I feel a bit like this:
I'm not pageant pretty, but I was definitely honored at the end of 2011/beginning of 2012 with some kudos from fellow marriage bloggers. It feels a bit like getting a tiara! (I don't have a tiara. Even though my sister once asked, "Doesn't every girl have a tiara?" I do have a banner from my high school prom, but that's another story altogether.)
Anyway, before I lose focus completely, let me say "Thank you so much!" to:
Lori at The Generous Wife who awarded me a Grow Your Marriage Award. She identified "a few blogs that continually stand out to me because of their quality and because of the heart of those who write them." Seriously, that is tiara stuff, people. I placed in the "Bravery" category (although my husband might label it "Frankness"). This category also includes wonderful fellow bloggers Sheila Gregoire of To Love, Honor and Vacuum, and Julie Sibert of Intimacy in Marriage with Lori saying, "these gals regularly (and with great insight) blog about female sexuality. It's a tough subject fraught with all kinds of issues and general embarrassment. You go, girls." Thank you, Lori.
Sheila Gregoire at To Love, Honor and Vacuum for including FIVE quotes of mine in her 50 Best Marriage Quotes of 2011. (Who knew I actually said quotable stuff?) Sheila's list is a great resource, and I recommend you read it all the way through. There is a lot to think about there, and so much wisdom for marriages collected in one place. Thanks, Sheila.
If you haven't visited The Generous Wife; To Love, Honor, and Vacuum; or Intimacy in Marriage, I love what these ladies do in boldly speaking up for God's plan for marriage.
Honors out of the way, I proceed to Hi-fives. Some marriage experts and advocates whom I respect have recently come out with resources that you might want to know about. I am giving a hi-five to these folks for going the extra mile and producing helpful material for couples. I am not getting any kick-back for including these here (though if someone wants to throw $$ my direction, I'll leap for it like a bridesmaid going for the bouquet). Perhaps you'll add them to your To Be Read List for 2012, just as I am doing.
First Kiss to Lasting Bliss by Lori D. Lowe of Marriage Gems. This book "features the real-life stories of couples across the U.S. Many of them used adversity to improve their marriages. . . .You will get to know the couples and their often difficult journeys, as well as the keys to their now-strong marriages." First Kiss to Lasting Bliss is available in both print and ebook format.
The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex by Sheila Gregoire at To Love, Honor and Vacuum. This book isn't out until March, but I'm biting my fingernails in anticipation and you can pre-order it now. I love Sheila's Wifey Wednesday blog posts; they are frank, profound, and insightful. She boldly advocates for marriage on her site. Mark your calendar and keep your eyes open for its release. I will definitely let you know on my website when it officially comes out.
A Penny for Your Thoughts from Stu and Lisa Gray at Stupendous Marriage. "The Husband and Wife editions of A Penny For Your Thoughts EACH contain 99 questions you can ask your spouse. Ranging from family history to movies to music to sex." These are conversation starters to increase communication on a range of issues and deepen your relationship with your spouse. Each version (husband and wife) costs only 99 cents! At $1.98 for both of them, that's less than the vanilla hot chocolate I just ordered at the coffee shop and much more lasting.
Also, this past year, Stu and Lisa Gray of Stupendous Marriage and Gina Parris and Corey Allen of Winning at Romance and Simple Marriage respectively started podcasting shows. Both are free downloads. Check out The Stupendous Marriage Show and Sexy Marriage Radio.
What do you think? What resources do you recommend for improving your marriage? What particular book or blog has helped you?