Jay-Z & Beyonce. William & Kate.  David & Victoria Beckham.  Barack & Michelle Obama.

Search #MarriageGoals and you’ll find hundreds of pictures of these happy couples vacationing somewhere exotic, lounging on a yacht, or just genuinely enjoying each other’s company.  It’s great to get a glimpse into the lives of these happy couples, but have you ever stopped to wonder what makes them tick behind the scenes?  How much hard work, planning, and energy went into those Instagram pics and videos?  What we get to see on social media or perhaps even with couples that we know personally is really just a very small piece of their life.  When you dig deeper into any successful relationship you’ll see that the happiness and success that is summed up in a picture comes from real planning and goal setting.  In other words, a successful marriage doesn’t just happen…they make it happen.

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Avoiding The Holiday Tug of War

We’re in my FAVORITE time of year—the holiday season—all the way from Thanksgiving til the new year!!  I just love the hustle and bustle, listening to Christmas music, holiday parties, shopping, and family gatherings.  Now we can’t forget sitting on the sofa in my festive pajamas, sipping hot chocolate in my Christmas mug, binge watching my favorite Hallmark Channel holiday movies. Is anybody else with me on being in the Christmas spirit?? Continue reading “Avoiding The Holiday Tug of War”

A Grateful Heart: 8 Ways to Shower Your Spouse With Gratitude

When was the last time you thanked your spouse or showed them that you appreciate all they’ve done for you or your family?  If you’re like me, at times I take my spouse and the things he does for granted.  Last year, Carlton went on a trip for a week and while he was gone I started realizing all the things that he does.  One thing in particular hit me as I was running late for work and trying to get both my kids to school and suddenly it dawned on me that I hadn’t taken out the trashcans, so I had to run back in the garage and pull the trashcans to the curb.  Now let me say, in that moment I wasn’t appreciating him for all he does, in my mind I was thinking he gets to be on a cruise witnessing the union of our good friends and I’m at home taking out the trash. Continue reading “A Grateful Heart: 8 Ways to Shower Your Spouse With Gratitude”

Contentment: Pursuing Your Peace

Why is it so hard to just be content?  I found myself asking that exact question after my pastor preached a sermon a few weeks ago called “The Contentment Commandments.”  After I left church, I started reflecting on how the sermon related to me and if a lack of contentment ever affected my life, my marriage, or my family.  The sermon made me dig deep and think back to Christmas 2000, when my mom came into my room to find me crying on the bed, she lovingly asked me what was wrong, but I couldn’t bear to tell her what was going on, it would break her heart.  She asked over and over what was wrong but I repeatedly said I was fine.  I wiped my eyes and came out to be with the rest of the family.  That was the first time I began to struggle with being content.  I was 16 and the personal tragedy that I was struggling with was….I was unhappy with the presents I got for Christmas.  Continue reading “Contentment: Pursuing Your Peace”

What is Your Marriage Saying?

As my daughter, Alyssa, jumps out my car and runs to the bus, I roll my window down and shout to her, “Make sure to let your light shine at school today.”  She looks back at me, waves, and says “Ok mom” and quickly runs up the bus steps.  On my long commute to work I thought about all the ways I’d discussed with Alyssa about letting her light shine at school—following directions, being a good friend, showing kindness to others, working hard on her school assignments but that also made me think  hard about whether or not I was following my own advice.  I wondered what my marriage was saying to others? Was I letting my light shine through my marriage?  Were the actions, words, and attitudes of my marriage reflecting Christ’s love, compassion, and forgiveness? Continue reading “What is Your Marriage Saying?”

10 Lessons Learned from 10 Years of Marriage

“Every love story is beautiful but ours is my favorite.”

My marriage has been a mixture of fun, hard work, and adventure. Over the years I’ve learned that a relationship only grows when we learn from our mistakes and make a conscious effort to change. Here are a few thoughts from my husband and I about things we’ve learned about ourselves and our marriage over the last ten years.

Comment below or email us, we’d love to hear about some of your marriage lessons, you never know how your story could impact someone else!

Why Every Couple Needs Married Friends

I’m reading my texts wondering how should I respond.  Should I tell my friend that she’s not alone in her marital struggles, that Carlton and I are going through the same exact thing?  What will she think of me, can I let my guard down, should I allow her into my marriage and remove the façade of having the perfect family? Here I was at a crossroads, do I go with what’s comfortable and easy by giving her some good solid generic advice—like I always do-  or open up, show vulnerability and be real with her?  It was in that moment that I realized life wasn’t meant to be done alone.  Continue reading “Why Every Couple Needs Married Friends”

Can We Still Netflix & Chill?

Babysitter. Check. Outfit. Check. Social Media Selfie. Check. So here we are all set for our night out on the town…or so we thought.

You can ask any marriage expert, therapist, relationship blogger, and probably even your grandma and grandpa what are keys to a successful marriage.  You’d probably hear a lot of different answers, but at least one common theme would be – “Never stop dating your spouse.” And of course, Carlton and I want our marriage to last and be successful so what do we do—we put DATE NIGHT on the calendar.  And NO watching Netflix on the sofa at home doesn’t count! Continue reading “Can We Still Netflix & Chill?”

Moving Beyond Good Intentions

Marriage is hard work, period. A great marriage doesn’t just magically happen, it requires you to put forth real effort EVERY SINGLE DAY (no days off), and for those people who say marriage isn’t hard work well….I’m not going to say they’re wrong but let’s just say that it’s possible that they aren’t being totally honest with themselves.  We will only get out of our marriage what we put into it.  And honestly there are some days (ok maybe weeks) that I just don’t put a whole lot of effort into my marriage; my mind and energy are elsewhere, maybe on my kids, my career, friends, or maybe even writing this BLOG!  A few years ago, I started realizing that something was a little off about my marriage at times, it just didn’t have that “IT” factor that it once had.  I was left wondering where were the fireworks, the passion, that connection that Carlton and I had in the beginning?

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