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Friday, December 19, 2008

Staying connected, even when things get busy - continued...

The ice storm that sailed into town on Tuesday brought EmDee an unexpected day off on Wednesday. Just so happened I had a vacation day scheduled on Wednesday to be all productive and such. The holiday productivity I had planned went to the wayside, and instead we had a nice, quiet day together at home - just the two of us! This is the second such day in as many months, and at the end of it, we decided we might just have to start scheduling them! I'm already looking forward to our day together in January...

As I promised yesterday, Deb is bringing us her top ten list for staying connected. Deb and her husband are the parents to twins, and Deb's husband travels on a regular basis. As someone who traveled extensively before Sweetpea was born, I can relate to the extra measures needed to stay close with all that time away!

When Steph asked me to contribute to her blog post about staying connected with your spouse through the busy holidays, I thought that would be so easy, because J and I have been doing that as a normal part of our lives—for years! Our relationship started when we lived 200 miles apart—him in the DC area, and me in New York. We had to stay connected to make it work. Now, after we got married and live together, busy travel and family schedules have us continuing to stay tight in many of the same ways. Here’s my list of ways to keep tight with your spouse.

1. If one of you is traveling, have a good conversation on the phone at least once a day. Catch up with your day. Tell work stories. Get to know the people in your spouse’s life.

2. Have a “good morning conversation”, and a “good night conversation”, whether you are together or not.

3. We’ve been lucky enough over the years to have access to mobile email. Keep in touch with emails or texting throughout the day… even if it’s just an “I love you”.

4. You can even email or text your spouse photos of you or your kids. That brings smiles, and keeps the spirit of sharing.

5. Try to have a date night once a week. Date night doesn’t have to mean paying a babysitter to go out to an expensive restaurant. During the winter, and especially during the holiday season, one of our favorite date nights is a glass of wine in front of the fire reviewing our day or just appreciating our lit tree.

6. If your spouse feels distant from you, take a few minutes to figure it out. Usually it’s stress. You may be able to just give him or her a 10-minute back rub to make things lighter—and tighter—between you.

7. Play a game together. We like to play Scrabble. It’s better than distracting, absorbing TV because you get into conversations.

8. Create family photobooks. I make mine on my Mac, but there are several other services that give you the ability to make them. There’s inkubook.com; kodakgallery.com; snapfish.com; and heritagemakers.com, just to name a few. We look through our photobooks together often, and reminisce about our family times.

9. During your “good night” conversations, make sure they aren’t just an overview of how your day went, but also make them intimate. Keep the magic of your marriage alive.

10. This one is very important—flirt with your spouse. So important to remember and to remind your spouse that you love each other, you’re attracted to each other, and that you are fun and flirty.

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Mel said...

Steph this is such a great series to do during this holiday time...life is crazy and stressful and having little tips for that time out is essential...yes us big people need time outs too..

Live.Love.Eat said...

awesome points. i just picked up the phone to call my hubs just to say i love him. :)