Thursday, January 29, 2015

Learning Our Love Language

Today is Babywise Friendly Blog Network Day and we're all talking about Love Languages (pretty appropriate with Valentine's Day coming up, right?)

Zach and I are approaching our 8th wedding anniversary. We have grown so much in our marriage since the day we said "I do." However, I think we've actually done the most growing just in the past couple of years. Having children has brought new challenges but also many triumphs for us and I think as we get older, and more mature, that we're able to better communicate and understand each other.

I was really excited to find a quiz about The 5 Love Languages! I have always speculated what my love language is and have always guessed that I knew what Zach's was. But taking the test really helped us determine the way we give love as well as the way we best receive it.

You can take the quiz for yourself here: 

The great thing about the quiz is that it sends your results to you in an email. I forwarded my email to Zach so he could read it and then I asked him to also take the quiz and send his results to me. My results even had a section on how to get your spouse to take the if your husband isn't one to willingly take such a quiz, hopefully the tips help! I'm very interested in learning more about what the love languages are and how they affect relationships!

The 5 Love Languages are based on a book by Dr. Gary Chapman called The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts. They are based on the way in which we best understand our partner's expression of love.

Here is a great breakdown of what each of the 5 love languages mean:

My results surprised me because I wasn't sure what my love language was going into the test. My highest score was for Quality Time with Receiving Gifts being a close second. I do think both of these accurately describe me! I LOVE vacations together because it allows us to shut out the rest of the world and just focus on "US." Some of my favorite moments with Zach at home are when we are laying in bed and have those nights where we stay up talking and laughing before falling asleep. 

Growing up I think both of my parents were Receiving Gifts as they both were always very thoughtful gift-givers and loved giving gifts to their children. I put a lot of thought into my gift giving and it means a lot to me when there is thought put into gifts I receive as well. I think it's a tricky love language because it's not materialistic, it's the thought that matters! And that's hard for a lot of people. I know I've eased up some on my thoughtfulness in my gifts because I realized that a lot of time the recipients weren't appreciating the thought that went into it and therefore not seeing the love I put forth in the gift I gave. I can remember who got us what from our wedding eight years ago. When people sent us presents for Tess it meant so much to me! At birthday parties I never need to make a list of who bought what for thank you cards...I just naturally remember each gift. Meaningly gifts are something I truly cherish and I try very hard to give to others. 

I was not surprised at all by Zach's results. His highest score was for Physical Touch with his second being Quality Time. I think most people would assume that all men favor Physical Touch and that all women favor Receiving Gifts! It's the typical stereotype, right? I like how the description of Physical Touch points out that it's not just about the bedroom. It's about daily interacting! This is something that I rated very low on (I scored a 3 out of 12 for Physical Touch and it was my 2nd lowest). Zach also was very low with Receiving Gifts (He scored 4 out of 12 and it was also his 2nd lowest). 

I'm thankful we both rank high with Quality Time because it makes it a little easier to give each other love in that area! We need to focus on more "us" time in the evenings and try to go on more dates when possible. But it will take more work for me to give more physical touch for him and it'll take work for him to do more random gifts. I've never been a touchy-feely type person. I have to make a conscious effort to hold hands with Zach when we walk places together! It's just not natural for me! Now that I know it's the #1 way he understands my love for him, I can make it more of a top priority in my daily life!

At the end of my results was a call to action. Now that we both know each other's love language we are supposed to really focus on giving our partner love in the way we now know they best accept it. For five weeks it's supposed to be our top priority. I think it's SUCH a fabulous idea. I know just in the short time since we took our quizzes, I'm already thinking of how I can make more of an effort to show physical affection with Zach. It takes ONE second to kiss him. Rub his back as I pass by. It's simple and easy and can have a HUGE impact on our marriage! 

Marriage is based on love, but it's also based on so much more. It takes work and effort. It's never easy and during the good times in our marriages it's the best time to be working together to make it even better. I'm very excited about what knowing our love languages will do for our marriage! I hope each of you will take the quiz and have your spouses take it as well!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sled Day

Originally we had planned to have our 2nd day on the trip also be spent on the slopes. After we realized the HUGE savings by skiing on weekdays we decided to switch things up and use Sunday as our "off day" and Monday as our last ski day :) 

At home we eat basic breakfast every morning. The kids eat prunes and bananas and dry cereal. That's why on trips I always want to do fun breakfast food when we can! It's truly a treat!

Zach and Kye LOVE to build things together. Leading up to our trip they decided to build a sled for us to take with us. Zach was convinced that we'd have actual snow in the air and all over the ground during our trip. Like he was really positive about it (one of the rare times I was actually right haha!). I was nervous that the build up was too big for the kids. I mean promising them they will get to ski is fine b/c we knew the slopes blew snow. But sledding? 

Well. Zach got lucky ;) We happened to see a free sledding park on the way up the mountain! They blew snow in the nights to make enough for each day and it was a public park. We'd never seen it on our past trips there but it worked out perfectly. We got there right when it opened and were the only people there for a long time. It was a chance to test out our homemade sled!
I was trying to be all "cool mom" about it. But I was nervous! I took a video of the first time they went down the hill with the sled. It worked!!! We all had THE BEST time. It was SO fun watching the kids sled and we just laughed and it was one of those moments you know you will always remember. 

We had brought an inner tube from home just in case we could use it on some snow and it came in handy to help Zach get down the mountain so he could carry the sled back up for the kids. He's a good man ;)

We took a little break to let Daddy rest haha! And to play in some snow :)

I'll admit it...I LOVE to eat snow :) 

I love how you can see Kye's JOY

She is one brave little girl!

I am not a thrill seeker. I hate roller coasters. I don't ride any of the "mountains" at Disney. People have tried to get me to ride stuff and I will not cave in. Even if the kids beg me, it ain't gonna happen. On my 25th birthday Zach told me he's ride It's A Small World with me at Disney if I'd do Splash Mountain. Well I got up to ride it and legit started crying and had to exit the ride. Bahaha. I'm a self proclaimed WUSS ;) But I could handle one sled ride down a mountain with my son. Yes, I had my eyes closed the whole time. And no, I didn't do it again!

Once we got back we played in the snow in front of our condo. Like the tiny little bit that was left in some bushes and in the corner of the parking lot haha. We also stole the snow from our neighbors condo. When I was growing up we'd get 1-2 snow days a year and we always had a rule that you can't play with snow from someone else's yard. Since we never got snow you had to leave the snow there for those people to enjoy. I felt guilty stealing the snow from our neighbor in the condo! But the neighbor was a couple in their 20s without kids so I doubt they minded? Or probably even noticed?

Minnie and Mickey had to see some snow!
Our first ever real legit snowman made from snow that fell from the sky :) We named him Sammy! It worked out so perfectly that we went ahead and built him when we did because that snow melted and it melted quick. Every time we left and came back to the condo we'd check on Sammy. Britt was so cute because she'd be so sad sounding and say "poooor Sammmmy" Of course I went to video it and she called him something else haha. Typical! 

I knew most of our time on the trip wouldn't be spent in the condo so I didn't pack a ton of toys. I have a storage cube thing I use for travel and I pack that with toys (I only pack things that I have 2 of each so there isn't fighting) and I also bring a bag of mega blocks. When we first got to the condo and I was unpacking Kye found the broom and started playing with it. And he was taunting Britt and saying how awesome the broom was and basically he had it and she didn't type sibling thing. So I found a mop and I made this HUGE deal about the mop and how cool it was so Britt would be happy to play with it instead of bug Kye about the broom. I'm sure you can guess what happened. The mop became THE ITEM that everyone wanted. As soon as Britt had it Kye no longer wanted the broom and instead wanted the mop. I went ahead and just said no. She's have the mop the whole trip and he'd have the broom the whole trip. No fighting about it. 

Britt took this mop ownership extremely seriously. Child carried it with her at all times when we were in the condo. She legit had it propped up beside her bed so he couldn't get it while she was sleeping. Hilarious!
This was the day the kids had a nap and then we went to go swimming! Our property ended up having issues with the pool so they told us we could use a pool at a nearby resort (which actually is another place Zach and I have stayed before!). The heated pool wasn't too heated. Like it was cold. The kids didn't mind! But we all liked the hot tub best. At what age is it safe for the kids to actually get all the way in a hot tub? We still did the first step only rule because I wasn't sure!
If you are ever in Banner Elk you HAVE TO eat at The Painted Fish. Oh my gosh it's AMAZING. Sadly, we had terrible luck as it was closed both Sunday night and Monday night. So we weren't able to eat there this trip. We did get dressed up cute and found a great place to eat. We had eaten there on a prior trip as well and they have great pizza! 

Taking pics before we left ;)
I love watching the kids copy the things we do haha! 
When we walked in the restaurant a man said "just what this place needed...some kids" Um. I couldn't tell if he was being funny? Or rude? Or what? It was AWKWARD. They were the youngest kids there for sure and his comment made me nervous about Britt's behavior during dinner. I hadn't brought anything to entertain her with and pizza can take awhile to cook. Thankfully she did great and we had a nice meal and I don't think anyone was mad at us for dining there ;)

I loved getting the updates from Mrs. Charlotte and Mr. Rusty about Tess! She was having a great time too!

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