Tag Archives: Marriage

525,600 minutes…give or take a few months 

Not that anyone reads this…but I havent posted in over a year and I think I’d like to start again. It feels strange to just start back up without filling in the gap of time with some details. So much has happened. I’m a mom now. I think i’m contractually obligated to at least write up my birth story or they’ll hold my next pumpkin spice latte ransom. Personal stories to come, hopefully followed by some home improvement posts. In the meantime, here’s my son, Jett David Owen Gillespie.


Helpful Husband

and he looks good doing it too...mmm mmm mmm

and he looks good doing it too…mmm mmm mmm

It’s not a secret that in our home, I’m the more neurotic cleaner. Our schedules are so busy that occasionally I’ll get home after a long day and realize that house hasn’t had anyone attend to it in a few days, have a major freak out, clean for hours, and go to bed grumpy – but sated. I love Josh, but he just doesn’t look at our house the way I do.

Similarly to the way men and women differ in how they view their bodies, Josh sees what’s good, I see what’s wrong. He sees the organized living room, I see the mountain of laundry piling up that may avalanche onto us in the middle of the night. Anyway, we’re different.

The other week I was kind of having a rough go of it and when Josh brought me home [after picking me up from work at 6] I was stunned. The man c-l-e-a-n-e-d our kitchen. [I immediately cooked a big meal – I LOVE cooking in a clean kitchen] He also started a few loads of laundry, finally threw out the broken lamp that had been sitting in our hallway for literally weeks, and scooped the kitty litter! No special reason, he just wanted to do more around the house.

He’s amazing. I feel so loved. How does your spouse make you feel loved?

One Car Couple

So long, Scion.

Back in 2011, when Josh and I were just dating and his old boat of a Volvo finally and completely died, I talked him into getting a scion, because I had a Scion…and we were cute like that. So he went off and got himself a nice little $10k of debt in the form of a silver 2007 Scion TC.

Cut to last Tuesday.

After months of discussion, Josh took his TC into Carmax to see what they would offer him. His payments were reasonable, but we just couldn’t afford it anymore, and in a quest to try and cut debt and monthly bills, off he went. I had prayed over this errand and when they came back with their offer of exactly 7 dollars more than we owed (the offer was $7000 if you want to know) we jumped on it. I was worried that Josh would feel sad but when he saw how much we were saving each month, he was all smiles. So our insurance went from $165 a month to $65 a month and our car payments went from $255 a month to $0 a month. Thanks Mom and Dad for the sweet car back in 2006! So the savings comes out to $355 a month minus whatever extra gas we use. I don’t think we will use that much more gas, because we’ve had to be a lot more purposeful in our errands and so often we would end up in separate cars at the same place.

So for the last week we have been getting into the swing of being a one car couple.

Here are 7 things that I have learned in the first 7 days of being half of a one car couple.
1) Fix up your bikes. One of you will be without the car most of the time, so have a bike on hand for trips to the grocery store, the gym, a friends house, the work out will do you good.

2) Know that it will be inconvenient at times. Once at work I announced I was headed out to lunch and almost made it to the door before my boss asked how I was going to get there. Oh yeah, I brown bag it now…I forgot. Another time I wanted to go shopping bad, so bad that only another girl reading this can appreciate that I was stuck at home and hadn’t yet fixed up my bike.

3) Whichever of you owned the car before, don’t drive for awhile. This rule is for someone with my personality (read: selfish). I know I need to detach myself from this thing that was ‘mine’ for the last 7 years, I never wanted Josh to feel like he was using my car – just that he was driving our car. So I’ve only driven it myself once, I try and get him to drive every other time. This is for my sake. If you weren’t the baby of the family and you have no problems with sharing, you may be able to skip this step.

4) You will spend more time together. My sweet man is not a morning person. At all. When we had 2 cars, he would almost never wake up and spend time with me in the morning. He tried, but it didn’t happen. Now that he has to take me to work, he has to be awake (to drive – see #3). He has a hectic work schedule, so no morning time together sometimes meant no time together at all. But we now have an hour a day (30 minutes each way) where we can spend time together while we are relatively undistracted. So no matter what, he leaves with me at 7 and picks me up at 6 even if he has to go back to work after that and it’s been so good for us.

5) You will communicate more. In our 2 car lifestyle, there was no need or reason to really schedule with each other. Other than saying he had a long day and would be home late, there wasn’t much need to tell each other where we were, where we were going, etc. Now we basically need to have tabs on each other most of the time so we naturally check on each other more. I think this is good for our marriage, it was easier to live parallel before, now it’s not.

6) You will save more money in other ways. I can’t jump in the car and run off the grocery store or the mall or wherever. I have to plan those trips. I plan my grocery list better, because I only have one or two shots at it. I have to pack my lunch, I have no other choice. I have to make coffee in the office instead of going to Starbucks at noon. When I get the urge to leave the house and go shopping…I just can’t, and that feeling passes, probably with $30 in savings at least; Lord help me if I get on Etsy or Amazon though.

7) It will get the ball rolling. Let me tell you something, getting rid of half of your debt, even if it comes with inconveniences will get you addicted. It feels great to just suddenly not owe $7,000. Now I’m like “What else can we sell?” “Do we really need this?” and I’m amped. I want to get out of all debt and I think this is the kick start we needed to make that really happen, and happen soon.

So any of you out there ever get down to one car? No car? Tell me about it!


The business of being married

My husband and I both work in ministry. He works on production at a large church and I work in the web department of an international relief and development organization. There is so much fulfillment in being able to say you really believe in the mission of the place where you work. It’s so fulfilling for Josh when he works hard at creating a cohesive church service and he gets to see people make a decision for Christ or take the next step of obedience in Baptism. I love when hard work on a web page or graphic design inspires someone to donate to a project that educates poor students in Haiti or provides water to people in need in Nicaragua or shelters an orphan in Zambia. We are so blessed in our jobs. That being said, ministry is beyond a full time commitment.

In our first year of our marriage there have been countless late nights spent apart because of the requirements of our jobs. While we wouldn’t change jobs for the world right now, it has caused a lot of issues. Our different temperaments, the different ways we were raised, and our vastly different views on how a house should be kept have caused a lot of tension. I was talking with an older person the other day, who has been married for 40+ years and they told me that all the issues I told them about came down to just one issue: communication. All the tension, they said, is based on differing expectations that haven’t spelled out for each other, and our busy schedules were ensuring that we wouldn’t be able to tell each other everything we needed in casual conversation. One issue seems so much more conquerable than dozens so I took the rest of their advice.

They told me to have Josh write down everything he could think of that we should communicate on once a week, and for me to do the same. So we did. Not surprisingly many of the points were the same on both of our lists. So, I’ve taken the lists and created a document. We’ve both agreed to meet every Monday, review the document and the dozen or so question is asks, and together write down our answers. This thing covers everything from bills to sexual expectations to social engagements to household chores to prayer and beyond. We talk about how the previous week was and our expectations for the coming week. Then we will place it in a binder and keep them all there each week adding the fresh document.

This way, we get the business of having a life together out of the way in about an hour each week and then, when we do have precious time together, it can be spent just enjoying each other – as friends, the way we started. We’re only a few weeks in, but I really think if we stick with it – it will be a useful tool. Has anyone else tried something like this?



Our Blue French Horn

Our Blue French Horn

I remember the first time I saw this thing. Sitting on my friend (now husband) Josh’s desk in his room at his parent’s house. I placed it immediately and thought (not for the first time) that he really over committed when it came to tv & movies. I’m sure at some point I’ll broach the subject of the life size storm trooper displaying on a mannequin that has found a permanent home in our guest bedroom, but not today.

I too was a faithful ‘How I Met Your Mother’ viewer, so I understood the reference, just not the reasoning behind having a blue french horn.

I also remember months and months later when he showed up at my apartment to give me my birthday presents with the horn in hand, filled to the brim with sunflowers. I knew this had symbolism to him and as was my habit at that age, I panicked and forced my friend Devin to keep it at her house.

It went from her house, to Josh’s apartment when he moved, back to his parents house, to my next apartment, and finally to the place we made our home in. There is absolutely no easy way to display a french horn so after nearly a year of it sitting in a closet or at the top of our bookshelf, I tied it up with some string and decided that was good enough.

It’s not the most beautiful wall hanging I’ve ever seen, but it has something that very few things in our house (besides ourselves) have; it has history.

A few months ago, after I had hung the horn on the wall, I found out something that I never knew. He bought it for me. He met me, and he knew. He liked the reference to the show and as he has a tendency to do, he dove right it.

Josh went online and bought the only french horn he could afford, bought it, and painted it blue. Then he waited. He waited for me, it waited for me. Now it’s in our home. How beautiful.