On Being Married

“Let all that you do be done in Love.” – 1 Corinthians 16:14

I’ve been married for 17+ years.  I fell in love with my husband literally at first sight and felt like I had seen a rock star. I could hardly acknowledge him when he first said hello to me as he took my breath away.  I’ve always had a crush on him, yet being married has not always been easy.

The hardest years of our marriage came when I quit work to be a stay at home mom and we moved to the suburbs. I felt lost and alone with a toddler and a baby on the way and trying to transition to our new lifestyle, while he was busy working at a start up and trying to provide for our family on his own.  We were both going through our own life changes and we struggled for a long time, even though we always loved each other.

I am thankful that we chose to stay faithful to our vows and to work through our differences and grievances. Love wins when both partners do the work and both stay committed to the contract you both signed, remembering and recalling in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad.  Having a marriage license made our relationship sticky when we felt we were slipping. Luckily we were able to keep flowing and growing, as I know this is a challenge.

I think the secret to a healthy marriage is to stay focused on the mission and each other and to take care of one another, even when you don’t want to and you don’t know which way is up.  It also helps when you admire each other. We shared a belief in each other and our family and this was more important than our individual needs.  We also choose to never go to bed angry and to agree to disagree, because we are more important than any one thing.  My favorite mindful meditation I always say to myself when I get frustrated with him or anyone I love is “I love you more than anything you can say or do.” These words are powerful and have helped me through the years to stay focused on the greater good.

I didn’t mean to start writing about all this, as I was just going to share a picture of our date today on our hike. I felt like I had to explain that we’ve been working hard all these years and now that the kids are getting older and less needy, we are finding more time to spend together again. I was so happy that he chose to go hiking with me today and that I got to be out in nature with my best friend, sharing something that I love to do every week, and now with him.  I love that he loves me and wants to hang out and share my joy.






What are some things that make your marriage or relationship happy?

Life is good and I am thankful.

Wishing you a loving and happy, healthy relationship. Namaste.

Happy Wife, Happy Life

Do you agree with this statement?

I definitely believe this to be true.

Tonight I sat down to fold the laundry during the evening news and caught the tale end, just in time for the special report sharing the scientific secret to a happy marriage.

Guess what the answer was?

Yep – scientific research proves that a happy wife, leads to a happy life.

Here’s the link to the research from Rutgers University in Michigan, so you can see it for yourself.  Happy Wife, Happy Life Research

I was so excited for my husband to come home to share with him the good news!  He laughed with me, and then asked what’s the secret to making a wife happy. He’s always full of good questions.

Happy Wife, Happy Life!

Happy Wife, Happy Life!

Here are some of my ideas of what helps a woman to feel happy in her marriage:

1. A sense of self.

2. A partner who appreciates her role in the family and marriage and the tasks she does, whether she works in the home or outside the home.

3. Time spent doing what she loves, whatever that may be, without feeling guilty for choosing to take care of herself.

4. Exercise. Staying fit and healthy and having stress relief through fitness.

5. Quiet time. Time to read or meditate and focus.

6. Time to be just herself and not wife, or mother, but just herself.

7. Time with her partner, such as date night, or time to drink coffee together, walk together, or eat together.

8. Being loved and being touched, hugged, or kissed, without any expectations.

9. A sense of humor.

10. Understanding each other’s roles and appreciating each other’s contributions to the family.

11. A loving partner to her/their children.

12. A partner who cares about himself and takes care of himself too.

13. Immediate forgiveness and no holding grudges over grievances.  Let go as quickly as possible to preserve the love.

14. Reciprocity. Taking care of each other and both giving 100%.

I’m sure there are a gazillion other best practices, but these are a few of my favorites.  What are yours? What makes for a happy marriage or relationship? Whatever you think defines it, do the work!! It’s worth it.

I wish you a happy life!!

xo Adriana

CC: Consciously Coupled

Is it weird that Gwyneth declared her marriage consciously uncoupled? There are 8 pages, including photos, covering her story in this week’s People magazine. Is that really necessary?

The one takeaway I have is that divorce sucks and it sometimes happens and hopefully their thoughtful consideration will help them through this next stage of their journey.

I just thought I’d declare that Jeff and I are happily consciously still coupled.

I love that he makes my coffee in the morning. He loves that I make him take selfies with me on our hot dates at the high school track meet.


And too bad we’re not having any more kids but if we did, we think we’ll call her Peaches.

Keep on loving. xo

A Good Marriage

What makes for a good marriage?


These pictures were in a store front window and made me laugh and think.

As sexist as they may be, there is some truth to them and I think the truth pertains to both sexes for both statements.

What I see in the images is that a good man provides for his wife. I also think a good wife provides for her husband. How the couple chooses to provide and support one another is key.

In the second image, it shows that it’s important for a woman to maintain her health and look good for her mate. I think it’s important for both partners to take care of their physical well being and to look and feel good, primarily for themselves and secondarily to maintain their attractiveness to their spouse. I disagree with the measurements, of course, but agree with the idea of maintaining our health so that we can live a healthy, long, life together. When we feel good about ourselves, we have more positive energy to share with others. I think it’s important that we take the time to exercise and eat right most days, and to accept our bodies while we continuously maintain and improve them.

What are some other important attributes of healthy marriages?

I’ll share a little list.

1. Trust.
2. Unconditional love.
3. Laughter.
4. Independence.
5. Togetherness.
6. Shared interests.
7. Open communication.
8. Respect.
9. Patience.
10. Understanding.
11. Empathy.
12. Appreciation.
13. Confidence.
14. Faith.
15. Admiration.
16. Support.
17. Friendship.
18. Shared dreams.
19. Compassion.
20. Thoughtfulness.
21. Physical attraction.

What would you add to the list? What are the most important attributes?

I think that marriage is a practice. It’s something that is never done. The happily ever after comes after doing the work and investing time and energy and creating a shared history of practice and loving and forgiving and letting go and creating and starting over and keeping things new again and again. The practice of renewal and commitment helps to strengthen the bonds of marriage and keeps the relationship fresh.

In Dutch, they have a word to describe a cozy, warm, joyful, home or experience that they describe as gezellig. There really isn’t an English equivalent for the feeling that comes from this word that I know of, but I think gezellig is a good word to describe a good marriage.

Is your marriage gezellig? I wish you enough.


Day 331: Brugge – Celebrating 16 Years of Marriage

16 years ago today, we threw a great party with all our friends and loved ones. It was one of my favorite days. We smiled, we laughed, we cried, we danced and danced and celebrated and brought everyone together to celebrate love – my favorite virtue.

We’ve worked hard to maintain our friendship and love, struggled and cried and fought and played and argued and danced and moved and had babies and traveled and made several new friends. We keep discovering and learning and laughing at ourselves, keeping life fresh, funny and new.

I think the secret to our marriage is that we both appreciate each other and respect one another, and truly love each other, despite any frustrations we face. I think these qualities are important in any relationship, and we’ve been lucky!

Thank you Jeff for loving me and going through this life journey with me and our three babies. Life is good and I’m thankful for you and our family.

We are celebrating with our little family this year in Bruges. I booked a REAL castle with a family room for us to enjoy that Patti Beth told me about. It’s so cool!! Thank you for the idea my friend. I love it.

We made it through Belgium just in time for our scheduled, last brewery tour of the day at De Halve Maan, that was especially booked for Jeff’s anniversary gift.

The family brewery was established in 1856 and is the only remaining brewery in the centre of Bruges. We ran into traffic in Antwerp, which is always a bottleneck, but luckily we found easy parking and they still let us in. Afterwards, we got to sample the blonde beer and the kids had some creme brûlée.


Hope you have a wonderful weekend and happy anniversary to Mom and Dad, Kris and Pat, and Dani and Sean this weekend. Love you. xoxo





Day 188: Wishes Come True

It was about this time last year that I was evaluating my life and making wishes and plans for the upcoming year. I believe in having goals and envisioning what you want to help shape the direction of your life.

Our kids were/are at an age where they are more self-sufficient, and there is time to do more for myself and as a couple. Our routine was fairly typical and normal and routinized, and I had the hang of it and was looking for some “excitement.”

After the kids went to bed, I would finish picking up the house, doing dishes, cleaning up clutter, processing paperwork and miscellaneous stuff like that. I would then tend to watch meaningless tv or play mindlessly on my iPhone while Jeff would work on his computer or read, all normal relaxing things to fill the evening hours.  I found this comfortable, yet kinda boring and I don’t believe in boredom.

So I said to Jeff, “I want to do something with you. I want us to do something together, like do a project, take a cooking class, do a puzzle, learn something – I don’t know. I just want to do something with you besides sitting on the couch.”  He thought I was crazy. He reminded me that we do, do things together all the time, which was true, but I wanted something for just him and me, that we could do together. This must be a girl-thing. I don’t think guys think like this. 

Little did I know, what was in store for us from this one little wish. Who knew that we had to move to the Netherlands to take a class together?

Our Dutch class meets once a week for 3 hours. We chat, we write, we listen, we learn and practice and laugh together. Half way through the lesson, we take a break and walk over to Douwe Egberts, to grab a quick cup of coffee and try to order in Dutch.  We have friends in our class, including a couple native Chinese speakers that Jeff enjoys practicing and refreshing his Mandarin too!  This makes it feel like a weekly happy hour, and we look forward to going every week.

This past weekend we took our books and went to study together at a restaurant and made time for each other and learning – something good for both of us, that we both enjoy. We write texts to each other in our attempted Dutch and we encourage one another to keep on trying.

I’m so glad that we chose to come on this adventure together and to build new memories and shared experiences.

our Dutch book

our Dutch book

Dreams do come true.

What are your dreams?

My next big dream is to have a beach house (or a lake house) and play the guitar by the fire pit outside. There. I said it. I hope this one comes true, too!


Day 34: 15 Years


These are my thoughts on marriage since today is our 15th wedding anniversary. What would you add or change?

1. Let the other person be. Don’t try to change them and don’t expect them to do exactly what you want them to do.

2. Love yourself so that you are lovable. If you’re taking care of yourself, you won’t be as needy.

3. Be flexible and trust that your partner loves you and is doing his best – just maybe differently than you.

4. Celebrate the good, the positive, the goofiness. There will be enough $hi!! just don’t stand in it and dig it up over and over again – that stinks!

5. Don’t ever embarrass each other (like writing a blog like this) or at least ask permission first, or in my case, just accept his grudging acquiescence.

6. Always listen and acknowledge your spouse, even if you don’t agree. Being heard is important. And agreeing to disagree is a viable solution on the little things.

7. Make sure to spend time with your supportive and trustworthy girlfriends. Plan time away with just the girls! It’s reinvigorating to just be yourself and gives you energy to keep on being a supportive wife and mother! And let your partner go out with his friends too. It’s good to have a break.

8. Take care of yourself and your home. It feels good not to have clutter all around. You feel good when you take a few minutes to pamper yourself – however that looks like to you. I feel good when Ive worked out and maybe have a showe and there are no dishes in the sink. To my mom, it meant putting your lipstick on. To another friend’s mom, it meant having earrings on. Just feel good about yourself and your home and your pride will shine on to others.

9. Don’t expect the other person to make you happy. Make yourself happy and find things to do that you love, whether that be a career, sport, hobby or volunteer role. Just do something and be interesting.

10. Be thankful. Thank your partner for being just that. Having an attitude of gratitude can set the tone for your day, for your family and for your life.

11. Laugh. Laugh at yourself and your mistakes and your partner’s mistakes. In 5 years, will anything that is upsetting you really matter? Try to let things go and start over again and again. Don’t hold grudges and just laugh and let go. Anger takes up more energy than happiness and laughing just feels so much better.

12. Go to bed happy. Don’t go to sleep angry. Agree to disagree and give each other a kiss, knowing that you love your partner more than anything he can do or say. Forgive. Let go. Be thankful.

13. Say you’re sorry. It’s ok to make mistakes. And apologies feel so good even though it’s hard to admit when you’ve done something wrong. And when your partner says he is sorry, say thank you and accept the apology. Let go. Move on. Peace.

14. Be responsible and do your part.

15. Say I love you every day, along with giving a kiss and a hug!