6 Years of Marriage + 6 Ways to keep the Flame Lit.

6 Ways to Keep the Flame Lit | IHOD

6 Ways to keep the Flame Lit | In Honor of Design

When you first starting dating and enter your first year of marriage, there is a “fire” and excitement that is often called the Honeymoon Phase. I can honestly say that Anna and I, thanks be to God, have not lost this excitement after 6 years. It has changed and matured, as all things should overtime, and as such that fire has grown, not diminished. I think this is due to a commitment to seek the happiness of the other person before yourself. I believe that this is best made apparent to her through consistent and small ways throughout the week. So, here are six practical things I try to do to let Anna know I love her…

1. Give one honest random compliment daily.
This does not mean things such as “thank you for this great dinner” or “you are very beautiful.” Although these are very important, a compliment such as “I love how your hair curls in the summer” or “That top looks great on you” or even as silly as “Have I ever told you how cute your ears are?” Show her that you are being attentive and notice and appreciate subtle nuances about her.

2. Regularly set a good drink in front of her. (wink wink)
This could be a cocktail she really likes, or in Anna’s case a fresh cup of coffee or homemade glass of fresh lemonade. (Or as of late, a homemade microwave s’more works well also.) The key is that the drink is something that you put effort into just for her enjoyment. 

3. Clean the kitchen and high traffic areas, especially if she is out of the house.
I have noticed that Anna truly appreciates this, especially on days where the kids where, lets say “overly energetic”. I want her to know that I appreciate her efforts and that I am her support and partner in the challenges of life.

4. If you have children, or if she has had a long day, give her some quiet time to decompress.
Take the kids to the park, or take the dog on a walk when you get home from work so she has some quite time, even if you have had a hard day. An act of loving self sacrifice rarely returns void. This would also be a great time to provide that drink mentioned above.

5. Frame your words carefully when in a discussion.
Few things can cut deeper, than ill placed reactionary words. We try to avoid criticizing each other and using words like “always” and “never” because they can make the other feel less of themselves and immediately bring out defenses. The habit of discussion over accusation ensures the other person you still care deeply for them and want to talk through an issue.

6. Just grab her and dance, just for a moment.
Whether there is music or not, it tells her that she is desired and still pursued. Or course, a little pinch on the rear never hurts either.

- Gabe

*Also, Dating through your Marriage and One habit we commit to.

Outtake Reel: Fourth of July

backyard evenings4thProcessed with VSCOcam with f1 presetSteam engine paradeProcessed with VSCOcam with f1 preset

4th of July is a huge celebration in my extended family, but since we are traveling next week, we stayed put and enjoyed the long weekend with some friends. Fireworks, steam engine parade, pool time, s’more making…..you get the idea. I am taking some much needed time off in July for the most part. No big events, workshops, or even big blog projects (I have some content already done that I will be sharing:))!  For the first time in a looooong time, I had no big deadline looming over my head and was able to spend a solid four days with my sweet family with no interruptions. I even baked a pie friends. It was grand.

I think as a blogger there is a pressure we can put on ourselves to only post perfect photos. I value good photography and keeping strong visuals, but when it comes to my family, some of the best photos that capture the moment are in my outtake real. so I thought it would be appropriate to show you a bunch of outtake (and a few that made the instagram cut;)) snaps from my iphone that are actually some of my very favorite. Happy Monday. I know it might be a groggy one, so enjoy this.

Maximilian Francis: 1 Year + Giveaway

Max - One yearleg clinger{Max’s little shortalls from Ladida Kids}

Earths Best

One year ago, Max arrived in the early hours of the morning, right after our anniversary dinner. It has been by far the fastest year of my life to date, and it is kind of hard for me to accept that his baby days are slipping through my fingers. He has been my dream baby. Chubby rolls, smiles often, and a sweet laid back nature.

He is into everything right now, and prefers to explore every place he is not supposed to be….the toilet, the fireplace, the stairs…he takes a sneaky silent approach. As most babies of the family can do, Max generates so much joy in our family. He has been the greatest surprise in my life thus far, and I am so glad God decided to send him our way.

To celebrate his little life, we wanted to give some of his favorite things to one of you! Earth’s Best was so kind to offer a whole slew of goodies to send your way including: SPF 30 Mineral Suncscreen, Cold Vapor Rub, Bubble bath, Baby toothbrush + toothpase, Gluten free baby cereal, Organic snack packs, Organic granola bars, Organic baby food puree squeezables, and more. Enter easily below:)

Max also wants to share some of his favorite shoes! We teamed up with Freshly Picked and giving aways some moccs on our facebook page. Thank you all for being such a wonderful crew and support of our family. We love you!

P.S. Max’s Birth Story, and First week of Life 

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