Parenthood


2nd Birthday at the Elderly Home

IMG_7882smallThis year I decided to make her birthday party a more service oriented birthday because she only cares about having a cake and blowing out the candle at this age.  I got this idea from a post I saw on Facebook  about a kindergarten which went to a rest home (care center) once a month to visit the elderly and how it made them sooo happy. We also recently had a friend who had passed away who was at this care center so we decided to pay them a little visit. I also believe that having  the elderly in my children’s lives can teach them many things from compassion, service to love and so much more! I know I was abundantly blessed by living with my grandma for many years.

At first when I called them to ask them if we could do this, they sounded confused why on earth I would have a birthday there because they had never had this done before. Even those who I had invited was a little confused at why her birthday party was at a care center. We also asked guests to not bring a gift but a gently used toy that can be donated to a kids charity.

I tried to keep it as minimal as possible so all we had were a few balloons, snacks and the cake. I think all up I spent under $10 on this birthday so yay!!!I was the main entertainment, we just sang songs and recited nursery rhymes. For the elderly is was just a lot of fun to interact and watch the little kids run around and play. Many of them wishing they could have a little of their energy haha. (don’t we all) It was also sooo sweet to hear some of the elderly say that they never see their great grand babies so this was a real treat for them.

It was such a simple little birthday idea that I encourage any of you to do. I’m not one for big birthdays but if it can brighten someones day I will do it. In doing this I hope that my little one when she looks back on these pictures will also be able to find her own ways to serve those with high needs in our community.

Big thanks to our family and friends that came out to help us celebrate!!! We love you!!!!!IMG_7844small IMG_7850small  IMG_7864small

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4 Simple Family Valentines Traditions

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Hey  just so you know in advance you won’t be seeing me posting any pictures of a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a new pair of shoes, or an expensive dinner this year because we are going minimalist this year.  (I don’t know why but I seem to enjoy them more when they are on sale lol.   But if anything it just means we get more quality and meaningful time to spend on each other without any filters!!!!Anyways here are ways we are going to show love to each other in our home this year.

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  1. Valentines Breakfast with the Little Ones. (Breakfasts are so much easier than dinner together its easy to prepare and we get yummy pancakes or waffles and some good old OJ) Or switch it around and have breakfast for dinner
  2. Thoughtful notes: throughout the month.. My husband loves receiving notes from me and photos of the little ones. So this is nice and easy for us. You can either send them by text, email, or a good old card or even a video there are lots of ways to express your love through words. On valentines we may just stick a few extra hearts on the door to make them feel extra special.
  3. Service: Look for somebody who needs extra love: Brainstorm a few people that you want to stop by and give them a HEART ATTACK on their front door. Even a simple note of thanks and gratitude works wonders. If you are feeling extra loving a visit to an elderly home or a homeless shelter will go a long way.
  4. Service Trade: If gifts are wanted gift certificates are always a fun gift to give, such as a massage for 30mins, a foot rub, or even, daddy daughter ice cream date. Valentines is more about quality time together not necessarily a gift of some sort.
  5. Home made cards: With a hand print and paint or crayons you are sorted!!! Give them to grandma and grandpa, to the mailman to your neighbors, its such a small thing that will help your children get in the habit of giving. 

What are your favorite SIMPLE valentine traditions??? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!


4 Ways to keep the Romance alive with a New Baby

Lets face it, this is just a difficult time to keep the romance alive. You just had a baby, you are still feeling bloated, and your bodies trying to adapt to the hormones and everything post pregnancy whether you are breastfeeding or recovering from a c-section.  But all reasons aside we can’t just abandon this aspect of our marriage completely. If anything this is such an important time for you and your spouse as he may be feeling more neglected with the new baby in the house. The truth is if you are not looking after yourself and your marriage first, this will reflect in your parenting. So in order to be a better mother be a better wife first. ( p.s this photo was taken literally a day after we had our 2nd baby at the hospital! first official date night after baby and she was in the nursery just down the hall hahaha)

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  1. Try and have the baby sleep in their own crib or bassinet. This is hard at first especially if you are nursing and fall asleep during it (like me) But if you prefer to co-sleep use one of those attachments to your bed so that you and your spouse still have your own space.

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2. Self Care! This is something I always neglect but have come to see the importance in lately. Even  just waking up earlier to have a nice shower, even putting on makeup and doing your hair can do wonders for you. For me I just enjoy going for a walk in the morning. It is so easy to get caught up in the drab of being in your p.js all day long. At least dressing up will make you look more cuddly even if you don’t really feel like it.

3. Communicate with your spouse. Help him understand that  time together will be less but when you do get time together ensure that it is QUALITY TIME! Talk and plan what things you can do as soon as you get that time alone.

4. Set specific Date nights. Right now we can’t really leave our little one with anyone so we always set at least 10mins aside each day to talk with each other. It really has become my favorite part of the day, even though I get sick of his work stories I just enjoy where our conversations end up. While the kids are asleep pop out the ice cream or the goodies and have a date night in the kitchen or on the deck outside. Creativity is KEY!!

Would love to know your ideas and thoughts. Email me or message me at info@ourhappytalk.com.


The Conscious Family – Episode 2: Setting Family Goals

 

  1. Find Problems or things that can be improved in the family. Identify the Goal
  2. Ensure everybody is on board with the Goal or has a say in the Goal
  3. Steps to achieving it & Identify obstacles that may prevent from achieving it
  4. Date to accomplish this  goal by. Or if it’s an ongoing goal how often you will revisit it.

Goals for Mummy and Daddy

  • Date Night Monthly
  • Temple Night Monthly
  • Quarterly Night Away
  • Weekly planning session

Goals for the Little Kids

  • Make Bed before breakfast
  • Pick up toys before dinner

Goals for Mummy and Daddy and Kids

  • Dinner or Breakfast Together 3times a Week
  • Morning and Evening Prayers and Scripture Reading
  • Pick up the house before Bedtime
  • No Electronics between 6-9pm
  • Family Vacation 2times a year

Budgeting for Family Vacations

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(photography by Conner and Tracy at the Grand Turks Island 2016)

We love going on family trips therefore we always need to factor in family vacations into our budget. We love going from the simple overnight camping trips, to staying at a bed and breakfast to going half-way across the world to visit my family in New Zealand.

My husband and I live a pretty simple life with one car, one phone and occasionally go out for a pizza or thai food once a week. We also live on a pretty tight budget since he is the only provider right now therefore we may have to scrimp at times but we never lack. We also have pretty strict rules on debt and the only debt we have is that of our house. We will never do trips or purchase anything if they put us in any financial burden. We maintain a good emergency fund of 6 months and find other ways to invest the rest. (So let’s say we scrimp on daily spending so we can enjoy more fun family vacations.) So there’s some background for you. Today I thought of sharing some ways that we budget for our family trips.

  1. Get a Vacation Calendar – This isn’t always the easiest when sometimes we end up going with other family members. But at least getting out a yearly calendar and slotting in the times when you want to go on vacation especially the big ones that you know for sure. Seeing the different times you want to go and where you want to go will help you allocate a budget to each vacation
  2. Budget – Now you know how many times you are going out of town and roughly estimate how much you will be spending at each place. Once you know how much you are spending at each place divide that by weekly or bi-weekly however you get paid to know how much you have to put aside each week for the trips.
  3. Get Creative – I am a firm believer if you don’t have the money for it and you want it then go out there and get the money for it. Life’s too short to go without! (to a certain degree) If the vacation is out of your budget then don’t just end it there, get creative!!! If this is something you really want you will make the money for it. Whether you pick up extra hours doing something on the weekend, sell extra things out of your house or start up a new craft to sell.
  4. Research – So for me I can go pretty extreme. I don’t care about where we stay…Just as long as I am there I will hitchhike to get around or sleep in my car if necessary . (it’s all part of the fun adventure for me) But do your research into all the free activities and all the discounted places you can find to eat, sleep and activities to do while there. The more research the better idea you have and how much money you will need to allocate to this place.  Many times they will charge you for having a tour but if you walked around yourself it would be free. Some people enjoy living luxuriously and that’s great every now and then but if I can save enough for another trip I am down for that!!
  5. Scale – If big trips are just out of your budget just opt for smaller trips around your hometown or a few cities or state away! These vacations are just as fun, they don’t need to be elaborate or fancy. The most important thing about vacations is dedicating extra time to be with the people you love the most and strengthening those bonds.

Vacations and Holidays are times for us to build family memories and to bond on a closer level. Therefore we value this time together as something extra. Yeah the photos are fun and posting it on social media has it perks but it’s no fun if you are going to be in debt for it. So be smart!

If you have any questions or comments feel free to message me at info@ourhappytalk.com. I would love to talk to you about strengthening your marriage and family and creating a vision for your family that you have dreamed of and making it a reality.


Am I ready for Marriage?

Lets face it we will never be completely and fully ready for anything in life? How many of us were ready to go to school for the first day? Or start a new job or college or anything. I know I wasn’t ever ready but I did it and I became better because I jumped in it with faith and hope and an attitude to work at it. Marriage is a big step and although we may never be completely ready for it there are some things that we can do to better prepare ourselves for this lifelong commitment. Here are some general questions to ask yourself if you are wondering if you are ready for this marriage thing!

Is my relationship with God priority above all else?

If you do not have solid foundations you will not be able to stand. Do you feel your relationship with God is superficial work on it? Your relationship with God is the foundation for any marriage if it is strong you will be able to withstand whatever trials that may come your way.

Have I fallen in Love with Myself?

One of the worst things a girl can do is going into a marriage being self-conscious, jealous and emotionally unstable. We need to love ourselves first. We need to have a deep knowledge and understanding and love of who we are wherever we are at in our life. When we can find love from within us we don’t need to compare ourselves to other women and feel insecure about ourselves. Many women break down and fall apart when their spouse isn’t there for them but as we know how to love ourselves wecan handle these situationsWe enjoy love from others but also know that we don’t heavily depend on it because our love from inside is greater and we know that we have a greater source of love which is God and His love is unconditional.

Am I willing to be Selfless in all aspects of my life?

Marriage is selfless. You need to be doing things for the sake of the marriage not for your own personal gain. From the children to your sexual intimacy marriage is doing things for each other.

Am I willing to be open and vulnerable in my marriage?

When we are open and vulnerable this is where REAL TRUST is built. When we communicate our true feelings and emotions it builds strength in your relationship. Some people may look at this as a sign of weakness but know that when you do this your partner will be able to confide in you as well and you start building true foundations of trust, love and commitment all because you were willing to be open and vulnerable.

Am I humble enough to admit fault and learn?

Humility is big if you are humble enough to know when you are wrong and also willing to admit fault this will take you a long way. Communicating is vital to let your partner know how you are feeling and expressing it in a loving and calm way.

Am I committed to being with this one person through thick and thin and accept where they are at?

Who you decide to marry is not going to change overnight. Too often we want to change them but the fact of the matter is we can’t change anybody. It has to come from within themselves. We as partners need to love them for where they are at and how far they have become. It does not mean we lose sight of their potential but we love them along this journey.

What would you add to the list? Would love to hear your thoughts? If you are working on some of these and would like to get some more personal advice I would love to talk to you. Email me at info@ourhappytalk.com.

xo Tracy


Is this TRUE LOVE?

IMG_1400The million dollar question! When we are dating somebody and things have been going steady for a while figuring out if you are truly in love with this person can be a complicated question. For some people can be an ongoing question for years and years on end. There are many types of love, the love of a parent and a child, self love, love of humanity as a whole, superficial love and the list goes on. Today I wanted to focus on the most truest and purest Love ever known to humanity which is the True Love of God.

One of my favorite verse that talks about Love is that which talks about Charity in Corinthians. Charity is the pure love of Christ. We know that Christ had the purest form of love for us as shown by his sacrifice at the garden and on the cross.  Therefore as we try and evaluate our love for somebody we are free to compare it against this definition of Christ. Of course we will never reach his level of perfection but we can try to emulate his love.

Charity is the pure love of Christ. It is the love that Christ has for the children of men and that the children of men should have for one another. It is the highest, noblest, and strongest kind of love and the most joyous to the soul

Charity suffereth long

When you love somebody you are patient with their flaws. We are patient in all aspects whether they are suffering emotionally or physically. We see it through to the end. You understand they are not perfect but you are with them every step of the way in this journey.

Charity is Kind

Being around your boyfriend or husband may mean that they see sides of you that no one else sees. They get the tired you at the end of the day. They get grumpy snappy you. But this is no excuse they don’t deserve to be treated this way. Our spouse is the one we love the most, therefore we need to be our kindest self towards them.

Charity Envieth not

In marriage this can also be referred to as resentment in marriage. Sometimes we resent that our husbands get to go to work all day while we stay at home cleaning cooking and watching the kids. Sometimes we are envious that our wives stay home while we have to go make the money. Envy in marriage can come up in so many ways. So let’s try and appreciate what our situation brings. Let’s not be envious and play the score card game.

Charity seeketh not her own

Marriage is definitely not a selfish road. If that’s what you want you obviously should be looking elsewhere. Marriage is all about serving and loving and giving of yourself. Both husband and wife give of themselves to each other. One is not above the other we are looking to put their interests first always.

Charity is not easily provoked

Oh how easy is it to get bugged at the smallest little thing that your loved one does. It’s way too easy to get caught up in the weeds and not be able to see the bigger picture of the flowers blooming around. Sometimes it’s just easier to let things slip by, pick your battles my friends.

Charity thinketh no evil

Our imaginations are king at this. We love imagining up scenarios that we play in our minds that are seem totally true but in fact our a mere creation of our imagination. Let’s not assume that our partners are always trying to flirt or find someone new. Let’s not assume of the worst possible scenario. Let’s assume the best in our spouse and let them assume the best in us. That is where trust begins.

Charity rejoiceth in truth

Communicating to your spouse can be the hardest but the most rewarding thing you can do in a marriage. When you are open and honest with each other about all areas of your marriage, physical, sexual, financial, emotional you will be able to grow and excel to greater levels of intimacy and trust.

Charity Beareth & Endureth all things

Similar to the first, in marriage we work together to solve and workout whatever trials that come our way. Having charity which bearth all things means that we are there till the end when the going get tough, that is not our time to call it quits we will see it through together until the end.

Charity Believeth & Hopeth all things

Marriage means that you believe and have faith in your marriage. You have a positive and optimistic hope in your marriage that things will work out. You have faith in each other and help see the great things that you can accomplish together. You set a wonderful vision for where our marriage is heading and you have hope and faith in what the future will bring for your marriage and family.

If you can tick these off in the ways you feel for your partner you can know that you working towards true love. As husband and wife or partners this is our goal and our aim to develop this kind of love for our spouse. The same kind of love that Christ has for us. His love is perfect and it never faileth!

I would love to hear your thoughts on this piece. If you have questions or thoughts comment or message me at info@ourhappytalk.com.

With Love xo


When your spouse doesn’t show affection

IMG_3479smallDepending on how long you have been married you are probably so sick of trying to get your husband to remember anniversaries, birthdays, mother’s day or even just to be spontaneous and bring you flowers one day. When I first married my husband he was not very affectionate in those ways. When we took the love language test his top 3 were, words of affirmation, time and physical affection while mine was time and acts of service he started to realise what I loved and started to direct his actions towards my love language. But it didn’t happen immediately and I couldn’t force him anything against his will no matter how much I wanted to. The progress was slow and it took effort from the both of us, it required patience and understanding from each of us.

Evaluate Media Intake

How often are you watching movies and shows that show all the fairy tale relationships. While you and your spouse are trying to improve your relationship it would be helpful to decrease your intake of this type of media so you are not holding up crazy fairy tale expectations of your spouse. Even with social media when you see all your friends constantly posting all the fun things that their spouses do for them and there you are getting even more annoyed that your spouse isn’t doing the same thing! Until you are comfortable with where you are in your marriage have a media diet and limit your intake, it will be better for both your marriage and plus you will have more time for each other!!!!

Communicate

This is not a nagging session and finding fault session this is a time to to loving tell your spouse how you feel. Begin the conversation by saying things that you love that your spouse does. Show him that there are awesome things that they do! Then bring up that which are your personal concerns. If you set a time to regularly meet together to talk about deep relationship topics this may it be easier to express your concerns so your spouse knows this is something that you are both working on together and that there is consistent accountability on a weekly or monthly basis.

Give Credit for the Small

Give credit at every opportunity you can. We all work this way when somebody recognizes a good behaviour of ours we are like little kids and we want to do it over and over again. Try and spot those times when your spouse has made the effort big or small. If it was a phone call or even a text message let your spouse know you appreciate them thinking of you during the day and sending that thoughtful message.

5 Love Language Tests

Last but definitely not least!!!! Do this test learn what rings with each other, what makes you and your spouse feel loved. If you have even more time, take some time to read the book if you want to get in depth into it. Understanding each other is so important so you can be a lot more empathetic and loving and understanding to how each other does things and why they do things.

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11 Ways to Improve Intimacy in Marriage

DISCLAIMER: If posts like this make you blush feel free to skip this post and check out all our other posts to help strengthen your marriage and family. For those wanting to learn how to increase intimacy in marriage read on!


Intimacy is beautiful when able to be expressed in the bonds of matrimony. But like all beautiful things it does take effort, work, understanding and love.

At the beginning of any relationship it is completely normal for intimacy to be on a high. But just like all things in life the fun begins to wear off therefore we need to put more effort and work into it. We get comfortable and sometimes end up putting intimacy on the back-seat. We all need to realise that intimacy is a vital part of marriage where at the beginning it was more a physical thing but as you grow together intimacy becomes more about connecting and showing deeper emotional love for one another. You do have to bear in mind different phases of life that your spouse is going through, whether it is pregnancy, nursing, stress at work, or illness and be understanding and accommodate to these different circumstances! All couples go through cycles of highs and lows and sometimes lows last longer than we want. Today I have compiled some ideas to help you increase you sexual desire.

Pray Together

Never underestimate the power of prayer! Praying together with your spouse over improving your sex life is just as important as praying for school, work, family and whatever else there is.

Say No!

Ladies we take too much on! If what you are doing is taking putting too much stress on you and your family that by the end of the day you don’t want to do anything with your spouse you may just need to prioritise! Say no to things that will take your attention from the things that matter most! And don’t put your sex life at the bottom of the list!

De-stress

Too much stress increases the stress hormone cortisol, which causes testosterone to plummet. Find a way to tune out for 15 minutes a day, whether through meditation, yoga, chilling to music, or chilling with a friend.

Clear the Clutter

Clearing the mess in your bedroom will help you for sure get in the mood. You are not stumbling over kids toys or things all over the floor to romance your spouse. Having your room in order will allow you to focus on your spouse and not worrying about the load of laundry you are needing to do or any other things on your to do list in the upcoming days! Let’s hide the overwhelm for at least while you are in the bedroom!

Experiment

I can’t stress this one enough, experiment and try something new on a regular basis. Try new positions, new locations, music or anything to spice up your intimacy level. Experimenting allows you to feel more excited about getting into it and about what else you can do.

Fantasize

This can be difficult at the beginning and requires a lot of trust between the couple. But once you can express those desires to each other in a safe and loving environment it can boost your sexual desire big time! Remember that you need to respectful of each other’s boundaries and comfort levels. It is also vital to know fantasies are kept between both of you and inviting no one else into the fantasies is a big NO NO!

Exercise

Aerobic workouts (running, biking, swimming) not only improve blood flow to sex organs but can also boost your mood, pumping up “feel good” brain chemicals called endorphins. An increase in testosterone levels about one hour after working out can also leave you feeling sexier. Do avoid overstraining yourself, though, since extreme exercise actually lowers testosterone levels.

Abstain

Dr. Beiter says he encourages couples to “move away from a performance-based sexuality, where sex is typically defined as intercourse and mandatory orgasms.” Instead, he suggests taking up “pleasure-based sexuality, where the focus is on pleasure, fun and intimacy.” This allows you both to get excited and have some time to work up to the actual thing.

Date Nights

Plan a date night, of course! In fact, go ahead and e-mail this article to your spouse right now, asking him to make reservations at your favorite restaurant tonight. But really you need some alone time so find a babysitter and schedule this time out. Make it a regular occurrence at least 3 times a month minimum.

Health

If you feel there is a health issue that is preventing you from enjoying your sex life then visit a doctor. Also keep in mind that birth control pills and nursing also affects your desire for sex. Your doctor may be able to prescribe certain medication to help you solve issues you didn’t realize were there.

Timing and Schedule

If it really is difficult to get in the mood schedule it in!!! Schedule it during the time of day when you have a little more energy than usual. Leaving it right to the end of the day means that you will for sure be exhausted and you will for sure have the least desire. If at all possible to do a quickie in the morning or midday if you only have a limited amount of time.

New Hobbies

Recent research shows that partaking in new and challenging experiences with your partner can boost the brain chemical dopamine, which helps fuel sex drive. These don’t even need to be in the bedroom. Enter a race together, on a tandem bike. Get a little lost on a wilderness hike—without a map. Host a game night with friends where each couple kicks in $30 and the winning pair takes all.

For additional resources, consider reading any of the following books:

  1. The Sex Starved Wife: by Michele Weiner Davis
  2. Why Men Stop Having Sex: by Bob Berkowitz
  3. And We Were Not Ashamed: by Laura Brotherson

More couples than you realize consist of partners with varying sex drives. With open communication and the setting of attainable goals and expectations, you and your spouse CAN find happy medium in the bedroom!

If you would love more info or have questions on this topic I would love to talk to you! Feel free to message me at info@ourhappytalk.com to schedule a free mini coaching call!!!

xo best wishes


Marriage Interview: Kaufusi Family

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Pauline and Maverick Kaufusi met in high school they were in the same history class. She goes to say “We stayed good friends. I went to BYUH and returned as a BYUH intern to Tonga in 2013. We hung out again. And he randomly asked me to marry him. I didn’t know if it was for real and so we ended up playing it out like he was just playing around. Long story short i didn’t finish my mission papers and we got engaged and got married oct 2014”

  1. What was your top qualities in looking for a spouse?

So my top qualities i was looking for in a spouse was someone who I could see myself as close to him as I my mum am to my dad. I wanted good conversation, someone I could just be myself with and it wasn’t a chore to try make conversation or try and pretend like I wanted to hang out. I don’t know if that makes any sense. Also it was top priority that i got married in the temple, if it wasn’t the temple then sorry mate you’re not for me! I wanted to make sure he would always treat me well in public as well as behind closed doors. He needed to respect me as well as other women regardless.

  1. What has been the biggest adjustment for you being married?

I think the biggest adjustment for me was having to consult someone about my decisions big or small. I moved out of home at 14 and boarded then went on to university and flatted so I was always used to making my own decisions, spending time/money on whatever I wanted. So adjusting was a learning process. Simply remembering to include my husband in decision making. It was also difficult for my husband too because he felt I was independent and I didn’t need him enough so I had to balance and include him in our decisions

  1. What was the best advice someone gave to for marriage?

My young women’s president in youth told me “Don’t give up an eternity of happiness for a few moments of satisfaction” this helped me in the dating stages to hold my standards high and wait for someone who is ready for the temple.

  1. What has been the most enjoyable part of marriage?

The most enjoyable part of marriage is being over the “playing hard to get” stage. Once you are past that it’s all fun and games. Also the best is not have to say goodbye at night and he go home or I go home. That was always a pain when dating

  1. What have you done to get through your tough times in marriage?

Tough times in our marriage has been a learning process but when we can’t stand each other my husband would just say we are in this forever so either way angry or not I’m still the one you will wake up to in the morning. So we just take time to cool off I always want to talk about it but sometimes we just get over it and it’s easier that way. In the end it doesn’t matter who’s right.

Marriage is a fun and great experience, I thought I loved my husband when I was dating and when I married him. But I learn more and more about him every day and even after knowing his flaws I continue to love him. Like he says we are in this forever. There’s no going back!!!

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