Friday, July 18, 2014

Six years

This past week Chris and I "celebrated" our sixth anniversary! I used the term celebrate loosely because on our actual anniversary date, I was working and Chris was in Chicago for the weekend. But despite being apart on the actual date, we are celebrating and I feel very blessed to have been married to this man for six years. Six years feels like an accomplishment. We are certainly no longer newlyweds, and in fact, we are getting into the arena where people seem surprised at how long we've been married (i.e. "Wow. You guys must have been babies!" or "That's longer than I was married to my first wife" - two of the reactions I got from co-workers this weekend). I guess the "oh, how sweet" reactions we used to get are reserved for newlyweds and those that have been married 40+ years...though I still think it's sweet, and wonderful, and marvelous.

Prior to this past year, I believed honest, respectful, and effective communication, as well as clearly delineated expectations were the keys to marriage, and while those are obviously very important tools, this year has been about something different. Eleanor joined our ranks this past year. We became parents, had to learn what that meant, and perhaps more importantly, had to learn how to grow independently but together, instead of independently and apart. Though we are both willing for the sake of Eleanor, neither of us wants to lose ourselves (our hobbies, our life-giving friendships and activities) in the process of growing our family. This year has been about prioritizing each other and our interests and about learning how to say "yes" to each other even when it's easier not to. Phrases like "we'll make it work" and we'll figure it out" have become commonplace in our conversations this past year. We have prioritized things like my girls' reunion weekends and book club, Chris' poker nights, and his recent trip to Chicago, as well as our time together in the evenings and on weekends.

We've grown this last year. We've stretched everything: our hearts to welcome Eleanor, our capabilities in caring for each other and a baby, our thresholds of forgiveness because we all fall short, and our compassion because life is hard and we all need a break sometimes. Our communication has changed, our expectations have changed, we have changed. What a blessing that we have the capacity to become new people (and create new people!) within the permanence of our marriage.
(My sister and mom took this picture on our anniversary when they visited to help watch Eleanor.)

Six years. Six great years. I hope we have more than ten times that many to come.

4 comments:

Dorothy said...

You write beautifully. Happy Anniversary! Love you three!

Patty said...

What a wonderful post, Katie. We're proud of both of you, your commitment to each other, and Eleanor, and we love you all very much!

Elizabeth said...

Congratulations to you and Chris! Katie, you really are a gifted writer. I'm so glad to be your friend :)

jennie said...

wow awesome post! congrats to you guys!