8 Day Relationship Challenge + Valentine's Gift Guide for Him

As I was thinking about what I wanted to share about Valentine's Day several ideas went through my head.  I thought I might share a "healthy-ish" way to celebrate with kids, I thought about sharing a traditional gift guide but then I thought... honestly... I've never been a HUGE Valentine's Day person so it just didn't feel true to me.

I'm not really sure why but its one of those holidays that has just never resonated with me.  Maybe its because its so forced or because I'm just not a person whose love language is gifts but it just has never been my thing.

Don't get me wrong, I love a great excuse to get dressed up and go out for dinner with my man, express my love for my family and I certainly love any excuse to eat an entire box of chocolates (just me?)  But my husband and I have just never been huge on this holiday.

I think one thing we've made an effort to do is to make our relationship a priority no matter what day of the year it is.  I believe having a healthy relationship is one of the 4 pillars to ultimate success in your health and life and should be a priority all year long.  In fact, I believe in it so much that I even incorporated healthy relationship work into my fitness programs!  After almost 9 years of marriage (13 years together) my husband and I have been through A LOT of ups and downs.  We are far from perfect, but one thing we've learned is that our relationship HAS to be a priority or nothing else works quite as well in our lives.

For us that starts with our faith.  It starts with us each having healthy relationships with God that spill over into our marriage.  And when we have a healthy thriving marriage we are able to raise healthy thriving and happy children.  We're able to build thriving businesses and we're able to take care of our own health + fitness goals because we're in a better state of mind as leaders of our home.  You can do all the workouts you want but if you're not feeling GOOD in your relationships, you're truly missing a piece of the puzzle.

A little over a year ago we were inspired as a couple to do a relationship challenge called 31 Creative Ways to Love and Encourage by Jefferson and Alyssa Bethke (which I highly recommend).  That spurred a conversation for us about keeping our relationship top of mind 365 days a year.  Of course there's times when we fall off, get in a funk but we try really hard to appreciate the little things about one another.  We've realized how important it is to do special things for each other even when its not a "special occasion." It has really helped us stay close, grow together and appreciate one another even through challenging times.

After having babies we realized how easy it was to neglect our marriage because of sheer exhaustion and lack of time and we knew we had to be super mindful of that.  We started making time for regular date nights (preferably out) but sometimes just a hang out night on the couch with some ice cream (without kids or distractions) we considered "our time."

These things have become standard for us even through the thick of struggles and its really helped us stay grounded and on the same page.  Whenever we get in a funk in our relationship its typically because we neglected to take time to connect with God OR time to connect with each other (sans kiddos).

All this to say that in honor of this Valentine's Day, I wanted to share a simple 8 Day Relationship Challenge you can do with your spouse any day or any month of the year.

Instead of just 1 grand gesture on Valentine's Day, consider spending an entire week pouring your love and attention into your man (and if you want even more challenges you can even join my 31 Days of Love group that I ran last year for more ideas).  I really believe doing these little challenges (corny as it may seem) really helps bring back a spark in a relationship, keeps it fresh and truly makes your spouse feel super super loved and special.  Even the happiest of marriages can use work, just like a workout plan your relationship is a muscle that you constantly have to be working and growing in new ways or it can plateau.  You don't have to tell him you're even doing this but these small gestures will be noticed and appreciated for sure!

I also wanted to share a few non-traditional gifts that might be a great fit for you and your husband this Valentine's Day or any day.  Instead of investing money into "things" I think its so important to invest in growing your relationship with each other.  These don't need to necessarily be Valentine's Day gifts but maybe you'll even be inspired to give them "just because."

#1. 31 Creative Ways to Love and Encourage

My husband and I did this relationship challenge last year and absolutely loved it! It helped us connect in a totally new way.  I highly recommend it to any couple whether you have a fantastic marriage or you're in a rough spot - we can all be more creative in the way we express love to one another!
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#2  You & Me Forever
This is an amazing Bible Study that my husband and I are currently completing. Its really helped us to grow together in our spirituality and our relationship!

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#3  Wave Rings

Wave rings are perfect for an active couple! My husband is a pro athlete and can't wear his gold wedding ring very often because of practices, games and lifting so we decided to get wave rings so that we could wear these any day of the week.  I love wearing these for days we're in the pool, weight lifting or getting super sweaty!

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#4 Personalized Dog Tags

I got these personalized dog tags for my husband after having each of our daughters.  Its now one of his most prized possessions and he wears his girls close to his heart every day.

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#5   A&W

Is my husband the only one that's obsessed with root beer?  He almost completely cut out soda after we decided (or rather I convinced him) to live a healthier lifestyle but one of his biggest vice's is root beer!  He NEVER has it so once a year or so I surprise him with a couple treats!  If your husband isn't a root beer guy you can treat him with his favorite soda or special treat he never eats anymore.

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#6 Ear pods

Okay, I had to throw this in because even though its quite materialistic, lets face it... guys are total tech nerds (at least my man is)!  He's super stoked about the new ear pods and I think they make a great grand gesture if you can afford it!

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Whatever you choose, I hope you have a beautiful Valentine's Day with the ones you love most!


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