Love Languages

love language

I have to admit that I’ve heard of love languages, but I never thought a lot about them. Honestly, the concept sounded kind of gimmicky to me.  In a nutshell, the idea is that there are five love languages as follows:

Receiving Gifts

This love language thrives on gifts given in thoughtfulness.  Giving the perfect gift lets a person with this love language to know you really know them.

Quality Time

This love language requires undivided attention.  Giving your all without distractions is very important to a person with this love language.

Physical Touch

This love language is all about being touchy-feely with their partner.  Hugs, kisses, caresses, and even holding hands excites a person who speaks this love language.

Words of Affirmation

A person with this love language wants to hear compliments and loving positive words about himself/herself.  This person needs to hear what you love about them and why.

Acts of Service

This love language is all about showing that you care by being thoughtful and helpful.  A person with this love language feels happiest when their partner keeps commitments, helps with workloads, and serves others.

When I decided to focus on love for the month of February, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to look into my love language and my husband’s love language too!  I took a quiz found here, where you receive a score in each love language, with 12 being the highest.

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Menu Monday!!

Good morning!  We had another beautiful weekend here.  Getting spoiled with this sort of weather in February.  Unfortunately, I came down with a fever Saturday morning, so I spent a good chunk of the day trying to sleep it off.  All my rest worked a little magic because the fever was gone by the afternoon.  I felt like I dodged a bullet.  The flu is going around horribly in these parts, and the last thing I want is to be out of commission for 2+ weeks.

On Saturday while I had the fever, my husband took my oldest daughter to a Chinese New Year Party.  I was sad to miss the fun.  My daughter brought home gifts for herself and her two sisters: Chinese candy, a fortune cookie, a Chinese calendar, and a two-dollar bill for each.  I haven’t seen a two-dollar bill in quite some time!  I remember the awe and wonder of having my own odd bill many years ago, and now each of my girls has her very own.

As for following our menu last week, we were a mess, and we ordered pizza TWICE.  The first time we were out with some friends getting ice cream because it was a beautiful day.  Our friends mentioned they were getting pizza, and dang it! It sounded so good that we decided to do the same!  🙂  We are human here too!  I have no excuses for the second time around.  It just happened.  Pizza happens.

fish tacos
OMG Yum! Fish taco bowls! Follow me on Instagram @keepingthesparkle 🙂

One of the big recipe winners last week in my household was the fish taco bowls.  Particularly the cabbage-slaw.  It was so good that I could have skipped the fried fish all-together, which is exactly what I did for leftovers the next day.  I topped a bowl of half cauliflower rice/half brown rice with the slaw and some pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds).  Absolutely amazing.

The beef pepperoncini from last week turned out great too, especially for such an easy mindless recipe.  Literally throw in a chunk of beef and a jar of pepperoncini into a slow cooker.  I added in garlic, onion, salt & pepper.  The beef has a sweet taste to it.  One of my children LOVED it, one of my children said it was too spicy, and the other child rarely eats at dinnertime so her opinion is null.  I made beef sandwiches topped with provolone for the children, and I used the beef as a sweet potato topping for myself and my husband.  The sweet potato/pepperoncini beef combo was too sweet for my tastes, so next time, I’ll go with a regular potato or a rice bowl.

Ok let’s get on to fooooooood for this week!

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ThisClose to Letting Stress Ruin Our Marriage

Getting personal again today.  I’m so thankful for my husband and our relationship.  We’ve been together since our late teen years.  And since we started dating so young, we’ve had to navigate the ins and outs of life together.  We’ve always loved each other, but our relationship hasn’t always been a walk in the park. Soon after getting married, our stresses piled up quickly.  It was one of the most trying times in our relationship.

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I Get So Emotional, Baby…

Emotions.  Everyone deals with them differently.  I can assure you that handling my emotions is not my strong point.  Growing up, I wore my heart on my sleeve, as they say.  I cried whenever someone hurt my feelings.  Wherever I was, whatever I was doing.  It didn’t matter.  If someone said something that upset me, I would cry.  I remember my dad telling me multiple times that he didn’t know how I would survive the real world if everything upset me so much.

He was right in that it was hard.  I remember my first job, waitressing.  One night, another waiter made a comment that really struck me.  I remember crying nonstop while cleaning up that night.  I was completely unable to control my emotions.

It wasn’t just sadness that sent me over the edge.  It was anger too.  I vividly remember putting my hands around another little girl’s neck in anger when I was 6.  I remember the look in her eyes, and I let go, scared of myself.  That incident has stayed with me throughout my life, and I can’t type it without feeling intense shame.  How easy it is to be an animal rather than a caring human being. Continue reading “I Get So Emotional, Baby…”

Meal Plan Monday

We had another unseasonably beautiful weekend here, but unfortunately, I spent a lot of it with sick children.  My youngest needed a visit to the doctor on Saturday, and my middle started vomiting early Sunday morning.  Not the best way to spend the weekend, but at least we all got some much needed rest.  We opened up the windows, cuddled on the sofas, read books and watched cartoons.  To be honest, I love a lazy weekend at home.  I’m able to catch up on a few things.  Plus, today is a holiday so school is out and my husband took the day off.

Last week, I followed my meal plan pretty well.  I unexpectedly had to visit our pediatrician Monday late in the afternoon, so I couldn’t make dinner.  We ended up with simple sandwiches and little snacks.  I switched my Thursday and Friday plans, making stuffed acorn squash a day earlier than planned.  School was out Friday, and my parents came by and brought $5 hot-n-ready Little Caesar’s pizza for the girls for lunch.  I opted for leftover stuffed acorn squash instead of the pizza.  🙂  I like pizza and all, but I do think my leftovers were the tastier choice!

If you ever want to see what I’m eating, follow me on Instagram.  I often post photos of my meals over there!

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5 Things to START Doing to Better Your Relationship

My last post about relationships detailed a few things to stop doing to improve your relationship. Today I want to focus on things to START doing! Once you start adding in good habits, it gets easier to work on and replace the not-so-great ones. Let’s get closer to our spouses today by doing these five things!

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5 Things to Stop Doing to Better Your Relationship

My husband and I have been together 15 years, and we still don’t know everything there is about relationships. Life changes pretty quickly and often, so we continue to learn and adjust to these changes together.  No matter the current life situation, there are a few things that we both make a point NOT to do. These types of things work to push us apart rather than together. If you make a habit of doing these things in your relationship, eventually that divide between you and your spouse will grow to where it can’t be bridged. Of course, we are only human, and sometimes we do things that push our spouses away. However actively trying not to do them helps to minimize how often these divides occur! Continue reading “5 Things to Stop Doing to Better Your Relationship”

Valentine’s Day

Valentine candy heartsI remember fondly the days of deciding which Valentine to give to which classmate in grade school.  I vividly remember wanting to give Kevin a store-bought Valentine that explained my secret love for him.  It was a very trying process.  I couldn’t go too casual, and I couldn’t be too forward.  The fine line we toe in life between sharing our true feelings and fearing rejection starts early.

Two of my little girls are giving out cards to their classmates this year.  My middle child is just four. I don’t think she has any inkling of concern as to whether the message on the card is perfect for the intended recipient.  However, I wonder if my first grader will ponder over each message to find the perfect one for her little crush.

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Meal Plan Monday

Wow, what a great weekend!  We had unseasonably warm temperatures here.  We took advantage of all that warm sunshine and spent a good portion of time outdoors playing, picnicking, and taking a walk.  Saturday night, my husband and I had an at-home date where I whipped up in a game of Boggle.  Exciting times, I know.  😉

I woke up early Sunday morning to work on our meal plan and grocery list.  Yay food!

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10 Year Anniversary Plans

Just a few years ago, I thought to myself, “Oh, I have a great idea!  My husband and I will go on a fancy vacation for our 10 year anniversary!!!  We’ll leave the children with grandparents for a few days.  It will be like a second honeymoon.  We’ll sleep and eat and do whatever WE want to do on some luxurious island beach. It will be glorious.”

Well, this is the year, folks!  This year marks 10 years of marriage and 15 years of being a couple!  And we booked a trip to occur right smack on our dating anniversary.

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