This week five years ago my husband and I were snorkeling along the reef and sipping cocktails in Turks and Caicos on our honeymoon. It was fun to daydream about future plans, goals, and the general excitement of life ahead of us. I remember one night at dinner, there was a couple sitting beside us at the bar talking about how they came back to this resort every five years. We were definitely on board with that idea, or at least taking a trip every five years. Not to dive too deep into husband-wife conversations my husband and I have, but we did have quite a few talks about each other’s expectations for our marriage. One of the more light-hearted things I had suggested was traveling, both as a couple and eventually as a family because exploring new places, cuisines, and activities together creates a different level of intimacy than day-to-day life can even begin to achieve. Plus, like I said a couple posts ago, one of the amazing things about traveling is returning with a huge appreciation for the comfort of your home.
On that topic, we have not taken a big trip in the last five years because of, well, life. And then Covid. It’s easy to get bummed about cancelled plans during this past year, but looking ahead with optimism has helped with that funk. I know my husband can feel my need to “go on an adventure” as my kids would say, and he has been very patient with all of my crazy pregnancy-induced life plans recently.
My husband and I were playing a board game the other night, and I asked him, “Do you ever get tired of hanging out with me?” I wasn’t asking because I needed validation or because that’s how I feel about him (it’s not), but I was genuinely curious, especially after living through a pandemic together the past year. In true Nick style, he said, “I wouldn’t have married you if I was ever going to get tired of hanging out with you.” It’s true. Even when daily life seems like we are on repeat, at least I can sit with him, hold his hand, and feel okay with the monotony. If you know me, you know that is a true compliment to Nick because I am constantly thinking ahead, wanting more, or dreaming of things outside of reality.
Nick is not going to read this blog post, but I couldn’t let our anniversary pass without gushing about him a little bit. My dad sent Nick a text once saying something along the lines of ‘you are the perfect match for Traci’. At the time I probably rolled my eyes at the sentiment, but as time goes on, I whole-heartedly know that is true. He is the calming presence to my overreactions. He is the go-with-the-flow to my annoyance at things going wrong. He’s there to feed me when I’m hangry, to redirect the kids when I am on my last straw, to support me in every aspect of life, and to provide me with a feeling of contentment during crazy times. This past year has really made all of the things I love about him even more apparent. When I have gone on and on for hours overacting about R’s preschool chaos, he was there to listen and then reassure me. When I’ve been bummed about how my friendships have changed this year, he’s there with just his presence to remind me that my family is what is most important. When I’m constantly making suggestions about projects for the house, or daydreaming about my perfect neighborhood, or planning an unrealistic trip to Europe, he’s there to make all of it seem not so crazy.
The first five years of anything are the learning, adapting, and getting confident stage, right? I think that holds true for marriage too, and I hope the next five years brings us continued growth both as a couple and family. I hope that whatever life throws at us, I am able to take a step back, look at my husband, and always find immense appreciation for the amazing person he is because honestly, most days I feel like I don’t bring half as much to the table as he does.
Cheers to all of you navigating a month, a year, 5 years, or 40 years of marriage. May you all continue to find love, appreciation, and adventure in one another.
Photos above by Creative Concepts and BeFree Moments Photography, respectively.