What's Really Happening When You Cry About Pasta

Photo by  Paweł Rękas  on  Unsplash

Photo by Paweł Rękas on Unsplash

By Maggie Reimherr

Picture this: it’s a Thursday night during a rough week. I’ve gotten some news I don’t like. I’ve stayed at work a little later than usual that evening to make up for the hour and a half I missed that morning for a grand trifecta at the doctor’s office: blood tests, a tetanus shot, and a, er, women's exam. Then my commute takes over an hour.

When I finally get home, Derek is barely 5 minutes into cooking dinner. I’m usually a fairly reasonable person. But when I get home at 7:30 and my spicy sausage and bell pepper pasta isn’t ready, I am outraged.

I start stomping around the apartment passive-aggressively cleaning whatever I can find. What else am I supposed to do while Derek makes dinner? Relax? I can’t freakin’ relax. I am HANGRY.

Derek tries to cheerily chat with me, and I am NOT HAVING IT. We finally sit down for dinner, and at the table, he tries to make friendly conversation. I brush him off with one-word answers.

Finally Derek asks, “What is going on?”

I look at him like the answer is obvious and say, “Dinner wasn’t ready when I got home. For ONCE, I would just like to have my dinner cooked and ready. IT’S THE LEAST YOU CAN DO.”

Oh, okay. That’s how we’re going to deal with this, Maggie. We’re going to be a diva.

I stomp off with our plates and start furiously (and still passive-aggressively) cleaning. Afterwards, I storm into our bedroom to calm down.

It took me a little bit, but I eventually came out to apologize. “I’m sorry for being rude about dinner. There was no reason for that.”

When Derek comes over to hug me, I immediately break into sobs: “I… just… wanted… sausage… pasta!” **weeps into Derek’s chest**

Then: “This… isn’t… really… about… sausage… pasta…” **blubbers** **hyperventilates**

Does this ever happen to y’all? There are larger issues going on, and you don’t know how to deal with them. Instead of confronting your feelings, you decide to take them out on your partner. It’s pretty easy to use the person you live with as your punching bag, especially when they do something that feels unthinkably awful. Like not cooking dinner on your timeline. (This is sarcasm.)

Well, here’s my advice, and please allow me to scream it at the top of my lungs: DON’T. DO. THIS.

In this circumstance, my feelings were related to some outside issues that were beyond my control. They had nothing to do with Derek or our marriage. Faced with something sort of irritating, I projected the real issue onto sausage pasta. Instead of sitting with my feelings and processing through them like a mature adult should do, I made Derek the scapegoat.

I’m not perfect and will never profess to be, but I could’ve done better.

It was clear my frustration wasn’t hanger. Half an hour of quiet reflection would’ve revealed this. Or a quick cardio session while Derek was cooking. Or journaling. (Wow, lots of alternatives to yelling about pasta.)

Luckily, after we hugged it out, Derek was supportive and understanding. He knew I was having a tough week that was causing me to act like a crazy person. He quickly forgave me for taking out my anger on him. I married a good man, and I’m super grateful.

Next time, I’m going to do better. (I originally worded this as “try to do better” but then I thought Yoda would be disappointed in me.)

Via  Giphy

Via Giphy

It’s a 3 step process:

  1. Recognize my feelings.
  2. Work them out.
  3. Make Derek my teammate, not my opponent.

Oh, and Derek? Thanks for making that pasta. It was v. tasty. 

Stop Comparing Your Life to Your Friends' Lives




If you’re anywhere near our age...Welcome to you mid-20s! What an exciting time of your life!

You graduated college/completed trade school/finished an apprenticeship.
You got your first job and maybe your first promotion.
You’ve probably moved out of your family’s house and are living with roommates or on your own for the first time.
You have at least some disposable income to afford some of the things you’ve been wanting like traveling to an exotic place, a new TV, or a wardrobe refresh.

With all of this happening, why wouldn’t we be incredibly stoked with our lives? Sure, we have career aspirations and would like to make more money so we can pay off that crippling student debt. But all good things take time, right?

Unfortunately (fortunately?), we live in the age of social media and constant connectedness. (never heard that one before). So while we’re moseying along doing our own thing, so are our friends. And here’s what they’re doing, according to Instagram:

  • Meeting the love of their life and getting married
  • Starting a family
  • Traveling to Europe for 3 weeks and taking amazing pictures in Santorini
  • Buying a house
  • Getting their dream promotion making $85,000
  • Becoming debt-free
  • Investing in the stock market and saving beaucoup bucks for retirement

And that's just what I came up with off the top of my head. When you look at that list, it’s easy to think, "What the heck am I doing sitting here eating Doritos and watching HGTV?" Side note, #guilty.

It’s natural for us to look to our left and look to our right, comparing ourselves to what is going on in other people’s lives. It really is. But as famous pastor Andy Stanley calls it, this is a comparison trap.

At the end of the day, you don’t know what’s going on in someone else’s life. Sure, it’s always possible that your peer has rich/wealthy parents who are feeding them money. If that’s the case, lucky them.

What’s more likely is one of the following scenarios:

  • They chose a more challenging college major and gained relevant work experience throughout college, starting them off at a higher salary and more prestigious job.
  • They were more involved in extracurricular activities/social groups which enabled them to meet new people, like their current significant other.
  • They worked extra hard after business hours to learn a valuable skill or gain an advanced degree so they could switch industries or advance their career.
  • They’re able to travel so extensively because they live with 3 roommates and save a ton of money.
  • They're able to buy a house because they lived in a cheap apartment with their significant other for 4 years.
  • They made smart investments in the stock market 10 years ago and are able to cash out now.
  • They’re starting a family, but they’ve struggled with medical problems and have spent thousands of dollars in doctor’s visits and treatments.
  • They’re buying a brand new luxury vehicle, but going into $35,000 or more of debt.

There are so many scenarios that can explain why your friends are doing things you just WISH you could be doing. 

You never know what’s at play behind the scenes. Sometimes they’ve made incredibly smart decisions. Sometimes they’ve overcome extraordinary odds to get where they are. Sometimes they’re being unwise with time, money, or relationships in an effort look successful.

Here’s a personal example. I decided to make a career change and switch from the automotive industry to marketing services aka agency life. I’m very happy now and I have incredible job opportunities and growth ahead.

But there was an opportunity cost. I lost the chance to continue advancing at my previous company where the pay for a non-technical job for a 20-something was (in my opinion) quite lucrative. People who started at the company at the same time as me are making upwards of $75,000 if you include perks. It’s easy for me to look at those Facebook promotion announcements and feel a pang of envy.

What’s the point? I made a decision I’m content with, so what does it matter? I’m happy for my former co-workers. Thing is, their decisions come with costs, though. Most of them are traveling Monday-Friday every week. When you’re single, that can work. But as a newlywed, it made less sense.

It's so easy to get caught up in what someone else is doing, forgetting to think about all the context of your life and theirs. Everyone has their own path. Everyone deals with their own struggles or blessings. When you compare your highlight reel to someone else’s, you're doing yourself and that person a disservice.

If you’re unhappy, be unhappy because you’re not meeting your own goals, not because you’re not following in the footsteps of a friend or peer. You’ll be better off being self-motivated than motivated by someone else’s accomplishments.

Practice contentment. Practice thoughtfulness. You’ve made the decisions you’ve made for a reason. If that means you need to uninstall Instagram from your phone, do it. I promise you're not going to miss it. 

GUEST POST: Learning the 4 T's When You're Locked Out of Your House

Image: Pinterest

Image: Pinterest

**This is a sponsored post.**

When Zach and I were first married, we were 25 years old. Prior to becoming husband and wife we had dated for four years in college and during my time in graduate school. We had dealt with a two year long distance relationship as well. We felt like the hurdles and curve balls that were thrown at us were dodged and thrown back at full force. Zach and I felt like a true team - a compatible couple that laughed, sang, cried and was always there when one of us needed the other.

And then came children. Don’t get me wrong, our children are wonderful. We have a three-year-old daughter and a three-month-old son. Suddenly our comforting, casual and carefree marriage was turned upside down with strollers, diapers (oh so many diapers), wipes, toys and so much more! While we loved spending time with our children, our time as an "us" couple was dwindling slowly. A few years ago, Zach and I decided to uproot our family from the windy city of Chicago, to the southern pines of Atlanta. We were excited for our new adventure and all that awaited us.

One afternoon Zach and I were outside on our deck painting. Our two-year-old at the time (we didn’t have our son yet) had gone inside to grab a toy. I realized she had been gone a while and went to try and open the door to go back into our home when it wouldn’t open! I tried again. It was locked! I began panicking and quickly called Zach over to help me unlock the door. He tried his best and continued to knock to get our daughter’s attention. Suddenly we were in a screaming match of who had let our daughter go into the house unsupervised. We began blaming one another for what was taking place.

Thankfully my husband had his cell phone with him and called STL Locksmith. Their emergency locksmith service covers a wide area in Georgia, and they were not only friendly at calming us down but extremely prompt in helping us unlock our door and get to our daughter. Of course, they know that these things happen and thankfully are always fully-equipped with their training and helping to ease our frustration.

The moral of this story? Instead of blaming one another for what happened (because as scary as it is, it does happen from time to time) we should have remembered the Four T’s of communication. The first is timing. Is it a good time to bring up what’s going on? In this circumstance, it most definitely was as we were stranded outside! But I realized in my own panic that I went right from timing to my tone. The tone in my voice was scared and blameful on my husband because I thought he was watching her and vice versa. Our tone to one another was harsh, hurtful and not needed in a scary situation that had occurred. The third “t” is technique. I was blaming my frustration on my husband and that wasn’t fair as we were both at fault for what had happened. The last “t” is truth. Is what I’m hearing and saying truthful, or am I just frustrated? Despite blaming my husband for what was occurring, I was also using harsh words and again, should not have been saying them.

After the chaos of our daughter locking us out of the house (and yes she was ok and was actually sitting on the couch the entire time we were calling the locksmith over), we assessed the words and our communication a few hours after it had settled down. We were both scared at what had happened but instead of blaming one another, we just needed to effectively communicate our frustration. Thinking of the four t's during this experience could have helped us think of other words to say instead of becoming angry. Afterwards, we praised one another saying “I’m so happy you were there" and “Thank you for being calm while talking to the locksmith.” We also thought that a neighbor should have a spare key just incase it were to happen again (it hasn’t since, thank goodness).

Things happen. Life happens and marriage takes work. It will test you and your relationship as often as it can. My suggestion when faced with a tough situation or event? Think of the four t's when possible and take a few deep breaths before you begin to fire words at your spouse. And be sure to have backup key somewhere close by!Hi everyone! My name is Cait and I blog at Cait's Cozy Corner! My blog shares a lot of my family (we just had our son 3 months ago and have a little girl who is 3 1/2), our travels around the world (we recently went to Oktoberfest..I was 8 weeks pregnant so you can imagine the fun I had over in Germany during that time), my love of coffee and shopping, plus some tips on fashion, food, fitness and more! I love meeting and getting to know my followers both online and in real life! We moved to Atlanta two and a half years ago and love it, especially coming from Chicago and those bitter cold winters! I hope you all stop by the blog and say hi! 


About Cait:

Hi everyone! My name is Cait and I blog at Cait's Cozy Corner! My blog shares a lot of my family (we just had our son 3 months ago and have a little girl who is 3 1/2), our travels around the world (we recently went to Oktoberfest..I was 8 weeks pregnant so you can imagine the fun I had over in Germany during that time), my love of coffee and shopping, plus some tips on fashion, food, fitness and more! I love meeting and getting to know my followers both online and in real life! We moved to Atlanta two and a half years ago and love it, especially coming from Chicago and those bitter cold winters! I hope you all stop by the blog and say hi! 

Instead of Getting Married, Break Up

Photo by  Charlie Foster  on  Unsplash

By Maggie Reimherr

A few months back, Derek and I were out with a girlfriend of mine and her fairly new boyfriend. We met him for the first time that night, and we were all getting along swimmingly. My friend and I were at the bar ordering drinks, and once our beers were in hand, we wandered over to the guys to join their conversation.

Derek, being the fount of wisdom that he is, was telling this guy that in a relationship, before you decide to commit to forever, you should think about why you really want to be with that person. And if your conclusions are unsatisfactory, you should break up.

My friend and I made bug eyes at each other as I attempted to kick Derek in the shin to SHUT. IT. DOWN. My tipsy attempts at taking out his shins were unsuccessful, so I swooped in to change the subject. I’m sure it wasn’t smooth.

The good thing is, my friend and her boyfriend are still together. Also a good thing? That advice… though it probably shouldn't be dispensed the first time you meet someone.

Yes, people. Millennial Marriage officially condones strongly considering breaking up with the person you’re dating before you decide to commit to marriage with them. We also think you should work through some fairly significant conflict together before you say, “I do.”

Why? Because when you commit to forever, you need to go in knowing that:

  • Your spouse ain’t perfect.
  • There will be bumps in the road that cause you to have to choose that person over and over and over again.
  • Not all relationships are destined to end in marriage. Trade your heart eye emojis for some clarity, peeps.

Another reason why? Derek and I did this. We are better for it. I know you’re probably thinking, “Wait a second? Y’all haven’t been consistently obsessed with each other for your entire relationship? You actually thought about dumping each other?”

Yes. We actually did. And the good news is we did it before we walked down the aisle. That’s when you want to think about breaking up with your significant other, folks. Things get really messy once vows are said, rings are exchanged, and legal paperwork is signed.

So… why did we almost break up a few times? We had 3 big conflicts that almost ended our relationship.


1. Deep insecurities.

Hi, I was a 20 year old girl when Derek and I met, and I was deeply insecure. SHOCKING, right? My dating history, if you can really call it that, was riddled with rejection before I met him. All I wanted was to be chosen. Finally, I was dating a good guy who was choosing me, and I was terrified that he would stop. For the first few months of our relationship, I waited for the other shoe to drop. By September 2013, 5 months into dating, it still hadn’t. So I decided after one too many Bud Light tallboys at a Braves game to fill Derek in on how good of a guy he was… by comparing him to people I’d dated in the past. (Dating tip: NEVER DO THIS.) That evening ended in Derek getting super annoyed with me, me sobbing, and a few weeks of relational turmoil. He had to decide if he wanted to choose me, despite my insecurities. The thing about choosing a 20 year old and all of her emotional issues is that as she matures, those issues *usually* go away. To be fair, it took a few years, but I am no longer deeply insecure. Derek had to roll that dice and decide, “Yes, I still want to pursue this.” (Also, shout out to his college roommates for not letting him break up with me.)


2. Long distance (spoiler alert: it’s terrible but also a good learning experience)

I was an emotional wreck about being long distance - was Derek going to break up with me when he met someone cooler and prettier than me in California? Would we be able to survive 7 entire weeks without seeing each other? I have never been more dismayed than I was during the first few weeks - and on top of that, I was a HORRIBLE communicator. To be fair, so was Derek but in different ways. I didn’t know how to verbally express my feelings in a productive way, and I’m sure I was really annoying to talk to. Good news: I learned communication skills and also quickly realized that when a man works 60 hour weeks and only socializes with his co-workers and also HE LOVES YOU, there’s not that much time or desire to dump your girlfriend back in Georgia for California girls.

In this instance, Derek wasn’t super concerned with my “OMG what if he dumps me” insecurities, because I didn’t actually verbally express them, and also, homeboy already knew what he was getting into (read: previous section). But he did have to decide whether or not to be patient with me through the communication issues. Ask yourself this: if we’re not on the same page now, can I see us getting to the same page? How are we going to get there? How can I be a better communicator? How can I help my significant other communicate better with me?


3. Baggage

Marriage is like many commercial flights: you pay extra for baggage. Sometimes, it's as easy to carry as a rollaboard. Other times, it gets slapped with one of those "Caution: Heavy" stickers. I’m going to be very vague on this story/issue because not everything should be shared on the Internet - I know, right?! But I’m a MILLENNIAL!

Basically, one of us had to choose whether or not we could live with the other person’s baggage.

Clearly, we're married now, so we made that choice. But think long and hard before you do, because it's not going away. Ask yourself: am I okay with this person’s past? Their family? Their debt? Can I live with this challenge long-term, maybe even forever? Does everything else about this person make this one thing “worth it”? Are we on the same side, tackling the issue together? Will I regret choosing this down the road? Depending on what your answer is… break up or buckle up. That thing one of us chose is still the most consistent source of unrest in our lives. Our saving grace? We’re on the same team about it, and we’re carrying the load together.


Final Thoughts

Dating couples, I’m sure your objection is this: “But I love him/her!!!”

Here’s the truth - once the promise of a diamond ring and a beautiful wedding and a sexy tropical honeymoon is fulfilled, this is your life. You’re in it with this person for what should be ‘til death do us part. That’s a really long time. Are you asking the right questions? Do you have clarity about the relationship? Don’t let your vision get fogged by wedding Pinterest boards and potential future baby names.

If you’ve asked yourself the right questions, and you’re thinking it might be time to end the relationship instead of taking the next step, I’ll tell you exactly what my therapist told me when I was considering breaking up with Derek. You will be fine. You are awesome. There are other fish in the sea. Okay, she didn’t say that, but seriously, there are.

If you’ve asked yourself the right questions, talked them through with your significant other AND trustworthy friends and you’ve still decided to get married... go get hitched, people! Marriage is fun!

The Laziest Person in the World: Me

By Maggie Reimherr

Photo by  Benjamin Combs  on  Unsplash

Hi, my name is Maggie Reimherr, and I am the laziest person in the world.

No, really, I'm not kidding.

Derek and I recently had a *small* argument about how I'm in a life stage where I'm not interested in doing anything that I don’t specifically want to do. A short list of things I've put off during this life stage because they would cause me minor inconvenience:

  • Cancelling an unused credit card.
  • Getting a Georgia driver’s license. I lived here for 4 months and drove with a Mass license every day before I switched it, plz don't tell the cops.
  • Registering the car in Georgia. Again, 4 months… oh, and now that I’ve changed it over, I still have a front license plate from Massachusetts on the car because I forgot about it and can’t be bother to learn how to use power tools to take it off.
  • Confirming that I am Derek’s dependent (offensive) so I can be on his health insurance.
  • Paying 3 traffic tickets I got from the world’s meanest New York State trooper. I have hexed him many times in my mind.
  • Canceling my Fabletics membership. Okay, I've been putting this off for 2 years.
  • Making a dentist appointment.
  • Cleaning the bathroom (why is it constantly getting dirty tho).
  • Returning our Comcast equipment from when we cut cable.
  • Writing for the blog for 2 months when I promised 2 posts a week henceforth in my last post… but hey, I’m back now!

Things I have been doing:

  • Ordering my groceries online. Thanks, Amazon Fresh!
  • Eating out approximately 4 times a week (to be fair, I think this is less than the average millennial).
  • Reading a lot of books.
  • Relaxing with my new neck and shoulder massager.
  • Watching The Bachelorette and Big Brother like it's my second job. I listen to recap podcasts too. You are welcome to judge me.
  • Doing one of those creepy sheet face masks at least once a week.
Via  Giphy

Via Giphy

Does any of this sound familiar to anyone? Congrats. You are as lazy as I am.

No, I haven’t neglected work. But I have neglected actual responsibilities outside of work that have hit our bank account and hit Derek’s confidence in my ability to G.S.D. (get sh!t done). It started with a few gentle conversations about me needing to be productive outside of my 8:30-5:30 work schedule. Then it turned into sideways comments: “So. Are we just done with the blog forever or something?” And finally, Derek hit a breaking point. It came in the form of 2 bills in one day for things that I’d forgotten to return/cancel. That’s the thing about being married: your laziness doesn’t just affect you. Bummer.

Sometimes, I just wanna be a sloth. But oftentimes, I don’t have that option. I love getting home from work and having no obligations stretching before me until my 10:30 bedtime. But laziness has its consequences:

  • Bills for Comcast equipment that you have lying around your apartment because you forgot to return it. Take it from me, friends: just go to the UPS Store.
  • Interest charges on credit cards you *swore* you had on auto-pay.
  • Cavities. (Note to self: you still need to make that dentist appointment!!!)

Derek implored me to please, for goodness’ sake, make a to do list. At first I fought back: "I have a to do list in my head!!!" But that wasn't really working. So I made my list in that handy Notes app on my phone. I got my new driver’s license, I registered the car, I cancelled my Massachusetts insurance, and I returned the Comcast junk. I still don’t know if it’s actually possible to cancel a Fabletics membership. Help.

I’ve found that a productive Maggie is a better Maggie. Sometimes there are things on the to do list that are outrageously annoying. No, I did not want to go sit at a Georgia Department of Revenue office for an hour and wind up getting on the phone with my insurance company to have them FAX (it’s 2017!!! What r u doing, State of Georgia??!) a copy of my policy over to a government office. But I did it. And you know what? Getting it done felt good.

Sometimes, it’s okay to be lazy. Set aside a few nights a week for Netflix binges or power-reading books or whatever your heart desires. But when you’re lazy for a months’-long stretch, things start to fall apart. It puts strain on a marriage. Sorry, Derek.

My advice: don’t be like me! Get organized before you get an avoidable bill in the mail from Comcast (happy ending: it got refunded after I returned the stuff). Make a list, and stop. freaking. procrastinating.

And with that, I have completed my first blog post in almost 2 months. I’m also using the Notes app in my phone to jot down ideas for more. See? I’m getting better already!

We're Not Really "Milestone People"

By Maggie Reimherr

Picture this: it’s 10:45 pm on our first anniversary. Derek’s reading a book on his Kindle. I’m about to go to sleep. I sit up in bed with a start.


At my insistence, Derek reluctantly gets out of bed and follows me to the kitchen. I pull the top tier of our cake out of the freezer. It’s frozen solid. Derek asks, “Are we supposed to eat it frozen?”

No, sir, we are not.

“Huh. I didn’t think of that. Oh well,” I say, leaving the cake on the counter to defrost. “We’ll try again tomorrow.”

We forgot to do the one thing you’re supposed to do on your first anniversary.

On our way back to bed I remark, “We’re not really milestone people, are we?”

Derek replies, “Nope. We are not.”

I ponder this thought before rolling over and saying, “It’s better to live a happy life all the time than place too much weight on the ‘milestones.’”

I think that’s a really important life lesson. I don’t know about you, but I certainly know some people who would react to forgetting to eat cake on their anniversary like their life/marriage was ruined. Do our daily lives have so little value that we only live for the moments that are supposed to be “big”? I hope not.

It’s not that Derek and I aren’t celebration people. In fact, I think it’s that we celebrate all the time.

Good day at work? Good for you - crack open a beer! Thursday? Congrats, we almost made it through the week - let’s have friends over for board games to celebrate. Minor achievement? Treat yo’self. Avoiding pregnancy month after month? Have a glass of wine and give yourself a pat on the back for properly administering your prescribed medication.

We tend to celebrate the small things, so when the big things come around, they don’t feel much different than our every day. I think that’s a good way to live.

Of course, we celebrate bigger things too - like birthdays and holidays and job interviews and first days of work and signing leases. But we don't put pressure on those days - which ultimately leads to disappointment anyway - because we celebrate every day.

We did celebrate our anniversary, too - with BBQ brunch and sushi dinner (our love for food knows no borders). Full disclosure: we actually wound up canceling the reservations we had at a fancy restaurant because we felt like keeping it casual that night.

But then we forgot one teensy detail.

So no, our marriage isn't ruined because we forgot to eat cake on March 26. When we got around to it on March 27, the whole thing was pretty anticlimactic anyway. We each ate a little sliver of it and then kinda looked at it and asked, “So do we just throw away the rest?”

(Side note: it was quite well preserved and not at all disgusting, so props to the person who wrapped it in 3 layers of cling wrap, 1 layer of tin foil, and a gallon size bag.)

I felt bad about the idea of throwing it away so it lived in a ziploc bag in our refrigerator until one of us decided “enough is enough” and threw it away. But can you imagine what would have happened if we'd put too much pressure on the moment of eating a few bites of year-old cake? I'd be despondent, asking, “Why didn't that feel more special?” Or I'd have eaten the whole tier of cake on principle.

Life's special enough. Celebrate the small stuff. The big stuff never disappoints when you live out every day in celebration.

Foreshadowing of me saying, "Whatever! It's just cake!"

Foreshadowing of me saying, "Whatever! It's just cake!"

Divorce Boats

By Maggie Reimherr

I once heard someone call kayaks divorce boats. I concur. Derek and I have been on a kayak exactly once, and it wasn't pretty.

Our friends Chris and Amanda were visiting us in Boston for a weekend. We’d heard that a *quintessential Boston activity* was kayaking the Charles River. It sounded really fun and like a great way to see the city, so we thought, “Sure! Why not?”

We arrived at the kayak rental station in Cambridge, MA on a sunny May afternoon. We decided, “Hey, we’re married couples. Let’s get double kayaks!”

This was a grave mistake.

We started slathering on some sunscreen to prepare for an afternoon of boating on the Charles like true New Englanders. Like the very unathletic person I am, I decide to wear a dress that day. We were going to an improv show later that night and wouldn’t have time to go back to the apartment to change. I hiked my leg up onto a cooler at the kayak rental place to put on some sunscreen, and some RUDE-ASS LADY walked up to me and said something about how she could see my underwear. Cool, thanks. I don’t really care if anyone sees my incredibly modest granny panties, but you just made me feel self-conscious about being unladylike. 

So I was entering into this boat ride already a little emotionally distressed.

Via  Giphy

Via Giphy

We decided Derek would take the back of the boat for steering purposes, and I’d be in front. This meant that when it came time to take a cool selfie of us on the boat, I was going to have to be the one to snap the picture without losing an iPhone in the depths of the Charles River. Lucky me.

Between the accidental flashing and the potential iPhone drowning, on a scale of 1-10, my anxiety was at around a 7.

We started paddling and immediately, the physics of kayaking baffled me. I knew I had to put the oar in the water and push to move forward. What I didn’t realize was that this motion, if done incorrectly, could cause the kayak to veer to one side or go around in circles.

Derek started to get frustrated with my willy-nilly paddling. Additionally, each time I dipped my paddle into the water, somehow I couldn’t get it together and not splash water all over him. “Here, just take a break and let me paddle,” he said in frustration.

It’s one thing to paddle yourself in a single kayak. It’s another thing entirely to try to paddle you and your wife in a double kayak when she’s a completely useless partner. Derek is a champ, but one man can only take so much. His arms got tired. He requested my help once more. I kept splashing him and spinning the boat in circles.

At this point, we’d made it maybe 50 yards from the spot where we departed from land. I don’t know if I had an unrealistic expectation of how far two people can go in a kayak, but I thought we’d be moving at regatta speed and see a big chunk of Boston.

I was wrong. We had MIT on one side of the river and Back Bay on the other, and that’s it. For visual representation:

Divorce Boats.png

Derek and I started snapping at each other.

Derek: “Maggie, STOP SPLASHING ME.”
Me: “We’re in the water! Water splashes! Get over it!”

Derek: “Can you please paddle straight?!”

All the while, our friends Chris and Amanda were floating down the Charles nearby, having a blast. We pulled our boats next to each other and convened on a game plan.

“So, uh… do y’all want to go back to the shore?” I asked nervously.

We’d been on the river for probably 45 minutes. To my relief, they said it was fine to return. They are very accommodating and very good sports.

But getting back was not easy. More splashing, more spinning in circles, more groaning, until finally, we reached dry land.

And what do you know? Like a beacon in the night, right before our eyes was a glorious, beautiful beer garden.

It was time for alcohol.

We returned our boats and immediately made our way to the bar. Sun-tired and sore from kayaking, we sat and drank beer and chatted and laughed.

Just when I thought we’d forgotten about the troublesome kayaking from earlier, Derek whispered, “We are NEVER sharing a kayak again.”

So take it from me, folks. Save your marriage. Choose the single kayak.

Oh, and we did get our selfie without sacrificing an iPhone. We appear far happier than we actually were.

A Millennial Anniversary

By Maggie Reimherr

As a millennial, there's one thing related to milestones that's just as important as the milestone itself: the Instagram. I’d been thinking through an anniversary Insta caption for a while, and I realized I can't write an Instagram caption about my marriage like some other women can.

Example: "Marriage is a sweet gift from Abba in Heaven and I praise the Lord for the abundant blessing of doing life with my forever person. #myheartissofull"

Well, I could write a caption like that because I just did. But it would be disingenuous. If you are that girl, more power to you. But when I think of my marriage to Derek, all I can think of is the lightness it's brought to my life.

I used to be dramatic. Wait, I’m still dramatic. I used to be… heavier. I used to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. I used to care what everyone and their brother thought about me. I used to be self-conscious and easily embarrassed and about 100x more anxious. Now I’m a lot more joyful and a lot more at peace. A lot of that has to do with faith… and a lot of it has to do with Derek and marriage and being loved so well.

Don’t get me wrong - we’ve done the heavy stuff. We said “I love you” for the first time while crying and holding each other’s faces in a Chick-Fil-A parking lot (#drama). We fought tooth and nail to keep our relationship afloat while living on opposite sides of the country. We had 5 hour phone conversations. We wrote love letters. Derek made the sweeping, romantic gestures.

But now, marriage is just… fun. It’s light. It’s happy. I’m thankful.

Of course we’ve had some rough patches. Some resentment. Some personal missteps. Some arguments (one time we didn’t speak for an hour because I accidentally called a Lyft to the wrong location). But most of the time, we’re having fun.

We giggle a lot. We make dirty jokes. Derek tickle-attacks me regularly. We speak to each other in our own language with dorky, made up words that only the other person understands. I call him long, obnoxious nicknames that are too embarrassing to write about. (Okay, fine. Once he was wearing his boxers around the apartment and I called him Mr. Thighs.) We drink beer and play board games and hang out with our friends. We have little routines everyday, like making eggs for breakfast and singing songs to each other while getting ready. We go on adventures around town.

And we take risks. We bet on our relationship for almost 2 years when $400 plane tickets and more than 1,000 miles separated us. I relocated to Boston before we said, “I do,” having never lived outside the south. And when I wasn’t happy, Derek bet on us again and moved back to Atlanta before he was ready.

The word I want to use to describe us is comfortable. But that doesn’t quite hit the mark. I don’t think we’re comfortable, because we still push each other a lot. I think a better way to describe the status of relationship is “content.” We’ve found a contentment in each other that I didn’t know could exist in life.

I don’t think we’re conditioned to seek out or search for contentment, especially in romantic relationships. Culture teaches us that fiery passion is what we should aim for. Of course, passion exists in our marriage. But it’s not what sustains us. The routine of just living our life together is the heart of our marriage and what brings peace.

Just because we’re not declaring our love for each other on Instagram every 5 minutes and not writing love letters anymore doesn’t mean we’re not truly, deeply in love. In fact, we’re more in love than ever because we know each other better than ever.

So on this day, our 1 year anniversary, my Instagram caption wasn’t a grand declaration of how #blessed I am. It was a silly recap of our year complete with emojis:

Derek, thanks for bringing light to the life of a girl who used to lean toward heavy-hearted. I’m excited for the fun that’s to come!

RIP Valentine's Day: 2014-2016

By Maggie Reimherr

Happy Valentine’s Day, y'all! Whether you have a Valentine or not, I really think this is a fun holiday. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind (with some big announcements from the Reimherrs coming soon), so I haven't had much time to do my usual V-Day rituals (AKA consuming a bag of Dove chocolates and wearing pink).

We’ll be honest: it's our first married Valentine’s Day, and we don't have a plan. We honestly kinda forgot about it until today. RIP Magrek Valentine's Day. We’re being frugal right now to account for some big expenses coming up, so the idea of a big, fancy dinner is hard to wrap our heads around. Like I said before, we’ve also been B-U-S-Y. I left it up to Derek to make a reservation if we decide to do dinner… and also told him I'd be fine with getting a pizza. Throw in some Cinna Stix and that right there is a great date. Dating your spouse is important, but sometimes, the homebody in me is fine with a date on the couch.

Including today, we've had 4 Valentine’s Days together. Funnily enough, all but one of them have been more relaxed. Derek’s birthday is February 10, so when 4 days later rolls around, we’re kind of tapped out on celebrating. Here's what we've done for the last few years:

2014: College Kids Get Fancy

Let me be frank: I am very dorky. So I was a total dork about V-Day when for the first time ever, a boy wanted to be my Valentine - thanks, Derek. Like he's mentioned before, he's also a romantic, so he was happy to oblige.

I gave him a mat framed photo of the two of us and wrote all the reasons I loved him on the mat. I also bought us tickets to Stomp, which I definitely couldn't afford with my $7.75/hour student job. Oh well. He instagrammed the gifts:

Derek showed up at my door on Valentine’s night in 2014 with balloons and a wrapped gift. I unwrapped the gift to find a Kindle, and my nerd heart sang. On the Kindle, he'd uploaded a PDF love letter because #millennials. It was the first love letter he wrote me… and maybe one of the only? He's not a letters guy. If he has romantic words to share, he's just going to say it out loud.

He took me to a prix fixe dinner at a restaurant in our college town (v fancy), and later we had beers at a bar and went to showing of The Princess Bride at the hipster movie theater in town. We were very young, in love, and happy.

Lovely dinner with my Valentine, @derekreimherr!

A post shared by Maggie Carter Reimherr (@maggie.reimherr) on

2015: California Dreamin’

For our second Valentine’s Day, Derek lived in California. This was great because it was approximately 75 degrees that day, so we grilled steaks and salmon and had a meal at his house. Downside: he had 3 roommates in their 50s. Yeah, his living situation was weird. Luckily, none of them were around that evening, so we were able to take over the kitchen for food prep and the backyard for grilling. We were newly engaged, so V Day conversation included a lot of wedding talk and discussions about our hopes, dreams, and plans for our future.

Enjoyed the 2nd Valentine's Day with my forever Valentine @derekreimherr. When you can both cook, a fancy dinner sometimes looks this!

A post shared by Maggie Carter Reimherr (@maggie.reimherr) on

2016: I Think I’ll Go To Boston

Last year, we were both in Boston. Our long distance relationship had recently ceased, and we were gearing up for marriage a little over a month after Valentine’s Day. Derek had flowers sent to my new job, and he bought me a pink fleece onesie. We cooked dinner at the apartment and had a nice, quiet evening.

Valentine's Day came early, so I have pretty flowers at my desk 💝💐

A post shared by Maggie Carter Reimherr (@maggie.reimherr) on

Looking back, if I had to pick a favorite Valentine’s Day, it would be that first one. Not because it was a big, fancy evening, but because I was just so dang excited to be in love. Now Derek and I get to celebrate this day every year. Even if we don’t get our butts in gear and make a plan for tonight, babe, I’m happy you’re mine.

What are you doing to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Let us know in the comments or on social!

On Saying "Bad Things" About Your Spouse

By Maggie Reimherr

When we were gearing up to get married, I read a lot of well-meaning marriage advice that sounded something like, “Don’t say anything bad about your spouse. Only talk with your spouse about issues.” The idea is that sharing marital conflict with anyone but your spouse can create tension in the relationship when “word gets out.”

After 10 months of marriage, I’ll come out and say it: this rule doesn’t really work for me and Derek.

Derek is an external processor, so sometimes he needs to hash things out with a friend. I really love my community and feel the need to be genuine about what's going on with me. Anytime Derek and I talk things out with our circles, we walk away grateful for the outside perspective.

Your community is meant to be there for you. Not letting them in kinda defeats the purpose of friendship, don’t you think? And when we bottle things up, it doesn’t protect us - the secretiveness can breed shame.

And where does shame thrive? You guessed it - in the darkness. Bringing issues out into the open with your people there to support you is what begins about reconciliation that may need to happen.

Sure, sometimes sharing problems can create relational baggage. But instead of swearing off even mentioning each other's bad habits, some different advice has been more helpful for Derek and me.

(Disclaimer: no marriage advice is a one size fits all approach. What works for us might not work for you. We're here to share our experiences, not tell you how to live your life.)


1. Don’t talk negatively about your spouse to the wrong people.

Who are the wrong people? Sorry to say, but talking to parents and family complicates things. At the end of the day, they’ll always be loyal to you first. Loyalty = biased. Moreover, sharing relational struggles or issues with family could put strain on those family and in-law dynamics. There are already growing pains when a new person joins an existing family. Don't complicate it further. You've gotta be your spouse's champion with your family. Oh, and you know that one friend who always shares the group’s gossip with you? They’re probably not going to be the steel trap you need them to be when being vulnerable about your marriage. Finally, RUN, RUN FAR AWAY from opening up to that guy or gal who has an “innocent crush” on you. Come on, people.

Who are good candidates for your trust? People with some wisdom. Wise friends have a gift with words and have a knack for saying the right thing at the right time. They don’t help you clap back at your spouse. These friends dive in with you asking thoughtful questions and provide (as best as possible) objective advice. Look elsewhere for blind loyalty because you might be getting called on your BS by one of these friends.

Derek and I are really fortunate to have an incredible group of married friends. I feel comfortable turning to the women and Derek feels the same with the guys, either for actionable help or just venting a little. This group is committed to fighting for each other’s marriages.

It’s totally okay if you don’t have a larger community like this. Don’t let that stop you! Go talk to a therapist. Heck, even if you do have a good community, consider talking to a therapist. Derek and I have both seen them at times in our lives. Therapists are awesome, y’all. It’s their job to be a mirror and help you see things from an unbiased angle. Also, they’re legally obligated to keep your secrets. So that one thing that may not be safe or feels really uncomfortable to chat with friends about? Ding ding ding, a therapist might be the right option for you.


2. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say directly to your spouse.

My extrovert husband has modeled a healthy way to live this out. Sometimes when he knows he may be too riled up on a subject, he’ll flesh things out with a friend first. He’ll dig through to the heart of an issue so he doesn’t say anything (intentionally or unintentionally) hurtful to me. His group of guy friends like to play hardball with each other. If he’s upset about something silly, his friends will say, “Knock it off." Then we’ll laugh about it later. If the issue is more serious, his friends help him walk through what he’s feeling so he can approach me level-headed. Then we can have a conversation that’s not fueled by anger or resentment but instead by rationality.

I get it, I’ve only been married for 10 months, but here’s what I know: we’re not supposed to live life as islands, even little married islands. We need people. Cultivate an inner circle, and let them into the good, bad, and ugly. You’ll be glad you did, I promise.

How to Plan a Surprise Engagement (+ Free Shower Invitations Giveaway!)

By Derek Reimherr

Today we’ve got something exciting for y'all on Millennial Marriage - a Paperless Post giveaway! Read about how I planned our engagement. Then find out how you can enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post.

Hopeless romantic. I didn’t like to admit it, but I was one for most of my dating life.

Message in a bottle? Did it.
Scavenger hunt date? You betcha.
Gift basket of all her “favorite things?” Believe it.

For the most part, I learned these dramatic gestures weren’t really necessary. They sure made me seem like the best boyfriend ever on social media, though. Fake internet points and all that.

I mostly toned it down when Maggie and I started dating. It was pretty clear a couple months into our relationship that we were probably going to get married.

BUT...when it did come time to propose, I knew I had to go big. I started saving up for a ring in the fall of 2015. I was living in Los Angeles and I took my friend Tyler with me to a wholesale jewelry market while I was home for Christmas. I got a GREAT deal from Chaplin’s in the Mart in Atlanta.

My initial plan was to hang onto the ring for a few months. I wanted to wait until I got relocated through work in the spring of 2016. It was only fair to give Maggie a chance to say “Yes” when she knew what she was getting into, right?

Yeah, that didn’t happen.

After 3 days of the ring sitting on my dresser, I knew I wouldn’t be able to wait another 3 or 4 months to propose. I was ready to get engaged (and here are some things to consider if you’re thinking about getting engaged). So I concocted a plan. And y’all better believe...I was going BIG for this engagement.


Step 1: Make a plan.

Maggie recently talked about this on the blog, so I’ll spare you the details. But here’s a summary:

  • Go to Athens, GA where we went to school
  • Lunch at our favorite restaurant
  • A walk through campus where we met
  • Pedicures (something Maggie always teased me about doing) and a manicure for Maggie
  • Wine and cheese - my wife loves it
  • A walk through the State Botanical Gardens where we had our first kiss
  • Propose!
  • Surprise dinner with family
  • Surprise engagement party

Sounds pretty simple when you put it like that, right?

Step 2: Find a photographer

As someone who just bought a very expensive ring and was saving up for a honeymoon, I couldn’t afford to go crazy. Luckily, I have a great friend named Allie Blinder who’s a talented photographer. She gave me a great deal (and absolutely crushed it, btw). She hid in the bushes and took pictures throughout the whole proposal.


Step 3: Shoot a video

I contacted about 15 people for a video shoot (while I was in California) and used a local amateur videographer to film and cut a video. I showed this to her right before I proposed. They said sweet things. It made Maggie cry. #winning


Step 4: Coordinate a dinner with our parents post-proposal

This could’ve been tricky, but our parents are absolute champs. They drove an hour and a half to meet us for dinner.

Step 5: Coordinate a surprise engagement party in less than 2 weeks

Can you guess this was the toughest part? I’ll break it down.

  • Location. We settled on my parent’s house because it could accommodate enough people...but unfortunately it was pretty inconveniently located for a lot of people.
  • Catering. Shout out to Tam’s Backstage for an awesome meal.
  • Pictures. My Mom got us another great deal through Amber Cloy Photographer since they were friends. Score.
  • Send out invitations. Now, here’s something I wish we could’ve done differently. We used a simple e-vite, but if we had to do it all over again, we would’ve used Paperless Post.
  • Keep. It. Quiet.

The last part wasn’t easy. But luckily my wife is an oblivious person who made it so easy. Shout out to Maggie for being so unsuspicious!


So we mentioned earlier that we’re giving away some free Paperless Post goodies. This means wedding shower invitations, engagement party invitations, rehearsal dinner invitations, save the dates, or whatever you’re planning FO’ FREE. And then after all the wedding festivities are over...time for free baby shower invitations, right? 

If you’re randomly selected as the winner, you get 1000 Paperless Post coins - a $90 value! On their website, 2-3 coins typically = one recipient of your invite. That’s 300-500 recipients - invitations for so many parties, guys! Check out these sample invitations. Insert heart eye emoji, am I right?

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post about one of these things:

  1. How you proposed/got proposed to
  2. The best surprise you’ve ever gotten
  3. Your best party planning advice

The deadline to leave your comment is a week from today - February 8, 2017. So scroll down and comment away - good luck!


Note: this giveaway is in partnership with Nakturnal.

Acting Our Age (Sort Of)

By Maggie Reimherr

Derek and I are from the South. It seems like as much as fried chicken, sweet tea, SEC football, and going to church on Sunday are Southern traditions, so is getting married young.

I celebrated the first engagement of a friend during the first week of senior year of college. In my sorority, we had multiple “candle-lightings.” Sorority girls, y’all know what I’m talking about. But for everyone else, basically, you light a candle, pass it around the room, and a girl who just got engaged reveals her new relationship status. So you’ve got 21 year olds getting engaged, and it’s perfectly normal.

The first wave of engagements comes in the last year or two of college. The couples get married sometime during the summer or fall after graduation - or in some people’s case, they get married during college. Derek and I rode in on the second wave, getting engaged sometime in the first few years after college.

In the South, we fall squarely into what’s considered “appropriate marrying age.” In the North, not so much.

When we moved to Boston, we were bewildered by social practices of people our age. Wait, you’re 25, untethered, and seem to just drink cocktails and go to brunch a lot? Cool, but where my married couples at?

Okay, we go to brunch a lot, too.

Okay, we go to brunch a lot, too.

As it turns out, the mid-twenties and married people we’ve found are church people. That’s cool, because we’re church people, too. In general, there aren’t a lot of church people up here so far away from the Bible belt.

I think part of the reason people marry young in the South has a lot to do with the cultural pervasiveness of Christianity. Frankly, church-going Southerners are taught to save ourselves for marriage (...or at least give it the old college try, for goodness’ sake). So for guilt-free intercourse… put a ring on it.** Jokes aside, I'm definitely willing to wager that the church crowd is the trendsetting group on getting married young, and others follow suit. 

**I’m not trivializing waiting for marriage. We’re Christians. I don’t want to have a lengthy discussion about faith and sex, because people who are wiser than me have written and spoken all about it. Google it. Don’t @ me. 

But beyond that, I think there’s a little more to it. Southerners might be… more serious about relationships? More ready to grow up? I see these qualities in my married, Southern friends.

So here’s the thing about me and Derek living in the North: people look down on us for being young marrieds. We’re not offended because culturally, it’s different up here. And with most people our age being the single, bar-hopping, city explorer types, we’ve actually adjusted our outlook on life in our twenties.

We’ve seen Southern friends buy houses and start thinking about babies. Meeting people our age in Boston has made us realize that we are 100% not there yet. And that’s okay! We may be married, but at this point in our lives, at 24 and 25, we’re more inclined toward bottomless brunches, brewery hopping, and tropical vacations than we are toward home ownership and creating offspring. We want to spend our money on adventures. We’re on a 5-, 6-, maybe 7- year plan when it comes to all that other stuff.

We’re so proud of our Southern friends who are at a place in their lives where they can buy houses and have babies. We love hanging out at your pretty - and GIGANTIC compared to our 850 square foot apartment - homes. We will join you someday. We will also babysit when you procreate.

For now, we’re working on a happy medium between being wild twenty-somethings and responsible humans. We’re paying off our student loans and saving to buy another car. But we’re also crunching the budget numbers to figure out how we can #brunchsohard, take a couple of big vacations every year, and move to a cool apartment in a cool neighborhood. We’re acting our age in both the Southern way and the city way. That’s just how we like it.

Dancing through our twenties like... (Photo brought to you by Vic Bonvicini Photography and Yuengling)

Dancing through our twenties like... (Photo brought to you by Vic Bonvicini Photography and Yuengling)

How He Asked

By Maggie Reimherr

4 years ago, I met this guy in class. He was wearing a wristband from large-scale yearly conference for 18-25 year old Christians called Passion. I was too, so I did the most logical thing anyone in this situation would. I turned to him - a complete stranger - and held up my purple wristband exclaiming like a mega-dork, “You went to Passion?! Me too!”

The crush came fast. A few months later, I worked up the courage to ask him to my sorority formal. A few days after the formal, he decided he liked me too.

Alpha Gam Formal 2013… Forever thankful that this event gave me an excuse to ask Derek on a date.

Alpha Gam Formal 2013… Forever thankful that this event gave me an excuse to ask Derek on a date.

2 years ago he said, “Hey, let’s like each other forever!” Not quite. Here’s how it happened…

Derek was living in California, and he came to visit me in Athens, Georgia for MLK weekend. I was living in Athens, and it’s also where we met at The University of Georgia. He told me he wanted to have a date day that Friday. He asked if I wanted to be surprised by our activities, and duh, of course I did.

Lunch first. We both got the best sandwich in the world from Big City Bread – if you don’t know what I’m talking about/haven’t had their ham, brie, and peach preserves sandwich, 1) plan a trip to Athens, GA and 2) go there immediately. Order it with a cup of rabbit gumbo. You’ll thank me later.

Afterwards, we strolled around the University of Georgia’s campus and reminisced when we passed the building we met. He totally planned this knowing I’d get gushy. Guilty as charged.

Derek had only one clue for the next stop: “You’ve suggested we do this before, and I’ve always said no.”

We drove away campus and rolled up into a mega-Kroger parking lot. I was PUMPED because this Kroger has wine and cheese tastings and yes, I’ve wanted to do it for quite some time. (Sidenote: I’ve still never been to a wine and cheese tasting at Kroger, and I feel very deprived of this experience.)

So I asked, guessing our next activity, and he said, “No… wine and cheese is after this.”

He drove past Kroger and parked in front of a nail salon. I had suggested pedicures together before because: 1) You can’t beat that foot massage, and 2) Everyone’s feet need a little TLC - I don’t care if you’re a manly man. Your callouses are gross.

My first thought was “Can I get a gel manicure?!” in addition to the pedicure I presumed was part of the plan. I’m sure this filled Derek with glee, because I’d recently clued him in that girls like to have their nails done for proposals. I’m not even a person who regularly paints her nails, but I knew they had to be on fleek for those ring pics.

So I sat there getting pampered while Derek enjoyed his first experience with the massage chair and the foot rub. The ladies at the salon asked me if I wanted my eyebrows waxed, too. (Respect the upsell, ladies) I declined until they said, “Oh, you need it.” THANKS Y’ALL. I left the salon with great nails but with my general eyebrow area BRIGHT red. Case in point, from this photo taken of us later:


After making me look like a bear clawed across both of my eyes, the salon ladies asked Derek some rather pointed questions: “Are you going to marry her? Are you proposing today? Her nails are done.” Derek, who I now realize was panicking, replied, “Not today!”

Derek’s surprise: 1. Maggie’s hopes and dreams: 0.

Next, we went to a pub called The Globe for the promised wine and cheese plate. Y’all, it was probably the largest cheese plate I’ve ever seen. Of course, I was giddy over this because cheese is my favorite food group. I would literally eat cheese and crackers for every meal if that was even remotely healthy. While we were there, Derek was checking his watch a lot. Like a lot. He kept saying, “We have to leave in time for sunset,” because apparently we were going to watch the sunset by the river at the nearby Botanical Garden. The Botanical Garden is special to us - we had our first date and first kiss there and spent a good bit of time there in college. I should’ve suspected something at this point, but clearly I am the most oblivious person on the planet.

When we got to the Botanical Garden, Derek walked me over to the gazebo where we first kissed - pause for “awwwwww”s. An iPad and bluetooth speaker were laying on the bench. Wait, what?

My stream of consciousness: “That iPad looks like Derek’s. That’s weird. Wait, why is he touching it? ARE YOU STEALING A STRANGER’S IPAD? Oh, wait, this seems intentional. Whaaaaaat. OH MY GOSH AM I GETTING ENGAGED RIGHT NOW OR IS THIS THE MEANEST FAKEOUT IN THE WORLD??!”

He pulled up a video. “Hung the Moon” by Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors started playing. My parents’ faces showed up on the screen. Ohhhh, snap, it’s happening. Cue the tears.

Derek had somehow covertly coordinated a video shoot from all the way out in California. The video had messages from my parents and grandparents, Derek’s parents, and some of our friends. They all talked about memories with us and seeing our relationship grow. When the messages were over, they each held up a chalkboard, spelling out, “So Maggie, Derek has a question to ask you…”

Spoiler alert: he asked me a pretty important question.


…And then he got choked up. Derek only cries in exactly 3 circumstances: weddings, baptisms, and asking me to marry him. We were obviously both there in that moment, but neither of us has any idea what he said during the proposal. Because emotions. What we do know is that he did ask me to marry him, and to no one’s surprise, I said yes. Like a good millennial, he had a surprise photographer hiding in the bushes (probably for the #socialcontent).

But wait, there’s more!

After the proposal, we went to dinner at an upscale Cajun restaurant that sadly no longer exists. RIP, NONA. If y’all thought the surprises were over, think again. Both of our parents were waiting to have a celebratory dinner with us.

After dinner, Derek and I went out to a bar, where I flashed my ring to literally every single person with whom I was even remotely acquainted with. Sat next to me in class once? Friend of a friend? Sorority sister 3 years younger than me who I’ve never spoken to? CHECK OUT THIS DIAMOND, GUYS!!!

The next day, we spent some time in Athens and went to one of our favorite breweries. Then we headed to Derek’s hometown because his grandparents were visiting Georgia from upstate New York. We had always planned to go see them at Derek’s parents’ house that evening.

We rolled up to the house. I was totally unfazed by the dozens of cars lining their cul de sac (“Neighbors must be having a party!”). When we opened the front door, SURPRISE!!! Oh, a promise of eternal love and a nice dinner with your parents wasn’t enough? Here, have a surprise engagement party! But seriously, it was fantastic. Surrounded by people I actually knew, I kept flashing that left hand. Engaged and married women out there, you know.

Do I look surprised or nah?

Do I look surprised or nah?

It’s 2 years later, and we’re coming up on a year of marriage. A lot of other things have happened since that engagement weekend: new jobs, a move to Boston, our first apartment, and this #MillennialMarriage blog. I’m grateful that on January 16, 2015, Derek asked me if I wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. In my humble opinion, we make a pretty great team. Life’s more fun with you, babe. Oh, and thanks for the bling.

Marriage Showdown: Safety Gal vs. Risk Man

By Maggie Reimherr

Derek’s nickname for me has been “Punkin” since the beginning of our relationship. Sometimes, “Punkin” evolves into “Safety Punkin.”

When it comes to safety, I'm not a big risk-taker. On our third date, Derek took me to climb a water tower. I got halfway up before I noticed that the ladder I was climbing leaned slightly backward toward the ground. I looked down and back up at Derek and said, “No sir, I will not climb any further. Get me on solid ground, please and thank you.”

Living in Massachusetts, this particular season poses some safety risks I’m not exactly comfortable with:

  1. Will I slip and fall face-first on a patch of ice on the sidewalk, knocking out all my teeth and permanently marring my face in the process? Or will I slip and fall backwards causing a severe brain injury?

  2. If I go ice skating, will a person nearby have an epic fall, with their legs flying up in the air? Will I get too close, will their skates slice me across the jugular, and will I bleed out on the ice? Or, alternatively, we’ve all seen It’s a Wonderful Life - will I accidentally skate on thin ice and fall into the freezing river? (I don't actually know of any rivers to skate on.)

  3. Snow makes the stairs at the subway stations wet. Will I slip and fall on the stairs in front of a large crowd of people, causing physical and emotional harm?

  4. Driving. Black ice. Treacherous roads. Enough said.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Derek. He regularly does things that terrify me, such as propelling himself across icy parking lots on the back of a grocery cart, driving aggressively on I-93 in adverse weather conditions, and fearlessly braving sidewalks and subway stairs.

Opposites attract, right?

My winter fears remind me that it’s a good thing I married a man who, in terms of core personality traits, is nothing like me. Sure, we have the same sense of humor and like a lot of the same things. But on the Myers-Briggs personality scale, we are opposite in every way (ISFJ for me/ENTP for him if you’re into that sort of thing).

In our marriage, it’s proven to be a good thing that we’re so different. When I’m being particularly risk-averse, Derek pulls me out of it and encourages me to do the things that scare me, which could be anything from ice skating to having a tough conversation at work. When Derek is too fearless, I reign him in with suggestions like, “Maybe if you want to have that conversation, you should word it in a gentler way.” or “Hey, slow down there, mister! You’re not a race car driver!”

Besides risk-taking, we’re opposite in a lot of other ways too. He’s a saver; I’m a spender. He balances me out by pinching pennies where it counts. I balance him out by making sure we’re not missing out on great experiences just because they cost money. I recently won this battle by convincing him that we need to go to New York during the holidays this year. See you on December 28, you beautiful city.

He’s an extrovert; I’m an introvert. When I retreat into my introvert world of spending an entire Saturday reading and watching Netflix, he pulls me out of it by making evening plans for us so I’m not a total anti-social bum.

I’m so glad I didn’t marry someone who’s just like me, because I love being challenged by Derek’s different personality. As we venture through this first year of marriage and of balancing each other out, we find ourselves becoming more alike in the best ways.  

Now we want to hear from you - are you and your spouse alike or different? How do you feel that works in favor of your marriage? Let us know in the comments here or on social!

Our First Married Holiday: 4 Lessons Learned

By Maggie Reimherr

For the first time in years, I woke up on Thanksgiving morning and did not immediately go into the living room to mercilessly mock the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade performers with my siblings. One year, we kept rewinding the DVR to watch a country singer miss his lip sync cue. Aren't we a sweet, charming American family?

This year was different. I could pretend it wasn't weird, but it was a little. I woke up just as excited to watch the parade. But this year, I woke up next to my sleeping husband, at my in-laws house. I walked downstairs sans-Derek prepared to request "MACY’S PARADE, PLEASE" to find that my mother-in-law had kindly recorded the beginning of it already because she knew I love watching it. Unfortunately, the best parade banter I could get was Derek snapchatting the awkward dancing white people. My MIL was cooking, and my FIL couldn’t care less about the Diary of a Wimpy Kid float. But I still got to enjoy one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions (and texted my sister parade musings).

Derek and I were in the South for 8 days for our Thanksgiving trip. Holidays are definitely a learning opportunity for newlyweds, especially when you’re out of town. Here are the lessons we learned from our first married Thanksgiving and will take into our Christmas trip:

1. 8 days straight with other people is a lot, even for the closest relatives and friends. It’s important to build in some “me time.” I’m struggling with this concept as I think about heading back down to Georgia for Christmas. On one hand, I want to maximize that time and see as many people as possible. On the other hand, I’m not fun to be around if I haven’t had some alone time. Self care isn’t selfish, y’all! Quality time is always better than quantity time. Don’t feel bad about going to Starbucks for an hour to read a book if you need it.

2. Pillow talk is more valuable than ever. Since we live far away from our families and most of our friends, our married life thus far has included a lot of time as “just the two of us.”. When that’s your life, you grow accustomed to ditching your filter. When it’s not just the two of you sharing space, it’s different. The short window of time before bed was so important for decompressing and speaking our own married language (yes, this is totally a thing).

3. Be on the lookout for some personality changes. It’s safe to say that most of us act like our old selves, the selves we’ve tried hard to evolve from, when we’re around family. But thinking about that actually makes me grateful: I’m thankful both Derek and I have parents who raised us to thrive outside of the nest rather than within it, and I’m thankful that we both have nests to return to for the holidays. That being said, you can help your spouse not turn into a whiny teenager by kindly pointing out these behavioral changes in private.

4. Flexibility is important, for holidays and for always. Our original plan was Thanksgiving at Derek’s parent’s house. But the day before, we decided to go to my grandparents’ house and bring Derek’s parents. It was great to bring my new family into my family of origin’s holiday traditions. Every year, we stand in a circle and individually share what we’re thankful for. It’s fun to cheer each other in victory, from babies to job offers to a smooth transition from middle school to high school. My in-laws got a glimpse into the big, crazy, loving family I come from. They got to eat my grandmother’s amazing dressing, and my cousins, aunts, and uncles experienced my mother-in-law’s delicious apple cobbler. We had a lot of fun, and I couldn’t have asked for a better first married holiday. We couldn’t have done it this way without flexibility on both sides.

So now, we count down the days until we return South for Christmas - 16 days to be exact. I’m looking forward to the lessons I’ll learn then. For the time being, I’ll be in Massachusetts, preparing for snow and resisting the urge to gorge myself hot chocolate and Christmas cookies. Happy holiday season, y'all!

First Married Holiday.PNG

Marriage Is a Contract

By Maggie Reimherr

Marriage: joining two lives into one for a lifetime of passionate romance, heart eye emojis, butterflies in your stomach, right?

That’s what culture would lead us to believe.

Have you ever noticed that many fictional love stories really end in the beginning? They show the strife, the struggle, and the chase leading up to a grand moment when the couple declare their love for one another. They end in a happily ever after, oftentimes a wedding. In real life, the wedding is not the destination. At some point, you realize something important: the person I’ve fallen for is a human… and humans have flaws.

By definition, marriage isn’t simply a romantic entanglement - it’s a contract. Sexy, right?

Mar·riage /merij/

the legally or formally recognized union of a man and a woman (or, in some jurisdictions, two people of the same sex) as partners in a relationship.
— Thanks, Google

It seems like people often enter into marriage forgetting that it’s a contractual partnership, only meant to be nullified in situations of infidelity or abuse. We idolize the romantic notion of spending the rest of our lives with one person. But a wise person once told me, “People say life is short, but life is long. You have to be able to live with the worst thing about your spouse, because you’ll deal with it for the rest of your lives.”

This is reality.

We’re all broken, messed-up individuals who have unique problems. I’ve only been married for 6 months, and my husband and I have already both been guilty of hurtful words, unreasonable arguments, and selfishness. But on our wedding day, we made a covenant promise to God and to each other to stay in it and fight for one big truth: our marriage exists to further the kingdom of God. We’re better together than we are apart.

At the moment, I’m not equipped to give advice beyond the first 6 months of marriage. However, I’m passionate about the limited advice I can give to engaged or almost-engaged couples:

Ask the hard questions now.

If you’re engaged (or soon to be), you should be able to identify the areas where you’ll struggle as a married couple. We took the Prepare/Enrich assessment in premarital counseling, and it showed us what we already knew our problem areas would be. Talk through these questions:

Can you deal with the problem areas now and years into the future? How will you handle them?

Throughout our dating relationship, Derek and I both had to give serious consideration to problem areas we’d identified before committing to marriage. Guess what? We’ve already had to deal with some of those areas in our married life. Your dating problems become your marriage problems, because really, as Andy Stanley says in his Love, Sex, & Dating sermon series, they’re “people problems.” If you aren’t okay with your significant other’s “people problems,” it’s probably not wise to get married. 

Because we asked the hard questions while we were dating, we’re equipped to handle issues as a team. We work together to tackle problems rather than treating the other person as the problem. The problem is your enemy, not your spouse.

You’ve signed on the dotted line, and the expiration date is ‘til death do us part. It won’t always be passion and romance, but that's an added bonus in good times. Deep, abiding love is born from commitment - for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer.

40 Favorite Things About 6 Months of Marriage

By Maggie Reimherr

Whew! 6 months of marriage have absolutely flown by. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long since our March 26, 2016 wedding. We have had a truly amazing first year of marriage so far.

We’ve been lucky to celebrate more peaks than valleys, more joy than heartache, and more fun than I ever could have imagined. At the 3 month mark, I wrote about 10 lessons I learned in those first few months. Now I’m reflecting back on the best parts of the last 6 months knowing the best is yet to come. 

1. Dancing the night away at our wedding surrounded by our favorite people in the world.

2. Feasting on wedding food in the hotel room immediately after our wedding.

3. Our amazing honeymoon in Mexico - my first trip out of the country, reading by the pool for 8 hours a day, and an incident with a glass bottle that luckily didn’t leave any permanent scars.

4. Raising Cane’s as our first meal together upon our return from the honeymoon.

Nothing could ~ruin~ this vacation ☀️

A photo posted by Maggie Reimherr (@maggie.reimherr) on

5. Seeing my favorite band ever, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, as our first married date.  

6. Living room slumber parties when our tiny A/C unit couldn’t cut it and our bedroom was way too hot.

7. Whoever wakes up first on a Saturday morning cooking or going out to bring back breakfast for the sleepy spouse.

Derek gets all of the husband points this morning because he woke me up with donuts and coffee. 😍🍩

A photo posted by Maggie Reimherr (@maggie.reimherr) on

8. Morning snuggles.

9. Bedtime snuggles.

10. All the snuggles.

11. Adding to our already long list of inside jokes.

12. Meeting up for post-work dates in Downtown Boston.

13. Trying and failing at new, exciting recipes only to go out for fast food or use the emergency frozen pizza (it’s a real thing).

14. Derek buying me fast food when I’m sad.

15. Officially selling Derek on the merits of musicals when we saw If/Then in July.

Theater date nights are the best date nights.

A photo posted by Maggie Reimherr (@maggie.reimherr) on

16. Derek selling me on the merits of Marvel superhero movies during the first month or so of marriage.

17. Making Derek see the new Bridget Jones movie because it got a good Rotten Tomatoes rating.

18. Car singalongs to “No Place I’d Rather Be” and “Chandelier.”

19. Watching dumb internet videos together at bedtime.

20. Binge watching...anything.

21. Looking over at Derek during an emotional TV or movie scenes to see I’m not the only one with tears in my eyes.

22. Hosting friends and family in Boston.

Having the best Boston weekend with these friends 🏙

A photo posted by Maggie Reimherr (@maggie.reimherr) on

23. Trying new beers together.

24. Driving to Newburyport, MA for a Saturday of writing and exploring.

Cheers to the weekend. 🍻

A photo posted by Maggie Reimherr (@maggie.reimherr) on

25. Georgia Football Saturdays with new friends in Boston.

26. Dancing at other people’s weddings.

27. Hoping and dreaming about the future together.

28. Talking finances and setting money goals.

29. Finding new shows to watch together. We are loving This Is Us and Designated Survivor so far this fall.

30. Giving each other a lovingly hard time about our individual hobbies. Sorry I like Big Brother, and I will continue to make fun of your video gaming habits.

31. Living in a city far from home, teaching us how to lean on each other and develop a true partnership.

32. Learning the importance of grace in marriage.

33. Lazy weekend days reading books in the living room, just content with sitting beside each other.

34. Supporting each other through the hard parts of young adulthood.

35. Cooking for my husband.

36. Date nights.

37. Always getting a warm hug at the end of a hard day.

38. Double dates with our friends.

39. Starting this blog together and supporting each other’s writing/creativity.

40. Living with my best friend, who also has a contractual obligation from God and country to always love me even in my worst, silliest, weirdest moments.

Here’s to 6 months with you, Derek. I’m glad we chose each other.

Communication Is Key

By Maggie Reimherr

I’ve been on a chick lit binge lately. I’m reading every book I can get my hands on from every “beach reads” list from every women’s magazine out there. This morning, I was reading a great one on the train. There was a “will they or won’t they?” love story unfolding, and I was digging it… until the central conflict of the relationship was that they just wouldn’t communicate their feelings to each other.

I am not compelled by communication issues in literature. “Talk about your ish, people! It’s not that hard!” I screamed internally at my book. (I get emotionally invested in fictional characters, okay? There are worse struggles to have.)

...And then I realized that the pot was calling the kettle black. This time 2 years ago, Derek and I were in a place where lack of communication almost cost us our relationship.

He had recently moved to California, and I was still living in Georgia. After a spectacularly bad Labor Day weekend visit, I was ready to call it quits. We had a few conversations about events that ensued over that weekend visit, but by the end of those, he was emotionally exhausted and requested that we close the topic of conversation. But I wasn’t done talking about it or sorting through it.

Instead of talking to him about how I felt, I pushed him away, becoming emotionally distant during our conversations over the next month or so, contemplating the state of our relationship and trying to decide whether or not to move forward on my own. Finally, our communication issues culminated in a conversation in which I confessed, “I’m still really upset. I know you don’t want to talk about it, but I’m really struggling with this.”

When I opened up, conversation and feelings poured out. By asking that we not talk about the subject anymore, Derek didn’t mean to silence me. He thought that we’d already exhausted everything we possibly could have discussed. My perspective was different. And because I agreed to stop talking about it, I closed myself off, when I really should have communicated that I still had more to say. The healing began when we started talking.

Having a lapse in communication that almost ended us made us realize that we needed to step up our game. Communication issues are a problem that can touch every part of a relationship if you’re not careful. Letting hurts and problems fester is toxic to relationships. Communication isn’t just about talking though - it’s a two way street. To effectively communicate with your partner, you have to learn to listen. Listening leads to understanding, which leads to more productive conversations. 

In our long distance relationship, Derek and I stumbled through serious talks, trying to understand where the other was coming from. The more we talked and the more we listened, the better we became at communicating. Somewhere along the way, things clicked, and now, as a married couple, we are so much better off than we would have been if we hadn’t struggled through that season.

So here’s my advice to you as someone who’s struggled with communication: even when it feels hard, even when you don’t want to, even if you don’t know if it’ll do any good, talk about how you’re feeling with your partner. I promise you, it won’t make matters any worse than they are right now as you’re letting problems bottle up into resentment. And husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, fiances: listen.

Friends, don’t be like the protagonists of the terrible books I read. Talk it out.

More Marriage Lessons:
All the Small Things
I'm an Extrovert Who Married an Introvert
10 Lessons Learned in 3 Months of Marriage

All the Small Things

By Derek Reimherr

Another weekend has gone by, this time a 3-day respite from everything. Don’t get me wrong, tour-de-Boston weekends are fun...but not all the time. We are still in the thick of wedding season, football season just started, and the holidays are around the corner. So a weekend without some type of big event is rare.

Don’t believe me? Here are all of my/our major upcoming festivities between now and the very beginning of next year:

  • ATL/UGA football game weekend
  • Denver bachelor party
  • Trip to Burlington, VT
  • South Carolina bachelor party
  • Callaway Gardens with Maggie’s family
  • Thanksgiving
  • South Carolina wedding
  • Christmas
  • New Year’s
  • ATL wedding

Can’t blame us for taking a weekend to just chill, can ya?

Even as an extrovert, I still need time for reading my sci-fi/fantasy books or video games. And of course, Maggie needs time to paint her nails watching Big Brother. However, it’s in these quiet, slow, stay-at-home weekends that irritations can rise to the surface.

“Maggie, for the 50th time, door knobs are not towel hangers.”

“Derek, stop hogging all of the covers. I’m freeeeeeezing!”

“Maggie, take out the trash for once...I’M NOT A GARBAGE MAN.”

“Derek, leave me alone. You don’t need to be constantly touching me.”

Any of these sound familiar? They’re the kinds of things you bandy about with friends as casual icebreakers or self-deprecating jokes. If you’re not careful, though, these little irritations can become monsters.

“I’m always picking up after you. Do you not respect me?”

“You haven’t cooked in over a week. Do you think your spare time is more valuable than mine?”

“I’m don’t like being the butt of jokes for our friends. Do you really think that lowly of me?”

See how quickly things can escalate?

I’ll be the last to admit it, but...here we go...I’m pretty good (bad?) at holding grudges. If I’m not vigilant, little slights can evolve into serious perceived wrongdoings. It’s something I’ve constantly had to tackle in my relationships, with Maggie and my friends and family.

Recently, Maggie and I were looking through our wedding guest book. Amidst all of the “Congrats!” and “We love you!” messages, there were a few sound bites of wisdom. One of them, from my cousin Tyler, is something I should tape to my forehead so I see it every day in the mirror.

“Keep the small things small.”

A simple statement, a powerful truth, and a deceptively difficult practice to implement.

At the heart of the statement is the application of forgiveness, a term I’m not overly comfortable with. Sometimes, “keeping the small things small” really just means doing your best Elsa impression and letting it go. But, like I said, the heart of that is forgiveness.

It seems so silly to say out loud, but here’s how my thought process has transformed:

Before: “How dare you ignore my repeated requests to put less salt in our eggs every morning!”
After: “These are saltier than I prefer, but that’s okay. I’m grateful for you cooking breakfast.”

Making these little tweaks to our internal monologues can drastically improve your daily life and interactions, or in our case, a long weekend at home. Instead, you can make passive-aggressive jokes about your partner’s heavy-handed application of salt in your friends’ group text. Don’t worry, I won’t tell.

The Post-Wedding Blues

By Maggie Reimherr

We were engaged for 14 months. 14 months of planning, hoping, and dreaming. 14 months of looking at sample menus to see what delicious food we’d be devouring at our wedding. 14 months of ogling photos of our honeymoon resort. 14 months of dreaming of wearing a white dress, dancing the night away with friends and family. 14 months of decisions: signature cocktails or just a beer and wine bar? Suits or tuxes? Peach flowers or coral flowers? Blue bridesmaids’ dresses or pink bridesmaids’ dresses? Traditional ceremony or a ceremony with our own spin? Dance lessons or ‘let’s just wing it’? (We winged it. Derek almost dropped me on the floor because I dipped when he didn’t think we were dipping. Splurge on the dance lessons, peeps.)

Then in a weekend, it was over.

Of course, we had an amazing honeymoon that I still think about on a daily basis. That certainly helped with delaying the post-wedding blues. But when we returned from Riviera Maya, all I could think was, “Now what?”

Yes, being married is amazing, and I’m not trying to downplay that. It’s been a really fun several months always having my BFF around to be silly with me. But there’s something about the end of the engagement season that’s like, “What the heck am I supposed to do with my time now? What do I daydream about?”

After the wedding, looking at our photos made me sad and nostalgic, wishing I could relive that weekend over and over and over again.

The post-wedding blues can leave a wife in quite a funk. I am a planner. With nothing to plan, I felt like I was on the verge of a nervous-breakdown. (It certainly didn’t help that I was in Boston, an unfamiliar place with very few friends. Having some wine nights and commiseration with my ladies would’ve helped.) I felt totally aimless.

That’s how I wound up with a “Hypothetical Vacations” email folder filled with 30 itineraries for our future travels. I have issues. But focusing on a new thing kept my brain busy.

Here’s what I learned about myself during the post-wedding blues: I always need a project, and I always need something to look forward to.

After a season of aimlessness, I channeled my need for a project into this blog. With the blog now running with some semblance of a well-oiled machine, I’ve turned my attention to another project: making our wedding scrapbook. DUH - why didn’t I think of this earlier?

Additionally, I came up with my next thing to look forward to. Remember that awesome honeymoon I mentioned earlier? I recently drove the hard sell to Derek like a used car salesperson to convince him that we needed to book a similar trip around our anniversary. It worked. I found an amazing deal and read every single review that exists on the internet about it. After due diligence and thoughtful consideration, we booked the trip. See you in April, Cancun. (More blog posts to come on this trip.)

While booking a second honeymoon might not be feasible for you, you can still come up with things to look forward to together. Plan a fun date or a smaller, weekend getaway. Set a goal together, like a fitness or finance achievement, and work together to achieve what you’ve set out to do, looking forward to the celebration when you reach your goal.

The post-wedding blues are real, but they don’t have to last forever. Set out on your next project or challenge, and you’ll be over them in no time.


Brides, did you experience any post-wedding blues? How’d you overcome them? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook or Instagram!


More from #MillennialMarriage:

I’m an Extrovert Who Married an Introvert
10 Lessons Learned in 3 Months of Marriage
Guy’s Perspective: A Primer on Getting Engaged