nourishing & unapologetic
Today is our second anniversary. Yes, 730 days spent married. Maybe it's not that long, but maybe it's one year closer to forever. (insert mushy emoticon here, right?)
I wanted to have a reflection similar to last year's, but something that grand wasn't on my heart. It's not that I am less elated for this year's milestone, it's just that more is currently going on. Life fills up and speeds up. I literally feel like I just wrote our first year post. I mean, seriously, where does time go? When people warn little kids not to wish for their days to go faster, they are serious. It's like pedal to the metal after age 25.
But today, I am lucky, the universe gave me a chance to pause. I am transitioning from one job to another and have today serendipitously off. (More on that on another day.) So, I am writing this from our newly completed back patio (more on that too) in the sunshine with our pups nearby. G-l-o-r-i-o-u-s. Thanks, universe!
Year 2: we bought a house. I think that sums up the pace for our year. We searched, we financed, we moved, we're redoing and decorating. Yep, that about covers it.
Oh wait, we learned about each other throughout this process too. Yes, that's where this is going, that what we've confirmed that marriage is about showing up each day and putting in the effort to learn and love. It's like PD, or continuing education for couples.
Here's the rundown of a few reflections from our second year of marriage (from my perspective and own experience.):
1. Being partners means saying the hard stuff and supporting even when you think the other is crazy.
I am admittedly not the easiest person on the planet. I have idiosyncrasies out the ears. And, I am impatient to boot. Nicholas is, well, cut from the same cloth but in a totally opposite fashion. To say we're wired differently would be entirely accurate. BUT IT WORKS because we understand who we each are and love each other for it. Moreover, we respect each other for it. During the house hunt and our eventual purchase and mini-renovations, we've brought the crazy out in each other. I've been bent out of shape about caulking and trim and he's been flabbergasted that I think finding old stuff and houses have charm. Our priorities for projects aren't the same and what seems logical to one is gibberish to the other. So, we've argued, thrown our hands up, threatened to put a for sale sign in the yard, but have always come back to each other. We've been honest, we've been irate, we've been surprisingly chill, we've been it all. It's all about talking through it, conceding sometimes, compromising often, and collaborating a lot. We're building a life and the home is just part of it.
2. Space for each person is important.
In the first year, it's kind of like you are attached at the hip. That's part of the awesomeness of the first 365. But it's also important to have your own space. There needs to be time to retain and develop who each of you are and what you bring to the partnership. Well-cared for individuals equal a couple well-positioned for longevity and lots of love. We've tried to continue things, or find new ones, that bring us, as individuals, release and joy. What have we done in this last year? Dabbled in yoga, ran, built a workshop, spent more time with friends, volunteered for committees and organizations we have interests in, found ways we can serve, and each took on side jobs. Each of our "own" activities allows us each to have more to share with each other.
3. Remember, there's no map or plan for marriage. It is totally unique to the couple.
During the engagement and the first year, you get a lot of advice. Like a lot. Enough to overwhelm even the most steadfast pair. There's a lot of pressure to do things a certain way or please everyone. Then, after the new wears off, things calm down a bit. And then...well people begin to wonder what your next steps are (buy a house, have a baby, go on a big trip together, advance in your careers, etc.). Most people are asking because they care, they want to help, and are genuinely curious. HEAR ME NOW: There is NO plan. There is NO right way to be married. Each couple has their own pace. There might be a natural ebb and flow in life and some similar patterns to coupledom, but there is no prescribed path. It's good to keep perspective. If we spend our time worrying about the expectations of others, we lose our ability to choose willfully and with abandon as well as enjoy the rewards or learn from the missteps. I've always loved surprises but always want to have a plan. As contradictory as that is they both can coincide. But in this instance, our marriage is the grandest adventure I've been on yet and I am so thankful to be the co-pilot for my best friend.
I heard an excellent song earlier today. While we tend to use 90's country as our love songs, but I think Nick won't mind that I stray a bit for this one; it is incredible. Check out "I Wasn't Expecting That" by Jamie Lawson. Nick swept me off my feet 4 years ago as of October 1st. I truly wasn't expecting to fall fast, fall hard, fall forever. He's still the best thing that's ever happened to me. #Iamtheluckiest
In the spirit of tradition, let's take a quick look at our 2nd year!
Happy Second Anniversary, Lovebird! Here's to another year of choices, chances, and change. May we continue to drive each other a little nuts and love like crazy. xoxo
Now, for all of the other September anniversaries and weddings, we wish you the best! You picked a fabulous time of year to start and celebrate the rest of your life. Let's cherish our time, make a lot of memories, and love love.
Until next time--
Our Dood turns two today! Yes, Garth the Goldendoodle, is growing up. In the last year, he's discovered the love of a tennis ball and squeaky toy. He gobbles cheese any chance he can get. He regularly tucks himself in at night whether we're ready to sleep or not. He's a fan of sitting on our mid-Century modern sofa (with a dog sheet of course!). And, he's still the worst car rider on the face of the planet.
And if that's not enough, he's an artist too!
Because buying a house is expensive enough, we didn't want to spend a lot on artwork to grace our walls. So, taking inspiration from KC Pet Project's Animal Artists, we enlisted our pooches to help create some one-of-a-kind canvases.
The project is quite simple. And, tyou can create your own in just a matter on minutes.
I hope Shaggy and Garth's art inspires you to engage your furry friends and family in a creative project or two.
Now, as if you haven't had enough, cute dog pics, I'll provide you a gallery of some of our favorites from the past year. Despite all the muddy paws and slobbery mouths, I can't imagine our life without Shag and Garth.
That's enough for now. Our pup only turns two once and we've got celebrating to do.
Until next time--
Ahhhhh, hello, long weekend! When you're young, holidays were relished with enthusiasm. As an adult, holidays are still great, but I think a solid long weekend is perhaps more eagerly anticipated than Christmas. It's a bonus day for productivity or lack there of.
If you've got a gathering to go to still, and are in need of a dish to take, consider these simple party cheeseburgers. Now, I'll concede cheeseburgers in their traditional form are incredibly easy, but these are lower maintenance and great for a group. Plus, you don't even need to fire up the grill. The original recipe is from one of my favorite bloggers, Kevin & Amanda. Their recipes are generally practical and approachable.
I first made these cheeseburgers as the main dish for the teens we feed on a monthly basis at local organization. These teens face hardship, including hunger, shelter, stability, safety, and a lack of clothing, daily. So we're always trying to provide a little bit of comfort through some great home-cooked food. Since we're cooking for a group, I try to find recipes that are teen-friendly, cost-effective and relatively quick. This one surely fits that bill.
You'll need some pretty basic ingredients and about 35 minutes. If you take these to a party, I bet you'll bring home an empty pan!
I have to disclose: I don't have any pictures to share with you. I could have sworn I took a few but I can't locate them. Food blogger fail! My apologies! But they're so good, I can't not post. Luckily, Kevin and Amanda's post have excellent photos it you're a visual person. AND, I'll update this post when I make them again.
Cheeseburgers for a Crowd
Original Recipe from Kevin and Amanda
1 pound lean ground beef (we had 90/10 on hand)
1 large onion, diced (I had a large sweet onion)
1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dry ground mustard
1 can of tomatoes with diced chiles, drained (i.e. Rotel)
12 Hawaiian Rolls
1 stick butter (8 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
Seriously, that's all there is. I told you they were easy. No one wants to waste time on a long warm weekend with involved recipes. Make them. Take them. Let your friends reap the rewards of your kitchen wins.
Now, go forth, and enjoy the extra day! I'll be back with some other great stuff soon.
Until next time!