Two Years of Marriage: Love & Investment

It’s been two years since we said ‘I do’ in front of Uncle Rico, our friends and family…and the past year has been a whirlwind!

To start, we had a wonderful day celebrating our 2 year anniversary….a pretty chill, very Colorado celebration. I took a half a day of work and we headed to Boulder, where Mike whipped me up Bear Peak -a pretty aggressive up hill climb (2,700+ vertical feet in 3 miles!).

Ski season is fast approaching and this was a great kick start to the preparation I need to do to get my legs into peak shape. Last ski season was a recovery year for sure (since I had been less than a year out of ACL surgery from my backcountry ski accident), but I am ready to put the excuses aside this year and get after it.

After the awesome climb, we headed to Four Noses Brewing, one of our favorite local breweries. They have a ton of amazing beers on tap – including several IPAs (Mike got the Whimsy) and a Palisade Peaches Sour, that I drank up happily! We carried a bottle of sour and a six pack home with us, where we enjoyed our beautiful backyard (we just got a waterfall & landscaping, so it’s pretty dang cool!)

When relaxing in the oasis that is our home, that we’ve spent the last 5 years creating, I asked Mike what he’s learned in the past 2 years of marriage. To paraphrase, he said that happiness has been his biggest lesson. The simple pursuit of happy is really the foundation of our relationship. Through the difficult times we’ve encountered over this past 2nd year of marriage, when I have stopped to think about the goal we’re aiming for, this principle has helped me put things in perspective. We are both extraordinarily hard workers when the real work needs to be done – we join forces, roll up our sleeves, and put our backs into the jobs we excel in.

For example, this year, we have been working on an investment that was supposed to be a quick fix and flip (will definitely need to dedicate a whole post to this!) and it has turned out to be a huge, adding over 1,000 square foot, year plus time-frame, savings borrowing project. And guess what? The outcome wouldn’t be any different if we had been miserable with all of the downfall we encountered. Actually, scratch that, it would have. We would have been miserable.

Instead, we took the ups and downs in stride, discussed them calmly, trusted in each other, invested in the decision we made and moved forward. All the while, remaining positive, happy in our choice, and that has fueled the success. This truly is the way we have tackled challenges this year….and it’s worked beautifully. The things that come up that are getting in the way of our happiness – whether that’s together or personally, as individuals – I’ve had candid conversations with him and myself about.

Year two in marriage has tested us for sure – financially, emotionally, fundamentally – and I believe we are stronger for it.

Cheers to many more years of happy!

 

One Year of Marriage: The Good, the Bad, & the Happy

It’s been 365 days since we got married, in our backyard in Colorado, where we have made an amazing life. It’s been quite the year indeed!

We’ve bought two investment properties, sold one and have the biggest project for our company Happy Homes ltd. to date in front of us.

We got Avalanche certified , skied and explored countless mountain towns together, in every season (Crestone, Jacksone hole, Steamboat, Crested Butte, Salida, Fort Collins to name a few!) and survived a backcountry ski accident together, where our patience and trust for each other was put to a test.

We’ve ridden mountain biking trails, hiked to Alpine lakes, skinned up hills and skied down sky chutes.

We’ve drank at countless breweries, enjoyed hundreds of home cooked, garden grown veggie meals, where both our strengths came together beautifully, him growing the food I’m cooking.

Our year has been productive, full of adventure, with times of frustration & sadness sprinkled in….but most of all, the year has been full of happy.

I married “late” in life, waiting until I knew myself a bit more, until there was no doubt in my mind that the person I was joining forces with was going to be a true partner. Now, I’m not naive; there are no guarantees in life and for things to work well, you have to work at them. So, in reflecting on this past year, here are a few lessons I’ve learned (and am still learning) about being married…

  1. The relationship you have with yourself is the most important, so make sure you know yourself and nurture your passions. Far too often I hear of women putting their needs aside for their family, their husband, sacrificing their own wants because they don’t want to appear selfish, they are busy taking care of everyone else’s needs to bother with their own. Well, I think that is horse shi#£. And I say this because I too am guilty of it. For turning down a dinner with a friend because I feel I need to cook dinner for Mike. For not going for an afternoon swim, because I have laundry or cleaning to do that Mike hasn’t offered to do. For not going to that Sunday morning yoga class cause maybe we’ll do something. It is ok to put my needs first sometimes and Mike is almost always fine with whatever I plan for myself, and often encourages it! Don’t make excuses for not pursuing your own stuff. I’m not saying you should give in to every whim you have, say ‘screw you’ to your family responsibilities, but when you make time for you, and those things you love, well, I know I’m a happier, more productive person and bring that to the marriage table.
  2. Know and appreciate each other’s strengths and recognize each other’s weaknesses (and don’t use them against each other!). I’m not a patient person. It’s a weakness for sure, one that I’m actively working on. I also have a major case of FOMO (fear of missing out) so often get so wrapped up in wanting to do more, make each day epic, that I can miss what’s in front of me. But, I’m organized, great at planning, and have a knack for cooking. Mike can get lost in the moment, a perfectionist with certain things, so can take longer to do tasks and can only handle one at a time. But he can fix and build anything, is a master gardener and loves to do yard work. We each bring our own set of goods & not so goods to the table, but where I may lack, Mike picks up & vice versa. He may never plan a trip, and definitely needs a lesson in housekeeping, but he packs the car after I’ve laid it all out, and brings me fresh grown kale for salads. I’ve learned not to throw his weaknesses at him (trial and error for sure!) because I know our individual strengths make us a better team & we need to flaunt them!
  3. Use your words. There have been times I’ve not said I was annoyed, but was, times I’ve not wanted to go down that run, but did anyway, times when I’ve gone silent because feelings are stupid. I’ve found out that if I’m annoyed, I need to say something, explain my side and why and let him talk through his. Mike is not a mind reader, nor should he be, and my feelings and perspective (expressed in a respectful way) should be considered. If I remain silent, then shame on me. Confrontation sucks and it can be unpleasant, but the times when we did talk through things have turned out much better than the times we didn’t.
  4. You can have different play books as long as you’re on the same team. We are individuals, handle things differently, approach situations with different perspective. As long as you’re on the same page about the objective, goal or end result (and communicate along the way) be open to, and patient about, how the other person is accomplishing their task at hand. Just because you wouldn’t do it that way (and your way is most definitely better) doesn’t mean the job won’t get done.
  5. Take care of, and responsibility for, your own sh$#. I can check the air pressure in my own mountain bike tires, can change a flat on the bike if needed, and can get it in and out of the truck myself. I used to just expect Mike to do it, so let him. Then I got a flat on a trail, without an extra tube, and something clicked. I need to take responsibility for the things I participate in….the good, bad and annoying. This goes for Mike as well. I’ve stopped folding his clothes (unless I have time to) have stopped packing for him, and don’t usually stock the house before I leave for a business trip. We are both adults and have the capability of taking care of ourselves. This is not to say we don’t do things for the greater good of the partnership. When I cook a meal, I don’t just serve myself. When I clean the house, I don’t dust around Mike’s things. And when Mike plants and nurtures our garden, he is proud to share the fruits of his labor. It is not about what you won’t deal with or do for the other person, I think it’s more about having mutual respect for each other and the things that you partake in.
  6. Be honest & patient with yourself and with each other. If I’m being truly honest, I am not that good of a mountain biker (yet) but I want to be at Mike’s level, so instead of picking the trails myself, I’ve let him pick. I’ve also not been putting in the time practicing or strengthening during the week, so halfway into our ride, I’m usually frustrated, feel like crap cause I can tell Mike is frustrated, and my confidence is shot. That’s no way to get better! This past weekend, on our anniversary trip (to Grand Junction, which I’ll write about!) I was honest and said I should probably stick to green trails, maybe head to some blues, and once I did that, we both had a better time. But, I did need to ask for Mike’s patience as I get better, as my ACL heals (although I do use that as an excuse) and know I need to put the work in. A similar patience needs to come from me for Mike. As an example, our current Happy Homes investment property is taking a lot longer due to the scope of the project and frustrations around lack of movement on his end, for not having a project to keep him busy, has been spewed towards him. We finally discussed it calmly (after the yelling of course) and I realized he had done as much as he could at the state the project was, and he already felt frustrated with himself about things, so my harping wasn’t helping. Patience, honesty and communication poured out from both sides was the best remedy.
  7. Be Happy. It’s just that easy, huh? Yes. I truly believe you have a choice in dealing with things, especially the hard things. If you have a sour attitude, think only of the bad, focus on the negative, you will only attract the bad, the negative, the sour. If you focus on the happy, the abundance, the good, those things will flock to you. You attract what you put out into the world and if you greet each day with a grateful, happy heart, well…happiness will find you. Life is precious and the love I have for our life, for my husband, makes me happy. Everyday with each other is a gift, so treat your partner with respect, love and happy.

It’s only been a year, and I’m really no expert on relationships, but with happiness and hard work on our side, I feel the next year of our marriage will be just as amazing!

Week 2 of the #Forward21 Challenge

It’s been said that it takes 21 days to create a positive habit, but I’m not sure it’s as simple as all that. Positive habits require commitment, repetition, dedication. To package it all up in 21 days seems great, so easy, do-able. And guess what? It’s a start.

Positivity begets positivity and once we start incorporating more of it into our day to day, habits can form. I always say healthy isn’t a fad diet, it’s a lifestyle, so I try to put together challenges that emphasis that. And today we start Week 2 of the #Forward21 challenge!

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Monday, January 18th – Meatless Monday. Try a new meatless meal, chock full of veggies! For inspiration, try to think of a dish you love that contains meat (chili, burgers, skewers, meatloaf) and try to make it with beans, lentils, veggies – whole food! Here are a few amazing recipes I’ve tried for those meaty favorites, sans the meat:

Mushroom Stroganoff
Lentil Loaf
Crispy Orange Cauliflower

I’m going to try a new recipe & will be sure to post a video! What will you make? Post pictures, tag #Forward21!!!

Tuesday, January 19th – Take it to the mat Tuesday. Today, find time to take your troubles, your stress, your thoughts, your anxiety, to your mat. Yoga has such an amazing way of allowing yourself to melt,, going back to your breathe and simply being. Better circulation, released waste from exhaling, increased flexibility, tension and stress release are all major benefits from rolling out your mat and spending time on your health. I’m going to be doing a Yogaglo class!

Wednesday, January 20th – Workout Wednesday. Sometimes you just have to sweat it out! When we work out, endorphins are released along with a feeling of euphoria. Plus, working up a sweat, working the muscles in our body keeps our heart healthy and our weight down. Try heading outside for a jog, lifting some weights, or a circuit workout (50 jumping jacks, 50 lunges, 50 situps, 50 squats, then do it again!)

Thursday, January 21st – Thankful Thursday.

“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” Buddha

When is the last time you sat and gave thanks to exactly where you are? To give thanks to all you have, instead of thinking of all you want? Today, write a list of things you’re thankful for in your life. Give tribute to the abundance that surrounds you. Take notice of the simple things and suddenly gratitude fills you. When you have your list, tape it to your fridge or somewhere you will see it regularly. Remember to live with a thankful heart.

Friday, January 22nd – Feel Good Friday. It’s the end of the week, you have two days off (hopefully!) and it’s time to take that Friday feeling to the next level. Today, do the things that make your body sing, that make you feel alive, that allow you to shine. Start your day off with a wholesome breakfast, full of vitamins (a smoothie, avocado toast, chia pudding, or overnight oats). Keep positive thoughts in the forefront of all you do today, creating a positive vibe that follows you wherever you go. Avoid negativity at all costs, excusing yourself from cranky co-workers, changing the subject to uplifting thoughts with a pessimistic friend or family member and focus on your good qualities, instead of negative talk. What makes you feel good? Don’t be shy, ride that good feeling!

Saturday, January 23rd – Sample Saturday. It can be difficult to dive into something new with both feet. That being said, fear of new should never stop you from trying something and variety is the spice of life! Today is dedicated for sampling something you’ve wanted to try. Sample a zoomba or hot yoga class, try a new recipe with an ingredient you’ve never cooked or baked with, or sample a new activity with your family or friends. Sky’s the limit – what will you sample today?

Sunday, January 24th – Sunday Funday. Today’s meal prep day! I usually set aside a few hours to plan a few meals, grocery shop, then cook them. When the week gets hectic, with work, chores, errands to run, kids to cart around. A healthy, simple dinner may be the last thing on your mind (and who has the time!). Try picking out 2 recipes and prepping some vegetables to use throughout the week. Here are some posts about a few meals that keep well in the fridge or freezer: Weeknight Meals & Soups galore.

Share how your week is going on Facebook Group, follow me on Instagram for daily updates and be sure to let me know how you’re doing with the challenge!

Happy Forward21!