Thursday, March 03, 2011

Top 10 Marriage Memories :: 4th Anniversary

I woke up this morning (after a much needed full nights rest) to find Jeff had gotten me an anniversary present.  I had thought that the chicken coop and raised vegetable garden would be our gifts to one another but it seems that Jeff had other plans.  And those plans included 2 Le Creuset petite casseroles and a cooking class for Jeff and I to take together- such thoughtful and fun gifts! Thank you babe.

As we said our "Happy Anniversary's" and hugged in the kitchen Jeff suggested that today we focus on the good things that have happened in our marriage, not the hard things we've been experiencing in this season...because certainly, there have been hard things these past 4 years.  Losing Grandpa Evans, having a preemie, Paula's cancer, atrial fibrillation, the ups and downs of owning a business, infertility...I'm sure I could find more to add to the list...but that is so NOT the point.

I found myself today...stuck in a hail storm.  The one time I venture out of the house in 2 days and this is what I get?  And as quickly and ferociously as it came, it stopped.  The sky turned blue and I was struck by how brief a "storm" can be in the grand scheme of things and it made me hopeful for bluer skies and thankful for where I am in this very moment.
Tonight we dined at Delancey while my Mom watched Wes and as we ate pizza with bacon & onion we brainstormed our "Top 10 Marriage Memories."  It was hard to pick 10 but it was a treat to relive these special moments and realize just how very blessed these past 4 years have been, so rich and full.

1. Our actual wedding day! This was honestly such a wonderful day, how could I not include it as the first of many amazing memories to come?  And who can forget the dancing?

2. Our Honeymoon.  Jeff had never been on a tropical vacation and I hope this was the first of many.  It's such a thrill to leave all the wedding planning worries behind and embark on a trip to Hawaii as husband and wife, without a care, an agenda, or a little one's schedule to work around.  It seems like a dream four years later.

3. Moving to Ballard. We lived in Renton, as a married couple, for less than a year and although we were sad to leave the proximity to both of our parents and the friends that lived nearby, we gained proximity to Jeff's brother's and their families and the intimacy of living in a walkable community...we have LOVED living so close to parks, restaurants, stores, the library.  Ballard is our perfect microcosm.   

4. European Vacation.  After leaving a career at Costco, Jeff and I decided I shouldn't go back to work but should spend my time making our house a home and begin to work on starting a family.  To mark this milestone we embarked on a 17 day transatlantic cruise leaving from New York and ending in Rome. {see April & May of 2008} We then spent 3 weeks traveling Italy, Monaco, France, and England (serious memories created along the way.) It was, quite possibly the vacation of a lifetime and not only did we create memories that we will treasure but we also brought back a little bun in the oven, our sweet Wesley.

5. The birth of our son (his whole life really).  How can I even begin to explain this one? Wes is simply a gift from God, a true miracle.  We are thankful for his life every day and pray for him constantly.  When he arrived 5.5 weeks early we were shocked and then a little put out that we had to stay at the hospital.  However, those first 2 weeks are some of our fondest memories, we would not have had his birth or life any other way. 

6. Jane lived with us.  Our best friend.  Do most couples have 1 person that they call best friend? I mean she's mostly mine (right Jane?) but we both love her terribly.  How lucky we were to have her here for nearly 4 months!  She was such a blessing during those sleepless nights.  She not only took care of Wes, but she cared for us too.  Thanks Jane, we will never forget your time with us and hope that we can be lucky enough to host you in the future.

7. Our Stay-cation.  When Jane lived with us we decided we should take advantage of the fact that she knew how to take care of little Wes.  We did our 1st overnight away from him when he was 6 months old.  It was unusually hot for May and we stayed at the Four Seasons downtown that has an outdoor pool overlooking the Sound.  It was so much fun we extended our stay for one more day and invited the family out.  (The part I'd like to forget is that on the second evening I got a fever and began my 2+ week battle with EBV.)

8. New backyard.  I know this seems like a weird one but last summer we had our backyard leveled, Jeff's brother covered our lower patio, and Jeff and his Dad put up gates to enclose the backyard.  I have to say it made a HUGE difference in the amount of time we spent back there.  This small change led to a summer of sprinklers, bbqs, sunbathing, and plenty of horseplay.  We have loved expanding our home by utilizing that space and are looking forward to warmer days to begin enjoying it again.  Not to mention we will have chickens and a vegetable garden back there this spring!

9. Family Vacations.  It's not just 1 memory, so sue me.  We've had some pretty epic family vacations these past 4 years but the last 2 summers really come to mind, perhaps it's because Wes was with us and made them extra special?  The summer of 2009 we did an Oregon coast tour with the Gough family and then met up with my parents, French relatives, and JANE in Sunriver- exhausting but wonderful!  And last year we did a Canadian tour of Whistler and Victoria with the Gough family again. 

10. Hatching baby chicks.   We thoroughly enjoyed the process of raising our eggs in an incubator and watching them hatch.  Jeff is in the process of building them a home and though I love the little ladies I'm looking forward to them getting out of our house.  If you've been to our house lately you'll agree that the amount of dust they kick up is out of control!  Getting chickens has definitely marked a new chapter in our life and we are beginning to embrace the "self-sufficient" lifestyle- a journey!

I'm sure there are some memories that we missed, but there's only so much you can discuss in one dinner!

We also have quite a few individual highlights; Jenny- 30th birthday party, Wave reunions... Jeff- the Republic tour...but we think that together is better.

Have I ever shared our family mantra?

Person 1: Team together
Person 2: Team forever
Person 1: Team apart
Person 2: Broken heart
(place your hands on top of each other one at a time as if in a team huddle)

Feel free to adopt it if it suits your family...we think they're words to live by!

I love you Mr. Gough. Thank you for choosing me to live out the rest of your days with.

Now I need to hit the hay. Goodnight.


Kristen said...

:) this is such an awesome post, such a beautiful glimpse into your anniversary, jenny. i just love it all. this top ten list had me smiling from start to finish. my heart is so blessed and full of joy thinking about you two and your marriage and all of these memories. i'm pretty overwhelmed--in a good way--when i consider how God has intertwined our lives through our marriages, how we have this great opportunity+gift through sharing life together to create lasting memories, and to build each other up over time in meaningful ways. you and jeff and wesley--your family is forever a part of my own story--and many of my own "top memories" would include you guys as well. we are blessed! happy 4 years of marriage, jenny & jeff!!

Shauna said...

Sweet post and Happy Anniversary!

and you made me want to move again. Sigh... I have this constant battle between having some property and living in a cute community in walking distance to so much. You reminded me how awesome it really is. Thanks. ;P

La Dolce Vita said...

Happy Anniversary, sweet couple! ;)

alisha said...

Happy anniversary! I'm sorry I forgot on the day, but so glad you enjoyed your time together and opportunity to reflect on the good bits.

I can't wait to get even more use of your great backyard this summer. :)

Prince said...

on march 3rd, as i was about to send a little message to you and jeff on your anniversary, i second guessed myself as to whether it really was on the the 3rd. i think i have this problem every year because i have 3/10 in my mind all the time :) but no matter the date, i'm just so happy you are married and celebrating so much joy in your life. i was very touched to be part of the top 10 (tears were definitely involved as i read that part) and there are definitely times when i am tempted to hop on a plane and do it all again. i love you both with my whole heart and am so honored to be your best friend. xoxo

Casey said...

This was so fun to read Jenny :) Very sweet. And I love your family mantra!

Kimberly said...

Happy Anniversary! Fun recap of a packed 4 years :)


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