I’m super excited for today’s giveaway from Kathy Davis… I absolutely love their products and the amazing message they are spreading!!! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post:) I’m also really excited to share our engagement pics because they make me happy.
What we are chatting about today——> Creating a Life YOU Love.
When I first heard about the Kathy Davis Brand I was instantly drawn to their beautiful bedding (I am a sucker for making my room my personal sanctuary:) but then as I learned about their mission and beliefs, I fell even more in love with them.
The Kathy Davis Brand strongly believes that EVERYONE has the right to ‘Create a Life They Love.’ Their mission has been to create meaningful products, to foster connections (I can’t think of anything more important than our relationships) and to help others to create ‘Create a Life They Love.’ In the process Kathy Davis has created everything from greeting cards to gifts, and from home (GIVEAWAY for their amazing bedding at the end) to fashion. Kathy Davis products are sold in over 60,000 doors nationwide.
I could not agree more with the Kathy Davis mission and their message is something that I want to help spread. After I got divorced a few years ago I was in an incredibly low place (as you remember). I was living in my parents’ basement, I was BEYOND lonely, I was worried sick about our future and how I was going to do the mom thing on my own. I can remember a specific night alone in my bedroom just a few months after I left California. I was writing in my journal (I LOVE journals) and this thought hit me strongly—> I could stay in the dark place I was in at the time forever (healing and grieving is real and it takes a lot time too) or work every day towards loving my new normal. To choose to live the life I wanted. I got instant goosebumps just thinking about the truth that I could put all of my efforts into building a life with my Brookers that we loved, and that is exactly what we did. I focused on our amazing blessings, I worked hard on the relationships that I had in my life and we celebrated every little thing on the planet. We created so many traditions just the two of us and we spent pretty much every minute together. We moved forward in life, left the past in the past and started fresh with so many possibilities ahead of us—> that felt beyond amazing.
Creating a life that you love is so unique to YOU… finding what you love whether that is running daily, spending time with your favorites, working at a job that fulfills you, spending time each day on a new hobby, playing an instrument, going to school for your dream career, being a stay at home mom, traveling as much as possible, celebrating the things that make you happy… do it!
I will ALWAYS treasure the years that I had with just the two of us. I’ll look back on these years of just me and my little sidekick and smile because we have some pretty incredible memories together.
PS Andrew loves our new Kathy Davis bedding too and we will use it when I move in with him after the wedding (AHHHH IT IS GETTING CLOSER).
Brooke and I sure have loved this life that we have had together over the years and we cannot wait for the new life that we will have with Andrew and Knox (Brooke’s new step-brother that is also 3 years-old).
One of the Kathy Davis brand pillars that I love (along with celebrating life, sharing joy and appreciating yourself:)——> nurturing our relationships. I love that Kathy Davis helps to offer comfort and make heartfelt connections because that’s the kind of stuff that matters. I truly think that a big chunk of our happiness comes from the relationships that we have. I don’t think that a PERSON can make us happy (because expecting somebody else to give us our happiness is unrealistic) but that our relationships and the things that we do to nurture these relationships can create a life that we love very much.
This is something that Andrew and I have talked about a lot leading up to our wedding. How are we going to nurture/protect/strengthen/grow this relationship of ours for the rest of our lives? We will do whatever we can to create a home full of love and a family unit that is unbreakable.
Something that I truly believe is the best thing we can do to nurture our relationships is service. My mom has always been the best example to me of this. She has so many strong connections with the people in her life and it is because she is always trying to find ways to serve her people. I’ve come to find the more I am trying to forget my problems and help other people with theirs, the happier I am. The more we work towards helping our people, the closer we grow together. I think that relationships take constant maintenance and Andrew and I are so committed to always working together and putting our relationship first. We’ve decided that courting will always be a part of our life. Whether that is a once a week date that is a huge priority or continuing to do things to surprise and show love to each other.
My Love Language screams—> QUALITY time together and Andrew’s is the same (hallelujah). He’s my best friend and continuing to nurture our relationship by spending time together and as a family is my favorite way to connect. My favorite runs ever have been with Andrew already and I’m stoked for the thousands of miles we will share together over the years.
I also cannot wait to create a home where we all feel safe, loved, inspired with a whole lot of laughter.
We are coming up on the wedding and starting together a life full of amazing times, hard stuff (because no one is exempt from trials) and medium times, all while we work together to create a life that WE love together as a family of 5 (plus more later;).
And just a few more pics because I couldn’t decide which ones to post.
I’d love to hear how YOU create a life that you love. I’d also love any marriage advice that you have learned over the years. Keep on celebrating life’s moments (the big ones and the little ones) and nurturing those relationships of yours!
Sponsored by Kathy Davis! Thank you for supporting us, our sponsors and for following along with our random life:)
TIME TO WIN——> One lucky winner will win a set of KATHY DAVIS BEDDING NOW!!! I love starting off each day on the right foot by creating a beautiful space in my room… it sets the tone for the rest of the day when I have peace and beauty in my surroundings when I first wake up:)
ENTER BELOW and good luck and enjoy the rest of your day!!
My advice is simple but solid, never ever go to bed angry.
Sarah @ SarahRuns26
I think it is so important to nurture our relationships. There are always things that come up that we need to pay attention to, but making sure your significant other feels safe and cared for is so vital to a successful relationship. My husband and I talk about this all the time, especially as we talk about having kids. Our priorities will always be shifting, but our love for each other is the most important thing. If we can keep that strong, everything else will be fine. Love the photos, they are beautiful!
Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious
I create a life that I love by taking big risks! I used to be so scared of stepping out of my comfort zone but have found by doing so, it has been very rewarding!
Sally @ sweat out the small stuff
I’m not married (yet!) but my guy has two daughters and I have found that it is so important to spend time with the girls as a family but also for us to be adults and continue our dating. It’s a perfect balance that o think sometimes in a marriage the adult couple togetherness gets reduced in priority when there are kids to take that top priority.
Steph @ loveandlunge
your engagement photos are stunning! my tip for creating a life I love is never being afraid to do things that really make me happy and stepping away from things that are not. once you realize that you are in charge of your own happiness, it changes the game.
LOVE the engagement pics!! You two look SO beyond happy together, and I’m super happy for you! :)
Amanda B @ Cupcakes & Miles
Love the engagement photos! You both look so happy to have found each other!!
Awww your engagement pics are so pretty. Your excitement and happiness definitely shows through in every picture!
I’m glad you wrote about how being a single mom was still a really fulfilling time in your life. I know some of the most fun years I had with my mom were right after she got divorced and we did lots of things together. I was happy for her when she remarried but I’m glad we had that time together, and I think she is too. (Or I hope so!)
My biggest advice is definitely to make up after arguing as fast as possible. Avoiding an argument doesn’t work because then things just bubble up inside of you, and I think arguments sometimes spur important conversations. But I don’t like to sit and stew in my anger, I like to take a few minutes to collect my thoughts and calm down and then go make up! I have found that Adam is always ready to makeup just a few minutes later too!
Of course, you are such a beautiful couple…but more than that, you look so happy and in love! Wishing you guys all the best! I got married when I was still pretty young and have been married for 13 years now. I have learned so much but I think the most important thing I’ve learned after my son was born was to cherish every little moment. With a kid and a busy lifestyle, we have less time to go out but when we do, we really enjoy it and when we can`t we still can find ways to make a date at home and talk and be a couple again. Balance is so important.
Your pics are absolutely gorgeous! I love seeing you so happy!!!! xo
Erin @ Her Heartland Soul
Omggg! I love your engagement photos! Beautiful!
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie
I absolutely love these engagement pictures! They are so beautiful and I am so excited for the two of you!
Emily @ My Healthyish Life
These photos are just stunning! You both look so happy. Thanks for sharing :)
Love your engagement pics. Can’t wait for wedding photos! :)
Ditto on Flower’s advice. My husband has not allowed us to go to sleep angry/mad with each other.
Beautiful photos- where did you get the shoes you are wearing with the white dress?
My husband and I read Gottman’s Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work together and work hard to be sure we sustain a very loving and positive relationship, even when we are having a disagreement: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seven_Principles_for_Making_Marriage_Work
We also will go to bed annoyed with each other, because we’ve realized we are both more cheerful after some sleep, and we usually wake up with new perspective that allows us to talk through the conflict easily.
Janae, you look absolutely gorgeous!
These pictures are incredible! So beautiful!! Do you mind telling me where they were taken?
Amanda @ Exploring Life & Things
Your engagement pictures are so so beautiful! I can’t stop looking at them :) haha.
Lately traveling and exploring new cities is something that I’ve been loving and its even better when I get to do it with my boyfriend! I hope this is something we can continue doing throughout our lives.
Such a sweet post! I just love all the pictures! My husband and I always make time for date nights and time for just us. It is so important to keeping dating throughout your marriage. Marriage takes work, but if the person is your best friend and top priority, the work isn’t so bad. :)
This is probably terrible advice, but it was hilarious! We had a bachelor/bachelorette party with a huge group of people we camp with (They are a little rough, but amazing people!!) They went around the circle and gave us advice. One guy said, “If you have kids and need time alone, put Vaseline on the door knob.” I have never laughed so hard!
My aunt gave me some great advice though. She said, “Never grow up, just grow together. Always stay a kid at heart” My aunt and uncle have one of the best relationships I know. They are goofy together and constantly make one another laugh. It is always wise to marry your best friend!
My husband and I have only been married for 2 years, but we have been together for 8. We praise each other every day and thank one another for little things. Even last night we tag teamed the lawn. I mowed the front with the push mower and he did the back with his riding lawn mower. Even though we both had to do some work, we both thanked each other.
Janae & Andrew….I am so happy for the both of you. My husband and I have been married for over 34 years and a big piece of advice I have for you is to always take time for each other and nurture your relationship. Your life will get so busy raising children, but it’s important to have your alone time. However, more than anything TRUST is the most important thing in a marriage.
Sam @ Mobile Bay Runner
Your pictures are perfectly beautiful. You both look so happy! My husband and I also run together and that is something that I really cherish. Whether we are getting up super early to get a run in before work or it is an evening run, the time that we spend together doing something that we both love is some of the most quality time that we spend together. Lots of good talks happen during those runs. It’s the best :)
Absolutely beautiful pictures!! Congratulations!
Katie @ Peace Love & Oats
Your photos are gorgeous!! Where is that? I want to build a cabin RIGHT THERE where you’re standing and live there forever.
Lisa @ TechChick Adventures
Your engagement pictures are incredible! How is it possible for two people to look so good? :) You make a wonderful couple.
I am by no means an authority on relationships and I’m not even married… but my boyfriend and I have been together for 3 years and have lived together for 2.5. I would say we work so well because we treat each other with the same kindness and respect that we would treat our friends. Obviously we are in love,but I feel like it’s so easy for people to act less forgiving, less apologetic, less kind, less understanding when it comes to their S/O. We have a lot of respect for the other person and their feelings so we treat each other as such!!
Okay…so I just have to say that your comment about how we treat our s/o vs our friends really hit me hard today. Saturday, I had a race and my BF had discussed where to meet afterwards. Well….this was a point to point race…I was looking for him at the finish area and he was looking for me at the start (where he dropped me off). He had read something about the shuttles taking people to/from. I was kind of perturbed…point being…had it been my best friend, I would have shrugged it off. It’s not like I was totally peeved with him, but I thought “why would we meet back at the start”, yet we had not clearly discussed this little matter. So…..THANK YOU for the gentle “slap in the face” reminder of treating out s/o as we would treat our best friends. (and sorry for my long windedness). :)
You’re welcome!!! Thanks for sharing. Yes I have to say that kind of situation happens to us ALL in long term relationships but it sounds like you are more aware of it than many others are! We cant always be perfect but we can work at it every day……..
I think this applies to kiddos too! For me, I think I expect more from my own child than I do from others.
One thing that we work on as a couple every day is communication. You can’t have a relationship with out communication. Unfortunately I’m not great with it. I’m much better at writing thugs down instead of saying them. So I’m very lucky to have a patient husband to help me with that and with little bouts of depression that hit me now and then. I’m also super fortunate that he knew about my depression going into this relationship and was willing to help and support me through that.
Those pictures are gorgeous! Where did you take them?
The engagement pictures turned out so beautiful! :) Congratulations and good luck on all of the upcoming life events!
Always keep a hobby or activity that reminds you of who you are as an individual. It’s easy to get swallowed up in the identities of spouse or parent, so make sure there is still an individual in there! Sometimes we misunderstand the advice to become one with our spouse, but remember that 1×1=1, but if you lose your individuality 1×0=0. When you have as many things different as you have similarities you always have something to talk about too!
Your engagement photos are beautiful… we never had any taken and I kinda regret it.
Also, what an awesome giveaway! Thanks for sharing :)
My number one piece of marriage advice is COMMUNICATE. Communicate, communicate. We talk about ev.er.y.thing. Sometimes the details of our days seems stupid and pointless, but sharing all of them and talking about everything that makes us mad, sad, happy, scared, etc really helps us stay close. Regular dates are also important. Even with 2 kiddos we try to date often and sometimes that means Netflix after they go to bed or Popsicles on the front porch ?
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
These are beautiful, my friend!! So lovely!!!
I love that you make your bedroom into your sanctuary. That sounds so nice! And your engagement pictures are so gorgeous! Love the scenery!
One piece of advice is not to share “funny” stories about your husband to other ladies. Don’t talk him down or share his shortcomings. It’s not a good habit to get into even for the sake of fun. You should not train your brain to think that way about your husband.
Good luck with everything! <3
I love this advice. I often find myself cringing inside when I hear other women sharing stories of their husbands that don’t show them in the best light. Its fun to talk to girlfriends, but the damage of oversharing is hard to undue.
Love love love your engagement pictures! I’ve only been married for (not even!) a year (10 months!) but I’ve leaned SO many things.
My top couple things I’ve learned are:
1. Make each other a priority. We do weekly date nights and have made sure that those happen each week.
Whether it’s a movie and dessert, a froyo date, or a board game night, we’ve enjoyed each date because they are with each other!
2. Communicate about everything. Even when it’s so small and you don’t think it is worth it. It is.
3. Just like when you are dating, Landon and I have found things that we like to do and do them together. We both love to run together, play board games, eat, and take walks!
4. Pray for each other!
So excited for you guys!!
I have been so focused on getting the rest of my apartment into shape, I have totally neglected my bedroom. I really need to start making that my sanctuary so I can feel more calm and focused at home.
What do you do as a career? Those are gorgeous photos!
Your engagement photos are beautiful! And the photo of the bottom of your dress (I assume it was yours)yesterday it looks so gorgeous already!!
I really appreciated your perspective I know I need those reminders regularly.
I haven’t been married very long but after spending most of my life keeping things to myself I suddenly started being too honest. Every day I am learning to ask myself: is saying this productive? Is it kind? Am I doing it too (and therefore being a hypocrite)? Before I comment on socks on the floor or why is the front door wide open etc. I’m also young (23) so this is probably something most adults know how to do already :)
Wonderful post today! Relationships do need constant work… sometimes it’s easy and fun, other times it’s really hard! But when you have a partner in life that you respect and love, it is so worth it!
My hubby and I will be celebrating our 22nd anniversary this August!! We were married pretty young, so we really have grown together over the years. We have 2 amazing sons that really add to our daily joy, and work ;) My advice to you and Andrew is to make sure you communicate! That’s what has caused some of our hardest times in the past… not communicating how we truly feel about something because of fear of hurting the other person or making them mad. The other part of communication is to really listen! And, I love that you’re already planning date nights once a week after the wedding! This is such a great idea! We do this too! And, it’s important for your kids to see that making time just for each other is what helps to build a strong marriage.
Your engagement pictures are beautiful! Congratulations!!!
Oh, and I can’t wait to check out all the great Kathy Davis products!!
Congrats to you and Andrew, and I ove all of your photos! I’m also jealous that you live in an area where mountains are the backdrop! And…Where’d you get you dresses from?? So cute :)
I think yesterday she said she got the white one from Old Navy, not sure about there rest.
I love that you want to continue to court each other. My husband and I work hard on this, as well. It is so important to take time for each other.
Eri @ Aloha Mama Runner
Congratulations and your engagement photos look pretty!
Nurturing, respect, knowing when to back off in an argument, letting go of your own stubborn ways, and loving each other- I agree with some others’ comments about not going to bed angry. Marriage takes a lot of effort but it’s all worth it at the end of the day :) I am super happy that you found each other!
I have two pieces of marriage advice that has helped me and my husband. #1 seek help quickly. Wether it is from Andrew/Janae or from a counselor or even just praying to God. Too often we wait too long and there is more damage or difficulty than is necessary, when you can catch the issue early you’ll have more happiness. #2 find a couple you both admire and use them as a guide through the hard times. Early in our marriage my husband and I chose Gordon And Marjorie Hinckley. Seeing how faithful and how strong their marriage, and reading through a few trials they have shared help us. They are a reference point that had become valuable to both of us.
Love your pics!!!! Where did you have them taken??
Beautiful engagement photos! I think it’s so important to live the life you want to live. I don’t want to look back and tell myself that I wish I would’ve done this and that. It’s so important to take risks and go for what you want to live a happy life!
I’m so happy for you!! The pictures are beautiful! I love the simple style that lets your love for each other be the thing I notice the most when I look at them!
Wowza…not sure you guys could take a bad photo! They are beautiful. So excited for you and your new family of 5!
Congratulations again. You deserve happiness and it’s great to see you achieving it! I can’t wait to see the wedding photo, if you choose to share, as the engagement photos are so lovely.
Sam @ Grapefruit & Granola
Your engagement pictures look beautiful. Congratulations on your engagement!
My advice, and just fyi we’re still trying to work on it – but make sure you put your relationship before the kids. Sounds odd, and selfish but you are a team raising these kids and you need to make sure you are feeling loved and respected to be able to show love and respect to your kids. Just make sure you don’t forget about your spouse in all the fun of raising babes, it is so easily done.
Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian
Love your engagement pictures! They came out beautiful! I love following along with all the wedding things you’re doing because my fiancee and I just did all the same ones recently. I get married on Saturday! AAAHHH!
You look so happy. Congratulations!
Amy @ Life to the Full
Lovely engagement pictures! They are all gorgeous ❤
My marriage advice is to keep Jesus at the center of your relationship and read the Bible regularly (together or individual… Whatever works). Marriage is such a blessing and a challenge, especially when kids enter the picture, but a fulfilling marriage is totally possible when rooted in Jesus Christ!
I’m so excited for you both and the kiddos!!!
These pictures make my heart SO happy!! And you posted the one that is my fave! <3 <3 <3 LOVE YOU GUYS!!! xoxoxo
i am so happy for you!! <3 you to pieces gorgeous girl!
My husband and I have a rule to never go to bed angry and he has taught me the importance of letting the small stuff go. I have taken up archery because my husband loves to hunt. He still won’t run with me but he will hop on his bike and ride next to me. This is how we learned to support each other’s hobbies. Just remember to talk it out no matter how hurt you are and sit back and enjoy the ride. Mine has been pretty amazing and we will be celebrating seven years in August and we only dated three months before getting engaged. Love the pictures!
All of your photos are beautiful. I’m so very happy for you Janae!
My best marriage advice is to be ok with arguments and disagreements! They make your marriage stronger! We have only been married for 7 months, but I feel like being ok with the fact the we disagree on things has made life so much simpler!
What a beautiful loving post and all so true!!
I too went through a divorce and although it was some of the toughest and darkest of moments it may me such a stronger and better person. I learnt what I really want, I would t accept and also what makes me truly happy.
I am now married to the best man and he is my best friend. We’ve had our hard times, like every healthy relationship must experience, but we are learning how to support each other and come through the other side.
Even after going through the divorce I would not change my life for a minute!!!
I have been reading your blog from Australia for years and I can’t express how happy I am that you and Andrew found each other. Absolute true deep love and it shines through in every picture. Congratulations and you never stop inspiring me.
What a great post! I love the part about love languages, particularly the part about your mom and service. Something in my head I would love to be “known” for but so often forget. On way I have succeed in creating a life I love is keeping God first and casting my anxieties on him!
So pretty!! You the scenery! Yay so happy for you!
Keep short accounts and even when your mad at each other think of how you can serve that person…love your way out of conflict and youll find our conflict issues get shorter and shorter every year and dwindle down to nothing but who gets the last donut :)
Cori @ She's Going the Distance
First off you and andrew are adorable, and what a freaking setting!! I need to get to Utah and be in those mountains! and also ” I’ve come to find the more I am trying to forget my problems and help other people with theirs, the happier I am. ” I want to try and live more to this, it’s so simple and so awesome.
After 19 years I’ve found that communication is KEY. Marriage is hard so being on the same page keeps it strong.
Many congrats to u both!!!!
Your photos look absolutely beautiful Janae! Brooke is so adorable too. I also raised my son alone from the time he was young (10 months old to be exact). It was such a great bonding experience for us. You look incredibly happy, and a happy mom, makes a happy child. Congratulations on your upcoming marriage. I’m looking forward to coming back and seeing those pics too. The only advice I can give is to not let resentments and arguments fester. Take a break and walk away, then come back remembering that your two separate people learning how to work as one. <3
I agree with so many others about communication, but I think beyond that I can add to always be on the same page. Where I see things go wrong is when things involve the kids. Like if he says something to the kids that you don’t really agree with, don’t disagree with him in front of the kids, support the decision and then talk about it when the kids aren’t around. I think things can start if you start disagreeing in front of the kids. Yes you need to take care of your relationship, but you also need to show the kids what a relationship is/can be. Always back each other up, even if you don’t particularly agree (unless of course their lives are in danger). Most of the time when this happens to us we talk about it afterwards and we usually see each others point. No need to squabble in front of the kids, thus stressing your relationship.
I am just reading this blog post now so I know I’m a little late with a comment, but I wanted to just say that this is just a beautiful post. Everything you write here is so true and so sweet. I am sure you will have a wonderful marriage. Best wishes to you and your family.
I remarried after divorce (met my wonderful husband on a marathon training team) The common interest helps and we have had many great adventures together. My advice is to keep the common interests going when life gets busy, we have a 5 month old! I miss going out on long trail runs with my husband so we have to really plan to make time for it. Also, really listening to one another (especially during a disagreement) and being fully present makes a strong foundation. Best wishes to you!