Happy Monday friends! I'm more than excited to share our first guest post!
Last week I shared about this new series we're launching called Marriage Mondays, which you can catch up on my heart behind it here. Insert happy dance, because our first guest blogger Hannah from The Cake by Hannah is opening up about her first few years of marriage and how continually dating her husband by guarding their weekly date nights and budgeting for weekend getaways or staycations is worth it. Hannah is the talented, passionate writer behind her blog and the founder of The Cake Shop. I have loved getting to know her through Circle Seven Five Events, her fun, authentic Insta Story and her heart through her blog. She's all things cute, genuine and fashionable as she shares about faith, fashion and spreading kindness like buttercream frosting. I'm honored that she was our first guest blogger, and I can say that Jordan and I are definitely encouraged by the intentionality that she and her husband Paul have. I'd say that in today's world, sometimes putting boundaries around quality time with your spouse can be misunderstood or devalued, but the fact that her friends and family know and ask about this is absolutely amazing!
Thanks for opening up your heart Han!
My husband and I have been married for 3 years now. Every single year has been better than the last, and this season we are currently in is our favorite we've ever been in. (Insert cheers here!) We just have kind of ‘hit our groove’, if you will. We have had to learn a lot over the last three years under the same roof to get to where we are now; like, how and when to approach conflict, battles to choose and which ones to drop, that Paul is always going to put his shoes in the middle of the bathroom and I am always going to need to be overly organized and planned, and, most importantly, how to prioritize our time with one another over all the other blaring noises in our life. It hasn’t been an easy journey by any means. To be honest, our first year of marriage I have all but completely blocked out of my memory forever. Okay, okay- not really. But it was really hard! God has a sense of humor, because our first place together was a loft- no doors but the one to the bathroom. We fought so much our first year, and there was no escaping each other. I found myself crying in an empty bathtub quite a few times just because it was the only place I could be frustrated without Paul sitting next to me! Guys, those were funny days and times, and I really am grateful for them! See, our first year was a year of hustle, bustle, running from here to there, working 9-5 and then being somewhere else 5-9, oh and… have time for each other… more like lack there of. There were nights I literally lied awake thinking, “What the heck did I get myself into?” It can all too easily happen, we get so caught up in life that we forget to pour into the most important piece of the puzzle. Then, one day we wake up and have no idea how we got where we are, but none the less, here we are: tired, ragged, distant, frustrated, and clueless where to start trying to pick up the pieces.
This was where we found ourselves at year two of marriage, and it’s when we made some massive changes in our lives. How lucky to see so early on in our marriage that we couldn’t live like this forever. Something had to give! You guys, whether you have been married 5 days, 5 years, or 5 decades, prioritizing one on one time with your spouse is the most beneficial and sweet thing you can do for your marriage. It will look different for every single couple, but figure out what works for you. Fridays are Paul’s and my day, and we are very selfish with it. I think we have passed off our Friday no more than 8-10 times MAX over the last two years. We can literally be sitting on the sofa watching a movie together and eating homemade pizza for date night, or we are at some extravagant new restaurant we’ve been wanting to try, but bottom line is that Fridays are ours, and nobody can change that. When the budget is tight, we just go grab happy hour at a local restaurant and grab ice cream on the square. I love those date nights just as much! We let our family and friends know about Friday date nights, too. We talk about it a lot, and protect it. I love when people see me on Thursday and ask what Paul and I are doing for date night. It’s truly part of our week, and it changed the game. It’s amazing what a date night does for your marriage. Taking that even further, we have started doing vacation/staycations every 6 months to seriously unplug, and our goal is to do some kind of getaway every quarter. Our jobs require us to be “on” what feels like all hours of the day. We are constantly thinking, shepherding, and meeting people’s needs, and it’s absolutely our passion. So, that means also that we have to fight to turn off work and unplug periodically. When you’re in the business of people like we are (pastor and pastor’s wife/worship leader/blogger), you have to be intentional about turning. it. off. If your response to me saying ‘take a vacation’ was just, “Yeah right, we on that budget life.” SO ARE WE. We budget every dime we have, and if we overspend one of those dimes, something else is taking the hit. But, we value saving and prioritizing dates and getaways.
Our favorite place to do a staycation is Four Seasons Dallas. We have been twice now, and it’s the best. We sit on our balcony, play board games, reconnect, and talk about what things we want to accomplish in the coming months. We intentionally turn off our phones and try new things together. These are the same types of questions and things we do on any Friday date night, but there is something so much deeper about a getaway. If you haven’t tried Air Bnb y’all, you are seriously missing the boat on this one. Don’t let money be an excuse to not getaway with your spouse. Four Seasons is a pretty hefty bill, but an Air Bnb can be as little as $300 for a whole weekend getaway together. Bring your own food to cook, go explore a city you don’t know, read together, play games, walk the local state parks… the options are endless. Find somewhere just a couple hours away that you can easily drive to.
No matter what, we’ve all heard this but it’s so true, don’t stop dating your spouse. When things get hard, when things get busy, when babies come, or when you have had that same fight for the fifth time this week (eherm, we’ve totally been there)- intentionality with your best friend is the only way to maintain that tight friendship. Fight for productive and intentional time together. Literally just last night, half way through our dinner, I said, “I hate that we are sitting on the sofa again for dinner with the tv on.” So we turned off the tv and went to the kitchen island and ate like we should. We had great conversation just by intentionally choosing to stop the mundane and ragged routine of tired we can easily fall into.
Have those date nights and try a fun staycation or little getaway. We used to say to ourselves “we are waiting for the right time to travel and explore”, but like so many things in life, is there ever really a good time? Save money now, and prioritize the things want to do and value most now! The foundation you’re building in your marriage now are the habits you will have for a long time, and are what will dictate the direction of your future family’s habits. If date night is a priority now, that won’t change when kids come along. Your kids will know and celebrate Fridays (or whatever day is it is for you!) and honor it. Same with getaways. Start now, and it will be a habit deeply rooted in the core of who you are as a couple. Sure, money will be up and down and unpredictable, but fighting for it and intentionally saving for things like that is worth it. It’s sacrifice but it’s also a game changer for how you connect with your spouse.
Love you guys! Thanks for reading just a little bitty piece of my heart. Thankful for you.