Two Years Later: 15 Things I Love About Our Marriage

It’s not like me to be without the right words, but it’s taken me a few days to type this one out. You see, I feel like I don’t have endless advice to offer about marriage and I can’t articulate how it has changed me over the last 2 years for the better. I have given my experiences I’ve shared with Aaron much thought but as I sit at my laptop in our two bedroom apartment listening to the clanking of our dryer down the hall, these are the things I think as I contemplate our marriage… I’ll never forget how I drove to the Salt Lake temple two years ago on a snowy morning only to realize…I FORGOT MY WEDDING DRESS!!! Poor Aaron, the first time he saw me on our wedding day I was crying, so I can only imagine the thoughts that were going through his mind! I told him the situation and he simply hugged me & held my hand through my tears until the problem was solved. I love…love love love my new last name. I’ve finally learned how to write it cute, too. We are rarely happier when we’re curled up on the

The Best Gift You Could Ever Give To Your Parents

I’m sure there’s been several moments when my parents have said to themselves as they raised me, “Some day she’ll thank me for that!” Their parents probably had the same experience! So here’s my question: have I thanked them for that? Have I thanked them for teaching me humility? For allowing me to make mistakes but always holding my hand through the process of mending them? For pushing me in school (and paying for it)? Have I thanked them for always answering the phone when I call? For always providing me with new school clothes, a cute childhood bedroom, and yearly tours with my dance team? The list of what I need to thank them for is incredibly long, and as I have grown into adulthood, I have truly been able to acknowledge the love and sacrifices they continue to make for me day by day. But one I have felt so strongly about lately is to thank them for the gift of allowing my grandparents to be part of my life. That’s not a typical thought you’d have to thank your parents for, right? The last few years though I’ve had the strongest yearning to build a deeper relationship

I Read My Husband’s Journal and I Wasn’t Prepared For What It Told Me

Aaron called me this morning with the bad news that he had to replace the battery in our brand new car. He wanted to tell me so I would be aware of the money that would be coming out of our bank account but instead of thanking him for taking the time out of his day to get it fixed, I did what any loving and thankful wife would do: I got mad and hung up. And now after sitting on it for a while, I am feeling extremely guilty. Guilty that the blur of life and all its responsibilities makes it difficult for me to see the good in my spouse. And since I love my husband, I sat down and wrote in my journal the reasons why I adore and appreciate him. The list is unending, but simply thinking about Aaron made me miss him so, of course, I pulled out his journal just to get a breath of fresh air. However, I wasn’t prepared for what it told me. It told me that Aaron is a wonderful poet.   Poetry By Aaron Bennett People who write poetry are a little strange Maybe even a little deranged You have

Marriage Needs More Than Just a “Date Night”

I’m going to go out on a limb & make a sweeping-generalization-type-of-statement: Aside from the glimpses we get online about marriage from freshly-penned blog posts about life as a newlywed, Instagram photos of a shiny stone, a perfect manicure, and an “I said yes!” caption — all tastefully filtered in Amaro, of course — most of us base our assertions, values, and desires surrounding marriage off of our parents’ relationship. Today my parents celebrate their 32nd “wedding birthday”, as Aaron calls it, and for some reason, this year’s milestone seems particularly significant to me. Maybe it’s because I’ve watched several of my own friends get married, and I have also seen their marriages fall apart. Or, maybe it’s because I am nearing my own anniversary of marriage, and after two years, I can say that I’ve received an accurate depiction of what it’s like to be married. In my (almost) two years of experience, marriage requires these 3 things: Expression of love, more than just a “date night”, and…yes, I’ll say it. Hard work. Expression Of Love Let’s face it. Most of us are not Shakespeare. We have all the feelings, but not so many words. I say that even as

Grandma Rose’s Recipe for 50 Years of Good Life

I had the best birthday present of indulging in the small-town charm of Carson, Washington the past 5 days with my husband and my father. My 93-year-old Grandpa Ray, my dad’s dad, lives there and it’s where he raised his family on 7 acres of evergreen forest with the Columbia River Gorge nestled right behind it. Growing up, I loved our vacations there. We hiked, we swam in my aunt & uncle’s pool, we jet skied on the Gorge, and I got to know the Matta family a little more. But the truth is, I never got to know my grandmother. My Grandma Rose passed away with cancer when I was four years old. I don’t remember her, but Grandpa Ray says my smile reminds him of hers. We spent several hours a day laughing with him, eating with him, listening to his polka music with him (he was quite the musician in his young years), and learning of his stories about he & Grandma Rose. They met at a dance hall, had a double wedding, traveled Europe together for 3 weeks, were devout Christian’s, and raised 4 sons. What I didn’t know about Grandma Rose, though, is her love for

From a Father to a Daughter, These are the Lessons I’ve Learned About Real Love

I’ve spent many of my recent quiet moments reflecting on my father and my special relationship with him. Some of his lessons come from conversations, but most come from observing how he interacts with the world, and with me. From a father to his daughter, these are the lessons I’ve learned about real love. Real love was making me Minnie Mouse pancakes on Saturday mornings. Growing up, I’d often have cousins or friends sleep over on Friday nights. My dad would pitch up the tent in our backyard (or we’d camp out in the living room) and he’d stay up late with us teaching us about the constellations, telling us funny stories, and wake up early to prepare our favorite pancake breakfast.  He’d pour the batter by hand in the specific shape each kid wanted: monster trucks, letters, and soccer balls, but I loved my Minnie Mouse pancakes and I loved even more that my dad would make the time, and the mess, to cook them for me. Real love was sneaking a note in my lunch when he knew I had an important test at school, a dance performance, a late-night shift at work, or simply felt I needed a little extra

We Have Big News! (No, not baby news. I’m sorry, mom)

Aaron gave me a mother’s day card last Sunday (I’m not a mother yet — he’s just super thoughtful) but the greeting AND his own written message was entirely in Spanish! You’re probably wondering why he did that. It’s partly because he thinks he’s funny but let’s just say he’s taking all the opportunities he can to teach me how to speak, read, and understand Spanish because…. THE BENNETT’S ARE MOVING TO PERU!!! Yes, yes. It’s true. It’s okay to still be in shock because I am too.   If you’re interested to know how this happened, here’s the low down. Aaron was offered a full-time job with KPMG after he graduates with his Master’s degree this December of 2017. BUT, his start date isn’t until August of 2018. This means we have nearly nine months of “down time” after he graduates before he starts working in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. A few days after Aaron received this offer, we began tossing around ideas of what we could do/should do to fill our time before he starts working. While driving in the car one afternoon, he said, “What would you think if we moved to Peru??” I looked at him, stunned, and

Why LDS Women Must Proceed With Confidence in Their Choices

Did you guys love love love love General Conference like I did? Wow. My devotion to God and my love toward all of His children completely expanded! I can’t remember the name of the speaker, but he was a mission president in Washington. One of the missionaries under him came to him saying, “President, I just don’t like people!” Ha! I totally laughed out loud. Sometimes it’s hard to get along with people but I was taught throughout this conference that I need to more earnestly love others as God loves and take seriously His call to “be of good cheer.” There were several other thoughts I was able to apply to my personal spiritual development but one I feel I should mention is Elder Ronald A. Rasband’s talk from Sunday morning. He spoke of the divinity of the Holy Ghost and how we must act on the first prompting and be confident in it. We dismiss or question divine council if we avoid even the second or third prompting. He also said, “First promptings are from heaven to help someone in need, family and friends in particular.” I don’t know who, if anyone, might need to read what I’m about to

“This Is The Place I Was Telling You About!”

HOW IS EVERYONE?! Oh, I have missed this — sitting down at my computer with a bowl full of snacks (today it’s carrots & club crackers) and having so much to say but lately, I’ve had exactly zero time to say it. The good news, though, and the update about us is: WE SURVIVED THE INTERNSHIP! For those who are just tuning in and haven’t read previous posts, my husband has been interning with KPMG, an accounting firm in downtown Salt Lake City, for the last few months. Let me tell ya, it wasn’t something easy but what good comes from easy things? Sure, it was long, exhausting hours for him to work and to be away from home but together we were able to find ways to keep our relationship strong and our love so passionate. I’ve been humbled by him, too. Somehow through all his responsibilities, business trips, and coming home to cold dinners, he was able to find time to nurture me and treasure those precious moments we did spend together — morning prayers & pillow fights while making the bed, to name a few. The last three months have taught us a great deal and

3 Easy Meals That Guarantee a Happy Husband

I’m no Betty Crocker in the kitchen but in my year & three months of marriage, I have learned the value of making meals for your spouse. Honestly, it’s one of my favorite things to do as a wife. With Aaron’s rigorous work schedule, we don’t see each other much, let alone eat together. He leaves the house at 8 a.m everyday only to return home sometime past 10 p.m. (and often times it’s as late as midnight) but although it’s difficult for us to be apart all those hours in a week, I owe a special thanks to my collection of BuzzFeed’s Tasty Videos that many of us enjoy watching as well as my handy 5 Ingredient Favorites cookbook. I’ve found that as I send him out the door with any of his 3 favorite meals, I also send him with a little wifely love. They’re my favorite, too, because they are simple, quick, and most delicious. #1. BBQ Chicken Pinwheel You may be more of a homemaker than I am and make everything from scratch, but I’m totally not! One day, maybe, but for now I appreciate the refrigerated Pillsbury Crescents, Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce, finely shredded cheddar-jack cheese,