I’ll never forget the first fight Kenny and I had.  It was soon after returning from our honeymoon.  We were in the grocery store on our first official married shopping trip.  It all started in the cereal isle.  We were buying Cranapple juice.  Kenny wanted to get a generic brand.  I insisted on Ocean Spray.  Yes, Ocean Spray was $4.00 – over double the price of the generic Cranapple juice, but hello!  Ocean spray tastes better!  My mom always bought Ocean Spray and well… I wanted Ocean Spray.  Kenny wasn’t having it.  Next up was hair spray – once again Kenny wanted to buy some cheap generic junk.  What!?  Hairspray from the grocery store?  Uh. no.  I would be getting my Paul Mitchell from the salon thank you very much.  It went on like this for the next hour – Kenny trying desperately to buy the cheapest possible option, going on and on about our sad little budget while I fought tooth and nail, desperately trying to hang on to the life I was used to under mom and dad’s roof.  We finally came to blows in the broom isle.  There was just NO WAY I was sweeping my floor with that cheap piece of crap broom…

{February, 28th 1997 – the night Kenny and I were engaged — looking WAY too young to get married!}
The famous “Cranapple fight” is one we remember and laugh about often.  Thankfully we’ve both matured quite a bit since then (at least we like to think so!).  While we don’t fight over what to buy in the grocery store anymore, we do have VERY different personalities and have to work hard to keep our marriage a happy one.  

Last week I went to a wedding shower for a friend.  Before presents were opened, each guest was asked to share a bit of marriage advice for the soon to be bride.  I felt myself saying amen and amen to everything that was said.  Great advice for anyone about to get married and even better reminders for those of us who have been married for a while.

Here’s some of the advice that was shared:

– Don’t be in a rush to have kids.  Enjoy that special time together when it’s just the two of you.
– Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Really.  Your spouse will do a thousand little things that irritate you. Let the little stuff roll off your shoulder.  You’ll both be a much happier couple if you do.
– “You can be right or you can stay married.”  When you can tell an argument is escalating, be the one to step back and say I’m sorry.
– Make date nights a priority.  ESPECIALLY after you have kids.  Prioritize and plan for time together with just the two of you.
– Don’t think that your spouse can read your mind!  Be specific about what you want/need in the relationship.
– Time apart is good!  It’s important to have things you enjoy doing together and it’s important to have your own hobbies and interests.
– Don’t look to your spouse to make you happy.  Prioritize yourself.  Make time for the things you love that bring you happiness each day.
– Don’t talk badly about your spouse to friends/family.
– Make sure your spouse knows how much you appreciate him/her.  (several ideas were shared about ways to do this – phone calls, notes, little surprises here and there…)
– Make sure that even with the craziness kids bring to your relationship your spouse knows that he/she is still a priority.
– Be a team.  Don’t worry about whose job it is to do what.  Always chip in and work together.
– Have fun together!  Remember to laugh and not take life too seriously.

I threw that last one in myself.  A little advice to me from me. 
And we both lived happily ever after.  Drinking Ocean Spray Cranapple juice all along the way.  
p.s.  I’d love to hear any other sage advice if you have something you’d add to the list!