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How To Keep the Romance Brimming

February 1, 2018

On the eve of our wedding, my mother wrote us a letter.   I have it somewhere deep in the memory box, but the sentiment was this:  put each other first.     In the mix of all that life throws at you, it’s easy to stand together and to put all of the people around you first; you are a team after all.     A few Christmases ago, Will and I were building up our wedding photography business, just starting out, in the process of buying a house and twenty weeks pregnant.   Needless to say, we were not keen to spend a lot on Christmas, it felt like one of those times you say to one another, maybe next year.     On Christmas morning Will handed me an envelope from my favorite spa.    That’s nice, I thought, he bought me a massage.   What I opened wasn’t one massage but twelve, one for each month of the year going forward.   I had a prenatal massage every month of my pregnancy and it was magic.

(above: breakfast in bed and my pimping Christmas shoes from Will)

Of course I am not suggesting that presents are responsible for keeping the marriage healthy.    And I am by no means suggesting that we have a perfect example of a marriage, we are learning just like everybody else.    It was just a lovely, memorable example of the surprise of such a thoughtful (albeit what felt extravagant) gesture; it was a celebration of our pregnancy and a way to unwind after each wedding of the following season.

And, while there are no hard and fast rules, and I would so love to hear everybody else’s two cents, there are a few things in the day to day which I think work well for us:

We are very much on the same page with what we wish for in life and we revise this all the time.    I mentioned this in yesterday’s post and I know it sounds very dry to talk about having a “plan” but I think the excitement over what is possible if we both put our minds to something is very uniting for us.

We play sports together.   Silly as it sounds, we love being outside playing … like children.   Our first summer together in Maine, we finished each night with a one on one basketball game (I had to get really good at three pointers because Will is so tall) before jumping into the lake.   We hiked the start and end of the Appalachian Trail, went on regular cycling day trips and ran together.   Nowadays with so much more to do, we try to keep up regular tennis games and it’s always such a lovely way to exhaust ourselves into giggles.  P.S. we are not very good ;)!

I have mentioned this one before too but Will reads to me before bed every night (I know…)  I think these little daily gestures/routines of doing things for one another are so nice, we try to keep a balance though of course it is never perfect.

Last and perhaps most important, my favorite thing to do is to hang with the baby together.  In the beginning when we were in “survival mode” and so sleepless, we did a lot of tag teaming so that the other one could get some work done, brush teeth, etc.  Now that we’re in a more regular routine (and to all the new parents out there: you do get there), we carve out time for the three of us just to “kick it”.  There is nothing more enjoyable and uniting than being there together when the baby does something new.  The delight and twinkle I see in Will’s eyes when watching our child is reason enough to stay together for a lifetime!   xx


  • Reply Rebecca Lately February 1, 2018 at 8:40 am

    This was so sweet to read. Our pastor said the same thing to us about marriage, and it’s stuck with me all these years. He said to always take care of each other. And you’re right, it doesn’t have to mean gifts. The little things every single day are so meaningful.

    • Reply Lucy Cuneo May 2, 2018 at 3:49 pm

      Hi Rebecca,

      Sorry that I am replying to this so late — thank you for replying! They really are… xx

  • Reply Ryann Carter February 1, 2018 at 9:05 am

    It is so important to take care of each other! We’re newlyweds and don’t have children yet, but we are learning how to do that. I just started a blog with is a 24 hour business, and my husband is a political consultant which is even more so 24 hours. He especially has to make an effort to put his phone down for us time, but we are working on it.

    • Reply Lucy Cuneo May 2, 2018 at 3:50 pm

      I am sure that you are doing great (sorry so late). Enjoy the time without children! It is the best thing ever but you never get the spontaneity of the two of you back! xx

  • Reply Faith February 1, 2018 at 10:13 am

    My husband and I will be married 9 years this year and the best thing we have done for ourselves is to communicate. Always say how you’re feeling that way the other person is never surprised. Be respectful, choose your words wisely even when angry. It’s one thing when you say something you didn’t even mean but it’s another when the other person hears it. It’ll always hurt even when that person didn’t really mean it.

    • Reply Lucy Cuneo May 2, 2018 at 3:50 pm

      9 years! That’s amazing Faith. Thank you…. I need to work on this!

  • Reply Sam February 1, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Lucy, Will is so cute! I love that he got you massages for each month of your pregnancy… I may have to drop that hint to my boyfriend later in life!

    Also, I’m glad to hear that we’re not the only ones playing sports like children 🙂 We regularly go hiking and play tennis and a couple years ago we took an 8 week sailing lesson which was truly a bonding experience. We didn’t capsize but, we certainly weren’t any good!

    xo Sam

    • Reply Lucy Cuneo May 2, 2018 at 3:51 pm

      It was amazing Sam!!! And that is awesome re: sailing.

  • Reply Rox-Anne February 1, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    After my almost 15 years of marriage, I do think gifts make all the difference! It doesn’t have to be large items, even the fact that my husband makes a stop to bring me home a Cadbury creme egg this time of year is all the gift that I need. It’s the sweet gestures like that that show you can put someone else before yourself. Loved this post, so well timed with Valentine’s Day on the way! xx Rox-Anne Celebrating This Life

  • Reply Cate Tuten February 1, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    Lucy, I love this post! It touched my heart so because you and Will have your HEART in this wonderful thing called marriage. It’s so obvious by what you share in words and pics. My husband and I will be celebrating 42 years of marriage this July. All 4 of our children are in wonderful marriages and have given us 11 grandchildren. So many times we could have given up, but we both worked and prayed hard and are reaping the blessings. We are best friends and lovers after all of these (too quick) years. Blessings to you and your adorable husband and son. Thank you for sharing your life so beautifully!
    PS…we live in Charleston too😊 Cate Tuten

    • Reply Lucy Cuneo May 2, 2018 at 3:51 pm

      Thank you CATE! 11 Grandchildren, that is quite something. May we be so lucky. xx

  • Reply Jen Kessler February 2, 2018 at 12:07 am

    I am always so in love with your blog. And I especially think the sentiment behind each post really does speak to your tagline “elevate everyday”. I’ve been married almost 8 years now but for me a big thing has been letting go of my expectations and allowing him to shine as who he is. I also think that one of my love languages is gifts or at least it’s receiving something really thoughtful – those kinds of things are very meaningful when you know someone really thought about what would make you feel special. 🙂

    • Reply Lucy Cuneo May 2, 2018 at 3:51 pm

      Jen, thank you very much… I love this. It’s so important…xx

  • Reply Mary February 2, 2018 at 10:29 am

    My husband and I have been together 17 years this month. It’s amazing how time flies when you’re having fun. I find that doing things together like exploring a new city or going on a challenging hike are the best bonding experiences for us. We both love to cook and garden, but it’s not a shared activity for us–too many cooks (control freaks) in the kitchen. Not everything is meant to be done together. Find what makes you both happy at the same time and avoid the rest. The most important rule is never compare yourself to other couples. We are all on different paths. Unlike 95% of the couples we know, we don’t have children. It has never made us less in love or less happy. Be true to yourselves and take care of each other. Follow your curiosity and help your partner follow his.

  • Reply Ivonne February 2, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Aww was beautiful to read, thank you for sharing such uplifting words and counsel. It is so true, if you put each other first the results are amazing!! At nighttime my husbands reads to me also ( we try to read one chapter of the Bible every night) and strengthening spiritually through gaining knowledge of our creator Jehova also strenthenths our relationship greatly! ( Really enjoying your blog) keep up the great work! 🙌😊

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