Viewing category ‘love’

Committed: The Ties that Bond

with Angella Dykstra

I'm a mom of three, a professional accountant, and an amateur photographer and writer. I am not a marriage expert. But my husband and I take "Til death do us part" seriously, and here I'll be sharing how we keep our marriage strong while we both do that insane work-life juggle.

Check out my Work It, Mom! profile and my blog, Dutch Blitz.

Ten reasons that I am thankful for my husband

Categories: love, marriage


It is Thanksgiving this weekend (DUH) and this is as good of a time as any to list the reasons that I am thankful for my husband.

1. He chose me to be the one he spends his life with. He takes the love, honor, and cherish vows seriously. I am blessed by this every day.

2. He is the best Dad EVER. He would take a bottle feeding in the night when we had newborns so I could have a little extra sleep. He is one of the most ‘hands-on’ Dads I have ever even heard of (jazz class and bath time and wiping bums, oh my!). He is involved.

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The newlywed series: Saying sorry

Categories: love, marriage


Last week, I received an email from a long-time reader — both of my personal site and this here column — and she was looking for some advice.

Remember when I commented “What’s so hard about marriage”?  Ha!  Ha ha ha ha!  I was so naïve.  And it hasn’t even been 2 months!

Month 1 - awesome.  Honeymoon.

Month 2 - ouch.

I was totally unprepared.  We had lived together for a year so I really didn’t know what would change.  That was not so bright on my part - we had discussed what would change!

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Making time for date night

Categories: dating, love, marriage

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So, it turns out that if you vent on the Internet about missing your husband and wishing for a date night, those wishes come true, even though he doesn’t read this column unless you tell him to (which I did not).

An anonymous couple who attend our church dropped off a bunch of restaurant gift certificates for the staff and volunteers. My husband was given one for our favorite lakeside restaurant, which saw me doing a fist pump. My brother offered to watch our kids for us, which then saw me doing a Happy Dance.

We got gussied up, ate good food and got the chance to really talk about where we were (work-related) and where we wanted to go. We tossed around some scenarios for me, especially, and agreed on one that makes us both happy. We also had our usual banter of jokes and innuendo and, man. I really like that guy.

These last few weeks of tax season (with a side of hosting Easter dinner this weekend) are going to be RIDICULOUSLY BUSY, and I’m so glad that we took the time to go and to hang and to have conversations that went beyond the daily “getting stuff done.”

How do you guys make time for date night?

I Miss My Husband

Categories: love, marriage, sex


I miss my husband.

He isn’t out of town, nor am I. But I miss him.

April is a month that pulls us apart. I’m working six (long) days a week, because I’m an accountant and it’s “tax season.” (I’m Canadian, so “tax season” lasts until April 30th. Usually. As April 30th is on a weekend, the deadline is extended until May 2nd. SHOOT ME NOW.) He’s the Director of Children & Families at our church and it’s the wind down to summer and there are events happening ALL OF THE TIME.

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Why is being happily married frowned upon?

Categories: love, marriage


I first started writing this column over two years ago because the dearly departed (not dead; just quit the Internet) Kristin thought this would be a good fit for me since I “have one of the happiest marriages on the Internet.”

I don’t know if that is entirely true, but I’d have to say that it is mostly true. I don’t bash my husband online (I honestly have no reason to)(and I can’t see how that would help a relationship) and tend to gush about him a lot (I have EVERY reason to). We are really, truly, happy.

I’m not sure how much time you guys spend online, or what spaces you spend while surfing the Internet tubes, but there seems to be a lot of snark against people writing happy things about their marriages. People think that you are whitewashing or not being “authentic” or that you are LYING. And so, those of us that are living in peace and enjoying each others’ company and just generally HAPPY are scared to say so, lest the Internet Gang Of YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG comes out, guns blazing.

Here is my truth:

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What makes your marriage awesome?

Categories: love, marriage


Writing about marriage and relationships could be tiresome, I suppose, but Tuesdays are supposed to be more “personal experiences” and Fridays are supposed to be more “link to another article and give commentary.” The problem is finding posts or articles that encourage and support marriage. You can find 1,001 (or more!) articles talking about how to get a date or how to deal with divorce or how to HAVE AN AFFAIR.

After scouring the Internet for a marriage/relationship/sex related article that was in support of marriage and relationships and not, you know, giving you tips on how to have an affair, I was a little bit frustrated. I did what anyone else involved in social media does and vented on Twitter.

After a few exchanges, my friend Metalia had a rock star reply:

So, I threw the #marriageparty challenge out to the Internet and here is what the Internet threw back at me:

(I know it’s small and hard to read, and Molly concurs below. I’m technology impaired, so it might be best to just search Twitter for the #marriageparty or @AngellaD because there are SO MANY great responses.)

I can only go back so far, apparently (*shakes fist at Internet*), but if you look up the hashtag #marriageparty there is MORE.

(Edited to say that I woke up this morning to even more #marriageparty tweets. So, so great.)

We are not saying that marriage is perfect or without hiccups, no. Not at all. I just think we should celebrate the good sometimes. Or a lot of the time.

Would you like to share with the class what makes your marriage awesome?

Building a love that lasts a lifetime

Categories: love, marriage


My husband and I are coming up on eleven (!) years of marriage. We’ve had it pretty smooth, as marriage goes. We share the same faith, the same love languages and the same goals. We both love our kids immensely and work hard at being good parents and good people, really. We haven’t endured any great hardship (apart from our house fire)(which is probably considered a hardship) or any great family tragedy.

There haven’t been a ton of external pressures, apart from the every day pressures of work and family and friends and commitments. For some, those pressures take them to the breaking point. I get that. I don’t know if it is my eternal optimism or the fact that we’ve vowed that we’re in this forever, but those pressures tend to bring us closer together rather than tear us apart. For the most part.

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Our gift exchanging tradition

Categories: holidays, love, marriage

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Back when my husband and I only had one child (Wow. We only had ONE?), we started a Christmas Eve tradition. During the day, we hang out and decorate sugar cookies (his tradition from when he grew up) and then go to an evening service at our church. We come home, let the kid(s) open one present (pajamas)(my tradition from when I grew up) and then tuck them into bed.

My husband and I then put on some quiet music, pour a glass of wine and situate ourselves on the couch. We pull out the gifts we’ve purchased for each other, exchange them, and have some quiet time before the chaos of Christmas morning. I love it.

How about you? Do you have any gift giving (or other) holiday traditions?

9 ways to keep your marriage healthy

Categories: love, marriage

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I’m constantly looking for marriage articles to share here and, well, it’s a lot harder than you might think. There seems to be more articles on how to have an affair (!) or how to navigate divorce (which is needed, natch) but not a lot of articles that support marriage.

But! I found this one on Yahoo! Shine titled, “9 ways to keep your marriage healthy at any age” and thought it was a good one. It talks about staying healthy and active, having a financial plan, figuring out your family rules and so forth.

Of course, I love the fact that one of the points discusses the problems that can arise if your kids leave home and you’re left with nothing to talk about. Regular date nights and common interests can keep your foundation strong while your kids are at home - once they leave home you can use that extra time to have even more fun together.

Do you guys have any tips for keeping you marriage healthy that you’d like to add?

Do you share hobbies with your spouse?

Categories: love, marriage


I’ve mentioned numerous times that my husband and I have a lot in common such as our faith and our values, our love of kids and our sense of humor. We also have a lot of differences . I love big cities, he loves being in the middle of nowhere. I like to write and take photos, he’d rather be creative in his workshop. While I definitely need my down time, I also love to get together with a group of friends and he’s more than happy to hang out just the two of us.

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