Seven years.

November 26, 2010, Nick and I became one. I was 21 at the time and Pinterest was not even out yet. (Thank goodness.) In seven years we have experienced some of the best and hardest days of my life and it's crazy to think that we have technically “grown up” together as far as maturity (or "adulting") goes. 

I didn’t know it then, but surprisingly our life together is very much what I imagined it was going to be like. God has been so faithful to us and I can still say to this day that marrying Nick was easily the best and easiest decision I’ve ever made.

Here are seven things I have learned so far about being married: 

1. Saying sorry is always better than being right.

2. Unspoken expectations can damage a relationships growth, 

3. Dating your spouse after marriage is as crucial, if not more, then before you were married. 

4. Roles in the house will change with each added child.  

5. We are husband and wife, first, and then mom and dad, second. 

6. Communication. Communication. Communication. 

7. Pray for your marriage.  

Nick and I celebrated our 7 year anniversary with a day away exploring beautiful San Diego all over again. (Without our kids, of course.) Our anniversary is sandwiched between Thanksgiving and our middle's birthday so we tried to keep it simple.

Good food, good company and good drink.

We are planning a little tropical vacation in a few months with some saved up mileage points so that is something where we can look forward to some more extended time together.

I love you Babe and thanks for editing this post for me. You are and always will be my best friend and my better half. 

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another anniversary in the books.

Nick and I just celebrated our 6th year wedding anniversary! We have a picture of one of our wedding shots in our living room. The restful look in our eyes, hair, bodies, and overall look has shown me how much we have aged and matured, hopefully for the better for over 6 years now. 

We have a tradition where every other year we take turns planning our celebration. We do not exchange gifts but usually write letters together to each other and then read them to one another (oops, forgot to do this this year). It used to be a rule that we had to spend at least one night away from home but pregnancy, kids, and finances have kept us from upholding this rule one or twice. The beauty of marriage is that you get to learn communication and expectation over the years. Nick and I were totally content this year with keeping things low key but still meaningful. Our actual anniversary is November 26th, which is always a few days after Thanksgiving, 9 days after Nick's birthday and the day before Max's birthday. This year we spent our actual day with our kids riding ATV's and then went to our good friends Friendsgiving where actually some of Nick's groomsmen and our MC of the night were at. It was nice to enjoy a night away from the kids (thank you in-laws for babysitting) and also nice to spend time with friends we do not see often.

We still wanted to do something alone and intentional so we spent the day in Orange County this past Saturday. My mom watched our kids and we headed to the Anaheim Packing Disctrict thanks to the recommendation of my sister. If you know Nick and I then you know that one of our favorite hobbies to do together is talk, eat, and drink good food with good company.  We enjoyed getting the car valeted and then walked into the Disneyland version of a food court (seriously, if you love food and live in SoCal you need to go here.) Honestly, it was overwhelming to have to only choose a few places to eat at and Nick and I were totally ready to indulge for the day. We settled on French Crepes, an Italian piadina, boba tea topped with cotton candy (you heard that right), mint gelato, and fresh berry popsicles.

We enjoyed every bite and the rare occasion where we didn't have one of our kids asking for another bite of our meal. Our kids are foodies like us and would have totally loved this place. After eating we did the normal thing to do...napped in rocking chairs outside. See what I mean? It was all about the simple things. We ended the day by sipping on some awesome coffee from Portola Coffee Roasters and than did what every family expecting their third child does, checked out minivans at Carmax. The beautiful thing about being married to Nick is that we always seem to have fun together. Having kids has taught us to appreciate every quiet moment that we get alone and also has given us a deeper appreciation for each other.

These past 6 years have been anything but boring. I married someone who supports me in every aspect of life and is truly my best friend. My hope is that next year we can go somewhere fun for our anniversary (keeping my fingers crossed that this baby will take a bottle of pumped milk). Anyways, anniversary can be extravagant and they can be simple but the important thing is that they are celebrated because marriage is truly a sanctifying gift.  

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 Coffee on Nitro  

Coffee on Nitro  

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 Let's pretend I don't look like a cow here

Let's pretend I don't look like a cow here

what to talk about on date nights.

There can be a lot of suspense leading up to a date night, along with expectations. Expectations can make or break any experience, which is why it is important to lay down any expectations before your date night. 

I have heard from people whom I love that do not yet have kids say things like "Whatever you do on your date night, do NOT talk about your kids." or "Try not to discuss work, kids, finances, and politics." I can count one too many times where we have tried not to talk about the kids or Nick was trying not to talk about work, and we ended up having extending moments of silence. We set this expectation of what we could not do and as a result ended up not being able to talk much about anything in fear of breaking that expectation we set. After thinking about this more, I came to realize that it is important and even OK to talk about anything and everything with your spouse on a date night. These precious, uninterrupted moments together are invaluable. The time could be mundane or spontaneous, but the fact that you are together conversing and spending time together is what's important.

From experience, Nick and I will start talking about the kids or what his newest project is and it almost always leads to a more exciting or new conversation for us. Often we'll read the same article or blog post that will lead part of our discussion for the evening. The reality is that spending time together over a meal and a drink means more to me than the content of our discussions.

One of my friends shared THIS great article from the New York Times that gave me a great idea and challenged me to step out of the box. Nick and I usually pick from a handful of the same restaurants for our date nights. We order the same meal every time because we know it will be delicious (Karl Strauss' Boneless buffalo wings, crispy brussel sprouts, and an IPA beer at the top of the list). Molly writes in her NYT article that she and her husband would send their kids off to the grandparents and would go on a new adventure once in a while. The act of doing something altogether new helped spark new conversations and make memorable adventures. 

Although, I love talking about my kids (because let's face it, I don't have much else to talk about since I stay at home with them everyday, all day!), I do love the idea of trying something entirely new with my husband. For the rest of the summer we are going to make a list of things we would like to try together and visit some new restaurants to test out and see where the conversation leads. If we end up at one of our usual spots again talking about our kids or about theology, then I will continue to be thankful for simply being together and having a foundation to spur our conversations. It is better to make the time to be together than to push it to the back-burner out of inconvenience. 

Do you have a hard time talking with your spouse during date nights? Do you try to avoid certain conversation topics? What is your favorite type of date night?

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