The Gift for the Mom who IS Everything

What do you get for the mom who has everything? A spa day? Feels like we do that every year.  One of those robot vacuum cleaners? Wow, those things cost way more than I expected…maybe next year. A craft made by the kids? Lord knows I want to but glue, scissors, and glitter plus my kids is really becoming hazardous for everyone involved.

Now that Ashley has been a mom for 10 years this isn’t our first Mother’s Day rodeo. So, at this point I’ve literally given her every gift imaginable over the years. Not that I’m giving up by any means, but I do find myself digging deeper and deeper each year to pull off a great Mother’s Day for her. Mothers’ Day is tough – how do you do justice to someone who literally let a person live inside of them for 9 months sucking the life out of them and then actually still takes care of the cute little parasite after that? Hallmark just can’t do that type of sacrifice justice. But alas we must try our hardest gentlemen.

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It’s Our Anniversary!!

Do you know what today is?

Do you know what today is?

It’s our anniversary {it’s our, it’s our special day}

 Anniversary by Toni Tony Tone’


Carlton has sung or played this song for me on every anniversary, all 11 of them. It’s a bit corny but it’s basically a tradition now at our house that I love. LOL

If you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s our ANNIVERSARY!! We’re 11 years strong today!! We’re no longer newlyweds, we’ve arrived at seasoned couples status!!  It certainly wasn’t a walk in the park – we’ve struggled and stumbled, but never allowed life’s circumstances to break us.  We’re committed to this marriage journey.  Not just committed to the good times but also committed in the times when we feel like “I just don’t like you very much” (yes there are brief moments of those times too) however we still LOVE each other! Continue reading “It’s Our Anniversary!!”

Spiritual Intimacy in Marriage

June 27th marked the two year anniversary of Carlton and I attending Elevation Church.   But it was much more than just a church anniversary for us; truth be told it was actually the anniversary of when we made a decision to open up our marriage to create spiritual intimacy, a type of intimacy that we didn’t even know our marriage needed.  I honestly thought that because we went to church regularly and volunteered as a couple in children’s church that we were all good in terms of connecting on a spiritual level.  But I was so wrong!!  Spiritual intimacy is much more than just attending church together as a couple or serving on a committee, it is connecting together with our faith and living out our COMMITMENT to God and his PURPOSE for our marriage. Our spiritual intimacy began to grow the moment we said YES to our friends’ invitation to visit Elevation Church.  It wasn’t necessarily changing churches that increased our spiritual intimacy but rather the shift in our thinking about how being spiritually connected could impact our marriage.  The people that surrounded us at our new church helped us see how big of an influence spiritual intimacy can play in growing and strengthening marriages. So ask yourself this question… 

“How close are we spiritually as a couple?”

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Social Intimacy: Our Favorite “US” Memories

Last week I was scrolling through Instagram as I frequently do and one post in particular caught my eye.  It wasn’t really the entire post that grabbed my attention, but just a small piece of it….it read,

Complete this sentence, “One of my favorite US memories is…..”

Of course I immediately started trying to narrow down me and Carlton’s “favorite US memories” and then I did what any wife would do – screamed upstairs “Carlton what is our favorite US memory?”, and before we knew it we were talking about all the great times we’ve shared and the experiences we’ve enjoyed together.  And that’s when it dawned on me….social intimacy is what keeps marriage fun and interesting. 

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Emotional Intimacy: The Key to a Strong Marriage

Have you ever heard stories about couples that have been married for 10, 15, or maybe even 20 years but feel like they don’t even know the person they’re married to?  Or maybe you have a friend that says I just don’t feel connected to my spouse anymore, I don’t know if we’re going to make it. My husband and I have been in that situation before – I remember sitting in counseling with Carlton thinking I just don’t feel connected to him like I used to be.  What happened to those intense, passionate, feelings that we had when we first got married?  Was it that the newness had worn off, were we no longer compatible, or had we just fallen out of love with each other?  Thankfully, the answer was none of the above…..the true issue was that we were lacking emotional intimacy!  Like most people you’re probably scratching your head and thinking what the heck is emotional intimacy?!?!  My husband had to google the term too so don’t feel bad! 

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10 Questions That Can Make Physical Intimacy Last a Lifetime

Believe it or not sex is only one part of physical intimacy. That’s a shocker because early on in our marriage I use to think it was all about the sex.  It seems like back in the early days of our marriage Carlton and I would hop in the bed together and VOILA magic happened and we were instantly connected in a way like nothing else.

However as time marched on we’ve come to realize that there is more to physical intimacy than just doing the deed.  As our lives filled up with more demanding jobs, children’s activities, and other obligations it seems like making it to the bedroom can be a challenge.  So we’re faced with the questions of how to make sure that we stay connected between those encounters and when we do find ourselves between the sheets how to get the most out of those intimate moments.  Unfortunately, those little things like cuddling on the sofa, holding hands while walking through the mall, and a kiss after work can easily get lost in the shuffle of a busy life.  Continue reading “10 Questions That Can Make Physical Intimacy Last a Lifetime”

5 Sides of Intimacy

Is intimacy really that important in marriage?  In short, the answer is YES!!  Think about it have you ever said this: “I just don’t feel close to my spouse anymore” or “sex is almost non existent in my marriage”. If so, your intimacy meter in your marriage is probably low. Join us this week as we start our series talking about the 5 different types of intimacy and ways to strengthen your bond. 

Money Matters: Balancing the Budget

Why budget?? I’ve asked myself that question a million times and when you think about it who really likes to budget anyway? When you hear the word budget you probably picture a boring spreadsheet that’s more trouble than it’s worth – it’s detailed oriented, restrictive, and time consuming!

But let’s be realistic; a budget truly helps couples prioritize their spending, set joint financial goals, and reduce marital conflicts. There’s no one size fits all method when it comes to budgeting so it’s important to find a budget approach that works for your family. This week in our Money Matters series Brad and Christy King talk with us about their approach to budgeting and how they make it fit their busy lifestyle.

Brad was working as a pharmacist at Bi-Lo about 17 years ago during Christmas time when he and Christy first crossed paths. Like many workplaces around Christmas time, things can get tight with people being out of town and not working regular hours, especially for those that are stuck working like Brad. Luckily for Brad, when one of his coworkers was out of town not only did they find a great back up pharmacy technician to fill the shifts, he also found his future wife! While working together Brad fell for Christy’s youthful charm as she was smitten by his dry sense of humor that kept her laughing.
Now after being married for nearly 13 years, Brad and Christy are still working together. No, not in the pharmacy where they first met – but as busy parents keeping up with their three children and full time jobs. They’ve learned a lot about each other over the years, especially in the area of finances. For example, they’ve found that Brad is better at seeing the entire picture and does not get as stressed as Christy does when dealing with money. Recognizing qualities like this about each other allows them to play to their strengths when developing and managing a budget. Read on to see how Brad and Christy continue to work together in managing their family’s budget…

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3 Ways to Resurrect Your Marriage

L O V E. There’s no greater love than the love Jesus showed us by sacrificing himself on the cross.

Easter always reminds me of how much God cares for me and that no matter what he’ll never leave me.  This Easter wasn’t much different – we went to church, talked about the real meaning of Easter with our kids, and had our family Easter egg hunt in our backyard.  Even in the midst of all that I was still able to take a moment to reflect on how much Jesus has done for me and continues to do for me.  But there was this one nagging thought in the back of my mind that I just couldn’t shake…  

How was I showing Jesus’s unfailing love in my marriage?

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Money Matters: Married and Living the Single (Income) Life

Who will control the finances?  Will we have enough money?  Will I still have a sense of purpose? These are just a few questions a couple might ponder when they take a leap of faith and decide to live on one income.  This week in our Money Matters series, we speak with Thomas and Nina Scott a couple who took that leap of faith and are learning how to navigate being a one income family.

Who doesn’t love getting set up on a blind date?  I would be one of those people that would have to pass and respond with a polite “No thank you” to being set up on a blind date.  But luckily Nina and Thomas don’t share my same perspective.  Ten years ago, Nina’s cousin reached out to her to ask if she knew someone named Thomas Scott because they were both originally from the same city (Columbia, SC).  Nina’s response was ‘no’ and then her cousin proceeded to ask if she was seeing anyone.  Uh-oh, we all know where this is going ,right?  Her cousin then suggested that Nina and Thomas would make a great couple.  And in true blind date fashion, her cousin assured her that he was a really ‘nice guy’.  Uh-oh again.  And then here comes the kicker – her cousin, the match maker, actually is blind and had never seen Thomas herself.  However, Nina decided to make that phone call anyway and sparks soon began to fly.  Talk about a leap of faith!  In the end taking that chance and making that phone call turned out to be well worth the risk.   Fast forward 10 years and Thomas continues to be everything Nina wanted in a husband – he is her exact definition of a man.  He downright loves his family and will stop at nothing to protect and provide for them.  Thomas loves his wife’s outgoing, life of the party energy that balances perfectly with his more reserved personality.

As you can see, taking a chance on situations where you don’t truly know the outcome is nothing new for Thomas and Nina.  Many times when families shift from two incomes to one there can be a lot of uncertainty, risk, and fear that can cause marital stress.  Read on to see how Thomas and Nina made the transition from the dual income no kids lifestyle to a family structure that allows Nina to stay at home with their young kids while living on one income.

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