Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Love Weekly: Date Night

As a new wife, and therapist I would like to pass on some relationship wisdom from me to you! I will be starting a new weekly blog post called Love: Weekly- Hope you enjoy!

Okay, now onto this week's topic: Date night

Yes, yes we all say that we’re going to start implementing a weekly date night, but rarely does it catch on. Too often our busy lives get in the way of the most important thing of all- our relationships. Relationships are a living, breathing thing and much like a plant, if we don’t nurture them they can die. I’ve learned that one of the most important things that we can do for our relationships is put it the time- quality time that is.

Derek and I started a weekly date night a couple of years ago, and our relationship is much better for it. It is an unspoken tradition that every Friday night we go out to dinner (which gives me a break from cooking- yay!) and do something after- movie, shopping, etc. These days our “something after” has turned into shopping for the home (I know, how did I trick him into this one?)

During dinner we’re able to catch up on our week, talk about things we didn’t have time to previously, and sometimes, just talk about family, future, and dreams. I know it sounds a little cheesy, but this is our time to re-connect after a busy week, and I have really noticed a positive difference since implementing this little gem into our weekly routine.

As many of my posts come with warnings, here is my warning for Date Night!

Warning: Do not, I repeat DO NOT bring up negative issues (like the fact that he left a wet towel on the bed that morning, or my pet peeve- left dirty dishes in the sink!) to your partner on your date night!!! I know it is tempting to do because you finally have the time to get this nagging annoyance off of your chest, but date night should be about creating positive memories- not nagging your significant other. There’s plenty of time in the week to bring up these kinds of things (Sunday, perhaps) ;) but date night is not designed for this purpose. I personally know the negative ramifications of doing this, and can tell you that nothing good can come of it! You have been dutifully warned!

I challenge you and your partner to implement a date night into your weekly routine. You won’t be sorry! Can’t wait to hear your feedback. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's my Birthday!

So today I am officially 25 years old. Wahhh! I’m really starting to feel less like a child and more like an adult today. You know how on most birthdays you don’t feel any different? Well this one does feel different. I don’t know if it’s because I am a quarter of a century old, or because so much has changed for me in the last year?

Last year on this day: I had just completed my first year of graduate school; I was living at home with my parents (all expenses paid- oh yeah!); I drove an adorable red, two-seater, convertible; I babysat for a living; The only room I had to keep clean was my bedroom; I was secretly (or not so secretly to my girlfriends) hoping Derek and I would get engaged SOON; And finally I was turning 24, and something about the age 24 still sounds young enough to get away with being “young and dumb.”

I know, I know, 25 isn’t THAT old but something about this age seems to bring with it a new set of expectations. I feel this incredible drive inside of me to light my career on fire! I am ready to tackle this 2-year residency head on, and would like to make a decent living while doing so. I want to work on my craft and try new techniques and interventions out. I want to be on the cutting edge of my field, and further my research on couples. (In case you are wondering I am a mental health therapist) I want to make our house into a home, and be the best wife I can possibly be. I want to make my family proud, and I want to make myself proud!

Wow- that is a whole lot of wanting! Though I guess it’s a good thing to always want for more because if you stop wanting, you stop growing, learning, and achieving (at least this is what I am telling my over-achieving self).

Here are some of the goals that I would like to have achieved by my next milestone birthday (30 years old).

In five years, I hope to:
-Be happily married to my handsome hubby, Derek
·          -Have a child- or two :)
·          -Be strongly considering the possibility of opening my own practice
·          -Be published
·          -Be the exact same size (I will not let kids ruin this bod)…haha!
·          -Have a significantly bigger home with a big yard for the animals and kiddos
·          -Have done appearances in television and/ or radio as an expert couple’s therapist
·          -Still have frequent dinners and outings with my best girlfriends
·          -Become more involved with my church and community outreach

I love goal setting because it gives me a clear path to follow, and a list that I can check off (which is one of my favorite things to do)!

What do you hope to have accomplished by your next milestone birthday?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Honeymoon in St. Barthelemy (St. Barts)

We considered our honeymoon location for a while before choosing to visit St. Barts. We knew we wanted to go somewhere tropical, beautiful, and remote- and St. Barts turned out to be the perfect place! Although I am slightly embarrassed to admit this, I originally got the idea to visit St. Barts from a Real Housewife, i.e. Mrs. Bethenny Frankel herself. Bethenny and her husband Jason went to St. Barts for their honeymoon, and documented the trip on her reality show. I immediately fell in love with St. Barts while watching that episode and have been dying to go ever since.

St. Barts is a small island in the French West Indies located in the Caribbean just south of St. John, and within view of St. Maarten. It is where many celebrities flock to vacation because of its peaceful ambiance, and extremely safe environment. You can literally walk around the island at midnight (we did), and feel completely safe. There are no "questionable" areas to be found, and it is as kid friendly as it is a couple's paradise.

There are a couple of things that one should be warned about before visiting St. Barts.

Warning #1- St. Barts is a European island; This means that most of the women on the beaches/ pools are topless! Even though people had warned us about the nudity beforehand, it was still shocking to see naked women prancing around before your (and your husband's) very eyes. When we were first warned about this, we thought that the only nude people that we'd see would be the ones that nobody wants to see; Boy were we wrong! St. Barts is filled with beautiful men and women, and I think just about every nude woman we saw was quite poor husband! ;)

Warning #2- St Barts is very VERY expensive! I'm talking $40 for a cheeseburger, $10 for a coca-cola. St. Barts operates in Euros, and the U.S. dollar does not go very far there. Of course we knew that our honeymoon was going to be expensive, but this was beyond our imagination. After the first day of spending several hundred dollars on food alone, we realized that there was no way we could keep this up for the entire trip. Thankfully our Hotel (Hotel Le Christopher- more on that in a bit) provided an amazing breakfast buffet each morning. We decided to take advantage of this amenity, and fill up on breakfast each day so that we wouldn't need much for lunch. This way, we didn't feel guilty for indulging in an expensive dinner. It actually worked out really well, and I am proud of our resourcefulness.

If you are able to heed these warnings and tolerate a little bit of nakedness and a lota bit of money, you will LOVE St. Barts! I can honestly say that I have never visited a more beautiful piece of Earth, and can't wait to return again one day.

Lastly I would like to plug the resort that we stayed at, Hotel Le Christopher. This was the most incredible hotel! We had our very own Villa that boasted amazing views, and fresh orchids/wildflowers throughout. The staff was extremely friendly and accommodating upon every interaction- Not to mention they were all young and attractive, which I don't think was a coincidence. The hotel was extremely private, and a honeymooner's paradise. The atmosphere was sexy and cool, and I miss it!

Boy, writing this post has made me miss St. Barts in the worst way! Until next time St. Barts...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I'm married... now what?

Could you tell that wedding planning was all-encompassing for me? I haven't posted one time since my initial post six months ago- pitiful I know! In the last six months I: planned an entire wedding, bought and fixed-up a house (fixing up still in progress), completed grad school, and married my now husband!  
I must say, writing all of that out makes me feel very accomplished. ;) Unfortunately, my resolution to begin blogging on a regular basis was not kept, so I am back again with a firm resolve to commit this time.

I've given a bit of thought to what I would like my blog to be. Even though I love "life blogs," I feel that I would like my blog to have a certain focus- something that I can really contribute to the blog-o-sphere. I've decided that I would like to focus on my new role as a wife. Even calling myself a "wife" is taking some getting used to. I never realized how weird it would be to change my name and my title in my relationship. Even though many things are exactly the same as they were before we were married, somehow the word "wife" brings with it new feelings.

For example: Who knew it would be so terrifying to share a joint checking account??? Am I crazy, or is sharing a joint checking account with your partner scary, nerve-racking, and worrisome? Every single time I go to swipe my card, I consider so many different things: Will Derek notice this purchase? Is this purchase too expensive? Will he be mad? I don't care if he notices this purchase! This isn't expensive- I got a great deal! He can't be mad about this- it was on sale!!

Haha- Even writing this makes me laugh out loud. I can't believe I am playing this game with myself every time I make a purchase. The funny thing is that my husband is a pretty laid back guy, and not the kind to get angry over something like this. I know that the problem lies with me, and I am hoping that over time I will get used to this whole "sharing an account" thing!

Did anyone else have minor freak-outs about ridiculous things when they were first married? I can't be the only one- right?? :)

Of course I have to leave you with some wedding pics, it's the least I can do to make up for my blog-disappearance!