an update and things that make us strong.

Well, I haven't written in a while (on here) mostly because my journal (the paper and pen kind) and I have been on frequent dates because sometimes I have to write solely for me...and also if those thoughts made their way on here there would be outrage and riots in the streets. Just kidding. But it's been good.

But I DID want to write now because tomorrow we leave for our vacation/cruise and OMGITSFINALLYHEREWEMAYNOTCOMEBACK.

This is the first thing we've had to REALLY look forward to in a really long time. Months and months.

So lately I've been thinking a lot about marriage, just because of what we're walking through. My sister in law had this article pinned on one of her pinterest boards and it was all about these tips that this couple had regarding how to keep your marriage strong. And I was reading it. And I agreed with it. And then I was like HEY! We have a strong marriage! I need to start thinking about what makes OUR marriage so strong instead of reading about other peoples.

Because everybody is so different. And I did agree with what they said and could relate to a lot of it but also I realized that Chris and I are a breed of our own. And so is every other couple. You have these things and these secrets and these funny little quirks that only the two of you know..and nobody will ever fully know besides the two of you. It's beautiful.

And I love spending my thinking-time thinking about what makes us strong these days because once we lost Ellie I had to (and wanted to) cling even more fervently to Chris. So..I pondered it and I'm going to list some of them. Because maybe they will spur on the strengthening of other marriages. Or maybe it will spur on thoughts about what makes YOU strong...or maybe it's just a good reason to think about all of the positive aspects of your relationship because negativity usually wins when it comes to representations of relationships in the media and news and all that jazz. So here are some reasons and ways that we keep OUR marriage strong and our love stronger...and our weirdness weirder. :)

1. God first. No explanation needed.

2.  We go to sleep at the same time..this means brushing our teeth together, being silly together, and talking in bed before falling asleep. It's a widely known fact that all individuals form bedtime routines and that having bedtime routines aides in calming the mind and body before going to sleep. My bedtime routine includes these things with Chris and it makes all the difference.

3. We kiss and hug a lot, not just for intimacy purposes. Kissing hello, kissing goodbye, hugging for no reason..even if you don't feel like it. I'm talking REALLY long hugs. I don't know why this is so good and I don't have an explanation but it makes us really happy. Another thing that goes along with this is always always always greeting each other when we reunite.

4. We run little errands together. I have this like...ridiculous opposition to filling my car with gas. I can't stand it. Get Chris to go with me? Totally likeable. Same with the grocery store...we rarely grocery shop apart unless either of us randomly remember something we forgot while we're on the way home from somewhere. Sometimes we wait until later in the evening to grocery shop just so we can go together. Same with any random errand that can get boring.....just go together!

5. We don't ever turn each other down when it comes to intimacy. This was AWESOME advice we got from all three of the different marriage counseling sessions we did with different people. It's obvious that when you get married it's impossible to always be on the same page when it comes to timing. I'm not talking about refusing to turn each other down when one of you is sick or something legit......but "not being in the mood" isn't a good excuse for us. We really feel like getting in the habit of turning one another down could be super awful, and if you always wait until BOTH are in the mood..then..well..that just won't do. Just think about being turned down with ANYTHING! Just in life! It's disappointing. It will wear you down after it happens enough.We would like to propose that with effort from both parties, you can get on the same page if you just say yes. But we're also not just talking about sex. We're talking about snuggling, really good quality time, etc.

6. We go on dates. We compliment each other and talk about silly things while on them.

7. We daydream and hope and talk about the future. Things we want, things we'd like to experience, what's changed about our dreams if anything...

8. We're honest with each other. We can't stand passive aggression. If I'm hurt, I say, "Hey. I'm hurt." and then we tell each other why. There's no use in dragging things out longer than need be. We don't need to internalize problems or sadness or anger and then get upset when the other person "doesn't notice." Talk about it. Mind reading=doesn't exist. Mood reading=waste of time. Just say it.

9. The above goes the same way for positive things. When Chris does something for me that makes me happy or excited or just touched, I tell him. And he tells me. So like..Chris often "loads up" my toothbrush and toothpaste for me because sometimes I'm lazy and other times I just don't like doing it. Weird, I know. So he does it just the way that I like it.  But he does it so often that maybe he thinks it isn't a big deal. BUT IT IS. It makes me feel so loved every single time! He could easily say, "um. do it takes four seconds!" But he just does it and laughs at me and then I thank him profusely because it's so kind. There's this really awesome video about gratitude and the effects it has. Worth watching.

10. We have inside jokes and we use them and reference them and talk in secret code with them or text them to each other randomly. There are sayings we say and jokes we make that other people may never pick up on. You remember having best friends you did this with in school when you were younger. Well. We are best friends. So it makes sense. It makes you feel like you're on this super secret team and nobody will ever really understand and it's just the best.

11. We NEVER poke fun or diss eachother..ever..but especially in front of other people. If Chris is in an extra silly mood when out with friends or makes a joke that I think is less than awesome..I will never say stuff like, "Wowwwwwwwwwwww," or "what's gotten into you??" It's demeaning. Even eye rolls. Those may even be worse. Chris is my biggest supporter and I am his. It makes other people feel awkward when you demean your spouse in front of them (and obviously when alone too)...and I can only imagine what it makes your spouse feel like. This would be an easy way to build up walls between one another. If Chris consistently made me feel bad for something I said in a group setting or something I did that he thought was's going to cause me to walk on eggshells around him in the future and make me wonder what he thinks of me when we're NOT around other people.

Well....what do ya know..Chris is ready for bed. So I am too! Baha. So there's the end of my list. Off to have this silly man load up my toothbrush. ;)

P.S. The above do NOT have to work for you. They just work for us. :)

I'll be back after our CRUISE. :):):):):):)