5 Fun DIY Valentine’s Ideas For Nice Husbands

PresentMy husband has his good qualities and his bad qualities. Whereas I would use a sponge until it disintegrated into small, blue, smelly shreds, he always makes sure we have a new one. On the other hand, he puts his water glass down SO LOUDLY in the middle of the night. Wakes me up every time.

Still, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve a nice Valentine’s Day gift. We said we weren’t exchanging this year, but I’m considering a few of these more creative ideas anyway.

1. The Romantic Gesture: Admit it, guys. You like candles and rose petals as much as we do. Seriously, I’ve done this for my hubby and he once asked when I was planning to do it again.

2. Penny Keepsake: This amazing keychain idea combines two penines — one with the year you met and one with the year you were married — with an inscribed decorative copper disc. I think my message would say: “You’re stuck with me.”

3. Treasure Hunt: Arrange a treasure hunt for your love that leads him toward an awesome gift. Ideas include tickets to a game, a fancy dinner or something racier.

4. Home Cooking Class: I don’t want to brag, but I have a great man, and he’s currently learning to cook better. He always wants me to show him how to perform various kitchen tasks, so why not combine that with some wine and make a great evening out of it? Get the nicest ingredients for a special meal, like rack of lamb with rosemary potatoes.

5. Beer Brewing Kit: Dudes love crafts too, just not the same ones we usually do. Sure to be a hit? A kit for DIY brews. I’m doing this one for the birthday, so I’ll let you know how it turns out!

The Dream of Marriage

HappyWivesClubThis post is part of the Happy Wives Club Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with hundreds of inspiring bloggers. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! 

I’ll admit it: I got married because it’s the thing to do. Not so much if you’re a man. If you’re a woman, however, getting a guy to propose to you is one of the best things you can do to prove your worth to the world and to your own self. I accomplished it young, with a pretty ring and all the trimmings. It was a huge accomplishment, a societal milestone that most American women are taught they ought to reach.

This sounds depressing, like the post I wrote yesterday: I’m Still Married Because I Admit When It Sucks. If you stopped reading right now, you might think my marriage was a sham, one of convenience or ego, or that I felt stuck in something unhealthy. But that’s not true at all.

I didn’t jump into a hasty marriage, nor do I regret it today: I’m with a wonderful, handsome, charming man whom everybody loves (though no one more than I). We have a beautiful daughter and a son on the way. We’re happy, healthy, safe, secure. I fall more deeply in love with him every day, and I know that getting married has something to do with it.

Seven years ago, when I got engaged, this would have surprised me. After all, I consider myself a liberated woman who doesn’t need a man to survive. I can work, I have means, I have brains. Marriage in many ways is an outdated institution that is supposed to relieve fathers of their daughters, physically and financially, so what did it really have to do with me? I wanted the trappings of marriage — the ring, the wedding, the white dress — but didn’t think our relationship would change much. No one, after all, was “giving me away.” I was already mine.

Imagine my surprise to find out that marriage actually improved my relationship many times over. No more telling myself I could quit. No more pretending I had other options. And honestly, something about the institution itself made me want to respect my relationship more: marriage is bigger, better, badder, older than I’ll ever be. It isn’t wise to flout something with so much history, I felt.

I stand improved by my marriage, and faintly embarrassed for the naivite that made me think walking down the aisle wouldn’t change my life forever. It has. It’s also made me think about what we tell young girls today, because the message is now muddled and contradictory. We should marry for love, but not too young, which means denying possibilities at happiness based on age alone. We’re more worthwhile if we’re married, but don’t need anyone to define our worth. The old taboos are gone, but wait! Don’t have kids until you’re married.

It’s all very confusing, and could stand some time under the microscope. What about you? Did you get married for the “right” reasons or the “wrong” ones? How has it affected your happiness, changed your dreams?

Fawn Weaver, the founder of the Happy Wives Club wrote a book about the best marriage secrets the world has to offer. They say the book is like “Eat, Pray, Love meets The 5 Love Languages.” I say the book is inspiring. You can grab a copy HERE.

I’m Still Married Because I Admit When It Sucks

HWClub_BlogButnA_400x100This post is part of the Happy Wives Club Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with hundreds of inspiring bloggers. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! 

That’s right. You heard me. I’m still married because when it sucks, I call it for what it is:

Pure, unadulterated suckiness.

People are often impressed to hear that I’ve been with my husband for 10 years, since I was 19. That doesn’t happen as often as it used to, and a lot of my friends are still searching for the perfect someone. So I’m proud to call this marriage my own. But, then, being with one person can be trying. It has its ups and downs, highs and lows, peaks and valleys. If you will.

Most of the time, of course, I’m very, very, very happy with my husband. Deliriously happy. Crazy happy. He is a dream I’ve achieved, and that’s a good feeling.

But I’ve been with him for a long time, and things start to add up, so all told a lot of that time has been sucky. Not actively sucky, necessarily. Maybe sometimes a little sad, sometimes a little boring, sometimes a little more compromise-y than I’d like. Sometimes terrible, too.

And when that happens, I try not to hide from it. I don’t tell myself it’s a phase, because it isn’t. I don’t pretend not be be angry (though I bet he wishes I would).

It sounds strange to say this is a secret of marriage, admitting when things are really, really lame, but it is. Danielle LaPorte said it better than I ever could when she wrote that there is euphoria in admitting what sucks. What isn’t working.

“Don’t worry about how you’re going to fix what’s broke,” she writes. “Just notice what sucks with ruthless honesty.”

And that’s great advice. In her view, this often leads to breakthroughs where people realize, Oh my goodness, this life is totally wrong for me. I don’t want to be in this business. I don’t need a storefront to sell my merchandise, I don’t want to hate Sunday nights any longer.

“Quitting is a form of enlightenment, I tell ya.” To me, this doesn’t mean quitting my marriage, but rather quitting what breaks it. Quitting bad behaviors. Quitting my tendency to pretend things are alright when they aren’t, or that I’m behaving well when I’m not. Either way, I call it when it sucks. That way I avoid the pitfall of, as Danielle says, “planting misery seeds today and [expecting] to get a juicy crop next season.”

Because that ain’t never gonna work.

Fawn Weaver, the founder of the Happy Wives Club wrote a book about the best marriage secrets the world has to offer. They say the book is like “Eat, Pray, Love meets The 5 Love Languages.” I say the book is inspiring. You can grab a copy HERE.

Remembering Your Real Dreams: Why I Love My Husband

HWClub_BlogButnA_400x100This post is part of the Happy Wives Club Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with hundreds of inspiring bloggers. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! 

It’s funny how infrequently I stop to count my blessings.

Don’t get me wrong, I do it every night. I do it when I have a hard morning with my daughter, when I have to get on a plane (which always feels like my last day on Planet Earth), or when I receive unwanted — but probably justified — feedback at work. But really, I ought to be counting them all the time, and I don’t.

This is particularly true when it comes to my career. I spend a lot of time — a LOT — lamenting the fact that I haven’t made it yet. Of course, it’s understandable to have dreams that aren’t fulfilled. I’m only 29. My best friends are still figuring out what they want to do with their lives, and the ones that have made it are now considering whether they cultivated the right dreams, hunted the right game. Maybe they did, and are just suffering from the “arrival fallacy,” which says that getting there is never really as good as we imagine it will be. Never as fulfilling, never as easy, never as glamorous. Or maybe we’re just young and striving is the nature of the beast.

The point is, in the face of all I want to do, it’s hard to remember how many of my goals I have accomplished. I’ve been with my husband for more than 10 years, married more than five. I love him dearly, we have a good life, a beautiful daughter, a son on the way. I’m grateful, so grateful. But somehow, never quite grateful enough, it seems.

As Kelly Cutrone says in her book If You Have to Cry, Go Outside, the unavoidable truth is that in the real world things don’t always come in the order we’re taught to expect them. She goes on to point out that women are supposed to become successful and earn money before they settle down. Married? Congrats! Kids? Great! Hope your career’s already in the bag, though, because it’s going nowhere now.

Well, I don’t buy that. My husband is my biggest fan, best support, most immovable rock. His faith in me is unshakable, and if I do one day accomplish my dreams, it will be in no small part because of him.

The lesson? Kelly Cutrone is right: life doesn’t have to happen in the order we’re taught it will. A happy marriage with a wonderful man (or woman) only relegates a girl in the Stone Age if she lets it. Me? I’m going to get that career, accomplish those dreams, with my husband at my side. He doesn’t hold me back: He helps me fly higher.

Fawn Weaver, the founder of the Happy Wives Club wrote a book about the best marriage secrets the world has to offer. They say the book is like “Eat, Pray, Love meets The 5 Love Languages.” I say the book is inspiring. You can grab a copy HERE.