* Jedd Thoughts, Intentional Living

7 Things I’ve Learned in 7 Years of Marriage (updated)

Ten years ago today Michelle and I stood before family and friends and committed to being life partners. It’s hard to believe how much time has passed and yet, there’s always a newness in our relationship as we keep working on being better individuals, and working through challenges to grow closer and stronger as a couple.

3 years ago I wrote this post and upon revisiting it, a lot of the things I wrote still hold true. But to mark this anniversary I also wanted to add 3 new things I’ve learned from our 10 years of marriage. Here’s the original post with some new thoughts: Continue reading “7 Things I’ve Learned in 7 Years of Marriage (updated)”

* Michelle Thoughts

Home is wherever I’m with you

In honor of a commercial-free, no-shopping Valentine’s Day, this photo is a self portrait we took on our first ever road trip together. At that point, although we had known each other less than three months, we had already committed to get married some day but just didn’t have the ring yet. We have now been married for three and a half years!

I used the quote “Home is wherever I’m with you” from the song by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros because it seems to characterize our marriage. I don’t know how many different places we’ve lived and visited in the short time we’ve been together so far- probably over a hundred. And today, as I look toward our two years abroad with Peace Corps and the endless possibilities of where we may be in the future, this phrase rings even more true. Even though we may be thousands of miles away from anything or anyone else familiar to us, I will never leave home as long as Jedd is there with me. He truly is my home.

* Michelle Thoughts

Lessons for Living

Ever since watching Forks Over Knives (which Jedd blogged about here) I found a great blog by the “Healthy Librarian” called Happy Healthy Long Life. She’s another great resource for “simply intentional” because she reviews and writes about medical research behind lifestyle choices, like eating vegan. Super informative! Anyway, I really enjoyed one of her non-food-related posts recently, which was based on the Cornell Legacy Project. The Legacy Project is based on collecting practical advice for living from America’s elders. As I am still honing my New Year’s resolutions now that we’re a week into the New Year, reviewing advice from wise folks seemed like a good idea. Here is the Legacy Project video, and below are some of my favorite tips:

Lessons for a Happy Marriage

1.  Marry someone a lot like you.  Similarity in core values is the key to a happy marriage. And forget about changing someone after marriage. (My own side note: They don’t have to share your personality though!) Continue reading “Lessons for Living”

* Jedd Thoughts

A Toast…

I’m back. After taking a hiatus and feeling a bit silly for being self-conscious for what I assume is random babbling, I have decided that there are things I want to share and that people have a choice to like it, hate it, or not even read it, so why should I care that much. Thanks T for inspiring me to share…

Photo by the Avenna Studios

Michelle and I recently celebrated our two year anniversary(!!) and this summer, a lot of amazing friends are getting married so as you can imagine, I’ve been thinking and reflecting a lot about love and relationships. This is my toast to them…

First of all, I want to tell you both how much Michelle and I love you and will be there when you call, email, tweet, or facebook. Some days, it might take a bit to respond, but we will be there to support you, not just today, but for all the days of your lives together in thought and in prayer.

I wanted to share with you two thoughts- well, really hopes- from my extensive two years of marital experience, wisdom that I hope will be a blessing to you in your marriage. (And please know that I really believe that in all things in life, you discover so much on your own).

The first thing I hope for you is that you live your lives with intentionality. Be intentional. Do what is right, not always what is easy. Lower the toilet seat down for her. Talk about issues that are difficult to talk about instead of easily walking away. Protect your time as a couple and figure out for yourselves what it means to be a couple. Forgive each other for inevitable hurt and sadness you will cause each other. Take time to enjoy each other.

We can easily fall into patterns, belief systems where we feel trapped in a relationship, trapped in regimen and routine, not taking full advantage of the gift of what love really is: freedom. The wedding day is a celebration of your intentional choice to live together, to love each other.

Love is choice. Choose to love. You cannot force anyone to love you and you cannot force yourself to love them. You can choose to love each other. From personal experience, we must also respect each other’s freedom and ability to choose, especially your spouse’s. You must intentionally protect their right to make their own choice for their life and trust that they are considering how their choices impact you, and I hope they will trust you in the same way. Choose to be there for each other. Choose to bring the truth of what you really feel and think to conversations (this one is very important in Michelle and I’s relationship) and choose to learn more about each other and what is important to each other. Remember, no one is forcing you to get married, you are choosing to get married.

Michelle and I hope you have laughter and grace (and plenty of babies or puppies). We hope you know that your family and friends love you both and are cheering for you, thinking and praying for you no matter where life may take you and whatever you may do.

May you live life intentionally and may you choose to love each other every day….

Here’s to the beautiful newly wed couple. Cheers! Banzai! And as Grandpa Shigeme would say, “Now suck’em up” 🙂