Working at Storyville Coffee, Pike Place Market

This past week, we had the chance to meet up with Lindsay Anne of L.A. Birdie Photography, and shoot some amazing photographs at Storyville Coffee. We don’t work in a studio at the moment, with Typeset Design, so we often end up working in coffee shops or working from home. Storyville is one of the nicest places that we’ve worked, beautifully designed and planned out. The coffee was full-bodied and rich as well and as we worked, I sipped a caramel cappuccino, though Hannah opted for hot chocolate. This is a snapshot of how we work- a snapshot of a Seattle business.

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My Wife is Changing but I Won’t

Hannah is tiny, not only is she thin, but she’s just small. When we were just dating, I would pick her up and twirl her around easily, her 5’6” frame contrasted by my height. I’ve told her that she’s short, but her constant argument is that I’m abnormally tall, and she’s just average. The argument has died down now (since she is short), and as we enjoy time together, lying on the bed next to each other as we read or watch a movie, I notice that things are changing for us. Hannah has been pregnant for nearly 12 weeks now, and her body is adjusting to a baby who is growing pretty dang fast.

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I notice stretch marks, and veins popping up, skin growing tight and making a safe place for a baby to grow in. My wife’s body is changing. She’s getting bigger and rounder, and strangely more beautiful to me. In a culture fascinated with thin bodies and tight abs, I’m suddenly presented with a wonderful picture of life, growing right before me and it’s amazing. Now is the time for resolutions and posts about bodies changing and people needing to lose a few more pounds, but my wife is focusing on feeding two people and actually trying to gain weight!

There will be more changes to deal with, more stretches and blue skin, and the marks of growing old and loving a baby more than my wife loves her own body.

 

There will be birth, and pain and recovery, and a miracle called, “new life.” It’s going to come with changes, and it’s going to come with my responsibility to refuse to compromise, to refuse to change:

 

I refuse to stop loving my wife in the same way that I started loving her.

I refuse to let my definition of beauty remain the same, when my wife changes with the weight and responsibility of my child.

I refuse let stretch marks, and signs of pregnancy- maybe we should just call them beauty marks- be negative, but rather a badge of courage and strength.

I refuse to let my wife sink into self-doubt about her body, by doing all I can to let her know that I love her.

I married Hannah, knowing that there would be changes, knowing that I committed to love her and let my definition of beauty evolve with the experience of knowing her. Pregnancy is a huge responsibility, and as I watch Hannah go through morning sickness, nausea, dietary and bodily changes, I’m stunned at how hard this is and just how strong my wife is. I am so glad that I’m able to support her, love her, and embrace her as she changes sacrificially.

3 Pieces of Marriage Advice That Don’t Work for Us

I read a lot of Christian marriage books when I was younger, but after Hannah and I were married, I felt really disillusioned, discovering that most of the books were full of generalizations and personal issues that the authors struggled with. I assumed that because a marriage book had been written by someone who had been married for 30 years, it must mean that they had the inside scoop on what marriage was all about. However, within the first month of our marriage, Hannah and I quickly realize that marriage didn’t fit into the tidy box of pre-written marriage advice and here’s why:

“Marriage is solely about you or your spouse.” No, it’s not. Actually, it’s not about either of you. A good friend of mine writes, “The Purpose of Marriage is not your spouse’s happiness. The Purpose of Marriage is not your happiness. The Purpose of Marriage is not to save money by sharing bills. The Purpose of Marriage is not to secure sex for life. The Purpose of Marriage is not to have children. The Purpose of Marriage is, and only ever will be, to put on display the glorious commitment of a totally perfect God, to totally imperfect people. The Purpose of Marriage is God. The only ground on which a marriage can withstand is God. Every other thing will fail.”

“A woman is the most influential person in a man’s life.” Isn’t this just a little incomplete? Doesn’t it stand to reason that a husband is the most influential person in his wife’s life as well? I spend more time with Hannah than I do with any other person, and just being around her, I know that I have the ability to build her up or crush her. Our words and attitudes towards each other help shape us into who we are.

“Date nights are one of the most important things you can do for your marriage!” “Get in your date nights now, before you have kids, because you’ll miss them later on!” Did anyone think through the fact that most young married couples don’t have the cash to go out on dates all the time? I mean, we enjoy date nights as much as anyone else, because they allow us to have fun in our marriage, but we have to be realistic about them as well. Sometimes good conversations have been more important to us than a date night ever could have been.

That being said, we do continue to date each other, and we really enjoy the company Love Nourished created by our friend, Laura Radniecki. Her product, Date Night in a Bag has a lot of great ideas that are usually free and very special. We worked with Love Nourished through Typeset Design to create their packaging, and Laura is continuing to develop new products to draw couples closer together and they make great Christmas presents!

 

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Marriage advice changes as seasons change.

I do have to give a full disclaimer here: even though I’ve been writing since before I was able to drive, I’ve only been married going on three months. I’m not trying to give marriage advice, I’m just working through my marriage and trying to understand how to do life. Even in the time we’ve been together, Hannah and I have seen so much change in the people that we are, in our very character, that it’s hard to imagine us as the same people that we were when we started to date each other. Change in a relationship is good and healthy and we are continually morphing as people, so at some point, these marriage tips may actually be helpful to us. The bottom line is that a good marriage should reflect a good relationship with Christ, and Christ, through the Holy Spirit, is constant to change us, bring us closer to Him, and transform us into the likeness of himself. As we continue to focus on Him, He is faithful to work in and through us, transforming our hearts and strengthening our marriage.

5 Pros and Cons of Working with Your Spouse

Hannah and I are entrepreneurs. We both launched multiple companies long before we were married, or even dating. Initially after we were engaged, we talked about working together to help each other on our companies, but eventually common sense took over and I quit my job to come home and merge companies. Typeset Design, Publish Conference, and Anchorfolk were born.

Working with your spouse isn’t something that everyone can do or would even want to do. Personally, I married Hannah because I enjoy her company and enjoy working with her. Technically we met met through work, so we have a very strong relationship in that area. However, a good friend of ours can’t even imagine working with her husband, and obviously working with your spouse isn’t for everyone.

1). Working with your spouse is only as good as your work ethic. If the fear of getting fired is the only thing that keeps you coming into work on time everyday in job outside of the house, you’re going to need to seriously motivate yourself to get up out of bed everyday and go to work. It’s hard. It’s still work. It’s just different now that you’re the one running things.

2). Work problems are suddenly spouse problems too. Because work and life are so tied together, you’re not just dealing with work problems now, you’re dealing with spouse problems. Sometimes you have to take time out of your work day, simply to sit down and discuss what you did wrong that made the other person feel devalued, used, or unwanted. I think the biggest thing to remember is something that successful relationships are built off of:

You have to be willing to work through problems constantly.

This is the constant day-to-day choice of married life, “I’m going to invest in this relationship. I’m going to work through things.”

3). Being in business together brings up a lot of stresses that you wouldn’t normally experience at the beginning stages of marriage, especially if you’re working together at home for most of the time. Hannah and I were engaged on Feb 26th, we relaunched Typeset Design on March 18th, launched the Publish Conference in July, and finally got married on September 15th. For the main part of our engaged life, we were working together in business, in multiple companies, on multiple projects and planning a wedding. It was amazingly awesome and really hard, but it brought us together, made us fight a lot more, and made us reconcile even more effectively.

4). Working together is hard on a financial level. We’re both working from home, so we’ve got to be careful what we spend and what we eat. If finances are especially a big deal for your spouse or yourself, then that’s an added challenge that you’re going to have to face, because new businesses rarely make money the way you want them to.

5). It’s hard to separate the two lives if you work at home, or even if you run your own business together. We have to keep strict business hours (mostly), because otherwise we’ll work way past our actual hours and overlap our home time. It’s really easy to check the emails again before bed, or first thing when you get up, but that isn’t healthy at all and creates a lot of extra stress that isn’t needed on either of you.

 

Recommended reading: How to Work Productively at Home

Our Wedding Day at Highbridge Park in Kentucky

I don’t think anyone can really tell or explain just how many emotions your wedding day is going to be filled with, or just how much joy that day will bring. We were married on September 15th, at a small park overlooking the Kentucky river, tucked back in the hills of Wilmore, Kentucky. Surrounded by our family and friends, we joined together in marriage under the headship of Christ, inviting those around us to witness the event and be part of our married lives. It was so special, but so is every day, and I think that’s important to remember.

Our friends Ellie Berry and her assistant Elizabeth Lauren captured every detail, and while there are far too many pictures to post here, we hope you enjoy a little snapshot of our wedding:

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