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Longtime readers know that we very rarely feature guest posts, since we prefer to talk to y’all directly! But when I read this post from our friend T.J. Mousetis a few months ago, it resonated with me deeply – probably because I couldn’t agree with him more! He graciously agreed to let me share here, and I hope his words will inspire you, too! – Emily

Brooke and I go on 3-5 walks a week. Our loops vary in distance and time; we choose one depending on the day. Our longest loop is about five miles and our shortest is around a mile. While walking, my amazing wife and I will talk about EVERYTHING.

We walk and talk, talk and walk. I wasn’t a big walker before I got married. I never saw a point of going on a walk unless it was utilitarian in nature. If I was walking to get a candy bar then it was TOTALLY worth it, but a walk to just walk – no thanks.

Then Brooke and I started going on them and I realized that something was happening as we walked together. First, I noticed that we were off our phones and away from screens so there weren’t any distractions. A distraction-free environment with someone is becoming more and more difficult in our society. Then, I noticed that our walks became about more than just chit chat. Our walks became a safe place for us to vent about frustrations in our life, dream about things we never said out loud, and open up about our struggles. Our walks became precious to us, and the more we go on them the more we open up and talk to each other. And the more we talk to each other, the stronger our marriage has become!

I sometimes feel like marriages fall in the crapper because of the “schedule” they get stuck in.

The schedule usually looks something like this: get up, go to work, come home from work, eat dinner, work on something else, watch TV, go to bed. Repeat five days a week.

There are times in that schedule to talk, but they are either rushed or full of distractions. I’ve found that a simple walk eliminates all of that and gives you the ability to be a little more open, a little more real, and a little more honest. The longer you spend distraction-free with your spouse, the more likely you are to get to a real issue, problem, or idea.

Last night, Brooke read something online that really frustrated her and was feeling “swirly.” Feeling swirly is the worst. It can really only be described by this emoji: ?. So, I got June ready, and we went on a walk. As we walked, she begin to express why what she read got to her, and by the time we got home, she was totally over it. Surprisingly, on the walk I didn’t do much talking about the issue and just tried to listen, which is really hard for me. I LOVE TALKING! But, Brooke just needed to talk, and if we stayed home, she probably wouldn’t have gotten to the truth of the issue that she needed to get to. That would have lead to a whole night of swirliness, and that is THE WORST!

Sometimes we expect really profound things to change our marriages. We look for the Hail Mary when working the ball slowly up the field will do. A walk is just that. It isn’t glamorous, but it works. It provides a distraction-free space to be open, honest, and real. Isn’t that what we wanted when we got married? Someone to be open, honest, and real with? Let’s start giving ourselves the space to do that, and let’s start with a few more walks!

T.J. Mousetis is the owner of Walk in Love. You can follow along with him on his blog and on Instagram! Big hugs to Caroline Ro for these engagement photos (which are not actually of T.J. and Brooke, though they are lovely :)) See more on our Facebook!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Nicole reply

    I LOVE this! Some studies suggest that physical activity like walking makes people more likely to share things they otherwise wouldn’t have :)

  2. avatar Tricia reply

    I love this article! Taylor and I take our dogs on walks about 3-5 days a week as well, depending on the weather and how our days go. We often take the dogs to the beach on Saturday mornings right as the sun comes up so it’s even more peaceful, and this is where some of our greatest conversations take place.
    PS* – we love that our pictures are featured here! That day was another “walk on the beach” and thankfully, Caroline Ro made it so easy to be ourselves and enjoy the session.

  3. avatar Sally K reply

    Who is that adorable couple?

  4. avatar Two Year Anniversary Reflections – Fairly Southern reply

    […] We’ve found this to be true in our relationship and do it several times a […]

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A few weeks ago, KPW and I attended a wedding of some dear friends. Recently, the flood of wedding invitations has been replaced with baby shower and kiddo birthday party invitations, and while I love this new season of life, I leap at any chance to attend a wedding celebration. I’m a sucker for the exchanging of vows and I love dancing the night away. Throw in a good Southern sweet treat or cocktail, and I might never leave. Dancing and desserts aside, I don’t take lightly the importance of participating in someone else’s first day of married life.

During this most recent ceremony, KPW leaned over and whispered, “Wanna get married again?” I nodded profusely, partially because I’d jump at any chance to marry my husband all over again (I think we’d get married on the Fourth of July and serve homemade ice cream for dessert) and partially because there is something unspeakable about the joy and magic of a wedding day that that I wish I could bottle up.

From our wedding, by Martha Manning

KPW’s musing got me thinking about recreating the enchantment of our wedding day in an every day setting. Of course, there’s your anniversary–a formal “holiday” celebrating the start of your marriage. But that only happens once a year, and Lord knows life is busy and things don’t always go as planned on set holidays (on our fourth anniversary this year, we packed our house and moved). Instead, I wanted to try to take the “magic” of our wedding day and that feeling I get every time I attend someone else’s wedding and intentionally unleash it on unexpected days throughout the year–those days when we might need a little burst of encouragement or a throwback to that joy-filled weekend in June 2012 in order to re-center and refocus our priorities. Or maybe on a day when we want to laugh, get googly eyes for one other, and remember why we started this whole journey in the first place.

The best part? The time commitment for these actions varies from three minutes to a whole (fun!) evening. I have friends who will stop and dance to their first dance song no matter where they are when they hear it (ahem, the middle of the grocery store) because they swear it transports them back to the dance floor at their reception. Recently, after a hard life/moving/work week, KPW and I curled up on the sofa, ate takeout sushi, watched our wedding video, and laughed and cried (well, I cried). These little things aren’t magic, but I do think it’s entirely possible to unleash a little of that wedding day joy more often, with a little effort!!

Kt Crabb

Friends, y’all already know of my love for all things Southern and all things marriage, having shared them on the blog from time to time (see here, here, and here). I’m excited to ramp things back up and regularly share tips, tricks, and thoughts on how to intentionally invest into your sweet marriage. I’m convinced that while the idea of “marriage advice” can be heavy at times, and marriage is definitely work, it is more than worth the conversation and investment, and I love having a place to come together to connect!

For the love of the Sweet Tea Society!
xo, KNW

kristin Written with love by Kristin
  1. avatar Emily reply

    Love these ideas so much, friend! I’m going to a wedding on Saturday and am already looking forward to the jolt of wedding day love I’m going to feel :)

  2. avatar Kelly reply

    Love these tips! :)

  3. avatar Rhiannon reply

    Happy Anniversary K Squared. Love you both dearly. Xoxo

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

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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