Yesterday was Ryan's and my seventh wedding anniversary. I love using milestones as an opportunity to look back and remember (I am a very sentimental sap), so during Noah's nap, I spent the hour thinking about our marriage and reminiscing.
I really wanted to write something meaningful about Ryan and our last several years together. On our fourth anniversary, I wrote this essay, which has remained one of my favorites. I thought perhaps I could just add to it--use the same format but add a portion about facing infertility/adoption disappointments together and add a portion about being new parents together. But the words wouldn't come. I think that essay needs to stay just the way it is.
I have found with my writing that I have to be in just the right mood--I can't force it. Sometimes I will think about an essay that I'd like to write for weeks, but I can't figure out quite how to word it, and every time I sit down to try, I feel stuck. And then all of the sudden one day--Boom!--I will sit down and out it pours.
So since I wasn't feeling the writing vibe, I started going through old journals. Seven years ago, I wrote a letter to everyone who attended our rehearsal dinner thanking them for the influence that they'd had in my life, and I have copies of all of those letters in a binder, along with copies of the toasts that my dad and Laura gave during the wedding reception. So I sat on my bed and read through some of those letters and felt very grateful for all of the good people in my life. Then I read my dad's toast, and I think it is just perfect because it is so him (humor and sentimentality perfectly woven together). Maybe I will post his toast on this blog sometime.
Then Noah woke up, and that was that. But it was still good to have a little quiet time to think.
Noah and I headed off to my friend Cami's house, so she could curl my hair and make me look pretty for my anniversary date. (I have no skills in the beauty department, and sometimes I get tired of looking like a frump all the time, so I have to recruit help.) Ryan came home to a foxy wife with curled hair (I even hummed the "Foxy Lady" song from Wayne's World and danced a little when I debuted my new look), and we went to see Les Miserables and then to dessert at Maggianos.
The movie gave us lots to talk about. We talked about sacrifice and consecration--how seeing so many people in poverty always reminds us that we are not doing nearly enough to help with the suffering in the world. It's so easy to get comfortable and forget that most of the world's population doesn't get the luxury of going out to a restaurant on their anniversary--or ever. I want to do so much more to use my resources, talents, and skills to help others who weren't born with the blessings that I was, but it's so difficult to know where to start. We talked about some ideas, and it felt great to discuss the stuff of life with Ryan. I'm going to be honest and admit that, after seven years of marriage, sometimes we don't have a lot to talk about when we go out to eat. Sometimes we sit in contented silence. :)
I am grateful for Ryan. I am grateful that he is my husband, my closest confidant, and my best friend. Marriage isn't always easy and blissful. I've heard people say that the first year of marriage is the hardest, as you are adjusting to life together, but that wasn't the case with me and Ryan at all. Our first year (in fact our first five years) were super fun with almost no conflicts. For me, this past year has been the most difficult, as he was so busy and so stressed with his residency, and I was tired from chasing Noah around and managing most of the housework by myself. Sometimes I resented him for the way our roles had changed, and sometimes he was grumpy because he was so stressed, and sometimes we got annoyed with each other...but we kept pushing forward day by day and rarely lost our tempers with each other, and that's just the way that marriage works, isn't it?
I am so grateful for opportunities to get away together and reconnect, like our date last night. And I am grateful for the way that I have carefully chronicled our life together, so I can look back at my old journals or an old love letter from him and fall in love all over again.
Sometimes I tell Noah, "You are the second best thing that ever happened to me. The first best thing is your daddy." And it's so true.
Happy Anniversary, Ry Guy! What will the next seven years bring?? xoxo
|Don't worry--we didn't eat it all! But man was it delicious!|