One Quick Trick For a Happier and Healthy Marriage

From the very beginning in our marriage there is one thing that Kyle and I agreed upon that has helped us tremendously through the years. We have avoided arguments and worked together as a team through many different seasons in life. This one thing has helped us honor each other and help us think of the other and put the other above ourselves. 

We decided not to keep score. 

for anything. 

We don't keep score for who got up the most with the baby(ies).

We don't keep score for who was away the most during the week.

We don't keep score for who had a friend night the latest.

We don't keep score of who won the last argument.

We don't keep score of which points won arguments.

We don't keep score of who last changed out the laundry.

We don't keep score of who last let the dog out or took her for a walk.

We don't keep score. 

The reason this is important is because when you keep score, you are thinking of yourself first. It's making sure that you get what is fair or what is owed to you. Marriage is about thinking of the other person first, it's about being a team and we all know there is no "I" in "team" ;). A team doesn't work if everyone is only looking out for themselves. But when you are each looking out for the needs of each other, you both end up giving, but you also both end up receiving.  

For more ideas for a fun, healthy marriage, you might like this post:

Today is Pinterest Day for the Babywise Friendly Blog Network. The Ladies are all talking about the topic of marriage today. Be sure and check out all of their posts below.

Valerie from Chronicles of a Babywise Mom

Emily from The Journey of Parenthood

Natasha from Let's Be Brave

Katrina from Mama's Organized Chaos

Kimberly from Team Cartwright

Read more »

5 Tips For Successful Outings With Your Kids

(This post originally appeared here on Team Cartwright as part of a Babywise Friendly Blog Network Day).

After each of my babies have been born, I have had to re-learn systems that work well with running errands with my babies in tow. Be it grocery shopping, or other various errands, outings WITHOUT your kids is like a vacation. Outings WITH your kids is, well, NOT a vacation.

Here are some tips I’ve gathered along the way:

1. Make a plan

Before you leave your house, think through your errands ahead of time. Plan the best time of day to go (if possible) for your daily schedule. Think through possible deterrents or problems and try to decide how you will handle them.

2. Make Lists

Having a grocery list significantly helps my shopping experience. If you are running multiple errands, make a list of each store and what you need from each. Bring a pen with you to cross off your lists.

3. Set realistic expectations

Honestly evaluate yourself and know your sanity limitations. Don’t expect to conquer the whole world in a shopping trip. Set your priorities on your list to match what you know you are capable of doing and save the other things for a time when you can go without kids. 

4. Communicate

Once your kids are old enough (which is probably sooner than you think), talk to them about what you expect from them. Remind them how you expect them to act, and make suggestions for how they can help you make this a successful trip.

5. Involve your kids

Grocery shopping? Assign a kid to cross items off your list for you. Talk to them about what you plan on making that week for dinner as you gather ingredients. Have them practice counting items in the basket or even practice reading the boxes in your cart.  

Hopefully these tips will help you as your embark on your outings with your kids!
Read more »

Weekend Recap:2017 Mardi Gras Edition

We had a very full and busy weekend! We kicked it off with Dinner Party at the Nicholson's. They served New Orleans themed food and it was DELICIOUS. 

Speaking of delicious, we had this blueberry wine and it was amazing. I don't have a very refined pallet when it comes to wine. I just like it sweet and to not taste like hair spray. This one for sure meets my approval. It's local to Mobile, which I appreciate supporting local businesses! 

On Saturday, I went to a women's conference at my mom's church. It was some great Mama time as well as fun getting to hang out with Aunt Deb and Kathryn. The theme was "Home: How's Your House". The event was really fun because they had vendors and shopping as well as food trucks for lunch! 

On Saturday night, we had my parents over for dinner and to play "Ticket To Ride". TTR is what Kyle and I gifted each other for Valentines this year. We had played it at a friend's house over Thanksgiving break, and LOVED it. It's a strategy game, but not an overly complicated one. My parents loved it too. 

At church, Kyle and I are both notetakers. As we were flipping through our notebooks we saw that some of our scouts had left us presents :). 

Last night we went to a Mardi Gras Parade. It was crazy per the usual Mardi Gras night. Our kids had a blast and raked in all kinds of junk, I mean prizes. Archer was TERRIFIED though. Like would start shaking really bad whenever a new float would drive by. I ended up standing in the back to help him and also so we wouldn't get mauled by a beads and moonpies. Those people throw hard!!

A busy week ahead this week with Tball practice starting up and training meetings for Universal (yay!!!). 
Read more »

My Favorite TV Shows

Like my books, I'm pretty loyal to the friends I make in TV shows. That's the main thing I need in a good show... likable characters. I tend to lean towards dramas, with a little bit of romance and funny. All of these favorites are in syndication and no longer producing new shows. I have some favorites that are still going (DWTS, Suits, etc...). But these are the classics for me.

1. Gilmore Girls

Shocker, I know. No doubt, hands down, my favorite. It has the feel good, the funny, the romance, the pop culture, and the quirky. I have rewatched it more times than I can count. This show is my comfort food. After a bad day, you can typically find me with a cup of tea watching Gilmore.

2. JAG

Ha. This one might surprise some people, but I LOVED JAG!!! I couldn't wait for Tuesday nights to watch a new show, see what case would be solved and see if Harm and Mac would finally get together.

3. Dr. Quinn

"It's all right! I'm a doctor!" Dr. Quinn, Sully, Brian, Colleen, Loren, Hank, Jake, Clouddancing... Some of my family's favorite characters to watch growing up. We used to watch it as a family.

4. The West Wing

Aaron Sorkin figured out a successful formula for fast, moving dialogue and characters you can latch on to. And yeah, there's politics, but my favorite parts are the characters and their interactions. I literally stood up and clapped in my own living room during one episode. I'm fairly entertaining when it comes to my favorite shows.

5. Friday Night Lights


Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose.

People who aren't from West Texas ask Kyle and I how realistic this show is. We think it's about 80% accurate and 20% dramatized for TV. So, pretty accurate.

6. Veronica Mars

AH! VMARS!! The show that we were robbed from with being cancelled after 3 seasons, and then the one that brought us so much joy with the revival thanks to a Kickstarter campaign from the cast and creator. So fun to watch and be a part of. I heart Kristen Bell.

7. Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

Another great show we watched as a family growing up!

8. Saved By The Bell

Uh huh. You know you loved it too. I wanted to be Kelly Kapowsky when I grew up to high school. After school, you could easily catch my siblings and I watching SBTB or Full House.

9. Full House (Fuller House)

Classic. Happy. Wholesome. I still love it and I love the Fuller House remake.

10. Friends

Did you think I forgot about it? Yeah right. This is the only show that Kyle and I equally like. We laugh so much with our friends. My favorite times of watching have been during each of my  pregnancies (wishing I looked like Rachel when she was pregnant).

Which ones did I miss? Share your favorites in the comments! 

Today, I'm linking up with MomfessionalsGrace and Love Blog, and Little Bit of Everything Blog, for Friday Favorites! 

Read more »

Managing Your Childrens' Different Personalities

(This post originally appeared here for a Babywise Friendly Blog Network Day)

It would be so EASY and so CONVENIENT if all of our kids fit a mold wouldn’t it? Even more convenient would be if our kids fit our own mold, or had the same personality as we do. As a parent one of the most baffling things can be when your child’s personality is different from your own. Because this is so often not the case, it is important to parent towards DEVELOPMENT not towards CONVENIENCE.

A simple way to do that is to ask two questions when thinking about your kids personalities (or even when thinking about your own or your spouse’s personalities):

1. Is your child task oriented or relationship oriented?

Does your child push against bedtime because they cannot stand to see that project go unfinished or finish that book to see what happens? They are probably task oriented.

Does your child want to make every day a social gathering or event? They are probably relationship oriented.

Knowing what is behind their MOTIVATION can really help when you are interacting with them throughout the day. This can help you frame your expectations and even your language when you approach them in different circumstances.

For example, task oriented people tend to love charts and lists to check off. Make a bedtime chart and for every night they go to bed on time, give them a sticker or a check mark for a job completed. For the relationship oriented child, pair them with another sibling to help with chores or other tasks. Give them someone to talk to.

2. Is your child an introvert or an extrovert?

Do people energize or drain your child?

Recognizing what FUELS your child is vital to how you interact with them. If your child is an introvert and has been around people all day long, they are likely to be fussy and exhausted whereas a more extroverted child might be more energized and happy. And visa versa is true as well. If you have an extroverted child who hasn’t really been around people in a couple days, they might be more drained and might need some people time.

Thinking through these things are not so you can cater to your child necessarily, but being aware of how your kids function and work can really help you work WITH your child’s personality instead of AGAINST it.

Related Post:
Read more »

My Loves

Happy Valentines Day! I have loved Valentines Day since I was a little girl. I look forward to it every year because I love to love on my people. Plus, you know I love a good theme, and is there a cuter or easier theme than love? No. No, there is not. The best part of the holiday is getting to spoil and pour out love on my people. 

Today, for Show and Tell, I want to re-introduce you to my people. My home. They are my safe place and my cup overflowing. 

Kyle. My man. My SBOAM (Studly Beast of a Man). He is my favorite gift from the Lord. I am continually amazed at how the Lord perfectly planned for us to be together. 

Kyle loves to study the Bible (and other theological and puritanical books and whatnot), drink good dark coffee, spend time with me!, play with the scouts, find new,weird music, research the best quality products, disciple and teach men how to love and serve their families well, travel, be apart of new church plants, talk in different accents, and play rugby.  He does not love to eat mayonnaise, be conscious when the wind blows from the south, get caught in traffic, clean up after pets or animals, or listen to mainstream or pop music.

Laura Kate. My one and only girl and my first born. Whenever I was pregnant with her, I felt God tell me that he wanted to teach me about His redemption, and over and over I have seen through her how He is a rescuer who redeems his people. 

Laura Kate, our first born and only girl, is our sassy one! So much so that we have nick-named her "The Sasster". She is so funny, brilliant, loves to read and write stories, dances and twirls her way through life, and has the largest imagination of anyone I have ever known. She is known for her quippy one-liners. You can read more about our girl here:

Shepherd. My little Shepherd Boy. He makes me laugh and brings me so much joy.

Shepherd is all-boy. He is tender-hearted, logically wired, hates wearing clothes and has only eaten one green bean in his entire life. He is the epitome of a daddy's boy, and he thinks "poop" is the funniest word in the English language.

Fischer. Oh Fischer. He keeps me on my toes, yes makes me laugh and yes makes me pull my hair out. 

Fischer is our mischievous one. He is devious and he is tenacious. He's also our current resident threenager so that could have something to do with it. Fischer loves to snuggle, loves animals, is rough and tumble and LIVES to make a mess. We call him Pigpen and mean it! 

Archer. My sweet last baby. Gosh I am so thankful God chose to give us a fourth baby.

Archer is our caboose. True to form, he makes his own personality known in this family. He loves music and dancing, reading books, Mickey Mouse, and french fries. He loves to be held, thinks his siblings are hilarious (or insane, but it's a fine line to walk), and is head over heels for his daddy! True to Wiley form, he currently is on a mission to conquer every mess there is to make. 

Letters to Archer

It's show and tell Tuesday and today I'm linking up with the Momfessionals blog sharing my favorite blog posts!

Read my past Show and Tell Posts:

Read more »