Monday, March 14, 2016

Marriage Matters

I hope you had a great weekend!  Ours was pretty low key - we played with friends, baked, did some projects around the house and tried to take it easy.  Kevin was out of town and it wore me out to be home alone with a toddler.  We definitely missed him and missed his help around the house.  Thankfully he had a good time presenting at his conference and is home safe and sound ready to kick off his Spring Break week.  I was slightly nervous that I'd go into labor while he was gone so we're all glad to be reunited with a baby still baking.  Hello 36th week of pregnancy!

My friend Whitney @ Come Home for Comfort and her mom Denise @ RefreshHer have started showcasing ways that they are working to grow and improve their marriages every week on their blogs and instagram.  I enjoy reading their ideas and it got me thinking of things that I could do to enhance our marriage.  Kevin and I are nearing our 12th anniversary and we've learned over the years how to make the other feel loved and appreciated.  It's not always easy to do especially when you had kids to the mix, but we both try hard to make an effort to regularly grow our marriage.

Here are a few ways we've shown that marriage matters lately:

1. Do things together as a family.
We were given 2 tickets to go to a basketball game a few weeks ago.  Instead of paying to hire a babysitter, Kevin checked into buying a ticket for Olive.  It was really cheap so we just bought one ticket and had a great time together.  We like to be together so we are always on the lookout for fun things to do with kids.  We've gone tailgating together, taken Olive to football games and baseball games, too.

2. Pick up a surprise treat for him.
I get his favorite drinks and snacks at the grocery store, drive to his office and have him run down to get a little treat.  I stopped at Sonic last week to get us both drinks.  I don't usually like spending money on stuff like this, but I know he appreciates a fun drink in the middle of the day so I splurged.  I'll also pick up his go to drink at Starbucks or pick him up when I know he's got a bit of free time and take him to get coffee.  When we were both working full time, we'd plan to leave work right on time and then head to get a smoothie, bagel or ice cream as a fun date.  I look back very fondly on those dates right after work that added a little something special to our regular routines.  Kevin has been known to pick up McDonalds sundaes for us or stop at the grocery store to get the ingredients to make a fun dessert and surprise me with them.

3. Surprise him with his favorite treats or meals at home.  
I have a running list on my phone of dinners that he told me he gets excited to see on the menu and his favorite desserts so I try to regularly incorporate them into our meal plan.  Kevin also appreciates getting take out on occasion so some days I'll text him and ask if he'd like to get food from his favorite restaurant for dinner.  It gives him something to look forward to on his busy days.

 4. He sends me flowers.  
Kevin loves finding good deals on dinner gift cards, experiences and other fun things so he will randomly send me flowers when he finds a deal he can't pass up.  These were my Valentine's Day flowers this year.  They arrived several days before Valentine's Day because he got a great deal if he ordered early.  I didn't mind one bit.  I appreciate his thoughtfulness and it didn't matter to me what day they arrived.  He was pleased to get such a great deal and surprise me with this cheery bouquet.


5. We try to have lunch together at least once a month.  
We usually end up at Jimmy Johns or somewhere quick.  We pick him up so he doesn't have to drive and then drop him off right after lunch.  We hurry home for nap time and he hurries back to work.  It's a great break in the day for both of us.

6. I pack his lunch most days.
He's pretty low maintenance and just requests a sandwich + a side.  So I get it all ready for him in the morning knowing that he'll be busy and not have a ton of time to mess with figuring out his lunch once he's on campus.  I try to include a nice note once a week and will sometimes throw in a granola bar for his breakfast.  When we were both working full time I packed both of our lunches most days the night before so they'd be ready to grab on our way out the door.

7. Kevin plans fun outings for us.  
He'll snatch up a great deal on groupon or get us tickets for an event and then make all the plans for it.  Last week we headed to Indianapolis at the last minute for dinner.  He found a fun new restaurant to try and worked out all the details.  He knows I like to plan things so he gave me a couple hours notice and we headed out just in time to get there for dinner.  We had a great time and he even worked in a stop by Target on our way back since we don't have a Target in our city.  Great dinner, fun adventure and shopping at Target is the way to my heart :)

8. "I'm bringing home dinner!"
  A couple times a month Kevin will text me and say I'm bringing home dinner.  I'll set the table, get drinks and he'll show up with something delicious.  He knows my favorite orders and our favorite restaurants so he doesn't even have to ask what I want.  I'm pretty predictable and always order the same thing once I've found something I love.  He knows I like to plan out meals so he usually texts me several hours in advance to ensure I haven't already started prepping for dinner.
 

Areas for Improvement::
Every marriage could benefit from work and TLC and we're no exception.

I'd like to be more intentional with date nights at home,

we're working to find a church home where we can make family friends,

I've been trying hard to head to bed at the same time that Kevin does each night
  I could easily stay up later working on things, but I know he appreciates when we head to bed together
 and we're always working hard to communicate with each other
about the big and little things going on in our lives.


What things do you do to show that your marriage matters to your spouse?
Can you relate to any of our areas of improvement?

Linking up with Let it Shine

16 comments:

  1. I think all of these are great things to do, Whitney! It's important to still surprise each other with little things for one another, and I know with my husband the way to his heart is through food. ;) He loves it when I bring home Japanese or Chinese take-out. Great post!

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  2. Whitney- first- SO awesome and congratulations on 12 wonderful years of marriage!! Aaron and I are getting ready to celebrate our 8th anniversary at the end of this month and I was thinking of writing a similar post! I really love how intentional both you and Kevin are about showing each other love through little gifts and acts of service (bringing home takeout to give you a night off of cooking is my favorite!!) Hope you have a great day!!!

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  3. Such good ideas for future reference! :) Every relationship needs that fun time, serious time, good time, communication time, etc!!! They all need improvements and areas to grow, and it's something I strive to do in mine...We always get ice cream for supper on Sunday nights when the local ice cream place is open for Spring/Summer. It opened this weekend, so it was nice to get a fun treat!

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  4. Oh we can definitely improve in communication too. I talk a lot and am very expressive with my thoughts and feelings and Neal isn't... so we clash in that aspect sometimes. I think putting marriage first is sooooo important. Happy marriages make happy families!! I heard the advice once to always greet your spouse first when you get home. Kiss, hug, say hello.. then greet your kids. It's good for them to see that love exchanged, and know they are not (always) the center of your universe, so we try and do that every day when we get home from work.

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  5. All of these are lovely ideas. My favorite is the first one. Doing things as a family unit keeps that feeling of protection that is so important in keeping a family together. I'm sure Olive also enjoys getting to do things along with y'all. Plus, it is important for Olive to see y'all doing fun things together.

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  6. OMG I love those flowers!

    www.shhmommysdrinking.com

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  7. Such great reminders!! I've been married for about 3 1/2 years now and we are soon-to-be parents of 2 :) Thanks for sharing! Gotta keep that spark right?! :)

    Xo Raina
    http://www.themamaqueen.com

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  8. Love this! I want to think of more things to do for Chauncey. Sometimes it seems like there's never enough time, but I know you have to make time.

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  9. Love all these ideas - I love when my husband grabs a meal for us when he knows it's been a busy or rough day for me. Makes a huge difference! :)

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  10. I LOVE this post. I see a lot of similarities in things we do and areas to work on.

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  11. Notes in his lunch box, little texts throughout the day, and just making time at night together are things I'm working on!

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  12. I used to leave notes around too but I have gotten out of the habit. This post really encouraged me to start working on all of those little things again. Thanks friend.

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  13. I used to leave notes around too but I have gotten out of the habit. This post really encouraged me to start working on all of those little things again. Thanks friend.

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  14. Aww,I love this post! You and Kevin have been an example to ME of making marriage matter. I love how purposeful you are in making the little things special, leaving notes and expressing your love to each other!

    Whitney @ Come Home For Comfort

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  15. Those are all great ideas. Sounds like you two are doing well. My husband and I have been married 13 years, together for 14. The first years were the toughest. It's been the past three that have been the best. One thing we do together as a couple is take turns praying out loud every night. It's our time to say what's on our mind to God, and it brings us closer because we know what each other's requests and needs are.

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  16. I love that you (and Olive) spend time with Kevin during the day. Makes me wish I worked closer to Mac! Right now, it's about 25-30 minutes each way, and I have to give up a parking spot on campus, haha.

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I LOVE hearing from you!! Thanks for taking the time to leave sweet comments; I enjoy reading every one of them. I reply to your comments via email so make sure you aren't a "no-reply" blogger.
Smiles, Whitney