Today my husband and I are celebrating five years of marriage. It is pretty incredible to look back at our relationship and see what has happened in just five short years…since August 21, 2010, we have managed to buy a house, adopt two dogs, handle two career changes (one for each of us), and experience the ebb and flow of life and death within our immediate and extended families. I recognize that there are several other married couples out there who have had similar adventures. That’s one thing that is so cool about marriage…when two people get married they are agreeing to walk through whatever life adventures they experience together, hand in hand.
Life can sure throw some curveballs, can’t it? I am sure there are some readers who have heard the phrase “Marriage isn’t easy, it’s hard work.” It is when those curveballs come that being married gets just a little bit harder.
I would argue, though, that while it is sometimes hard to navigate through those tough times in life, it is infinitely easier to do it when you have married your best friend. This might seem like a no-brainier, but in a society where there seems to be more focus on hookups and breakups, I feel that the beauty and blessing of what a good marriage is tends to get lost.
Reece is hands down my best friend. He knows me better than anyone else on the planet, and I would hope that he says the same thing about me. Our marriage isn’t all sunshine and rainbows…while we don’t fight often we have had our fair share of spats. What helps us get through, though, is we move in from those spats relatively quickly. Frankly I think we both have realized that life is way too short to fight with your spouse. We’d rather spend our days creating positive memories.
I have been thinking lately about what our relationship truths are. In other words, what key points do we try to focus on in our daily lives that have helped us both in these first five years of marriage? I think it boils it down to these four things:
Everything is better when you talk. No matter how busy we are, if we make the time to just be in each other’s presence and talk, life seems just a little more manageable.
Let the heat of the moment happen, then move forward. A few weeks ago, I got really really mad at Reece. He happened to be out of town so our convo was on the phone. I got so mad that I hung up on him and didn’t want to talk until the following afternoon. Hanging up on people is not the best quality in the world, but we both recognize that is one way I deal with anger. The big thing for me is that I recognize this reaction and allow myself to calm down so he and I can work it out. Similarly, he knows that is just one way I communicate (like the opposite of a love language I suppose) and doesn’t take it personally besides the “oh sh– she is really mad” feeling. I think it is important for couples to fight, but it is more important to recognize how you fight and be committed to setting those differences aside to move forward.
Don’t take ourselves too seriously. I need this reminder more than Reece does but it’s so important to do as a couple. Stay humble, have fun and remember…this is your journey and yours alone. Make the most of it!
There are no secrets. I am a firm believer this one, guys. When you agree to spend the rest of your life with someone, why on earth would you willingly withhold information from them? I feel like it undermines the foundation of love and trust that a marriage is supposed to be built on. Reece and I are pretty good about this one, but I have to say that what took this “no secrets” mentality to a whole new level was having Reece there for B’s birth. Nothing like having your significant other watch you push a human out of your you-know-what to really eliminate any remaining secrets you may have been keeping.
And really, there is nothing like having your significant other CATCH that tiny human as you’re giving birth to seriously strengthen the bond between you two.
Which brings me to the second part of this blog post…the birth of #2.
For those of you interested, I thought I’d share what happened Sunday night/Monday morning because, quite honestly, I can’t believe that it happened the way it did. I keep feeling like the story is much longer than it is, so really there is no readers’ digest version because I kid you not, the whole labor and delivery lasted AN HOUR, folks.
Background for anyone who needs a refresher…#2’s due date was August 29th but I have felt for a while that there was no way we were going to make it to that date. Between chasing a toddler around all pregnancy and the fact that I shot three weddings at 35 and 37 weeks pregnant, I had a pretty good feeling that this one was going to come early. Leading up to Sunday I had some really strong, but painless, contractions. Sunday we had a lovely BBQ with friends and family to celebrate the upcoming arrival of #2. I was on my feet for most of it, but sat down when I felt I needed to and really enjoyed spending time with everyone who came by. The party ended by 3pm and Reece, Bernadette and I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening leisurely cleaning up and spending time together. Bedtime for everyone was normal and uneventful. I think I had one slight twinge of a contraction before going to bed. All seemed perfectly fine.
The next thing I knew, I woke up thinking “Ow! That one hurt.” It was at 1:30am. I can’t even articulate well what happened next, so I’ll give you a rough timeline:
1:30 – first painful contraction
1:40 – make my way upstairs to put toiletries bag together
1:45 – wake up Reece and tell him it’s the real deal
1:55 – have Reece call my mom to come over (we agreed ahead of time she would watch B)
2:15 – my water breaks in the downstairs bathroom and moments later my mom walks in
2:18 – right when I think we still have a chance to make it to the hospital, the first major contraction hits and I yell (read: scream) for Reece to call 911. He manages to remind me to get down on the floor, which was smart because I would have otherwise delivered on the toilet!
2:21 – with two pushes, #2 is out! Reece catches her while still on the phone with dispatch and my mom goes in to help get the baby situated on my chest.
I still can’t believe how fast she came, but for being accidentally born at home we are insanely blessed that there were no complications. #2 is tiny compared to B (2 lbs smaller!) but is super healthy. We are forever grateful for the support and love we’ve received from family and friends…thank you!
And so, I would like to wish Reece a very happy five year anniversary. I have loved every minutes of the last five years with you and can’t wait for the next five (and beyond). You and the girls are the loves of my life.
photos courtesy of Bella Baby Photography
P.S. I am trying to come up with a nickname for #2 to use on the blog. Any suggestions? I like Little Miss, or Little M (her name starts with M). If you have ideas please send them our way!!