nine years

I asked Alex yesterday why he thought Matt and I make a good match because today we hit nine years of marriage!  Alex’s response?  “Well, you both wear glasses.  You both like to drink wine…and…..you fell in love with each other and wanted to be together FOREVER!”  I love the wisdom of children.

Yesterday I went in search of how we have celebrated anniversaries in the past.  The pictures and clues were hard to find, but here are the few tidbits I came across via cards, facebook & old calendars….and I am thinking that Alex might just be right.  Wine and good meals might be our relationship glue!

Year “Negative One” or “T-Minus One Year, but Clueless”, January 2003

This picture was taken at my dear friend Jessica’s wedding.  Little did we know we would be getting married exactly a year later!

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Wedding Day, January 3, 2004

Such a beautiful day.  Sunny&  clear {but cold!}.  Dear friends and family in town to celebrate.  Youth group kids and Marin Elementary students and staff in attendance.  I will always remember our wedding with deep fondness.  A true day of dedication and celebration.

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Year One, January 2005:

Vacation (with Matt’s whole family) in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

We were blissfully smiling on the beach while the ENTIRE rest of the family had the Mexico yuckies due to dinner the previous night.  Our anniversary gift was health for sure!

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Year Two, January 2006:

Thanks to the EXTREME generosity of my 4th grade class, Matt and I received a generous gift certificate to Manka’s Inverness Lodge.  We celebrated our anniversary a week early with a night away and one of the most memorable dinners of our lives.  Yesterday, while searching my files for Big Sur inspiration, I happened upon the menu from our dinner that night.  Axis Deer was consumed.  Holy Moses.   In February we had trips to Mendocino and to NYC so I also included pictures from those trips—-life before children…lots of travel!

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Year Three, January 2007

Overnight to Sonoma Wine Country, 4 months pregnant with Alex

I remember wonderful meals at the Fig Cafe in Glen Ellen and dinner at El Dorado Kitchen {I still can taste the yummy truffle oil on my soup!}, beautiful wineries {this picture was taken at Matanzas Creek, known for their amazing lavender!!!}  and lots of good cheese.

Funniest memory of this trip…the cottage we were staying in belonged to my in laws’ friends’ parents.  It seemed weird that no one was really around when we arrived, but we went into the cottage, tentatively, hoping they knew were were “on the books”.  At one point in the afternoon, a sweet older man walked right in as we were enjoying some wine and appetizers.  Needless to say, we left that night, before staying the second night.  It was pretty hilarious.

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Year Four, January 2008

Found no pictures, but saw this in Alex’s baby book.

So, I guess we went to T-Rex in Berkeley and saw the movie, Juno.

Newborn parents stupor!

I do remember that the next day we were interviewing at Westminster Woods for what later became a big move for us with new jobs.  That interview entailed a momentous drive in a horrendous storm, which even closed bridges and many roadways.  Dinner and a movie the night before were truly, “the calm before the storm”.

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Year Five, January 2009

Matt surprised me with a night away in San Francisco for our 5th anniversary.  Living in rural West Sonoma County led him to reserve a Bay View room at Hotel Vitale, right across the street from the Ferry Building.  We spent the day at the Academy of Science, had appetizers at the former “Taylor’s Refresher” and dinner at Town Hall.  He even scheduled massages for us prior to leaving the next day.  It was a wonderful getaway from a busy 20 month old!

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Year Six, January 2010

blurry picture by our amazing waitress at Wood Tavern

It was my year to plan in 2010 and we began our day with breakfast at Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland jetted back to the City to see the play “39 Steps” by Alfred Hitchcock at the Curran Theater and had dinner at one of our very favorite spots {our first time there!!}, Wood Tavern in Oakland.  I could eat at Wood Tavern for EVERY special occasion.  Despite the blurry picture, I remember getting to sit in the special window table and getting free dessert with candles.

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So grateful for grandparents who continue to watch our children and allow us to have days out like this!  I was newly pregnant with Drew and feeling bleh, but still remember this being a great day.

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Year Seven, January 2011

Year Seven dawned about 10 weeks after Drew was born, 2 months after moving to Sunnyvale.

We were in full on parent stupor, lacking sleep, our bearings, or many communication skills.

A dear friend, one of Alex’s amazing teachers from the preschool, forced us out for dinner and watched the boys.  We enjoyed a wonderful meal at Dish Dash, a local Mediterranean restaurant in Downtown Sunnyvale.  The same day, a very nice bottle of CHILLED champagne had arrived, via Fed Ex.  It was in celebration of our move and new job from a dear friend.  We popped the cork and double toasted to Matt’s job and seven years!  We also had the gift of sneaking in a little pre-anniversary day in the City and saw a phenomenal exhibit at the de Young Museum showing works by Van Gogh, Gauguin,  & Cezanne.  We also squeezed in lunch at the Museum and IKEA shopping, sans kids, thanks to Matt’s awesome sister who watched the boys all day.

Here is the post I wrote on our seventh anniversary, Contentment.  It is one of my favorites as it chronicles the story of how we met and were eventually married.

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Year Eight, January 2012

I was having a hard time remembering what we did, so I checked trusty Facebook and my status reported, “Yummy dinner at Scratch in Mountain View to celebrate our 8th anniversary.  Ahhh, two hours without the littles….a leisurely meal with finished conversations.  Heavenly.

I remember talking a lot at the meal about our new diet plan we were starting that weekend, Eat to Live.  I was so scared and enjoyed that salmon immensely, knowing everything but veggies and legumes would soon be off limits!  The next day, I was to begin my teaching position at Vargas, so we kept things simple and local.  It was a wonderful calm before the intensity of teaching re-entry.  That weekend, we also shared in the phenomenal wedding of two summer staffers, Daren & Lisa, and the picture above is taken with Lisa’s sister, Julie {who will now be interning at the church with Matt!}.

Here is the post I wrote on the blog last year on our eighth wedding anniversary.

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Today marks nine years for Matt and I.

I know that we are swimming upstream a bit at this stage in our lives.  My friend recently said, “We’re in the SOUP right now.”  Apt description!

Parenting young children and staying connected as a couple is hard work.  Movies and “reality” tv like to paint a different picture, but I will say again and again…..it is work.  I can’t imagine walking the road of life without Matt and so it is a gift to do this work together.  Many hours are spent apart as most couples experience, with employment and responsibilities with the children.  And most of the hours spent together also include our two boys—thus, it is busy, loud, active & messy.  I often try and lift my head up while chopping veggies for dinner or cleaning up crumbs after a meal and take it in.  To soak in the life around me and the fact that I get to partner in it with my best friend, with someone who knows me so deeply.  This “being known” is not easy.  Being known often entails seeing the things within ourselves that we’d rather keep dark and hidden.  We have made some concrete, challenging steps to work on our communication this year and I am so grateful.  Sometimes exploring those hard places together is the true way of love.

Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.
― Brené Brown

I am excited to spend the day in Big Sur today.  We drove there about ten years ago for day of hiking and the views & scenery are still fresh in my mind.  I can’t wait to form memories for Year Nine together, to linger over some amazing food {Big Sur Bakery  and Nepenthe, watch out!}, talk about goals for 2013 & as Alex foreshadowed, no doubt toast to another year over a glass of wine.

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3 thoughts on “nine years

  1. Pingback: Ten | These Stones

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