#love

Anniversary Gift Guide

Anniversary Gifts

Traditional Gifts By Year And What Exactly To Buy.

Wedding Anniversary coming up?  Me too!  Actually it’s today, June 1st, AKA the happiest day on Earth.  To me anyways.

Moving on, I love the idea of following traditional anniversary guides, so for the past three years I’ve always tried to work off of what the traditional gift for each is.

It’s fun, and it gives you a good starting point, but some of them are a little weird, at best, and others are just downright hard to apply to modern life (and men).  So, to help a girl out, I’ve made my own list of traditional gifts, along with some real life ideas to ponder.

I must say, however, that you may have to go rogue.  For instance, if your hubby tends to get you lavish gifts, then giving him a bag of candy for your sixth anniversary won’t suffice.  So get him his favorite sweets, but also get him something else.  A tangible gift, or something to do together.  If the  pre-determined gift of the year won’t be enough, add dinner, a couple’s massage or his favorite dessert to the line up.

And also, don’t save lingerie for only years 12 and 13.  Step up your game with some steamy anniversary lovin’ every year, please.  Like a lady.

So without further ado, here’s my Traditional Gift Recap!

Anniversary Gift Guide

First – Paper

Maps. A big world map where you can pinpoint your travels together or smaller framed maps that highlight where you met, live or got married.

Second – Cotton

Linens. Think fun pillow cases, throw pillows with your wedding song lyrics embroidered on, or a personalized throw blanket or quilt.

Third – Leather

Accessories. A leather banded watch, new shoes, a belt. Maybe a new wallet, money clip or passport holder.

Fourth – Fruits or Flowers

Plants, obviously.   Go with floral arrangements similar to your wedding, or if you want something long-lasting, buy a tree or bush to plant at your home.

Fifth – Wood

Pretty Décor. A keepsake box or carved wooden sign with your name or wedding date. Consider any type of housewares they might need, like a bookcase, shelves, or cutting boards.

Sixth – Candy

Sweets! Whatever your hunny’s favorites are, load them up with some sugar.

Seventh – Wool

Clothing or Blankies. Maybe some socks to keep their feet warm after all these years, or a sweater if it fits their tastes. Otherwise try a nice snuggly blanket to cuddle under.

Eighth – Pottery

Plates, Mugs, Dishes.   If not for the kitchen, maybe try a decorative plate or jewelry dish. Add a sweet or sentimental note to make it a little more romantic.

Ninth – Wicker or Willow

Something woven.   A pretty picnic basket set is a perfect gift and turns into a perfect date, too.

Tenth – Tin

Cans. Even if the tin cans hold a different gift altogether, they still fit the bill. New tin coffee cans are good for the java lover, or get creative and turn them into a holder for something else (candy, mints, cigars…)

Eleventh – Steel

Jewelry. Anything stainless steel works, from cufflinks to watches to chains, even keychains or pocketwatches. Lotsa options with this one.

Twelfth – Silk

Linens. Sheets, scarves, maybe some pajamas. My favorite, something silky and sexy, fun lingerie!

Thirteenth – Lace

Lingerie. Yeah. Just lingerie.

Fourteenth – Ivory

Anything Off White. I’m not big into the whole poaching/hunting/killing of animals thing, so I can’t contribute an idea of an actual ivory gift. But it’s a pretty color to go with for house décor, luggage or clothing (lingerie).

Fifteenth – Crystal

Barware. Champagne glasses, tumblers, decanters, wine stoppers. Whatever you get, use to celebrate with and get drunk together.

Twentieth – China

Plates, I guess. But if don’t think new fine china is gonna go over great, look for specialized china, like a monogrammed plate or personalized decorative piece.

Twenty-Fifth – Silver

Jewelry. So, so many options. Engraved watches are one of my favorites, but anything goes. Cufflinks, key-chains, money clips.

Fiftieth – Gold

Tons of Options. Not just jewelry, but pieces for the home, like a clock, frame, globe or décor. Better yet, throw a gold themed anniversary party, because fifty years of marriage is AMAZING.

Love, Mrs. Newman

Living Together 101

Living Together 101

How To Move In Together And Not Hate It.

So, if you’re engaged, or have discussed getting engaged, there’s a decent chance that you either plan on moving in together soon (because test drives are important), you already live together (living in sin, like I did), or you’ll be moving in together as soon as you get hitched (you little angel).

Regardless, if you plan on moving in with your significant other, shits about to change for you.   Living together in the same space is an adjustment, and it can be hard. I mean it’s honestly just like having any other roommate except this one isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.   I bet eternity seems like kind of a long time now, doesn’t it.

Don’t totally panic about moving in together, because honestly, it’s going to be one of the best times in your life. But along with the eternal slumber party, breakfast and dinner dates, and long Sundays of Netflix binging together in bed, you’ll also encounter a few new quirks about your new “roomie”. Like their inability to do dishes, or that they fold all your clothes wrong, or that they leave wet towels on your bed (looking at you babe).

Luckily, moving in together can also be really, really fun.   But it doesn’t hurt to have a few helpful hints to make the transition easier.

My Advice For Living Together

Separate Bathrooms.   I know this isn’t always an option, but if it is, do it. Bathrooms get gross easily, and actually seeing each others grooming techniques isn’t always glamorous. Best to have some secrets in this department, in my opinion.   (Note: There won’t be many secrets along the road of a lengthy marriage, so you also need to be comfortable enough to laugh at each other when anything “gross” pops up…. in sickness and in health, remember?)

Separate Spaces. Also ideal if you can swing it, having your own space will help keep you sane. Whether it’s a man cave for him and an extra bedroom turned dressing room for you, try to have somewhere that is your own domain.   Even if you have a teensy apartment, a recliner for him and window seat for you will give you both a sense of having one place that’s all yours.

Alone Time. Same concept as above, but I’m talking about outside your home. You’re gonna need a breather from each other at some point, so having something that you do regularly on your own will help you keep some of your own identity, independent of your new co-dependent living arrangements.   And if you can schedule it on opposite days, you’ll both benefit from some alone time at home too (full control of the remote, yes please).

Candles.   Matches and candles are a couple’s best friend when you’re acclimating to being in each other’s business all the time. Sorry, but shit happens, literally. And boys can be smelly. Girls too I suppose.   So matches and candles and incense… yeah some of each in ALL bathrooms and any common areas.

Split Chores. I know this one might seem easy enough, but it’s actually worth a conversation. If the two of you can figure out who does what around the house, then its more likely that no one will feel overwhelmed or taken advantage of. Even if it’s not exactly even, if it’s an arrangement that you’ve both agreed works for your household, you’ll be better off. For instance; I do most of the cleaning around the house, but my husband has a list of chores that are completely on him – like vacuuming, taking out the trash, changing light bulbs, plunging toilets, fixing clogs, anything car related, pumping gas or walking the dog at night. Haven’t done a one of those in a few years now.

Two Demands. It probably won’t take long until you find the one or two things that drive you nuts about your partner. Shoes in the middle of the room? Dirty dishes in the sink? Wet f*cking towels on your bed? (Matthew.) And I hate to break it to you, but you probably also have a habit or two that they hate as well.   Make hard rules for these ones. Each pick your one thing that is an absolute no-no, and change your ways. Because, compromise.

Hooks & Hardware. Sometimes its just the littlest things that can drive each other crazy, like clothes all over the floor, or messy junk drawers, or even stacks of mail that get built up into never-ending piles. Whatever little things are bugging you, instead of nagging each other, find simple solutions. Put hooks up anywhere that things get thrown about, or add extra hampers wherever clothes get tossed on the floor. Get compartment organizers or drawer spacers to help keep things neat. Look into hanging up a cute mail holder on your wall. Instead of fighting over it, find organizational solutions that will resolve the problem before it turns into an argument.

Remember that this should be a fun and happy time, so if you stay positive and excited about it, chances are your relationship will stay positive and exciting too. Focus on all the fun parts, and enjoy your new adventure together.

I mean if you plan on marrying or spending your life with someone, then living together is a part of the deal. It’s fun to have your best friend by your side at the end of the day, and even better waking up to their face every morning. Don’t ever forget that!

Love, Mrs. Newman

Kissable Lipstick

How To Make Any Lipstick Stay In Place & Last Longer.

One of my most visited and fan favorite posts was when I wrote about what lipsticks a girl could wear to her wedding that A.) would last, and B.) wouldn’t get all over her hubby at the altar.  If you haven’t read it, go here and take a peek for yourself.

But the annoying part about kiss proof lipsticks is the limited selection.  Like, is it really not a priority for us make up slinging ladies to have it actually stay in place if we engage in a little kissie sesh?  I personally live for lipsticks that look amazing AND don’t keep my man from loving on me, and there just aren’t a ton of options.  Though check back frequently, because I’ve made it my personal mission to find all the best ones.  And I shall report back to y’all, obviously.

So, whats make-out make-up queen like myself to do?  Well, I’ve mastered my very own way of applying just about any type and any shade of lipstick in manner that stays in place.  99% of the time anyways.

How you might ask?  Sorcery.

Joking.  It’s actually not terribly hard, as long as you have a few things on hand.  First, a neutral shade of lip liner.  Secondly, tissues.  And lastly, your lipstick.  And I do mean lipSTICK.  Sorry friends, but lipgloss just doesn’t stay on if you’re getting busy.  I’ve tried.

So to start, put the rest of your face on, so you can pick a complimentary color.  Put a little bit of your face makeup or concealer over your lips for a nice neutral base (top left picture).

Next, take your lip liner.  Doesn’t matter what shade of lipstick your using, a neutral color lip liner works perfectly.  I use one that’s about one or two shades darker than my original lips.  You’ll definitely be able to see it over the concealer you have on your lips to begin with.

Outline your lips if you’re happy with the plumpness of your pout, or outline just outside your lip line if you want to make your pucker a teeny bit larger than real life (à la Kylie Jenner but I advise you to start small if you’re going to go outside your own lip line.  Like literally, just barely outside/on top of your natural line.  Or you’ll probably look ridiculous).  See middle left photo.

Once you’re happy with your liner, color it in with your pencil, and blot with a tissue lightly.  Photo on bottom left.

Now you can put your lippy stick on!  Put on a few glorious coats!  Like literally load that baby on.  You’re going to blot most of it off so I promise it’ll look fine when you’re done! Picture on top right!

Now here’s my favorite little trick.  BEFORE we blot off the color, I have a fun little tip that keeps you from getting any lipstick on your teeth (SO not cute).  Take your (clean) finger and give it a nice little suck job.  I swear this works.  Just put your finger in your mouth and suck as you pull it out.  Just once will do, not like in a real life blow jay (sorry mom).  Look at the photo middle right and see how some of my lipstick came off… on my finger.  Not my teeth.  Like a lady.

Now that that’s taken care of, grab your tissues and blot the sh*t out of your lipstick… photo bottom right.  If it gets too light, put on a few more coats, repeat your finger bj, and then blot some more.  When the color you want is good to go, and your tissue is white, you’re done.  Viola!  Make up done and make out ready!IMG_2596

Now I know you might be questioning me, but I just smooched my hubby as he got home from work and nothing got on his perfect little face.  I also have been happily drinking a nice chardonnay-riesling blend and there is literally NO lipstick on my wine glass, a true test for lipstick that stays in place.  Oh, and my lipstick still looks great.

So go ahead, see for yourselves!  Kiss kiss!

Love, Mrs. Newman

 

 

Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gifts

Last Minute Vday Gifts

Because Sometimes It Just Sneaks Up On You.

So it’s basically Valentine’s Day weekend, and you don’t have a gift for your valentine yet.  Whoops!

Even if you do have something in mind, but feel like you need just a little something more, I have the perfect last-minute gifts.  Plus, these are all pretty quick, easy, and inexpensive.

  • Cards.  Easy to get and easy to customize.  Make each card a love note with something special you love about your babe on each one – 52 reminders of why you’re together.
  • Mirror Messages.  Simply use lipstick to leave your hunny a love note on the mirror, or get creative with paper or post it notes and make a heart-shaped collage.  Express all the little things you love about him/her so they can start their day with a smile.
  • Heart Shaped Breakfast.  Use heart-shaped cookie cutters to make toast cut outs, or to fry eggs inside of. If you value your fingertips, use an oven mitt to hold the cookie cutter in place while the egg cooks.  Learned that the hard way last year.
  • Heart Shaped Pizza.  Little heart-shaped pepperoni are sweet, or you can really go all out and shaped the pizza dough into one big heart.  Tip: keep the heart skinny before cooking, it’ll expand and widen as it cooks!  Simpler solution: call around to your local pizzeria, and see which ones will do it for you.
  • Heart Shaped Anything Edible.  They don’t say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach for nothing.  It’s basically in the bible.  So if you plan on cooking anything for your sweetie this holiday, try your best to make them into heart shapes.  Even if you fail, they’ll think it was a cute attempt, and as long as it isn’t burned too badly, they’ll eat it (speaking from experience here).
  • Box of Favorites.  You probably know your favorite person’s favorite things just as well as they do, so put that knowledge to good use and stock a bag or box with all of their favorite snacks, candies, goodies.. plus anything else that you know they usually buy for themselves when they’re in the mood for a treat.
  • Match Jar.  This one is sweet yet practical.  Fill a small mason jar with matches, and then secure sand paper or the bottom of the matchbox onto the lid.  Decorate the jar itself, or add a little love note or doodle on top.   Perfect for anyone who likes to fish, camp, hunt or hike…. (so not me).
  • DIY Date Jar.  I can elaborate but I just wrote up a post on this, so just go read it here!
  • Coupon Book.  This one is super easy, but also pretty alluring for a guy if you get a little pg-13 with it. Stick with fun sweet treats, like a back rub, cooking dinner, designated driving duty that they can redeem whenever, or up your game and give him tickets to redeem when he wants to… play. ♥
  • Love Note Frame.  This one is extra sweet because it adds a little romance to your home decor that you can use all year long.  Just get any size frame, and then make your own little print out to place in side that reads “I love you because:” and then add a line underneath it.  Pick up dry erase markers and take turns leaving each other little reminders of what you love about each other on the glass.
  • Man Bouquets.  Flowers are sweet, but they aren’t for everyone.  If your valentine would rather a bushel of something else, like say alcohol, candy or snacks, make them a bouquet of that instead!  Use wooden kabob sticks to secure items to, and then gather them and secure at the bottom.  See here or here for an example.
  • Something Lacy.  Sometimes the thing a guy wants to unwrap the most is you.  So go buy something that makes you feel sexy and confident, surprise him with a fun new “outfit”, and let him open the best gift of all.  Note: this gift will probably end up on the floor really quick, so don’t break the bank.  Think lacy, tight, and revealing.
  • Did I Mention Food?  Another easy way to do something nice is to bake or make their favorite dessert.  Whatever they fancy, whether it’s brownies, cookies, cupcakes or chocolate covered strawberries, make it for them and indulge yourselves with a yummy dessert.  Better yet, eat them in bed.

♥ Have fun!

Love, Mrs. Newman

 

Make Your Own Date Jar

Date Jar copy

A Quick And Easy DIY Valentine’s Day Gift!

Even if you don’t need an idea for a sweet treat for your valentine, DIY date jars are a fun and easy project to do any time of year.  In our household we don’t make it more than a few days before we’re stuck on dinner plans or feeling antsy for something fun to do together.

That’s why this year I finally made my own date jar, all set and ready to go with 35 preplanned dates for us to pick from!  (Also, spoiler alert to my husband – yes this is part of your V-day gift.  You’re welcome).

Not only will this stop us from bickering over where to eat or what to do, it’s also a fun excuse to try new things on date night.  I made sure our dates included our staples, but also had a few unique date ideas that I think could be a really good time.

It was incredibly easy to make, the hardest part being the date brainstorming sesh, but with the aid of Pinterest I had 35 categorized dates ready to go in less than 20 minutes.   So first things first, gather the following:IMG_2363

  • Mason Jar
  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Sharpie
  • Stickers
  • Ribbon
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Scissors

Like I said, the hardest part was actually coming up with the dates, but they came to me quicker than I expected after peeking at a few other blogs and pins.  Make sure you cater your dates to your own personal style.  I included a Star Wars Marathon since we’re both avid fans, but nixed ice skating from our list as public humiliation doesn’t really make for a great date night in my husband’s eyes.

If you aren’t up to creating your own preplanned dates, use mine as a starting point, but try to cater them to yourselves a little bit.

date jar list

Organize your list into three categories; cheap/at home, out of the house but still low-key, and fancier-than-usual night outs.   This is where your stickers come into play.  Color code your dates and place different stickers at the top of each popsicle stick so you’ll know how to differentiate your dates when you’re pulling from your date jar.

After this you’re pretty much ready to go, you just need a pretty little mason jar to place your popsicle sticks in.   Luckily I’ve already provided you a tutorial on this, which you can read here or watch here.  To recap; you’ll use your hot glue gun to secure your pretty ribbons around your jar.  Said ribbons will help camouflage your popsicle sticks so that there’s no cheating involved when pulling one out.

date-jarSee, pretty easy.  I got everything at Michael’s, but any craft store works, or even a dollar store probably.   The important part about this gift is to actually use it, and to make sure that you’re actually spending time together doing fun and different things (after all that is what happy couples do, IMO).  And if this jar takes some of the bickering or indecisiveness out of your date nights, then it’s a perfect little gift not only for your partner, but for yourself.

Have fun and enjoy all of your upcoming date nights!  Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love, Mrs. Newman

 

 

The Best Sign Of A Healthy Relationship

InstaBrags

Instabrags, TwitPic Pros & Facebook Power Couples.

“The best sign of a healthy relationship is no sign of it online.” I’ve seen this quote a few different times now and I just couldn’t resist putting my feelings on it out there.

To start, I think there are tons of signs more significant than this one that indicate a healthy relationship. I also don’t know that zero presence of your relationship online is, in actuality, a positive thing.

This can go two ways. There certainly are people out there who are quite private, and having no indication of their relationship online just means that they keep their personal affairs to themselves. I’d say that if someone doesn’t have much online to begin with, then no sign of their family and friends makes sense, and henceforth no sign of a relationship does too. It’s getting harder and harder to find these days, but there still are people out there that are resistant to the social norm that everything should be posted online.

On the other hand, if a person is relatively active online then they probably share and post pictures of the people who they are constantly doing different activities with. And if said person does do quite a bit of posting, and you’re in a committed relationship with them, why wouldn’t you be included in those photos?

Well I have a guess as to why. Maybe they don’t want someone to see just how active in their life you are. Doesn’t that sound like a little bit of a red flag to you?

Again, there are varying ways to look at this, and you have to evaluate it on a case-by-case basis. If your relationship is new give your new boyf or gf some time to get comfortable with showing you off to their friends and followers.

You should also be considerate of people who just don’t want to share things that they may feel guarded about or protective of (their feelings towards you perhaps). Not everyone is comfortable with putting things out online, and some people find it even more special when the important things in their life aren’t documented, but spent in the moment and behind closed doors (without a constant camera in their face).

I imagine this line of thinking is where this quote initially comes from. From people who consider intimacy and solid relationships are best formed privately and in the moment. So in this regard, I understand. Totally get that.

But saying no sign of a relationship online is the best and only way to go just isn’t accurate.

Think about the most secure couples that you know of. The ones who you know are in love, have tons of fun together, and genuinely enjoy each other’s company.   Did you judge their relationship by their Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages?  Uh, probably not.  But now think about their social media pages. Aren’t they probably linked together somehow? At least a little? Mmm, probably yes.

In my experience, couples that are the happiest tend to spend quite a bit of time together, doing and experiencing fun and different things.   They also just genuinely enjoy being together, even if it’s just spending quiet time at home (like in bed, perhaps).

Going back to the notion that us millennials tend to document our entire existence, it only makes sense that people who are in happy, healthy relationships will have some type of record of it online. Who doesn’t want photos of fun vacations, trips or just day-to-day adventures to post, share and look back on?   If you can’t tell by the header image, I myself love to take photos of all the fun times I share with my husband, and I’m certainly not apologetic for it in the least.   But I post those pictures for me – not for you.

As an afterthought, social media is only a perception of what someone’s life is like.

And honestly we’re all aware of the people that over share to an extent, putting every single thing out there for their social media platforms to see (good or bad).   But we shouldn’t judge people or their relationships or their lives simply by their statuses and photos – we really shouldn’t judge them at all.

Social media should a fun and personal way to share, save and commemorate our own individual lives. And for people happily tied down, it’s probably going to include some cute couple selfies and instabrags over fun times spent together.

So I hate to break it to all those out there who think the best sign of a relationship is no sign of it online. Because the real sign of a happy & healthy relationship is in the eyes of the couple themselves – in the way they look at each other and the smiles they put on each other’s faces. Even if it’s in a photo, online.

Love, Mrs. Newman

NewmaChristmas Holiday Photo Shoot

NewmaChristmas

Because Who Really Wants A Traditional Holiday Photo?

Every year, most couples and families take their annual holiday card photos, and we’re no exception.  This year, we wanted to do something fun and different, so instead of snapping a few cute pictures in front of our tree, we went all out.  Dressed up and ready to go, we blitzed through a few typical “holiday festivities” that happen around our home.  Most of which include alcohol, snacks, or spending money.

It was really fun to put together, and even more fun to shoot.  Lucky for me I have a fun-loving husband who was willing to play along, and now we have whole album worth of pictures that represent our 2015 Christmas:

newmachristmas1  newmachristmas2 newmachristmas3  newmachristmas4  newmachristmas5  newmachristmas6  newmachristmas7  newmachristmas8  newmachristmas9  newmachristmas10  newmachristmas11  newmachristmas12  newmachristmas13  newmachristmas14  newmachristmas15  newmachristmas16  newmachristmas17  newmachristmas18  newmachristmas19  newmachristmas20  newmachristmas21  newmachristmas22  newmachristmas23  newmachristmas24  newmachristmas25  newmachristmas26  newmachristmas27  newmachristmas28

If I could wish one thing for everyone out there, it would be to have fun and laugh with your partner everyday.  Hope you enjoy our album, and I wish you all a happy and safe holiday season!

Love, Mrs. Newman

25 Dates of Christmas

25 Dates of Christmas

Make Your Own Couple’s Christmas Advent Calendar!

I think one of the best things you can do for your relationship is to continue to date each other throughout your marriage, and try to always enjoy each other’s time and company.  The holiday season is such a great time to embrace the feeling of love that’s in the air and spend some quality time together.  Plus, there are about a million fun seasonal activities to choose from.

Most people know what an advent calendar is, and this year I wanted to put my own spin on it by making my own that will not only serve as a countdown to Christmas, but will also provide something fun to do with my hubby each day.  Basically, I made a list of 25 Christmassy dates and activities to do during the month of December,turned them into a fun little craft project (steps below) and I’m SO excited to get started!

(Sidenote: Yes, I know I’m jumping the gun a bit, but I’m posting this before Thanksgiving so that y’all can have over a week to get your own DIY advent calendars together.  You’re welcome).

What You Need:

  1. Pipecleaners (or pretty twine if you have an existing/traditional Advent calendar)
  2. Gift Tags (choose a heavier card stock for better durability)
  3. Mini Ornaments
  4. Fine Point Sharpie
  5. Christmas Jar/Bowl or Existing Advent Calendar

I got all of my supplies at Michael’s Craft Store.  If you wanna know exactly which items bought, reach out to me and I’ll tell ya the exact products, but I also encourage putting your own creative spin on it, so pick out whatever you think will work best!

25 Dates List

Step One

Take 25 of your gift tags and label them with your 25 Christmas dates and activities using your fine point sharpie.  Take some time and pick 25 things that you think would work best for you (you can use my list but make sure you edit accordingly – like you Floridians might not be able to have a snowball fight, sorry.. kinda).

Separate them into four categories:

  • Easy, simple everyday activities, can be done on a weeknight
  • Dates that might need extra time or planning, better for a weekend
  • Anything that is weather dependent and requires snow on the ground
  • Two activities that will fit into your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day plans

Step Two

Next, assign each category a color pipe cleaner (I used green for most, red for weekend activities, silver for snow, and gold for the final two dates).  Weave the pipe cleaner through the tag and fold it in half when its halfway through. Twist the pipe cleaner together and then fold it into a candy cane shape.  Attach a mini ornament to the curved end so that it will hang out of your Christmas jar or bowl. (See diagram in box 2 in the header image for help with this step)

Step Three 

Make your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dates stand out; I made mine into longer corkscrew shapes and added some extra pipe cleaners to the Christmas Day date to make it a little extra fancy.

Step Four

This isn’t really another step, it’s just an adjustment for those using an existing advent calendar instead of a jar or bowl like mine.  Use pretty thread or twine to tie the mini ornaments to your gift tags, and then place them in the designated spaces of your calendars.  Just make sure you place the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day ones in the final two slots.

Step Five

Put all of your Christmas Dates into your Advent jar/bowl/calendar…. whatever you decide to use works!  If you don’t have something to put them in, pick up a mason jar and decorate them with holiday ribbon.  Then, starting on December 1st, pull out an activity to do together everyday.

Have fun with each other!  If you have to tweak them as you go, don’t worry too much about changing them up, just make sure you’re spending some time doing things together and having fun with it.  Tis the season… almost!

Love, Mrs. Newman

 

 

Love Isn’t Perfect

heart-692312_1280

Marriage Is A Choice

I’m a true romantic; someone who just can’t get her fill of love stories and happy endings. Having one true love and finding your soulmate is something I wish upon everyone.   Everyone deserves love. Finding the person you were meant to fall in love with is an extraordinary thing; life was meant to be shared.

If you’re lucky enough to know what it’s like to find the one you want to spend your life with, then you know that once you have them in your life, going back to anything else seems impossible. I don’t mean to be condescending, and if you haven’t found your person yet, trust me when I tell you that you will.  I know we live in a world where soulmates exist, simply because I found mine. And countless others have too; there are too many tales of romance and true love for it to not be real.

The messy part about love is that it isn’t meant to be perfect. The fairy tales we learn in childhood paint it out to be easy.   Love is hard, and relationships are messy. No pairing will ever be the same, and they don’t function in one specific manner; as all people are unique and different, so are couples.

I can put myself out there for this post, because I’ve had friends and family comment on my relationship before, and the general perception (that I’ve been told) seems to be that my husband and I have an “easy” relationship.  There are parts that are easy.  I adore a million little things about him. I think he’s amazing, and I’ve never loved anything the way I love him. I don’t doubt that I’d never find anyone else as perfect for me, and soulmate is certainly the most appropriate term in my opinion. But he’s not perfect, and our relationship can be far from easy at times.

We definitely have our differences; I don’t understand his need to be constantly on the move, while he calls me the most idle person he’s ever known. We bicker often, and we have knock down drag out fights on occasion. But those don’t last long, and we’re both pretty quick to want a to reach an understanding.  Like all relationships, we have good days and we have bad days. But we face every day together, even when it’s not easy.

Behind every “perfect” couple lays the truth, and the truth is that everyone fights. The passion that comes with finding someone you love so deeply causes not only all the good parts of being a pair, but the friction and the fighting too.

Your soulmate isn’t going to be someone who isn’t reactive to you, they’re going to be someone who challenges you to be a better version of yourself. That means that they’re going to push you outside of your comfort zone while simultaneously being your source of strength.

We’ve all been told that everyone fights, and that it’s healthy even, because it helps you learn how to communicate and problem solve. This is true. But taking it a step farther, a fighting couple means you both still have sparks; albeit conflicting sparks.   Good for you. You both still care about your relationship. When you stop caring about reaching a resolution, then maybe you need to reevaluate whether or not this really is your true love.

Nobody who is under the belief that they have found their soulmate will tell you that they don’t care about their partner’s thoughts or feelings. They won’t be okay without settling a disagreement, and they won’t make decisions without their partner’s approval.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that compromises and resolutions happen overnight, or that they come easily simply because two people are in love. You can be desperately in love with someone and still have issues to iron out. Loving somebody means taking the good and the bad, and always finding a middle ground. Sacrifices are a part of the deal when someone else’s happiness is synonymous with your own.

If you really think about it, what love story doesn’t have conflict? What epic love story truly starts with love at first sight and immediately turns into a happily ever after? Even the most beautiful novels have struggle, turmoil and even tragedy.   Pick your favorite literary couple and tell me they had it easy. I bet not, and I bet you wouldn’t idolize them if they did. Being able to overcome odds and hurdles together just adds to your strength as a couple at the end of the day.

If you think the finish line for a happily ever after starts on your wedding day, I hate to break it to you, but that isn’t the case. This will just be the beginning. It’s a beautiful start to your story, but it truly is the beginning. In the books and the movies, the wedding tends to be the happily ever after, and while it marks the start of your beautiful life together, it certainly doesn’t mean you’ll skip through life untouched by relationship woes. It just means you’re committed to resolving them as a team.

Deciding to spend your life together means going through the good, the bad and the ugly together. Life really is a rollercoaster and you have to take the downs in order to really appreciate the highs. The good news is, you have your person now. You made a choice to be a team. You made a commitment to tackle whatever life throws at you together.

There is so much comfort in having a life partner, someone who will stand by you through it all. Getting married gives you security and strength.   Value what you have as a pair.   Falling in love is easy, but nurturing a relationship for the rest of your life is work. You should feel lucky, blessed and extremely fortunate if you’ve found your forever person. But you should also remember that love will never be perfect, and marriage is a commitment to take the good days and the bad days.

Love,

Mrs. Newman