Round The Kettle Episode 6: Almost Christmas and A Special Visit!

IMG_7036.jpgI don’t want to cause any panic for anyone (see my earlier post this week about Holiday Stress if you feel panicy), but we are just about one week away from Christmas…

Have you finished your Christmas Shopping? Wrapped your gifts? Mailed any that needed mailed?

I hate to say that we got lucky this year, with our move coming so closely following Christmas, but it has certainly made this year a bit different for us. We didn’t put out any of the normal decorations we would have (because they will simply have to get packed back up ASAP for the movers to get up), we aren’t doing a normal amount of presents (because again, just for the movers to take with them), and I’ve been grateful for that.

This season of Christmas has become so centered around the decorating, the baking, the presents under the tree, but with 2 out of those 3 things essentially being removed, we are being able to focus on what is important to us. The time we get together on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day together. This is #1 in our books and I am grateful that this year we are being reminded and getting the chance to have that.

Not too mention that next year we will be in Germany for Christmas- and they DO NOT hold back when it comes to Christmas.

We’ve been a little frazzled when it comes to move related things. We’ve been loading up the things that are not going with us (being stored), trying to coordinate last minute appointments that have to be handled before we leave, deciding little things (like clothes, suitcases, toys that are going with us, not the movers). All of this on top of our standard jobs,  parenting, and out of town family visits. It’s all been a bit…much. Not too mention trying to keep a running tab of everything that has to be done.

I’ve been trying to take advantage of the bits of time that are not devoted to packing, working, or other standard home things, and getting us out of the house. My car will be getting shipped within a few days, so I’ve been making it a point of us going places. There will be a few weeks (while we are still here) that we will be down to one car and I want to make sure that any non important things get done now. That includes…visiting Santa!

That’s right, we went to go see the big man himself this past week. It was Andrew’s first visit and Colton’s second (we missed a year). The visit was a fun one and we got to scope out some big toys at the same time as we visited Santa at Cabela’s! The boys reactions were a bit surprising, my outgoing talk to anyone Colton did not want to sit on Santa’s lap (although he did run up and talk to him) and my shy, cling to mom Andrew gave a smile and might have actually sat on his lap! You can see the picture below and , despite Andrew’s face, they had a lot of fun seeing both Santa and all of the treats at Cabela’s.

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So, how are you? How are you feeling about it being so close to Christmas? Are you ready or are you just letting the time go and soak up the family time?

Making Your Marriage Your Priority

 

You hear it all the time “Take care of your marriage. Make time for your spouse. Your kids will grow up, they will move away and it will just be you and your spouse again”. I think it is probably the most common piece of advice expecting parents get. And in a way it is completely true. I mean, your kids will grow up and they will find their own lives. You will still be important to them, but as they grow they become more independent.

That’s important, but, also important to note, is that what your children see in your relationship with your spouse, their parent, is what they will view for themselves when that time comes. The interaction between you and your spouse is the first model to them of what a marriage or partnership looks like. And so, for both those reasons, it is important to focus on your relationship with your spouse.

But how do you do that? How do you make time for your spouse when it feels like your children have sucked time out of you (that sounds a lot worse than it really is, I promise)? Whether you work out of the house or are a Stay at Home Parent it is tough. Regardless of what you do, you are trying to meet the never ending needs of your children, being both the constant entertainer, teacher, mediator (if you have multiple children), protector, and guide. Your days are long (although the years are short) and when the day is over it can be so hard to want to stay up a little bit later and be present for someone else.

Taking time for your spouse is just as important as taking time for yourself. They say that you can’t take care of others until you take care of yourself. Well you and your spouse can’t effectively parent and be married if you are not taking care of each other.

It doesn’t take long, a simple 5-10 minutes to just see how they are doing. To check in with them on how their day was. To remind them that they are doing a good job. To tell them that you are proud of them. To give them a little peck, or shoulder rub. These little gestures, little moments of contact goes so far into “keeping the spark alive”.

Don’t wait till your one night (keep reading for that), do it now. You don’t need grand gestures, flowers or chocolates. Most of the time you just need a moment. A moment of just you and your spouse where you only focus on each other. A moment can be all it takes from going to bed feeling like a disaster on all fronts to going to bed feeling on the same page as someone else.

Take a night, once a week. Stay up later, cuddle on the couch, make it a point on that night to put away all the distractions and just focus solely on each other. It doesn’t have to be a go out to dinner and a movie date night, it doesn’t have to even be a get a sitter night (keep reading though for that…), it just needs to be a night where you can be with each other. *You can read about our take on this HERE.

Take a night out, wherever fits into your own budget, get a sitter and go do something outside the house with your spouse. Whether that’s dinner, a concert, a hike, whatever, get out into the world. Remember what it was like to go on a date with your spouse. Take a couple of hours and remember what life was like before you had babies crying at your feet, or a toddler needing help going to the bathroom. Hold hands while you are walking, sit across from each other and have discussions without having to reprimand your children halfway through a sentence. I gauruntee you and your spouse come back to the house 100% refreshed and ready to tackle those moments. We are homebodies so we don’t always do date nights like this, but we are getting better about it.

Finally, look back through your photo albums. Walk down memory lane. Remember that first date? Remember your wedding day? Look back through the photos, you’ll be surprised how many little memories pop through your mind and remind you what that moment was like.

How do you and your spouse place your marriage first?

Round The Kettle Ep 4: Tackling Emotions

So, how you been?

I’m sat here in our bed (of all places, the one place I don’t like electronics or technology) typing this out. It’s like 10:30PM on a Friday night, but when inspiration strikes, you just kinda roll with it…or at least I do. Good thing this isn’t a podcast just yet or I’d be waking the house up with my voice.

The past couple of weeks have been good. Life decisions made (will share soon!). Plans for the rest of this year sorted. Holiday plans…on going. I’m a planner and with everything that is going on (and the large amount of things that we can’t solidly plan), the little things that I can schedule out (in some cases to the hour…) have been scheduled and I feel just much more calm with all of our changes.

I’ve been dealing with some behind the scenes life stuff over the past couple days. Really it’s been an ongoing situation, which changed a few months ago, but I’ve only just recognized behaviors the past couple days. It’s a funny thing because I’m good. I’m happy. I’m in a good headspace BUT (there’s that but…whys it gotta be there? Oy.) I’ve had this feeling in the back of my mind. A little jiggling in my gut (that’s not from those extra m&m’s I promise). Something telling me -hey Mia you need to acknowledge this.

For me the way these things go is like this:

Step1: there’s a feeling. Something in the back of my brain sending a gentle nudge of hey-this isn’t ok.

Step2: trying to figure out what the eff step 1 is referring to.

Step3: sorting through what I’ve figured out in step 2 and working through that internally. Before I even voice something I can guarantee I’ve over thought it ten ways to Sunday.

Step4: deciding whether this whole situation even needs a voice. Not every feeling or nudge I get needs to be talked about. Sometimes just acknowledging that hey I don’t feel right can be enough to then fix whatever it is.

Step5: putting my feelings into words if needed and ,again if needed, sharing that with others.

***now that I write it all out I feel neurotic just rereading it. I can assure you it’s not nearly as drawn out or over complicated as it sounds. Also, I really need to stop over analyzing and being my own psychology patient. Oy. ***

And here we are-step 5. I’m working on putting words to how I’ve been feeling/coping and trying to decide whether I really want to share that with others.

With all of that going on it’s got me thinking about how we can be so good, so happy, so at peace and then still have this little background noise going on. Is that possible? Are you still happy and good if you’ve got that little voice in the back of your mind? If you’ve still got something that is causing you…well whatever this is causing? OR is the need to always feel good and happy making us think that we can’t acknowledge when we aren’t good?

It’s weird because I do have so much to be happy about and that I am happy about. I’ve got so many blessings and I lead such a privileged life. I’ve got things happening and changes coming that so many would dream to have. AND I AM HAPPY.

But there is more to us as beings. More to our emotions and feelings and it can get…complicated to say the least. So, all this to say I do think it is possible to be happy and still have a struggle. I always say life has ups and downs (or highs and lows) and I think that it may be possible that when you are up that there are still downs without everything going down. If that makes sense…

As always, I’m probably just overthinking everything. For someone who preaches to be in the moment and just be present and let the feelings wash over you, I over analyze WAY TOO MUCH.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts. And of course, I want to know how you  have been? Talk to me in the comments below J