Marriage Moment | Questions to Ask Each Other Routinely

When Josh and I first started dating, we were separated early on by distance. He moved to California, while I still lived in Georgia. Being separated by thousands of miles presented a whole new series of issues that we had to deal with at such an early time in our relationship. In an effort to keep building each other up and remain together, I devised a series of questions to ask over the phone to each other that kept our relationship alive.

Sometimes in marriage now, life happens to separate us. Whether it's a job that requires travel, or busy lifestyles that do not lead to time together, it's still important to feel connected. So I'll still bring up this list of questions if we are in need. Some have changed or morphed, but the basics are still there. Hopefully, you can take away something from these and implement them in you own lives. So without further ado, here are the questions we ask each other in hard times:

1. How has your day/week been?

Keep active in each other's life by knowing what's going on. It's important to keep an active communication on even the most mundane tasks or events. This is also a good start to open conversation that relaxes you for the deeper stuff coming up.

2. How have I lifted you up this week/today?

Think of something that your significant other has done to support or lift you up. It's important to feel acknowledged or significant in each other's life. This can also help better understand each other's love languages that can lead to deeper understandings of what makes the other tick.

3. Was there a moment you felt unsupported by me this week/today? How can I correct it or do it differently next time?

Sometimes you make mistakes. And instead of holding in resentment, it's a good idea to point out any issues that under the other circumstances, may be difficult to talk about. 

4. What are your goals for this next week/tomorrow?

Keep up with each other's goals and dreams to hold each other accountable for continued growth. If you aren't growing, where are you going in life? Make sure you both aren't remaining static.

5. How can I lift you up or support you in your goals this week/tomorrow?

Sometimes if you're having trouble knowing what your significant other expects from you, it helps to just straight up ask. How can I help you meet your goals? What can I do to make sure you succeed, if anything?

6. What is a passage you've read lately and how can we support each other spiritually this week?

Having a root in faith is significant in spiritual health and continued personal growth. There are so many traditions in the wedding day itself that point toward spirituality and faith in God. Since Josh and I are Christian, we would talk about what we're reading in the Bible and how that is effecting our relationships or life that week. 

6. How can I support you sexually this week/tomorrow?

Don't be afraid to ask about intimacy. Having an open dialog about it can ease so many unresolved resentments or sexual issues. Enough said.

Hopefully some of these can help in building your own stronger relationship. Do you have any rituals that help propel your connection to each other? Tell me in the comments below.

Marriage Moment | A Book List

I'm always a big reader and anytime there's a section or season of my life that I'm nervous about, I will read anything I can to prepare myself. So naturally when I got married, I began reading relationship books and researching tools for maintaining my connection with my husband. I've learned so much and it's only natural that I share with all of my couples what they can expect. So I'm going to start a series on my blog called "Marriage Moment" where I talk about relationship advice for the significant other. Today, I'm going to start with a book list.

It started from recommendations and from our pre-marital counseling (which I recommend for EVERY couple). And I hope this list will help you find something that works for your marriage. Not every couple is the same, but there are many ways to find help for your relationship. Even if you don't need help, sowing good seeds into your marriage and continuing to look for improvement is very commendable. 

So without further ado, here are some readings that helped our marriage:

1. Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together by Mark & Grace Driscoll

Our friends recommended this book to us and it has been indispensable. This is one of the few books we've actively read out loud to each other. It has helped us with issues that stem from the hurts and challenges we've faced in our lives before meeting each other. Learning to deal with our past, and having patience for my significant other's past can help side step any massive misunderstandings and lead to calmer interactions.

2. Workbooks

When we were getting prepared for our wedding, Josh and I were doing pre-marital counseling with our officiant. It was one of the single most important things we did to prepare for marriage that I cannot recommend it enough to new couples. One of the things we did was go through these workbooks (One for men and one for women) as homework and then came together to discuss them with the counselor. These are great for identifying pain points and non-negotiables in our marriage. 

3. The Bible

No matter what faith you are, read the commanding text. Since we are Christian, that was the bible for us. Having a root in faith, we can build our relationship on the love that exists because of God. It was so important to us to always come back to the text that governs our faith. I'm still studying this one, and I doubt that I'll ever finish.

4. Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

One of the main causes of divorce in America stems from money. Coming together on our finances and keeping the same goals are monumental in diminishing the money mistakes that can happen with new couples. Do not skip this one! Even if you have money, it is so important to be on the same page regarding finances. Even better, get Dave Ramsey's full Financial Peace University course. This can help with getting out of debt, saving for a house, saving for children, and retiring smartly. Definitely a good purchase.

Hopefully some of these books will resonate with you and your significant other. I'll keep you in the loop if I find any new readings. Let me know in the comments below if you have any good suggestions!

Happy anniversary to my husband. <3

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Limoneira Ranch Wedding | Andrew & Lindsey

Driving out to the sleepy town of Santa Paula, CA, I pulled up to Limoneira Ranch. Nestled in the valley between some outstanding mountains, this lemon grove boasts a bace ball court. It was on the court that Andrew and Lindsey decided to make their vows of love and get married. It was a bright, hot and sunny day as the ladies prepared themselves in the small house on the grounds.

How adorable are these rings, seated stately upon their custom ring box.

How adorable are these rings, seated stately upon their custom ring box.

This grandma was the epitome of awesome. She carried around two disposable cameras, and when someone tried to take a photo of her with it, they couldn't figure out how to crank the thing! My favorite quote from her: "Honey, your short because you grew up with thorns. The most beautiful flowers grow with thorns and weeds that stunt the growth. But when you pull the weeds away there's the most beautiful creature ever."

This grandma was the epitome of awesome. She carried around two disposable cameras, and when someone tried to take a photo of her with it, they couldn't figure out how to crank the thing! My favorite quote from her: "Honey, your short because you grew up with thorns. The most beautiful flowers grow with thorns and weeds that stunt the growth. But when you pull the weeds away there's the most beautiful creature ever."

How stunning is this bride?!

How stunning is this bride?!

Hello handsome groom!

Hello handsome groom!

Look at these awesome groomsmen.

Look at these awesome groomsmen.

He waits for his bride patiently.&nbsp;

He waits for his bride patiently. 

The setting for the ceremony was at the end of the court, right before a small field. The field had all of the reception area. But look at those mountains!

The setting for the ceremony was at the end of the court, right before a small field. The field had all of the reception area. But look at those mountains!

A great DIY: painted mason jars vases!

A great DIY: painted mason jars vases!

How cute is this cake surrounded by cupcakes?!

How cute is this cake surrounded by cupcakes?!

And then there was this cutie!&nbsp;

And then there was this cutie! 

And to finish my night, I met a mutant ninja turtle! I don't think he was teenage yet.&nbsp;

And to finish my night, I met a mutant ninja turtle! I don't think he was teenage yet. 

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Culver City and Valley Wedding | Sandra + Tony

The day started out beautiful. I remember thinking how wonderful it was that the sun wasn't that hot. I arrived at Core Church in Culver City with a smile as the children ran about being chased by the mothers. The groom and his groomsmen gathered for a prayer before he wrote a love letter to his bride-to-be.

I love this greeting. The bride and groom left a bible out in front of the ceremony, asking guests to highlight their favorite passage.&nbsp;

I love this greeting. The bride and groom left a bible out in front of the ceremony, asking guests to highlight their favorite passage. 

Sandra and Tony wrote each other love notes before the wedding. And each prayed together with their wedding party over the messages.

Sandra and Tony wrote each other love notes before the wedding. And each prayed together with their wedding party over the messages.

Wedding time! I loved the two signs on the doors leading into the church.&nbsp;

Wedding time! I loved the two signs on the doors leading into the church. 

The wedding then moved from Culver City and into the Valley. We took photos at Lake Balboa Park in Van Nuys, CA. 

Sandra + Tony-15.jpg

We then told the wedding party to go chill out while we took romantics of just the bride and groom. 

How awesome was this thank you photo set to send cards to their guests?!

How awesome was this thank you photo set to send cards to their guests?!

Now it's time to party!! The reception was at the Olympia Banquet Hall in Van Nuys. And it was a grand affair. I especially loved the ceilings filled with clouded skies. 

The couple were able to sit on these two thrones that looked so luxurious.&nbsp;

The couple were able to sit on these two thrones that looked so luxurious. 

Good night sweet lovebirds!

Good night sweet lovebirds!

A Reflection On Love

I am so entirely in love with my husband. I've never been so grateful for anything in my life. He stepped into my world and balanced me in ways I am only barely starting to perceive. I can only hope everyone can find someone like that. Trust me, it's worth the wait. 

Our eyes meet and we both smile at a joke only we comprehend.

He helps me overcome my self-esteem issues.

I know what my husband is thinking most of the time. And he appreciates that I can anticipate his moves.

He dances like a white boy. It's adorable.

I've never met anyone who can keep me as calm as he does. I'm not saying I'm always calm with him (because Lord knows that's impossible), but he certainly adds that extra stress relief.

He wants the same things I do in life and happiness.

Thank you so much for being by one and only. You are the amazing addition that my soul had been lacking. Happy two year anniversary, my love.

My husband and I
My wedding rings in my fabric flower bouquet that I walked down the aisle with.

My wedding rings in my fabric flower bouquet that I walked down the aisle with.