5 Ways for Moms to De-Stress this Christmas

5 Ways for Moms to De-Stress this Christmas

If you’re a mom and Christmas is coming, then you know the feeling I’m about to describe, it doesn’t really have a name, but it lies somewhere in the middle of high hopes and excitement to complete dread and overwhelm.

Do you know why that is? Well, the stats and polls tell us that a good majority of moms and wives feel like the entire burden of the holidays falls on them. While Christmas is an exciting time and there is a lot of fun involved, it doesn’t take long before you realize that all that fun must be organized by someone, and let’s be real Momma, that someone is usually you.

All that planning, driving around, gift buying, meal prepping, and you name it, can drive even the sanest of moms a little nutso, so don’t you feel bad. It’s not just you! Moms everywhere are standing in exhausted unity!

If you want to unload some of that stress this Christmas, here are 5 sure fire ways you can do that.

 

5 Ways to De-Stress this Christmas

 Don’t focus on the details—I don’t know when we got to the place where we felt that less than perfect is a failure. It indeed is not. In fact, do you know what less than perfect really is? It’s DONE. Yep, it’s just done. This is the year of good enough. Let go of the perfect menu, the perfect décor, and best teacher’s gifts. While you’re at it, go ahead and allow your house to be clean enough too. It’s fine Momma, it really is.

Stay in the moment—Sticking with the spirit of good enough, set aside the desire to have those Instagrammable perfect pictures. By putting your phone down and not capturing every moment you will stay connected to your family a lot more. You also won’t have to hear the grumbles from your kids about all those poses. Fill your mind and heart with memories, instead of your phone with images. Screen shot this Christmas in your mind. It will actually stick around a lot longer that way.

Ask for help—This is a hard one and I get it. You already might be thinking, “No one will do it like me”—but remember, we’re letting go of perfect, or you might think “It’s easier to just do it myself”—spoiler alert..if you never train anyone to help you now, they never will. Let it be harder this time so it can be easier in the future.  You work hard and do A LOT, ask for the help, be specific with what you need. You deserve it.

Take a pass—I am giving you my permission 

now to say no to sending out the Christmas cards with professional pics, no to accepting every party invitation you get, and here’s a big one, even saying no to traveling to see family this year! If you need some help with that one, we’ve got a great podcast episode for you on Boundaries During the Holdiays.

Focus on Jesus—He is the Prince of Peace after all, the reason to celebrate. It will defeat the entire purpose of the season if you miss Him. Make the time to slow down and let go of some expectations that friends, family and YOU have on yourself. It’s time to focus and give Him the praise He deserves, and I can assure you, your heart will be flooded with peace.

 

Here’s to a stress free Christmas!

30 Days of Thankfulness for your Spouse

30 Days of Thankfulness for your Spouse

Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Ephesians 5:20

I don’t think I’m alone here when I think about how easy it is to take your spouse for granted. After a while, the days, the routines, the chores, and even the hugs and kisses can become mundane. The last thing you want to happen in your marriage is for your love and appreciation to simply become boxes to check off.

How about you take the next 30 days and intentionally give God thanks for the gift of your spouse. If you don’t feel like it because perhaps, you’re honestly not that grateful for them in this season? Well, that makes it an even better time to do it! Nothing helps the negative go away like gratefulness. Let’s get started!

30 Days of Thanksgiving for your Spouse

 

Day 1—Your favorite way they love you

Day 2—A small thing they do every day that you appreciate

Day 3—Your favorite personality trait they have

Day 4—Something they do that annoys you (yep, this makes them who they are too)

Day 5—One of their physical features you like

Day 6—The ways you’ve seen them grow over the years

Day 7—The way they look at you

Day 8—The day you met them

Day 9—The way they parent your children

Day 10—Their flaws that show their need for you

Day 11—The way you balance one another out

Day 12—Your friendship

Day 13—Their faithfulness

Day 14—The chores they do

Day 15—Their providing

Day 16—Your physical intimacy with them

Day 17—The Fruit of the Spirit they show the most

Day 19—The fact that you have them to go through life with

Day 20—The fun you have with them

Day 21—For tolerating you on your bad days

Day 22—The times they chose to stay instead of walking away

Day 23—Every day you’ve had them

Day 24—Their sense of humor

Day 25—The fact they were made in the image of God

Day 26—The many times they’ve forgiven you

Day 27—How they’ve helped you become more like Jesus

Day 28—That they’re your best friend

Day 29—Their strongest character trait

Day 30—That you get to honor God with them

 

If you want some more encouragement on gratefulness and the power it holds in your marriage, be sure to check out Walking in an Attitude of Gratitude on the Expedition marriage podcast.

How to Use Your Marriage as Your Best Parenting Tool

How to Use Your Marriage as Your Best Parenting Tool

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

As parents, you have the job to train up your children in the way they should go, which means it’s on you to teach them how to live their lives by God’s principles. While this will involve a lot of intentional teaching and directing, more importantly it will involve a lot of modeling. And there’s nothing your kids have access to more than your marriage and what goes on inside your home. 

By default, your children are learning key things about life just from watching you and how you and your spouse interact. They will learn key things like:

 

  • How to communicate
  • How to have conflict and how to feel about conflict
  • How to love
  • How to be in relationship with others,
    and most importantly,
  • How to be in relationship with Jesus

    What this means for you, Mom and Dad, is that you not only have to be intentional about teaching them these things, but you also must be aware of the ways you may be unintentionally teaching them wrong things.

The good news here is that investing in your marriage and taking responsibility for what you are bringing to the marriage table is half the battle. There are so many good dividends for you, your marriage, and your children simply by investing in your marriage and making it a priority.

All too often as parents, you want to prioritize the kids and put all your focus on them, but the best way you can help your children become successful in life, both mentally and emotionally, is by investing in your marriage. Your safe, connected, loving, God-centered home, will provide the perfect place for them to thrive, grow and learn.

It’s time to not just correct and guide your children, but to also lead them by example.

If you’d like an easy way to assess your marriage and see how you’re doing, grab a free Marriage Evaluation Card for you and your spouse, and take an honest look at your strengths and growth areas as a couple – because when you know better, you can do better.

As always, we’re here to help you Enjoy the Journey!

xoxo, Chris & Jamie

6 Ways to Fall Back In Love With Your Husband

6 Ways to Fall Back In Love With Your Husband

I bet you never thought you’d be reading an article with this title, did you? And yet, here you are. It’s probably safe to say that you’re struggling in your marriage, but don’t worry, I’ve got some good news for you—you’re here! And that’s big! 

You’re already doing the very first thing you need to do. You’re trying.

Another piece of good news is that falling back in love IS POSSIBLE!

Yep, that’s right. Love, while most know it as a feeling, is also a choice. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 gives us an entire list of actions you can choose to actively love your husband with. And guess what? There are no rules that say you have to actually feel like doing these things to start them, but here you go:

 

  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Selflessness
  • Being slow to anger
  • Letting go of wrongs
  • Not keeping score
  • and so on…

It’s important to know that while you’re waiting on feelings to return, you can still choose love. I also think it’s safe to say that God is going to use all that love in action to reignite that missing spark—which leads me to the third piece of good news—He is for your marriage, so you’ve got a HUGE power player on your side!

How to Fall Back in Love with your Husband

Typically, there is a reason for losing those feelings of love, and it’s usually because you have not felt loved or been treated, what you would call well, by your husband. You may have been begging him to plug into your marriage for a while and now that he finally has, your heart has moved on, and it feels too late. Before you completely shut that door, I hope you will give these things a try and allow God to redeem and restore what has been lost.

Start here:

Practice gratitude. Focus on what your husband does right.
Focus on what you do still like about him and be thankful for those things. It can be as simple as, “I’m grateful for a husband who cooks dinner—who is a good father, heck, a husband who puts the toilet lid down.” Walking with an attitude of gratitude has a lot of benefits, one of them being it ignites love.

Remember he is God’s son. If you have children, you already know how you want them to be treated. God is no different. Just like you would want your child to be valued, respected, and cared for, that’s what God wants for His children too. Focus on him as a child of God instead of a husband you’re no longer sure about.

Play and have fun. Go back and focus on your friendship again. Friendship and fun are a foundational part of any healthy relationship. If you’re looking to fall back in love, it’s important to focus on liking your husband first!

Get to know him better. People grow and change over time, and chances are your husband has too. Start asking him questions that will help you learn more about him and understand where he’s at in life right now. We’ve made this easier for you with some questions we’ve created for you to use in our It’s Time to Talk free download. 

Pray for him. It’s difficult to have bad feelings towards someone you are praying for. On top of that, praying for him also invites God in to work in his life as well as yours. If you really want to level up with this one, you can take our 30 Day Praying for your Husband Challenge.

Lastly, Relax and take the pressure off. While you’re working on your marriage and trying to fall back in love with your husband, be sure to not work too hard. Make room for your love to naturally unfold like it did when you first fell in love. Remember those days and what you loved about him then and just take the pressure off and allow it to happen all over again.


Here’s to a new and renewed love.

xoxo,
Chris & Jamie

3 Ways to Make Time for Studying God’s Word Together

3 Ways to Make Time for Studying God’s Word Together

There are so many benefits to reading God’s Word together—which is exactly why the Enemy will try to distract you from doing it. But how much time you get in the Word is not his say, it’s yours.

And trust us when we say that you don’t want to be found waiting for the perfect time, a silent home where you can completely focus, or circumstances that make it just right. Heck, you probably won’t get much past Genesis chapter 1 if you’re waiting for the ideal time to make it happen! You’re just going to have to roll up your sleeves, accept that it may not be perfect, and make it happen simply because it’s a priority.

All of it being on you is the bad news AND the good news! Bad, because it’s harder and you must be diligent, but good, because it leaves YOU in control. And, if you know God’s Word, then you’ll know that one of the benefits you have is knowing that the Holy Spirit that lives inside you is bigger and more powerful than the Enemy opposing you. He has equipped you with all you need to prioritize this time.

So, let’s get started, shall we…

3 Things to Help you Make Time for Getting in God’s Word Together

Adjust your mindset. Getting in God’s Word together is a gift, not a chore. It’s not something you have to stress out over doing. Take the pressure off and don’t make it a task that needs to be checked off. Instead, look at it as life for your marriage, the breath that fuels it. As much as you naturally desire your lungs to be filled, desire the same for your marriage. His Word is a good gift. The more you see it as such, the more you will begin to naturally crave it. You don’t have to study it, you get to.

Choose your most alive time as a couple. Are you early bird coffee drinkers? Are you night owls who enjoy moments in bed together at night? Figure this out. What time of the day is your sweet spot as a couple? It may not be realistic to get in His Word if you’ve both been busy all day with work or kids and you’re ready to collapse at night. Bible study would then just become one more thing to do. It also may not be realistic to plan on it every day of the week when you know that your schedule won’t allow enough time together. Don’t set yourselves up to fail. Be realistic and plan times and amounts that work for the both of you, or be willing to switch if your best, most alive times are different.

Get creative. Studying God’s Word together should be a pleasurable time of connection. There are so many ways to study the Bible. You can choose a book like Proverbs to go through, you can do an actual Bible study workbook together, you can watch video led lessons, or you can think out of the box and read a Christian book and then dive deeper by bringing God’s word into it.

You can also study separately and then meet to discuss it, or you can take turns reading it together. The goal, once again, is to make it work for you as a couple. You have the freedom to get as creative as you’d like.

Your time together in God’s Word should be life giving to you as individuals and as a couple. If you really want to start somewhere, you can also check out the Newlywed Couple’s Devotional, the devotional for newlyweds and all newlywed wanna be’s. It comes complete with 52 weeks of devotions, scripture, prayers and meaningful and connecting questions written with both the husbands and wives in mind.

You can grab a copy below!

Sexless Marriage – Why You Shouldn’t Settle For One

Sexless Marriage – Why You Shouldn’t Settle For One

Are you in a sexless marriage? Ooh, we’ve got some talking to do!

First of all, let’s define a sexless marriage, shall we? A sexless marriage is one where you are having sex less than once a month or less than 10 times a year. Keep in mind that there are circumstances where this might be necessary or temporarily normal. Newborn babies, medical issues, mental health struggles, medications, just to name a few, are all reasons why your sex life might be down in the dumps for the time being. And while this information may be helpful, those are issues that usually need to be addressed first… But for the rest of you who are just lacking the desire for sex, wanting more but are married to someone who doesn’t, or you’re just living as two disconnected ships passing in the night, keep reading.

Common reasons for a lack of sex          – and what to do about them

Disconnection.
If you are not emotionally, spiritually and mentally connected as a couple, odds are that you won’t be doing much physical connecting either.  This is especially true for women. If you as a woman don’t feel love, you likely won’t be interested in making it. The catch 22 is that women want to feel emotionally connected in order to have sex, where men often feel the most emotionally connected
when they have sex.

How do you fix this disconnection? You start talking! Make space for daily connection. You talk about your interests and goals, you plan date nights where you don’t talk about the kids, and you learn how to share your feelings and your life with one another.

Another great way to connect is by taking 2 minutes out of your day to do something that we call the 60 Second Blessing. You can grab yourself a copy with the instructions HERE. It takes one minute from each of you, and it will surely start those sparks of emotional connection once again!

Stress.
We can all collectively say that life has been hard as of late. Perhaps your marriage is experiencing a season of change or has some added stressors, or perhaps you’re in crisis and haven’t been connected on any level, much less the physical kind, in a long time. 

What’s the solution for that? Address the problem! No more sweeping it under the rug, no more waiting for it to fix itself. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. This might mean professional counseling, some heart-to-heart chats, a marriage workshop, or just forcing yourself to get out of denial. 

Another more lighthearted, yet powerful tip, is to start having fun. Play some games together, watch a comedy, start a new hobby or sport together. Friendship is the gas on the fire of sex. Think back to your dating days, what did you do for fun? Do those things! Make fun a priority once again.

The final disruptor of sex is pornography.
Pornography is no longer a subject we can stick our heads in the sand over. It’s here and it’s rampant. A big issue with porn and marriage is that you connect to whatever brings you pleasure, and for many men, some women too, what brings them pleasure is on a screen. The screen becomes what they crave and desire, and while you should be connecting and bonding to one another, instead bonding to the screen is taking place. 

If this is you or your marriage, you are not alone, 47% of families say that pornography is a problem and it currently produces more income than the NFL, NBA and MLB… combined. The solution? Kick porn to the curb. It will never be something that enhances your marriage, and left unchecked it can easily destroy not only your sex life, but also your marriage.

The truth here is this; sex is a part of the plan for a healthy, Godly marriage. God designed it for reproduction, pleasure, comfort, and connection. It is the physical manifestation of two becoming one. It should be both physically and emotionally fulfilling, beautiful, and connecting for BOTH of you. So, whatever it is that’s interrupting your sex life, it’s worth it to fix it. You deserve great sex in your marriage!

If you want more on this hot topic, check out episode 17 of the Expedition Marriage podcast,
Let’s Talk about Sex.

Here to help you Enjoy The Journey
xoxo, Chris & Jamie

The Secret to Getting Your Husband to Listen

The Secret to Getting Your Husband to Listen

Have you ever thought about how great it would be if your husband could read your mind? Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you didn’t ever have to actually ask for what you need or want?

I mean, it is hard to understand why they don’t see a sink full of dishes and know you’d love some help.

And how come when they hear the kids yelling, they don’t think to automatically respond and see what they need?

And why is it so hard for them to realize that you hate it when they’re on their phones when you’re trying to have some quality time with them?

While it’s unlikely your husband will ever get good at reading your mind, there actually are some things you can do that will help him hear and understand your needs.

Wife Communication Hacks to Help your Husband to Hear you.

Don’t ask backwards.
Wives can often have a tendency to ask for what they want in the form of a complaint. They do this because there’s less risk of rejection or disappointment involved. And let’s be honest, it just feels better when they see you and what you need without having to be told. Here’s what this may look like:

“There’s so much junk on the floor!”
“I’m so tired of the trash always being full.”
 “I’m so exhausted.” 

Now, as women, we can all figure out what these things translate into, but don’t expect your husband to. The next time you want to drop the not-so-subtle hints to your husband via a complaint, instead, be direct and ask for what you need.

“Can you please help me pick up the kids’ stuff off the floor?”
“Hey babe, can you take the trash out?”
“I’m so tired, do you mind if I go take a bath and go to bed early?”

It sounds so simple, but you will have a far better chance at getting what you need when you actually ask for it.

Include your reason.
When you start learning to ask for what you need or when you have a real concern you need to share, instead of just asking for it, include what it would mean to you if you got it or how it would help you feel. This clear communication will share the true need you have behind your ask. Here’s an example:

“I really need you to put your phone down at the dinner table. It would really help me to feel like you wanted to spend time with me and the kids if you did.”
“I would love it if you could help me bathe the kids at night. It would help me be able to feel more relaxed and not so stressed at night before bed.”

Sharing your why gives a much larger incentive to understand and meet your need. Most husbands actually do want their wives to feel like they want to spend time with them, and they do want them to be able to relax. This type of communication lets them see into your heart and understand what the real need is. It’s risky to be vulnerable, but over time vulnerability creates true connection.

Set him up for success.
No one ever feels motivated from being told all that they’re not doing or all that they’re doing wrong. Your husband is more likely to shut down the second something negative comes out of your mouth—for the record, you would too. He may have a history of not listening or disappointing you, but it will never get better if you start with negativity. That only serves to be met with defensiveness, or in a lot of men, avoidance.  Try not reminding him of how many times he forgot something, didn’t do something or how he “always” or “never” does this or that. Skip all that commentary and go right to the steps above. The simpler and more direct you keep it, the more likely he will be to really listen.

If you want to really have your voice be heard, check out the Expedition Marriage podcast and episode 34 to hear What Wives Really Want, and let us do the talking for you!

As always, we’re here to help you… Enjoy the Journey!

xoxo, Chris & Jamie

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Top New Year’s Resolutions for Couples

Top New Year’s Resolutions for Couples

There’s nothing magical about a new year, but it sure does provide fresh opportunities for a clean slate and a lot of grace for any do-overs. And while it may not be magical, sometimes the excitement and motivation that comes with it makes it feel like it is. So we say, why not take advantage of that for your marriage?

 I’m sure you’ve heard it said that the days go by slow, but the years pass by quickly. There’s a lot of truth to that. You can get so caught up in the mundane of daily life, or with constantly putting out fires and running from one thing to the next, that before you know it—whoops, there went another year!

 The last thing you want to do is be unintentional with your marriage. It requires work and attention, and without it, you’d be surprised how quickly that once burning flame romance you had, can turn into a fizzle fest.

 Steps to Having the Best New Year Together

  1. Take a look back. Yep, that’s right. Before you move ahead, it’s important to look back and ask these questions:
  • What worked for us last year?
  • What didn’t work?
  • What brought joy? What brought stress?
  • Did we accomplish what we set out to do? What kept us from or helped us achieve our goals and priorities?

The answers to these questions will provide a nice foundation to launch into a new year with. It’s a waste of time to focus on things that didn’t work or things that just brought stress. A year in review allows you to eliminate or tweak whatever you need to.

  1. Decide to fix what is broken. Now that you know the things that may have held you back, it’s time to make some adjustments. Everything you identified as not working, it’s now time to plan to fix them. In addition to fixing the things that kept you from your goals, plan to fix ALL that may be broken in your marriage, like,
  • Your communication
  • Your sex life
  • Your stress levels
  • Your emotional connectedness

How are these things going for you? Decide to not settle for mediocrity or pain this year. If it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work on your marriage. Let this be the year that you do it. Don’t be like the average couple that struggles for 6 years before they decide to get help.

  1. Make a daily routine to connect. There are 4 sweet spots during each day that you can pause and take a few moments to connect; when you wake up, when you leave one another for the day, when you return and see one another again, and then at bedtime. Take advantage of these brief moments to whisper a quick prayer, to connect over a cup of coffee or to greet one another with a big hug. You can also check out our couple’s devotional  to help provide great conversations and quality time together. Those small moments together can pay in big dividends.
  2. Have more fun. Laughter is such a necessary thing for any marriage. It has so many benefits for your relationship as well as for you both as individuals. Go back to the times when you used to date a lot and re-do those things, play around, or just connect over a game or a funny movie. Find a new hobby together or pick up a new activity that provides some fun. Friendship is a must for a happy marriage.

You may not be able to control everything that happens this upcoming year, but the choices you make sure will influence how good your year is. When you’re connected and thriving as a couple and the hard times come, you’ll be so much better equipped to handle them. Whatever the new year holds, decide to face it together!

Happy New Year!

 

 

 

3 Ways you can Protect your Marriage from Holiday Stress

3 Ways you can Protect your Marriage from Holiday Stress

The holidays are always a time of joy and excitement, but they can also be a time of escalated stress and overwhelm. Family gatherings, gift buying, financial stress, flu season, all—the—things.

Regardless of what this holiday season has in store for you this year, we want to help you with three ways that you can be sure that your marriage stays healthy.

How to keep your relationship healthy during the holidays.

Let’s start with PRIORITIES. You have to know what you prioritize as a couple and as individuals. In order to do that, you’re going to have to make a time to sit down and discuss these things. At the end of this blog, go grab your copy of Important Holiday Conversations, and we’ll help you with that.

 Here’s the deal, if you don’t know what your priorities are during the holidays, then it’s pretty much a guarantee that you won’t be prioritizing any of them. This is going to lead to a lot of frustration, overwhelm and unfulfillment. However, when you can vocalize your priorities, you can then, together, strategize, and therefore be sure to keep first things first. This is a must, because there’s nothing worse than a holiday season that is filled with hardly anything that you value!

 Now, let’s move on to EXPECTATIONS—otherwise known as what we like to refer to as potential premediated resentments. Expectations are those things that you have strong beliefs about–like believing that thing will happen, or that person will do that. When it comes to holidays, statistically speaking, if you’re a wife, then it is likely that you feel like the burden of pulling off a good holiday season falls completely on you, which means there’s likely a lot of unmet expectations on the other end of that.

 Another big thing with expectations is the ones you often put on yourself. It’s not difficult to spend the holidays exhausting yourself while you run around doing all the things that you feel are expected of you. You can avoid a lot of that stress by bringing those things to light in advance and talking them through together. Again, we’re going to help you do that, so don’t worry!

Lastly, let’s wrap it up with this thing we like to call BOUNDARIES. Such a cringy, scary word isn’t it? Aren’t boundaries those things people get mad at you for? Well, sometimes, but the truth is, those people who get mad at you for having them are the exact people you likely need to have them for. So, there’s that.

But really, boundaries actually have nothing to do with other people. Boundaries have everything to do with YOU. They are a way of saying what you are ok and not ok with—they are how you protect your family, your peace, and your well-being. People who love and respect you will get that, and actually should encourage it.

Boundaries can get especially tricky around the holidays when parents get upset you’re not coming home for Christmas, or when you can’t go to 3 different family members houses for Thanksgiving, or when you just can’t afford to buy cousin Johnny, who you really don’t even know, a gift.

Boundaries are essential during the holidays and it is important that you create them together as a husband and wife. Together, you need to do whatever you need to do to protect your family and make sure you have the holiday that fits who you are as a family.

As you move forward in creating PRIORITIES, EXPECTATIONS, and BOUNDARIES, let us come with you and help guide the way. Down below, go ahead and get your copy of Important Holiday Conversations and let us help you navigate these necessary discussions, so you can have the holiday that you desire.

Inexpensive Fall Date Ideas

Inexpensive Fall Date Ideas

Don’t you just love a change of season? When the weather begins to change it usually brings along with it some new inspiration to do different things. If you’re anything like me, the fall always inspires coziness, connection, getting out in nature, and the eating of warm, rich foods!

Fall can also be a time of being busy. As summer closes out, structure and fuller schedules begin to enter back in. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that your spouse and your marriage don’t get put on the back burner. While you’re adding all those appointments and deadlines to your calendar, be sure to prioritize some time for some togetherness with the one you love!

Cheap, but Relationally Rich Fall Dates

Take a drive. Sounds simple, but this can be a great time of year to check out a new area. Drive a town away, check out the scenes of fall in your surrounding area. Make this a time of conversation about your marriage, your dreams, your future together. Check out The Basics for Fall Fireside Chats and get a free download for some great conversations you can have.

It’s also a great time to listen to an audible book. This is one of our personal favorite things to do as we drive. You can also listen to a marriage podcast. We keep ours short and around 15 minutes. Perfect for little trips and always inspiring for good chats! Check out the Expedition Marriage podcast!

Make something warm and gooey with apples! Throw on some aprons, grab a bag of apples, or if you really want a great date, go pick your own, then hit the internet and find a warm apple dessert to make together. Throw on some music and just play side by side in the kitchen.

Keep with the cooking spirit. Plan a week of new fall recipes together. This doesn’t sound that exhilarating, but it will be worth it as the week unfolds and you can sit down together to some inspiring fall foods. Maybe have each of you pick a surprise recipe to make for the other during the week, then sit down and enjoy those special meals together beside a fireplace or with some candlelight.

Start a fall décor collection. This may sound cheesy, but when our family would take trips, we would find beautiful rocks that we now keep in a jar as part of our home décor. They remind us of vacations and the fun we’ve had through the years. Fall provides great things in nature. Just simply go for a walk, pick up some beautiful leaves to put behind a frame, some sticks you can use in a basket, or become rock collectors like us.

Go for a photoshoot. Get dressed up in your best flannels and boots and hit the road for some cute local spots and take some pics. Fall provides a great backdrop for some beautiful images! If you don’t want to be in them yourselves, then grab some nature shots. Frame them and make use of them. Let the images you capture become reminders in your home of your love and time together.

Whatever you do this fall, do it with the intention of staying connected. Date nights are so important for your marriage.

Take the opportunity this season to mix it up and add some of that fall spice to your marriage!

This marriage journey is meant to be enjoyed, just get out there and do it!