Funny Marriage Quirks & How to Handle ’em

Funny Marriage Quirks & How to Handle 'em

I remember while preparing myself for marriage I read a lot of marriage books, listened to podcasts, etc. In fact, I still read marriage books, listen to podcasts, etc. Because are you ever really ready for marriage?

Marriage is a lifetime of learning and relearning things about yourself and your spouse.

Because Mr. M and I chose not to live together before we got married, we got to learn about each other’s living habits after the honeymoon.

Funny Marriage Quirks & How to Handle 'em

A Clean Kitchen is a Sexy Kitchen 

I didn’t realize how much of a clean freak I would turn into after we got married. It’s not that I’m a clean freak per se, but I’m quite miffed by a dirty kitchen. When I lived by myself, I had no one to blame but me. If I didn’t do the dishes for two days, that’s my own dang fault. Now that there are two of us, I’ve turned into a dishes nazi. I like to come home to a clean kitchen, go to bed with a clean kitchen, and wake up to a clean kitchen.

This was likely an adjustment for Mr. M, considering he had seen a messy person at work for the two and a half years before we lived together.

Don’t Move the Chargers 

The other day I took a phone charger out of the car and forgot to put it back. My husband is so gracious, though. He didn’t actively act annoyed with me even though I knew he probably was. He’s so kind in his responses that it encourages me not to go ballistic when one little thing goes wrong.

Funny Marriage Quirks & How to Handle 'em

To Speak, or Not to Speak

A list of times to not talk to my husband about serious things:

When he’s watching soccer
When he’s playing FIFA
When he’s reading a really great book on leadership

A list of times my husband shouldn’t talk to me about serious things:

When I’m in the bathtub with my book and my bubbly
When I’m writing a blog
After 10pm

Seriously, my brain turns off after 10pm, and this is when Mr. M wants to discuss theology and how to solve the world hunger crisis.

Whenever Mr. M is watching soccer or playing FIFA, that’s when I tend to want to discuss a new blog post or I’ve come up with a list of chores.

Marriage is all about timing and giving each other space.

How Hot is Too Hot? 

Getting married in December is getting married in optimal cuddling season. East Tennessee only had one big snow, but it was quite chilly from January until March, which meant heating a 1940s house isn’t quite enough – we need teh space heater.

I joke that my husband likes to keep our house as hot as Africa. This isn’t entirely true – it’s not our whole house, just mainly our bedroom. My prime sleeping temp is 69 degrees. His prime sleeping temp is hot.

There was one night in the first month or so when I woke up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat. The space heater was still on. It was 3am. It was 300 degrees. I was on fire – with anger and heat.

In a fit of anger, I threw the covers off me and shoved them towards Mr. M. My shove was so forceful that I hit him. He woke up, frightened and confused, and I played innocent. “Oh I hit you? I’m sorry.”

A week later I told him the truth.

*I need to note here that I do not hit my husband. This was sleepy Nina. Sleepy Nina is irrational and full of rage.
**Also you may be wondering how high our electricity bill is in the winter with all the heat. I don’t know. We got lucky and pay one flat fee for the house. When we eventually move and have to pay our own heat bill, I’m sure we will go the down blanket route over keeping the space heater on.

Funny Marriage Quirks & How to Handle 'em

Loving Your Spouse and Loving Their Quirks

Before you get married, it seems like your partner can do no wrong. They’re little quirks are endearing.

After marriage, you can do wrong, your partner can do wrong, and those idiosyncrasies walk the line between endearing and annoying.

But it’s all about how you swing it.

I get annoyed by my husband, and I annoy my husband (sometimes on purpose.) If I choose to allow every little thing he does to annoy me, then we will have a joyless marriage. I will be too focused on what is irritating me rather than what is delighting me.

This is WAY easier said than done. And remember: I’ve only been married 9 months. I don’t have all the skills.

So far, I’ve found that it is easier to embrace my spouse when I embrace their quirks.

I love that he wants to call and talk to me on his way home from small group (when it’s my scheduled bath tub alone time.)

When I find myself starting to get annoyed that he’s wanting to talk and I’m just wanting to soak in silence, I recognize the selfishness that is in me. I always want to choose my husband over myself. Even if that means I only get 10 minutes of quiet bathtub time and 15 minutes of getting the privilege to talk to my husband. I love that he wants to talk to me so much!

I love that my husband is just as particular as I am, but in different ways. The joys of two first borns marrying each other.

When I take an extra step to accomplish a small task for him in a way I know he likes it, I know that I am loving him by adjusting an old habit that isn’t a big deal to me and showing him that I care even about the little things (like keeping the car clean.)

Marriage is really just two quirky people learning to live together and love each other.

I’ll have to revisit this post and update it once we have kids in the future.

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The 3 Places You Want to Go in Greeneville

3 Places You Want to Go in Greeneville, SC

Happy Wednesday!

I’m back with the travel series to spill the beans on my favorite places to eat in Greeneville, South Carolina. This summer Mr. M and I went to Greeneville for an extended Memorial Day Weekend getaway. It was our first time in Greeneville together and it was our first Air BnB experience! Mr. M was a little hesitant about actually staying in someone’s house, so he said if this didn’t go well, we wouldn’t be doing it again.

3 Places You Want to Go in Greeneville, SC

Our First Air BnB Experience

Luckily, our first Air BnB experience was absolutely amazing. We stayed at a little place close to downtown Greeneville called The Studio. The host was phenomenal in touching base with us, and even stopped by to say hello one morning. Because I shout “we’re newlyweds!” from the rooftops, she even left a baby orchid for us and a sweet note welcoming us to their home. The Studio was the perfect mix of modern and cozy. It had a stove and oven where we could cook breakfast, organic and ethically produced coffee beans, and – most importantly, a comfy bed. She even left little chocolates on our pillows for us!

3 Places You Want to Go in Greeneville, SC

3 Places You Want to Go in Greeneville, SC

10/10 would Recommend

(If you’ve never signed up for airbnb before but would like to try it, you can do so here! By booking through this referral link, you’re giving Mr.M and I the opportunity to get travel credit so we can tell you about more adventures!)

Our stay in Greeneville was so short, but we made sure to spend a lot of time outside and most importantly, eating great food.

Jamaica Mi Irie

Our first stop for lunch was at this amazing Jamaican restaurant in downtown. We sat outside and each picked out a lunch special. Mr. M had jerk chicken and I tried the curry chicken. They gave us SO much food for only $6 each, and they even topped our meals off with the most delicious tropical tea I’ve ever had. I came back to work and raved about it to my Jamaican co-worker.

3 Places You Want to Go in Greeneville, SC

3 Places You Want to Go in Greeneville, SC

Fall at Reedy Park

If you need to take a break between all the eating you do on vacation, I recommend going for a stroll around Fall Park on the Reedy. This park is behind Furman University and is a favorite for wedding and prom photos. There is a beautiful, massive waterfall and a gorgeous walking trail around the park. My favorite landmark is this tree with exposed roots. (You may recognize this tree from Monday’s post.)

3 Places You Want to Go in Greeneville, SC

Spill the Beans

Greeneville in the summer time is basically a heat bath of humidity, so it was absolutely necessary that we avoid a heatstroke with ice cream. We checked out this cute little ice cream shop, Spill the Beans, right beside Fall Park. Our bellies and our souls were satisfied.

3 Places You Want to Go in Greeneville, SC

3 Places You Want to Go in Greeneville, SC

Tandem Creperie 

OK, y’all. I saved the best for last. TANDEM. CREPERIE. This little gem of a creperie is located outside of Greeneville in this precious little spot called “Traveler’s Rest.” It will be a mandatory stop along the way any and every time I pass through this adorable little town. But y’all. These were the best crepes I’ve ever had. Mr. M with the savory and I went with the sweet this time, and then we split it in half. (This is really the way to go, my friends.) But I almost didn’t want to share my sweet crepe because it was mainly blueberry yogurt and whipped cream.

3 Places You Want to Go in Greeneville, SC

3 Places You Want to Go in Greeneville, SC 3 Places You Want to Go in Greeneville, SC

If I had more time, I would have taken a thousand photos of and around this little place because it was just too adorable. We need an Indie film to come shoot a movie here.

We had a great time in Greeneville, and we definitely did not get to uncover as many of this city’s littl gems as we wanted. Greeneville is a perfect little short weekend getaway. and if you have a hankering to watch Clemson play, they’re pretty close, too. 🙂 (Let it be noted, though, I know nothing about football. I don’t even know if Clemson is good. I just think somehow they pull off orange and purple quite nicely.)

Have you been to Greeneville before? What are your favorite things to do on your weekend getaways?

To check out our other adventures, see here and here.

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4 Steps Towards Living a Full Life

4 steps towards living a full life

Last week I passed by an oak tree – branches heavy with leaves. The house behind it peeked through its fullness and I thought, I want my life to be like that, Lord. Full.

And then the thought came: Your life will be as full as you want it to be. I get the choice. I can choose to live a full life or I can choose to live a small life. What does living a full life look like?

4 Steps Towards a Full Life

Become Uncomfortable

The older I get, I find myself more cautious. I am neater, more organized, and more aware of consequences and implications. All these things are an important part of development and maturity, but sometimes overthinking and staying too rigid leaves little room for adventure and the ability to be uncomfortable. It’s amazing the little things that make me uncomfortable these days: a change in routine, a small inconvenience. I’ve turned into a persnickety 83 year old in my early-mid twenties. When I get too comfortable with my routine, who I am, and where I am at in life, I limit myself.

One reason I knew I Mr.M was the man I was going to marry was the sheer fact that I was uncomfortable. From Day 1 of our relationship, he pushed me outside my comfort zone. I was uncomfortable at the level of spiritual vulnerability. I was uncomfortable navigating the intercultural nuances. I was uncomfortable with the leadership that came with our relationship. But my life was full. Being outside of my comfort zone pushed me in ways that I could never have imagined. I experienced intense growing pains during the beginning part of our relationship, and I loved it.

What is one area you need to get uncomfortable?

4 steps towards a full life

Establish Deep Roots

The second thing that came to mind as I considered the full oak tree is the roots. A tree cannot grow into adulthood and expand its wings, so to speak, without a deep root system. Likewise, we need our roots to grow long and deep into healthy soil.

How do we get our roots to grow?

We drink deeply, feed our soul, and press into our foundation.

Drink deeply of the life you are given, and press into your foundation. My foundation is my faith. I drink deeply of the wisdom of those older than me and of the Scriptures. I notice a change in myself when I’ve isolated myself from my roots. When I neglect to take time to feed my soul – whether that is refusing to take time for a bubble bath sans Netflix, going on a walk outside, or reading my Bible at night – I feel my leaves start to wither.

How do you feed your soul?

4 Steps Towards a Full Life

Healthy Soil

For those of you who grew up in Sunday School, you likely heard the parable of the sower and the seeds.

A sower threw his seeds into four different areas. The seeds fell onto the path, where they were eaten up by birds – they were denied the chance to grow. Other seeds fell into rocky soil. The plants quickly took root and shot up, but the roots were shallow and the plants were scorched by the heat. Some seeds fell among the thorns, where they were choked up, and the seeds that fell on good soil grew strong and healthy and produced a large crop.

Our soil is our community. Who are we surrounded by? Who do we have to lift us up? Who do we have to nourish us, encourage us, and give us the space to grow?

There were times when I felt as if I was on rocky soil. I feared that if one more thing happens, I would give up. During these times, I wasn’t surrounded by a strong community. I had isolated myself. And even worse, I allowed people who didn’t have my best interest to speak into my life.

There are growing pains that come with a full life. We go through various seasons, and if we are not rooted in a strong community, we will wither and die. What does a strong community look like for you?

For me, a strong community looks like peers who are ambitious. They are pursuing their dreams, their calling, and most importantly, the Lord. A strong community also consists of allowing people who are older and wiser to speak into my life – to call me out when I’m being crazy and to encourage me when I’m weak. In a strong community, there are also people who may be different than me – whether it be younger, or living with a different (but holy) perspective from whom I can learn.

What does a strong community look like for you?

4 Steps Towards a Full Life

Duration

When I think about how long it takes for an oak to grow, it’s exhausting. Oak trees can take up to 100 years to grow to their full potential. Some days it may feel like we see little to no growth at all in our lives. We wonder when we will reach our destiny and fulfill our potential. But we remember, growth comes little by little. We may not see it in the moment, but we get to look back and see how far we have come.

Living a full life takes patience. We must weather through various seasons, year by year, in order to grow. Like the oak tree, we experience high winds, torrential downpours, snow, the hot sun year after year after year. But one day, thirty years from now, when we look back, we will see how much we have grown.

4 Steps to Living a Full Life

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The Man Behind the Camera: An Interview

The Man Behind the Camera: An Interview

Last year circulated this one video entitled, “Instagram Husband,” and the moment it was published, I had approximately three to four people send it to me saying, “Hahaha this is so Pai.” I live in an area where there is me, and then there are maybe two other bloggers that I know of. The rest of the population kindly tolerates my fake laugh poses, my blog posts, and the mandatory “sell yourself” on the social media.

And then there is my husband. Who has been with me on the blogging game since day one. In fact, way back in 2014 when Hugs and Lattes was still The Grand Adventures of Me, I was trying to win some kind of blog award, so I pushed the blog on my regular Facebook rather than just my blog’s Facebook.

There was one cute little Pai M. who commented on the post to say in the utmost flirtatious fashion, “I’m not going to vote.” Meanwhile, he voted and I won. . . the award and his heart. Boom.

Of course at the beginning of our relationship, I didn’t subject him to taking my pictures. Rather, he had the honor of being in my Instagram photos. With a solid 200 followers and a steady average of 23 likes per photo, I was quite the persona.

Let’s fast forward to 3 years later where he not only gets the honor of being in my photos, but he gets the rare privilege of taking them.

If y’all follow my Instastories (@christinamush), you will see that Mr. M is not the most . . . ahh. . . should I say. . . cooperative player there is.

But it’s all for show. He steals my phone, shares about how he just had to photograph me holding a pineapple even though we’re not eating said pineapple in said moment, and then likes to make fun of me while I do the stereotypical blogger poses. But he is genuine and he is a good sport.

While he has never told me to “Work it” or “Vogue,” he does give genuine advice like, “Look at the camera,” and “You look prettier when you smile.” Questions have been asked like, “Why are you looking down?” and “Why are we taking a picture of a pineapple if we aren’t going to eat it right now?”

The pineapple was a big deal, y’all.

I decided to sit down with the man himself and get his perspective on what it’s like to be an Instagram Husband. You may remember last spring, I shared what it is like to date a blogger. At this point, Mr. M was in grad school, working on his thesis, and planning the most amazing proposal. He was a little preoccupied so I wrote what I imagined it was like to date a blogger.

But now we live together and he has to see my face every day, so I was able to get his own personal opinions on what it is like to be an Instagram Husband.

The Man Behind the Camera: An Interview

What is annoying about being an Instagram Husband? 

Having to stop anything that is semi interesting to take a picture of video. Sometimes we stop to take pictures of a leaf.

But we’re talking about how you have to take pictures of me. 

When I’m ready to go from Point A to Point B and you see a pretty brick wall and we have to stop everything we’re doing to take a photo in front of that wall.

Do you ever get tired of photographing your wife? 

No.

Is that true?

Because your super sexy. I get tired of holding the phone and pressing the picture button. See what I did there?

Did you know that being an Instagram Husband was in our vows? 

Were they really?

No, but it was unspoken. 

Yes, I was prepared, my love.

*and let’s note here that this was said in a slightly annoyed, distracted phone. 

The Man Behind the Camera: An Interview

How far is too far? 

I will never, and I’ll say it again – I will never ever compromise my manhood by taking a picture in the midst of a Manchester United soccer game. Never! If I miss a goal, if i miss a pivotal moment in the game, I will not be one happy camper.

What is your favorite thing about an Instagram Husband? 

I get to have different backgrounds on my phone. I get to have beautiful pictures on my camera roll!

Aww. There was a right answer. Fair pass. 

The Man Behind the Camera: An Interview

Mr. M has really grown in his Instagram Husband skills. For instance, we were out eating ice cream one night when he said, “This would make a perfect picture.” Obviously I made him take the photo.

Mr. M also kindly decided to give a couple steps to being a Pro-Instagram Husband that you are free to pass along to your significant others.

How to be a Pro-Instagram Husband 

Step 1: Be alert at all times because you never know when the camera is on you – I could be picking my nose in the background of my wife’s instastory.

Step 2: Any object, and I mean any object can be and will be a prop. For instance: A pineapple. You took a picture of a pineapple and you weren’t planning to eat it in that moment.

Le’s note this: Selfie sticks don’t work. I bought my wife a Selfie Stick for Christmas. She got excited and used it maybe two times. But I think she really prefers a sexy human being behind the camera.

Step 3: If you want to annoy your wife, make monkey noises in the background while she’s recording Insta stories.

It’s true. that does annoy me like crazy. Any last advice? 

Consider it all joy, my brothers.

The Man Behind the Camera: An Interview

Thank you for joining us on this segment of The Man Behind the Camera. Tune in next time for, “Funny Marriage Quirks.”

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The Best Meals to Prep When You’re Busy

The Best Meals to Prep When You're Busy

Hello!

Comin’ at ya real late on a Wednesday afternoon because my computer wasn’t working last night. Whomp.

If there’s one thing I love to do to destress, it’s cook. If you followed along with my Instastories this summer, you noticed that I cooked a lot but most importantly, I tried my hand at baking. I tried to bake bread and that was . . . well. . . a disaster. Maybe this fall I’ll be brave and try it again.

Cooking is somewhat of a love language to me. I love to put on an episode of Gilmore Girls and try my hand at a new recipe. The only thing that is even better is when my husband offers to clean up afterwards. 😉

The Best Meals to Prep When You're Busy (1)

As a college recruiter, I stay pretty busy in the fall season. There are a lot of days when I don’t come home until late in the evening or I have to stay overnight somewhere else for an event. While I’m 100% confident Mr.M knows how to cook (he’s an excellent cook, he just doesn’t like to do it necessarily. . . ) and I know he wouldn’t starve, I still like to be prepared – just in case I come home in the evening with a hankering for something homemade.

I’ve rounded up some of my favorite go-to recipes, and some recipes I can’t wait to try.

The Best Meals to Prep When You're Busy

 

Oven Baked Taquitos

I am down always for Mexican food. If my husband would let me, I would eat tacos and chips and salsa for every meal. For some reason that’s not “healthy.” But these oven baked taquitos are a fantastic late night snack. I like to make mine with a little bit of cream cheese which is not AT ALL healthy, but oh so good for my soul. The nice thing is, the prep time is relatively short and you can freeze ’em and pop them in the toaster oven when you want one!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Ok so I may or may not have an unhealthy obsession with any and all potato items. So this loaded potato soup is a for sure winner in our home. I dump everything in the crockpot before I go to work, let it simmer all day, and go to bed with a massive food belly afterwards. Loaded Baked Potato Soup is like a little hug for your soul and I will anyone who says otherwise is a liar.

Chili

Chili is also the perfect crock pot dump. I don’t really adhere to any recipe, I just throw a bunch of beans and tomato based items into a crock pot, load it up with a bunch of spices and pair it with a buttery cornbread for dinner. My secret ingredient to my chili is using breakfast sausage instead of ground beef. The extra spice is the perfect kick to keep you warm on those chilly fall evenings.

Cilantro Lime Tacos

Remember when I said I could eat Mexican all day every day? Here we are again. This delicious bad boy is currently simmering in my crock pot and I pumped for dinner tonight. When I’m tired, I like for my meals to be minimum to no effort. (And then when I host people, they’re all like, “Whoa you cooked an amazing spread!” And I’m like #crockpot.)

BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

I’ve done this one with regular potatoes, and it’s a perfect way to diversify your bbq chicken meals. And if you’re a Southern girl like me, you know we need our barbecue!

And if all else fails. . . 

There’s pizza.

The Best Meals to Prep When You're Busy

What are your favorite easy go-to meals?
Do you do all the cooking or all the eating in your home?

 

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