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  • 6 Things I've Learned in Marriage

    Thursday, July 13, 2017

    Tomorrow is my anniversary. 
    My husband and I were married on a WICKED hot day on July 14th, 2001. That's one of the only things I remember about the hot it was...and how my dad went out to buy carpet ON MY WEDDING day so he could lay it over the porch so people wouldn't burn their feet when they danced (I got married at my parent's house) It was an awesome day. 
    16 years has passed in a blink of an eye. Everybody said that it would...I used to roll my eyes at them...but it is SO true. 
    I was thinking back on those years the other day and I wanted to share some of the things I have learned. 

    I am by NO means an expert at marriage...far from it. That is exactly why my advice may be good :) I have made lots of mistakes. You would shake your head and finger at me so many times if you heard all the mistakes I've made...but I've learned a lot too. Here are 6 of my favorite lessons. 

    1. Actions mean more than words 
    I wish I could tell you I have this one mastered. I'm still working on it. I love to talk. I like to encourage and dream and talk about what I am GOING to do...but marriage requires more than words. Anyone that has been in a relationship for a while knows this...words fall flat when they are not backed up with action. You can only say "I'm going to" or "I promise I will" so many times...ugh. I wish I could make t-shirts of this point and sell myself :) because I still need this reminder every day. 

    2. Check In...everyday 
    When it is just the two of you...this is easy. As you add jobs, pets, kids and family drama to the mix, it can feel like you are rarely in the same room let alone on the same page. 4 years ago my husband and I started this...we take a few minutes (honestly, some nights its like 90 seconds) but we check in with where we are at...what we need to know and how we can help each other. It takes out the element of surprise...what do you mean you are playing tennis today! You never told me that? :) That conversation happened all the time in our marriage when our kids were leads to stress and hurt feelings when you are not on the same page. This little check in, for us, has been vital. 

    3. Put your phone down
    I cannot stress this one enough...and it's not just the phone. Phone was my struggle...yours may be the computer or Netflix or books or ANYTHING that keeps you from being present. Here is thing, you don't get a do over. You don't get to go back and re-live the times when you were on the couch scrolling instagram while your kids were playing and asking you to join. I TOTALLY get that you need "me" time...we all do...and this is not what I am talking about here. You know the line between me time and checking out completely...I have crossed that line many times before so take my advice :)   

    4. Don't Lose You (but don't make it all about you!) 
    Selfishness will ruin any relationship...but you can't be so selfless that you forget to take care of yourself. In a marriage, both people have to strive to be healthy for themselves so they can be healthy for each other. It's a delicate balance. I would be lying if I said I had this balance in my 16 years of marriage...Im just starting to get it now. :) 

    5. You can't outrun your problems 
    We tried. More than once. Trust us. It doesn't work. :) Sometimes, you think a fresh start, a new job, a new state, a vacation will reset you. You know what? It might...for a moment, but after a while, the things you tried to out run will sneak back up on you. Deal with them. Deal with the issues even if it hurts (and it probably will) 

    6. The wedding song still applies 
    What was the song that played at your wedding? What was your first dance song? (if you had one) Rod and I danced to a song from Ben Harper called By My Side. The words in that song meant so much on our wedding day...and they mean so much today too! The first line in the song is..don't you get ahead of me, and I won't leave you behind. In ANY relationship - it has to work that way. You put yourself in front of your spouse and what happens? We fall on our face...pretty much every time. By my side is exactly where I want my husband to be...16 years ago, today and 16 years from now. Even when I'm mad at him :) It just works better that way. Go back and listen to your wedding song if you are married...are you still living out those words? It's a good challenge.

    I'm probably missing some things - but it's a good start. I will now leave you with one of our wedding pictures. I am not sure anything screams 2001 quite like this weird picture :) but I still love it.  


    Just 1 Thing

    Monday, July 10, 2017

    First off...this general idea came from my friend Eric (of Eric and Mandy and Dan...old school Air1 radio...holla!) He is SO good at challenging you in a way that also empowers is a great skill :) 

    If you are like me, it is easy to get overwhelmed with the things you NEED to improve on in your daily life. God stuff, work stuff, home stuff, relationship stuff, body stuff...the list can go on and on can't it? Where do you start? How do I make headway without getting bogged down with the thought that there is still SO much to change???

    Just 1 Thing.

    That's the answer. Just 1 Thing.

    Choose 1 thing every week and work on it. Focus on it...give it your energy...make it better. 

    I will not lie that is hard to do b/c of instagram and facebook and social media in general.

    I will let you in on a little secret that I am not really COMPLETELY ready to share all of yet b/c I am still a huge work in progress....but I will soon :) 
    Over the last 2 months I have lost 20 pounds...still have more to go...but I started this 1 thing theory around that time...and it messed with me.
    The first week I started walking this healthy living journey, I focused only on food...and every day I panicked thinking...I NEED to do more. I follow all these people on instagram that are eating right and exercising and taking supplement and I'm just working on the food! It's not enough. WRONG. It's enough. Too much and you overwhelm drown yourself...just like I almost did. 

    What I am finding out is when you focus on 1 see improvements and you want to stick with that 1 thing...and then, when you are ready, you add the next thing. Don't let ANYBODY'S timetable make you second guess yours...I'm not where other people are. That's ok. My 1 thing has led to a COMPLETE life change for the end of summer yours could change too! Just focus on 1 thing. 


    Let it Soak!

    Monday, June 26, 2017

    Have you ever made tea? Full disclosure: I'm not a tea person, or a coffee person for that matter...but I used to have these wonderful neighbors years ago when I was young mom. They would invite me outside on summer nights for "tea time". We would sit outside and talk and drink tea. I always chose the tea that tasted the least like tea :) I watched as my neighbor friend would soak the tea bag in the hot water.  I know there is a word for this, but I am not sure if it is seep or steep and I am too lazy to google it so I'm going with soak :) I would always try to drink the tea too soon. My friend would say..."Mandy! Let it soak a few minutes longer!"  It tastes better after you let it soak!
    Those words have been popping in my head a lot lately....but they have nothing to do with tea. 
    Time is slipping I am trying to hold on, but it slips through my fingers. 
    I don't know about you...but I feel like I am rushing to the next thing more than I am ever standing still.


    My son started driving lessons....what?? He was 3 like yesterday!! This fact hit me hard: I only have 3 years left with my 3 kids under one roof. The way these years have been flying by, that will feel like a moment. What can I do to make it count? Let it soak a few minutes longer. What do I mean by that? I walked into my son's room the other day and we started talking. I heard the buzz of the dryer going off and knew I needed to put my sheets in the dryer or they wouldn't be ready for us to sleep on. I stayed in my son's room anyways. I "let it soak" a few minutes longer...and we slept on our mattress pad that night...and it was fine :) 

    I took the kids to the beach the other day. I wanted to get back before dark but the kids begged to stay a little I "let it soak" a few minutes longer (quite literally in that example) :) 

    Staying in the moment as long as you can...will help you hold on to the moments you have left. It will make life sweeter. 

    This summer...let it soak a few minutes longer. In your marriage, your friendships, your relationships with your kids...let it soak. 

    Clock - Time