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Marriage Advice For Newlyweds From A Newlywed

Marriage Advice For Newlyweds From A Newlywed

Michael and I on my 21st birthday right after we started dating.

Michael and I on my 21st birthday right after we started dating.

MIchael and I have been together for just about a decade.

We got married last July after a very long engagement, so technically, we are still newlyweds. While I don't deem to know everything there is to know about relationships, nor do I have any kind of professional licensing on this topic, I would think that eight years of dating and one year of marriage does give me some expertise on what works in a relationship.

Just to give you a small bit of backstory; in our nine years together, and these are in no particular order: we have moved seven times, had multiple career and job changes, endured one military deployment as well as four civilian contracts overseas, bought two houses, sold one home, got engaged and married, dealt with financial stress and a debt free journey, finished college, celebrated the birth of multiple nieces and nephews, added a fur-baby to our family, traveled, watched siblings get married and divorced, overcame substance abuse issues, survived a terrible car accident, dealt with unreasonable, borderline dangerous roommates, supported a loved one while battling and ultimately succumbing to her arduous fight with cancer, grieved the loss of multiple loved ones in the past three years, lived to see the age of thirty among many other moments while living day to day. 

The night we got engaged. My Dad took photos, but didn't have it in focus, so they are all out of focus. But, it's the memories that count.

The night we got engaged. My Dad took photos, but didn't have it in focus, so they are all out of focus. But, it's the memories that count.

Y'all, we did all of that TOGETHER.

There were MANY times where I didn't think we would make it. A lot of days, it was just too much for two people to bear. 

But, we made it.

In all those years, I have learned a few things that definitely make for a better, happier relationship. 

I present to you my marriage advice for newlyweds from a newlywed:

1. Communicate. When Michael and I go a number of days without spending much time sharing even the simplest of things, it makes for a more stressful home life. because we feel off beat. We try to, at least once a day, talk about what's going on, things that need to be taken care, share our frustrations, and spend quality time engaging with one another. Never discount the importance of sharing with your partner! As I always say, sharing is caring.

Our belated engagement session in 2016 by the lovely, Autumn Harrison

Our belated engagement session in 2016 by the lovely, Autumn Harrison

2. Compromise. This is one I wish I would've learned much earlier on. Obviously, living with another individual can be especially tricky, and tensions will flare when one person feels like their space is being disrespected. Instead of picking every little thing to disagree on, discuss what it is that is bothering you. Then, see if a compromise can be worked out that is ideal for both parties. For example, I don't make the bed in the mornings, but this bothers Michael after being raised in a military family (as well as being in the military!). Now, I make the bed each day, because I know he appreciates it and it gives him a sense of orderliness in his living space.

Our Wedding Day on July 22, 2016

Our Wedding Day on July 22, 2016

3. Live on a budget. Did you know that money stress and worry is the number one reason for divorce in America?! Having a plan for and managing your money with a budget is one of the best things you can do for your relationship. Not having to worry (as much!) about money has allowed Michael and I to focus on our dreams, each other, and the future. If interested, the financial guru we follow, Dave Ramsey has a great guide on how to get started. His company also offers a free budgeting tool you can use! 

Photo from our honeymoon trip to Saint Lucia in January 2017

Photo from our honeymoon trip to Saint Lucia in January 2017

4. Show your appreciation. In the day to day hustle, it's really easy to get distracted with the to-do lists, work, and trying to balance all the things. Sometimes all it takes is a text saying, "I love you," "Have a good day," or "Thanks for being my husband," to give your loved one the deserved appreciation for all that they do. Michael always seems to know when I am working really hard -- he will be sure to say, "Let's grab dinner soon, just you and me," so we can reconnect, chase slow, and eat good food (I didn't have to cook!). This little bit works not only in marriage, but does well in all relationships. 

Obviously, there is MUCH more I can say about marriage, but those few things have been the key learning points of our journey. Just know, it won't always be rainbows and sunsets, but sharing your journey in life with another being is an amazing thing! I hope my little pieces of advice give you some perspective and teach you at least one thing. :)

Are you in a relationship or married? If so, what marriage advice do you have for newlyweds? Feel free to share below!

 

Reflecting on August 2017 + First Month with the New Blog!

Reflecting on August 2017 + First Month with the New Blog!

#peoplewhoinspire: Sara Coffin, Lifestyle + Wedding Photographer

#peoplewhoinspire: Sara Coffin, Lifestyle + Wedding Photographer