Monday, October 22, 2007

"How to Plan a Life" Contest

Step One begins...

Random surprising fact #1 about being newlyweds: we REALLY did automatically shift into overdrive with the whole nesting process. I thought since we had a pretty good set up already going in our apartment that this phase would pass us by... but apparently not! Even Justin is all about looking at new silverware and taking wine glasses off the shelf to test the ring they make when he flips them. You can imagine how much the store clerks are LOVING him :)

On the four hour drive up to Vermont (and then back again on the trip home) we had a lot of time to talk about planning our marriage. We spent hours on end attending to every detail of our wedding, but it turns out that this was only a fraction of the fun that talking about setting up our married life would bring! We talked about everything from date nights to laundry days to always having a bottle of white wine in the fridge. And then, of course, we covered much more serious stuff like budgets, paying bills, and the goals we have for ourselves in the next couple of years. I know, i know... it sounds like really boring stuff! But it's not at ALL to us...we can't get enough of it...and that's the surprising part!

We've been asking everyone we know for ideas and advice on little (or big) things we can do to set up this new life of ours. We're looking for everything from schedules (like we've decided that Monday is grocery day and date nights are on Friday) to organizational stuff (we just took three big bags to Goodwill) to praying together and cooking together (lol...we just bought THIS book:)

We even have the amazing Amanda coming in next week to help us conquer the clutter in our lives and we can't wait! She is absolutely incredible with all the organizational stuff and even has a background as a personal organizer. Definitely be sure to keep an eye out for some exciting things from her in the next few months! But until then, we want to hear from you guys! Basically we're looking for any and all advice or ideas that you have that even remotely relate to having an awesome marriage and a home away from all the craziness (instead of one that adds to it!)

So here's the deal, leave us all your ideas in the comments section (cause you know we love us some comments!:) and at the end of the week we'll pick our favorite(s) and the winner will receive a $50 gift card to Williams Sonoma (ok, ok, OR Home Depot if you're all about the power tools). And feel free to post more than once if you come up with something else! We can't wait to see what you guys think up!


Candace Jeffery Photography said...

Leave sweet love notes hidden all around your apartment, car, camera bag... anywhere you can think of to surprise each other. Keep those butterflies alive!

Derek said...

Love each other. I heard that's really important. Even though Mel and I aren't married yet (no, I haven't proposed, relax) I know that we've been together forever, and that the one thing we know really works is honesty. And gifts. But honesty is WAY cheaper, and better for the soul. I have no doubt in my mind that the two of you will have a long, loving, prosperous (in the life enriching way, as well as hopefully the wallet enriching way) and fun (don't forget to keep it fun) marriage. As mom would say, "It's only money." If you see that t-shirt Mary would love, buy it. If you know Justin would go bananas over that signed Cal Ripken photo, buy it. If you think matching WVU towels is a good idea, then do it. But you already know this. Love each other. Love your family. Love your life.

Mel said...

I think that reading your post made me actually tear up. Only because I see that you guys are so awesome (well I knew before). I feel like that was very inspiring but scary at the same time because it made me think about things that I've never thought of before. Derek is right...honesty is golden, but I think that a major thing in relationships for men to remember is....well just remembering. Remember everything, like stupid details about me it will make her very happy one day when you bring up a random tid-bit that she thinks you forgot.

Nicole said...

You're making me all nostalgic today!! Reading that post, I can only draw from my own experience as a married woman, and I can remember Phil and I having a conversation like yours after our wedding...kind of a "what's next" talk. You're right, what comes after the wedding is way more exicting and a lot less "planned". If I can offer any advice at all, is just to love each other. It may sound simple, but trust me, it's not as simple as you might think. There are going to be a ton of things coming down the pike in the coming house, growing business, kids, etc. I really liked the part in your wedding ceremony about marriage being hard work - because I think that is so true. So many people want the fairytale and when it gets hard, they quit. You guys love each other so much and you can just tell that passion is there. Right now - little gifts and date nights are a great way to show that you love each other - but there will come a time when Justin getting up with the baby in the middle of the night, or loading the dishwasher without you asking will be what means so much more. So I guess what I am trying to say is that you need to grow together. Your love is going to evolve and change and be expressed differently as life throws you curves, but just always remember why you were together in the first place. And also remember to keep your identity as indiviuals. That can be hard, but make time for yourself and nurture your own interests. They will make you more fulfilled and better able to nurture the life you are building together. Hope that offered a little insight and life and marraige has changed beyond my wildest expectations in my three years as a married woman, and I love my husband more today than I did on the day I married him. And you are always welcome to talk to me anytime :) You know the number :) Speaking of -I need to call you today! :)

Anonymous said...

Just always remain true to one another and cherish every day you have. Organization is always a good place to start fresh lives together, especially with running a business as a couple. But remember to not allow everything to be over-organized, it can take the fun out of life. :) Certain days for laundry, cleaning, and "date" nights are an excellent jump ahead (and remember to make the bed every day). Props for the head start you guys. I'm impressed considering how I've witnessed on multiple occasions the squalor you guys can become accustomed to living in. hahaha j/k. Just remember the small things in life can add up and make a big difference.

Lots of love,

Orchard Cove Photography said...

I like this post - even better than those wish buckets at weddings because you can think about what you want to say. I like what Derek said - honesty is something that Jeff and I have practiced from day one and even though we're not married yet I've found it to be absolutely critical to our relationship. When I say honesty I think of it more as being up front about the small stuff so it doesn't turn into big stuff.

Take turns at things and don't keep score.

Keep being spontaneous - taking off for Martha's Vineyard just because and writing him a card to leave under the pillow.

Be respectful of each other and keep it in perspective. One of the things I love most about Jeff is that he can always always always make me laugh - even when I feel down or angry he can make a face or crack a joke and laughter and happiness bubble up.

Ok- long enough!

We love you and are here for you through thick and thin :)

Carla Ten Eyck said...

OK, bear with me here, this is serious stuff. Whenever Dave bugs me I stop and pretend he is a character in a movie. And then I think- 'hey I would totally LOVE this guy if he were a character in like a romantic drama / comedy kind of movie.' He's like the quirky, little bit odd guy who's eccentricities are super endearing. See? Doesn't it work like magic?

Jasmine said...

is it just me or did carla offer the best advice ever?!?! :)

Paul and Laura said...

Living together, working together, and being with each other all the time can be tough. I'm one of the lucky ones that when asked how I do it, I can say I wouldn't have it any other way.

Now everyone has their fights, but our rule to live by is never goto bed in a fight. We always talk and work things out enough so we always enjoy the next day.

Amy Jacob said...

Forgiveness is the key. It takes alot to say I am sorry and admit when you are wrong, but it takes even more strength to forgive. Resentment will fracture a relationship.

Also, I think that you will find that being married and running a business together, is alot like having an infant in the house. Your business needs good parents who will continue to model good behavior. The product of your efforts will be a strong independent business as long as you remember that you are a team.

You both are off to a great start. I wish you all the happiness in the world!

Mom & Dad said...

Having just returned from Honeymoon #28, you better listen to us!!!! lol

The foundation for our marriage has always been respect for each other and the ability to make each other laugh (you guys crack us up so this shouldn't be hard), the rest just falls into place.

Touch, hold hands, kiss OFTEN (especially in front of the kids), and the other thing too (not in front of the kids).

Oh, and by the way, a happy, marraige is always better when you travel with your dog.(just kidding)

Mary Bess said...

hhahahah awesome! you guys are and always will be the best example of an amazing marriage that we could ever ask for! because of you, Justin was totally made for this marriage thing and being an incredible husband. so thank you for that and all that you do!

and by the impressed am I that you guys lol'd?!?! you're so with it!


Brian said...

Remember, above all, to share your love and affection for each other everyday! Don't fail to remember what made you fall in love and how that each new day, your love grows. Remember the rough times you have come through together. Remember the look on each other's faces as Mary came down the aisle. Just remember the love in your hearts! It will carry you through anything!

With all the love in the world for two of the most incredible people in it,

Vanessa said...

ok so this is a little delayed, but we're just settling in from the move and I'm just now catching up with blogs :)

We are currently reading "The Total Money makeover: A proven plan for financial fitness" by Dave Ramsey, and it's a great read, and its really helping us now that we have moved and only have one income at the moment etc.

Not saying you need a money makeover, but it's a great book on budgeting, paying off your debs quickly, etc. We have found it to be really helpful!

And just a random fun bit of advice... Just to ourselves, we vowed on our wedding day to say yes more often than no... and I'm NOT just talking about the bedroom, but in everything. It's a silly little easy thing that we've found helpful.

Robin Dini Photography said...

1. Grocery shop together. No one likes to grocery when you have a hard time in your busy schedule to schedule "date nights", take your daunting tasks and make them fun. Frank and I like to hit up the Elm Diner before we shop so we can go in and get the task done quick! Never food shop on an empty stomach. :) And to mix it up, hit up a whole foods grocery or orchard, especially Lymans. They have fresh produce from local farmers that kick Stop & Shop's ass!

2. Always communicate. It's a redundant piece of advice, but you can never assume that you're spouse knows what your thinking all of the time. Everyone has moods and you need to make each other aware of them and that they are not directed towards a particular person.

3. Mary, make sure Justin knows when you're time of the month is...TRUST ME! Not only for the sake of baby making ...he he...but just letting my husband know when PMS will blow it's rearing head, has saved us from many potential arguments.

4. Clean and purge together. Today, we had breakfast and coffee together and then purged a lot of junk that's been lingering since we moved. Now we both know where everything is and won't have to bug each other...where's this? where's that? And it kicks ass to know that we tackled that huge task together. So tonight, we're going to celebrate that small acheivement and have some pumpkin spice beer! wohoo!

Laura Landau said...

You guys have totally got this "living" thing down. You love each other, have fun together, go on adventures together and have a kick a$$ business together. It's the days when everything goes wrong and the sun isn't shining when you'll need to break out the Marriage Manual. Oh wait there is none! So you can turn to the Bible or listen to others. I can't take credit for this advice but I'm passing it along to you. I want to equip you with "the five best tools every good marriage uses to battle bad things." They are...

~ Ownership - taking the responsibility for the good as well as the bad.
~ Hope - believing that good wins over bad.
~ Empathy - walking in your partner's shoes.
~ Forgiveness - healing the hurts you don't deserve.
~ Commitment - living the love you promised.

This is a great place to get inspiration.

Dan (as in Overbey) said...

My advice is similar to what others have said, but a little different:

1. Work at being married as hard as you do at being great in your careers. Do something EVERY DAY that is just for your spouse. Whether it is matching that pile of socks that just won't go away, or picking up a treat or small gift at the grocery store. Maybe it is as simple as "fetching" something that wasn't asked for.

2. Travel well. Whether it is a day drive through the countryside to see the leaves or a cool trip overseas to uncharted territory. Spend time escaping with each other when there is no cell phone, blackberry, laptop or work calling.

3. Drink well. Sara and I always keep two things on hand, favored wines and good beer. You never know when the urge will strike to sit down on the porch or in front of the fireplace together with a drink (or 2 or 3). When it strikes, indulge it. That the inventory is helpful for entertaining is a bonus.

4. +1 for all the people who have said kiss oftten

Karen Mikols said...

Always keeping a bottle of wine in the fridge????

AWESOME idea! I can't wait to instate that in my life!