Part 1: 12 Secrets for a Lasting Marriage

How do you make your marriage last? How do you save your marriage? What is the secret to a loving marriage?

When you meet a couple who lived out sixty-two years of loving each other to the max, you wonder, “What is their secret?” My grandparents were that, and even after my grandfather’s passing last year, my grandmother continues to show her unending love in the way she speaks of him. My husband’s goal and mine has been to walk in their footsteps since the day my husband met them and said, “I want to be like them. I want to be so in love even when we are gray and old.”

My grandmother has a heart for sharing what made their marriage last–and not only last–but be strong and love-filled the entirety of it. She sat down with me and shared her heart. What I give you is part one of her “12 secrets for a lasting marriage.”


12 secrets for a lasting marriage, love life, waves and lilacs

1. Let all the “small stuff” go!  Most differences of opinion are not significant enough to address.  But if you feel strongly about something, then it does need to be discussed. (Addressed in next point) A funny story my grandmother tells begins with my grandfather saying, “I have something important to tell you. Sit down.” This was very out of character for him. My grandmother says she couldn’t fathom what he had to tell her and was worried she had done something drastically wrong. My grandfather looked at her very seriously and said, “I do not like the way you put cookies in the cookie jar.” He proceeded to explain he liked a certain number of cookies in the jar at a time and was adamant that the cookies would go stale if done another way. While my grandmother did not agree with his reasoning, or this being a huge issue, she decided to relinquish power of the cookie jar over to him.

2.  Wait to talk about major issues. The important thing about major issues would be to wait until the “right” time to calmly and patiently talk it out. When my grandparents had a major difference of opinion, God gave them the wisdom for how to settle the issue.

3. Think before you speak. If upset or annoyed about something, THINK before you speak! Words can never be taken back.  Memories of hurtful words will be remembered for a long time.

4. Give 100%. This applies to BOTH individuals. Some people believe that if they each give 50%, it will total 100%. This is incorrect thinking. Give 100% of yourself, each of you. Give, receive, give, receive. The husband and wife both need to try to do what blesses the other — back and forth, back and forth.


5. Express gratitude to one another. Say “thank you” frequently. Say it for the big things. Say it for the little things. Say it for cleaning the kitchen. Say it for running an errand. Say it for dinner being cooked. Say it for everything.

6. Acknowledge communication differences. Acknowledging reality of the differences in male/female basic communication desires, my grandmother says she tried to keep conversations of general nature to a short duration. She knew my grandfather didn’t really care about all the tiny details. Figure out what those differences are in your marriage and choose to communicate in effective ways. This is not to say that you should not share your heart or have long meaningful conversations–you should!


Stay tuned for part two! ❤

xo, bethany rose

Making Life Manageable After (that crazy decision to have) 2 Kids

I feel like if I had a series, this would probably be PART 2. But sometimes you just have to write where you are. And I know this can help some people because you are going to be here soon.

Jake and I were just talking today about how it finally feels like, after SEVEN months, we are in a groove with our TWO children. I mentioned a couple months ago that life with two finally felt manageable (and that was true!) but now I feel like we finally reentering a season that tickles the edge of NORMAL again. A new normal.


Hadley is about as predictable as a baby can be at this point. Emmett it hardcore into the toddler years with potty training, verbal sentences and a state of independence (which is sometimes welcome and sometimes not.)

It’s a state of beginning to plan life in between naps, bedtimes, and going out. Of course it is the dead of winter here in western pa, so going out looks different, but if it was summer I would bet you we’d be out doing 5ks right now!

How did we get here? Why did it take seven months? Is there really life after kiddos?

Or you might be saying, Girl, I see you in real life. You do not have it all together!

Well, that’s true. 😀 We definitely don’t have it ALL together! But I’d like to think we have a couple things 😉  …a couple things that I DID NOT KNOW SEVEN MONTHS AGO!

Here it is, for all its worth.

transition from one to two children and making the most of motherhood as a parent of two children

Joint sleeping times.  These are a must.  I am an introvert to a fault. What I did not realize was how much this played into my time at home as a mother. I need a solid hour to myself daily. It energizes me and gives me what I need as a mom. My children are both now on a routine that lends itself to nap time everyday from about 1 to 3  (Hadley another in the morning) and bedtime from about 7:30-7:30. If you ever wondered where I find time to edit and write, it is there. Don’t call me then! Kidding…..kind of..not actually.  We established the start of a routine with both kids early on. Hadley was a little harder because we didn’t pull the pacifier till this month. Now she sleeps her hard earned 12 hours and we partake in several of them as well.

Your spouse is your team mate for life.  I cannot imagine parenting alone. Jake is the cheese to my macaroni and I rely on him so much. We trade off watching the kids so we can both get our side jobs done. We divide bedtime sometimes. I cook, he cleans. I grocery shop, he fixes my car. He dresses the kids on Sunday mornings, I make sure the diaper bag is packed. If your husband is not your team mate, parenting is going to be harder than it needs to be and parenting is already HARD. Get matching jerseys and get to work. You made these kids together, now raise them together. ( I applaud single moms. I really do not know how you ladies do it. You are seriously heroes.)


Get yourself ready before your kids. OK, I am saying this because it is true but because I also need to get better at it. We have literally just started sleeping through the night without any interruptions.  And now that sleep is here, I think it is time I do this. If your child is NOT sleeping through the night yet, only some pointers from this will apply to you, because sleep is MOST important.  If you can wake up before the kids, have devotions, a cup of coffee, exercise, etc. JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS AT LEAST, your day can start off so much better and you will feel like you can take on the day. Sometimes though, just getting out of my pajamas and putting my contacts in is all I have time for and this usually happens after breakfast (#sahmtruth). But it makes me feel human and sets my mind up right for the day.

enjoy the time you have one-on-one. After getting into a solid routine of Hadley’s nap times, I sometimes use her first nap of the day to spend individual time with Emmett. We might bake, do a craft, or just read a book. But that time with him is important. (I don’t spend the entire nap time with him necessarily but part of it. There is still a house to clean and things to be done!) Often Hadley wakes up before Emmett does on the second nap, and I can have some time alone with her. Sometimes it is spent playing with her, but I also will just stick her in the bumbo or high chair while I cook dinner or read while she play. Even though I am not giving her undivided attention it is still just our time together.


Time heals all insanity. I know this is not what everyone wants to hear. We have a love hate relationships with time. We know that if time plays its part, things eventually happen. But we have to wait. Patience. Those first couple weeks after Hadley was born, as great as I felt physically, there was such a lack of normalcy. My time with Emmett was divided. My Netflix nights with Jake had a third party.  Grocery shopping became a nightmare. My nursing cover became an extension of my daily wardrobe. But this too passed. All of a sudden I found myself being able to put Emmett to bed again. I found he and I reading books alone during the day. I take Hadley out and no feeding times happen till we’re home again. Jake and I now watch TV uninterrupted after a JOINT bedtime (see above). Time heals all insanity.

I share these as my opinions and things that work for me. I share them in hopes that maybe it will help other moms who are braving the unknown of multiple children. I still feel like such a newbie at this and internally wonder if I really have much to offer. But I write because I know where we have come from. It felt like the trenches for a while and still often does. But there are days that glimmer and rise above the rest and these tips have helped us get to those days!

xo, bethany rose

The Beautiful Life of Grandpa Schmidt

His voice boomed across the living room every single time I made my way down the long hallway and into his presence. “Bethany Rose! How are you?” His words were continuously filled with authenticity and genuine interest in that question. He always knew how to make the conversation 100% about me without me ever feeling selfish or that I had forgotten to turn it around to him at some point.


His summers were spent for twenty five years camping with either me or my younger siblings and cousin. He was always ready for something new. Whether it was boogie boarding in the ocean at the age of eighty or learning to ski at seventy, quite possibly beating me to the end of the mountain first.



His hands created carpenter masterpieces and he thought into the future with each piece. Even though my son is only two, there can be found in our home a cross that has the name “Jesus” engraved throughout it. This cross is a known piece of art amongst our extended family. One was made for each grandchild and then his first great-grandson. They were or are to be given on each one’s wedding day. He knew that he would not be around when my son got married and so he made his early on and gave it to us.



His love for his wife and family was paramount to most love I’ve witnessed on earth. There was gentleness and kindness. Patience and strength. A quietness that calmed the room and made people choose their words wisely. For with his age came more wisdom; wisdom that was evident of time communing with God.

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He and his wife prayed as though their lives depended on it, because for them, they did. Notebooks and photos, devotionals and scripture can be found as they prayed over people’s lives. I can see the work of God in my life because of these prayers and know my life is richer for it.

His home was home to many. There was rarely a holiday that it was just our family gathering together. It was common to meet people we did not know for the first time on Thanksgiving or Christmas. His home was a haven and people recognized the solace as soon as they entered.

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His music was his ministry and he played at churches across his section of Pennsylvania. He liked to pick the instruments you don’t hear much: the tuba and accordion. His musical talent has been carried down by most of us. I think in a sense he is the musical patriarch of our family.



His trains were his way of entertaining and sharing what he loved. It was tradition to head down to his “train room” after we had piled our plates high with food and come out of our food comas. We would all gather on one side of the room as he pushed buttons and turned knobs and made his train display come to life. He would show us new parts of his train village as he proudly displayed his work of art. I remember when he decided that he was too old for it though and I stood in an empty room where his trains used to run. There was an emptiness in that space where I thought something belonged.

And I suppose that’s how we feel today. We are standing in an empty space where you used to be, looking around thinking that you still belong here.

But that’s not the end of this story, is it? I always imagine you looking down on us, smiling and saying softly, “Don’t cry for me. I am where I belong. If only you could see.”

Happy Birthday, Grandpa. We love you always. “Gone but never forgotten.”

xo, bethany rose