Valentine’s From a World Away

Valentine's day is a fun one for my hubby and I. We keep it simple full of yummy home cooked food, chocolates and cheesey-ness! And I love it so I had to make sure his care package reflected the same!

Valentine’s Day: The Day of Love! Hearts everywhere, Chocolate, Flowers! Red Pink and Sparkles.

Valentine’s day is tomorrow and the stores have been stocked for weeks (luckily enough for me since it takes a while for boxes to reach our troops over seas).

See I know I am not the only one spending Valentine’s day home alone with my little love bug. Hoping that he gets off in time for a few minutes of FaceTime chatting before baby and I go to bed.

But whether you are with your true love in person, or hoping for a phone call there are still some great ways to spend Valentine’s Day.

For me the first thing I thought to do was celebrate with a Care Package for the Mister. For us Valentine’s day is normally full of fun and cheesey dates. We normally do dinner at home. And it always involves chocolates! So that is what his care package is full of- Chocolates & cheesiness.

  • Lots and Lots of his favorite chocolates! He loves the really really dark chocolates so I wrapped them all up into different bags. That way he will have some things to open up!
  • Another thing we always do is watch movies! So I got him a new movie to watch! The perfect combination of Action & Humor- The Kingsman 2
  • A hand rolling massager- He has always wanted one for after ju jitsu.
  • Super soft sweater to keep him warm! I’ve heard its super cold there in Korea right now!
  • Cards from me and the baby (signed with her foot prints)
  • And lots and lots of photos!

Now making care packages cute and cheesey is not easy with a lack of craft stores in Hawaii & lack of time with a newborn. But thanks to Rachel over at Countdown and Cupcakes she has curated decorations for boxes! So I got her Valentine’s day one and I am so excited to be able to send him a decorated box!

But just because he is the one getting the care packaged doesn’t mean the sender shouldn’t have any fun! One of my favorite February traditions that I got to be involved in during my time in Grad school was Galentine’s Day! Celebrating a fun night with your girl friends always makes for a fun night! Chick-flicks, sweet wine, chocolate and an easy dinner- nothing could be better!

So whether you are celebrating together or apart this year make sure you have a little fun along the way!

Valentine's day is a fun one for my hubby and I. We keep it simple full of yummy home cooked food, chocolates and cheesey-ness! And I love it so I had to make sure his care package reflected the same!

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!

Coming Soon: We are Pregnant!

We have another big announcement for us over at Adventures of a Young Wife

This week I have a special announcement to make. So far 2017 has been a year of great challenges and change for our little family. First we finally got word that My husband was switching branches within the Army to avoid Medical Discharge (YAY!!!)! But with that came an unaccompanied assignment to Korea, and I would spend the year with my family. This meant a big move for us (more on that later…)!

But then we got an even bigger surprise!

We found out we are expecting our very first baby!

 

I found out I was pregnant just before St. Patrick’s Day! I took the opportunity to surprise my hubby with the news in a fun way.

He came home from work and found this on the kitchen counter! Of course I miscalculated the due date by a month! He came home and couldn’t believe it! We had been planning for this baby of course and were thrilled that it was here! We qucikly began planning how we were going to tell our families.  since my family is farther away I knew it would be harder to pull of a cute surprise for them! But we set to work on making sure we could get all of his family together for Easter Weekend! And with a little bit of work, we finally got there! I made Easter baskets for all of them with an extra special surprise! Of course I filled them with chocolate (because seriously, what is an Easter basket without some really good chocolate.) And one egg had a surprise pacifier in it!

It took a bit, but finally everyone got our surprise!

I would love to be able to tell you that this has been the easiest pregnancy ever, I mean it only seems fair on some level with everything else we have going on!

But that would be far from the truth. I was pretty sick, and so lethargic that some days just getting out of bed and coming downstairs would zap the remaining energy that I had. I had zero appetite for many weeks and was sustained on peanut butter toast and blueberry muffins for a few weeks (not the healthiest). And my poor husband lost  much help around the house with the cleaning and cooking!

Thankfully as far as husband’s go (in my entirely biased opinion) I have one of the best! So he easily picked up some of the slack, as we started into our crazy PCS last month.

Not only was has this pregnancy been hard physically so far, it has also been hard emotionally in many ways.  As exciting as this pregnancy has been so far, it has been quite an emotional pregnancy, knowing that my hubby will miss so much of our babies first year!

It is hard knowing that I will be bringing our baby into the world on my own (well with my parents) and that grandma and grandpa will be a bigger influence in our babies first year than his or her own daddy. And how to I reconcile that. How do I help my husband feel included and an influence in the babies life without having to be present 24/7. While we grapple with these realities that military life has thrown our way we can’t be more thrilled to start celebrating this life!

We have another big announcement over here at Adventures of a Young Wife! And we can't wait to continue sharing this journey with yall!

Wellness Challenge Part 1: Do you have goals for you marriage? Well you should!

Do you have goals for your marriage this year? Here are some reasons why you should!

So who is ready for the first part of the wellness challenge! I thought the first place to start was with one of our most important relationships (after our relationship with God), our marriage! The health of our marriages is extremely important! People in healthy marriages live longer (250% longer for married men and 50% longer for married women), promotes mental wellness and protects against mental illness (are less anxious and depressed), it lowers your chance of being a victim of violence both for men and women, there are financial benefits as earning potential increases for maried couples, and a better sex life (which can boost immunity, reduce stress, ease tension and headaces and all sorts of other physical benefits, as well as increasing intimacy with our spouse), leading to great self-esteem, self-worth, and feeling desired and wanted.

When our marriages are happy and healthy, we are more happy and healthy individuals and when we are more happy and healthy individuals we have happy and healthy marriages (we don’t really know what comes first, its like the chicken and the egg – but regardless they occur together). Marital health and satisfaction is directly related to our overall wellbeing, which in turn will make our marriages better! But, a good marriage doesn’t come without work. We need to put effort into our marriage, pray with and for our spouse, listen to them, talk to them, respect them, and cherish them. Sometimes we let our marriage fall to the way side because we become so comfortable with our partner that we stop striving to make our marriages better, but this is just harming your wellness and your spouses!

So now we know why it is important to our overall wellness to have a happy marriage, here comes the challenge!

Do you have goals for your marriage for 2017? I recently got a new planner and I am so excited! One of my favorite things about a new year is getting a new planer, looking at all the vast possibilities. This year my planner has an area exclusively dedicated to goals. What your goals for the year in several different categories: financial, personal, social, and business. It then breaks it down quarterly so you can break down your overall goals into manageable chunks. And as I was preparing my planner for the year I started to think about what I want my goals for 2017 to be! I want to grow my blog, develop professionally, learn how to save some money, and nurture my relationships. Those would be my big overall goals, and then break them down into manageable chunks.

New Year Resolutions v. Goals
Now I know everyone makes a New Year’s Resolution, but those are often broken before mid-January. Goals are more impactful, and longer lasting than a New Year’s Resolution, especially if you put it in writing. As we enter January and prepare ourselves for the coming year focusing on wellness and how we are going to live well this year remember all facets of life are important.

As you can see in the categories above my planner didn’t have a space for any marital, or relational goals. I know that not everyone purchasing the planner would be married or in a relationship, but I think this area of our lives often gets overlooked when we make goals, especially if things are already going well. We don’t really try to improve unless the relationship is on the brink of dissolution. Goals often focus on health, financial success, work, or academics. But those of us who are married or in committed relationships need to make goals concerning where we want our relationship to end up. That is why I am making goals for my marriage this year! As I am just entering my second year of marriage I want it to be even better than the first. And after all, I ask my clients to make goals for their relationship all the time in counseling so we know what we are working towards. Why would I recommend to my clients to make goals concerning their relationship if I do not do so in my relationship. I ask them to make goals because it is an effective method of charting where you want to end up and the progress you are making to get there. In counseling this is particularly effective because there is someone to hold you accountable to working towards your goal. So here are my marriage goals for 2017:

  • Attend church at least twice a month, if not more;
  • Have at least one real date night a month, you know more than take out and Netflix;
  •  Pray together as a couple;
  • And finally, try something new once a month, go somewhere new, on a new adventure, get creative!


A Challenge to All
I encourage each of you to make goals for your marriage this year, write them down, and post them somewhere in your house where they can be seen on a regular basis. When making your own goals, keep it to three to minimum and five at a maximum. A manageable number will ensure that you will not get overwhelmed and forgo your goals. Make them measurable. For example, one of my goals was “to attend church at least twice a month, if not more” not just “attend church more.” This is specific and measureable. I will know if I have achieved this. Make sure your partner is on board, this helps if you sit down together to make the goals. This could be a fun date idea for ya’ll to start off the New Year. If they are joint goals they will be much easier to accomplish, you can hold each other accountable to achieve your goals. If you need further help staying accountable maybe you can partner up with another couple that you trust, share your goals with another couple and ask them to help you stay accountable, check in regularly; and you can do the same for them.

What are some of your goals for your marriage this year? Let me know in the comments!

It is so important to have goals for your marriage! Marriages can be a great source of comfort or a great source of stress. So we need to be ready. By having goals in your marriage can help you map where you are going!

Check out Week 2 and Week 3 here!

A Super fan’s Review of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

A Super fan's review of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

Who loves Gilmore Girls as much as me?  I am not sure if there are too many (FAIR WARNING, SPOILERS BELOW).  In college my roommates and I would dream about a Gilmore Girls reunion, a season 8 or a movie. Anything to get some closure. Netflix was going to do a mini-series continuation. We were finally going to get our closure! . As soon as I finished watching them, just as quickly as I possibly could, I picked up my phone to text everyone I know who’s a fan. I saw varied reactions on Facebook, mostly of disappointment. Now Stars Hallow and its residents will always hold a special place in my heart, but here is my critique! We all know that Logan is supposed to be Rory’s Christopher; and Jess is supposed to be Rory’s Luke, and I want to pretend that’s how it ends up, as long as Jess and Rory figure it out faster than Luke and Lorelai.

  1. It was weird that they showed Mr. Kim

    After all this time that is not how I imagined Mr. Kim to be. He was too goofy to match such a serious woman like Mrs. Kim. I liked my imagination better.

  2. Sookie should have had more of a presence

    Sookie is one of my favorite characters and I love her quirkiness. But I wish she had more of a role in the Netflix reprisal. However, the Sookie that appeared was not the same Sookie I remembered. As much as I wish Sookie was included more, I am glad that if it wasn’t going to be the same Sookie, she didn’t have as much as a role. She was too much Melissa McCarthy’s more recent roles. Also her story of why she was missing was weird, and kept changing. They should have had a better story, something that was more cohesive.

  3. I love how they handled the death of Edward Herman

    Richard was so much of a presence in the original series, and I think they did him proud in the reprise. Richard was a beloved character and he was going to be sorely missed in the revival. He was the mainstay of the Gilmore family. He was able to bridge the feud between Emily and Lorelai, even in their worst of times. By including the funeral and the death of Richard Gilmore in the series, the Gilmore family was able to pay their respects to the wonderful character he was and the terrific actor who portrayed him.

  4. Emily finally found her kayak

    In the wake of Richard’s passing Emily was struggling as I could only imagine anyone would after losing her husband of 50 years. But I am glad that the writer, Amy Sherman Palladino, didn’t just leave her there. She put her in her very own kayak. The kayak reference is from season 6 (I am Kayak Hear me Roar) where Emily laments the fact that she is in a metaphorical canoe and feels like she is paddling in circles after Richard’s second heart attack; leaving her to manage everything on her own. Lorelai is a kayak, she doesn’t need a man she can get where she wants all on her own. Finally putting that history degree to work as a historian tour guide in Nantucket.

  5. Luke and Lorelai finally got married

    I mean this was what I always wanted to know. After all their relationship is one of the most famous “will they, won’t they,” “on again, off again,” relationships. In the very last episode of the original series, Luke and Lorelai kiss in one of the final scenes, but we never got to see where they actually ended up. I am glad to know that their relationship lived up to imagination!

  6. Paul? Wait who was Paul?

    Now I did not mind Rory having a new character for a boyfriend. After all it has been 10 years, surely she has met other people since then; but I did not like the way that Rory was treating him. It was very uncharacteristically Rory. She is on top of everything, she never would have let that happen. I mean she was able to take a failing DAR event in season 5 from needing to be cancelled to turning people away, making it the must attend event of the year for their community. She really should have just dumped Paul in the “Winter” episode rather than constantly stringing him along, even if it was because she kept forgetting that he existed.

  7. Lorelai’s adventure to do the WILD hike was very un-Lorelai.

    While she is eccentric and believes in serendipity, hiking and nature are somethings that are very un-Lorelai. After all she was the one who brought the fish she caught home and put it in her bath tub on her first fishing trip, because she couldn’t bear the thought of actually killing her fish. Although it was great to see her co-star from Parenthood and current boyfriend as the Park Ranger in the “Fall” episode. I am just glad she didn’t use this trip to run away from Luke for good, that would have broken my heart!

  8. Logan trying to make Rory his mistress, I am not too fond of that.

    I am all for being Team Logan, I tend to be Team Logan, when I am not too busy being Team Jess. But if she and Logan are going to be together, just let them be together, not make her his mistress. She is too good for that and he is clearly too much in love with her for that.

  9. And finally, those last 4 words…

    We have all been waiting to hear those last four words, 10 years now. Did they live up to the expectation? Most were disappointed, probably because it felt out of place. Most of those that are critical of those last four words think that maybe the writer had been holding onto what would have been a great ending to the original series and transposed it here; which makes those people feel almost let down by the ending they had waited ten years for.  It was a complete surprise, never saw it coming. I, for one, just hope it’s not the Wookie’s baby! And if it is Logan’s, I hope she gives him a chance. I mean it didn’t quite fit, and it is not how I wanted the series to end; mainly because it felt as if the last episode rushed to pack in everything. If it had ended just with Luke and Lorelai’s wedding I would have been completely happy!

How about you? What did you think of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life? Your favorite part, least favorite part?

I am obsessed with Gilmore Girls! Here is my reviw of the revival Netflix brought to us last year!

Co-Parenting: Its not just for Divorced Families

Co-Parenting is important for all families whether divorced or together

When we talk about co-parenting its often thought of as two divorced or separated parents working together to parent their children. You hear it in the courtroom when the judge rules on child custody matters; you hear it in the counseling room, at the children’s school during parent teacher conferences. BUT, what if we expanded that. All too often parents that live in the home together aren’t even on the same page with parenting issues. Or what about parents that are married but one parent travels for work and is rarely home. These couples need to learn the art of co-parenting also, yet no one will ever even mention the idea to them because they aren’t divorced.

Applying the concept of co-parenting teams to married couples is helpful, especial in the military communities when one parent is in and out of the house. So often the spouse on the home-front feels the brunt of parenting responsibility and the service member feels guilty for their lack of presence in their children’s lives whether because of deployment, TDY, field time, whatever. The home front parent feels like the disciplinarian, fun sucker etc. And the more absent parent spoils the children with gifts, rarely punishes, and is the more lax parent (of course this is not always the case, but the general pattern). This creates two different set of operations for the children to follow, and creates chaos in the house as the children try to figure out which set of rules they need to operate under at any given minute.
Parents should be a co-parenting team, discussing how they plan to raise their children, and the expectations they have for one another as a parenting team and for their children before having a family. Having these types of discussions early and often can eliminate stress and anger down the road. So what does it mean to be a co-parenting team? Here are some basic guidelines on what it means to be a co-parenting team, regardless of whether or not you are still married.

How to Co-Parent Effectively:

Consistency is King!

Regardless of anything else consistency will win out; the moment you give in, you have taught your children that if they whine and complain hard enough, you will give them what they want. If you say “no” and your spouse says “yes”, they will play ya’ll against each other. Stay consistent personally and as a team. You and your spouse are a team you can’t be in charge of the kids if you are squabbling amongst yourselves.

Don’t let one Parent always be the Disciplinarian.

Don’t let one parent always be the disciplinarian. I know this isn’t always possible when one parent is gone a lot, but when they are present make sure the workload is fully shared, this means disciplining as well. The kids will see a united front if the responsibility is split. This also applies to showing affection towards your children, both parents should be responsible for showing physical, verbal, and emotional affection towards their children. You’d hate to be labeled as the cold one while your children constantly turn to your spouse for affection.

Don’t tolerate it when your Children Play you Against Each Other

Do not EVER tolerate it when your children play you against one another. I remember I did that once as a child, and let me tell you once was enough! They made it clear that they would not tolerate me playing them against each other. It does not matter what discipline plan you and your partner choose, along as it is agreed upon.

 Conclusion:

These three points are broad, but purposefully so. No family has the same experiences and circumstances. Because it is a broad overview it can be applied to any two parent family in any circumstance. Remember, no matter what you and your spouse are a team. Teams work better when they work together (I know that sounds cliché but, it’s entirely too true). Having a strong co-parenting team  tension and stress within your marital relationship will be reduced. Making your marriage even stronger!

Military parents, I know how hard co-parenting can be when one parent is home only a small percentage of the time. Service members are out of the home so much for trainings, deployments, field time, or maybe you opted to be a part while a child finishes school. This can be hard, and even confusing for some children when one parent is still an authority, but not home the majority of the time. If this is something you struggle with in your home hop over to my Military Parenting Page and check out my program coming soon: Parenting Coaching Designed specifically for Military Parents to address the unique concerns that we face with our children. Take a moment and sign up for updates and receive a FREE GIFT: Behavior Chart & an Easy How to Guide for Promoting Positive Behavior in our children.



Co-Parenting: It is not just for divorced families