Category Archives: Marriage

Ten Years: A Wedding Along the Shore

Ten years ago on this very day, Pete and I stood before a church filled with family and friends, speaking vows we had written for one another. I promised to follow him wherever God would take us and to strive to love him more every single day. He vowed to lead us toward God and to always seek His direction for us. We’ve had our share of ups and downs through the last decade, but those promises have remained strong. God has been faithful in carrying us through the rough spots, which has always made us stronger. And now, at the mark of ten years, we’ve made it to the place we dreamed of being before either of us met. Words cannot express how it feels to be celebrating this day in Kenya!

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Three Thousand Days of {Mostly} Wedded Bliss

Today is the day! Three thousand days of marriage! All the kisses and hugs and chocolate hearts go out to my darling husband today. If only we could see each other in person, I would spend the afternoon sitting next to him on the couch, looking out at the grayness of the fog hanging over the lake (his favorite sort of weather), reflecting back together on these last three thousand days. But, unfortunately, he’s not here. He’s off teaching some pretty amazing things to the medical community in the middle of the state. So instead of sitting together, we’ll smile at one another over Skype and hold off our hugs until tomorrow. Because tomorrow will be three thousands days + one. And that will be even better.

3K Days


How long exactly is three thousand days? It’s a little more than eight years. I know most people don’t typically celebrate reaching such a milestone, but we like to recognize as many of the little moments as possible. And why not? It’s another reason to celebrate! So when we realized a few months ago that today would be the big 3K, we knew it deserved a bit of recognition.

Three thousand days don’t pass without learning a thing or two about each other and this whole marriage thing, and that got me thinking. What have we learned on this journey so far? Honestly, it’s far more than we could possibly write in this space, but I can certainly break down a few of the good things. So here are three, big, sparkly pieces of wisdom we’ve gained in our first three thousand days of {mostly} wedded bliss.

1. We will never be everything to our spouse.

I think I spent the entire year we dated and then the six months we were engaged floating through the clouds. Even the first year of marriage. I couldn’t believe this handsome guy who loved Jesus and wanted to impact the world through teaching and practicing medicine actually wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. Little me who shrunk all his dress shirts the first month we were married and who killed all our house plants the second month. I felt like a mess while he seemed so well put together. But you know what we both learned before we exchanged vows? We learned that we would never be enough for each other. Doesn’t that sound like a sad way to start a life-long relationship? But of course it wasn’t. It was one of the healthiest things for us to recognize. We were never created to be everything the other needs. And for that I am so, so thankful. Because I would be a  hot mess trying to meet every single one of Pete’s needs. Heck, I’m already a hot mess! Here’s why I can’t be everything. One, he needs guy friends. He needs guys to hang out with and do whatever it is guys do together. (I don’ t need to go into detail here, right?) And vice versa. Pete can’t take the place of my girl friends. For one, he would get so tired of all my talking! My daily word count is a lot for him to take as it is. I need my girls to remind me why I love being a mom and a woman and to chat through all the little details of every part of my day. But the most important part of recognizing we can’t be everything for each other is because we know we both need Jesus a whole lot. I mess up all the time and so does Pete. We can continue to point each other to Jesus for strength and wholeness and unending love when we just aren’t feeling it. Because what Jesus has in absolutely unending and unshakable. I am human. I can’t love Pete perfectly. But Jesus can. And I’m so thankful he does.

2. We change over time.

I had this silly thought when I was in high school and early college that the only exciting, unknown adventure left in my life was finding my husband and planning our wedding. Not that I was someone who was all about the wedding, but I do like a good party. I somehow forgot that people change. We aren’t flat figures who meet, get married, and never do anything different for the remaining two-thirds of our lives. We live and experience life and a lot of the time, that means who we are is going to look a little different over time. It doesn’t necessarily mean the core of who we are changes, but how we respond to life might not be exactly as it once was. I look a whole lot different from the 25 year-old girl Pete married 3,000 days ago. And that’s a good thing! That girl was lovely and smart and ambitious, but she wasn’t ready to be the mama to two and wife to a busy ER doc. She wasn’t at a place to lead a group of moms every Tuesday morning or to pack a few bags and move to the other side of the world. It took time and lots of experiences to get to the place I am now. And Pete is the same! We are far better versions of who we were when we said our vows 8 years ago. We haven’t just sailed through that growth as a couple, though. We’ve both made lots of mistakes and we’ve both needed lots of grace. Lots of grace. But without those changes, we would be stuck as the same people we were when we got married, not ready to be parents to our children, friends to those around us, or missionaries to Kenya. Change can be hard, but it’s also really good and so very healthy.

3. It’s okay to ask for help.

There is a very common misconception that if we ask for help, we are weak. Let me tell you how not true that is. Pete and I have been teaching premarital counseling to couples at our church for the last five years, so yeah, we have some great ideas about marriage. We help people get through tough situations, we know a whole list of proper communication skills my heart, and we even teach couples how to have conflict in a healthy way. But does that mean we know everything about having a healthy marriage? Absolutely not. We are on a journey together and sometimes we need to hear from other couples who have been doing this longer than three thousand days. We need fresh ideas and guidance. Those ideas can come from spending time with other couples, reading great marriage books, or seeking professional counseling. Asking for help does not mean your marriage is falling apart. It simply means you are willing to humble yourselves and recognize that others may have answers you don’t have yet. Asking for help can be one of the healthiest things you do for your marriage, no matter how long you’ve been together. Want to know a secret? Next week Pete & I will have our first session with a marriage counselor. And we’re looking forward to it! Our marriage is not hanging on by a thread, but just like it’s healthy to go see a doctor every now and then to make sure we’re physically okay, it’s healthy to involve a professional to check in on our marriages every so often. I want to get to the bottom of any potential issues when they are still just potential issues before they grow into something bigger. Welcome help into your marriage! It will only equal a better relationship in the end.

Three thousand days! I think I’ve got a decent feel for this marriage thing now. Bring on the next 24,000! (That’s roughly 65 more years!)



Linked up at A Little R&R Wednesdays


Date Night Scavenger Hunt

scavenger hunt 2

Every Wednesday night, our dear friend, Hannah, comes over to watch the kids for the evening so Pete and I can go on a date. We’ve been very intentional about having a weekly date night since Ella was little. It has been amazing for our relationship. Even when we don’t feel like we’re connecting, whether it’s because Pete is working a lot or we’re just not ‘clicking’ for some odd reason, we know Wednesday is coming up and we’ll have time together without the kids to reconnect. We sometimes have to spend the first hour or so going through business just to get it out of the way, but after that, we focus only on each other. We almost always feel much closer by the end of the night, like we’ve been able to reset together.

This week we began our date with a friend we had wanted to connect with for a few months, but when we parted ways with her, we didn’t have any plans. As we drove over the bridge between Superior and Duluth (Wisconsin and Minnesota) we ran through a few options for the rest of the night. We both wanted to do something a bit active, which meant we weren’t going to just sit at Barnes & Noble, a favorite date night spot when we can’t think of anything better to do. We thought about walking the mall, but it was about to close. It was far too cold to walk outside, so that basically left two places: Target and Walmart. Since we’re not spending money, I didn’t really want to go to Target. It’s easier for me to avoid it altogether. That’s when an idea hit me. A Walmart scavenger hunt. Pinterest had to have something we could use. After a quick search as Pete drove, I found a list that would definitely work for us, even though it was designed to be done by competing teams. Hot dog! We were set!

With the list on my phone and my camera ready to go, we stepped through the sliding doors of the ginormous store and set a timer. Thirty minutes would give us enough time to get through most of the list but still keep us moving quickly. Besides, we needed to keep it exciting!

Three. Two. One. GO!

Create a team mascot. (We’ve got a whole lot of Frozen in our lives, so Olaf seemed an obvious choice.)


A food neither of us like…


A food we’ve both had in the last week…


A toy we both had when we were younger…


A DVD neither of us has seen…


Something that is only used outside…


Create a battle scene… (our favorite!)



Wearing something that matches… (Go, Bulldogs!)


We completed about 19 different challenges in our 30 minutes. It was super fun, and we spent absolutely zero dollars! The list we used worked, but it was designed for a team, as were the others I found on Pinterest. So, I put together a date night list that we can use in the future. I’ve included it here so you can use it, too!

Date Night Scavenger Hunt Blue

Click here to download the Date Night Scavenger Hunt. Print it or save it on your phone, grab your honey, and head to a big store for you next date night!

What’s your favorite thing to do on date night? Leave a comment below or by clicking on COMMENTS under the post title.

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