{been there…}

4 Apr

As a newly engaged woman & someone who’s striving to be the best fiance & soon-to-be-wife as I can, I truly enjoy hearing the stories of woman who have BEEN THERE.
They’ve made it past “the first year”.
They know what worked & what didn’t.
Tips & tricks at getting through the tough times.
What NOT to say in the heat of the moment.
They know how to build him up.
How to keep it fresh.

I was flipping through the amazing blog by Ashley from The Shine Project and came across these “6 Relationship Ideas”.  I love Ashley’s insight on marriage, growing out of the “honeymoon phase”, and finding that getting past that phase, taught her an even deeper & new kind of love for her hubby.

Here are her 6 ideas::

1. Go to bed at the same time: Life gets so busy. So, so busy… But we’ve
tried really hard to go to bed every night at the same time. A lot of times I can’t fall asleep, and he’s out within seconds, so I take a book to bed and read next to him. There’s something important about that quiet cuddle time, and even when you can’t be together all day, you’re able to end your day together.  It helps me remember that we’re in this together, and that at the end of the day, he’s the most important thing that my time needs to be invested in.
2. Leave love notes: We bought a little mailbox at target a couple of years ago.  When the mail tag is up, it means there’s a little love inside. Reading how Mike feels about me, and what he’s proud of me for accomplishing gives me a lot of confidence.  It’s nice to know how the one you love feels about you. Ya, you know they love you…but hearing those words of affirmation brings a deeper knowledge.  If a love note is a text…that’s great too. Mike texts me throughout the day to see how I’m doing, and to let me know that he’s thinking about me.
3. Hold hands whenever you can: I always get sad when I see couples who don’t really
interact with each other. I am a firm believer that it’s important to put effort into your relationship every single day. Physical touch can really bring you closer together…even when it’s as simple as holding hands.
When we’re in the car, walking through the grocery store, sitting in church,
you’ll always see us holding hands. We did it when we were dating, and there’s
no reason that it should change a couple of years later.
4. Create something that’s “yours” together: See that picture up there with me in front of a tree?  Ya, that’s “our” tree. Mike planted it the day before we got married as a wedding gift to me.  It’s grown sooo much, and we go back to it on our anniversary each year.  It’s so fun to have something that’s only ours, and that we can share with each other.
5. DATE! DATE! DATE! We try our hardest to go on a date a week.
Sometimes it involved staying in and watching a movie, and other times they are more fancy.  One of my favorites was when we met each other in our kitchen and made smore’s in our microwave. Finding new things to do with each other keeps the fun alive!
6. Measure your progression as a couple: I love making lists of things that we’ve accomplished as a couple. From buying our first place, to graduating from college together and seeing specific prayers answered, it’s vital to know that your relationship creates good in your individual life, as well as your life together. Setting goals together and then reaching them as a couple gives us things to work towards so we don’t feel stagnant.
___
What do you think of her ideas?  Do you have others to add?? I’d love to hear from those woman who’ve BEEN THERE!
My sister said something very encouraging to me the other day.  She said, “Al, I hope that when I’m engaged and planning my wedding I have the same out look as you.  You’re not allowing yourself to get wrapped up in “wedding hype”, but you’re spending more time preparing & planning for actual married life”.  That really shocked me actually because I hadn’t really thought of it like that, but it’s true.  Why do so many girls get lost in the wedding event, and not focus more on what comes after that ONE day…married life?!  I can only pray that I continue to keep this focus & spend time learning & preparing to become a wife.
Let’s hear your tips ladies!

{pictures by Emilee Chambers Photography summer 2010}
I had a great blogging friend {Kimberly} suggest some great books, that I’ve read and really enjoyed.  Each book had such great insight on becoming a husband & wife UNIT.
___
I highly suggest them::
Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts by Les & Leslie Parrott
The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian
___
A few other books I’ve read and highly suggest::
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
For Woman Only by Shaunti Feldhahn
___
On my “to read list”::

Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

I grew up with an awesome example of what true love looks like.  In the good times & the tough times.  A couple that truly relies on the Lord as their rock & foundation.  I can only pray that Patrick & I will also be that example someday to our own family!



1 Corinthians 13:4-8  “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.”

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11 Responses to “{been there…}”

  1. PennyPincherFashion (@PPFGirl) April 4, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    Awww, these are such cute pictures – of you & Pat and of your parents! Thanks for the shout-out, too!! 🙂 I think I have already written you a novel thru email on my marriage advice, so I won’t add more here…glad you liked the books!! 🙂

    • simplicityisultimatesophistication April 4, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

      Thanks 🙂 This was a few years ago…wish we had updated pics before he left…but we ran out of time. Thanks again for your tips…love your advice 🙂

  2. kathyplashley April 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    Wonderful post! My husband and I do a few of the same things suggested above. We always go to bed together and NO television allowed in our room. It’s our quiet time. We certainly go out on dates every once in a while and it’s great.

    Just your hunger for this type of marriage is what will set yours apart. Beautiful pictures. Good luck on this fun new journey!

    • simplicityisultimatesophistication April 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

      Thanks Kathy! I’ve heard that no TV rule from a lot of couples. Great tip!

      • kathyplashley April 4, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

        If you are curious, read Rock, Paper, Scissors and you can see another idea. You may not do the same but it just shows a way we keep things fun.

  3. curlplease April 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award!

  4. emily April 4, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    great advice!! Those pictures of you guys are so great 🙂

    • simplicityisultimatesophistication April 4, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

      Thanks Emily!! I wish it was my advice…maybe someday when I’ve “been there” I’ll be able to have great words of wisdom like these ladies…right now I’m just a rookie 🙂

  5. Alexis April 4, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    This is such an inspiring and beautiful post. My boyfriend and I have been together for three years now, two years of which have been long-distance. It’s so inspiring to see successful couples such as you and your fiance, especially when he is so far away now.
    Plus, you look so happy together! You are so gorgeous, but you definitely look happiest with him 🙂

  6. Amber ~Real Girl Glam April 5, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    These are beautiful pictures of you together! My hubby and I haven’t taken pictures together in awhile (other than on vacation), thinking it might be time to do some again! These tips are really great and definitely something I would absolutely echo. My hubby and I are coming up on our 9th wedding anniversary and it is just crazy to look back and think about the early years. All the things that bothered me then seem silly and I’ve definitely learned to let little things go, because they just waste the time that you could be having fun together instead! Just remember to be kind to one another and express your love everyday.

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