The day the love of my life proposed I was in Ann Arbor for a meeting. He had been acting completely obvious. We had chosen the ring together so I knew the question was coming but he was making a amazing effort at keeping it a surprise. I walked into our little rental house to find a trail of lit candles and one seriously nervous guy. I cried from start to finish and of course, I said yes. Our wedding was 18 months later Downtown at The Summit.
By the time we celebrated our first wedding anniversary, we were parents of a beautiful baby girl. As she nears her first birthday, I can’t help but feel it’s all gone so fast. Of course, at the same time, I am so impatient for the rest of our lives too. Here are a few things I would like to share about this whole experience.
I still think about our honeymoon.
Yes, these beautiful photos were taken by yours truly in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. We booked our trip through Costco Travel, which I always recommend to other people. We managed to get a five-star all-inclusive resort and round-trip first-class tickets all within our budget. One of the best parts of using Costco is transportation, too. We were taxied to our resort and back to the airport without having to do more than share our names or pick the time we left.
I still think about our honeymoon because it was so serene. Our wedding was right before Halloween, so the resort wasn’t busy. There were a few other couples and there was a Halloween performance by the resort staff that was full of dancing. The most important part was that my new husband and I relaxed. It was like the eye of the hurricane, to be honest.
Milestone hopping year to year
My husband and I bounced from milestone to milestone for the five years we have been together, and I am somewhat proud it turned out the way it did. I like to call it a textbook romance.
We met at work, moved in together by the end of our first year. We spent our second year working on our careers with promotions included. Third, we got engaged! Fourth, we planned the wedding and got married. Our fifth year, we planned for our little girl. This year, we were hoping for quiet.
I mention all this to really paint a picture. We were always going. From the start, we just kept it moving along, and sometimes that caused us to be stressed. Each life change has it’s growing pains. I don’t necessarily share it with that many people, but my happy place is that honeymoon with my husband.
Bad Days, Bad Habits
Sure, we may have had a pretty fairytale romance. By our third date, I was telling my sister I was going to marry this guy. And I’ll just say, I wasn’t exactly a reliable narrator at that time in my life. The compatibility we have is truly one-of-a-kind but that doesn’t make us perfect. In fact, it makes it harder for some days, especially the bad ones.
When we get hurt, we really hurt. We practice love languages as much as we can, but we also practice bad habits when it comes to coping. Trust, we’re working on it. What was the most important thing we found through all the bickering and arguing that always happened when we were just too tired, too sad, too scared, or too anything? Each other. We found each other, every time. And we did our best to come back to the middle where empathy and love could help us sort out our miscommunications, commitments, or feelings.
Sunshine Honeymoon to Sunshine Baby
Our marriage began with a positive pregnancy test the week after our honeymoon. We had spent the years before our marriage gaining a bond that we could count on. We weren’t worried about jumping right into parenthood. It hasn’t been easy, but our daughter is such a ray of sunshine. She is one of the happiest babies I have ever seen. I had a truly pleasant and happy pregnancy, too.
Every time I would need a minute to calm down during a stressful moment at work, an upsetting tiff with my love, or just a moment of frustrating traffic – I would picture us laying on the beach in Punta Cana.
I like to believe that since I listened to calming music and went to my “happy place” at any hint of stress during my pregnancy, I helped create this amazing source of energy I call my daughter.
We have managed to navigate the white waters of the river to marriage and parenthood by negotiating our wants and needs, communicating clearly, and holding each other accountable. No, not every time. But we will get there.