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Entries in marriage (4)



Being married is an incredible thing. It pushes me, and makes me grow more than i could have ever imagined, and it's only been two years so far! From the day we got married, some things completely changed. I viewed my relationship differently. Every time in past relationships when i'd get angry, i'd hide it, i wouldn't want to "nag" or get in an uncomfortable conversation, or make him feel bad. I realized quickly that if i didn't bring it up, i'd eventually get so hurt and my heart wouldn't be in the relationship because i was unhappy, and it would ultimately hurt our relationship. I also saw it's not necessarily nagging. A lot of it is learning how to live together, learning why they do what they do, and maybe little things we could do to serve each other every day.

Recently we have hit a bump in the road. It's not an overnight fix, and it's taking more work. I've found first talking about this problem with your spouse is step one. Figuring out small goals is step two. Right now for us that looks like, reading a book that is about marriage, praying together, and doing more little things to serve each other. One thing that i need is encouragement, compliments. I've also been trying to ask Brandon what i can do each week to help him. We've decided in a couple months if things haven't changed for the better, we'll see a counselor. I also stated that even if things DO change, i want to eventually see one for a refresher.  I'm a huge believer in counseling of some sort even if things are great.  

The next thing i did was talk to my mom about it. I told her exactly what was going on, and what we were doing to help both now and in a couple months. She was so proud that we were working on it, figured out the issues, and could only tell me what we were doing to fix it was exactly what we should be doing. This is one of our first bumps in the road. I guess the real first one was right after we were married. Going from not living in the same state, to the same house was interesting to say the least. There were lots of arguments, but that was an easy bump to get through.

You you might be in your first struggle or twentieth, but these little reminders still apply. 


1- what you're feeling is common, That "lovey-dovey" feeling comes and goes, so don't depend on that. Instead put your trust in pursuing a love that is is deep, honest and true. This can only start to develop over time and seeing those hard times, and pushing through.

2- Hard times... is this your first bump in the road? How you handle these will determine what happens next. Get books, read together, get counseling, figure out how to change and better that situation together by communicating... even when it's tough to talk about. 


3- Learn to compromise, pick your battles. If you're not willing to budge on certain situations, you're being selfish. so determine if your decision is based on selfishness or actually means something. Then you're going to have to give up on some things. 

4- Don't take someone else's side over your spouse

5- i mentioned communication already, but really, you need to listen to each other's needs. Not only listen but make a change, an effort to meet some of those needs. Also understand it doesn't  necessarily even need  to be understood to be legitimate. Then figure out the root meaning to those needs. 

6-  never mention divorce again. EVER. It's not an option, instead figure out how to make life enjoyable when you consider it impossible to get a divorce. It'll make you work harder together and for your marriage. 


7- Pray. Pray all the time, for your marriage, wisdom, protection and for one another. This is how you'll gain strength and I'm sure a better appreciation for one another. 

I've suggested some helpful tools before but some books i recommend are here. And some DVDs to watch together are here.  Right now Brandon and i are reading love and war, and so far it's a great read for encouragement! If you're interested in one of those books, or DVDs, but maybe need some more insight, email me, i'd be glad to point you in the right direction and help you out. 

I believe in marriage, that it can make you stronger, love deeper, help you shine bright, and i believe that you can work out those struggles that we all face and aren't sure how to get through and come out on the other side having even more love for your spouse. 


Our Story. 

Brandon and i met in July of 2008 In Fayetteville North Carolina. My best friend Rachelle had moved down there, and i went to visit and go on tons of adventures with her. Her boyfriend at the time lived with Brandon, and he was leaving in a couple days so they threw a going away party. At the time Brandon and i were both dating other people, but i secretly thought he was super cute. (Though i found out it was not so secret, since Rachelle had to sit me down and tell me i was flirting a little.. whoops.) So we met a couple times in passing at his house while inbetween advenures, and then the night of the party, Rachelle decided to tell people i'd sing and play guitar; so her and two of the guys that lived there.. brandon included went into a room where we just chatted and played guitar, i was super embarrassed. Below the the first picture i took of him, and all the people there celebrating! 

That was really the end of the first meeting! when i slept over, and i was on the couch, i made sure when brandon woke up and came into the room that i wasn't drooling, romantic yes? ha. 

Down the road, about 7-8 months later, he saw me writing on Rachelle's facebook wall, remembered me, thought i was cute, and since he was single now he went snooping around. I actually was recently single too so we talked, and a LOT. Looking back, i really loved how he pursued me, he kept asking if he could visit to see if we could date, but i rudely said no for a couple months. Again i found out later he almost gave up when i finally said he could visit. 

His first visit was late may or early june, and he visited a few times within a few weeks which was pretty awesome! I went to pick him up at the airport, not having seen him for almost a year and i thought he'd hug me, he came up to me and just went in for the kiss. DANG. We had tons of fun, adventures, but i was so nervous when we went out to eat, he'd sit on the same side of the table and put his arm around me. He seemed so sure of himself and us.... our first advenure to the Guthrie Theater our first dance, and fun photo session. Proof. 

Over the next couple of months we saw eachother pretty often, took lots of photos, he met my mom and i in Texas, so he met some of the family, and he completely had my heart. 

Then September came. He was graduating from pilot training, and i got to be there, all dressed up and out with his family and my mama! He seemed super nervous but i didn't think anything of it, but WOW he proposed!  

What was funny is right at the airport, Shelly baby asked me what i'd do if he proposed, i said i don't think he would, it was really soon, but i'd probably say yes! She didn't know, but just had a feeling. In a way she prepared my heart for it too!

I had another year of school, so he moved from OK, to NV and we didn't live in the same state until we were married, but it was such a great year! Being able to be with my friends, see my man and just have one last great year in Minnesota. We were married May 7, 2010 then i had finals the next week and we moved. Needless to say i was exhausted and a little crabby. i also didn't drive AT ALL from Minnesota to Nevada.


What i love about our story is if just one things was different, we would've never even met. I almost ended up not going so i didn't have to take off work, and i picked to visit just a few days before he left. 

If you want to see more photos of our amazingly fun wedding, stay tuned i'll blog about it sometime, and include all the things that went great, and maybe a few things i'd change too. If you're planning a wedding, it can be stressful if you're not sure what to focus on, i'm always here with any questions! 


Make all the difference in your marriage

keep your relationship fun, stay in love, and great books to read!
Lots of fascinating things have come out of using Pinterest. the most recent find is a new blog, i've still only read the first post i stumbled upon, but it's a great marriage encouragement! It was a list of 10 things that make all the difference, i wanted to see if Brandon and i were on the right track, and so far we're doing okay. Good news huh! The post describes what has helped their marriage stay fresh, stay friends, stay in love, they also suggested to use some of these tips for your own , and make some for your relationship! so if you're part of a couple, or engaged, or already married, i'm encouraging you to sit down and go through some of these tips, and see what you'll be able to do together to grow strong and stay in love. I'm going to also suggest to write a few of your own. 
click here to see this couple's suggestions that make all of the difference in a marriage. my favorites from the post..
1-  Weekly Questions- The Loerke's said they have been asking each other the same five questions every sunday night.. check out these questions here.
2- Small Metal Box- after reading a story that encouraged them, they decided to put a dollar in a special metal box after every time they made love, and they would save up for a trip to Hawaii. Also they advised not to constantly count the money in the box, and that it was about quality not quantity. 
3- I skipped a few of their tips BUT you can check them all out, and i suggest you do! my next favorite was playing together. I changed this slightly to adventures. this is really what we call any dates, or vacations. If you know me, you'll know i love some Angels and Airwaves, my all-time favorite song "The Adventure" also has special meaning since it was our fist dance song. This is all to say, we decided our life together, our time together are all adventures. And these are so important! Simple things like going out to eat, hiking, or like the post suggested building forts or going on walks, which i loved. They explained how it's a way to connect emotionally and physically.. really i just am so thrilled to apply some of these tips to my marriage!
4- Praying together- this is another suggestion by the post, and Brandon and i did such a great job of this before we were married, and even right away after we were married, but we have gotten caught up and don't always spend time in prayer, but i agree that it's a great way to stay spiritually connected. 

5- Celebrate each other- You don't need to make a huge deal of holidays you're not crazy about, spending tons of money, BUT you should make a big deal out of anniversaries, birthdays and small accomplishments. It shows you're each other's biggest fans. 
6- don't do marriage alone. i have a fun (short) story that helped me realize this. We were having a minor disagreement that another couple were also having, we all sat down together and had our first couples fight. we did fight fair though! Everyone took their time talking, explaining concerns, and still arguing out of love to help the other side (guys vs girls) understand where they were coming from. It might sound crazy, but when Brandon and i left, i was really thankful to have friends that we were comfortable enough to not just have fun, but disagree too. 

7- Study each other- THIS is a strong point of mine. Brandon and i have our talking time once we're laying in bed, no electronics, and talking about the day. i come up with the most random questions, and although he sometimes thinks i'm crazy for asking these, we end up learning new things about one another! The article talked about how people change, and there's always something new to learn, so interview one another. 

8- Dude time/girl time- Time apart. the article said it best. She said it blesses her and her husband Tim when he can take trips with his buddies, since they meet certain needs that she can't and the opposite is true as well. 

SO technically i skipped 2 of their tips, BUT i thought i'd spin off it a little. Also it'll lead you to want to read the ones i skipped!  Thought i'd suggest some books to read together too! (or apart and talk about it later like we did while living in different states!) 
quick little blurb about these books- first if you've read other posts, you've read about Captivating, if not click HERE for more information.  Wild at Heart is the version for Men, i've read part of it, and Brandon read it too! i really suggest this! John and Stasi Eldredge also wrote Love and War, which i've only started to read, but i've heard some great reviews, same with Love and Respect, both of these couples' books have a notebook to fill out everything too! The Five Love Languages is one i read while in high school, and it's great to read to figure out for yourself, and your significant other so you can communicate the way that you feel and show love! 
Before You Say I Do, i wouldn't say is the best book we've read together, but it was a good book that got us talking, and thinking about things before we got married. Sometimes praying can be a difficult thing to start, i makes you so vulnrable, and a book like this will help both of you become more comfortable with it! the last book, a two-parter, the most important day of a woman's (man's) life. i haven't even bought this one yet! but one of the photographers i follow Zach and Jody suggest it. to see their page click here. (LOVE them, heard them speak at WPPI and they are a photography couple. CUTE) 
Do you have any great books you and your spouse have read that has encouraged your relationship? I'd love to find some more great reads! Also, would love to hear about any tips YOU suggest to keep the marriage going strong. 

Marriage encouragement 

today is about encouragement! i'm going to start out by talking about these DVD's called "Laugh your Way to a better Marriage." Before we got married, Brandon attended a class at his church called marriage 101 which in itself i was impressed with. on a visit from Minnesota i got to attend one of the classes and each week they'd watch little clips from those DVDs. It is biblically based Christian organization that believes in healthy marriages, but even if you don't call yourself a Christian, it still has so much for you! He couples humor and biblically based teachings and principles to help sustain a healthy relationship. 

The first time Brandon and i watched it together we were not having any issues.. so don't think just because you're doing great right now you don't need this! the videos are increments of about 40 minutes, so they're great to watch as a tv show with your spouse, enjoying a closeness that you two can talk about! and laugh about too. one great thing i love about these dvds is you learn so much, tons of helpful insight, but it's presented in a way that makes helping your marriage more fun, and leaves you wanting to hear more!

Mark Gungor conducts these seminars around the U.S. and i have to say i think he's amazing! He's a senior pastor at a church in wisconsin, has been on focus on the family, and wrote a book about this too! click on his name to find out more about who he is and what the organization does. 

sorry about the low resolution here! click on the image to find out more! (image found online)

so if you want to try something to help or just encourage your marriage, try these DVDS out, it's a little bit easier way to do a seminar without the extra cost of going out of town, it's easy to do, and there's no excuse not to! i really think all couples should watch these together. you'll learn so much and have fun doing it!  

i think the best part about these dvds is that after watching them, and then talking to other friends of ours, we have directly seen exactly what Mark Gungor talks about, it's a great tool not only for your marriage, but recognizing the deeper issue of each argument. 

if you are interested or have any questions about these DVDS, let me know, and i'll make sure you get one! to this day my husband and i still quote some of the stuff Gungor says, and we get such a good laugh out of it. so if you're interested i'd be willing to talk about each session with you afterward too! 

Marriage. just wanted to encourage you today that it can be amazing! and here's one tiny step in helping, healing, or growing in it. 

Laugh your way to a better marriage! (click link to see a clip on youtube from the dvds)