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Southern Weddings

Author: Kristin

Pack your bags! We’re going on vacation!!

Well, not actually — at least not together — but admit it. The idea of dashing off to a dreamy destination makes your heart beat a little bit faster, doesn’t it?

This hint is pretty easy to put into action. Hop on a plane, gas up the car or close the blinds and declare your very own staycation. Regardless of your method of transportation or ultimate destination, Hint #7 dives into why it is so important to “Get Away.”

Getting away is not easy, but lawd have mercy, it’s important. There are few things that are better for my soul than a few days away with Kyle. I like to call this hint the “secret sauce to my sassy marriage.” :)

Keep in mind that planning is important for this hint, but not required. We try to proactively build in time to Get Away when we’re setting our calendars and budget for the year, but definitely count on an occasional impromptu weekend away, too.

Kyle and I try to plan a weekend away at least four times a year, but we are by no means world travelers. For us, getting away sometimes means a weekend to visit family. Other times, it’s a long weekend away at the beach. And yes, we do save our pennies to take adventures that require planes, because we strongly believe in being purposeful and making memories. How else would I be able to touch the Eiffel Tower after years of practicing my French accent and dreaming of crepes? I’ve read studies that have shown that the greatest joy from taking a trip actually comes when you’re planning for it — which is great, because it means the effects of travel and new experiences expand far beyond just the few days you have off work!

While planning isn’t required, I do think that there is one important ground rule: you must be intentional about the away part. If you spend the weekend at home on a staycation, you must pretend like you are on vacation –– be adventurous, sleep in, watch movies all day – do whatever “vacation” means for you. If you visit family, make sure you fill your time with things that rejuvenate you. Put some of those past hints in action: laugh out loud, put down your cellphone, go on a date. The WHOLE point of this hint is to recharge your batteries and to take time AWAY from the daily grind.

The good news? When you’re refreshed, you’re energized and prepared to tackle the everyday battles. Getting away also lets you spend some quality time with the one that makes your heart beat a little faster. It is a purposeful and heartfelt investment into your marriage. It’s hard to not catch yourself smiling when you think about the last getaway you took with your beau, right? See, this really is the secret sauce to a strong marriage.

Where are your favorite places to get away? How are you deliberate about getting away? Share your travel secrets below. Let’s make 2014 the year we all “Get Away!”

This lovely engagement session is by Jen Dillender! See the whole thing on Facebook!

kristin Written with love by Kristin
2 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    Living in North Carolina, John and I like to get away to both the mountains and the beach. We’ve had a tradition for the last four years of spending a weekend in Asheville in the fall, and we try to go to the coast, even if just for the day, at least once a summer. Charleston is always a favorite long weekend destination, but it’s a bit farther away and requires a bit more planning. I could not agree with you more about the importance of mini adventures and overnights — definitely something I consider very important for keeping our marriage strong and happy!!

  2. avatar Lara reply

    Oh I love this! At this new point in our lives with a toddler, we have found that even just getting in the car with her and talking a drive to see te fall leaves while she naps in the back makes us feel like we got away. Time for just the two of us by ourselves rarely happens, so getting away in small ways is a priority and always makes us feel more refreshed. Love this post!

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Lisa already pointed out that today is the last day of October, which means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and Christmas is hot on its tail. Before we know it, it will be time to grab the confetti and ring in the New Year. It never fails that this time of year seems to fly by: the calendar gets crowded with commitments and celebrations, there are cookies to bake, presents to buy, people to visit, etc., etc.

In a world that rewards the go, go, go, I find myself craving space and time for Kyle and I, and even for our future children. I long for dinners eaten at our table (more on this later), date nights, and the occasional lazy Saturday morning sipping coffee in our pajamas. So, I try my hardest to hold tight to this family value by abiding by hint #6: take a deep breath (then take another).

For us, learning to say no means taking a deep breath (and then another) and purposefully creating space (also know as margin) in our household. It means looking at the calendar and carving out un-busy time and being fiercely loyal to our family first and foremost.

In doing so, we find that we have more energy and focus available to love on others, help out where needed and invest our time in what matters most. We also find that we are less likely to be grumpy, annoyed and angry at one another. I am guilty as charged for becoming too busy, which leads to being stressed, resulting in a certain blue-eyed boy falling victim to my wrath and irrational outbursts.

Sometimes in the busy, it’s easy to forget to stop and take a deep breath. It’s easy to continue to cram the schedule so full that we lose sight of what really matters. I love to say ‘yes’ to everyone: to every party invitation, request for cookies, need for a volunteer. I feel guilty saying ‘no’ because I am usually saying ‘no’ to something that is fun, helpful or needed. But, heavens alive, saying ‘no’ sometimes is outrageously important. Investing in my marriage and fighting for a little space ultimately trumps the guilt and allows us to better serve one another and our community in the long run.

Admittedly, we aren’t juggling soccer practice, ballet and play dates yet; however, we feel strongly that this hint will become even more important when fighting to keep little schedules from running our lives. Continuously overcrowded calendars does not allow you to fuel yourself or your marriage. I actually believe that being too busy does not allow you to be your best anything.

So, I encourage you to stop, take a deep breath and create some space. There’s no time like the present to sit down and look at your calendar, especially as the holidays are approaching. Having a commitment every night or being gone every weekend might sound necessary, but at what cost? Fight for space. Fight for a few nights of un-busy… and an occasional lazy Saturday in your pajamas.

P.S. Catch up on past hints here: #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5!

All photos by Bamber Photography, one of our delightful Blue Ribbon Vendors. See them all in this Facebook Friday feature!

kristin Written with love by Kristin
3 Comments
  1. avatar Sharon @ Red Poppy | Pink Peony reply

    Thanks for this great reminder! I’m definitely someone who needs space and quiet downtime at home in order to recharge and prepare myself for more busy-ness.

  2. avatar Emily reply

    I love this hint the most because it applies to everyone! Not just married folk. Definitely taking your words to heart going into the holiday season, thanks Kristin!

  3. avatar Hints for a Happy Marriage: Get Away – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] :) Keep in mind that planning is important for this hint, but not required. We try to proactively build in time to Get Away when we’re setting our calendars and budget for the year, but definitely count on an […]

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Picture this: you sit down to supper with your sweet spouse, put your napkin in your lap and prepare to dig into homemade chicken pot pie and a fresh garden salad with mason jars full of sweet tea… and two pretty cellphones on the side. This seems to be a standard menu these days, right? Welcome to our discussion about the hint we almost dubbed “Put Down Your Technology.”

After an extensive discussion with my other half, we decided that “Being Present” better encompasses the technology giant that prances around in the background of our day-to-day as well as the over-arching idea of taking a step back and appreciating life at it happens. These days, those two ideas often go hand in hand.

Before we begin, full disclosure: both my husband and I fail at this hint on a regular basis, which is probably why we think it’s so important. With our numerous responsibilities and multiple connections through social media, it’s not easy for us to unplug, and I don’t think we’re alone in this.

Here’s the struggle for us all: Technology is necessary. When used properly, it can be a huge blessing. We are currently living long distance from family and friends, which is made easier through phone calls and FaceTime, emails and Facebook. Plus, when lots of people our age don’t have a landline, our cell phone functions as an emergency contact, making us more hesitant to stash it away for hours at a time. However, we have to remind ourselves that this doesn’t give us an excuse to be nose-in-a-cellphone and slurping spaghetti at the dinner table instead of engaging in actual conversation with the person in front of us. It also doesn’t give us an excuse to take 311 photos on a hike then miss the sunset at the top of the mountain because we’re too busy trying to pick the perfect image to instagram. Ouch.

Making memories is about intentionally being present. As hard as it is to imagine, there was a time in OUR lives when we didn’t have such amazing technology but were still somehow able to remember, and even share, everyday moments.

To tackle these technological challenges and assist us with intentionally “being present,” Kyle and I have put a few policies in place. We have regular technology-free dinners, and we charge our phones outside the bedroom at night. We work to be purposeful about turning our computers off after working hours, and we set boundaries with social media. We work at these strategies, but are admittedly far from perfect. We keep trying, though, because we feel they’re essential to the health and longevity of our relationship.

Today’s summary? Make room for conversation. Sit down and look at each other face-to-face and have a real, live conversation. Go and make a memory. Unplug your technology and tune into your relationship. I promise you won’t miss out, and you might be surprised by what you’re able to experience when you’re genuinely ‘being present.’

How do you unplug? How are you deliberate about being present in your relationship? Share your hints and tips below. I’d love to learn from you!

P.S. Catch up on past hints here: #1, #2, #3 and #4!

All photos by Kt Crabb, one of our delightful Blue Ribbon Vendors. See them all in this Facebook Friday feature!

kristin Written with love by Kristin
1 Comment
  1. avatar Hints for a Happy Marriage: Take a Deep Breath | Southern Weddings reply

    […] P.S. Catch up on past hints here: #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5! […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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