Six years. That's a long time. We're almost 30! I think it's safe to say, we're really doing this adult-ing thing, and slaying it at that.
Our annual anniversary photo is not my favorite haha or maybe it is, I mean, it's kind of Willow's first one so that makes it pretty great in itself. It's tough getting a baby and puppy to cooperate for something like this. Especially when there's no one behind the camera to look at. And ESPECIALLY when your crazy old lady neighbor won't leave you alone to take the one dang picture you try to take every year! Go away, please, we need to take this picture and get to dinner before baby has a "it's bedtime!!!" meltdown! Kthxbye! :)
We kind of stick to tradition for our anniversary and always go to the same place to celebrate, Pescados. I think because Pescados is a little pricier than we typically do for a normal dinner, so we only go there for a special occasion. And any excuse to go there is welcomed immediately. Willow really enjoyed her saffron potato cakes too!
I thought about getting a babysitter and having a night to ourselves, but I kind of wanted to bring Willow with us. She's what MADE this year. And our anniversary is about us as a couple for sure, but we as a couple were molded by this baby this year. In the best possible way. Everyone warns you that having a baby will put so much stress on your marriage, and I guess it does in a way, but mostly we've had the opposite experience. It has forged us together. During those sleep-deprived newborn days of passing baby back and forth bouncing her around the house, Erik and I rarely snapped at each other. If we did, we immediately understood that the other person was exhausted and never held it against each other. We took the idea of teamwork pretty seriously.
And I'm not surprised. I knew Erik would be the greatest dad. When you see a boy in college with multiple "how to care for your ferret" books, you know he's a protective, diligent caretaker. At least I did. "Protective" is actually one of Erik's most prominent personality traits I think, though it's not what most people would think of first. But some of my first memories of Erik, before we were even dating, were like that. There was a guy bothering me at a party once and Erik didn't like it and made it his mission that night to watch out for me, even though we weren't dating and wouldn't go on to date for a long while. When we see someone pulled over on the side of the road with car trouble, Erik is the one who wants to stop. In fact, Erik is the only person I know who has stopped his car to help a turtle cross the road (sorry, Erik, I know that's not a manly story, but it's adorable and endearing).
Here are pictures year 1-5... I like watching the bushes grow behind us haha. I also love that in year 2, our neighborhood was still so small and empty that I could just casually set up my tripod in the street... that would never work today!
So, this year has been my favorite year of marriage by far. I think we're both at our happiest. I think we've developed a new type of camaraderie that only having a child can give you. Getting through 9 months of unhappy pregnancy, 33 hours of difficult labor, 2 weeks of bed rest, and the trenches of infant caring... I guess it makes you or breaks you. And it made us. We're the ultimate in Team Power Awesome, as we have affectionately called ourselves for years.
I think part of that is just noticing. And acknowledging. Noticing when your partner unloads the dishwasher for you. Or takes the trash out. Or rubs your shoulders. Or assembles your printer for you. Or takes the angry baby so you can do something in peace. Or feeds and plays with the dog. Or brings home a piece of cake from work. (hm, I wonder if my love language is turning into acts of service? haha) I see those things, and those little moments flush me with gratitude and energize me.
Erik, I'm so thankful for your love, dedication, and protection. Your strength under adversity has always been something I've admired in you. When I'm feeling defeated, overwhelmed, or sluggish, I know you'll be certain and strong when I would rather crawl under the covers and hide. And it doesn't matter that you don't always know the right thing to say, you know to be there, struggling for words but holding me close, and that is enough. I have more words than I know what to do with anyway.
Here's to year seven... to more sleep, we hope! And if not, that's okay. We've got this.