Last week we kicked off our trade show/travel season at work. It’s a six month chunk with roughly nine potential shows or competitions spread throughout. (We also do a trip in August.) I spend a great deal of time with my husband regardless, but traveling together pushes us physically closer for longer stretches of time in higher stress situations.
So natural I got to thinking about our marriage.
I really enjoy my husband. I think he’s funny and witty and smarter than even he knows (and, trust me, he thinks plenty highly of himself). He’s sarcastic and not romantic (in the traditional sense) and not nearly as sentimental as me, though, so I don’t always tell him how gosh damn wonderful I think he is.
But I realized this weekend- five years post wedding & 11 years after agreeing that we should, in fact, date- that I ought to tell him sometimes.
I drank a few adult beverages one night on our recent business trip and *accidentally* gushed to a mutual friend about how our business’ success is 50% luck and 50% my husband (plus all the people we’ve had cycle in and out over the last 6 years, self included). I told them that K has a large ego so I’d never tell him this, but he’s so damn smart- socially & logically. He has no business or engineering education but he’s really done something incredible with the company.
The applicable part of this story is that I have these thoughts about K but I don’t ever tell him. Maybe our marriage is rare, but I doubt it. Chances are there are some “obvious” things you admire about your spouse (or grandma or brother or best friend) that you don’t tell them because… well… why would or should you?
So I’m encouraging you to tell them. It makes your marriage or relationship or work experience or neighborhood that much better. People like being told that the things they’re doing and saying every single day are being noticed and admired and appreciated.
They say to tell loved ones that you love them. Or to say thank you more often. Or to spend quality time with people. But I also encourage you to notice what you admire or appreciate about someone & tell them.
Last Saturday marked 11 years with Kyle. The original “chat with K” occurred on that day in 2007.
Me: Guess what? My parents finally decided it’d be ok* if we dated! K: Cool! Me: …so…? K: Well, I guess we’re dating now.
Always the romantic, friends.
*There’s an age gap between us (and I was 17) so we wanted our relationship to be ok with my parents before we called a square a square.
Alright, now our more recent conversations…
I have a lot of these today…
K: If we have a kid that wants to race go-karts I could get behind that. I’d sponsor the shit out of their car.
Me: The fact that you just said “kid” and not “son” is pretty much why I married you.
Me: If you were going to throw me a surprise party what would I want?
Me: I… uh… yeah, actually. But that’s not what I was going to say.
K: That’s because I know you better than you know you.
Me: What time are we starting this landscaping project on Saturday?
K: Your dad and I will probably go get the stone around 6am.
Me: …so I should probably reschedule my 8am massage?
K: *glares* I’d say use your best judgement.
K kills a flying against the counter with his hand and looks at me proudly.
Me: You’re gonna clean that up, right? K calls Lylee over and swipes the dead fly onto the floor. Dog eats it.
K: I did it.
While driving in the car…
K: Pick some music to jam out to. You always want to talk. I don’t get to jam with you in the car anymore.
Me: I would LOVE to not talk to you and jam out, thanks.
Me: I think you think I’m mean to you.
Me: I’m not mean to you. I just treat you like an adult. Don’t you want to be treated like an adult?
K: *sneezes all over the seat next to him without covering his mouth and grins* Does that answer your question?
After bitching at him for leaving clothes all over the kitchen…
Me: Kyle, I work hard all day and then come straight home and clean. You come straight home and mess.
K: But what would you clean if I didn’t mess? We’re like two peas.
Me: It’s about to get murderous up in this pod.
Me: Make me an egg. K just looks at me.
Me: Enzo, go make me an egg.
K: You’ve eaten several time today.
Me: It’s called “healthy”, Kyle. It improves your metabolism.
K: …one of those times it was Doritos.
I’m going to make a confession that will shock and horrifying marriage bloggers.
We don’t go on scheduled weekly or bi-weekly or monthly date nights.
Don’t get me wrong- we go on dates. They’re just not regular or scheduled. Our relationship doesn’t work that like. We’re both workaholics (who work with each other) and it’s healthier for us to veg at home (sometimes together and sometimes apart) instead of heading out on the town. I’m an introvert and K is an introverted extrovert so we alter our life and relationship to make ourselves happiest.
Ok, enough explaining. When we DO go out on dates, they tend to be a little bigger and/or planned out than what a weekly date night might entail. If your “dating style” is similar to ours, here are a few of our favorite things to do together:
An evening concert.
We love going to concerts together. We’ve been doing it since the very first month we started dating. When we were younger we’d show up to the concert venue, rock out, and then pig out on fast food or gas station food on our drive home. Now we like to go out to dinner first, then attend the concert (and then come home and crash like old people, lol).
A trip to the local creamery.
We live about 0.25 miles from the town’s BEST creamery. In addition to yummy ice cream, we both love their homemade coney sauce. On beautiful evenings when we don’t feel like cooking we climb into the convertible and cruise over there for dinner together.
Early morning breakfast dates.
I think one of my hands down favorite things to do with K is to wake up semi-early on a Saturday or Sunday and get breakfast at a local diner while the world is still waking up. There are lots of places near us but our favorite is a cute one a few towns over. With maybe 12 tables inside, everyone knows everyone. We’re strangers in that town, but they’re so friendly and it’s fun to watch them greet one another and catch up as they come inside for breakfast.
Walking around car shows.
I married a car enthusiast. We’ve spent many afternoons slowly walking through car shows, admiring the vintage rides of yesteryear. Truth be told, I’ve actually learned a lot about cars from K while walking around these shows. My dad, brother, and grandfathers are all car lovers, too. I guess it’s in my blood 😉 Perusing car lots and open houses are also a fun way to spend the afternoon. For us anyway.
A festival lunch date.
We don’t really care for crowds. Additionally, in a small town like ours, when you immerse yourself in a crowd you’re bound to know a handful of people- some you like and some you don’t. We’ve found that by going on weekday lunch dates to street fests and fairs, we avoid crowds and lines and small talk with people we haven’t seen since high school. AND we get the benefit of fresh lemonade and vinegar-soaked fries 😀
I think it’s adorable and cute and #relationshipgoals when couples plan out weekly quality time. I really do. It’s just not how we operate 🙂 All kinds of kinds. These occasional outings work well for us and keep us happy and connected. Next time you’re looking for something to do with you s/o, try one of these!
What kind of date activities do you and yours like to do?
I debated writing this post. I imagine we’re all tired of royal wedding talk, but I kind of love the royals (and this is my blog) so I felt an urge to write about the wedding of the year… Also, I’ve seen and heard a lot of hate talk direct at and about Meghan Markle (now Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Sussex). If people can use their platform to say nasty things about a total stranger that they’ve never met then I can absolutely use my platform to say lovely things.
Congratulations! I hope last Saturday was one of the happiest days of your life (and not too terribly stressful). It’s hard to remember where to stand and when to speak in a normal wedding, let alone one with the queen in attendance and a prince as the groom! I thought you were amazing and stunning and so damn beautiful- pretty much the way you appear in every public outing, actually.
I felt the urge to write because I’ve seen people say some pretty terrible things about you or Harry or you and Harry. I can’t quite understand that. I’ve seen the word “trash” thrown around quite a bit and I’m trying to figure that out. If it’s your beautiful bi-racial ancestry that they’re so wrapped up in then I think we can chalk them up to racist garbage humans. If it’s because you’re an intelligent, take-no-sh*t, self-made woman (if I had a drink for every time I heard THAT phrase on Saturday… I’d still be drunk), then I think we can probably also toss them and their opinions in the garbage.
Personally, I find you lovely. I like your passion and your outspokenness. I love your ripped jeans and messy bun style. I love the way you and Harry look at one another. If Harry is the people’s prince then you are most certainly the world’s princess. (I know, I know… technically you’re not a princess.) All that to say, you being you under all the pressure is incredible.
I think I should add that I love your sister-in-law, too. The Duchess of Cambridge is a badass in her own right and I love that you four (I’m including the boys, of course) seem to be such jolly mates. I don’t compare you to one another and I find that you’re both incredible role models. (If I have kids I hope that they see you all and your charity and selflessness as traits they’d like to embody.)
I’m confident that marriage won’t make you shy away from activism. You’re a blessing to that royal family and it was so fun (and historic!) to see a great family become even greater. It will be so much fun to watch you change the world. I love that you already have.
So anyway… thank you for being a GOOD American featured in the news for once. Our country needs a few shining lights and I think you are one. Also, if princesses still have ladies-in-waiting and you need one send me an email. Just saying. Until then, enjoy marriage! It’s fun and exciting and so rewarding!
Let me know about the l-i-w thing. Talk to ya soon.
P.S. I love that you have a rescue dog. I am also available for the role of royal rescue dogs’ care taker. Just FYI.
I love the princes. I think William and Kate are stunning. I woke up early when I was in college to watch the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tie the knot. I think that Harry, while a (lovable) trouble maker for a bit, is such a wonderful soul. And Meghan… don’t even get me started. The royal family is gaining a badass and I hope they don’t take that for granted.
I really did see a ton of negative things out there about the newest royal (and heard a few in person that I promptly shot down). That kind of racism/sexism/classism annoys the crap out of me. So here I am, attempting to put some positivity into the world 😉
So tell me, did you watch the royal wedding? Did you make it past the procession without crying? I did not… LOL
Just your average round up of conversations I had with the husband…
Me: Maybe these melatonin pills put you to sleep because when we take them I have to keep quiet for 30 seconds while they dissolve under my tongue.
K: Yep, I was just thinking that.
Discussing lunch in the middle of my alcohol & dairy detox.
Me: Let’s get Chinese.
K: We just had Chinese food.
Me: It’s my only option! Italian is creamy and cheesy. Mexican is creamy and cheesy. American food is creamy, cheesy, AND greasy.
K: Those are my favorite dwarfs!
Me: Do you ever feel like your lungs are restricted and you can’t take a big deep breath?
Me: I think it’s because I slouch.
K: I think it’s because I’m fat.
On National Puppy Day I posted a few adoptable dogs to K’s FB wall after he told me not to.
*phone rings; it’s K*
Me: DON’T YELL AT ME, DON’T YELL AT ME.
K: ….I haven’t been on Facebook yet but what did you do?
K: I don’t know why I haven’t fired you yet.
Me: Because it’d be awfully expensive.
K: How do you figure?
Me: “Cheaper to keep her.”
K: I didn’t say I’d divorce you.
Me: That makes one of us.
Upon entering Gettysburg…
K: Is this like a National….
Me: Park? Yes.
K: So should I not have a knife in my pocket.
Me: That is correct. K hangs head and walks back to the car. We’ve seen this play out badly way too many times.
Me: I am the first person to get angry and outraged over silly jokes and trivial things-
K: Yeah. Good job.
Me: …that wasn’t the end of my thought.
In linking up with Kristen today for What’s New With You, I figured I’d share about our Gettysburg anniversary trip.
If you haven’t picked up on it yet, I really enjoy celebrating things. I constantly have friends and family over for parties or plan a special trip out for birthdays & holidays. When it comes to our anniversary, we always try to do something special. The last time we travel-celebrated was in 2015 when we went to Niagara Falls for our 2nd anniversary. Originally I wanted to do something BIG this year for #5 like a cruise or an all-inclusive resort, but after being sick at the start of April and traveling +3 weeks already for work this year, I was a little burnt out and in need of a nearby quick trip. We’d never been to Gettysburg and we’re big history lovers, so it was the perfect choice!
I married a work-aholic and I know that. His job stresses him out but he loves it, so I try to be respectful of that when I plan trips. As such, our Wednesday morning started at work. We finally left town a little after 10am.
We checked into the Gettysburg Hotel a little after 4 pm, dropped our bags in the room, and set out on foot for some dinner. It was sprinkling slightly but we didn’t have to venture far. We crossed the street and found The Pub & Restaurant. It was welcoming and quaint and very unoccupied.
After nomming on some Maryland Crab Bisque, Spicy Chicken (for me), and Meatloaf (for K) we took a short walk around the square. The rain was only spitting here and there, and the sun was shining so we hardly noticed.
We got some milkshakes from the Cannonball Olde Tyme Malt Shop and then we compromised. K wanted to watch the Cavs game so we pushed our movie date to the next night.
We scheduled a guided tour at 9 am on Thursday morning so we were up for breakfast bright and early! We had Bananas Foster French Toast (K) and Texas Toast Egg Sandwich (me) at our hotel’s restaurant, One Lincoln. It was so yummy and our server was super friendly.
I scheduled a two hour driving tour with one of the Gettysburg Licensed Battlefields Guides. They give you the option to hand over the keys and be chauffeured around the park while they explain the battles, landmarks, important people, and scenery. It was an awesome tour.
Our guide, George Maturi, gave use the basic rundown of each day. Gettysburg was a three day battle and for the first 2/3 it really looked like the south was going to win. Thanks to hubris, luck, and a little talent, the north pulled out a win and the south didn’t win the war. (If they’d won Gettysburg the south was convinced that they would’ve won the Civil War.) Of course, victory didn’t happen without sacrifice- thousands upon thousands of lives were lost each day of fighting.
After our tour we decided to peruse the museum, get some Starbucks, and drive ourselves around the park, stopping at whatever caught our interest during the tour. We had a gorgeous day to cruise around. A little windy, but sunny and clear.
We had a late lunch at food 101 and I ordered a Salmon Avocado Sandwich that has forever set the bar for sandwiches. Seriously. It was IN.CRE.DI.BLE. I don’t even know what K was eating because I had such a moment with my food…
After lunch we popped into the hotel so K could nap while I journaled. We went to see Isle of Dogs at the theater just around the corner (Majestic Theater) at 4:15 pm, then ordered dinner in and relaxed all evening. I love that we went to see that movie because Wes Anderson is one of my favorites and it just felt so perfect that his new movie was in theaters over our anniversary date.
We said goodbye to our hotel on Friday morning, picked up some coffee for moi, and headed back home so K could check in on the office before the weekend truly started.
If you decide to explore Gettysburg I would say it’s a 2 or 2 1/2 day adventure. We skipped Jennie Wade’s house, the David Wills House, and the Eisenhower Farm, but they each would’ve taken two hours or less. I would HIGHLY suggest the guided in-car tour. You can opt for longer than 2 hours AND you can ask them to focus on specific things if you want to (i.e. certain days or battles, specific regiments, etc.). I’m very glad we had a guide!
So tell me, have you ever been to Gettysburg? (I can’t believe both K and my 8th grade D.C. trips skipped this National Park!) Have you seen Isle of Dogs? How do you typical celebrate anniversaries?
Tomorrow is our five year wedding anniversary. Last Monday, the 16th, marked 11 years since Kyle asked me out for ice cream for the very first time. I don’t know when I knew that Kyle was going to be mine forever, but it was some time between 2007 and 2013.
Within the last year I’ve noticed crows feet forming at the corner of K’s pretty green eyes. It’s also no secret that I have large patches of grey hair underneath this dye job. Aging can be scary or overwhelming or depressing but, personally, I love those familiar crows feet.
We started dating right after my 17th birthday. I knew then that it wasn’t just a fling; I wanted to grow old with Kyle. It amuses me that I’m seeing it happen before my very eyes. I love it. We’ve gone from sharing our favorite colors and picking what movies to see on the weekends to what house we should to buy and which life ins. policy we should pick. Kyle’s crows feet are a tangible sign that we’re aging together. It’s my new favorite feature on his face. (I like his nose, too. It’s perfect.)
We’re together all the time- I mean, we work together. Obviously we argue sometimes so please don’t paint too perfect of a picture of us 😉 That said, his goofy 31-year-old grin makes me so damn happy. I love it when I make him laugh. And when I see other couples I truly hope that they find the same happiness with their significant other. I feel lucky to share my life with Kyle.
So happy anniversary, babe. (You’re so smart, babe.) I hope to see your crows feet get deeper and my grey patches grow bigger. As long as I’m aging next to you I’ll never dread it.
If one gray hair shows, I’ll be fine / If my waistline grows, I’ll be fine / Even if time takes its toll / We’ll stay young for the rest of our lives…