Valentine's Day + Keeping That Spark

Well hello, hello and happy love month! Wow, it's been a while hasn't it? We've been enjoying our new home and our kids and each other over here so taking time away from social anything has been the best ever! Guys, we are coming up on nine years married. I still feel like I'm that 21 year old only a lot more experienced and lot more boring if that makes any sense at all, haha. Through the past nine years there are so many things I've learned, almost everything being recently though. Life is full of ups and downs right? So many! I don't care if you married your freaking soul mate! Things are bound to get hard from time to time. 

So let's just get right into it. This post is all about intimacy. There most definitely will be some TMI moments but guys I'm gonna share everything that has worked for keeping the spark between Josh and I, or I guess I should say, rekindling it :) Because let's be honest there were some dry spells in our marriage because hello newborn phase that felt like it lasted an eternity

So, before Josh and I had kids or before we were even married, I was a pretty sexual person. Like that's even weird to say out loud considering how dang boring I've become since becoming a mom. However, I was confident in myself. I would wear tighter clothes than I do now or initiate things more Josh than I do now because I was confident and really a lot of it came down to I was just a naturally sexual person. After I had Copeland I brought out my mom jeans and those became my jam. I lived in my nursing bras for far longer than I should have and loved my maternity tank tops and sweatpants and really just anything comfortable. Nothing wrong with a little comfort right? It wasn't until after Finn was born when things really started to fizzle. I mean, we had this insanely needy newborn. He was up all dang night, cried all dang day, etc, etc, etc. It was exhausting. And I've said it before but when you're sleep deprived you're literally in survival mode and sex just was not on my list of How To Survive A Newborn 101. So by this time we were going on 7 years! That good ol' 7 year itch :) We were comfortable with each other. I mean Josh is my BFF but it almost felt like we were becoming co-parenting roommates more than lovers, but again for what I believe is a good reason. We were building a house, parenting two little boys, Josh was working full time and we just had a lot on our plates. The last thing  We  I wanted to do was muster up the energy to get intimate. 

I remember one night getting into these deep discussions with Josh after we kind of went through this just spill-your-guts-about-everything talk. I asked "what can I do for you that is something you miss from me?". He told me he used to love my free spirit and my optimistic attitude towards everything. I kinda got upset and said well I'm not 21 anymore. I'm a mom, I have responsibility, it's not just us. I snapped and got defensive instead of listening to what he wanted. Looking back on it I realized I actually really missed that about myself as well. I almost was feeling trapped in this motherhood gig, not that I don't LOVE my kids to the moon and back but it's okay to love them, be a mom and still be optimistic, let go of the anxiety, look for the silver linings and enjoy your marriage. You guys it took me nearly 9 freaking years to realize this. #facepalm.  

So here's where I started praying. I prayed every night, you guys, for answers. I asked for help getting over my stuck-upness that has taken over my optimistic self. Do I go back to the old me even though I was extremely comfortable with the new motherly version of myself? Should I be giving less of myself to my kids and give more of myself to my husband? Is there a balance, can I find that balance, please God, help me find that balance. Help my marriage, bless my marriage. Help me to understand my husband more intimately and emotionally. I prayed for several months for help to figure out this whole situation that we had ourselves in and I got my answer one night very clearly I won't go into details as it was a very personal and intimate experience with Josh. But ask and you shall receive :)

The past six months have been some of the best of mine and Josh's entire marriage. It honestly feels like we are dating all over again. I feel so confident in myself. I feel confident in my marriage. I am just so happy when he's home. Life has been good. So how did we get here? 

1. Communication. Communication. COMMUNICATION. You guys, it sounds cliche but you have to communicate! Get to the nitty gritty stuff. The stuff you've been pushing down and bottling up. Bring it out and discuss it. I promise it will help way more than bottling that stuff up will. Find out what the other one wants and really listen. Don't get resentful or hurt but just openly listen to your partners needs and desires. Whether it's daily tasks, things you use to do that they use to love that you no longer do, sexual intimate things, get it all out. Share everything. This was hard for me for sure! I've become a very shy and quiet person so it's hard for me to open up and let someone know of my wants, needs and desires. I'm a giver to a fault so asking for something can be hard for me but I promise it's worth asking and talking about. There are things Josh and I found out about one another that was totally surprising! And honestly I though we had gotten to the point of knowing one another inside out. Sometimes all it takes is somebody getting off that high horse and giving into your spouses needs and wants. Even if you think it's ridiculous just put in the little bit of effort for them and your marriage. 

2. Pray + Bible Study. I can't tell you enough that praying has given me every answer to our marriage that I've ever wanted. Along with reading the bible. There are so many incredible verses about love and sex. Like really deep intimate things about sex guys. I grew up super sheltered which could have something to do with how I went a bit crazy when Josh and I first got together and started dating. It was sort of a rebellion thing I think but once I got comfortable in my marriage, these deep embedded and ingrained teachings that sex is wrong came back up in our marriage and it mentally was hard to get over that. Sex is not wrong. It's amazing and enjoyable and lovely :) I would agree that you should wait for marriage but sex is definitely not wrong and I hate how they teach this. I honestly felt awful that I wasn't a virgin when I got married. Anyway, search them out, read them and pray about them. The bible has literally changed my marriage and sex life... never thought I'd say that!

3. Get those kids to bed! Seriously like put them down before 8 pm so you're not zonked out after the hassle that is bed time. Enjoy a couple hours just you and you're man. Make popcorn, put on a movie and CUDDLE. With no intentions of anything else (okay, maybe some intentions) but just enjoy your husband. Really embrace and feel his arms around you, watch his laugh, play with his hair, caress his body. You married this guy and he's got some pretty incredible traits, right? I mean even though sometimes you want to smother him with a pillow when you're up nursing at 4 am and he's sound asleep snoring, but dang, he's pretty alright ;) Enjoy him! Promise, he will be okay with it. 

4. Wear that little outfit he likes and get the dang lingerie! Can I just be the first to say that what I find cute and trendy and fun is completely different to what my husband finds cute and sexy on me ha!! I mean Josh can't be the only guy who isn't a huge fan of the billowy, matronly tops and dresses, right? It's okay to show a little skin for your hubby. I'm not saying go out to target in you skin tight tops and hip hugging pants, but dang mama, show off that figure. I can't even explain how confident I've become in myself lately and let me tell you what! I am not working out, nor dieting. I'm literally in the worst shape of my life with lifeless sad boobs but guess what, you better believe that I am feeling myself when I put on that lingerie for my husband and see the way his eyes light up. 

Seriously, lingerie can do wonders for your self esteem! I started buying lingerie this year. I've never bought lingerie before, like ever. I was WAY too self conscious to even think about wearing that stuff (post kids, that is). And when I say self conscious I don't just mean self conscious of just my body but my whole self. I felt awkward and strange and just wanted to cover up asap! I think I had one lingerie outfit from when I was first married that was a gift at my bridal shower. But that's it. This year I finally decided to invest in a few pieces and you guys... take it from someone who use to only do it with the lights off (I know TMI and super boring and insecure guys!) lingerie can do wonders for your self esteem! And for the record, men are attracted to confidence over anything else, just saying, learned this hands on from experience, so own it mama :)

5. Sexting. I know. I felt like 18 when I typed that out haha. But ladies, send the naughty text to your guy. Just do it and roll with it. It's fun and don't stress about sounding dumb. You cannot sound dumb when you're telling your guy what you want to do to him or what you want him to do to you, okay? Okay. Just go with what you feel and let him know you're thinking of him while he's at work. It builds some fun anticipation for when he gets home.

6. Physical Touch. This is a hard one for me guys. I'm soooo not a touchy feely person. I actively have to remind myself to hold hands, tickle his arm, rub his back, etc. But the reward is amazing! You're letting him know you love him and just a simple touch can literally do so much! (is this a song lyric? sounds like a song lyric) The more of a touchy person I become the more I want to be touched, have my feet rubbed, my back rubbed/kissed etc when before I'd literally cringe at the thought of being touched haha. I know, I'm a total weirdo... maybe it had something to do with nursing a baby all day/night, who knows? But let yourself enjoy the touch of simply holding hands. It's the little things that just create that intimacy that sometimes you can let fall to the wayside when you've been married for a while and life gets busy. So mamas, enjoy those sweet innocent kisses and touches. 

7. Tell Him You Love Him. It sounds so simple right? But honestly for me, it was just something that I said at the end of our phone calls or whenever, But really let him know why you love him. During one of our talks Josh opened up about how I never tell him I appreciate him. This was such a shock for me because Josh is a very strong and independent man. Hearing him say he wanted those words of affirmation was just really surprising to hear. So I've become very mindful to text him and just let him know that I appreciate him. For working hard, building this house, helping me put the kids to bed last night, helping bring the groceries in or for running to the store on his way home for me. Just whatever big or small, let him know that it meant a lot you and you are grateful for him.

Let your man know that you are freaking proud of them and in love with them because I made the mistake almost my whole marriage of not doing that for Josh. I just kind of felt like, you know, he is a strong and independent guy. He's very confident, he doesn't need to hear that I love him or am proud of him all the dang time, he already knows this.

I've never really needed to be told that I am loved or appreciated, is that weird? Ha, I mean yeah it's nice when he says it but it's not something I crave from him you know? So this is also something I've had to be mindful of but I'm so glad Josh brought it up and let me know, even though I know it was hard for him because he is so prideful and confident. I think now that we are getting into these depths of intimacy that we were missing from our marriage, I think that these things are becoming more appreciated on both ends. 

8. Think about Sex! Holy cow I had to come re-edit to this because I can't believe I left out the most important thing, in my opinion. Think about sex during the day. Yep, I said it and I'm not apologizing for it. Think about you and your man. Just do it. Don't go watch porn... I hate porn. I've witnessed marriages ruined by porn first hand, but girl, you better believe you can think about your husband going down on you all day if you choose to. Nothing wrong it. Lets face it, us women take some time to warm up and you know, get into it. By thinking about sex during the day you're basically warming yourself up for your husband. The more I think about my husband and sex and foreplay, the more I want him and the more eager I am to text him, or I mean sext him and let him know what he's in for  ;) Seriously mamas, it's okay to fantasize about your hubby. 

So there you go ladies, my personal list of things we do in our marriage to keep the spark alive. I really should get Josh to write a post about what he does because he truly is amazing and one of a kind. 

And let me just remind you, this took months of work. We didn't just wake up and do all these things and all the sudden had a fantastic sex life and amazing marriage. It took lots of prayer, lots of investing in my husband and myself and just lots of learning and work.  

So, question, how do you keep the spark alive in your marriage?