Ok, so the title may be slightly melodramatic, but what else is new?

In August of this year, Brad and I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. 10! And prior to that, we dated for 5 years. And while I know that is but a drop in the bucket compared to some of you, I’m still proud of it and us.

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In celebration of this 10th year, Brad and I agreed that this was the year to take our marriage from great to exceptional. Life has certainly thrown us twists and turns and plenty of way, way ups and some very difficult downs, and so far we are making it. In 2014, our tenth year as man and wife, we are choosing to focus on selflessness for the next 12 months and beyond (for those of you that know me well, stop laughing). And in no relationship is selflessness more important (and honestly, more challenging), than in marriage.

This year is shaping up to be a busy one for us… and with the changes, opportunities and challenges that surely lie ahead, we want to be more intentional than ever to love on one each other, support each other, respect each other, spend quality time with one another and [GULP] serve one another.

I feel like being 10 years into marriage allows me to speak with some authority on the subject. Not much authority, to be sure… but maybe just a teensy bit. The longer that I am married the more I know that this mystery of marriage- this relationship- perhaps above all others- will take the most effort, the most commitment, the most grace, the most forgiveness, the most focus.

“Why?” you ask.

Because, you ding dong, this is the one person that you live with, that knows you most intimately, that sees you at your darkest, that knows all of your worst habits, that knows what buttons to push, and it is the one person that you (if all goes according to plan) will be with until your dying day.

And to pile on top of that, the outside distractions continue to mount and they weasel their way into marriages (and all relationships). When Brad and I were first married, we didn’t have Internet in our house. Imagine the horror! We had no social media, no phones with texting capabilities, no computer, and cable (fancy, I know) without a DVR. Neither of our first jobs provided a laptop with the expectation that you are available outside of work hours. Basically, if we didn’t find something to watch on TV, we busied ourselves with a glass of wine and good conversation on the patio.

Now, distractions abound… we have all of the above along with two dogs and a two year old. It can all lead to a level of disconnection with my husband- the relationship that matters most to me. Unless, that is, we are jointly intentional about staying fiercely connected to one another. And that, my friends, is our plan for the year.

We have lots of little things planned for the year ahead to make sure we are successful. If any of this has resonated with you, and if you and your significant other want to join us in our 2014 journey to a greater level of love, connectedness and commitment, I invite you along.

Well, not along per se. Like, you can’t come on our journey with us… but you can carve your own journey with your guy or gal.

I’ll share here from time to time what I am (or rather, what we are) up to to make sure that I am focused on Brad this year, on us this year, on our marriage this year. I believe there is no greater gift we can give to each other, to our children and to the future generations.

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So, if you (and your spouse- and yes, it will require you both to be fully on board) are game, here is the first official challenge. Choose a night of the week and have a standing date with no, and I mean NO, distractions. If doesn’t require going out. It requires tuning in. For us, this means that we pick one night a week where there is no phone, no texting, no Internet, no TV- and our time together officially begins after Henry goes to sleep. It could be sipping on wine in front of a fire, playing cards, planning a getaway, dreaming a big dream or talking about nonsense. Our other rule is to keep work talk to a minimum. This time is intended to restore intimacy that is sometimes lost in the busyness of life.

For some of you, this one will be a breeze. For others, this challenge may feel like an impossible hill to climb. I think there is something magical about undivided attention to the one you love most.

So, that is what is new here. I hope everyone’s 2014 is off to a stellar start.

xo,
Leah