5 Love Languages Military Ideas

The 5 Love Languages is a great tool, but Military couples struggle to find ways to love across the distance in others languages, But it doesn't have to be impossible

When we were going through our Pre-Marital Counseling one of the things we talked about were the Love Languages by Gary Chapman. We identified which one was our primary love language and talked about ways we can love each other in the ways that say the most to the other, not ourselves.

But you know what, those don’t always work for us. See we have been a military couple since before we were married. It was always going to be part of the equation for our marriage. And we started our marriage off loving each other across the distance. We don’t always get to be together; we don’t always get to talk every day. So how can we practically apply the love languages to our marriage when we aren’t always able to do so.

For example, my husband’s love language is physical touch- but what happens when we are states or countries apart? We can’t hold hands every day, we can’t cuddle on the couch after dinner each night. Mine is acts of service, but he can’t wash my dishes if he is in the field for a week at a time. And I know we are not the only couple that has run into these issues. When I was working at the Chaplain’s center at Fort Benning I talked to so many couples who were struggling to feel loved by one another because it was so difficult to fill love tanks when we can’t spend time together.

Enter my discovery of Gary Chapman’s revision of the Five Love Languages Military Edition!  I was so excited when I found this on Amazon that I bought a copy immediately! And thanks to Amazon Prime I finished it within the week!

Here are some practical ways to love across the distance in each other’s love languages.

Physical Touch

This is another Love Language that is especially difficult to express during a deployment or separation, and so again you should also focus efforts to their secondary love language. But here are some other suggestions.

  • Send photos, these tangible images of you can become very important when its impossible to hold you physically.
  • Spray your perfume or cologne on a card or fabric and send to them.
  • Service members can arrange for their spouse to go and get a massage
  • Hand written letters

Words of Affirmation

This is one of the easiest ones to keep going during a deployment since all we are really able to do is talk to each other. But if they are in the field, or have little communication there are still things you can do.

  • Writing Love Letters
  • Allow each other to vent about stress and frustrations
  • Express appreciations through emails or letters
  • Open when Letters (great for when they may not be able to talk to you immediately)

Receiving Gifts

This is another one that is easier to keep going during a deployment. I mean just look on Pinterest and there are 100s of care package ideas. Rachel Even blogs all about Care Packages during deployment! It just takes a bit more planning and creativity.

  • Send care packages- Get creative! You can do all sorts of themes from favorite sports teams to holidays!!
  • Get friends and family together to send cards, emails and packages to let them know you’re ALL thinking of them.
  • Bring home unique gifts for your spouse from your location.

Acts of Service

During deployments, the deployed spouse should recognize that the homefront spouse is doing daily acts of service for them by managing the home front solo (of course we are happy to do it, but it can be exhausting). The deployed spouse is doing a whole different kind of act of service- one for their Country rather than their spouse specifically.

  • Spend time connecting with the deployed spouse’s family. Letting them know you are reaching out to them (if they are on good terms) will go along way.
  • Service Members can arrange for lawn care or child care to be set up and taken care of prior to leaving.
  • Service Members can record themselves reading books to their kids, this can help out at bed time.
  • Take care of projects around the home best you can rather than saving them all up for your spouse to return. You can even take before and after photos.

Quality Time

This is a difficult one to achieve during deployments and field separations. If you or your spouses Primary love language is quality time then make sure to really invest in their secondary love languages as well while apart. But there are still some ways to spend quality time together; especially if you have access to internet.

  • Read a book together and discuss during phone chats
  • Tell your spouse, “I can’t wait to spend a day _____ with you again” filling in your favorite shared activity.
  • If you can’t share the day to day details of your work, at least share how you are feeling.
  • Become interested in a sport or hobby your spouse enjoys. Then share what you are learning.

If you are interested in finding out what you and your spouses love languages are, then you can take this inventory online for FREE. Just click HERE!

The 5 Love Languages is a great tool, but Military couples struggle to find ways to love across the distance in others languages, But it doesn't have to be impossible

Organizing and Cleaning for Your Newborn

Life with a newborn is hectic and chaotic and often times oh so messy! Starting with a clean and organzied system can help on those days full of spit-up and diaper explosions! Here are some great tips for organizing and cleaning your home for a newborn!

This week on the blog we have a guest post by Sophia Evans. She is sharing her tips and tricks for how to get your house all ready for the arrival of your little bundle of joy!

Having a newborn completely changes your lifestyle. You actually need to free up space for the belongings of another human being. Babies are tiny, but all their clothes and toys take up much space. You need a strategy in order to keep everything organized and cleaned all the time and save as much time and space as possible. You also cannot spend that much time cleaning, since your baby needs you 24/7. This makes the task pretty hard, but not impossible. With a few tricks up your sleeve, you can make it!

From the very start you need to get used to treating the stains as soon as they appear on the baby’s clothes. Do not let them dry, it is harder to remove them after they do. Have a laundry schedule and follow it. Use bibs all the time, in this way you will have to wash the bib only, not an entire outfit. Bibs collect the food that the baby spits. It is amazing what a time saver they are. There are also plastic ones that can be simply rinsed and ready to be used again.

When you organize clothes, it is best if you have different shelves or drawers for the different types. Underwear, T-shirts, one piece body suits. This will ease you when you are looking for a certain thing, it is best to know exactly where it is, instead of turning everything out from the wardrobe because of that pink dress that your baby looks really cute in. Keep three-piece clothes on a hanger in order not to lose some of them among all the other pieces of clothing.

Even before the baby comes you will have mountains of all kinds of clothes, all in different sizes. Categorize them and separate those that you will need as soon as the baby comes. The others you can put on the upper shelves and when their time comes, you will be well prepared.

When it comes to toys, it is always a good idea to have large bins to contain them. When cleaning time comes, you easily throw everything in the bin. You can have separate ones for stuffed animals and plastic ones and whatever other categories you separate them into. This is also useful for when the baby grows up. He or she will be able to collect the toys quickly and easily if you ask them to.

Now, the kitchen. Your kitchen will be conquered by various baby stuff and no matter the size of it, it will seem smaller to you when the baby makes its debut. Put a separate dish drying rack or simply a towel for baby bottles and cutlery only. Also, a drawer dedicated to anything else and a shelf in the kitchen cupboard for all the food. When they are all gathered in one place, it will be easier for you to keep track of what’s missing and what is about to finish.

It is also important to have your place cleaned before the baby comes home because once it does, your cleaning time will be kinda gone. Wash all the duvets, blankets, carpets in advance. Check as many things as possible off the list. You can even hire a cleaning service to deep clean your house or apartment while you are in the hospital. This will save you a lot of trouble and you will not be bothered by any professional cleaners when you get back home with your new family member. You will be thankful for every little thing you have done before the big day. You will see it will be worth it.

Life with a newborn is hectic and chaotic and often times oh so messy! Starting with a clean and organized system can help on those days full of spit-up and diaper explosions! Here are some great tips for organizing and cleaning your home for a newborn!

What was in my Hopsital Bag & What I Actually Used

I read so many check lists of what I should back in my labor hospital bag! So here is what I took, and what I actually used out of my bag!

So I haven’t written about my birth experience. But I wanted to share what I packed in my Hospital bags and what I actually used.

In preparing for the hospital I spent so much time on Pinterest and Read boards trying to figure out exactly what I needed to pack in my hospital bag. After reading what seemed to be 100s of blogs I came up with my check lists.

I decided the best way to do it was to pack to separate bags- one for the labor and delivery part of my stay, and one for the recovery part of my stay. That way I wasn’t moving too much stuff across the hospital during my stay. I could leave my recovery bag in the car until I was moved.

So here is what was in my Labor and Delivery Bag:

  1. Essential Oils and Diffuser. I brought Peppermint, Lemon, Orange, Lavender, and Young Living’s Gentle Baby Oils. I also brought a blend I made in a roller bottle that is supposed to help support Labor and can be applied to the flex points on your inner ankles. Even though I am very open to and will likely use medications in my labor process, I also wanted to supplement with natural means as well. I did use my diffuser, but I only diffused Gentle Baby during labor. It was honestly too much to think to change scents. So pick a favorite and stick to that
  2. Camera and Charger. I definitely want some pictures of when I first meet her and so I have my camera so my mom can capture some of those moments for me. My camera definitely got used, but not enough to need the charger since it was fully charged. More pictures were taken on my phone and my moms.
  3. Cell phone and charger. If I am given the opportunity hopefully I will be able to talk to my hubby throughout some of the process.
  4. DVDs to distract myself. This was definitely helpful at the beginning, but after a certain point I was in too much pain to pay any attention to it and turned it off.
  5. A robe and slippers. This will allow me to walk around during labor without exposing myself. Didn’t use this in labor but definitely came in handy during recovery.
  6. A sports bra to wear in the shower if I decide to labor in the shower at all.  Couldn’t get out of bed.
  7. Vasaline for my lips. I’ve read labor can really dry your lips out.  A definite YES!
  8. Face wipes. I bought the Neutrogena Grapefruit face wipes. For me they have a ver cooling effect and will be refreshing.  Another Definite YES!

In my Recovery Bag:

  1. I will keep my slippers and Robe with me in my recovery room from my L&D bag
  2. I will also keep my diffuser especially to difuse Gentle Baby in my recovery Room. I will also have another roller ball blend of Fennel and Clary Sage to help my milk come in.
  3. Multiple sleep nursing bras I just wore one nursing night gown the whole time since I was only in recovery room one night.
  4. Nursing night gowns
  5. Granny Panties to wear on the way home So glad I had these to wear home. I wore them over the mesh undies to keep them in place!
  6. Toiletries so I can shower Never showered 
  7. A dark colored towel- I bought the cheapest one I could find a Target so when it gets ruined, I won’t mind
  8. Boppy Pillow So helpful in my sleepless state to start nursing
  9. Pillow from home Loved having my own pillow
  10. Socks
  11. Milk Makers Tea and Granola Bars
  12. Earth Mom New Momma Bottom Spray
  13. Nipple Cream
  14. Nursing tank and leggings or a maxi skirt to wear home. I wore a night gown home!
For Baby:
  1. A few different home coming outfits in different sizes.
  2. Larger Muslin swaddle blankets- I find them so much easier than the small hospital receiving blankets to swaddle.
  3. Water Wipes- my hospital does not provide wipes, but does provide diapers.
  4. Socks and a hat for the ride home.
  5. Car seat (obviously)

I read so many check lists of what I should back in my labor hospital bag! So here is what I took, and what I actually used out of my bag!

My 2018 New Year’s Resolutions

It is important to start the year out right with intentions to make this your best year yet! Here are my New Year's Resolutions for 2018!

It is that time of year again! Time to make New Year’s Resolutions. Last year I talked about how we should make New Years Goals. And so this year I also wanted to challenge you to go back through the Wellness Challenge:

Week 1: Goals for Your Marriage

Week 2: Healthy Coping Skills

Week 3: Making Friends When Military Life Makes it Hard

Week 4: Living the Simple Life- Decluttering your Home & Schedule

Week 5: Healthy Living

And look at what you had done for 2017 and what you want to change and add for the healthiest 2018 you can have. When I was going back and looking at how well I succeeded in making my goals for 2017, I was surprised how well I was able to meet those goals. Of course, I definitely didn’t meet them perfectly. And of course Military Life throws curve balls and prevented some of them from being met- Like clearly if my husband is in a different country than me then weekly date nights are a bit unrealistic.

But I wanted to try and start 2018 off in much the same fashion. I am a big believe in what I put out there I will reap. And so by sharing my goals publicly then I am being held accountable to making them happen.

So here are my top Goals for 2018:

  • Should my breast feeding journey succeed, I would love to breastfeed our new baby for a whole year! It is something I want to do as a bonding time for me and baby. This is especially important to me since it will just be the two of us for most of 2018.
  • I would love to live as a natural life as possible. Recently I have been doing more and more research into Essential Oils. While I don’t use them for everything, I do enjoy using them when I can. Even if it is just to make my room and house smell fresh.
  • When our year apart is over, I would like to reinstate weekly date nights for my hubby and I. Just because now we are a family of 3 doesn’t mean our marriage isn’t important. In fact it is more important than ever! And so even if that means staying up late after baby is in bed a few times a month- cause lets face it date nights with a sitter can get expensive! Still he is my priority and so we will make it a priority when we are back in the same home again. This will be especially important with reintegration.

So these are my top Goals for 2018! What are yours! Share them in the comments so we can support each other as a community as we grow together this year!

It is important to start the year out right with intentions to make this your best year yet! Here are my New Year's Resolutions for 2018!