March 1, 2017
I’m kicking off a new blog series called Love Be Letters. I’m going to share new updates within Love Be and little behind the scenes of life outside of the beautiful wedding days that I’m a part of. Sounds fun, right?! My favorite thing about this job is getting to stay a part of my couples lives through annual photo sessions, social media, or documenting growing families. I love following along and supporting and encouraging each couple with the ups and downs life brings, and I want to share more of my life in return. Within this weekly letter I’m going to periodically include Newlywed Notes. Marriage has always been the most important part of each Love Be wedding. The goal of Newlywed Notes is to offer fun activities, recipes, marriage devotionals, personality tests (my favorite), adventures, and other suggestions to help support you throughout your marriage.
I’ve been married almost three years and I remember getting loads and loads of advice pre-wedding. Some of it was scary and some was helpful. I had several people tell me, “Oh just you wait. You don’t really know what you’re getting into.” I was so beyond excited for my wedding day and starting married life with Robert, but these warnings did bring anxiety. We had dated 5 years before we got married; surely we knew what we were getting into, right?! A lot of that advice stopped after the wedding day and turned to a simple question, “How’s married life?” What I learned is it’s hard to sum up all the ups and downs of marriage in a couple of small talk sentences.
Post-wedding day I had two weeks of married bliss before I started my new job. I made homemade meals three times a day. I cleaned all the time and I all but skipped around the house doing chores. Then the real world started. I was working a more than full time job that I loved and shooting weddings on the weekend. I traveled often for my 9-5 job and when I wasn’t working I was ‘working’ at growing my wedding photography business. I worked by day, edited by night on the couch, photographed all day Saturday if I was home and if not I traveled Thursday-Sunday for my day job. If I was home, I was next to my husband editing and called it quality time but I wasn’t with him. We missed out on that first year of marriage in a lot of ways. We were happy and both doing jobs we loved and we loved and supported each other deeply but we weren’t dating. My work kept me from being able to help as often with his ministry so we were no longer in ministry together. Simply put, in a lot of ways we weren’t continuing to grow our relationship. Again, we loved and supported each other deeply and were happily married, but we felt like two independent people passing each other and high-fiving as we passed each other at the front door. I think it’s then that I heard the best and most helpful piece of advice for marriage: Keep dating each other.
My husband and I are still working on doing this more and more but I like to think we’ve improved a lot since that first year of marriage. We have set nights at home cooking with each other. I love cooking for him and us, but I let go of the home-made-meal-every-day pressure that I was putting on myself. For some people that is possible, but for us that’s just not our reality right now. We spoil our selves once every 6 months or so at a nice restaurant and share our dreams and goals and what we’ve accomplished separately as well as together. We learned that we prefer to be pretty individual with our prayer life and devotionals but pray for each other often. We started a monthly devotional journal (that I’ll share more about later) to give us a starting point for deeply prayerful conversations with each other. We didn’t want to like it, but we have loved the way it’s opened up some deep prayers that we didn’t know we had ourselves much less each other 😉 . We now believe any problem can be solved with laughs, tickle fights and snuggles with the pups, and we learned the best way to soak up the weather together is with the dogs at the park or watching the sunset on our back porch. We both still work a lot – well past a 40 hour week- but we are so crazy passionate about the work that we are doing. I used to think this was a problem but I think it’s just our season of life right now. And I’m okay with it as long as we’re growing and building our relationship. So how is married life? It’s fun and frustrating, joyful and confusing, full of balance and boundaries, and the ultimate adventure.
If you’re still reading – bravo and thanks! My Newlywed Note is a saying my family says often: “It’s just a little happy!” A little happy is a small way, whether a gift, a meal, or card, just something to brighten someone else’s day. I challenge you to find a way to give a little happy to your spouse in your marriage this week. My way of doing that this week was with my favorite family banana bread recipe. My husband has a big youth retreat coming up this weekend when 400+ youth will gather and grow with God. This means 17 hour work days for him this week, little sleep and most likely little nutrition ;). Last night he walked in the front door, his face lit up and he said, “Banana Bread!” It’s the little things. This took me 10 minutes to make and surprising him with a little happy was that easy folks. 😉
The Fannie Farmer is cookbook is the bomb and that is what this adjusted recipe is based off of!
3 ripe bananas, well mashed
2 eggs, well beaten
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease loaf plan. Mix bananas and eggs together in a large bowl. Stir in flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Put the batter in the pan and bake for 1 hour. Serve warm or cooled and I highly recommend microwaving it the day after.
I felt like making things a little more fun and added some dark chocolate chips 🙂 You can also add nuts should you choose.