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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Scatter Brained Thoughts: We got a House!

Well for all of you that have been following me for a while...we are moving!! I am so excited. At the same time I am so utterly sad. Last night I actually asked my husband if we could not move and just stay in our cute little section of the world for a little bit longer. He actually considered asking his mom but we both realize that eventually "a man must leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife." Granted most people do that pretty much as soon as they get married but circumstances prevented that for us. I will be honest when we moved into his parents, I didn't mind at first but eventually I started really looking forward to having my own space one day. Somehow though now I don't want to leave. I have grown so accustomed to coming home to a house full of people. Being able to just go through the garage and talk to his mom or his sisters. Watching movies with his family, helping clean up the house, seeing them pretty much constantly. I knew I would be sad to leave when we finally got a house, but I figured my excitement over the prospect of my own home would take precedence. Boy was I way off. The closer it gets to the move the more I am wanting to stay. Despite differences among the members of the house as would be expected with 4 girls living there, I have grown so close to his family and it has been such a blessing in my life. The more I look back on our two years with them the more I realize just how much living with them has had such an impact on our lives and marriage. Funny how so often we may only look at the little corner of the picture that frustrates us at the time. However, when looking back we see the big beautiful picture.

Best example is our wedding. I dreamed about that day for so long. That and the perfect little family and marriage all played out in my head. When we got married though and I didn't have the dress, the ring, the venue, my family there I kind of resented everyone that was getting to live a "normal" life and get engaged and plan their wedding. It bothered me. The more I look back on that day now though I realize how silly it was. It was honestly the perfect wedding. I got to wear my mother in laws dress, she loaned me a very special ring to her from her mother (which meant the absolute world to me). I also still have my  $10 Walmart wedding ring that I exchanged his mom's out for because I was soooo petrified I was going to lose it since it was a little big lol. Most importantly though I was surrounded by people that love and care about me. Even if I was given the opportunity for "the perfect wedding" I wouldn't change a single thing about that day...okay I would change not having my sister there but that's understandable right? 

Despite all the little issues that arose I am glad I got to spend the last two years with my husband's family. And I am blessed beyond measure that they were willing to have us! His parents have done so much for us and the opportunity to get to know them and live life with them has been wonderful. The point of all this rambling is that so often we look so closely at issues right in front of us we miss the beauty of what God is planning out. I never would have planned my wedding the way it happened. I never would have anticipated living with my in laws for two years. I never would have done a lot of things. All those things I never would have planned though are all the things that have been the greatest blessings in our lives. No matter your circumstances never take anyone or anything for granted. It is so easy to get caught up in the push and pull of life. Don't let the little things aggravate you so much that you miss out on the wonderful blessings that God is placing all around you. I have purposed to genuinely try to not get so agitated at dumb little things or inconveniences. Since then my life has been so much less stressful and I have had more gratitude than attitude (picking that up from Tuesday lol). I am not perfect and I do still get annoyed at little things but I have noticed a massive change in not only myself but also my husband and others around me. If you have found yourself having more bad days then good then tell yourself that instead of letting life get to you, you are going to be positive and grateful for all things in life. Even the difficult ones. It can be difficult to be optimistic sometimes. However, we have found though that by just trusting God through it all and being grateful each day has made a huge impact in our lives. Trust God. He knows what He is doing and no matter what happens He is in full control of everything! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Gratitude instead of Attitude

Oh how easy it is to take the little things and be aggravated. I have been begging my husband to hang some shelves I got for a couple of weeks. Well he finally did while I was at work one day. You would think my first reaction would be yaya my shelves are up. Instead it was more…I wish you’d waited for me because I wouldn’t have put it there. Funny how despite the fact that he did something I wanted him to do and asked him to do I still found something to be agitated at. Does this sound familiar? Maybe you asked him to take care of the dishes and he didn’t put the dishes in the dishwasher the “the right way” or perhaps when he made dinner and he didn’t make it “the right way”. Maybe he gave the kids a bath and didn’t put them in the “right pajamas.” Yes all these things may sound dumb as you are reading them but somehow it is something we do. 

I have noticed a trend. The better my husband and I’s relationship is the more easy it is to get aggravated about something. Sounds backwards right, but perhaps you have noticed this too. Basically what is happening is that when you are on good terms with your husband and you are growing and loving and learning together. You are naturally drawing closer to God. This more or less ticks the devil off and he wants to do EVERYTHING possible to cause discord in your marriage. A argumentative marriage is not a godly marriage, and how can you focus on growing in Christ and building each other up if you are upset about every little thing. Satan never ceases to try to worm his way into every aspect of our lives but especially into marriage. Marriage is a sacred, God ordained union this makes it the primary target for the devil. The less unified you are with your spouse the easier it is for the devil to slip in.

 Ever since I noticed that little trend I have tried to purpose not to let it happen. The easiest way to do this is to ask yourself why. Why is this bothering you. He took the time to do something requested of him and criticism will only cause him to feel bad for not “doing it right.” A big part of marriage is about showing gratitude instead of attitude. When we decide to be grateful our lives take on a whole new perspective. Seeing solutions instead of obstacles and choosing joy instead of aggravation turns what could be a bad morning or a whole bad day into a peaceful calm and a chance to show God's love to your husband, kids, and everyone around you.

I am so excited to announce that I will be starting two new series in the next few months. February's series "Finding Normal" will focus on what we need to do to make our lives "normal" in the sense of focusing on God and running a Godly household. March's series "Creating Home" is going to focus on cultivating an atmosphere of joy and peace in your home. A sanctuary for you and your husband and kids. While "Finding Normal" will focus on you as an individual/wife and running a household, "Creating Home" will deal more with marriage and formulating a Godly atmosphere in your home with you husband. I am so excited to finally be starting a series and am so looking forward to you joining me on this journey. Make sure you subscribe and follow me to get updates sent straight to your inbox. Like my facebook page as well to see new things on your news feed. You can also follow me on twitter ( @thegoodwifesblog) and instagram (AnnaPartlow21). Comment below to let me know if you will be joining my series or email me at maryannapartlow@gmail.com Thank you all for your wonderful support! 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Find an Accountability Partner

Okay so you’re blogging and it is going okay. You have a few followers, you get at least a couple of views almost everyday. But you are struggling to stay motivated because you feel like everyone else’s blogs are just taking off and have so many followers and you are just struggling to come up with something to say. I can totally relate. When it seems like no one wants to hear what you have to say it is difficult to keep the momentum you had when you originally started blogging. The more I get into the blogging world though the more I realize how much bloggers can and should rely on each other. If you aren’t already in a blogging group try to find one. They are very helpful for bouncing ideas off of, and getting opinions and ideas for your blog. One of the best things you can do is find an accountability partner. This is a person who is similar to you in their path of life (age, marital status, blogging theme, etc.). Basically it is someone for you to befriend in the blogging world that encourages you, supports you, and helps you stay on track with your goals. Having someone to keep you motivated is always a key to succeed in any environment. They don’t have to be someone similar to you either. Sometimes people that are drastically different make for the best way to gain ideas you wouldn't have thought of otherwise. I would recommend having at least one person that is blogging about similar things though as they will be able to better help you with what your blog is about and give good feedback. It will also be easier to share your posts and vice versa as your audience will be similar. No matter where you are in blogging don't give up. we all go through slumps and that's okay. That is when having a accountability partner for support and encouragement comes into play. Don't worry if you have a bad few weeks. Keep blogging and realize that what you have to say does matter. Give a voice to all the thoughts in your head and you will see just how many people will listen!

Hope this was helpful! As always don’t forget to subscribe and follow me to get these tips sent directly to your inbox! As always feel free to comment with any questions or suggestions or email me at Vintagegirl112212@gmail.com

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Scatterbrained thoughts

My sister in law is a writer, unpublished as of yet but hopefully not for much longer. Anyway she is a writer. A brilliant author actually for being so young and I have read her first book and it is a total can't put it down kind of book. She is so passionate about writing and you can see it through the utter excitement that builds in her when she is talking about her novels or the short stories she is writing. Even when she is just bouncing ideas off people she is simply enchanted with the characters and concepts. It really is thrilling to watch and listen to her. She wasn't always this out going though. Not long after SugarBear and I got hitched I was granted the pleasure and surprise of her trusting me enough to divulge her special world of writing to me. She was very timid about it and I had to beg a little to let her let me read one of her stories but she did. I could see the spark of intrigue then and I had two choices. Fan the flame, or just tell her how much I loved the story and let it go at that. I choose to fan the flame. I didn't do it because she was my sister in law, I didn't do it "just to be nice." I did it because I saw the potential of a great author trapped inside the dreams of a young girl who didn't trust the world to not reject her writing. Fast forward to now and we have an avid blogger who has finished her first book in a four book series along with a wonderful and heart wrench short story and is now trying to get published. The point of this story is that sometimes people need encouragement. She was always a wonderful writer but she needed that little push from someone who believed in her to allow all that potential to be released. It could have been from anyone not just me. It is for that reason I encourage all of you to encourage others. If you see potential in someone, something they are passionate about, don't let that drop to the side. Even if you don't know the person well. You never know if you are the person that could make a difference in someone's life just by being there. A simple word of encouragement is all it takes sometimes. I am so proud of my sister in law for trusting herself enough as a writer to continue in her endeavors and one day, I hope to be standing on the sidelines cheering her on as she turns into a number one bestseller (can you tell I'm a proud sister lol). The satisfaction doesn't come from, "oh I helped her get here." I didn't do anything she did it all on her own because she already had it in her. Encouragement is a wonderful thing. I probably would have already stopped blogging if it hadn't been for a friend of mine that gave me some encouragement. So never miss an opportunity, always encourage some one, it is the most important thing you can do and it is so exciting to see the people you've encouraged living out their dreams.
 
So here is some encouragement for you. If you are new to blogging, new to writing, new to painting, new to whatever. DON'T GIVE UP! Being passionate about something is scary. What if people don't like what you have to say. What if they make fun of you for what you're doing. What if... there is a never ending scroll filled with what ifs and when we are uncertain it is so hard to find a what if that motivates us. So hang in there. You do have something to say. You matter and your passions are your gifts. The God given talents that you should cultivate. If you have never had encouragement from anyone then this is for you. Look at this as a personal note encouraging you to continue in whatever you're doing.

Also, don't forget to be the encouragement that others need. If you need it so does someone else. Keep up your passions. Bring the book out of the closet and let others read it, sing a little louder and let others hear. No matter what it is do it! You'll get discouraged as you go but push through the slumps and dumps and one day you'll come out on the other side and be so glad you did.

This is venturing a little off my usual topics but I did say I'd post about whatever pops into my head and well surprise lol. Seriously though, never let anyone tell you that you aren't good enough. You are exactly what this world needs and this world needs your talents, passions, crazy ideas. Anyone can write, sing, dance, blog yes. But no one else has a story like yours. No one else can say it, write it, sing it, or blog it like you. No one has your ability to be you. Never give up on something you want to do. It will only get better!
 
P.S. Being the proud sister I am I'm gonna just leave this here https://creativeminds101blog.wordpress.com/blog/
Don't forget to follow her and subscribe to get email updates.
 
P.P.S don't forget to subscribe and follow me to get emails sent from me as well. Also you can follow me on twitter and facebook!
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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Year's Resolutions and Keeping Them!

Start an exercise routine. Wake up earlier. Spend more time with family. Finally get organized. Get better about spending time in God's Word. New Year's resolutions are just overflowing right now as we all vow that this year we will not only start but keep our new year resolutions. Try as we might and want as much as we may keeping those resolutions is never easy and usually all our great plans die within two weeks to the first month of the new year. So for some of you, you have finally resolved that new year resolutions are stupid and you don't do them. However, whether you are tired of failing your resolutions or you are determined to keep them this year here are a few tips that may help you actually succeed in your resolutions this year.
 
Treat each day like New Year's
Lets face it the real reason the resolutions flop is because we get tired of doing it. We think that skipping this one day won't matter. Or that well we can always start again next week. This causes us to just keep pushing that resolutions down until it's December 25th and we are making the same plans again for next year. Instead of looking at everything as a long drawn out year long process. Decided that you are going to take each day and look at it as the first. Over time your enthusiasm may dwindle from your original mindset but they key to keep a resolution is making a daily decision to do whatever it is you said you would.
 
Missing a day is okay
Missing a day or even a week or missing every other day is perfectly fine. The trick is to not let missing a few days or heck a few months (hopefully it won't go that long) keep you from waking up everyday and trying. If you miss a day then wake up and try again. Don't let a missed day or week discourage you from doing it all together.
 
Prioritize
If you're resolution is to spend more time with God then great! but no matter what your resolution is never let it take time away from God or family. You can always find ways to include family and God in your resolutions. If you plan on exercising more then take your hubby or kids with you or use it as reflections time with God. Resolutions are great but don't let them get in the way of what is important.
 
If at first you don't succeed try, try again. Yes "failure" is never fun but if you are trying then you are already not failing because you are trying! Keep your focus on God first, family second and everything else will fall into place.

I really hope some of these ideas have helped. what are some of your resolutions and how are you planning on keeping them? Feel free to comment below or emailing me at vintagegirl112212@gmail.com. Don't forget to subscribe and follow me to get updates sent straight to your email! and like our Face Book page!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The 80/20 Rule


Alright my blogging buddies lets talk about the 80/20 rule. Some of you may have already heard about this and may do it if you have started working social media into your blog. However, for those of you who haven't it basically means using 80% of other people materials and only 20% of your own links to your blog when doing Facebook, twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. This should be obvious but let me clarify...this doesn't mean you are stealing other peoples materials and using them as your own. This means you are SHARING other materials. Pictures, quotes, actual articles (make sure people know who you got it from). This has a two fold affect. First it grabs peoples attention because it gives your social media site variety. This in turn brings more people to your social media page and therefore your blog.  Second affect is that this also makes people who may be following the blogger of the article you shared a candidate for following you because they know you'll have material they will like. This will hopefully increase your traffic flow and subscribers. When I started my fb page I honestly was thinking every time I post something on my blog just put a link on facebook and that's how a facebook page works. Sounds reasonable right? Well I'll be frank it was dumb. I reached literally no one other than myself (yes I followed my own fb page >_< ). After hearing about this 80/20 guideline from a blog I follow ( https://youngwifesguide.com ), I thought I'd try it out. Within a week I drastically increased my traffic flow to my blog from Facebook. I'm still not a high profile blog but I have started to get some extra traffic I didn't previously have. If you are planning on expanding your blog into social media then try this rule out. Post your material of course but make sure people are seeing other things that are relevant to your sight but not necessarily from you. I mean if you are good at quotes and creating pictures etc. by all means do more of your own stuff but if you are like me and aren't fully sure where you want to take you blog just yet start with the 80/20 rule and adjust it as you get better. Trust me it takes a lot of the pressure off to have exciting material on social media. Also be sure to like, comment, follow, subscribe or any variation of those as you are looking for articles and blogs to share. This not only helps get your name out there but also is wonderful encouragement for someone else who might be struggling to get traffic as well.

Hopefully this helps some of you who may be struggling trying to get into the swing of social media. As always don’t forget to subscribe and follow me to get these tips sent directly to your inbox! As always feel free to comment with any questions or suggestions or email me at Vintagegirl112212@gmail.com

Photo Credit Picture from: http://www.cashartblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/80-20-Rule2.jpg

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Don't Take Him for Granted

 My husband and I spent a wonderful weekend together doing nothing but just spending time. It was in that moment and moments like that, that we really hit the realization of how easy it is to take each other for granted. It's not that we don't love and value each other tremendously. However, when you live with someone day in and day out it can be easy to get so comfortable with their presence that we slowly but surely take them for granted. We get frustrated about stupid little things. Little arguments break out that are just silly or even if they hold merit you both ultimately feeling bad that there was an argument to begin with.
 
Spend time together
This can be as simple as just watching a movie together on the couch or as elaborate as taking a weekend getaway trip somewhere. No matter what you do never get to busy to just spend time with your husband. If you are on a budget you can keep it cheap but make an effort to deliberately spend time with him. My favorite thing to do with Rybear is going on a date. I like to surprise him while we are out and take him somewhere. It usually isn't anywhere expensive because we are on a budget but it is so worth it. For us it gives us time to just talk about whatever, and feeling like we are back to dating. We get some of our best conversations in over a $1.98 large drink from McDonalds or just driving up to Huntsville and enjoying each others company (we are both road trip lovers).

Let it go
I get it trust me I understand. You asked him to do one little task that didn't seem like it was that big a deal and he either did something other than that or didn't do anything at all. It is frustrating for us because we don't get why it is "so difficult" to do a "simple task." However, before you blow your gasket stop and think. Mine usually spends hours working on my car and making sure everything is absolutely perfect on it. I used to not appreciate it as much as I do now because I didn't understand the significance behind it. Although I may want him to work on something in the house for me or help me clean up, he doesn't always do that. Not because he "can't do a simple task" or because he "isn't listening to me." It's because he places greater significance on my safety then on having a clean house. I've learned how important it is to him and I have in turn grown to appreciate it so very much more than I did before when I thought he was just "trying to get out of helping me." So learn to let the little things go. Most the time the things we get upset about aren't even valid because there is a simple miscommunication or even just a difference of opinion on what is important. Unless it is a major issue that needs to be addressed try to let the little insignificant things go. I promise you, you and your marriage will be so much happier.
 
Never go to bed angry
This go back to letting things go. However, Sometimes there are significant issues that cause conflict. If that is the case and it is something you can't just let go make sure you are never going to bed angry. Ultimately when you wake up the next morning you are already going to feel like it wasn't such a big deal anyway. It is important to start each day fresh and end each day in love. You can't do that if you're angry when you go to sleep that night.
 
It's the little things
find the little things in life that make you and your husband happy. The things that you do for him and he does for you that just create an atmosphere of love. Then make a point out of doing them. I simple text from my husband letting me know he is thinking of me is enough to make my entire day.
 
Not taking someone for granted is about doing all the little things in life together and appreciating their presence more and more each day instead of "getting used to it." No matter how much you love someone it is so easy to take them for granted, feeling like they will always be there. However, and we all unfortunately have to come to the realization at some point, that that person may not always be there, whether due to death, deployment, or any extenuating circumstances we are never promised to have the person we hold dear with us forever. So lets work on not taking our loved ones for granted. Even if you are mad about something (even if it is valid) what is more important, you being right or letting your marriage take precedents and showing love and appreciation for the most precious gift of your spouse.   
 
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