The love that is expressed between me and Abby goes beyond what happens behind the closed doors of our bedroom. We believe that love is also seen in our growing family, our relationships with our friends, and our faith… We could share a billion ways that we express a happy, healthy, loving relationship with each other, but 50 seems to be a pretty popular number right now, so we’ll just stick with that. Here’s 50 shades of Johnson.
1. We share gender roles.
2. We share house chores
3. We spend lots of time snuggling.
4. We practice NFP (Natural Family Planning). Because the most loving thing you can do with your spouse is share your fertility.
5. We laugh together. A LOT.
6. We hang out in bed.
7. We have lots of playtime.
8. Sibling love.
9. We help each other with snacks.
10. We practice marital abstinence…because NFP.
11. We eat as a family. Eating at the dinner table is one of our favorite things.
12. We go out for dinner. Well, we used to. Now we have too many kids to wrangle.
13. We bring each other flowers.
14. We allow for time alone. Sometimes you even need a break from your spouse.
15. We hang out with our friends.
16. We plan for date nights. Because time away from your kids is more important than many realize.
17. We baptize our children. Our primary goal is to get our kids to heaven.
18. We raise our kids at home. (Nothing against 2 working parents. We just decided this is best for us.)
19. We spend time in Prayer.
20. We spend lots of time outside.
21. We have an awesome nanny.
22. We save what we can for our kids future education.
23. We put our children in a school that upholds our values.
24. We teach our children about the sanctity of human life. Without life, no other rights make much difference.
25. We raise our children in church.
26. We love our cat.
27. We teach our kids to earn the things they want.
28. We recycle. Because we love our planet.
29. We keep our extended family close.
30. We kiss each other goodnight every night and give our kids a blessing after nighttime prayers.
31. We act silly with our kids.
32. We show our kids healthy affection.
33. We don’t allow mommy blogs to dictate how we raise our kids.
34. We choose doctors who share and uphold our beliefs.
35. We give to those in need.
36. We answer our kid’s questions. (But, sometimes there are too many, or they just can’t be answered yet.)
37. We plan vacations without our kids.
38. We stay up with our kids when they are sick.
39. We teach our kids how to be good and honorable friends.
40. We serve in the Church.
41. We have pizza/popcorn/movie night every Friday.
42. We do the same puzzles over and over again.
43. We let sleeping kids lie.
44. We are parents to our children…not just their friends.
45. Support each others work.
46. We admit our mistakes and say we are sorry.
47. We plan vacations with our kids.
48. We forgive one another.
49. We hold hands.
50. …And most of all, we keep things colorful!!
If there is anything we want to show people, it’s that our family is filled with color…and that our family is always a priority. We are not here to tell others how they should define what true love is, or how they should raise their children, or how to express that love in private. We just wanted to show what true love looks like in our house.
No matter the history of a person or how a relationship starts, it can be redeemed. Ours is a redemptive love story. Our relationship consists of love, respect, trust, admiration, patience, openness to God’s plan, prayer, education, laughter, tears,…but it certainly wasn’t always that way. It took time, heartbreak and sacrifice to build the things that you see now. Our past has been made new. And in the end, the fruits of our labor are wonderful. Who can argue with 4 beautiful healthy and happy children? (And certainly more to come!)