This post is sponsored by AVA Grace.
It hit me the other day that TJ and I are entering the last month of our first year of marriage, today actually. I don’t know how in the world this first year has flown by so fast but it’s been the best year of my life, for sure! We got married on June 10th in Charleston late last spring and it was the most magical day. That fact, along with other events spring has in store, had us wanting to open up a bottle of our new favorite wine and have a little early celebration in our backyard now that we’ve completed recent updates to our outdoor space. Cheese, crackers, some rosé on a patio and you’ve got my ideal evening, no matter what the occasion is.
Speaking of wine, AVA Grace recently launched what is now my favorite wine I believe… a crisp and zesty Pinot Grigio rounded out with flavors of honeysuckle and a floral and fruity Rosé. AVA actually means “life” and the brand promises graceful moments with each long-lasting sip making it the ideal wine for special occasions. Whenever it gets warmer outside this time of year, I definitely gravitate to light, fruity, citrus wines and these two are both quite refreshing. We’ll be bringing more of these to my sister’s graduation festivities this weekend and it will be perfect since it is supposed to get pretty hot! I love that they come in cute little cans, too! The cans will be perfect for the cookout on Saturday. You can use this location finder to find out where you can purchase them.
I thought today would be the perfect time to do a relationship Q&A answering some questions about how TJ and I met and how we make time for each other, etc.
When and where did you meet?
Shelby: The first year I joined Delta Gamma, we had a semi-formal and I was date-less before my friends set me up with a guy they knew. He ended up being a great date and a month later we were “official”. That was 8 ½ years ago and we’ve been together ever since!
TJ: We met through mutual friends. Shelby needed a date for her Delta Gamma semi-formal (I still don’t understand how she didn’t have a date, but I got lucky) and our friends set us up. This was sophomore year of college.
How are you most alike?
Shelby: Aside from us always thinking about the exact same things at the same time, we have very similar senses of humor and also find the same things important. It’s hard to explain but I feel like we just have similar souls.
TJ: I think we are most alike in our values. We both value faith, family, and friendship. It was something that we both mentioned in our vows at our wedding, and a reason that keeps us so connected with each other. Also, we love delicious sweets from Trader Joes.
How are you different?
TJ: I think the biggest way we are different is that I am an extrovert and Shelby is an introvert. I am always up for going to hang out with friends, having friends over, seeing family, etc. I feel at times I have to drag Shelby out of the house. I feel her perfect Friday or Saturday night would be curled on the couch in 6 blankets with Colbie by her side. I am all for that scenario, but I do enjoy going to see other people just as much. I will say that, once Shelby is out of the house, she enjoys hanging with everyone just as much as I do and it’s hard for me to get her to come home.
Shelby: TJ differs from me in a few different ways. He is a people person and will want to become every stranger’s best friend. I’m sometimes like that but I also have an introverted side. TJ also is very laid back in most situations and doesn’t get stressed out as easily or at least he doesn’t share that. I tend to share all of my feelings whenever I have a lot on my mind, which is usually the case, and I definitely worry more than he does.
What is the other good and bad at?
Shelby: TJ is really good at making others feel welcome and at home. He’s super fun to be around but he also turns into a cleaning monster on the weekends (also, a good thing). I can’t really think of anything he is bad at.
TJ: Shelby is great at handling a lot of things at once. With her blog, house projects, and our travel, she has a lot of strings being pulled in a lot of directions, but she always manages to stay on top of things. The one thing I would say Shelby is bad at is LAUNDRY! Girl can never get through one load in a day. And if she does get it washed and dried, it usually sits in a basket for a week, haha!
How do you make time for each other?
TJ and Shelby: One thing we do right when I get home from work is go for a walk with each other and Colbie. It usually is a 30-45 minute walk and it is were we talk about our day, what challenged us, our successes, interesting things we’ve read, and how we are going to spend our evening. It is also a great way to get some steps in. There are also times where we keep the TV off at night and spend the evening together reading, working on the blog, or just listening to music and talking.
If you could live anywhere in the world together, where would it be?
Shelby: I love the area we’re in but I will say that if it weren’t for my family being all around here, I wouldn’t mind living right outside of Charleston, SC.
TJ: I really like living in the area that we do now. It is great for young professionals like us, but also has awesome school districts for when we begin to start a family. I also love the geography of North Carolina. You have plenty of places to escape to; the beach is 2 hours away and the mountains are just 3. I definitely would not mind branching out to other areas, but for where we are right now, Raleigh is great.
What do you love most about each other?
Shelby: I love a lot of things about TJ. He makes me laugh every day, supports every idea of mine, makes me feel at peace whenever I’m around him, and inspires me to be a better person!
TJ: I love Shelby’s integrity. She has always been honest, respectful, and is one of the nicest people I have ever met. I think it is why I gravitated to her so much when we first met. She is also the most ambitious person I have ever met. I see first hand how much time, energy, and passion she puts into everything she does. She is always working to better herself in all facets of life, never settling for just “okay”. I would say she inspires me to be better just as much I do for her. I think that is a reason we have connected so deeply and keep that connection, even almost 9 years into being together.
Where is your favorite place you’ve traveled together and where is one place you’d like to travel together?
Shelby: I really loved St. Lucia but I also loved the time we flew to Chicago for just one day then flew back that night. It felt so spontaneous and it was so fun exploring an entire city in a day with just the two of us! We also really love every time we visit Charleston though. Next year, I’d really love to visit France or Italy.
TJ: ST. LUCIA! This is a no-brainer. We went there for the honeymoon and it was amazing. The views, the villa, and not to mention the company, was absolutely amazing. I am excited about our upcoming trip to the Bahamas, but I know it could never top St. Lucia. I would love to travel to Central Europe with Shelby. I enjoy walking around a town or area and exploring, and I feel countries like Croatia, Austria, Switzerland have amazing views and would be fun to explore together.
How do you keep your relationship fun? Do each of you plan dates?
Shelby: It’s important for me to spend time with TJ when I’m not thinking about my work so normally we’ll go on walks, ride bikes, or try a brand new restaurant together. The other weekend we spontaneously ended up at a local brewery we’d never been to and it truly felt like we were on vacation sitting out on the patio listening to live music. We usually have fun no matter what we’re doing though although it definitely adds excitement when trying new things or going to new places.
TJ: This may seem boring, but I feel like all the time we are together is fun and exciting. Whenever we begin to have a conversation it usually ends up in laughing. One of the more exciting and fun things we have done was take a surprise day trip to Chicago. I got a really good deal on flights, and we literally left at 5am and explored the city for the entire day. We got home after midnight, exhausted, but reliving what an awesome day it was. I, myself, try to incorporate this type of fun and spontaneity in our lives as much as possible.
Thanks for reading! Happy almost Friday!