21-Day Love Challenge: Week 1

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

I Peter 4:8

One week down, two more to go!

Quick recap for everyone: Last week, my husband and I decided to participate in the 21-Day Love Challenge that I got from Tiffany over at Lavender Vines and I’ve included the original post below:

21-Day Love Challenge

So following this list, let’s just jump right into it!

Day 1: Take the Free 5 Love Languages Test

This test was incredibly interesting and gave a lot of good information. Unfortunately, I have not been able to read the book, written by Gary Chapman, but thankfully, you don’t have to for this quiz. Now, for those of you who don’t know anything about the book, it is composed of 5 different basic “love languages” that pretty much all people have and use to express their love and affection. These include: Quality Time, Physical Touch, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Words of Affirmation. The quiz rates each of these with a number from 1-12 depending on how you answer each question. The higher the number, the more that you use that language. I won’t explain too much further, but I do suggest that you get your hands on a copy of the book, or if you’re interested in the test, you can find that here: Free Five Love Language Quiz

Sam’s Results:

  • 9 – Acts of Service
  • 8 – Words of Affirmation
  • 5 – Physical Touch
  • 5 – Receiving Gifts
  • 3 – Quality Time

According the test, it’s really the highest score, or the highest two scores that make up your love language. So for me, that would be Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation. I wasn’t actually surprised by these results. I am most definitely more impressed when my husband goes out of his way to do things that ultimately make my life a little less stressful.

For example, a couple of months ago, I went out-of-town for a night to go visit my sister. I ended up taking a different vehicle that my normal around-town Chevy. When I came home, I found that my husband had gotten my windows tinted, had the inside completely detailed, and the gas tank was full. I was so excited!


Rafael’s Results:

  • 9 – Physical Touch
  • 8 – Acts of Service
  • 7 – Quality Time
  • 5 – Words of Affirmation
  • 1 – Receiving Gifts

The fact that his top language is Physical Touch did not surprise me even a little bit. He is most definitely an affectionate person. Which, I’ll admit, has been quite difficult for me to accept as his form of communication. Physical Touch is a bit farther down on my list, but that doesn’t mean that I’m just a stick-in-the-mud that doesn’t like to be touched. I have just come to realize that I definitely like my space. Our sweet little cherubs seem to always be touching me. a l w a y s. They are both like their father in that they love to be constantly wanting some sort of physical contact with Momma. Therefore, Momma just wants to scream sometimes from all the constant touching. It’s making my cringe just thinking about it! But I’m trying to be better in this area for the sake of my wonderful husband.

I think that learning these things about each other will help us to communicate better in the future. We most definitely had some problems with this in the past. To be completely transparent, we’ve had some arguments over petty little things turn into all-out fights. We know that this is terribly unhealthy, not only for us, but for our babies. As they get older, we have been working tirelessly to prevent them from witnessing the negative side to marriage. We want to be good, strong, Christian examples for them in their future relationships.

Day 2: Don’t Say Anything Negative All Day

Honestly, I don’t feel like this should really count. Technically, we succeeded and didn’t say anything negative to each other. However, my husband was out-of-town for most of the day, so we weren’t necessarily around each other to say anything negative.

Sooo… We’re going to just not count this day.

Day 3: Do an Unexpected Act of Kindness

Not that we’re keeping score or anything, but if we were, I think my husband wins today.

My act of kindness was small, but appreciated (at least I hope). We decided to save some money and eat in last night. I almost always make him dinner, and then make his plate, as well. We were having DIY dinner entrees this time around in which, my husband requested a sandwich. It came to no surprise to him that I would, of course, make it for him.

However, Rafael is a little on the picky side, but I think he’s secretly embarrassed by it, so he won’t go to the point of refusing to eat if it’s not done the way he wants. Now, he prefers the crust off his sandwich, but it’s not really a big deal if it’s there, he’ll eat it anyway. Usually I’m busy trying to make not only his plate, but both the kids and my own, so he doesn’t mind that I leave it on most of the time (he understands I’m busy). So, I took the time to peel off the crust from around the edges, the way that he prefers. It’s a silly little request, but he thanked me and said that he really appreciated it. 🙂 So, hey. I’ll take it!


Now, his really was out of the norm. Backstory: I am the one that always does bath time, and then bedtime afterwards, mostly because he’s usually at work during that time. So when I expressed my slight concern of needing to work on my blog post for Monday, he took the initiative to give the kids a bath, dressed them for bed afterwards, got cups ready to go, and went to lay down with them, while I stayed at the kitchen table working on my post. I would have been perfectly content with just helping with bath time, but he really helped me out when I needed it.

Day 4: List Top 5 Reasons You Love Your Spouse

We both made our lists, but according to the challenge, we are supposed to present our lists to each other on day 21. Therefore, no spoilers. You guys will just have to wait 😉

Day 5: Make Your Spouses Favorite Meal

Honestly, this was a very difficult day. Not necessarily the challenge part alone, but just in general. After about 6pm, everything sort of fell apart in the Winder household.

Between my sweet little boy with nasty diaper rash (which lead to pee and poop inevitably winding up on my floor), and the hell-on-wheels little girl that ended up butt-naked in the backyard covered in mud, we were having an interesting day, and it didn’t stop there.

I’ll spare you the details, cause it’s a lot. Anyway, instead of just picking his favorite meal, Rafael insisted that we try something new. This determination lead to us leaving the store the night before with two very large pieces of premade chicken cordon blue from the deli at the supermarket. I looked up a recipe on Pinterest for the breadcrumb coating, and realized I had just cleaned out my cabinets last week and threw out all of our flour that had yet to be replenished. I literally needed like 3 tablespoons worth… That’s it.

So I called in reinforcements… The husband. But unfortunately, while I was losing my mind at home, dinner being hung up without flour, my well-meaning husband has no sense of urgency as he goes across town on this quest. When he finally gets home (about an hour after the original no-flour complaint), I finish the recipe and get it thrown in the oven. I was so frustrated, I didn’t even stop to take a picture.

Chicken cooked 3 different times, because the breast surrounding the ham and cheese was so thick and wouldn’t quite cook all the way. Not at all what we were expecting. Taste was mediocre unfortunately, so we really didn’t eat much of it. We had very high hopes and were sadly let down. But, I suppose it’s the thought that counts!

However, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t totally and completely ready for that day to be over.

Day 6: Text Your Spouse Hello “Just Because”

Welllllll… Rafael and I are a strong combination of goofy and sarcasm, to be completely honest. Due to this fact, this is how our conversation turned out…


In my defense, he started it! 😉

Day 7: Plan a Movie Night

Since this post is coming out on this day, it’s currently in the works. Movie night won’t be able to work this evening because of other plans happening. However, I’m waiting on a response from a babysitter about having a date night one day next week. That counts as “planning,” right? This is a bit of a confusing day for me. I’ll update you guys on next weeks post.

Anyway, this was a long one, so thank you so much for making it to the end!! I appreciate all of the love and support that you guys have continued to pour out. For those keeping up, how did your week go? Any extra challenging parts? Comment and let me know!

Any other questions, comments, or concerned are welcome! Thanks!

Four Things I Wish My 17-Year-Old Self Knew

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Oh child, you believe you’re so grown and that this is all there will ever be. The fantasies in your head about the future you might have one day seem all so distant. As you go through motions of your everyday life, don’t bask too long, because I promise, the best is yet to come.

Of all the ups and downs, highs and lows, that we’ve gone through, there is four things I wish I could you knew:

Spend More Time with Your Friends

Don’t spend so much time working. Yes, you’re making money, but you’re losing out on precious time to spend making memories with the friends you still have. Those are rare bonds that will eventually fade away with time, and that will be missed dearly. So, ask for more weekends off, have more sleepovers, go see more movies, sit out under the stars a few more times, have a few more silly string wars and drink too much soda. Just do it. Those are the good times that you don’t want to miss out on.


Stop Craving Attention

As a great man once said, “Boys are SCUM!” Especially in high school. You are a gem, and you don’t need verification of that from any boy who looks your way. He might make you feel special, and like you’re the only one that really gets him, and that you two are gonna grow up and get married and yada-yada. Spoiler alert: That doesn’t play out. Trust me, I know. I can tell you, that boy won’t “love” you more after you give him what he wants. It’s highly doubtful he’ll love you at all. Don’t be afraid to say no.

Listen to Mom!

I absolutely can’t stress this enough. Listen to Mom! She might drive you crazy at times and get into your personal life more than you would like, but guess what? That’s her job! Realize that it is her job and her mission to keep you safe and make sure that you know you’re loved. At this point, you should know that it is because of her that you have even half of the self-esteem that you do. Because she always knew how to build you up and make you see how important you were. That being said, listen to mom. She’s your greatest asset, your truest friend, and without a doubt, one of the best people in your life (even now).


It’s Okay to be Sad

On most days, you are an almost annoyingly happy person. You’re pretty much an extrovert that always tries to see the positive side of life. However, you’ve had a plethora of incredibly awful times, more than one your age should have dealt with. I know you feel like it’s not fair, and it’s not. You’re absolutely right, it is not fair at all. But that doesn’t mean that it’s going to go away. It’s okay to be sad about the things that have gone wrong, and about the very dear people you’ve lost, as long you know that you can’t stay that way. You can’t stay at the bottom of the barrel, feeling broken and down on yourself. You have to learn to get up, splash some water on your face and keep going. God isn’t through with you, not even close.

I am so blessed by all the amazing things that God has done in my life. I know that all of the hard things put in my path only made me stronger and shaped me in the woman I am today. God knew that I would make some really stupid mistakes, but He also knew that He put some incredible people in my life that would help show me how to turn those (self-inflicted) lemons into lemonade that is oh, so sweet. I have come to realize that some of my greatest blessings wouldn’t have come had I not made some of my greatest mistakes.

Meet Rafael!

Alrighhhhhhtt, post 2!

I told you guys that I was married, right? Remember that little tidbit in my intro post about being a wife to that one guy with the humor and the smile, right? Kay, we’re going to talk about that guy!

That guy is pretty awesome and his name is Rafael Louis Winder. Fun fact, not only was he named after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle commercial his parents saw at the hospital the day he was born, but when we met, he also told me that his name was spelled with an “f” rather than a “ph” because his parents, “couldn’t afford the extra letter.” I know, funny, right?


Side Note: This picture is over a year old and just reminded me how much I desperately need new pictures of me and my husband!

My husband is an auto mechanic, and has owned his own shop since May of 2016, and had managed a few shops prior to finally opening his own. Up until about mid to late-April of this year, it has just been him down there doing all of the work by himself (manual labor, and office labor). I tried to help for a while, but my poor brain just isn’t quite geared for office management the way he needs. 😦

This all goes to show how hard of a worker he is. He does his absolute best to provide the few luxuries we have. It is only from his hard work and dedication am I able to stay home with our kiddos and honestly, to even have the time to work on this blog. The late nights that he spends working, and the times he doesn’t pick up after himself like I would prefer, really start to eat away at me if I’m not careful. It’s those times that I have to stop, take a step back and remind myself of all that he does for me and our sweet babies.

However, it wouldn’t kill him to at least pick up his laundry out of living room, and take the trash out more than once a week, but I digress. 😉

But anyway, to get to the point of this post, my husband and I have decided to participate in a “Love Challenge” for the next 21-days! This challenge will require us to do one simple task for each other every day for the next three weeks beginning this Friday, September 14th. I’m going to continue to do updates each week on Thursday till the end, which falls on Thursday, October 4th. We’ve always wanted to do a challenge like this, but life just always seemed to get in the way. But not this time! We’re going to commit full force! But just so you guys can get an idea of what our next 21-days will consist of, I’ve included it below. 🙂

21-Day Love Challenge

It is important to know that this is NOT my original challenge, I did NOT come up with each task myself. I got this from Tiffany over at Lavender Vines. If you guys wanted to go check out her original post, I’ve also included her link: 21-Day Love Challenge

Now, I did say “simple” tasks, but I did not say “easy.” I’m sure that some of these might be tad difficult to follow through, but I’m very excited for this challenge and I’m excited to see what kind of results we have! I genuinely hope you guys continue to follow along each week, or even do the challenge with us! I would LOVE to hear results from you guys!

Comment and let me know what you guys are doing!

Object In Motion

“We love because He loved us first.” I John 4:19

I’m Samantha and this is the beginning of my brand-new start. I’m in a new transitional phase of my life and I’ve now decided that this is going to be part of it! But first, I invite you to come in and stay awhile. Let me tell you a little bit about yours truly.

I walk my own path with the Heavenly Father that carries me when I’m weak, and often calms my impatient heart when nothing goes my way. I am the wife to an incredible man with a goofy sense of humor and the best smile I’ve ever seen. I’m also the mother to two very sweet, loving and borderline mentally insane children that I absolutely adore, currently ages 3 ½ years and 18 months (pictured below).

The good Lord made me highly driven by emotion, that often gets the best of me, but also gives me a passion that I’m proud of. I’ve been through my fair share of trauma and loss, all of which has made and will continue to make me a stronger person in the long run.

However, life as I know it is changing! The transformation is happening fast, but I am welcoming it with open arms…4

Recently, I made the decision to take a step back from work, pull my kiddos out of the local daycare and really commit to the “stay-at-home-mom” gig. So far, so good (will keep you updated)! It’s still very fresh and we’re all still adjusting to our new lifestyle.

Although, after paying for daycare every week, I wasn’t making a substantial amount of money, I was still making at least some. Fast-forward to week two of zero second income, here we are, sandwiches and potato chips for dinner (I ain’t even mad, sandwiches are the bomb).

But anyway, I feel that God gave me a unique path to walk on and a set of challenges that I feel are meant to help someone, anyone that just might stumble upon my post and find some sort of comfort in my words. I can promise my readers that I will rarely know the right answer, but can offer an open ear to those who just need someone to listen to their story.

In closing of my first official blog post, thank you for making it till the end! I truly appreciate any and all support. I’m hoping that by sifting through details of my every day life, I’m able to put together a variety of stories, tips, and anything else that comes to mind. I look forward to sharing my story with all who care to listen. Stay tuned and thanks friends!

Comments, emails, etc., are welcome.