Well, Carlie and I have been married for nearly a month (this coming Monday is the mark). So, I thought I would share a few thoughts as to what it takes to have that happy home (in my opinion).

Life can be hard at times and the banality of it all can be exhausting. Here is my daily, pliant Monday- Friday schedule:

5:50am- Wake up and check on Mollie
6:00am- Breakfast, shower, and get dressed
6:25am- Hug and kiss my Mrs. goodbye
6:30am- Head out the door
6:30-6:45am- I have a peaceful 15 minute drive to the Layton Front Runner Station
7:02am- Hop on the South Bound train to the great city of Orem
8:30am (approx.)- Arrive at the Orem Station
8:30-9:00am- I have about half an hour to scrap my ever-so frosted windows, drive over to UVU, find a place to park (which takes nearly 10 minutes all on it's own), and then take the long and tedious, but breath taking, walk to the GT building clear on the other side of campus (why I don't park by that building is beyond me... but I could use the exercise I suppose)
9:00-11:00am- Enjoy school for 2 hours
12:00-8:00pm- Head to work at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in the lab for 8 hours
8:02pm- Catch the North Bound train to Layton
9:30pm (approx.)- Arrive at the Layton Station
10:00pm- Finally arrive home after spending 18 hours of my day gone at work, school, and on the road away from my beautiful wife.

Now, I know that this all may sound a bit prosaic or monotonous, but mind you that as most married folks quickly learn, you will do some of the most tedious of tasks for your spouse and family. Love is a powerful emotion that, if used right, can make you feel like you are on top of the world. (Even if you only have 1 dollar to your name.)

Each day when I arrive on the train, typically around the Farmington station I will receive a text from by beloved wife telling me already how much she misses me (and loves me) or will tell me something that Mollie may have done (she's turning into a crazy dog lady). These little things are what help me get through the train ride 'cause in all honesty sometimes you meet some very interesting folks on the train.
*On a side note: I one time met a lady on the train who was bummed out that I had a full time job for the innate fact she was looking for a pimp because she was "good at making money on the street"...*
Again, Carlie's text messages get me through the train rides and she started doing little things like this long before we were married.

In my opinion, it is those little things that you did while you were dating that will keep your home happy once you're married, if you consciously continue to do them. Sure Carlie and I aren't perfect, but one thing that I have realized is that when we have stop doing those little things, we end up at opposite ends of the relationship.

Pick your battles. This is a huge one, because some battles just are not worth fighting over. One thing that I've learned is that it's easier to just go with the flow vs. throwing your hands in the air as if to say "what the hell". Just chill. I remember one fight that Carlie and I got into, it was over the aspect of who organized the pantry shelf better. (This one was on me.) I was off work and thought I would organize our pantry and put some of the food storage away while Carlie was gone to an appointment. So I began to do the task at hand... and Boom! finished it. I thought it looked pretty rad considering I am not a food storage organizer at all. Then Carlie came home and I showed her what I did. She was more than impressed, but I noticed she started changing some things around and instantly I was in that "what the hell" phase of the fight. Instead of just waiting for Carlie to finish what she was doing, I just got grumpy about it and snapped at her for changing all my hard work. Needless to say after all was said and done the only reason Carlie changed a couple of things to my mountainous food trophy was because she couldn't reach it. She just moved a few essentials down to her level (she's so tiny) so she could reach it for when she cooked or baked for us. I just assumed she hated my sorting abilities (they're great by the way), when really she just couldn't reach. Pay attention to the little things folks.

Guys send your wife flowers, buy her gifts, write her notes of "I love you" and post them around the house. Carlie did this for me the other day (the notes not the flowers), and it made my day to come home from a long days work to find that. While most couples dating have no problem financially buying gifts or doing something for said boyfriend or girlfriend, once you are married it feels different. You tend to find yourself thinking "We really don't have the money for these flowers right now, we need to save..." Yeah saving is so important and I can't stress that enough, but buy the flowers. But don't just limit it to that, "flowers" can mean a myriad of different things. It can mean make your wife dinner (I will do that soon), clean her car, make the bed, or just make sure you tell her that you love her in the most genuine way you can muster.
Girls compliment your husband. Let him know that you care, you love him, that he is your hero. Shoot we also like surprise gifts too! Clean our car, fold our laundry (you know, that laundry you've been nagging us fold but have been neglecting because maybe we are too busy to get to), or instead of buying us flowers get us a new book or something that is of the same value. You know us and what we like. Keep it simple. That is when your home will be a happy home. So here are a list of things to keep it a happy home (keep in mind this is just my opinion of things I have noticed over the last month, I am no expert on marriage):

1. Keep doing the simple things. A simple text or words of affirmation go a long way.
2. Pick your battles carefully. Some fights just aren't worth it.
3. Positive reinforcement is key. Focus on the good things they do vs the bad.
4. Love your spouse like you loved them when you were dating. Keep those butterflies flying.


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