Contributors #8

Our contributors must be very busy in their real lives, because their blogs have been very quiet this week! Thankfully, writing this post here encourages me to publish at least one post on my other blog. So glad to be posting more often over there…

The bride and groom at the wedding that I coordinated in July.

Jen has been writing the sweetest letters to her grandma, since she lost her in March 2011. I love that Jen still learns from her, even after she is gone.

Pinterest has inspired some cute outfits for Bobbi!

Emily has been window shopping at Patch NYC at Target.

I finally shared pictures from the wedding that I coordinated back in July. So awesome!

Contributors #5

Jess made this burlap wreath and I am seriously in LOVE! I just inherited a ton of burlap, and I know this will be one of the projects that I do!

Kitchen renovations are keeping Cailin from cooking, but her lovely pictures stil keep coming!

Andrea made sauage, white bean, and arugula soup that just looks scrumptious!

I am always jealous of Bobbi’s accessories. She made this bright and summery jewelry board to display it all last week, I was inspired to create one in May as well.

Selling your wedding dress is not so far out after all. Jen sold hers this past week and reflects on the excitement of the next bride, Emily shared tips to sell your own last year.

Emily is dreaming about their ideal entryway.

And me? Well, I’ve been busy crocheting, cleaning, and visiting wineries with the fam (or at least I was in June)!

Surviving Matt’s First 24

I was super excited when Matt said he wanted to be a firefighter! An overwhelming sense of pride an amzement at his new career choice was my first though; my second was “Oh my gosh, what am I going to do when he has to go on 24 or 48 hours shifts?!” Now I know — I will survive! haha But seriously, I had some major anxiety about him being gone all night. Thankfully, that is changing! I do not want my irrational fears to keep him from doing what he loves.

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Matt’s First Shift at the Station

I was super excited when he got hired as a paid call firefighter, but then I got really worried about him being gone all night on 24 hour shifts. We rarely are apart at night, and I have a hard time sleeping when he is not home. I have also had some incredibly strange experiences when he was gone all night (someone ringing my doorbell at 3 am [neighbor told me later it was a cracked out lady wanting a ride], someone stopping in the middle of the street in front of my house and then walking towards my car, etc). That being said, I know that I have a Savior who is my protector and I do not need to live with a spirit of fear! There is wisdom in locking my doors and not saying I’m home alone; but I do not need to freak out like I used to!

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Another friend pointed out that I can have craft nights again! Woo hoo! Last week, I was able to make some incredibly cute giraffe invitations for my friend’s shower. It helps to focus on the positive and not the dread of bedtime! In the past, I would leave lights on in the hallway and a tv on all night, and I often drank whisky to fall asleep. Not necessarily the best combination! For Matt’s first 24 last week, I just had the little tv on in my room, very quietly playing Gilmore Girls. I imagine that eventually I will not need the tv (or I could use the sleep button if I ever find the remote).

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Know what else I learned? I can have fun on my own. Similar to what Emily was talking about awhile back. Last weekend Matt had training — but that didn’t keep me from enjoying Oktoberfest with my parents! Would it have been better with him? Probably. Did I enjoy my time anyways? Totally!

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Lastly, our cell phones keep us in pretty constant communication. Sure, since he is lowest on the totem pole I cannot actually call him unless it was an emergency, but I can send random pictures or texts that he can check if he has a minute. [I could call the station if I really needed him, and he did call me to say goodnight] But really, when else would you send your husband a picture of yourself getting ready because you think you look “windswept?” haha Do you have a husband who works all night? Any tips?

Choosing Our Purpose

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I read this article recently: “What’s the Point of a Relationship?” from Simple Marriage which lists common responses to why we stay/want to be in a marriage relationship… while noting that the answers are typically focused on things outside of our control, ie: “what my partner can do for me” instead of what we can do to better ourselves.

The article goes on to say:

“What if the purpose of your relationship was something unconditional and something that you could take responsibility for?

What if the purpose of your relationship or marriage was something more like:

  • Personal development
  • Enjoying the adventure of life together
  • Spiritual growth
  • Practicing unwavering commitment to another person

Notice how each one of these reasons for a relationship or marriage is something that you can take ownership and responsibility for in both good times and bad times.”

We are only 3 months into our marriage, and are we ever learning. Every day we are learning, and allowing for growth in each other and in our relationship. But every day it’s a choice. A choice to hold your partner to your own expectations, or to love him/her just as they are in that moment. A choice to be selfish or or to be selfless.

While I hate to admit it, a lot of the time, I think about my needs first instead of his. A lot of the time I want him to take care of me instead of stepping out to take care of him first. It’s a rude awakening to realize that you really do reap what you sow, and that whenever you’re dealing with a problem or an issue, the first place to look for the cause is within yourself. And, even more unfortunate, the only person we’re capable of changing is ourselves. Ouch. Hard to accept.. But the rewards are so great. And at the end of the day, we get what we give.

And! By making a shift in our expectations, some pretty amazing things start to happen…

“He never does this for me!” becomes “What can I do for him?”

“Why can’t he stop doing that?” becomes “How can I grow through this?”

“He’s driving me crazy.” becomes “I am committed to this person come hell or high water. So bring on the crazy.”

We begin to focus on personal growth, instead of the things that bother us about our partner. We become better by simply choosing to be better. We stop complaining and nagging and focus our attentions in more productive places. Places that nurture the relationship, and show love to our spouses. It’s not easy. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s really really hard. But I’m trying. And we are growing. And, as the old adage goes: practice makes perfect ;)

Contributors

I really enjoyed pulling together a few things from our contributors last week. I think I’m going to make this a weekly thing. And if you notice someone missing (like Jillian and I), it means our blogs were pretty quiet this week!

Cailin had a fun time at St. Jacob’s seasonal market, I especially love the produce pictures (above).

Bobbi shared a family marinara recipe, and later spent time canning. You can see my photos from our canning extravaganza on Friday!

Jennifer has been making art work that you can buy as a phone case or framed piece or notecards. I love the subtle Red White & Blue in this weekend’s prints.

Emily encouraged us to get our sparkle on.

Lastly, Jessica has some very exciting news… they are expanding their home by two feet…

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