Keep Reading To See Our Full Marriage Q&A!
Marriage is something that Eric and I love to talk about with our friends and family. We are always trying to strengthen our marriage and invest in our relationship with each other! One way we do that is by making our quality time together a priority! So when my sweet friend, Brendt, asked Eric and I to join her and her husband, Andy, on their podcast, Eric and I jumped at the chance!
OUR MARRIAGE Q+A:
Brendt: We are so excited about this next segment. We have two of our very good friends with us – Heather and Eric Brown. I’m so thrilled to have them here today. We’ve got some really fun things. Heather is one of my very good friends. She has been a mentor to me. She has an amazing blog over at My Life Well Loved. We connect on Instagram together. Most importantly, she is a very dear friend, and she’s got a lot of wisdom on marriage and parenting and being an entrepreneur. We’re going to hear from her.
Andy: Don’t forget Eric.
Brendt: We agreed he’s the smartest of all of us
Andy: Thank you so much for joining us this evening virtually.
Heather: We are so excited to be joining you guys. We are honestly honored. You guys gave us a very kind introduction, but know that the feeling is mutual. We respect Brendt and Andy so much as well.
Brendt: Tell us about your two little boys?
Eric: I’ll start with our oldest. His name is Leyton. He is going to turn 6 at the end of this month and has started Kindergarten. Finn turned 3 a few days ago. They’re just two great boys, and we’re very proud to be their parents.
Heather: They could not be more opposite. I tell Brendt and Andy I need all the parenting wisdom because you guys certainly know how to go about it. Our 6 year old is super compassionate and a friend to everybody. Finn is wide open.
Brendt: You both have very successful careers – Heather as an entrepreneur and Eric working in the cardiac unit. Yet, you guys have a very thriving marriage and family. Is that something you have always been good at or did it take work?
Eric: I’ll answer that question first. In our marriage, we are going on 13 years coming up in September. There’s a stat that says people in our generation will go through 12 to 15 different careers, so you are already having to change. When you’re doing that in marriage, you really have to communicate and talk about that with your spouse. I’ve been through a couple of different careers already – former public auditor and switched over to the medical field. I’ll never forget the conversation that Heather and I had when I was discussing changing careers. It was actually in Panama city beach in the parking lot of the condo after we went to Waffle House at midnight. I remember that moment as something that I had prayed about a lot. I had a very secure job and it was a good job with KPMG, and I told Heather what was on my heart, and I’ll never forget. She said “if you really feel like that is where the Lord is leading you, then I’m going to support you. From that moment on, it made everything else so much easier. That’s just a small example of having to change and balance careers. Vice versa with Heather – she did a lot more of your typical corporate type jobs. She said, “Eric, I really want to transition to more of this entrepreneurial role.” Would you support that? I was like, “for sure.” It’s just about being supportive and communicating. It plays a huge role in our relationship.
Heather: Absolutely. When you ask that question, the first thing that popped into my mind was when Eric and I were dating at Samford. We both graduated from Samford University right here in Birmingham, Alabama – Go Bulldogs. It was one of the first big disagreements that Eric and I got into. I remember throwing out that we should just take a break and take some time to figure this out. I knew Eric was really serious about me and our relationship because as a college guy, he had the wherewithal and the determination to look back at me and say, “if we’re dating seriously with potentially the thought one day of this going somewhere”, he said, you know, “you can’t take a break in marriage. Either you’re going to stay in this and we’re going to figure it out or we’re done and we’re not getting back together.” I realized “wow okay. I need to get my act together quickly.”
Brendt: I like that y’all both trusted in where the other was being led. It wasn’t “are you crazy?” or “that’s more of my choice.” It was met with such openness, respect, and trust. I think that is huge because it sounds like that just continues to build stronger and stronger throughout all of our marriages.
Eric: It really does take a lot of work. For us, it was definitely no different with me going back to school to change professions. We were living in a condo. I was doing clinical hours and doing classes trying to balance all those things. It was difficult for Heather and that was probably one of the most difficult times for our marriage. We went through counseling during that time. We were about 7 years into our marriage. I think most men, at the time, were initially against counseling, and I was very much like that as well. It really was one of the best things for our marriage to educate and support one another. It does take work to balance career, family, and all the other things that we have going on in our lives.
Andy: Heather, you work hard running a thriving lifestyle brand, and Eric, you have a high-pressure job. You guys have a great marriage. None of us are perfect, but you are intentional about your marriage. You got two young boys. How have you guys learned to deal with the tension over the years? Just the tension of wanting a thriving career and wanting to be a present parent who is there for your kids and marriage. How do you deal with that tension when it comes up?
Heather: I would say that tension and your balance of family versus career is always going to be hard. Just like we learned in our wedding vows and in premarital counseling – you are dying to yourself to have a successful relationship with your spouse and a successful relationship with the Lord. There are just so many dynamics that enter in addition to your job and kids. It’s really helpful for us to get those date nights in. I did not grow up with my parents going on date nights often, but Eric’s parents made an intentional effort every week to go on date night.
Eric: I was basically raised by babysitters. They were great babysitters. I’m sure they made a lot of money. My parents seemed happy. They were always much happier when they got back from date night. (laugher ensues)
Eric: Just kidding…We always want to try and stay in balance. We give each other grace depending on the circumstances. We ultimately know we want to reach a place of balance. The fact we both have those intentions keeps us centered. Date nights play a big role in that to try and get back into balance.
Heather: Eric, I’ll brag on you for a minute. Last week, I was working really hard to wrap up my meal planning for the back to school season Ebook. Eric knew I was really busy, so he said “Hey babe. I’m going to pick up pizza on the way home and take the kids to the pool to let you knock this thing out.” When he’s willing to do that, I feel appreciated and that he values my work. When he says to me later, “I’m really stressed out. I would really love to meet up with the guys to grab a drink or go to the golf course for a few hours on Friday” it makes me much more willing to give and take. Similar to what we were joking about Eric’s parents coming back happier after date night, Eric comes back happier after playing golf. I love that we can work on that together.
Brendt: Knowing you both personally and seeing you in the neighborhood, I can say you guys live out what you are describing. When you guys speak of this, you are very sincere and genuine on how you approach this.
Brendt: Can you give us some date night ideas that won’t break the budget?
Heather: One of Eric’s strong suits is making date nights unique. He brings a unique approach to it. One night during the height of everything going on in 2020 we couldn’t go to a nice restaurant, so Eric said “I want you to put on your favorite fancy dress, and I’m going to put on my tux.” We went to Target. We also got takeout and brought a bottle of new champagne to a lookout over the city. We ate our takeout food in our fancy clothes and listened to music in the back of Eric’s car. In the past, we have done picnics. I love when Eric does a bonfire in the backyard, and we will do smores and listen to music outside. We also got really into watching Yellowstone together.
Eric: I think trying to make date nights approachable is really tough. To try and make everyday activities unique and different. It’s important to be intentional and think about these things in advance. I’m a big planner so that tends to help, but you really have to think these things through and be intentional.
Andy: I think the biggest takeaway from this conversation with you all is intentionality, grace, and awareness. One thing I hear from you guys coming up is an awareness of being present which I know is a cliche, but it’s true.
Andy: One of the things Brendt and I like to do on the podcast is what we call “put you on the spot.” We ask questions the others don’t know. Heather, I want you to think about a time you and Eric were dating, and you had an embarrassing moment.
Heather: When growing up, my parents didn’t have a lot of extra money. If we went to Mexican or Applebees, we thought it was a super big fancy meal out. Eric did not grow up that way. I jokingly tell him he grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth. The first time he took me to a nice dinner we were in Panama City break at the old Canopy’s location which it’s now called Firefly. We walked into the fancy restaurant, and I was thinking “oh shoot. There’s white tablecloths.: All of a sudden, I didn’t know who I was. I couldn’t speak, I almost blacked out and wanted to faint and fall under the table. I was just staring at all the spoons and forks and thought he’s going to judge me. I just panicked.
Brendt: What does your perfect breakfast look like?
Eric: I’m a big breakfast person. It’s simple, but if it’s done right, there’s no better breakfast. If you can scramble eggs correctly, I would say two eggs and bacon. I’m a huge bacon fan. It’s the way to go and a cup of black coffee.
Brendt: You will have to have us over for breakfast.
Andy: This was so much fun. I appreciate y’all sharing some time with us. We think you guys are the best.
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