Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yet Another Break

As you all may have noticed, I did not post on Monday. We had a very busy weekend at our church with our annual Christmas presentation and the time simply got away from me. With that said I think I am going to take a bit of a break from blogging. Christmas is in just a few short days and with that comes Christmas break for my kids and they will be out of school for two weeks. So i've decided to have my break right along with them! I'll have to keep up with things around the house while they're home of course but i'd like to take as many responsibilities off of my list as possible in order to spend as much time playing with them as I can. I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I look forward to seeing you all again in 2012! :o)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Marriage Is Like A Road Trip

My husband loves cars, always has and probably always will. One of the best parts of a vacation to him is the road trip and I think if we just flew somewhere he'd be utterly disappointed! So when I came across this paper today talking about this topic I knew I just had to share it. We were a part of our church's couples group for about four years and learned SO much during that time, things we've put into practice in our marriage and this particular topic is no different.

How to keep from going in the ditch.

1. Stay in your own lane... Give each other space.
Now, I am all about sharing every part of your life with your spouse and am in no way advocating living separate lives! But you know what? Sometimes you just need a little time to yourself. If your spouse has had a difficult day, give them some time alone. Let them have a little quite time in the room before bombarding them with all the things going on around the house.

2. Yield signs are there for your protection... Validate each others opinions, thoughts and quirks.
You know that sign on the road as you're going around a curve that says "SLOW"? I wish in marriage we all had one of those to hold up at times! There are just some times in conversations that we can get ourselves in trouble by simply putting our foot in our mouth and saying the wrong thing. Having our spouse hold up that "SLOW" sign as we're starting to say something stupid sure would be helpful! As it is, we simply have to watch for those signs ourselves. Pay attention to what your spouse is saying and learn to not only read them and how they're feeling about something, but also take that reading to heart.

3. When you find yourself at an empass...slow down...get there alive...take another route.
There is absolutely nothing in marriage that has only one way of handling it. It doesn't matter if you're dealing with a big issue like in-laws and finances or something simple like what you're going to eat for dinner, there is always more than one option and more than one way to get to peaceful ground. If the way you're doing something or a decision you've made is bringing nothing but conflict, find another way to do it. It really is ok! Solving the conflict is the important part, not how you solved it.

4. Don't play chicken!
I think that is one of the dumbest games ever! It's explained as "a game in which two drivers drive towards each other on a collision course: one must swerve, or both may die in the crash, but if one driver swerves and the other does not, the one who swerved will be called a "chicken," meaning a coward". Can you honestly see anything good ever coming out of something like that? In marriage that "game" and type of thinking has absolutely no place whatsoever!

5. Road rage is misspent anger.
This one probably hit me the hardest. I am so bad at taking my anger out on my husband. I can be angry at something one of the kids did or something that happened during the day, and as soon as my husband gets home I finally let it all out on him. Let me tell you...nothing good ever comes from that! It doesn't in my marriage and it won't in your marriage. I promise! learn to get control of your anger and not spew it all over your spouse.

6. Exit ramps should be approached with caution.
This is a big one in todays society. It seems like everyone is looking for a way out of their marriage and anything their spouse does can be a cause for divorce. Getting out of your marriage, or even thinking about getting out, should be something that is approached with great caution and care. It should never be a rushed decision made in the heat of a moment. It should never be something biased on your feelings. And it should never be done without the guidance and counsel of someone in spiritual authority such as a pastor. When you get alone and make decisions like this by yourself, you open yourself up to all kinds of bad choices!

So there you go, 6 steps to help your marriage avoid going in the ditch! What are some things you've used to help keep your marriage on track?

Monday, December 12, 2011


A couple of weeks ago I posted something (and did just a little venting) about Santa on my facebook and I think I left some people a little confused about what I think. So since I have a place where I can talk about these things, I just decided to go into a little explanation!

In our house we don't do Santa with our kids and never have. We've told them from the beginning that he isn't real and the men they see dressed up as Santa are men in costumes very much like the men in Mickey Mouse costumes at Disney World. We have also explained to them very seriously that many other kids do believe in Santa and they are NOT to tell them that he isn't real. Since the older kids are in school we've had a little harder time keeping them from telling other kids but we still give it our best shot.

However, not everyone else is as courteous about this issue when it comes to my children. On several different occasions I have had people tell my kids that he is real and I was wrong, and one went so far as to tell them flat out that I was lying to them. This is where my frustration came from when I posted on facebook. When you ask a child what Santa is bringing them for Christmas and they respond with "He's not real. Mommy and daddy buy our presents." no one should ever tell that child that their parents are lying to them and Santa is real!

Now I completely understand that many other people do the whole Santa thing at Christmas and it's a really big deal in their house. And you know what? I don't care! It does not bother me or matter to me at all. One of my closest friends does Santa with her children and it honestly doesn't bother me even a tiny little bit. It is a choice she makes for her family just like it was a choice we made for ours.

There are so many things in this world to spend your time focusing on and I just don't think that Santa Clause should be one of them. Each family should be able to decide for themselves what they want to do with their children without feeling judged by others. Come on, life is too hard without adding extra stress about Santa! Let's leave that decision to each individual family without making them feel ridiculous one way or the other. And I will add, if you come across a child who doesn't believe in Santa, please don't tell them their mommy is lying to them!

I believe that as Christians we celebrate Christmas as Jesus' birthday (I know there's a lot of history there but this is why we celebrate it today). That's the basic bottom line for believers. If some of you want to throw Santa in there and have a "Santa gift" under your tree as well, it should matter to no one but you and your family. This is a time of year to celebrate the gift of Jesus and yet so many people get so busy judging each other for either doing or not doing Santa and I think it's just ridiculous!

Let's just put all of that aside this year and focus on the reason that we as Christians celebrate this season, and let's leave all the rest of it to each individual family to decide what else they want to bring into the holiday.

When the angels came to the shepherds to tell them about the birth of Jesus, one thing they said was "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men". That should be our focus this season, not whether or not other families do things the same way you do. Let's turn our eyes to Jesus and focus on the gift He gave, and do everything you can to keep peace with those around you this season.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fun Friday: Date Night On A Dime

It's been awhile since i've done my Fun Friday posts but i'm finally bringing them back! For those of you who are new around here, what I like to do on Fridays is post about things you want to hear about. You can leave comments here on my blog, or on my Facebook page or you can email me with any thoughts or questions at joinmeforcoffeeblog(at)gmail(dot)com. So moving right along...

This week let's talk about date night on a dime! I love date nights with my hubby, they're just some of my favorite nights of the week. We are very blessed to have our Friday nights to ourselves almost every week while my kids enjoy some time with their Nana, and it really gives Colby and I a chance to relax, unwind and reconnect. But date nights can get pretty pricey if you're not careful and sometimes it seems like unless you spend a ton of money there isn't much to do. Well we have never had a bunch of money to spend on a date and we live in a town where the only thing to do really is eat so we probably couldn't spend much on a date even if we wanted to! So when a friend on facebook suggested this idea for a Fun Friday topic I thought it sounded like a great idea!

Now, my husband and I are fairly plain Jane when it comes to dates. For the most part we're happy to sit on the couch in our jammies and watch a movie without being interrupted 20 times by our children! So I will say that some of these ideas are things that we ourselves have not done, but I do think i'll be adding them to the list of things to do in the future.

The basic: dinner and a movie.
This can actually be a really cheap date night! If you get a frozen pizza, box of popcorn and a movie from Redbox you're looking at a date night for about $10. Need it to be even cheaper? Cut out the pizza and make something you already have on hand. If you do that and find some popcorn for around $2, you're looking your date night only costing you about $4. That's pretty cheap!

Star gazing.
Not only can this be really fun, but staring up at the stars can also be pretty romantic. Lay out a blanket and count the stars or see if you can find any constellations. Spend some of your time just talking. It's so hard sometimes to sit aside specific time to just talk so this would be a prefect opportunity.

Have a marshmallow fight.
Each of you get a bag of marshmallows and have an all out marshmallow fight! Then after you finish you can light a fire (or do like us and sit at the stove) and roast some marshmallows or make smores!

Take a walk or go jogging.
Again, this is just spending some one on one time together without any other distractions. Set aside that time to just talk, it's so important!

Have "his" and "her" nights.
Each of you take turns planning a date night and cooking the meal, get creative and try something new. But make sure only one of you oversees everything that evening.

Go for a picnic in the park.
Go all out! Take a blanket, picnic basket (if you have one) as much food as you can and sit on the ground for an all out picnic! When you're done, spend some time playing on the play ground, swing on the swings and slid down the slides. Remember what it was like to be a kid on those swings and enjoy it now with your spouse.

These are just a few simple ideaa to kinda get you jump started. Do any of you have any cheap date night ideas? I'd love to hear them so please, leave them in the comments!

Each Friday I tackle the thoughts and questions of my readers. If there is something you would like me to discuss feel free to either leave a comment below, leave a comment on my Facebook Page or email me at joinmeforcoffeeblog(at)gmail(dot)com.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I know I just did this last week but I wanted to share another old post. I wrote this almost two years ago and it's always been one of my favorites, I only had about 10 followers when I wrote this so I just decided to dig it out again!

Just one mom's perspective

I recently took some time-while folding laundry-to rewatch the "Anne Of Green Gables" movies and fell in love with Anne all over again! I haven't watched those movies in such a long time and it brought back so many memories, I think I laughed harder, and cried harder for that matter, this time than I ever have before. Now that I’m older and get so much more of it the whole thing just came so much more alive for me. I remembered being a little girl and having the imagination of Anne and even wishing I could be her, she had a much more interesting life than I did and she had red hair! I would've loved to have red hair, it would've been much better than plain old dirty blonde!

One of my favorite scenes in the whole movie is where a mouse drowns in the sauce for the plum pudding that they were making for dinner that evening. She tries so hard to tell Marillla that she was imagining she was a nun....and forgot to put the cover on the sauce and a mouse drowned in it. That was me as a kid! I had a poster hanging over my bed that said "I mean to work hard Lord, but I keep running across things that are much more fun to do!" That was my life! I lived in my books and in my imagination. I thought there was nothing greater in the world than putting on my dress up clothes and walking into my world of make-believe.

However I lived in my world of make-believe for far to long, I took it with me into my teen years and even the early years of my marriage. I grew up planning what my life would be like and what kind of husband I would have, all the romantic things he would say and the 1000's of times he would bring home roses. I was going to keep a perfect house and raise the perfect children who of course would always look liked they just stepped out of a children's clothing add and would never dream of disobeying me! I of course would be the perfect american housewife, I would always be dressed in the latest fashions and keep a spotless house, and of course there would be a beautifully cooked meal on the table for breakfast lunch and dinner every single day! My christian walk would be picture perfect, I’d never miss a day in my bible reading and would be known among my friends as the "perfect Christian"! I would also be the perfect mother; I’d never ever lose my temper with my children who were just as perfect as I was. After all, they would have me as a role model, why wouldn't they be perfect?!

To that description all I have to say is....HA! I would love to say that I just described our home to you but I didn't even come close! While yes my husband is amazing, he sadly doesn't sit around all day dreaming up romantic things to say to me, nor does he come home with a huge bouquet of flowers each and every week! He loves to sit and watch tv or work on the computer instead of listing all my charming attributes, imagine that! My home is far from perfect! The outside needs painted and patched in several places, it is far from the dream house I’d always planned on; and the inside? Lets just say you can tell 3 kids live here! As for those 3 kids, they are amazing and absolutely the cutest kids in the world-in my humble opinion!-but they are hardly ever fixed up and perfect looking. On the rare occasion that they are fixed up just right with every hair in place, it usually only lasts until I place the finishing touches on them if that long. They don't mind me all the time and have been known to throw some royal fits! Which is of course shocking, after all, they do have me for a role model. Why aren't they perfect children?! Oh yeah, they have me for a role model...

I, sadly, am not the perfect american housewife that I planned to be. I am not always dressed perfectly; in fact right now I am still in my pj's drinking my coffee! I don't think my house has ever been spotless and I have NEVER served a beautiful breakfast, lunch and dinner all in one day! I am not a perfect mom, and sadly, I often lose my temper with at least one of the kids and even my husband! I am far from perfect and have made some pretty huge mistakes in my life. But you know what? I'm ok with all this. I will never be mistaken for Martha Stewart for my elegant home or Julia Child for my gourmet cooking; you will also never see me on the cover of a fashion magazine and I’m ok with that. I'll probably never be up for Mother of the Year, and I sure won't be known as the best and most perfect wife, and I’m ok with that. And would you believe it? I'm not a perfect Christian! I actually go days without reading my bible and even sometimes would just rather stay home and sleep than get up at 6:30 in the morning to go to church!

See my goals for my life have changed, I no longer try to be all those things and I no longer expect all those things from my husband or kids. I have accepted the fact that I am not a gourmet chef or a wonderful house keeper-I actually rather hate cleaning! I'm also not the world’s greatest mom and I’ve even stopped trying to be. I no longer expect perfection from my children or endless romance from my husband. I'm learning to accept each of them for who they are with all their strengths as well as all their weakness. After all, that's what I want from them!

You know, I’m not the perfect mom and yes I do lose my temper way to often with my kids but you know what? There is no one in the world who loves my kids more than I do and no one who will try harder to make their dreams come true for them-excluding my husband of course! My new goal is to always hold them when they cry, to laugh at their silly jokes, to do everything I can to encourage their dreams and to teach them everything I can about having a personal relationship with Christ! As for that "perfect Christian" stuff?! Once again...HA! I could sit here all day long and name every sin I’ve ever committed and never even finish. I don't know how many times I’ve asked for forgiveness because I’ve committed the same stupid sin once again! But thankfully my Heavenly Father is incredibly forgiving, He allows me to come to Him each and every time and willingly offers forgiveness, love and grace each time I mess up.

I don't know if anyone else has ever dealt with these things or if anyone will even be able to relate to what I’m talking about but if you can I want to say something specifically to you....Relax! Take some time right now and breath. Stop trying to be everything for everyone and just be who you really are! No one will ever be Jamie like I can be Jamie! No one will ever be you like you can be you! I've taken some time lately and still am in fact trying to figure out what I want from my life-Martha Stewart and Julia Child aside-and while I may never have it all figured out I am getting some of it figured out. I challenge you to do the same.

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's About The Same Person

Some time ago I was perusing books at the christian book store and I saw THIS book titled "The Coffee Mom's Devotional". Being the coffee lover that I am I picked it up and started skimming through it. I didn't end up getting it but I did find a quote that has stayed with me. "A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person." by Mignon McLaughlin

I absolutely loved that! How often have you heard about someone getting divorced because "They fell out of love" or they're just " incompatible"? It seems to be one of the most common reasons for divorce these days, marriage is all fine and dandy as long as the gooshy in love feelings are there. But once real life kicks in and things get really hard, that's when you find out what your marriage is really made of! So often people choose to simply walk away and find a new spouse to be "in love" with.

I love my husband. I often get those gooshy feelings about him and he can still make my toes curl with a kiss. But i'll be very honest here, it hasn't always been that way between us. We have had times where we weren't "in love" with each other and during those times it was easy to think our marriage wasn't going to make it. Walking away would have been the easy choice. Sure, it would have hurt at the time and our kids of course would have been affected by it but we still could have done it. But instead of choosing to walk away we chose to dig in and fight harder. We chose to remember why we had gotten married in the first place, dig deep down where it had been buried and uncover the love we had for each other. And through those times, we fell in love with each other all over again.

If you're in a situation that is anything like this (because I know we were not the only ones to ever face this) I so strongly encourage you to not give up! It may seem like you've been fighting for your marriage for long enough and it's just time to give up but I beg of you, fight longer. Take some time and remember what it was about your spouse that you fell in love with to begin with. What did they do or say that made you go weak at the knees? What was it about them that drew you to them? Is there even a tiny glimmer of that still in them? If not, take the time to look for a positive characteristic that they have and put all of your focus on that. Encourage that in them and build that up. As I posted HERE you have the choice of who you talk to in your spouse, either the king/queen in them or the fool in them. I believe that every time you talk to the king/queen in them and see that rise up all over again it also causes that love to rise up as well.

Now think about your situation...where are you at in love with your spouse? Is this something you are struggling with? Do you need to fall in love with them all over again? I encourage you to give this situation, and your entire marriage, over to God. Ask Him to stir that love for your spouse up in you. You don't have to walk away and find a new spouse to be in love! Learn to once again love the spouse God gave you. It's often been said that love is a choice and I believe that with everything in me. You have to wake up everyday and choose to love your spouse. Regardless of what they do, I really do believe that the choice is up to you.