I literally cannot believe that it’s been 2 years! I can close my eyes and go back to our wedding day and think of the music, the laughter, the feeling, the smell, everything about that day was perfect to us. I have such mixed emotions writing this blog post because on one hand I’m like “Dang, look how far we’ve come and how much closer we are now! 2 years is looking good on us!” but then the other part of me feels like “Can we please rewind and be in a plane on our way to Costa Rica again??” I’ve gotten a lot of questions about whether or not we are doing gifts or going on a trip this year, etc and the simple answer is no to both. Chandler and I LOVE to give gifts, but receiving them is not something we require to feel loved and there is nothing wrong with that. I want this post to help take pressure off of couples who feel the need to shower each other with gifts during every holiday and no matter what the financial situation is. My advice would be to find out how the other receives love and give them the gift of words, or quality time, or service or if it’s gifts, then gifts! Some people do have the love language of receiving gifts and that’s a beautiful love language and totally cool! Chandler and I happen to have quality time, words, and touch as our love languages so gifts just isn’t something we’ve ever NEEDED and this year it makes more sense for us to put that money back towards a getaway or a bigger goal together. We have also been trying to take on a more minimalistic way of living since moving back home so the truth is, memories are more valuable to us than things at this point in life and Chandler and I live off of quality time together. Quality, uninterrupted, usually spent outdoors, holding hands, reminiscing and talking about dreams, true quality time. Just Him and I. That’s what we require to feel loved so we are just totally rolling with that this year. If you have been following our story on the blog recently, you’ll know also that we are both in crazy points in our businesses right now. To again, keep it simple, Chandler and I essentially both quit jobs that were tying us down when we put our house up on airbnb and went full force after our dreams and what we truly wanted to be doing. It has been the wildest, most exciting, beautiful, scary journey we’ve ever been on together and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. In the daily grind of things it’s easy to get in the mindset of “this is stressful”, “why did we do this”, etc but sitting here now and letting myself sink into the fact that together hand in hand my best friend and I literally left behind what was hindering us and took a leap of faith into what could possibly be the most life changing thing we’ve ever done. I feel so blessed to be here and writing those words, documenting this time in our lives together. So we will not be going on a trip this month either. We have a pretty busy October with weddings and family visiting so we will be postponing our annual “just us” trip to sometime this winter! Our plans for our anniversary include waking up and going to one of our favorite coffee shops, hiking through the woods we got married in, and going on a date to one of our favorite Italian restaurants! It honestly sounds so beyond perfect to me to have any entire day unplugged (except for the occasional instagram story of course. Ha!) with my sweet husband. Though we are definitely not experts only having been married for 2 years, we have learned a few things along the way! I hope sharing these will help you in some way whether it be with your current relationship, engagement, or just to keep in mind for your future!
I want to preface this post by saying that marrying this man was the best decision I have ever made. Marriage is the best and I mean that in every sense of the word. When orchestrated by God, it is the one thing that molds us the most and shows us a whole other level of God’s love for us. It’s beautiful and fun and everything you would hope and pray it is! But just like anything in life worth having, marriage is not always the easiest and somedays are harder than others. I want to be real and honest because the internet is already at maximum capacity when it comes to unrealistic relationships and expectations so I want to bring a little truth and a little more realness to this subject here in my little corner of the internet. Marriage is a journey and we need to fuel our relationship with solid, truthful, and real influence. Anything else can quickly become toxic for your relationship.
So number 1.. DO NOT argue if you have not had adequate sleep, food, or caffeine. I would say 80% of our arguments stem from a lack of one (or more) of those 3 things. I’m not kidding. Sometimes we just don’t talk at all until we’ve had our coffee and we are totally OK with it. This brings me to the “don’t go to bed angry” thing.. that thing… while I can agree to an extent that no-one will be sleeping well if you’re trying to go to bed in the heat of an argument, I do believe that EVERYTHING is communicated better after a good nights sleep (or sometimes even forgotten about!). For us this will sometimes mean that if we’re having an argument in the evening, we will pause and wait until the next day to continue talking things out if we can tell that one of us or both of us isn’t able to communicate as well as we might need. Following these simple rules and keeping these boundaries with each other has changed the way we argue and the amount of arguments we get into. Such simple concepts but so helpful!
Protect your time together at all costs. When Chandler and I first got married we had no idea how to balance and work around our two schedules and that was something that has honestly taken over a year for us to sort-of get the hang of. At the end of the day, the time you spend with your spouse is more important than ANYTHING. That’s right, anything. This was super hard for me to wrap my mind around because I’ve always been the kind of person to say yes. I always want to say yes right away when my parents would invite us over, or when a friend wants to get coffee, or when I’m asked to volunteer or babysit, etc. Marriage flipped my people pleasing world UPSIDE DOWN and honestly? I’m SO thankful. Saying no to things that at one point started to take priority over what my spouse and I needed became such a refreshing thing to do and I felt like when Chandler and I started to fill our cup first, we were then able to spend more valuable time and fill others cups much easier but the amount of things we say yes to still stays at a minimum. Our time with each other is vital to our relationship staying healthy and I’ve learned to say no to anything that means compromising that. Now sometimes no won’t be an option and you’ll just have to do life together and be strong in certain circumstances until things calm down again but everyday things like spending 2 hours with a friend over coffee when you haven’t even spent an hour with your spouse all day is where changes might have to be made. My job is not keeping everyone happy, my “job” and my joy is building and keeping a healthy and thriving marriage with my husband. DO NOT feel guilty for saying no to something to protect time with your husband. I truly believe that God blesses us when we prioritize our relationships in this way.
Alone time is also important! I think I value and need alone time more than Chandler but it’s just something that I’ve always needed since I was young. I never minded being alone, I actually really loved it. Being alone is how I refuel and refresh and that time is sacred and something that I myself have to protect because I know when I get that couple hours or so of alone time every week, I am refueled and ready to be a much better wife and friend to my husband. We are all different and your version of “alone time” might be alongside a couple of your best friends, or maybe it’s getting a workout in! Whatever you both need to feel refueled and ready to be the best version of yourselves, make time for it!
Spend time with both families. This is difficult if your families are spread out everywhere but if like us your family and your spouses family are each within 30 minutes away, this is for you! When we first got married we spent A LOT of time with my family which I think for the most part is normal when it comes to the wife’s side of the family but you have to remember that just as your family are your people and some of your best friends, his family are his people and some of his best friends as well and if you are blessed enough to live near both families (like within an hour of each) it needs to be a priority to spend time with both sides. I won’t go to far into this one because I know family dynamics and relationships can be complicated so obviously this will depend on the couple and their own unique situation but if your families are close by and want to spend time with you, make it a priority. Just as I said above though, sometimes the amount of time our families want to spend with us will differ slightly with the amount of time that we have to spend while still protecting our time together as a couple so make adjustments, see what works and remember, this should be stress free, obligation free, and fun for everyone.
These things along with just all around being kind to one another and keeping God at the center are some of the things we’ve learned in our first 2 years of marriage. Being kind is such a simple concept but sometimes the ones closest to us are the ones we show our ugly side to the most often. Treat your spouse like you want to be treated and like the gift from God that they are. If we could truly follow this rule everyday, we would have much happier marriages all around. We learn and fall short everyday but that’s the beautiful part of marriage. You have your whole life to figure this thing out together!
I feel like this was a bit all over the place but when I thought about our first two years of marriage, these are all of the things that came to mind as what we’re learning and I wanted to document them and put them here so that maybe someone can relate or learn from them as well!
Here’s to a thousand more with my best friend and love of my life. Thanks so much for reading!!