Marriage | Staying Friends and Choosing Love

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This post has been on my heart for a while and it seems only fitting with Valentine’s Day on Friday that I get it out there. Not that you need one specific day to tell someone you love them but… On our 5 year wedding anniversary Kev and I headed off to Paris for a few days (Wow! Almost 3 years has passed already!). Rowan was only 9 months old at the time and stayed with her Grandparents while we were traveling. She, of course, loved it! It was the most wonderful trip โ€“ LIKE, EVER. It was so magical, romantic and just a whole heck of a lot of fun. During the trip I got an email from a women who was very angry that we had taken the trip without Rowan. She said something like “You shouldn’t have had kids if you were going to be so selfish and leave them to do what you wanted to do.” I was very hurt by the email back then. What a blow to a new parents self esteem. Times passed and well, I haven’t thought about that email in a very long time. However, it popped into my head a few weeks ago and I just laughed. I felt sad that whoever that was couldn’t have seen why I would want to go away with my husband. That her and her husband didn’t have that kind of relationship where they could value that importance.

Long before we ever had kids, my husband was there. He was first. When I got back from Alt Summit a friend asked if I was able to have a good time being away from the kids. Truth is, I can. I can be in the moment and appreciate the small break away as an adult. I miss them every second of the day, but you know who I miss the most? Kev. I have the hardest time being away from him.

Kev will always come first.

Our relationship will always be top priority because I love my kids.

However, that doesn’t mean the kids get neglected. They are not second rate in any respect but it does mean that it’s ok for Kev and I to make it a priority to go out on date nights, to get away every now and then and to make sure they know how important our love is for each other. I think the best thing we can do for our children and our home is to have a happy, healthy relationship. In doing so, I always want him to be my very best friend. It’s an aspect of our relationship that we choose to nurture. Before we started dating, we were friends. I don’t think that is the way it has to happen, but for us it worked. We hung out a lot as friends in college. Lots of late nights up in the art studio cramming to get projects done. We shared so many interests in common: Art, music, cats, strong bad (jk), love of adventure, hockey, being silly, etc… Slowly (or not so slowly for someone – cough, cough, Kev) friendship turned to love. Now 8 years later our love is greater than ever but it’s still based on friendship. There is no one I would rather be with than him. I don’t care what we are doing, where we are or what our circumstances are. If we are together, then I am home. He truly completes who I am. I am still my own self, but in him, I am a better version because he is my strongest cheerleader and my encouragement. He listens to my dreams, my fears and my struggles. He knows every part of me; the good and the bad. He is my truest friend.

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Now, not everyday is dreamy. I don’t want to give off a false picture. I will always love him, but somedays it’s easier to love him than others and I know it’s the same for him. Everyday I wake up and I choose to love him though. In the beginning, being in love is so easy. Everything is new and awesome. Unfortunately, life goes on and the beginning butterflies can fade. 8 years later you are left with a household that is nonstop with kids, chores, responsibilities, and very little time for each other. It could be very, very easy to settle in the routine of life. To accept the way things are. Let’s face it, we are tired. Very, very tired. It would be so much easier to put the kids to bed, turn on the tv, watch all night and then go to bed with very little real conversations. I won’t accept that though. I choose to love him more than that. I choose to make an effort to show him that he means the world to me. I choose to make sure he knows I love him more now than I did 8 years ago. I choose to make him feel special, loved and respected. I am not always great at it, and I fail a lot (most) of the time but I pray that God will show me how. God is the greatest example of love and I am constantly in prayer that our marriage can mirror that. I want out marriage to be selfless, grace filled and deep.

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You don’t have to travel or go out to stay connected with your husband. Because lets face it-certain stages in life aren’t the easiest for you to be away from your kids (nursing being one of them). We honestly don’t get to go out very often. Are closest relative lives 3 hours from us. Sometimes we have “date nights” at home. We plan them. If you don’t, chances are they won’t happen. When Kev gets home, we play with the girls, I get them dinner, they eat and off to bed they go. Afterwards, we cook a nice dinner for ourselves. We sit down together with no distractions and eat and talk. We drink a glass of wine. We sit on the couch together and actually share things with each other. Like real conversation, not just 2 sentences that get interrupted by kids. We might work out together, we might just continue to talk, we might do something creative together. Whatever we do, it’s together and it’s not watching tv. I have nothing against tv. Sometimes it’s super fun to watch something together, but don’t let that be the only thing you do together.

I encourage you to find new things to do together as a couple. Find new hobbies to share with each other. If you don’t have interests in common, pick something to try together that you can agree on. When Kev started running with me this past year it seriously brought us even closer together. I may have dragged my feet a little because running has always been my solo thing. I do still enjoy getting out there by myself but doing it together has seriously been so fun. Running a marathon together was way better than running it by myself. For Valentine’s Day we decided to find something to do together instead of just going out to eat. We found a candlelit hot yoga class on Friday night and signed up. We’ve never done it before and I am a bit nervous but at the same time I know it will be so fun. Even if it’s awkward and I suck, I know I will be there with Kev. At least we can laugh about it after. Or maybe we will be yoga experts and love it so much that we keep going. Who knows!

p.s. Have you ever tried the Love Dare challenge?
p.p.s I had way too much fun looking through old photos. Sorry there are a lot.

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  1. I just love this – all of it – no further elaboration needed – but just so good. kudos to you for putting it out there, i couldnt agree more.

  2. Hi jen,
    I have been reading your blogs for a few years and am so much in awe of your relationship with kev. I am getting married in August to a wonderful man and I only hope our marriage is as solid as yours and he continues to be my best friend as kev as yours.
    Becci x

  3. i. love. this.

    my parents have been married for over 35 years now and all my memories are of them putting each other first and it has made ME feel loved. the fact that they understood the proper order for relationships within the family made me free to feel loved, valued, and precious. both in their eyes and in God’s eyes.

    your girls are truly blessed to have you and kev as their parents. the kind of love and commitment you have to each other will minister to them in ways that are unimaginable.
    because God’s way is always the best way.

  4. Beautifully said. Kids can be so demanding and needy, it can be hard to put the relationship with our spouses first. But when the kids are all grown and moved out, this relationship will be here still. Putting that effort in, always, is essential.

  5. We don’t have kids yet, but when we do, I never want to neglect our relationship. I tell Corey this all the time. Thank you for sharing this, Jen!

  6. Loved this so, so much!

  7. Jenn Rogers •

    You guys are the cutest! I loved this blog, because I couldn’t agree more. Since my son was born, I am constantly saying to my husband that we need to make sure we don’t lose what we had before Jax. I believe in the love that created the child being nourished. Thanks for calling it out!!

  8. Just a quick note to agree how important it is for kids to see their parents in love and caring for one another. I didn’t have that growing up, and I know that it made relationships really hard for me to understand when I became an adult. Now I have been married to my best friend in the world for five years, and though many of them were difficult, I finally have figured out what it means to really love and take care of another person. Your kids are very lucky to see your example for love for each other!!

  9. I love this post! I think you have hit it on the nose how to make a marriage work and last and keep the love! Shame on the parents who think to neglect your children because you want along time with your husband! That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard haha

    xo Jennifer

    http://seekingstyleblog.wordpress.com/

  10. This is a lovely post and important reminder. My husband and I recently realized it had been 8 months since we’d gone out just the two of us! So we arranged for a proper date night and had so much fun–even more fun than we used to have before kids and took going out for granted. And as a person who works with abused and neglected children, I can promise you that taking a trip with your husband while leaving your children in excellent care does NOT constitute neglect! Good for you for learning to laugh off the ridiculous judgment.

  11. such a good post, jen! i agree that the best thing parents can do for their children is to put each other first. that is the best way to show the kids love! my husband and i are expecting our first babe this summer and we hope to lead our family in this same way!

  12. This is such a beautiful post ๐Ÿ™‚ It really gives me hope that there are good men out there, haha. Also, your family is gorgeous! Very lucky genes. I cannot believe you know what Strong Bad is hahahahahaha Oh my god I haven’t heard that in YEARS and years and I took a double take when I read that! I used to love Homestar Runner in high school!!!

  13. This is why I love your blog. Honest down to earth and real. And this is why i’ve been following your blog since Hawaii days (whoa so long ago) . Marriage takes work and my husband and I apply same logic as you and Kev do. Clearly you guys know what you’re doing. I’m glad you ignore all the negativity and focus on what makes you and your family happy. I grew up watching parents’ marriage and they’ve been great example. I know that when your kids grow up, they’ll look up to you and Kev for inspiration. Because this is what successful marriage is all about.

  14. Beautiful post. I completely agree with everything you wrote. It is so easy to neglect our partner once kids come along. But we have to remember that a happy home starts with a happy couple. One of my favorite things to do with hubby is just cuddle in bed and talk. We have spent hours and hours just talking about random things and I have loved every minute of it.

  15. Wow. You have the marriage I daydream about. I married young, and after 13 years I realize we have far less in common than I initially thought. My hopes, and fears, and dreams, are kept to myself. And though it’s bittersweet to read of relationships like yours, it gives me the smallest glimmer that maybe I might one day have the same. Xo

  16. Marianne Phenix •

    Love this article! I agree with you wholeheartedly, your marriage must come first if you want to make it work. That doesn’t mean you don’t care about your kids, far from it! They will be so much happier growing up in a loving environment, with a great example of marriage.

    Have you read “Bringing up bรฉbรฉ” by Pamela Druckerman? That’s pretty much what she says about French couples, they put their marriage first and it works so much better.

  17. I have been married for 22 years and I have 5 children. I am obviously out of your demographics, but I always come back to your blog because of the love you show in your vocation as wife and mother. For the longest time, I felt guilty about putting my husband first. It took me far too long to realize that without a strong and loving ‘US’ , our children’s lives would not be as secure and love-filled as they are. Good for you to realize sooner then later!

  18. Jen, I love your blog and this post just further confirms it! I’m married to a Kev, too, and we are expecting our first kid at the end of August.
    Growing up in a home where my parents didn’t really show any kind of love for each other, my relationship with my husband and the effects it will have on our child has been at the forefront of my mind since I knew I was pregnant. What an awesome opportunity to demonstrate God’s love to your kids through your love for your spouse. Thank you for being bold in your love and sharing with the rest of us. I’m so encouraged!

  19. A big huge giant fat AMEN!!! Wonderful post.

  20. i agree, so important to put your relationship first, before the kids. it’s the building block for the family. โคโคโค

    http://semiweeklyeats.blogspot.com/2014/02/work-outfit-9.html

  21. Loved every word of this and in even brought me to tears. What a light you are in this lil blogging world, and even more so I believe in your family. Thanks as always for sharing and inspiring!

  22. Tawnie Bryant •

    It was so nice to read this!! Happy v-day!

  23. YES YES YES! This is beautiful. I grew up watching my parents put each other first and it made our home a very loved-filled one. And now that our boy is almost 1, we need to make sure we do the same thing. We need to be intentional (which can be hard when you’re nursing and your little one refuses a bottle – this too shall pass). Thank you for writing this. Posts like these make your little corner of the internet one of my favourites. Many blessings on your marriage and family.

  24. You guys are so, so awesome. We’ve chosen to keep our marriage #1 priority as well, and it’s definitely harder now that we have a kid. We love putting her to bed together, so our favorite is having a babysitter come over after that and we sneak out for a little date.

    We also do in-home date nights once a week. We get to pick every other week what we want to do (usually something that fits our personal love languages). We’ve been painting our walls, finishing our basement, house projects, etc. And some nights we just watch TV together. But we shut our computers (that is our temptation since we share a blog) and focus on loving each other.

    I have done the Love Dare, and it was great. I actually finished it the morning I went into labor with Rooney ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. very sweet. happy valentine’s day, and I am so glad you see that email now for what it was.
    Marie @ In Our Happy Place

  26. I remember when you got that ridiculous email, and that’s just what it was RIDICULOUS. You two are so amazing together and the girls are SO LUCKY to have two parents who know the value of nurturing their relationship with each other and showing their love. The two of you are excellent role models, individually and together. xo

  27. lovely! beautiful photos!

  28. Thank you for posting this. it gave me so much insight and you found the words for how I feel. My husband and I are having our first child in April and have talked lots about keeping our marriage strong, never letting divorce be an option and making sure our children always know we love them and each other. I truly believe that your marriage must be a priority BECAUSE you love your children. Thanks again.

  29. this is awesome.
    one of the hardest things weve noticed after having our first born is that we miss each other the most. we made a point to always love each other first and a promise to continue with that even when we have children. we love our date nights away from our little one, and the more we get to love on each other the better parents we are to her. our daughter is amazing, but my husband is still my favorite : ).
    you guys are amazing, keep on keepin on! : )

  30. This is such a great post! Shame on that poor woman for such a ridiculous email. She is the reason people have marriages that exist “for the kids”. If it was not for your love there would be no children! I am so happy to be raising children with my husband and setting a good example for healthy relationships, which include making us a priority. Love on, lovers!

  31. What a seriously beautiful post. Thank you! Living out your marriage the way you do is something for others to look up to and is one of the truest way to live out God’s love. Y’all rock!

  32. so glad i got to read this. you two are a great example of what a marriage should be about – each other and God. thanks so much for sharing! it’s already a good reminder for me as i’m about to get married in july ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Jen, I just love the way you think about relationship, its so inspiring for me.
    Happy Valentines for your family!!!

  34. This was such a great post! It definately takes effort to be happily married. But it sure is worth it.
    PS. NotWithoutSalt has a great series about dating her husband. You should check it out.

  35. I love this post. I don’t understand why certain people feel you don’t love your kids just because you go away on vacation without them. I have traveled twice so far with my husband while our daughter stayed with her grandparents. It’s not like we left for two weeks, just a couple of days really. I agree that it is very important to have a solid relationship with your spouse for your kids. People who feel the need to look down on that just doesn’t make any sense to me.

  36. awesome post! love this!!

  37. 6th photo from the bottom makes Kev look like he has tiny little legs! Loved this post. Thank you!

  38. Lovely words! I’m single and not even in a relationship but if I ever get married, I’d love to have a marriage just like yours, sounds wonderful! Congrats you guys!

    Cee. โ™ฅ
    Code Overdressed

  39. This is absolutely, positively an amazing post! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. We are expecting our first baby this summer and I’m so excited to see how my relationship with my husband continues to grow. You are truly inspiring!

  40. GREAT post!!! This is exactly what I strive for in my marriage.

  41. Thank you so much for writing this post! I just agree 100000000000000% that the greatest gift we can give our children is to show them through example a postitve, healthy, respectful and loving marriage! You and Kev are a great example of that for Rowan and Finley!

  42. Jen, you guys are literally the MOST ADORABLE couple ever! I’m married (but without kids) and I always think about how important it’s going to be someday for my hubby and I to do things without our future kids sometimes. People don’t realize that a healthy happy marriage is SO important to a child’s life, and if you never get time alone to have that romance and connection, your kids can suffer greatly! I read an article that talked about how spouses should put the needs of their significant other before their children because a happy spouse will be a better parent, and I couldn’t agree more! So kudos to you and Kev for making time for each other. You have a beautiful family and you guys are doing great! ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. A very beautiful heartfelt post Jen. I have a 9 month old and i think its even harder than i thought to keep husband #1 especially with so many competing priorities in life, not just the bub. We find that we have to sneak that alone time in whenever we can get it – like on the subway on the way to work. But we do exactly the same thing as you do in the evenings, when we both get home from work we cook dinner and sit down at the table and talk about our days and life. Thanks for the reminder. P xo

  44. What a lovely post. I agree with you 100% in every way. XO.

    http://www.shannonheartsblog.com

  45. This post was SO, SO refreshing to read! So much of it resonated with me and where our family’s life is at. I guess a lot of parenthood is similar in a lot of ways. One thing that really struck me was being interrupted by children at dinner while trying to catch up with each other. That’s something that we struggle with a lot these days. I really love your suggestions for keeping a marriage strong. Thanks so much for sharing!

  46. Jen, what a beautiful post. And something that comes at the perfect time for me to read. Thanks for the inspiration!

  47. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL POST!!!! You have a lot of wisdom for your young age, it is incredible!! I love your blog and have been following it, due to your “down to earth” attitude, your faith, your creativity, etc. You are the only young mom blog I follow, since I am long removed from that stage (my own/ only child being 27), your blog does not scream “mom” only, but is so multi-faceted.
    Yes to taking time, including trips and vacations with your husband only!!! That is what creates an inseparable bond, and a life outside being parents, because one day, the kids are grown and out of the house, and you and your husband are left, and you either created a life or you didn’t.
    May I comment as Europeans (German to be exact, so is my husband) we don’t quite understand the concept of putting children on a pedestal, living your entire life just for them and then falling apart once they are off to collegeโ€ฆthis sounds a bit harsh, but I’m the age where I have seen this over and over. In Europe, children are part of a family unit, not first, not last – a member.
    I married my husband when my daughter was 7 years old, we are married 20 years, together for almost 24 years, our daughter would spend entire summer vacations In Germany with both sets of grandparents – without us! This was a gift to her (she is deeply familiar with her culture, speaks the language fluently ), it was a gift to her grandparents (they are still incredibly close, and my parents REALLY knew their grandchild) and it was a gift to me and my husband ( he married a “package”, this gave us time alone, we have travelled many places and continue to do so). As an older person I cannot encourage you enough to have your own life with your husband!!! ( your ARE already doing that). Our daughter (only child) has been out of the house for 9 years, and we did not fall apart, it was a change, but we had US before and continue to have US. The kid also didn’t suffer, she is super independent, has travelled several continents, and lived in Amazon jungle by herself for 3 monthsโ€ฆ( your Rowan so reminds me of my daughter).
    You are doing a SUPER job, I wish I was half the mother you are!!! Continue in your godly ways!
    Sorry for the lengthy reply, again thank you for just being you, I love it!!! Be blessed – Susann

  48. i love this.
    i love that kevin comes first.
    why? because your girls will grow up and lead their lives with the men that make them happy and in the end it will always be you two.
    this is so refreshing to read.

    thanks for this post.
    when people are out there stressing out over little things for valentines day and what material things to buy, you are writing about what truly matters.

    much love,
    Les

  49. Such a sweet post and what adorable couple pics. You are on my short list of blogs I like to browse on a weekly basis, but this is the only one that is not only entertaining, but encouraging to me. Good work here.

  50. Thank you for that post! Greetings from the Czech republic…

  51. This is perfect. Just perfect.

  52. Hi Jen, I just wanted to leave a comment to say how much this post really spoke to me…everything you said resonates with me & I feel like my partner and I have really struggled to ‘choose love’ since the birth of our amazing baby boy 14 months ago. I know I have ‘changed’ since he was born as I have instinctively put him first before everything else, including my husband, and that has created a difficult dynamic when we’ve been together 11 years before our son came along so we had so long putting each other first and now I think our relationship has suffered as we are trying to juggle the new responsibility of being parents. Thank you so much for writing this post, which I know is extremely personal, but it has really made me stop and think about the small ways I can make sure my husband and I stay happily married and build on the happy foundation which our son was borne out of. Lots to think about! Anyway, I just wanted to comment to say how courageous it was to write that post and how much I enjoy your blog in general really! X

  53. So beautiful Jen. I’m w/ ya 100%! thanks for sharing your heart…and so many fun pictures! ๐Ÿ™‚
    aloha

  54. Such a beautiful post!

  55. Beautiful post, Jen! While I’ve only been married since June, my husband and I have been together for almost a decade and I can certainly agree with your perspective. Making time for each other, and doing things together always keeps it fresh and fun!

  56. Jen – Thank you for such a wonderful post! My husband and I don’t have kids yet, but if and when the Lord blesses us with them, our heart’s desire is the same. You showing your girls what true love, Christ-centered relationships, and heart-felt commitment looks like is the greatest thing a parent can do for their child’s future relationships. Thank you again for the encouraging reminder! Happy Valentines Day!

  57. This post was the best thing I’ve read in a long, long time. Beautiful in its sentiment. Very very touching. Thank you. ~Zoe

  58. this is such a beautiful post. happy valentine’s day to you all and may it be eternal.

  59. What a great reminder of what’s important! Hope you two have a lovely Valentine’s Day ๐Ÿ™‚

  60. This was such an inspiring post. My husband and I just had our first child, a boy, two months ago. I find it so hard to not just watch tv right now. I feel so tired. So tired! This post made me remember we were friends first too and I need to work on us first in order for us to always have a happy family life for our son. You and your fam are adorable! Thanks for the relationship kick in the bootay!

  61. wonderful post! insightful, genuine, and I appreciate the practical tips. bravo.

  62. Hi Jen,

    I have been reading your blog for sometime as of now but have never dropped any comment.

    But, this post on your relationship Kev made me stop and scribble my thoughts here.

    I loved how you decided to take up hot yoga for this valentine’s. hope you both had fun. and I wish you all the best to continue being this crazy in love and more so, for taking the effort to nurture your relationship.

    best wishes,
    suba

  63. stephanie •

    What an amazing love letter! You are as inspiring as your relationship with Kevin.

  64. This is probably my favorite post of yours…Love it! My husband and I take the time each week to have a date night and I love it. It reconnects us and gives us time to focus on each other. I completely agree with you, the best thing we can do for our kids is love and stay-in love with our spouse. Thanks for reminding me of this.

  65. Brigiefuentie •

    Awesome post. I truly believe you need to keep dating when you are married. However the idea of traveling without one’s kids might frighten some people because they don’t have family in the states or canada or even not have a solid relationship with extended family at all. Part of relaxing on vacation is knowing that If god forbid something happened, my kids’ grandparents would take them in.

  66. Loved this post! We try to do this in our home and it’s so true. When my husband and I are in a good place, everyone’s happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  67. This is such a beautiful post! Congrats to you and Kev! Reading your thoughts and goals on marriage is so insightful and inspiring. It’s all things I hope to have and it’s nice to know that it can work. Thank you for sharing!

  68. Stephanie •

    De-lurking to say: great post. My husband and I just celebrated our 15th anniversary and I think your advice is spot on.

  69. This was beautiful. Having parents that love the Lord and love each other really, REALLY is a gift to their kids. Keep loving God first and each other next! Thanks for your encouraging post. ๐Ÿ™‚

  70. Thank you so much for this post. What you have said is so true, and I agree that it is so important to nurture your relationship with your partner. It took me a really long time, lots of lessons (and lots of toad kissing) until I found my beautiful man. We are yet to have our own children together (he already has 2 little ones) but we aren’t far off from it and we both understand how important it is to provide children with a good example of what a loving, supportive and nurturing relationship is like. It can’t always be about the kids – otherwise you lose who you are as individuals and also your bond with each other. It is such a precious thing, it needs just as much tending as a child.
    xo

  71. Danielle Helena •

    Thank you so much for this! It has given me such inspiration to make the extra effort to eat dinner with my husband with the TV turned off. It’s so easy to fall into this routine and I think it’s a simple change that will make a huge difference over the future years we have together!

  72. I’ve been a (very) long-time reader, but never comment, and I have to say that this post is IT for me. I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate and love your perspective.

    I am getting married to my best friend (cliche, but so true) and the love of my life this September. The other night we were having a conversation about how there are so many negative role models or stereotypes about marriage – the nagging wife, the forgetful/dumb husband, and how easy it can be sometimes to make jokes at the other person’s expense. Even though YOU yourself know you don’t mean those comments harmfully the only thing outsiders hear about your relationship might be those comments. They don’t know your partner like you do. Of course you should not let that stop you from being honest with close friends/family when there is a reason to, but it’s frustrating to feel like on the grand scale there are two perspectives on relationships – either A.) This is the honeymoon phase, you will be sick of eachother eventually or B.) You haven’t been together very long, of course you still love eachother. Why can’t the overhwhelming perspective be excitement, or happiness, or how awesome it is to have found someone you want to spend the rest of your life – umm, that sounds pretty amazing to me! – or what a blessing it is to grow old with your best friend, no matter the trials you go through? Why aren’t THESE sentiments the norm?!

    I am so thankful that you and Kev put yourselves out there to be the role model that is lacking (but it’s out there! And there are so many of us who aim for THIS!). My husband-to-be and I love eachother, yes, but we were best friends first. Our relationship will continue to grow and change, and that is a GOOD thing, what a wonderful gift! – we are so excited to see what comes next.

    This became so long-winded, but I wanted you to know how much this post was needed.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    ps. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  73. I couldn’t agree with this post more!!! Sometimes I do feel as if I’m surrounded by couples that are nothing like us. And then you write this and we know that yep…we’re doing okay, we’re not alone in how we feel:) This kind of love is an amazing thing and I feel lucky that I’ve found that as well:)

  74. Mรณnica •

    One of your best post. I was delighted. I feel the same as you. We also do special dinners alone together without children at home know that I loved you too do. We must care for her partner porqe create family …. Kisses and Happy Mondays.

  75. ” That her and her husband didnโ€™t have that kind of relationship where they could value that importance.”
    Wow that’s a pretty judgy comment. Do you know this lady personally and know what kind of relationship she has with her husband? Maybe she just didn’t feel comfortable leaving her 9 month old baby while she goes on vacation for a week, but takes overnight trips alone with her husband. Personally I would never leave my 9 month old for a week to go on vacation, does that mean I don’t value or think alone time with my husband is important and make time for that in whatever way works for us? Of course not.
    I firmly believe that you need to put your marriage first even before your kids however that works for you(wether it’s date nights at home when the kids are in bed, a weekend away or a week away), but that doesn’t mean that someone who doesn’t agree with how you do things doesn’t value alone time in their relationship.

  76. Thank you for writing this. It’s refreshing to hear an honest perspective on marriage, and the relationship to parenthood. I’m right there with you and hope that my son grows up seeing an example of godly parents who love each other well, and because of that, love him well. xx

  77. Came across your blog via Sometimes Sweet and I’m so glad I did! I love this post on so many different levels. I love it’s truth, it’s strength, the love and respect that resonates through it when you talk about your marriage. It is refreshing and has reminded me to check in on my marriage and the priorities we should making to spend more time each other and not just focusing on our children. It is so important to be living examples of God’s love to our kids and it starts with how we demonstrate that to each other. Thank you so much for sharing this, such a blessing and just what I needed to read right now!

    Elizabeth Adina xx
    P.s. I’ve watched Fire Proof and we have the Love Dare book….we shall be making a start on this, thanks for the prompt! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    P.p.s. Love the pictures!

  78. Kelly Gross •

    This is a really sweet post. You are absolutely right- your husband comes before the kids because if that relationship isnt good, it will make it hard on the kids. And even before the husband- God comes first- if thats not good, then the marriage cant be that great. It all has a cool effect if that order is right. It does a lot for kids to see their parents so in love and have a good thing going too.

    Thanks!

  79. Chelsea Eller •

    Thank you so much for writing this. It is such a breath of fresh air to hear that you and your husband value your relationship above being parents. Obviously your children are hugely important to you, but it is such an amazing example to your girls to put your relationship first.

  80. So very very lovely. I agree it is essential to remember your first love when you become parents. It is all to easy to get caught up in motherhood and neglect the person you’re sharing it all with.

  81. Hi! Loved this! Also loved all the pics! I noticed one from SXSW – do you guys live in Austin? I’m also speaking at The Influence Conference and I look forward to getting to know you!

  82. Love this! Thank you for sharing. I feel the same way with my husband of almost six years. We have a six month old and are still working on finding that balance. So encouraging! Thank you!

  83. Hi! I’m a fairly new follower and absolutely love your blog! And I love this post, such a great perspective and I am in complete agreement. Such a great, great read! Makes me appreciate and love my boyfriend so much more ๐Ÿ™‚ we have a one year old son, Eli, and he is the world to us. But before him was Courtney (my bf) and he absolutely means the world to me. This post made me reflect on our relationship and journey and I think I need to do more of that as well as be more present with him. Great reminder! Also, love all the photos of you and Kev, so sweet!

    Xo Sash

  84. This the sweetest post and incredibly inspiring. I had a little one just over five months ago and needless to say our focus has shifted quite a bit this year. My husband and I hardly ever get much one on one time together and when we do we are so exhausted that TV really does seem like the best option. Reading your post has encouraged me to change my ways and to focus more attention on my marriage. You are so right… your husband come first. Marriage is the foundation of family and I appreciate you reminding me of that!

  85. Here’s a verse for encouragement! Psalm 128:1-4 “Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways.For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord.”

  86. I admire you for taking time away from your two wonderful kids to spend quality time with your hubby. More kids need to see such love between their parents. Thanks for this post. Inspiring!

  87. I LOVE this post. Thank you for being real and for laying it out there. I tell my friends that my husband comes first and kids second and they think I am insane. The way you explain it is perfect. I am so happy for you and your wonderful love. I have the same thing and I would not trade it for anything in the world.

    -Andrea

  88. I could agree with this post more! It really is all about being intentional in your marriage and making sure there is time for each other. I love good examples of marriages in the blogging world- thanks for being one of them!

  89. Beautiful post. Felt so honest. I am marrying my best friend in May and we too were best friends before we became a couple. 6 years together and I still get butterflies – I hope I can bring that into the marriage…

  90. Great photos!! I absolutely love the one of you two on the railroad tracks!

    Sincerely,
    Buffalo Britty
    http://buffalobritty.blogspot.com/

  91. Have to say I agree with Melissa, felt tough to read past that part in your post. You felt judged by her email and to then judge her doesn’t make it right and alienates people like myself and my partner who are not comfortable leaving our young children, but still have a happy loving relationship not despite this but as an intrinsic part of this. I don’t judge people who don’t feel the same as me or make general assumptions about there personal relationships as to be on the receiving end of that stings.

  92. To Sam and Melissa
    You are right. That was an assumption on my part and I am sorry. Maybe I shouldn’t have said that but her email wasn’t explaining what Melissa thought her side of the story may be. It was directly attacking me. Her email was extremely rude and said a lot more than what I wrote in this post. I am all for everyone’s opinion. When I went away with Kev I didn’t say everyone needed to do that. She went out of her way to tell me I shouldn’t be a Mom because I wanted to spend time with my husband. That’s not being supportive of different ways of raising kids.

    I still stand behind my post. I am clear that it is not always a good time to go out on a date or leave your kids. That is why I shared doing things at home. This post was not about going on vacation with your husband but figuring out how to keep each other first in your busy lives.

    Thank you for your comments

  93. Thanks for clearing that up, I felt I had to comment because I did go on to read your post, and while that woman (whose story we don’t know from many angles, maybe something bad has happened to her or her child in the past to cause her to lash out at you, who knows?! Maybe she’s just a meanie!) I felt a lot of love for everything else you wrote. I have felt pressure to spend the night away from my baby on the basis that alone time not spent in a hotel/restaurant/cinema etc is not quality time with my husband. But the truth is you can balance everyone’s needs, like you say, and every minute of alone time we do get is spent reconnecting (except for when one of us is is sick then it’s spent sleeping/being a zombie). We even spent our anniversary at an amazing hotel with a massive bathroom and had the restaurant deliver to our room all with our 7mo asleep, and spent time really talking and being intimate in a way we couldn’t have so successfully in a restaurant. TMO but I wanted to reiterate I agree that you can do this, and although I felt judged at first by your post (probably because of my own meanies who have criticised me and our relationship with our child and one another) I am happy you responded to clarify that wasn’t the case, because a supportive message like the one your making celebrated and encouraged nurturing your relationships to no ones detriment. And everyone and every family has different needs but your partner is the seed (gross metaphor, sorry) of the relationship and you have to give that one most attention for sure. And ignore the meanies. They’re not in your relationship. They don’t matter.

  94. You are absolutely right. Your husband should absolutely come first. You address blessed that you figured that out earlier rather than later.

  95. I was truly blessed by this post. Having only been married about 2.5 years, we are both still learning and growing. But I have discovered so much of what God’s love truly means through our relationship and what an amazing husband God has blessed me with. May God continue to bless your marriage and your family in the beautiful years to come.

  96. I am a little late on commenting on this post, but what a blessing it is! Thanks for writing it!

  97. Hi Jen,
    I just stumbled upon your blog and figured this would be the best place to go and see what you’re all about, and I’m SO glad I did. This post really touched me. I’ve been thinking about the same topic a lot lately as my boyfriend and I prepare to take the next big steps in our relationship, and we’ve talked about it ourselves…how important it is to make time for each other and never give up that persistence in bettering yourselves in your relationship with one another. This post is just so inspiring! I do a “Links I Love” series on my own blog to re-cap my 8 all-time favorite things from the web for a given month, and this is most definitely making it on as numero uno for November’s collection. Here’s hoping my own readers are just as inspired by your story and motivated to love deeper, too!

    lovelovelove,
    Erica
    cominguprosestheblog.com

  98. […] This beautifully expressed blog post explains why being best friends is key to firing up a love. […]

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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
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