Marriage Advice from a Single Gal



This time next week I’ll be back east in Pittsburgh to celebrate two of my best friends nuptials! I was friends with both Nicole & Sean before they became inseparable and honestly I couldn’t think of any other Yinzers that are better suited for each other.

As we approach their big day, I wanted to give them some marriage advice. I will preface this by saying yes, I am indeed single, and that no, I have never been married, or even in a serious relationship for that matter.

Before the relationship advice police pull me over (marriage license and registration please…) I want to protect my street cred by providing evidence that I’m [somewhat] qualified to give this advice.

My grandparents had the marriage that I’m convinced inspired Nicolas Sparks to write The Notebook. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with my Poppy bringing flowers to my Bema’s hospital bedside, telling her she was the most beautiful woman ever, and holding her hand as she took her last breaths just a few days later. Til the end of my Poppy’s days, not a single day went by where he didn’t mention how wonderful she was, and I know they happily celebrated their 64th Anniversary together on August 26th.

I’m also fortunate to be a product of parents that will be celebrating their 32nd wedding anniversary this October, and hey I didn’t turn out so bad so their marriage must mean something if it made me right? RIGHT?! (Mom & Dad please keep your comments about me to yourself…)

So here is some advice that has resulted from a 23 year study:

1. Compromise– it’s impossible to bring two people together and have them agree on everything. Sorry, it just doesn’t happen. It’s all about give and take, but also be careful to avoid keeping score. Remember, you’re both on the same team here, so it’s about coming up with a game plan where you both win.

2. Faith– through all the trials and tribulations my parents have gone through, they both have said that what helped them through was their faith in their religion. Faith doesn’t always have to be religious [my take on faith], but it’s important to share a core belief that you can root your relationship in.

3. Your Relationship Always Come First– I actually have to accredit my friends Lisa and Drake for this. The parents of three beautiful children, one day Lisa said ‘Our relationship always comes before our kids’ and at first I was caught off guard by this statement. But I realized how important it is to make sure that you’re continuing to develop and strengthen the relationship. I’ve often heard of couples who put their relationship in the back seat to their kids or work, then one day their kids leave the nest, they’ve retired, and they barely know the person next to them. The person you marry today won’t be the exact same person 20 years from now, and that’s OK! Go on dates. Continue getting to know each other. Try new things. Keep the spark alive.

4. Small Gestures Go A Long Way– Growing up I witnessed my father bring home ‘Just Because’ flowers, or on Sunday’s my parents would go for a drive to just ‘look at houses’ (they love architecture and home shows). Over time those small gestures accumulate into a large display of memories.

5. Highs and Lows– They’re inevitable, but sometimes when you’re on a high your partner may be at a low. It’s important to learn to be compassionate for your partners lows, and likewise being able to celebrate your partners highs even if you’re in a low.

6. Don’t Lose Sight of the Things You Love– My Bema use to go to her Bingo games with the girls and my Poppy use to love spending time out in the garden. By allowing yourself to grow and do the things that you like, you bring a happier, more complete self to the relationship.

So that’s a single gals advice on marriage. I’d love to hear your thoughts! What marriage advice do you have?

The Key Component to Success in Fitness


You walk into a gym, where you’re ‘greeted’ by a staff member who is preoccupied with a book or the latest gossip magazine as they mindlessly scan your card. You walk into the locker room where everyone is doing their best to make little to no eye contact with the person next to them. The only sounds that exude are from the opening and closing of lockers.

After securing your belongings from the other gym members you don’t know or trust, you make sure you have your iPod set to the right playlist and put on headphones having the perfect alibi as to why you don’t have to acknowledge anyone else’s presence. “Sorry, couldn’t hear you.”

You step onto a piece of equipment you know little or nothing about. You glance around at the other 5 people using the same contraption, trying to mimic the person who, in your mind, has the best form. Yeah, some of this should be good for a few mins right? There are how many levels? I put my feet where?

After spending a few mins on a machine, while not getting your heart rate too up there because that’s crazy talk, you do a few stretches that you remembered from elementary gym class. Stretching your arms, after what was clearly a leg work out.

Unsure of what else to do, you go back and silently gather your belongings out of your locker, again making sure not to disrupt the locker room vow of silence, and slip out of the gym as if you were a ghost and were never there in the first place.

Does this scenario sound familiar? I know that’s how I use to feel at a traditional gym. You walk in, walk out and no one really cares whether you show up or not. Now I’m not saying that it’s impossible to be successful in a traditional gym setting, but in my past experience I’ve noticed that when you have either a work out buddy or a group class it helps lead to a higher success rate. It’s all about community.

As you may (or may not) know, I’ve fallen in love with the Crossfit community. I became even more aware of my love for it last night after a group of us agreed to attend the Pilates class our box offers and afterwards getting together and having a ‘healthy’ potluck. Not only did we have fun all working out together, but it felt even better to sit around with each other after enjoying laughter and good conversation. We are all encouraging of each others goals inside, and outside of the gym. It’s the “Where were you today?” texts along with the genuine questions about how my career and personal life are that keep me coming back. When it comes down to it, I feel extremely blessed to have found them.

I don’t proclaim that Crossfit is the only fitness community out there, but I highly encourage you to find yours whatever it may be. What fitness community are you involved in? Leave your thoughts and comments!

Crossfit Fam Bam

Life’s Unanswered Questions


Sometimes in life, there are questions that no books or Google search can provide answers to. However, our human nature craves logic, so we’re driven to seek them out relentlessly & sometimes to the point where it beats us into submission.

So when you’re at a point in life where you feel like nothing makes sense, it’s extremely important to rely on faith. Faith in religion, a philosophy, or an ideal it doesn’t matter which. By choosing to believe in something, regardless of the unanswered questions, you begin to empower yourself instead of allowing the why’s and what if’s to cripple you. Find solace in truth: that the sun rises every day to meet you in an attempt to shed light on the beauty in life during times when you have difficulty finding it yourself.



Image via Instagram user @TiannaMarie