Bits & Pieces of Ashley: Quality Time with Cody (with a baby in the mix)

Happy Friday!

This week has just been a GOOD week – much better than last week! No more car problems, no more sick baby, and we’ve had lots of beautiful sunny days to boot! And we have a FUN weekend to look forward to, so I’m going into today with a smile on my face. I hope you are too. Winking smile

I guess it’s about time for another installment within my Bits & Pieces of Ashley series, eh?

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I’ve received several requests asking this or that about how Cody and I have adjusted to having a baby in our lives, how we still manage to spend quality time with one another, and how we keep our marriage strong with a baby taking up a lot of our time.

Let me preface this all by saying that Cody and I are FAR from “the perfect couple”. We have our disagreements and our bad days just like any other normal couple. That being said, I think we also have a pretty healthy and strong relationship and marriage.

I will admit, it takes a little more effort for each of us now that we have Hunter. He takes up a huge portion of our daily lives, so we have be intentional about spending time with one another and keeping one another’s “love tanks” full.

Here’s how WE do it (this is not to say that everyone needs to do it this way … it’s just our personal experience!):

Keep God in the center

This means that God is in the center of our marriage, our decisions, our lives, everything. We make it a priority to attend church most Sundays, spend independent time with God each day, pray together, and seek God in our decision-making. Doing this helps keep our marriage strong, positive, and glorifying to God.

Make our marriage our first priority (next to God)

I know, you may think, “WHAT?!”, but hear me out. We firmly believe that if our marriage is strong, it’ll only benefit our child(ren). We want to be loving, positive, healthy examples to our child(ren), and making our marriage top priority will encourage that. This doesn’t mean we ignore Hunter’s needs, but it does mean that we carve out time for just the two of us from time to time.

Set an early bedtime for Hunter

Hunter goes to bed right around 7:30 PM each night. This gives Cody and me 2-3 hours together before we go to bed. It’s a beautiful thing.

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Get creative!

We don’t have family nearby that will watch Hunter, and paying for regular babysitters gets expensive, so we have to be creative. We do at-home date nights (after Hunter goes to bed) quite often, or if we’re going to a friend’s house, we’ll put Hunter to bed in his Pack ‘N Play in another room so it FEELS like we have a babysitter, but we really don’t! Winking smile For special occasions, we have a couple close friends that are willing to watch Hunter or we’ll splurge on a babysitter.

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Be intentional

We don’t have a “set number” of date nights that we try to do each month, but we are intentional about making it a regular thing. It probably ends up being once every couple weeks that we make a point of spending some quality time together just the two of us.

Enjoy time together as a family

I absolutely LOVE seeing Cody be a dad to Hunter. It makes my heart melt seeing them together because they really do adore one another. On Thursday (Cody’s day off) and/or Saturday, we try to make a point of having some family time together. Sometimes it’s just running errands together, walking the mall, going out for breakfast, going on a hike/walk, or grabbing dessert. Other times it’s simply having a low key day at home together. It’s nice to be “kid free” sometimes, but these family times are my favorite too.

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So, I guess that’s how we make it happen around here! Hopefully I answered most of your questions… If not, feel free to ask via email or in the comment section below. Also, if you’re looking for any “relationship” books, I would highly recommend The Five Love Languages and His Needs Her Needs. Cody and I both read them, and they’ve been very beneficial for us!

Have a fabulous weekend! I’ll see ya on the flip side!

A Husband Who Doesn’t Like to “Workout”

Hi guys!

Hope your Tuesday is treating you well so far! Today marks the first day that I’m transitioning Hunter down from four naps to three, so it’s kind of a big day over here. The one thing the boy cannot handle well is being tired (I think he gets that from his mama Winking smile). That being said, the longer wake times made me a little nervous, but besides a little bit more fussiness, he’s doing well. Hopefully that continues!

Anyways, so I had a request last week to write a post about how I handle the fact that my husband doesn’t really like to workout. It honestly hasn’t been much of a “problem” for us, but I can totally see how and why it could affect a relationship.

I want to start by saying that even though Cody doesn’t necessarily like to “workout”, he does enjoy being active. As much as he loves his video games, he’s not one to sit in front of the TV for hours each day playing them. He gets out to play basketball or football 1-2 times per week with friends, joins rec leagues throughout the year, and loves to be outdoors working in the yard. He has his own way of staying active, and I totally respect that.

There has definitely been times where I wish we could be “that couple” that goes to the gym together every morning, but we’re just not. I spent the first year or so of our relationship trying to convince him to be a “gym go-er”, but I realized that it’s something he doesn’t enjoy, and I’ve come to accept that. I think it’s important that couples have activities they enjoy doing together, but I think it’s just as important that they have their own hobbies and interests that they can do on their own. I love running and doing structured workouts, and Cody loves playing sports and working outside. We’re both staying active, but in our own ways, and that’s totally a-okay.

However, we’ve also made an effort to make sure we have activities that we enjoy doing together other than watching TV or going to movies, because in my opinion, that’s not quality time.  Winking smile  One of the things that first attracted me to Cody was that he loved to DO things. He wasn’t one to just sit around the house all day and do nothing. I’m a busy body, so this was important to me. We definitely have our lazy days and moments, but it’s not an all-the-time thing.

Some activities we enjoy doing together:

  • Hiking
  • Home improvement projects
  • Costco shopping (<—the only place Cody really enjoys shopping, so I take advantage of it!)
  • Playing volleyball (<—we played in several rec leagues together when we were dating & first married; we hope to get back into it eventually)
  • Taking the dogs on walks
  • Working in the yard
  • Going camping
  • Skiing/snowboarding (<—he snowboards, I ski)
  • Church events
  • Going out for ice cream (<—duh)
  • Trying new restaurants

On one of our many hikes

Camping!

Occasionally we’ll compromise, and he’ll agree to do a workout with me if he gets an extra day to go play basketball or something, but we typically stick to our own “workouts” and it works for us!

To sum things up, I think it’s important that you just figure out what works for YOU and your relationship. I think it’s awesome when couples are able to workout together and have that interest in common, but it’s just as important to have something else that you enjoy doing on your own too.

Do you and your spouse/significant other workout together? What are some activities that you and your spouse/significant other enjoy doing together?

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