Father’s Day Fail

When Ben and I got married, someone gave us the book “The Five Love Languages”. I dutifully read it and took the test. When it told me that I best understand expressions of love like quality time, words of affirmation, and acts of service, this made sense. Gifts and physical touch, not so much. I like practical stuff, and I’m not a huggy person.

Ben never could figure out what his love languages were for sure. He didn’t take any test, but he thought physical touch was most important for him, and based on seventeen years of living with him,  I guessed acts of service were high up there as well. But I was pretty sure words of affirmation weren’t a big priority. Every year on his birthday, I used to write meaningful notes in birthday cards. I still write loving blog posts about him every year, and I always wait anxiously for him to read them. And his reaction is the same – he says, “Thank you. That’s very nice.” And that’s all. Since it never seems to blow him away, I just assumed words of affirmation were more my thing.

Here’s where my giant failure comes in: This year for Father’s Day, we were super sneaky about getting a gift that would surprise him, and we talked about what would be fun to do together as a family, but when the idea of a card crossed my mind, my thoughts were “A card? Hmm….nah, he’s not really into cards and words of affirmation”, and I totally ditched the idea.

So we were sitting in a restaurant waiting for our food on Father’s Day, and the topic of love languages came up. I was ready to get some answers out of this easy-going husband of mine, so I found a test on my phone, and made him take it right then and there. The results? WORDS OF AFFIRMATION!!! What in the world?! Also, physical touch and acts of service, just like we’d guessed. But I totally did not see that first one coming. And I skipped the card! And didn’t get our kids to make a card!!

Never again. I won’t let his easy-going reaction fool me anymore, and he will receive the most beautifully worded cards from now on.

Words of advice for everyone reading this: Take the test! And make your loved ones take it too! And never skip the card!! Sheesh.

But we had a fun day, and it was great to celebrate Ben.

I really, really love Ben. He’s the most wonderful person to be around. He is always in a good mood, he changes the atmosphere of any room he walks into, he draws people to him and laughter out of them, and he brings all the fun into our home, along with large doses of wisdom and level-headedness. And fortunately, he’s so easy-going that I’m sure he’ll be totally fine with my late attempt to honour him with words of affirmation! But I’ll do better next year.;)


35 Days of Favorites: Family Traditions

I’ve been reading about bedtime routines lately, for a couple of reasons.

First of all, Kaylia is having trouble going to bed at night, and we need to make some adjustments to her routine.

But the second reason is that I came across an article about why adults need bedtime routines, too! If you want to get to bed earlier, and improve the quality of your sleep, a bedtime routine will send the message to your body that it’s time to wind down for the day.

This past year has been about messages getting sent to our bodies – in many other ways than just bedtime routines.

In the last year, we have had to adjust to a new house, a new town, a new church, a new job for Ben, with very different hours from what he was working before, which meant a new adjustment for the girls, too. In some ways, moving away from camp was almost like a cultural change, too! Very extreme, in so many different ways, and yet, as I look back over this last year, I’m a bit surprised by how quickly everyone has adjusted and settled into Niverville life.

This last weekend, I think I finally figured out one of the reasons why….

We spent the weekend at the cabin, and on Sunday morning, I was watching Ben and the girls search for clues to our family’s Annual Father’s Day Treasure Hunt. I think Ben had been awake for a total of about 2 minutes that morning before the girls eagerly pounced on him, begging to begin the treasure hunt.

Father's Day

We’ve never done it at the cabin before – the tradition was started while we were living at camp, and Anika thought it was tons of fun to have all these new locations to use for hiding clues.

Father's Day

As they went from the dock to the microwave to the picture frames, I suddenly realized how much our treasure hunt accomplishes. The girls get so excited about it each year, and it’s just one of those things we do.

It doesn’t matter where we are – it always feels like Father’s Day, as long as we have a treasure hunt.

Father's Day

The more I thought about it, the more I realized how all of our little family traditions have held us together through this past year. We can be in a completely different place, living a very different kind of life, and yet we still feel like “us”, because we have these anchors holding us down, keeping us safe and steady, even when everything else is changing.

I’ve always loved our little family traditions, but this past year, I’ve seen how much we need them – how fast someplace can feel like home, because we make it home with what we do together as a family. We’re sending messages to our bodies to settle in and get comfy!

I think it’s time to get even more intentional about adding in some more family traditions…

What are your favorite family traditions?