~This post is sponsored, but all opinions are my own. ~
It has come to my attention that children take up quite a bit of their parents’ time.
(That’s meant to be read humorously 😉 )
If you are a parent you learned this from the day your pregnancy stick turned pink on both lines.
What has also come to my attention is that parents often times forget the importance of spending time with each other alone or doing something for the other. This is a huge passion of mine and if you’ve known me for any length of time, you know how important my husband is to me and that we strive to do things together. If your marriage is put first and worked on, your children thrive because of it.
So let’s talk about Valentine’s Day. What are some things you can do TOGETHER or for EACH OTHER? I teamed up with a couple of my favorite bloggers and gift company to give you 5 ideas for making this day special!
- Give the kids the day, you and your spouse the night. Alternatively, give the kids the evening if you and your husband work during the day and you and your husband the night. I know mom guilt can be real and it is so fun to spend these holidays with our kids. So do that! If you are home all day with your kids, celebrate with them. When dad gets home, give him valentines from the kids and maybe special cookies that your kids made. If you all are getting home at dinner time, maybe make a special valentine dinner for your family (but don’t eat too much…see number 2) and then put the kids to bed a little early. It might mean they wake up a little earlier February 15th, but it will also mean you get a longer stretch with your husband and I think that’s worth it.
- Plan a special meal. If you have the option to go out, go for it! But that does not have to happen. My husband and I have since started a tradition of getting sushi take-out style. We feed Emmett ahead of time and wait to eat alone. Really, when was the last time you ate and did not have to say “pick up your fork,” “No, that does not go in your mouth” or didn’t speed eat because the baby needed to be nursed? It truly is a wonderful thing.
- Get a special gift. I don’t think presents are overrated on Valentine’s Day. My love language is gifts (giving and receiving) and when I find the perfect gift (which guys, I’m not gonna brag, but I am a pretty awesome gift giver) I get SO excited. It took everything inside me to not tell my husband about this gift. This year I got Jake a star constellation map from Under Lucky Stars. This website lets you pick the date, time, and location of your choosing and then sends you a poster of the constellations from those specifications. How cool is that!? I picked our wedding day and the time our ceremony began. It turned out SO beautiful and was such a fun surprise to give.
(Under Lucky Stars is so amazing that I have a code to share with you guys for $10 off your purchase. code: WAVESANDLILACS_STARS)
4. Surprise your spouse at work. “Surprise your spouse with coffee at work,” says Tori from Raising Our Stakes. This is a GREAT way of showing your love for your spouse in front of your children while involving them as well.
5. Recreate a (pre-kids) date night. “Recreate one of your dates pre-baby/kids…it brings up memories and conversations and you feel all the butterflies again,” says Bethany from La Vida Vera. I am sure from all the weeks to years of dating your significant other, you have a couple favorite dates that stand out. (You probably also had a lot more time to plan them before having kids!) Surprise your spouse and take a walk down memory lane.
2017 was a monumental year for our family but one I am grateful to put behind us. While it brought the birth of my sweet baby girl, it also was the final year for my grandfather. There were so many emotions and roller coasters Jake and I navigated together. It brought us closer together, stressed the importance of teamwork even more than we knew already and allowed us to experience the beginning of dreams we did not know existed.
number 1. The birth of Hadley Rose. I was able to experience the natural birth I had hoped for with Emmett. Her birth was healing for me as I realized (due to it) that I had experienced some trauma after Emmett’s birth. Though shifting into life as a family of 4 was challenging (and still is often times!), we learned this year to slow down and take this year for what it is: a season.
number 2. We bought our first home! What not many people knew a year ago is that Jake and I were contemplating leaving western PA. We were given the opportunity to move back to New England and really wanted to (mainly because of family). But it was through praying and researching for the potential move that we felt God calling us to stay put. We spent ONE day with a realtor here and bought the fourth house that we saw. This house is a haven and most importantly the one we call home. (We moved in March.)
number 3. Hawaii vacation. We had the awesome opportunity to vacation on Oahu with Jake’s parents. It was such a fun week complete with Hawaiian food, hiking, swimming and just being a family. What a beautiful island and place to be!
number 4. We started to pursue new dreams. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, becoming a stay at home mom has granted me more opportunities and ways to pursue my dreams…sometimes dreams I did not even know I had. So what does this look like? For me it was photography and writing. I started my own small photography business taking family photos. My Instagram exploded (in my terms) from 500 followers last November to 3000 in less than a year. The real clincher was when I started making money off of some posts. Jake and I then decided to really give this Instagram thing a “go.” (Look out 2018!) For Jake he continued making his paint cans but also continued making drink openers. He also has another really, really huge idea but we are keeping that one a secret currently.
number 5. Two week vacation. Since before Jake and I said “I Do” we have never had a full two weeks off together. Even though I taught for a couple years and had my summers free, Jake still had to work. We were blessed with an awesome week long honeymoon and several other week long vacations, but this year topped it time wise. Jake had off a total of 16 days in a row….perks of him working for a college and getting Christmas week off! We spent it mainly in NJ and NH visiting a ton of family and some we hardly ever get the chance to see. It was so fun and Emmett had a blast with all his cousins. He was without want of a playmate for 2 weeks. Thankfully since being home he seems to be doing all right overall ❤
[my brother with our kiddos]
2017 was a huge year for us, but it was also very trying. I think I will share those moments next time! Until then, See ya 2017!