Today, Jenny + I celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We met when I was a sophomore in high school and she was a freshman. 17 years later, we’re happily married with 3 awesome kids and 1 adorable (and kind of lazy) basset hound. Life is pretty amazing.
Our story has plenty of ups and downs. It definitely wasn’t love at first sight, but today, I want to share with you 10 reasons why we’re happily married and well on our way to spending the rest of our lives together…
We start and end most days with a good old fashioned snuggle. I love waking up early, doing my meditation, some writing, etc. Then the kids start to rise, and even though most mornings are chaotic with school prep, I make sure to let Jenny sleep in, then when it is time to wake her up, we snuggle. We always go to bed at the same time. We’re with each other a lot, like, all the time, it’s the way our life is set up, but we always go to bed at the same time. It’s a time to snuggle again, and reflect on the day, chat about anything on our minds. I love those times together.
We don’t just say we love each other, we SHOW that we love each other in our actions. Our love is shown through the little glances I catch Jenny giving me. It’s found in our laughter. It’s found in the way we constantly do things to make the other one happy, just because that’s what people in love do for each other. I’m only as happy if she is, we’re a team, and we work hard to make sure our days matter.
We dance together. Which is saying something because we’re both terrible dancers! In fact, we shared a slow dance in the middle of me writing this post (to this amazing song). I have a playlist called Slow Dancing in the Kitchen (stored on every form of music player we own, because you never know when there’s going to be a good time to bust out a slow dance), and I love to hit random and just hold her tight as we spin in circles wherever we are. We also have wild dance parties, think Run DMC, or Beastie Boys, but my favorite ones are the slow dances.
We push each other to be better, to work harder, to always remember the WHY we live our life the way we do. Does this one need any explanation?
We are better people with each other than without each other. Her strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa. It’s uncanny how we’re exact opposites. I’m a dreamer, she’s a realist. I’m super creative, she’s an accountant. I’m a hippie at heart, she loves the suburbs. These differences make our relationship stronger. Again, we’re a team, and a team needs to be solid at all positions.
We’re explorers. I could never stay married to someone who didn’t like to travel. Traveling and seeing the world (with our kids) is kind of our thing. I love how adventurous she is! We haven’t talked much on the HFM yet about our trip to Europe, but in the spring of 2015, we’re moving to Europe for 5-6 months with our kids. Adventures like that are a huge reason why we’re still very much in love. I couldn’t imagine having a better partner to travel the world with.
We still go on dates. Sometimes it’s lazer tag or go-karting, oftentimes it’s dinner and a movie. Either way, time together without the kids is important to keeping our sanity.
I know you’ve heard this one a thousand times, but we don’t go to bed mad. Yes, we have those fights that keep you up until 4 am, everyone has those, but we never fall asleep while we’re still mad at each other. We always talk it out.
We’re not afraid to play. If one of us is grumpy, you bet the other is planning something. It might be a nerf shot to the back, maybe a water gun spray to the face, or the good ol fashioned tickle throwdown. Yes, I’ll hold Jenny down and tickle the grumpies out of her just like we do with the kids. When it comes down to it, life is more fun when you’re laughing, right?
We CHOOSE to be. We CHOOSE to be with each other, every single day. We make the choice to wake up, love each other, and raise our kids to love themselves, their family/friends, and the world. We CHOOSE to sit on the same side of the table when we’re out eating. We CHOOSE to run through any/all sprinklers we see turned on. We have SO many choices in life…an overwhelming amount of choices, but the most important choice I’ll ever make is who I spend my time with. I CHOOSE Jenny, every single time, and she CHOOSES me.
And a bonus one…We don’t live on autopilot. The things we do and say to each other come from the heart. They have soul behind them. We look each other in the eyes. We’re intentional in our relationship, so we can focus on what really matters. US.
I wish that everyone would have a partner in life like Jenny + I have in each other. I really do.
We’d also love to hear from you all…what are some of the reasons you’re happily married/committed/dating your partner?
Are you ready for summer yet?! We’ve had the longest winter ever. At least as much winter as we can have in Charleston, SC. It would seem, however, that in the course of one week we’ve gone from near freezing nights to early summer days… so much for Spring!
Last year we joined in on The Happy Family Movement’s Summer Bucket List Challenge, and this summer I’m glad to say we will be doing the same!
Why join the Summer Bucket List Challenge? I thought it was a good opportunity to put into action those things we always talk about doing, but somehow never get around to doing. I guess if I put it down on paper, or gracious knows, out on the old inter webs for all to see, I’m probably going to be more likely to do it. And living in a tourist destination, it really is a crime to not make the most of our beautiful surroundings. Even with as hot as it may get
(i.e. Sweating in places that just aren’t natural, ahem!)
Now, a little about or little family unit in case you are new here. My man and I have been co-habitating for about thirteen years, most of that time has been spent here in beautiful Charleston, SC. Almost four years ago we were blessed with our little girl, the muse for most of my work and our family adventures. About two years ago my mother moved in with us, so I am a full time caregiver and sometimes a photographer. My man works in the construction field, but had a pretty bad accident a couple months ago and now gets to spend lots of time with his girls…maybe too muchOh, and let’s not forget our kitty, Samosa. Sometimes she gets involved in the fun too!
I think a Summer Bucket List is for any and everyone. We may include grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, cousins and a cat in our adventures…you just never know around here!
So The Happy Family Summer Bucket List Challenge 2013 is this, make a list of those things you’ve wanted to do but just never have, or don’t do often enough, and DO THEM!
The Challenge starts May 20th. That will be here sooner than you think! I’ll be sharing our adventures all summer long and hope you will too! You can join in the fun by signing up for the challenge today!. They’ll have giveaways and share their own adventures. And quite frankly, they are just really cool folks and their community is worth a look!
So without further fluffing, our Summer 2013 Bucket List…
Oh man, are we ready!
So, my friends, make your list and get ready for some summer fun!
I’m Megan. Hi! I wear a lot of hats. When people ask what I do, often there’s a pause because I’m trying to sum up everything in a few words, but usually I stick with my most important job: stay-at-home mom to two kids. My husband and I are the lucky, happy and sometimes exasperated parents of Eli, who’s four, and Lena, a spunky two-year old.
You may be thinking my kids sound a little young to be involved with the Summer Bucket List Challenge, but in our family, right now, the challenge isn’t so much for the kids. Honestly, its for my husband and I. Now you’re probably thinking, “Wait…what?”, but its true. Our kids are young and often my husband and I fall into the young child trap. You know, when you look at your kids and think that going to the zoo would be fun, but – uh – its such a hassle when they’re this young. Or you would go fly kites, but they won’t understand how and it will end in tears and tantrums, so its probably best not to.
Our Summer Bucket List is a reminder to the adults in the situation that we need to be in the habit of making memories. Memories do sometimes just happen, but they happen more when we’re making them. My husband and I would like our kids to remember an active family life, so we can’t just sit around and expect that to happen. We have to do what we can to create the right environment for those memories. Last year, we we lucky enough to hear about the Summer Bucket List Challenge right before summer and signed up right away. Because Eli was only three and Lena just one, we had a pretty low-key list.
We focused on one big thing – taking Eli to Worlds of Fun – and a a bunch of little things, like making moon sand and edible body paint, and Family Yard Days, when we actively encouraged the kids to help with anything we had going on outside. For some people, these types of things probably happen all the time, without the aid of a Summer Bucket List, but for us the list was necessary to get us out of our comfort zone. And it worked!
This year we’re ready to take on the Challenge in a much bigger way than we did last year. Eli is ready, too; he helped pick the things we’ll be doing this summer and is so excited to tick them off the list, one by one. Lena doesn’t really get it, but she’s got the spirit; whenever we talk about it she yells “Yay!” and jumps up and down. A few more weeks and we might start breaking out in song and dance due to excitement overload. Its time: bring on the Summer Bucket List Challenge!
I remember someone asking me once if I realized I only really had 18 summers with my kiddos at home. At the time they were very little and life was a little harder so 18 probably sounded like a lot to me at the time. Now that they are ten and seven and we are well past the days of diaper changes and multiple middle-of-the-night wake up calls, life is just easier and I will say it, way more fun! So my summers with our boys have become increasingly precious to me and soaking up every little moment with them is SO important to me. Eight years from now my big guy will be opening acceptance (and rejection) letters from colleges and figuring out who to go to senior prom with. WHAT?! Crazy, right? But in the meantime, we are sure going to have a lot of fun.
One of the many things I love about The Happy Family Movement and Jenny and Josh’s philosophy on parenting and family is about living intentionally. This doesn’t mean planning out every second of every day. For me it means enjoying the little moments, the spontaneous pillow fight or Nerf blaster battle, but also planning for fun as well. My husband and I are both adventurous (me maybe a little more than him) but we are parents to two very cautious souls. We want them to embrace the world without fear, try new things, push their comfort zones, where and when they are ready. So our family conversation surrounding our family Summer Bucket List has been a whole lot of fun and a totally fascinating exercise!
To be perfectly honest, we signed up for the Summer Bucket List Challenge last year but did not follow through. We still had a wonderful summer but we found ourselves at the end of August saying, “Shoot. We totally forgot to do X, Y, and Z.” And I am sure there will be things that we just don’t or can’t get to this summer. But we are GOING FOR IT and I hope you will, too. There is so much fun to be had and not that many more summers to do it. So grab a post-it note or print out my printable Summer Bucket List checklist and get the conversation going. You might be surprised what you and your kiddos come up with! Enjoy and THINK SUMMER! XO, ellie from Creative Geekery
p.s. Here is our list! Hope it gives you some food for thought? I can NOT wait to hear what you are going to put on your list!
It’s not often we shoot on our home turf of Kansas City, but we love our home town and the people in it. The Phillips family is included in the awesomeness. It’s so fun to see them grow their family and the love they have for one another. I’m blessed to be able to document such fun people that I can’t help but bring some of their love home to my family. And for that, we all win! Want us to document your happy family in pictures?! Click here to find out how we can make that happen!