Marriage: 6 More Things That Surprised Me

6 More Things that Surprised Me About Marraige

Last night I got deep into the sentimentals when I thought about the most amazing bachelorette party my sister threw for me. A year ago yesterday we were partying at a bookstore in Asheville, the most unique place to throw a bachelorette party, but perfectly me. It really was the perfect way to start off wedding week, so I am feeling ALL the feels and remembering all the great mems.

To commemorate anniversary week, I am sharing all things wedding this week. Six months ago I shared 6 things that surprised me about marriage. Mr. M and I can hardly believe we’ve been calling each other husband and wife for a whole year. I can honestly say that our first year of marriage has been BETTER than our years of dating.

We Fight Less Now That We’re Married

Mr. M and I had a couple mentor us our first year of dating. They encouraged us to be as open and honest in our communication as we could be, and so we did that. And we fought. . . a lot. I’m sure it was a culmination of things – being in college, being in grad school, and trying to communicate through two different perspectives and ideals made for a rough and rocky beginning. However, I am so thankful we learned how to communicate early on in our dating period, because that has carried on into marriage.

It also helped that we had the “newlywed” conversations before we were even engaged. We talked about our dating history, our future, whether we wanted kids, where our hearts aligned with what ministries, etc. After a counseling session during our engagement, we talked about how difficult it would be had we not discussed all the necessary deep aspects of marriage beforehand, but because we were equipped with the knowledge and communication, it made our first year of marriage easier than our years of dating. (Being free to make out all we want helps to.)

How Busy We Can Be

When I dreamt of marriage as a single lady, I thought we would spend every night entangled in each other’s arms. And while we do that some times, half the time we collapse onto the couch with Netflix. Mr. M and I try to stay intentional with our date nights, but there have definitely been seasons over the last year where it has been a leftovers and Netflix night. With our work schedules + our social calendar, we stay pretty busy. Thank goodness we are both extroverts.

How Much I Love my In-Laws

This is not as much of a surprise as it something I’m incredibly thankful for. Before I met Mr. M, I worried that one day I wouldn’t love my in-laws. I am incredibly close with my parents, and my parents’ parents – both sets of my grandparents – are best friends.  I always hoped that my husband’s parents and my parents would be best friends. Proximity is not on our side with this one, but my family and Mr. M’s family love each other, and we have even celebrated Thanksgiving together for the past two years. It’s been the best. It is a great feeling to honestly say that I love my in-laws like I do my own parents.

Marrying into another culture can be scary on the forefront, especially when it involves relationships with the parents. Having my mother and father in law and entire M clan embrace me and teach me their customs has been amazing.

6 More Things that Surprised Me About Marriage

How Many Adventures We’ve Been On

Mr. M and I want to avoid the stigma of being a boring married couple. And while we definitely have our introverted – be in bed by 10pm nights, we have had so many adventures this year.This summer I did a mini travel series on the blog, because there has not been one month since we got married (or even engaged!) where Mr. M and I have stayed in one place. It has been exhausting and a great adventure. How do we do it? Basically we have friends all over the country + air bnb’s are my jam.

The New Dreams We Share

Couples always talk about how fun it is to dream together, and it’s true! I love having a marriage partner who pushes me to dream, and dreams alongside me. We both passionate about our own things, but they often align with each other which makes the dreaming process fun. Mr. M is a big scale dreamer, and I’m more realistic, so he challenges me and pushes me to open my mind to bigger dreams. It’s scary as all get out.

How Deep Our Love Goes

If Mr. M and I have learned to love each other more deeply in year one, I can’t imagine what it will look like when we have children, and go through different seasons of life together. While I try to stay light hearted on the blog, there have definitely been unique challenges Mr. M and I face. Rather than look at these challenges as obstacles, we have used them to draw closer to each other and the Lord. Mr. M always reminds me that we are on the same time.

6 More Things that Surprised Me About Marriage

 

 

8 Things I’m Looking Forward to this Season

8 Things I'm Looking Forward to this Christmas Season

The Nyquil fog has been heavy with us this week.

I don’t know if it was the 6 day weekend I had last week or the cold I’ve had since last Tuesday, but I feel like I cannot get myself together this week. The entire week has passed by in a blur, and I’m feeling a little blue as the things I set out to accomplish in November did. not. happen.

But I’m learning to be gracious with myself in realizing I can’t do it all, especially when I’m already stretched thin everywhere (except for my pants. Girlfriend needs some new pants.) I was looking forward to publishing the last installment of the Creating Space series on Wednesday, but since my last interview was with Mr. M himself, and we were both feeling under the weather, I just let it slide. So this week is just going to be a throw away week. We’ll start afresh on Monday.

Being December 1st, I’m v excited about the prospects of Christmas. And yet I was telling Mr. M it doesn’t feel like Christmas at all. Last year I don’t feel like I got to truly celebrate Christmas, as we were in wedding mode until December 10th, and honeymoon mode until December 18th. So I only truly got 6 days of Christmas cheer in there. I’m told this is what adulthood is. The Christmas magic is gone until we’ve got little babes of our own.

And speaking of babies, we’re not planning on getting pregnant anytime soon. Although I’ve made it my seasonal joke of the year that the holidays make me want kids, but I want to give them back on January.

I am looking forward to December, though. And I have a few fun things planned for the blog this month, too.

8 Things I'm Looking Forward to this Christmas Season

Things I’m Looking Forward to in the Blog World

Next week you can look forward to all marriage posts Monday, Wednesday, and Friday because it is anniversary week!

The following week I am collaborating with Tiffany from Endless Bliss, and I’m looking forward to that because she is doing #Blogmas this year. You go, Glenn Coco.

And really, we can all expect *mostly* Christmas related posts for the rest of the month. I also decided today on a whim that I was going to join Kate from A Thought & a Half’s Instagram challenge, because I love a good Insta challenge.

 

My very favorite blog I love to read this time of year is Brennan’s 25 Days of Ugly Christmas Apparel. I featured him on Hugs & Lattes several years ago, and I am psyched that he’s back for year 7.

8 Things I'm Looking Forward to this Christmas Season

What I’m Looking Forward to in Real Life

I mentioned this in the previous section, but y’all – our first anniversary is upon us! I cannot believe Mr. M and I have been married for a year already. This has been the most joyful year of my life, and I can’t wait for many more. You guys know that we love to get away, but with the holidays and our work schedules, we are going to wait unitl January or February for our little anniversary getaway. Instead Mr. M has planned for us to spend some intentional time next weekend here at home. I’m excited to see what he has planned!

8 Things I'm Looking Forward to this Christmas Season

And like the extrovert I am, I planned a Christmas party for, of course, our anniversary weekend. Woops. We have approximately 1 billion tacky Christmas mugs leftover from the big day, so we are pulling together a few friends to give them away to while we stuff our faces with delicious holiday food.

Every year when the Advent rolls around, I love to center myself on what Christmas is truly about. Besides the joy of the festivities with family and friends – and the presents of course – Christmas is a time to celebrate and reflect on my faith and the coming of Jesus Christ. I love following along with She Reads Truth’s Advent series. I believe their plan starts on December 3rd on the app or online.

This year we are spending Christmas in both North Carolina and Tennessee, so I’m excited to hole ourselves in a cabin for a night, and then see my family for a night. We’re still figuring out what it looks like to spend Christmas with both of our very large extended families; and I know it will be a matter of compromise and grace as we navigate making our own traditions and still incorporating family into the holidays. Maybe in a couple years when we have it all together (haha) I’ll be more inclined to write about it.

Last month I wrote down something I was thankful for each day, as a way to intentionally celebrate Thanksgiving. I decided to continue the tradition with December. It’s a great reflective practice to look back at the end of each day and find a moment of joy and gratitude.

What are you looking forward to this month? 

 

August Adventures

August Adventures

August felt like the longest month of my life. With a lot of things going down at work and personally, I was ready to see the calendar turn over into September.

During August I participated in The New Wifestyle’s 31 Days of Kindness. While I unwittingly tapered off at the end, the intentionality of doing something kind every day of the month was such a great reminder to not only see good in the world, but be good in the world.

august adventures

Mr. M’s birthday was at the beginning of August, so I spent a Saturday afternoon baking a homemade cheesecake. I’ve tried twice before to make a homemade cheesecake and it never turned out. This month, the Good Lord must have been smiling upon me because 3 hours of baking and two hours of setting later and voila, the perfect cheesecake appeared on our plates. And we ate cheeescake every day for the next week. Yumm.

august adventures

Perhaps the coolest event of August was of course, the solar eclipse. Mr. M and I took our little much needed  mini vacation the week of the eclipse and we visited friends and family in North Carolina before we ended up on Wrightsville Beach. I was so obsessed with the solar eclipse and I didn’t think I would be. Naturally, I dedicated a whole post to that experience. Mr. M and I spent the few days at the beach unplugged, enjoying our books and each other. It was like a little mini moon, which I highly encourage every married couple to go on if they can. 🙂

august adventures

This month’s book of the month book club was One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which was quite the experience. We picked book titles based on the book Tequila Mockingbird so we could have the literary cocktail book club of our dreams, but One Flew Over the *Cosmo’s* Nest maybe was a bit of a stretch for all of us.  Either way, we ate lots of good snacks, watched Jack Nicholson’s stellar performance (because if you read the book, you have to watch the movie, right?) and had a great time discussing mental health.

august adventures

August Favorites:

This post from the New Wifestyle concerning white privilege and the Charlottesville Riots. (note: there is some strong language.)

Some seriously girl boss inspo from Apron Strings & Sticky Fingers.

When Taylor Swift drops a dope(y) new single, When Life Gives You Rubi brings it to millennial perspective.

This Instagram Hashtag Hack from The Confused Millennial because I’ve been doing it all wrong.

And speaking of Instagram, I discovered In Search of Sheila this month and her blog has been MAJOR insight into the blogging world. I love her post on authentic strategies to grow your engagement on Instagram.

What was the highlight of your August?

Finding Your Place of Rest

Finding Your Place of Rest

Hello! Got some Monday motivation comin’ at you on a Tuesday because after a Labor Day Weekend, Tuesdays are Mondays. Mr. M and I spent 18 hours in a car this weekend which meant we got in some major quality time. I only snapped once towards the end when I was tired, grumpy, and craving some flamin’ hot cheetos. It was great, though, because I got to listen to the entire album of Hamitlon, Wicked, and Something Rotten and he only complained once. . . about Hamilton because it’s 48,000 tracks long. We also got to ask each other some roadtrip questions and learned some new things about each other! My personal favorite question was “What song could you listen to on repeat for 8 hours straight?”

After spending an amazing weekend with Erica and her husband Jamie, exploring Philly and eating the best food, I’m gearing up for a full week. Even 3 day weekends still require some recovery time, so I’m pushing for a 4 day weekend. Who’s with me?

Finding Your Place of Rest

When I get really stressed out and overwhelmed, I find myself saying anytime I break down, “I’m just so tired. I’m so exhausted.”

It’s not exactly that I need a nap, but I am mentally and emotionally exhausted. What I need is rest.

Anyone who knows me can tell you I’m not the best at rest. I’m the type of person who struggles to relax when there are things that need to be done. Mom, if you’re reading this, I’m sure this sounds a lot different from the girl who you grounded because I spent my time reading instead of doing my chores. Look! You raised me well!

The caveat to this “not being able to rest” thing is Netflix. I can Netflix binge surrounded by mountains of laundry, not because I’m resting but because I’m pacifying myself and avoiding my responsibilities.

The busier I get, the more I realize how vital rest is.

I’m entering into my busiest work season where I will be on the go and traveling quite a bit. At the end of October I usually crumble onto the couch in tears with a pint of ice cream. It’s during this season where I most need rest but I don’t always get the type of rest that I need. So I have to find rest on the go.

Resting on the go is a matter of finding the mental space to rest and reset. While  I would much rather have time to actually rest, we don’t always get what we want, so we have to work with what we got.

Finding Your Place of Rest

Surround Yourself with Encouragement

On my desk at work I have a sticky note that I put up 2 years ago. It’s a Scripture note that says “My Presence will go with you and I will give you REST.” (Exodus 33:14) It’s the perfect reminder that first of all, I am not alone. Secondly, I don’t have to strive by myself. When I find myself dependent and resting on God, I find that I can carry rest with  me throughout my day.

Finding  Your Place of Rest

Make the Most of Your Morning

Since I got back from our amazing mini vacation last month, I’ve made some lifestyle changes. I don’t wait until the last minute to get up anymore. On a good day, I wake up early, sit on the couch in my robe with my coffee and read my Bible and journal. On a late day, I wake up earlier than I used to and spend time getting ready for the day. I can’t believe it’s taken me 2 years in the working world to realize what a precious commodity slow mornings are.

Stay Blue

OK don’t actually stay blue in your mood, but surround yourself with blue things. As an adult, my favorite color has switched from purple to blue. I love the blue walls in our house, my blue planner, my blue pens – you get the picture. I found out a couple months ago that blue is a relaxing color. It all makes sense. I used to keep a picture of Santorini, Greece that I found on Pinterest as my desktop background in college because it was so soothing. Go figure, it’s blue.

Take Care of Your Body

When we hear “take care of your body,” we often think, “eat right and work out.” We need to do both, but we also need to take care of our skin. As soon as I got home last night, I loaded the bathtub with bubbles, lit my candle, carried with me a bowl of watermelon, and enjoyed a nice soak with my good friend, Jane the Virgin. (You guys, the screenwriting for this show. . . but that’s a tale for another day.) After my bubble bath, I lit candles in our bedroom, put on a face mask, and proceeded to put away laundry. Even though I was doing a chore, I felt completely relaxed because I had taken care of my body for the evening. New rule for myself? Once a week bubble bath and face mask.

Take a Nap

I am SO bad at this one. If I take a nap, it’s usually accidental and it’s because I am truly exhausted. But you should do as I say and not as I do. There are studies that show napping is actually pretty good for you, as long as you stay within the 30-40 minute range. When I was in college I would take deep naps and wake up with a nap hangover, proving myself to be completely unproductive and useless the rest of the day.

Do Something for YOU

We women are so bad at doing things for ourselves, especially those of us who are married and those of you who have kids. Our minds are constantly running with to-do lists and errands and everyone else’s problems. At the end of the day, we realize we haven’t taken one moment for ourselves.

Things to Do for YOU:

Work out
Read a book
Go on a walk
Journal
Take a bubble bath
Sign up for a Zumba class

Do whatever it is that makes YOU happy – even for just 20-30 minutes a day. When you find that you’ve taken time to be still and rest even when your life is running in circles around you, you will find that you are a lot happier and nicer of a person. I know that I am.

What are some things you like to do to find rest on the go?

 

4 Ways to Upgrade Your Week

4 Ways to Upgrade Your Week

I don’t have all the answers. I don’t have all the skills, the knowledge, or the know how. I don’t want all the answers. Because if I did, then I wouldn’t need anyone else.

I have said it before, and I will say it again: the COMMUNITY is one of the best things about blogging. We’re all reading each other’s how-tos, online diaries, and learning more about each other and ourselves as we do so. There are so many amazing women out there who are killin’ the game, and today I wanted to highlight some amazing ladies writing some powerful things.

The amazing thing about perspective is that even though we have our own, we get to learn from each other. You see the world differently than I do, and that is why we need to highlight, encourage, and listen to what each other has to say.

Below you will find some oldies and some more recent posts from 4 bloggers with wonderful and full of life-giving sentiments that you can carry throughout your day and throughout your week.

4 Ways to Upgrade Your Week

Perceive Your Opportunities


Erica from Coming Up Roses is all about positivity, style, and coffee (and her cats) and I always appreciate it when she serves some straight truth.

“It’s an opportunity to grow, or an obstacle to keep you from growing.” 

How many times do we feel like we triumph over one thing and are faced with a big old rock in the way? I had a friend who recently completed a Spartan race on the hardest course in the country. I listen with awe as she talks about the obstacles and challenges she faced and overcame. It is so easy for us to see a bump in the road and want to sit down or turn around. But that’s not why the obstacle is in front of us. The obstacle is in front of us to give us an opportunity to make us stronger. As Mandisa says, “You’re an overcomer.” Read more from Erica’s perspective here.

Unsubscribe from that Negativity

We had our book study earlier tonight. It’s always funny to see the glances or side-eyes people give me when they see the title of the book I’m reading. “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.” Part of me wants to place a label on my head that says, “NO. MY MARRIAGE IS NOT IN JEOPARDY.” But part of me is also slightly entertained by the funny looks people send my way (especially when the look is coming from my husband himself!). . . One of the 4th year spouses started a book study because she’s seen firsthand how medical school can break apart some of the strongest marriages. We’re only on Week 2 and Chapter 5 in the book. But, I’ve been loving the discussions I’ve been having with these wonderful people. . . Before we moved here, I was given a lot of advice and warnings from family and friends who have been through similar experiences. They said I would never see Ankur. And that I would be sacrificing so much. And that I should suppress my feelings and never share my problems or concerns with him for fear that it would distract him from his studies. It took me some time to tune out the well-intentioned advice. Because our marriage doesn’t operate like that. I think the reason we ARE so successful is because we are able to put our pride aside and successfully communicate what we need without feeling guilt or shame. . . But another big reason we are able to make it through medical school is because of this amazing support system of spouses. Checking in with one another during an exam weekend or hanging out with one another while our husbands and wives are buried in the books has been a LIFE. SAVER. It’s like therapy. But with people who ACTUALLY get what you’re going through. Because they’re doing it right there with you. By your side. Every step of the way. . . Feeling especially grateful for these friendships and our book study today. ❤️

A post shared by Divya Budhraja (@eatteachblog) on

If you’re like me, you may be a little bit of a clutter bug. We stayed at our friend’s house this weekend and I looked around with amazement (and slight jealousy) of how clean everything was. Where were the drunk drawers?! Someone needs to teach me minimalism, because I have so much STUFF.

But stuff doesn’t have to be physical, it can also be mental. Clutter can be what we listen to, the relationships we have, the job that is bringing us more pain than joy, etc.

I know minimalism is a thing for the millennials right now, but we could all deal with some clearing of that negative energy. I love how Divya from Eat, Teach, Blog removes the clutter from her life specifically by hitting that “Unsubscribe” button. How many of us need to unsubscribe from the things that leave us joyless? Need more encouragement? Check out Divya’s post.

Treat Your Marriage with Honor

I’m pointing you back to another old post today… my 30-by-30 list! Search for it on the blog and see how far I’ve come ?

A post shared by Joy Lynn | Lifestyle Blog (@joylynnlifestyle) on

You may not be married yet, but this is still a great read from Joy at Joy Lynn. I’ve been following this lifestyle and minimalist blogger for a couple of years, and I have learned so much from her posts!

Earlier this summer, Pai and I were at a Longhorn Steakhouse and talking with someone about how wonderful marriage had been in the first four months. A man overheard us at the bar and said, “Well just wait, it gets worse. I’m on my second marriage.” To which I thought, “Well duh. You seem like a Rumplestiltskin.” With that kind of negative attitude, of course you’re on your second marriage.

It’s important to me that we treat marriage and our spouses with honor. I love how Joy brings the house down with this truth bomb: We have to stop treating marriage like damaged goods. 

Even if you are not married yet, you can treat your friendships and relationships with those around you with honor. Without honor,  we do not value and respect the goodness that we have in each other.

Stop Those Insecurities and Love Yourself 

Megan from Apron Strings and Sticky Fingers is seriously a little corner of sunshine in this dark world. I have so much respect for her bravery, vulnerability, and I freakin’ love her New Zealand accent. (That’s an added plus.)

Have you ever met someone with so much confidence that you wonder what/where their flaws are? I have. It’s those type of people that you are gravitated towards, but then go home feeling one of two ways. 1) I can be like them and change the world. 2) I wish I were like them, but I have too many flaws. No matter how the person treats you, you sometimes feel that way.

I am just as insecure as the next girl, but I want to stop. I want to fight my insecurities and walk out in confidence and bravery like Megan does. So here is a great life lesson and exercise you can learn from her.

There are thousands more bloggers I could and would love to highlight. If you have a particular blogger friend with an inspiring post (or if you have a great post you wrote yourself!) leave it in a comment below so we can meet more amazing people!