NINE | When Your Marriage Looks Different

Marriage After Kids

Today is my ninth wedding anniversary! I still vividly remember the early days and yet here I am, staring down the big ONE-OH.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how children change a marriage. I am in awe of couples who, during the beginning of their marriage, have children in quick succession. Jordan and I both wouldn’t have handled the chaos well. We’re still finding a balance and some days we manage better than others.

I know I am not the only one who has read blog posts and articles on the importance of keeping your marriage at the forefront after children. As someone who is still in the thick of baby-land I am here to share a slightly different perspective, albeit my own perspective.

Even when you love your spouse, there will still be seasons when your marriage won’t be priority number one. Spoiler alert — this doesn’t mean your marriage is in trouble.

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An Impromptu Maternity Photoshoot

Maternity Photoshoot San Francisco

When infertility is part of your story there are moments you aren’t sure you’ll ever experience: showers, baby registries, decorating a nursery and of course a maternity photoshoot.

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Eight + Lessons Learned

Eighth Wedding Anniversary + Lessons Learned

I will be the first to admit I didn’t know anything about marriage when I said my vows at the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed age of 21. I may not have known the ins and outs of marriage but I knew Jordan and I would make a great team. Waking up today on our eighth year wedding anniversary with a husband in California (for work) and our growing baby in my womb, I couldn’t be more thankful.

There is no secret method for a “successful” marriage but I have learned a lot in the past eight years. Here are a few of the key things I’ve learned

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Three’s Company

cute pregnancy announcement

I’ve always been a fan of sitcoms. Ever since I was a little girl… I even imagined what it would be like to star in one myself. One funny, not-so-secret trick that prop people utilize when one of a show’s female stars becomes pregnant is they make the actress walk around with boxes and packages or have them stand behind some obstruction to hide their belly. Well, If I was a star in a sitcom, I would be walking around with a box for nine months because… I’M PREGNANT!

It’s still a bit overwhelming to talk about but I will try!

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What is Your Thing + The 1975

The 1975

Jordan and I recently took a quick trip to Kansas City…if an eight hour drive can be quick. 😉 In November, Jordan found out about this special holiday show with Wolf Alice, BØRNS and The 1975 put on by 96.5 The Buzz, a KC radio station. We’ve tried seeing The 1975 on their last two tours but missed them (we were in the process of moving) and they haven’t played in Nashville yet! So… a couple of months ago, I get a text from Jordan asking if I wanted to drive all the way to Kansas City to see The 1975.

Jordan and I don’t stick to super rigid traditions or even routines. I think this is partly due to personality but also because our jobs allot for flexibility. In marriage, I believe it’s important to share something together that takes you away from your home: camping or hiking, taking cooking classes, visiting museums or seeing a baseball game in every stadium. These outings are bonding experiences and they don’t always need to require vacation time.

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Things I Want to Remember

© Kate De La Rosa

The way our mattress has sunk in the middle. Jordan and I move towards each other throughout the night, often sleeping with little to no space between each other and arms intwined.

Our seven-year marriage feels like a blink of an eye and yet certain moments seem from another time period all together.

The way my best friend’s kids shout my name across my store when they come visit me at work. “CAPHRINE!”

I can’t seem to get ready for much of anything without creating a huge mess: clothes, shoes, and makeup scattered all over the floor all while haphazardly eating breakfast. Haha.

The dance party breaks Jordan and I take while working from home.

Jordan’s ability to ALWAYS have room for ice cream.

The feeling of getting lost while in the midst of reading a great book.

Eating gluten and dairy-free doesn’t seem like deprivation anymore, I am enjoying the challenge (minus half & half — I miss it in my coffee!).

What small things are you hoping to remember?

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Photography © Kate De La Rosa

Birthday | 29 and 30

birthday © Kate De La Rosa

Jordan and I began dating just after our shared birthday in September 2005. We had seen each other a few times over the summer, but our first date was still a few weeks away. I just turned 19, he 20. My memory is a little hazy, but I believe Jordan joined me and a few friends at the downtown Homewood Starbucks on September 7. We gathered outside on the brick patio, staying late into the evening as the sunset.

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Hot Chicken Fights and Fireworks

Hot Chicken Festival

I mentioned last week that Jordan and I were hoping to make it to this year’s Hot Chicken festival in East Nashville. I was concerned the rain would ruin our day, but a sour attitude ruined the day. Have you ever been witness to your own self-sabotage? Maybe it’s just me. I’d like to blame Saturday’s attitude on a lot of things, but really it was all me.

The last month or so, maybe even longer, I’ve felt off, not quite myself.

Even as a young child, I had moments where I believed I wasn’t good enough, smart enough or even small enough. As a coping mechanism, I found/find myself setting the bar low. If it’s set low enough I can’t disappoint… I won’t be a disappointment. This can make me hesitant to set goals. Once you let thoughts of self-doubt creep in, your mind and body becomes a dangerous place. A small comment or suggestion suddenly morphs into a huge monster of an issue. Self-doubt is something I’ve always had to fight.

On Saturday, I found myself losing it in line waiting for our hot chicken — arguing (quietly but intensely) with Jordan, rain pouring all around our umbrella. This wasn’t my proudest moment, but it happened, folks. Later that day, we really talked it out. Tears were shed and forgiveness was asked and received. It ended up being a beautiful, healing afternoon and evening.

Communication isn’t just using clever words and thoughtful tone, but it’s also cultivating a careful understanding of where your audience is at the moment. Jordan and I are continually learning how to communicate better. Jordan is the oldest in his family and I am the youngest. Most of the time this arrangement works to our advantage but sometimes his natural skill to lead can seem bossy to me*. When that happens, I revert back to being the baby and become argumentative and stubborn. Haha.

We aren’t perfect and our marriage certainly isn’t, but it’s our marriage and I love doing life with Jordan. Marriage is a wonderful example of the unconditional love God has for us and I’m so grateful for His grace.

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Despite our argument, the festival was a fun event I would attend again! Due to the rain, Jordan and I only stood in line for Hattie B’s, which has turned into quite the obsession. I expected the event lines to be crazy, with very little room to move about, but my judgement is based on braving the Taste of Chicago. It was crowded, but not overwhelmingly so and if the rain would have held off for a bit longer, we would have gladly stood in another line to try out other vendors.

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^ This meal clearly wasn’t gluten-free, but I went for it. Haha.

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Hot Chicken Festival

^ GOLDENDOODLE!!

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*Including our argument in this post was Jordan’s idea. It’s both of our stories, so I would never share without his approval.

Seven

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You have bewitched me, body and soul. – – Pride and Prejudice

Living life with you, Jordan, is a beautiful gift and a great pleasure. Let’s always adventure together.

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^ A few pictures from our honeymoon cruise to the Bahamas. 🙂

Five | Six

Adventure Days

“We learn the hard way over and over that the sweetness of our marriage is directly related to how much time we spend together. I know some couples who do a little better when they’re out of each other’s hair, couples who would hate to work together, would drive each other crazy in meetings together or working across from one another at the same table, but for us, time together has been the medicine we need when things are off.”  — Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet. 

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I’ve realized that my ideal date isn’t the traditional combination of dinner and a movie. Partly because most nights I’m ready for bed by 10 pm and sitting in a dark movie theater, doesn’t reconnect me to Jordan. Don’t get me wrong I love going to see movies, but I’m a matinee girl or a red box rental wrapped up in a cozy blanket movie watcher.

Day dates are my favorite. I love spending a whole day with Jordan and will forgo a haphazard evening out, for a day together even if it means we’re planning several weeks out. This might be because when we started dating, I lived in a dorm where boys had restricted access and prior to our wedding we lived with our respective parents. Venturing out was how we spent time alone. I wanted to soak up any time we had together, which is harder to do in a movie theater and a crowded restaurant.

Jordan would pick me up in his red Ford Focus and drive, possibly to Chicago or another suburb to discover and adventure together. Sometimes we even drove the 45 minutes to Ikea just to walk around and eat in their cafeteria!

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We experienced a beautiful sunny 60 degree day recently (how I wish that was today as I am currently snowed in!) and while I cooked breakfast, Jordan went on the necessary morning coffee run. After our plates were cleared, we went exploring through a few of the vintage/antique shops down the street from us. I became rather enthralled by the stacks of old photos — full of lives and stories I’ll never know.

Walking through the aisles, allowed us to plan — sharing goals and dreams for the future. I love living life with Jordan.

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What about you, what are your favorite kind of dates? How do you stay connected?

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