Since Chase and I recently celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary in May, I've done a lot of thinking about our relationship, how much we've grown, how far we have come, how different we are than 5 years ago, etc. It's kind of crazy to say 5 years because time does fly! Chase and I were both 21 when we got married and I remember having cards at a table that allowed our guests to write a piece of marriage advice, I remember a few like "never go to bed mad". After 5 years, we've thought of a few things we would like to share that we've learned along the way so far.

1. communication is key.
Chase and I attended a marriage class when we first got married not long after we moved to California and still to this day we joke with each other about an example they gave about hearing but not actually listening to what your partner is saying. So when we're joking with each other, one of us will usually say "I hear what you're saying but that's about it". Haha, it is so true though and rather than just hearing what we say to each other, we do have to also listen. This is still something we work on every day!

2. keep God first.
Without God at the center of our relationship, I don't know what our relationship would be like. We've had to call on Him many times during our marriage and where we are today is incredible considering where we were when just married. I'm a firm believer in the power of prayer & I love to reflect on ways He's answered them (and not!) and look forward to the ways He will continue to work through our marriage now!

3. put in the work.
I'm sure most of you have heard marriage is hard work and it's true. You have no idea what life will throw at you after you say your vows. It's important to commit to working hard, sometimes really hard during certain situations that life brings. To me, "work"means continuously communicating, even if that's at couple's therapy to learn how to. It means putting aside blame and anger, and talking out a problem. It means to always support and encourage one another in your dreams and never giving up because your relationship started with love. 

4. don't make comparisons.
Anyone who says they have a perfect marriage is full of shit. Let's go ahead and get that out of the way. And that's ok!! The reality is in this day and age we all present our best selfs usually first and foremost on any social media but it's always important to remember that you're seeing maybe 5% of someone's entire day. Everyone argues, everyone has bad days, people don't always have everything together as it may seem. When I find myself making comparisons, I've learned to put the phone down, get off social media & refocus back onto our relationship.

 5. laugh together.
Because #adulting. Have date nights. Continue to be indecisive about where you want to eat (by this point, your husband will probably choose Buffalo Wild Wings for you two, in this case abort mission and just choose something. QUICK!) Be honest. Learn new things about each other. Embarrass one another. Have fun together! Don't take everything so seriously. It's easy to get wrapped up in the bills you have to pay and all the errands you have to run. Throw two babes in the mix and things just become amplified by 100%. Stressful situations become a lot less stressful when you can learn to laugh through it, even if you're catching your children's vomit in your hands when they're sick. After all, laughter is the best medicine.