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THE GROCERY GAMES….How to Survive Market Runs with your Spouse

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Shopper beware- I’ve learned that in healthy relationships, opposition has no choice but to show its ugly head at the strangest of places. A grocery store, as innocent and unassuming as it appears is the perfect breeding ground for preventable disputes. We recently experienced another unexpected snow storm here in Baltimore, and I had to think if it was worth going to the market before we got the worst of it. Markets can be an annoying place to end up in on a Sunday evening. Ultimately, we decided to go and it wasn’t that bad, but that was not by coincidence.

My husband and I  have always gotten along well, so when we were engaged and our personalities clashed in the grocery store, I had to figure out why. I mean it really urked me, to the point where I had to ask a married friend of mine if she and her husband went grocery shopping together.  She moved her eye glasses down to the middle of her nose, looked me square in the eyes, and said “NO”. And when I thought about it, I don’t have any memories of my parents grocery shopping together. But, I do have many of my father being frustrated and impatient while waiting in the car for my mother to come out of the store. Most of the time they made shopping trips on their own, and Lord help us if my little brothers and  I accompanied them. Let’s just say a lot of times we were left in the car, or found some way to remind our parents they should have left us there.

I realized our personalities clashed when going to the market because we both had different approaches to grocery shopping. I typically enter the market with a  peaceful “Hmmm what do I need in here” kind of vibe, whereas my husband is more “get it and go”. My approach left my husband to believe that I was clueless about what I needed to get, which was not true. While he made me think that he took grocery shopping way too seriously. I can only assume this may be where my mom and dad, and many other couples also differ.

Optimistically, I tried going shopping alone but that ended up being inconvenient because we were rarely not together. We enjoyed being with each other, even at the annoying grocery store. Plus, I’m totally hooked on not carrying any shopping bags. I have carried enough bags in my life, refusing the help of my sketchy neighbors, while making a million trips back and forth to my car, almost dropping everything.  Sure, I offer to help, but my husband doesn’t like me to. Of course I insist on it because it doesn’t take much to make me feel guilty, and he gives me the lightest bag-sweetie pie.

Nevertheless, practice makes perfect. Overtime, I’ve come to not absolutely dread shopping trips and you will too. With communicating to your spouse about the preferences of both of you, eventually you will get used to each others behavior. Also, the more you visit the market, the more familiar you will become with the ins and outs of your grocery store. You will remember where the items are you typically buy, and no longer feel like you are in a never ending maze. I expect our shopping trips to continually improve, but admittedly I am not ready to add a baby or another little person just yet.  I really hate it when I see a whole family at a market or a little kid with their own shopping cart, I just want to yell, “There’s no room for that people!”  Pray for me, maybe the Grinch will grow a heart….one day.

To make your grocery shopping experience more enjoyable, try doing the following:

  • First, make a  grocery list of the items you need and go over it together, so there are no major surprises about what you are buying when you get in the grocery store.
  • Secondly, leave room for “cheating”, from the list. For example,  if cookies are not on your list but you can afford to buy cookies, and your spouse has a sweet tooth, then buy them. It’s the little things that keep a home happy and it shows them that you care about what they like.
  • Thirdly, create and commit to a budget while shopping together. One person shouldn’t be responsible or the only one knowing what the budget is. Both should feel the anxiety of trying to stick to it and the joy of sticking to it. I love “hi -fiving” my husband  if we were able to stick to the budget or telling each other “not bad” if we went over some.
  • And lastly, let go of the shopping cart. If one person really likes to push it, let them. Don’t start caring all of a sudden because they do.

I hope I have helped make your future shopping trips more enjoyable.

Remember… Stay a Busy Bee and share with a Bride to Be

Rachel Bryant Lundy

“Woo chile”, these weekends sure fly by!

 Not long ago my Saturday mornings would consist of lying in bed, while watching episodes of the Pioneer Woman, and ordering in if I eventually became hungry. Now, as a new Bride, I find myself with a “to do list” to tackle every Saturday morning. Mainly to ensure that the next work week runs smoothly and to keep my happy home, happy. Not to mention trying to squeeze in baby showers and birthday parties, of which there is never a shortage.  And, oh yeah, the most important “to do”, spend quality time with the man I just married. However, the bright side is at least I have an awesome partner in crime to help me tackle those things. Albeit, a partner that loves to get up early and stay busy, while I prefer not to do anything until the feeling hits me. Some say I’m lazy, but because I’m an artist, I prefer to call it, inspiration driven.

On Thursday evening, my sweet husband called my mother and offered to take her to work on Friday because she doesn’t like to drive in bad weather. She declined the ride but instead offered to take us to breakfast on Saturday. We both love food, and don’t turn down meals, especially free ones. The only problem, I would have to get up at 7:15 a.m., same as any other day. Oh well, breakfast at our favorite spot in Baltimore, Sip and Bite, is worth it.  It’s a small 24 hour diner known for its Greek food, but we only eat there for breakfast, and sells the best crab cakes you will ever taste.

We arrived at our favorite diner, to be waited on by our favorite sassy waitress. She and my husband are always at each other’s throats, both of them tough on the outside, and soft on the inside. Once seated my mother says “This is just like the bar cheers, where everyone knows your name”. The waitress replied “Yea everybody knows me as bit**.” Our whole table burst out with laughter. It’s really hard to be offended by a funny person. And besides the food, the main reason for going to a diner is the free entertainment. While eating breakfast, we have a discussion that never gets old, church politics and the rebellious nature of children brought up in the church.

Stuffed from breakfast, and a little tired from taking my mom to run some errands once we got home we decide to do something different, and not do anything else for the rest of the day. Before we knew  it, there was 8 p.m., and we were now thinking about what to wear for church tomorrow. So once again I set my alarm for 7:15 a.m., while thinking of the errands left to do tomorrow that we put off today.

By Sunday evening, we managed to have all the errands done, and I was able to have dinner ready in time to watch some “comforting foolishness” Real Housewives of Atlanta. My husband is easy to please as long as a meal has rice in it, but I’m a little old school,and I believe if you are not going out for Sunday dinner, then it should require a little more effort than usual. So, I took my stab at making potato salad that I haven’t made in over two years. The ingredients that go into it are pretty simple, but I forgot how much elbow grease it takes, if you want it to be good. I also made collard greens seasoned with turkey necks, and fried chicken. I was tired but it was so worth it.

Dinner was definitely my biggest accomplishment this weekend, because it was done out of love for my family, and it was good. Yeah, I’m cheesy, you can blame it on the Donna Reed episodes my father used to make me watch.

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By late Sunday night, my husband and I started lamenting over not being ready for Monday, but equally content that it had been an enjoyable weekend with together. Although the new schedule and demands of newlywed life has been an adjustment, I think we are doing pretty good, and it will only get better.

To get the most out of your weekends with your spouse, try incorporating these 5 things:

  • Pay attention to your spouse’s approach to the weekend. To keep both people happy, be open to doing things the way they want and meeting them half way. One of you may have to get up a little earlier, and the other, a little later.
  • Find a way to recharge your batteries on the weekend, so you don’t dread the upcoming work week. Take a long nap, long bath, or go for a long walk to clear your head. Those one or two hours focusing on yourself will do wonders for your mood, because you won’t feel like you are giving all your time to others with none left for you.
  • Have a plan for what things you normally need to do during the weekend to provide structure, and discuss what you are going to do on the weekend earlier in the week. So, if there are changes to your normal routine or plans, everyone will be made aware in advance.
  • Don’t be afraid to do something different than you normally do, and loose the routine for the weekend. Avoid forcing yourself to do what you don’t feel like, if it’s not a necessity. If you want to, do it. If not, then don’t.
  • Continue to work on your relationship with your spouse. It’s easy to get caught up in making sure the home runs smoothly and end up forgetting about the people in the home.

I hope what I’ve shared helps to make  your weekends a little less chaotic and more enjoyable.

Remember….Stay a Busy Bee and share with a Bride to Be.

Rachel Bryant Lundy