A long road…


The new year always makes me look back and reflect on a lot of things. This past weekend, Kev and I were able to spend some much needed time alone together. It was the first time in…I don’t know how long. We dropped Rowan off for a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa’s house on Friday night and picked her back up around dinner time on Saturday. It is always hard to part ways with her but I wont lie, I very much enjoyed my alone time with Kev. When there is a little one around (and no family close by) date nights very quickly vanish away. You don’t think much about it until you realize that the lack of one-on-one time, plus the stress and chores of daily life can create a distance between the two of you.

That is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far as being a mom; not to neglect your marriage. Marriage takes work and when it goes unchecked, it can fall apart. It takes time and effort on both sides. Rowan is our everything but before she was around we were our everything. I don’t want to forget that. It’s important to make your husband feel like he is still your number one. That he isn’t second to your child. I honestly think the greatest gift that we can give Rowan is a strong, loving marriage/home. I want to model the kind of relationship I would want her to look for when she gets older.

In just one evening I feel like I totally fell head over heels, crazy,madly in love with Kev again. haha. Not that I wasn’t already, but just having that special time to go out to dinner together, ride bikes, go to the movies and actually spent time together without being distracted was something we both desperately needed. It is my goal this year to make more time for that. I don’t need to be away from Rowan a lot. I LOVE our little family and I LOVE doing things with Rowan, but a grown up date night every once in a while has got to be in the cards this year! I am making it a priority.

When we were out last weekend we saw the movie The Descendants (excellent movie!) and it brought back so many memories of living in Hawaii. It has been a long time since then, but it will always be a special time to me. It stretched us, it changed us, it defined us. We are not a couple that likes to be comfortable, wellÒ€¦ Kev might argue against that. haha. I like to think of all the things we have gone through and how they have changed us for the better. They have molded us for a stronger marriage and family. The road has been long and fast for us and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon, but that is ok. The joys that come out of growth and change far succeed any plateau of life. As long as I have Kev by my side things, will always be ok.

  1. Jen, it is wonderful for you & Kev to have some alone time! I’m so happy for you πŸ™‚ I’m reading a book by John Rosemond “Making the terrible twos Terrific” and he strongly suggests that by putting your marriage first you set a solid foundation for your children. I just wanted you to be encouraged to keep up the date nights!

  2. lovely post Jen. And you’re absolutely right, the best thing you can do for Rowan is to love her dad fiercely and completely…

  3. So sweet. πŸ™‚ I’m not married, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my parents, it’s the importance of a loving marriage. Their devotion to one another is the foundation to the closeness I have with everyone in my family.

  4. You’ve reminded me that I need to schedule a date night with my hubbs! About to get my mom on the phone now… (hooray for grandparents that don’t mind watching grandchildren overnight!) I thank my lucky stars for that option. It’s pretty amazing to have a night alone with your spouse. It’s a battery recharger. The problem I find is that I can never sleep in when Cooper is not at home! What gives??!

    I always look at it this way- If you don’t work on your team, your team falls apart! Great post!

  5. Jen, you are so right. It’s important to love your children with all your heart, but the way to love them most is to take care of your marriage. When a marriage breaks up, no one will ever love your children the way their father does… You may be able to replace your husband/wife with someone else, but you can never replace the love and care in an intact family. I speak from almost 43 years of marriage and three wonderful daughters. Sometimes their father got neglected along the way, but thankfully, not more than he could take. I still love their father, more than ever. I wish you and Kev the same, and little Rowan too!

  6. Wow what a lovely post, Jen! Thanks for sharing. I’m not yet married, but I hopefully will be within the next two years, and we definitely want to start a family some day, so thank you for these words of advice. I definitely agree that fostering a loving and strong marriage is the most important part of a family.

  7. This was so nice to read Jen. It’s so true that having a strong marriage is one of the best things you can do for a child. I don’t have any children but I live with my partner and have done for 3 years and sometimes we even find it hard to spend time alone just the two of us. Between work and individual hobbies and spending time with friends sometimes you just need to spend quality time alone. It’s definitely something every couple should do whether you have kids or not πŸ™‚

    Emma x

  8. I really like this post. It’s so neat to see through your posts how you’ve changed since becoming a mom and how your relationship with Kev has evolved. I’ve been reading your blog for over a year now and it’s still so beautiful to read. Please keep the personal stories/updates coming. They’re my favorite!

  9. Such a great reminder, even those of us who are still waiting for baby #1 to arrive sometimes forget to put their husband and marriage first. It is so easy to get caught up in life that we stop having dates just the two of us. I am making this a priority, thank you.

  10. This was so sweet. I have a constant craving for change but I also find myself looking for stability at the same time. It’s definitely great to have another there to provide that stability but who will also take on new adventures with you. It looks like you and Kev have that!

  11. I love this. I’m 10 weeks pregnant with our first. While we’re both very happy, my husband said to me last night “I’m happy about the baby, but I’m sad that in a few months I won’t be your #1 anymore.” It was very sweet and heartfelt. I reminded him he’ll always be my #1 child πŸ™‚ My mom is already volunteering to babysit so we can take vacations, and I plan to take full advantage of that. A happy marriage = a happy child.

  12. Couldn’t agree with you more Jen, this is such a lovely reminder to take more time with my hubby… and although Martin & I don’t have a baby yet – life sure seems awfully busy!! AND yay, so glad that you and Kev got some fabulous time together too + aw, love the photo collage, you guys are such an adorable couple!! xo V

  13. Gorgeous pictures! So glad you were able to sneak away and have a much deserved date night with Kev. You too are really adorable.


  14. oh jen, i love hearing about your marriage and how you make it work, because one day i hope to be married (although the thought scares me a lot) and hearing how you make your marriage work makes it less scary. you two seem to be so happily in love after so much time together, it is inspirational!

    <3 steffy
    Steffys Pros and Cons

  15. Nicely said. We use this book in raising our children that is mostly helful in establishing healthy sleep and eating patterns. But the thing that always stood out to me is how important it says that your relationships are in order. 1. Relationship with God 2. Relationship with spouse 3. Children. It even goes as far as suggesting things like, when daddy comes home from work he greets and kisses Mommy first. The children need to see that union. They learn from it, it is comforting to them no matter what age they are and it shows them that you can’t put your parents against each other. It talks about having couch time when daddy comes home from work where the kids play by themselves and he and wife talk about their days. We can’t do that because my kids are in bed when Anthony comes home but we make sure every morning we have our coffee together.

    It is hard to have a date night. Even if it’s not an actual date night it’s good to make time to reconnect. It’s funny how before you have a baby you don’t really know about all this. So I think it’s nice that you talked about it. You never know who will read it and I’m sure you will help someone in their relationship. I think it goes against what most people think in raising their children. Too many people put their marriage on hold and then after the kids are grown they have nothing in common anymore.

    PS, I think you would like the book I was talking about. I would give it all the credit in why my children are such good sleepers. I didn’t do everything exactly like the book says but I just took from it what I wanted. It’s called “on becoming babywise” and it’s written by the same author who wrote “growing kids God’s way” xo

  16. This was a wonderful post to read, your familiy Jen is priceless. I can look that you are an example of a happy and united couple, that’s very nice. Happy to know you enjoyed your time with Kev.

  17. Its an honor to see your love both for your husband and Rowan! Always, always wishing you the best — your family is beautiful!!

  18. what beautiful words…you have a lovely family

  19. Sweet post!

  20. Thank you so much for sharing, Jen. It’s hard, we have a 9 month old and we have just started going on dates again in the past month or so. But I am a firm believer like some of the other women have shared that my kiddos need to see that our marriage comes first and that it’s healthy. Much, much encouragement to you and Kev.

  21. Yep, I agreeee! I think we need to love ourselves in order to love our partners, and from that strong relationship, everything will fall into place with children. If a marriage is unstable, negativity can permeate everything around us, starting with the young’ns.

  22. the only marital advice my parents gave us is to take a break for just the two of us, focus on the marriage and drop the kids off at the grandparents for a night out. they also said take a family vacation but it’s okay to take a vacation as just parents. and that’s exactly what we do every year. a long family trip and later in the year a small one just jon and i. it was the best advice! it is so easy to become lost in the daily routines of life and parenting. i love my children with all my heart but i know that a strong marriage is the best thing for my family. i’m glad that you made time for you and kev πŸ˜‰

  23. I think that’s a wonderful commitment for the new year! Even without children, it is so easy to become complacent and assume that the love you feel for each other will take care of itself. That’s a lesson I learned the hard way last year! It’s so wonderful to reconnect and fall in love all over again! πŸ™‚

  24. beautiful post…perfect timing for myself. We are expecting our first little munchkin in one month. This post has reminded me to not forget about my amazing husband and to make sure we make time for eachother as we welcome our son/daughter into our world.
    Thanks so much Jen πŸ™‚

  25. I love what you said, “ItÒ€ℒs important to make your husband feel like he is still your number one. That he isnÒ€ℒt second to your child”. It’s a delicate balance, and I think your date nights are much needed! Keep it up and congrats to you guys on a wonderful relationship! πŸ™‚

  26. Great post! While I don’t have children, I totally agree that you need to make time for your spouse. It’s so easy to get into routines and bogged down with daily life and neglect your significant other. One of the biggest lessons I have learned this year while juggling grad school and working full time is that my husband also needs to figure in to that equation!

  27. I’m only 17, and I read your blog a lot. And while my life with my family hasn’t been necessarily perfect, it’s nice to read things like this and know that it exists. That this type of loving environment exists. So, thank you, and I wish the best of luck to both you and Kev and of course, Rowan. I hope you have an amazing 2012!

  28. Great post, Jen. I completely agree that prioritising your marriage is a MUST when kids enter the picture. A friend who has a new baby recently said to me, ‘I definitely love my son more than I love my husband.’ I was shocked! I mean, even if you think that, why would you tell your friends?! And I must admit, I was also a little concerned for this couple’s future. If she’s willing to tell a friend that, how must she be treating her hubby?! I have other friends who obviously consider their spouses to be way less important now that they have kids. I’ve made a promise to myself and my husband that I won’t be that way: he was in my life first, after all!

  29. This was a beautiful and inspiring post! Thank you for sharing some tips on being new parents! You two are a couple to look up to! I wish you and your family nothing but the best!

  30. you make me regret not having someone to share all that..

    You guys are just adorable.

  31. You know when she gets older she’s gonna wish she was around when you lived in hawaii! If I was a kid and my ‘rents lived in hawaii before I was born I’d be like when are we moving back? I enjoy reading your blog!

  32. This is so cute..I just love reading about the love of others! <3

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Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

Jen Loves Kev