Round The Kettle Ep. 28: An Anniversary

October 18, 2014. A day that marked the next step in our lives. The day we pledged ourselves to each other. In sickness and health, for richer or poorer, as long as we both shall live. And now here we are. 6 years, 2 kids, 1 domestic and 1 international move, and countless adventures later. Still as madly in love as we were the first day we met. 

I remember the day that I met my husband. It’s funny because looking back…oof there could have been so many things to be wary of, but for us it worked. We had been chatting for a little while, but finally getting the chance to meet in person. It was a gray, drizzly day and our original plan was to go for a hike together, but the rain wasn’t clearing so we had dinner instead (then the rain cleared, we went for a hike, and it was all very romantic and cheesy- I’ll spare you). 

I remember the first time he told me he loved me. It’s funny because of my response. Walking home from a friend’s house and he just stopped us in the middle of a bridge. He says, “I love you” and me? I say, “Are you serious?”, followed by “I love you too”. I was in such a state of shock that my brain, heart, and mouth completely stopped communicating with each other. 

I remember the day he proposed to me. It’s also funny because it also happened to be the day I snapped at him about dropping hints but not following through (ya’ll- it had been MONTHS of teasing about proposing…I was over the teasing ha-ha). I remember him being extra paranoid about the weather (rain and gray skies again- starting to see a theme). We hiked up to a natural bridge and he got down on one knee. I remember the flurry of butterflies, the choked-up feeling of saying yes, the thrill of sharing our happiest news. 

I remember the day we got married. Gray skies again, which seemed to bode well for us, but a beautiful Autumn day, nonetheless. I had never been happier (and I think the same could be said for him). The entire day was spent as if in a dream and a feeling of such joy and love I thought I would burst. I remember the little details about the day that most would forget, they are implanted in my mind. I remember the feeling of my hands in his, the feeling of sliding the rings on, lighting the candle, and being introduced as Mr. & Mrs. And, since the funny bits still seem to follow us, I remember my husband spending the entire morning of our wedding day in the woods hunting, while the girls and I were in the hotel room watching Harry Potter and getting our hair and makeup done. 

I never truly expected where our life would take us, that we would be celebrating this anniversary in Germany, drinking alcohol we purchased in Italy, watching our two little boys play and grow and learn. I love this man more than I did all those years ago, and I know that love will continue to grow and change as the years continue. I love the family and life that we have created for ourselves. And, most importantly, I can’t wait to see what is next for us, for our family, for our lives together. 

Making Your Marriage Your Priority

 

You hear it all the time “Take care of your marriage. Make time for your spouse. Your kids will grow up, they will move away and it will just be you and your spouse again”. I think it is probably the most common piece of advice expecting parents get. And in a way it is completely true. I mean, your kids will grow up and they will find their own lives. You will still be important to them, but as they grow they become more independent.

That’s important, but, also important to note, is that what your children see in your relationship with your spouse, their parent, is what they will view for themselves when that time comes. The interaction between you and your spouse is the first model to them of what a marriage or partnership looks like. And so, for both those reasons, it is important to focus on your relationship with your spouse.

But how do you do that? How do you make time for your spouse when it feels like your children have sucked time out of you (that sounds a lot worse than it really is, I promise)? Whether you work out of the house or are a Stay at Home Parent it is tough. Regardless of what you do, you are trying to meet the never ending needs of your children, being both the constant entertainer, teacher, mediator (if you have multiple children), protector, and guide. Your days are long (although the years are short) and when the day is over it can be so hard to want to stay up a little bit later and be present for someone else.

Taking time for your spouse is just as important as taking time for yourself. They say that you can’t take care of others until you take care of yourself. Well you and your spouse can’t effectively parent and be married if you are not taking care of each other.

It doesn’t take long, a simple 5-10 minutes to just see how they are doing. To check in with them on how their day was. To remind them that they are doing a good job. To tell them that you are proud of them. To give them a little peck, or shoulder rub. These little gestures, little moments of contact goes so far into “keeping the spark alive”.

Don’t wait till your one night (keep reading for that), do it now. You don’t need grand gestures, flowers or chocolates. Most of the time you just need a moment. A moment of just you and your spouse where you only focus on each other. A moment can be all it takes from going to bed feeling like a disaster on all fronts to going to bed feeling on the same page as someone else.

Take a night, once a week. Stay up later, cuddle on the couch, make it a point on that night to put away all the distractions and just focus solely on each other. It doesn’t have to be a go out to dinner and a movie date night, it doesn’t have to even be a get a sitter night (keep reading though for that…), it just needs to be a night where you can be with each other. *You can read about our take on this HERE.

Take a night out, wherever fits into your own budget, get a sitter and go do something outside the house with your spouse. Whether that’s dinner, a concert, a hike, whatever, get out into the world. Remember what it was like to go on a date with your spouse. Take a couple of hours and remember what life was like before you had babies crying at your feet, or a toddler needing help going to the bathroom. Hold hands while you are walking, sit across from each other and have discussions without having to reprimand your children halfway through a sentence. I gauruntee you and your spouse come back to the house 100% refreshed and ready to tackle those moments. We are homebodies so we don’t always do date nights like this, but we are getting better about it.

Finally, look back through your photo albums. Walk down memory lane. Remember that first date? Remember your wedding day? Look back through the photos, you’ll be surprised how many little memories pop through your mind and remind you what that moment was like.

How do you and your spouse place your marriage first?

On Our Anniversary

October 18. 4 years.Mia-349

Every year I’ve had the words to say on this day planned out weeks in advance. What words, which throwback picture, and I look forward to this day with baited excitement for those few weeks. A day for just us. A day to celebrate our union, the day we said I do, the day we pledged our lives together. A day to celebrate the enormous love we have for each other.

This year is really not very different. I’ve had the words planned in my head for a couple weeks. The image picked out, everything sort of set in place in my mind. But on reflection, this past year has taught me a lesson. One that my husband has been saying every year, but I just love celebrating this day so much so we celebrate it anyway.

Celebrating anniversaries are important. It is important to acknowledge the milestones in life, to take a moment to reflect on what happened. It’s why we celebrate the birthdays of children, and our own up to a point. It’s why we have memorial days and personal dates that are important to us. We acknowledge these days every year, reflect on whatever made that day special, and then move on with our lives. We may take it a step further and throw a party, go on a extra special date night, light a candle in remembrance (or on national/federal holidays throw a parade). Ultimately though, the day passes and we trudge on with life.

Here is the lesson I’ve paid more attention to and learned over this past year of marriage: We don’t just celebrate and show our love on this one day every year. We celebrate it every day. In the kiss my husband gives me early in the morning as he heads off to work. In the “Goodnights and I love you’s” of every evening. In the small acts of help, kindness, and love that are peppered throughout our days/weeks/years over the span of our lifetime. When we bump into each other in the kitchen, or slip a smart ass comment to each other on a slow Sunday morning. In the quiet moments of an evening, snuggled up on the couch, grateful for each other and for the quiet moment together. We constantly celebrate and show our love.

It’s not a one day event.

So, while I want to celebrate our anniversary and enjoy today, it’s not just today. I love this man with all my soul. I loved him 7 years ago when I met him. I loved him 4 years ago when we said I do. I loved him 2.75 years ago when we welcomed our first child. I loved him 16 (ish) months ago when we welcomed our second child. I love him more today than I ever could have imagined. And finally, I’ll love him more tomorrow (and the next day, and the day after that and the day after that) than I thought was possible today.

Life is not easy, we have our ups and downs, we go through trials and roadblocks, and massive, incredible, sometimes insane adventures. But through everything one thing has remained constant. Our love.

So, this year, on our Anniversary, just know we celebrate our love. Our union. The passing of time together. And after today has ended, we will still celebrate our love.

Cheers to 4 years. I love you.