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What We Do {Every Day} To Invest in Our Marriage

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”


Imagine spending a little bit of time every day doing ANYTHING. Reading non-fiction books, exercising, learning how to play the guitar, etc. If you do those things for one hour every day, imagine how much more knowledge, more fit, or how you’ll crush the open mic night in a year from now. Now let’s apply that to marriage. Mark and I have done something for AT LEAST one hour every single day of our relationship (okay so like 98% of all days in our relationship) that has served us well.

Here’s our secret:

Quality time.

We spend A LOT of time together.

That didn’t completely blow your mind, right? Probably not. Stick with me.

Our time together has looked different over many seasons of our relationship together and I’ll walk you through a little pre-kid time but mostly focus on how we spend time together now, with two kids.

2004-2013: The kid free years

College days – 2006

Mark and I were together for 8.5 years before we had kids. That gave us a lot of time to learn about each other, grow up together, and build a solid foundation in our relationship before starting a family. A lot of our time together during these years were spent walking and talking, going out to dinner just the two of us, and bonding over a shared love of different movies and TV shows. These days I don’t normally consider watching movies or TV together as quality time, but at this point in our life, when we had no kids and had oodles of time to talk with each other, this was a bonding point for us.

First year of marriage

During this season, we really made an effort to invest in each other’s interests. Even though I wasn’t into a lot of the movies that Mark was (LOTR, Star Wars), I watched them anyway. We’d build blanket forts and have movie marathon weekends and make it fun. Mark watched a lot of chick flicks with me. And we spent a lot of time walking and just dreaming together. We’d imagine our future together, make predictions on where we might be at different years, and talk about places we wanted to go and things we wanted to do. Remember, I’m talking about how we spent time together *EVERY DAY.* EVERY DAY, we talked with each other and bonded over shared interests.

2013-present: Parenting years

Alright, becoming parents is a game changer on your quality time. You have to be MUCH more intentional about getting time to spend together once little ones come along. If you’re a parent, you know this. I’m really proud of how Mark and I have done this in the last 10 years.

In the first few years of being a parent, I got a piece of advice from a mother who was a recent empty-nester. She said that you have to make your marriage a priority throughout the childhood years. You can’t let your lives revolve around your kids for 18 years, have them leave the house, and look up and expect your marriage to be easy. If everything revolves around your kids for 18 years, your marriage is going to be malnourished. I loved that piece of advice.

Armed with this insight, we instated a daily habit for our marriage:


Ever since the kids were really little, we’ve been firm about bedtime. In the first year, sure, the bedtime generally changes all the time and whether or not they are waking up in the middle of the night comes and goes. But once a routine was established, we’ve always stuck to the kids bedtime and tell them that it’s time for us to have “married time.” That’s become a known phrase in our house.

At 8pm, the kids need to go upstairs and do their own, tech-free thing. Years ago, it was lights out at 8pm and we encouraged them to actually go to sleep. Over the years it’s changed where lights would go out at 8:30, 9, sometimes now it’s even 9:30. But the kids still need to be upstairs at 8pm and let Mark and I have uninterrupted time together down stairs.

Now, at the ages of 8 and 10, they are allowed to stay up and read, write, draw, or play games together until about 9:15/9:30. Mark and I typically go to bed at 10pm. This means that every night from 8-10pm we spend time together. And I would say 85-90% of the time, we actually spend this time TOGETHER. Every once in a while one of us will say that we need “to do our own thing,” and that’s awesome to build that in. But the far majority of the time, this is 1.5-2 hours of quality time every single night.

These days this looks a lot like sitting on the couch chatting about our days while my nutmeg & cloves playlist plays on the bluetooth speaker. We tell each other everything. Mark will tell me the ups and downs of teaching and coaching while I’ll share my current video projects, thoughts, and inspirations of what I want to do with my business. Sometimes we’ll make a snack together. Lately, we’ve been reading together.

Right now, we’re reading Atomic Habits by James Clear as part of a professional development Mark is doing for school (and I’ve always wanted to read the book as well!) and Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard by Tom Felton. We love reading books together. (Yes, I actually read the book out loud and Mark listens then we chat about the book.) Every once in a while we’ll watch something together, but honestly, not often. (Honestly that happens more often during football season!)

Is that a let down? It’s not sexy or flashy or that exciting. It probably sounds pretty boring. But I kid you not, the 2 hours of quality time every day has had serious payoffs for us. Before we had kids our quality time may not have happened during the last 2 hours of the day every day, but I can confidently say that for 98% of all days of our relationship, we’ve made sure to connect for a little bit of time at some point every day.

Even on the busy days when we have meetings at night, Mark has a late track meet, or one of is traveling and we can’t see each other and the circumstances make it impossible for us to have a couple of hours together, we still make it a point to connect every day. When we’re apart we’ll text throughout the day and ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS talk before bed.

Over our 6,839 days we’ve been together, we’ve invested thousands and thousands of hours to each other and our relationship…CONSISTENTLY.

Over the course of thousands of quality hours together, Mark has become my best friend. I know his opinion on just about everything. He knows the tiniest mannerisms about me that no one else has ever noticed. I know what he eats for lunch and he knows the deepest dreams and fears in my heart. We know each other’s hurts and what we’re actively trying to improve in our lives. We know each other’s wordle results every day and the things we’re too scared to tell anyone else. That’s what happens when you INTENTIONALLY spend a couple hours of quality time together every. single. day.

What’s your favorite way to spend QUALITY time together? (Even if it’s as lackluster on chatting on the couch every night?)

love a quality-time-loving-wife,






What We Do {Every Day} To Invest in Our Marriage

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