Marriage Can Be Fun Again

make marriage fun again

When Nic and I started dating we had so much fun. We used to go to happy hour every week. We had so many karaoke nights with friends. Our trips were always tons of fun. Everything was an adventure. We’d also always laugh about things until we cried. I loved all of this about us.

When we had Kuya the fun continued. Kuya loved adventure as much as we did. He was also such a happy baby. So happy that we knew we wanted another one.

When Sissy Boo entered the world she was ready to take it on. She was serious and cautious. She didn’t quite find as much fun in exploring and adventure. Because she was the baby a lot of attention was of course given to her. This naturally changed the dynamics of our family. Additionally, having two kids under two was so much harder than we expected.

Going Through the Motions

When you’ve been together for almost ten years and you have two toddlers your relationship will likely change. It’s hard to find time to have fun when the babies are hungry, cranky, or need to use the bathroom. Usually one or more of these three things is happening at any given time. Throw laundry and dishes on top of that and your life begins to feel like a stagnant to-do list.

Simply going through the motions of marriage and family life can make life mundane. So many of us end up doing it, however. So many of us that we begin to believe that that’s just how life is.

Most of the people I know in Minnesota are married with kids. Nic and I don’t regularly hang out with couples without children. While we were here in Hawaii, however, my sister Michelle and brother-in-law Mike who do not yet have kids spent eight days with us. Spending this time with them made me realize how important it is to have fun in my marriage.

It’s the Little Things

Michelle and Mike spent a lot of time with us in Hawaii. They also went off and had adventures on their own. They had a blast, just the two of them. It made me remember the childless days Nic and I had. It wasn’t not having kids that I missed. It was finding fun in all of the little things.

One thing that Michelle and Mike brought with them was a card game called Phase 10. They were adamant about all four of us playing when the kids went to sleep. I admit that I had very low expectations. I didn’t think it’d be that fun. At least not as fun as they were describing it. Additionally, I often fell asleep with the kids, so it took a while before I actually stayed up to play.

What I discovered once we were able to play was that I really liked the game. It had probably been years since Nic and I played a card game. Nic and I were really enjoying ourselves and having fun. So much fun that for the next few nights we played the game ourselves even when Michelle and Mike weren’t there. Our competitiveness and egging one another on — these were the little things we used to do to keep things fun. It had been so long that I had completely forgot about them.

Find Your Fun

It doesn’t take much for Nic and I to have fun together. Despite this, we haven’t had fun like this in a while. When we do get a moment to ourselves it’s usually spent watching a movie or going out to eat. Both of which can be fun, but not necessarily fun fun. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard to find time to have fun together. Especially with two kids as different as ours. But, this whole trip and this realization made me remember how important it is. How I need to make and find the time.

One day the kids will grow up and be more independent. If we don’t find time to have fun now while they’re young, we’ll have no idea what to do with one another when they’re older. My relationship with myself is the most important relationship I have. Second is my relationship with Nic. I often forget this and put the kids second. I think a lot of us parents do. However, if your marriage isn’t strong, then your family can’t be strong.

After Michelle and Mike left we bought Phase 10 🙂 However, we haven’t played it yet because I’ve fallen asleep every single night since. The first night we bought it I told Nic to wake me up if I fell asleep. To shake me if he had to. Last night I asked him why he didn’t wake me up. He said he shook my arm so hard, but I just rolled over. We both had a good laugh about it. Tonight I’m determined to play and kick his butt. Wish me luck!

Face Your Fears

face and conquer your fearsI’m not necessarily an adventurous person. I’ve always played life safe and stayed in my comfort zone. This year, however I am especially committed to learning to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. When we step out of our comfort zones and face our fears, we not only grow, but our minds realize the potential and power we truly have. I don’t want to leave Hawaii with any regrets. So far, thankfully I won’t be.

Be Your True Self

be your true self

Last week the family and I hiked Makapu’u Point trail. This trail is on the southeast side of Oahu. It was the most breathtaking hike I’ve ever been on in my life. Not only because of the gorgeous views, but because of the whales.

It’s currently whale season in Hawaii. Whales are spending their time here breeding, caring for and nursing their young. They will eventually swim to Alaska from April on. On our hike we saw numerous whales jumping up in the air, flapping their tails, and blowing water out of their blow holes.

Overcoming Adversity

Overcoming and living through adversity

Every time you do something out of your comfort zone you will face adversity. Adversity includes an array of obstacles and challenges. They often make themselves apparent, especially in times when you’ve set out to accomplish a huge goal.

The Boston Celtics of the 2007-2008  season made overcoming adversity their slogan. They came back from a 20+ point deficit to beat the Lakers in a crucial finals game. The Celtics also went on to win the NBA championship that season. They had a mission in their hearts that no one but them believed. Even when the outside forces were working against them they used this determination to prevail.

Tame Your Ego

tame your ego. learn to ask for help.

When working on cultivating the mind to your advantage there are many things that can stand in the way. The ego is one of the biggest things. Most of us have grown up to believe that the ego is who we are. We trust it more than anything else. Yet, the ego’s only purpose is to protect us from danger. True danger.

Although we probably feel like the world is a dangerous place today, it’s really quite safe. Quite safe when compared to the times of those before us. We no longer run from wild animals. We live pretty safe and sheltered lives.

Stop Being Wishy Washy: Make Stronger Decisions

how to make stronger decisions

We currently live in a world where our choices are abundant. As a result I’ve had the tendency to be lukewarm about almost everything. Being in the middle was safe. It left me in a position where I did not have to make a strong decision. If I wasn’t being lukewarm, I’d make a decision and then spend minutes questioning if I made the right one. Or I’d go back and forth changing my mind.

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to stop this. I wanted to start making strong decisions. Once a decision was made, I would stick to it, not question it, and see it to fruition.

Setting Intentions and the Power of Your Mind

The power of your mind

Yesterday I announced through Facebook and Instagram that starting next week my family and I will be spending a month in Hawaii. I could not be more excited. I’ve been talking a lot this year about my journey toward self-love. At the heart of this journey has been the cultivating, changing and discovering of the power of my mind. Through this power, I set intentions for my life. This Hawaii trip has been an intention that I’ve had for over a year. Actually much longer than that if I’m honest

Why You Should Stop Feeling Guilty

stop feeling guilty

Earlier this week I discussed judgment and how this prevents us from loving ourselves and others. Guilt and judgment often go hand in hand. Only when you judge can you feel guilty. Far too many of us walk around feeling guilty. We feel guilty for not being enough. Guilt builds within us because we don’t believe we are the best spouses or the best parents. But like judgment, guilt really provides us with no benefits.

When I left my conventional job my goal was to spend more time with my kids. I did that and it was wonderful. However, any minute that I was not with my kids I felt guilty. Whether it was going out with my girlfriends or just having some me time. I gave up the life I knew in order to have time with these children. Guilt had me feeling like I needed to be with them every waking minute.

Stop Judging Yourself and Others

stop judging yourself and others

Last night was a disappointing night for the Minnesota Vikings and their fans. The team was only one win away from the possibility of going to the Super Bowl. As it became clear that the Vikings would not win last night’s game the disappointment was natural. With this disappointment, however came judgment. Judgment about the team not playing well enough. Judgment about the Vikings franchise. While fans everywhere judged the players and the team, what many probably failed to realize was that there was a set of people judging even more than them. The players and the team themselves.

You Are Not Your Past

you are not your past. You can change your future.

Most of us have been who we are for over 20 years. For 20+ years people have known us to be sarcastic, funny, selfless or whatever characteristics we and others might use to describe ourselves. We have a past and a history. When we focus on loving ourselves this might change “who we are.” And change is always uncomfortable.

My general history includes an entire people (the Hmong) who were used to persecution. We were chased out of China, lived in the hills of Southeast Asia, and always told we were never worthy enough. As a woman in my culture loving yourself is unheard of.