Welcome back to the blog this morning!! We have been having the most wonderful + fruitful adventure here in Arizona + are getting ready to head back to Wisconsin this afternoon! As appropriate this time of the year, we have been thinking a lot about the upcoming year + all of our dreams, plans, + hopes for 2015. To say we’re giddy + excited for all that’s in store would be the understatement of a lifetime!!
2014 has blown us away in more ways than we could ever have imagined. Getting married, going full-time as a husband + wife photography team, shooting 20 weddings, 22 engagement sessions, + even more portrait sessions has been such a wild ride!! And to imagine that 2015 will bring us even more clients + sessions makes me want to scream + shout (+ dance, + laugh, + take a long, deep, take-it-all-in kind of breath). We have some exciting changes + big plans for the upcoming year. As our friends Amy & Jordan have coined it, we plan to HUSTLE. We plan to chase our dreams, work hard, love harder, + be the light of our own hill. In everything, would His glory be our aim.
So whether you’re married, soon-to-be married, or one day hope to be married, we’re sharing 10 resolutions for our marriage—not just for this year but for our lives—on the blog today!
1. Be kind
This one seems so simple, almost too simple, but some of our dear friends gave us this advice when we got married + told us that as easy + simple as “be kind” sounds, it can sometimes be one of the hardest things. And we have found this to be true!! In the midst of busyness, high-stress seasons, or days when we are just in a bad mood, it is far easier to be indifferent. To snap at one another without thinking, or cut one another down. And to do it without ever giving it another thought. Instead, our goal is to be kind to one another. To be gentle, loving, + respectful, even when it’s hard.
2. Make each other laugh more
This one seems silly (+ kind of stupid to write out, honestly!!), but we’ve realized that when we spend so much time dreaming, working, business planning, + shooting, we don’t spend a ton of time being goofy together!! Or making each other try to smile + laugh (+ not just our clients!! Ha!!) We don’t want to forget to sing loud in the car, tell jokes, + intentionally put a smile on one another’s faces!!
3. Be joyful
We recently heard this from a power couple—husband + wife photography team—who told us that choosing to be joyful in EVERY season has been a game changer for their business + marriage. As we all know, it sometimes seems far easier to focus on everything that is going wrong, or letting comparison be the thief of joy. This year—well, hopefully forever—choosing joy + being joyful is how we are committing to live our lives.
4. Appreciate where we are
This one really resonates with me as a dreamer + planner. “What if we did this? What about this idea? In the next two years we could …”. You get it. Focusing on what’s to come. While it most definitely is not bad to dream + be excited for all the future has to hold, it’s also crucial to appreciate where you are. To appreciate the season of life God has you in; what your family looks like, marriage looks like, business looks like. To stop everyone once in awhile + just take it all in.
5. Taking care of our bodies
You might be thinking, “What does taking care of your body have to do with marriage?” Well, we think being healthy directly affects our marriage!! When we are taking care of our bodies + thinking about our health, we naturally feel better about ourselves + without thinking, as we feel better + potentially more confident, it tends to reflect in how we act towards our spouse!! Also, Caleb made a good point when he said, “If we’re healthier, we’ll live longer + then get to be married longer!!!” Hehe : )
6. Hold each other accountable
For us, this resolution is directly referring to our faith + our business. We want to be each other’s mirror, checking in + seeing how things are really going, if you know what I mean. How’s the prayer life? What do you feel like God is teaching you through this? Is this business decision honoring to Christ? Do we reflect Him? Asking one another those tough questions + being accountable on a daily basis.
7. Quick to praise
Oh, this one can be so tough for us!! How often do I think it my head, “I’m so thankful Caleb is willing to do that for me while I’m editing”, etc. I think it in my head, but I never say it out loud!! We have decided that however awkward or unnatural it may feel at first, we are committing to vocalize our positive thoughts about each other. To vocalize our encouragement + affirm one another!! To tell Caleb when I think he looks super handsome or is really leading our family well. Being quick to praise.
8. Commit to “wowing” one another
This one might also seem sort of silly, but I think it’s just so, so important!! Remember those dating years, when all you want to do is impress your boyfriend/girlfriend? When you dress to the nines or spend an extra half hour on your hair?!? I believe this is just as important (although I definitely don’t always act like it!) in marriage!! We should still be seeking to “wow” our spouse! I want Caleb to know that he’s important to me + I want him to think I look good!! And vice versa!! This doesn’t just have to be looks, either, but doing those special, out-of-the-way little things to make one another still feel like they’re the best, most beautiful/handsome person in the world!!
9. Commit to the hustle
Our marriage mission, right now in this season of life, is our business + our couples. Loving on them + encouraging them in their marriages or soon-to-be marriages!!! While we are young, have energy, + have the time, we are committing to hustle. To hustle for our mission + what we believe in. To work hard + give our mission the time it deserves!
10. Be an available example of a Christ-centered marriage
Last, but certainly not least, our greatest desire for our marriage is that it would be an example of the Gospel. An example of the relationship Christ has with the church. Selfless, sacrificial, transparent, unconditional, honest, eternal. This will forever be our greatest resolution. And that in this resolution, we would not only be an example, but an available example for those in our lives. That we would be approachable, reliable, + an open book for other couples to have relationship with.
Thank you, again, for loving + support our business AND our marriage over the past year!! Did I mention, THANK YOU!?! We absolutely, positively, wouldn’t be here with you—yes YOU reading this : ) We love you. Let’s raise a glass to 2015!!
Cover image via Annamarie Akins Photography