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10 ways to keep your marriage strong

Happy Valentine’s Day friends!  It will be over by the time you read this, but I hope you had a good one. :)  In honor of this recent holiday focusing on LOVE I thought it might be fun to talk marriage.  Because I’m married.  And because I’ve been married for what feels like forever.  Ha!  (Sorry babe..)

This year my husband and I will celebrate our 20 year anniversary.  (see.. forever right?)  ;)  We are high school sweethearts who got married young (you can read the story of how we met and fell in love here) so we have really grown up together.  We certainly don’t have a perfect marriage, but overall we are happy and definitely still in love.  We have learned a lot through the years about what works for us so I thought I’d share 10 ways we keep our marriage strong.

I said to Kenny a few days ago “babe.. I’m working on a post about marriage.  We aren’t doing everything right, but I’m going to focus on the things we are doing right.  Do you have any words of wisdom to contribute?”  His answer..

“Well I’m doing everything right…”  

Thanks babe.  Such a huge help as always.

Clearly I’m on my own with this post. ;)

Before I get started (and for those of you who don’t already “know” us) you should know that we are complete opposites.  Like in every way possible.

He loves sushi.  I hate all food from the sea.
He is intense.  I am low key.
He snacks on cookies.  I snack on candy.
He likes things clean.  I like things cleaner than that.
He struggles with creativity.  I live to create.
He plans for our future.  I plan for our next party.
I don’t like contention.  He loves to debate.
He is a saver.  I am a spender.
He loves country music.  I love all music but country music.
He loves to challenge the kids.  I just want to keep them young.
He is a realist.  I am an optimist.
He drives cautious.  I go for speed.
He is logical.  I am emotional.
He is extremely competitive.  There’s not a competitive bone in my body.
I am a peace maker.  He is a trouble maker.
He loves spreadsheets.  I love 1,000 thread count sheets. ;)
He is a morning person.  I am a night owl.
He could travel for months.  I get homesick after a week.
He craves change.  I love routine.
He is hot tempered.  I am level headed.
He is a long term planner.  I live week to week.
His ideal vacation is go go go.  My ideal vacation is veg veg veg.
He hates surprises.  I love to be surprised.
He is analytical.  I am ana-what?

I could go on for days!  But you get the picture.  :)  We really are so different!  We’ve had to learn how to make our differences work for us instead of against us over the years.  So despite our differences.. these are the things *I think* Kenny and I are doing right. :) 10 ways we keep our marriage strong.  

1 – We talk things out and are quick to apologize.  

We fell in love over the phone and have always been able to talk about everything and nothing.  We love just talking to each other!  We are not the type of people to silently stew over anything.  If we’re having a disagreement or something feels off in our marriage, we don’t wait to deal with it.  We don’t like to be mad at each other so one of us always apologizes quickly (usually him because I’m always right) ;) then we talk things out and either agree or we agree to disagree and we move on.  Our talks usually end with Kenny saying something sarcastic and me laughing and all is right in the world again.  I think we’ve learned to do this well over the years because of our different personalities.  We think so differently sometimes which means that we disagree often!  But like I said, we really hate to be mad at each other so we’ve learned to just accept that we have different opinions, compromise when we can and resolve arguments quickly.

2 – We laugh together every day.  

{An oldie but a goodie from our dating years.  My hair and those sweats are HOT. ;)}

Life is busy and when you’re married with kids it’s so easy to get caught up in the mundane management of schedules and work and kids’ activities and bills and projects and to-do’s, etc.  As different as Kenny and I are, one thing we do have in common is our sense of humor.  We laugh at a lot of the same things.  I’ve always loved sarcasm and my husband invented it.  We joke around a lot and he teases me constantly and we have funny moments together daily.  Usually at my expense, but it has made me tough. ;)  I really love this about our marriage.  We have always had fun together!  Joking around and laughing with each other keeps us close.

3 – We don’t sweat the small stuff and we focus on what each other brings to the table.  

Our opposite personalities are what brought us together and what we love about each other, but those opposites can also be frustrating and hard to live with sometimes!  Whenever Kenny does something that drives me crazy (happens daily!) I try to remember everything he does right.  Yes.. he left his clothes on the closet floor AGAIN. But he also drove the girls to school so I could exercise, worked hard all day to provide for our family, came home to help El with homework, picked up Ad from dance, played with Kole for 20 minutes and then helped me with technical issues on my blog.  I think I can let the clothes on the floor slide. ;)  Just an example but these things come up daily.  I know there are little things I do or forget to do that drive my husband crazy, but he also recognizes how hard I work every day and all the balls I’m juggling and he lets the little stuff slide.  If he doesn’t, I remind him to. ;)

4 – We have set roles that focus on our strengths.

Because we are so different we’ve learned to really focus on each of our strengths.  We have very set roles of who handles what and we stick to it.  It just works for us!  My husband is amazing at handling our finances.  Because you all know how many Pottery Barn pillows I buy you might speculate that I’m not.. ha!  That is something he has always been better at so he handles the finances in our marriage.  We discuss all big purchases and saving plans together of course and I always know what’s going on, but he handles the bills and our accounts and saving for the future because if I was running things our retirement would be safely spent at The Container Store. ;)  I handle most things with the house (cleaning, maintenance, etc.) and the kids (homework, activities, day to day details) because I’m better at managing those things.  Although now that El is in 7th grade I have happily passed her math homework off to Kenny.  I’ll still help with all writing and English, but I just can’t get excited about re-learning Algebra every other night. ;)  There are hundreds of little day to day things that we just know who is doing what.  He always gets the cars washed, I always do the laundry.  He always plans our vacations, I always do all of the packing for our vacations.  He is tech smart so he always handles computer and technical issues, I am more level headed so I always handle kid drama and emotional issues, etc.  Bottom line.. we both bring different strengths to the table and because of this we make a pretty good team when it comes to being efficient and managing life together.

5 – We care about things the other one cares about.  

I heard a quote once that has always stuck with me because it made me think of my marriage.  “Care about the things the people you care about care about.”  My husband and I have very different passions.  I have zero interest in motorcycles and marathon training and he certainly doesn’t care about decorating and fashion.  But we care about each other.  So I patiently look at on-line pictures of certain ad ons that he’s excited about for his bike (they seriously all look the same to me!) and he patiently gives me his opinion on whether my new vase should sit on the console table or the coffee table (which most certainly makes no difference to him!).  But when you share a life with someone I think it’s important to value the things they value and to care about things they care about.  Even when you have to try.  Hard. ;)  That’s one way we show how much we care about each other.

6 – We encourage each other to pursue hobbies and things we love and to take breaks.

This sort of goes hand in hand with #5.  Kenny and I have very different interests and hobbies and recognize how important it is for each other to do the things we are passionate about.  He is happy to watch the kids certain evenings so that I can enjoy dinner with my girl friends (he knows I need and love this!) and I am happy to run the kids around on Saturday morning so he has time to exercise.  I’m always telling him to take a break and go do something he enjoys with friends or to take a nap if he’s overly tired and he practically pushes me out the door encourages me to attend blog conferences even when they initially intimidate me and this means he is flying solo at home for a few days.  We have both learned over the years that when we give each other time to do things that we love or to take breaks from kids and work, we come home refreshed and happy and in great moods.  I always tell Kenny that I’d rather have him around half of the day Saturday in a really good mood because he got some down time, than to have him home all day in a not so good mood.  We all need breaks!  Especially parents.  Raising kids is hard and can be exhausting.  If you aren’t allowing yourself and your spouse time to recharge every once in a while that can affect your overall mood and marriage big time.

7 – We connect often throughout the day.

Not just to talk about schedules and to-do’s, but also to check in with each other and see how the day is going.  We share funny things that might have happened or tease each other in text messages.  It always brightens my day to get a phone call or text from my husband and to hear.. “hey babe.. thinking about you.  How is your day going?” :)

8 – We prioritize time together as a couple.

We have always prioritized date nights and the two of us go out once almost every weekend.  Usually on Saturday because we are always exhausted from the week on Friday night!  Our date might just be to grab a quick sandwich and make a Costco run, but it’s time spent together with just the two of us.  Now that El is 13 she can babysit (this has been LIFE CHANGING for us!) but when the kids were younger, we prioritized finding good sitters that could watch the kids for a few hours once every weekend.  We also try to go on one trip each year with just the two of us.  It’s so nice to get away together without the stress and busyness of life to just be a couple and remember why we fell in love in the first place. :)

9 – We prioritize family time.

As our kids get older this is becoming harder, but it’s something that is so important to us!  Making family time a priority usually means that we miss out on other things, but we never regret time we all spend together.  So many of our best family memories come from our little weekend outings.  We go on hikes, go on rides to get yogurt, go to dinner at our favorite pizza place, or just spend an hour or two in our backyard hanging out together.  Whatever it is, we always try to do something together as a whole family every weekend.  We also prioritize a couple of bigger family trips every year.  Connecting with our kids and as a whole family definitely strengthens our marriage and keeps Kenny and I close and on the same page.

10 – We’re still into each other.

This blog is rated G and my girls now read it once in a while, so I’m not going to go into details on this one.  (I can just hear their “Ewwwww … MOM!!”)  But I’ll just say that physical intimacy is important too!  Even just the little things.. holding hands, hugging often, telling each other “you look really good today”.  These things bring us closer together and have always been important in our relationship.

So those are the 10 main things that keep our marriage strong and work for us! Like I said before, our marriage isn’t perfect.  I’m sure I could just as easily list 10 things we could be doing better.  (Or 20 things or 100!)  He could start by hanging up his clothes (for the love!) and I suppose I could stay away from the Pottery Barn pillows.  Or we could not and pretend that we did. ;)  But we do love each other and respect each other and we work hard to keep our marriage strong.  I feel like the longer we’re married the more we learn what works for us and what helps us to stay close to each other.

Alright.. I’ve spilled it all and then some!  I’d love to hear what things you’re doing to keep your marriage or relationship strong!

Or just what you do to get your husband to hang up his clothes.


xoxo, Erin
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90 thoughts on “10 ways to keep your marriage strong

  1. Wow, great post!! My husband and I are also opposites in a lot of ways. You have inspired me to embrace those differences!:) I love your blog!!

  2. You said the two most important words in marriage: Love and Respect. Congrats on the upcoming 20 year anniversary! My hubby and I are celebrating 9 this year and that seems like forever! Haha! May God always bless your marriage!

  3. One of the best thing that we have done was to learn each others love language. He knows that holding hands or a simple touch as he walks by makes me feel incredibly loved! If I take the time to thank him for working so hard to support our family or mention what a great Dad he is to our kids makes him light up inside! Highly recommend the book “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. I’m sure you have already heard about it! ;)

    1. Jill I just had that book delivered to my door from Amazon YESTERDAY! So funny you are mentioning it! I’ve heard all about the love languages, but I haven’t read the book so I just ordered it. Can’t wait to read it although I think I already know what ours are. ;) I love that tip and I’m excited to read the book! xo

      1. I agree about the love languages! There is a quick online assessment anyone can take for free on Gary Chapman’s website to learn your love languages, from #1 (primary) to #5 (least likely love language). It’s a game changer for sure!

  4. This is a really good list. I’ve been married for 30 years now…which I don’t know how it’s possible!! But I also got married young (met my husband at 17 years and got married at 21) and I think it has helped forge our relationship. When you grow up together, you learn to be flexible and adapt to the other person. The longer you wait to marry, the harder it is to learn to live comfortably with somebody else. I tell this to my kids all the time but I don’t think they believe me. Our daughter is going on 27 and there is no marriage in her future at the moment.

    1. It goes by so fast doesn’t it Kristy!? I can’t believe it has almost been 20 for us! I agree that growing up together definitely has advantages, but I keep telling my girls to wait longer! Mostly just because I want them to get their education first.. or just stay young and live with me forever. ;) But true.. it would definitely be a challenge to change your life to merge with someone else’s later on! Congrats on 30 years! That is awesome. :) xo

  5. LOVE! I’ve been married for 23 years now (yikes!) and I agree 100% with everything you have said! My husband was just away snowmobiling with friends last weekend and I was so happy he could have the break. I also had another reason to be so happy for him–soon I’ll be in Waco, TX on a Wild Girls’ Weekend–leaving tomorrow–woot woot! Chip and Joanna, here I come! Thanks for being a positive example of a healthy marriage for your kids and your readers!

    1. Tina!! No way! My friend and I have been trying to get a Waco trip planned for months now! I’m so excited for you that you are going! When you’re shopping in Joanna’s shop think of me. ;) And I agree – allowing each other to have breaks and getaway is just the best and so good for your relationship. YEA for 23 years! :) Thanks cutie! xo

      1. Erin, I will definitely think of you–when I am in the white pitcher section ;-) Pop by my blog in a week for the post about my trip! <3 Tina

          1. Tina and Erin, when y’all get to Waco, you MUST go to Spice!!! It’s super close to Magnolia and it is a huge warehouse of everything from clothes to gifts to decor. I used to live in Waco and it’s one of my all time favorite places to go! Have a blast and say hi to my favorite part of Texas!

  6. I do not have the laundry secret, that’s for sure. My husband leaves dirty clothes next to the bed and the hamper is no more than 3 feet away….
    Great post though! I needed a lot of these reminders.

      1. My hubby would leave clothes on the floor because he was used to his sisters and Mom picking them up to do laundry. I put the hamper there but it continued. I decided if it wasn’t in the hamper, I wasn’t washing it. After doing that just one time, with him getting upset because he wanted to wear that item, I explained and it stopped. 😉

  7. LOVED this post and I agree 110% with everything you’ve said! My husband and I will also celebrate 20 years in a month and we married when we were in college (20 years old). Getting married young isn’t for everyone, but I wouldn’t change a thing! When God ordains two people to be together, it just works!! I was laughing at the “leaving his clothes in the floor” comment because I can SOOOOO relate!! Actually, it’s not just the clothes… its the dirty dishes in the sink, or a paper trail that he’s working on… blah blah blah. But like you, I have to remind myself that not every woman can say with 100% certainty that she knows her man loves her. And that he treats her like a queen – even when it’s not deserved. And I recently had lunch with a lady from our church who lost her husband to cancer a few months ago. She said something that really stuck with me… she said she’d give anything to have his dirty dishes or dirty clothes to pick up. Now she misses all those daily mundane ways to show him love. So… let’s go find some stuff to pick up/organize for them!! And praise the Lord for our men!!

    1. Oh my word Amanda.. that just gave me chills! Can you even imagine losing your husband? I can’t even go there in my mind without tearing up. YES! Such perfect advice! I don’t think I’ll complain about his mess on the floor I’m looking at right now as I type this! Ha! ;) And yes.. getting married young has its advantages and disadvantages but I think regardless of when you get married if you’re committed to each other and try to put each other first everything just works itself out and falls into place. LOVE your thoughtful insight today! I know it will stick with me! We are lucky girls for sure. :) Thanks again cutie! xo

    2. I read something like that years ago in an advice column. The woman hated her hubby’s snoring but after he passed would give anything to hear it again. I always remember that and it helps but not all of the time. 😉

  8. I just love this post! Thank you for sharing, Erin. As I was reading the list of differences between you and Kenny, I was thinking, “Wow, he sounds more like my husband than I would have thought!” – loves planning, especially with spreadsheets (that’s how he planned our multi-leg honeymoon!), loves debate, thinks long-term, pushes the kids to be more independent (I’d probably baby them forever), loves sarcasm, etc. The main difference is probably that I’m the marathoner in our family, and I could stay on vacation forever, whereas my husband mentally checks out 1-2 days before we return home because he’s thinking through logistics and what he has to do once we return home. :-)

    You have so many great tips, I don’t think I have anything new to add. We just got back from a 4-day trip just the two of us that my husband surprised me with for my birthday. It was such a wonderful getaway. Whenever we take some serious time away together just the two of us (which hasn’t happened often since having kids), it completely makes me realize how much we enjoy each other’s company.

    The other thing I would add for any of your readers with very young children is that I think the all-consuming nature of caring for very small children can put a strain on a marriage. It can be hard to carve out time for the two of you, you’re probably tired all the time, and there are so many responsibilities that need to be divided up in those early years (and possibly different approaches to parenting that need to be navigated and negotiated). But now that ours are older (youngest is 5), it’s easier to focus on us again. And I think we’re both enjoying family life on the whole more now. Which is all to say that you should absolutely schedule couple time, even when the kids are very little, but to also remember that things will get easier, and that exhausting, draining stage won’t last forever.

    1. Kerry I absolutely LOVE your comment! I couldn’t agree more and I just want to copy what you said and repeat it in a post so every young mom out there can hear it! It’s so true and really is easier to carve out time for us now that our kids are older (like I said.. having El be able to babysit has been life changing!). And of course that strain that comes from the exhaustion of babies is gone. Such great advice to know that while you should prioritize couple time, making that happen DOES get easier. I’m SO happy that you were able to get away with your husband for your birthday (and how cute that he surprised you with the trip!). I love that our husbands are so similar! We have a lot in common for sure. Thank you so much for sharing Kerry! I loved hearing from you! xo

  9. Congrats on 20 years!! AMAZING! you two are so darn cute. I think every one of your tips is pretty true in many relationships. I think making each other laugh every day is one of the most important. Thank you for sharing this, Erin!! xxoo

  10. Erin, you two are the CUTEST together!!! I just adore your sweet family and always look forward to reading your blog and seeing your photos. Thank you so very much for sharing your life with me!!

  11. Thoroughly enjoyed this post and such cute pics !
    Thank you so much for sharing
    We are celebrating 26 years this year and are opposites as well . Still hold hands without even thinking about it (or noticing our kids eye rolls) ha !
    Gotta say time together and date nights are a must . 😊 Xx

  12. Erin I really enjoyed this post!! Me and my husband will celebrate 10 years this fall ♥ A lot of good tips in this post :-) We definitely need to prioritize time with just us, cus it’s so easy to get into a rut of the mundane. Congratulations on 20 years!!

    1. Thank you Aria! That really is so true. You have to work hard and plan for that time together because the mundane takes over more than any of us realize or want it to! Congrats on 10 years! That is so exciting and I’m feeling a little old saying 20 and wishing it was just 10 for us. Ha ha.. ;) xo

  13. I love this post. ❤ You two remind me so much of Jeff and I. You’re always inspiring!!
    On another note, I wish I had your amazing organizational skills. 🤔 I’ve hit bloggers block! Lol Is there such a thing? 😂
    Hugs and thanks for always sharing your heart and home.. xx

    1. Kristy! Oh my word I get so excited when I hear from you on my blog! You always brighten my day. :) I think you and Jeff are darling so if Kenny and I can emulate you two I’ll be a happy girl. ;) And yes! Ha ha.. there definitely is such a thing as bloggers block! Although I deal with Instagram block more often and you are AMAZING at that one. I wish we could chat over lunch! I know our conversation would be a good one. :) Love you cutie! xo

  14. I’m not married or even dating anyone, so I almost skipped reading this post…but then I read it because I really value what you have to say about most things. I loved it! It sounds like you guys have a GREAT marriage (I don’t think anyone has a perfect one…no one is perfect), and how you interact and solve conflicts with each other is excellent advice for a variety of relationships, not just husband-wife! (For example, my sister is my roommate and I am thinking of several ways this post can apply to our situation). Thanks again for a thoughtful and informative post! Hope you guys had a great Valentine’s Day!

    1. Oh you are so sweet Amy! Thank you! And I agree.. I was thinking about that when I wrote the quote about caring about what people you love care about and how that also applies to kids, friends, parents, etc. I’m so happy that this post was helpful to you in your situation and I LOVE that you room with your sister! So much fun. Thanks again for your thoughtful comment Amy! xo

  15. Hi Erin! I found this post so encouraging! I’m getting married in July and me and my fiance are complete opposites as well! It can be a challenge at times but obviously we love each other and it’s been working for us. It’s definitely scary getting married especially with divorce rates as high as they are these days but it’s so nice to hear about a happy (but not perfect) marriage. You guys are an inspiration to me and I hope to have 20 happy years of marriage also and many more! I’ll be showing this post to my fiance even though I’m sure he won’t want to read it lol. Wish you all the best. Thanks for another great post :)

    1. Oh I’m so happy to hear that Crystal! Thank you and congratulations on your upcoming wedding! So exciting! It really is scary and sad how many marriages end in divorce. Marriage is something you constantly have to work at and it’s definitely not always easy! But worth it for sure. :) Wishing you many many years of happiness! xo

  16. As usual, you are right on target! These are things my husband and I focus on too and we are still crazy happy together after 2 kids and 18 years. Appreciating the strengths in our partner is so important. Thnan you for this awesome post!

  17. Great post….keep doing what you’re doing!
    Good thoughts for everyone, no matter how long you have been married.
    I’m happy to say that my husband and I have been happily married for 52 years.

    1. Margaret that is amazing! 52 years! I love it. Definitely something to be proud of. I’m SO happy for you both and thanks for your sweet comment! xo

  18. 20 years?! Erin, I hope to look half as good as you do when I’ve been married that long (my husband and I will be married for 3 years this summer). Have you thought about sharing your secrets on your blog? Exercise, skin care, diet, etc? Seriously, how have you not aged in 20 years?! I’m sure you have great genetics too :) but anyway, thank you for sharing your marriage tips! Loved and agreed with them all. Even though I know I still have a lot to learn, two words that I’ve given other couples for a successful marriage are grace and humor (which you also said :)) also, I highly recommend the book His Needs, Her Needs. It’s similar to the 5 love languages in a way, but I think it’s much better. Essentially he breaks down 10 needs that men and women have (more detailed than the 5 love languages, which is more generalized), and everyone has different priorities in order to feel loved. It’s really helped us to love each other well in our marriage. Sorry for the long post, congratulations again!! I hope you get to take a great trip to celebrate later this year :)

    1. Oh Julia! You just completely made my day! Maybe my week! Ha! ;) So sweet of you to say that. Thank you! I have talked a little about some of those things on my blog, but I’ll have to combine them all in a beauty secret post some time! I have definitely aged! But I do work hard to keep my weight in check and take care of myself because it’s important to feel good about yourself, right? :) Love your tip about that book! I haven’t heard of it before but I’m going to check it out for sure! Thanks again cutie! Such a thoughtful comment! xo

  19. I really enjoyed this post! My husband and I have been married 15 years and we have 8 kids. You really inspired me with all your wonderful reminders and tips! We are SO focused on the kids that sometimes we forget how much fun we have together! We haven’t had a date night in so long and I’m determined to plan one. Thanks, Erin!

    1. Annie! 8 kids!? I can’t imagine finding time for a date night.. let alone a shower! ;) You are seriously my hero. But yes! Prioritize that time alone with each other. I think the best thing we can all give our kids is parents who love each other and have a strong relationship. Thank you so much for your sweet comment! I really do look up to moms like you so much! xo

  20. Hi Erin
    Great post. I really like all your points. You and your husband are a lot like me and mine; polar opposites in a lot of ways. But like you said, you play off each others strengths and you MUST respect each other. We’ve been married 32 years and both young (21 and 23 yrs old). One thing that I would add to your list is that my husband and I went into this marriage knowing that divorce simply wasn’t an option. Marriage is forever and you treat it as such. When one of us actually did bring the “D” word up in an argument, that was a clear sign that we had to sit down and have a true heart to heart talk about what was wrong. And I can count on 3 fingers how often that word came up and it was in the early years of our marriage.
    I also am a firm believer that couples should have their own set of friends and be able to have alone/Friend time. I have a group of girlfriends and we have weekends away from our husbands. That’s important. My husband has his ‘guy’ dates and I LOVE it. (I think I love it more than he loves mine!)
    And keep the intimacy. My husband will still grab my behind, and I love it (especially since I’ve gained 50 lbs since we’ve married and he still shows he loves me no matter what!)

    1. I love all of those tips Dawn! So smart and clearly it’s working.. yea for 32 years! I love that your husband is still so affectionate with you years later! I agree that intimacy is so important. Thanks for your sweet words and for such a great (and wise!) comment! xo

  21. Sweet post in a time when marriage is so undervalued. We celebrate 20 years this July and married young as well (20 and 22), and are heading on a cruise in 2 weeks to celebrate! For us it’s keeping the Lord as the center of our marriage and each other first. I think with kids, like you said, it’s easy to get wrapped up in them. But they feel way more secure when you’re wrapped up in each other!

    1. That is so true and great advice Laura! Having a good marriage is the best gift we can all give to our kids! Thank you so much for sharing! xo

  22. Hi Erin, Great post. I just read back over how you and Kenny met! What a great story for your kids to read in years to come. I never realised how much your girls look like you! Especially in the younger photos of you. Enjoy your anniversary!

  23. Love this Erin! I just want to know if Kenny still has the red basketball shorts that he leaves on the closet floor everyday?! 😂 Or did you add those to a black sack in the garage? 😂
    I can completely hear Kenny saying that he does everything right! Oh gosh, this makes me miss you guys even more!
    You guys really are such a fantastic couple, totally made for each other! I love you both so much and I’m so grateful for the awesome friendship we share. You guys are always our favorite couple to spend time with. One of these days we definitely need a couples trip together! Now that I’m back to baby life it will be awhile before I’m ready but we’ve got to make it happen! Love you guys!

    Oh and this made me remember one of my favorite ever posts from the beginning…you and Kenny weighing in on the human body and the US Postal service! 😂😂😂

    1. Josie! I am cracking up at your comment! Talk about a trip down memory lane! Ha ha.. Oh my word.. those red shorts! I had forgotten about those! And I think he still has them. We love hanging out with you two too and as soon as your little guy is old enough we are off on another trip together! We really do need to make it happen. If nothing else so we can debate the human body vs. the US Postal Service.. ha! Human body for the win! Hands down. ;) Oh my word we love you guys. Thanks for making me laugh tonight! xo

  24. Wonderful post! You guys are a cute couple and I love your honesty. My husband and I have been married 36 years since college graduation. We had a strong foundation with our family backgrounds and our friendship than dating relationship and have 2 sweet daughters who are good kids and that does help. We fight but always seem to want the other person to feel okay. We have differences but try to honor them and time alone is imperative.

    1. Love this Lisa! Sounds like you have a wonderful family and marriage. Congrats on 36 years! That is something to be so proud of. Your sweet girls are lucky to have parents that are still in love. Thank you so much for sharing! xo

  25. This was Such a great read. It’s great to see what other people do to make it work.
    I’ve been married 16 years. We met, got engaged 10 days later and married 3 weeks later…. CRAZY…. 16 years later I’m still trying to work him our lol
    We Couldn’t be more different. He’s a hunting, camping, fishing loving guy who could care less about fashion, homes, or something lovely. . He thinks eating is a chore lol… I grew up in a huge city I’ve always loved clothes, homes, makeup, I love to eat out, I love a party he’s rather scratch his eyes our lol. But we really need to work on going on more dates and this is embarrassing to say but we have never been away by ourselves in 16 years. . Not even a night. . That needs to change lol

    1. Heidi! I can’t believe you met and got married so quickly and are still together! That is too cool.. it was definitely meant to be! You need to change your no dates and get out more together for sure. You will feel like a new woman after a date night! And clearly in our case opposites attract. ;) Thanks Heidi! xo

  26. Laughing so hard at the memory of it all! You Are so Not Competitive,,,,Case in point: You Hated the Easter Egg Hunt….so your little sister, Carly, would take your Easter basket and try to fill it up with candy…even if she didn’t get that many eggs or treats & prizes in her basket…..same story on Halloween. Carly said the “Trick or Treat” while you just happily smiled and held your bag open….Carly so to wanted to make sure you had candy …..just like her. In many ways, she was the big sister taking care of her little sister….And she would still step in today if you needed her! Sisters…..nothing better :)

    1. Ha ha.. loved the stroll through memory lane mom! I’m laughing! I never did like those Easter Egg hunts! Competition is for the birds. Love you! And Car for taking care of me all those years. ;) xo

  27. Thanks for sharing your marriage secrets Erin! Congratulations on 20 years! We’re going on 7 this October so we’re practically just newlyweds. Hahaha! I waited a long time until getting married, and I don’t regret it one bit. Learning about myself, traveling, and establishing my career were all part of the plan for me to be prepared for married life. I encourage you to ask your kids to wait as well before getting married. We’re still learning (or should I say I) much about each other. Sarcasm is something that I don’t like and maybe because I’m just very sensitive. We had some silent evenings during our first 3 years because of that. He’s now learning not to be too “insensitive” and I to not be too “sensitive.” I’m very thankful for our differences and similarities. He’s so helpful at home because he’s very handy and can make my project ideas happen, and he can also cook and clean. I won the jackpot on the husband lotto! Here’s wishing you 20 more years!

    1. Thank you sweet Debbie! I loved hearing a little about your marriage! Sounds like you two are a great couple and yea for 7 years! There are always adjustments to be made during the first few years while you are getting used to life together. Sounds like you two have it figured out now. You’ll be at 20 years before you blink. ;) Happy for you! xo

  28. I could not love this more, Erin. Strong marriages are so key and should be celebrated and shared. I love every single piece of advice. Very similar to how we operate. Such a great post, sweet friend.

  29. This is a lovely post Erin, thank you for sharing. So frequently our culture focuses on negativity (like tv shows about affairs and divorce). It’s great to take the time and celebrate all that mundane stuff that make marriages great!

  30. I’m new to your blog and I absolutely love it! I read every new post. I love your house and your design / decorating style. You have worked very hard to make your home so lovely. Have you ever thought about starting a YouTube channel? Seems like you would be great at it! I would be your first subscriber! 😊

    1. Kim this was such an incredibly kind comment! Thank you so much! You made my night and I’m so happy you found me. :) Thank you for your sweet words about my house. I don’t have time for a YouTube channel right now but who knows what the future holds! It makes me happy to know I’d have you listening if I did. :) xo

  31. Erin, I am completely in love with this post! I’ll never forget hearing your love story at Haven and I just know you two have something incredibly special…..probably because Kenny does everything right!!! It’s so amazing of you to share your secrets with others. I am sure there is someone out there that desperately needed to read this. You are the sweetest and it is absolutely shocking that you’ve been married almost 20 years because you look sooo young! Happy Anniversary! PS: I loved the Haven pic! xoxo

    1. Thank you so much Jen! You are such a doll. And yes.. clearly he does nothing wrong and that’s the key to our happiness… ha! ;) Your comment was the sweetest! It made me so happy to hear from you. I can’t wait to see you this weekend! xo

  32. Erin – this is a fantastic list — love it! I’m going to share it on our Resilient Solutions, Inc (individual, marriage, and family counseling site.) I so wholeheartedly agree with all of these and so so grateful for my amazing partner – best friend for 33 years – wow, where do the years go.

  33. Wow, I love this post. I think it’s the best marriage advice I have ever read and I resonate with it so much! Me and my husband have all the differences that you mentioned but not always for the same person but nevertheless we are also very different but also very similar in so many ways. This post has encouraged me to see the differences in a positive way and celebrate how much we love each-other despite those differences.
    Thank you, this was just what I needed to read today :-)

    1. Lotta your sweet comment made my day! Thank you so much. I’m so happy you enjoyed this post and found it helpful! xo

  34. Hi!! this is a lovely post! I am Maggie, from Argentina and started following you on Instagram and today i started to look on your blog. You have wonderful information and tips for all of us.
    Thank you for and congratulations on your blog!

  35. Hi – From Iowa.
    Great post. My husband and I have almost been married 24 years. Six kids ages 11-22, 3 dogs, 2 cats….it’s busy and chaotic. We are opposites, but both compliment each other. Our favorite people our the kids and we prefer to be with them as much as possible. Two daughters at the Air Force Academy, another daughter at West Point and our son 17 (senior) just joined Air Force guard! He wants to be a pilot like this dad. Best trait Don has is he loves to talk so if you marry a guy that likes to talk you can work through almost anything!

    1. Oh my word Susanne.. you are so busy! 6 kids! You are my hero. :) And all of them doing such amazing things.. I love that they are all taking so much after their dad in the air force. You must be so proud! I totally agree.. marry a guy who likes to talk! Kenny is the same way. Maybe that’s the ticket! :) Thank you for sharing! I loved hearing about your sweet family. :) xo

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