What I Am Most Passionate About… Time Together with My Family. #maketime

I hope your weekend was an amazing one!  I cannot wait to talk to you about something today that is my biggest passion—> spending time with my family.  There is nothing in the world more important to me than family.  I’ve felt that way since I was just a little girl trying to convince my older siblings that I was WAY more fun to hang out with than their friends at Jr. High.  My family is everything to me so let’s take some time today to talk about how we #maketime for our people and how we balance this with the rest of life!

This post is sponsored by Kenneth Cole, thank you for supporting Andrew, me, the kids and our amazing sponsors.


My name is Janae and my love language is quality time.  One of the very first things that I learned about Andrew (and fell in love with quickly) was how much he valued spending time with his family.  The way he talked about and spent time with Knox, his parents and his siblings was a huge GREEN light for me during those dating months (ummm weeks?).  Andrew told me that in high school he preferred being at home with his family over friends which in my experience as a high school teacher was not the case for most teens.  I knew from the beginning that our feelings were the same when it came to making time for our family.  It is our top priority in this life.


I grew up with a mom and dad that worked hard to prioritize spending time with us and it made a world of difference for me.  Since we are coming up on Father’s Day, let’s chat about my dad for a minute.

My dad always made sure to make time for daddy-daughter dates with me each month.  I remember a few of those dates included walking all of the way to the movie theater (2-3 miles), going to a movie together and sometimes walking home (or calling my mom to come pick us up;).  He drove me to school each morning and got me through my high school (and college…) math courses by tutoring me each day after school.  My dad set a rule that each of us kids had to drive 100 hours in the car with him before we could get our license.  ONE HUNDRED HOURS.  Besides just wanting us to be good drivers, I know he wanted to spend time with us.  Taking mini road trips with him when we were fifteen to get hours towards our license and talking about everything under the sun was the perfect way to do that.  My dad is an inventor for his profession and works an insane amount of hours each week, which he loves. He says that he is so excited to start working each morning that he actually starts work when some college students are just going to bed!  Yet he always found a way to #maketime for his family.  Always.  Oh and he always dated my mom and still does.  Growing up I knew Friday nights were my parents special night to go out on a date, even though I tried to convince them that I should go too… it was just their night together.  Nothing was or is more important to him than his family.  I can’t wait to celebrate Father’s Day with him this year!

This year the kiddos and I gave Andrew an early Father’s Day present. Brooke will be gone for Father’s Day so we celebrate holidays according to our own calendar;).


We picked out our favorite Kenneth Cole watch to give to Andrew and he absolutely loved it! It really is the perfect Father’s Day gift.  We all work to overcome the challenges that come with balancing work/school/stressors (including kid’s going back and forth between homes right now) and more.  The Kenneth Cole watch reminds us to #maketime for the things that are important no matter what!


I think his new Kenneth Cole watch looks sooooooo good on him:)  .


PPS this is Andrew’s brain freeze face;)


Andrew and I have a whole lot of things to work on when it comes to doing this whole family thing but I thought I would share three of the ways that we #maketime for family!  Life gets busy and stressful for each of us but making time for what is most important to us is important.

1.  A few months ago Andrew and I decided that Thursday nights are SACRED in our home:)  It is the one night each week that we always have both kids so we decided it is our night to make time to be together.  We sing songs, share a lesson usually involving stories about a value we want to teach them, do a special activity and have a treat. The kids really make our day a couple times a week when they ask us, “is it family night tonight?”.  We love to try and find activities where EVERYONE feels involved and something that they both love to do.  We also love to make sure each weekend we choose at least one activity that we can all do together and bond.  With the warmer temperatures it means we have A LOT of hiking coming up!


2.  My mom is an example to me in about a million ways but one way that really sticks out to me was that she made dinner for us every single night to eat together. Tacos, goulash, enchiladas, meatloaf, soups, stews, salads, pastas, you name it, she worked hard each day to prepare something for us to all eat together at the dinner table.  That was my time each day to connect, communicate and build life-long bonds with my family members and that is something that I strive to do with our family.  While I am not the cook my mom is (maybe some day I will transform;), Andrew and I both feel it is so important for us to eat dinner together as a family whether that be at the kitchen table or a restaurant table, every single night together.  These kiddos are only going to get busier and busier as they get older. Starting the habit of having dinner together each night is so important for us!


3.  Something that I’ve really been working on lately is to make time with the kids and Andrew when we are driving in the car.  Doesn’t it feel like the car is a big percentage of the day?  My natural tendency in the car is to kind of not think about anything but the road and to listen to music.  It’s easy for me to be quiet in the car and just be still. Lately I’ve been looking at our car time as conversation time.  What better time to be really talking with the kids, asking them questions and playing Would You Rather (their favorite game on the planet) than during a car ride where we have nothing to distract us and they can’t run away from me in the car;)

We would love to hear the ways that you #maketime to be together as a family.  I’m always looking for more things that we can do to continue to put family first and really build strong relationships.


We all feel extremely grateful for Andrew.  He plays with these kids like you wouldn’t believe.  You can hear Knox and Brooke’s giggles from a block away whenever they are out with Andrew.  He plays, he coaches, he reads, he teaches, he loves, he story-tells, he listens and more to them.


I feel so lucky that this (sassy;) little girl has Andrew too.


He continues to amaze us all by spending time with the kids with zero distractions and truly playing.  I dreamed about these scenes in these pictures for many years and I hope he knows how much we all love him!


Father’s Day is just around the corner (June 18th)!! Give the gift of time to the most important man in YOUR life with a Kenneth Cole timepiece from Macy’s!  You can see their awesome selection of watches on the Kenneth Cole watch page on Macys.com!!



Have any stories about your dad (or other role models that you grew up with) to share with me?  How did they #maketime to spend together?

What are some ways that you #maketime to spend together with your family?

Have any rules that your parents had for you as a teen that were different from other kids around you?

What was the highlight of your weekend?

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LOVE this. I know not everyone has a good family situation, but I’m so thankful for how close my family has become over the years. They mean the world to me, and I love getting to spend time with them.

Highlight of my weekend was definitely relaxing by the pool and my Saturday spin class, which has become such a fun weekend staple in my life. :)


Quality time is my love language too! It’s the one thing where you get to control how you spend it every single day…and when you look back on life “all those little moments are actually the big moments”!. Beautiful post :-)


This is such a heart warming post! Family is everything and without it, I dont know what j would do. Totally agree with eating dinner together- my parents did that with me and I definitely will with my kids.. so so important!


I live in a different country than my parents. They only get to come to visit me once or twice a year. So whenever they’re here, nothing else matters to me but spending time with them. Doing whatever. Just the simple fact that they are close to me is important enough to value and cherish that moment.


During my first full marathon training cycle my dad rode his bike next to me during every long run. He carried extra water and fuel for me and kept me distracted with silly stories and songs. He and my mom live in Arizona now (I’m in Michigan) but that summer that he trained with me is so special to me and it’s something I will never forget! I am so glad we had that time together. Dads are super special!


My husband and I try to make a day per week to just hang out and spend time together. Since I work retail, often times it’s a weekday. Plus his schedule is all over the place too.

When I was a kid we always took a family trip somewhere which was great bonding.


Great post. Can you tell me which Kenneth Cole watch you’re wearing in that last picture?


Great post! Which Kenneth Cole watch are you wearing in that last picture?


I’m with you…. at the end of the day, family is the only thing that matters. My family=my best friends. Love these sweet photos of you and yours!



This post is so beautifully written. And I love Andrew’s watch! I am with you…quality time is my favorite thing. Although I do not have children of my own yet (hopefully soon!), there is nothing in the world I love more than when Chris and I sit around the fire at my parents house with my sisters playing games until it’s too dark out to see the board. Like we did last night. They are such sweet memories.


I LOVE your Dad’s 100 hour driving rule! I personally feel like I did not have enough driving experience when I got a license and I’m sure that would have helped my driving confidence, not to mention the added benefit of all of that quality time, so great!!


I’ve always shared kid riddles and mystery puzzles when we’re in the car. Now that my kids are older, they still love them. We also have try new food days where we each pick a food we’ve never tried before (from the store), and then figure out a way to share it that sounds good (new candy is the easiest of course). My favorite game is we come up with the coolest/craziest way to get a chore accomplished so it doesn’t seem like a chore–could be a crazy outfit or wearing skates or with hands taped up, etc.


I love this so much! Lately, I’ve been trying to unplug throughout the day, so I can give my full attention to my husband and son! Landon and I always have a date night each Friday night, and I always look forward to that.

We have also starting doing a Wednesday night family date night and even though our little man goes to bed early, it’s been a fun tradition to start!


My dad took me to school 3 times a week and he NEVER missed any game or speech, etc. He wasn’t the best at orally expressing how it felt, but I knew without question where he stood and how he felt about his family.

We love having dance parties at our house and I 100% agree with dinner together every night! We do rose, thorn, and butterfly every night at dinner :) A rose = best part of your day; a thorn = the worst part of your day; a butterfly = how you served someone that day. We also try and do a walk together a few times a week, we have an easy mile route around our neighborhood and it’s such a good time to catch up and talk about life.

I wasn’t allowed to spend the night at anyone’s house on Saturday nights and Sundays were declared family days, which I maybe didn’t love as a teen but now I totally get it!

Highlight of my weekend was running and breakfast with the hubs and just spending some quality time with a bunch of our relatives for Mother’s day.


LOVED this post! Just like your mom, my mom made home made dinners for our family every single night and I don’t think we realise how difficult that is until we become mom’s ourselves juggling jobs, the kids school and activities, and time and responsibilities with the husband and extended family. It’s all so worth it.


Even though this is a sponsored post and I know you have to chat up the product, I could feel the genuine emotion behind your words and I LOVE THAT. I love everything about this post – how you shared your teenage memories of your dad, the way you segue into stories about the man who is now the dad in your family, I love the pics and the family night and oh, I am so happy for you that you have this family and are making brand new Fathers’ Day traditions.
I’ll have to check out the Kenneth Cole watches – maybe I will get one for the special man in my life too.


Thank you so much for your sweet comment Karen!!! I really appreciate it:) PS LOVED YOUR HAIR MODEL PICTURE… you are gorgeous!


Just wanted to say I 100% agree! Posts like this make me totally okay with the fact that it is sponsored. Thank you for the time you put into this, Janae!


This post really hit home. Yesterday at church the sermon was about being okay with being “weird” instead of “normal.” Normal being overscheduled, lack of balance and family time, etc. Weird would be saying no to certain things, eating dinner together every night, blocking out time dedicated to just family. Our kids are 5 1/2 and 3 1/2, and we are hyper aware that family time is so precious right now. We also really want to set a good foundation, so when they are teens they realize we all just hang out together, and that’s okay. Just today I told my husband about a birthday invitation my son had gotten, but that I was afraid that weekend was becoming too full. He quickly reminded me that it’s okay to be “weird” and say no if we feel like we won’t get enough family time. Such an amazing message! And I love that you do family nights and all have dinner together every night!


Taryn, thank you so much for sharing what your sermon was about and I want to be weird too! Such a good reminder to seek balance and not be too busy for our families! You are doing an amazing job Taryn. Thank you!


Love this! Meal times are important to us. We try to eat breakfast and dinner together. Lunch when we can. These times are no phone times as well. Unless we are taking a picture. I think technology free times and spaces are super important for families.


Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday.

It’s always helpful to read articles from other writers and
practice something from their websites.


love this post! I come from a quite broken family so my aim is to raise my two children in a close, connected and loving family. I love the idea of family nights. Can you give me some ideas for activities? I have a three year old girl and a five year old boy. Thanks!


My dad was always there for me growing up, and we took summer road trips from Chicago to California every year from when I was 10 to when I was 15. What my dad also did that was really important to me, though, was to encourage me to spend time with friends too–he knew that, as an introvert, it would be really easy for me to stay home all the time and wanted me to have both family and friend time.

Weekend highlight–I got married on Saturday!!


So cute…whether a “sponsored post” or not…super sweet message!!

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