I felt the sting of the truth… we haven’t talked, really talked, in a while. Nothing was really wrong in our relationship. We weren’t showing any signs of disconnect or dissatisfaction, but somewhere along the line, we forgot how to open up and have a real conversation. I remember when we dated, we would spend hours on the phone talking. Gosh, what did we talk about? How on earth did we fill hours of conversation night after night? Well, truthfully we were getting to know each other so we talked about more than just our day. We talked about our favorite Christmas memories, the time our family went camping, the first time we tried to snow ski, our favorite teachers in high school and so on… We didn’t talk from our calendars, we talked from the heart. It really wasn’t what was being said that made those conversations so special, it was that in those moments, it was just about the two of us. We weren’t interrupted by children needing our attention, the microwave dinging, or our cellphones chirping. If those things threatened to distract us, we pushed through to keep our focus on each other.Read More
There’s a lot going on in the Browning household. Mat works on average about fifty hours a week. My step-son is busy with school and his part-time job. I am juggling forty hours a week at work with about ten more hours added in for writing and prepping for speaking events…and that’s all before we calculate all of us chipping in to cook dinner, do laundry and keep the house clean. We are busy. I am sure you are too!Read More
In previous posts I’ve shared the trek Mat and I are making to become debt free. We’ve discussed our communication styles and our biggest ace in the hole that gave us momentum in paying off debt. However, even the best laid plans can come undone when life throws wicked curve balls. In January, we were in a car accident that totaled our vehicle. The loan, thankfully, was paid off through our car insurance, but a lot of ancillary costs came up that we hadn’t planned for.
In addition to having the unexpected costs as a result of the accident, a few weeks later our dryer went out that also required a rewire of the outlet. It’s true that our emergency funds are meant to cover these unexpected expenses, but what do you if life keeps heaping on the charges after your emergency fund is depleted?Read More
We’ve been told over and over again how communication is key in a marriage. However, if you communicating junk, the only thing doing more of it gets you is more of the same junk. So…gals, it’s time to get intentional about what we say to our men.Read More
I’m the type of gal who doesn’t like to be told what to do. I have fully bought into the line “you’re not the boss of me!” And while sometimes that confident independence is what fuels my ambition and success, other times it causes riffs in my relationships….especially my marriage. I have had to learn how to be okay with not always being charge, having it my way and letting my husband take the lead. In fact, I can point to one ultimate scenario where it was necessary to give in and be led.Read More
There’s a phenomenon that goes on in my house. Be it a weekday, weekend, morning or night the same results occur. This strange occurrence causes a shift in the very soul of those who reside in my home. It can be a force for good or leave everyone shaking in its wake. What is this phenomenon?
It seems that the old adage: “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy,” has a ring of truth to it.Read More
Christmas is behind us. Another holiday season in the books. The season for giving. It’s also the season for racking up credit cards and maxing out spending limits. So although the calendar has changed, you may still be feeling the financial effects of the holiday for months to come. Americans spend $465 billion during the holiday season according to the National Retail Federation. Last year, shoppers in the U.S. racked up an average of $1,054 of debt during the Christmas season — an increase of 5% over 2017, according to a survey from MagnifyMoney, a personal finance website. It found 44% of shoppers racked up more than $1,000 in holiday debt, and 5% accumulated more than $5,000 in debt.Read More
Pat Benatar may have been right when she sang, “Love is a battlefield,” especially when it comes to marriage. It’s tough stuff. No matter how many years you have under your belt, it’s a tough institution made even more treacherous when there’s bitterness, hurt feelings and separation. Whether you’re a newlywed or a seasoned married couple, how can you ensure a happy relationship? While marriage comes with no guarantees, here are a few ways Mat and I have worked to safeguard our relationship for faithfulness and devotion and happiness:Read More
I have a superpower… well, maybe it’s more like a coping mechanism. When someone’s got me upset or if they’ve hurt me, I can channel those emotions into a whirlwind of focused activity that blows through to-do lists in a mad dash. I can scrub the house down, pound out a new blog post and even declutter the garage if I am angry or hurt enough.Read More
It’s something we strive for as couples — to be friends with our spouses. We know that when relationships begin, it’s best to start as friends. So why is it hard to continue cultivating a friendship after the courtship?
Your spouse is your partner and your better (or other) half. But what about being a friend? A confidant? Truly the guy or gal you want to pal around with???Read More
As much as we all would love for family dinners and holidays to be re-creations of Norman Rockwell paintings, some family dynamics are more volatile than others. There are relationships that are easier to foster than others -- yes, even under your own roof. Just think about those lovely sibling rivalries! Sister Sledge had the 70s hit "We Are Family," sometimes you gotta wonder how that song would go if the Sledge sisters had your family, right?Read More
If you get around my husband for any length of time, you'll know he is a big fan of numbers, budgeting and getting out of debt. He's one of those weirdos who likes to figure our investments and retirements as a pass time. He literally finds joy in playing out our financial future through the time we retire. And while I am so thankful for his heart in this.... I am the polar opposite.Read More
Mat and I will celebrate five years together next month, and I can honestly say that in those five years, we haven't had many arguments. For the most part, Mat and I get along just fine. We laugh, we have fun, we give each other space and grace to be ourselves and we genuinely love living life together.
The one area that defined more differences than possibly any other relationship category was the money topic. We didn't fight about money.... simply because we tend to be on total ends of the spectrum.Read More