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I am super excited (like, totally) about our couple in this Marriage Works post!  If you are new here and have no idea what Marriage Works posts are about, then be sure to check out our previous couples to get a feel for why we do these.

Walter and Tiffany are our first couple where both of them have given DETAILED answers…him a little more than her.  I appreciate wordy men, mainly because I’m used to it with Big Daddy and his ability to have a conversation with a brick wall.   There is nothing better than a man that can and does express himself, you will never question where you stand or what is going on.  Back to our couple!  They met in high school when she was 14 and he was 15 (sounds like me and D), they dated on and off for 3 years and met up and started dating again in 2009.  Their engagement lasted for about 2 years and have been married for a little over 2 years now.  They are both Christian, and he works full time, while she stays at home and manages the home and cares for their 2 children.  She enjoys crocheting as a hobby that sometimes she gets paid to do…and that is relevant since I knit (because we’re both awesome like that).

Those are some adorable kids!

Those are some adorable kids!

 

How did you meet, what was your first impression of your spouse (both physical and personality)?
We first met through a mutual friend in school and I thought he was really cute though I wasn’t really looking at him as a boyfriend at the time
We met through a mutual friend in high school. As I recall, she was attracted to my friend until she met me 🙂 I thought she was beautiful from the start, but wouldn’t have thought she’d be interested in me. She was, and still is, much smarter than I was/am. Much more mature too I think.

How long after meeting did you know they were “the one”?
In typical high school fashion I knew within a couple of months lol. After we met up again, it wasn’t until he got saved that I knew for sure this was going to last forever
When we were in high school I actually proposed to her, but she wasn’t ready for that. It wasn’t long afterwards, that I made a great mistake and broke up with her. About 10 years later, I looked her up and contacted her on facebook. After one of our first conversations on the phone, I knew she was the one I wanted. Honestly, breaking up with her in high school was one of my biggest regrets, and I praise the Lord that He would  right my wrong at this point in my life. 
Been there, done that:)

Tell me about an instance when your spouse made you proud. 
I’m proud of him every day, in all the little things, so it’s a little tough to say just one thing. Maybe when he got saved, humbling himself in the situation he was in when he got saved
Everyday I’m proud that my wife is my wife. Everyday she is committed to our family, and she is also committed herself to helping others through the 3 different groups she has on Facebook, and mothers’ Bible study group she’s trying to get going. She is always on the look out for someone to help or invite over to try and speak into their lives.

List 2 physical qualities you love about your spouse. 
Eyes and butt
First would have to be her smile. It brightens up the whole room, and no matter how rough the day is going, she still has the strength to smile for everyone. Second, would have to be everything else equally. I love everything from her hair, to her small feet lol.
Get a room! No, that was awesome and great answers!

Describe 3 ways your spouse shows you love/respect/care on a regular basis.
He is always giving and taking care of us, putting us and our needs first, whether that is cooking everyone breakfast on his days off or playing with our ever energized four year old so I get a small break with just the baby.
(Get ready for this, it’s awesome) 
Before Jesus Christ was invited into my heart and life to redeem me from sin, I didn’t know how to be the head of a family. Tiffany has helped me to better understand my role as the leader in our family, and she submits to my authority. That might sound bad to those who don’t understand Scripture, but the head of the wife is the husband and the head of the husband is Christ. This works out best when the husband understands the rest of the Scriptures that correspond with that commandment. In this way she has helped me grow in my understanding of what God requires of me in our home. The second thing I would say is all the little things she does to make my life easier. When we were first living together, she would spend 2 hours a day preparing all the food I would eat that day (which is much more extensive the most people). Although now she doesn’t have that kind of time, she continues to take the extra step to do the things she (hopefully) knows that I really appreciate and make my day more efficient. Like making my eggs for the next day and setting up the coffee pot for me in the morning. She stays up a little later every night just to do that kind of stuff for me. The third thing would be she is my counselor and adviser in all things. I have had to confess things to her I never wanted anyone else to know, and discuss problems I was having that required me getting really personal with her. No matter what the issues were and are, she listens without any judgement and helps me work through my problems. I would tell every man that if you can be that personal with your wife, and she is willing to listen, help guide you, and love and stand by you through it all no matter what, then you have a wife that you can spend the rest of your life with, and trust always. I know it hasn’t always been easy for her, but she has shared the load of my burdens on her own shoulders with me, and for that I will always be grateful. There is no one else on this earth with whom I trust more than my wife.
Tiffany, you need to print that and frame it!  Walter, did you just read all my posts on submission?

Describe your last date with your spouse. 
He took me out to eat four years ago just after our oldest daughter’s birth while my mom watched our baby
Date…riiiigghht. Well, our last date without any kids was when she and I first got back together and we went walking through some of the water ways around the Woodlands Mall area. It’s really nice over there, and we walked and talked for a long time. After we were married we had a really nice dinner at Olive Garden, but I think that might be it as far as an actual date goes. It might not be an actual date, but many times at night when our daughter would be in bed, we would sit in our living room, no TV on, and talk to each other about all kinds of things. We may not have been out somewhere, but these were really nice times to just have that time together. Isn’t that what dating is about anyway?
Walter, that’s what marriage is about, and you are super sweet, but take her on a date, for real 🙂

If you could go back with all the knowledge you have…what advice would you give to your “before married” self about your spouse/marriage?
He’s a keeper! Don’t worry too much about how things look on the outside, just follow God and His word and all other things will line up
There are a lot of moments I’d like to go back to in my life, and punch myself in the face really hard, but everything has worked out as a teaching and ministering tool for ourselves and others. I would probably tell myself to concentrate on ensuring your wife knows just how much you love and appreciate her both with words and works. I would say to make an effort everyday to pay attention to all the things she does for you, and ensure that you try to ensure that everyday she knows how much you love and appreciate her, and how thankful you are that the Lord would grace you with the wife you have.

Do you practice submission in your marriage? Why or why not? Did your vows include “obey”? What does submission generally look like in your marriage? 
I guess I do. It’s not something I have to think about doing usually, it is something God has commanded of us though. We make major decisions together but he is in charge of the finances and there isn’t much I do without his input but that is because he is my best friend rather than because he is the head of the house. Our vows were traditional vows, so yes that was in there
Yes, and our vows did state “obey” if I remember correctly. I want my wife included in any major decisions making that we may need, and I want her to know that I’m willing to give of myself for her when she needs me. I respect her point of view and input, and like I said she’s much smarter than me anyway so it’s good to have her by my side to help me see what I can’t. If she needs my to do something for her, or needs to talk to me about something I do my best to adjust my schedule of plans to accommodate her. But honestly, I don’t have to do that very often.

How often do you pray or study together?
Not as often as we should but we do pray when a need comes up, pray over the food, and we discuss biblical topics often
Everyday we pray together, mostly at meal times, and at the end of the day with our daughter. We do need to make more time for study though.

How has being a Christian helped your marriage? 
We are much better people when we follow God’s principles. We treat each other and others better, sacrifice isn’t forced but is part of our love. We understand better how the marriage dynamic is supposed to work and we strive for that
I’m not sure that you can have a truly successfully marriage without a Christ centered marriage. Sure many have lasted a lifetime without Him, but the measure of success is how God will view your lives. God has taught me about guarding my heart, and always being mindful of my actions to ensure I am fulfilling my duties as a husband, and to ensure purity in our marriage.

What is your personal biggest weakness? How do you try to control it in your marriage?
I’m stubborn lol but lately I have been letting him help me more. I used to feel like I wasn’t doing things well if I needed his help
I would say at this point in my life it would be my temper. I get short tempered and cranky during certain times in my environment (hunger, tired, hot, ect. lol), and I can get a little testy at times. This continues to be a work in progress, but acknowledging this weakness has helped me identify times when I’m getting aggravated and try to be patient and calm when I can. Prayer is also my go-to when it gets a little too much for me to handle on my own.

What is/was your most disagreed upon topic as a couple? How do you handle it when it comes up? How have you resolved it, or made changes to smooth things over?
Discipline. we discuss it and try to change but it’s a long hard battle that really does take sacrifice daily and all of our energy and attention
The thermostat lol. I like it cold, she likes it hot. Honestly she usually submits and turns the AC down for me, but sometimes when I know she’s comfortable I try not to say anything. Unless it’s really hot, and I’ve had enough of that. And the dentist, I don’t like going, but she usually gets her way with that too.

How satisfied are you with your intimate time and the frequency? How do you keep this positive and on track, or what are you doing to improve this?
We have a newborn so things are not as good as they should be but I think it will get better as her sleeping pattern improves. He also had a schedule change and we don’t have any more alone time so we have to take whatever opportunities that might come
With the birth of our second daughter, and my schedule change at work, our alone time has dramatically declined. Not to mention, I’m one of those guys that will never have enough intimate time with my wife. But many times, we’ll just look at each other and remind ourselves that it’s just a season in our life and it won’t last forever.

What is your favorite advice given to you about marriage/spouses?
Just one? My tops are learn his love language (5 love languages by Gary Chapman), burn your ships/have no back door or exit available, there are three main issues every marriage struggles with: sex, communication and money so get these straightened out and you’ll be good 🙂 God first, others second, yourself last
If you’re right with the Lord, and have put your trust and faith in Jesus Christ, then everything else will work itself out. This did not happen over night, although my wife’s forgiveness did, I can honestly say that a man devoted to God will be devoted to his wife and family, and much good fruit will be produced.

Where will your marriage/spouse be in 10 years? Describe what you’d like or your goals.
We’d like our own home and possibly another child or two. I hope we are more involved in community, church and friends by then. Right now we take it one day at a time lol
Our children will be older. Lord willing we will have more time to spend together, and maybe even go on a date or two. I pray that we will be more mature in our faith, and more involved with what ever work He intends for us. I hope that our children will be faithful, and begin to be the example of what a Godly marriage produces. 

I love you guys!  Great job on seeing your strengths and weaknesses.  For some that takes a longer time than others, and it seems you both just fell into it pretty well in just a few years.  I see lots of myself and D in you both, you guys must be awesome people 😉  It is wonderful and comforting to see other couples that are equally as in love, supportive and still learning and working on their relationship.  I think we all forget that there are couples in the same place we are, and struggling with the same things.  Reaching out and talking about those issues with other couples or women in a safe environment is beneficial and a great way to work through them.  There is a great group for Christian moms here – come on over and check it out!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ChristianMomsAllTopics/

~Mel

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I’m back with another great husband and wife!  If you haven’t read previous Marriage Works posts just click here for the ones you missed (there’s even one about me and Big Daddy).  I had someone ask what the purpose of these couple highlights are.  Her actual question was “why do you keep posting happy couples – is it to make the rest of us feel bad?”  No, that’s not why.  Not everyone is happy all the time.  Most of us are, most of us know that marriage takes work to work, and it’s not always easy, or smooth.  In fact, just the other morning Big Daddy and I had it out over shoes…and attitudes.  Arguments, disagreements, being upset or anything that happens day to day is normal and doesn’t mean that we aren’t happy, it just means we’re normal.  The purpose of these is for everyone else to see that all couples have issues or problems, but those don’t outweigh the good.  For the couples answering, I can say that it’s fun to read what your spouse says (I ask that you answer separately) and it can help open up a dialogue for things that you haven’t addressed.  I’m not here to comment on, or suggest fixes for the answers, this is just a window for other couples to peek into.  On to our Marriage Works couple!

This post is our first one where both husband and wife have answered, and as always, they don’t have to answer any questions they don’t want to.  Today we have Jeremy (37) and Kristy (32) answering some questions and giving us a peek into their marriage. They dated for 5 months, were engaged for 8 months and have been married for 5 years.  They are both Christians and Jeremy is a new Christian – that deserves an Amen!   Their home dynamic allows Kristy to stay at home where she cares for their 2 girls and also watches a little boy while Jeremy works about 50-60 hours a week.  They are busy.

Beautiful family, and those girls are adorable!

Beautiful family, and those girls are adorable!

Now let’s see how they each answer!

How did you meet, what was your first impression of your spouse (both physical and personality)?

Kristy – He was so handsome. We met online. I loved his personality, he was hard working and family was important to him.
Jeremy – we met online. I was the one who emailed her, I loved her Smile and she was very pretty and funny.

How long after meeting did you know they were “the one”?

 

Kristy – I knew he was the one just from talking on the phone for weeks before we actually met.
Jeremy -I knew she was the one from the first time we out on a date.

Tell me about an instance when your spouse made you proud.

Kristy -When he got baptized.
Jeremy-The way she is a mother to our girls.

List 2 physical qualities you love about your spouse.

 

Kristy – eyes and beard 🙂
Jeremy- hair and smile

Describe 3 ways your spouse shows you love/respect/care on a regular basis.

 

Kristy – works hard, he holds the door open for me, and he gives me kisses
Jeremy – always make sure to say I love you first and last thing, having dinner ready, and she always gets my meds.

Describe your last date with your spouse.

We went to see dirty dancing at the DPAC. We went to an Italian restaurant and went to toys r us before the show.

 

If you could go back with all the knowledge you have…what advice would you give to your “before married” self about your spouse/marriage?

 

Kristy- make sure to stand up for yourself
Jeremy- only spend money you have

 

Do you practice submission in your marriage?  Why or why not?  Did your vows include “obey”?  What does submission generally look like in your marriage?

 

Kristy- yes we had obey. I think I try to submit myself to him but it’s hard when it involves our children. He hasn’t yet to take the spiritual head of household. He’s getting there but we have awhile for him to get there. I need to submit more to him.

How often do you pray or study together?

 

Daily. Study not yet.

 

How has being a Christian helped your marriage?

 

I think we give our problems to God, versus fighting about it.

 

What is your personal biggest weakness?

 

Kristy – letting go. I dwell on things he doesn’t do.
Jeremy- Quick to get angry.

 

How do you try to control it in your marriage?

 

Kristy- I just bite my tongue.
Jeremy-  Just go outside to walk it off.

 

What is/was your most disagreed upon topic as a couple?  How do you handle it when it comes up?
How have you resolved it, or made changes to smooth things over?

 

Most disagreements are on how to discipline.  We sometimes wait to the girls go to bed.  I think because I am home with them it’s easier for me to discipline our oldest because I know how to calm her down. He tries to handle her the same way I do but we are still working on this because he doesn’t quite understand how to get on her level to talk to her.

How satisfied are you with your intimate time and the frequency?

 

Kristy – I am but I waited 26 years and I honestly could wait more.
Jeremy- no, I def want it more than I get it.

 

How do you keep this positive and on track, or what are you doing to improve this?

 

Kristy- I have to just do it. I am so tired at the end of the day I just want to sleep.

What is your favorite advice given to you about marriage/spouses?

 

Don’t go to bed angry. Put God  first.

Where will your marriage/spouse be in 10 years?  Describe what you’d like or your goals.

 

Happy, God centered, I would love to be debt free, more in love.

I love the honesty here.  It’s not easy to admit where you are falling short, or where there is room for improvement (just ask my husband how easy it is for me).  I also can totally relate to being tired and feeling like sleep is a better option than sex.  Here’s hoping we all get past this baby/toddler stage quickly!

~Mel

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We are on couple number 3 (4 if you include yours truly last week)! You can see all the Marriage Works couples here. So far I’ve had some great feedback, mainly on FB or via email, but I’d love some comments and encouragement for our couples here.  So please take a moment and let them know you appreciate their candid answers.  I have had a few constructive comments that stood out, one was that there wasn’t enough questions, that I didn’t get input from a husband, and another that I shouldn’t ask about sex.  While I’m totally open to ideas, I disagree about the sex comment.  Sex is totally relevant, important and ok to discuss when writing about marriage.  I also ask lots of questions and no one has answered any question they didn’t want to.  I’m working on the husband’s responses and more/different questions for future couples though!

Let’s meet today’s couple!  Roger (27) and Rachel (25) are a little younger than our past couples and married much younger than anyone so far! Just goes to show you that happy marriages come in all sizes.  It doesn’t matter where you are in marriage, it matters how you relate and work together to make your marriage work.

You guys are adorable!

You guys are adorable!

How did you meet?

High school Spanish class. I was a sophomore and him a senior. We both got dumped, I already had a dress for prom, but couldn’t go without an upper classmen, so I asked if he’d go with me.

How long did you know each other/date before getting engaged?

1 year (my junior year of high school)

How long were you engaged?

1 year (2 weeks after my high school graduation)

How long have you been married?

7 years

What is your favorite verse/passage?

Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own

Are you and your spouse Christian?

Yes, I was baptized around 9 and I baptized my husband at church camp while we were dating… he was 18.

Do you practice submission in your marriage? Why or why not? Did your vows include “obey”?

Yes. Honestly, I didn’t think about the obey issue until now. However, I’d probably still include it if we were to redo vows. He is the head of the house and I am to submit to him. He is the one with the responsibility to answer for our family on the day of judgment, and I respect his choices. He respects me enough to get my input.

How often do you go on a date?

Roughly every 2-3 weeks. 90% of time a movie and cheap/quick dinner.

What is your personal biggest weakness? How do you try to control it in your marriage?

Biggest weakness is sarcasm. It is very difficult and I’m still working on it. I am trying to take breathing breaks and relax mid-conversations.

If you could go back with all the knowledge you have…what advice would you give to your “before married” self about your spouse?

When we were dating, he was very romantic (flowers, poems, etc.) Once we got married, the poems stopped (though I ask for them at as gifts occasionally and small thoughtful things less often). I wish I just would’ve had a heads up that was going to happen.

How many children do you have/want?

2 girls. 3.5 and 12 months. We’re done.

What is your favorite advice given to you about marriage/spouses?

COMMUNICATION.

How satisfied are you both with your intimate time and the frequency?

Frequency is not enough. We both think it should be weekly. I’m sure he’d like it twice a week, I’m more fine with once every 1-2 weeks. I thought I’d be more sensual once I got married (virgin at wedding), but it’s just not really in me. I enjoy it once start, but I usually must plan for it if I know I’ll be initiating.

Short and sweet, and I just love them!  Rachel, if you’re reading (and I hope you are), I think you aren’t alone in your assertion about how gifts and romance (or things you perceive as romantic) often stop or slow down.  Just as many things change after marriage, like date nights, sex, conversations, romance is one of those that often takes a hit.  I’d like to encourage you to show him this post and hopefully he’ll see an opportunity, or even bring it up to him in a non-confrontational way.  It’s not the time to say “you never do ____ anymore,” but at the right time and with the right tone you could say “I was thinking, I really loved when you used to write me poems or get me flowers.  I kind of miss them, is there anything you miss that I used to do?”  Maybe it will open up a dialogue and you’ll find out why, as in, does he think you don’t like them?  Did he run out of words (lol, I doubt it)?  Time?  Does he think you “know” already how much he loves you and don’t need them?  I think a gentle nudge might get him and you back on track with both doing things you used to!

What other questions should I include?  Do you have a question or want to play along?  Comment here with your email and we’ll get it set up!

~Mel

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We’ve all seen them, the dreaded “list” of what you can do to achieve ____ or “8 ways to better sex” or as they should be titled “1 way to ensure your marriage isn’t helped a bit.”  They come in all shapes and sizes, all over social media, blogs, major news sites, click tastic ad sites that just want views, but they have one thing in common.  They are usually written for the wow factor, or the humor, and not at all to help those they are geared toward.  With the exception of a few that truly are helpful, I rarely take them seriously, and rarely read them.  However, this one was by someone I enjoy interacting with and who I read regularly (and who just featured us last week!).  I’d like to think it was all in fun or meant to be sarcastic, and I really hope that was the case, but there has bee no indication from any of the replies on social media that it was. Aside from the last point (#10) the post was just so far off the mark it was impossible not to respond to.  Maybe it should have been just number 10, that would have been an amazing help to couples.

Here is the original post:  Top Ten Fixable Reasons Your Wife Won’t Sleep With You I think it’s notable that the actual linked title says “Top 10 shallow reasons wife won’t sleep” could that be a more accurate title?

Look, I realize that not all men are perfect, not even my own wonderful man is, but I’m not either, nor are you.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that no man that is actually in need of sexual healing would read this list past numbers 1 and 2 and think “oh, this is helpful.”  There may be a man that needs this type of list, but I’m going to bet he’s not married, and if he is, what was she thinking?  To coin my teenager…

true life

It is with great satisfaction and a little bit of pride that I can report that after reading the list, Big Daddy and I were in agreement that the post was not realistic. Unless you’re married to a 27 year old gamer (been there) or a prissy wife still stuck in her late teen mentality (he’s been there), this list is not for or about you. Not one part of it would “help” a man get laid by his wife. Why? Because most likely she’d say “oh, so you think doing something on that list is going to get you some?” See, women that agree with this list aren’t the type that you can please, or that want to be pleased. Why any woman wouldn’t want to be pleased is beyond me, but that’s a whole other issue.

Reading the social media comments was a good reflection of the reality of this list.  Most women said they agreed and that it was “their man.” Then when they reported back that their husbands read it and didn’t take it seriously at all it was deemed to be “deeper issues” than this list covered.  No, really?  You mean this superficial list of things  meant to get a reaction and clicks isn’t what’s holding back couples from sex?  Say it ain’t so!  Why so many women claim to relate to it is beyond me.  Is it that they like admitting they are rude, superficial and selfish? Do they take pride in admitting that their men aren’t getting any, or finding lame excuses for it? Is it fun to be a B****?  Ok, sometimes it is, but to your husband?  I think many women are not willing to fix the issue of not having sex, and this list was a crutch to say to their husbands “here, do these things, and maybe you’ll get laid (and if you don’t do them, then you still won’t).”  If you put it off on him, then you’re no longer the B in the situation!  Score!  Only, no score, you’re still not getting laid and you’re not fixing a thing.

I am positive that there are those that disagree with me, and won’t like my post here.  So, let’s just say that you actually DO see your man (or you are the man) on this list.  Whichever one or ones he is, there is a real way to address this, to make it helpful and not hurtful and to better your marriage and sex life.  If he truly needs to work on some of these things, an article with snark isn’t going to do it, but some sweetness and finesse will.  Use your heart and your head and find a way, or get to counseling so you can speak honestly and without bashing him over the head with sexual frustration since you aren’t giving it up.

I am blessed, and I know this.  D does all these things and then some and we are STILL not on the booty train all day every day (much to our dismay). Babies, nursing, health issues, life, work, sleep (oh, how I miss real sleep), are all huge contributors to our lack of sex.  Life gets to all of us, even superficial things get in the way, but issues truly need to be addressed.  Doesn’t mean they’ll go away quickly, or not have to be worked on HARD (I love you, babe), but they will be easier to discuss, and you’ll both realize what the issues are and that you truly do love each other.

Men, if you want to know how to get her to bed, skip to number 10 on that list, or up your bedroom skills – you might just suck.  It may have nothing to do with you and everything to do with her mindset, her insecurities, her health, and countless other things.  Ask her what it is you can do to alleviate those things or help her move past them so you can enjoy being together again.  On the other hand, it may have to do with some things you are or aren’t doing, so be open and prepared to accept those calmly and work on them.  It’s a two way street, and no one should feel attacked by a list like this.  I can’t imagine this same type of article and list being well received by women either, just for “fun” let’s switch this shoe.

Why your husband doesn’t want to have sex with you:  

– You’re a snob  

– You smell like spitup and playdoh  

– You haven’t taken your hair out of that bun and curled it in 3 weeks  

– You fall into bed and don’t act like you want to have sex  

– The house is a mess (you’re here all day…what DO YOU DO?)  

– You’re boring (you weren’t like that when we were dating)  

– You engage in middle school slam book behavior by making and reading lists like this…

Now go fix all these things and turn back into the sex goddess you were 10 years ago while you guys were dating so you can go have sex in the car, on the car, in the movies and all the other fun places you used to attack each other – he’s waiting for you!

I’m sure THAT would have gone over well. Want to help a man get laid? Give him this list to show to his wife – if she likes it and says “so true,” he should find another wife (kidding, kinda). If she laughs and says it’s crap, scoop her up and take her to bed!

~Mel

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Introducing…something new!  YAY!!!!!!!!!!  Marriage Works! Will be a series of couple profiles presented to allow us to see the people behind Christian marriages like our own.  When you’re in the day to day of real life, it’s hard to remember that you’re not alone or that other couples have the same or worse trials, issues, triumphs and good days as us.  I wanted to bring the normal out in the light. It’s not all sunshine and roses, we’re all on different paths, but a happy and healthy marriage is where we all want to be.  Hopefully this new series of quick profiles on couples like you and me will give you a sigh of relieve that you’re doing just fine, and if not, maybe we’ll find some ideas or ways to improve our own marriages.

Dean and Rachel

Our happy first couple!

Our first couple is Dean (30) and Rachel (28).  Rachel graciously volunteered to answer a few questions.

How did you meet?

We met through my best friend, who is Dean’s cousin.

How long did you know each other/date before getting engaged? How long were you engaged?  How long have you been married?

We dated 15 months, knew each other 17 months, engaged 5 months…total 22ish months before marriage. We have been married almost three years 11/10/11.

What is your favorite verse/passage?

Mine is Philippians 3:14 NIV
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Are you and your spouse Christian?

We are both Christians, raised in Christian homes.

Do you practice submission in your marriage?  Why or why not?  Did your vows include “obey”?

We do practice submission, but it is mutual…he knows sometimes I am more informed on an issue and lets me make the decision. I also felt convicted of the head covering passage and wear a head covering most of the time. Our vows did include obey, I believe.

How often do you go on a date?

We try to go on a date without the baby once a quarter, grab dinner, see a movie.

What is your personal biggest weakness?  How do you try to control it in your marriage?

My biggest weakness is my tongue…I can be brutal. I have told my husband to correct me and call me out on it when I am out of control

If you could go back with all the knowledge you have…what advice would you give to your “before

married” self about your spouse?

Don’t expect him to differ greatly from the life he has always lived, just because he married me.

How many children do you have/want?

We have one, I want five or six, he wants three.

Their adorable "plus 1"

Their adorable “plus 1”

What is your most disagreed upon topic as a couple?   How do you handle it when it comes up?  Do you feel like there is no compromise on this topic?

We rarely disagree….maybe laundry? He doesn’t think it needs to be anything more than washed and dried….all over the floor instead of folded or hanging up is perfectly fine,

What is your favorite advice given to you about marriage/spouses?

Listen to him, even when you don’t want to, obey him…God put him there for a reason.

How satisfied are you both with your intimate time and the frequency?

We would both like more sex, but our LO is making things difficult lately…but I would say we are both satisfied generally speaking…

Are your parents and his parents helpful or a hindrance to your marriage?
If helpful, how has that benefited your marriage? If a hindrance, how do you deal with that as a couple?

Our parents generally are helpful. They help us with baby stuff, etc. Both of our families would like more time with is, which is hard. My husbands parents are incompetent on many levels, which he recognizes, and we get through the issues pretty smoothly.

Well that was nice, wasn’t it?  I can totally relate to the out of control tongue part, it’s comforting to see that I’m not alone, but it was even better to see she’s not afraid or too proud to have him call her down.  I don’t do so well with that!

How do you feel after reading about another couple and their inner workings?  Was it nice to see in?  Helpful or upsetting?  Are there any questions you’d like to see included?  Do you want to participate in the Marriage Works series?  If so, leave a comment with your email (I’ll edit it out).

~Mel

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For more information click here VBAC & CS Links

A little background:

My son, Cody, is 20 years old now and was born after I was induced with pitocin (without being thinned or dilated) at 42 weeks pregnant.  At 17, I didn’t know any better or know to question my doctors and the things being done to me.  There were 35 hours of labor total and an epidural, and then when I was told his heartrate was decreasing with each push, they suggested a C-section.  We know now that it’s quite normal to have a decel in heartrate with an epidural and that much labor, however, hindsight is 20/20.

Before Jasmine came along I had a pregnancy that made it to 14 weeks before I had some cramping and bleeding and ended up losing the baby.  This was quite hard and really scary since we had seen the heartbeat and had multiple ultrasounds and every thing seemed fine.

Jasmine, our baby of the family (until Hannah came) is going to be 16 in a month!  She was born when I was 21, labor started all on it’s own 3 days before her due date.  At 8 am, I started having back labor and contractions, got to the hospital and had an immediate epidural and by 4 pm, she arrived via VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) with forceps.  Although her pregnancy had no issues and her labor was a breeze I was absolutely positive that I never wanted to be pregnant again.  I can handle having more kids…just never wanted to have to go through pregnancy or labor again.

Hannah was my 4th pregnancy, we were positive that our best option would again be a VBAC.  Even though my “age” and the fact that it had been 15 years since we had a successful VBAC was a bit offputting to some, our doctor was amazing and said that if it were his wife, he would insist on a VBAC unless there were obvious issues, and then we would consider induction first.

At 37 years old you get slapped with “advanced maternal age” as a reminder that you’re no spring chicken.  After this whole ordeal I am thankful to God that my body did exactly what it was supposed to do for our entire pregnancy and labor.  It is quite scary to be told by every book/article that your body is old and might not work right.  Now, if my body would cooperate and work well on 1.5 hour at a time sleep sessions we’ll be in business!

Our original due date, according to our doctor and calculations, was October 31/November 1, however, by measurement on early ultrasounds we were moved back to November 9.  We were convinced that the first due date was correct.

39 weeks 6 days!

39 weeks 6 days!

October 31, 2013

2:00 AM – David was having one of his insomnia nights, and I was in bed trying to sleep.  I woke up to go to the bathroom and my back was hurting pretty bad.  I called downstairs and asked him to come up and massage it as he had been doing for most of my pregnancy when it hurt…pretty much every night.  I fell asleep, and then he followed.  Sometime during the next few hours I began to have contractions in both my back and my stomach, alternating.

6:00 AM – Contractions were strong enough to wake me up completely and I began timing them and texting my sister to let her know and ask her some questions.  We timed contractions and talked for an hour, and after having some good, strong ones where I had to breathe through them, I woke David up.  We kept timing and with contractions from 7-10 minutes apart, we finally called the doctor at 8:00 AM to see if we should go to his office or to L&D to get checked out.  We were instructed  to head to the hospital to get evaluated.  Gege and Pawpaw came over and took Jasmine to school, and we went to be seen.

8:30 AM – Contractions only showed up twice in the 1.5 hours I was monitored, and we agreed to have a cervical check since the contractions at home were consistent.  I was dilated to 3 cm and 70% effaced.  We were released at 10:30 AM and instructed to go home, rest, eat, relax and return when contractions were 5 minutes apart, or if my water broke, or when I could not breathe and deal with contractions.

7:00 PM – We spent the day resting, eating and timing contractions that slowed and then returned.  Again, they were 7-9 minutes apart, and after about 3 hours of that I was having to breathe and very uncomfortable (I didn’t realize it then, but I clearly was NOT in active labor…even though they did hurt).  We decided that rather than going to bed only to get up or to have to rush to the hospital we would go back in and get checked to see if these contractions had dilated me any further.  My concern was that the contractions would kick in and dilate me and we would be stuck at home or driving furiously to get to the hospital in time.

9:30 PM – Hooked up to monitors again and within 1 hour had 6 contractions, they were alternating from back labor to regular contractions and the back ones did not show up on the monitor.  Hannah was tolerating everything well, as was I, and when checked after  19 hours of contractions and back labor.  I was still 3 cm and 70%…and upset.  We left and headed home after being instructed to “get some sleep.”

November 1, 2013

12:45 AM – Home finally, Jasmine went to bed and we laid down.  David fell asleep easily and according to him I moaned and whined all night.  It was not comfortable or even reasonable to expect me to sleep.

5:00 AM – I had slept about 1 hour total between contractions every 7-10 minutes.  They had gotten to the point that I was breathing, moaning, crying, moving trying to get in a non-painful position.  I woke David up and he was at a loss of what to do, but we both agreed that things were worse/different.  We decided to wait until 8 am to call Dr. Harris’ office (which is 1 mile from our home) and try to get in there first thing to get checked rather than drive to the hospital again to be told to go home.  Jasmine was up at 7 am because of my moaning even though she didn’t have school!  She was trying to help me breathe while I was in pain.  We called the doctor at 8, they told us to come in at 8:45, and we called Gege to come over and stay with Jasmine.

8:30 AM – Arrived at Dr. Harris’ office, and had to wait in the waiting room for 15 minutes.  It was funny to both David and I because I was having contractions about every 5 minutes now, and they were intense.  I had to breath through them, moan, I cried through one, and he was rubbing my back/hips while I leaned on the wall in the waiting room.  All of which would not have been funny had the waiting room not been only men who clearly were concerned for me!  One guy told the nurse “you can take her back before me, she’s struggling…hard. She’s really not doing well.”  Another went and found a box of tissue and brought it to David because there wasn’t one in the waiting room and I was crying.  I think they all felt so bad for me, and all women!

8:45 AM – We were put in one of Dr. Harris’ exam rooms and I tried to relax and be comfortable on that tiny table, I was so tired, but couldn’t sleep through contractions.  I was moaning and breathing through them all, and David would rub my back, I was not breathing quite right and was getting the shooting stars from being out of breath…that sucked.  After an HOUR Dr. Harris walked in while I was having a contraction and said “is the next sound I’m going to hear a baby crying?”  I said, “yes, if you don’t send me to the hospital it will be.”  He immediately checked me and said I was 5 CM and we could go straight to L&D and get a room and an epidural!  We headed back to the house to get Jasmine and mom and went straight to the hospital!

10:30 AM – Got to L&D and had to check in for the 3rd time.  I was listening to music to try to help and it worked in the car, but things picked up again and by the time I was standing to check in I couldn’t sign my name on the papers because of the pain.  We got taken to a room right away, and from there it was clothes off, in bed, monitors and lots of questions and bloodwork.  Three blown veins on one arm and my nurse had to put my IV in finally (she rocked).  We had to wait for an hour for the bloodwork to come back before they could get my epidural ordered and in.  David and Jasmine ate some breakfast while I was still trying to breathe through contractions, and not enjoying it.

11:30  AM – They said that the anesthetist was “busy” in another procedure so I’d have to wait.  Totally sucked.  By this time contractions were about 3 minutes apart, and both back and normal contractions.  I was not very happy, but there wasn’t much I could do but try to breathe and wait it out.  Jasmine, David and Judi took turns rubbing my head, arms, holding my hand and feeding me lots of ice chips since my throat was SO dry!  Oh, and chapstick, had to have that.

12:30 PM – My nurse, Lisa, said that everyone had to leave for the epidural, which freaked me out, but I had no choice and I was in pain so everyone had to go.  Remember, this is almost 4 hours after being 5 cm and being told by Dr. Harris I could have an epidural! The Dr. came in and read me all the side effects of the epidural, which are all scary and totally not something you should focus on or listen to when they do it (why they read that to you at that moment is beyond me, it is not relaxing or helpful to labor).  Then Lisa sat me up and had me lean over and she held my shoulders while I relaxed my head and neck and bent as far as possible.  I kept feeling faint and like I was about to fall out, mainly from pain, and being scared of the epidural, and not having anyone in there with me.  She kept telling me that my bp was good, baby was good, and waving alcohol pads in front of me.  The Dr. got the needle in after about 5 minutes, but couldn’t get the catheter to thread – it took her 3 tries with 3 caths.  All of which I felt in my spine, which is really freaky.  She said “I may not be able to get this” to which Lisa said “you will get this for her.”  After 15 minutes of trying she got it in, and did a test dose, I was told to let them know if I felt weird, or pressure or anything…I felt my ears and head kinda squeeze, almost like when you go underwater or when you have an ear infection and can hear yourself talk.  They both looked at each other like “oh crap.”  That passed and she got one dose of epidural meds in and it started to take, then Lisa laid me down and let everyone back in.  My epidural finally took totally by 1:15 pm.  I was checked again and was 8.5 CM dilated right after she laid me down!  So essentially I made it to about 8.5 CM with no meds, which was not fun.  My epidural was more like when your legs are asleep – not fully numb, but tingly and not painful, and my right leg was TOTALLY numb, I couldn’t move it at all.

While I was getting meds, David was a tad worried:)

Jasmine also used the time that I was getting medicine to ask for some prayers.

Jasmine also used the time that I was getting medicine to ask for some prayers.

1:40 PM – Lisa checked again and I still had a small “lip” on my cervix, so she had me do some pushing to help bring Hannah down and dilate me to 10 cm.  In about 3 pushes I was 10 cm and we were ready to go.  She was pretty impressed with my pushing (weird), but that proved to be a good thing since I wanted Hannah OUT!  Lisa called Dr. Harris, who was sitting right outside my labor room, and told him it was pushing time.  He came in, broke my water and Lisa’s face dropped.  There was meconium in the water, and she thought there was also some blood.  Her concern was that I was  VBAC and if there was blood it could have been due to a uterine rupture.  David picked up on her concern, and heard Dr. Harris tell her “we’re ok, it’s fine.”  To which David replied to both of them “she damn well better be ok.”  A few days after Hannah’s birth, Lisa and David both admitted that this was the only time they were majorly concerned about me and Hannah.  I had no idea they were both worried since they were all cool and calm the whole time.

1:55 PM – Legs up to my head, hands behind my knees and only a sheet covering me, it was time to push (and leave all modesty behind)!!!!!!  Jasmine and David were on my left, Jasmine was by my head holding it up as I pushed, David had one hand under my back as I pushed and was also holding my leg with me.  Judi was on my right and had her arm behind my shoulder.  I pushed for about 15 minutes and looked down to Dr. Harris who was not ready yet.  I said “you better get ready, I’m pushing her out now.”  As she crowned I felt it on my left side, not painful, but I felt the pressure and it wasn’t pleasant.  David decided he was going to watch, which was not our plan, but that all went out the window as he was so excited and ready for Hannah to be here!

2:15 PM – Hannah Grace, our unexpected, perfect, beautiful blessing was born, weighing 7 pounds and 1.5 ounces and measuring 20.5 inches long!

Hannah is here (and came out crying)!

Hannah is here (and came out crying)!

IMAG3505

Where am I???!!!

Booboo lip

Booboo lip

We welcomed Hannah with tears of joy and family surrounding her.  She was placed on my chest and Jasmine took pictures while David cut the cord (which he also wasn’t going to do).  Hannah was a little goey and needed to be cleaned up and checked because of the water, so Jasmine went over to look at her and take pictures while I was fixed up, David remained by me to make sure I was doing well while the doctor finished up.  We all got to hold her within minutes and remained in the room for another hour to let her eat and get some skin to skin time.

7 pounds 1.5 ounces

7 pounds 1.5 ounces

Footprints

Footprints

Swollen, but cute.

Swollen, but cute.

Our baby girl!

Our baby girl!

Daddy is toast

Daddy is toast

Jasmine and Hannah, our babies!

Jasmine and Hannah, our babies!

Love this!

Love this!

My loves!

My loves!

Hot...

Hot…

Yum!

Yum!

hannah blog 3

Jasmine’s FB status 1

hannah blog 5

Jasmine’s FB status 2

hannah blog 4

Jasmine’s FB status 3

One Week Old

One Week Old

~Mel

A husband/daddy’s point of view:

After 48hrs plus of Mel being in horrible pain, I was ready for her to have a reprieve. Honestly it was killing me seeing her in so much pain and knowing I was at least partially to blame…although she was there for the decision making!

The back and forth to the hospital was a little annoying because the nursing staff knew she wasn’t ready, but she was MORE than ready to have this baby. She was just so exhausted and wanted things to be happening and so did I. Now, I am always one to err on the side of caution and it had been almost twenty years since either of us had a child so I would have made 100 trips to make sure everything was alright and both she and the baby were fine. The nurses were sweet but I wanted a bit more sympathy for her than I saw.

When it was time, we both knew and there was zero doubt in our minds that Hannah was on her way into the world. I could have killed Dr. Harris for taking so long to see her once we arrived in his office. Watching and being helpless is truly torture when the one you love most is hurting so badly. I’m not a violent man, but if he wasn’t the one delivering the baby, he would have needed a doctor himself. Of course I had to play it cool for her and be Mr. Level Head as any good husband should in any crisis.

I was so relieved that we were headed to the hospital and she could get some relief! Unfortunately it took much longer than either of us expected and they gave me the boot as hospitals seems to have a habit of doing. Melissa and I spend 24/7 together (how it took so long for her to get pregnant I will never know), and it really does bother us when others tell us we have to be apart for no good reason. I worry and hate not being there for her, especially when she was in so much pain. I have bragged how my wife is a badass several times since having Hannah. I have broken everything there is to break and seen some things, but she handled birth like a champ. She forever has my respect as most people would not have been nearly as strong or graceful through it all.

Things moved really fast once I was allowed back in the room. It was maybe an hour, if that long before it was truly TIME. I was present for the birth of my daughter Brianna, but promised myself that I would be more than just present and in the room for both Melissa as well as Hannah. I’m much older now and much more aware. Honestly I was much more worried this time. I know all the stats, and have seen all manner of medical emergencies. My former career forced me to see and assist in some pretty gruesome stuff. I was scared for her.

When the doctor broke her water, Lisa’s body language changed completely and Dr. Harris had a moment of pause. I had some idea of why, but not completely. What I did know is that Melissa couldn’t see me worried. I do remember saying “She damn well better be alright or I will hunt you both down,” and they both knew I was serious even though I said it lightheartedly for her sake. From that time it was literally a few pushes and Hannah was here!

There was a buzz of movement around Hannah, but I refused to leave Melissa’s side until some time had passed and I knew she was in the clear. That turned out to be after we were moved to a private room. She was perfectly fine pretty soon thereafter, however I was still shaken.

The advice that I would give to fathers or husbands is truly be there in the moment. Take it all in and participate as much as possible. It really is a life changing experience if you allow it to be. You’ll only love your wife more. Believe me guys it hasn’t caused any issues in the desire department…

David

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There’s a special occasion today, and for one day, I’m going to open up a bit about what it is I/we do…read on.

I have known, for years now, that my husband is amazing.   I have even blogged about it on a few occasions.  The times that I find myself thinking what a great husband and man he is are far more than the times I question his actions or intentions.  I’m not trying to imply that he’s perfect, as we all have our moments, but more often than not, to me, he is.

I don’t discuss business on here, but for those that don’t know, we work together from home.  It’s been a lifesaver when children are sick, or there are school functions, or when you just don’t feel like going to “work.”  For us it has blessed our marriage by allowing us to truly get to know each other and bond.  That bond translates to better parenting, better family ties, us being happier, and has allowed us to make a stronger team against outside forces.  We all face stress, trials, and attacks from the outside world and un-Godly forces, and the ability to be confident in your partner and know you have someone that has your back is the best gift you can give yourself and your spouse.  We often get questions ranging from “how do you spend ALL DAY together” to “do you really enjoy being around each other that much?”  The answer is the same from either of us…yes, most certainly.   My business partner respects me, backs me up with tough clients, steps in when I’ve had enough of someone, and is amazing in his work ethic and ability to land clients.   There is no one I’d rather spend all day with.

So, with that preface, I’m proud to announce that D has become a weekly blogger on a Christian website!  I am proud of him for being a provider and I’m proud that others view him as the strong business man, and man of God he is.  You will quickly see, in his writing, that he has a gift for words and conveying a message that hits home.  Please share it as we want him to have the opportunity to be a blessing to as many people as we can reach.  There is always the possibility that there are business minded people that want information, and if it’s presented in a Christlike manner two efforts can be accomplished in one manner.  The Christian Work At Home Ministries site is a great tool for learning about building business, working from home, and glorifying God in our lives.

So, with that introduction, please check him out at the link below, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and check back weekly at either link for his business blog entries!

Love those eyes…Oh, sorry. Serious marketing pic here.

Click here for his first post – What brought me home!

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