Monday, February 23, 2015

Marriage and the Platinum Rule

Yesterday, I had a really difficult day. I can’t even peg exactly why it was so difficult… chalk it up to these crazy pregnancy hormones I suppose. Whatever the reason, I was teary for most of the day and just a little down. Which isn’t like me. By the end of the night, I was feeling exhausted, frustrated, and confused. I crawled into bed after a half-hearted prayer, still teary eyed, hoping that the morning would bring a better day. Brad slid into bed and wrapped his arms around me and just let me lay there, feeling his warmth. I had likely been distant all day. He could have easily been frustrated with me. But he chose to love me how I needed to be loved. He whispered into my ear how much he loved me and said exactly what I needed to hear. He let me cry. He even got to a point where I could laugh a little. I drifted into sleep happy and grateful for this amazing man that the Lord has blessed me with.

This morning, I woke up still feeling grateful and thinking about what happened last night and why I was able to feel so much better. And I realized that it was because Brad had loved me in the way I needed to be loved. So I began thinking about this last year and a half of marriage and the things that we have learned about each other and the ways in which our marriage has grown. And I realized that the key to our extreme love and happiness is that we are getting better and better at practicing the platinum rule.

Not everyone has heard of the platinum rule. Most are quite familiar with the golden rule. Now don’t get me wrong. I like the golden rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is solid advice. It’s in the Bible after all (see Matthew 7:12). And I love the Bible. The heart of the idea is to treat people well. Treat them with the kindness you would expect of them.

But I do think that there might be an even greater rule.

What if we were all to treat others in the way they want to be treated?

Many of you are familiar with Gary Chapman’s 5 love languages and the idea that we all feel love in different ways. Some feel love through quality time with their loved ones, others through words of affirmation, some through acts of service, still others through receiving gifts, and the fifth group through physical touch. Of course, these aren’t rigid categories where people only feel love from one of these, but the idea is that some of these speak to us more than others. I think it’s important to understand how you feel loved; however, I think that even more important is understanding how your spouse feels loved. And then learn to “speak their language.”

The golden rule would teach me that if I feel loved when my spouse spends time with me, I should in turn spend time with him. But what if my husband feels more loved when he receives acts of service? Treating him the way I want to be treated is not speaking to his love language. But if I were to recognize his need and respond to his desires, I would be treating him the way he would hope to be treated. There would not be the disconnect between what he hopes for and what I give him. Similarly, my husband would then need to recognize my need and desire for quality time together. The platinum rule.

I have heard friends complaining that their husbands aren't in tune with their needs. Maybe he isn't taking out the trash. Maybe he isn't sitting and talking at the end of the night. Maybe he isn't playing with the kids after work. But he is working hard and providing for the family. He is kissing her goodbye every morning. He is taking her on dates each weekend. The disconnect is happening when what he is doing doesn't match up with what the wife is needing in order to feel loved. And chances are he doesn't even know.

So getting back to yesterday. After we came home from church, it was obvious that I was not at my best. I was upset and having a hard time. Brad has learned that while I love open and honest communication, I need some time to process and think on my own before I’m ready to talk things over. He on the other hand likes to and needs to talk things out, as I have had to learn. Rather than following his own desires, he lovingly let me spend the afternoon thinking and considering what I was going through. He didn’t push me to talk to him yet, knowing that I would come to him when I was ready and had taken the time I needed to work things out in my own mind. He treated me the way I wanted to be treated, even if he would have preferred another way of going about things. He practiced the platinum rule. I was so grateful for him throughout the day and then at night, he knew that I needed to be told that he thought I was doing a good job. I needed to hear him tell me that I will make a good mother. I needed to hear him tell me that he loved me and appreciated my efforts. And then later, I was ready to talk things out and we were able to have a wonderful conversation. If he had pressured me earlier in the day, I would have become frustrated and not known what to say.

Brad is much better at the platinum rule that I am. It is a hard thing to do. Since we feel loved in a specific way, it is more natural to show love in that same way we feel it. It comes more naturally. It is what we understand. But as we work together to speak each other’s love language and to treat the other in the way we would want to be treated, our love blossoms and we become more understanding and appreciative of each other.

So here is my two bits on practicing the platinum rule:

  •           Find out the way your partner feels loved. It’s okay to ask. And be open about telling your spouse how you feel loved. You might even be surprised. For example, I had no idea until we were married that I really need to hear words of affirmation. I was really shy about it at first, but once I was able to tell Brad that I needed to hear the things he was thinking, things just clicked.
  •           Learn to speak each other’s love language. It might feel awkward and unnatural. Perhaps you won’t even understand how it is that your partner feels loved through a certain way, but do it anyways. If you don’t have to hear from your spouse during the day, but he really needs a text message telling him you love him, send it. Set a reminder on your calendar if you need to.
  •           Talk openly about how things are going. Tell each other what you need. Marriage is a partnership and it’s okay that you both have needs to be filled. Listen with an open heart when your spouse loving tells you what he needs.
  •           Thank your spouse for his efforts. I think it goes a long way when we recognize and acknowledge the things that our spouses do for us. They need to know that we see what they are doing and that we are grateful.

I have seen the platinum rule at work in my marriage. I know it works. I am so grateful for a husband that is so good at living by it. And I think that if we could all learn to see the needs of our spouses and treat them the way they want to be treated, our marriages would be even more wonderful.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Red Velvet Bundt Cake

Brad loves red velvet cake.
I knew for a few weeks that I wanted to make him one for Valentine's Day
and my grandma's amazing bundt cake recipe was the perfect choice.
Seriously, my grandma is the cake queen. 
She has graciously agreed to let me share her recipe on the blog.
This recipe works for any kind of cake, so you can make lots of different varieties.
Grandma does a triple chocolate, oreo, lemon and white chocolate, etc.
Today, I will share the specific red velvet recipe.
And let me tell you, it is amazing. It is perfectly moist and delicious.

Red Velvet Bundt Cake
1 box red velvet cake mix
1 c. sour cream
4 eggs
1/2 c. vegetable oil
3 oz. instant vanilla pudding (you can also use chocolate, but I wanted a light chocolate flavor)
12 oz. white chocolate chips (optional, but I love the taste and texture)

Mix cake mix, sour cream, eggs, oil, and pudding together in a large bowl. Batter will be very thick. 
Stir in chocolate chips.

Grease and flour bundt pan.
Spoon mixture evenly into bundt.  
Bake at 350 for 45-50 min. or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool completely before inverting onto plate, atleast 45 min.
Invert onto plate and drizzle with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
2 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Milk until you reach your desired consistency (I ended up using 2 T, but I wanted it quite thin. 
Add it a little bit at a time until you reach the consistency you want)

I made my own frosting, but you don't have to. You can also just get a can of store-bought frosting and add milk until it is the right consistency. I really like the homemade cream cheese frosting though.

This cake is seriously amazing. I had to take a break from writing this post to go and get a slice!

Give it a try and let us know what you think.
I promise it will be the most moist, delicious red velvet cake you have ever had!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Valentine's Round Two

Time is a funny thing. In some ways, it feels like we were just celebrating our first Valentine's Day 
together as a married couple, and in other ways it seems like that was ages ago. 
Either way, this second Valentines was wonderful.

We started out with a breakfast of heart-shaped waffles. I love this little waffle iron, and even though 
we usually prefer Belgian waffles, I get this cutie out once a year for a fun treat. 

Then I kicked Brad out for a bit so that I could make him a surprise.

I had so much fun making him a red velvet cake and dipping some strawberries.
Recipe is going up tomorrow, so come back and check it out!

Brad came home with these lovelies, a washed and vacuumed car, and grapes 
(I've been craving them but haven't wanted to spend the money on them. My Valentine knows what I want).
Random fact about me: I don't like just roses. I like a bouquet with a variety,
plus I feel like roses die a lot faster than other flowers. These were perfect. 

Then we were off to a late lunch. We started that tradition last year and we love it. 
We avoid the crowds and can enjoy a nice meal without feeling rushed.
This year took us to Gloria's Little Italy.
We really loved it and would recommend it to others for a nice meal.
Brad had the Gnocchis which I am VERY picky about because I ate them in Argentina, 
but these did not disappoint. They tasted just like a Gnocchi is supposed to.
I went with the Butternut Squash Ravioli with Italian Sausage.
So yummy.
While these were both delicious, the sauces were extremely rich 
and we both only got through about a fourth of our meal. Hooray for leftovers!

After lunch, we were able to attend the Temple together, something that is always very special.
We came out to a beautiful view

In all, it was a perfect day.
I am so grateful for my eternal Valentine.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday Mail Bag

Dear Brad,
Have I told you how much I love you? A whole lot. For reals. Thank you for an amazing Valentines weekend and for all you do for me. You amaze me more and more every day. Thank you for rubbing my back and my swollen ankles. Thank you for telling me I'm pretty when I feel like a beached whale. Thank you for being my everything. So blessed to have you.
Your Adoring Wife

Dear Baby,
I love you. Really, I do. So much that I want you out of my belly and into my arms... so keep growing well and maybe you could come a week early? Four more weeks sounds so much better than five.
A Momma Anxious to Meet You and Sick of Pregnancy

Dear Provo,
Rumor has it that you might snow this week. I would really appreciate it if you didn't. Rain will give us the moisture we need and be just fine, thanks. Remember how you pretty much skipped winter?
Let's keep it that way.
An AZ girl through and through

Dear Insomnia,
I don't like you. I think that I should be getting the best sleep of my life leading up to having a baby. Don't you know I'm not going to sleep for the next while? Couldn't you just let me sleep now?
An Exhausted Pregnant Lady

Dear Red Velvet Cake,
Please stop tempting me over there on the counter. I made you for Brad, first of all. Second of all,
I have no business eating all of you today.
Your's Truly,
A Sudden Sugar Addict

Dear Readers,
Thanks for sticking with me. I know I am a sporadic blogger, but I am working on keeping you all in the loop. I am so glad that you keep coming back, even when I may not have anything too interesting going on. I am going to work on more consistent posts.
With Gratitude,
The Sporadic, Well-Intentioned Blogger

What's in your mail bag today?

And now a glimpse at our Valentine's Day, which I will be blogging all about tomorrow

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Remembering Our Special Day

I'm excited to tell you all that I wrote my first ever guest post!
Natalie over at is hosting a week of guest posts to celebrate Valentine's Day about 
how different couples met. It is going to be a fun week and I am so happy that I was able to share our story.
Check it out HERE.

 I love our story. I love remembering it and sharing it. This time around with the guest post, 
I went through all of our wedding pictures and just wanted to remember and share with you.
I realized that I have only ever shared about 3 wedding pictures...
So now you get the whole thing!

Just know, this is an absolute picture overload.
But not really.

First, I remembered some of the amazing fun we had leading up to the big day

My bestie, Jenny threw me an awesome bridal shower. So fun!

I absolutely loved my dress. It was so perfect.
We ran into some issues in the alteration phase. Basically, the entire bottom half was ruined and
we had to figure out what we were going to do with just days to go. And things got stressful for a minute.
But then it was all perfect.
This is one of my favorite pictures from that week.
Loved my dress.
Love my mom.
And it was so special to me that she wanted everything to be perfect.
And it was.
This moment was one that I will remember forever and I'm so glad my aunt caught a sneaky picture

And like I said, it all worked out in the end. We were very blessed
and my dress was all I had dreamed it would be.

My brother wasn't able to be at the wedding, so we made a cut out of him.

Not quite the same as having him there in person, but hey! 
he is the only one with his eyes open in all the pictures

We did pretty much all of our own decorating
The dads decorated the foyer and did an amazing job.
We showed our video here while people waited to greet us.

My work let us use their baby grand piano.
It was gorgeous and elegant.
Somehow these are the only pictures I have of the piano... 

The reception was in the cultural room our church building.
With the lights off, this false ceiling was gorgeous.
The live piano music really set the mood nicely.
Grateful for talented family and friends who played.

We made a billion pom-pom looking things.
And my grandma took us back to her cheer leading days.
My grandma is that cool.

We decided to take some pictures the week before the wedding.
Getting married in AZ in June means terrible heat, and we tried to avoid being outside in the peak of it.

I also have to mention this gorgeous bouquet. 
We made the grey paper flowers to accent the yellow.
I didn't want to mess with dying flowers and not really getting grey.
Flowers by Amy did all of the floral arrangements and we definitely recommend her. 

And can we please acknowledge how attractive my hubby is?

The most important decision we made was where to be married.
We believe that being married in the temple means that there is not "til death do we part."
It's forever. Eternal.

And all these amazing photos?
Darby Elizabeth Photography

And then there was the big day itself
We had SO much support from our wonderful family 

I could throw in a million more pictures of these amazing people!

And then there were my girls

Can't you tell how much I adore them?

And Brad had his buddies

Have I mentioned that Brad has a sock thing?
And by thing, I mean obsession.
Like he has probably 100 pairs of socks kind of obsession.
I love that about him.

I wanted the reception to be simple elegance.
And it was exactly what I hoped for.

 The food was amazing. Seranos restaurant catered and it was delicious.
And the cake perfected the meal.

Our first dance was magic.
Basically just saying "we just got married!" over and over.
And picturing eternity together.

And then there was the dance with my Dad.
And if you don't know, that is something I had looked forward to forever.
Love that man.

And the cake.
Oh the cake.

We aren't awkward or anything...

And we were soon off on our honeymoon cruise

 The day was perfect.
It was magical.
And what is even more wonderful is every day of our life together.
The wedding was amazing.
But the marriage is everything.
And I'm so glad to have my Bradley for all eternity.

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