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Who says you can’t eat ice cream for dinner?

Or stop and have a random dance party while making supper?

Not I! Pet names, tickles fights, and goofy sing-alongs are also encouraged in my world. After all, one of the biggest privileges of adulthood is the ability to tiptoe back to childhood at the drop of a hat. Life as a grown-up can get serious, and sometimes a jump back into the joy and simplicity of youth is just what the doctor ordered. Y’all, I think I saved the best hint for last. Think of this as the cherry on top of the “helpful hints sundae” — it’s time to Be Silly.

Be silly” essentially means be yourself without worrying about what others might think — because at our core, we’re all a little silly, right? Let your hair down and have a little fun! While I don’t have pipes like Carrie or Mariah, I don’t hesitate to belt out a power ballad while cleaning the house or making supper. My husband, meanwhile, seems pretty quiet and reserved, but don’t let that fool you — he has his own knack for making up silly songs and singing them to me on road trips or while folding the laundry.

I love laughing with Kyle. I love making a batch of cookies at 10 o’clock just because we can. I love going on mini adventures. As children, this might have looked like creek stomping in the backyard. As adults, it might mean a day trip to an area mountain trail for a hike. Being silly isn’t really about being funny, though I guarantee at some point you’ll probably be breathless from laughing. No, it’s about being transparent and vulnerable with your spouse. The day-to-day expectations of life can be exhausting. I think it is important to be intentional about making sure that things don’t tip too far on the serious scale, and that you’re never too caught up in the go-go-go of life to take a little detour down the trail of spontaneity. Surprise each other!

So the next time it rains, consider whether it’s the perfect time to go jump in some mud puddles. Or maybe it’s the perfect night to put away the chicken, pull out the Blue Bell and have sundaes for supper. Or to crank up the tunes and have a karaoke sing-off as you clean the table.

This playfulness doesn’t have to just happen behind closed doors. Go play miniature golf instead of your standard dinner and movie date night. Explore the toy aisle at Target, pick out your favorite board game, and invite some friends over to play. Take a cue from The Bachelor (Emily, Lisa, and I are all huge fans) and go fly a kite.

I’d love to hear: What other ways do you have fun and be silly with your significant other? Share them below!

For now, we’ve reached the end of my hints for a happy marriage. I hope that y’all have enjoyed this as much as we have (yes, we – because my dear husband was consulted on each and every post, since I was sharing hints from our very own marriage). Kyle and I are by no means perfect, but we do think that there is value in protecting and cultivating our marriage and having a little fun while doing so. We laugh, we go on dates, we take vacations and we fight (fair). We talk, we try to be present and create space, and we share meals and perspective. And we care – a lot.

These hints are not a one-size fits all proposition, but a gentle reminder that after your big day, there is work still to do: after all, good, strong marriages can change the world!

Sweet engagement session by Blue Ribbon Vendor Graham Terhune — see the rest in Facebook Friday!

kristin Written with love by Kristin
3 Comments
  1. avatar Rachel reply

    Couldn’t agree more! I thank God all the time for giving me a husband who makes me laugh and isn’t afraid to be silly :) Hooray for a happy, fun marriage!

  2. avatar Anastasia Arrigo reply

    Very nice pictures, looks very naturally, I like it very much.

  3. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] tickled pink to introduce the newest member of the Southern Weddings family! Kristin shared the eleventh (and final) hint in her Hints for a Happy Marriage series–it might be our favorite one. We love our Blue […]

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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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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
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  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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