Thursday, April 30, 2015


   You're probably thinking to yourself, "what does ziti have to do with marriage?". I'm not here to say the secret to a solid marriage or relationship is ziti, but it might save a lot of fighting. You see cooking is a skill everyone should have, whether you plan to get married someday or not. You don't have to be the next Iron Chef or Rachel Ray, it's just as good to know the basics and a few go to dishes.
    How many nights have you asked each other about what to have for dinner? How many nights have either of you said "I don't know"? Probably equal times. Then I bet one of you mentions something, and the other one hates that. Perhaps one of you offers another place and the other says no because it's not cheap enough. At least that's how I've heard some couples are about figuring out where to eat.
    You know what can spare that constant back and forth? One or both of you knowing how to cook! Now I know some nights it can be just too hectic for one of you to get a meal prepared. But that's okay, because it doesn't have to be fancy cooking, just edible and delicious! It's important for one of you to have basic cooking skills since take-out from the same 4 places can get old, and expensive. Plus some nights, or for us most nights of the week, you won't feel like going out for dinner either. So while I won't say it can make your marriage complete, it might make things a lot smoother. If you're not much of a cook, or you're always looking for new recipes, here's my recipe for creamy tomato chicken ziti.

16 oz. box of ziti or penne rigatoni
8 oz. cream cheese
Frozen spinach
1 bag of Mozzarella
1 bag of pre-cooked chicken(you can find it near the lunchmeat in your store)
1 jar of spaghetti sauce(I like mushroom and green pepper)
Salt & pepper

  • Boil your pasta as directed on box.
  • Put cream cheese and spaghetti sauce in skillet. Make sure you add the cream cheese slowly.
  • Put frozen spinach in microwave to defrost. Squeeze the liquid out in a colander.
  • Add mozzarella slowly to the sauce.
  • Put chicken in the microwave for a minute, cut up smaller.
  • Add chicken, spinach, and cooked pasta.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. Voila!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Young Love

   As most of y'all already know Dillon and I met pretty young. Not in preschool or anything haha, more like our teens.
     I did some research on the average ages of marriage in America from different decades. As you might have assumed 1950 had the youngest average age, being 20 for women and 24 for men. As of 2010 those numbers are now about 27 for women and 28 for men, the highest ages on the charts(the chart dates from 1890 to 2010). Although it's worth noting that the averages in 1890 were 23 for women and 26 for men.
     I noticed something interesting on the chart. At no point did the men's average age for marriage dip below the women's. In fact there's only one time in which they're about 1 year in difference and that would be 2000. 25 for women and 26 for men. The percentage of women that marry at 18 was also higher than men, 6% and 2% respectively.
    I also looked up the statistics on divorce and I found the common 40% to 50% of first marriages will end in divorce. Lately though there has been a rise of studies disputing that percentage. In actuality the divorce rates have been declining since 1980, leaving them more realistically at 30% to 40%. has a chart that was done in 2009 with marriage and divorce statistics by age group. With each age group you had a increased number of marriages and a increased number of divorces. The only two age groups where the divorce rate was lower than the age group before it was the 18 to 19 group and the 70 and over group. The marriage rates continued to go up too.    
   I'm curious about how many of those that marry at the average age of marriage today knew each other at the ages we knew each other. Maybe people are waiting longer to get married or perhaps they're just finding who they wanna be with later on.
    Dillon and I got married at almost 20(he turned 21 a few weeks later) and 18. We were younger than my parents when they got married( Dad was 26 and Mom was 22), and older than my mom's parents( Granddaddy was 19 and Nana was 17 1/2). I wonder where the next generation will be as far as marriage is concerned. Will the average continue to climb or will they slowly decrease? Only time shall tell.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015


    If you're reading this you more than likely have at least one relationship prior to your current one. Unless of course you happened to marry your middle school sweetheart.
    Whether you have only 1 ex or closer to 50 exes, you have a relationship past. Now you may not even think of your relationship past at all, or you may still be friends with some of those people you used to date. Odds are though your significant other might have a question or two about your old boyfriends or girlfriends.
     I guess you could say Dillon and I are yet again one of those couples that talk about pretty much everything, including exes. Now since we met each at a young age we really don't have that many people to talk about, but there's still history there. There's still questions and answers. I think the weirdest part is knowing you were both out there somewhere and not together for whatever years have you. Finding out that there were maybe a handful of times you could've met before you actually did.
   For example there was a guy I was friends with and he would mention these two friends of his and I had no idea that Dillon happened to be the other guy that he never named. Or the time that I had planned to go to a friend's prom since he didn't have a date, then we decided not to go together, and Dillon was there the night of the prom with an old girlfriend. Part of me wonders where we would be today if we had met at several of the times we could've. Would we have been together sooner? Or would it have changed everything?
    I hear more and more about couples that don't really discuss past relationships. I don't think you can really know someone well until you know who they used to be. Because everything we've experienced adds up to who we are in the present moment. The way I see it the most important thing your past relationships taught you was what you want from your next.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Wedding Anniversaries

      Coming up this August, August 3rd to be exact, is our 2nd wedding anniversary. I remember last year on our 1st I was pregnant with James so we had a pretty quiet celebration. We went to church that day and had lunch at cracker barrel. There was a nap in there somewhere too haha! I was pretty tired at that point in the pregnancy. It was nice, and just my speed for how I was feeling.
       The start of celebrating wedding anniversaries dates back to the Holy Roman Empire when husbands would crown their wives with silver wreaths on their 25th, and a gold wreath on the 50th. Then in the 20th century commercialism led to more anniversaries being recognized with specific gifts.
     For instance the 1st anniversary traditional gift is paper, while the modern is a clock. It's kind of funny because I got Dillon a watch for our 1st and didn't even know. The 2nd year is cotton for traditional and china for the modern list. I haven't thought about his gift yet but I have some time.
     I noticed that they also have a gift for the 85th anniversary, moonstone for traditional, or the wife's birthstone for the modern gift. I have yet to meet anyone that has celebrated their 85th anniversary. I bet if someone did they would probably be in the paper, or the news!
    They even have a list of flowers for each year. Carnations for the 1st, lily of the valley for the 2nd. There's no flower for the 85th, but yellow rose or violet is for the 50th. 
     So there's a lot of options and ideas for each year. I think it's kind of sweet to stick to the theme for each year, as long as it's still nice and personal. Something that's meaningful to your spouse. That they look at and think "wow, they really know me!".
    Some couples make something special for each other. Now I like crafts but I'm not sure Dillon would appreciate my glitter coasters like I do haha. Who knows though, he could surprise me!
    What was your most memorable wedding or dating anniversary?

Saturday, April 25, 2015


   If you've already said "I do" or plan to someday you may have given your wedding vows some thought before. To write your own, or stick to the traditional vows? Maybe you wanna stick to the traditional but word them a little differently.
    There's a few options these days when it comes to wedding vows. But have you taken the time to really understand what those vows mean to you and your partner?  I think it's very important to give that some thought. After all they're not just words but a promise of your life to come. The tone you're setting for the next 50, 60, or 70 years.
    I've noticed where there has been a trend you could say with sort of silly vows. Couples vowing to kill spiders for their spouses, and love them as much as the Chicago Cubs. Some even rhythm their vows. It's funny how just 10 years ago writing your own vows was a trendy thing for weddings. Now we have humorous wedding vows! We weren't really brave enough to do this, plus I think we were both pretty emotional so they probably wouldn't have sounded very funny at the time haha.
   Dillon and I went with the traditional vows but in a special kind of wording. It was traditional and slightly different as well. Just like us.
    Probably the part that speaks to me the most in our wedding vows is where we vowed to cherish each other. It's so important to not take one day for granted with your loved one, you might not get another. If today was your last, wouldn't you wanna know that your spouse knew they were loved and appreciated by you. It's the simplest and most necessary of human needs.
     I also found the part about denying all those that would come between us important. For me it wasn't just about staying faithful to your partner, but not letting people who aren't there for your spouse or you drive a wedge between y'all as well. Protecting each other from people that don't mean them well.
     What part speaks the most to you? What do you plan to or have done with your vows?


Friday, April 24, 2015


    No two people are the same. You may find two people that either have a lot in common or look alike, but you'll never find an exact copy.
     Our relationships are just as unique. Some couples are more serious, some are more silly, and some are somewhere in between. Each couple handle things differently, see things differently. They may care about little things you wouldn't even think about.
      So then why do we sometimes look at another couple from the outside and think their relationship isn't good, or going the way it should? Well first and foremost I think we're all a little nosy. We tend to read into things that aren't even there. Put our opinions where they don't belong. We think we've found something that they don't even see. Trust me, you haven't. Odds are someone is looking at our relationship the same way while we're busy speculating. Funny isn't it?
      I tend to believe that maybe the reason we're so anxious about couples that have a different relationship from us is become we're worried about our own relationship. We're worried that perhaps we're not the perfect relationship example. That we might have missed something. If we really thought about it we'd know that other people's relationships do not validate or diminish our own. Just because they have a unique aspect to their relationship doesn't make your relationship any less unique or filled with love.
      Sometimes people get too caught up in someone else's relationship. You know what you could be doing instead? Focusing on your own! Taking the time to bond with your partner. Nurturing your relationship. Find out what's unique about the two of you together.
      Have you ever had a time when you questioned the way another couple handled something in their relationship? Or perhaps someone did that to you?


Thursday, April 23, 2015


    You probably use technology quite a bit in your day to day life. Maybe your cellphone, laptop, or microwave even. Although I'm sure you might not have taken the time to think about technology's affect on your love life.
     It's becoming more and more common to ask someone out on a date via text message. How many times have you scoped out a potential love interest on Facebook? Probably more times than you care to admit. Technology has become so much a part of our lives, why we wouldn't we expect it to affect how we date and keep relationships.
    Most people you ask would say that technology has hurt budding romances as well as already established relationships. I beg to differ. For instance living in the year 2015 you most likely know at least one couple that has met online. Whether it be through an online dating website, or even Facebook. It's becoming more and more commonplace. Isn't it funny that if those two people were living fifty years ago they might not have even met.
    As far as Facebook goes many people think it can be an issue when people check out someone they're going on a date with beforehand. Honestly Dillon and I were both guilty of that, and I think it's part of the reason we were able to connect so well. Of course neither of us told the other we had haha. The only problem would be for the people that snoop and find things they wouldn't want in a partner. But wouldn't you rather find out those things before you got in too deep?
    Another way I think technology has been helpful in our modern relationships, is texting for instance. It provides an easy and nonintrusive way to keep in touch with your partner while you're away. You probably wouldn't be able to call your partner while either of you are at work but you might be able to text them on break.
     What are you feelings about technology and their place in our relationships today?


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Scriptures For Your Marriage

   Hey y'all! Today I thought I'd share a few Bible scriptures that may apply to or be helpful in your marriage today. For me The Bible can be a great source of encouragement, strength, and hope. So here are some of my favorite verses on marriage and love.

"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." ~ Ecclesiastes 4:12

"Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate." ~ Mark 10:9

"Be completely humble and gentle; Be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace." ~ Ephesians 4:2-3

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love." 1 John 4:7-8
"Therefore a man should leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." ~ Genesis 2:24
"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Ephesians 5:25
"Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make him a helper fit for him." ~ Genesis 2:18
"That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ." ~ Colossians 2:2
P.S. This picture is from our first Sunday back to church after our honeymoon!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


    When you think about romance you may think of candlelit dinners or moonlight strolls on the beach. Romance means different things to different people. But did you know in most studies men are known to want or enjoy romance more?
    You've probably grown to just assume that women are the more romantic sex but that's not always true. In fact there is not one study that has proven that women are more romantic than men. One study said that 33% more men than women said it bothers them a lot that their significant other isn't more romantic. Which has most likely made every woman who's husband forgot Valentine's day or their anniversary laugh their heads off.
    You may look at men as a whole as being less emotional or apathetic when it comes to things such as romance and the belief in true love. So the knowledge that more men than women want romance in a relationship could be perplexing to you. Where did the disconnect start? Are men lying on these surveys or are men the ones being wrongly portrayed in most movies and books. Therefore ingraining the stereotype in us. If men actually are more romantic is it because women have been complaining for decades if not centuries about the lack of romance in men. Are they trying to change the expected pattern? Maybe.
      One study found that 48% of men believe in love at first sight, whereas only 28% of women do. That could be a result of men being the more visiual sex. While women are more about personality rather than exterior. Not to say that men don't care about personalities.
    I also read that about 33% of both men and women have actually ended a relationship after watching a movie or TV show. I found this pretty shocking, more shocking than the statistics saying men are more romantic. I have to believe that the couples that broke up after watching certain movies and shows was because it was mirroring a problem they already had. It probably didn't cause a new problem to arise in the relationship. If so Nicholas Sparks would be getting sued every other week.
    So there you have it. Men are just as, if not more, romantic than women, and watching a romantic movie could ruin your relationship. Well if you're already having problems!

Monday, April 20, 2015


   We're a curious species, always wanting to know more. At least most of us are that way. We usually want to know more about things around us, the people close to us. Who are we closer to than our partners?
    It amazes me the couples that would rather the questions stay unasked. That would rather not know the details of their partner's life before them, or even their feelings on certain things. Dillon and I are more of a no holds barred kind of couple. Some nights we won't even do anything but ask each other questions about the other person. Or ask about certain situations and how they think they would react. No question is left unanswered or unasked with us.
   Most couples that don't wanna know everything are worried that the answer is the worst case scenario in their mind I suppose. But if the answer truly changes how you feel about them maybe you should've asked it long ago, or perhaps the answer doesn't really matter as much as you think.
   Some couples take the approach of everything is on the table for questioning, but this. It could be money for some. In fact recently I've heard of a lot of couples keeping their money separately and not asking each other at all what's being done with their money.
    I personally think the reason Dillon and I are so comfortable with knowing everything about each other is probably because we're over sharers. We want to be able to confide things to someone close to us. We're not the kind of people that can hold things in.
    Now you may find yourself with someone with wants to share everything and you don't, or vice versa. What do you then? I think both of you would have to compromise a little. One person try to share more, the other person try to share less. Hopefully you'll be able to find a middle ground.
     Dillon and I are lucky to have a similar view on this. What do you and your partner do about all the little personal questions? Are you over sharers like us?

P.S. Partners in crime since day one!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Park

   Back in 2012 Dillon and I went on our first date. Now depending on who you ask our first date was either at church or the park. I say church, and he says park.
    So on our 2nd or 1st date, depending on how you look at it haha, we went to Maymont park. He actually wouldn't tell me where we were going, but eventually I figured it out. It was probably the hottest day of the summer. It was horrible. We finally found a bench to sit and talk for a while. He had packed a picnic but unfortunately neither of us could stand the heat. So we left and headed towards to The Virginia Historical Society. Then we headed to Carytown for a slice of pizza at Mary Angela's. After lunch we headed towards Short Pump and went in a bunch of stores.
    But the most memorable part of the day was going to Maymont, in spite of or maybe because of the heat haha. No really it was because we just sat and talked about, well everything. I remember he even started talking about getting married one day and having kids. Him, not me haha. He was talking in the abstract of course, no marriage proposals that day. I was really surprised by how honest and talkative he was.
   What was your first date with your significant other?

Friday, April 17, 2015


  Opinions, everyone has one. Often people have an opinion about everything under the sun, big or small. Some may voice them loud and proud, while others may be more reserved about their opinion. Either way the opinions still exist.
    Someone you've probably shared quite a few of your opinions with is your significant other. In fact you and your spouse may find yourselves at two totally different ends of the spectrum as far as your opinions go. Don't freak out though, it's perfectly normal. No two people are exactly a like. More often than not you will disagree on probably one thing, even if you both have similar values.
   Sometimes the only thing you can do when you find a particular issue dividing is agree to disagree. I'm sure you have many friends that think at least slightly different than you. Remember that when you find out something that you and your partner disagree about. Sometimes it can be a time for the both of you to consider a viewpoint you normally wouldn't.
       It's also good to keep in mind that sometimes people do change their point of view on certain things. It doesn't happen too often but it does happen. It may happen due to a life changing experience or perhaps something a third party said that gives them a different perspective than before. As human beings we're constantly changing, and sometimes our opinions do as well.
      We might have opinions due to our upbringing or in rebellion to our upbringing. Now you may keep most of those opinions for the rest of your life, but I think most people will find their true opinions later. They might be further away from where you started, or they could be only slightly different than you thought before. Everything shapes your opinions.
    That doesn't mean you should be constantly waiting and expecting the other person to feel differently one day. That's something that can't really be determined. You can't calculate your chances of the other person changing their opinion. If they do or don't often times has nothing to with you at all. So don't let that control how you feel about your relationship.
    At the end of the day opinions are just that, opinions. Don't take them too seriously that you end up hurting your significant other. Because the world isn't going to end because he likes fried chicken and you don't.

P.S. In this picture we were having a disagreement on what color to paint the walls. I don't remember who won, but it's now like bright pinky orange.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


    Nurturing may be something that you think only has to do with children, but everyone needs to be nurtured I believe. We are all living, breathing, and yes still growing creatures.
     When it comes to Dillon and me I find that it's a constant balance between being his friend, confidant, and wife, but also his nurturer. Someone that reminds him of how special he is, who comforts him, and even babies him when needed the way a mother would. I'm sure most of you are probably thinking of that quote about your husband being your first and oldest child, that's not what I'm getting at.It's More caring about him, loving him unconditionally, and seeing the best in him the way mothers always do. We all need someone to care about us in such a way.
    It's also important for us to nurture us as a couple. To do things just the two of us. Going places neither of us have been, and making memories we won't forget. Sharing things with each other, experiences, hopes, things you wouldn't tell anyone else, and most of all our love. Oh and food, food is for sharing.
   In the midst of nurturing our spouses and our relationship with them we must also remember to nurture our friendships. Life can become so hectic and busy that before long you think to yourself, "when was the last time I saw so and so?". I'm sure a lot of you reading this might be thinking of a friend or two. I hope to be better at being involved with my friends.
   Recently in our Sunday school class we started nurturing plants from seed. Each week Dillon and I  would take them home with us. For some reason they ended up kinda dying and getting mold on them...opps! So that just goes to show how when we don't get what we need we often stop thriving. By the way I have yet to tell the kids, so no telling!
    Nurturing is part of life like love and laughter. It's essential, or at least it makes life better.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015


   Marriage. Now that's a loaded word. It means so many things to different people. A lifetime together for some people, or a confining institution for others. Below is what marriage means to me.

- Being honest with each other, but only about the things that really matter.

- Being loyal to each other, even when it means not being loyal to someone we're close to.

- Being concerned for each other, and letting them know we're always going to be concerned about them.

- Having their back even in the hardest of times. Especially in the hard times.

- Agreeing to go for ice cream even though it's a little late just because you know it makes her happy.

- Praying for each other.

- Watching your least favorite movie in the world just because you know it makes him happy.

- Being able to read their face with other people and knowing what they're probably thinking.

- It's accepting the little things because you love the biggest and greatest parts of their personality.

- Drinking coffee in the early morning light, and not really saying a word because it's just too early for that.

- Me realizing I forgot to tell him I wanted a Sprite from Arby's and he remembers to get me one anyways.

   Marriage, at least for us, is all these things and so much more. It's all the good in the moment, and the promise of what's to come for us. What does marriage mean to you?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Last Names

   Last names. There's the generic ones, the hard to pronounce ones, and the highly unusual ones. No matter the kind everyone has one. Once you get married you may be contemplating your last name.
   The more traditional route is for women to take their husband's last name. In fact only about 8 percent of women will keep their last name, while in the 1990s it was closer to 23 percent. I'm honestly a little surprised by that statistic. I personally chose to take Dillon's last name. Even though I haven't legally changed it yet, don't judge.
    Some women choose to forgo their maiden name and keep their middle name. I made my maiden name my middle per say. So I went from going by Robyn Ivy Proctor, to Robyn Proctor Hinkle. I kinda wanted to use all 4 names but you can't really do that legally unless you hyphenate. I do use all 4 names on my Facebook though!
    Like I just mentioned above some women chose to hyphenate. I think it's a nice option for some, but I personally think it would sound too clunky with the 2 last names I would have.
    As afore stated 8 percent of women do keep their name as it was before the knot was tied. I contemplated this option myself. It's a good option for women that already have their name out there professionally, or just simply feel more themselves this way.
  What about men? We've been talking about women changing their name, but what about the guys? As of 2013 only 9 states treated a man's name change after marriage the same as a woman's. I was shocked, I had no idea. Other states require additional paperwork, months to process the request, and a huge filing fee. Could that be part of the reason most men don't change their last name? Or is it because of tradition? Fear of being seen as less manly? Who knows!
   There's also the very new option of couples making a hybrid of their names. So if your last name is Gold and his is Smith, y'all's new last name would be Goldsmith. I think it's a really sweet idea. It's like saying this is us, and this is our new family.
   Some of the reasons I chose to take Dillon's last name was because I saw it as a symbol of our bond. He's my family, and I'm his family. Plus my maiden itinals are unfortunate. I'll let y'all figure that out for yourself.
   What did you choose to do with your name? If you're not married what do you think you might do one day?

Monday, April 13, 2015


   It might be something that you do without really thinking, or a cherished ritual. Either way kissing is important to a relationship. After all basic human attraction is one of the ways we know we want to be with someone. They don't have to be Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, it's not really about physical characteristics but something more. A spark that you can't truly explain.
    Sometimes we may get in a rut and neglect something so simple as human touch, but it really isn't something to be neglected. All human beings need the human touch, whether it be a passionate kiss or just a hug, it matters. It warms the soul as much as it warms the body. It's healing and comforting. It's a simple way that we tell our spouse that we still love them.
   I did a little research the other day about kissing online(I know that sounds very weird) and I came across an article that said kissing can indicate for women whether they're going to go forward with a relationship. While that wasn't a variable in the decision making for a man. I found that kinda interesting. It also said that oxytocin and other brain chemicals are released in the brains of both men and women during kissing, which is responsible for making us feel bonded with our partners. The research also indicated that women tend to be more sensitive to this chemical therefore they enjoy kissing more. So there's your party opener haha!
   Basically kissing really does keep us feeling connected to our partners. So maybe you've both been a little distance lately, work is stressful, the kids have been bouncing off the wall, that certain person has really been pushing your buttons. Take a breath, sit down and kiss your man or woman. You're welcome!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Joint Effort

  Make no mistake about it. No relationship can stand if both parties aren't putting in the effort. It's all about showing up. Being there for each other, especially when no one else is there.
  When you make a commitment to someone you're saying that you're going to make the effort. You're not only saying you choose them, but that you choose them each and every day for the rest of your life. You make the choice to be all in.
   That's not to say that you should ignore when your partner isn't putting forth any effort in the relationship. For starters they may not even know they're not. I'll wait until you're done laughing. But seriously some people may think that this is the way they put effort into their relationship, while you may be thinking they're just oblivious. It's important that you tell them you need more from them. People are not mind readers. Communication is everything. Without it things start to fall apart. Feelings are hurt.
   If you're the person that the other person thinks isn't putting in the effort you should ask them what they need or want. If you start tuning in and paying attention you may notice they're frustrated. Pay attention to when they feel frustrated, did you say something or were you silent? Two big reasons people get frustrated with their spouses is 1) the other spouse says something offensive or rude, or 2) the other spouse didn't say anything at all leaving the other spouse to feel neglected or unheard.
   I'm not here to say that this solves all the issues in some marriages, but being jointly invested in your marriage or relationship can only be a good thing. It makes you more considerate of the other person and vice versa. One person can't be the only person showing up.

Friday, April 10, 2015


  Habits that irritate ya! Everyone has them. Whether it's common or bizzare, and nobody knows them firsthand like your significant other. It can be a little thing or a big thing, something they do or something they always forget to do. Here's a few examples of things that annoy people about their special people(please note: these are anonymous and Dillon and I are included in this):

"I don't know if this is really considered a habit, but I think we both get annoyed at what each other spends on money"

"I can't stand when he leaves his baseball caps on the posts of our four-poster bed. That IS NOT the place for hats."

"Sometimes he tickles me and won't stop, and it drives me nuts!"

"Something that gets us both is when he's folding clothes I almost always go behind him and refold. I go OCD on his folding skills then it drives him crazy 'cause he just folded everything and I go back and undo it."

"He has a habit of repeating everything."

"Every time we use paper plates he tries to save the already used ones. They're called disposable for a reason."

"She has a tendency to worry a lot. Not really annoying, just frustrating sometimes. Especially since I'm a laidback person."

"I can't stand going into the bathroom and his clothes are all balled up on the other side of the toilet. Really?"

 What are some things that irritate you when it comes to your significant other?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Husband: Meet Mine

    Well I've been talking about marriage and relationships, and it occurred to me that I should introduce my husband to y'all. Here's a quick and inclusive interview from my husband!

Me: What is your full name?
Husband: You know that.

Me: For the sake of the interview please state it.
Husband: Joseph Dillon Hinkle.

Me: Thank you! What do you call me?
Husband: Babe, pookie.

Me:What job did you want as a little boy?
Husband: For a while I wanted to do construction like my Gaga, then I wanted to be a vet.

Me: Favorite meal?
Husband: Chicken parmesan.

Me: Favorite thing about me?
Husband: That's such a hard question, there's so many things. I like that you're outgoing, very what do you call it, sociable. Caring and sweet.

Me: If you had to choose between eating and sleeping, which would you choose?
Husband: I would eat in my sleep.

(I make a mental check to lock the refrigerator at night just in case).

Me: What is your favorite store?
Husband: Definitely Gruhn Guitars, Nashville, TN.

Me: What is my favorite store?
Husband: Target. Definitely Target. We go in Target 3 times a day.

Me: Um I haven't even been there this week....
Husband: That doesn't matter.

Me: Best meal I make?
Husband: Well it's kinda hard, babe, cause I like that tater-tot casserole and I like that chicken whatever stuff you make.

Me: Favorite ice cream flavor?
Husband: As a generic chocolate chip cookie dough, but as a specialty Bruster's key lime pie.

Me:Weirdest thing you've worn?
Husband: Um probably putting on the pharaohs costume cause I was kinda in a dress, but it was all fun and games.

(He's referring to the annual Fall Follies at our church where we always have a closing number where they dress up like pharaohs and dance to Wooly Bully)

Me: What do we like to do together?
Husband: Go shopping, watch t.v., Netflix. I think we like to go different places, like places we've never been before.

Me: Favorite memory of us?
Husband: Definitely our week in Nags Head.

Me: If you could be anyone for a day who would you be?
Husband: Elvis or Paul McCarthy I think would be pretty cool.

Me: What was I wearing the first time you met me?
Husband: You were wearing purple skinny jeans and a black top, right?

Me: Favorite movie of all time?
Husband: Forrest Gump.

Me: Something you say a lot?
Husband: That's what's up.

Me: Book recommendation?
Husband: I really like John Steinbeck's books. Grapes of Wrath is really good.

Me: Life motto?
Husband: I'd pretty much say treat others like you'd want to be treated. Kindness and respect go a long way.


P.S. He was right about my outfit. I'm to the left in this picture!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Grocery Shopping

   Grocery shopping. Everyone's gotta do it! Unless of course you're a celebrity, in which case this post might actually still interest you. Because I'm not giving a how to on grocery shopping.
    You see there's certain things that when you get married or settle into a long term relationship that become kinda, I don't know, not so bad. Not so mundane. Except for washing dishes, that always stinks! Part of me believes that when you find the person for you how you know is by the fact that little things like that are special. It's not grocery shopping but just more cherished time together.
   It's the little things that you look back at and realize made up your life together. The little ordinary days and daily events, like organizing the closet, folding laundry, your morning routine, and yes grocery shopping. It's not that you really love what you're doing but that you love who you're doing those things with.
    Now we don't always do the grocery shopping together. I'll usually go with my mom during the week. But occasionally I'll get back and realize I've forgotten a few things. I find myself pretty lucky that if I ask Dillon to pick up the forgotten things on the way home he's never bothered. Thanks Dillon!
    When we do go together we go to Walmart. By the way, this is just a side-note if you shop at Walmart and you have a smartphone be sure to download the free savings catcher app. All you have to do is scan the barcode on your receipt, and it finds better deals at other stores and gives you back the difference which you can get back on an e-gift card. Anyways it's nice to have Dillon come with me because well he's taller and can reach all the high shelves haha! Plus he likes to complain with me about rude people in the store. We have very unique hobbies. Don't act like you're not bothered by those people that take up the whole aisle while they look for their cereal!
   Don't wish away little ordinary days like maybe the day you have ahead of you. Don't wish away the beautiful routine of your life together. Because it's one more day you get to be with the people you love. Each small not so special day is one day of the rest of your lives together, don't let it be wasted.
     P.S. For those of you who aren't attached if you wanna know if the next person is the one for you, go on a date but do something that usually bores you. If you'd still wanna be there then I'm pretty sure that person's a keeper!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


 We're talking about money, people. Finances is just a fancier, less blunt word. Plus it starts with F! It's one of the leading causes of divorce, whether you have a lot or hardly any. Well money isn't really the leading cause, the leading cause is lying about money, or not agreeing about what to do with your money.
   Luckily for Dillon and I we don't have the problem of having a lot of money, so glad we dodged that bullet haha! But we still had to make a decision about our money nonetheless! For us it was really a no brainer about a joint checking account. Especially when we switched have 2 incomes to 1. Even before that though we knew we didn't want separate accounts. For one thing it keeps you accountable(pun not intended), there's no way you can hide your spending. Although we did have an issue with the bank we would use.
  The only problem with the bank we're using right now is there's not many locations and the closest one is like 30 minutes away. So if he's doesn't get to the bank in time on Friday he has to go first thing Saturday morning before it closes at 12pm. Recently though they came out with an app that lets you deposit it through a picture. There's one hitch though, if you do it after the closing time on Friday it sometimes doesn't go on until Monday or Tuesday of next week. So far we haven't had too many times that we don't get it deposited that same day, just enough to make it annoying!
  We thought about looking at other banks closer to us and with more locations available, but they all want an excellent credit score and 5 of your finest ox. It's a racket I tell you! So in a way the banks have kept us from fighting over what bank is best. Thanks banks!
   Another part of a couple's finances is figuring out what to do about your spending habits. How do you both come to a decision on a major purchase, such as a car. How much can the two of you spend without consulting the other about the purchase. For us we try to keep that at about the $20 range. That's what works for us.
   How did you and your significant other make decisions on your finances? If you're not married or have yet to make any moves on your finances together what have you thought about doing once the knot is tied?

                                           ^ Our first car!

Monday, April 6, 2015


  Don't be so emotional. Take the emotion out of it. You've probably heard people say things along those lines. But I'm here to tell you emotions need to be out there in a marriage or relationship. At least for it to be a healthy relationship. One of the biggest reasons people split up(other than money) is not being honest about how they feel. Not showing the other person that they care about them.
   As human beings we have a survival mode, and part of that mode is often hiding how we feel. When someone hurts us, or to have the upper hand. Sometimes we try to take emotions out of our relationships thinking that's how you make the clear decisions. It's not. Marriage and relationships are all heart. Sometimes they don't make sense. Sometimes how we feel doesn't have any bigger reason than that's how we feel.
   I'm not saying you have to constantly be crying tears of joy over how much you love that person. Being forthcoming with your emotions can be as simple as saying I love you every morning, smiling at them out of the blue, or just holding their hand while you watch the nightly news. Every one has a different way they show their feelings, if you pay attention to your spouse you'll know what they need from you.
  Don't waste time, make sure your significant other knows exactly how you feel about them. Be emotional. No one wants to be in a marriage or relationship where they have to question if the other person is still in love with them.

Saturday, April 4, 2015


   When you're looking for someone to spend the rest of your life with dating is the way we test the waters to see if there's a true connection. Often though once you've said I do dating might seem to not need a place in your life together anymore, or perhaps there's just not any time to date. After all life is busy and so are you. But I believe dating is essential to a marriage, it's that "us" time that makes you remember why you got married in the first place.
   Now I'm not saying that in order to keep close to your spouse y'all have to go out to dinner every Friday. The actual "date" is not the important part. When people say never stop dating your spouse to me it's not actually about going out per say, but about not stopping the things you used to do for each other when your love was so new.
   It's about truly cherishing the time we have with our spouses and being present. It's about letting him pick what you watch on Netflix, or letting her pick where you have dinner. It's about being thoughtful, and overly considerate, like you would be if y'all were still dating. Being in the mindset of trying to win them over every day. Because marriage isn't about you, it's about your husband or wife.
   What's one way you try to stay connected with your spouse? One thing Dillon and I try to keep doing is checking on the other person during the week while we're away. It's such a simple thing but it totally changes how you're feeling to know that someone cares whether or not you're having a good day.

                       ^From before we were married!

Friday, April 3, 2015


    To have or not to have? That's merely one of the questions that involves children in a marriage. If you decide you don't want children what about if your spouse feels differently. Do you have children for them or do you deny them this life experience they always thought they would have? That is assuming you can have children. Although you can adopt either way.
    Let's say you're both on the same page and you're on the page that reads, "yes we want children!". Well that opens an even bigger can of worms for some couples. One person thinks they should be fed only organic foods, the other doesn't care as long as it's not moving on their plate. You may feel like the home is the best place to educate your child, and your spouse feels like it's too out of the norm. The actual issues of raising a child don't matter, but how a couple approaches them does.
   How will you make a decision for your child's well being when you can't find a middle ground, or at least some solid ground.
    Luckily for us we're not too far off in our thinking and beliefs about childrearing. Which will come in handy one day, even though James wasn't exactly reared by us. One of us isn't too far apart from the other. But I don't really know if we were always this way or if we grew this way. Like a vine, growing taller, but closer at the same time.
    I'm not trying to say that couples are always going to think the same way when it comes to an issue like this one. What I'm saying is it's helpful when a couple grows together, not just in love but in values. Not exactly opinions per say. I would never suggest for two people to go around attempting to share the same brain. Although a lot of people do.
    Whatever choices you make about children as a couple should be just that. As a couple, not two people trying to force their way with their children, but trying to help each other through this brave new world.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bedroom Habits

   Bedroom habits, every couple's got 'em! That thing they have to do every night before they hit the hay. For Dillon and I our nightly routine includes a little Netflix watching(usually One Tree Hill, Glee, or some movie we haven't seen since we were kids), decaf coffee for me and Dr.Pepper for him, laughing about dumb things that enter our heads, sometimes I'll be checking other people's blogs, and mostly every night we're both perusing our phones. Yes I know, we're super exciting!
    Some couples don't keep a t.v. in their bedroom. One reason being it keeps the two of you from really connecting and talking to each other. For us we're the kind of people that talk about every part of the show we're watching. So while we might not be in deep thoughtful conversation every night, we do have a good time discussing our shows.
   Some couples don't allow food or beverages of any kind. For us we always say no food or drink in our bedroom, but then it hits around 9:30pm and ice cream sounds like a good idea.
   Some couples choose to read a good book before bed. For us that's only an occasional bedtime occurrence. And when we do read at bedtime, we is me. Dillon's not much of a reading guy. He likes to say he reads a lot of things on the internet. So I guess he's just not a book guy. Although I did catch him in the book section of Target once. He didn't buy anything.
   Whatever your bedroom habits are, how did you come about them? Are they just things you've always done? Are there things you've banned in your bedroom? Or maybe have thought of banning but just haven't? I'd love to hear y'all's thoughts!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


 Acceptance. Isn't that one of the stages of grieve? It is, but that's not what I'm talking about today. I'm talking about the place of acceptance in a marriage or relationship. What do we accept, and what don't we accept?
  You probably all have heard some quote about a woman trying to change a man. Whether it be his wild ways, or maybe his eating habits. What is actually worth changing? And what is easier or better left alone.
    Furthermore can you really love someone if you don't love all of their qualities. I believe you can, but to a degree. Acceptance to me isn't about loving every quirk but about loving them in spite of the annoying quirk. You may not love how your husband eats too much grease, but you still love him. It's bigger parts of their personalities that you must at least accept to truly love the other person.
  Acceptance is one of the universal things we strive to get as a species. So of course we need it from the one person we plan to spend the rest of our lives with.
  Acceptance isn't just about the other person. It's about you too. What you're willing to accept, what your deal breakers are in a relationship. Some people want to talk everything out, others want things to just be forgotten. If you don't know going in what you'll accept how can you expect the other person to know. That's not to say though that if you find you have different deal breakers 5 years later that you shouldn't talk about them, and that you shouldn't ask your partner what they need from you as well.
  Sometimes we don't accept things about our partners because we think they could do more or deserve better. It's good to support the people we love, it's healthy. As long as they know we love them for them.
  So what do you accept?

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