Years Married: 8.5
Kids: 3 (5-year-old boy; 2-year-old girl; 2-week-old boy)
Occupation(s): BJ - Mortgage Auditor; Heather - Stay-at-Home-Mom
Hobbies/Interests: Hiking, camping, fishing, swimming during the summer, sports (Broncos and Dallas football, Wyoming Cowboys), coaching and participating in our kids’ activities, running when we have the time, pretty much anything we can do as a family.
Favorite flavors of ice cream: Plain old vanilla (sometimes with hot fudge or caramel), chocolate chip cookie dough, and almost anything from Smart Cow.
Q. What are the "Top Ten," things you do to nurture your marriage?
1. Share a "family first," mindset.
BJ & H: No matter how hard things get, our little family’s happiness is what comes before all else.
2. Remember that the little things matter.
BJ & H: Little things make a big difference. Some little things that make a big difference for us might be a text or an email that says “I love you,” sent for no particular reason; a card, a small unexpected gift (sometimes it’s a CD one of us has been wanting from one of our favorite artists, a Starbucks coffee, etc.), a kiss when one of us gets home, etc.
H: Sometimes I will change it up a little and wear my hair curled because I know how much BJ likes it.
BJ: I will do a load or two of laundry, and let Heather sleep-in on the weekends. We just try and let the the other person know we are thinking of them throughout the day.
3. Schedule a regular date night.
BJ &H: Most of our date nights are “at home date nights.” We don’t have family in town to watch the kids and paying for a babysitter gets expensive, so we get creative and plan things we can do at home. Our favorite thing to do is play Mexican Train dominoes after the kids go to bed, but we have also rented movies, played video games (seriously, brings out the kid in us both), and when the weather is nice we LOVE to sit out on our back patio by the fire pit! On the occasion that we do have someone here to watch the kids, we usually go out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants (Buffalo Wild Wings, Hacienda, and The Melting Pot for very special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries), and then go grab a beer somewhere to relax and reconnect.
4. Give accolades.
BJ & H: Both of us (probably because we are both first born) have a need for a so called “pat on the back,” but then again, we don’t know a lot of people who don’t appreciate being recognized for a job well done. It is important for us to recognize each other’s hard work, whether it be on the job, with the kids, or between the two of us.
5. Balance each other out.
BJ & H: It just somehow works out that we almost always balance out the other person.
H: I tend to be one that has my feelings hurt very easily (I have always had my heart on my sleeve). When that happens, BJ is always helpful in showing me both sides of the coin while still respecting how I feel about the situation.
BJ: I tend to be the more pessimistic one of us, definitely not all the time, but Heather is helpful in finding the humor in the situation, so that I don’t feel so down about whatever the situation is.
BJ &H: We definitely have a good understanding of what the other needs out in the relationship, and it trickles down into our parenting as well.
6. Encourage time away.
BJ & H: We're not talking about an entire week or anything, but there are definitely times when we both need to get out of the house, away from the stress that can come with raising kids and being together all the time. We have a pretty good understanding of each other’s need to spend time together as a couple, but also to spend time alone or with friends. It is very rare that either of us will say "no," to the other about going out with friends, and more often than not we tell each other to plan a night out.
7. Spend time between the sheets.
BJ & H: As most married couples with kids know, it can be so hard to find the energy and the time to be intimate with each other. It is super fun to be spontaneous, but with kids that can prove to be a little difficult at times.
H: Just recently I discovered the shared calendar on our iPhones (I think I may have been living in a cave to not know this until now); not that it is super romantic or anything, but I found that scheduling the time together helps me to “be in the mood,” for later. So, I will schedule it...
BJ: And then I get a notification on my phone... nothing like a little anticipation right?!
BJ & H:It is definitely not ALWAYS scheduled, but it has just been a fun way to be flirty throughout the day with each other.
8. Support each other.
BJ & H: We are each other’s biggest cheerleader in all aspects of life! We talk about dreams and goals all the time! Sometimes the dreams seem unreachable, and the goals may take some time to achieve, but we always want the best for each other and think that we can achieve anything we set our minds to!
9. Share interests, but have personal ones, too.
BJ & H: We both enjoy sports, A LOT. We enjoy both watching sports (football season is pretty serious business around our house), and participating in them.
H: I like to cook, knit, and read, as well.
BJ: I like to run more than than Heather does. I also love Nuggets basketball and Rockies baseball.
BJ & H: We enjoy running together when we can, and you can find us throwing the football around in our backyard, kicking the soccer ball around, or a semi-friendly (remember that first born thing, we are definitely competitive) game of volleyball.
10. Laugh together often.
BJ & H: On a final note, laugh with each other, and (sometimes when it is called for) at each other!
"There is properly no history; only biography."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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