Our Four Year Anniversary
Happy Anniversary, Matt! Oh, what I’d do to go back to our wedding day four years ago. It was magic!
One of the most popular questions I get asked is how Matt and I met. I love it because I always remember different little moments everytime I think back to those days. We met in school at the University of Missouri. For anyone unfamiliar with it, it’s in the very middle of the country. There’s nothing outside of the town for miles and miles. We worked together at a Spanish tapas restaurant and that’s where our story began. It wasn’t too long before Matt graduated and moved back to St. Louis to begin his career. We stopped talking after his graduation. It was mostly in part because Matt didn’t have a cell phone! I’ll leave that story for another day.
It wasn’t until about a year and a half later until we spoke again. My phone rang. I saw that it was Matt and I got really excited. I remember it like it was yesterday. He said, “I’m moving to California. Can you come to visit me?” I, of course, said yes. It had been many months since we last spoke but we picked right back up where we left off. Matt moved to the Bay Area and we started talking again.
We made plans for me to come to visit but I never got on the flight. He called and called but I never picked up. It’s sad looking back on it now.
Fast forward a year later and I’m in Cabo San Lucas with friends. I randomly found a payphone and called Matt. He picked up the phone and I professed my love for him (once again) and we made plans to see each other (again).
This time I showed up and we started dating long distance. If you’re wondering why time isn’t adding up it’s because I was in school for six years. I graduated with 3 majors in Spanish, Russian and Political Science. For about a year and a half, we dated long distance. Phew, that was tough. I could have dedicated an entire blog series to this topic. My graduation came and Matt flew in to be there for me. The next day we packed up my car and we drove to San Francisco together. I moved in with Matt and that’s when things started getting difficult.
I want to share some of those challenges we’ve faced in our relationship and how we have been able to overcome them. I promise I’ll share part II with you in the future!
A precursor to that post is that relationships are a ton of work. Like anything, if you want to be good at it, you have to put in the time and the effort and the energy into making it work. Some days I’m 100% on board with this mentality yet others, not so much. Those days where Sebastian won’t stop crying and I have too much work to finish that day. Yeah, those days I just don’t care. You can imagine which mindset helps our relationship.
Despite what these pictures show I vividly remember this being one of our toughest years together. We paid for nearly our entire wedding. For months we ate chicken and rice to save every penny so we could have the wedding we both truly wanted. It was an incredibly stressful year, especially since we had just moved to New York City. If you’ve ever moved to NYC, you know the upfront costs can be astronomical and it can take a while to get adjusted to the city.
There were times where we didn’t know if we were going to be able to make it work financially. We knew what we wanted so we buckled down and kept sacrificing. Delaying gratification is so hard sometimes but when it pays off, it’s an amazing feeling. This is also when we read “The 5 Love Languages” (I talk about that more here). The timing of that book, with the added financial stress, was perfect. There were so many days when we just wanted to go out for a nice dinner or take a trip together. But we stuck to the plan and it prepared us for the next few years of our life.
When the honeymoon wears off and it’s just you two, you suddenly realize we are back in the real world. Aren’t things supposed to be so much different when you get married? No. Things seemed more complicated. We had bills, obligations, “you never go see my family” conversations. The first year of marriage we had some tough days together. Again, relationships take a lot of work. Like anything in life, if you want it, you do what you must in order to get it. Even with those rough days, we finally hit our stride and started to understand how this whole “marriage thing” works.
This without a doubt was the biggest change in our relationship. Yes, children change a marriage, but not necessarily for the worst. Quite the contrary actually. It’s brought us closer together and opened up a completely new side to appreciate in one another. We love Sebastian with all our hearts and we always say to each other that Sebastian is our gift from God for making our relationship work for all these years.
Just like the other periods of time in our relationship, there are good days and bad days. We have really begun to truly get our heads above water with our marriage, Sebastian, and the business. It is a constant balancing act that we have worked so hard on trying to make work for everyone involved. Running a business together is tough. Raising a child is tough. Carving out enough time for each other is tough but we are starting to really focus on the whole work-life balance thing. More on this later too.
We picked Santa Barbara for our anniversary because of what the place means to us. Matt and I came here to get away together when we lived in San Francisco. It was our little tropical getaway where we just focused on us and so we wanted to do that again. No big city, no baby (we miss you Sebastian), no traffic. Just the sand, the ocean and rest and relaxation. We have managed to still snap a pic or two 🙂 For some older pictures of the two of us check out Matt’s post for National Spouse day.
Have a great Thursday everyone! Thanks for reading!
Thank you for the honest post: you’re absolutely right that the most worthwhile relationships are worth the effort! Our toughest year sadly had nothing to do with decisions we made. Both our mothers were diagnosed with cancer and were receiving treatment at the same time, and despite her being a warrior, we lost one.
The silver lining here is that we intentionally checked in with one another and promised to be more open with what our needs were. It’s easy to think you can “guess” what the other person needs, but we knew that neither of us would have the emotional capacity to ride those roller coasters. We are now much better at checking in and letting the other know what our limits are. While I of course would give anything to have my mother in law back, I am learning to appreciate the strength we have gained.
Again, thank you for your honesty and sharing the less-glamorous parts of real life.
It’s always one day at a time 😉