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Marriage Matters

October 21, 2015



We had family photos taken a week ago by a dear friend of mine who is raising money for their family’s adoption. Family photos are my favorite, at least once they are over and done with! Once I have the photos in my hands I’m so thankful we captured this moment in time, when our daughter is tiny and our family is healthy and our lives feel so full. What a sweet season this is for us, after a season that felt as dry as a desert.

As women we spend a lot of time talking and talking about motherhood, don’t we? Blogs and articles and books are dedicated to the subject, and with good reason. Being a mom is important work! But where is the love and attention for our marriages?

I used to be very smug when people told me marriage was hard. Even as a newly married person, I still couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Marriage? Hard? Hardly! If you’re in that camp, I don’t hold it against you. If you haven’t yet hit that point where marriage is truly, deeply hard, it will come eventually. I can guarantee it.

We had one of those years. The years that test and stretch and strengthen you as long as they don’t kill you. And trust me when I say that sometimes you think it may actually kill you before you see the other side. I look at that photo above and my amazing, wonderful and loving husband and I thank my lucky stars for him every day. I think about our first kiss at 17 and the memories we’ve collected together. He’s my person, yet sometimes I don’t give him nearly the time or attention he deserves.

There are days when I give my best to my baby, my work, my friends and a bunch of people on the fringes of my life, leaving very little time or energy for my husband. I’ve been working on it, little by little. Investing into my marriage the way I invest in my child. Can you relate?

Despite all the parenting books I have read, I don’t think I’ve read a single one on marriage. In the past I’ve naively assumed that marriage is just supposed to happen intuitively without time or investment of resources.

I want to continue to strive after my marriage, to give my husband the best I have to offer. I want to take time to get away just the two of us, for date nights and vacations sans-baby and dates at home after Ainsley is in bed. To put down my phone and quit scrolling through Instagram when we’re together and really look him in the eyes.

It’s worth it. I’m convinced there are very few things more worthy of our time and attention.



My Little Sister’s Wedding

July 1, 2015

photo (95)We traveled to Idaho last week to celebrate my baby sister’s wedding to Alex! They got married in the most beautiful location in the mountains and we constantly found ourselves in awe of the beauty around us as we celebrated their marriage and new life together.

I haven’t attended many smaller weddings, but after this one I’m pretty sure that keeping the guest list down to just close friends and family is where it’s at. It was SO much fun to have the setting nice and intimate and much less stress, too!

We rented a house on the venue property for the weekend so the whole family could stay together and hired a babysitter for Ainsley on the day/evening of the wedding so we could enjoy the wedding and fully put our attention on the bride and groom. Ainsley dropped by for a little while and then headed back to the house to go to bed on time.

The happy couple is celebrating by honeymooning in Denmark and then settling into life in North Carolina. I couldn’t be more excited for them as they start their life together! Here are a few photos from the day…

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The Marital Compromises We Make

June 20, 2014


Next month Joe and I will celebrate three years of marriage. I’m tempted to say that I can’t believe it, but that’s only partly true. It’s so strange how these past three years feel long and short all at once. I feel like it was just yesterday that we got married on that beautiful summer morning in July, but it also feels like we’ve been married for a lifetime. We’ve experienced so much life in the past three years that sometimes I get tired just thinking about it; I can’t imagine what the next three years will bring.

The past two weeks Joe and I have been traveling a lot for work, and we’ve been on opposite schedules because of that travel. While sleeping in a king-sized bed all to myself the other night (!!!), I got to thinking about the little compromises that we make, like every other married couple, that keeps our relationship going strong.*

1. Where We Live
If it were up to me, I think I could be happy living in a town home with just a little piece of grass for the rest of my life. Either that or a very small house with a very small yard. Joe, on the other hand, needs space and a yard and lots of house projects to work on. It keeps him happy, sane and stress-free. So our compromise is to live in a modest-sized house with a reasonably sized yard.

2. My Last Name
Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while remember that I struggled with what to do with my last name. Take Joe’s last name? Or keep mine? Joe didn’t pressure me in one way or another. And I settled on taking both last names! I’m Mayberry at work at Hofmeyer at home with our friends and family. And, in case you’re wondering, our kiddos will be just plain Hofmeyer.

3. Our Pets
Joe would have preferred having big dogs. I never thought I wanted dogs, until I found a breed I love. And that, my friends, is how we ended up with two Cavaliers. Joe would agree now that they are the best dogs around.

4. How We Eat
Slowly over the past few years, Joe has become more of a healthy eater than he was when we dated or first got married. I love that he’s eating healthier, but I don’t expect him to eat mostly vegetarian like me. Instead, I prepare meat for his meals regularly as long as he is willing to eat vegetarian a few nights a week. Additionally, I prefer to shop at Whole Foods for a certain amount of our groceries, which Joe used to hate, but now he understands how much it means to me and has come around.

5. Splitting Household Responsibilities
When we first got married, I was really worried that I would be getting a second “job” with all the wifely duties I would take on. Thankfully Joe understood my fears and has made every effort to help out around the house. I do what I’m best at, such as grocery shopping, cooking the meals, packing lunches, washing the sheets and making the beds, and Joe does what he’s best at, including taking out the trash, letting out the dogs and feeding them, giving the dogs baths, doing the yard work and cleaning the bathrooms. It’s nice to have someone to split the responsibilities with and makes our marriage feel more like a partnership.

What marital compromises do you married folk make that keep your marriage running smoothly? 

*I think it goes without saying, but this list is on the lighter side. There are, of course, many other compromises we make that are not mentioned.


Celebrating 2 Years

July 9, 2013


Today marks our two-year wedding anniversary! I can’t believe that we have been married for two years, yet at the same time it feels like we’ve been together forever.

I still don’t know much about marriage but I can tell you that who you choose as a partner is the most important decision of your life. And I’m pretty darn blessed with who I ended up with. Here are a few of the candid photos from our wedding. I’m hoping to share a few every year.

And, in case you missed it:
Our Wedding Ceremony
Our Wedding Reception







On Loving My Husband

February 14, 2013


Most of the time when I’m in the car I find myself listening to the local Christian radio station. It’s a habit I started when I had an hour-long commute one way while we were living in Grinnell, and I found that listening to a radio station that was positive and uplifting really did make a huge difference in my day. It centered me and put my mind in the right state for tackling whatever the day held.

These days my commute is much shorter than it once was, but I have already found a Christian radio station in the Minneapolis area that I enjoy and find myself tuned into most days. Last week while I was running errands I listened to a short sermon about marriage. The pastor had been married for quite some time and had a lot of great advice, but what really struck me was when he talked about loving his wife for who she is right now, not who he might want her to be. I was convicted by his words and what that meant for me in my marriage.

I love my husband to the end of the earth and back; I would do anything for him and know he would do the same for me. I fell in love with him not because I thought he had potential to be someone/something else, but because he was already a kind, intelligent and passionate man. Unlike dating, marriage and the daily grind has a way of exposing the less-than-glamorous parts of all of us, and it’s only natural that we start to notice the things about our spouses that drive us crazy. Sometimes I find myself trying to get Joe to be more like me, to become passionate about health food and plant-based living or to start to love cooking meals. Instead of having a genuine appreciation for the things that Joe is passionate about, I spend too much time trying to make him more like me. Does anyone else find themselves guilty of this?


But the truth is that there is already one me in our marriage, and I don’t think that we really need two people just like me. Heaven knows we don’t! Our marriage works because we balance each other out and compliment one another with our differences. This morning, while I do what I love (make breakfast), Joe is doing what he loves (shoveling the driveway). I know this is an incredibly silly example, but it does illustrate how thankful I should be that we don’t both always want to be the one in charge of breakfast since my passion certainly doesn’t lie in scooping snow.

So on this Valentine’s Day and in the years to come I want to do a better job of loving Joe for who God made him to be. As a spouse, that’s really our primary job, isn’t it? My prayer is that as we continue to grow and change in our marriage, that we will continue to love and support one another through those changes and that our love will deepen with each new step we take. Right now, that is a new city, new jobs, and the ups and downs of home ownership. And since our last five nights have consisted of painting closets and hanging shelves from the moment we get home until we go to bed, I’m hoping that our Valentine’s Day date might consist of a trip to the gym and catching up on this week’s episode of The Bachelor online.

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! I’m so very thankful for each and every one of you and for your kindness, love and support over the past three years. I hope that each one of you knows that you are loved today and that you manage to eat a little (or a lot of) chocolate!


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