Marriage, Ladies’ Home Journal, and the Simple Things That Matter

Posted by: Shel 28 Comments

Marriage and the Simple Things That MatterIn January, Ladies’ Home Journal Magazine (LHJ) asked what little things “you and your spouse do for each other” that make the marriage special. My husband and I had fun putting together our list to send in, reminding each other of little things the other had done that made us smile.

When we heard back from LHJ, weeks later, notifying us that we had made an initial cut and were being considered to be included in their article, I was pretty sure I knew why. I figured they must have been as impressed as I was that Steve had once used fertilizer to spell out ‘I love you’ in the yard so that his message would ‘green up’ in the spring. Or it could have been his “I [heart] you” drizzled in icing on a toaster strudel that had them following up with us. Maybe even that my wifely dedication was so strong that I made Steve his favorite oatmeal raisin cookies in spite of the fact that raisins are disgusting.

I found out just how wrong I was months later when LHJ contacted us for photos, thus confirming we would be in the article. What got included in our blurb, as well as gestures attributed to the other happily married couples quoted in the article, were plain vanilla kindness. The little, seemingly insignificant acts that let our mates know they’re special – whether married two years, 70 years, or anything in between.

If you get a chance, check out the article. You won’t be bowled over by showy romantic gestures that wowed a spouse. But you will be able to relate to these married couples. You may read some clips and realize you do those little things that add up to longevity. You may see simple acts that you can incorporate into your own relationship. You may be inspired to come up with additional acts of kindness to honor your own spouse.

While I was initially delighted that our ‘grand acts’ of love toward each other would be celebrated, my review of what was actually included in our little corner of page 26 was a wonderful reminder. It’s not the occasional grand act that sustains us in marriage (although those can be very nice) but the little acts of kindness and love we demonstrate toward each other in our daily lives that accumulate to propel us toward an enjoyable longevity.

Marriage, Ladies' Home Journal, and the Little Things That MatterMarriage, Ladies' Home Journal, and the Little Things That Matter

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  • I actually read Ladies Home Journal and saw this fellow blogger featured in this, I am so proud we follow each other’s posts, but apparently more recently than this exciting small notice of how the couple love each other….
    Smiles, Robin O. Cochran

    • Shel Harrington

      I’m glad we connected over the past year, too Robin – that was so nice of Jill to share her space so we could all get to know each other better! Looking forward to more interaction in 2015 – Happy New Year!

  • How great is this, Shel!!!
    Congratulations on both the wonderful marriage and having it shared in LADIES HOME JOURNAL!

    • Shel Harrington

      Thanks, Marylin – we were pretty tickled! We tried to find a copy while we were in Michigan visiting Steve’s mom so we could share it with her, but couldn’t find it anywhere. That is, until we were at the airport waiting for our flight home! A family member will bring her a copy. I know she’ll enjoy seeing it even though she probably won’t remember seeing it the next day. But then, that just means she’ll get a chance to enjoy seeing it several times!

  • You and your husband are adorable the way you are so sweet to each other! You are a shining example for others!

    • Shel Harrington

      Awww, thanks, Diana. As you can imagine, it’s not all sweetness, but the challenging times are what make the good moments shine brighter!

  • Martha Bryant

    I didn’t spell my name correctly, which shows I need to concentrate. BTW, congrats for taking a chance with the magazine.

  • Martha Bryat

    Warm fuzzy feeling as I write this and a little sad remembering all the times I should have been kinder and sweeter. I’m going to be nicer.

    • Shel Harrington

      Everyday’s a new opportunity, Martha! And thanks for the congrats – I should post our little section of the article somewhere I can see it daily to remember to keep practicing what I blog-preach!

  • Shel! This is so cool!!! What a lovely validation.

    • Shel Harrington

      Thanks, Luanne – it IS nice to be able to demonstrate I practice what I blog-preach!! And thank you for sharing it – much appreciated!

  • Wow! I love this, Shel! Can we purchase it now? I love that you put your husband’s robe in the dryer while he’s showering…why didn’t I think of that? 🙂
    This is so great!

    • Shel Harrington

      Thanks, Jill – fun stuff! It is out now – the very last subscription issue of LHJ. From here it goes to an online and quarterly newsstand distribution. So I guess we could say, after 131 years of LHJ, this is an historic issue! (Making history however I can!)

      On the heated robe: I have upgraded to a large towel warmer so that I don’t have to run to the basement for the quick heat – money well spent!

      • That is really cool…you’re in the last printed issue! I plan to pick up a copy tomorrow.

  • I love it, Shel – pics and all. How wonderful to be included in this special piece. Proud to know you!

    • Shel Harrington

      I did feel honored, Kim. I also learned a bit about the behind-the-scenes of pulling that type of article together. I previously thought those pieces were fairly simple and could be tossed in at the last minute as filler. Now I’ve seen first-hand the multiple layers of gathering info, narrowing, fact-finding, confirming, illustrating, editing and numerous staff member involvement over 4 months to pull together something that (in my case) has about two square inches of magazine real estate!I sure do have a new-found respect for the process! Thanks for the support and sharing, Kim – I sure hope you’ll be getting your encouraging self to OK in the near future!

  • Kay

    Wow! I luuuuv this! I feel like I personally know a celebrity! You two are truly blessed that God brought you together! Congratulations, not only for 36 yrs. of marriage, but for being highlighted in LHJ. That is quite an accomplishment! Thanks for sharing!

    • Shel Harrington

      We have been blessed, indeed, Kay. I know many blessed people have marriages that don’t work out, so I know that we are also very fortunate. The odds were certainly stacked against us getting married at 18 and 19 then moving across the country a couple of years later to a state where we knew no one and had no support system. The move also worked in our favor – forced us to rely on each other and grow in a way we would not have had to if we stayed in the comfort of our family community. And we wouldn’t have met awesome people like you and the others in this community that we have been blessed by having in our lives!

  • Brenda

    That’s awesome. I love the fertilizer trick. Tell him I’ll be watching the lawn at the office for a special message for his amazing HR person!! 🙂 congrats on 36 years!!

    • Shel Harrington

      Too funny, Brenda! You might have to settle for a lovely Toaster Strudel greeting!

  • I love it, Shel! Chris and I have only been together for 4 years and it’s always nice to hear how others have made it work for so long!

    • Shel Harrington

      And had fun doing it, Marisa! Not every minute, of course, but enough to outweigh the inevitable less-than-fun times!

  • Julie K

    I love it! Inspiring!

    • Shel Harrington

      For me, too, Julie – there was a couple included in the article who have been married twice as long as us!

  • Connie

    So awesome! Glad you shared!!

    • Shel Harrington

      Thanks, Connie – I know you can relate to connecting with the right spouse!

  • MagB

    I think it’s great!!! And did you notice you were sporting the same color combo – coral and white (white wedding dress with coral bouquet and coral shirt with white sweater – looks great together! LOVE it – you two set an amazing bar for which to aspire!

    • Shel Harrington

      Thanks, MagB! I hadn’t realized the color scheme lasted 36 years, too – I’m still a sucker for a good coral (not pink, mind you – has to have that dash of orange!)If our recent (wonderful!) visit was any indication, you and your incredible spouse are well on your way to the same mile-marker!

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