What holds a marriage together?

Our 10 year anniversary was coming up and I wanted to take a romantic trip. Ten years is meant to be celebrated! So… I started planning… Hawaii seemed like an appropriate place to celebrate surviving 10 years of marriage. The thing about Hawaii is that you have to pay money to go there.

We had just had a horrible hail storm that tore up our roof and it needed to be replaced.   The roof company was going to charge me $2000 just to rip off the old one. I called my handy friend Erin and asked her if she thought we could rip off the old one ourselves and she said “YES!” (And I believed her… ha!)  One bad sunburn and some very sore muscles later my roof was off and $2000 was saved. Thank you again Erin💗. I was able to book my romantic getaway!

My dear neighbor Rachel agreed to take my 3 children for 7 FULL days… she’s pretty much a saint.  Paul was 2, Drew was 7 and Kate was 9.  PLUS Rachel had 3 of her own kids.  It wasn’t until Dan and I were above the ocean on the way to Hawaii when we looked at each other and said, “I think we asked too much of Chuck and Rachel… 7 days is a really long time…😬” We decided it was too long and that we’d never make that mistake again. However we weren’t going to let it stop us from having a great time.

Dan and Laurel


As I was flying across the ocean with Dan, I was also thinking about what a miracle it was that we were still together. What was holding us together? Our kids? Religion? Convenience?  Did Dan still passionately love me like when we were dating??!! I didn’t really know the answer.  We were in the thick of little kids.  Dan was building a name for himself at his job and he travelled A LOT!  We obviously still enjoyed each others company… I mean, we were on a flight to Hawaii together.  And we were both excited.

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A day or two into the trip we found a groove.  Dan would wake up at 4 am and work till 8. I would sleep till 6 and the head to the gym. Then we’d meet up and go get something to eat and plan our day. We were really enjoying our time together but there was still a nagging thought at the back of my mind … “What is holding us together?” On the third day, I figured it out.

We were heading up an escalator when Dan looked down and noticed my shoe was untied.  He quickly bent down and tied my shoe for me. My heart melted because I knew in that moment that he loved me. That is what holds us together.  A very simple act of kindness spoke directly to my heart and is a memory I will remember forever. That gesture said to me, “He loves me.”  When you have 3 little kids, you don’t EVER have time to tie your spouses shoes! It just doesn’t happen. Little kids’ needs take priority.


I left that romantic getaway thinking, “Why in the world did I wait 10 years to take a trip like that??!!”  Marriage needs a respite from the stress of everyday life to help us stay connected to each other. Doesn’t have to be Hawaii. Dan and I are now in our 16th year of marriage and I’m thinking we may need another romantic getaway sooner than later💗.

Read another great story by Laurel here.


My Every Good Thing Picks

Book: Wonder By R.J. Palacio

Movie: Rudy

Movie: Invincible




  1. Shannon | 24th Jan 17

    Lovely story. 🙂
    If anyone needs a great couples get away check out this place in Palm Springs. http://sparrowslodge.com/
    No kids allowed and so peaceful. It is very small and quaint which encourages people to meet each other and talk. Amazing right. We met some lovely people around the fire making smores. Here is a quick list of my favorite things.
    There are lounge chairs for everyone.
    You can pick an orange off the tree and eat it.
    The pool and bar never close. This is not the party kind of place, it’s the kind of place you can drink a glass of wine in the hot tub at 11pm.
    The have beach cruisers you can borrow.
    I really could go on and on, but you get the point. 🙂

    • Amber | 24th Jan 17

      It would be fun to plan a trip there with our hubbies sometime. Just reading your description makes me feel relaxed!

  2. Shannon Berard-Gardiner | 24th Jan 17

    Laurel is my amazing and adorable and kind and compassionate and and and … my sister in law whom I adore and what she says is exactly as she is. Keeping it simple is the key to long lasting everything. I had no idea she penned this and was excited when my husband, of almost 23yrs, saw it in his news feed. Thank you for sharing this beautiful example of their commitment.

    • Amber | 24th Jan 17

      You are lucky to have her as your sister-in-law. She truly is all those things you listed and more! Congratulations on 23 years!!!! That is a miracle these days. 🙂

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