Google+ Marriage Confessions Archives - Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings

Tag: Marriage Confessions

Long-time Southern Weddings readers may remember the sweet, smart, thoughtful, insightful Katie Brown of Marriage Confessions from a number of places–namely, through tips for wedding planning at the end of V4 and the Real Weddings introduction in V5. In V6, we were grateful to have Katie grace our pages once again with marriage advice she’s learned over her eight years of being married to her husband, Chris, and blogging about their life along the way.

Jenn Hopkins Photography

After eight years of marriage, I have learned that the key to a happy marriage is flexibility. Throughout our marriage, we have been through many ups and downs, peaks and valleys, and everything in between. Learning to ebb and flow together – hand in hand – is what has helped us grow and move forward as a couple, and now as a young family. We pray and we plan and we prepare, but ultimately, we let it all go and just enjoy the ride. I think we are able to do that because we trust each other and we trust our God. After that, everything else is just details.

Jenn Hopkins Photography

Keep up with Katie
Blog: Marriage Confessions
Facebook: Marriage Confessions
Twitter: @MarriageConfess
Instagram: @MarriageConfessions

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar I Stuck My Imaginary Foot in My Imaginary Mouth reply

    […] sweet. Yesterday, Chris and I were honored to be one of the couples that they profiled. SW did a beautiful write-up, and I was so proud to share out the post on all my Marriage Confessions social media sites. So, […]

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!

Reply to:

Our friend Katie, from the popular blog Marriage Confessions, drops by twice a month to share her take on Southern married life. We hope you enjoy, and be sure to visit her at her blog for regular doses of humor and adorable-ness!

The first Valentine’s Day my husband and I shared as man and wife has become legendary to our family and friends. Why? Because Chris gave me Tupperware. Seriously.

His birthday that year was not all that great, either. I gave him a vacuum cleaner. It was a very nice vacuum cleaner… but still. I had a friend whose husband (who shall remain nameless to protect the stupid) gave her a lightning rod for their house for their first anniversary, and I had another friend (who shall remain nameless to protect the cheap) who gave her husband a rice steamer for his 30th birthday.

It’s not that these are bad gifts to give (I had a rice steamer on my Christmas list last year). It’s more that they are such easy gifts to give. Sort of thoughtless, mindless presents. Presents that come out of conversations about budgeting and home repairs, instead of out of conversations about our wants and our desires.

Before we were married, Chris used to give me the most thoughtful presents. Nothing too expensive (we were broke college kids), but always something that took his time and attention. One time in the mail, he sent me an index card that he had taped a bunch of pretzels to that spelled out, “I love you.” I still have that, almost ten years later. Another time, he sent me on a scavenger hunt throughout our hometown for no reason at all. At each stop there was a rose with my next clue. At the twelfth stop (that’s a dozen roses, for all you English majors out there…) he was waiting with a homemade picnic dinner. All because it was a Tuesday and he loved me.

When you get married, you sort of go into business together. You manage your household and your finances, your careers and your heath, your family and obligations. So, I understand the giving of practical presents. Your business has a need, so why not use Christmas or a birthday as a time to meet it? But just like there is a line between your business and home life, there should be a line between your practical needs and your relationship needs in your marriage, and gift-giving, in my opinion, should always fall in the relationship category.

Gifts tell people that you are thinking about them, that they are important to you, that you are proud of them, happy for them, celebrating with them. Vacuum cleaners, while certainly a gift someone would use, don’t really send that message. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t ever give a practical gift. One year, Chris and I were really struggling for money and we both really wanted a new grill. We both love to grill, and our old one was about to fall apart. We decided that we would get a new grill as our present to each other that Christmas, and it was a gift that we both still enjoy together, years later. But in addition to giving that grill, Chris and I also exchanged gifts under $20 each. These gifts had to express something we loved about the other person. He gave me two books I had really wanted to read, and he said he loved watching me read because he knew how happy it made me. Before then, I wasn’t entirely sure Chris even KNEW I read books, and come to find out, it was one of his favorite things about me.

Another trick to gift-giving when you are married is to make sure that the random, just-because-it’s-Tuesday gifts keep coming. In the first year of our marriage, Chris and I used to leave each other little gifts all the time, for absolutely no reason. But as the years went by, that slowly stopped. I was thinking about it a few months ago, and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d bought a card for him or picked up a little treat for no reason at all. With two little kids, a lot of our attention goes to making sure they have everything they need, but I think that it then becomes really easy to overlook the needs of our spouse. And a need we all have is to know that we are loved and thought about.

Now, any time I’m at the drug store or grocery store, I pick up a little something in the check out aisle, just for Chris – his favorite candy bar or a magazine I know he likes or a card. One of his favorites is when I splurge and bring him home the really good, expensive ice cream when I go grocery shopping. None of those things costs too much and I’m already out when I decide to bring him something, so it doesn’t even mean I have to DO anything extra, really. It’s just picking up a little something to tell him that I was thinking about him, even while I was at the grocery store.

Just as in your everyday life you have to learn how to balance home and work, you have to learn how to do that in gift-giving when you’re married, too. There can be a time and a place for practical gifts, but they should never take the place of a thoughtful, unique, personalized gift that tells someone how much they mean to you. Gift-giving, when done correctly, can be one of those little things that make a marriage feel fresh and new and passionate, no matter how long you’ve been married.

P.S. All of these photos are from Josh McCullock, one of our fabulous Blue Ribbon Vendors! See more from this wedding on his blog here!

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar bridal girl reply

    Totally agree with this post. Love the pictures too. Thanks for sharing this.

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!

Reply to:

Our friend Katie, from the popular blog Marriage Confessions, drops by twice a month to share her take on Southern married life. We hope you enjoy, and be sure to visit her at her blog for regular doses of humor and adorable-ness!

I made a “to do” list a few weeks ago. I needed to go grocery shopping, finish grading a test my students took this week, send a thank you note to a kind friend, remember to take my son’s nap blanket to his daycare, clean the melted crayon out of my dryer, and register for a 5k I want to run next month before the fee goes up. Typical Wednesday night things to do.

But when my husband came home from work that night, my plans changed. He’d had a really rough day. He’d had to fire an old college friend who just wasn’t cutting it at work. He had known it was coming. He’d been preparing the paperwork and preparing for the “we have to let you go” meeting. But he hadn’t prepared for the long drive home after the meeting, when he would be along with his thoughts for the first time all day. It was a long drive home, he said.

He helped me feed the kids and we both gave them baths together, and I think that was good for his heart. I cleaned up the dinner mess while he read bedtime books and tucked the kids in bed, making sure bunnies and Mr. Bears were in the appropriate arms before kissing them and turning out the light. And I think that was good for his soul.

By the time he came downstairs, he looked a little better. He opened a beer for us to share while he sat at the kitchen table watching me cook our dinner – his favorite, steaks and potatoes, a last minute change from my carefully planned weekly menu, because he looked like he could use a favorite.

As I moved easily around the kitchen, he told me about his day. About the terrible meeting where he’d let her go, about how hard it is to be the boss, about how he worried what this would do to the morale of the rest of the staff, about how guilty he felt. I really didn’t have to say too much. I knew he just needed someone to talk to, someone who loved him no matter what decisions he had to make. I offered a few words of encouragement, reminded him how proud I was of him for being such a kind person who even has these moments of doubt, but mostly, I was just there with him.

After dinner, we moved to the back deck and sat on our steps, talking about the kids and the upcoming visit from the Easter Bunny. I told him about a book I was reading, and he told me about a new kind of pool pump he thought we should get. We sat outside for an hour before we headed up to bed. Before he fell asleep, he told me he felt better and knew that he would sleep soundly. Before I fell asleep, my mind went back to my to do list, sitting on the kitchen counter, untouched all night. There wasn’t anything on that list that couldn’t wait, I decided, and I, too, slept soundly.

In the eight years that I have been married, I have learned that best laid plans are often set aside for the sake of my marriage. And I’ve learned that when I put other things before the needs of my husband and our relationship, everything just kind of falls apart.

At the core of everything in my life, there is my faith and there is my husband. I have other obligations, other priorities, other responsibilities, of course. But my marriage always comes first. It is the foundation on which everything else is built. I don’t feel bad when I put everything aside to sit and hold my husband’s hand. I don’t feel bad when I we occasionally get a sitter for the kids and have a date night. I don’t feel bad when I cancel other plans because I haven’t had a night at home with Chris in over a week. I don’t feel bad because I know that when my marriage is happy, everything else in my life is better.

We make time for the things that are important in our lives. I encourage you to make time for your marriage. Making your marriage a priority not only builds a solid foundation for your relationship, but it says to your spouse, “You are more important to me than anything else.” Love is strengthened over bathtubs full of kids, shared beers, and back deck conversations, I promise you.

Make your marriage a priority. If you don’t, who will?

See more from this lovely engagement session by Paige Elizabeth in its Facebook Friday album!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar madelynne miller reply

    Great post – very insightful and helpful for a newlywed like myself :) I had to work late last night and I came home to a husband that had revamped dinner plans into something he could manage – and I was so grateful to have a husband that would take the reigns in the kitchen :)

  2. avatar molly reply

    this is such a great post – so important. you and your spouse are each other’s number ones. so so so so so important to make each other a priority always!

  3. avatar Lindsay (Young Married Mom) reply

    So true. My husband and I try to do the make-time-for-each-other-in-busy-weeks thing, too, and whether it’s intentional or spontaneous, the next day is always a little easier. Great post!

  4. avatar Weekly Wrap Up + Link Love | Heart Love Weddings reply

    […] absolutely loved this post from Marriage Confessions on the Southern Weddings blog this week. It’s all about making your marriage a priority. Because if you don’t, who […]

  5. avatar Consider This: E-sessions that tell a story | Adria Peaden Photographer reply

    […] via Southern Weddings on […]

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!

Reply to: