Friday, January 21, 2011

Free for all Friday: V-day Sizzles

Well ladies, it’s time to let your thoughts linger on an upcoming holiday – V-day is quickly approaching and I have some fun ideas to make it sizzle!

Does your heart still go pitter patter just like when you were dating and got that first kiss? I adore my husband more than life itself and will admit that when I see my husband from across the room at any group setting, my heart still skips a beat when he looks up and gives me that winning smile. He can be on the floor playing with kids when we have nursery duty at church, or we can be standing in Banana Republic. I still swoon over the very sight of him. He’s the best part of me, best part of every day and next to my salvation, the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m smitten, can you tell? After 8 ½ years of marriage, we speak each other’s love languages and are more in love than ever.

I’m not greeting him at the door in the latest ‘nothing’ from Victoria’s Secret when he walks in the door from work every day (gracious, the kids ARE running around the house you know!), but we sure are in love and it has a depth that has only increased with time. I never read the book, but at a pre-marital seminar my hubby and I attended while giddy and engaged, they taught us about the 5 love languages:

1. Quality Time
2. Affirmation
3. Gifts
4. Acts of Service
5. Physical Touch

We took a little quiz and found out that we both had the same language strengths, which helped. Not all couples have this, but understanding what the other’s ‘language’ is, will make a huge impact. I’m not a marriage counselor and I’m not going to get super techy on you – here’s a breakdown of what each language is and see if you can identify what you are, what your husband is, and some ways you can speak his language on February 14 (or better yet, year round!).

Quality time – forget all the errands and mile long honey-do list that sends you in separate directions. Spend time together. Alone time. Drive around town, visit a new town you’ve never been (day trip!), try a new restaurant, go to a movie, rent a movie, order a gigantic dessert and eat it together. Send the kids to their grandparents or a sitter – make sure you have time where it’s just the two of you so you don’t forget who you are as a couple.

Affirmation – loving and noticing and telling. Did the hubster fold the laundry? Did he give the kids baths? THANK HIM. Notice and thank. My husband and I both make a point to recognize what the other does and appreciate it. A loving embrace after he comes downstairs from putting the kiddos to bed with a ‘Honey, you are such a good father, thank you for all you do’…goes a long way and he will appreciate it. Who doesn’t enjoy a kind word? ‘Honey – thanks so much for keeping the yard looking so great – I know it’s a hassle and you make it look amazing’….’Honey, thanks for running that errand for me, I’ve been slammed and I appreciate it so much’. There are so many occasions to appreciate…verbalize it!

Gifts – Ok, I love gifts! Giving and receiving them are such fun. As adults, don’t we secretly enjoy unwrapping a gift just as much as a child? We’re more refined in our approach and response, but let’s all admit – it’s so fun to open a present! What about the random ways to say “I love YOU” through gifts? What does your husband enjoy? Sports, working out, golf, reading, hunting? Well, how fun would it be for him to find a present on his pillow or by his sink in the bathroom or on the seat in the car? It doesn’t have to be much – a protein bar or shake or sports drink, sports magazine, candy bar, movie rental gift card, Starbucks gift card good for 1 beverage, batch of cookies, favorite dessert…wrap it up and make it special. Does he take his lunch? Slip something in there! Endless possibilities ladies! Tuck a love note in there too – sometimes you have to spell it out for men.

Acts of Service – some of the best gifts aren’t wrapped, they are shown through an act of service – taking out the trash, folding the laundry, taking shirts to the drycleaners in time for the big business trip or presentation. Take his car in for a wash at Auto-Bell. Basically, find something that your husband normally does or is out of the norm for you and do it as a way to show you care – to take one little stresser off the to-do list. Giving the kids baths, helping rake the leaves. Whatever is out of the norm for you – try it!

Physical Touch – My PG rated version of this will tell you that the Semi-Annual Sale is just days away from ending at Victoria’s Secret…perhaps you should spend a few pennies on some new lip gloss or whatever makes your skirt fly up. Additionally, there is no more comforting gesture than a long embrace after a difficult day or reaching over to the driver’s side and holding his hand as you drive to wherever your destination might be. I love holding hands!

Let’s face it, some days you’re in sweatpants with no makeup on, have cleaned baseboards and wipes noses until you feel like Cinderella BEFORE the ball, no chance of a fairy Godmother in sight and hoping that Calgon will take you away. We all have them. Confess. I’m waiting….you know you don’t wear an evening gown to empty the dishwasher. There. Ahhh HA! There is the humanity. We have a confession. You may not ‘feel’ it every day…the love songs of the 80s don’t magically begin to play when the kids go to bed. Marriage takes effort – so start practicing those languages listed above to start your sizzle. It takes time, it takes effort…but it yields incredible results that lead to an enriched relationship.

Now, you have about 3 weeks to plan and execute perfection to show that man in your life that you love him, are IN love with him and want to SHOW that love. Stay tuned for Phase Two where I’ll show you some desserts that dazzle and some wacky ways to say I LOVE YOU!



HPS said...

Yipppeeee!!!! I love lil series and I love Valentines! This is my first V Day that is gonna require some extra super advance planning since it now doubles as our twins bday. Gotta make both holidays special on their own, you know!

Anonymous said...

love it! mike and i did a quick review of the love languages when we were first marriage -- we have pretty much opposite top spot love languages. :) figures -- but i've always been so glad that we did it, as it encourages/reminds us to show love to the other in a way that might not be our first inclination. i loved all of your little gift ideas -- its not either of our top couple love languages....but you're right, who doesn't love a little gift? :) looking forward to part 2!
- brooke b