Wednesday, June 20, 2018

10 Years

So the trip happened a few weeks ago, but our actual anniversary is today. In honor of ten years together, I hope you don't mind if I share my ten favorite things about our marriage.

1. Division of labor. It took us a few years to work it out (we had some nagging fights about who did the dishes for a while there), but I really feel like we're in a mostly awesome place right now. And while being married and having kids and owning a house has added to both our work loads, can I just say how awesome it is that I don't have to think about certain things? Like filing tax returns, or when the oil needs to be changed? He just completely manages those things, so they are off my radar (trust me, I do my share of work too!).

2. Built-in travel buddy! There's nothing I love more than traveling with this guy, he makes it so fun. He's also fabulous at planning trips and getting things booked, even when they aren't his trips (speaking of division of labor). Like when I went to Ann Arbor in March, he booked my AirBNB and plane and figured out all my connections for me! And clearly he was totally in charge of our trip to England, since I didn't even know how many days the trip was! It's awesome basically having my own live-in travel planner.

3. Trust. That he trusts me to make big, life-altering decisions for our family. Like that time I told him I felt like I needed to get a PhD, and it was kind of a really, really big ask. But he trusted me and my intuition and committed 100%, including quitting his fancy big law job to move to a smaller market and take a six figure pay cut, which sounds like an insane thing to do, and it was! But he trusted me, and we really are where we need to be right now, and we both feel that. And I love him for it.

4. Parenting together. So sure, he's an awesome Dad, and my kids are super lucky to have someone so fun and involved and supportive. But more than that, I love just having someone at the end of the day who listens to all my cute and silly or frustrating stories about the kids, and who really cares as much as I do! I love how we work through parenting issues together, talk about the kids and what we need to do for them together, and just have someone in the trenches who totally understands what the other person is going through.

5. Conversations. It's the reason I fell in love with him. He's just so easy to talk to! And I just love the way he'll listen and be interested in whatever random thing I happen to be telling him about, something I read in a book or listened to on a podcast, or whatever. He always makes me feel like I'm the most interesting person in the world! With kids around, we've noticed that it's getting harder and harder to have conversations without constant interruptions, but I love that the interruptions frustrate him, because it means he's still interested in talking to me!

6. Decorating/style taste. This one may be kind of shallow, but having worked on a lot of house projects with him in the past year, can I just say how nice it is that we don't have to argue much about colors and styles? For the most part, he just trusts my taste, but also, he cares enough to have opinions that I respect too. We are currently having a bit of a functionality vs. style disagreement over replacing the lighting fixture in our front room/library, but for the vast majority of all our projects, we are pretty in sync. (And having watched other couples nearly go through divorce over house projects, I'm grateful this area of our marriage is pretty easy.)

7. Fun. He just makes my life more fun. Whether it's playing games late into the night or telling cheesy jokes to get an eye-roll and a laugh, he is the one who brings smiles and giggles and all the fun into our family, and I love him for that. He also brings most of the music into our family, with his violin and newly acquired guitar skills and beautiful singing voice. He's just the light and the music and the joy.

8. Goals/Future Planning. Some of our favorite conversations revolve around planning for the future, and the vision of what we talk about just makes me feel nothing but excited for the life ahead of us. We sometimes talk about crazy dreams, but the more we talk about them, the more I feel like they are going to become a reality (like, that one time I brought up the PhD thing, and now here we are!). This life we've built together is already so much bigger and more beautiful than any life I imagined for myself before, and there's so much more we have planned! It just makes me excited about life.

9. Priorities. We're maybe not 100% perfect all the time, but for the most part I feel like we are working hard at prioritizing what is most important in life. I love that for him, his priorities are God, family, and at the very, very bottom, work. Obviously he's very smart and successful at providing a comfortable income, but he's not ambition-oriented, and to me, that's a wonderful thing. He'd much rather spend time home with us than be anywhere else, and he really pushes for all the flexibility his job allows to be there for us. Like I said, we're not always perfect at it, but we are working at defining what is most important for us in this life and trying together to focus our time and effort on those things.

10. Romantic. On our flight home from England, while we were talking about all the amazing things we'd done and how rough it was going to be to get back to real life, him going back to work and me going back to the kids all day, Nathan put his arm around me and said, "You know, I'm really going to miss you tomorrow!" After 10 years of marriage, I don't think there's anything more romantic than that, and it really made me swoon. I love my kids, but he's the one I want to spend more time with, talk to, be with, experience life with. These ten years have been fabulous, but I'm so grateful we have an eternity more to go!

Now, our marriage is not "perfect." I'm sure there are things we'd both like to change about the other, and we still have our occasional spats or disappointments. But those are definitely the minority experiences in our marriage, for which I'm grateful. It's true when they say that marriage takes work. Especially in those early years, we both had a learning curve on how to adjust to being together, how to meet the other person's needs, and how to work through arguments. But the longer we are together, the less like work it feels, and the more like joy. It's simply a joy to be a part of this beautiful thing.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful testimony.
    As an aside just love that you wore red shoes to your wedding!