Better Love · Simply Sather

to the surviving spouse who made it through Memorial Day

To the Surviving Spouse who made it through Memorial Day,

Whether you came out of your bubble or stayed engaged in all of the events throughout the weekend, you can let out that breath you’ve been holding in these past few weeks.

Wondering if people would say “Happy Memorial Day” or say nothing at all.

Wondering if people would remember your fallen hero even though you’ve forgotten a few things about them.

Hoping that if you choose to say their name or tell stories about them, that people would join you and share their own. And that the would be comfortable with the tears that may accompany those stores.

Hurting because no matter what he was like when he was alive, no matter the status of your relationship, they were a huge part of your life.

Breaking apart inside because of the impact that it has on the children. It’s so difficult to know how best to show your emotion. Too much and they feel they must become your protector and too little and they don’t know how to release their feelings in a healthy way, staying bottled up inside.

Fending off organizations, news reporters and people who only check in with you during this time of year.

Angry because your life doesn’t look like you thought it would.

Wounded because people you love and care for didn’t check in to ask after you or your child.

Avoiding sales and commercials because they seem to gloss over any real understanding of what this holiday weekend is all about.

Unfollowing feeds who you’ve shared this loss with yet they continue to share despite your outpouring or who didn’t even acknowledge the holiday at all.

Doubting yourself because last year you responded very differently than you did this year.

Maybe you’ve met a man that can take up space in your heart and help you heal some of the hurt you’ve carried, but it’s a new “dance” because you must take their feelings into consideration too.

Triggered when people attempt to mesh Memorial Day and the loss of your loved one with a political statement that moves their agenda forward.

You don’t want people to stop BBQing and boating and sit around in a circle somber and serious all weekend, but you want them to understand. To carry some of the load, to try to empathize.

Your children are growing and coping and you’re not sure of exactly what’s happening inside of them, but you know something is; you’re not sure if it’s healing or something else.

You feel judged by some of the widow community because of the way your spouse died or didn’t die and you’re not sure why there has to be another method of disunity and isolation applied to this already challenging community.

And can feel scorned by former friends of yours who are sure they are justified in their distance or lack of communication towards you because they are certain they would have handled “it” very differently. You’re no longer friends, which is another loss you grieve.

You are feeling such relief that this holiday weekend is over, but still holding your breath because of the permanence that impacts your daily life all year round.

Sweet friend, you’ve made it through another Memorial Day. I’m proud of you.

And I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t necessarily get better, but you get better at it.

You did it! Whatever it is – you’re still here. Now breathe. And cut yourself some slack. Perfect was off the table as soon as you were born and grace is available to you. Grab hold of it and offer it in truckloads to all of the above.

I’m cheering you on as you navigate this next year, in the in-between.


One who gets it




Better Love · Date Your Spouse · Simply Sather

#44: take photos of each other

We have still been dating one another though I’ve fallen down on the job of posting about it here.

When a date comes up that doesn’t fit naturally into our way of doing it, we tend to push it off. Or rather, I do. And that is how I realize married couples slip into ruts in their dating lives.

We replace the time and effort that we initially put into our courtship – where planning time together was as important as that morning cup of coffee – with other things that slip into the schedule more easily.

Which is why “Going to an Estate Sale Together” hasn’t happened yet. One, it seems a little creepy to me, and two, we’re trying to keep fewer things in our home for that minimalist lifestyle (less stuff, more moments).

So this particular date prompt was slipped into our anniversary trip to San Antonio back in April.


Maybe your social media profile pictures are out of date. Spend an afternoon photographing each other.

let me just snap this quick shot

There probably isn’t a better photo describing our photo taking habits than this one.

Mister tends to stop what he’s doing (when he knows I’m snapping a photo) to ready himself. He almost always shows his pearly whites, shakes out his arms letting them rest more comfortably at his sides. He becomes like a statue taking photo taking to a scientific level.

I’m in another camp. I tend to like to take photos that aren’t well planned. Photos that aren’t too posed and somehow capture the heart and personality of the people being photographed. Or perhaps the feel of the moment that I’m trying to capture.

Yep, classic another way our “scientist + creative” marriage works…

Before we matched with one another on the dating website, we both enjoyed taking photos with cameras. Mister’s focus was often on landscape + nature, mine was on people + experiences.

So when we read the date prompt about taking photos of one another, I was thrilled; we already do this regularly. In fact, Mister is moving up in the ranks of an Instagram Husband (read this for cheeky explanation) in my opinion. I kid, I kid, he takes dozens of photos for me each week and most don’t make it on Instagram, but the majority of photos I post with me in them are captured by him.

And let me tell you something wonderful about that…

There is a moment of intimacy when I’m waiting for him to take my photo. Sometimes I’m thinking about how I will be able to use the photo(s) to tell a story, to help moms be better women, to encourage women to simply be better when I’m snatched back from planning into who I’m with, captivated by the way he looks at me.

To my single friends…

Wait for a man who can’t snap a great Instagram photo because he’s so busy focusing on you. Nevermind the mountain, landscape, celebrity, attraction… every time you get your camera back, you are the subject of that photo. It’s worth waiting for.

We’ve been learning about these differences in our photograph taking mindsets for a while now, this date simply encouraged us to call them what they are. And to embrace the differences rather than be upset or divided by them.

he makes me feel like a model
me trying to be a model
it took us a lot of snaps to get this shot because of the people in the background
on the way to the best photo
I see my imperfections and see my beauty
a final celebratory sip before we wrapped our anniversary trip

Here are six of the photos Mister took of me and six of the ones I took of him; all from our 48 hour trip to San Antonio…

he’s over my taking photos at the Alamo
posed but still cute
this is what he did when I asked him to hold my purse)
one of my favorite shots from the weekend and of him; my wine sommelier
this is what it’s like to be around him
we genuinely find one another funny

When I look at each of these photos, I smile.

I’m back on that trip and in these moments (as well as the many that weren’t shared or even snapped). We slept well and ate even better and our conversation was incredibly wonderful; deep, real, and sometimes uncomfortable – but honest.

I’ve ordered many of these in print (I use Free Prints) to put up on the picture board on the entryway into our home. Even if you don’t print your photos, I highly recommend this date when you’re feeling a little glam and playful. Take some time to go back and look at the photos you took together and really talk through what you both see and feel while looking at them.

Such a simple, beautiful date.