Ok, this will be my last sappy, anniversary post. I promise. I tend to celebrate things far longer than just the particular date they occur. I mean, why not? So in honor of our anniversary week, I wanted to put together a fun post of my top ten memories from our ten years of marriage.
My husband and I get to go out and celebrate our anniversary this evening, just the two of us. It was fun to celebrate with the kids on Wednesday, buuuuut. I have a feeling tonight will be just a tad more fun. And relaxed. And I’ll get to pick out an outfit not based on it’s washability but based on how much I like it. yay. (Follow me on Instagram to see where all we end up!)
Tonight we have plans to eat at a wonderful French restaurant in Cleveland’s University Circle that comes highly recommended by a friend. Afterwards, we will walk to the Cleveland Museum of Art. I’m pretty pumped about the museum part. Not only is CMA a fantastic museum, but they have a beautiful lawn and garden that should be spectacular this time of year. Plus, a trip to the museum is a fitting way to celebrate our ten years. For our honeymoon (you can read more on that later in the post), we could only afford to do free things so we visited a lot of museums! One of my favorite memories not listed below is the packed lunch Mike and I enjoyed by the shade of a huge tree on the lawn of the St. Lewis Museum of Contemporary Art. It was simple, but it was also simply romantic. One blanket. Two newlyweds. One glorious summer afternoon.
More memories like that, coming at ya! (This post is written as if I were sharing these memories directly to Mike. I tend to have a constant stream of conversation with Mike in my head, which is weird, but this is my blog and these are my memories so I guess you’ll just have to deal with the oddities. Ok. Back to the post.):
My top ten memories from our ten years of marriage
1. Our children. Let’s just get that one out of the way, because while it’s an obvious one, it’s also one of the biggest surprises and source of joy. Six years into marriage and I still didn’t want kids. Yet here we are, 10 years in, and our kids are an absolute pleasure to me.
2. Our honeymoon. I don’t think we even spent $500! I used to be so jealous of other couples and their fancy honeymoons when we were first married. But now, I really think we were the lucky ones. The three days we spent exploring St. Louis together for our honeymoon was not only fun, it really says a lot about who we are (both then, and now).
We didn’t care about the money. We didn’t need anything exotic. We just needed each other. My favorite memory was the night we went out to eat at Duffy’s in the historic district of St. Louis. I can still see the dress I wore; the dark, wooden interior of Duffy’s; the prices on the menu (!). I remember getting soup and a salad for dinner because it was the cheapest thing on the menu, yet walking out of that restaurant, on your arm, feeling like a million bucks. You make me feel like a queen, babe.
3. Life in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Our time in Yellow Springs was so special. I loved all our walks through John Bryant, our killer breakfasts at Sunrise Cafe, and of course – the street fairs! Those were laid back, fun filled days. To me it was always summer in Yellow Springs with you.
4. The year I became a vegetarian. This might seem like a silly thing to think of as a “favorite,” but it’s so symbolic for me. I’ll never forget that summer, we were living on a second floor apartment in town, and after a lot of influential reading, I decided to make the switch.
I would bike to the local farmers market and come home with things I had never cooked before, like kale and acorn squash. You were so patient, and so supportive. Even though it was my decision to make the change, you encouraged me as I learned a new way of cooking, and didn’t complain once about the way our dinners slowly started to change. That, is just who you are. I’ve asked you to come along on so many of my crazy ideas, and you have. Every. Single. Time.
5. Our impromptu trip Palm Beach when you got your first teaching job. That was so crazy and impulsive and so… us. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun.
6. The two years we spent living in our downtown Wooster loft. It’s hard to pin point what exactly was so special, other than the fact that I feel like we really came into our own during those years. We figured out a lot of things that up to that point we had been pretty aimless about.
We nailed down who we were as a couple. We formed great friendships. We started living a life that was authentic to us, and not just the local culture. We decided what we really wanted/needed in a church, and went out and found it (well, you did). We stopped looking outwards for approval or validation. Because those two years were so transformative and shaping, we made plenty of mistakes. I think we both can say that not all our decisions were good decisions. But that too was part of what made it so special. We were working though all those tough, life questions – together.
7. One thing that always stands out to me about our time living in downtown Wooster, was all the walking we did. We loved going for long walks that led us no place in particular. We’ve always had the best conversations on our walks. I remember the time that we walked sooo far, not thinking it through that we’d have to turn around and go back at some point. We were just so caught up in conversation.
I remember the walks where we’d have really deep, meaningful conversation. Or the walks where we’d simply laugh together and share stories. I remember walking and discussing what we should name our first child. Man, the best things in life really are free, aren’t they???
8. The time that Theo spent in the NICU was a dark time for both of us. But, I do have one memory that shines out above the rest, and it’s one that I will always cherish. I don’t remember what week we were on, but we were exhausted. We were tired from all the driving, all the time spent in hospital lobbies waiting to see our baby and all the time eating in a cafeteria.
We drove home that night and ordered take out from a local pub, and one thing that sounded so good to us both were fried pickles. We had so much fun over dinner because, for a moment, we let the taste of familiar food pull our minds away from the day’s hardships. We got to just relax and enjoy the moment. A little too much, if I recall correctly. I think we both got sick because we gorged on those fried pickles but, dang, they were so good!
9. Our first Christmas party in our first home. We were so excited to have a home, and so excited to share it with our friends. It felt so good to have our home bursting to the gills with food, friends and music. It’s what we’ve always wanted – to have a place where the doors are flung open to welcome those we love. Our mutual desire to share our home with others and to be a source of fun, comfort and refuge to those who need it is one of the things I love most about our marriage.
10. Our first family vacation. I can’t quite put it into words, it was just great. Really, stinking, great. And it is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. I loved going on this exciting family adventure, just the four of us. I loved sharing a place we love (the beach) with our children. I loved getting to create memories together. But most of all, I think I just loved doing something that was so us, as a family. It felt good to be me. It felt good to see you, being you. And it felt good to let the boys just be the boys. Everyone needs that from time to time, and our time was long over due.
Thanks for ten great years, babe. What do you say to a few decades more?