I'm pretty excited for today's post, because a couple of weeks ago while in the midst of our marriage course I had asked Taylor if he would be open to writing his reflection of the course to share with you guys, and he said yes! And now that the course is finished, I am finally able to share his reflection with you.
Me oh my, I love that sweet husband of mine!
So without further ado, I'll let him take it from here - enjoy!
. . .
So this week, as you all know, Em is having me write about what I thought about our course. Going into this whole thing, it was really just about doing something that I knew would make Em happy. The least I could do was give an hour once a week to do something she wants to do, right? So overall, I was excited to do it, but I did not think it would help us. I thought I knew what our main problems were and how to fix them. Boy was I wrong! Kirk and Chelsea’s course really made us think and talk about things that we really just did not acknowledge at the time.
So my expectations going in to the whole thing were that we would hear the same old stuff. Respect each other’s opinions, listen to one another, and work together on things. The typical things that people tell you will make your marriage successful. But they dive so much deeper into marriage then I ever thought. Our conversations led to more tears then I expected. I mean Em is definitely a crier but this really brought that out even more! But that just means that these conversations needed to happen. Right before we started the course, we got into a big fight. We were both stressed from moving and I just boiled over the top. It was not a fun night. We realized we had some things to work on. Nothing crazy but we needed to make sure we fixed some things now before they became issues later on.
One hesitation I did have with the course was that it would be all about God. My experience with church growing up was vastly different then Emilee’s. We would go on and off but once I was in junior high we were just so busy with sports that it just did not fit in. As you can tell from Em's posts, hers was much different than mine, which is okay but I was just hesitant about it. Since Em and I started dating, we go to church any time we can so it’s not like I was completely against it. But after going through the course, that is far from how I feel about it now. They do connect things they say to Christ but they also make it applicable to life in general.
After the first class on the purpose of marriage and changing yourself first, I was coming around the idea that this would benefit us. But Kirk really hammers home that it is a process and it is hard to change. I quickly realized that there were many things that I could work on to be a better husband and this class was just the first step. Some weeks I just did not want to do the class but then I reminded myself that it wasn’t just about me. It was important for us to do this. The excuse that I was too busy just was not going to cut it. Pretty soon I started to look forward to the videos and to hear what the Cameron’s had to say. They present the information in a way you can understand it and even provide you with supplemental articles to read if you would like.
The worksheets after each video were very beneficial in making sure that the information presented in the video was applicable to our lives. But there were some weeks that I had a harder time connecting with the material. There were two weeks where the focus was on parenting and disciplining. Though the information was great and I loved hearing what they had to say on really connecting with your children, I did find it tougher to engage with this material. Not being a father yet, I cannot say how I will discipline my kids until it comes time for that. I have no idea how I will react the first time my son or daughter hits another kid. I can say “oh I will do this and I will do this” but until it happens and I am in the moment, it is hard for me to say what I will really do. This led to a bit of a disagreement between Em and I because she really liked these weeks and it made her think about how she would like to raise kids. But we agreed to disagree on the topic because it was just harder for me to relate at the time.
After going through all 6 weeks of the class, I have had some time to reflect on the classes and realize that it has had a huge impact on me. The classes have made me think about how I act in a whole different way. It has made me more conscientious of what I say and how I say it. I am still not perfect. But the biggest thing this class has given me is that I am now more aware of my faults or the way I interact with my wife. I am more aware of the things I say. I may let some stuff slip out at times but at least now I realize what was wrong about what I said or how I said it. I am still not perfect by any means but I am continuing to grow as a husband.
Another thing I felt was a huge learning opportunity for me was how to have a real conversation with Em again. It is easy to get into the day to day of life and forget the little things. This class really got us talking again and reminded us how important it is make time for these real conversations. Like I said before, the course made us talk about things we had not or did not want to talk about. It made us have tough conversations that needed to happen. We even learned more about the other person that we did not know before.
I would definitely recommend this class to anyone in a long-term relationship. You do not even need to be married honestly. If you are married and you have no issues in your marriage, still go and spend the $30 for the course. Em and I were happy too. We argued, but who doesn’t right? This class is not only for people in struggling marriages that are barely hanging on by a thread. This class can help anybody who is in a committed, loving relationship. This class will help those who have fallen out of love with their significant other but want to make it work. It may even help those of you who are on the other end where you feel like you are trying but the other person is just not interested anymore.
If you have any hesitations, reach out to Emilee or I (or both!) and we can talk about it. If you are interested, go buy the class now! After you have done a few classes, we would love to talk with you about your experience with the course.
To purchase the course, click here!
- Taylor -
Once a month I'm going to be teaming up with some of my favorite bloggers - The Larson Lingo, Mix & Match Mama & Sheaffer Told Me To for Whats Up Wednesday, where we share some fun & random stuff that we're up to today, and every month we answer these questions . . .
1. What We're Eating This Week
- PUMPKIN BREAD -
Hello, PUMPKIN BREAD! Oh how I love me some pumpkin bread. Our family was here last week and someone (I think my daddy) said that he wanted pumpkin bread and so, well I made some! And I'm pretty sure that I have eaten some every day since #sorrynotsorry Anyways I shared the recipe a couple of weeks ago and I'm sharing it again today, because everybody needs a little bit of pumpkin bread in their life #amen #yourewelcome
- RECIPE -
15 or 16 oz can (2 cups) pumpkin
3 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2/3 cup water
3 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease (not oil) and flour bottoms only of two 9 x 5 or 8 x 4 inch loaf pans. In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Beat for 1 minute a medium speed. Add remaining ingredients; blend at low speed until moistened. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 75 minutes.
2. What I'm Reminiscing About
- M A G N O L I A -
Oh you guys I am still reminiscing over our weekend in Waco - it was just so. much. fun. Chip & Joanna are just two of the kindest and most humble people I have ever encountered - I completely adore them and their company, Magnolia. If you ever get the chance to make it to Waco, Texas you must make a stop in to the Silos - the cupcakes, the store, the grounds, the garden, oh it just all so lovely.
If you missed my Silobration post you can see it here!
3. What I'm Loving
- MY NEW TABLE -
I am in love with this table! We found it up in Waco at this little outdoor flea market and I just knew I had to have it - I mean, how darling is it?? And Taylor's mom gave it to me as my Christmas present, thanks Ga!!!!
4. What We've Been Up To
- FAMILY -
Taylor's mom and my parents came in town for the #Silobration at Magnolia and then they each stayed for a few days after to hang out with us here at home and it was the best. We adore our families - they just left this past week and we miss them already!
We honestly did so much while they we're here - it didn't feel like we ever really stopped moving #ourparentsarechamps #thanksguys #loveyou
We did a lot in a week, but I'm gonna bet that a majority of the trip was spent buying A LOT of food or A LOT of stuff (lets be honest, most likely both . . .)
5. What I'm Dreading
Dreading this doesn't even begin to cover it #paymentsbeganthismonth #help
6. What I've Been Working On
Well every year I make a new personalized calendar for our house and this year is going to be up in just a few months and that means that it's time for a new calendar! I use Shutterfly and I love it - right now their running a bunch of promotions - hop on over and check them out!
7. What I'm Excited About
ALL of my goodies that I got from our weekend in Waco!!! This is just a random assortment of some of the things I snagged - LOVE this place!
8. What I'm Watching
- BUZZR -
Have y'all ever heard of Buzzr? Yeah, I hadn't either until we moved into our place here and only got a few select channels, which Buzzr was one of the chosen few and i'm telling you that it has quickly become a fan favorite in our house.
Say hello to the best game show channel ever to exist - I'm talking game shows from the 50's, 60's, 70's & so on. You guys this stuff is pure gold - and don't even getting me started on the oh so charming Richard Dawson.
I realize that you may not get Buzzr on your TV, but do yourself a favor and pull up YouTube and watch some of these old time classic game shows - it'll brighten your day, I'm sure of it.
9. What I'm Reading
- CAPITAL GAINES -
This past week I read Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff by Chip Gaines. If I had to choose one book to recommend over and over again to people this one would be it and for so many reasons - it is filled with honest to goodness life stories that transform into life lessons and Chip shares his unique and quite honestly special outlook on life and it is truly something to strive for. If there is any book that I urge you to read, this one is it and I hope that you do.
Hear my thoughts on the book here!
10. What I'm Listening To
- JOHNNYSWIM -
I felt it was better to put a video here instead of a picture for two reasons - 1. so you can understand why I am obsessed with this band & 2. so you can listen to them as you read the rest of the post #youarewelcome
I had actually known about Johnnyswim for a little while, but they were the headliners for the concert at the Silobration and since seeing them there I have been obsessed - They have been on constant replay at our house. We love us some Johnnyswim!
11. What I'm Wearing
- This, That & Layers -
Tis' the season! It's cold in the morning and hot by the afternoon #sigh This simply calls for layers - lots & lots of layers. I've been doing a lot of dresses with boots, or jeans, a tank top and a cardigan or just jeans & t-shirts.
12. What I'm Doing This Weekend
- PUMPKIN PATCH -
We're headed to the Pumpkin Patch! October has been such a busy month for us and we're finally getting our chance to go pick out our pumpkins! I love our annual trip to the pumpkin patch - Me oh my I love me some Fall!
13. What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month
- THANKSGIVING -
Okay - first am I the only one that can't believe it's almost NOVEMBER!? I swear it was just July . . . I think this warm Texas weather is messing with my head . . . however I do love fall and I love me some Thanksgiving!
This Thanksgiving will be a little different, as we we won't be with our families and we're going to miss that - but I love Thanksgiving because even though we don't have everything that we wish we had or we aren't with the people that we wish we could be with, we are given a day to celebrate all of the things that we are thankful for.
Although we won't be with our families this year I can say that I have a good long list of the things that I am beyond grateful for - my husband, our home, our car, our jobs, our friends, our families, our health . . . the list goes on and on and on some more.
Thankful is an understand for how I feel about our life.
14. What Else Is New
- REVIVE US 2 -
Oh goodness y'all, last night (Tuesday) we went to the theatre and watched Revive Us 2. For those who are unfamiliar with it, it is essentially a conversation led by Kirk Cameron. He addresses the biggest issues that face our world today and he does it while sharing the most powerful message about God. I walked out of the theatre in complete awe and feeling completely hopeful about the future of our country.
If you do nothing else, go and take a look at the trailer for the movie - and if you are interested in seeing it than they're doing an encore showing on November 1st. Check your local theaters to see where it is playing - If you do end up watching it, comment below and let me know your thoughts!
Get your tickets here
And that's it!
Have a great week - I'll see you back here on FRIDAY!
- XO -
Well y'all, we did it!
This weekend we completed the 6th and FINAL lesson of our marriage course - woohoo!!!
I'm excited, but also sort of sad - I'm really actually going to miss the class. When I say that this class has helped us so much, it is no joke and the funny thing is that going into it I really thought we had a pretty good marriage, and we do, but there was certainly a lot of room for improvement . . . I mean we would fight and such, but I didn't think anything of it. It really wasn't until we started doing this class that both of us realized that neither of us we're doing the best that we could do in this marriage.
It can be so much better. It should be so much better.
I think one of the biggest realizations that I have had over the last six weeks is that I am not being the best spouse that I can be for Taylor - Over the last few weeks I have recognized a profound selfishness in me that I am not particularly proud of and I also recognized how difficult it is for me to let go of my pride and move on to forgiveness and grace.
Throughout the lessons, one of the messages that was reiterated over & over again was this:
Love them when they don't deserve to be loved
I will be the first to admit that this is so much easier said than done and it takes practice - a lot of practice. But I'm telling you that if you just try it and keep practicing it, I can only imagine the difference that it will create not only in your marriage, but in your life. And like I said, it is hard - I can tell you that in the last six weeks of this course we have failed at it more times than i'd care to admit. It is a complete work in progress and you're going to fail, probably more than once, but the more you do it the quicker it turns into a habit and a natural reaction - I believe that with all my heart. I think this act alone - loving someone when they don't deserve to be loved - has the power to change your life and I can't wait to see how it changes our life just as it does yours.
Yesterday I sat down and I prayed - I asked God to change my heart. I asked him to make me less selfish. To help me to love better and be a better wife. To show me how can I serve my husband better - how can I serve others better in general. I asked him to open my heart to others, to not be so quick to judge and to listen first. I asked him to teach me and show me how to find the good in everything and everyone,
For whatever reason yesterday as I was dilly dallying around my house I felt a sudden urge that I just needed to sit down and lay it all out there for God to hear and so I did. And I'm telling you that afterward I felt so much relief as if whatever was weighing on my shoulders was finally lifted and I just felt peace.
I encourage you to try the same thing this week - open your heart to God, lay it all out there for him and he will bring you comfort, peace and whatever it is that you need.
- I'll be praying for each and every one of you -
Another message that was spoken over and over again throughout the course was that we cannot change our spouses, or anyone for that matter - God reserves the right to change them for himself.
I think this point was a hard one for me to grasp, because it is so easy for us to try and change somebody, especially those we love - like our spouse. But I think that the best thing we can do is pray to God that he changes their heart and you have to have faith because God will see it through.
The second part of that message was to stop trying to change the other person and instead focus on yourself - what can you do to make yourself a better person?
As I said above I have come to recognize that I can be very selfish and I also struggle with letting go of my pride - I tend to hold onto things for a long time instead of forgiving that person and showing them grace.
So as we move forward after these past few weeks I have found the things that I really want to work on in myself, just as Taylor has for himself. We both have things that we desperately need to work on. I will say that we really do and did have a good marriage leading up to this course, BUT had we gone on for 10, 20 or 30 years doing and acting the same ways that we have been acting over the past couple of years I don't know that we would have eventually made it. This class changed our marriage in more ways than one - it shifted the focus of our marriage, it forced us to talk and open up to each other on topics that aren't fun to talk about, it pointed out our problems, it taught us how to better love and serve one another and it provided us with a foundation to build our marriage and family on from here on out.
This class was a complete and total blessing - I don't know that I can put it in any better way - it was blessing and I'm thankful for the changes that it has made in each other, our marriage and our future family.
So with that said - the course is still for sale and you take it at your own pace and it's only $35 dollars - if interested you can buy it here!
. . . .
I'm sorry y'all - I didn't even realize how long that was and I haven't even talked about lesson 6 yet - stay with me!
This last & final lesson was about discipling your children. I liked this one simply because there are so many variations of what the best way to discipline your kid is and everybody has a different opinion on it. Of course like most parents, we will discover what works and doesn't work for us as parents, but Chelsea and Kirk laid out some really great tips on disciplining your kids.
Chelsea speaks a lot about getting to your child's heart.
She talks especially about the importance of explaining to your kids why what they did was wrong, not just that they did something wrong but going even beyond that and having a conversation with them to get to their heart. It is important to connect with your child, regardless of their age, and talk to them and try to understand what was driving that behavior, not just that they did something wrong.
I especially loved this part: Chelsea says that when you discipline your child you want to show them and let them know that you're doing this in their best interest and that whatever they did that was wrong is driving them away from this path that they're on - this path that God has created for them. You want to explain to them how this choice that their making is not only affecting the "right now" but how it can lead to many of the same choices later on in life.
Now obviously Taylor & I are not parents so I really don't even feel as though I have any authority or reason to speak on raising kids - but the lesson was really good and it was so powerful. I think these days I see a lot of discipline that is simply out of the frustration of the parent or whoever is watching a child and instead discipline should be done for the good of the child - not out of frustration from the parent.
I think that point was the most profound from the whole lesson.
I think it all comes down to loving your kids and making sure that they know that they are loved, appreciated and that you (their parents) are proud of them and that they know that there is nothing that they could do that would make you love them more.
And as far as disciplining goes, the biggest take away from this final lesson was to always be working to get to your child's heart - through their heart you are able to connect with them, teach them and guide them on this path that God has created for us.
- XO -
First - I can't believe that it's already Friday, but I'm so happy that it is in fact Friday . . . this last weekend was a complete whirlwind - we were so busy and I am now ready to do nothing this weekend.
However, my whole heart goes out to my husband who is completely swamped this weekend with 5 tests . . . #midterms
It's supposed to rain and storm here all weekend plus it's finally started to cool down around here and that means that it's time for comfy clothes, tea and some movies - Oh and Lord knows I need to clean my house so some of that too.
Now on another note, while we were at Magnolia this past weekend I picked up a copy of Chip Gaines' new book - Capital Gaines and over the past week I have been reading it and then just last night I finished it.
I'm just going to start by saying that if you haven't picked up his book yet, you need to - right now.
- I'll even help you out | Click any of the following links to purchase Capital Gaines -
Barnes & Noble
This book is filled with all sorts of goodness. You'll laugh and you may even cry, but one thing is for sure - you will leave feeling inspired.
Chip speaks straight to the heart.
In today's world it is so hard to only see the negative in this life and we simply forget to focus on all that is good in the world. Chip takes the time to shift our focus back to good and shares his wisdom in how he chooses joy every day.
I could go on & on talking and sharing all about the book, but I genuinely don't want to give it away because it really is worth the read.
So with that being said, if you have read the book already please comment below and share your thoughts - I would love to hear what y'all think!
And if you haven't read it yet, but plan on doing so than still comment and let's chat about it when you've finished!
"Life feels altogether different when your perception shifts, though. It's amazing how gorgeous the landscape of life looks when we choose to believe that all people have good in them and every situation has potential for a positive outcome. It may buried, or dormant, but I truly believe it's there - most likely waiting for someone to look for it, to help unearth it, to expect it maybe even to demand it." - Chip Carter Gaines
- XO -
I am so excited about today's post because I get to share all about our SILOBRATION weekend with you and i'm telling you - it was by far one of the best weekends I've ever had.
In the past couple of days I have drank more sweet tea than I’ve ever drank in my life, ate cupcakes for breakfast, took more pictures than I’d care to admit, met some pretty cool people, listened to amazing music, spent A LOT of money and fell even more in love with Chip & Joanna Gaines.
This weekend was one for the books - let's recap, shall we?
- Our group for this weekend -
My parents came from Colorado - (905 miles)
Taylor's mom came from Washington - (2,106 miles)
Taylor & I came from Austin - (102 miles)
What better way to start the day than with cupcakes for breakfast #i'venevermetacupcakeIdidn'tlike
After we got our cupcakes we went straight to the shop and as you can tell we did some damage . . . and y'all this was only day one!
Meanwhile when us girls were shopping #blesstheboyshearts
Oh so pretty!
Love this place - you've done good, Chip & Jo!
We headed on out to see the Magnolia House and it is so beautiful - we had the opportunity to meet the man who runs the B&B and that actually lives next door to it and he was just the sweetest.
While we were out & about we made at stop at Harp Design Co. and we got to see the house that Chip & Jo renovated for Clint & Kelly plus their little shop and we loved it!
And then we called it a day and decided to pamper ourselves a little bit.
- Day 2 -
We started off our second day in Waco with some yummy coffee at Common Grounds!
Here we are back at the Silos!
And you guys, this sweet tea . . . SO YUMMY! I seriously drank so much.
Dear Alabama Sweet Tea, you make the yummiest sweet tea, it's a good thing I don't live close to you. Love, Emilee.
Oh hey there JIMMY DON!
This guy is the real deal - so down to earth, friendly, humble and wildly talented. It was an honor to meet him.
You need to go & check out his store here!
Speaking of meeting people, i'd like to introduce you to Theresa - Joanna's sister.
And while we're at it I'd also like to introduce you to Joanna's mom - Nan.
I loved her parents. I actually didn't get much of an opportunity to talk to Joanna's mom, but I did get to talk with Joanna's dad, Jerry, for a quite a bit and he is just the nicest, down to earth guy.
I am hear to tell you that these people, this family, they are the real deal. I think out of the entire weekend my conversation with her dad was one of the highlights of the entire trip.
Don't mind me, just drinking more sweet tea and getting more cupcakes with my mama.
We took full advantage of all of the photo ops!
Getting ready for the show to start!!!
Jon Foreman opened for JohnnySwim & he was fantastic! For those who don't know, he is the lead singer of Switchfoot - he played some our favorite songs, Dare You To Move & Only Hope!
The Silos & lights - so magical!!
Hello, CHIP & JOANNA GAINES!
These two weren't afraid to dream BIG and it was so special to hear them talk about this God sized dream and experience this amazing thing that they've created.
- We love you Chip & Joanna Gaines -
Johnnyswim was AMAZING - I liked their music before, but since this weekend they're all I have listened to. If you haven't listened to their music, you need to do it now. You can thank me later ;)
Magnolia, you've stolen my heart.
- Magnolia Market | Silobration 2017 -
- XO -
Hey there friends!
A couple of days ago I pulled up the news and saw that wildfires were sweeping over Northern California, especially around the Sonoma/Napa region and my heart just sank . . .
Taylor & I were literally just there only a few short months ago - we went for our honeymoon and it was such a great trip plus it was one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.
That entire wine region is just fantastic - the people, the wine, the food, the beauty - you can't beat it.
We love it there - Napa & Sonoma will always have a real special place in our hearts.
Please join Taylor & I in praying for California and all of those who have been affected by these devastating fires.
And now I wanted to share some of our favorite photos & memories of our trip, because Napa is weighing heavily on my heart today.
Sit back, relax & enjoy!
PS. We were real bad about taking good photos - I think I took my camera out twice . . . #shameonme
So I apologize in advance for the not so high quality photos :|
- Kenwood Winery -
- Napa Valley, y'all -
- Strolling through vineyards -
- Wine Caves | This was Taylor's favorite by far -
- Ice cream & horses in Sonoma -
This is a fun little story - my parents came to Napa for their honeymoon & this is the same vineyard that they came to when they were in Napa. They still have an unopened bottle from the winery that is from the 80's.
- Downtown Napa -
- Pride Vineyards -
This was our favorite. A friend recommended it to us and it did not disappoint.
- The caves at Kunde Winery -
- Downtown Napa Riverfront -
- Cave tasting at Del Dotto Winery -
- Exploring St. Helena -
We love Napa & Sonoma!
On another note - we have big plans this weekend and we have family coming in town so I won't be blogging for the remainder of the week - I'll be back here on Monday!
Have a great rest of the week and weekend!
- XO -
Hi sweet friends!
I hope that you all had a fabulous weekend! I’m not sure about you, but this weekend was so much needed – Taylor was in class all weekend, which was a bummer, but it did give me the opportunity to clean up the house and get a little bit of time to just relax. Oh how I love the weekend!
And once again I am so excited because today is #MARRIAGEMONDAY, and we’re getting so close to the end of our marriage course – only one week left!
I have to admit that I am so bummed that we’re almost done with the course - this class has been so helpful to Taylor & I and we have just been so inspired by Kirk & Chelsea. The other night I looked at Taylor and said, “you know, I think I just need a mini Kirk and Chelsea on my shoulders at all times . . . “ That’s how helpful they have been!
In all honesty, we have seriously been so encouraged by their words and their wisdom and it has been such a privilege for us to learn from them over these past few weeks.
Like I have said many times before, I would 100% recommend this class – its only $35 dollars and it is absolutely worth it. Before doing the class I was just excited about what may come from it and what we’d learn doing it, but these past 5 weeks have taught me so much more than I ever could have thought and I am so eternally grateful.
With that being said, if you want to learn more about the course click here and if you want to purchase the course (which you should!!!!) click here!
And if you have missed any of my previous #marriagemonday posts I linked them below:
Marriage Monday | Lesson 1
Marriage Monday | Lesson 2
Marriage Monday | Lesson 3
Marriage Monday | Lesson 4
OKAY! On to lesson 5 . . .
I really loved this lesson. Like the last lesson, it was focused on kids and parenting, but both Taylor & I found this one a little bit more relatable because there was also a lot of focus on marriage.
Kirk and Chelsea started off the lesson by talking about family traditions and how important those are – One of their traditions that they shared was ‘blessing their children’. Every night before bed both Kirk & Chelsea place their hand on their son or daughter and they say a blessing over them.
Part of what they say comes from the Book of Numbers when the Lord says to Moses
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”
I loved that.
This led into a discussion about how important it is to show love and encouragement to your children and how to bless your children as often as possible – this means simply encouraging them, telling them that you love them, lifting them up, listening to them, telling them that you’re proud of them, etc.
I don’t have kids and am not a parent, but I have been a child and I can tell you that both of my parents blessed me all the time – I remember my mom would say a prayer over me at night before bed & my dad was, and still is, the most encouraging dad and my number one fan. I wholeheartedly believe that these things that they did, which may have seemed like nothing at the time, played a significant role in how I was raised and they turned me into the person I am today.
These things, no matter how small, are important and they matter.
Kids remember these things – I certainly do and I’m so grateful to my parents for raising and loving me so well.
. . .
The other part of the lesson was focused around two things – 1. More is caught than taught and 2. Priorities
Kids catch on to a lot of things – think about why you don’t curse in front of your kids . . . because they pick up everything and the likelihood of them repeating that word is pretty high.
So we just don’t do it.
This is just one small example of how more is caught than taught, so Kirk & Chelsea talked about the importance of being an example for your kids in everything you do, because they watch, they learn and they grow up repeating those habits that they have learned – especially in marriage.
How often is it that marriages fall to the wayside when kids come into the picture?
I would say it happens more often than not – and I don’t think that any one person is to blame, but I do think that because kids are needy and demanding, the priorities shift from marriage first to kids first almost immediately . . .
Kirk & Chelsea say that the best gift that you can give your children is a healthy marriage, and in order to do so you have to put marriage first – you have to put your spouse above your kids.
It is too easy to be distracted and let things get in the way of your marriage, whether it is kids, money, work or whatever – You have to make time for your spouse even in all of the chaos - no matter how busy life gets.
Your spouse has to be a priority.
This doesn’t mean neglecting your kids at all or ignoring them or anything of that matter – this simply means that with everything in life you have priorities and it is just looking at the scenario and deciding what is most important in that moment and how that reaction is going to look and feel to your kids and your spouse.
This ties back to this idea of more being caught than taught. If throughout our lives we put our marriage and spouse ahead of our kids, they will pick up the same habits and eventually bring those traits into their own marriages and families.
It doesn’t even have to be big things that you have to do – Kirk & Chelsea have 6 kids and sometimes all they could do was go into their office, shut the door and put a note on the door that said, “Do not knock or come in for 1 hour unless someone is bleeding.” And that one-hour would be their date night where they would check in with each other and have time together.
One of the questions on the study guide was how we can give our children a healthy marriage and we simply wrote down things like – setting aside time for each other, doing special little things for one another (flowers, golf, little notes, coffee in the morning, etc.), communicating and not fighting with each other and continuing to learn about one another as we grow and change.
Things like that go a long way and they absolutely make a difference. Those small, imperfect and thoughtful things are so important.
Whatever it is that makes your spouse feel loved, do it & never stop.
Make your spouse a priority
And speaking of priorities – here they are:
Matthew 22:37 – 40
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
There is one last thing that I want to share with y’all that really stuck with me.
Often times we feel inadequate – we feel inadequate to our spouse and/or our kids, but what Chelsea said has really resonated with me and it is something that I think we need to be reminded of more often.
You are the perfect mom for your kids.
You are the perfect husband or wife your spouse.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
- XO -
Hey there & happy Friday!
Y'all, I am so excited about this post - just ask my husband, I have been looking forward to it all week.
For the past two years this is about the time that I order our Christmas cards (usually because someone is having a great deal), but whatever the reason, this is typically when it happens. Well, this past week I realized that we were very quickly approaching October, and also Snapfish was having a great deal, so right then and there I decided that we needed to get our pictures done, ASAP.
So on Saturday night I was browsing the internet for places to take our pictures and I came across the most darling place and I'm so excited to share it with y'all today.
Let me introduce to you Star Hill Ranch, a beautiful and completely charming Austin, Texas wedding and event venue. This place is seriously beyond cute - As soon as I walked on the property I looked at Taylor and said, "I wish we could've gotten married here . . ."
The ranch looks like this old western town and it's just so fun. I could have easily wandered around there for hours just looking at all of the different buildings and the details - If you can't already tell, I LOVED it.
. . .
Taylor & I had the privilege of meeting and talking with Matt and his brother who help run and operate the ranch and they couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating to us during our time there.
Star Hill Ranch really is a perfect spot for a wedding or whatever event your heart desires - click here to check out their website! I have also linked all of their social media pages below so go & give 'em a follow!
Thank you Matt for allowing Taylor & I to come to the Ranch and do this little photoshoot - we had the best time and we hope to be back real soon!
On Sunday night Taylor & I drove out to Star Hill Ranch with just my camera & tripod and we did this little photoshoot
- I hope that y'all love the pictures as much as we loved taking them -
THANK YOU Star Hill Ranch - We can't wait to come back!!!
- XO -
Hi friends – let me start by saying this: I wasn’t at all planning on doing this sort of post, I was actually planning on doing quite the opposite – a happy, cheerful post, because it seems that with all of the sadness surrounding us right now we could all use a little bit of joy in our lives. BUT, last night something happened and it hit me so hard and I wanted to share this quick little story with y’all . . . so sit back, relax and listen up (I’ll keep it short & sweet!)
Last night Taylor & I got into a fight over money. We never fight about money and it just so happens that after moving across country and not getting jobs until recently, we began running out of money – quite literally, friends!
And I began feeling stressed, which led for us to fight and pull away from each other . . . and here is another shot of honesty for you – as much as I’d like to say that we both handled it really well and used what we’ve learned in the last four weeks of our marriage course to handle the situation, neither of us did.
We got frustrated with each other and both of us walked away from the situation angry and annoyed and not wanting to address the situation. We did quite the opposite of what our marriage course has been teaching us #marriagefail #workinprogress
But in all seriousness, then it hit me.
On Sunday night 59 people (at least) in Las Vegas left their homes to go to a country music concert and never came back home.
59 people kissed their loved ones for the very last time . . .
59 people will never see their loved ones again . . .
And here I am standing in our bedroom, feeling angry and frustrated with my husband who is alive and healthy and loves me more than anything in the world.
While complete terror took over Las Vegas on Sunday night, I slept peacefully next to my husband . . . something that we take advantage of time and time again.
As I sit here writing this my heart breaks thinking of those who lost a loved one in the attack and the deep hurt that they must be feeling right now.
. . .
Tomorrow is never guaranteed – 59 people didn’t return back to their homes and their families on Sunday night, and as I thought of the people who lost their lives, I was reminded of what really matters and it certainly wasn’t our fight about money . . . what mattered is that we have each other, our families and God – and y’all, that’s all we need.
Don’t worry about the small things – even when they feel like the big things, and hug your loved ones a little tighter tonight - be sure you tell them that you love them. And don’t just do it today, do it every day, because you never know when it will be the last time.
Please continue praying for the victims, their families, friends, loved ones & all that we’re involved.
- XO -
Does anybody else feel like they need another weekend just to recover from the current weekend??
I certainly do.
This weekend was so fun, but busy, busy, busy! We went country dancing (SO FUN!), we wandered around the cutest little town near us and then we took our Christmas pictures - plus a couple naps here & there, because that is a weekend must ;)
It was a successful weekend to say the least and although I wish it could still be the weekend, I am excited because today is #MARRIAGEMONDAY!
We’re on our fourth week of the course and still loving it - only two weeks to go!
This week’s lesson, and next week’s actually, are both focused on parenting. And since we don’t have kids yet we did our best to try and take the lesson to heart and really listen and learn from the lesson.
I actually really loved this lesson, because my biggest dream has always been to be a mom and I loved hearing from Chelsea especially about what she has learned over the years and how she has worked to become a great wife & mom for her family.
Chelsea talked a lot about learning and understanding your child’s heart and I loved that. She talked about how when your child is acting out, instead of immediately reacting, you should instead try and take a step back and think about why they are doing what they’re doing. What is driving their behavior? And once you are able to figure that out, than you can talk about the problem and really get to the heart of the problem, while also developing a deeper relationship with your child.
I loved that.
This lesson really hit home with me and really just strengthened my desire to be a mom and to do everything I can to be the best mom that I can be.
Now on the other hand, as much as I loved the lesson, Taylor struggled with it. He had a hard time relating to it because we don’t have kids. In his mind he kept thinking that we have no idea what we’re going to be like with our own kids and so while this advice is great, it is only so helpful right now.
So with that being said, we tried to alter the questions a little bit and sort of direct them back to us and not kids. So one of the questions was - how did the way you were raised affect how you raise your kids? We turned this into, how was the way you were raised affect who you are today – what things were good and bad about your upbringing? What are things that you would do differently from how your parents raised you, etc.
Once we did that we got into some good conversations. And speaking of conversations, this class has been so good for helping us communicate. It really makes you have the conversations that you don’t want to have, but that are so important to have. Both Taylor & I hate talking about serious things – it is hard, it’s not fun and it is sometimes difficult because we have both come from different upbringings. However, these conversations are so important.
I think in the end we both liked the lesson, because like most of the rest of the course, it made us talk about something that we probably wouldn’t have talked about. I think we now understand how important it is to talk about our family before we have kids and to really set a foundation for our family to build on.
This lesson gave us the opportunity to start building our foundation and talking about how we want to raise our kids and what we want our family to be. Taylor and I, like most couples, come from different backgrounds and different upbringings, which then can create conflict – especially when it comes to raising a family.
I remember when Taylor & I would get on a conversation about raising kids and one of us would say something that the other disagreed with and all of the sudden we would just shut down and stop talking about it. We would figure it out when it was time and right now we didn’t have to worry about it – that was our thought process.
We would always say, well why is your way right? Why should we raise them this way, when I think this is better?
We weren’t communicating or trying to see the others point of view, we were simply being stuck in our own ways. We were trying to change the other person. We weren’t thinking about what would be best for our family – and that was the problem.
It isn’t Taylor’s family anymore and it’s not my family anymore – it is our family. Now knowing and understanding that we can honestly communicate and talk about our goals and purpose of our family.
One thing that I loved from this lesson was that Kirk and Chelsea both talked about the importance in keeping God & faith at the center of your family. I really loved that. Taylor and I got to talking after the lesson and we kept saying how in our family we want it to be more than just going to Church – it really is so much more than that, it is a way of life.
And it was at that point where it really felt like we laid the foundation for our family.
- XO -
This weekend we found this little chapel and I just fell in love with it - And then I thought what better picture to post for #marriagemonday than one that represents a God who gave us two of the most precious gifts - marriage & children.
I'm Emilee. 26. Homebody. Believer in a simple + intentional life. Daughter of the King. Living in Austin with my hubs.
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