The key to my marriage.

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When we met it’s certainly was not love at first sight. We did not get along and I thought he was a little goofy with his skater shoes and braces. He felt the same, but through our complete hatred for each other blossomed something very real.
We moved fast. Probably faster than anyone I know. I look back and sometimes think we had to have been young, dumb kids. We took a risk, not only with our happiness, but we knowingly threw a baby into the mix. Best leap of faith I have ever taken.

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I’m going to be totally cliche and say it was not easy. Nothing in life worth it is ever easy though. The first year we were together was not all magically honeymoon happiness. We got pregnant with Bentleigh 6 months into our relationship, purposely, and after that it went downhill and fast. We both had this vision in our heads of a perfect pregnancy and it was far from that. I was so sick and miserable. I lost so much weight and eventually had to quit my job. I was drained physically and mentally and it took a huge toll on our relationship. He did not understand and I just wanted to make him as miserable as I was. He fully admits to wanting to leave many times and I do not blame him one bit. Our friends did not want to be around us because we fought so much. No one thought we would make it till then end of my pregnancy. The one thing I knew was I did not want my child to grow up like me. It was not until I went into early labor that things changed. We both realized we needed each other more than ever.
Fast forward to Bentleigh’s birth. It was the most magical moment we have both ever experienced. I saw how much he loved Beni and that made me love him even more. It brought out all the emotions I had buried down for him when we we’re fight every day. After Bentleigh was born we had 3 month till he was set to leave for training for deployment. We needed more than ever to figure this relationship thing out.

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The the one thing I knew was we needed to figure out who the other was. I purchased The book All About Me and gave it to him to pack in his bag. The plan was to spend the first few months of the deployment filling the book out and getting to know ourselves better. What we learned is there was so much that you do not think to ask when you first develop a relationship. I fully recommend this book to every couple no matter how long you have been together. And while you are at it do What I Love About You. If you did not already know how much you meant to each other this will open the flood gates. Being away from each other during the deployment was also the most challenging thing either if us had ever been through. If you can survive a deployment you can survive anything.

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So how did we go from being this new couple who survived a deployment while trying to learn how to love each other and ourselves still to what I would consider my perfect relationship? It was a lot easier than I would have ever expect.
1. We stopped putting ourselves first and put each other first. I can admit I was very selfish at the beginning of our relationship. I had went from being an only/youngest child and getting whatever I wanted and not having to share to living with someone and sharing everything. We had to learn how to be a team and not just give 50/50 but 100% of ourselves. Shaeson has always been good about this so really I was the one that needed to do most the learning.
2. I went back to the basics and started to flirt with my husband, which ladies is more important than you think. If you stop flirting with your partner the spark you used to feel will eventually die. There is a reason you feel in love so find it. I still am very much a flirt. It is just my personality. At some point I started to think “oh well we are already married.” I do not care if you have been married for a year or 20 years, get your flirt on! Show affect, hold hands, hug, and kiss.
3. We date each other and make time for each other. This has been our biggest downfall since him being home from deployment. I focus 99% of my time on the kids and unless we are trying to have more kids I paid him no attention. That is not the case anymore. We take the time to spend with each other whether we go to a dinner and movie or just to get coffee. We have conversations and can talk about what our goals are together and separate.

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4. Do not talk negatively about your partner. I do not care how big of a douche-bag you think they are being if you tear them down enough they will fight back. I was doing this purposely when I was pregnant with Bentleigh, because I wanted to tear him down.
5. Have a sex life. Pretty self explanatory. I do not care if you have to plan it out.
6. Do not sweat the small stuff. Shaeson does so many things that I could nag over every day, i.e. he leaves all the cabinets open, leaves his clothes right next to the bed, and never shuts the shower curtain. I used to get on him everyday about it. One day I made the decision to just deal. They are such small things I did not want our relationship to suffer because of it.
7. Do NOT post your drama on FB, IG, Twitter, whatever your outlet is. You married each other and not the world and everyone does not need to know every time you are fighting or your dirty laundry. Get off the computer/phone and go talk about the problem. If you need some space that is great, but when you post about how horrible you spouse is for everyone to see what are you trying to accomplish? The next time you feel the need to post about a fight I want you to stop, sit back, and think about how you would feel if you got on FB and saw that post about yourself.
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8. Have fun. We are constantly joking around and laughing with each other. Shaeson and I never saw that in our parents. I have seen not only a change in us but also a change in the boys. We all have fun together and the memories we are making now are unforgettable.
9. Do not threaten to leave. I used to play this game, “Well if your life is so horrible then just leave.” Guess what if he wanted to I am sure he could find someone else that would make him happy and not play this game. So why do it. If your not really going to leave then do not say it. The grass is not always greener on the other side.
10. COMMUNICATE COMMUNICATE COMMUNICATE! Talk about everything. Be honest and open about everything. Although I have no idea what he is talking about or what any of it means I will sit and talk with Shaeson about his day at work when he gets home and he listens to me about how I cleaned out the closet or organized the toy room for the 100th time haha. Either way we communicate about everything.

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This may not work for everyone, but it is what worked for us. We are the happiest we have ever been. We rarely fight if ever. I can not even remember the last time we fought. And will it be this easy forever, probably not. We know we have to continually work on it, but once you get the basics down the rest will come to you. I promise if you just put in 50% more than your doing now you will see a change. Being the best husband and wife we can be also made us the best parents we can be. It is all connected. Love with no boundaries and you will get infinite love back!

“You will forever be my always.”

-Elexis ❤

AM Photography

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The King and Queen.

The king and queen have arrived. This tee from Louis B Boutique has inspired this outfit ideas post. Most days the boys think they rule the world and maybe they do rule our world haha. But I absolute love the simplicity of this tee. I love that it can work for both boys and girls. We have been into very casual comfy outfits lately. I also love the idea of a super casual tee with a very girly skirt. I can only imagine what all your little kings and queens could imagine up for if they ruled the world for a day. Check out all the fab shops for many more amazing things they offer!

The King and Queen.

“Always wear your invisible crowns.”
-Elexis ❤

Bentleigh Aaden aka Beni boy.

Ah. How many times have you had a mommy moment where your looking at your children and the tears start to boil? I can tell you the first year of Bentleigh’s life it happened almost everyday. I was so overwhelmed with the love I felt for him. I knew that parents loved their children, but until you have children of your own you do not understand. That first year of his life I pour all I had into him and more trying to fill the void of Shaeson being in Iraq. Because of that I feel like we have this bond that is so strong it’s indescribable. We only had each other and even now with the whole family together we still have those moments where it will just be Bentleigh and I and I think back to that first year. I used to write little notes and stick them in his baby book. He made me into the parent I am today. When he is older and starting a family of his own I will not be able to thank him enough for everything. It was my job to teach him, but he taught me so much. I love you more and more.

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Tonight I had that moment. As I put him to bed and he rolled over and looked at me, leaned up, kissed my cheek, and said “I love you mom.” He’s growing so fast and I think that this year he starts preschool and I will no longer be able to spend every day with him all day. Yep I’m that mom. Lol I shed a year for sure.
It reminded me to always remember to cherish the little things and love for who they are! Be thankful for what you have and have fun!
-Elexis ❤

Music to the soul.

“Music is a safe kind of high.” — Jimi Hendrix

I turn to music for everything. When I was getting prepared for the birth of Hurleigh the only thing I knew was I wanted to have my music there. Well it went so fast that we did not even have time for music, but my husband went out the next day and bought me a little speaker home for my iphone and I listened to it every chance I got.

Since the boys have gotten older and I made the decision to shut the tv off more we have turned to music. They are just like me when it comes to music. Bentleigh knows the words to so many songs its crazy and Hurleigh dances to everything. We have a dance party at least once a day. I love the atmosphere it creates when we crank up the volume, the boys are dancing, and I am just picking up the house or dancing with them.

Lately I have noticed though that I have outgrown my play list. My whole life I have always had a very broad taste in music. From hip hop to pop to 80’s to rock I loved it all. Not so much anymore. My playlist does not match the point in my life I am in right now. So I am doing a complete overhaul on my itunes playlist. What has not changed? My top 5 favorites I feel will never change. So I wanted to share with you my top 5 list.

#1 Lifehouse — Lifehouse

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This album we on repeat for the first almost year of Shaeson and I’s relationship. I used to have this fear of falling asleep in silence in the dark. This was the cd he bought me and we would just lay there and listen to it over and over again. It brings back all the memories of us falling in love. The reason why it will always be my number one.

#2 Justin Nozuka — Holly

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I am not even sure how I came across his album. I remember it was at the point where I was starting to buy everything on iTunes, but I felt compelled to buy the physical album. It was on repeat in my car for weeks. I remember my friends hated it and would threaten to break it. Every once in a while I will pop it in and just lay back and relax. His voice is to die for. Check him out.

#3 John Mayer — Battle Studies

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I know it is a semi new album but it is from a summer in my life where I was trying to figure out who I wanted to be and what I wanted out of life. I had a lot of struggles within my self and I feel like I gave to much of my self to others. During that summer my father worked for Usana and John Mayer came and I want and just remember sitting on the lawn, completely mesmerized and in awe. I felt like it was straight out of a movie as I just swayed back and fourth singing all the songs. If I could go back in time I would go back to that day just to relive it one more time.

#4 The Fray — The Fray

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So John Mayer helped me get through that summer in my life and when I came out of it alive and kicking I purchased this album. “You Found Me” was like my song to myself. I had made it through probably the craziest time of my life and I did things I was not so proud of. Deep down inside though I knew that there was something bigger for me. That I could pull myself out of this ditch I was stuck in. And I was right. It was road filled with bumps and forks and there were times I wanted to turn around but I did not. I am so thankful because my life is so amazing right now and I would not be here if it were not for that crazy learning period in my life.

#5 Oasis — (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?

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Ah, where to even begin. Hello high school days and all that came with that. Hello first boyfriends and best friends. Hello teenage years. That’s where they take me back to. To this day they still are an amazing band! Back in high school I was really into 80’s and 90’s music. When you grow up in a small town in Northern Minnesota that is what you grow up on. Lots of country and classic rock with some 90’s alternative. Always feels go to listen to something that brings you back a little.

So, ladies and gents that is my top 5. I love them, they have got me through a lot in my life, and I am sure you all know who they are but these are the important ones to me. Also the some of the only actual cds I own! And if you have any suggestions to add to my new playlist feel free to leave some suggestions (:

-Elexis ❤

Movement of the year.

One thing I want to instill in my boys is a very easy concept. One that we should all be practicing. I see so much hatred in the world today and how horrible people can be to each other. Then I see the children. I see how different our children are in our society today than even from 20 years ago. I want my boys to be thinkers, educators, and most importantly I want them to be kind. To love for what is inside and not the exterior. To help when they can and lift up rather than put down. This brand represents our movement of the year. We are going to be kind.

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The Be Kind Movement was started by a group of guys that have been friends for over 20 years. Most of them are dads (or soon to be). There are six children among them and one more on the way in January. Something they often discussed is the upbringing of their kids. They are tired of seeing endless stories in the news of people being so hurtful to others. They wanted to start an apparel company with a simple message: be kind. As their company grows so will their message. Being kind to someone is not difficult yet it can have life-lasting effects. This is the message they want to instill in their kids, simple, but something they never want them to forget. As part of their mission, they will be donating a portion of their profits to a charity called Family Fuel (familyfuel.com). It is not their intent to gain popularity. Rather, they are simply doing their part to spread the message of kindness.

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We love their shirt and of course the message that they are trying to instill in our youth of today. Check out all their amazing shirts at their Etsy. Also visit them for  IG @bekindmovement. This company is doing a great thing and I am so happy to support them in their mission to spread kindness.

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Thank you Danny and all the men of the Be Kind Movement for taking a stand for the children of this generation and being the an amazing role model.

-Elexis ❤

Hurleigh – My baby bear.

When Bentleigh was little we used to get pictures taken together all the time. I wanted to cherish every moment I could. Plus it was just us two so we needed something to keep us busy. When I realized Hurleigh turned 18 months this month I about cried. We have done family picture but we have not done any pictures of us together. I always like to do things equally and it broke my heart a little that I didn’t have that with Hurleigh…weird I know but I love looking back at the pictures of my mom and I. Shaeson doesn’t have that and I know he wishes he did. So here are just a few of Hurleigh and I.

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He is growing and learning so much everyday and for a while I felt like I was missing so much of it. I am the crazy mom that takes pictures of everything. This year expect a lot of pictures of the boys. Love ya’ll!

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Stay tuned tomorrow for our first featured brand of the year! (:

-Elexis ❤