Falling in Love vs. Staying in Love

Falling in love is easy, wouldn’t you agree?

Boy meets girl; boy asks girl out; girl is late for their date by an hour (and couldn’t call because these were pre-cell phone days, so boy waited patiently and may or may not have had to take care of some business in the bushes – thank God it was dark!); girl finally arrives (and is very sorry, but traffic coming home across the bridge was bad); boy and girl go to dinner, fall in love and get married.

See how simple that was?

Now, let’s fast forward some 4,985 days. Boy and girl are now older and wiser wireless and have most of their daily conversations via text; boy lovingly plucks girl’s gray hairs with an eyebrow tweezer – those short ones on top of her head keep growing back!; girl discovers with some amusement that boy has a (very recent) passion for gardening; boy and girl are constantly interrupted by two clones of themselves, but do their best to stay in love and be connected.

Eeks. Life and love are not so simple anymore, is it?

Sure, life is a lot more complicated now. But it’s also a lot more real. Falling in love is easy because it’s all about the unknown, the unexpected, the discovering. Seeing someone at their best and showing the best of yourself. It’s about the feelings someone else makes you feel.

I used to think falling in love was more fun than staying in love. Well, sometimes it is, but the truth is that real joy comes more from giving than receiving.

Staying in love is all about the giving – how you make someone else feel. It’s the supportive words you offer after her long day at home with the kids; the embrace you give when he is feeling defeated from work; the ability to understand just exactly how the other person is feeling by looking at him because you know him better than anyone else.

And that part of love – the already-discovered, the expected, and the known – is pretty awesome.

On that note, take a look at hubby’s awesome succulent creations. 🙂

Hubby's own succulent plant creation.

Who knew he had a green thumb?!

I love Ed Sheeran’s new song, “Thinking Out Loud”. The lyrics are beautiful and his dancing is pretty amazing, too. 🙂

How do you stay in love or see others in your life stay in love?

From Strangers to Family

We’ve been doing some home renovations for the past few months. Most recently, the whole family was involved in painting the kitchen cabinets. Hubby and I painted the upper cabinet doors, while the kids did the lower ones. While we were working, I remarked to hubby that we (he and I) have done quite a lot of painting together, starting from when we were dating. He looked at me with an amused expression and said, “Yeah, you surprised me. I didn’t know you very well back then.” I grinned and replied, “I didn’t know you well back then either!”

Our first painting experience together took place almost fifteen years ago when I helped his family paint their house; since then we have come a verrry long way. We went from “Oh, I think he/she’s cute and I want to know him/her better” to getting married to showing our true selves to each other on a daily basis. It’s almost funny to think that as newlyweds, we were embarrassed to fart in front of the other person! That however has totally changed and we’ve seen, heard and smelled more of the other person than we ever imagined we would. HAHA

Isn’t it strange how two people go from being complete strangers to becoming family? It’s a comforting and scary thought all at the same time. Comforting because when you are able to be that comfortable with your spouse, you get to experience a deeper kind of love.

It’s the kind of love that drives someone to…
~ kiss you when you have morning breath
~ buy you chocolate for your next PMS attack
~ allow you to squeeze the life out of his hand during a contraction

It’s also the kind of love that motivates someone to…
~ not nag when you leave your socks in the middle of the floor
~ listen to you complain about your stressful day at work
~ let you buy that new electronic gadget you’ve been drooling over

However, when you are that close to your spouse, things can get a little scary, too. There are plenty of chances to rant and complain and blame and belittle. There are more than enough opportunities to show that side of you that you would never, EVER think of showing to your coworkers, friends or neighbors. But if you have a good foundation of that deeper kind of love to sustain you, you learn to apologize, forgive and try again.

Now, how do you keep the love flowing in your marriage so you not only don’t kill each other, but you actually like one another?

I don’t have any profound answers, but I think it helps to go back in time and think about what worked before. Back to a time when you and your spouse tried to impress one another with the things you said and did. Back to the days when that one Facebook message, text, email, phone call or snail mail letter (depending on how far back you need to go!) from your spouse made your whole day.

Image courtesy of stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net

When all else fails, you can always go back to these three timeless basics of a relationship:

1. Practice your manners. Smile at your spouse every day, so it looks like you’re happy to see him/her. 🙂 Say “please” and “thank you”, even for things you think he/she was supposed to do or should have done last week. It not only makes him/her feel treasured, it helps you to have a grateful attitude.

2. Be courteous. Treat your spouse like the person you once so desperately wanted to get to know. Make eye contact and ask about their day (and put your phone down). Listen attentively and nod once in a while (and resist the urge to peek at your phone). Make him/her feel like you care about their concerns – cause you do! Ask for their opinion when making decisions. Be a team player and make your partner feel needed and appreciated.

3. Go beyond yourself. Do something you used to do when you were trying to win your spouse over. Maybe you used to buy her that dessert she likes or leave work early just to surprise her? Or maybe you used to watch basketball with him or compliment him on how hard he works? Go above and beyond yourself and invest a little time and energy into making your spouse feel important.

Marriage is like our bodies. What goes into our body and how we treat it determines how healthy, strong and energetic we feel. Similarly, what we put into our marriages determines if our homes are happy and healthy sanctuaries… or if they feel like suffocating and depressing traps. The choice is up to you. The good news is that every little positive thought and action counts – you just need to start. You, your spouse and family are worth it.

To help you remember what it was like to date your spouse and why you wanted to marry him/her in the first place, listen to Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran’s song, “Everything Has Changed“.

What drew you to your spouse when you first met as strangers? What do you appreciate about him/her now that you are one family?

Monday Mentionables: Berry scones, Hairstyles & Lego House

Can you believe we are already in mid-July?! It’s crazy, I know, but summer days seem to pass by all too quickly.

Today’s mentionables are:

1. Mixed Berry Scone Mix: I love Trader Joe’s. Whenever I have play date lunches at my house, my mom friends always know they will be eating food from TJ’s. I have even influenced a friend or two to start shopping there. I just love their family friendly atmosphere and small, but varied, selection of products, which really help to narrow your choices down and speed up the shopping process when you have two kiddos in tow. 

So the other day, I saw TJ’s scone mix and was immediately drawn to it because of three simple words – “just add water”.

Be sure not to bake them too long like I did!

 

Best marketing idea!

And it was as simple as that! The scones took about 18 minutes to whip up, 5 of them for the actual hands-on prep time. They are fairly good, not too sweet, but you can really taste the blueberry flavor. The only downside is that they are not as buttery as made from scratch ones, but if you want an easy “recipe”, this is the way to go. 🙂 

2. Hairstyles. Kate’s (of The Small Things) blog is a great place to find hair and makeup tutorials. She is a professional hairdresser and has so many creative hairstyle ideas – messy buns, different kinds of braids and ponytails, twists – whatever you’re looking for, she has it! I like to watch her youtube videos because they are simple, quick and easy to replicate.

3.  “Lego House“. Ed Sheeran’s song is catchy, yet poetic. Check it out, as well as, the singer’s red hair. He really reminds me of the redhead from Harry Potter. (Edit: Turns out that it is the Harry Potter actor in this video! I read that Ed Sheeran chose him to portray himself because of their resemblance. LOL) Have a great Monday!