Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Unromantic Weekend...?

Okay, so I spent all weekend sick and didn't have much enthusiasm about thinking about being romantic. I was ecstatic that the laundry and dishes got done (sorry, vaccuuming... maybe I'll get to you soon).


My husband WAS being a romantic, even if it wasn't conscious on his part. Maybe it was. But I doubt it.

What did he do that was so romantic?

Friday night he picked up dinner and some movies and treated me like a queen - waited on me hand and foot. Saturday he didn't complain about me lounging around the house, resting & recuperating. Sunday he tag-teamed with me to get the laundry done.

You've probably heard before that the "little things" add up, and they do, but in this case my romantic feelings towards him stemmed from his attitude.

Even though hubby was tired out from working all week and could've complained about having to wait on/help out his sick, pregnant wife, he didn't. He waited on me with a cheerful heart. He helped out without even being asked.

So kudos, honey! Major brownie points for you!!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fair is Fair

For all the things my husband and I have in common, there are probably just as many, if not more, things we don't have in common.

Our taste in movies would be one good example. I'm all about the feel-good romantic comedy; The Proposal, Sleepless in Seattle. Hubby is more interested in the dark, intense saga; The Godfather, anything by Quentin Tarantino.

So yesterday Hubby wants to watch a movie together while the kids are napping and/or playing. And since I have been the one to pick out the flicks we've seen lately, he insisted it was his turn. Fair is fair, and I crossed my fingers, hoping he would pick something suited more to my tastes.

Um, no.

He goes for the movie with lots of violence, cursing, and gore.

So I spend the majority of the movie hiding behind my hands and peeking out through my fingers.

But . . . I gotta say, whoever did the soundtrack for this movie knew what they were doing. I got to listen to some great songs, and Hubby got his fill of guys getting blown up.

I guess this silly story is to say that even though you may not be on the same page as your spouse, if you have a good attitude about it, you might find something you enjoy in the experience.

Keep it in mind the next time you have to be fair to your honey.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

10 inexpensive things to do as a couple

Let’s face it--the economy hasn’t been very favorable for expensive dates or romantic getaways. But togetherness really doesn’t have to cost anything to be worth the effort. Here are ten suggestions for spending some inexpensive quality time with your sweetheart:
  1. The popcorn/drink special at Target. For only a buck fifty or so, you get a bag of popcorn and medium soft drink--can’t beat that anywhere! My sweetie and I like to find a spot in the back where we can enjoy each other’s company as we people-watch. It’s relaxing, fun, and oh-so-cheap!
  2. Window-shop at the mall. Okay, this one may be a little dangerous for your pocketbook if you happen to spy something you just can’t live without. But walking the mall is good exercise. It can also be a pleasant time of exchanging ideas and dreaming together about your future.
  3. Bargain matinee at the movies. Even better, maybe you have a discount theater in your neighborhood. The movies may not be the most recent releases, but what’s more romantic than holding hands and stealing kisses in a darkened theater?
  4. Walking the dogs at the park. Just as fun if you don’t have pets. Like the mall, good exercise. And there’s something about the forward momentum of a quiet walk to encourage pleasant conversation.
  5. Act like kids again. Find a park or schoolyard with a playground and take turns pushing each other on a swing or going down a slide. Brave the merry-go-round only if you think your tummy can take it!
  6. Read to each other. Try a series of books like The Chronicles of Narnia. Have fun with accents and dramatic voice inflections. My sweetie and I tried this one year, and it became one of our most treasured couple memories.
  7. Stargaze. Just Google “sky map” for a list of sites where you can learn what’s visible in your area and how to identify what you find. If you have a telescope, so much the better.
  8. Play a board game. It helps if you’re not too competitive, but games like Yahtzee and Scrabble are great two-person games and a fun way to stay connected.
  9. Garden together. If you have a green thumb--or even if you don’t--tending a garden or even just a few potted plants can become a shared activity and pleasant escape from the daily grind.
  10. Become birdwatchers. For a few dollars you can purchase a guidebook about birds in your area. Then spend a little money on seed and a feeder and have fun keeping track together of how many different kinds of birds visit your backyard.
That’s my list. What other ideas can you come up with? Everyone who leaves a comment on this post will have a chance to win a copy of my debut novel, One Imperfect Christmas, about a couple who must find their way back to each other after tragedy drives them apart. Contest ends midnight Sunday, August 23, and the winner will be contacted by e-mail, so be sure to log in with a valid e-mail address.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Okay, Hubby and I had a really sweet romantic moment this weekend.

There was supposed to be a meteor shower a few nights ago. I wasn't feeling well the night the shower was supposed to be at its peak, but the next night I was much better.

So Hubby and I got all the kids in bed, and even though it was early in the night, we went to take a look.

We crawled onto the trampoline and cuddled together with the warm evening breeze flowing around us. We held hands, and stared at the emerging stars, and talked. We only saw three shooting stars before we went back into the house to check on the children, but it was just a wonderful moment of feeling connected and being together.

I hope you are able to find a moment, whether sweet or silly or intense, of connection with your spouse this week.


Thursday, August 13, 2009


Sometimes we all let life get so busy that we don't realize there's been a disconnect in our relationships--especially with our spouses. A couple of weeks ago when our kids took off for Colorado, my husband and I were looking forward to having some time to ourselves.

What we didn't realize was that we needed that time much more than we thought, but the Lord did. Somewhere in the last three years...after Katrina, moving from down South to Oklahoma, a sister passing away, adjusting to so many new things-- and many deadlines that first year we were here, we had, without even knowing it...disconnected.

It is easier to do than one might think. My husband was just retiring, I was busier than ever with my writing. We began to adjust to all that without actually doing it together. He adjusted by playing golf and watching television of an evening while I wrote; I adjusted by writing just about all the time. Oh we still did things together and there was never a doubt of our love for each other. But we weren't simply enjoying each other's company, talking, sharing our thoughts as much as normal.

Then, right about the end of the first year, we all made the decision to buy a home together. While that is working out, much to everyone's relief and joy, it didn't give us the opportunity to see what was happening. There was, and is, always a lot going on around here, so it was easy to stay so busy that we didn't realize we weren't as connected as we once were.

Thankfully, two and a half years later--during that week to ourselves--we finally realized what was going on. I believe it took the Lord nudging us both to be completely honest with each other, a week alone, time together, time to talk, time to actually realize that two people who love each other with all their hearts...can disconnect. And He gave us the understanding to actually figure out when and how it had happened. And the realization that we could have kept it from doing so.

And now we are determined not to let it happen again. We will make time to share our thoughts, our cares, our concerns and our time with each other. We will make time to grow ever closer to each other as we'd planned from the beginning. We want no more disconnects!

But it can happen to any couple at any time. Life is busy for everyone. Children have needs that must be met, jobs have responsibilities, life is rushed. Denice's post last week was great! Communication is key.

Just beware that all the busyness in your life can take a toll on your relationship with the one you love. Watch for it, and don't let it happen to you. Stop it before it has a chance to hurt your relationship. If it has already happened, take the time to really reconnect with your spouse, try to figure out what is happening and get that special relationship back on track.

It will be more than worth it, I promise.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


On Sunday Luke and I celebrated 7 years of marriage. It was also a little nostalgic for me because I kept thinking about how this will be our last one spent by ourselves – next year we'll have our little girl with us!

We spent a lovely day by attending church together in the morning, enjoying lunch out (although we didn't eat at the first place we stopped at – it was already 1:30 and "mama" was so hungry I wouldn't wait the 20 minutes for a seat – so we went to a second choice restaurant that was just as good), went to a movie (not a romance but it was still a fun date), and a little shopping in between.

What did I get??? Well, okay… I don't think I've gained THAT much weight since the start of my pregnancy, but all of a sudden I can't get my wedding ring off in the mornings. Or afternoons. Not without lotion or washing my hands and using softsoap as a lubricant.

Right now, I'm blaming it on the swelling I KNOW my feet have been doing in the heat. :)

So hubby was a sweetie and got me a simple gold band that I'll be able to wear until after my hands shrink back to their correct size.

Then in the evening we just "hung out" together – played some Wii that Luke got for his birthday (who knew boxing with your spouse could be so fun??) and watched a TV show, just enjoyed being together.

All in all, it was a great day.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Random Thoughts on Romance


I'm going to make a confession to the cyberspere this morning.

I am a romance junkie. Books, movies, TV shows, songs . . . I want it all to have a touch of romance to make my little heart sigh.

Silly, huh?

Well, I'll tell you just how far my silly romantic notions have gone.

Last week I was folding laundry and watching TV. There was a marathon of a certain TV show. It's actually an action/adventure/spy show. I don't usually watch this show, but I noticed an actor and actress whom I've always liked their movies. They were in this show. So I left it on the channel and started watching.

After 8 episodes, I felt like I was pretty much up to speed with these characters and the main thrust of the show.

The season finale was that night. It showed the promise of one of my favorite elements in the romance genre . . . the damsel in distress. Now, mind you, this particular damsel spends most of the show trying to blow things up (this is a spy show, remember), but it's still a favorite of mine.

So I watched the finale.

And I just fell in love with these characters.

The girl's in trouble, she gets kidnapped. The hero finds out his new partner betrayed him, arranged the kidnapping, and sent her to her death. The hero eliminates the bad guys, rescues the girl (and she doesn't just sit around swooning, waiting for the hero . . . she uses the hero's distraction tactics to break the kidnapper's nose, and jumps from a dock into the water), and they have that MOMENT on the shore where they realize how much they love each other, even if they are too proud and stupid to admit it.

I've watched that single episode five times in the last three days. And I'll probably watch it ten more before the end of the week.

I even had Hubby watch with me. He was into the shooting, running, and explosions. I was into the dialogue and subtext and emotional turmoil of the characters.

And the funniest thing was, after watching the show and talking to Hubby about it, noting the different ways we viewed the episode, he shrugged and told me, "I guess it's just what you make of it."

I was focused on the underlying romance, he was focused on the outward action, and we both liked what we got out of it.

So I guess romance, no matter where it's found, is what you make of it.

Have a great week.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Vacation with hubby

This year in July my husband and I went to Hot Springs and stayed at a bed and breakfast that was an old Victorian house--about 120 years old. We had a great time enjoying the town and the surroundings lake and mountains. We visited a botanical garden and a tower that overlooked Hot Springs as well as took a National Park tour of the restored bath house. The place was beautiful. One of the highlights of our trip was having dinner on the Belle and cruising around Lake Hamilton and watching the sun set from the steamboat--very romantic (pictures above).

Getting away with your hubby is a great way to keep the romance alive. Where have you gone this summer? Want to share any good places to visit, especially with your husband?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Communication is Key


Well, I'd like to be coming back this week to tell you that my plan for little surprises every day for my husband last week went well.

But the truth is life, as always, interfered with our plans and the romance factor got pushed aside for other concerns: kids needing attention, the house needing attention, visiting family, etc.

That seems to be the pattern we've fallen into for the last several weeks . . . the demands of other things, whatever they might be, taking away from our time together and even our desire to do little romantic things for each other.

But the one thing we haven't stopped doing is communicating with each other. So we both understand that we're in a holding pattern of sorts at the moment. And we're both okay with it. We know that summer nights mean kids are staying up later. It means we're on the go to visit family, friends, and spending more time together as a family.

So as long as we are both comfortable with the situation, and know that eventually when the kids are back in school, we'll be able to concentrate on each other and our relationship, then we're fine.

When the crazy and hectic are keeping you and your spouse apart, be sure to keep that communication up. It can help relieve stress and reassure you both that there is no neglect or frustration building. And if there is a problem, you'll be able to work it out together.

Talk to your honey and see where you're at in your relationship. Is one of you feeling ignored? Are you both so tired from summer fun that the moonlight and roses aren't a priority at the moment? Find out this week.

Have a great day.