My business coach will absolutely not like that I'm sharing this, but I will be the first person to admit that I have struggled with the idea of feeling qualified to teach on the topic of relationships. My marriage is far from perfect and I have zero formal education on the topic. But when push comes to shove, does that really even matter?


There are MILLIONS of certified therapists and relationship experts, but how many of them are resourceful as hell, have an abundance of personal experience, have done the hard work for themselves, and are drowning in empathy? Go ahead and think on that, I'll wait.

Ok, that was snarky AF, but also, I think I'm hilarious. Humor me.


If this blog post turns out to only be for the sake of my own personal reminder, that's just fine. BUT if it empowers you to follow your own dreams, or inspires you to trust me to help you achieve your relationship goals, that's even better!


Now that we've gotten the intro for this blog post out of the way, let's dive into the list of reasons that make me qualified as hell.


1) I studied recreational therapy as part of my major in college. What does that have to do with anything? I'll tell you.

Recreational therapy is an approach that uses the outdoors and movement to provide healing. I think it's safe to say that we all need quite a bit of healing in order to be able to give and receive love more fully and honestly, this is probably my favorite outcome for those who participate in my program! Anyways, I took countless courses that dove deep into the details of flow and play, the science of happiness, and the reality of healing. While I didn't go down this route for my career, the lessons and experiences have stuck with me for years. These same principles and tactics have played a major role in my own journey and have proven to be valuable in the creation of my program.



2) My background in weddings has shown me that countless couples enter into their marriage without a stable foundation or understanding of what a healthy relationship actually looks like.

I've worked in the wedding industry for 5 years at this point and I have seen far too many couples who haven't had the hard conversations on topics like boundaries and non-negotiables, what mutual respect actually looks like beyond the honeymoon phase, or what happens if things start to head south. I won't lie and tell you that my husband and I had all of this figured out prior to tying the knot, but we had established a mutual understanding that our marriage was going to be a major learning experience as long as we both honored each other's non-negotiables.


3) I'm the most resourceful human that I've ever met.

I know that might sound a little cocky, but I whole-heartedly mean it! When I want to learn about something, I spend hours scouring the internet, reading books, listening to podcasts, and fully immersing myself in that topic. Those hours are usually followed by countless more hours spent learning how to apply the things that I've learned to my own life. This is exactly how I have treated the topics of self-healing and relationships. I've done all the research for you and I've taken it a step further by compiling it into the most heart-driven coaching program that is neatly packaged with a figurative bow!



4) I've worked in the alternative health industry while also deeply valuing modern science and medicine.

This matters because most people typically choose Eastern or Western medicine, they rarely combine the two in order to create a more expansive toolbox to draw from. By this, I mean that I am an advocate for traditional therapy AND reiki (energy healing). Modern medicine is amazing! While traditional medicine has withstood the literal test of time. These modalities often are so complementary to one another and I've explored them all. My program is such a beautiful culmination of science, intuition, and self-discovery that is unlike anything I've seen before.


5) I bleed empathy.

My husband can attest to the fact that I feel the emotions of others on a DEEP and personal level. That means that as you go through my program, I will be right alongside you to celebrate every single win and I will also be with you during the darker moments while you navigate some hard truths. It also means that my highest priority in offering this program is to provide you with the tools and resources to transform your relationship, and I don't just mean during the program. I want you to feel equipped and empowered to continue on this journey with your love long after the 6-week program has ended! Yeah, sure, I love money, but at the end of the day, if you haven't grown exponentially as an individual and also as a couple, you can have it have back because that means I have failed at my job.



6) My personal life experiences have prepared me for this work.

I want to say that I've been through it all, but I'm not naive enough to believe that's actually true. I have however experienced physical and emotional abuse, sexual assault, soooooo much infidelity, depression, religious conditioning, addiction, crippling anxiety, and a slew of other challenges. Prior to meeting my husband, I had absolutely no idea what a healthy relationship looked like or how to even communicate in a semi-productive way. Oddly enough, I genuinely feel like my entire life has led me to this.


7) I have done this work myself to completely transform my own life and marriage.

I know you might be thinking that what worked for me may not work for you, and you are 100% right. This is why I have included SO many different modalities and tactics to propel you towards your relationship goals. Throughout the course, you will get to try out so many new things to ultimately determine what resonates with you. I've also made myself incredibly accessible to each of my clients, along with providing them access to a supportive and loving community to ensure that they get the support and attention necessary to succeed. My mission is to provide you with a transformed relationship and damnit, that's what we're going to do!



Can you imagine moving 5 times in the span of 6 years? Believe it or not, but this series of moves was my reality not too long ago! I'm sure it comes as no surprise to hear that these seemingly endless moves aligned with some pretty monumental occasions in my life. However, I'm not just talking about the kind of important type of milestones, I'm talking about life-altering, pivotal events.



When my husband and I first started dating, I lived an hour and a half away from him in the most peculiar attic apartment. I may not have had a dishwasher, but I did have every woman's dream closet! The paint colors were quirky and the plaster walls were badly peeling. The stairwell was dangerously steep and narrow, and the low ceilings often grazed the tip of my topknot. The excitement of getting an offer for my first big girl job quickly wore off as I realized that moving out of this cozy little space of mine during the dead of winter was going to be a nightmare.

Fast forward a few weeks and I had finally found a place to live that would not only be closer to my beau but also my new job in downtown Salt Lake City. Unfortunately, I wasn't permitted time off to move, so I phoned up my dad and he quickly booked a flight. He actually works in Utah from time to time, so it worked out fairly well. Wildly enough, this was the first time that my boyfriend (now husband) met my dad - talk about high stakes!


One and a half short years later, I found myself returning home from the best trip to Island Park with a new fiance and the most beautiful custom engagement ring! To add to the excitement, I was starting my dream job the very next day. I even had my first business trip the following weekend and I was more than a little excited to be flying first class. Needless to say, things were definitely looking up!



A couple of weeks prior, Steven and I made our very first purchase together - a giant sectional that we had agreed would live at my house until we moved in together. On Thursday afternoon, I got an email saying that it had finally arrived, so I drove home excited to set up my new couch and pack for my upcoming business trip. Things kind of took a turn for the worse when I found an eviction notice on my front door. I was so utterly confused. I paid my bills on time always, I had just finished redoing the entire front yard, and I took such great care of my beautiful home! The property management office was closed for the day and I was reeling with the news of having only 30 days to find somewhere to live.

Ironically enough, that same night my husband's roommates told him that they had found a home and were moving out at the end of the month. My husband owned his house, so he obviously couldn't go anywhere. It almost felt like a sign from the universe, except for the fact that if we moved in together my commute would be nearly two hours. Oh, and our parents were both completely against us living together prior to getting married.


Long story short, we decided to take the leap and get married before the end of the month!

That weekend, Steven and his mom hauled their horse trailer to my apartment while I was out of town for my business trip and started moving the furniture that I didn't use on a daily basis. After I returned home, I spent a number of late nights packing all of my belongings into boxes. It felt so strange to be doing this all over again so soon. The following weekend, my in-laws and my fiance volunteered to help move the rest of my things to his house. That was about all we had time for because Steven then headed out for a 2-week course in Kentucky. I spent those 2 weeks adjusting to the commute, slowly unpacking and finding room for all of my nonsense, and learning the ropes of my new job.


When Steven arrived back home, it was a Thursday. For some reason, we agreed to elope the very next day! I called a few friends to see if they would be willing to act as our witnesses and we booked an officiant that we found on the Weber County Courthouse website. It turned out that he was the president of a local motorcycle club who also doubled as a Chaplin - classy, I know! We chose a random field up in the mountains where we had once gone on a date for the ceremony. It was the peak of fall, so we found ourselves surrounded by the most gorgeous fall foliage! We opted not to invite anyone else because none of my family would be able to fly in on such short notice. After our short and sweet ceremony, we celebrated our nuptials with a fancy dinner at our favorite restaurant in Ogden Canyon. It was such a spontaneously beautiful experience.



Now with all of that being said, there are definitely some serious DOs and DO NOTs that these crazy moves have taught me!

DO

✓ Try to keep the original box that your dishes, appliances, and other breakables come in.

✓ Label each and every box. The more specific that you are, the more your future self will thank you!

✓ Use stretch wrap on EVERYTHING. Especially for your bins full of hair products, this allows you to keep everything upright and unpacking simply requires you to cut off the stretch wrap.

✓ Protect your couch cushions and other fabric pieces with trash bags.

✓ Use towels, sheets, and rugs as protective cushioning for breakables.

✓ Be sure to have a few Mr.Clean Magic Erasers on hand. Nothing removes scuffs from walls and baseboards as well as these bad boys.

✓ Leave your clothes on the hangers, tear a hole in the bottom of a big black garbage bag and use it like a garment bag. Be sure to tie the ends to keep dresses from dragging and all of your clothing clean.

✓ Make use of your suitcases by filling them with all of the clothes that don't live on a hanger.

✓ Try to find little cubbies to maximize space as you're packing. For example, fill your vases or empty flower pots with scarves or socks.

DO NOT

✓ Do not continue with your normal grocery shopping routine right up until moving day. Transporting large amounts of food that need to be frozen or refrigerated is not worth it.

✓ Do not expect your plant babies to survive without some serious love and nurturing before, during, and after the move. Plants are fragile, especially if you are moving during the colder months.

✓ Do not plan on everything making it in one piece, especially if you don't splurge on professional movers.

✓ Do not forget to be grateful for anyone and everyone willing to help.

✓ Do not fail to label boxes as "fragile" or "heavy".

✓ Do not hesitate to get rid of things that you have not used in a long time.

✓ Do not have your friends/moving company show up until EVERYTHING is packed. Obviously, if you've paid your moving company to also pack your belongings, this does not apply.

✓ Do not expect amateur movers to be capable of navigating tight spaces without causing some degree of damage.


I hate to admit it, but if there is anything that I've learned from really taking advantage of the DIY moving approach it's that you absolutely must plan for damaged goods. Unfortunately, this isn't the best news for those of you who share my love for uniquely beautiful mango wood dressers that dent easier than a banana. If you can swing it, save yourself the heartache and splurge on professional movers! They're called pros for a reason.



If you're local to the Ogden, Utah area, Muscle Men Movers, LLC is a great option! Being a small business owner myself, I'm always looking to keep my spending local, especially when it allows me to support other small businesses. Not only does Muscle Men Movers offer free quotes, but they also have their very own fleet of moving trucks equipped to handle even the heaviest of dressers. These guys will also provide all of the moving equipment necessary to keep your belongings, walls, and banisters protected.



In other good news, if your family is as deeply passionate about guns as mine is (welcome to being a military wife), and you've invested in a safe to house your weapons, Muscle Men Movers actually specializes in moving gun safes in Ogden, UT! They offer white-glove installation regardless of what level of the house you want your firearms to live.


If you've got a big move coming up and have been on the fence about hiring the pros, save yourself from weeks of unnecessary back pain and give these guys a call. Your friends and family will thank you!

A few weeks ago, I asked my husband, Steven, what advice he would give to a buddy if he was struggling with communication in his relationship. Steven's response went something along the lines of "just force them to do it." He was obviously referring to having difficult conversations, but still... #blesshim.

As unhelpful as his advice may have been, it actually led to an incredibly insightful conversation! We ended up spending quite a bit of time trying to pinpoint what things we incorporated in our marriage that took our communication skills to the next level. We eventually came to the realization that developing a healthy mindset was the first step.


When it comes to communicating with your partner, there are definitely some easy steps that you can take to lay the proper groundwork for healthier communication.



1) Decide together that divorce is the last resort.


When things get heated, it's easy to throw around divorce as a means to get your partner to take you seriously. I will be the first person to tell you that it's incredibly important to make your non-negotiables known, but when divorce becomes a tool for manipulation or a means to hurt your partner, those are forms of toxic behavior that are neither healthy nor helpful.


By deciding that divorce is the last resort, you and your partner can commit to working through any hardships as opposed to running away from or avoiding them. When you both know that the threat of divorce isn't looming overhead, you can stop wasting time wondering if this is the last straw in your relationship and put that energy towards finding a solution. This type of mindset also creates a safe and secure environment for you, your partner, and your relationship to thrive. Creating a safe and secure environment is something that we will talk more about when the topic of unconditional love comes up.



2) Make a pact to quickly admit when/if you're unhappy.


According to https://www.wpdiamonds.com/top-reasons-for-divorce/, the most common reasons for divorce include lack of communication and infidelity. To illustrate the point that I want to make, I'm going to share a story.


A few years ago I become pretty close friends with another military wife. My husband worked with her husband, and she was a stupid talented barber that we loved to visit. ⁣Long story short, she cheated on her husband. I instantly wanted to write her off due to my own trauma related to infidelity, but it just felt wrong. She was someone that I looked up to and had really connected with. ⁣At my next hair appointment, it came up. She told me that she had begged her husband on so many occasions to understand that she needed support in a few very specific areas. She expressed feeling so disconnected and abandoned in her struggles. The more that she shared with me, the more my heart went out to her.

While I personally can't condone cheating, this experience helped me to develop a deeper sense of empathy. It exposed me to the heartbreak and frustration that she had been struggling with. It taught me that sometimes our need to feel loved and supported can cause our judgment to fail.


After this experience with our friends, my husband and I made a pact to always tell each other if/when we are ever unhappy in our relationship. The reality is that there will undoubtedly be periods of time where someone will be unhappy in the relationship, but talking about it creates opportunities that otherwise wouldn't exist. If you are open and honest, you can address the problem and course-correct together as a couple before it ever causes major, irreversible issues.

This ultimately relates back to #1. Admitting that you're unhappy without sharing a mutual goal of working through issues together could easily result in the end of a relationship. While sometimes calling it quits may be the right option, I like to remind couples that divorce/separation shouldn't be a decision that is made in the heat of the moment. You don't fall in love overnight, so you shouldn't decide to end your relationship overnight either.


Once you have mastered these two major mindset shifts, be sure to check back to learn about 3 tips to turn any argument into an opportunity for personal growth!