Team Us: Marriage Together (Giveaway Time!)

team us: marriage together
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How do you fight? Not brawling on the streets, but with your spouse– ya know, “conflict resolution”.

Clint and I used to be terrible fighters, there was fighting but not as much resolving. In the beginning of our marriage, there was lots of screaming and it always ended with Clint angry and me wanting to ignore the situation before anything was resolved. We both believe we’ve gotten better at fighting.

In Ashleigh Slater’s book Team Us: Marriage Together she talks about two different approaches to conflict resolution: the “me-first” and the “team-first” mentalities.

Just to give a few examples:

ME-FIRST would be a need to be right and disregarding your spouse’s perspective on the issue.

TEAM-FIRST  would be giving up the need to be right and instead having a desire to understand your spouse’s perspective on the issue.

Of these two, I definitely think Clint and I have learned to employ more of the team-first than the me-first. Sometimes when we argue, it turns into a really long conversation of us just trying to understand where the other is coming from and clarifying clarifying clarifying until we completely understand. Honestly, sometimes we realize we both think or feel the same way, we’re just so different that we explain things differently.

I recently read Ashleigh’s book and enjoyed it. She uses several real-life examples from her own marriage and examples from marriages of her friends written by each of them, for each of the 10 chapters. I always love examples in marriage books because it affirms that you know what the author is talking about.

At the end of each chapter, are questions that you can either answer alone or with your spouse for some discussion to get you thinking. There are also several snippets in each chapter from Ashleigh’s husband.

The entire focus of the book is how to approach marriage as a team. A good team, one that works together to win! Ashleigh offers several strategies throughout the book that she and her husband use in their own marriage that have helped them build a stronger marriage. The book is a fairly quick read and the chapters are the perfect length to read a chapter before bed each night and discuss with your spouse.

And just in time for Valentine’s Day, I also have a copy to give away to one of you! Just scroll to the bottom to enter the giveaway.

Do you and your husband view marriage as a “team”? 

About the book:

What are you agreeing to when you say “I do”? When a couple promises “I do,” they agree to more than just a shared last name, a joint bank account, and no more dateless nights. This husband and wife duo forms a new team. “Life together” becomes their mantra. Nothing can come between them. At least, that’s the plan. But then real life sets in. With it come disappointments and frustrations. If the couple isn’t intentional in their day-to-day interactions, that once enthusiastic “we” can slowly revert to “you” and “me.” Before long, the couple’s left wondering what happened to their team spirit. 
Team Us: Marriage Together offers couples practical ways to cultivate and strengthen unity in their marriages. Author Ashleigh Slater shares from her own marriage as she presents couples with realistic ideas on how to foster cooperation, deepen commitment, and exercise grace on a daily basis.
You can also get more info here:
Check out the book trailer HERE & hear from Ashleigh Slater HERE.
 
Check out Ashleigh’s blog HERE
 
Check out the official website HERE 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

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Winner of The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted…

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Drum roll please….

 

Congratulations to….

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fine print: The winner has been emailed and has 24 hours to respond. If I receive no response, I will pick an alternate. 

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the giveaway. Hopefully, I will have more opportunities in the future to giveaway something else to you lovelies! 

If you are still interested in the book and want to read it, which I hope you will, you can purchase it at Amazon here:

[amazon-product image=”http://ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=0802411576&Format=_SL160_&ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=notyoumaima09-20″ type=”image”]0802411576[/amazon-product]

I will be posting the final part of the You Need A Budget series on Monday, so be sure to check back! Or you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Bloglovin or Subscribe to future posts so you don’t miss them.

The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted..

The Marriage You've Always Wanted
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Happy Valentine’s Day! Let’s celebrate by talking about marriage today! The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted- sounds nice, right? Would make a wonderful book title too. Well Gary Chapman already beat you to it 😉

You guys probably already know I’m a big fan of Gary Chapman from this post. Well his book The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted is just as good as The Five Love Languages, if not better. Actually, I think they’re both great in their own way.

One thing I love about his books is that they are written for any couple. For instance, he will make reference to couples having a hard time and write things specifically for you, but he also writes plenty for the couples in a good season in marriage. And he does both effectively, I think– I’ve been in both of those spots in my marriage– to the extreme of each actually.

Clint and I haven’t had much time to sit and read this book together at night, with so much going on, ya know–life. But I recently read this book and Clint has been reading a chapter here and there when I leave it out for him. Now that I’m finished, he’s going to read the rest of it.

The book covers almost any subject you can think of though and gives you that eye-opening DOH! type of advice just like the love languages. You’ll go, well of course, why didn’t I think of that? Well, maybe because you aren’t a trained Christian marriage counselor, ya think? 🙂

Another thing about Chapman, is that he never avoids the topic of sex. I know society has made sex so dirty, that we’re taken back when we here a Christian leader mention it. But Chapman always points out that it is an extremely important aspect of a healthy marriage and that we as Christians need to get over that stereotype and enjoy intimacy with our partners.. just saying.

Each chapter is sort of broken down into a general idea or specific topic, such as in-laws or sexual intimacy, and then at the end of each chapter there is a mini “assignment”. I like to highlight the parts in the chapters that really speak to me and then answer the questions directly into the book. That way, when I want to look back through at another time, if I wanna be lazy I can just read the highlighted. For instance, I love this…

"Doing right, responding to others as God would respond, expressing love, being patient with imperfection, and having a realistic appraisal of yourself-- these are the things that bring true fulfillment to a marriage."

So now here’s your chance to read The Marriage You’ve Always Marriage– I’m giving away a free copy to one of you!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don’t want to wait for the giveaway, you could just go ahead and purchase it now.

[amazon-product alink=”0000FF” bordercolor=”000000″ height=”240″]0802411576[/amazon-product]

Our Weekend Getaway

Our Weekend Getaway
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This weekend was amazing! This weekend getaway was exactly what I needed to help me slow down a little and it was great for Clint and I as a couple. We basically did absolutely nothing. Except, we did it about an hour and a half away from home at a great Bed & Breakfast called Point Clear Cottages in Fairhope, Alabama.

We both took off Friday so we could head out early. We arrived around 3 PM or so. This was our room, which was called Pelican’s Rest. It is an apartment over the detached garage.

Inside Pelican's Rest at Point Clear CottagesEven in the Winter, the outside of the house was beautiful so I can’t even imagine what it looks like in the Spring and Summer.

Grounds of Point Clear CottagesThe main idea of this weekend getaway was to do nothing, so that’s mainly what we did. Normally there are plans for this and plans for this, so other than eating, we made no plans. Friday night we went to eat at a little Italian restaurant. Clint got a Ribeye and I got Eggplant Parmesan. I wasn’t really impressed with mine. The next morning, we ate in the Sunroom of the main house with 4 other visitors. The housekeeper/cook made Crab Omelets, Homefry Potatoes, Crescents, and Danish Rolls. It was DELICIOUS. That was the best meal we had the entire weekend.

After breakfast, we drove down the street to the Grand Hotel and walked along the boardwalk for a while and through the hotel.

Grand Hotel Boardwalk

Then, we went into Downtown Fairhope for lunch Saturday at Panini Pete’s and walked around a little. The shops were mainly overpriced boutiques and antiques, which as you know, are not my taste. For dinner, we came back to Downtown and ate at a little sushi place that was highly recommended. The wait was about a half an hour and the place was packed. It lived up to the hype. Don’t let the presentation fool you, it was the best sushi we’ve ever had.

Master Joe's SushiSaturday night we rented movies and stayed up late watching them. Couple of party animals we are, huh?

Yesterday, we got up and eventually headed toward home. We stopped in Mobile and had Brunch at Spot of Tea on the way.

Spot of Tea MobileClint and I used to take small trips like this at least once or twice a year, but since we have buckled down on the finances we haven’t been able to justify the cost. The last time we went was when I was around 4 months pregnant with Lucas, which was around 2 years ago.

Oh, and Lucas stayed with his MaMaw and PaPaw so he had lots of fun. They even took him to the little zoo an hour away.

Lucas at Hattiesburg ZooThis weekend was definitely a recharge for myself and for Clint and I. We are about to have some significant changes in our life so it was nice to just enjoy each other, especially since I’m normally a slave-driver. I was actually a little anxious that I wasn’t going to be able to sit still while we were there. Don’t worry– I had no problem 😉

Clint and Sara at Grand Hotel

And nope, we don’t feel one bit guilty about the money we spent this weekend, which was under $1,000. That doesn’t mean we’re getting off-track, but we paid off almost $14,000 last year. We owed it to ourselves!

When was the last time you did something just for you or for your husband and yourself? What are you waiting on?!

 

I have some exciting stuff planned for the next couple of weeks. Subscribe one of the following ways to make sure you don’t miss anything:

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I Dislike New Year’s Resolutions

I Dislike New Year's Resolutions
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If you make them, fine. But I don’t think I have ever made one and probably never will. Sometimes just because I’m stubborn, if I think of a “resolution” and it’s around the first of the year, I put it off so that it doesn’t seem like a New Year’s resolution. Isn’t that silly?

Anyhow, I’m making a resolution. Completely unrelated to New Year’s, I might add. We just need some change around this house. Now that the Christmas rush is over for my Etsy shop, you would think I’d be “caught up” with things around here, but I’m still not. Besides announcing the giveaway winner, I didn’t even get a chance to post anything here at Not Your Mainstream Mama last week.

I used to be really lazy, especially with things around the house and I envied those women that actually had the drive to keep a spotless house. Now that I’ve had Lucas (I guess I could blame it on the hormonal changes lol) I have that drive, but not enough time to get it done.

And– since I know I can’t add any time into my day, I’ve just got to manage it better. This is where Clint would pipe in that I should not be working so I could have time for these sorts of things.

The other problem is, I’m also ambitious. So not only do I want to be “caught up” with things, I really would like to be ahead. I like working that way, one step ahead of the game.

For instance:

  • I would like to have more of my Etsy orders either ready to ship or halfway made so each order doesn’t take quite as long.
  • I’d also like to have the house more presentable. It doesn’t have to be spotless for me to be happy, but I would like it to visitor ready, at least most of the time.
  • Last, I really want to start managing my kitchen better. I’d like to start meal planning better, shopping grocery sales more frequently, and cooking more freezer/crockpot meals.

By doing all of those things, I’m hoping I will have the “time” to kick my feet up and watch an episode of Mickey with Lucas or snuggle up with Clint and watch a movie.

Do you successfully stay ahead of the game in your household? What tips would you have for me and others?  

What’s Your Love Language?

What Your Love Language?
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Marriage is hard. And wonderful. And frustrating. And such a blessing.

After dating for 2.5 years, Clint and I tied the knot on June 14, 2008, at our church. We were married by our previous pastor, Brother Garland, who had been called to another church a few months before. During our premarital counseling, he gave us a copy of [amazon-product region=”us” text=”The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts” type=”text”]B0032CVAQQ[/amazon-product] written by Gary Chapman and stressed to us how important he thought it was that we read it.

We did read through it before the wedding, but it was sort of a rush through. Our relationship had been extremely easy until that point. Yes, those 2.5 years had been a long-distance relationship, but we seriously rocked the long-distance.. if that’s possible? I didn’t get the pre-wedding jitters, I knew without a doubt that this was the man God intended for me and I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I wasn’t sure if I wanted children or not, but we would figure that out later.

clint sara 8-10-07

Our first year of marriage, well- it was tough! It was difficult to get used to being around each other all.the.time. Like I said, we only saw each other every other weekend and during school breaks while we were dating/engaged, so this was a major adjustment for us. Things definitely smoothed out around the second year though. But around that time, I decided that we should continually try to better our relationship. I started buying marriage books and devotionals here and there for us to read through together.

One book I got was [amazon-product region=”us” text=”The 4 Seasons of Marriage: Secrets to a Lasting Marriage” type=”text”]B007V698DG[/amazon-product], also written by Gary Chapman. When we got it and I looked through it, I decided we should read through [amazon-product region=”us” text=”The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts” type=”text”]0802473156[/amazon-product] again and it was such an eye opener this time around. Gary Chapman includes personal stories of others, which I find really interesting. It was fun to read through and go, “Oh yeah, that’s definitely you!”

Clint and Sara August 2013

I think it’s extremely important to learn each other’s love language, though- and what it takes to keep each other’s love tank full. Clint’s primary love language is Words of Affirmation, followed by Quality Time. Mine are Acts of Service and then Physical Touch. We are complete opposites, always have been. 🙂

If I didn’t know and focus on Clint’s love language, I would probably show my love by doing the things for him that make me feel loved. I mean, it’s great if I get up on Saturday morning and cook him breakfast or hold his hand when we’re out and about, but neither of those things are going to make him feel loved the way me thanking him for something he does around the house or just hanging out on the couch watching a movie with him does.

[amazon-product region=”us” text=”The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts” type=”text”]0802473156[/amazon-product]is definitely a book that I would recommend to any couple, newlywed or in their 25th year of marriage. Have you read it? Do you speak your spouse’s love language in order to make them feel loved?