Y’all, I’m about to get reallll personal. Hope the hubs doesn’t mind!

Whilst at work and procrastinating browsing the internet for fun facts about statewide and national testing and whatnot, I came across this super cute and super sweet newlywed blog called, “The Newlywed Notebook”. Unfortunately, Lindsay, the creator and author behind the website, doesn’t blog anymore. In her honor, I will complete the tag she created and I hope y’all enjoy a little mushy time! Don’t barf yet, we’ve only just begun 😉

Here we goooooo!



1. Who Said “I Love You” First And When?

  • The hubs did first while we were on a trip down in Palm Springs, CA almost five years ago. We had been going out for about two months at the time and in retrospect, when I think back about that trip and playing beer pong and doing the Dirty Dancing lift in the pool to not cooking chicken thoroughly and taking the golf cart for a joy ride, I think back and I can’t believe that was five years ago…where has the time gone? Sorry, I digress in my old age. Anywho, he kept hinting at it, telling me he had something to say and that he didn’t know how to say it or when, and after teasing me with it long enough, he told me. My heart literally busted out of my chest and I felt like I was glowing for weeks. To have his love and to love him in return has been one of my most incredibly cherished and special gifts of all time. When you know, you know.


2. How Long Did You Date Before You Got Engaged?

  • We had been going out for about two years when he asked me on Valentine’s Day, 2014. Again, always the teaser, whenever I would casually bring it up, he would tell me he would ask me when the time was right, primarily financially. And I knew that he would; I didn’t have to bother him or force him or give him any sort of ultimatum–when the time was right, he would. I trusted him. And I knew he was the one I wanted to spend my whole life with and grow old and be pushed around in a wheelchair with. I knew. I was ready, but he never failed to reassure me that it would happen “someday”. So while on our yearly “Love Cruise” down to Ensenada, Mexico, we were huddled under a bed, drinking and trying to avoid the muster drill, I told him that with it being Valentine’s Day and all, it would be a pretty cool thing to be engaged and all that. He apologized and went on to tell me how cheesy it would be to propose on Valentine’s Day and while on a cruise. He basically made me feel like having it happen now would be ridiculous, so I started tearing up. Of course. But later that evening, my mom had staged an “award” ceremony with the Cruise Director, tricking me into believing that she had won a reward for booking the most cabins on the cruise, because of the many hats she wears, she also is a travel coordinator. So I trudged down to the grand foyer in front of a sprawling staircase, mad to be in a dress, hungry, and too sober. I stood in the crowd as the Director called my mom up, asking her if she had a Valentine. I watched as my dad was called to the stage for some lighthearted humor. And then when it came time for her to introduce her family, I was brought up on the stage, mortified and pointing to Matteo when they asked me who my Valentine was. And before I knew it, my mom and dad had snuck off the stage as Matteo was brought up. And that was the beginning of everything: he was given the mic, telling me that he had a few things to say to his Valentine, his deep voice rumbled through the audience of curious shipmates and retirees, and in the blink of an eye, he was pointing up to the crowd of my family and friends on the stairway behind us, spelling out on posters, “Will You Marry Me?”, and when I looked back to him, he was down on one knee with the most gorgeous, designed, black diamond ring I had ever seen. I went into shock for like fifteen minutes until I saw my mom and his mom hugging and crying, and then I cried. So. Much. Love. He really got me good and I knew in that moment just how much he loved me.


3.  How Did You Know That Your Spouse Was “The One”?

  • I’ve been asked this before, and I have to say, it’s not that easy to answer. And before y’all yell at me, it’s not in a negative way. I have always known he was “The One”; there was always this inexplicable attraction that I felt towards him, even when we first started dating and it didn’t work out, two years prior to actually dating, which is a story for another day, y’all! It’s just this feeling I got that I had never felt before, as cliché as that may sound, and whenever I was around him I felt myself gravitating to him; I felt aligned…whole. I felt new again and as I’ve mentioned before, he truly saved me in every way that I deserved to be and needed to be. It’s hard to pick just one moment to define an infinitely beautiful series of moments, but I have to say, silly as it may seem, it was before we had even been officially going out–before he had even told me that he loved me. We were at the country music festival, Stagecoach, and the ride down there, grabbing date shakes at Hadley’s and having a blast with friends, there was this one moment where we put on our wristbands to get in, and we stopped and held hands, checking out the way they looked together, just stoked to be in the moment. I remember I snapped a picture of it on my phone and it literally was one of the first pictures I posted on Instagram…I could feel the adrenaline and the adventure coursing through me…he exhilarated me and filled me with a zest for wanting more, doing more, exploring more. And it was only just the beginning, but I knew that I wanted to experience life with him, always.


4. Was Your First Year Of Marriage More Like A Dream Or A Disaster? Why?

  • Well, we’re about three months away from officially celebrating our one-year wedding anniversary and legitimately, I continuously grow to love him more–more than I could imagine I was capable of. I’ve told him before that sometimes I felt like the Grinch when his heart grows three sizes. There have been a few struggles, there have been compromises, and there has been growth. I feel now more than ever that we are the strongest we’ve ever been. We just get each other; we can sense and feel when things are wrong with the other. It’s insane. We’re just that connected and I love it. And I love that we’re so open with one another. I know it sounds stupid, but you know the old saying, “Never go to bed angry”? Well, me being the neurotic mess that I usually am, I have an innate fear of losing people I love, so I always make sure to say “I love you” before hanging up and I make sure that everything is okay before falling asleep. Every couple of weeks or so, we also do a vercheck-ink in where we’re super honest with each other, exploring things that we could work on, seeing what works and what doesn’t, and setting goals as a couple. Communication and our drive to hustle for what we want has made this almost-a-year journey a dreammm.

To Watch Our Wedding Video, Click HERE!


5. What Is Your Favorite Thing About Your Spouse?

  • Oh lord, a few things, to be exact:
    • His voice: an Italian Seth Rogen; it’s addicting and it’s such a presence.
    • His eyes: big, hazel, and beautiful.
    • His stature: I love that he’s taller than me; it makes me feel protected, always.
    • His empathy: there’s never been a moment where he’s doubted me or my feelings in any given situation; he knows me and can feel when things are going buck-wild inside my anxious mind.
    • His humor: that kid makes me laugh and in the end, when we’re wrinkly and old-as-hell, that’s all that will truly matter.


6. What Is The One Thing Your Spouse Does That Drives You Insane?

  • Not trying to be a douche, butttttttt, it drives me crazy when he lets his facial hair grow all over his face. His face is so handsome and so cute and when he gets too hairy, it hides all that. I love the scruff under his chin and on his chin, but when he lets it go, I can’t help but think I’m making out with one of my hairy legs. And they aren’t hairy….all the time….TMI. 😀


7. What Is One Thing You Do That Drives Your Spouse Insane?

  • He HATES it when I’m hard on myself or if I’m being super negative in regards to the way I look or what I’m wearing or how my hair or make-up is or my body. He loves me for me, no matter if my hair is a wreck or my damn legs aren’t shaved or if I’m half-awake, waking him up in the morning and kissing him with my retainer on. He loves me and sometimes, my negativity towards myself consumes me, but he always finds a way to bring me back to the surface.


8. What Was The Funniest Thing That Happened On Your Honeymoon?

  • God, I don’t even know where to begin!!! Our honeymoon was filled with so many laughs and memories and we really fell in love with Ireland and eventually, we made our way down to Sicily, too. If we could live there, we would in heartbeat. The eclectic and colorful towns, the fresh greenery and the rain and the wildlife, the gorgeous cliffs and hillsides, the dilapidated castle ruins and the pubs and the music and the nightlife…everything was phenomenal. Some of my favorite highlights are:
    • Matteo getting called on stage to do an Irish jig on our first night in Dublin.
    • Finding out what “black and white”‘s are made of (it’s an Irish bread seasoned with pork blood…also known as “blood pudding”–I wanted to pass out…I had tried it before knowing what was inside of it LOL).
    • Trying–and failing–to get the cows to come to us like they were dogs…literally, there were more loose cows than dogs there!!
    • Going to the pubs and making friends with the locals.
    • Matteo getting yelled at by a bartender because he didn’t let his Guinness “settle”–google it, some people get punched if they don’t let it settle! It was hilarious!
    • After a dinner in Bunratty Castle and a copious amount of merlot, Matteo and I made our way over to Durty Nelly’s, a fabulous old pub that’s famous for their music. We watched as random people assembled into a band in front of our eyes. It was so impromptu–like everyone in Ireland A.) knows how to play an instrument and, B.) lugs those instruments wherever he or she goes! Matteo even got to sing with the band and we danced to “500 Miles”. Literally, BEST TIME EVER.
    • In Capri, Sicily, we had the craziest private boat tour with this little eccentric Italian man who took us everywhere, every cavern and grotto, he let us eat and drink on the boat, and we braved the waves for a few hours. He was hilarious.
    • Basically, getting drunk in Sicily with family guarantees you a funny time whenever it happened.
    • My brother, Matteo, and I made our way to a whole in the wall bar in Terrasini where the bartender had old Beyonce songs on repeatttttttt#legit
  • All in all, it was a phenomenal adventure and it’s only the beginning of all the traveling we want to do!

To Watch Our Honeymoon Video, Click HERE!


9. Who The Bigger Cover-Hog?

  • HIM. And our dog, Syn. I’m always left with a damn leg out or an arm or my whole body is exposed because either he or Matteo rolls around so much!


10. What Is One Thing You And Your Spouse Couldn’t Live Without?

  • I know it’s going to sound very first world, but our Amazon Firestick. We’re HUGE movie lovers so it’s always nice knowing that on most crazy days, we get to end our nights with a new movie or an old favorite and falling asleep together with Syn wagging his tail in between us.


11. If You Could Make Your Spouse Get Rid Of One Thing That They Own, What Would You Choose?

  • Oh mannnnn, I’m going to sound like a douche again….but he got my mom on his side while we were cleaning one day to keep this old, flaking, fake leather Avenged Sevenfold jacket. It’s gross! And the fake leather is flaking off! I offered to buy him a new one just to trash this one, but he and my mother conspired against me and it’s now currently hanging somewhere in the hall closet! Ugh 😉


12. How Did You And Your Spouse Celebrate Your First Year Of Marriage?

  • As mentioned, we’re just about three months away from celebrating the big day, but we plan on heading to Seattle, WA, to enjoy some time away together and a new adventure in a new city–new to him, at least. I’ve been to Seattle before and I CAN’T WAIT TO SHARE IT’S MAGIC WITH HIM!!! The last time I was in Seattle was when my family and I took a cruise up to Alaska and Canada for my senior graduation trip. Yes, I was that girl who skipped on Hawaii and the Bahamas for Alaska because I’m pale and hate the heat (judge me). Our ship was docked in Seattle and upon returning, we were able to stay an extra three days up there and I fell in love with the city and the culture and the vibes and the people and the buildings and the ferries and the Market and EVERYTHING. I cannot waiittttttttt to GO! Matteo’s going to love it!


13. What’s One Tradition That You And Your Spouse Have Started Now That You Are Married?

  • Now that we’re married, we definitely have carried over some traditions we held on to while dating, like taking turns toasting each other at dinner and celebrating little accomplishments, for example, but as a married couple, I loveeee doing the little things, like smiling when I see mail addressed to the Valenza’s or still celebrating when we reunited in Vegas or our old anniversary, to enjoying every aspect of the married life. My favorite so far was taking Christmas card pictures together last December and sending them out to our friends and family! So cool for dorks like myself 😉


14. If You And Your Spouse Could Only Take One More Trip For The Rest Of Your Lives, Where Would You Go?

  • Honestly, Ireland, Scotland, and all of Italy and Sicily. We can’t wait to go back to Sicily next year and we plan on eventually saving up for a tour of Scotland before we decide to have children. Those places are so dear to us and mean so much. I can’t wait to see what these new adventures will bring!!!


15. What Is One Goal You And Your Spouse Want To Complete In The Next Year?

  • Our main goal, our hugeeee and continous goal, is to continue to save for a down payment. We’ve rented a condo before and when Matteo had to have hernia surgery, we realized we couldn’t afford to stay there much longer. His health was significantly more important than paying rent, so my parent’s offered for us to move in with them to save money and we jumped into the opportunity. Living at home and being able to save has allowed us to explore different career options, learning when to hustle and when to say no to opportunities that won’t benefit us, and to budget and save and have monthly meetings with my dad to help guide us and break down our income and where everything is going and what to invest in. It’s been amazeee. But, some people don’t understand it. They don’t understand why we have to say no to some things and not others because some events or things are in our budget and goals and some are not. Sometimes we can’t spend as much as we want to. It doesn’t mean we don’t want to hangout or that we don’t love that person or that we’re being stingy, but in the end, we have to look out for each other. We want a home. We want to have kids. We want to travel and get out of town. And that’s not going to happen living paycheck to paycheck. We have to be smart about things and eventually, our hustles will pay off and he’ll be carrying me over the threshold into our new home!♥


And there you have it, y’all! I hope you’re feeling the love like I am. It was so cathartic to write this tag out to the very end and reminisce and humble-brag about the hubs because he’s freaken amazing. We have so much more life to live and I’m honored I get to do it with him. I loveeee feeling the love!!!

And to show me even more love, which I know you all want to do (I wish there was a button to emphasize sarcasm…I mean, we live in a world with self-parking cars but all we have for emphasis when we write is bold, italic, CAPS, underline, and strikethrough? We need something new. Get on it, world!), go ahead and follow the links to purchase my novel, XXII, and fall in love with it as much as I love my husband and as much as I love all of you!

For all things XXII and XXIII, click here to sign up and stay in the loop!

To purchase a paperback copy or Kindle-version of XXII, click here!

Follow this page, give me a follow on Instagram [@lovalenzaaa] or on Twitter [@life_withlauren], Facebook [www.facebook.com/lovalenza] or even on Snapchat, if that’s what you’re into [lauren_costa42]! Give me a shoutout and tweet me! Sign up for all the goodness that can and will be coming your way!!!

XOXO, lo♥


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