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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

8 things to help the healing

8 things to help the healing, heal faster, healing from an affair, healing
There comes a time where the storm is over. 
It seems that the worst of it has past. 
In my situation, my husband came to his senses and realized what a mistake the whole affair was.  He remembered how much he loves me and how utterly sorry he is for the pain he's caused. 
I can feel his tenderness again. 
I can feel his love for me. 
I can say that we are going to be ok. 
I can say that there are many moments where I feel that I am happy again. 
But it does not mean that I am fixed.
The hurt is still there.
Underneath it all, it still hurts enough that it can make me cry at any random moment of the day. 
What does this mean?
Is there something wrong with me?
Why can't I feel better?

I have been seeing a therapist for the past 8 months.
 I have read article after article online
I have read books
I have gone to classes
It doesn't make me an expert
But I'd like to share what I've learned
All of this can be applied to most kinds of trauma, not just an affair:
8 things to heal, healing from the hurt, healing from an affair, help the healing process
 1.  THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU:  Remember to tell yourself that it is normal to feel the way you are feeling.  Anything less than a year from the affair is still considered early.  The recovery process for successful couples is rarely less than two years. For me, we will have many good moments together, but then I might break down the next day.  This is hard for me to understand, but just knowing that is normal helps me avoid deeper depression about what's going on. 

2.  CRY : I'll be laughing one minute and crying the next.  I'll cry when I do the dishes, when I'm driving to the store or when I'm in the shower.  A day doesn't go by that I don't cry.  Since the affair, I cry less and less, so that gives me hope that one day I won't cry about it anymore.  But for now, I am told that crying HELPS the healing and I need to let myself do it.  Bottling it up inside and trying to be strong will only make it worse.

2. TALK :  I need to be able to talk about what I'm feeling and have support.  Hopefully, it should be the ones that are closest to you. Your husband, a best girlfriend, a family member, or all of the above. Emotional connection is crucial to healing. It calms our nervous system and helps us find balance again, psychologically and emotionally. For several months after the affair, I sunk into depression.  It seemed to get better, but even months after, it would get worse.  And I found it was because I didn't feel the emotional closeness with my husband.  We would try to talk, but he couldn't be there for me emotionally.  Mainly because my emotions would stir up his own feelings of guilt and he hated himself for it.  Unfortunately for us, it actually took counseling to solve this.  For a counselor to see how we interacted and to help my husband understand how he could be there for me.  Once that started happening, the depression started to lift.  You won't need to go into counseling if both people are willing to research and learn what it is that they can be doing to help their partner.

3.  REBUILD : It is inevitable that I will be reminded about the past. But why not also dwell on the future?  How do I want my relationship to be NOW? Where do I want it to go?  Talk about how things are different in your marriage NOW as opposed to how they were.  Create things to look forward to.  My husband and I talk about dreams of going on road trips together.  Or even short term plans like hikes and camping trips with the family.  Just anything to give yourselves something to look forward to helps. 

4.  GET OUT : Staying isolated is one of the worst things you can do. I am guilty of this and still struggle with this.  As much as possible, resume your normal activities and routines. Structure can provide feelings of security as you slowly regain your sense of stability.  Having kids certainly helped me with this...I HAD to get out of bed and get them off to school or drive them to their activities or set up play dates.  So that helps.  I still struggle with wanting to do anything with friends.  For me, I've just been starting small.  Going to lunch during the day while my husband is working.  Or resuming contact with friends through social media.  Small is better than nothing, right?

5. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF : Recovery is a process. Even if your pain isn't physical, you still need to give yourself the proper rest, nutrition and exercise.  I also still struggle with this one. At least the exercise part.  I DO know how important it is.  And I have been sure to encourage my husband to keep up with his has made a world of difference for his depression.  As far as sleeping goes, I have taken IB Profin PMs every night since the day I found out.  I find that if I don't take them, I can't sleep and if I can't sleep I am up all night reliving the betrayal in my mind.  Sleep is important and I have been told it is ok to take those as long as I need to.

6. REMOVE TRIGGERS : Become aware of your emotional triggers and learn to cope with them creatively. You may have a flashback to your trauma by engaging in a similar activity, going to a similar place, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting or feeling something that reminds you of the original trauma. The best way to cope is to remove any triggers that you can.  It helped me to explain to my husband what these triggers are so he could also be more sensitive. Another way to cope with this is to recognize that you are experiencing an emotional trigger and engage in positive self-talk (e.g., “This is frightening but I am safe now.”)  I have to admit that I'm not so great with the self-talk, but I know it works for a lot of people.

7. THINK POSITIVE : For every hurting and negative thought you have, tell yourself you need to think of 3 positive ones.  What are you grateful for? What do you love? What are the GOOD things in your relationship?  What are your favorite memories of you and your husband together?  Go outside and feel the sunshine and breath the fresh air.  Say a prayer.  Read your scriptures.  Find an inspirational quote to read. Listen to a song that makes you happy.  This will keep you from dwelling on the hurt and sinking into an endless pit of despair.

8. BE PATIENT:  Healing takes time. Your recovery will have it’s ups and downs. It is what it is and there is no magical cure.  As much as you want it to, it can't be fixed in a day.  So be patient with yourself.

For those that are religious, Christ can heal your heart as well. Good luck to you.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Gotta learn that darn cup song!

I know, I'm setting the bar pretty high for this one
Some people want to climb Mount Everest or explore the world
All I can think about is how I've got to learn that darn cup song!
I keep hearing it on the radio and it makes me smile
 I still have yet to see this movie by the way.  Soon, I promise.

pitch perfect movie poster, pitch perfect, I'm gonna miss you when i'm gone, anna kendrick
The famous scene from the movie:

I'm going to learn this, if it's the last thing I do. haha  I think this girl can help me


Friday, April 26, 2013

The Best Cleaning Tip. EVER.

cleaning idea, clean house, cleaning tip

Today I looked around my house and wondered how it got so messy. 
Didn't I just clean it yesterday?
It's hard to say.
If I did, I certainly can't tell!
Just as I'm about to say "screw it" and take a nap...
I get a text.
My friend wants to stop by in about an hour
Text her back : no problem! Come on over!
Then I look like a video you might have seen where the footage is sped up to some funny music and the woman is a blur as she cleans her house.
Yep, I was that woman.
And I realized, that THAT is the best cleaning tip ever:
Just invite people over
You're house will be clean in a jif!

I'm sorry if you were expecting a magical solution to get out the toughest of stains.  But I saw this Ecard and laughed so hard.  That is me. To a t.  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Power of Validation : Part 2

Before reading this, it would be helpful if you would read The Power of Validation : Part 1 because it talks about what Validation is and gives some examples of validating statements.  And I want to remind you that even though I talk about it in terms of a marriage relationship, this also relates to your relationships with your children as well. 
For this post I'm going to talk about things that might get in the way of being able to validate someone's feelings. I'm going to start with the things I feel were getting in MY way :
#1: I DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO VALIDATE : I lacked the specific relationship skills needed to know how to do this.  I have since learned that this was not present in my own home growing up, which put me at a disadvantage. But this is a chance to learn and I promise you, it will be rewarding.

#2. My reactions to his emotions come on so quickly : Anything he was feeling, I immediately felt emotional about them. Either because I might have been thinking that he felt that way because of me, or of something I wasn't doing good enough, etc.  And so then I would find myself being defensive and dismissing his feelings or I would start to cry about it.  It didn't even give him a chance to get his feelings out and turned into him comforting me, instead of the opposite way around.

#3. Most of the time I didn't agree with the reason he was experiencing his feelings : I think deep down I felt like that if I acknowledged his feelings in a caring manner, then it would give the impression that whatever happened was OK. And it certainly was not OK. I would get stuck needing to be "right" instead of letting him have his feelings.

#4. My habit might be to teach and fix the problem : If his feelings were based on a mistake, I was sure to point that out and how he could have done better. That "no wonder he was feeling that way". He wouldn't be feeling that if he would have just made a smart decision in the first place!  I wish I would have understood that I can't fix all his problems, and that only he could be the one to do that.  But just by listening and being there can make a world of difference.
Some other reasons that might get in the way are:
-If I validate, I won't be heard (or my pain won't be understood)
-If I validate, it will only enable the destructive behaviors
- If I validate, they will get stuck in complaining about their problem
-If I validate, their emotions will escalate and get out of control

You might be able to relate to some of these more than others, but it will do you some good to look at your relationships and see if you have been able to use validation and if not, what is getting in the way?

I learned the hard way what could happen when my spouse wasn't feeling validated.  He found someone that could do that for him!  He did not go looking for fact, he probably wouldn't even be able to articulate that he was needing that.  But with me, he started to feel like it wasn't ok for him to have his emotions and feelings the way he has them. Or he didn't feel that I loved, accepted or valued him as much if he made a mistake.  I appeared to be so disappointed that it was easier to NOT talk to me than to try anymore. But again, he was just in "that's the way it is" mode.

Have you ever heard your spouse tell you, "I just don't feel like I can talk to you about certain things" or "I should have told you, but I was too embarrassed" or "I didn't want to tell you because I didn't want you to be disappointed in me". "I don't feel like you care about what I'm going through".

Was your response like mine in saying things like "Don't be silly! Of course I care about you!" or "There's no reason you should ever feel embarrassed with me!" or " I don't understand why you feel like you can't talk to me! I'm here for you!"   Well, that is not validation.  You need say that it must be so hard to feel that way and that you are so sorry that you've made him feel like he can't come to you. And then you can try to figure out specifically what you are doing that is making him feel this way and try to learn to validate feelings a little better. 

Unfortunately, if this is happening in your marriage, it is most likely happening with your children as well.   And we especially want them to be able to come to us and be able to tell us anything.  So now is the time to learn about how to do this better.  Our relationships depend upon it!!

And to clarify, I don't mean to say that just because you lack certain relationship skills doesn't mean that an affair will most definitely happen.  I am simply sharing what I've learned about myself and my relationship, in hopes that I can help anyone out there. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rebuild Yourself

never be afraid quote, inspirational quotes, quotes about starting over, quotes about opportunity

This is one of the quotes that inspired "Reinventing Elizabeth", along with the Untold Story one.
Falling apart SUCKS!!!! 
 Especially when I was feeling so good about who I was and what I was accomplishing. 
I thought I had a great life. 
I thought I had it all. 
But I guess our plan isn't always His plan. 
I've had a hard time accepting that.
But I can at least see that once I'm completely broken, and the pieces are shattered everywhere, it doesn't really make any sense to put myself together the exact same way. 
 It's a chance to fix the things that weren't working and be better. 
So really, I AM TRYING to see this as an opportunity. 
 It is so so very hard, when there is so much pain and hurting clouding my heart. 
But I guess trying is all I can do for now and it is better than nothing.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Ultimate Bookstore Date

bookstore date idea, bookstore scavenger hunt, cheap date idea, book search
retrieved off google, from
 My preface to this post is to emphasize the importance of DATING within your marriage.  If all you have time for is dinner, then that is better than nothing.  You can even discuss some of my fun questions over dinner, to make conversation a little more interesting. ;) But whatever you do, make it a goal to make sure you and your spouse are using the time to CONNECT with each other!
My husband and I went to dinner one night and then had some time to kill.  It was a cold wintery night, so anything outside was completely out of the picture.
Me: "bowling?" Him: "eh"
Him: "movie?" Me : "a little boring?"
To my surprise...
Him: "Let's go to a book store. I wonder if there is some kind of scavenger hunt ideas online"
Me : "ok! let me look something up!" (really thinking, "who IS this man sitting next to me?")
So I googled bookstore treasure hunt date and got inspiration from here and here.  
We were in the car and unable to print anything out from these websites, so I got out a pen and tore a piece of paper into strips and on each strip I wrote down something to search for. Then we would draw one out of a cup and gave ourselves 5 minutes to find the item and then return to our meeting spot. 
It was a pretty good date for being on the spur of the moment, but I made it my goal to revise our game a little, fix the things that didn't work so well, find some new ideas to add to it and then try it again sometime. 
 One of the sites we used, only had you searching for certain words in a book like Poke, Nibble, Snatch (which was hard and tedious by the way) and even antidisestablishmentarianism. As soon as I saw that word I freaked out because I remembered it from a little sesame street movie we own called "What's The Name of That Song" (which even I enjoyed watching. Would highly recommend this. haha) But my husband didn't believe me, so I had to find the clip the next day and text it to him. We thought it was pretty funny.
Ok, sorry, let's get back on track....
As I searched for more ideas, I was surprised to find so many other couples out there also having fun on a Bookstore Date! I found more inspiration from The Dating Divas, Love Actually,  and I found this guy blogger that had some really interesting points about a bookstore date HERE.
SO, by combining everything I've learned and experienced, I've created THE ULTIMATE BOOKSTORE DATE!
bookstore date, date ideas, cheap date ideas, bookstore scavenger hunt
Below, you will find the search items.  Right click on it and save it to your computer, then you should be able to print it out and cut it into strips.  Fold in half and put in a ziplock bag that you can put in your purse and take with you.
bookstore date, bookstore hunt ideas, bookstore cheap date
There are different levels that you can play this game:
SUPER EASY GOING: choose a search item from your bag and look for it together while holding hands. 
NOT TOO INTENSE : choose a search item from your bag and try to bring it back to your meeting place within 15 minutes.  This is good if you like to browse and take your time. You will not get through all of the search items, but you can save them for another day
SEMI - COMPETITIVE : choose a search item from your bag and give yourself 8 minutes to find it, but the first person back to the meeting spot wins that round. The person who wins the most rounds gets to choose where to go for dessert!  
VERY COMPETITIVE:  be prepared with an extra sheet of paper to keep POINTS! choose a search item from your bag and start your phone timers at the same time for 5 minutes and then GO! Split up and find the item as fast as you can.
*1 point for actually finding a book (you'd be surprise how hard it can be to find a certain book in 5 minutes)
*1 point for the person who returned first (with a book in hand)
*1 point for whoever did better with their book selection...try to be fair ;)
The person with the most points gets to pick where to go for dessert!
*if you pass your date while searching for the book you can exchange a kiss, a tickle or a bum-grab
*be sure to spend a few minutes talking about the books you found
*take pictures of the books you found so you can remember what it is you or your spouse wanted to 'learn more about' or the 'recipe to cook for a future date' or your 'all-time favorite book', etc.  Just so you can remember and maybe purchase the book in the future
*go home and look up the 'places you want to visit' and make a plan to visit one of them within the next 3 years
*REALLY use the recipe you found and cook it TOGETHER on a future date
*purchase the book that could help you in the bedroom and put it into practice right away
If you are interested in a more LITERARY scavenger hunt, I found some good questions HERE

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Power of Validation : Part 1

 (quick disclaimer: For the betrayed spouse, an affair is NEVER your fault! But it doesn't hurt to try to get to the root of what things might have contributed to the affair happening.  It seems only logical to do this in attempt to prevent something like this from happening ever again)
The Power of Validation : Part 1 : WHAT IS VALIDATION?

Because of the affair, I've learned of one concept that has not been seen often in our marriage.  It's the concept of VALIDATION.  But I'm learning more and more how INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT this concept is and how different our marriage would have ended up, had it been practiced regularly.

I'm embarrassed to admit that before the affair happened and before any therapy, I did NOT know what validation was.  At least in an emotional way.  And all of this information is not only helpful in your marriage but with your children as well!! Our therapist gave us a handout that stated the following:

"Validation occurs when we confirm, mostly through our words, that other people can have their own emotional experiences.  It is NOT agreeing with their emotional experience, but it is reassuring them that it is OKAY FOR THEM TO FEEL THE WAY THAT THEY DO.  This brings about feelings of being understood, which is the beginning for emotional safety. When people feel emotionally safe, they share more.  As they share more, we learn more, and are more likely to help them in a supportive non-threatening way."
Some examples of validating statements:
-"I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through"
"If must be difficult to feel so sad"
"It makes sense that you would be feeling that way."
"That must have been frustrating"
"Let me make sure I understand, so you are feeling..."
More validating statement examples
The important thing is to remember that in that moment, you need to focus on what the person is FEELING and not necessarily the situation or whatever might have happened.  And try not to make it about yourself!  (Things you should not say)
Before the affair happened, my husband would not have been able to articulate that he was not being validated.  That's the hard part.  We didn't realize what was happening under the surface.  By not being validated, my husband would pretty much shove his feelings aside and try and forget them.
He would never have said he was unhappy in our marriage, but he just thought that's "the way things are" when you are married and you just deal with it. He just wanted me to be happy and apparently I didn't appear too happy when he shared his feelings, so he decided not to do so as often. We do NOT want this to happen because emotional validation is a basic human need.  We all need and crave it more than we realize.
In my situation, not only did the other woman show interest in my husband's life, which made him feel good, he was also able to share his deepest and darkest feelings and she, having been to therapy for several years already, knew how to validate his feelings and made him feel valued and accepted no matter what. When he felt valued and accepted by this woman, he thought that only this woman could do that for him and that she must be his soul mate and THOUGHT he was in love. When really, it was a simple concept that anyone could implement in their relationship if practiced.  
Since then, my husband has come around and has realized that there are things we both need to work on in this marriage and that it IS worth the time and effort.  He has since realized the whole affair was stupid and he is so sorry that it happened. We continue to go see a therapist to help us with concepts such as validation and we have noticed a huge difference in the way we talk to each other and in the way we feel when we have these conversations. 
This week I will be posting more about validation. I hope that I can help any of you out there learn all you can about this concept that can improve any kind of relationship.  Whether with your spouse, your parents, your children, etc.  If you have any questions, please ask...I will try my best to help!!

For further reading:
 How To Validate Your Spouse's Feelings - Messy Marriage
What is Validation and Why Do I Need To Know? - Psych Central
The Art of Relating : Validation Starvation - The Healthy Planet

Saturday, April 20, 2013

When You're Lost & Alone : Carry On

I was having a particularly bad day last week and I was alone driving in the car when this song came on.  I turned it up and started singing along.  To anyone passing me by, I probably looked like a fool.  But I LOVE music that makes me feel good, and this one cheered me up and for those 4 minutes I actually felt like I CAN carry on and that I'm going to be ok!!
  I am also loving the group FUN.  It's funny because sometimes I don't always understand all the lyrics, but I seem to get the gist of it and this group especially is just SO powerful that I feel the emotion run through my whole body. I found this acoustic version that I really like and wanted to share.  The chorus hits me the most "If you're lost and alone, or you're sinking like a stone, CARRY ON!"  
Well I woke up to the sound of silence
The cars were cutting like knives in a fist fight
And I found you with a bottle of wine
Your head in the curtains
And heart like the fourth of July

You swore and said
We are not
We are not shining stars
This I know
I never said we are

Though I've never been through hell like that
I've closed enough windows
To know you can never look back

If you're lost and alone
Or you're sinking like a stone
Carry on
May your past be the sound
Of your feet upon the ground
Carry on

Carry on, carry on

So I met up with some friends
At the edge of the night
At a bar off 75
And we talked and talked
About how our parents will die
All our neighbors and wives

But I like to think
I can cheat it all
To make up for the times I've been cheated on
And it's nice to know
When I was left for dead
I was found and now I don't roam these streets
I am not the ghost you want of me

If you're lost and alone
Or you're sinking like a stone
Carry on
May your past be the sound
Of your feet upon the ground
Carry on

My head is on fire
But my legs are fine
Cause after all they are mine
Lay your clothes down on the floor
Close the door
Hold the phone
Show me how
No one's ever gonna stop us now

Cause we are
We are shining stars
We are invincible
We are who we are
On our darkest day
When we're miles away
So we'll come
We will find our way home

If you're lost and alone
Or you're sinking like a stone
Carry on
May your past be the sound
Of your feet upon the ground
Carry on

Carry on, carry on

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thank-you Skype

Well, I can't get out of the habit of posting my Thankfulness on Thursdays or I may end up forgetting more often.  And this is definitely one more that is more for me than it is for you.  It's something I'm not so good at and would like to make a habit of thinking this way on a daily basis.  SO, let me throw this post out there for today.  K, let me think....
1. Technology - more specifically Skype.  My husband has been out of town this week and we've been able to Skype every night and it's surprisingly nice to talk to a person that way rather than just on the phone. Not to mention the kids love it.
(crickets chirping) (I literally sat here for 5 minutes just thinking and I can't come up with any more!)
Ok, I don't know if I'm tired or what, but it's been a little bit of a downer 5 of husband being gone and I honestly can't think of anything else to write on my thankful list.  I mean, I'm thankful everyday for my family, but I just figured that was a given.   But really, this is sad. I'm stuck.  So I guess that's it for now.  I'm tempted to not post this at all, but then I guess it's good to be real. 
I can, however, go on about Skype a bit more.  My dad had been trying to get us to use a web cam for the longest time.  He lives far away and wanted to use it to chat with us.  BUT to be honest...I hate the way I look in those things! I'm so self conscious!  So I never did set it up and didn't really get what the big deal was anyway.  It seemed like talking on the phone was just as good.  But then my husband and I both have a Kindle Fire HD now and he got excited to try Skype out while he'd be out of town.  So I consented mainly to indulge him on this little gimmick.  But like I said, if you can get over the fact that you look a little distorted in the little window, it really is nice to SEE him and he said the same about me. ;)  So, thank you to Skype for making this week go a little better than I thought it would.

Keeping Your Love Alive

Maybe you are in a really good place right now with your marriage and you want to make sure it continues. Or maybe you have been feeling a little blah about it lately and need to rekindle the "spark". Whatever your reason, I'm sure we have all thought about HOW to keep a love going strong. I know for me specifically, I worry that we will get to a place again where my husband might feel vulnerable enough to draw on the attention that another woman might give him. I think it's common, being the betrayed spouse, to worry about being betrayed again.  I also think it's common thinking for people to say "that's just how marriage is" and to accept that the 'spark' has left the marriage. 
"Everything in life moves and changes, but for love relationships there is no 'way it is' anymore. We are finally learning how to 'make' and 'keep' love. And it is up to you and your spouse now to decide the way it will be in your relationship. Probably, if you don't actively care for your relationship, the gains you have fought for will fade. But love is like a language. If you speak it, it flows more and more easily. If you don't, then you start to lose it" (Dr. Sue Johnson from "Hold Me Tight")
We need to understand that love is a continual process of seeing and losing emotional connection, and reaching out to find it again.  We need to be deliberate and mindful about our love.  We need to treat it like we would a plant. If we don't attend to it, it will naturally begin to wither.
There are several things needed to Keep Your Love Alive, but today I am going to focus on the following:
"Planning rituals around the moments of separation and reunion in your daily lives. These rituals are a way of holding your relationship safe in a distracting and chaotic world.  We recognize this with our children when we habitually kiss them goodbye and hold and greet them when they return to us. Why not take the time to formally recognize our relationship with our spouse in the same way?" (Hold Me Tight)
These rituals help to show our spouse how important he or she is to you.  I would like to take a moment and brag about my husband, if that's ok with you.  For as long as I remember, he has always given me a kiss and hug before leaving for work.  I know that even if I'm not out of bed yet, that I can count on him to make the effort to come back to our room and give me kiss and say goodbye.  And it's makes me feel important to him.  I love and depend on moments like that! 
Regular small gestures that convey the message "You matter to me" go a long way in keeping a relationship safe.
1.   Give a kiss and say 'I love you' before leaving the house
2.   Cuddle for a few minutes before getting out of bed or before going to sleep
3.   When you get home, before you do anything else, give him/her a hug
4.   A quick call or text during the day to check in
5.   Saying a prayer together or as a family before separating for the day
6.   Eating breakfast together every day
7.   Having a family dinner ready at the table when one returns home from work
8.   Going to bed at the same time to cuddle and talk about what you did that day
9.   Making a lunch for him/her to take to work every day
10. Giving him/her a back rub while talking about what you did that day

While these ones might not be able to be done every day, they are still good ritual ideas:

11. Maintaining a regular date night, even if it's just once a month.
12. Recognizing special days, anniversaries, and birthdays in very personal ways
13. Read a book together and discuss it
14. Get away overnight without the kids
15. Take a class together once a year to learn something new or doing a project together

What are some of your rituals with your lover?!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Woman God Intended

I read a blog post this morning from Fancy Little Things called "Behind The Lens" and it inspired me to make my own post.  She talked about how magazine covers are constantly showing us that we aren't "enough" for society and not to mention the beauties on the covers can make us feel jealous when we do not look the same.  But we hopefully all know that every one of those photos have been doctored.  In her post, she has a picture of Faith Hill before and after for the magazine cover and I think she looks AMAZING in her before picture.  
For the after picture they had taken out all the wrinkles around her eyes.  I think that's a shame because I think our wrinkles make us who we are.  Thinking of that made me think of one of my favorite songs: Brandi Carlile's The Story. I first heard it as the credits played on the movie The Lucky One and instantly fell in love with it.

If you haven't heard it, please give it a listen.  Try to make it to 2:50 and just feel the passion.  Seriously an amazing love song. I love the first few lines:
All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
I agree that our wrinkles help to make us who we are.  And honestly, why should we be afraid of getting old? Our Heavenly Father created us just the way we are and loves us just the way we are.  I think it's important to be healthy...through exercise, healthy eating, good personal hygiene, etc, but I don't think it's necessary to over do it just because we want to look like someone else. I think it's time we be the women God intended us to be and not who the world wants us to be.

50 Random questions for a Family Road Trip

Random questions, random road trip questions, random family questions, fun date questions
We recently had a four hour drive for a family vacation and I had brought along the cards from the game "Loaded Questions" for my husband and I.  I asked one of the questions and next thing I know, my 6 year old jumped in to answer the question and wanted me to ask more.  Before I knew it, the rest of the kids were participating. It was so fun and it helped the time pass for everyone. These can also be used for around the campfire or while you're hanging out at home.  I did have to filter through the questions to make sure they were appropriate and so I made a list of favorites to share with you.  And don't forget that mom and dad should answer too! Have fun!
(On a side note, these questions can also be used for a date night in addition to my previous post, "50 Fun & Random Date Night/Road Trip Questions". ) 

1.  If you were granted one wish, what would you wish for?
2.  What would be a fun, new hobby?
3.  What is something you do everyday?
4.  What is your favorite game to play?
5.  What one word is fun to say?
6.  If you could cause the extinction of any two creatures, what/who would you choose?
7.  What kind of music makes you want to get up and sing?
8.  What could you eat ten of?
9.  Who are your two biggest heroes?
10.  If you went to the video store right now, what video would you want to rent?
11.  Where is the farthest place you ever traveled in a car
12.  Where is the worst place to be stuck waiting?
13.  If you were in line at the deli, what might you order?
14.  Where is the best place to take a family vacation?
15.  What is your favorite kind of doughnut?
16.  If you could be an expert on any one subject, what would it be?
17.  What two words come to mind when you hear the word "white"?
18.  What animal comes to mind when you think of the safari?
19.  What is the most dangerous occupation?
20.  What is the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
21.  If you were a 'tough guy/girl', what would your name be?
22.  What are your two favorite ice cream toppings?
23.  What is one thing you know more about than any other person in the room?
24.  If you had to pick, which o the Seven Dwarfs is most like you?
25.  If you could perform one heroic act, what would it be?
26.  If you could possess one animal-like quality, what would it be?
27.  What is your favorite store to shop at?
28.  What song would you love to hear on the radio when you're cruising on the highway?
29.  What is your best quality about yourself?
30.  If someone were to offer you an unlimited supply of one thing (besides money), what would you ask for?
31.  What is the best thing about being alone?
32.  What do you never leave home without?
33.  Who is your most admired athlete of all-time?
34.  If you owned a professional sports team, what would be your team name?
35.  What is your favorite Disney movie?
36.  What are you thankful you're not doing right now?
37.  What is your favorite kind of candy?
38.  What is your favorite thing about your country?
39.  What animal or insect disgusts you the most?
40.  What is your favorite thing about the beach?
41.  What is the funniest thing you've ever heard of?
42.  If you could attend any sporting event, what would it be?
43.  What is the most comforting sound?
44.  What is the wildest thing you would consider doing to your hair?
45.  What one word describes your bedroom?
46.  What would make a peaceful man go insane?
47.  What frightens you?
48.  What is the MUST SEE movie out right now?
49.  What part of the world doesn't really interest you?
50.  What is your favorite activity in the pool?

50 Fun & RANDOM date night/road trip questions!


I've been seeing a lot of blog posts floating around out there with titles like "50 questions to ask your spouse on a date night".  Almost all have the purpose of helping you get to know each other better, but also to give you something to talk about when your mind is drawing a blank.  That happens to me ALL. THE. TIME.  Sometimes all I can think to talk about is stuff about the kids or the schedule for the week, etc.  Or sometimes television and movies are used as the prime way of spending time together.  GUILTY!  I certainly love my shows and I love cuddling with my hubby, but I've learned how important it is to stay connected, and while it's ok to have TV and cuddle time, that's NOT going to cut it if that's all you do.  
I like these Fun and Random questions because they're not your typical questions you'll see in other posts, like "what is your favorite food, favorite hobby, biggest dreams" or sometimes the questions get really deep so that you can really dig into your relationship and what is happening there.  Don't get me wrong...the deep stuff is important too.  In fact, I may make a future post about my favorites from those lists. But this post is to give you some questions that are a little more fun and crazy, AND yet most of them will still help you get to know your spouse a little better.  Heck, you might even laugh about some of them.  And that's what you want have FUN together! ;)
"Research has found that people are happier when they have more fun in their lives. Studies have also shown that the most happily married couples are happy because they have a lot of fun together." -from 5 Tips To Increase The Fun In Your Marriage-
I found these from a board game we have. We were taking a 4 hour drive and so I just grabbed the box of cards that comes in it and left the rest of the game home.  We found that the questions on the cards not only helped us pass the time on the long drive, but we had a lot of fun with them! So whether you are hanging out in bed, out to dinner or on a road trip, have some fun with these random questions.

1. What movie deserves a sequel?
2. What one toy would you like to throw repeatedly at a brick wall?
3. What is one thing a woman should never do?
4. Who would you hate to see naked?
5. What is your favorite kind of cereal?
6. What is one thing you always wanted as a kid, but never got?
7. If you were in a witness protection program, what would be your alias?
8. What is the nicest thing someone else has done for you?
9. If you could bring someone famous back from the grave, who would you choose?
10. Where do you not mind waiting?
11. If you could lock up one person in a mental institution, who would it be?
12. What is your favorite potato chip flavor?
13. If you could project yourself into the past, were would you go?
14. What is your most impressive car repair skill?
15. What is the best sports stadium/arena you have been to?
16. What would you refuse to do for one million dollars?
17. If you were home on a rainy Sunday afternoon, what movie would you want to see on television?
18. What historical figure would you most like to have a discussion with?
19. If you could close one fast food chain, due to disgusting food, what would you pick?
20. What is one thing you refuse to share?
21. If you went to a psychiatrist, what would he/she say you suffer from?
22. If you could be on the cover of any magazine, what would you choose?
23. What makes you really sleepy?
24. What one thing annoys you most at a restaurant?
25. What do people do too much of today?
26. What is the most inspiring movie you have ever seen?
27. What household chore have you never done?
28. How do you like to relax?
29. In what part of the world would you hate to be by yourself?
30. To what would you like to devote more time?
31. What would be the best thing about not having a sense of smell?
32. Where would you not go back to for a vacation?
33. What is the scariest scene you remember from a kid's movie?
34. If you could dis-invent one thing, what would it be?
35. What always makes you a more confident person?
36. What is the greatest pain you have ever suffered?
37. If you could buy one object to complete your home, what would it be?
38. What was your favorite childhood game?
39. Who is the most famous person you have ever met?
40. If fat, calories, cholesterol, etc were not an issue, what two foods would you feast on?
41. If you could be a member of any TV-sitcom family, which would it be?
42. What is your favorite movie line or scene?
43. What part of your body could use a little lotion?
44. What language would you like to master?
45. If you were directing a movie, who would you cast as your leading man and woman?
46. Aside from lettuce, what are your two favorite salad ingredients?
47. If you had to dispose of a dead body, how would you do it?
48. Do you have a place where you would like to go and think? If so, where?
49. What is your favorite event in the Winter Olympics?
50. What profession have you always admired?

If you enjoyed these, you can find some more here:

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I'd rather dream about zombies

My husband and I watched Walking Dead's season 3 finale last night before we went to bed.  As we walked to our room in the dark, my husband proceeded to make zombie noises to try and scare me.  He got a good slap for that one.  Rude!
So WHY is it that I didn't dream about this horrifying show and instead dreamed about my husband having an affair??!!  I didn't dream about the details of the affair that's already destroyed me, I dreamed that I found out my husband was having consecutive affairs with different people over the entire course of our marriage.  One of the WORST. DREAMS. EVER!  And in my dream, he was having affairs with several women I knew and it was devastating to find this out because it was clear that my husband had some kind of problem that couldn't be fixed and I would have no choice but to leave him. It was almost like he was some kind of sociopath.

I never thought I'd say this, but I'd rather dream about zombies!!! 
I woke up in a sweat.  I hate when dreams feel so real.  When they start to make me question whether any part of them are true.  I looked in a dream dictionary for an interpretation and found this:
To dream that your mate, spouse, or significant other is cheating on you highlights your insecurities and your fears of being abandoned. You feel that you are being taken for granted. You are lacking attention in the relationship or that he or she is being less affectionate. Alternatively, you feel that you are not measuring up to the expectations of others. 
That is very interesting because I would agree that I still have a lot of fears and insecurities.  I've also been feeling like I don't get as much attention from him, now that more time has passed and we don't talk about the affair as much. I feel like I still need to be showered with love and attention all day every day! But of course that is not realistic...I mean, he has a job to go to.  But I still find myself wanting MORE from him.

Monday, April 15, 2013

My review of "Felicity"

Ok, this is part of my nerdy-ness, but I love television.  What can I say? And Netflix is a DREAM because I love watching the entire series at once and not having to wait 5 years before seeing the end! Everyone really should watch TV this way. ;) (and by the way I am always doing something while I watch so I feel productive...laundry, dishes, cooking, etc...just so you know. haha)
Anyway, I remember watching SOME Felicity back when it was airing.  I think my husband and I would watch occasionally after we were we probably only watched a season or two.  But we had watched enough to be able to recognize "Sean" and "Meghan" when we saw them together in the Salt Lake airport back around 2001 or something.  I'm not one that rushes to get autographs or anything, but my husband made me go say hello and tell them that we love Felicity. Greg Grunberg shook my hand. ;)
Anyway, I liked the first couple seasons because each episode would start and end with Felicity talking into a cassette tape that would be mailed to a friend and then we usually hear the friend talking in response at some point towards the end.  And in these "letters" they had some interesting things to say about life and I would write them down. Such as: 
"I'm convinced that tragedy wants to harden us.  And our mission is to never let it."
"I guess I'm learning little by little that we decide what our lives are going to be.  Things happen to us, but it's our reactions that matter."
"Bad things just happen.  No reason and no purpose.  They just occur and we are left to pick up the pieces.  I guess that's what we're all doing all the time.  Just picking up the pieces the best we can."
"I'm a firm believer in the power of change.  The hardest part about moving forward is not looking back."

So I was really enjoying these little pieces of inspiration, but then the last couple seasons changed.  They didn't do that anymore.  So I was a little disappointed that they didn't continue on that idea and on top of it all it got a little more depressing.  The characters really went through some crazy stuff.
So overall, if I have a rating from 0-5, I would give Felicity 3.5 stars.  I loved the characters...they did a great job with that. but I didn't like the turn that the story line took and then I didn't love how they ended it either.  It was creative, but seemed really weird for a show like this.  Worth watching if you need something to do. ;)


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Happy AND Sad

Every spring, it's always an amazing sight to see buds on the trees but yet snow on the mountains.  (Can you see the mountains in the background? It's kind of hard to tell) In fact, here in Salt Lake City it seems to have snowed the last week in April for the last few years I've lived here! Just because there are buds doesn't mean the snow is gone for good.

I'm amazed that two completely different things can exist at the same time.  When I think about this, I think about the feelings and thoughts that go through my head.  About how one moment I am hurt, angry and feeling like the pain will never end and then the next moment I can actually feel like my life is good and feel the love I have with my husband.  Two completely different feelings kind of playing tug-a-war inside my mind and heart and they can change back and forth in an instant.
I haven't read the book The Perks of Being A Wallflower, but I found this quote from it:
Of course I would prefer to be happy.  Who wouldn't?  But I also know that we could not know true happiness without feeling the sad, which makes it hard to not be grateful for the sad.  I'm just tired of the back and forth.  Can I just be TRULY happy for a long stretch of time? That's all I ask.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Pesto, Ham & Avacado Panini

Did you know today is National Grilled Cheese Day? Well it is and in honor of this day, I put made sure to put some cheese on my grilled Panini. ;)

Pesto makes anything taste good.  Wouldn't you agree?  I'm really not a sandwich girl.  If I'm at home, the last thing I want to make myself is a sandwich for lunch.  But if I can grill it, it makes it much more appealing to me.  I also just happened to have some pesto and an avocado in the fridge.  So I whipped this up and put it in my George Foreman and it was so warm and tasty that I thought I should share.


2 slices bread, any kind of your choosing
6 thin slices deli ham
1/4 avocado
1 slice provolone cheese
2 Tbsp pesto

Butter or oil the bread and then layer your sandwich.  If you don't have a Panini maker, just put it in a skillet on the stovetop at med heat. Enjoy! 

No more annoying cords!!

I found this amazing product one day when I was at the Pixels Foto & Frame (8934 S State St., Sandy, UT). 
It's called The APPLECORE!

We have so many electronics these days, that don't you find your house is just cluttered with cords!!?? I found these and I am in love. You can keep the cord the length you need it to be, but then wrap up the rest of it around the Applecore. Genius!! I love their tagline : "An applecore a day keeps the tangles away!"

You can find them online at Applecore International