10 Ways To Keep Your Marriage Strong

We are celebrating 31 years of marriage this month. We got married young, I was 17 and my husband was 20. We had already been together for almost 2 years. There were many that thought we wouldn’t make it because we were so young. We knew we were in love and wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.

We get asked how do you make it work? This is what has worked for us.

MARRIAGE IS 100/100

You hear so many say 50/50. That’s not it. You ALWAYS have to give it 100%.

DIVORCE IS NOT AN OPTION

We have never used the “D” word, EVER!! I realize that in the heat of the moment, you may want to throw it out there, but don’t give the devil a footstool. Don’t ever make it an option.

MAKE TIME FOR ONE ANOTHER

I know sometimes it’s hard with kids but there are ways to do it. You may have to stay up late or hire a babysitter for a day. So many, after their kids are grown, get divorced because their kids were their marriage and they don’t really know each other. Don’t just be roommates, be soulmates.

YOU DON’T ALWAYS HAVE TO BE RIGHT

There will always be arguments and disagreements in marriage. Some fights aren’t worth winning or even fighting over. When disagreements do come, stay calm, don’t yell, express yourself and if you have to, walk into another room for a while until you calm down. You may realize it wasn’t anything important after all. A lot of little things can be ignored and really not even an issue after all. Let go of the small stuff. Forgive quickly and don’t keep bringing up things from the past.

COMMUNICATE/COMPROMISE

You are different people and won’t always see eye to eye on everything. You have to compromise and communicate. Tell each other your feelings because you can’t read each other’s mind. Try having them repeat what you have said so that you know how they heard it and if different than what you meant, resolve it. Be sensitive to each other. Listen to each other. Seek to understand each other’s intentions and try to compromise on the issue at hand. Sometimes marriage is giving over your way to what your spouse wants. Selfless not selfish!

DONT TAKE EACH OTHER FOR GRANTED

Always recognize what your spouse does and don’t take it for granted. Thank them for all they do.  Let them know that you appreciate what they do for you and your family.

NEVER TALK BAD ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE TO OTHERS

This is so important. Never talk bad about your spouse or put them down.  No one likes to be put down especially in public, to friends, family or anyone. That is so wrong and can be so damaging to a relationship. If you can’t say something good, don’t say anything at all.

LEARN EACH OTHER’S LOVE LANGUAGE

There is a book by Gary Chapman

The Five Love Languages

Everyone needs to read this. It helps so much in any relationship. This is how they feel loved and more than likely how they give love. I encourage you to read the book if you haven’t. Here are the love languages but you really should read the book. There is also a quiz online you can take. You can have more than one but normally one is more dominant.

1. Words of Affirmation

This language uses words to affirm other people

2. Acts of service

For these people, actions speak louder than words.

3.Receiving Gifts

For some people, what makes them feel most loved is to receive and give a gift.

4. Quality Time

This language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention.

5. Physical Touch

To this person, nothing speaks more deeply than appropriate touch.

Rarely will you and your spouse have the same love language but you need to learn each other’s because that is how you fill their love tank.

It’s rare, but it just so happens that my husband and I have the same dominate love language. Quality time! We both have others as well, but that’s our strongest. We love our quality time together, alone. Some may not understand why we like our “alone” time but it’s so important to us. Kind of weird but both of our least love language is gifts. We had rather our “gift” to each other be alone time.

REMEMBER WHY YOU FELL IN LOVE

What attracted you to that person. Think about those qualities. Date each other. Dress up for each other, don’t let yourself go.

MAKE YOUR SPOUSE A PRIORITY

PRAY FOR YOUR SPOUSE

LOVE IS NOT ALWAYS A FEELING

BE FRIENDS

A successful marriage is falling in love many times with the same person.

A man wants to know he is respected and a woman wants to know that she’s loved.

Be those parents who gross your kids out. Show affection for one another in front of your children. Let them know that you love each other.

I want others to see our marriage and KNOW that we love each other!

31 years ago we said, “I do,” and 31 years ago, I THOUGHT I LOVE YOU THEN. As you grow and mature, your marriage grows and matures, and your love grows and matures. I loved him so much when we got married but now it’s so much deeper. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve been there.

So 31 years, 2 sons, 2 daughters-in-law and 6 grandchildren later here we are...Living Our Love Song

I pray that we have many many more blessed years of marriage.

No marriage is perfect, no love story is perfect, but I sure do love ours.

Enjoying the Simple Life,

💜 Davilyn

Disclaimer: I am not a marriage counselor this is my advice only. May contain affiliate links.

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LIVE YOUR DREAM

DREAMS TO PLANS: WHY I BECOME A TRAVEL AGENT

I love helping people. It has always made me happy. I love taking vacations and even small trips.

We have always taken family vacations. Mainly to the beach, but also to other places, as well.  After our boys were grown we started cruising. Facebook become popular and I started sharing our photos and stories of our vacation on Facebook.

I began getting messages from people asking me about cruising, ships, excursions, packing etc. I told them everything that I know and recommended things to them and I enjoyed doing it. I’d refer them to our carnival cruise vacation planner (PVP) to book. I even started blogging about cruising and those blogs got so many more views and comments than any of my other blogs. I even had a blog on cruise packing that went viral on Pinterest.

You can book online but there are so much more advantages and offers by booking through a travel agent (ME) even more than a PVP through carnival. I couldn’t even tell you how many people that I have referred people to our (former) PVP.  He’s great! Then one day I thought, why work for someone else’s dream.

Why live someone else’s dream when I could live my own dream.

I looked into classes to become a travel agent. I talked to my husband and talked to a friend that is a TA, and I felt such peace, signed up and took the course to become a TA. I know it’s not a “get rich” job but I also know it’s something that I’m experienced in and passionate about. I can continue to help people and now even book for them. There are even more advantages to being a travel agent than there is being a personal vacation planner with Carnival because I can give you my honest answers to things (since I don’t work for carnival) I can help get rooms with or by one another, book your dinner together, give you quotes, etc. You get more of a personable experience with me. I can help you from where to park your car to excursions. I can give you all of the in’s and out’s of cruising. I know about boarding, disembarking, what’s on the ship, best room locations, elegant nights, best places to eat and even price drops.  You don’t just get your cruise booked, you’re not just a number, you can contact me any time with any questions, we will become friends.  Carnival even likes people to book through TA’s. Oh, by the way, it cost you nothing more to book through me than booking online or straight through carnival. It’s all the same price so why not take advantage of everything that I can offer you.💙

If you have a cruise booked right now and it’s not paid in full, you can even transfer it to me. 😊

As Carnival says #travelagentsrock

I know when the sales are and it’s best to book your vacation in advance, it’s cheaper and you can pay it out any way you wish, as long as it’s paid in full 75-90 days before the cruise.

I can also book other cruise lines, all-inclusive beach resorts, river cruise, land vacations, Disney, and just about anywhere you’d like to go. I’m excited for myself to go discover more places.

I’m really excited about being a Travel Agent or as I like to say a vacation specialist. I’ve only been doing it for about six weeks and the agency that I contract out of said that I’m doing great. I take webinars weekly from different company’s. I’m still learning. I want to be the best that I can be.

I look forward to helping YOU book your next vacation.

My facebook travel group is Lost At Sea Travels

Join my group and feel free to add others if they cruise/travel or may be interested. Help me to get the word out. I would appreciate it!

My TA Website: click here

Americans work too much and don’t enjoy life enough!

Enjoy your life!!

I encourage you to find your dream and make it a plan. 💙

Enjoying the simple life,

💜 Davilyn

Liebster Award Nominee

Y’all, I’m so excited! My blog was nominated for an award! How did this happen to ME? I feel like a celebrity saying, “It’s an honor to be nominated,” but it really is, especially this short time in my blogging career. The most amazing thing about the nomination is it comes from a fellow blogger, The Plentiful Cup… she is such an amazing blogger. Her blog is real, raw, honest and she encourages other women to be who they are and to accept themselves. She is bringing more awareness to mental illness, especially PPD. I love how open and honest she is. You should check out her blog.

I started blogging because I wanted and needed something for me. I had been putting ME off. It had been on my heart for years but I never took the next step. It’s easier for me to express myself through writing than speaking. I love blogging about our trips and sharing my own travel photos. Blogging is how my passion and purpose come together. It led me to become a travel agent. I love helping people plan their vacations. I blog about many things, travel, inspirational, motivational, my life/family, whatever the Lord lays on my heart at the time. I’ve met so many people from all around the world, which wouldn’t have happened without blogging. The name of my blog describes me well, I am a Southern, Simple, Blessed woman. I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I enjoy sharing it with you.

The award I’m nominated for is the LIEBSTER AWARD. It started in 2011 and is an online award that is given to bloggers by other bloggers. I am so excited, honored and privileged that out of thousands (or more) of bloggers around the world that I was chosen. The winner will be announced at the end of the year. Thank you so much The Plentiful Cup for the nomination.

Liebster means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcomed. It’s so special to me that someone thought of that when they read my blog.

Along with this nomination I have to tell 10 random things about myself, answer questions, nominate others and give them questions to answer.

10 Random Facts About Me

1. I’m married to my high school sweetheart for 31 years. Young love can work. I married at 17.  More in love now than ever.

2. I have 2 sons and 6 grandchildren.

3. I had a licensed home childcare for 19 years.

4. I’m a cruise addict

5. I love summer

6. I can be a girly girl but I am also a sports fan. Houston Astros & Dallas Cowboys…WOOHOO

7. I’m a planner and have to make myself be spontaneous at times.

8. I’m OCD about SOME things but not ALL things.

9. I make my bed every day first thing in the morning.

10. I love being outside.

 QUESTIONS FROM THE BLOGGER THAT NOMINATED ME

1. If you were a type of weather what type of weather would you be and why?

I would be sun mixed with clouds. I can be bright, shiny, warm, a hot mess and I can be cloudy with a possibility of showers, tears. But I’ve learned that those tears water my grass, and grow me.

2. How would you describe yourself? Now ask someone else to describe you? Are the answers similar or different? If they are different why do you think that is?

I am a Christian, family person, loyal, sincere, honest, a peacemaker, over thinker and a worrier. I ask my husband to describe me and he said determined, dependable and beautiful. I’ll take it. 😊

3. Are you comfortable with the person you are currently? Why or why not?

It took me a long time, but finally, at 40, I become comfortable with who I am. I decided it was time to stop worrying about others opinions of me and live my life in freedom. But there are still things that I’m working on like perfectionism, not looking at my physical flaws and my own insecurity.

4. What did you Google last?

The Galveston cruise cam because my son and daughter-in-law were leaving on a cruise.

5. What was the most awkward conversation you have overheard?

I don’t know about the most awkward conversation that I’ve heard, but it’s very awkward to be in a public restroom and to hear someone on a cell phone having a conversation in the stall next to you.

6. You can eat 1 thing for the rest of your life, what is it?

Tex-Mex (Texan-Mexican food)

7. What has changed about you since you started blogging?

I have become a travel agent through my traveling/cruising blogs. I have become more vulnerable which is hard for me. I’ve also become more confident in myself.

8. Which actor/actress would play you in a movie about your life?

REESE WITHERSPOON

9. If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be? Why? What would you eat?

My Granny, before dementia. She was so full of wisdom and love. A lot of times we don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone. I would soak up every minute. We would have whatever she wanted to cook, which would probably be a baked ham, pinto beans, cornbread and sweet tea.

10. What have you seen that you wish you could un-see?

I will never forget, I was watching “Live with Regis & Kelly” and the news cut in with an airplane hitting the twin towers, LIVE. (9/11/01)

11. What would 2008 think about your answers to these questions?

That I’m stronger, braver and more courageous.

Now, I have the pleasure of nominating 10 bloggers.

1.Simple Life Simple Faith

2.Our Southern Life Blog

3.A Cowboy and Me

4.Fresh Grace for Today

5.The Chickish Chick

6.Simply Filled.

7.Chasing Heatherwood

8.Joyfully Overwhelmed

9.Wander Lust and Laughter

10.The Mid Summer Daydreamer

QUESTIONS FOR MY NOMINEES

1. If you could go back and tell your 18-year-old self one thing, what would it be?

2.  If you could wake up anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would it be and why?

3. Do you have a favorite place or thing you do to unwind, if so where and what?

4. Which one would you choose A) 8 hours of sleep per night? B) a self-cleaning house C)Your kids never fight with each other or complain D) someone to run all of your errands

5. Which color would best describe you and why?

6.  If money wasn’t a problem what would you do?

7.  Early Riser or night owl or as I like to say sun-riser or sun-setter?

8.  Imagine your 90, what memories do you want to have?

9. What do you want people to remember you for?

10. What habit would you most like to break and what habit would you like to start?

11. What excites you and scares you at the same time?

To learn more about the Liebster Award click here

Again, thank you The Plentiful Cup for the nomination. I’m truly honored.

Enjoying the simple life,

💜 Davilyn

DEPRESSION IS REAL

DEPRESSION is a MEDICAL CONDITION and it’s very real. Depression is NOT something you can control. It is NOT something to be ashamed of. It is NOT made up.

More people than we know suffer from it and pretend everything is okay. They are embarrassed, ashamed or afraid that someone is going to put them down, tell them to get over it or say you have nothing to be depressed about. They think you can just “snap out of it.” You can’t! Depressed people may not even understand why they are feeling a certain way, why they are emotional or having certain thoughts and feelings.

You can have money, friends, a good marriage, great family, be a spiritual person, or even be a Prince and be depressed. Everything may look good on the outside and you can still feel dark, lonely and empty on the inside.

If you feel like your depressed talk to your family, friends, a doctor, tell them your feelings and thoughts so they can help you. Depression is real, and nothing to be ashamed of.

It’s okay to admit that you’re not okay!

It’s okay to take medication if that’s what you need. I’m not saying everyone needs medication, I’m saying it’s okay if you do.

I know that God can heal you of ANYTHING. I believe in PRAYER and know it works. That being said, it’s not right for we as Christian’s to tell someone with depression or anxiety to NOT take medication. If that’s the case, then no one would need glasses, take blood pressure and heart medicine, headache or migraine meds, insulin, or whatever else any other MEDICAL condition requires because depression is a MEDICAL condition as well. Unless you’ve walked it, you don’t know the feeling. You don’t have the right to judge.

Many depressed people turn to alcohol and drugs because they don’t know how to cope.

Ask your family, friends, co-workers if they’re okay. Let them know they can be real with you. It hurts my heart when I see people struggle with depression and deny it. I think people deny it because they think it makes them appear as a weak person or they’re embarrassed or they don’t even realize they are depressed. That’s one reason we need more awareness.

This is close and dear to my heart because it’s in my family. I’ve dealt with it myself. I’ve had to take antidepressants before. I’ve had panic attacks and have even been awakened during the night with them. They have sent me to the doctor/hospital several times. They are very real my friends. It’s no joke. It’s not just for “attention.”  I’ve also learned the signs I get if I feel one coming on and have learned coping skills.

We as a society need more awareness of mental illness. People who suffer need to come forward, without feeling scared or like they are being judged.

If someone opens up to you about depression and or anxiety, you should treat that person the way you would if someone told you they had cancer or some other medical disease.

Depression/Anxiety is a silent disease and a silent killer.

I think the saying, “I’m praying for you,” has become just that, a saying. If you are having problems message, comment, contact me and I WILL PRAY FOR YOU!

Friends, if you’re reading this and you have depression or think you’re depressed, seek medical help.

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.””

‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭31:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

xoxo,

Davilyn

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical professional. If you think you are depressed seek medical help.

Summer Lovin’

I know summer doesn’t “officially” start until June 21, but to me, it starts Memorial Day weekend.

I love summer!

Hair gets lighter, skin gets darker, water gets warmer, drinks get colder, music gets louder, days are longer, life seems better. Kids are out of school. Some are going on vacations, visiting family, going to camps and others enjoy time at home. They enjoy small things like staying up and sleeping late, water slides, small plastic pools, popsicles, ice-cream cones and home picnics.

Life seems more laid back and relaxed during the summer. I love sitting on my deck, drinking sweet tea, grilling, listening to music. At dark, I like to watch the fireflies. I remember catching them as a child, putting them in a mason jar and putting them in my room to watch at night.  I want to catch some with my grandkids this summer so they can have that experience.

It’s the small things in life that I enjoy. Wildflowers, sunsets, stars, moon, the frogs croaking, the birds singing, the crickets chirping…I love nature. I also like to hear wind chimes, when we do get wind during the summer. It is hot and humid here in Texas during the summer but we have fans on the deck and AC in the house, so we’re good.

Have a time that you put your phone down, disconnect from social media and make memories. Be in the moment, simplify and enjoy your summer. My motto is, don’t collect things, collect memories.

My freckles always come out during the summer. My granny use to tell me they were sun kisses, they use to bother me but now I love to be kissed by the sun. I love to be outside. It makes me feel better. All of the feel-good endorphins get going and we need the Vitamin D the sun gives us. Of course, use sunscreen.

My wardrobe in the summer consists of flip-flops, shorts, t-shirts, and sunglasses.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy your summer. I love to see pictures and stories of the good times people have.  I like to see that on my newsfeed rather than depressing things.

If you would like ideas about planning a vacation, staycation or ideas on what to do this summer, I can help you.

If you would like to join my vacation group it is Lost at Sea Travels with Davilyn

Whatever you do this summer, enjoy it, that’s the most important thing. 💛

Enjoying the simple life,

💜Davilyn

Passion and Purpose

It’s never too late or you’re never too old, to start something new.

I read this in October, in a devotional…

“Take time to align your actions so that they reflect your passions.  If you’re finding that you’re not as passionate about things, dig into your purpose.  If you’re finding it difficult to recognize your purpose, then follow your passions, because on that path is where your purpose is waiting to be discovered.”

I read and re-read and thought about it and prayed about it a lot. I wanted to find out what my purpose was so I had to think about what my passions are.  I wanted something for me, outside of my family. Three of my passions have come together, photography, writing, and travels.

I had thought about a blog for a couple of years but I was scared. I am an introvert, insecure, have anxiety and a private person. I had to step out of my comfort zone to even start a blog. I’ve read and heard that good things happen outside of your comfort zone. How could I write a blog, though?  In January, I started with fear and all, not knowing what I was doing.

A few months ago when I started this blog I never dreamed it would bring me to the place I’m at now. I knew I would write about traveling, cruising, sharing photos, my family, and inspirational post because those things are my life. So far, the cruise and travel blogs have the most comments and views.

I’ve thought many times that I would love to be a travel agent, had even inquired about it but I was scared, and it went no further.  Finally, I just did it out of fear, as well.

This little blog has turned my passion for traveling/cruising into more. I am now a Travel Agent. A lot of people over the years have come to me asking for help because they see my photos and know we cruise a lot. It makes me happy helping people! I really love to help someone plan a vacation or a staycation. It helped me, turn my passion, into my purpose.

It’s my desire to make each person that comes to me happy and help them have a great vacation or staycation and make wonderful memories.

I can help you plan a cruise, excursions, beach vacations or even Disney. It doesn’t cost you any more to book travels through a travel agent (ME) than you would online or calling the company itself. I can help you find the best deals and you’ll have a “real” person to talk to.

I am still learning and taking courses. If I don’t know something, I can find out because I have a great agency that I work for and that is so helpful.

I have created a group on Facebook Lost at Sea Travels with Davilyn. I would love to have you join my group. I will post promotions, photos, answer questions, make it fun and help you any way that I can.

Maybe you can’t afford a vacation & think you shouldn’t join? Join anyway! As I’ve said in a previous blog, you can pay out a cruise or have a staycation at home. I encourage you to read it… Cruising on a Budget/Recent Cruise

Although, I love to travel and cruise, you can make great memories with a staycation and we do that as well.

Turn your home into your little piece of paradise and have a staycation. It doesn’t have to be extravagant. I’d be more than happy to help you and give you ideas for that as well. I want to help you relax, have fun and make memories. We need to enjoy our lives and not work and worry all of the time.

I can help anyone from anywhere!

My blog will be a lifestyle/travel blog because I will have blogs about different things. Some will be motivational, inspirational, about my family and of course travel. That’s one reason I wanted a separate group for traveling.

Thank you for reading my blogs, visiting my sites and for all of the support. Thank you for helping me turn my passion into a purpose, to help others.

Travel Agent website

I would love to help you with your future travels. Contact me on here or any of my sites. Thank you!

Enjoying the simple life,

💜Davilyn

Cruising on a Budget/Recent Cruise

This is one of my favorite quotes. You don’t have to tell me twice. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive or extravagant. It can be a day trip, flip-flops, and Little Debbie cakes. By the way, they are good. Have you heard the quote, “Flip flops are the glass slipper of the South?” Well, I love flip flops, they are my glass slippers.

We just got home from our yearly cruise. It’s important to us to take a vacation each year and we love cruises. We make taking trips, even day trips, a priority. My husband works many hours, weekends and holidays, so we need to get away when we can.

I’ve been asked, “how do you afford it?”

We are on a budget just like most people.

1) We always cruise during offseason, it’s cheaper.

2)They offer many types of rooms from inside cabins to suites. Of course, the room you choose determines the cost, as well the length of the cruise and the ship you choose.

3)You can book a cruise a year or even two in advance with a small deposit and have until 90 days before the cruise to pay it off. There isn’t a set amount you have to pay and can pay any amount on it when you can.

4) A cruise is all-inclusive unless you drink alcohol, then that’s extra.

5) The best thing, you get to go to 3 or more different places on one trip.

Back to our vacation!

We traveled with a group of eight people this time.

Day 1: Sea Day

Our first day was a sea day and we laid around the pool. That night was one of the elegant nights in the dining room. My husband tries all of the exotic foods, me, not so much.

They take great photos and photoshop. (photos cost extra)

Day 2: Key West, Florida.

We rented a golf cart that seated 8, I didn’t even know they existed. We explored the island. Like really, the whole island, by accident, because we got lost. We ended up on the main highway on a golf cart. I think we were headed to Miami. We asked several people the way to the cruise port and all of them gave a different direction. We made it back to the ship on time but I must admit, I was getting concerned. But it was a fun adventure. We got to see the furthest south point of the U.S. and that was cool.

Day 3. Freeport, Bahamas

We bought a carnival beach excursion. It ended up not being worth the money. The excursion was for 4 hours and I’m thinking 4 hours on the beach. No, it was a 30-minute drive each way, so that gave us 3 hours on the beach. That’s not enough time for me and especially for the amount we paid for it.   We didn’t buy the all-inclusive, which included food, so we had to pay extra for that. If I ever go back to Freeport, I will probably do port shopping and enjoy time on the ship.

Day 4: Nassau, Bahamas

We purchased a day pass to Breezes Resort, all-inclusive. It was beautiful. It had several pools, hot tubs, entertainment, all the food and drinks you want and most importantly to me, a beautiful beach. There was no set time for us to leave and we stayed all day. We just had to get our own taxi back to port. This was a fun day! I love Nassau.

Days 5 & 6 SEA DAYS

We love sea days. There are lots of activities to participate in or to be a spectator, like me. We love being on the upper deck looking out at the ocean or people watching and of course, lots of food and ice-cream.

There are lots of choices for the nightlife as well. Casino, Karaoke, live music, comedy shows, nightclub, line dancing, movies on the big screen by the pool, deck parties, games, shows, star gazing and more. So many things to choose from.

The sunsets are the best on the seas.

Your room is cleaned for you twice a day and you have turndown service. Room service is also available.

To us, cruising is the best vacation for your money.

Love this view!

So take the trip, buy the shoes, eat the cake and don’t worry about the calories. Carnival cruise has the best chocolate melting cake and I don’t think once about the calories.

Collect memories, not things.

At the end of the day, it’s what you choose, that’s important to you. We choose to cut back on other things so we can afford to take a good vacation.

We also do things throughout the year.  We may take day trips to the nearby lake or drive 3 hours to the beach.  The trip may be to our backyard, tune everything else out, listen to music, grill, lay out by the pool or have a fire at night.

Traveling and being together is very important to us.

Whatever or however you choose to do life, enjoy it because life is short.

Here is the link to my facebook group, if you would like to join. I would love to have you!

Cruise Travel FB Group

Enjoying the simple life,

💜Davilyn