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14 Years and Counting

jim and em 14 years

I wanted to take a few minutes to wish this guy a Happy 14th Anniversary. Fourteen years ago, we dedicated our love to each other in front of many family and friends. Since then, we’ve had two kids, grieved over too many family members we’ve lost, moved to the South, rescued two St. Bernards, brought a French Bulldog home, watched our daughter go through open heart surgery, bought two homes, changed four jobs, traveled a ton, and written a story with many ups and downs. We’ve written our own story that tackles every emotion. Every marriage is tested, ours included. No one is perfect. No marriage is perfect. People make mistakes. Forgiveness is given – and earned. Focus shifts to the children, without remembering why you became a couple in the first place. But over the last year, we’ve taken time to start a new chapter. Well, I guess it’s more of starting the next chronicles of our family instead of just one chapter.

I love this man. More than ever. I’m lucky he chose me to be his wife and the one to spend his life with. He’s my biggest cheerleader, but also keeps me level headed when I tend to think with my emotions. I wake up every morning thinking how lucky I am to have him and our family. I’ll never take it for granted.

“In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.”  — Maya Angelou 

A Favorite Thing – My Hubby

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You know how I said last month how my children were two of my favorite things…and so is my husband, but that post will come later…well….it’s later.

One thing that is funny about my husband is when I first met him, I thought he was kind of a jerk. I was a marketing intern at a zoo, while he was a full-time zookeeper. He shaved like once a week and he just seemed very straight forward with zero personality. On Fridays, I didn’t have class, so I worked all day at the zoo. Well, that’s when we started to bond and become friends. I really got to know him and learned how my first impression was completely wrong.

As we started hanging out, I also saw him around his nephews and niece. I would constantly think to myself, “Wow. This man is going to be a wonderful father someday.” And I would like to say how completely right I was about that thought!

And since I write about fashion so much – I have to side track real quick with this side note. OMG. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not great fashion sense to 10 being the best dressed man, I would have given him about a 2.5. But one good thing, he was completely open to letting me help him shop. And I still love shopping for him to this day!

Now…back to the story…we got engaged when I was 21 and he had just turned 28. My mom and dad were hesitant since we hadn’t dated very long, but they already loved him. You want to know how he won my mom over? After our first dinner out together, he wrote my parents a hand written note thanking them for a wonderful evening. Who does that? Uh, my husband does. And it worked.

We got our first house right before our wedding, and life has been busy ever since then. So that’s a whopping 10.5 years now. We have gone through a lot, which I know most marriages do. We’ve rescued a St. Bernard, got pregnant 6 months after we were married (surprise!), found out I have a blood disorder called Factor V Leiden Mutation, lost my husband’s mom to cancer, had another baby, watched our 3-year old go through open heart surgery, got new jobs, moved to the South to a town we had never even visited, drove a mini-van (what?! oh, yes!), transitioned our son to a facility daycare when he was used to home daycare, lost my husband’s dad, lost my grandmother and grandfather…and I’m sure I’m missing a lot of other things in between, too.

Our relationship has been tested a few times, but through it all, we’ve learned to love each other for who we are. Through thick and thin. Through mistakes and faults. Through sickness and health. Through grieving and extreme happiness. That’s what marriage is, folks. It’s a partnership. It’s being a team. I am blessed to have my husband as my teammate in this crazy life of parenting two children and being working parents.

I’m so lucky he knows me so well…my quirks and all. He even knows exactly what I want to eat when I’m sick (Panda Express anyone?!). I’m so lucky I can be so dependent upon him sometimes because I know he will be there. For me. For our children. For my parents. His heart is the size of Mount Everest. How am I so lucky?

Here’s a few pictures from our 10-year vow renewal. It was an unbelievably touching moment that we will never forget. It was a testament to our commitment to each other – no matter how crazy our lives can get.

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I love you, honey! I hope you know how much.

You are definitely my favorite thing.

Importance of Date Nights

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The hubs and I have been married for 10 and a half years…together for 12. Six months after we were married, we had the unexpected (and awesome!) news that we were expecting our first baby! So, a lot of our marriage has been based on being parents. And all of the parents out there know that having a baby can cause you and your spouse to bicker more (hello lack of sleep!) and get annoyed more easy with each other. Even though I have to admit, we rarely ever fight – we’ve always taken to heart that communication is key.

As working parents, we both try to spend as much time with our children as possible. But, my parents have always told us how important it is to go out as a couple and remember why you became a couple in the first place. This advice was the best marriage advice we’ve ever gotten.

Our marriage hasn’t been perfect, but no marriage is. We notice when we haven’t had time for each other, we tend to drift apart. So we’ve tried to make sure we set aside time for ourselves at least once a month. Most of the time, it’s just a quiet dinner out – but we also try to do weekend get-a-ways every now and again, too (when my parents are available to babysit all weekend!). These weekends tend to bring us back to who we are and why we fell in love in the first place.

So last weekend, we went out to a nice dinner…and it was much needed. I told the hubs to pick out whatever he wanted me to wear, and he picked out this BCBGMaxAzria dress – that I had never worn! I remember buying this dress a size up and when I got it, the belt it came with was way too loose. But, I purchased this belt at The Limited last year on super sale, and it worked perfectly!

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Dress – BCBG; Heels – Jessica Simpson; Belt – The Limited; Bracelet – Louis Vuitton; Earrings – Local Artist

So when was the last time you and your spouse went out? Do you make it a priority to keep your marriage going?

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