Love Talks: Teamwork 

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James and Alaina Crawford first met in high school when their siblings tried to play match makers and failed. Three years later, they decided to go out to a movie and ice cream to catch up and have been together ever since. They’ve now been married 5 years but together 10 years and counting. They have two children and a pet fish. When career aspirations took them to a new state and away from family and sometimes each other, their love, transparency and partnership held them tight together. Teamwork makes the marriage work!

When did you know that you loved your spouse?

James: “I knew I loved Laina when I would take weeks off from work just to spend time with her. Anyone that knows me knows that I don’t like to take time off from work! I used to spend every dime I had on rental cars, new clothes, etc…. just to go see her.”

Alaina: “I knew I loved James fairly early in the relationship. We spent the whole summer together before heading back to junior year of college and whenever I was with him I just felt complete. I felt like I could be myself and I loved that feeling. Then when I had to go back to school it was just a sad feeling so I really enjoyed the fact that he would come almost every weekend just to hang out with me. I mean do absolutely nothing but hang and that’s when I knew.”

What is your favorite quality about your spouse?

James: “My favorite quality about Laina is how supportive she is. Any goal I set for myself she’s always behind me encouraging me and helping me every step of the way.”

Alaina: “James goes out of his way to make sure that everyone he’s around is taken care of. He’s very selfless in that sense and just wants us to be happy. So he’ll do anything to make sure me and the girls are happy, that his family is happy, that everyone is OK before himself. 

What has been the most challenging aspect of marriage?

James: “The most difficult part of being married to me would be having those disputes about whose career is more important than the other’s. Who is more tired after work? Who should take that sick day to stay home with the kids?

Alaina: “I think one of the hardest things is finding time to just spend together. He’s in a career field that keeps him away very often and we live in a state where we have no family and very little friends. So it’s hard to make time for just us. But when we do find that time to spend together alone it’s fun.” 

How has your spouse changed you for the better?

James: “Laina has helped me to be more open minded. Try new things, experience new places.”

Alaina: “Being with James has helped me to worry less. I’ve always been the type of person who worries a lot and just stresses about things that I sometimes have no control over. But his personality has helped me to feel like everything is going to be OK. He always says it is going to be greater later or it’s going to get better and he’s always been right about it. So he has helped me to have more faith in stuff.”

What is the best part about being married?

James: “The best part about being married is having that teammate who’ll always be there for you no matter what and will always have your back. You set goals together and accomplish them together, someone that is always going to be there to push you.” 

Alaina: “The best part about being married is having a partner. But not just a partner but someone I can be transparent with. I never have to fake anything with James. I can always be honest and I know at the end of the day whether he likes what I say or agrees or disagrees he’s still going to love me. I just really enjoy having someone I can be honest with and feel I can be myself with.” 


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Love Talks: Completely 

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Meet Donnie and Tanya. They’ve been married 3 years and have a beautiful baby girl together. Their love story is one for the books but not one of fairytales. It is one of two people finding a great thing in each other despite circumstances and deciding to hold on to each other for dear life when every aspect of their vows were tested in such a short period of time. I hope their love gives you hope, inspiration and the courage to hold on tight no matter the obstacles.

When did you know that you loved your spouse?

Tanya: “When he would go out of the way to get to me because he didn’t have transportation when we began dating. He made sure there was always a way to come see me.”

Donnie: “For me it was more instantaneous. I knew off the bat when we met for the first time. I just looked at her and knew I was good.”

What is your favorite quality about your spouse?

Tanya: “The fact that there is no seperation of roles in our relationship. He’s willing to cook, clean and take care of Aubrey yet he’s still very much a man.”

Donnie: “Her loving, the way she loves. The little things she does that shows she’s not only thinking of me as a person but us as a family.”

What has been the most challenging aspect of marriage?

Tanya: “Being able to bring two separate people together to create one household. We were both raised in two completely different environments and to be able to make that one and create our own home was difficult. In order to overcome that we just had to be open to communication but it is still challenging.”

Donnie: “I guess my answer would mirror hers. Having two completely different mindsets and having to understand that you have to think not just for yourself but come together collectively while at the same time accepting each other’s flaws and defects.”

How has your spouse changed you for the better?

Tanya: “I’m much more patient and not as quick to anger.”

Donnie: “I’d have to say the same thing. Sometimes I can be an irrational thinker and she gives me proper insight and teaches me how to be more cognitive.”

What is the best part about being married?
Tanya: “The best part is having a partner who will always have your back and love.”

Donnie: “The knowing that at the end of the day no matter your flaws, defects or inconsistencies that person will love you and will hold you down through every situation. Knowing that because it’s real it will last a lifetime and not just a moment. I wasn’t looking for someone to complete me, I was looking for someone to completely understand me and I found that in her.


Worth

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You’re unhappy more often than not. What are you holding on to? Flashes of false effort that only lends false hope? It’s not real. The way you feel is evident in your actions. The way he feels is evident in his lack of actions. How much longer are you going to let him use you? He doesn’t WANT you. May not even like you but seems to need you. Needs all that you give so freely. It’s been years and all he gives you are new reasons why he refuses to commit. Then tells you he loves you so you’d hold on just a little longer. Long enough for him to find who he truly wants.  Then tell you it’s your fault it didn’t work because you were too this or too that. Beautiful, you must activate your worth. It’s not enough to just know it.

Infiltrate

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The butterflies that inhabit my soul fluttered
joyously deep down in my center
Moments later they traveled through my womb
down to the souls of my feet
This journey began the instant your lips met mine…

I gasped for air that never escaped me
Closed my eyes to savor the feeling
Hoped silently that your lips wouldn’t depart
Yearned desperately for a deeper infiltration…

Your tongue grazed across my lips in search of an opening
I obliged happily and parted my lips slightly
The sweet taste of your tongue made my heart skip, pause…race
Rhythmically, I allowed mine to dance with yours…

I inhaled deeply in an attempt to take in your essence
Your hands reached to caress my face and my body simultaneously relaxed
Suddenly feeling safe while lost in your sensual embrace
I allowed my head to tilt back as your lips trailed my neck…

A pleasured grin painted my face and I exhaled
I soon returned the gesture and tasted the aroma of your neck, ear, lobe…
You moaned, I ached in anticipation of desired consumption
We pause, I rested my head like a missing puzzle piece within your shoulder…

Our breathes that were once deep and shallow now slowed in sync
For a moment in time we drowned in each other’s existence
Our eyes searched the other’s within the dim of the candle light
Smiles emerged, we then submerged as our souls kissed once more…

Quotes For The Soul: One More Time

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“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.” –Maya Angelou

I choose to be vulnerable in love, in like even and that always leaves my heart bruised. Broken once but bruised often. But even still, the nostalgia of the perfect moments in between is why I’ll forever allow my heart to love and live in a vulnerable space. I can’t and won’t apologize for who I am and I can’t make anyone see the beauty in such a scary, thrilling and risky approach. I can only continue “to trust love one more time and always one more time.”