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Are we any different? Nope.

Jason and I are no different than any couple reading this post. We have struggles- as they say, “the struggle is real”. Every day is not a perfect and blissful marriage that is full of wine and romantic sunsets on the beach. Some days it takes work. We have kids and dogs and work. Life gets crazy most of the time and sometimes we forget to work together as a team instead of separately as individuals. One important thing that we do is learn from our mistakes and we grow together as a couple, a family, and a team. This takes effort and so many other things! No grudges, resentment, or petty retaliation- it requires remembering our commitments, prioritizing, clear communication (which will be a work in progress F-O-R-E-V-E-R– yeah, this one is my fault), owning your mistakes and apologizing. You must also take time to nourish your relationship!! This is a HUGE factor in making a successful and lasting relationship. You can’t make a plant grow without providing it nourishment, neither can your relationship.

How do you find time to nourish your relationship? I’m so busy!

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Well first, “I’m so busy” should be “we are so busy”. Speak in terms of “we”, “us”, and “our”, not “I” or “me”. This does not foster a good team atmosphere. And what is your relationship? A team! Second, we make time for the important things, which should absolutely include your relationship. Guys, I say this from the heart- Jason and I work on average 50-60 hours per week at our day jobs, we are really busy, but we make it a point to make time to nurture our marriage. We do daily tasks together, like cooking! We both love to cook, even though Chef Jason kicks me out of the kitchen for either making absurd recommendations that I will not actually like once he modifies the recipe or because I am busy taste testing everything (usually more than once) 🙂 I swear he knows my taste buds better than I do, my recommendations always sound yummy, but trust me, they are not. We do it all together, laundry, cleaning, cooking, kids homework, remember this is we, not you or I. When life gets busy, get your partner involved. You are partners in life, the good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly, and the boring/busy stuff- always partners. If you change this mindset and can articulate it, your brain will start to always think in reference to us, we, our, and not in a singular, all alone, isolated, and unsupported sense. This is the hardest part to do, it only gets easier from here!

It’s always the little things that make such a huge difference!

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A few weeks ago I went to the grocery store and I just happened to walk down the aisle that had the greeting cards. I stopped and thought to myself, “you know what, I am going to get Jason a super sweet card for no reason”. Seriously, for absolutely no reason other than because I absolutely love and appreciate everything that he does for us as a couple and for our family. It’s always the little things that mean so much. (Guys, for this one there was no time consumption- I was already at the store and just happened to walk down the card aisle- easily fit into a busy schedule)

We write little “love notes” on the refrigerator for each other (and I am a sap so I have all of them that were ever written in a little box to look back on). This is fantastic when our schedules are off a little and we leave the house in the morning at different times. This is truly one of my favorite things that we do, not only is it a small thing, but it also helps if you aren’t having a great day and you just need a small reminder. Sometimes it is difficult to see the good when you are mad, so a small reminder from the heart is always a plus. (No extra time here either- I was already in the kitchen getting milk out of the refrigerator for my coffee)

Jason buys my favorite flowers, Lillies- when he goes to the grocery store to pick up dinner stuff! And guess why? For no reason! It’s like that random card that I bought a few weeks ago, just because. It is the very small things that show that your partner is thinking about you, or just wants to see you smile, or wants you to know just how awesome you are. Never underestimate the power of simple things.

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Be supportive!!

I cannot emphasize this enough, be SUPPORTIVE! The picture above is my first attempt at a cherry pie last year for Thanksgiving. As you can see the lattice turned out terribly! Luckily, while not aesthetically pleasing, it was definitely a delight for the palate 🙂 The importance of this might seem insignificant, but it wasn’t to me. This was my first Thanksgiving that I had to cook without my Mom. We always cook together, but last year she was out of state. So I was getting family text messages with pictures of their beautiful pies and how well their crusts turned out. Well, needless to say, that I was already sad that my Mom wasn’t there for Thanksgiving (which is my favorite holiday) AND I didn’t want to let my family down because I am not the best cook in the world and it was my very first Thanksgiving dinner made without Mom’s help. I worked on that cherry pie lattice for what I swear was an hour and it just didn’t look right. I kept rearranging but the pie filling kept getting everywhere so finally I just had to settle and bake it. Jason was so incredibly supportive of this pie! I was upset when it came out of the oven and I just felt like I ruined it. Well I didn’t, the pie was not super beautiful, but oh my heavens it was YUMMY! Jason was supportive the entire time, even helping me with the things I wasn’t positive on. When I was low and upset saying “it isn’t right, it isn’t like mom makes it”, he responded with “Ash, it is perfect”. And it was. Be supportive!

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Enjoy life and relax a little!

Really, enjoy life! Take pictures, sing and dance in the car like nobody is watching, play, don’t be afraid to be goofy, don’t refuse to take that picture because your hair isn’t just right. Your partner fell in love with you for you, in all of your sides. No makeup- that’s great, wild crazy hair- even better, that awesome morning breath- yeah, give a kiss anyway! Find some alone time if you have kids, if you can’t find that time, make it!! Your partner is a no judgment zone, it is your safe place- just make sure that you reciprocate and be the same for your partner. Relationships are a team, with real teamwork and real difficulties. Change your mindset from “this is me” to “this is us”, you will see a tremendous difference.

How do you and your partner nourish each other? Comment below and let us know! We always love to try new things 🙂