I Carry Your Heart | Joel + Emily Bode

This post marks a new series on the blog I am calling "I Carry Your Heart". It explores the way love lives and breathes...the forms it takes in our dearest relationships. The name itself comes from my favorite poem by E.E. Cummings. 

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

I have always found these words to paint the most beautiful picture of love; how we carry the hearts of those we love with us. Love continues to be one of the most impactful aspects of the human experience...we need to share its story.

I knew Joel and Emily needed to be part of this series. They both have the sweetest energy which you can see woven through their marriage and in the way they approach their community. I loved their perspective on balance, finding joy in the little things, and the importance of chasing down adventure, together. Meet the Bodes! 

What is your love story? How did you meet?
E: Our love story starts with a challenge. Literally. I challenged Joel to a 5K race the day I met him. I had run a total of two times that week and was feeling very confident in my ability (I’ve always talked the talk more than walked the walk) to which he accepted humbly. After we set up the time we would run and the route, his brother told me he was an All-State track star in high school. Important information Joel happened to leave out while we were making our bet. It’s not important who won (Joel, ughh) but the race brought us together indefinitely. I had never run harder or faster in my life, I wanted to beat him so bad. I loved how he pushed me to be better and to grow past my limits. He’s been doing that ever since.

(More of the beginning of our love story here.)


Throughout the course of your relationship, what is something that love has taught you?
E: Love has taught me selflessness. I’ve always been very good at knowing exactly what I want but in a relationship, it isn’t always about what I want because there’s another person involved, you know? Love makes me want to compromise and Joel’s happiness is important to my own. Also, laughter. Love and laughter always go together, and Joel constantly makes me laugh.

J: Love has taught me a lot about togetherness and the synergy that it gives us both, knowing that we are going through the journey of life with each other.  Love has taught me that even if we are leaving late to something (as annoyed as I get with that that) I would still rather be late over going without Emily. Love is the thing that binds us together and keeps us strong.


How do you balance each other?
E: Joel balances my more serious and introverted nature with his goofiness and confidence. He’s such a people person and great listener which balances out my internal and reflective personality. He breaks me out of my shell while still loving me for exactly who I am. I like to think I help him be more organized but the pile of his clothes on the floor across from me is kind of telling me that isn’t the case.

J: Emily balances my creative and pushes me out of my comfort zone to think more openly about the world. She also teaches me to slow down and think more and read more and has sparked an interest for me to be always learning more. I think that is why we like hiking so much. Emily takes the time to read all the informational signage they put on the trails for us to learn and I make sure we go further to the highest point of every national park we go to...ahh, perfect balance.


Any secrets to keeping your relationship happy and fresh?
E: One of the things we do is celebrate the little things instead of waiting for an anniversary to honor our relationship. Sometimes it’s a random Tuesday and we’ll make a special dinner when one of us accomplished something that day or if one of us is having a hard day and needs a pick-me-up. Or we’ll grab a celebratory drink for doing well with our monthly budget. It might be celebrating for no reason at all other than being grateful that we’re doing this life together as a team, which is really worth celebrating the rest of our life. 

J: I think what keeps our relationship fresh is both of us going and trying new things. Travel with one another was something we actually never did until about a month before we got engaged. We valued this trip for more than just the experience; her and I having a week of nothing but us hanging out. Allowing for more free flow of conversations and for us to know we were on eachothers same wavelength.


Favorite places to go together/things to do?
E: We love exploring in nature. A hike to the lake, a climb to the highest point, a walk through the woods. It’s so uplifting to discover new things and I feel like a warrior doing it with him. I also love the wind down from the day when we read together in bed. It reminds me of an old married couple but being together without saying anything at all is really special. There’s an unprecedented comfort in it.

J: I would say is anything outdoors. We love hiking Hoffmaster Park in Norton Shores with Tiger (which is why I proposed to her there). We like to try new trails and sometimes even make our own always ending at the top of a hill or the water. Our best vacations were in Asheville due to being surround by mountains,  black bears, and trees.  And our road trip in Arizona that had us stopping at new places to explore like Sedona, The Grand Canyon, Page • AZ, and Zion National Park.

What are somethings you have learned from each other?
E: Joel has taught me good things come from being patient. Fights transform to disagreements that can be worked through when you lower your voice and seek understanding instead of trying to “win” the argument. Bad days get better when you find humor in how bad they are. Naps fix most things.

J: I have learned from Emily that passion is contagious! When she gets an idea in her head about a realization she has had she gets so excited she is about to burst. It is all she thinks about and the ideas of fun new things she wants to try is very inspiring to be around.


What is your favorite thing about your partner’s soul?
E: His soul is genuine. He never tries to be something he isn’t and he truly cares about others’ well-being. I will never forget the Sunday night in college when we were watching a movie and a friend of a friend called because he was stranded over an hour away. He hit a deer and his truck was pretty messed up. Joel didn’t even second-guess and we were in the car going to pick him up at like midnight. There are countless times he’s done similar things like this to help others in need without expecting anything in return and it’s one of things about his soul that makes me fall in love with him over and over again.

J: Emily has the biggest heart in the world. Everything she does has a deeper meaning and purpose behind it. Her heart is what leads her to everything she is going towards and everything she is going away from. If she doesn't have a good feeling about something she doesn't do it, no explanation needed. It is something I really admire about her...it's what makes her the person she is. She always thinks so much about others which is why she always gets people great gifts that are more than just an object. It is a representation of something deeper and more meaningful. It's what makes her soul beautiful.

i-carry-your-heart | joel-emily-bode

For a little bit of design magic, a little bit of hand lettering, and a lot a bit of good soul stuff, make sure to follow Emily's blog Brave Girl Spirit. You can also find them both on Instagram: @joelbode + @bravegirlspirit