Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Being away from home

Being away from Stepheni for days at a time, is one of my least favorite things; I think it's even more keenly felt by her.  It's lonely for starters, and awkward when I reach out and take a perfect stranger's hand forgetting she's not right there.  For anyone else out there, we do some things to make the time apart more bearable.  

1.  We text.  A lot.  If it's busy, this isn't possible, but if it isn't then we are chatting it up some.  Keeping involved with each other at a distance is more possible each day:  texting, phone calls, FaceTime-type things, etc.  Speaking of which:

2.  Video Chat!  This is kind of fun, I remember before we were married and while I was at home loading up Skype and just leaving it on as we went to bed.  It was kind of nice to look over and see her and it made for some chaste pillow-talk while we were still engaged.  ;-)

3.  Read scriptures and nightly prayers over the phone.  Actually I've gotten some comments about this, but all of them positive.  We try to make it a point to read scriptures together and pray as often as we can when we are together, and continuing this as we are apart reinforces that.  

4.  Find something to bring home.  One time it was a rock I found while on a field trip to Yellowstone (I picked it up outside of the park).  Last time it was chocolate from Trader Joe's (Yum!).  Next time, who knows?  

5.  Take pictures just for them.  Sometimes I take a picture thinking about Stepheni and send it to her via MMS texting, or email.  It's easy and quick and a way to share a sunset, a pretty scene or a flower together.  

Seattle, with my friend Justin at a Sushi place.
I will be leaving tomorrow to go to my interview for USAA in San Antonio, and I will be doing exactly these things while I am gone.  The bottom line is to keep in contact while you are apart!  Good luck!  

Any other advice from the readership would be appreciated!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Back in her arms again

It's great to be back from Seattle.  The expedition was great but it is nice to be back with Stepheni and not waking up alone again.  I would really like to go back there someday to spend some time with Stepheni there touring the city and eating at the restaurants there.  Justin and I walked by the famous Ruth's Chris steakhouse and had enough time to look at the menu.  It wasn't too expensive:  We would have just had to cut everything in half and share the plate of food they brought us to afford it.  I'll go back one day ;-)

Stepheni and I had some time to go shopping today, and we ended up buying Lady and the Tramp and Puss in Boots, both of which we love!  It ended up costing us a pretty penny, but we feel like it is a good investment for our kids one day as they are good, clean Disney movies and Blu-Ray.  We had a chance to talk about what we want for our children in terms of entertainment and came up with some ideas:

1.  No cable:  We don't watch it as it is, and we don't feel that cable TV has anything to offer to our kids.  If we want some educational material then we can go out and buy it.  Stepheni brought up as well that keeping the TV off for the first two years of Etienne's life will be fairly easy and what she would like to do, but we will have to decide what to do with our second child as Etienne will want to watch TV and the other may not be two already; something to think about.

2.  One family computer:  While Stepheni and I will have our tablets and phones, we feel like it is important to have one family computer (probably an iMac due to the family settings it has) and have that be available but supervised.  We've talked about the importance of using the tools that are available in the world but knowing how to leave inappropriate content is an important skill to develop and something we want to teach our children.  YouTube is full of great information but it is also full of garbage as well, the same goes for Facebook, LinkedIn, and the internet at large!

3.  Look at the ratings and reviews.  Looking at websites like Common Sense Mediaimdb Parents Guide, Kids in Mind, and Parent Previews are great resources to find out why movies are rated the way they are, and teaching our children to look at ratings and gauge whether it sounds like something good to go to  even with G and PG-rated movies will teach them to make good moral decisions early on.  Thinking back to the counsel given to us to "be in the world but not of the world" is something not only wise but necessary in this day and age.  There is a lot of great content out there, but knowing how to filter through it and find what is good and wholesome therein is a necessary skill for everyone that wants to lead a wholesome and uplifting life.

Thanks for reading.