any chores or honey-dos.

Besides making money to pay the bills, his “chore” is taking out the trash. Mostly because I prefer not to go outside. During the nice months, he takes it upon himself to do the outside work. So, I don’t have to ask him to do anything.  I do, however, leave hints. Today, no hints. 😉

As for the “honey-do” list, I had never heard of this until recently.  I know I’m not the only woman out there who also plays the role of handy[wo]man in their house. I may need him for the heavy-lifting, but I’m usually the one with a screwdriver, hammer, caulk, snake or plunger.  When we started building our house, he even bought me a drill.  I love to DIY.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Marriage

Day 20
Today’s focus: Patience

I’m a very patient person. However, I lose it when my husband’s driving. I have zero patience for his inconsiderate driving – from unnecessary lane changes, to cutting people off, to merging last minute to exit. It drives me nuts, and I’m not quiet about it. Unfortunately, today was a day we commuted to work together. To distract myself from being a passenger-seat driver, I closed my mouth and focused on liking and commenting on Instagram – come join me.

Day 21
Forgive him when he makes a mistake.

Is it possible, he hasn’t made a mistake today (yet)? Regardless, whatever trivial mistake he would make, I’m generally a forgiving person. I will let him know I think he made a mistake.  But I learned long ago that forgiveness is easier than staying angry. I will end this post like yesterday, with a quote:

“Forgiving someone may cost you your pride, but not forgiving them will cost you your freedom.” Because holding onto anger only hurts you, not them. Speak your piece. Then have peace. 

Most wives will say they have a man-child as a husband or include their husband in the # of children. I am one of those.  However, the skills I’ve grown to improve as a mom are helping my marriage.

Super mom. Super wife. Super woman.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Marriage

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

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 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