Love Homework: This Week Master the Art Of Coexisting

kobe bryant playoffs husband 2011 basketball photoLast week’s assignment was all about making time to share a special moment together, particularly a special first for one of you. This week I’m challenging you to do the complete opposite. Stay away from each other, really!

The Assignment

When you’re in love the emphasis most often is on being together whenever and however possible. Once you’re married you share your home together, making it even more likely that your spouse is by your side. As sweet as all the togetherness can be, the truth is everyone needs their space – especially married couples. You’ve got stuff you wanna do and your husband has a similar list all his own. This is where the beauty of coexisting comes into play. It’s an art for married couples and one that should most certainly be perfected if there is to truly be peace within your home. Coexisting is ultimately how married couples can be together, yet still have their own space. So, this week, I challenge you to practice the art of coexisting together. It’s the evening and you’re both just getting settled in from work. Maybe you want to just relax and do your nails and he wants to watch one of those movies you can’t stomach on your sole TV. Why not do both? Practice spending time together without doing something together. Maybe this is a regular occurrence in your marriage, or maybe it’s something you could both use more of – either way, give it go and write about why it did or didn’t work out. Did you wind up distracting each other so much that neither of you got your own thing done? Did you almost forget the other person was there? Was it peaceful? I wanna hear all about it! Happy coexisting!

My Homework

I have the NBA playoffs to thank for making this assignment very, very easy for us this week. Although it’s not uncommon for me to completely lose The Man’s attention when such “important” games are on TV, this last week was the first time I decided to just get into my own groove instead of trying to compete with Kobe Bryant. (A challenge I was clearly unworthy of even taking on.) In the past I might have tried to talk to my husband during time outs, half time, or those super brief commercial breaks, but this time I said screw all that. While commuting home from work I had made a little list of things I wanted to accomplish when I got home in the evenings (like: finish the book I’d been “reading” for three weeks, dig out spring clothes from storage, or return my aunt’s phone call) and this time rather than pretend I give a crap whether the Lakes get swept I planned to actually check a couple of them off.

Now The Man was totally loving the idea, obviously since the playoffs were on. (Any other night he’d be talking my ear off while I tried to curl up next to him and blog on my laptop.) So I got home and announced that I would in fact not be pretending to give a damn about who was up or who just scored and would instead be up to my own things for the evening. Like any selfish husband would, he of course immediately asks, “will you be in the living room with me for a little while?” Really, dude? So you can say “huh” repeatedly until the play is over in an effort to hold off answering until you wouldn’t miss any action? Normally, I would have probably told him no way and headed off to our bedroom, but that wouldn’t really be coexisting now would it? So alas I set up my little me station on the couch next to him while he was 100 percent glued to the game. Continue reading

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When Good (Single) Girlfriends Give Bad Marriage Advice

cameron diaz maxim cover photo picturesIn recent laughable celebrity news, actress Cameron Diaz attacked the idea of marriage in her newest Maxim interview. Known for bouncing from one Hollywood hunk to another, when asked about her thoughts on tying the knot Diaz told the magazine, ” I think we have to make our own rules. I don’t think we should live our lives in relationships based off traditions that don’t suit our world any longer.” Well now, that’s interesting, because I think married life suits me just fine and I’ve certainly been known to break a rule or two in my relationship.

Now I’ve already made it clear that I don’t think all women want to get married, and that’s perfectly fine with me. Why should they have to feel they should? But, on the flip side, who can say that no woman should want to get married? I find it fascinating that someone who’s never even been asked for her hand in marriage feels comfortable commenting on why being married doesn’t “suit” the modern day woman. (Plus, I think we all know at least one woman who claimed she didn’t believe in marriage until someone asked her, and then she was your regular ecstatic bride-to-be.) If you don’t get anything else from my daily ramblings and rants please know this, I believe wholeheartedly that your marriage is what you make it and you should customize a marriage to work for you and your spouse. I am pro marriage, but more importantly pro happiness. When it comes to marriage, if you like it, I love it.

Now that that’s out of the way, can I just say that reading this little news bit also reminded me of some great advice I got from a married friend when I told her I was engaged? She said, “When you’re married remember that good girlfriends can give bad advice when it comes to marriage, especially if they’re not yet married.” This is so true, and Cameron’s little quote is the perfect example of this. I do love my girlfriends and they so often give guidance and insight that does help me within my life and my marriage, but sometimes the not-yet married ones’ words aren’t always the gems one might hope they’d be! (Sorry girls, but it’s true!)

Here are some examples of some bad advice I’ve gotten from good girlfriends:

“He screwed up your birthday last year so who cares if you don’t do anything for his this year?” – Love should never be tit for tat. Case closed.

“Your husband doesn’t need to know your every move girl!” – No, he doesn’t need to know, but he should. We’re a team and it’s impossible to function properly as one if one half of that team has gone rogue. Continue reading

Posted in Married Life, Wifey Wisdom | Tagged , , , | 27 Comments

Meet A Wife Monday: Jia and Her High School Honey Stop By

untypically jia wedding photoA lot of things inspire me to want to keep my marriage healthy and happy. One of them is meeting other wives who are making it work every day, and loving it! I knew quite a few before I said “I do”, and since Man Wife and Dog Blog was born I’ve met so many more. They’re all so fabulous I want you to meet them too. This week, meet wifey blogger Jia from Untypically Jia!

The Wife: Jia, 26

The Man: Matt, 27

But You Can Call Them: The Woodruff’s

How She Snagged Him: “Boy meets girl. Boy steals girl from best friend. Girl is THAT hot. Boy marries girl. (Best friend forgives.)’

Married Since: 2.28.04

jia and matt cute doggy photosThe Dogs: Willow, Pug, 7 year old & Whiskey, Basset Hound, 13 weeks old

Place They Call Home: “New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment (or Entrapment, depending on which season it is)”

How She Pays the Bills: Housewife

How He Pays the Bills: Customer Service Representative

What Makes Her Man Hot: “His sense of humor, his way of totally getting me, his dedication to family and friends.” Continue reading

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Surviving Mother’s Day Without My Mother

Sometimes we can feel sadness in a place that even our spouse’s love can’t reach. Today I ached there. I lost my mother to breast cancer when I was only nine years old. I’ve had 19 Mother’s Days since to learn how to survive the day for Mom’s without having mine there to celebrate with, but even still some years it’s much harder than others.

Sometimes I can block out the pain and just push through the day as if it weren’t a holiday at all, but others I wake up feeling like that gaping hole in my heart that her death left is just exposed and bleeding and may never heal. This morning I woke up feeling that way. My husband knew something was up with me when I wouldn’t get out of bed. It’s not like me not to want to jump up and enjoy a beautiful spring day. I wasn’t sleeping; I was just laying there feeling a familiar pain that I often try so hard to forget. I thought about getting up quite a few times before I finally rose at 1pm, but each time I thought to myself, what’s the rush? Today’s going to be tough so why even get up at all? Most times these feelings are foreign to an optimist like me. Even on the worst of days I always believe it’s best to get up and face the music rather than to just lay down and accept defeat. But not today. Not this Mother’s Day.

Mother's Day losing your mother mom and daughter photo

I felt doomed to succumb to the emotions of the day before I’d even gotten up to face them. Once he realized this wasn’t going to be one of those Mother’s Days when I was at my strongest, The Man tried all his usual tricks to lift my spirits. He went and got me my favorite breakfast, but I couldn’t eat it. He turned on an episode of my favorite show, but I just pressed mute and rolled back over. He got into bed with me for awhile and stroked my head and told me it was going to be okay, but I just laid there in some distant place far from that room as I listened to his words but felt nothing. I don’t know why or how I finally got up this afternoon but I did. Maybe it’s because I knew there were other special mothers in my life that I needed to show love and gratitude to? Or maybe even in my saddest hours I know better than to just lay there all day and feel sorry for myself. Either way I managed to make it onto my feet and begin to search for memories that would help me get through the day rather than make me suffer through it. I found some. One of them is this photo. It’s one of the few I have of my mother and I together and although I don’t remember the moment we took it firsthand I do remember the many moments of comfort it has brought me since her death. I look at this picture and I feel her love. I love how she’s looking at me and the expression on her face. I love how happy I look in her arms and I love that her pride in me shines right through this old beaten up photo. Continue reading

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I Think I Just Learned to Love Myself A Little More (Thanks Glasses!)

It’s no secret that in life to get past a fear or an insecurity you have to face it. For as long as I can remember I felt self conscious about wearing glasses. I never wore mine in middle school, high school or college, then forgot them once when I went to take a DMV vision test and passed without them. From that day on I SWORE I didn’t need them (total denial!) and I’ve been squinting my way through life ever since – until now. After suffering through the endless vision-related headaches at work and the many many nights of squinting my way through posts for you guys to read I finally got real and got some glasses. The funny thing is, now that I have them I don’t know why I was ever too vain to wear them. Right now, I love them so much I don’t even want to get contacts! Ha! How ya like me now? I think this wife just learned to love and accept herself a little bit more.

love yourself and be confident in your glasses photos

Posted in The Little Things, Totally Random | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

6 Easy Mothers Day Ideas For Your Mother In Law (Even If You Are Not A Fan!)

mothers day gift ideas and celebration ideas last minuteWhether you love her or despise her she’s still your husband’s mother and this Sunday is her day. I thank the heavens that my mother-in-law is so easy to love (Mama Watkins I adore you!), but I do recognize that not all wives are as lucky and therefore are not looking forward to spending time with their mother-in-laws on Mother’s Day. So, I’m going to help you out a little. Here are a few ideas for those of you looking to make your mother-in-law’s day, and a few more for those of you who just hope to make it through the day.

If You Adore Your Mother In Law

surprise her with her own version of that things of yours she saw and “just loved” so much. It might have been your brand new Cuisinart mixer (fresh off your registry scores) or maybe a cute bag or pair of earrings you nabbed on sale, but chances are there’s something you have that she’s gone goo-goo gaga for. If it’s not too late to find it, go get her one of her own. You already know she’s going to love it!

take her to a ladies only lunch then on a dessert rendezvous. Pick a restaurant you’ve been dying to try then treat her to gourmet cupcakes at your favorite boutique spot for dessert. It will give you both a chance to catch up on gossip, hubby/son talk, and whatever else comes to mind while you dine and then indulge in the sweetness of the moment.

…get your DIY on and create a collage of photos of your family (or your wedding) that she doesn’t have and will really love. (I’ve gotten The Man’s mom a lot of gifts over the years and the photo collage is the one she still talks about to this day.)

If You Cannot Stand Your Mother In Law

…take her to see a movie you think she might like to see, and bring the hubby and/or kids along as buffers. This will give her two hours of “quality time” where you don’t actually have to say a word to her. Plus, if you pick the right movie everyone will be entertained. Seriously, everybody wins. Continue reading

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Posted in Gift Guides, Happy Holidays | Tagged , | 13 Comments