Our Sixth Anniversary!

Rob and I celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary today! Six years!! Some days, it feels like our wedding day was just yesterday… and other moments, it feels like we’ve been married for a dozen years, in the very best way possible. The past six years of marriage have been filled with so much pure joy and unabashed happiness, and life is simply so much sweeter and more full together. Marriage is such an undeserved gift, and it’s the very best gift we’ve been given this side of Heaven. There is so much I want to say and share about marriage and being married to Rob, and these past six years have surely been the happiest years of my life. Through the ups and downs of life, in the conversations and laughter and tears, in the big moments and the every day, in all of it, having Rob by my side is the greatest blessing and such an answered prayer. Sometimes I look across the table or across the room and am just in complete awe that I am married to this handsome man, that we’ve chosen each other forever, and that I get to spend all my days as his wife. He is home, in every sense of the word, and he knows me to my core – the good and the bad – and loves me completely. To get to share this life with Rob, to joyfully live life together, to know that we are always on each other’s team, to grow and grow old together, to spend the rest of our days loving each other… this is the good stuff of life, and for this, I am wildly grateful and eternally blessed.


I thought it would be fun to share a little Marriage Q&A 2.0, and all of the following questions were submitted on Instagram by you all! It was really fun to read through the various questions that were asked, think about our responses, and write them out here, and I hope you enjoy reading my/our thoughts and glean a little bit more about us.

How do you avoid the trap of comparison in marriage (i.e.: comparing to others): I love this question! For us, we are very secure and very confident in our marriage and our love for one another, so this isn’t something we directly struggle with too much. I think marriages (and relationships in general) are so personal… and really the only two people who know what that marriage is like are the two people in it. We are very, very thankful that we feel so strongly about our unconditional love for one another, forever and always, and at the root of our marriage is our faith and Christ. I am called to love Rob more than I love myself, and he is called to do the same for me… and above all, we are made to love Christ more than we love each other. If this is the foundation for our marriage, and if we choose to love each other selflessly, wholly, and unconditionally every moment of every day (which we fail at plenty!), then we have a very firm foundation and know we will weather life’s storms with each other. All that to say, we LIKE each other and we LOVE each other so, so much, and Rob’s both husband and my best friend. We have so much fun together, can do nothing & everything and still have the best time, have the same hopes and dreams for our life & our future, and feel very secure and certain in our love… so we don’t compare our marriage to others’ marriages since every single marriage/relationship is wildly and vastly different. It’s wonderful to have trusted close friends that are vulnerable with one another and share in the ups & downs and joys & struggles of life and of marriage… but at the same time, I’m not comparing my marriage to theirs or even going to friends first if an issue or problem or disagreement arises between us. We’ve figured out (and in some ways, are still learning!) what works best for us; we differ in opinions here & there and get into little tiffs like anyone, but at the end of the day, we are very, very, very happy and are very intentional in keeping our marriage as healthy, safe, happy, selfless, and loving as possible. I’m sure there’s plenty more I could say!

We do have SO MANY friends with children now (we are in our mid-thirties!), and while we would love to have children (and soon), we are so happy for our friends who are pregnant, try our best to be an involved & fun & loving “honorary aunt & uncle” to our friends’ kiddos, and know that their happiness and fuller families don’t diminish from our own happiness with each other. I do try to tell my friends who are moms that I love their children, that I love spending time with them, and to include me on things like park play dates and getting togethers, even if I don’t have a child — and I think it’s helpful to verbalize to them so that they know I am genuinely interested and love being with both them and their kids. I also know life has seasons and stages, so I try to be super understanding and accommodating of the challenges (and joys!) of being a busy mom and stretched thin with time and energy — offering to come to them or meet somewhere where kids can run around, meeting at times that work best for them, dropping off treats and encouragement, offering to babysit their kids so they can have a date night, bringing meals, etc. Also: being an aunt brings me more joy than I EVER thought possible, and I adore being an aunt (to four, soon to be five!, cuties) more than words can say!

And we also have many friends – couple friends and a few single friends – who don’t have children, so we spend lots of time with those friends, too. It’s (obviously) easier to schedule things with them, as we tend to have more similar schedules and fewer time constraints, so we regularly have game nights/dinner dates/dinner parties/tennis & pickleball meetups/Survivor nights/deck hangouts with them. We always hope that our marriage can help be an encouragement in some way to our single friends and/or newly married friends in the ways that we treat each other, how we talk with one another, how we talk about our marriage, how we share our faith, and hopefully how we model love to others. I also never want anyone to look at us and think we have a perfect marriage — because no one does, which definitely includes us! — and instead be realistic about challenges (and how we have or are working to overcome them), how we communicate, how we show our love in little ways, how we listen to each other, etc.

Similar story – 27, met online, at 6 months & about to get married! What did you say to “wow, that’s fast”? Aww I love this! Congrats!! For us, I’ve never once had anyone tell me “that’s fast!” when it came to our relationship and timeline! Admittedly, though, it was quite fast!! It never, ever felt fast or rushed or hurried then (or now), and we’ve never had any of our families or friends question our relationship. (We met 7 years ago today, dated for 6 months, and were engaged for 6 months — we were married 1 year & 3 days after our first date!!)

There’s a couple things: our first date was amazing, our second date was even better, and it only got better every day since then (to this day!). Rob and I were both very sure of who we were and what we wanted, and there were never any games or waiting around or wondering what the other felt. We clicked instantly, fell head over heels quickly, and had SO much in common: our faith, our families, our optimistic personalities, many similar hobbies and things that we love doing, etc. The second I read Rob’s dating profile, I knew he was someone very, very special, and he felt the exact same way. We were also a little older when we met (I was 29, he is a year younger), and we both knew a good amount about who we were and what we wanted in a relationship/partner and out of life. Our faith was very, very uniting and has also been the core of our relationship from the beginning. We also spent a LOT of time together when we were dating/engaged (and now, of course) — basically every day after work and all day long each weekend, so we had a lot of quality time to get to know each other early on (we lived just 15 minutes apart).

As much as it seems like a quick timeline, it never, ever felt rushed or hurried to us: we just knew so, so quickly that this was it and that God had made us to be together. I’ve never felt such unwavering certainty or clarity in my life, and we’ve never once doubted our love or our marriage or our timeline. Truly, God gave us a peace and a certainty that was unlike anything I can describe, and I think all of our families and our friends could see our love from very early on. I love our love story & our timeline, and it was perfect for us — we had waited a long time to find the right person, we knew how strong our love for each other was, we were ready to get married and start the rest of our lives together, and I wouldn’t change one thing 🙂

 What is your favorite thing about each other? What is the best quality about each other? Rob: Everything. Seriously, everything. I love how sweet, caring, and kind Steph is – and how selfless she is. Steph: It’s true: I love everything about Rob. Not to say we don’t bicker or get on each other’s nerves from time to time, but I love every single thing about Rob. He is thoughtful, compassionate, kind, and genuine to his core. He encourages me like no other, makes me want to be a better person, supports me no matter what, loves selflessly, and is so sincere and generous to everyone. Rob is hilarious and goofy, and I love that we can be so silly and comfortable with each other, always. He’s driven but grounded, patient and calm, a dedicated man of God, the goofiest and most wonderful husband, and my favorite person in the whole world!


How did you really savor the dating and engaged seasons? We had SO much fun dating each other and also loved being engaged! When we were a couple months into dating, we talked about the future together and what that might look like… til it became OUR future and OUR marriage and OUR wedding. Once we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, it was very fun to talk & dream about our future and very loosely talk about our future wedding, but something I was very firm on (with myself) was that I didn’t plan a single detail of our wedding til we were engaged. Even I, the wedding planner and lifelong lover of weddings, didn’t plan a single aspect of her wedding nor even start a Pinterest board til the day after our engagement. (NO judgement if you do, but it was wisest for me not to!!) I am around weddings all the time and had vague favorites, but I wanted to be certain our wedding was about US and our love and our marriage. I didn’t want to plan it all before with an imaginary groom and then hoped he liked whatever I liked. For me, it was healthiest – and more fun! – to plan our wedding once we were engaged — to plan OUR marriage celebration & wedding and not just my wedding. So it helped me (us) live life in the present (and not focused on the future that wasn’t here yet) to simply savor the current season — to embrace dating Rob and falling in love and having the healthiest & happiest relationship we could going into marriage… and then once we were officially engaged, then we started planning our wedding. This is one big way that I really savored our dating season (which is so short in the grand scheme of things!) and also our engagement season (which was also short) — by living in the here and now & not wishing away the now for the future. We also waited til we were married to move in with one another, so it felt like the natural next step of our relationship versus all of the things all at once. And it was the best & sweetest next season! (Again, no judgement whatsoever if your timeline/seasons/decisions are different — this is just what we did!)

What would be on your dream registry today? Can you register for plants for your yard? If so, I would register to have someone come teach me how to garden in our yard & then ask for copious amounts of jasmine, clematis, honeysuckle, peonies, hydrangea, azaleas, garden roses, tulips, daffodils, cosmos, day lilies, and all of the herbs, peppers, & lettuces! Is this a sign that I’m old?! I’d also refresh our outdoor furniture and register for a vacation fund.

When you picture life together in 20 years, what do you imagine? Rob: We’ll still be loving each other, probably putting our kids through college, still be goofy and awesome. We’ll age like fine wine: we’ll just keep getting better and better. Steph: We’ll be in our early 50s in twenty years, and my answer would be similar to Rob’s (except much longer and more verbose, in case you hadn’t noticed!). We’ll be celebrating 25 years of marriage and still madly in love. I imagine life will be full and joyful: balancing work and home and parenthood and marriage and life! Hopefully we’ll be making a few weekend visits to kids in college and savoring our empty-nest home, too. Our family will be rooted in faith, legacy, intentional living, creating joyful memories, getting outside and exploring, celebrating abundantly, adventures near and far, giving generously, serving the Lord and other wholeheartedly, and unapologetic love.

What are both of your Enneagram numbers? Rob: I refuse to answer that question (ha!). Steph: I love the Enneagram and talking about it; Rob does not! I am a pretty classic 2 with a 3 wing, and Rob is a pretty classic 9 with a 1 wing. So many of my very favorite people are 9s – the easygoing peacemaker! Doesn’t that sound like my sweet Rob?! I’m the helper/the host.


Rob Shaul, I love you with all of my heart and always will. Marrying you was the easiest, best, and happiest decision of my life, and being married to you is more incredible than I ever dreamt it could be. How is it possible to fall more and more in love with you every single day? Thank you for the countless ways you love me, pursue my heart, make me laugh, encourage me, and make this life we share so darn fun. You are my greatest blessing and biggest adventure, and I love you forever!

“We love because He first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19

wedding photos are by our dear friends and incredible photographers Ally + Bobby!

PS: alllll of our wedding posts can be found here!!

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