Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Eight is Great.

Super-quick, semi-last-minute anniversary trip to D-Town...for those of you who plan to yell at me for not getting together in the lightning flash we were there. Next time!! ;)

I can't help it. I absolutely must share what's on my heart and flowing through my soul at the moment.

And I promise I'll completely understand the eye rolls, the gag faces, and clicking on the little red X in the left corner of your Macbook Pro.

Because today marks eight years of marriage. And things are about to get mushy.

Eight years.
That's like going to college twice. {But way better}.
In fact, I remember so many telling me to "Live college up, they're the very best years of your life. Nothing will ever compare!" Albeit, this was true to an extent as college was definitely four incredible years. But the very best of my life and nothing more after that?

Luckily, I can say that I disagree.

Now the past eight years, however? Those have truly marked the best of my life to date. It may sound trite, but I simply love who I am, who I've become, since I got married to one special guy eight years ago. I like married life. I really like my husband. And throw having a couple kids in there? Now that's my mecca.

And every passing anniversary, I find myself thinking, No really, how can it get any better? But somehow, it finds a way. I get more and more settled, our friendship grows stronger, I become more knowledgeable of who my soulmate truly is, and our connection and bond only gets deeper. And over these eight years, I've developed more confidence, have become a better person, and have found a love for who I've become. All of this thanks to my better half.

That doesn't go without saying there haven't been plenty of growing pains. Holy moly, we've got all kinds of marriage stretch marks. I mean, we did get married at the ripe ages of 22 and 21. Absolute babies.

We both are completely different people than we were eight years ago. I look back at that young bride and think how naive, how immature, how young I was. It sort of feels like Gabe and I used the medium of marriage to learn who we were not only as a couple, but as individuals. That's quite difficult to do with another person - to navigate life after college, life as a civilian after fighting in two wars as a Marine, life as a married couple, life with responsibilities and adulthood. I had never even picked up a pot or pan, and everything we owned fit in my 97' Honda Civic on the trek to California.

Luckily, we grew together as we "grew up", rather than growing apart. Even after eight years, I still learn new things about Gabe.  We still spend hours talking. Only now, our conversations are much deeper. And our opinions are much stronger, and at times, completely opposite of one another. But it's these conversations that began at ages 17 and 18 as long distance phone calls from my college dorm room and Gabe's bunk in the barracks. It's these conversations of reminiscing on the past, thanking God for the present, and dreaming of the future that keep our marriage happy, alive.

That and the laughter.

Goodness it's so easy to forget to laugh while living the day to day. And today was no different. Our eight year anniversary - the most ordinary of days. Rolled out of bed at 5:15 a.m. {this, I have decided, should absolutely be illegal in all 50 states}, went to work, picked up Lyla, threw dinner together, and spent the evening at home by myself because Gabe had a special work meeting. Woe is me. But. There was quite the perk in our day. We decided to celebrate with a special lunch date. Went to one of our favorite local restaurants, dined al fresco on the cutest little patio, and took an impromptu walk to the donut shop across the street. Because no date is complete without jaywalking, cinnamon streusel & maple donuts, and a latte. And there was a sweet {one-way} gift exchange that made my day. I sure do LOVE my new bracelet, Babe. ;)

Bad decision making: sugary donut treats after already feeling like I might bust at the seams

And we did get to celebrate a couple weeks early by taking a quick {and by quick, I mean quick. As in 24 hours.} trip to our old stomping grounds in Dallas. For the record, this was road trip #3 so far this summer. And I have no shame in admitting that it was more than refreshing to have time alone with my love...without a toddler in tow. Oh my goodness how easy *and quick* road trips can be with just two adults. And conversations without interruptions - who knew?!?

No. I am not actually drinking this beer. Gabe felt I needed a prop. 

The moment we got into town we hit up the first local coffee shop we could find for some iced lattes. We did some shopping in the cutest little Bishop Arts District and not only bought Gabe his first professional "man bag", but we also got the kids {yes, kidS} a souvenir of sorts. Of course we stopped for some local brews at a couple of spots, even though I couldn't partake in the fun, and we had some of the best Mexican {and ceviche} I've ever tasted at Mesa Veracruz. We stayed at a lovely hotel downtown, woke up the next morning, and headed to Uptown to the best breakfast place ever -  complete with the some of the most fabulous outdoor seating we've experienced and a unique and tasty toast spread of strawberry butter. Then, and let's be honest the real reason for the trip, we headed straight for the outlets and Ikea.


20 weeks preg with babe #2. And no, I didn't intend to look like a mime.

20 weeks...feeling a bit more like 35 weeks.

It's little memories like this one that I tuck away and revisit often.

Life is a whole lot more adventuresome, fun, and sweeter with this guy.

Happy anniversary to my one and only.