5 Ways to ‘Do Something’ to Strengthen Your Relationship

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i moved away from colorado and to portland 1,870 days ago today. yes, i did the math because i like to be dramatic. it’s been great/amazing/scary/shitty/spectacular/overwhelming/life changing. i am not wanting this post to get into all the details of what i love/hate about portland vs. denver but that sounds like a rip-roaring good post for another time!


the thing i miss the most about colorado is my family. sometimes i just want to go sit and drink peach margaritas on the deck with my mom or roast marshmallows with my dad but that always requires a plane ride. i am grateful that it’s not like i have to jump on the oregon trail in a covered wagon and ford rivers to get home (i totally shot the most buffalo on those huge macintosh computers in elementary school).

-Dreams don't happen because we dream

i do talk to my parents multiple times a week, swap texts with my sister who is currently galavanting around alaska on her honeymoon-yay! still- isn’t the same.


my mom does an amazing job of sending me little care packages filled with goodies and the best cards in the world-it’s a talent of hers really.


those are all from her except for the one where someone voted for me for president. i think it’s valid vote? i realize it’s august but june was just such an excellent month i still don’t want to change it.


the card that is speaking to me today is “dreams don’t happen because we dream them…they happen because we do something about them.” in the teeny tiny print it reads “nothing marvelous was ever accomplished without a little marvelous risk.”


she just sent me another care package and it contained this amazing bag, which made me cry and super appropriate since we leave for malaysia on sunday.

marriage blog travel the world come homeshe also sent me and my sister matching bracelets (and she has one too) that look like this:

IMG_9576my mom works with a woman whose daughter started a non-profit in africa and it merged with the world youth education trust! the bracelet was made by women in her village in uganda and my mom felt like they represented what strong, independent women can do. i love it.


also in this care package was an article about making marriage last. two days before my grandma sent me the exact same one! love my family and it’s like they know i’m obsessed with relationships and marriage.

marriage blog

tidbits from it, “according to the US government, more than 2.1 million couples tie the knot every year.”


this article was about the happy and positive side to what makes marriage work, instead of what tears them down. anton and phyllis grosz, who have been married for 50 years say “mutual goals are far more important than mutual interests. it’s not where you come from that matters, but where you’re going.” i love that a lot.


the key points inside:

1) remember you’re a team: it should be both of you against the world, not against each other

2) show tenderness: be kind and positive towards one another

3) soften conflict with humor: this can dissipate negative emotions and keep things from spiraling out of control

4) support but don’t smother: find the balance and what type of support your spouse needs without being annoying

5) celebrate each other: don’t just be there for each other during the tough times but also the exciting ones!

good reminders as we move halfway into this week. now i’m going to go find my team member and plant a wet sloppy kiss on him!

to bring my ramblings full circle, let’s go back to the card with quote of ‘dreams don’t just happen..we have to do something about them.” we can’t just dream to have an amazing marriage and relationship, but we have to take action and work for it. i like that and i’ll go ahead and pat myself on the back for tying this post together. *pat pat

1) how often do you talk with your family?
2) did you play the ‘oregon trail?’
3) how are you strengthening your marriage today?


  1. Paula Howley

    August 13, 2014 at 10:12 am

    GREAT post!

    1. Not often enough. I talk to my parents about once a month- sometimes we Skype. We don’t have the relationship like you do Chels, though I have tried, they just don’t want to go there. I almost never talk to my sister. She is an enigma who wants to remain that way. My brother and I don’t talk enough. Since his visit I will make more of an effort to do that.

    2. Sorry, I’m Canadian eh?

    3. Lloyd is strengthening it today by taking the dog for me. I appreciate that. 🙂
    Paula Howley recently posted…Public Presentations For Kids

    • chelsea

      August 13, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      ohhh skype is a good thing! why do i always forget i can ‘facetime’ with my parents? that might help. that would be especially hard to try and have a closer relationship with your parents but they don’t want to go there. i’m sorry 🙁 i bet that is also what makes you such a great mom and wife to your family because you have so much love to give! my sister and i have slowly developed our relationship as adults and i think her wedding really brought us closer-so for that i’m very grateful.

      hah i totally just realized how ridiculous it would be for people outside of the US to play the ‘oregon trail’ it was like one of the first video games on a computer and it was somehow deemed ‘educational’ so we could play it in the library. here is a soundless, probably boring video for someone who didn’t play https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfbGEP087HM

      good man lloyd-glad he’s taking that puppy!

      • chelsea

        August 13, 2014 at 2:48 pm

        ahhh the sound kicks on in the video around 1:45 and it scared me horribly. be warned!