The 27th of May was Chris and my 15th year anniversary. For the first time in our marriage, we went on a trip without children that wasn’t work-related (we’ve been on two trips to conferences in the past six years, but never on a trip alone together solely for pleasure). My mom drove down from Dallas to stay at our house with the girls and has been spoiling them like crazy, while we’ve been enjoying a very slow long weekend to ourselves in Galveston, Texas.
As I write this post – the first I’ve made time to write in nearly two years – I’m sitting at an antique writing desk in the 1800’s victorian we rented a few blocks from the beach after a morning of sun, sand, and watching dolphins leap out of the water from a ferry boat.
The last few days have been luxuriously slow without any real agenda aside from a 3-hour couples’ retreat at a local spa on the morning of our anniversary. We’ve walked all around the island, went to an aquarium, enjoyed delicious food, joyfully sang along with the crowd at a piano bar, drank cocktails in the middle of the day, and took naps or spent hours reading nearly every afternoon. All without having to worry about taking care of little people or driving bigger kids to activities.
It’s been the perfect escape for Chris and me to get to focus on one another and talk about our plans for the future. Sometimes, it’s hard to believe that we’ve been married for 15 years and together for 18. At other times, it seems like it’s been even longer than that. This year marks the point at which we have been together as a couple longer than we were ever apart.
I also realized the other day that this is an interesting “midpoint” in our marriage. The first 15 years were all about getting settled into our marriage, managing multiple cross-country moves until we finally found “home,” starting businesses together, and bringing our four daughters into the world. 15 years from now, our lives will be radically different: our youngest daughter will be a senior in high school, we’ll be helping our parents more as they age, and we hope to have sold our business. Who knows, we may even be grandparents by then.
Life definitely has seasons and it feels like this trip is highlighting a transition in seasons in our lives. Our children are all old enough that we feel comfortable leaving them for several days. We don’t have babies anymore and, unlike past times when our babies became toddlers, this time I truly feel “done” and that our family is complete. Happily, the only babies in our future are nieces and nephews and, someday, grandchildren.
Beyond that, in the past 18 months, we’ve made dramatic changes in our business (perhaps fodder for a future blog post) and have been talking more seriously about how we’re going to retire. We’re exploring what it might look like to move one more time into a “forever” home and are bringing the girls into conversations about travel.
If the first 15 years of our marriage were about wild adventures, taking risks, and following the winds to figure out where we needed to be, the next 15 years are about planting roots, increasing stability, and building a foundation not just for ourselves but for future generations as well.
It’s been a long time since I’ve written it out, though with posts being few and far between in recent years you might not have to go back too far to find it, but it’s worth saying again how incredibly grateful I am for this husband of mine.
We married early, just two weeks after graduating college, and since then we’ve watched both friends and siblings marry and divorce. We’ve had rough patches just like everyone, and things we had to work through, even times when we went to bed angry, but through it all, I have always known that Chris and I are a team. We’re genuinely better together than apart and I couldn’t ask for a better life, parenting, and business partner.
Like many things, a good relationship is a combination of luck and hard work. I consider myself lucky to have found this man and that he fell in love with me in the first place. Beyond that, I’m proud that we put in the effort to build a marriage that has lasted this long, through ups and downs across 5 different states, and that has many more amazing years to come. Here’s to celebrating 15 years of marriage and 50 more to come.