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 

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 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.”

Because No Mother is Perfect (Mother’s Day Giveaway)

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Howdy strangers! I know it’s been a little while, but life is just really getting in the way of me blogging lately. I even have a few projects and ideas for blog posts and haven’t had a moment to sit down and put them to paper, well keyboard.  Anyhow, I think you’ll really enjoy what I have for you today.

I’ve told you before I think being a Mama is tough and then a few months back, I wrote about The Mother of All Meltdowns and even gave away two copies of the book. By the way, it’s only $0.99 now through Mother’s Day on [amazon-product text=”Amazon” type=”text”]0989955311[/amazon-product]. Well, the ladies who put together The Mother of All Meltdowns just launched a new website called No Mother is Perfect and asked me to host a Blog Tour Stop. The website is a community for the perfectly imperfect mother! A place where you can let your guard down and talk about the meltdowns, struggles, and less rosy aspects of being a mom…

To celebrate they’re having an amazing giveaway, No Mother is Perfect, But Every Mother is Unique Mother’s Day Giveaway. Y’all are going to want to check this out– the sponsors include The Oaks at OjaiCarilohaWicker CentralMetropolis Coffee CompanyWind & Fire JewelryChuao ChocolatierGlobal Rose, & Anew Riesling and you could win one of three fabulous prize packages including a three night stay for two at a destination spa! Click the image below to enter!

Enter to Win! (3)

As part of the blog tour, I got to do a little Q&A with one of the contributors! I follow Stephanie’s blog Crayon Marks and Tiger Stripes and love the fact that she uses it as a ministry. Her particular meltdown (yes, it involved poop) has really stayed with me and I’ll think you’ll see why I chose her.. 😉

Q:         So your meltdown story with your toddler yelling “Mommy is pooping” in the restroom of a crowded gas station is definitely the most memorable meltdown from The Mother of All Meltdowns, Stephanie. I actually replay it in my head every time I use a public restroom (TMI?). Have you had any similar instances since then?

A:          Hahaha!!  I replay it in my head too, which is why my little boy now visits the restroom with his daddy on road trips.  This momma vowed to never experience that situation again.  But that doesn’t mean my son and poop haven’t haunted me in other ways.  In fact, just last week, I was horrified by the contents of his pull-up, and the location of said contents.  He has mastered peeing in the potty, but pooping is a different story.  Can you see where this is going?  He is in underwear all day and in a pull up at naptime and bedtime.  He has decided he would rather save his poop for that pull-up rather than the potty.  At this point, I’m convinced he will be 25 and in adult diapers.  I hate potty training…

Anyway, my husband and I were working out to P90X3 while my son was still asleep (or so I thought).  Our son has a tot clock that is blue when he has to stay in his room and yellow when he can get up and play.  It’s set to turn yellow at 8am.  At 8:15, I began to wonder why he hadn’t come out of his room yet.  Around 8:20, he opened the door and out he came with a wad of wipeys and a ginormous poop ball sitting on top of it.  “I cleaned up the poop.  It’s okay.  I cleaned up the poop.”  Much to my horror, the contents of his pull up had overflowed out of his pull up into his pajamas and onto the floor and he had attempted to clean it up (A+ for effort, I guess!).  It was a disaster.

Moral of this story-  If you think blow outs are only a part of infants and young babies, think again.  It will happen to your toddler too.

Since then, this nightmare has also happened in his bed when he tried to clean it up and smeared poop all over his sheets (Ugh!) and just a couple days ago, he tried to empty the contents of his pull up into the toilet (while we were asleep!).  He decided he needed to turn the light on so he climbed up the onto the counter and dragged his little poop covered bottom across the counter to get to the light switch…poop everywhere.  Did I mention I hate potty training?

One day when he is a teenager, I am so going to use these poop stories as blackmail…. 😉

Q:         I know that you suffered from Postpartum Depression and a negative body image after the birth of your son. What do you think were some of the contributing factors to that?

A:          I was already 20 lbs overweight when I got pregnant because I was in nursing school and nursing school equals no life what so ever.  My husband and I decided that after graduation would be a great time to start our family and after 6 months of trying, we got pregnant.  My pregnancy was rough and I felt sick all the time.  When I was nearing the end of my pregnancy, I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia.  I had already gained 30 lbs, but in two weeks, I gained 20 lbs more of just water weight! I was miserable, uncomfortable and hated the way I looked in the mirror.

I wanted sooooo badly to delivery naturally, but I had to have an emergency cesarean.  Then I was so drugged afterwards that I don’t remember the first 12 hours of my son’s life.  On top of that, I wanted to breastfeed, but it was the most difficult thing to get my body to make enough milk.  My body had become a huge disappointment to me.  Everything that God designed it to do as a woman was failing.  I began to believe that I was a failure.  In that moment, I became vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. I really believe that Satan strikes in those very vulnerable moments.  I never thought I would be one to be hit with postpartum depression and I refused to acknowledge it as that for almost a year.

 Q:        What was finally your “aha!” moment that pulled you out of that haze?

A:          After about 8 months of some serious self-loathing, my husband said something to me that began to lift the haze, “I love your body.  It is what brought our son into this world.  You mean the world to me and you mean the world to our son.”  In that conversation, I could hear God gently tugging on me and saying “If your husband loves you this much, how much more do I, your Father in Heaven, love you?”  It was then that I began to see how I much I was letting Satan deceive me and how I needed to start fighting this spiritual battle, and stop letting him defeat me!  It was then that I surrendered to God and asked Him to help me escape this prison of self doubt and self hate.

 Q:        We all know that No Mother is Perfect and probably tend to feel this way about our bodies often. What advice would you give other Moms that are suffering from negative body image?

 A:          Don’t play the comparison game!!  You never win when you begin to compare yourself to others.  We have to remember: There is only One who is Perfect and His name is Jesus.  No mother is perfect!!!  I’m an imperfect mom and that’s okay.  I’m an imperfect wife and that’s okay.  I’m an imperfect person and that’s okay.  There is a God that loves me regardless of my flaws.  To those moms out there suffering from this, remember that you are an imperfect person loved by a Perfect God!!!

 Q:         Is there a scripture that especially helped you through that phase in your life? (or maybe one you wished you would have used)

A:          I’m glad you asked this question because that is actually the advice I would give to moms suffering from negative body image!  Seek scriptures!!!  Negative body image is a never ending spiritual battle.  Even though I can stand here and say that I have overcome it, I still must have things in place to keep me from going back to that dark place.  That is when I turn to scripture.

In Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus is tempted by Satan.  He responds to Satan’s attacks with scripture.  We need to do the same.  Here are a few of my favorites:

–          Proverbs 31:25- She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

–          1 Peter 3:4- Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

–          John 16:33: I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world, you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world.

–          Proverbs 31:30- Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

–          1 Corinthians 6:19-20:  Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own.  You were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your bodies.

–          1 Samuel 16:7- People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

Fighting back with scripture is the best battle plan.  When negative thoughts fill your mind, strike them back with scripture, prayer and positive affirmations!  Remember that you are God’s masterpiece!

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Bio: Stephanie is wife to Dr. Smartypants and mom to a little red headed boy.  She’s a Christ follower, a do it yourselfer, a list lover and coffeeaholic.  She lives by the slogan: I am mommy! Hear me roar!  She writes to encourage women in their journeys as mothers and wives.  When she’s not tending to her little ginger’s every need, you can find her at Crayon Marks and Tiger Stripes (www.crayonmarksandtigerstripes.com) where she blogs about healthy living, maintaining a positive body image, faith, and the ups and downs of parenting.  You can also find her on twitter (www.twitter.com/cmtsblog) and on facebook (www.facebook.com/crayonmarksandtigerstripes.com).

 This post contains affiliate links. I have not been compensated for any material in this post and every opinion is my own. 

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.”

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

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Unstoppable: Review & Giveaway

Unstoppable Review & Giveaway
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Most of you probably know Kirk Cameron from the 80’s where he played Mike Seaver on Growing Pains or maybe from his role in the 2008 film Fireproof. Honestly, until I saw Fireproof, I didn’t even realize Kirk Cameron was a Christian.  Recently, Clint, Shaye and I were at the movies and saw this trailer for UNSTOPPABLE.
If you’ll remember, this is the movie that was apparently being “banned” on Facebook. I think that turned out to be some kind of mistake, but anyhow. Sadly, we weren’t able to make it to either of the showings, so when I got the opportunity to receive a copy and review the movie, I was really excited. Here’s a little more information:  
Inspired by the death of Cameron’s close friend who succumbed to cancer at the age of 15, Kirk Cameron takes viewers on an inspiring and hope-filled visual journey to better understand the biggest doubt-raising question in faith: “Where is God in the midst of tragedy and suffering?”

Going back to the beginning—literally—Kirk investigates the origins of good and evil and how they impact our lives … and our eternities. UNSTOPPABLE will prompt audiences to consider the role that pain and suffering has in our lives, as they affirm their personal views on faith, and encourage conversation starters about God, suffering, and hope.

In theaters for only two weeknights (Sept 24th and Oct 3th, 2013), UNSTOPPABLE: A Live Event with Kirk Cameron sold a staggering 260,000 tickets and reached a theatrical gross of over $3.2 million dollars. In just two nights this independent project sent a loud message – audiences want thought-provoking and meaningful entertainment.

Like that says, Kirk Cameron narrates scenes from the “Beginning” giving you some Genesis 101. Because of this, I think Unstoppable is great not only for mature Christians, but new believers and non-believers as well.

I will say though, it didn’t come straight out and answer the questions about why God allows bad things to happen to good people or where He is in the midst of these things. Instead, Kirk Cameron gives numerous instances in the Bible where these type of things happen and pointed out how we view those things today or how they shaped history. 

I’m a skeptic. I ask questions. Maybe it’s a generational thing or maybe it’s because of my upbringing but I don’t like the “Because I believe” answers to hard questions… yeah, you know what I’m talking about. I don’t have faith because my parents told me to and I’ve never thought to think differently — I have faith, because I ask those hard questions and have come to believe through answers that I was confident in and that were biblical, I guess you could say. I explain this because, the main idea I walked away with from this movie is that you have to trust. He knows what He’s doing, and you have to trust Him. That isn’t exactly an “answer” I would normally be satisfied with, but with the way Kirk Cameron presented it (all biblically-based), it makes perfect sense to me.

The film is Dove Approved for those 12 and older. There are a few scenes that probably wouldn’t be appropriate for children younger than that, so I think the 12+ is suitable. The DVD was released this week on January 28, so you can go the the official website http://unstoppablethemovie.com and buy a copy today… or you could scroll to the bottom of this post and enter to win a free copy. 🙂 Giveaway ends February 9, 2014 @ 11:59 PM.

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.”

 

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Winner Winner!

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Hello ladies (and guys?)!! I hope you are having a wonderful week!

But today – I wanted to announce a winner for the Aqua Anchor Designs giveaway that ended last night. First, let me say thank you thank you thank you for all of the entries!

But now, what you’ve all been waiting for…

AND– THE WINNER IS:

Carolyn

Winner is picked randomly through Rafflecopter and Random.org. I have emailed winner and they have 48 hours to respond. If I have no response within 48 hours, I will pick a new winner through Rafflecopter and Random.org. 

Thanks again to everyone who participated! Since the giveaway is for items I personally make, it really made me feel great to see so many people who wanted them.

So, what are some things you would be interested in seeing at Aqua Anchor Designs in 2014? Any special requests?   

 

See ya Friday.

The Mother of All Meltdowns Review and Giveaway

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I cannot wait to share this sponsored post with you! When the writers of
The Mother of All Meltdowns asked me to share about their new book, I was so excited because it sounded like a good read for you and me!

But let me tell ya,–it’s even better.

No, really. It may even make you feel like a better mother. How?

Well…

Because you’ll realize that the insanely over-dramatic meltdown you had a few days ago- yeah the one that involved poop .. everywhere- was just part of being a Mama.

And in case you’re still in denial: meltdown

Are we on the same page now? Thought so.

In The Mother of All Meltdowns, thirty women share:

Real Stories of Moms’ Finest (Worst, Completely Awful) Moments

resulting from anything and everything but all ending in the one.. The Mother of All Meltdowns. Whether it be from that first positive pregnancy test (because you know you actually took 7 more) like Danielle Herzog at Martinis and Minivans; unwelcome vacation guests like Jennifer West at PinkWhen; stranger’s UNwelcome parenting advice like Debra Cole at Urban Moo Cow or from poop .. everywhere like Natasha Peter at Epic Mommy Adventures. Come to think of it, why does parenting involve so much POOP!?

I really did enjoy this book. I laughed and cried throughout the entire thing. And it’s the perfect read for a busy Mama because each story is only a few pages long, so if you only have the 5 minutes while sitting in the waiting room at the Doctor’s office, you can actually get through one Mama’s entire meltdown.

And it was encouraging. Sure Lucas is only 1 right now, but I have read (and laughed at) several other Mamas worst moments and can somewhat expect some of the completely awful events that could lead to my mother of all meltdowns someday. The book even includes tips on how to make it through meltdowns!

Sounds like something you’d want to read, doesn’t it? Well you’re in luck, I’m giving away two copies to two lucky NYMM readers. Entry below.

If you don’t want a free copy or are too anxious to wait, you can also buy your own copy of The Mother of All Meltdowns, either the paperback here or the Kindle version here.

Leave a comment and share your mother of all meltdowns!

Congratulations Rachael M. & Stephanie B. for each winning a copy of The Mother of All Meltdowns!

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