21 Day Fix, Healthy, Lettuce, Paleo, Paleo Diet, Taco, Tupperware, Turkey, Wrap

Sunday’s Recipe: Paleo Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps

I have been off and on paleo for the past month or so, since I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It has been a struggle because when I get home, I am exhausted, and my RA doesn’t make it any easier to have extra energy floating around. Needless to say, some nights meal prep is non-existent. On the weekends however, I try and do better and make somewhat paleo meals for Taylor and I. I recently made this recipe, and it turns out hubby gave his full stamp of approval and thought it was amazing! I was happy that I made a healthy meal and it was husband approved! While my hubby is out feeding cows and doing chores this freezing cold morning on the North Dakota prairie, and I am enjoying a cup of coffee, I thought I’d share a recipe!

image1

You’ll need:

1 lb Ground Turkey

1 Green Pepper (in my Tupperware Chopper), chopped fine

1 Jalapeno Pepper (in my Tupperware Chopper), chopped fine

1 head of Lettuce,

1/2 cup of onion (I always use frozen, else buy a bag and chop til you drop and freeze them, always, always, have onions on hand)

And these spices:

Garlic Powder, Watkins Chili Powder, Watkins Red Pepper Flakes, Watkins Cayenne Pepper.

First, chop up the pepper together. Remove seeds from jalapeno, unless you like it spicier. In a large skillet, combine ground turkey, chopped peppers, and onion. Brown on high heat. Don’t be alarmed, turkey has a lot of fat, which will be drained later. Add in a few shakes of all the spices. I have a bad habit of never measuring. Be careful with the cayenne pepper, a little is enough, you can always add more if you like it hotter.

image2

Then after, the turkey is nicely browned, turn on simmer and cover for another 3 minutes or so. While doing this, wash your lettuce and peel it off the head. It is important that you buy a head of lettuce and not the bagged kind. Make it like little cups, like this…

image3

Take off the turkey from the stove and then scoop in a few spoon-fulls into the lettuce cups. Top off with taco sauce, avocado, cheese, more peppers, etc.

image4

You can add as many toppings as you like. Remember paleo is no dairy, so you can always add some vegan cheese to make it completely paleo. This recipes is also 21 Day Fix approved too! I recommend doubling the recipe to have extra for left overs, if there is any! Enjoy! Have a happy Sunday!

Family, Food, History, Love, Memories, Thankful, Thanksgiving, Traditions

Thanksgiving: Through the Years

Have you ever heard the Faith Hill song (AKA: The Charlie Brown Christmas theme song?) “Where are you Christmas”?! The lyrics say….

Where are you Christmas
Why can’t I find you
Why have you gone away
Where is the laughter
You used to bring me
Why can’t I hear music play

My world is changing
I’m rearranging
Does that mean Christmas changes too

Where are you Christmas
Do you remember
The one you used to know
I’m not the same one
See what the time’s done
Is that why you have let me go

For me, I change out the word Christmas for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving has been and probably will always be my favorite holiday. It’s been close to 10 years now since Thanksgiving was the grand family event that it should be. Back then, I had two grandmas and one great-grandma that really knew how to put on a show, and there would be left overs for every single family member. As I write this, and read the lyrics of the song above, I tear up knowing I’ll never have a Thanksgiving again with them.

Ten years ago, my Grandma Sharon would have had the family over on Thanksgiving day. I would have woke up and started the day with the Thanksgiving Day Parade in my pajamas. Then, stuffed myself full along side all my cousins and family, with turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie, and my personal favorite of my Grandma Sharon’s, mashed potatoes! If anyone reading this has had my grandma’s mashed potatoes, you know what I am talking about! They were creamy, light but heavy, and perfectly smooth in texture. Then, while the guys napped and watched football downstairs, everyone else who wan’t napping, would play Bingo! There was prizes for all, along with tons of laughter echoing through the house. It was a wonderful afternoon and honestly, I would do anything to have it back.

On Friday, we never went Black Friday Shopping, instead we spent it at my Great-Grandma Esther’s house in the small town of Gackle, North Dakota. Where there is absolutely no where to shop, but no one cared. We were family, and that was all that mattered. Her house, I swear, it got 20 degrees warmer every Thanksgiving because of all the food and hungry children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren inside. The whole house probably glowed from the inside out, just like grandma. It was wonderful. Grandma would always be the last one to sit down, even my Aunt Joyce would tell her to sit and eat, but she made sure everyone else was served before she sat. We had turkey, duck, and sometimes pheasant, depending on what my Uncle Dana caught that year. And then there was the dumplings. For all of you non-Germans out there, dumplings are heavenly clumps of cooked dough with potatoes. I know, it doesn’t sound that great, but they are amazing. I am not sure how many dumplings grandma actually made, but they were gone in the blink of an eye. Literally. Grandma, no matter how old, she always had to wash the dishes, even though there were plenty of us grand-kids to help. I some times wonder how many hours grandma spent over her kitchen sink. She died at the age of 92, so I am assuming more than I could count. This year, we are divided. Some spend the holiday in Dickinson, North Dakota with my great aunt, my grandpa is in Idaho for the winter. It’s so different now.

Finally, at somewhere from Thursday through Saturday, we would go to Jamestown, our local “big town”, to my Grandpa and Grandma Hess’s for Thanksgiving dinner. I still remember the floor plan of grandpa and grandma’s tiny house, it was filled with love and BIG Hess boys, so it seemed smaller than it was. Grandpa always did the turkey in a bag. It melted in your mouth. My dad and my older cousins, Matt, Jason and Scott would be found on the living room floor, wrestling (I for one would like to see this now! Pretty sure my dad would get his butt kicked!). Grandma Hess was a wonderful cook and I only hope to be a fraction as good as she was, but everyone knew that her specialty was her buns. My cousins and I would sneak one or maybe five before supper. Seriously, they were amazing. I am not sure what special ingredient she added to them, but they are never the same made by someone else, and probably never will be. After my grandparents died, I don’t think all of us Hess’ have had one Thanksgiving together with all of us. To be honest, I am not even sure what the Hess Family is doing this year, but I know, I won’t be there.

It’s not the same and it probably never will be again. I miss those days, of having nothing but family for the entire weekend. Now, I am married. Taylor and I are going to my mom’s tomorrow for Thanksgiving Day lunch and then to his mom’s in the evening. Not that I am not thankful to be spending it with my family and my in-laws, because I am very thankful and excited, but there is something missing. I am not sure if it’s the dumplings, Grandma Hess’s buns, or my grandparents themselves or all of it. Whatever it is, I miss having huge thanksgivings with all my cousins and laughing and talking for hours. There was so much love and no one bothered to think of “how many hours til Walmart opens?!”. I miss getting together with each family at Thanksgiving. It’s been years now, and many Thanksgivings have passed, but it never gets easier. As the song goes on to say “If there is love in your heart and in your mind, then it will feel like Christmas all the time”. I guess that is true. Grandpa and Grandma can’t be here right now with us, but they are forever in our hears. We on Earth make new traditions, but we always keep the traditions and memories of the wonderful Thanksgivings passed in our hearts. And this year, more than ever, I am thankful for my family and the great memories we have together.

From the Hess’s to the Rivinius’s to the Zenker’s to the Schlenker’s, Happy Thanksgiving! I can’t wait to celebrate Thanksgiving everyday in heaven with all of my grandparents one day. And there will be enough of Grandma Sharon’s mashed potatoes, Grandma Hess’s buns, and Grandma Esther’s dumplings for all. And to you and yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

How To, Planning, Tips, Travel, Traveling, Trip, Vacation

How To: Plan A Vacation

I had a previous post (https://thelifeofthefitfarmerswife.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/packing-vacation-to-the-caribbean/) about packing and our upcoming vacation to the Bahamas, and yes, I started packing last weekend. I know it is early, but I packed things like swim suits and trunks, sandals, and summer clothes, all things we don’t need here on the ranch in North Dakota in November! (Especially, being that the highs are only in the teens here lately!) My husband thought I was a little crazy to pack so early. Low and behold, I got my payback this week, when I got up at 5:30 AM to get ready for work, I stubbed my toe on the open suitcase. Hard. However, that stubbed toe is not deterring me from writing another post on traveling, because I love to travel.

I was blessed to have traveled a lot growing up, and my parents’ love for exploring the world got passed on to me. Over the years I have traveled on my own, and I have traved with experienced travelers like my parents, here are a few tips I can give from either personal experience or things I do normally.

1. Research. I can’t stress it enough, research makes a trip better. Research how much you’ll have to save up, activities for your destination, flights, hotels, everything. Visit several online search engines or travel sites and research. Narrow down hotels to the top three you can afford or want to stay at, then research all of them, until you find the best one. Same with activities or flights.

2. Budget. Before you can even go on vacation, you have to be able to budget for it. My husband and I, have been saving for awhile now, to be able to afford a trip. We didn’t take an expensive honeymoon right away, because we knew that we wanted to save up awhile first, and then be able to go somewhere nicer when we could afford it. Set aside a special savings account for traveling. Every month put in what you can afford, or if grandma or grandpa give you birthday money, add that in. Every penny counts towards a better vacation, it takes time, but eventually you’ll have enough to take a wonderful vacation.

3. The Hotel/Resort Doesn’t Have to be All Inclusive or a 5-Star. This is huge. In all the times I have traveled, I have never stayed in a ritzy hotel. We always budget travel. And those All Inclusive resort fees your just paid, you could easily stayed longer, or had more activities planned. When I go on vacation, I want to explore the area, not be at the resort all the time. Lets face it, you basically only sleep in your hotel so, why pay $500 a night per person?! For me, I’d rather spend that money on activities or staying a few extra days. And if you are going somewhere tropical, you are not going to eat every meal at the resort anyway. It’s hot and you’ve laid out on the beach all day and all you want is a bowl of cereal, not a hot gourmet meal from the on-resort 5-star restaurant.

4. The Two Meals A Day Plan. Weather you choose a hotel with breakfast or without, load up on a cheap, big morning meal. Buy local fruit or snacks during the day, and have a nice sit-down evening meal. This saves you a lot of money in the long run. Plus, like I said above, if you go somewhere hot, you aren’t hungry as much and you are able to spend more on activities.

5. Read the Reviews. Go to TripAdvisor and search the hotel or activity you are planning and read the reviews first before you book. Other travelers got your back. If there are more than a few one star, bad reviews, don’t do it. If it has consistently good and bad reviews, look at some of the traveler photos, and use your own good judgment.

6. Traveling Abroad? Before we leave to the Bahamas, my hubby and I have to be up on all our shots and have our passports ready to go. Check online on the US Embassy website http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html, for all updates for what is needed for shots or even crime alerts. We also signed up for the State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP – http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/go/step.html). It is a short, online application you fill out basically telling the US Embassy where you are going, staying, and doing and the length of your trip. This way, in case of emergency, they can contact you, plus they alert you of crime updates. Lets just say the Bahamas isn’t the safest place to travel, and now I feel a little bit better about having the US Embassy knowing our whereabouts.

7. To Take Jewelry or Not to Take Jewelry? When Taylor and I go on our vacation, we are not even taking our wedding rings/bands. Ladies, pack light if you are going to the beach, you don’t need jewelry, just your swim suit. The salt water makes any jewelry get icky. Plus, do you really know and trust your maid?! I have had even simple jewelry stolen from my suitcase while traveling to Hawaii. Trust no one. Just get some cheap-o ring to wear and a simple-pimple necklace.

8. Keeping Your Witts About You. When traveling, always keep a strong head and know where you are going. Research the safety  or crime issues in that area where you are staying. Keep valuables (phone, wallet) close. Print out maps or have a google map app on your smart phone. Know if it safe or not to walk around at night. Be smart at all times. Pass up that creepy, unregistered cab driver and have the hotel concierge call an authentic cab for you.

9. Plan Activities Wisely. I always try to think of three fun activities that you or your husband or family haven’t done before on a previous vacation. Or have your husband pick one activity, you pick one activity and the kids another, or pick one together. We are going on a boat trip, snorkeling, swimming with dolphins on another island, and a couples massage (from a local massage therapist) on the private beach at our hotel!

10. Buy Local Whenever Possible and Do As the Locals Do. Buy that straw, locally made hat at the market or that fresh fruit from the local farmer’s market along the road. If you want a massage, research local massage therapists, they will most likely be MUCH cheaper than the resort anyway. Don’t stick out like a sore American thumb, fit in as much as possible with the locals.

There you have it! All of my travel tips! And most of all, HAVE FUN!!

Average Size, Barbie, Doll, Lammily Doll, Lifestyle

An Average Barbie Doll?!

The latest craze these days is a new doll called the Lammily Doll (for sale here: https://lammily.com/). The Lammily Doll is an “average sized” Barbie Doll, complete with acne, freckles, and cellulite. This new doll debuts for around $25 and added clothes and accessories are around $10-$25 range as well. What is this new craze all about you ask? I am not sure myself. Yes, I think the world today puts far too much pressure on being a skinny, size 0, thigh-gap, washboard abs, woman. I think it is great that Megan Trainor’s song “All About That Bass” was a huge hit, because I ain’t no size 2 either. I have boobs and a butt, and honestly, it’s okay. Yes, I have felt the pressures to be skinny, and yes, I have skipped meals before, and finally yes, I would love to loose 10-15 pounds. Is it realistic, probably yes. Am I happy now, the way I am, absolutely, yes. Did playing Barbies when I was 7 have an impact on my life and feeling pressure of being skinny, NO! And why should it?! I was SEVEN!!!

barbie1

Yes, I think there is far too much pressure on girls to be skinny-mini now and days, but I also think there is too much pressure on being “average” too. No matter if you are tall, skinny, fat, short, athletic, or average, you are unique to YOU! Honestly, little girls playing with Barbie dolls aren’t even thinking about if they are fat or skinny or average, they are thinking about playing and being care-free. We as a society are putting the pressure on them to think about being skinny, fat or average! Let’s face it, Barbie Dolls were created in 1959, when Marilyn Monroe and Lucile Ball were the American Idols and, “All About That Bass” for all Women. In fact, Marilyn was a 34D bra size and a size 12 dress size. In the 1950’s (when Barbie was created), I hardly think that Hollywood had standards like they do now. In fact, several “average” sized women like Kate Upton, have been turned down to become the prized title of a Victoria’s Secret model. If Marilyn would have tried to be a VS model, she probably would have been turned away by today’s standards.

barbie2 untitled

As a little girl, I had oodles and oodles of Barbies and never once did I think I was fat or had a bad body image. Just more recently in my life (within the last 4-5 years), I have struggled with body image myself. Why? Because 99% of the ads or commercials on TV tell us we need to loose weight, or for the new weight loss pill or exercise equipment. And within the last 4-5 years, it has gotten worse! In the 1950’s women were sex symbols for their voluptuous and curvaceous figure. What happened to those days? (Here is a great article: http://www.rehabs.com/explore/womens-body-image-and-bmi/). It’s not about the Barbie doll brain-washing little girls, it’s more about our “don’t offend anyone” society now. It makes me wonder when they will make short Barbies, tall Barbies, obese Barbies, etc.. (See how ridiculous this sounds?!)

All in all, just by giving a little girl an average sized Barbie is only worsening the fastest growing, multi-billion dollar weight loss ad, insecurity issue and making it more of a reality for everyone. To be honest, I’d be scared to have a daughter growing up in the world we live in today. I feel the pressure of looking in the mirror and critiquing every inch of myself, and I am an adult. Imagine a child?! I don’t know what the answer is to this problem we have, but I know, if I do have a daughter someday, she will play with Barbies, not tall ones or fat ones or even average sized ones. She will know she is beautifully, wonderfully, and fearfully made no matter what her size is, and she won’t need an “average sized” Barbie Doll to prove her worth.

Faith, Marriage, Orphan, Shaping Destiny, Sponsoring A Child, Sponsorship

Sponsoring A Child: One Year of Allain

A year ago, Taylor and I had a mutual family friend, that is our age, who went on a mission trip to an orphanage in Cameroon, Africa through Shaping Destiny.

http://www.shapingdestiny.org/

She came back around Christmas time last year, and was home for a few weeks. During that time, we got to hear her speak in church about her time there. Travel back to early fall, before she left, she raised enough money to have a small well dug at the orphanage she was going to be staying at. When she spoke, about how the kids, who are all orphans, loved to praise God. They loved to sing and study. They wake very early every morning to have devotions and study for school. Our friend showed us a video of them praising and signing for Jesus. Even though they have no family, very little food, and have just the clothes on their back, they still sing praises to our Father. This amazed me and humbled me. It reminded me of the Bible verse, Acts 16:25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. What an impact, children with absolutely nothing, praising the Lord can have! Much like the impact on the prisoners while Paul and Silas sang hymns and prayed.
We come from a country that has everything and more. Most likely you or I have never experienced having nothing to eat, being orphaned, or having only one outfit in our giant American closet.

I knew from that moment, I wanted to do something, to help in whatever way I could. So, I talked to Taylor and we prayed about it. A week had passed and the issue was still on my heart, and as million questions were running through my mind, God finally spoke to me through my daily devotion. My devotion read, “Thank you Lord, for caring about us so much that you would give us the opportunity to experience marriage. May we live as a team to  minister to other. May our hearts be sensitive to where you are calling us and to whom you are asking us to bless. May we be prepared to give as you ask of us, no matter how big or small. I pray that others may see your love story reflected in our love…” (Wife After God) That was the biggest and most blunt YES! from God! So, we called over our friend and she helped us sign up. The next question, was which child to sponsor?! Some of the children already had sponsors. When you sponsor a child, it basically covers their basic needs like doctor bills, clothing, school supplies, etc… We went through a list of possible children we could sponsor. One that stood out was a boy named Allian (who was about 17), that wanted to be a construction builder. Being I studied architecture and am now a civil drafter, God spoke again. So, we took Allian! A few months into our sponsorship, we got more information on him, and it turns out his birthday is July 7th! The significance of it is, our wedding anniversary is July 5th, and my birthday is July 6th! How incredible; only our God could have planned something so perfect!

Allain Tetuh Ngoh

  • Birthdate : July 7th, 1997
  • Future Dream: Building contractor
  • His story:
  • His parents died from HIV/AIDS infections leaving him and his six siblings alone at a very young age. His siblings were separated to live with other relatives and friends while he was brought to live with his grandmother. His grandmother also had seven other children living with her and within two years four of them died. They were all heart broken, frustrated, and struggling financially. He received very little love and grew up having to take care of himself. He was brought to the orphanage and his life was transformed because he met other children who had experienced similar hardships. He is now loved and cared for and has been able to continue school. He is so thankful for the services that Shaping Destiny has provided and everyone who supports the ministry. He used to feel hopeless but today he is a happy and blessed child. He like playing football. He surrendered his life to the lord Jesus Christ and is determined to serve the lord for the rest of his life. He appreciate the services rendered by the ministry.

image1

For almost a year now, we have been blessed by Allian. Yes, we have been blessed by him. He always makes us realize how lucky we are to have each other and how blessed we are for everything, especially our families. Just this week, we got another letter from him saying he was studying for some exams at school. I replied back with another letter, and in my letter I encouraged him and told him he can do it, and that he is smart. I later thought, he probably has never heard those words before. Encouragement is something we all need to hear. We just signed up for another year of Allian. We are excited to see how we continue our relationship with Allian this year!

letter 1 letter 1 001

Marriage is such a wonderful gift from God. God created marriage to reflect His love story. I am so thankful that Taylor and I are able to reach out and extend our love to someone who needs a lot of it, an orphan. I only wish we could do more. Hopefully one day, we can sponsor two. I am so happy that we have this opportunity now, in our marriage and in our life to do this.

Today, I encourage you, to check out the sponsorship program through Shaping Destiny. For $35 a month, you can also sponsor a child. It is a great way to give plus have a penpal and prayer partner! You will be truly blessed!

Bahamas, Caribbean, Nassau, Packing, Vacation

Packing: Vacation to the Caribbean

With a little over a month to go until all things Christmas, holidays, and the New Year, there is our little vacation to the Bahamas. Just my husband and I. Our first little big trip away, to another land, without parents, and our first time flying together, as a couple. I grew up as an only child and I was also blessed with parents who loved to travel. At a young age, I got to experience the amazing beauty of Hawaii (many times), Florida, New York, California, Alaska, Canada, Nevada, Texas, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado to name a few. Memories of traveling with my parents, takes me back to some of the best memories I have had. And I truly believe that traveling and seeing the world, led me to the profession I am in, design (civil, interior, and architectural). My husband on the other hand, has not been this fortunate. He just flew for the first time a couple years ago, and hated it. He hates airports, planes, and dare I say it, has a phobia of them. Trust me, I got lucky just even getting to go on a vacation with him. Second, he is a farmer (hence the blog title!), and doesn’t like leaving the ranch for long periods of time (more that two days). I am really hoping that this time of traveling is different for him and that he enjoys it. With lots of fun and Bahamian inspired sightseeing activities planned, I am hoping that keeps him occupied so, he doesn’t get homesick the first day we land. I know, I sound like a spoiled brat when I say this, but he has never seen the ocean or a palm tree. Therefore, I hope there is a lot more vacations after this one, that we take together.

Lately, I have been getting antsy to start packing. At least getting things like swimsuits, summer clothes, sandals, things that we do not need in mid-November on the North Dakota prairie. My husband thinks I am a little crazy because I am packing so early, but that is just me. This is my first time traveling out of the country without mom and dad handling my passport and reminding me not to forget my ID, purse, or suitcase for that matter. I am in charge of remembering my things AND most of my hubby’s. So, that fact makes me a little jittery. With that, I have started my packing list of my own, but I found a really awesome one online, that I am sharing with you today (for all your Christmas Vacation get-aways). I hope to start on actual packing over the Thanksgiving weekend holiday coming up and by then, we will have about two weeks until we leave. Until then, here’s to crossing my fingers, not forgetting anything (especially our passports), and getting my husband on the plane!

What are your travel tips?!

Have a Happy Weekend!

Love, Marriage, Married

What I Have Learned Over 16 Months of Marriage

Today marks Taylor & I’s 16 month anniversary. It’s sometimes so hard to believe. An event we planned and waited for nearly two years for, was done and history within a blink of an eye. Then, we were left with something we had to work on, become a team, pray for, and encourage everyday; our marriage. No wedding planner, pastor, counselor, or decorator could have prepared us for our journey through life together. Over the past sixteen months, we have had so many blessings, joys, and laughs. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say it wasn’t all glamorous all the time. We of course, like any couple have had disagreements and tears, but as a team, you have to work even harder to protect your precious gift from God (AKA: marriage) even harder. Here are 10 things of what I have learned in the past sixteen months of being married.

1237624_10201228426606912_1650915287_n

1. COMMUNICATE. Our pastor, that married us was a wonderful man who stressed communication is the key. We thought we had the whole communication thing down before we got married, but we were wrong! Pretty much every disagreement we have ever had (or any couple for that matter), came about because some where down the line, there was a lack of communication. Now, we have learned to tell each other everything, so there is no room for arguing.

2. FORGIVE EASILY. When you do argue, remember to forgive and forget. Don’t hold grudges or bring up “the last time you did this…” story. Know each others limits and don’t push them. You know your husband or wife better than anyone else, and you also know what makes them tick. So, don’t push it. Say you’re sorry first, even if you didn’t start it. Then, don’t look back.

3. COMPROMISE & TOLERATE. My husband and I are very alike, and most times, know what the other is thinking. However, at the same time, we are very different (which is good, expect differences), but those differences can get us into trouble, so instead of arguing and hurting one another, we have decided to compromise and tolerate. You know that annoying habit your spouse has and how you would like to yell at him or her about it?! Well, you probably have 20 million more annoying habits than he/she does. Tolerate it. Compromise. You’d be surprised how far keeping your mouth shut and adapting to the little things, can go. Don’t let nagging at the little (or big) things, cause you to have a fight. Communicate, and talk it out together, as a team, and come up with a plan to compromise and tolerate.

4. GO TO CHURCH TOGETHER. My husband and I grew up going to different churches among our small community, but we now attend church together that we both love and are fed spiritually from. Make the time to go, you wouldn’t believe how helpful and the closeness you feel from attending together.

5. PRAY TOGETHER AND FOR ONE ANOTHER DAILY. Pray, pray, pray. My husband and I do try and read/do a devotion together as often as possible. With busy and different schedules, it is hard and at times, impossible, but whether it’s once or twice a week, read in the bible or do a devotion together, but pray for each other daily. Your husband needs strength to be the leader of your home, and you as his wife also do. Pray! I love it when my husband prays for me. There is something so intimate and calming about it!

6. YOU THOUGHT YOU LOVED HIM/HER THEN. When you got engaged, you thought, how could I love this man any more, until your wedding day and he recited the vows he wrote especially for you. You thought, I can’t imagine loving him anymore, but you will. And in 50 years, I can’t even image how our love will have grown even more deep and strong! Tell him that you love him everyday. It’s a vital part of marriage. Don’t assume they know either. Tell them!

7. WIVES, TELL YOUR HUSBAND YOU RESPECT HIM AND DO IT. Ladies, there is something about a man knowing he is appreciated and respected that changes him. No, you are not a meek, little, degraded wife because you are not. God calls us to respect our husbands because God created them to lead us. And as wives, we need to respect our husbands and God, and obey what God instructs. Not because we think so highly of our husbands, but rather we are doing as God commands of us as women and wives. Even if your husband is not Christian, you still need to pray for him, respect him as God calls, and love him.

8. TAKE TIME FOR EACH OTHER. My husband and I have very different and busy schedules which makes it hard to have any time together, but you have to make time to go on dates and keep the romance alive. Just because you are married, doesn’t mean you stop dating, you do it more! Enjoy a night out or a movie night in, whatever you do, just make time for each other.

9. ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER. You never know when your spouse might need a little pick me up. Send them a quick little “love note” via email, voicemail or text of encouragement even if they don’t need it. It’s always nice to know you are needed, loved and, appreciated by the one you love.

10. YOU ARE A TEAM. Always remember you are a team now. Work as a team and figure out a system that works for you as a couple. My husband and I are busy, but we have down a system that works for us. For example, my husband does his own laundry (work clothes). He knows I really don’t want to touch his nasty, manure-y , greasy clothes, so he does them. And in the winter (during his less busy season with farming/ranching) so, he helps out where he can with the dishes or household things. Or occasionally, he’ll have dinner waiting when I get home. I will pack his lunch when he is busy or get parts when needed. I guess what I am getting at is, help each other out when you can. Do as much as you together. Have couple friends you can mingle and get together with on occasion. Yes, you are separate individuals with different ways, but you are now a team.

_MG_9355