May 1, 2018
Keira & Jared
Hello there! We are Jared and Keira Mason.
We have been loving on each other pretty much since the day we met 3 years ago. We got married 18 months ago, hill top in Queenstown, NZ and are completely smitten with each other and our marriage. We both grew up in, and currently live in, Newcastle NSW but in a matter of weeks are about to move to Bali (eeek!). We are in love with the idea that life is wild and full of adventure to be experienced, not observed. So, we have quit our 9-5’s and are taking our creative and entrepenurial impulses all the way across the ocean to start something completely new!
1. TELL US YOUR SIMPLE LOVE STORY
KM: Jared and I met 3 years through a mutual friend who had organised a hangout at a bar in town. Jared was living on the Central Coast at the time and drove through a crazy storm to get there, and I’m so glad he did! After a few weeks of awkwardly thinking he was actually dating my friend (yes, I’m not good on the social cues) and another few staged group hangouts he called me to ask me out on a date. We went for breakfast, which continued into lunch, which continued into forever. After just a few months of dating we knew this was it. Through some funny circumstances, Jared ended up having to tell me when he was going to propose. We went to my families property out west which is my favourite place in the whole world and hosted ‘my spot’. It was on top of that hill, after 9 months together, that Jared asked me to marry him. Six months later we eloped with our closest family and friends in Queenstown NZ. Just the rolling hills, ice capped mountains and us.
JM: When I met Keira at a bar in the middle of April 2015, I was immediately head over heels but getting that first date wasn’t easy! With the help of some mutual friends and a failed attempt or two I eventally got Keira’s number and called her immediately to ask her on a date. I remember after Keira said yes I ran back inside to my housemates jumping up and down because I was so excited! Our first few dates were actually perfect, we went out for breakfast and a walk along the ocean, then it was Keira’s birthday so I bought her some flowers and met her friends that night. We went out for dinner the next weekend and talked non-stop afterwards, Less than 2 months later after a close friends birthday dinner, during which Keira had met all of my friends, I told her I had fallen in-love. I proposed to Keira 7 months later at her family’s property on a hill with nobody for miles, with an engagement ring I designed myself; though, she didn’t see it for several minutes through all the tears. It was only right that we did the same for our wedding. Mountain-top in Queenstown; just us two.
2. DESCRIBE ONE WAY YOU EACH INTENTIONALLY GROW YOUR LOVE?
KM: One of the things we wanted to do really well throughout our marriage is to find love, fun and meaning in the medial tasks of life, and Jared is so good at it! Even while grocery shopping, driving, cleaning and cooking Jared finds ways to make it special for me. He holds my hand in the car, comes in to kiss me in the shower, puts on fun music that I love while we clean or drive, comes home with comfort food when I’ve had a bad day, sends me pictures of cute kittens and always lets me cuddle his arm at night. The effort that Jared makes to ensure evey moment of our marrige special makes my heart dance.
JM: Keira and I aways call each other on the way home from work as we both have long commutes. We chat about our days and check how the other is going. If I’ve had a rough day, Keira will make sure there is either an amazing bottle of red or a ‘shower beer’ waiting for me when I get home. She will usually sit in the bathroom while I shower and let me debreif the day. I love these small gestures of selflessness and support we have in our relationship. Together, they grow our love.
3. SHARE YOUR MOST RECENT, OR FAVOURITE GO-TO DATE
KM: One of my favourite dates we have had in a long time was after I got home from a girls weekend about a month ago. We went to a great dimly lit restaurant and drank wine, put our phones away and caught up on the last few days while sitting side by side at the bar. It was so simple yet the intimacy and connection was exactly what I needed. I think that it is really important to listen to what it is that you and your partner need. Sometimes it is a sleep-in together, sometimes it’s an evening walk and sometimes it’s a full blown date night.
JM: My favourite thing is to tell Keira we are going on a date night well in advance, but leave the location a surprise. I love trying new foods and experiences and having a partner to share this with is the best. Sometimes this can backfire but those nights will often end in laughter or a great story for later. We have often lucked out with dates such as a night we went to a pop-up French restaurant that felt so authentic it was like we were transported to France for the evening. Or attending the opening night of a new Japanese gyoza bar where we had to line up for an hour to get a table. The spontaneity and different environments help make the night feel special and significant. And we frequently find ourselves feeling like we are on a first date again!
4. SHARE YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE TO KEEP A MARRIAGE THRIVING
KM: I think Jared and I do three things really well.
1. We listen and respect each other in every situation.
2. We are completely transparent with one other – no topic is off limits in our household.
3. We have taken time to understand our love languages and temperaments. We really believe every couple can benefit from learning how their partner receives and demonstrates love, how they process thoughts and conflict and how to be the best supporter. 4. Have fun! Laugh! Be joyful in each others presence!
JM: Whenever I pickup that Keira has had a long day at work, or is feeling overwhelmed, I rush home before her to tidy our apartment, get dinner started, open a bottle of wine and some chips (her favourite), and light some candles. She then walks into our own little date night at home where she can unwind, put her feet up and everything is taken care of. Keira also does the same for me when I’m feeling this way. I have definitely noticed an ebb and flow to these up and down moments in our relationship where one of us needs the extra love and support. Whenever I can, I drop everything and help lighten Keira’s load or vice versa, it helps us grow closer together and appreciate one another more.
5. YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN ON A HUGE JOURNEY OF SIMPLIFYING YOUR LIVES IN EVERY WAY BEFORE YOU MAKE A BIG MOVE TO BALI IN A FEW WEEKS TO PURSUE SOME NEW DREAMS – HOW HAVE THESE CHANGES IMPACTED YOUR MARRIAGE?
JM & KM: We have not so secretly loved minimising our lives in preparation for our move! We counted ourselves as minimal people before we started this process. When we were first married we moved into a small one bedroom apartment and anything that didn’t fit, didn’t stay. We were so proud of our efforts but that was soon trivialised by the process we have just completed. It has honestly been the greatest thing for our marriage. We were lucky that we are both not materialistic in the way we accumulate ‘things’. We think it is so easy to get caught up in the whole ‘keeping up with the Robinsons’ act especially as young married’s attempting to prove themselves in the adult world. Eliminating that pressure all together has allowed us to keep focused on what is really important to us and where we truly hold our values.
6. WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES AND ASPIRATIONS FOR YOUR MARRIAGE DURING AND AFTER YOUR YEAR AWAY IN BALI?
KM & JM: Jared and I are currently work full time, are studying, and on top of that, spend a combined total of 35 hours a week commuting (in separate cars). We are so excited for the time we will be getting back in our days once we move! We want to spend time daily, weekly and monthly purposefully growing in areas like spirituality, intimacy, connectedness and mindfulness. We want to come back having learned practices that will support us in marriage for the rest of our lives. To us, there is no greater investment than nourishing your greatest relationship.