Happy Hump Day! If you’ve been following along via snapchat (fleurdille) or instagram (@fleurdille), then you probably saw that my husband and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary this past weekend. We caught a plane up north, dropped off our girls with my parents in Chicago, and then drove (sans kiddos) to my parents’ lake house in Wisconsin for a laid back, log cabin type of getaway. It was fabulous!
It was so nice to get away from our daily routines, to put on comfy clothes, and drink wine by the fire at night and just reflect on the past 5 years. We talked about things that we had hoped would take place by year 5 that did – a stronger relationship, a deeper foundation in our faith, a good community group, both of us having graduated with a masters degree, etc. And then we talked about the things that God had in store for us that we had not anticipated such as having two girls (we thought we’d start “trying” at 30…), losing family members, and the possibility of moving to another state. It’s so crazy the turns life can take!
We also talked about what we think has helped our marriage to be successful and came up with 5 little nuggets that we thought we’d share with you:
- Put Christ at the Center – our faith is very important to us and when we got married we vowed to always put God first – over anything and anyone, and we truly believe this is the most important part of our marriage. It’s so easy to pull away and try to do life on our own, but it never works well when we go astray. We are so grateful for a God that loves us and walks with us daily! Marriage is hard, y’all, and we know we could not and cannot do it on our own…at least not well.
- Learn to Communicate Effectively – one of the biggest things we worked on in our foundation group during the first year of our marriage was communication and I totally get why now! Being able to clearly communicate your wants, your needs, your expectations, etc. is key to a healthy, open marriage and key to keeping you on the same page. It’s been a challenge for sure to learn how each other communicates and I’m sure it will always be a challenge to communicate well, but it’s worth it in our minds! For a good starter on how to communicate well, check out this technique called “speaker-listener” – it feels awkward but really works!
- Make time for Romance and Fun – this was advice we got in our first year of marriage and it is so true! We aim to make time for each other each week where we can hang out (alone) and just have fun; a time where we don’t bring up house projects, job stresses, money, or the kids. Now, do we lose sight of this sometimes and let a week or two or three go by without alone time? Yes, and we can really feel the strain it puts on our marriage. There’s not doubt that there is a strong correlation between the intentional time we have together and the health of our marriage.
- Look to the Pros – both of our parents’ marriages are successful, so we often find ourselves looking to them as examples of how to love one another, how to parent, how to be good stewards of their money, and how to keep Christ at the center.
- Live in Community – God calls us to live in community and we know we would not be where we are today without our community group/small group. They challenge us in our marriage, as parents, as individuals, in our walk with Christ, and honestly, they are just fun to be with! We are so grateful for their friendships and for the way they love us just the way we are!
photography: jess barfield
Thanks for reading!!
xx – anna & trav