ten years

The VERY first trip Mr. Miller and I ever went on was when we had been dating just a couple of months and we went to San Diego.  On our trip, we went to the beautiful Balboa Park and took a picture of us near the pond.  So when we found ourselves venturing back to the beautiful Balboa Park while we were in San Diego, all these years later, we had to find the exact spot and take a photo.

Writing the story of our lives together will forever be my favorite thing about this life.  I can’t believe ten years has come and gone since our first date.  Our whole lives have been packed in those ten years, and my goodness, they have been the very best of my life.  I am so so so grateful to feel the way I do about my husband.  He is the best friend I’ve ever had, the funniest guy I know, the hardest, most honest worker.  He is a person I admire, and hope to be more like each day.  I am also very grateful he felt the same way about me – and still does.  How lucky we are.  Not a day goes by that I’m not grateful.

On instagram, when I wrote about our ten year dating anniversary, someone commented, “wow! What an accomplishment that is!” and I hadn’t really thought of it like that, but it’s true.  We have seen many friends split up over these ten years together, and I’m grateful that every fight we’ve worked through has brought us closer together, not farther apart.  If there is a “trick” to a lasting marriage, I think that might be it.  Seeing each trial (big or small) as an opportunity to bring you closer together.  Each fight for us is a merit badge – and our marriage is better after we’ve worked through each one.  We had a lot of merit badges earned early in our marriage, and now our “merit badges” are usually earned a bit easier – we can get to the resolve a little quicker, and a whole lot more gently.  We have learned that our intentions for each other are ALWAYS in the right place, and that has been a blessing to realize.

Mr. Miller and I have never stopped dating, setting time apart for each other, treating each other like boyfriend/girlfriends do in early relationships.  I still tickle his back and arms each night, and he stops to get me drinks without me even having to ask.  I love serving him – not because I have to, or because he can’t do things himself – but because serving is such a sweet act of love, and I love him.  I love making him dinner, or whipping up a snack that will dazzle him.  I love folding his underwear and stacking them neatly in his drawer, even though (and especially) because he doesn’t expect me to.  We love each other, and we work on that love every single day.  EVERY SINGLE DAY, we work on it.

A game changer for our marriage, and where we found a firm foundation, is when we came into faith together, absolutely.  Our church has such a strong belief in marriage and family.  That is emphasized each week as we attend church, and we are so blessed to have that support in today’s world.  But even more than that, is the work we do at home.  Several years ago, I read the idea to pray for my husband and for my marriage each day.  I think this has changed me – and us – forever.  Each day I ask God to bless my husband in all his efforts, that his heart will be guarded, that the love between us will be blessed.  When I am frustrated or angry with Brady, I take that to God, and immediately I feel myself cool.  Praying before reacting is something I am always working on, but it has changed how we “fight” and how I love my husband.  This is a personal bit to share, but I hope anyone who needs to read it will find it as helpful as I did.

Along with being in love, and building a family, Mr. Miller and I really are dear friends.  I like to tell him things and hear his opinion on things.  I know he loves me enough to not just tell me what I want to hear, but sometimes what I need to hear.  He is gentle with me, he loves the quirks that make me me, and isn’t irritated by them.  He understands how I work after these ten years together, and that to me is invaluable.  The life we enjoy together today comes from ten years of working through life together, growing together, and getting to know one another more each day.  It comes from the hardest times, and the happiest times, and the every-day-joy that comes from the life and lives we’ve created together.  It comes from leaning on each other for support, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, being strong for one another, fighting for our family and for our marriage, and thousands of days of choosing to place each other first.

Each day is a new opportunity to choose to keep fighting for love, and I pray we can both keep choosing each other every day, always.

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oh hey monday!

Back to another week at Miller Manor.

Mondays are something I’ve actually (dare I say it?) come to love.  I love the freshness of Mondays – fridge is stocked, dinners are planned, washing machine humming all day.

After being gone for over half of March, my house is in an “overdue” state.  I am trying trying to get back on top of it – but as you know about me – housework isn’t my strong suit… it’s something I have to work HARD at to learn and maintain.  Wish me luck!  I am slipping on my apron (because I work better in a uniform – also, pockets), checking off my cleaning list (I’m looking at you, kitchen clutter!) and listening to my favorite book Heaven Is Here today while I clean –  nothing gives me a boost of self-confidence and faith more than that book.

(Major’s cute bottle is from Twistshake, get 20% off with cassmiller20 today!)

Also – thank you for all your writing suggestions last week! It helped so much, and has inspired a new project I’d like to work on for the blog.  I’m still brainstorming on that bit, but I loved hearing all the things you’d like to hear more of from me and I want to be able to share more of those things on a regular basis.  I’ve got a list of each suggestion and I’ll be checking them off one by one! Stay tuned.  If you missed it and would like to me to write about something, comment here and I’ll add it to the list! xoxo

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life + style

Last week I was in a swimsuit and shorts, this week I have slipped back into my “momiform.”
Life this week has been so good.  I have loved every minute of getting back to our normal life as the mama of my bunch.
It may sound silly, and my vacation was so nice and relaxing (and I caught up on 8 years of rest!), but distance does make the heart grow fonder, and as I was sailing the beautiful caribbean seas, there was no other place I’d rather be than right here at home with my family. <3
So this week, I am folding clothes with a happier heart, grateful to be the one tucking my kids in for bed and making breakfast in the morning.
Stocking my fridge and making our meals feels a little extra special this week.
Doing hair and kissing home from school feels like a true honor.
I’m not sure how long this extra burst of gratefulness will last, but I’m going to make a choice to keep it around for as long as I can.
When we strip down all the worldy aspects of life, all the rushed schedules, and impossible expectations – just to the simplicity of family – life is so wonderful.
I have no plans of getting out of my momiform any time soon.

This weekend is one of my favorite weekends of the year, General Conference.  I have planned some special brunches and snacks for my family, as well as some crafts and fun coloring books I picked up for my kids.  I love when my children have some things to do during conference to help keep the room quiet and filled with the spirit.  The church just released some new coloring books that I will be unveiling to my little Millies conference morning.  You can find them HERE or HERE for downloads, or at any deseret book store! They are perfect for what I was looking for.

For those who aren’t familiar with General Conference, it is where the leaders of our church prayerfully give talks with powerful messages that are always ALWAYS guaranteed to leave your spirit feeling renewed and refreshed.  I truly look forward to these messages twice yearly, and re-listen to them as I get ready each day.  They bring me such peace, and help me keep my life centered in the Gospel.  I am not the best at scripture-study (hoping to change that this year!), but I am sure an advocate and testament to listening to conference talks.  I hope all of you will join me! I’ll post about some of my favorites next week!

My most favorite jeans HERE
Living in these Target tee’s.

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Grae is THREE!

My darling baby girl, our sweet Grae Golden, turned three years old.
Truth be told, her birthday was the 26th, but with Mr. Miller and myself not getting home until that evening, we decided to celebrate her birthday on Monday when we could all be together as a family.  She never noticed and had a great birthday!
After a week away, I couldn’t have been happier to be home celebrating our special girl.
She was so happy to see us home, and so happy to be turning THREE.
All Grae wanted was a “pitnic” with her two best friends, Quinn and Sunny (who happen to be the little girls of my two best friends!)
We ate the traditional “birthday pizza” from pizza factory on the back lawn, all the spring flowers in bloom.  Our girls hopped on the tramp and ate cupcakes and giggled and filled my heart with all the love I could hold.  Gratitude for Grae, our happy home, and our wonderful friends.
Grae is a true star of our family – if you follow along here or on Instagram, you already know and love Grae, I’m sure.
Grae is our “spicy” child.
She is spunky and fierce and more adorable than you could imagine.
She is funny and quick-witted.
She can be so tender and sweet.
She is such a great big sister – she loves that baby brother of hers to pieces.
She has what I like to call “baby rage” which is when you see a baby and your thoughts are so overwhelming they go to a violent place.  She often has to hug major through clenched fists and teeth. ha! (see also: cute aggression)
She melts her daddy into an absolute puddle.
She tries my every last ounce of patience, but somehow fills me right back up a minute later.
Grae is smart as a whip – sometimes a wee too smart for my liking.
She loves having a cold drink in hand, just like her mama.
If her drinks dips anywhere below freezing cold, she’ll tell me “I can’t drink it! It’s old!”
If you ask her favorite color, she’ll say pink, but she always wants blue.
As she’s been approaching 3, I’ve been talking about potty training.  Every time I say “Should we go potty on the big girl potty today?” she’ll say “Maybe formorrow.” or “Maybe Thursday.” or “I can’t do that!” with an exasperated look.
She loves “Macapony and cheese” and “peanut butter and sandwich”.. which she requests daily.
Although she still likes Peppa Pig, the center stage lately is Poppy from Trolls and anything Dory related. (breaks my heart a little – Peppa will always have a special place in my heart!)
She gets the songs from Trolls stuck in her head all the time and it makes my life.  Hearing this tiny girl sing “Everybody! Shake your hair and move your body, whoa-whoooooa – sunshiny day!!” is pretty much the best thing ever.
She loves anything tiny – tiny toys are always a hit (and she got PLENTY of them for her birthday).  She shoves her small figurines into little purses and backpacks and packs them around and takes such great care of them.  I’m always amazed how she knows when one is missing and usually exactly where to find it.
After our week away, Grae was the most excited to see us home.  She keeps saying to me, “mommy you came back! I’m so happy for you!” and keeps giving me spontaneous eye-closed-tight squeezes.  I love her!
She never stops asking for things or eating as long as she’s awake.  I haven’t had a full, uninterrupted hour during the day since Grae was born. :D
Grae is such a special little girl – we are constantly in disbelief that she was able to come to our family.
She plays such an important role in our family, and we are so glad she is ours.
Happiest third birthday, my darling Grae Golden!

(dress Old Navy)

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