1. Becoming parents (this is kind of three memories but we’re combining them): Nothing has been more transformative in my life and in our marriage than becoming parents. It has been that way with each kid we add to our family. Parenting had changed us and challenged us and brought us even more joy than exhaustion (and there have been plenty of sleepless nights so imagine how much joy that is!) Many of the memories on here are tied to family milestones, but that’s part of why we were so excited to get married a decade ago- to start a family and share our love.
2. Honeymooning in Italy: We waited over a year to take our honeymoon because we got married a week before we graduated from our Masters program. It was well worth the wait and filled with the most beautiful sights and wonderful meals. Traveling internationally with someone can be hard (I will admit I am not the easiest person to travel with- I get SUPER stressed on planes and probably over-plan…) but we found out that, aside from the few days before the trip where we prepare VERY differently (this is still true to this day) we are a perfect balance to each other once the travel actually begins. Something we continue to reminded of thanks to my next memory…
3. Taking the family to national parks: OK, this one might be cheating a bit too because we’ve been to several national parks, but how can I pick just one?! The adventures we have had over the past year of exploring national parks are memories I want to remember forever and, while I know our kids are still pretty young, I hope they will keep some of those memories too. The beauty in those places and the smiles my kids have when exploring them make this a must list highlight.
4. Every rare moment when we get to enjoy a cup of coffee together while it is still hot: My husband and I fell in love over cups of coffee on his porch amid crazy rehearsals and research projects about Shakespeare. When we first met, I told him I was too busy to date and he said “what time do you get up, I’ll have coffee ready for you- you can even have it to go if you’re too busy to sit and stay.” That same patience and care and encouragement of my goals and need for time to focus is the same over a decade later. These days we often have our coffee while on the go- wrangling kids to school or scratching something off our to-do list. More often than not one or both of us reheats our coffee a few times each day. But we try to take Saturday mornings to slow down and talk over our coffee- whether that be first thing when we wake up, while the kids are distracted with second breakfast, or a little later in the day after I get back from a training run. The important thing is we drink it while it is still hot and enjoy our time together. And I cherish those moments.
5. Cloth and Flame Dinner: For our 10th anniversary we originally thought we’d travel somewhere tropical together for a destination vow renewal. The last few years made that kind of celebration seem impractical and way too hard to plan with the littles, but we promised we’d mark this milestone with a few special dates leading up to our anniversary. One of those was going to a Cloth and Flame dinner in the desert with chef Chris Bianco. It was one of the best, most memorable meals of my life in an incredibly beautiful setting. We enjoyed ourselves so much
6. Seeing Hamilton: The original cast. On Broadway. Just before it won all the Tony awards… I was SO tempted to sell the tickets we’d bought months and months in advance because they had suddenly become crazy valuable, but my husband would’t let me and said we’d regret it forever. And you know what? He was right. That night was so special and I’m sure I’ll be talking for years about seeing Lin Manuel Miranda perform the title role and the incredible cast that performed with him that night.
7. Going to other people’s weddings: There is something so romantic and joyful about how going to weddings shifts after your own wedding. Part of it might be appreciating just how much work went into the planning and the details- (something I already had a good idea of thanks to my experience bridesmaiding so much before getting married,) but I think a bigger part of it is recognizing what those vows really mean and learning more about marriage day by day. Each wedding starts to feel a little bit like a mini-vow renewal as you are reminded what you signed up for and why it is so important to you. Since becoming parents, we have had another shift in perspective of suddenly imagining ourselves more in the role of the parents of the bride or groom… and we’ve also had the delight of watching our kids be asked to participate in the wedding of a close friend, which was beyond adorable.
8. Pandemic Breakfasts and learning to love brunch in general: An “ordinary” moment that has become a really strangely comforting memory. The pandemic lockdowns started a month after we had our third kid. Everything felt impossible and as we tried to adjust to online school and working from home, so we turned to the great comfort food of breakfast- specifically breakfast potatoes made in our cast iron skillet and cover in everything from avocado to cheese to whatever leftover veggies sounded good in an egg scramble. It became a little piece of our morning when we forgot about how hard everything was as we embraced the Ron Swanson motto of: “there has never been a sadness that can’t be cured by breakfast food” Before I met my husband, I rarely ate breakfast, unless you count coffee and the occasional apple eaten on the run. I did not understand the appeal of brunch. Breakfast foods were not my thing at all. I’m so glad he changed that!
9. Buying a House together: We feel so lucky to have done this. It is something that really made us revisit our communication skills and assess what big picture things we want in the life we are building together. The stressful time of waiting to close on a house and putting in offers etc. isn’t really what I am talking about here, but the process of planning together and then of getting to work turning that house into a home has been so important to our marriage.
10. Dreaming about the future: Some of my favorite date nights are those where we have the time to dream about the future instead of just catch each other up on the present (which can definitely take up all of a date if its been one of those weeks/months!) Believing that the best is yet to come and knowing that doesn’t keep some more rough times from coming as well, but we’d rather take on those rough times together. The constant throughout what we are doing now, what we’ve done already, and what we hope to do in the future though? We just want to keep laughing together through it all.