nourishing & unapologetic
Well, it's been way too long since I've checked in on the ol' blog. Shamefully, Born Daily has become a casualty of our move back to the homeland. There's no excuse other than not making it a priority. Forgive me?
We'll be back to regularly scheduled programming as soon as I have a kitchen, pots and pans, and my sanity back. We sold a bunch of stuff before we moved so there's some shopping to do. Whhhhhhy? Remind me again why I thought that was a good idea? (Target and Williams and Sonoma, you better come through for me. ha)
For the last three years, I've written an anniversary post. Accordingly, for the love of our four years, I'm dusting off the keyboard.
Yep, We're four years deep into #MrandMrsBorn.
It's truly hard for me to remember what life was like before our "us." But, I'm confident it wasn't better. I wasn't better. But, the universe really came through with this one and, I am forever grateful.
In the name of tradition, allow me to wax poetic. My top two takeaways from this latest year of love are as follows:
1. Marriage takes guts.
Like actual courage, because empathy, advice, honesty, goals, playfulness, finances, and commitment aren't light work. They're not "hard" per say, but this isn't a time to phone it in. Marriage should make you a better person, right ? That can't happen if you don't have the guts to love yourself first and love someone else equally, but differently too. You've got to be comfortable enough to not only wear your scroungy clothes and bedhead, but also to bear your soul to another person. You're totally open, emotionally invested, and utterly connected. You're basically naked. (Well, not actually. Okay, probably, actually sometimes ;).) This level of exposure creates the bond upon which all good and strength is built. As basic as this seems, marriage is about sharing the good stuff, the hard stuff, and the surprising stuff together. BUT, the good news when you're all-in as a team, all that stuff -- even the gut check stuff -- is just another adventure, albeit wild, joyful, hysterical, challenging, or scary, or all of the aforementioned.
2. Patience isn't overrated. Neither is food.
We're building a house together. Literally Nick's sweat equity is building the structure that is becoming our home and I am doing my darnedest as a gopher and helper. Patience is figuratively one of biggest line items on our budget.
We had sooooo many people tell us that if we can survive building a house together, we can survive anything. People made it sound like it would be the hardest thing we'd do together. Guys, I'm here to tell you, it's truly not been that bad. We went in with the expectation that we each had something to bring to the project. We're both the experts on certain subjects or decisions. You're not going to ask me to tell you what wall needs framed or how to do it; and, you're not going to ask Nick what color we're painting which room. We spent months planning for the project and I really think that preparation has allowed us to be more patient with the project, with the process, with the hiccups, and with each other.
Full disclosure, there have been plenty of times where our annoyance thresholds were burgeoning, and, there have a been three or four times, Nick and I have had a full-fledged, fury-filled fight. BUT we've always come back with cooler heads, and often fuller bellies, and rehashed what unhinged us and then moved forward.
How could we do that? // Why could we do that? Because of grace and patience. Not only patience with each other, but patience with oneself and giving each other the grace and space to deal with what triggered us. Patience is a form of love I'm still actively working on.
Also, if you know me I tend to be hangry if I've not had a meal or snack. And Nick, though he'll deny it, can he hangry himself. Naturally, we can assume that hanger has contributed to our annoyances and arguments. Never underestimate the power of food. Your body needs fuel and nourishment. Snickers has it right, "you're not you when you're hungry." But even more than the physical response to food, sharing a meal together (whether it be from a take out container or from a dinner plate) is a genuine way to connect. It is truly my love language. I highly suggest cooking together, eating together, and dining together. Anything can be solved or remembered or rekindled over a meal. The lesson in this: Snack hard. Love hard.
So, what's to come for us in this year? The conclusion of #BornsBuildAHouse: A HOME. And, a mortgage again. (warm fuzzies, right?) Really though, OUR HOME. We're stoked to continue to build, paint, furnish, and decorate #casadeBorn. And it's pretty convenient that Hallmark tells us that the modern fourth anniversary gift is appliances. We've got that covered -- winning!
There's no one I'd rather do life with. Can't wait to keep loving you four-ever!
Happy Fourth Anniversary, Lovebird!
And, in true anniversary tradition, check out our highlight reel with the annual Flipagram:
To the newlyweds, the long-timers, those "just" dating, and those anticipating what's to come: Let love guide you. Let laughter renew you. Let the shenanigans keep you young. Cheers from #MrandMrsBorn!
Until next time. xo-
ps at what point do I have to stop saying these are newlywed reflections?
Hi, I'm Jessica. This is my blog. Really, it is. I started it. Annnnnnnnnnndddddd, well, you can tell it's been too quiet over here. I probably don't need to do introductions again, but if you're just now joining in with the Born Daily adventures, you've come at a good time.
It's our anniversary! That's nearly 1,100 days married. Wooooooo! I could regale you with tales from the year, and I still might. But I'm feeling like being a little out of character, and cutting to the chase. So here it is:
Marriage is pretty cool.
That's all I have.
Okay, I also have a giddy, memory-induced smile on my face brought on by a few of my favorite N+J photos from our engagement session and big day. Mike and Julie from JSiPhotography are outta this world good. All the credit goes to them for helping us retain these special moments.
Ooooookay, maybe I have a little more.
Marriage is pretty cool because:
I'm settling into this wifey role with every passing day. I love cooking meals for him and generally managing our life.** I adore having another half (arguably, sometimes the better half). I live for big and small adventures with Nicholas. I am challenged every day by his unwavering logical thinking, his lack of filter, his unending curiosity and his overtly apparent belief in systems and science. I am strengthened by his positive outlook and the steady pace at which he takes on life. I am amazed by his natural mechanical talents, his charm and his ability to assess situations quickly. He is one-of-a-kind. And, I am so glad he's mine and I am his.
What's happened this year with #MrandMrsBorn? In so many words, in the last year, we've:
For those of you newly engaged, just starting the wedding march, or seasoned pros, may marriage make you more. More than just two individuals. More than just another couple. More than just a label or status. May you have little moments and big magic. May you have enough peace to keep your sanity and enough challenge to keep you thriving. May you have kisses, laughter and alllllll the food and drink you enjoy together. And for those of you with September anniversaries, cheers! It's the best time of the year! (only slightly biased...)
**I don't want to hear about how I am conforming to dated gender roles and damning my female counterparts or renouncing any beliefs I have in equality. Nick doesn't expect this and doesn't request anything. I choose to show my love in domestic ways because that is where my heart and some natural talent lies. I'm doing me. You just do you. We can at least agree it takes both people who agree and understand each role to make the partnership work well.
But for the record, I hate putting away the laundry. That's something I will do, but I don't like that at all. Husband, take over if you want. Just don't mix up the athletic socks with the dress socks and make sure to hang my shirts by color, style and material please. ;)
Y'all...it's time for some renewal, some adventure, and some sun! That's right, no blogging for the next week because it's VACAY time. If I had some scheduled content for you lovelies, this would be a moot point. possibly
I know, I know, you aren't supposed to announce an absence...but since we don't have a physical address to creep on, I think this one time it's safe...
But, this isn't a post for post's sake. Yesterday, when I was on Facebook, for the gazillionith unnecessary time, I stumbled across this article. It's a list of things to do so your life is full of the good stuff. It stirred my soul, again. It is what the universe knew I needed as I am in a bit of a struggle with this precarious position between some entrepreneurial freedom and the must of stability. But more than anything, I know I want to, okay, I need to, LIVE BIG!
Check it out -->
I hope something in this list speaks to you, challenges a notion or two, or prompts you to go for whatever your heart is aching for. Self care is critical in this crazy world we live in. Raise your hand and commit to something because you're worth it. Your family and friends are better for it, promise. Plus take them along on the adventure!
Okay, GTG. I still need to shove the all the things in our suitcase.
(And for the record I think the husband is the one who's over packing. Clearly, he's the one who wants to have back-up books in case there's extra time to read...and the ones he wants to read were only in hardback...facepalm... Okay, maybe that's me, but who can be for certain? I do think he's taking more clothes than me so there's that.)
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--
Wow. I took a blogging hiatus and didn't even mean to. Where does time go?! My apologies for the reckless abandonment. I could use too many words to tell you what we've been up to, but we'll save that for another day. I wanna talk about what's top of mind: our 1st anniversary! SERIOUSLY. We've been #MrandMrsBorn for a full year on this Sunday (September 28).
I'd being us all a disservice if I wasn't utterly honest in the following paragraphs. So, prepare yourself for a little too much adoration, frankness, and optimism. Admittedly, I am still a novice at being a wife, but I think there's value in transparency. Without further ado, here's what I've learned in the first year as Mrs. Born.
1. Marriage is hard work.
It takes an effort EVERY SINGLE DAY. No phoning it in. It's you and your partner against the world. Okay, it's not that dramatic. But once we had those wedding bands, the reality of this incredible partnership, privilege, and obligation set in. We entered into this union intentionally and we're doing our best to live intentionally with love. Nick will say it's not been too difficult. And I do agree, everything really has fallen into place. But it is challenging in just meshing the wants, needs, and expectations alongside the ebb and flow of life. There's more sorting out of schedules, joint priorities, and finances. There's more give and take, since obviously, you now live with this person 100% of the time; it's important to pick your battles. There's more pressure to be like "married people" should be--whatever that means. There's the questions about when the Born's are going to buy a house and when we'll have a baby. (We just want to be married for a bit people! Plus, we know that Nick's the natural with kids and I still have to get a little more knowledge under my belt.) We are learning to be married, as funny as that sounds. We're defining Mr. and Mrs. Born. Luckily hard work never hurt anyone, right?
2. Marriage is an excellent mirror.
It helps you see the best and worst of yourself. It has shown me that I more times than not I genuinely think of others first. It has helped me identify food as one of my expressions of love. (Not sure that's an official love language, but it ought to be.) I've learned that I am open to change. It's shown me that I was Born to be a wife. All that said, remember that worst part... well, I am incredibly impatient, I stay mad for too long, and I am a voice-raiser/yeller. Marriage has amplified these for me, not in the way of doing them more, but in that I notice them quicker and feel worse for them. Truth be told, I want to be an excellent personal life conflict manager and actually use the skills I know from a past professional role. Reality is I'm not there yet, these ugly tendencies/characteristics win out sometimes and those I love the most take the brunt. On top of that, I am also a worrier and methodical planner. Spontaneity is not my middle name. My need to try to anticipate everything drives Nick bananas. The good news is there's time to work on these things! (see point 3.)
3. Marriage is chock full of opportunities.
Really it is. Each day is ripe with the chance to make memories, try new things, and learn. There's also the chance for forgiveness and a new beginning after days you didn't do so well. For this I am thankful. Additionally, despite what the media and know-it-alls say, there is no legitimate, predefined perfect marriage. Each is unique just like the partners that make up that marriage. We get the enormous honor to make it our own and grow together to become our best selves. We're trying to take full advantage of what we have and build big dreams along the way.
4. Marriage rocks.
It is surely the best adventure I've taken thus far.
Now for the mushy stuff because I can, it's my blog after all. Though I am not sure it's possible, I think I love Nicholas more now than I did almost 365 days ago. Here's the rundown of why he's stolen my heart day after day:
He's perpetually happy. He's the optimist I wish I could be. He's brilliant and curious. His sense of humor is top notch. He's abnormally patient for the most part. He's extremely multifaceted (I mean, really, how many other white collar professionals do you know who can plumb, dig, and mechanic? He's just as comfortable in a slim fit suit and tie as he is Wranglers and boots). And let's not forget, he's genetically gifted (gorgeous and 6% body fat without even trying [not fair BTW]). But most of all, he's confident and unapologetic for who he is. (Oh and he "gets" me and loves more for it.)
We've been asked what we're planning to do to celebrate. If we could have another big wedding we'd totally do it in a heartbeat. Ours was a night filled with our favorite people having the best time together. But since we've gotta save something for a more monumental anniversary, we'll probably cook a good meal we both enjoy and eat a bit of the top tier of our wedding cake and just be. We might dance around our living room. We might toast to the future. And, we've got an activity planned that correlates with the first year gift tradition of paper too, so we'll see how that turns out. It might appear on the blog at a later date. We've been calling September #MarriageMonth. Most who know me know I rarely limit a holiday or special occasion to one day...the more festiveness the better! Though this month is as busy as it normally is, we've tried to do more things together that are outside of our typical routine. Last week we went apple picking at a local orchard just because. It was a beautiful evening spent in the country (you'll read more about that in a later post too). So, we might just to make #MarriageMonth an annual thing...
And, what would an anniversary post be without a flashback of some favorite moments:
Happy First Anniversary, Lovebird! May we have many, many more years filled with shenanigans, silly photos, lots of food, laughter, ambition, contentment, and memories.
Here's to all those celebrating love this day, week, month or season! Cheers from #MrandMrsBorn!
Until next time. xo-
PS for anyone planning a wedding and wanting their own celebratory hashtag, consider it's longevity. I still use ours to tag pictures and it's come in quite handy.
PPS Wedding tip #2: invest in your photographer. We adore the images Mike and Julie at JSI captured. I've found myself looking at these photos a lot this month reliving the wedding that set the tone for our marriage. We lucked out finding these two! Thank you again for documenting us in all our joy and revelry.