HOW TO BE HAPPY ON VALENTINE'S DAY WITHOUT A SIGNIFICANT OTHER

HOW TO BE HAPPY ON VALENTINE'S DAY WITHOUT A SIGNIFICANT OTHER

Oh, Valentine’s Day. Some of us say that with an “ohhhh, Valentine’s Day!!” And some of us say that with an “oh. valentine’s day (barf barf).” What camp are you in?

It’s funny because before I was married, I liked Valentine’s Day a whole lot more. I remember LOVING going to school on Valentine’s Day. Dressing up, heart shaped cookies, writing cute Valentines…you name it, I did it all…and ironically, I was SINGLE! Now, it’s just another day but this year I booked myself a massage and bought some cute cookie cutters to use with the kiddos.

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SIX YEARS OF MARRIAGE + SOME MARRIAGE ADVICE

SIX YEARS OF MARRIAGE + SOME MARRIAGE ADVICE

Throughout these six years we've soared on glorious highs and crawled through rocky lows. No marriage is perfect. We've had seasons where all we could do was keep our head above water. There are days where we annoy the heck out of each other BUT throughout all of it, we have seen God's faithfulness. We have seen that he has truly brought us together and as we trust in him, we both know that he will keep us together.

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5 YEARS


wedding love

Today marks five years of being married to my best friend and love, James. Through five years we've had amazing milestones- missions trip to India, vacations, buying a house, having a baby, getting pregnant with #2 and so so so much more.

Five years of so many moments. Moments of pure joy. Moments of craziness. Moments of pain. Moments of love. So so many moments. I can't reflect on our marriage without acknowledging God's faithfulness. A few weeks back in church we were singing this song and I couldn't hold back the tears as I thought about the past five years...

I will sing of all You've done
I'll remember how far You carried me
From beginning until the end
You are faithful, faithful to the end

There wasn't a day
That You weren't by my side
There wasn't a day
That You let me fall
All of my life
Your love has been true

Through every single moment, God was there. Through the incredibly beautiful ones, through the excruciating painful ones..He was there, holding us together, carrying us through. 

wedded bliss

I'd love to give some practical advice on marriage but the main thing that has held us together has been JESUS. It's not every story, but it's our story and all that I know to make a marriage work! Other practical things that have been good for us have been:

  • being friends...actually enjoying each other's company..with the phone put away (so hard for me!),
  • remembering you're on the same team when you disagree...the issue is not between you...you are together and your job is to work through the issue not let it tear you a part 
  • clearly communicating...always have to remind myself, James cannot read my mind, ha.
  • don't be so serious all the time
  • kiss a lot...hug and hold...hug for at least 1 minute and think nice thoughts about your spouse!
  • invite people into your life...we're really trying to get better at this as life has been so nutso entering parenthood but it's one we value so much when we make the time to be with others!!

I look back on the past five years with such thankfulness. I'm so thankful that God gave me you, James Peter Liira. And I look forward to our future with such hope and anticipation because I'm believing our best days are still yet to come. Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.

all photos by AMERIS 

#TBT...3 POSTS ON RELATIONSHIPS, BEING SINGLE ON VALENTINES DAY & NOT SETTLING


HERBIE THE HEART

image via

Last year I went all out on the love/dating/not dating advice by producing THREE posts for you (I guess 4 if you count my what I've learned from 2.5 years of marriage post ha). I still feel like a rookie in offering dating/marriage advice but I can only share from personal experience! So instead of writing all new content (which is kinda impossible for this pregnancy brain infused Laura) I'm linking up incase you didn't read them last year or need a little refresher!

  1. MY NUMBER ONE RELATIONSHIP RULE 

  2. ON NOT SETTLING

  3. HOW TO ENJOY VALENTINES (OR ANY OTHER DAY) WHEN YOU'RE SINGLE

And if you're local to Victoria and have no Valentines plans then come to CHURCH :)

xo,
laura

 

BUDGETING AS A MARRIED COUPLE


Setting a budget as a married couple

So remember when we talked about budgeting a couple of months ago? I shared why I started budgeting and how I got out of debt and today I'm sharing all about budgeting as a married couple. I'd love to say that budgeting is simply a THRILLING topic to talk about in your marriage but you all would know that I'd be straight up LYING. It can be fun at times, but at other times it can be just dreadful...because no one wants to be the one crushing the dreams and talking about money (or lack of) all the time. Money is a funny thing that can be used to make people distracted/angry/greedy/etc or it can be something that is used to glorify God. We try to make it the latter.

As I wrote before, it is very important to me to be accountable to every dollar I make. This was very easy for me as a single person with one debit card BUT add another person and another debit card and this can get a little bit tricky. This is where something like MINT sets you up for a win.

Budgeting as a married couple

Before we got married, we sat down on mint and created a budget that we thought would work for us. With mint, you connect all your accounts and credit cards and then all your transactions start appearing. You can then organize those onto different budgets. Mint shows you where all your money is going.

I'd love to say every month, we're under or on budget but nope we're still learning. Some weeks I'm so busy I barely go on Mint and then all of a sudden I check and I'm all like OH MY GOSH WE HAVE $20 IN THE GROCERY BUDGET TO LAST US UNTIL THE END OF THE MONTH. Food is the #1 budget we go over in...ha.

We're not experts but here's the advice I have for you on budgeting as a married couple.

1. SET YOUR BUDGET ACCORDING TO YOUR PRIORITIES/GOALS

It's good to get on the same page as a married couple on where you want to spend your money. Is saving up for a house a priority? Do you tithe? And how much? (Ps. I'll be talking about tithing next week!) For us, tithing is a HUGE priority so we make sure it's clearly in our budget. Do you have a clothing allowance? Set the budget and be willing to compromise.

2. LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS

Be wise. Budgeting is all about living with in (and under) your means. But as a married couple sometimes you can get carried away with things (travelling, new cars, buying expensive clothes, house renovations). For us it's real hard to not dive into renos...our bathroom doesn't even have baseboards BUT we know right now we're not financially set up for that so we make do with what we have. 

3. DON'T LET MONEY COME BETWEEN YOU

It's real easy to fight about money. Those fights are never worth it. Money comes and goes. Your relationship happiness should not depend on what is in the bank. Stressed about money? Make a plan, set a budget and stick to it. Determine to not let money come between your relationship.

above image taken by Amy Gary Photography

I'd love to hear your tips for budgeting as a married couple! Please share them in the comments :)

xo,

s.s.♥︎.