Life After Blogging: The Marriage Edition

by LCCotter on January 31, 2014

Today I am lucky. Lucky to have a real life and blend share her words of wisdom with me, with us. You’ve read her words before—> Here and Here.

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Why do I want her to keep blogging here? Well, we all need to remember…. We need to remember that life comes first, then  blogging. And in the midst of a busy week and lots of “blog work,” I realized I needed to shift that focus back as well. LIFE first. Marriage First. Family First. .. and so on.

Cheers to Jess!

P.S. Jess is the twin on the left. Winking smile

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So I have to be honest – I really, REALLY look up the Sherpa Wife and the Kiwi Cotter as THE epitome of the importance of teamwork + LOVE that needs to go into marriage to make that marriage sing. You see, I’ve always, always believed that friendships should be easy but that marriage should be work. I know, I know — ‘work’ has such a negative connotation doesn’t it? But in context, you’ll see what I mean.

Marriage means putting the effort in. Every day. Not just on special occasions. Doing little things like sticking a post-it note in your husbands lunch as you rush out the door to work.

It also means showing love not just in words, but in actions. Doing an extra chore that the wifey usually does, or putting your shoes in the closet vs. next to the bed at the end of a long day. Or yup, buying some tulips at Trader Joes just because you know your wifey loves them.

And it definitely means teamwork. And being able to step back on a personal level, and to be able to openly put your husband or wife first when the situation warrants it. And no, not apologizing for that but embracing that and owning the sheer fact that your marriage is important to you both.

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And, finally – marriage requires presence. Putting down the phone and really seeing the person sitting across from you on the couch. Turning off the laptop and flipping Pandora on so you can have a real conversation over dinner. Or whisking yourselves away to shut out any and all distractions for just a little bit.

And that last one is sort of what I’m here to talk about today. Presence is a theme I’ve touched on a lot in the last two guest posts Lindsay shared with you all here. It’s a work in progress thing for me, big time.

The whole ‘whisking away’ thing I mentioned? Yup, my husband did that for me recently. He stole me away on Christmas night to our favorite place in California – Healdsburg, Sonoma wine country and our growing home away from home. And sure, he did that (planned the whole thing without me knowing! Lucky girl alert! <3) for a fun Christmas surprise but he also did it for another reason – we needed away time. Alone time. Us time.

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I knew we needed it. Life has a funny way of going into superspeed-no-time-to-breathe-make-it-stop mode and we both were doing our best to ‘just keep swimming’ when really, we needed to just stop. But I guess I didn’t realize how badly we needed it until we were away together. Agenda-less. Roaming around our favorite wineries, discovering new ones, drinking ample amounts of wine, eating amazing food and being ‘us.’

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When we got back from our trip, all of our friends and family wanted to know what we did, where we went, what we saw, what we drank, what we ate. But all I cared about from that time away? I realized that I fell MORE in love with my husband during that brief time away than ever. We’re about to hit our 10-year wedding anniversary (YES, 10!) and I can’t even believe how much I love that guy. And also? How darn proud of our relationship I am – we truly are #teamsutera (a hashtag I used a LOT while we trained for the Chicago Marathon in 2012 and it’s kind of ‘stuck’ ever since)

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And I guess that’s my point today – strive for teamwork in your relationship.

Because that is what will get you through the ‘for better or worse’ over the years. That, and a whole lot of love.

(good food and good wine also help…juuust a tip, hehe)

I see it all.the.time between Sherpa Cotter and Kiwi Cotter – teamwork + love, it’s a common theme in their relationship and I dig that. And yup, #teamsutera aspires to be just like them one day. ;-)

PS. My other bit of advice: GO to Healdsburg at least once in your lifetime. Seeing this view in the morning, um yeah – nothing else really compares. And the wine? Ohhh the wine… ;-)

The Cotters have to been there too!

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How do you make time to reconnect with your spouse/significant/relationships other?

Is it a top priority?

Thanks Jess and Happy Friday!

LC (sherpa wife)

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Linz @ Itz Linz January 31, 2014 at 7:27 am

we do make it a priority to spend time with each other – some weeks are better than others with our schedules!

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Beth @ Miles and Trials January 31, 2014 at 7:30 am

Thank you for this post. I needed it today. Needed the reminder to focus more on my marriage. Almost 19 years of marriage, 2 kids, jobs, etc., it is too easy to just “keep swimming” and get through, but this post reminds me I need to put in some work to make things even better.

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Jess January 31, 2014 at 1:46 pm

I am so glad this helped you today — I think we could all use a little dose of ‘reality check’ when it comes to our relationships. It’s so easy to just keep swimming without realizing that you aren’t swimming side by side anymore. We had such a great time reconnecting and learning to swim ‘together’ again on this trip, and it’s sort of stuck ever since.

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Cara's Healthy Cravings January 31, 2014 at 7:37 am

Thanks for sharing Jess! Your wise words are a good reminder. Teamwork is so crucial. My hubbie and I are venturing to Cuba this week to escape the winter and have some good us time.

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Liz @ I Heart Vegetables January 31, 2014 at 7:39 am

I’m getting married in May, so this is wonderful!!!! Wise words :)

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Taylor @liftingrevolution January 31, 2014 at 7:50 am

Thanks Jess and Lindsay. So important of an issue and something Dan an I are constantly working on together. Making each other is hard when life gets busy but so crucial. We have made “us” a theme of the year. Not us a business partners but us as a couple. Thanks for the reminder! Xo

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Jess January 31, 2014 at 1:46 pm

I LOVE that you’ve made ‘us’ a theme for the year!! I may have to steal this one ;-)

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Tina Muir January 31, 2014 at 7:52 am

Awwww what a beautiful post! I am SO happy for you!!1 You are an inspiration in so many ways. I have noticed recently that I can sometimes find it hard not to be checking my social media, or doing other things while talking to my boyfriend back in Michigan. I really need to stop doing that, and you are a great reminder of how great a relationship can be….but you have to be in the moment.

I think this can apply to so many things, even sometimes on my runs I am thinking about other things I need to be doing, rather than just enjoying being in the moment (9 miles a day is enough to get far enough away to enjoy some amazing scenery!). I need to work on this. You are a great reminder :)

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Jess January 31, 2014 at 1:48 pm

SO true — this does apply to so much more than just your relationship, but to all areas of life and learning to be present in all moments, avoiding letting your mind go crazy on you — the mind crazies are the worst, and can be so distracting. Good luck on reigning it in :)

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Hollie January 31, 2014 at 7:52 am

I love this post and can completely relate. It’s so hard to think about life and relationships coming first. I will always put my family and friends before my blog but it’s nice for that reminder. I think we all need it sometime!

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Sara @ LovingOnTheRun January 31, 2014 at 7:58 am

Love this! It is so easy to get carried away with all we have going on that we forget to just cut everything off and make time for one another. We usually try for a date night once a week sans electronics and that has really helped!

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Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) January 31, 2014 at 8:06 am

Love the Suteras and the Cotters for their incredibly inspirational teamwork! I feel so lucky to be married to my best friend. I really think the reason our marriage works so well is because we are best friends first and lovers second. If you can’t have a real conversation with the other person then it won’t work. People always question how the heck Tony and I can be together so much of the day. I don’t understand relationships that can’t spend that much time together. Love you guys! Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom on marriage. <3

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Jess January 31, 2014 at 1:49 pm

I have to say, Sarena — I take a TON of inspiration from you and Tony too. I LOVE LOVE LOVE how much you adore eachother and how much you support eachother and how much you truly ARE best friends. It’s exactly how I feel about Scott – my lover, best friend and companion for life, no matter what. He’s the best ever and I’m SO SO SO glad you have the very same with Tony. <3

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LCCotter January 31, 2014 at 2:02 pm

i second Jess! every word!! <3

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Maureen January 31, 2014 at 8:38 am

Great post & great reminder about marriage! :)
We go to Healdsburg at least once a year and LOVE all the wineries and the pretty scenery.

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Lisa @ RunWiki January 31, 2014 at 8:42 am

My husband and I are in the process of reconnecting after some really tough times that we endured last year. It’s a process. It doesn’t happen over night, we are slowly reconnecting by taking time for ourselves. I talk about what an incredibly awesome person he to anyone who will listen. After all, I talk about so many things on my blog, why not say out loud how much I appreciate and love my man. By doing this, it has reconnected both of us. It’s not easy, my husband is not the type to plan a trip to Napa, or plan anything. He works so hard, he losses sight of our relationship. I oftentimes feel invisible and not very special. I finally started taking action myself. I get the babysitter, plan the dates and time away. I was waiting for him to do it, but when I took action and did it, he reciprocated. Sometimes, you just need to make the first move.

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Jess January 31, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Per twitter — we need hours of time over wine and coffee to discuss this :) But seriously, I really appreciate your honesty and I am reallllly glad you are taking the reigns and making some good changes in your marriage…even if it does take you initiating the process for your husband to start following your lead. Sometimes that’s the only way to get things moving in the right direction, but once you get started, there’s no stopping you, I have no doubt about it. Hang in there!

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Jana @ Happy Wife Healthy Life January 31, 2014 at 8:55 am

Tim and I definitely make it a point to eat dinner together every night and to go to the gym together throughout the week. We both have busy schedules, but just making a point to put away the phone and enjoy each other’s company is so important! :)

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Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat January 31, 2014 at 9:10 am

I’m so lucky to have such an amazing husband! I feel like we have a strong relationship, but life does get in the way sometimes. So, we set out a day (usually Friday evening), go out to dinner, come home, watch a movie and just enjoy each other’s company. It’s nothing fancy, but I think it really helps us reconnect and appreciate one another.

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Jess January 31, 2014 at 1:53 pm

I love that you commit to at least one day that’s your night to just be together no matter what. We try to do a midweek ‘date night in’ on Wednesdays to reconnect mid-week and to give us something to look forward to during the busy week — plus its winesday so there’s that too ;-) and we are trying hard not to overbook our weekends so we have enough catch-up time on the weekends too since our weeks tend to be VERY busy during the school year (he’s a teacher).

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Maryea {happy healthy mama} January 31, 2014 at 9:44 am

Great post. Making the relationship a priority is key for me. That means taking time each week to shut out the rest of the world and just focus on us. It’s much easier said than done, but most weeks we do it.

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jobo January 31, 2014 at 10:17 am

Love this sis – and Lindsay too – you both are good reminders of teamwork and longevity in a marriage/partnership/life partner – because it all goes together, it’s not just love, just affection, just friendship, it’s all of it together. Plus compromise, letting go, and learning from each other. M and I learn from each other every day – I learn SO much from him, just by his little actions, his words, the way he reacts to situations, and it helps me be a better me. And I love him dearly for it, the best partner I could have ever ended up with, for life. XOXO

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Jess January 31, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Isn’t it amazing what you can learn from M (and me from Scott) when you truly tune in to them and their little actions and words that might go unnoticed if you weren’t as tuned in? It’s amazing and I cherish those moments most of all. <3

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Kim K January 31, 2014 at 11:13 am

such a cute post and yay for 10 years jess!! i have been to healdsburg and cant wait to go back at some point with the bf!

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Kristina January 31, 2014 at 11:16 am

this is SO VERY IMPORTANT and you said it so well! Jason and I will be getting married this fall, but after nine years together, we’ve been there. We’ve learned and grown and been through the ish together – and we know very well the importance of US time, of showing appreciation in the little things (and sometimes the big things!). A spontaneous weekend to the beach or OUR wine country, an electronic free evening or weekend, a date night out or even a long walk with the dachshunds.

we have been to Healdsburg! we love it there, and Sonoma and Napa too… now we just all need to plan to be there at the same time!

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Jess January 31, 2014 at 1:55 pm

yes, yes, YES Kristina!! To all of what you just said — totally awesome that you two already have it sort of ‘nailed’ well before marriage, I dig it.

and YES PLEASE — can we please work on that wine country meet-up asap ;-)

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Kristina February 1, 2014 at 10:25 pm

wouldn’t that be SO FUN??! we must!

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LCCotter February 1, 2014 at 2:31 pm

I”m in!! post wedding celebration, yes?

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Kristina February 1, 2014 at 10:24 pm

yes Yes YES lets!!

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Matthew Horbund - mmwine January 31, 2014 at 11:51 am

What a good post! Especially after I spent last night writing about wine, wings, sriracha, and the superbowl, instead of going to bed with my wife!

Maybe we need a trip to Healdsburg …..

Cheers
Matt
http://agoodtimewithwine.com

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LCCotter February 1, 2014 at 2:32 pm

haha well a good reminder here then! cheers!

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Jody - Fit at 56 January 31, 2014 at 4:05 pm

I love these posts so much!!!! Thank you for sharing! Been married 30 years here so.. the social media definitely can take away from life AND being present to be with & learn with & compromise with your significant other! I always think so hard after these posts… :)

Lindsay – so happy you shifted back too! I get it – not doing great at it but I get it! ;)

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LCCotter February 1, 2014 at 9:19 am

always working at it but soooo worth it, yes?

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Kim January 31, 2014 at 5:21 pm

I’m not gonna lie – it is hard sometimes!!
Now that our boys are older and we don’t have to get a sitter, we do lots of our errands (grocery shopping and stuff) together – much more fun to do with someone!! And, we can chat at the same time.

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LCCotter February 1, 2014 at 9:18 am

we love running errands together. Weird i know, but more fun!

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Kierston January 31, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Amazing lessons learned (and shared) xo

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She Rocks Fitness January 31, 2014 at 6:54 pm

One day I will meet that Prince Charming, but until then I am working on being present with myself, taking care of me, learning and growing, and then maybe my time for Prince Charming will happen. And gosh darn it, he better like yummy wine and good food. XO

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Domi @ Eat, Pray, Lift January 31, 2014 at 10:43 pm

I love this. That feeling of treading water or just barely “staying afloat” is ALL too familiar, and I can only imagine how much more problematic it will be when I’m married. Thank you for sharing so honestly! :)

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LCCotter February 1, 2014 at 2:31 pm

it’s true for any relationship, yes? must be present

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Christine @ Love, Life, Surf February 1, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Oh I LOVE that you keep bringing Jess back because I miss her words!

Jess – Love how much you and Scott focus on working on your relationship and your marriage. It IS hard work. A lot of it and you two (and Lindsay and James) inspire me. And yes! Everyone should go to wine country!!

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Jess February 2, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Aww yay Christine! I just love Lindsay for letting me visit over here now and then, it’s so fun! And I’m so glad you liked what I had to say this time around — I speak the truth I guess :)

ps wine country is a MUST. Repeatedly if possible ;-)

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Annie February 2, 2014 at 12:18 pm

THIS IS LOVELY Jess and Lindsay!!!!

relationships for me….especially marriage, has been, well, disastrous.
mine ended and I took a long time to strip away all the junk I carried with me for years, and being that I have been slowly dating again, and marriage is NOT on my future agenda…but love certainly is welcome I can really appreciate insights from ladies who have shown it can be amazing.

still not interested in marriage…LOL but I’d love a 10 year anniversary with my BF some day only in MEXICO!

thanks Lindsay for always writing amazing posts.
xo

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LCCotter February 3, 2014 at 2:44 pm

God has his plan.. He definitely is bringing you out of a season of loss into a season of JOY. Stronger indeed friend. Thank you for being real!

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Jess February 2, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Marriage is honestly so tough at times and when it gets the hardest it is so easy to disconnect, get busy and put in less. Those are the times when I need to do the most.

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Jessie February 2, 2014 at 8:13 pm

Such wise words coming from a beautiful and lovely couple <3 Glad Linds had you as a guest post.

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Abby Bounds February 4, 2014 at 1:29 pm

This post reminded me that LIVING in Napa was best for mine and Andrew’s marriage. Time to move back. xx

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LCCotter February 4, 2014 at 1:42 pm

let’s all go!

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