Debi Walter, Author at Engaged Marriage | Page 2 of 6

All Posts by Debi Walter

About the Author

Tom and Debi Walter have been cultivating their romantic vineyard for most of their 36 years of marriage. It has been their conviction from the start. Now they are passionate about helping other couples discover the rich harvest of romance available to them no matter the current season. Through their marriage blog, The Romantic Vineyard established in 2008, they provide regular posts about growing your marriage for God's glory.

Every Day is a Holiday – Who Knew?

By Debi Walter | Romance

I bet you didn’t know that today is Celebrate Your Geekness Day, did you?

Most likely you didn’t because it’s an unusual holiday invented by people who have too much time on their hands.

But, hey! If you’re a geek, you’re probably thrilled to know there’s a day set aside to celebrate your geekness. ūüôā

I love holidays. I love parties. I love celebrating and making my husband smile.

Yes, I’m the hopeless romantic, but I don’t prefer that term. It makes it sound like romance is a negative, when in fact it’s the opposite.

Romance is like a breath of fresh mountain air on a hot, steamy Summer day. It refreshes your relationship in a way nothing else can.

In my years of blogging and writing neighborhood newsletters I’ve discovered there are websites focused on helping you celebrate just about any day of the year in fun and unique ways.

When was the last time you planned something unusual and fun for your spouse? If you can’t remember it’s been too long. There’s nothing like a party for two to help re-ignite the romance in your home.

I challenge you to select a date on the list below and go all out in celebrating the day. Be creative. Be thoughtful, but most of all be romantic!

July

17 – Peach Ice Cream Day – Go out for your favorite or make your own.

20 – National Lollipop Day – Surprise your spouse with a lollipop made of their favorite flavor

20 – Moon Day – Go sky watching after dark while eating moon pies

22 – Hammock Day – If you have a hammock for two, plan some time to do some nothing together.

23 – National Hot Dog Day – Make a hot dog bar for dinner with all the best toppings

26 РAll or Nothing Day РLet your imagination go wild with this one, make it a Deal or No Deal game for two.

30 – National Cheesecake Day – Serve this treat after dinner with your favorite toppings

August

3 – National Watermelon Day

7 – National Lighthouse Day – If you live near the coast, plan to visit one and climb to the top. If you don’t, try playing flashlight tag in your house with all the lights off.

9 – Book Lovers Day – Plan a date at a local bookstore and see who can find the oldest publication, the funniest title, the prettiest cover, the most interesting topic, etc.

10 – National S’mores Day – Who needs an explanation on this one. Have fun like kids again!

18 – Bad Poetry Day – Have fun making silly rhymes and texting them to each other.

As you can see there are all sorts of crazy holidays you can celebrate together.

The most important reason to do this is to help keep your relationship from getting predictable and boring. Check out this website to discover more holidays for every month of the year.

Until next time…

Keep romancing!

(photo)

 

 

12 Romantic Surprises To Make Your Spouse Smile

By Debi Walter | Romance

12 Romantic Surprises To Make Your Spouse Smile - Dustin Riechmann.001

All marriages get to a place of routine. It happens because life demands it.

But there is one word that will interrupt this routine and hopefully make your spouse smile.

What is this one word?

SURPRISE!

Think about it. When was the last time you were truly surprised by something your spouse did?

It most likely left a lasting imprint on your heart because it was unexpected making it even more special.

Even if the surprise was little – like your favorite treat – it still meant a lot.

To help you plan a sweet surprise of your own, we’ve come up with a list of Romantic Surprises to Make Your Spouse Smile. Try one or try them all.

The important thing is that you’re creating cherished memories your spouse will hold on to forever.

That makes it worth the effort!

  1. Please your spouse sexually in a way you know they’ll like, but won’t expect because you’ve never done it before.
  2. Arrange for a babysitter and plan a date night out without telling them until the babysitter shows up.
  3. Mail them an invitation to meet you somewhere later that day. When they get there have another envelope leading them on a hunt for you.
  4. Plan a day of all their favorites – food, drinks, activities, movies, friends, etc. Include as many in one day as you can.
  5. Give them a full body massage. Let them listen to romantic music with a headset to increase the relaxation.
  6. Mail them a steamy card at work, or send them one via text or e-mail. Add some lingerie to the card and really wow them.
  7. Play one of these games and don’t tell them the new rules until the game begins: ¬†Clue, Scrabble, Putt-Putt
  8. Set up a tent in your bedroom or on your bed and have fun “camping indoors” together.
  9. Drive to your spouse’s work and put his/her favorite cold drink and snack in their car with a card telling them to drive safely.
  10. Complete a big task on your spouse’s to-do list and don’t tell them you did until they discover it themselves.
  11. Listen to your spouse’s cravings and then do whatever you can to get it for them. For instance, You hear them say, “I want something sweet”. ¬†Get up and start baking them cookies without telling them what you’re doing.
  12. Celebrate an unknown holiday. Check out the list here.¬†(Listed according to month). Today just happens to be “Best Friend’s Day”.

Can you think of more ways to make your spouse smile?

I’d love to hear them! I challenge us all to make the most of the summer by filling it with unexpected pleasures for our love.

Until next time…Keep the romantic fires burning!

(photo)

Try These 10 Romantic Snapshots For Fresh Eyes

By Debi Walter | Romance

I love the scene in Toy Story when Mr. Potato Head puts on his angry eyes.

Or when Mrs. Potato Head takes out her ears and says, “I can’t hear you!”

Those are classic scenes that make us laugh. Wouldn’t it be nice at times if we could hand-pick¬†the eyes we want to express the emotion of our choice?¬†We probably do this already, but not consciously.

As the years pass in marriage it’s easy to become lazy and look at our spouse in the same way day after day.

This is why romance is vital to a healthy marriage. It helps us put on different eyes to see our spouse the way we did when our love first began.

Back then My Eyes Adored You, to use the title of a popular love song.

Do you still adore your spouse?

Or have the cares of life and the responsibilities of parenthood and careers robbed your vision?

Below are some ways to help you regain those romantic eyes. Try one or try them all. See if it doesn’t spark some fresh affection.

Ten Romantic Snapshots

1. Watch your wife as she takes a shower. Remember what it was like when you saw her naked for the first time.

2. When your husband reaches for your hand, think of all his hands do to lead, guide, love and protect you. And consider how hard he works to provide for you and your children.

3. When in a crowded room, look for your spouse and make eye-contact. Let the look linger and enjoy it.

4. Try looking in each others eyes for one minute without saying anything. Let your eyes express your affection.

5. Listen while looking at your spouse when they’re talking to someone else. Give thanks for the ways they express themselves and their ability to cultivate friendships at work, church and in the community.

6. Watch your spouse play and interact with your children. Step back and appreciate the sacrifices they’re willing to make in order to raise healthy and happy children.

7. If your spouse is strong in a certain area take time to observe them doing what they do best–whether it’s serving, entertaining, counseling or evangelizing.

8. Watch your spouse as they sleep. Appreciate the blessing it is to share a bed together, to know the rhythms of rest, and the patterns that make them unique.

9. Watch your spouse do something they love to do, whether it’s yard work, playing an instrument, watching or playing their favorite sport, joking with friends, and pay attention to their expressions as they do it.

10. Observe your spouse doing a mundane task like clean the kitchen, shave or make coffee. Notice how they do it and how different they are from you. Rather than let this be an annoyance, be grateful for how your lives have intertwined in such unique ways.

After you’ve spent some time observing your spouse with fresh eyes, plan some time and share with them what you’ve noticed. You can go all out and make it a date night, or talk around your kitchen table after the kids are in bed. The key is to communicate clearly to your spouse how you see them. If you’re uncomfortable talking about it, try¬†writing out your sentiments in a card or love letter.

We all get distracted.

And when we do romance is usually the first thing to get pushed aside.

I hope you won’t let your love wane, but will instead be intentional all the years you have together. Then, when the end of your life comes there will be no regrets, only precious snapshots of a love that lasted a lifetime.

 

(photo credit)

Time For A Romantic Tuning?

By Debi Walter | Romance

Photo Credit: handhmusic.net

I’ve inherited my parent’s player piano, something for which I’m grateful because of the memories it holds for me.

But when I play it something is wrong, very wrong. The notes seem off a bit, and they are.

After moving this heavy piece from my Mom’s home to ours it lost it’s tune. I can put in a roll of one of Dad’s favorite songs and it sounds as if it’s dragging, even the upbeat tunes sound tired and worn out.

The good news is this old piano hasn’t lost it’s music, it just needs a tune-up. Once the keys have been set to their proper pitch the old songs will be like new again. ¬†How do I know? I’ve had it tuned before and the process is fascinating.

This is like marriage as well.

Life has a way of beating us up all day long, then putting us back in our homes as the sun sets, exhausted and weary. We do what we can to connect in the short time between dinner and bedtime, collapse in each other’s arms only to repeat the entire process again tomorrow.

It’s hard to be in tune with each other when we’re being pulled in different directions all day long.¬†This is why being intentional in romancing each other is a must.

Have you lost your ability to express your love in thoughtful ways?

I’m certain you haven’t lost your ability, you simply need a tune-up, so to speak, to get the music of romance sounding lively once again.

We all need this and this is why I write about romance in marriage here each month. It’s sort of like a monthly tune-up.

There are 88 keys on a standard piano, and each one has it’s own note to play.

It can’t be tuned to sound like the note next to it or there would be no harmony. Each note is unique to itself, yet it has a place among all the other notes. So it is with date nights and romantic kindnesses. Each one is unique and provides a new depth to the harmony of our marriage. It is a gift to be able to reach the place in your relationship where you make beautiful music together, to borrow an old adage.

How is the music in your marriage?

Is it tired and weary? Maybe it’s time to do some research and discover what area of your spouse’s life needs attention. It could be encouragement on how they’re doing in the parenting department. It could be they need to lighten up and spend an evening laughing. It may be a night of dancing together would do the trick.

The key is (pun intended) to find out what your spouse needs to remind them of your love and care, and then do all you can to make it happen.

Last year I hosted a ladies retreat and one of the ladies who came did so because her husband insisted. They have 6 children whom they home-school, so she was obviously in need of some alone time with girlfriends and with the Lord. This retreat provided both. Her husband sending her away for a week ¬†in the mountains was more than enough for her to know he loved her, but he didn’t stop there. A couple of days into the retreat she received a delivery from the UPS truck. It was a box of her favorite pumpkin spice coffee creamers because he knew how much she enjoys an afternoon treat. She was overwhelmed at his thoughtfulness, but he didn’t stop there! Yes, two days later the UPS truck pulled up again with another package for her. This time it was a beautiful afghan to wrap herself in as a warm hug from home. All the ladies oohed and aaahed. I’ll never forget the look on her face. This dear wife was the recipient of thoughtful and romantic gifts of love from her adoring husband. The gifts didn’t cost that much, but what they expressed to her was priceless.

When was the last time you purposed to bless your spouse in this way?

Take some time and study where they are struggling right now. Listen and pay attention, like those who tune a piano. See which notes are in need of tweaking, and then do something creative to show your love and care.

This is what a healthy marriage looks like, and when we play together in such perfect harmony, our children will notice and want to join in the song.

While I’ve been writing this post, I keep thinking of the lyrics of an old song by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder titled, “Ebony and Ivory.” Listen to the lyrics and apply it to your marriage. I always say there’s a song for everything…this one is another example. Oh, and guys–don’t forget Mother’s Day is approaching soon. Why not start planning something special now. Check out our ideas here.

(photo credit)

 

 

Squeezing Romance Out of a Busy Life

By Debi Walter | Romance

Squeezing Romance

Face it marriage is hard work. Add to it children, a full-time job with deadlines and demanding bosses/clients, homework, sickness and bills to pay, who has time to think about romance, much less plan something special? In fact you may not want to finish reading this post because you’re afraid I’m going to add one more thing to your growing to-do list.

I get it. It is hard to find the right balance in life. But that doesn’t mean we don’t try. Our pastor says often, “We make time to do the things we really want to do.” And I couldn’t agree more.

Case in point…

A busy mom was complaining about not having enough energy to finish her chores. She kept looking at the clock and couldn’t believe how slow the time was passing. Then, the phone rang. It was her best friend saying she had tickets to see the latest movie and had already secured a babysitter for the two of them, that is, if she wanted to come.

If? Are you kidding?

Suddenly, she had a burst of energy and the chores that had been like a root canal to do minutes before were now actually enjoyable. She had a reason to finish and finish quickly she did! She was going out with a friend. Being tired wasn’t an issue any longer because she was getting to do something she really wanted to do.

Romance is one of those things you enjoy once you do it, but it’s the planning it before hand that seems difficult. This is why Tom and I have devoted our lives to helping other couples keep the romantic fires burning. We have lots of ideas, many of them we’ve enjoyed ourselves and have the memories to prove it. And we know how it has made a lasting impact on the quality of our marriage.

So, how can we help the busy executive, the exhausted mom, the over-extended caregiver to an elderly parent, find time to romance their spouse?

Below is a list of ideas for you to print, cut into strips and place in a jar. Once a week (or more if you’re so inclined) draw a slip of paper out of the jar and purpose to do that one thing for your spouse. You can both do it or alternate weeks. The point is to start squeezing romance out of your busy life. We’ve discovered that the busier it is, the more enjoyable your times are when you’re alone. This list is to help you get started thinking more about romance in the midst of the chaos.

Why does it matter? Because one day your life will slow down, your children will grow up and move away, and your spouse will be the only one looking at you across the dinner table. My husband insisted all those years ago that we would still be as much or more in love with each other then as we were when we first started. And you know what? We are! We just celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary last month, and I am grateful for the romance he managed to squeeze out of life for the good of us.

  • Compliment your spouse in a specific way, while looking in their eyes.
  • Buy them a special treat the next time you’re in the store, and tell them you were thinking of them.
  • Find a link on You Tube to a favorite love song from your past and e-mail it to them during the day.
  • Hide a love note and say something to make them remember a special time you’ve shared.
  • Do one of their chores for a week.
  • Make dinner reservations and arrange a babysitter. Then, tell your spouse after it’s all set.
  • Plan a whole evening doing something you know your spouse enjoys–jigsaw puzzle, video game, board game, cook together.
  • Start a weekly or monthly alphabet date–where you pick a letter and center all you do and eat around that letter.
  • Go for an extended walk together holding hands. Check out 10 Ways To Hold Hands.
  • Go out for a banana split to share.
  • Play a game of Blind Man’s Bluff, with this sexy twist:¬†Blindfold your spouse and feed them different foods.¬† Let them guess what it is by TASTE.¬† Then let them smell different things and try to guess what they are by SMELL.¬† Next play different sounds for them to guess by HEARING and finally let them guess what they‚Äôre touching ‚Äď yeah, this one can be a lot of FUN!¬† You may feel cold when you begin, but we guarantee things will be warming up mighty nice by the time you make it to the touching phase.
  • Make a playlist of romantic music on your iPod or iPhone. Hook up headphones and put them on your spouse and have them lie in bed. Tell them to close their eyes while you give them a massage.
  • Your turn: _______________________________________________.

As you can see romance isn’t all about sex, but some of it can be. ūüôā Romance is about the daily choices we make to think of and pray for our spouse. It’s our way of putting their needs and wants at the top of our list of importance. It’s communicating to your spouse that no other person matters to you as much as they do, and your actions prove your words.

In what ways can you squeeze out romance this week? this month? this year? Won’t you try?¬†

Check out our Romantic St. Patrick’s Day ideas too: For Husbands-click here. For Wives-click here.