I Love To Clean

Where you and i fell in love

Or it could be said better, I clean to love. Yesterday I loved my husband by cleaning the house.

He’s been gone the last week and came home last night and I wanted him to come back to a clean home. I know from previous experiences and through communication that he feels loved when I clean.

But your spouse may not be the same. He may feel loved when you say something nice to him. Or she may feel loved when you cook a hot meal for her.

I will never forget hearing a woman speak who learned after many, many years of marriage that her husband could have cared less to have a home-cooked meal every night. But she slaved away in the kitchen night after night, sometimes even bitter about it, because she assumed it was what he wanted. He one day shared that he would have been just as happy with take-out every night if it would have made her happier and less stressed. But they had never talked about it!

Communication is key. Have the conversation. Find out what really matters to each other. Express how you feel most loved.

The truth is we both clean the house. But if I’m looking for a special way to say “I love you” without actually saying it, I get to cleaning. And he feels loved.

Photo: Today is the day Vitaliy proposed to me 10 years ago. He flew through Chicago (the city where we met, fell in love and got engaged) yesterday and sent me this photo. He always has been a romantic and it’s one of the things I love most about him. No shame in his game!

Preparing for Valentine’s Day

Preparing for Valentines Day

We are just a few weeks away from Valentine’s Day so I thought I’d start the conversation.

Valentine’s Day will never be the same for us. February 14 is now Rose’s birthday too! Thankfully, Vitaliy and I never put a lot of weight on Valentine’s Day anyway. In fact, when we were dating, we boycotted the holiday and purposely celebrated a different day. We are such rebels! But now we’ve embraced the holiday and enjoy any excuse to celebrate love. This year we’ll get to celebrate the love we share as husband and wife and the new found love we both have for Rose. A day of love paired with Rose’s birthday – it’s going to be an epic Valentine’s Day weekend!

We’re going to be doing the Whole 30 this February so we’re going to have to get creative. No chocolates or baked goods. I decided to go back through the archives for some inspiration. Here are a few ways we’ve celebrated in the past.




Valentine’s Day Dinner Party with Delighted Co.
Delivering Notes with a Kiss
A Count Down to Valentine’s Day

This year I’ve made a big effort to set realistic goals for myself. I had no idea what life would look like once Rose arrived and I didn’t want to overwhelm myself. I figured motherhood would be overwhelming enough. I’m now feeling more and more comfortable in my new role, but I feel like I learned a valuable lesson – less is always more. This even applies to goals, expectations, and my daily to-do-list. In keeping with this, I hope to apply the same idea to Valentine’s Day this year.

We’re going to be celebrating Rose’s birthday on February 13th so she has her own day to herself (I’m a Christmas baby so I can relate). This way Vitaliy and I will also “hopefully” be able to have a little one on one time at some point on the 14th. But I like any reason to celebrate and I love countdowns, so I’m going to use the advent calendar idea but turn it digital and make a few changes. Join us on Instagram for a Valentine’s Day Countdown! Small and simple ways to intentionally love your spouse leading up to Valentine’s Day – #pictiliolovenotes.

The Weekender

It’s Friday! And it’s raining (maybe snowing by you?) and I am so ready for the weekend. Vitaliy is leaving town so it’s going to be a girl’s weekend spent with my mom and Rose. And I’m excited about that!

Rose’s First Birthday: Speaking of Rose, we are weeks away from celebrating her first birthday. I honestly cannot believe it! I’m not into anything over the top. I’m thinking small and low-key with family and a few friends. Any tips or ideas for a first birthday party? Please share!

Whole 30: Vitaliy and I are starting our second Whole 30 on January 31. Have you heard of Whole 30? We did our first one last year when I was about 3 months postpartum and I felt amazing. It definitely takes a certain amount of dedication and extra time preparing meals, but the physical benefits are well worth the effort. This time we finally have a game plan for after the Whole 30 ends so I’m hopeful for more long-term change this go round. We’re going to do eat mostly Paleo, 90/10 – 90% Paleo, 10% wiggle room. Anybody have any Whole 30 or Paleo Pinterest boards or blogs you’d recommend? Anybody want to join us? We’ve got a group of about 10 people so far. So happy to not be doing it alone this time!

Date Night: We finally had a date night this week! We dropped Rose off to friends and went to a local coffee shop to caffeinate, breathe and connect. We spent the entire time looking face to face just talking. It was just what we needed.

MOPS: If you are a mom to little ones, I highly recommend finding a MOPS meeting in your area. I really wasn’t sure it’d be a good fit for me, but I was wrong. Being surrounded by a group of women who know precisely what you’re going through is so comforting. Every time we meet, I leave encouraged and ready to take on motherhood for another week.

Scary Close: Remember I mentioned I received two copies of On Writing by Stephen King. Well, I exchanged the extra copy this week for Donald Miller’s book Scary Close. I read the intro and first Chapter on the way to date night last night and choked up. Have you read it? I’m only one chapter in, but I’m intrigued. It made for some great conversation over coffee with Vitaliy.

What are you up to this weekend? I’m hoping for a lunch date with Mom and Rose on Saturday. Then church and rest on Sunday. Happy weekend, friends!

Photo: Can we go back to Christmas week?