Enduring All Things

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Should you Renew your Wedding Vows?

Today I have a wonderful guest post about vowel renewals. I think renewing your vows after being married for a while has a lot of great benefits. But for now, I'll turn it over to Megan.

Some married couples reach a point in their lives together where they feel a pull to re-new their wedding vows and reseal their promises to each other. Often vow renewals mark an important milestone anniversary. Other times, a vow renewal may be used to welcome a new beginning in a marriage.

Whether you should or shouldn’t renew your vows is entirely a personal decision. Not every couple feels the urge to re-proclaim the promises they made years before, and it certainly isn’t a legal requirement in any state.

Vow renewals are more for sentimentality and for the couple’s desires than for any other reason. Many couples enjoy the ceremony and the intimacy of exchanging vows—and rings—once again.

Renewal ceremonies can be big or small and may include extended family and friends or just immediate family. Some couples even choose to host a party after the ceremony—like a second reception. You may also choose to renew vows in a private ceremony with no guests present.

When deciding to renew your vows, create a ceremony that is unique and meaningful for you. Don’t feel obligated to go big—like your original wedding. Although, if your wedding was small (or you eloped), a vow renewal may also be the ideal time to have the big wedding of your dreams!

Here are some tips and guidelines for vow renewal ceremonies and celebrations:

Set the Guest List

Decide who should be invited, and make the decision as a couple. If you want to invite extended family and friends, figure out the final number. This will help you determine a budget.

Just a Ceremony?

Couples should also decide if they want to host just a vow renewal ceremony or an after-party, too. If you plan to invite lots of guests, you should host a small after event for light food and drinks. Of course, you also can rent a venue and host a big dinner…complete with dessert.

What to Wear

Some couples wear their old wedding formalwear…if the gown fits, wear it! Others seek out a new dress in white, ivory or even a favorite color. Wear flowers in your hair, a hat or even a veil. Fascinators also make a lovely choice.

The Invites

If you plan to host a big renewal ceremony you will need to send invites. However, the wording will be different the second time around. The Knot recommends using the following verbiage: "The honor of your presence is requested at the reaffirmation [or renewal] of the wedding vows of Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Smith [or Susan and Jonathan Smith]."

Gifts…or No

According to the site IDoTakeTwo.com, gifts are a no-go for vow renewals. Guests should not be obligated to shower the couple with gifts, as a vow renewal is not a wedding. Gifts are traditionally bestowed upon newlywed couples to help them as they begin their new life together. If you’re renewing your vows, you’ve already established your life together.

New Rings

Couples can choose to exchange rings at their renewal ceremony. If the renewal is in conjunction with an anniversary, the anniversary bands would be a fitting choice. Or choose rings that reflect your life together as a couple; add birthstones of your children, diamonds for each year of marriage or choose plain bands.

Many couples choose to re-seal their vows to mark a milestone in their marriage. However, vow renewals are not legally binding. Of course, this also means that the couple may choose anyone to officiate the ceremony—even their kids! Vow renewals should be a reflection of the love between the couple…so plan a ceremony that celebrates the two of you and your amazing marriage!

Megan Scott is a writer, event expert and mother of two beautiful twins. She wants to use her knowledge and expertise to help others lead a better life. Megan enjoys doing research on interior design for both homes and businesses. Her hobbies include writing, long distance running and traveling with her beloved family. Follow her on twitter as @meganscotts!
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Friday, August 18, 2017

Date Box Swap

A couple months ago, Kailei from Two Best Friends in Love posted about a date box swap for wives. I was super excited and signed up immediately!

A couple weeks later, Kailei sent out the partner assignments and I got to partner with the beautiful Brittney of The Kelleys!
So Brittney and I emailed each other and got to know each other over the course of the next month. And we sent each other a date box at the beginning of August!

I thought about sending her some supplies to make s'mores since it's the end of summer, but I decided it would be difficult to send that stuff in the mail. I didn't want the chocolate to melt and the marshmallows to get all sticky. So I ended up going with a childhood theme and included a coloring book, nerf guns, water balloons, kid snacks and a redbox code!
Brittney filled our box with all kinds of fun games and snacks and guess what! We didn't already own any of the games!
I was so excited to get the dominos because I've been wanting some forever. And I love both Phase 10 and Uno!
Last Saturday night, Pearson and I played Phase 10 while eating the treats. Pearson claims he had never played Phase 10 before and he really enjoyed it (even though he's not a huge fan of card games). The Muddy Buddies were really good! I don't know if I've ever had store bought ones and they did not disappoint!
The entire experience was so fun. I loved getting to know Brittney and coming up with a fun date for her and her husband. And we really enjoyed our relaxing date night. I really hope Kailei hosts this again sometime!

Have you ever done a swap like this before? 
What are your favorite games to play with your spouse?
Thanks for reading!

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Monday, August 14, 2017

My Favorite Instagram Accounts for Marriage

So if you haven't noticed, I've been spending a lot of time on Instagram lately. Finding new accounts to follow (mostly related to marriage), interacting with people, posting pretty pictures and mini-blogging, sharing silly videos on my stories. You get the idea.

So, through all of this, I've found some great marriage related accounts and thought I'd share my top 15 with you. Yes. 15. I've found a lot more than that. I narrowed it down.

So anyway, here they are! In no particular order.

ONE Extraordinary Marriage

The Dating Divas

Fierce Marriage

True love is impossible without intimacy, and true intimacy is impossible without love. They're inextricably connected. Love requires intimacy because it is the deepest level of knowing another person. One cannot love fully what he doesn't fully know. The fullest levels of love require total honesty and transparency. Intimacy requires love because only love still chooses someone despite their imperfections. Intimacy on every level (physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual) will make your imperfections visible—it will make them known. Only love provides the safety necessary for total intimacy. Aside from Christ, this is impossible. But thankfully we can go to God. Only in Christ will we find the grace to love well, the confidence to be honest, and strength to love each other through it all. ​ ​ ​ May your love be the kind that sticks around when your spouse's ugly is showing.​ ​And may your marriage be marked by Christ's radical love and pursuit of you despite your imperfections. We're praying for you, stay fierce! ~ Ryan & Selena #fiercemarriage #love #covenant #marriage
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Beating 50 Percent

We are the most critical of the people we spend the most time with. Your spouse is probably that person. Our humanness is bent towards correcting others, rather than humbling ourselves. Maybe today, you criticized your husband or wife for something he or she did. I sure did. I am quick to point out what Jeremy did or said that was wrong, rather than compassionately asking a question about his words/actions. Compassion is the key word. Sure, I could ask Jer a snarky question with an offensive tone… For example, “How come you always have to interupt me when I’m talking!?” These kinds of questions initiate arguments, rather than facilitate productive conversations. I might as well have critically accused him of never listening.  When you ask your spouse a “compassionately curious” question, they won’t feel like the question itself is an accusation. The best way to do this, is to ask a question about you. To do this, your pride has to go out the window and over the fence. For example, “Hey babe, do you feel like I let you talk when we are having a discussion, or am I sometimes overbearing?” This kind of question comes from a place of humility, rather than offense. If we are going to initiate conversations with our husbands and wives that may come across as critical, we must be willing to start with humility.  We must be more concerned with progress, than proving a point. Compassionate curiosity - without an agenda - has the power to foster intimacy, increase communication, stimulate growth, heal wounds, breed peace, and deepen love. Be more compassionately curious. #beating50percent #stayingido #compssionatelycurious ๐Ÿ“ท @dawn_photo
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Dave and Ashley Willis

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Marriage More


"I can't do this, like this, anymore." They'd been married nearly 8 years when Rebecca, standing in their master bathroom, said those fateful words to her husband Zach. The next year and a half was no cake walk, as they shared with us on the latest episode of The #staymarried Podcast (S3, E21), but they made it through and are about to celebrate their 20th Anniversary! You can catch their story on The #staymarried Podcast on #itunes or your favorite #podcast app, and you can always find it quickly at the link in our profile. ALSO, don't miss the free gift Zach is offering our #staymarried community, his fantastic resource: 20 Questions for Deeper Connection ๐Ÿ“’ You can grab that at the link in our profile, too! ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’› ๐Ÿ“ฑ http://staymarriedblog.com/s3-e21-a-peek-inside-a-therapists-marriage-with-zach-and-rebecca-brittle/
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Marriage 365

Chelsea Damon

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A Prioritized Marriage

Freshly Married

Two Best Friends In Love

I really hope you'll check out these accounts and get some marriage inspiration from them. I'm loving that my Instagram feed is full of these brilliantly beautiful people!

Who has been inspiring you in Instagram lately?
Thanks for reading!

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Mental Health and being a Dating Divas Partner

Ok I know you guys are tired of me talking about The Dating Divas. But they're seriously awesome! They're strengthening marriages one date at a time. You know I'm all about that. And yes, I am a referral partner which means I get some affiliate income if you guys purchase any of the products through my links (including links in this post). But I only share stuff I absolutely love!
Today I wanted to share a story with you about how The Divas have helped with my mental health in the last couple months.

So much of my self-image is tied up in how "successful" I am in every area of my life but especially my blog. While that can be motivating, it can also be very discouraging.

So this summer, I decided to not really work so hard on the blog for a while. I sort of un-officially declared a break. I'm working full time and getting ready to move once Pearson graduates in December. And once he's done with school and we move, I won't be working anymore and can focus more on my blog. I'll just wait till then.

But then, in early June, The Dating Divas hired a new Referral Partner Director. Her name is Mary and she is awesome!

Since Mary was hired, she's done some awesome stuff!

First she headed up a week long campaign for referral partners to recruit a bunch of new partners at the end of June complete with daily deals and giveaways.

Then we had the 4th of July flash sale.

And then, July 10th through the 15th was "Anniversary Week" with The Dating Divas! The Divas featured an anniversary product every day with discounts and all kinds of fun things. And Mary helped us partners behind the scenes the whole time. And guess what, that just happened to be mine and Pearson's anniversary week too!

And lastly, Mary put on a referral partner boot camp from July 16th through the 21st with live trainings and challenges every day. You guys, I learned so much!

So what does all this have to do with mental health?

Well, you guys, I'm suddenly very proud and confident in my blog. Like, I just told both Pearson and my therapist last week that I'm feeling really good about my blog for the first time in... Well, ever.

I've met a few goals lately (like 5,000 Instagram followers) and I've done really well with actually making some money with The Dating Divas even though I have had a crazy busy summer and I'm working full time.

I've stopped comparing my blog and social media presence to others. I think I've finally realized that I'm me. I'm unique and different and that's okay. That's good, actually. And is what blogging is all about, right? Being yourself and sharing your unique story and take on life.

Y'all comparison is something I've struggled with all my life. But I can honestly say, right now, in this one area of my life, I am at peace and am no longer looking to other bloggers with sadness and jealousy!

I'm still not writing as much actual blog content as I would like but I'm giving myself grace for that. Right now I'm working more on my social media game and that's great too!

And it all started when The Divas hired Mary and she started doing all this extra training and such with us partners! It got me excited to work on my marketing skills and it has been awesome!

What's an area of your life where you've been feeling good lately?
Do you find yourself comparing yourself to others?
Thanks for reading!

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All opinions are my own.
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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Monthly Goals for August {2017}

August! It's August! Like, the 8th month of 2017. How did we get here? Although, I'm pretty excited about it being August because that means we're that much closer to my favorite time of year, fall. And my favorite holiday, Halloween. And my favorite sport's season, football.

And, after all that is over, we'll only about a month away from Pearson's graduation and about two months away from moving! We're super excited for all of this and to be done with grad school and to start a new life. So, I'm not too upset about this year going by quickly! Now that may change in 4 or 5 months, but for right now, I'll take it!

But anyway, I digress... Let's move on to my goals for the month, shall we?


Word of the Year (confidence):

  • Not work myself so hard. Spread out my to-do lists and schedule my tasks (including self-care and workouts).
  • Start journalling again to help when I go to therapy sessions.


  • Attend Church every Sunday and Wednesday this month (at least when we're in town).


  • Complete the 21 Day Fix EXTREME program. (I didn't because of health issues)
  • Stay active in my Beachbody lifestyle challenge group. (I didn't because of health issues)
  • Get out of bed by 7:00 am for work every work day.


  • Read at least two fiction books
  • Read No More Perfect Marriages by Mark & Jill Savage (I'm part of a blog tour for this)
  • Listen to The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy (My "Personal Development" book for my Beachbody lifestyle challenge group)


  • Celebrate our anniversary!!!
  • Enjoy our trip to Portland, Oregon this weekend! (I ended up not going. But Pearson enjoyed it)
  • Enjoy our trip home to see our childhood friend get married!


  • Update pictures and SEO in at least 10 old posts (I have a list of posts I want to update)
  • Reach 2,000 Twitter followers (I'm SO close!)


  • Keep our home relatively clean (especially the dishes)


  • Stay within our budget. (with some circumstances out of our control, this didn't happen. But we also could have done better with what we could control.)


  • I actually went to see a doctor about my stomach issues. I might share more on the blog about that later.
  • I finally got rid of all of the stuff we collected when we decluttered last month. Most went to Goodwill and some went to different consignment shops. We actually made some good money selling it!
  • I attended The Dating Divas' Referral Partners Boot Camp, learned a lot about affiliate marketing, and made some decent money with The Divas this month. 
    • Join me as a partner here - it's free to sign up and all the boot camp videos are still available. They help you every step of the way. It's easy money and The Divas are awesome!
  • I did a bunch of little tasks for my blog like updated the photos on my Facebook page, added linktree to my Instagram profile, and started posting more to my IG stories and Facebook page.


Word of the Year (confidence):

  • Not work myself so hard. Spread out my to-do lists and schedule my tasks (including self-care and workouts).


  • Attend Church every Sunday and Wednesday this month.
  • Finish working through the devotional, Becoming One by Madison Weaver


  • Complete the 21 Day Fix EXTREME program.
  • Get out of bed by 7:00 am every work day.
  • Drink 80 oz of water per day
  • Don't go through any drive throughs this month. I did it for Lent. I'll do it again!




  • Update pictures and SEO in at least 10 old posts (I have a list of posts I want to update)
  • Reach 2,000 Twitter followers
  • Complete the 3 guest posts I'm currently working on and submit them
  • Create and submit my content for a blogger bundle (I don't want to reveal too much yet)
  • Promote my old college and back-to-school posts and products
  • Work on my Facebook game - post more, promote my page, get engagement
  • Watch all of Helene's free Instagram Workshop videos


  • Keep our home relatively clean (especially the dishes)


  • Catch up and stay within our budget.
    • Only eat out on weekends
    • Cheap at-home dates (besides the Irish Festival)
    • Don't spend any "spending money"
  • Start using DuoLingo again for German and French.
Those are my goals! There are a few more than I've set in past months but I think they're doable. Especially since one, I did a lot of bonus goals in July and two, August is a lot less busy than June and July were. What are your goals for the month? Thanks for reading!

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