Category: Love & Relationships

Hanging on to Intimacy Despite Real Life

Posted on Apr 18, 2014 by 1 Comment

Intimacy, emotional and sexual, is an important part of any couple’s relationship, but way too often it is the first causality when the honeymoon is over and real life hits. It was especially difficult for my husband and I because we were trying to establish our relationship in the midst of a large family.

When he and I got married, he moved into the chaos of six kids (ages 5-17) who were homeschooled and a wife that worked at home. He had taken a forced early retirement so the eight of us were together all of the time.

My kids were used to my open door policy and having me available anytime they wanted me. My youngest daughter went to sleep cuddling with me every night. It seemed like his ex-wife was constantly on the phone with him no matter what time it was.

In a word? Overwhelming.

We prevailed. We took weekends away, we locked the bedroom door and hung out a do not disturb sign after 11 pm. I transitioned my cuddly child gently into putting herself to sleep after I tucked her in. I have to admit to having fleeting moments of jealousy knowing that my ex was comfortably shacked up with his girlfriend establishing their relationship in a childless house where they could concentrate on each other.

Moments. Very fleeting moments.

There are ways to hang on to, and build, intimacy despite real life. You just have to make them a priority.

  • Always kiss hello and good bye. Not a peck on the forehead kiss, either.
  • Hug and hold it for at least ten seconds several times a day.
  • Don’t meet your spouse at the door with a laundry list of things to do or complaints.
  • Make time for each other.
  • If you are looking at him and admiring what you see tell him so, and vice versa.
  • Sleep naked.
  • Touch each other more often — massage, hand holding, hair brushing (my favorite), and sex all count.

You have to plan for it, schedule it, and create an environment where intimacy can thrive. It’s not easy but it can be done.

How do you keep the intimacy in your relationship?

photo credit: pedrosimoes7 via photopin cc

Link Round-up: Recipes, Hair Clips, DIY Storage, and More

Posted on Apr 17, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has delicious recipes, cute hair clips, DIY storage jars, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie shared healthy Easter recipes.

Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic talked about one way to deal with kids’ toy messes.

Chocolate and Sunshine shared some Easter basket ideas for big kids.

link ru pallet decor

Designed Décor showed us how to make some cute wall art from a pallet.

Kenarry shared a recipe for creamy garlic parmesan quinoa.

Crafts Unleashed taught us how to make cute storage jars with (or just for) your kids.

I Love to Create showed us how to make hair clips featuring guilty pleasures.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Designed Décor

Link Round-up: DIY Spring Projects, Easter Ideas, and More

Posted on Apr 15, 2014 by 6 Comments

Today’s link round-up has some cute DIY spring projects, Easter basket ideas, and more.

Designed Décor shared a delicious strawberry pretzel surprise.

Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic stepped out of her nail polish comfort zone to show us some gorgeous new colors.

Chocolate and Sunshine shared some ideas for Easter baskets for adults.

Kenarry showed us some fun ways to color Easter eggs.

link ru colorful kitchen clock

A Beautiful Mess taught us how to make a colorful kitchen clock.

Crafts Unleashed created the cutest spring mason jar DIY lamp.

I Love to Create showed us how to make floral puffy paint Easter eggs.

Photo credit: Designed Décor and A Beautiful Mess

Are Issues with Your Ex Making Your New Relationship a Threesome?

Posted on Apr 11, 2014 by No Comments

None of us can be involved in the break-up of an important relationship and not bring some issues to the table of our next one. It just is one of those things. I honestly didn’t think I had a lot of issues from my first marriage. It was what it was, I made some mistakes, he screwed up royally, and there it was.

Thirty years of memories stuffed into a box at the back of the cabinet.

I was wrong. I have more issues than I can even count. Just when I think I have one conquered, another one pops up in it’s place. I swear to you it’s like playing Whack-a-Mole. Something gets kicked up because my new husband does something reminiscent of the ex. Rather than letting it go, my brain latches on to it and runs with it. All of a sudden there are totally unrelated fears hitting me like a barrage of tiny missiles.

It’s scary and sometimes it feels like the ex is in the midst of my relationship, stirring it up just like he used to.

Well, like me, you are stuck with your past and the wounds and scars from it. With lots of work, they heal eventually but in the meantime it can be tough to get the ex out of the room long enough to enjoy some uninterrupted cuddle time.

The best thing to do is to remind yourself that the situation is in the past and there is no reason to believe it will reoccur. When your  mind wanders back to the past, gently direct it back to your oh-so-much-happier present. Keep reminding yourself that things are OK and new. Eventually those thoughts will not be able to mess with you at all.

photo credit: TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³ via photopin cc

Link Round-up: DIY Beauty Tips, Easter Treats, Energy Bites, and More

Posted on Apr 8, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has DIY foundation and gel manicures, an Easter treat, energy bites, and more.

Mommypotamus taught us how to make foundation powder.

How About Cookie talks about the tools you need to create bento boxes.

A Beautiful Mess taught us how to do your own gel manicure at home.

link ru reeses sunflower pops

Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons showed us how to make adorable Reese’s peanut butter cup sunflower pops.

I Should Be Mopping the Floor whipped up some peanut butter and oatmeal energy bites.

Melly Sews showed us how to put together a dry erase placemat to keep the kids entertained.

Honestly WTF taught us how to create a jeweled paracord bracelet.

Photo credit: Mommypotamus and Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons

Why She Doesn’t Leave that Idiot Husband of Hers

Posted on Apr 7, 2014 by 1 Comment

I have listened to more than one frustrated person ask me, “Seriously, why doesn’t she leave that idiot husband of hers?”

Over the years I have listened to more than one woman in an abusive relationship make the statement that she can’t afford to leave, she’s afraid to leave, or she just can’t do it for a reason she can’t even put into words.

It’s such a different landscape depending on which side of the door you are on and shaming or coercing your friend into leaving before she is ready is not the way to go.

You have to accept that you (hopefully) will never understand what she is going through and the best thing you can do for her is to be there for her to unload while you listen. It’s such a temptation to give advice, sometimes without even listening to what she is saying. When you do that, you actually are making things worse.

Why She Doesn’t Leave Her Husband

There are some reasons why she doesn’t leave her husband that are common to most women in abusive relationships. Some of these things might not even occur to her until after she is safely out and has gained perspective.

She Can’t Afford It

Not all husbands provide for their families. This is such a shock to some people but there it is. Some husbands make enough money but spend it on themselves and the things that they want, leaving very little left over.

If she has been a stay at home mom for any length of time, she may feel like she has nothing to offer in the workplace. Even if she is working, she may not make enough to comfortably support her children. She may worry that she will not be able to feed them, to clothe them, or she may be concerned about having quality time with them.

If her husband controls the money she may have no credit of her own and may not be able to squirrel enough money away to even get a cheap apartment.

She Is Overwhelmed

Imagine that you have three children and one of them has a condition that takes up your time. Maybe it is autism, Downs, or a serious illness. It doesn’t really matter — you are the caregiver. Now, how do you leave? How can you afford to get the help you need, get your child to appointments and therapies, and juggle a full time job?

Or maybe it is just that she has been told for years she is inept, incapable, or whatever. It is almost impossible to step out of a situation if you don’t have the confidence you can make it.

She Is Afraid

If there has been any kind of abuse she may be afraid that there will be retaliation, that her or her children’s lives may be in danger, or even that she will not get to keep her children at all.

She Hopes Things Will Change

No one wants to be divorced. It is hard to leave a marriage at any point but more so when it is long term. Some women hold on to hope the he will change, often for years.

Don’t Manipulate Her

First of all, please understand that she doesn’t allow herself to be treated that way. She is victimized and depending on what is going on and how long it has been happening she may not realize that she is being treated badly or, she may realize it and believe it is her fault, or she may just be in a brain fog from being in survival mode a long time and not even know what her own emotions and desires are.

If her husband has been very controlling, she is easily manipulated by your words and the last thing she needs is to have another person manipulating and coercing. Listen to her, affirm her, and cheer on each small step she takes toward distancing herself from abuse.

If you suspect there is physical violence going on, take the initiative to talk to someone at one of the domestic violence hotlines and find out what they recommend. Here’s the national number (USA) - National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).

photo credit: gareth1953 Computer Malfunction Solved via photopin cc

Link Round-up: Treats, Makeovers, Emotions, and More

Posted on Apr 3, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has delicious treats, makeovers for your dresser and your shoes, emotion detox, and more.

Craftaholics Anonymous taught us how to make a modern leather planter.

Pink So Foxy showed us how to give a boring dresser a fabulous makeover.

Mind Body Green taught us about seven emotions that don’t serve us and how to detox them.

link ru pretzel smores

Cupcakes and Cashmere shared a recipe for a pretzel s’more crunch bar.

A Subtle Revelry showed us how to make a watermelon cake.

Love, Maegan taught us how to liven up an old pair of pumps.

Chocolate Covered Katie shared a recipe for healthy tiramisu.

Photo credit: Craftaholics Anonymous and Cupcakes and Cashmere

Link Round-up: DIY Home Decor Projects, April Fool’s Day Tricks, and More

Posted on Apr 1, 2014 by 2 Comments

Today’s link round-up has some DIY ways to make your home even prettier, some April Fool’s Day tricks to play on your kids, and more.

Cupcakes and Cashmere taught us how to make beautiful flower and herb arrangements.

Pink So Foxy showed us how to make a gorgeous ring holder.

Mind Body Green showed us how to make muffin tin frittatas.

link ru skillet handle

So Sew Easy gave us a how-to on creating a skillet handle cover.

The Free People blog showed us how to make blueberry walnut granola.

Kids Activities Blog gave us April Fool’s Day pranks to play on the kids.

A Subtle Revelry showed us how to make carrot ice cream.

Photo credit: Cupcakes and Cashmere and So Sew Easy

Why You Should Totally Post Selfies

Posted on Mar 26, 2014 by 2 Comments

There are a lot of mixed feelings about selfies — those images of yourself that you take with your iphone and post to Instagram, Facebook, and other social media.

Some people believe that people who post images of themselves are narcissistic and self-involved adolescents, no matter what their age. Researchers say that ”Increased frequency of sharing photographs of the self, regardless of the type of target sharing the photographs, is related to a decrease in intimacy.”

A writer for the UK Guardian assures us that selfies are part of growing up in today’s image crazy society. Obviously everyone has an opinion one way or another, and when you are an adult, the idea of posting selfies can seem not only immature, but somewhat intimidating at the same time.

At the risk of becoming the middle aged laughingstock of the Internet, I’d like to put my humble opinion out there for consideration. Selfies can repair a damaged self-esteem.

Sometimes I feel like the poster child for self-esteem issues. I have always been shy, always been an introvert, and a variety of experiences led to a shattered idea of who I was and non-existent self-confidence. A friend suggested that I post selfies regularly so that I could see that people didn’t turn away in disgust like I was the Elephant Man or something.

I had a lot of reasons why I shouldn’t. I feel overweight because I have had my thyroid removed and my metabolism went with it. It is hard for me to maintain a “sort of, kind of” healthy weight, let alone be the slender size 4 that I used to be.

Another reason was that I hate to smile. My two front teeth have had dead nerves for decades and they had started to turn brownish in the past ten years. No amount of bleaching would help. I didn’t have dental insurance and so caps, which I desperately needed, were cost prohibitive.

Finally, I really don’t think I look attractive on camera. I think I am OK in real life but pictures always make me feel self-conscious. This from a woman who did some modeling in the 1970s.

My daughter is a photographer, so you’d think I’d have a lot of pictures of myself but I didn’t let her take them. I was always the person behind the camera. The idea of looking into my iPhone and snapping a picture at random times was anxiety producing.

Still, I was (am) ready to be the self confident woman I was born to be and if this would help? Well, why not.

I began to do it. Not every day but every couple of days I would snap a picture of my new hair color, me sipping wine, my husband and I at Six Flags, my youngest daughter and I — and on and on. My confidence really did grow. People really didn’t run screaming from their computers. Some of them even complimented me.

My husband recently found a part-time job and picked up dental insurance. Last week I got temporary crowns in preparation for the permanent crowns I’ll be getting in a couple of weeks. My smile is totally different and I am not self conscious — about that.

I don’t post pictures every day but I do post them often. It gets easier and easier and I am better about letting my daughter take pictures of me, too.

So, selfies aren’t all bad. Sometimes they help us see ourselves more as the other people around us do. What do you think?

image: Marye Audet