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Twelve years ago this coming Saturday, I went on my first “official” date with my now-husband. Our date planned for the previous week was canceled thanks to a dreadful case of strep throat on my part, which derailed our plans to go to the State Fair for ham biscuits, cotton candy, and a ride on the Ferris wheel. Little did I know that dinner at Chili’s and trip to a haunted house would lead to our forever. I wouldn’t change a thing, but before that first date, there is something I wish I had known…

Photo by Gina Zeidler

Actually, I’m fairly confident I could list out 100 different things, maybe more. But one immediately rises to the top of my list: I wish I had known that our love story would become a one-of-a-kind work of art. Not a Rembrandt or a da Vinci, but an impressionistic finger painting – one that doesn’t look like much until you take a few giant steps back so that you can see the whole picture. Each twist, turn, joy, sorrow, and celebration was just one more glob of paint necessary to create our love story masterpiece.

It’s no secret that life is messy and doesn’t always go as planned, and Kyle and I have had our fair share of “messy” over the last twelve years. Yet I’m still a hopeless romantic and a sucker for a cheesy rom-com flick, and it’s easy for me to fall victim to the belief that ‘good things’ follow a specific formula, and therefore should fall into place like a connect-the-dots game. I also think it’s easy to wish for or even actively try to create a picture that looks an awful lot like someone else’s (which is never a good idea).

For those of y’all out there in a new relationship that down the road might be a forever-kind-of love, I hope with all of my heart that you’ll grab a paint brush and get messy. Make your own priceless piece of art. All cheekiness aside, I wasted a lot less energy in the first years of our dating being overly concerned with creating a perfect picture instead of wiling embracing a messy (future) masterpiece. Four years into marriage, this concept still rings so true. [Insert lack of Pinterest-perfect home décor or holiday celebrations (God bless football games ON Thanksgiving).] Fighting for my very own masterpiece still, brown sofas included.

My number two thing I wish I had known would be that KPW is a bit of a thermostat monster (ha). I would have invested in a few more sweatshirts and perhaps a blanket for our car trips and evenings spent watching TV on the sofa ;)

I’d love to hear what ONE thing (although I know there are many) you wish you would have known before you went on your first date with your forever plus one? I’m sure we can all learn a lot from one another. Leave a comment below!

PS: This sweet little corner of the Southern Weddings blog is a place where I get to chat all things marriage. I would love to hear from y’all. What topics to you want to discuss? Any questions or things you would love a different perspective on?  Don’t be shy. Send me an email: [email protected]  or leave a comment below.

kristin Written with love by Kristin
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    Any Friday Night Lights fans in the house? (Raising my hand high!) Tami and Coach’s life had its ups and downs through the five seasons we followed them, but it always centered around family and football. Kutter and Lauren are in the same mold, including the ups and downs AND the sweet love story. From a tumultuous start to their relationship to the simple ways they like to spend time together, I loved learning more about these two and their five favorite date nights!

    Thanks to Ally and Bobby for these wonderful photos!

    Names: Kutter and Lauren Miller
    By day: He is a Texas high school football coach and health teacher and I am the owner and lead wedding planner at The Simply Southern.
    Where they live: Currently, Weatherford, Texas about 30 miles west of Forth Worth, but being married to a coach means that could change at any time!
    Their love story: I am a North Carolina girl — born and raised in Raleigh. I moved to Texas to go to college for athletic training, and was assigned a clinical rotation with the football team at a local private high school. At my first football game, this really cute coach came up and introduced himself. I wanted to talk to him, but it was against my college’s rules for me to date a coach that I worked under. After much debate, I decided to ask for his number, and then invited him to a football game date the next weekend.

    Soon after our return we were found out, and I was suspended from the Athletic Training program at my college. My world felt like it was crashing down around me, but he was by my side through the entire process, and I knew that if we could make it through all of that in the first few months we had known each other, then we could make it through anything. On June 27, 2015 we tied the knot in my hometown. Our ceremony was at 9:30am, followed by brunch, and by 1:30pm we were off to our honeymoon as newlyweds!

    Five Favorite Date Nights:

    1. Tossing the football. Being married to a Texas high school football coach means my life looks a lot like a scene out of Friday Night Lights. We met on the football field, our first date was a four-hour road trip to watch the Sooners take on the Horned Frogs, and a lot of our dates revolve around football season and finding ways to spend meaningful time together despite the hectic schedule. Some days we take the football and play around in our backyard, or we’ll walk the nature path behind our house with our dogs. Other times we make a date night out of going to scout upcoming opponents! One perk of coach life is that we get free tickets to local football games, so we frequently have date nights to TCU football games. Our lives really do revolve around the sport, and we never get tired of it!

    2. Downtown and local eats. We love dressing up and heading downtown to explore. We make a trip out of it, and if the weather permits, always try to eat outside. I love trying new restaurants, and eating local is one of my favorite ways to find the best cuisine. It always evokes good conversation, and I love the small town feel.

    3. Camping. Coming from families that grew up camping, I love to tie my hair up and have a relaxing weekend outdoors — we’ll bring the dogs, unplug from technology, and enjoy nature to its fullest. Sometimes we fish at the lake, other times we explore the countryside, but no matter what, we have uninterrupted time for meaningful conversation and to enjoy each others company.

    4. Past and future. Between the busyness of football season and wedding season, date nights in are some of my favorites. We love to lounge around with a glass of wine and take a walk down memory lane. I am still amazed by all of the things that we have been through as a couple, and I’m in awe of how we got to where we are. We also love dreaming about the future on these slow nights in!

    5. Ice cream. Whether we’re at Goodberry’s in Raleigh or Sweet Sammies in Fort Worth, we love to take trips for ice cream. There’s nothing more refreshing in the Southern heart, and it gives us a good excuse to just focus on each other!

    Thanks so much, Lauren and Kutter! Find lots more date ideas in the Southern Newlywed archives.

    emily Written with love by Emily
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    1. avatar Southern Date Nights | Hollow Hill Event Center reply

      […] of weeks ago our wedding planner, Lauren from The Simply Southern, and her husband were featured on Southern Weddings Newlywed Date Night […]

    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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    It has been a whirlwind month since we launched Fruitful Summer, but even amidst a busy time of year, it has been so…well, fruitful! In case you missed this series on relationships in our e-mail newsletter over the last five weeks, we wanted to share a little recap here on the blog today. There’s lots of fabulous content to be found, thanks to all the gals in our office who contributed, so I hope you’ll take the time to check it out…and sign up for our mailing list so you’re first in line for upcoming newsletters!

    Week 1: Welcome!

    What’s included: An introduction video from the SW gals, four downloadable recipe cards for fruity twists on sweet tea

    Week 2: Letting Go of Perfect and Dating Well

    What’s inside: insight from Nicole and Jess, three essential questions to ask yourself in a relationship, how to find your couple superpower, conversation starters, encouragement to make your own timeline, a downloadable list of fun things to do together, creative date ideas

    Week 3: Embracing Awkward While Planning Your Wedding

    What’s inside: advice from Kristin and me, encouragement about what really matters, tips for making the most of a tough conversation (about things like finances/the budget, wedding priorities, the guest list, who to include in your wedding party, and difficult family dynamics), conversation starters to break the ice, and fun ways to feel like a team with your fiancé

    Week 4: Keep Going in Newlywed Life

    What’s inside: encouragement and ideas from Emily and Marissa, tips for making “adulting” more fun, a colorful chore chart, ways to keep learning about each other, nine questions with answers you may not know

    Week 5: Celebrate Marriage

    What’s inside: encouragement from Lara and Amber, the story of Lara’s perfectly imperfect 10-year anniversary celebration, ideas for big and small occasions to celebrate, a list of ways to celebrate, a celebration-ready checklist, marriage superlatives to award one another

    We’d love to know, which week resonated with you most? And did you try any of our fruity sweet tea recipes? :)

    lisa Written with love by Lisa
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      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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