(Our Christmas (turned New Years… lol) Card Photo 2016, full post here)
Happy Valentine’s Day! All you need is love and a couple dozen roses, right? Like I said yesterday, Valentine’s Day is very special for Luke and I because it happens to be when we started dating (cliche I know…) This year marks 5 years together and while it may be cheesy, I have to say that time has really flown by. We have been through so many ups and downs and major changes and I couldn’t be more grateful to have the partner in life that I do. Luke is one in a million. He loves me for me, he helped me find self confidence, he pushes me to chase my dreams, and he inspires me to be better.
See, Luke is one of the good ones. He sees the good in people, he doesn’t get angry, he takes life in stride, he loves the people around him even if he doesn’t know them, he wants to make the world better, and he truly does. He starts that by making my world better. Before Luke, consistency was never a thing in my life. I had never experienced it. Anyone who made promises to me never kept them… and it made me really lose the value in those things. I couldn’t take anyone seriously and I had little to no faith that anyone would ever really be there for me.
A little peek into our first few months of dating… it was the first time I had ever REALLY dated anyone. I always seemed to have a boyfriend, but those guys didn’t court me. They didn’t do things old school. We may have hung out a few times and them bam… we were dating. Luke and I spent time together for a month before we made things official. He took me on dates… he drove an hour to see me… and he made me a priority. Man was that a game changer. I felt important. I didn’t worry about whether he liked me or would find some way to break things off and start dating someone else. I already knew that because he showed me. I didn’t feel some need to push things with him. It was easy.
(Our one year Anniversary Photos, full post here)
( Our 2015 Christmas Card Photo Shoot, full post here)
(Some of our wedding photos, BEST day of my LIFE! full post here)
(Our Engagement Photos, full post here)
5 Tips for Strengthening Your Marriage
- Be Kind: This may seem silly, but kindness goes a long way. We have seen a lot of stress in our 5 years together. Things haven’t always been easy and I have taken stress out on Luke. I find that approaching everything with a kind heart makes the biggest difference. Kindness and love really go hand in hand and I think being kind and gentle with your partner in every way helps to create a more warm and welcoming environment for your relationship to grow and blossom. It also ensures that your partner always feels loved by you.
- Be Generous: Be generous with your partner. With your time, with your resources, with your love. Give them all you can. In all honesty this will serve you as well. When we are generous with others we feel fulfilled. I never feel better than I do when I do something for someone else. Make that your objective and give to your partner. Luke is amazing in this area. Think of all the time it takes to get my photos together for blog posts. All those instagram pics take time and effort and I have one hell of an instagram husband.
- Be Honest: OMG is this SO TRUE! No one is a mind reader. Let your partner know what you need. While time will teach cues for what is really going on… you really always have to communicate. When you make a mistake… just tell them. Hiding things is no way to nurture a relationship. You are partners and until you can be 100% transparent you will never reach your full potential. For Luke and I this comes to budgeting, our schedules, and what we are capable of doing. We often over promise to one another because we simply want to be able to do everything, but we can’t. It just turns into being disapointed and frustrated. Trust me and save the time and just be honest!
- Be Respectful: When you know someone loves you, you are more likely to push them to the limit and take them for granted. Treat them and their time as you would want your own treated. This has been really hard for me. I don’t always appreciate the time and effort Luke puts into helping me and I certainly don’t tell him thank you enough. Honestly, I know he loves helping me… but not when he feels like it’s not appreciated. This is a work in progress and we all have ways that we don’t show enough respect, but know that this is so IMPORTANT!!
- Be Thoughtful: Remember the little things. Make their lumch, iron their pants, make their morning coffee. It may sound simple and odd, but really… love on your partner. The little things go a LONG way. Knowing how I take my coffee means you really know me… and that makes me feel seriously loved. SO do surprise flowers for no reason and dates. Figure out what the other person really loves. Do little things for them. Help them out without them asking. This is going to help your relationship by leaps and bounds!
I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Love all the people in your life, not just today… but EVERY.SINGLE.DAY!