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

“We are Daughters of our Heavenly Father”: A Testimony of The Young Women Theme

Hi friends, it’s been a while (like, a month & a half while)! I thought writing + my blog was on the top of my priority list, especially after quitting my day job but — HA! Yeah right. It’s not, but at least it’s still a once-in-a-while hobby. I think we need those, our own “once-in-a-while hobbies” to energize us and refocus us. Mine are running, getting a pedicure, writing in my journal (or, if I have a few hours, on my blog) and napping. We need these activities because life is full of surprises. Some are amazing, some are imperfect, but we find fulfillment from our crazy, chaotic lives in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For the past 13 days, and the following 15, I am living out my husband’s gigantic worn-out missionary suitcase moving house to house as I tend children of various families while the parents go out of town for mini getaways or work-related trips. I refer to myself as “The Travelling Nanny” because it’s who I am, really! It’s a fun gig where I’m able to meet so many cute little kids, drive them to and from school and soccer practice in a snazzy

Easter Is a Time for Quiet Moments Where We Can Focus on Him

This morning I was able to share a precious moment with a 6-year-old little girl. Aaron and I are here tending for a cute family of three kids while mom & dad are taking a little TLC in Costa Rica and I woke up this morning to this sweet little thing who had a bad dream. I cuddled with her on the couch and pulled out my phone. My mom had messaged me the link to the LDS church’s Easter videos and I asked her, “Navy, do you want to watch these videos with me?” She kindly smiled as we tucked ourselves underneath the white, velvety blanket. I loved teaching her new vocabulary words like “tragedy,” “gratitude,” “sculptor,” “hostile,” and “perspective” throughout and after each two minute video, I wrote down a few of my thoughts in my blue journal. Navy looked at me and said, “I have a journal!” I excitedly responded, “Do you write in it often?” “I mostly just draw pictures,” she told me. After watching Jon’s video about gratitude, I wrote down his words: “I have so much to be grateful for that I’d be disrespecting God if I wasn’t happy.” Navy wrote, “I love

Then Cometh Jesus Unto A Place Called Gethsemane: Why He Asks Us to Be His Hands

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we often discuss what it means to be “His hands on earth.” It means we serve those around us as He would serve them and we love those around us as He would love them. Sometimes we may feel, though, “Why does He ask me?”, when we know He is fully capable of doing it on His own and that He would (more than likely) do a better job than we ever would. Note, though, that our Father is Heaven asks us. He doesn’t demand us, threaten us, or quite frankly, need us. All it is is a simple asking, an invitation. If we do as He asks, we show Him that we sustain Him. We choose to stand with Him and His counsel in a darkening world. Everything He asks us to do is important, and when we do as we are asked, we are blessed. Recently, God has asked me to serve a lot. And not just me; He has asked my mom, my brother Eric, my sister-in-law Siera and my husband Aaron to serve as well. You see, my healthy, happy, go-big-or-go-home father found out on Tuesday after weeks of absolute unbearable pain,

Hot Showers, Repentance, And An Eternal Perspecitve: Our Everyday Essentials

Have you ever taken a shower so hot that it sets off the smoke detector? I have, several times! And it happened again this morning. Hot showers are one of my everyday essentials because it relaxes me in an instant. BOOM. Problems, be gone. I’m talking about problems like the thousands of dirt particles that lodge their sneaky little selves under my skin and embed there throughout the day that result in many terrible, terrible things: acne, blackheads, and whiteheads. Luckily, the steam from my shower water gives all the gunk that I collected throughout the day the chance to wash away. Although life’s “real” problems still await me after my hot shower, I enjoy taking 10 minutes out of my busy schedule to stand under a nice, soothing stream of tepid water. Sound good? Of course it does. And not just because of my use of positive adjectives either! A hot shower is an idyllic beginning to a wonderful day; a day where we “devote ourselves to the pursuit of holiness and happiness” and give all we can to God. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, the second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,

Your Freebie Guide to Ultimate At Home Exercise

Hi guys! I’m super excited about today’s post because I am giving away my first FREEBIE! Who doesn’t like free, useful stuff? Well, it’s free but I’m still clinging onto hope for the useful part. I’m a religious runner, as some of you know, but lately I’ve been thinking about why I run. I run because it makes me strong. My mind and my body are working together to reach higher goals and I’ve been craving the feeling of trying new things, like weight training. Running also makes me happy (and prevents me from causing any kind of harm against my husband. Right, Elle?!) Not only are there mental and physical benefits of running & exercise, but there are also spiritual benefits. Say whaaaat?! Yes, it’s true. Recently I came across the talk “Good Health — A Key to Joyous Living” by Barbara B. Smith from October 1978. She states, “The state of our health affects every facet of our life — our feeling of personal well-being, our approach to work, our social interactions — even our service to the Lord.” Wow. Our Heavenly Father blessed us with beautiful, strong, incredible bodies that were created to work, serve, and be treated sacredly.