In binders husband and wife marriage organization pinterest

Making a Marriage Binder

I love organization.
I also love accountability, responsibility, set dates, and clear expectations.
It works in life, and in marriage as well.

Nathan and I began working on our marriage the day we said "I do" (almost 3 years ago, how crazy is that?) and will continue working on it every day until death do us part (we are taking those vows very seriously).

But sometimes, we misunderstand.
And sometimes, we don't communicate well.

To try to avoid some of those times we decided to sit down and write out what we each really wanted in our marriage, by way of a marriage contract.
Literally, I got the idea from The Big Bang Theory with Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler's Relationship Agreement.

Though ours is not a 31 page document like theirs, it covers all aspects we thought were pertinent in our relationship.

I Responsibilities
II Physical Affection
III Verbal Affection
IV Date Nights
V Anniversaries
VI Spousal Neglect
VII Spousal Loyalty
VIII Broken Contract Protocol
IX Amending the Contract
X Contract Check In
XI Encouraged Ways to Show Love
XII Fighting

Once it was written I wanted a way to easily access it as well as keep other pertinent information, which led me to the marriage binder. Right now it is merely four sections:

1.) The Marriage Contract
2.) Date Night Inspiration
3.) Marriage Bucket List
4.) Accountability

The date night inspiration has pages of date night ideas other than dinner and a movie (or pizza and a redbox) that include a list of required items, and some even include a menu so that it's easy for Nathan to surprise me as well.
And, in our contract, we agreed to sit down once a month to touch base with how we believe we've been over the past month, so accountability is simply a way to address any issues.

I hope that as time goes on we will find new things to add to our binder, but for now these documents promise designated date nights and continued work on our relationship.

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In date night DIY husband and wife pinterest spa night

Spa Date Night

For the first time in recent history, Pinterest failed me.
*Insert gasp of disbelief here*

I wanted to do an at home date night this weekend, and wanted to veer away from the constant popcorn, couch and a movie night. I also really just wanted a night to relax. So, when scrolling for ideas, I found Spa Date Night and thought "perfect!"

And then came the issues. Every blog/pin/idea I found was either a $200+ extravagance or so vaguely described that I had no idea what to really do. And the most difficult part? Not one single site listed anything for a menu.

Clearly, spa night is not a pizza and wings affair, but what on earth goes with the spa theme that
a.) is not a salad, and
b.) is something I can actually make?

So once it all came together I wanted to post about it here for all my other couple friends who might be interested in a different date night from usual.


Beverages: think light and luxury. 

Wine, Sparkling Grape Juice, Bottled Water.

Main Course: Light, we actually had a small dinner earlier with the toddler, so we didn't need much.

Shrimp Scampi

Grilled Chicken Flatbread

Desserts: again, luxury and small quantities.

Salted Caramel Gelato, Mint Milano Cookies, Dark Chocolate Squares, Strawberries


I wanted a hotel feel for the night, so I shut up our room for the day and completely cleaned it. I set out robes on the bed, printed out a menu and agenda, put candles everywhere, made a Pandora station, and had everything set for us to not have to scramble looking for things.

I prepped as much food as I could early on (slicing the strawberries, chilling the drinks etc.) then once Nathan took the toddler boy to bed, I was able to quickly set up and enjoy an evening.

Here are some ideas of fun spa couple activities to do:
Massage each other
Give each other a pedicure
Take a bubble bath with bath salts, oils etc.
Enjoy the hotel feeling and candlelit conversation!

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In changing seasons fall fall food

Embracing Fall '14

Having a summer bucket list was great: while we didn't end up doing EVERYTHING that I listed, we did do the majority, and some things multiple times!

So as we head into Autumn there are some adventures I want to have, and here is what I've come up with:

1.) Pumpkin picking at Baldwin Farms
2.) Carve jack-o-lanterns
3.) Go trick or treating
4.) Hike the Pinnacles in the fall colors
5.) Attend a bonfire
6.) Made homemade hot chocolate
7.) Check out the Spoonbread Festival
8.) Bake some apple desserts (apple crisp maybe?)
9.) Go to the Hot Air Balloon Glow
10.) Run the Spoonbread 5k
11.) Enjoy chili, peanut butter soup, potato soup and other glorious fall cuisine
12.) Document our adventures in pictures

What is on your to-do list for fall? What new adventures have made their way onto your list?

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In adventures august friends ice cream link up marriage monthly learning Things I Learned

Things I Learned in August

1.) How to roughly edit a video.
For work, I (as the most tech-savvy person in the office) got to try to cut together some raw footage from a conference. It took me two days. But in the end I felt extremely accomplished and really did learn something new!

2.) There are exactly two places in Lexington that sell Jeni's Splendid ice cream.
And they both close at 9:00pm on a Saturday night. At the same time, I also learned that if the GPS estimates a 14 minute drive and it is 20 minutes till 9 a little determination and spontaneous friends can result in procuring the aforementioned ice cream.

3.) Speed Testing, Ping testing and Packet Loss.
We had some internet issues this month. Actually, a lot of internet issues. And, as is true with basically any office job now, lack of strong internet basically brings the office to a standstill for work. So in the midst of repairman after repairman I learned a little bit about how it should work for our office and how to test it to see if there is a measurable issue.

4.) Double dating is amazing for your marriage.
Labor day weekend was spend with my best friend of over a decade, and a newer friend that I had convinced to start texting each other. So we went out on a double date night and it's amazing the difference that happens when you go out with friends. For example, when Nathan and I go out we have to make such an effort to avoid:
- Is babysitting set up for the week?
- Did you budget out your next check?
- When will your next doctor appointment be scheduled?
Not really romantic. But when you're out with friends you talk about fun things, you flirt more, you hold hands more, and kiss more. I'm not kidding, try it!

What lessons did you learn in August? Link up with Emily and let the world know!

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