Spend a Little T-I-M-E

I don't know about any of you married folk out there in reader land, but finding a regular date night or just time to connect appears to get more difficult as the years go on. My husband and I will be celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary in a few weeks. I asked him what he wanted to do and he just stared at me blankly like "you want me to think about that now?"

Let's be honest, marriage is H-A-R-D work and frankly there have been times when I just don't want to do the nitty gritty that needs to be done. Busy schedules keep us running. At the end of the day I look at my husband and think, "O... YOU." Our marriage has turned into a back burner relationship. It's there, simmering away but we've put the temp on low so we don't have to think much about it. Until of course black smoke is pouring out of the kitchen.

I have had the black smoke folks. It ain't pretty and it takes awhile to get rid of the damage it can cause. But, taking steps to move that very important "pot" to the front of the stove so you can really pay attention to it, will keep you from creating that damage in the first place. It does take a few sacrifices but if you're like us and have decided that your goal is to keep an intact, healthy family for your kids, here are some suggestions:

•Schedule date nights. I know that a million obstacles can get in the way but these nights could be as simple as checking in with each other for 10-15 minutes before you collapse, unconscious onto your pillow at night.

•As sad as it makes us, time is ticking away and those cute little children are on their way to being full fledged adults. They will live OUTSIDE your home one day leaving you and your spouse ALONE. Take a minute to let that sink in. What will that be like? Start paving the way for that relationship in the future by investing some minutes now.

•Re-new or re-read your wedding vows. This doesn't have to be an elaborate ceremony. It could be something that you do at the dinner table with the kids. Just make sure you are looking into the eyes of the person you have chosen to do life with. It's a reminder of what you committed to all those years ago and it could even be a little romantic.

These things take planning but like my daughter's music teacher says, T-I-M-E spells love. {H}

Holly and Jenn

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