Each stage of life looks different and brings unique challenges to every couple. My hope is that you will be inspired by the stories of the women in this series. I hope that their experiences will help you find more ways to make your marriage relationship a priority throughout every stage of your own life.
Sadie is one of my favorite people in the world! She radiates happiness, joy and love for everyone that she meets. I haven't had the opportunity to meet her in person yet (soon!!) but I just know that she brings sunshine with her wherever she goes. She and Parker have a fun relationship and a deep friendship and I admire their dedication and the way that they follow their dreams!
What does it mean to you to prioritize your marriage?
To me, prioritizing your marriage means putting it FIRST. Sometimes that is really, really difficult & sometimes, that's way easy. But I think always making an effort to put your marriage first-- before work, before school, before friends & family members, etc.-- is the simplest way I can think to prioritize your marriage. There are days where I'm drowning in editing, but when Parker gets home from work, we always try to spend at least an hour together doing something we enjoy. (which is usually watching The Office or Parks and Recreation on Netflix... or going out for some Sweet Pork Nachos from Costa Vida) This gives us time together and then when the time comes that we need to do our own things again, we aren't feeling shafted or like we come second to other less-important things.
How have the different stage you've experienced in life affected how you prioritize your relationship with each other?
Again, we try to spend some time together before doing our own separate things. Especially in the small amounts of time that we do have together. Parker leaves for work before I do and then sometimes I am gone before he comes home, so on those days, we make a special effort to do something together before bed. This has always been a thing for us, but over the last year I've come to really appreciate the fact that I have Parker to go through this life with. Over the last year, we have been struggling with infertility and that has really brought me to some new lows & unexpected dark places.
I'm so grateful that Parker and I prioritized one another, our marriage and relationship from the very start because I've come to realize that even if we are never able to have kids, our marriage is not lessened by that fact. In fact, our trial of infertility has actually really strengthened our marriage because we have to rely on one another & spend ample amounts of time together. It's just me and him. And we've decided that no matter when we have kids, we will enjoy our life together & still go on tons of adventures because when all is said & done, at the end of our lives, it'll still just be me and him. Kids grow up and move out. But our marriage is forever and knowing that has really helped us to prioritize our marriage & try to be the best we can be-- no matter the season of life.
What are some rituals/traditions that you have with your spouse?
We aren't very good at rituals or traditions... (it seems like every time we call something a "tradition" we forget to do it the next day, week, or year...hah!) But we do have a few things that we do regularly. We try to pray together every morning and evening. We go on dates pretty regularly-- we could use some work in planning said dates better... we are very spontaneous with date nights (I suppose that's a perk of not having kids yet?). We go to church together every week. And we always go to bed at the same time-- we don't necessarily fall asleep at the same time, but we are always ready for bed and in bed at the same time. Oh! And every year we take a picture at our bench. (you can read more about our bench here)
How have the obstacles and challenges that you've faced as a couple made you a stronger team?
As I mentioned earlier, we have been struggling with infertility over the course of the last 16 months. When we first started this journey, one of my sisters (who also struggles with infertility) told me that she was grateful for their journey because it brought them closer together as a couple. And I echo that. Most of the time I have a really hard time finding something to be grateful for with this journey we are on, but I will always be grateful for how close it has brought Parker and I.
I was thinking about this the other day and I am so grateful for our friends and family who have rallied around us and prayed for us, we will never be able to thank them enough for their love and support. But I can never, ever thank God and thank Parker enough for the times when Parker has just held me as I've cried, or stayed up late because I can't stop crying in the middle of the night, or brought home donuts or taken me to the Costco food court to get a hot dog because he knows those things make me happy.
Before we got married, I knew that Parker loved me and that he would provide and protect me, but I definitely underestimated how much he loved me. And this long struggle has definitely showed me a portion of that love. (Please note, this trial hasn't been hard on only me, but I do want to protect Parker's privacy in any way that I can, which is why I'm only sharing my half of the trial.) We've had to be vulnerable with one another. We've had to rely on one another to make the other happy. We've had to sacrifice small wants for a greater one. We've had to find other things that fill the void for now. We've had to buoy the other up spiritually & rely on one another's faith & testimony. And while this isn't over (and I'm not sure it ever will be over), I am grateful for the way infertility has strengthened our marriage.
Tell me something that you hope to be able to do together in the future?
Parker and I hope to be able to own our own business together! We would also like to be home owners one day! And travel the world. Basically we just want to settle down & enjoy each other's company for the rest of forever.