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Maybe your social media profile pictures are out of date.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.

Date Your Spouse · Simply Sather

#60: talk about your future

We just got back from our anniversary trip to San Antonio!

And I’d say we were both incredibly excited about it. One of the things we discussed while dating was how much we enjoyed traveling and were looking forward to doing it together. And our first year of marriage, we traveled like travel agents; or how often I imagine travel agents traveling.

Anyway, during our last Date Your Spouse Date#60: Talk About Your Future, we did just that. And spoiler alert, traveling is still a big part of our lives and the things we enjoy.

For this date, we sipped red wine and snacked on appetizers (my hubby’s version of a charcuterie board) and we talked about our future. In our office/2nd bedroom on the desk that we work from. I share that to tell you, it wasn’t about being fancy – for us – it was about the opportunity at hand.

red wine
selected by my personal sommalier
he did it all on his own

Before I tell you about some of the things we came up with, I wanna say something to the wives…

It was Mister’s turn to plan the date. And he did a great job. His style is not mine and his “presentation eye” is different than my own. And that’s okay. HE DID IT!!! He planned the date, he purchased the wine, he purchased and chopped all the things that needed to be chopped and he showed up and was fully present to discuss our future.

It’s really important for us as wives to let them do it their way when it’s their turn.

For those of you who don’t feel the need to micromanage this kind of thing, go ahead and skip to the end. But for those of you who feel compelled to share your displeasure when your husband’s talents and strengths don’t look like yours or match what you think it should look like, be warned.

If it must be to your liking and you correct and over-correct, your husband may want to quit serving and dating you. There are even scriptures about being this kind of wife in the Bible and they convict my heart + soul.

Let go of having the “perfect date” or the date as you think it should be and be grateful that you have a husband who is willing to learn your preferences and act on them; that you have a partner who is trying, and making the effort.

When I get snooty, lacking contentment and gratitude, I have to stop myself and replace it with a reminder that I can be…complicated. And be thankful that he is willing to show up and try again.

An aside, he’s not perfect and has his things too – he’ll openly admit that – but since I’m the one writing, I must share about it from my perspective in an attempt to shout to all other women who might hear. This is me: a woman speaking from personal, failed experience which I hope will be a “success” or “win” for you. You can learn from my mistakes, just don’t gloat, k?

Our talk about our future included discussing dreams, fears, and insecurities in the unknown. It also included faith, encouragement, and courage in looking backward to see evidence of how far God has brought us – before we even came to know one another. There is travel in our future, there are talks of work-related goals and there is giddiness in imaging experiences we’ve never had.

For me, this date revealed how much more content and grateful I need to be while in the “in-between” when things haven’t yet happened or maybe even seem like they aren’t going to.

Nonetheless, we’ve had another intentional date – we’ve actually had a few, I’m just behind on sharing them here – and am still so incredibly thankful for this thoughtful wedding gift from a friend and the grace we give ourselves as we work through the dates.

Oh and if this is your first time reading about these dates, hop on over to my whole page on dating your spouse for more date ideas – our experiences, freely shared with you here.



Simply Sather


I’m one of the millions of people around the world who can not log into, post or share on their Instagram and Facebook pages right now. According to the usage tracker on my phone, one might say I’ve made my way on the “naughty” overuser list and this mandatory break is a gift.

Without meaning to, I slip my phone up and into my hand and begin scrolling out the people around me; allowing myself to move moments and people down the “gets the most attention” list. I don’t ever think this is what I’m going to do, but it seems my time gets snatched up with obligations and things I must do and then when I have a moment to respond to that text, respond to that person’s post or even check to see how many people responded to my blog post that I just posted four seconds beforehand, it bleeds over into quality time with my person.

I’m not giving up on myself in this area yet. I’ve already begun to improve but would like to get even better at detaching from the digital and connecting to the person/people before me.

Which is why I so appreciate intentional times on the calendar to date my spouse.

Mister’s phone isn’t as “smart” as mine which also means he isn’t as attached to his device (nor is his bill as high). It benefits us. It helps us meet in the middle and forge new ground. And this is also is why I make sure I no longer post about our dates while they’re happening.

I snap a shot and turn my attention quickly back to the moment I’m blessed to be experiencing and make time to write and share about it here, much later. Which is what I’m doing right now about our most recent “date your spouse” date!

Date #06: Watch a Movie Marathon and eat a huge ice cream sundae

It was my turn to plan. And if you’ve been around here for the “Date Your Spouse” segments, then you know the person who picks the date, plans the date.

One of the things I try to do when planning the date is to really think about my husband’s preferences and gear the date more toward him. Since he’s not in control, I want to choose things that I think he’ll enjoy and appreciate; things that will let him know I was thinking of and making attempts to prefer him.

Ice Cream Sundae
a recipe from “A Cozy Year” | february – everything but the meringue

My husband’s sweet tooth makes it almost impossible to disappoint him in the area of desserts. On our weekly run to Target, we threw caution to the wind and chose the kind of gelato we liked (Sea Salt Caramel + Coffee). I got the ingredients to make homemade whipped cream from Joanna Gaines’ Cookbook, “The Magnolia Table” and made the brownie from scratch while halfway through our first of two movies.

we did not eat it all in one sitting

Mister really likes Matthew McConaughey and his movies.

I wanted to be sure he got to watch one of those,¬† so I went through our Amazon Prime account before we sat down and let him choose one of the few that popped up. So, Mud, it was. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

a scene from the 2012 movie, Mud

Well, I will say one more thing.

We did not finish the movie or the sundae that night. We saved both and enjoyed them over the weekend.

We had a date! And it was memorable and we learned about one another. I learned that my husband considered that sundae one of the best desserts he’s ever had (he’s 54yo y’all!) and I think he learned and is now certain of my preference for dates at home.

I’m already looking forward to our next date this coming weekend (#60) where we’ll be staying home again and talking about our future. Good things come when couples set aside time together to dream and cast vision in their marriage.

What about you?

You may not be in the same season as us or choose the same things on a date like this, but what from here can you take and make work for you and your person – even if right now, that person is just you?