Browsing Category: family

# Love Blog | The Little Things

I have written so many posts about being content and focusing on the little things. More than anyone else, I’ve written those posts for myself. Especially after having been diagnosed with PPD and Depression/Anxiety, But, even though it’s a weakness for me, I do find that when I reflect back and realize the value of and my love of the small things in life, I feel so much better. It is equivalent to keeping a continuous gratitude list.

Especially this past week, when I’ve focused on the small things life has gotten a little better and happier through the rivers of tears and clouds of melancholy.

Put some more love in your life by finding contentment and loving the little things that happen around you and to you. Your view on life will become so much brighter and full.

* Rhys always makes me smile. He is so funny, and he knows it. He will do something silly, look at me and laugh, and wait for me to respond with laughs.

* Rhys has been super cuddly recently, and it’s been really nice, because they have been so therapeutic.

* We are trying to teach Rhys not to (playfully) hit the dogs, so we’ve been sending him to “timeout” (a specific chair in the house). When we tell him to go to time out, he’ll immediately go and sit down in that chair. Sometimes he’ll fuss and yell, but he won’t move off the chair. What a good, smart boy.

* The weather has been so nice, recently.

* Rhys and I went running earlier in the week, when it was super windy, but Rhys was just happy to be outside.

* Rhys has been loving playing in the backyard, and I love watching him.

* Justin left little notes that said, “I love you” for me last week when I was feeling down.

* Justin and I have been playing a lot of Mario 3-D World on the Wii-U together.

* When my new ward’s Relief Society presidency came to visit me, they talked about starting up a Mother’s Group…that was an answer to a prayer–I’m in desperate need of a mother’s group.

* Seeing the blue sky with no clouds!

* Finishing Hope Unfolding by Beck Thompson. It was exactly what I needed to hear, and I sent it to a friend who I know needs it as well.

* Getting really into the first 30 pages of a Tudor historical fiction novel.

Here are the other posts I’ve written about contentment and the little things:
Loving the little things that Rhys did his first year 
Using the little thing to help overcome a monotonous life
Taking time away from the world to be content
Contentment 2015
Contentment 2013
Focusing on the small and making the most in life
2016 Mission Statement

What little things do you love?

Let me introduce you to my cohost for #Love Blog Challenge!

 

Meet Brita Long: Christian feminist blissfully married to Dan Fleck for almost two years. Lover of Paris, pink sparkles, sensible shoes, manicures, and books. Fueled by hot tea and mimosas.

 

And of course, Me: Mormon stay at home mom married to her best friend, Justin, for 3.5 years. Mother to 19 month old Rhys. “Retired” history and English teacher, runner, lover of video games, fantasy, books, and cooking. Consumer of Italian food, chocolate, steak, and strawberries.

 

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Intentional Marriage Goals | #LoveBlog Challenge

It’s National Marriage Week–perfect timing since it’s right before Valentine’s Day. It’s such a great time to focus on trying to be more intentional in your marriage.

My motto for this year was to be intentional. I also had some intentional marriage goals this month. But, Justin and I have had some serious talks about being more intentional in our marriage in all aspects of our lives. We really want to bring out the best in each other and really tackle any obstacle and trial thrown at us strong and together.

Intentional marriage goals for 2016 to make our marriage stronger and happier

Focusing more on the Gospel in our Marriage

Christ is at the center of our marriage. We want to do better at recognizing and highlighting that. We are going to make a huge effort to read scriptures together every day, as well as do our own personal scripture study. We are also going to make a huge effort to go to Church every Sunday for all three hours and not use “not feeling well” as an excuse. We believe that as we come closer to Christ, we will come closer to each other.

Communicate Far More Often in our Marriage

This is our biggest weakness. We both want the best for each other, but we don’t want to nitpick. Because of that, we sometimes never bring things that we need to up. Feelings fester and we sometimes we get cold and distant. We want to be open books to each other from now on.

Spend Time Together Without Electronics

My weakness is social media. Justin’s is video games. A typical night is putting Rhys to bed, then watching Hulu/Netflix while I blog and Justin looks at sports stats or plays videogames. We want to spend intentional time with each other–go on walks, just talk, play board games or videogames together, or watch a show with no distractions.

Focus on Health in our Marriage

Neither of us are happy where we are in health. If we feel better about ourselves, we can help each other improve as well. We are going to eat out less often, make better food choices, and be more active with each other and push each other.

Push Each Other in our Marriage

Marriage is supposed to be two people bring out the best in each other. We are too content with the way things are. Because of that, not only are we not improving ourselves, but we aren’t helping to improve each other. We are going to be verbally and actively involved and encouraging to each other.

What intentional goals do you and your significant other have? How are you celebrating National Marriage Week?
 

Meet today’s co-hosts for the #LoveBlog Challenge.

Meet Brita Long: Christian feminist blissfully married to Dan Fleck for almost two years. Lover of Paris, pink sparkles, sensible shoes, manicures, and books. Fueled by hot tea and mimosas.

Meet Brianna Campbell: Married to a dashing filmmaker named Clark, mama to our fur-child, Theodore. Blogger, singer/songwriter, and legal assistant. I love Jesus and cold beer. I write about health and wholeness, relationships, and finances. You can usually find me with coffee in hand watching Doctor Who or Friends.

 

And of course, Me: Mormon stay at home mom married to her best friend, Justin, for 3.5 years. Mother to 19 month old Rhys. “Retired” history and English teacher, runner, lover of video games, fantasy, books, and cooking. Consumer of Italian food, chocolate, steak, and strawberries.

 

 

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

5 Conversations to Have Before Moving in With Your Parents

We have been extremely blessed. We are lucky to live with my parents in such a loving, supportive home, with ALL the special items like cookware, and Dish TV! After my post on the positives of moving back in with your parents, I thought it would be useful to list all the different conversations you and your spouse should have with your parents before actually moving in. It is very important to do so before you move in! It will save everyone a lot of heartache and arguments.

Moving back in with your parents when you are married and have kids of your own can be stressful for all parties involved. Make sure to have these conversations before moving in to help ease the stress.

When to move in and out
It actually takes planning to decide when you will actually move in–you have to prepare to pack up and move out, rent a truck, cancel amenities, etc. Your parents need to make sure they have the resources and space available to help you out. But, you also need to coordinate, or at least have a plan, to move back out as well. We don’t know exactly when we are going to leave my parents’ house, but we have a ball park idea. This helps both parties plan and prepare for your stay.

What to take, what to store, and what to give away
You are moving into a small space–your entire house is not going to fit into a floor or a room. So, you will need to book a storage unit (preferably close to your parents’ house in case you need something). This is a perfect time to go through all of your stuff and declutter. Get rid of old and unused items, organize your files and important papers, give away opened or cold food. You will want to take as little as possible. We took our clothes, our video games, and Rhys’s toys. The rest of our house, including closed pantry food, is in our storage unit.

Rent and Amenities
You are extra bodies that take up space, need heating and cooing, water and electricity, and food. Talk ahead of time with your parents about what you should help out with–how much rent, if any, what amenities or grocery bills, etc. Now, my family doesn’t have a basement kitchen, so we’ve had a lot of discussion on food and meals, especially since my family works a lot later than Justin does. We have been very lucky on this point. Our rent is for Justin to be the math tutor for my sisters, and for me to not only be the English and history tutor, but also to watch the ENTIRE series of Downton Abbey (which my whole family is obsessed with and I have never seen a single episode). We are also giving my parents a flat check for groceries every month.

Duties and Position
You are not a guest. You are there long term. So, what chores will you help out with? What are your duties of the household? We will be keeping the basement clean, and since I will be the only one staying at home all day, I will help out with the dogs and keeping the main floor tidy. I will also be helping out with cooking. Justin and I will both be helping with driving, if need be, and Justin wants to help out with yard work.

Personal Space
What part of the house will you live in? For some, it will be one room, for others, an entire floor. For us, we have taken over the basement (one bedroom, one bathroom, and a family room). But, the kitchen is upstairs. So, you will need to discuss what is personal space and what isn’t. We have decided that everyone has free access to the entire house, but after a certain time at night, we all “retire to our corners.” This way, we still have a little haven, and my family doesn’t constantly feel like they have to entertain us.

What are some important discussion that you should have with your parents before moving in?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

5 Positives of Moving Into Your Parents’ Basement

As you know, we will be moving into my parents’ basement this weekend. We’ve known ever since I decided to quit teaching that it was a possibility. We hemmed and hawed between finding a super cheap apartment (which means very tiny and very low quality in Salt Lake County–housing is expensive here) or Justin adding 35 minutes to his commute and living with my parent.

We wanted living with my parents to be a last resort. I mean, you know the stigma of returning to your parents’ basement–you’ve failed financially, life isn’t working out for your, etc. We’ve always been proud of the fact that we both graduated from college without debt and the fact that besides the used car we are 2/3rds done paying off, we have absolutely no debt. We’ve lived in nicer housing and have had more amenities than many couples our age. We had enough in savings to completely cover the cost of my pregnancy and labor with Rhys. We technically could afford to stay here, but that would mean living paycheck to paycheck with no savings or wiggle room. So, we swallowed our pride and accepted my parents’ offer of temporarily moving in with them.

And, we feel good about it. We feel at peace. We feel that God is telling us this is a smart move for us. And, it will also help us to grow and learn.

So, we are trying to look at the bright sides of moving into my parents’ basement. Because, when you are strapped for cash and having to rely on family help, it doesn’t mean you are a failure. There are some positive outcomes to temporarily moving back.

Taking your spouse and kids and moving back into your parents' basement isn't the end of the world. There are a few positive outcomes you can focus on.

Save Money
We do have to get a storage unit for our stuff, and we will have to help out with food costs, but we will be saving so much money. All of that extra money will go directly to building back up our savings account. This is the biggest plus–we are saving a ton of money.

Support
We have the emotional support of our family. My parents have been in the same situation when I was very young, so we’re not alone. My parents also happen to work about 15 minutes away from Justin, so carpooling is an option. We will also be able to help and support them. Both my parents work, one sister is away at college all day, and the other has high school. So, they don’t have homemade dinners often, and cleaning is sporadic. I will be helping them with that.

Family Time
Rhys will be very entertained. He has two puppies to play with now, plus two adoring aunts, and two grandparents that spoil him like crazy. Justin and I will also have adults to talk to. I will be able to strengthen my relationship with my two sisters, especially my sister who is ten years younger than me.

Amenities
I’m not going to lie. This one is a little selfish. My family has DishTV and Netflix–all the shows with recording capabilities! They have all the craft supplies I could want, including a sewing machine. And the kitchen! Oh the kitchen! KitchenAid mixer, immersion blender, and so many other fun cooking toys! And a quality washer and dryer!

Growing as Adults
Life won’t be perfect. I’m sure there will be disagreements, arguments, and tensions sometimes. Sometimes we’ll just all be annoyed with the lack of privacy. But, it will help us to continue our growth as adults. We will learn patience like never before. We will learn humility and gratitude like never before. We will learn service like never before. We will learn teamwork and cooperation like never before.

We don’t know how long we will be living with my parents, and it’s definitely going to be a full house with us three, but we are just so very thankful that we are able to. And aren’t going to take it for granted at all.

Have you ever moved back in with parents after being married? What was your experience like?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Lilo and Stitch | Disney Lessons

Justin and I absolutely love Lilo and Stitch. We love singing the Hawaiian songs, and we love the cuteness of the movie. It is one of our favorites!

Lilo and Stitch is about about an evil alien experiment called Experiment 626, created by the evil scientist, Jumba. After being captured, it escaped and crash landed on Hawaii. Jumba and Earth Specialist, Pleakly, are sent to retrieve him. Experiment 626 ends up being adopted by Lilo and Nani from a dog pound. Lilo and Nani are sisters whose parents have recently died. Nani works at a luao restaurant and Lilo is very young and a little different. She doesn’t have friends and Nani is always stressed about taking care of Lilo, especially after getting fired. Social Services comes and threatens to take Lilo away from Nani unless she can find a stable job and train Stitch.

I don’t want to really give any more away in case you haven’t seen it…but here is the trailer

But, there are so many lessons to learn from Lilo and Stitch which is why we love it so much.

Lessons you can learn from Disney's Lilo and Stitch are very important: cultural history, family strength, and trust.

Cultural Heritage is Important

I love that this movie is diverse. It takes place in Hawaii, with a native Hawaiian as its protagonist. But more than that, this movie tries to intentionally add in as much Hawaiian culture as possible. All the songs that aren’t Elvis songs, are in Hawaiian. The first song, He Mele No Lilo talks about the beauty of Hawaii, as well as some of it’s religious history. Lilo participates in hulu class. Lilo and Nani both are Hawaiian names. They use Hawaiian phrases in daily life, such as “lolo”, “mahalo”, and “ohana”. I think it is very important to keep your cultural heritage alive and to learn from it, which is one of the reasons that I am so obsessed with the Welsh culture.

 

 

The Significance of Family

The premise of this movie is that Lilo and her older sister, Nani, have recently been orphaned. As is typical, especially in siblings that have a wide age gap between them, Lilo and Nani often fight. Nani has a hard role in trying to be both sister and parent to Lilo, and Lilo sometimes finds that exasperating. The threat of Lilo being taken away by Child Care Services because of Nani being an inadequate care provider constantly looms over them. The fact that their parents are gone also haunts their house. But, throughout the movie, they remind each other of the concept of “ohana”. Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten. Their parents had instilled this concept in them. They are to look after each other and protect each other. They are to love and care for each other. Such is the importance of family. As a Mormon, I believe that family is the foundation of society–“whatever wounds and breaks the family, wounds and break the world. Whatever lifts and saves the family, lifts and saves the world.”

 

 

Broken Families Can Still Be Strong

Lilo and Nani are orphans constantly at each other’s throats. Child services threatens to take Lilo away. Nani has no time for a love life with David. They have a wild alien “dog” that almost tore the family apart for good. But, it is still a strong family. Stitch helps bring Lilo and Nani back together. Nani will do whatever she can to protect Lilo. David, although he loves Nani, will be patient and willing to help in whatever way he can. I honestly love David. Nani says she has more important things to worry about than to date him (which is 100% true), but when David sees Nani and Lilo having a bad day, he takes them surfing. He cares for Lilo because he loves Nani. Families don’t have to be the perfect dynamic of mother and father and children. Families today come in all shapes and sizes and look vastly different. That doesn’t mean they are dysfunctional or broken. Families that have issues can still be strong.

 

 

There is Good in Everyone

Stitch was created as an evil experiment. But, Lilo saw good in him. She was determined to teach him how to be a proper behaving citizen. She never gave up on Stitch, even when Nani threatened to take him back to the pound. And, Lilo’s determination helped turn Stitch from evil experiment to protective, loving member of her family.

 

Have you ever seen this movie? What do you love about it?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.