we interrupt this blog / 13 years & 13 ways we stay in love – even though we work together. EVERY. DAY!

Woah.

13 years ago tonight we said, “I do!”

the daily Starr slow it down Sunday to our children on our 12th anniversary 2

I cannot even believe this ridiculousness. We are NOT old enough to be married that long.

I like the couple we met earlier today that has been married for 36 years…they asked us if we got married when we were 13?!?! YES!!! Yes, we did.

For the past 5 years, I’ve sat down at my little keyboard to write something documenting us. It’s become one of my favorite traditions to celebrate our love. Long after we’re gone and our love story continues for generations to come, I want our grandkids and their grandkids to find these stories. I want them to know this part of their legacy and what made us the family we have become.

Here we go, celebrating 13 years today – I bring you:

13 Ways We Stay in Love – Even Though We Work Together. EVERY. DAY!!

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We’re together. Like almost 24-7. And somehow, someway, we manage to still be in love. We’re big dorks, really. And most days involve some kind of craziness like trashed houses and masks and other random adventures.

After 13 years, we’ve made a lot of messes and mistakes. We still make them, almost daily. But, we’ve stumbled on a few things that help us keep our love alive. Here they are, in no particular order at all (because disorganization is my specialty).

#1 – NON-NEGOTIABLE: Time Alone

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As in, me and you. No kids. No other couples. No other peoples. None.

Date nights. Road trips. Anniversary getaways.

We invest in time alone. We make this a priority because we desperately need time together to be just us. There is a time and place for girl’s weekends, mom’s night out, family trips, etc – WHATEVER.

But, this cannot take the place of time alone with the one you love. Plan and invest in the 2 of you. The payoff is priceless.

#2 – NON-NEGOTIABLE: Church

I grew up in a family where church is what we did. My dad became a Pastor when I was in high school, so of course, no choice. Unless you’re throwing up, to church you go.

You have no idea how THANKFUL I am for this. We’ve carried this tradition into our family. We attend a small church where people notice when you’re not there. I personally need and love that accountability. In our family, we go to church.

Of course, going to church doesn’t save you. But, Mama says it so well:

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Yup! Putting yourself in the right place and environment to grow your relationship with God – that doesn’t hurt. It actually helps. In fact, God tells us we need to go to church. It’s in the Bible, y’all.

#3 – Talk

Turn the TV off.
Put the phone down.
Look each other in the eyes.
Have awkward silence – that’s even good sometimes.
Bring up the tough conversations.
Don’t talk to someone else about your spouse, talk to YOUR SPOUSE.
Dream together.
Ask questions.
Get to know your best friend.
Really CARE about what they have to say.
Become interested in what they love and what they have to say.
Be slow to criticize, slow to judge.
Be quick to encourage and build up.

Because really, one day they may not be able to talk and remember this great adventure called life we’re living now. Yes, I went there. And seriously. I cry just looking at this photo.

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Brian – promise me you’ll come read to me our love story if I’m the one that can’t remember. Ok?

#4 – Shift your perspective – live to make them happy

Funny things seem to happen when you start caring less about getting what you want in life. Zig Ziglar says it like this:

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Yes, help enough other people get what they want. Stop trying to get your way.

It’s like living backwards as my friend, Gary says.

You mean if I start doing more for them, I’LL be the happy one??

YES. Give it a try.

What do they love? DO THAT.

Plant some flowers in the yard to have an endless supply of fresh flowers in the house for your love.

Buy a supply of greeting cards to leave around the house when they least expect it.

Send random love texts throughout the day, just because.

Surprise them by having them come home to a clean house….woah….don’t get your hopes up too soon, Brian!!

#5 – Go to bed together, at the same time

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I keep thinking we should re-create this image with our sappy ginormous Christmas tree!! Hahah!

We’ve always done this. It feels weird if Brian or I go to bed before the other one. Don’t let yourself get caught up in one spouse always going to sleep early and one staying up to watch TV for hours on end – or doing whatever.

Now, I understand sometimes work schedules make this impossible. But, I think we all have the ability to choose to do this maybe more than we do. And don’t even get me started on married couples that don’t sleep in the same bed. YES, y’all snore. OK – go get a sleep machine. Do something. Figure it out. THIS is important.

You’ll find a renewed closeness. You’ll talk more. You’ll do other things that married people do (let’s keep it clean, y’all…hahah!!). Meanwhile, my 16 year old sister is gagging now that she just read that.

#6 – Make. Out. Monday.

(and other crazy days we have that I’m not going to mention here)

Yeah, y’all know all about #makeovermonday on my blog.

BUT, Brian and I have a whole other set of days just for us. You can just use your imagination.

Want to revive spontaneous love in your marriage? Try this out one week and surprise your spouse each day with a theme. I won’t forget the week I introduced our “new themes” to Brian. It was hilarious – and soooo fun. We built excitement and anticipation for our love. And we haven’t stopped our new themes. Best part? They are our own little secret and subject to change on any given day.

(again, my sister is gagging….love you, Joy!!)

#7 – Pray as a family

Each night we gather in our daughters’ room to pray together. Yes, some nights are super rushed and we’re all ill, but we still do it.

THIS is important to teach our kids and live by example. It’s nothing long and complicated or drawn out. It’s simple, really. Sometimes they pray. Sometimes we pray. We talk like normal and Brock is always running around getting into something while we pray. It’s beautiful family chaos.

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Seriously, one day I’m gonna miss us sitting together and ending the day in prayer.

#8 – Consider your spouse in EVERYTHING

money
discipline
careers
values
church/ministry
giving
shopping
hobbies
INSERT ANYTHING YOU DO HERE

Y’all. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

You are two that have become one.

I personally don’t understand couples that have separate banking accounts – his and her money?? Why?? This becomes a trust issue for me. If I can’t give him access to everything I have, then I don’t fully trust him.

We live our lives constantly considering our other half.

SURE, there have been so many times when we’ve messed this up. Things Brian neglected to tell me about – some intentional, some because he forgot. There have been things I bought and didn’t tell him about. Mostly because I knew I didn’t need it and he would be quick to remind me of that.

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We’ve really messed this up before. And each time we do, we’re reminded of how much it hurts to not consider the other one in our decisions. And we don’t want to live like that.

Now, I’m not saying we’re living this annoying life of constantly asking permission to do and spend. No, in 13 years we’ve grown to know what’s OK with each other and what requires a check-in. And when in doubt, ASK.

Never operate in the popular: Just do it and ask for forgiveness later. THAT is dangerous in marriage.

#9 – Nightly Check-ins

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This is simple. Most nights before we go to bed, we try to ask each other, “What’s your day like tomorrow, what do you have on your calendar?”

This helps to set expectations of who will be where and who will need help with getting kiddos and what about dinner, etc.

Our days go much better when we both know what to expect and aren’t surprised with something we didn’t plan for.

#10 – Be your spouse’s BIGGEST CHEERLEADER!!

Brian knows my lifelong dreams. Well, almost all of them. How could he NOT know I want a Christmas Tree farm one day???

We know each others dreams and we want to help make them happen.

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Seriously – go watch the movie UP if you’ve never seen it. Now. Go. Now.

Brian loves real estate. I’ve helped him with that dream for the past 4 years.

I want a farm and my own business. Brian is helping me figure out how to make that happen.

Have you asked your spouse about their dreams lately?

Step 1 – ASK. If you don’t know, you can’t help them get there.

Step 2 – Encourage them. Don’t be their biggest critic. Help them to overcome the obstacles. Be the one to hold their hand across the finish line.

#11 – Do Spontaneous. Do it now.

Don’t wait for perfection. Jump in. All in. Right now.

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{That time our date night included getting all the kids in the car and going to the mall for an amazing piece of cheesecake and eating it on the way home!}

Get in the car and take a day trip.
Go on a picnic.
Get a last minute sitter.
Bring home flowers, just because.

Don’t wait to have a plan. Some of our favorite times are those that were never planned.

#12 – Stop trying to “fix your spouse” and love them for exactly who they are

Brian loves Starr.
Starr is terrible at math.

the-daily-starr-we-interrupt-this-blog-13-ways-we-stay-in-love-even-though-we-work-together-every-day-1Starr is not good at keeping the house clean.
Brian does not start each day with math lessons or house cleaning tips.
Brian accepts Starr exactly how she is – bad math and clutter.
Be like Brian.

– – –

 

Starr loves Brian.
Brian thinks he is ALWAYS RIGHT.

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Starr has figured out that life is better if Brian just goes along thinking he’s always right – even when he’s not.
Brian isn’t very spontaneous and likes to take time to think about big decisions.
Starr has realized she actually needs this from her spouse and would be broke and in debt up to her eyeballs without him.
Starr has given up on rushing things when Brian thinks it would be better to wait.
Starr just says, “OK – you’re right, you’re ALWAYS RIGHT!”
Be like Starr πŸ™‚

#13 – Actually work together – Every. Day.

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We didn’t have a plan for me to leave my corporate job almost 5 years ago – it just kinda happened.

It was scary walking into the unknown of 2 self-employed crazies working together in a small business.

WHAT were we thinking???

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Would we be able to actually do this??
Can we pay the bills?
Will we ever be able to afford insurance on our own??? (no comment on how our self-employed premiums have more than TRIPLED since 5 years ago!!!)

Would we totally get on each others nerves??

There was only one way to know.

TRY IT!

We’ve never looked back.

Hands down, one of the best decisions we have ever made for our family and for each other.

Have an inkling to someday work with your spouse? DO IT! Put a plan together and work towards making that a reality. Worst case? You hate it and go back to separate jobs.

I can’t imagine us not working together now. And here we are walking into a season with some CRAZY big dreams ahead.

God is working and I’m seeing Him change aspects of our lives to make way for those dreams. I’m still in shock that we’d be brave enough to go after some of these crazy ideas…I mean, A BARN>>>>???

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I could have never imagined this 13 years ago. NEVER.

And there is no one on this earth that is designed as perfectly as Brian to be by my side for the adventures ahead.

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Brian, thank you for staying in love with me and working every single day on us.

And who says 13 is bad luck??? This has been my MOST FAVORITE anniversary yet, babe!

Love, me

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Kiddos – one day when you look back, here is our family – 13 years after the start of my most favorite love story. Ours.

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2016
Starr – 35
Brock – 1
Kayla – 9
Kylie – 4 (almost 5 in a few days!!)
Brian – 34

Want to read our past anniversary reflections? I got a good laugh going back through these today, ohhhh the memories!!

To Our Children on our 12th Anniversary

11 Reasons I Will Chase Him Down if He Ever Leaves

10 Ways I Love You, 10 Years Later: A love note to my one & only Brain

9 Years / 9 Memories / 9 Lessons

 

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12 comments

  1. Even after almost 31 yrs, we’re still learning. Great suggestions and I would include pray together and remember to say I’m sorry..
    Don’t have that farm too far away, wherever will we get our Christmas tree then. Tree farms are a blast. We cut ours every year and took the grands on the sled through the snow to do it. It was fun then, but do not miss the snow.
    Thanks Starr and thanks Brian for loving this lady.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Such great additions, Pookie! Those are mainstays for us and some of those I mentioned in last year’s post πŸ™‚ and you can ABSOLUTELY come get a tree at our farm. Don’t worry. I want to stay where we’re at. Like across the street from our neighborhood now, hahah! Help me pray the farmer doesn’t think I’m crazy when we approach him with our crazy business plan and ask to buy some of his farm!!!! I can’t wait to meet you one day!!!

      Like

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