Today marks Dean and my 9th wedding anniversary – happy June 5th everyone!
9 years of marriage is weird – maybe because it’s so close to 10 years, which seems like a long time. Or to rephrase, it seems like the amount of time people older than me would be married, except here I am… older than I feel.
When we got married, I remember trying to imagine what it would be like to spend the rest of my life with this man. What would things be like 5 years down the road? 10 years? 50 years?
I can tell you that so far, it has brought a lot of things that I would never have guessed or imagined. I am not the same person I was 9 years ago, and neither is Dean. And together, we are helping change each other into different people. Mostly (I think) for the better!
I started thinking about things I never would have done or tried if I hadn’t married Dean and have compiled a short list below. I am grateful for the experiences we have had together – for the new things Dean has encouraged (and sometimes prodded) me to try. Dean has helped me expand my perspectives and even enjoy things I never would have thought to do so on my own.
Just for Fun
I love being married to someone who loves having fun and isn’t “too cool” to do something with me! Here are some of our fun adventures:
- The “Thing” – so this one time we drove my car all the way from Phoenix to Arkansas and we kept seeing billboard after billboard for the “Thing”… so we decided to stop in and see it. As expected, it was WAY overhyped and pretty lame, but we have some great memories and pictures.
- 25th Anniversary showing of “Hook” – Dean knows I love the movie Hook, and so for my 29th birthday he took me to Austin to see it in the theater. They even had a few of the actors there to talk about the movie afterwards including Rufio (so cool!)
- Photoshoots – one of the things we have always loved doing is taking pictures together. Again, we usually have a lot of fun on our photoshoots and love to laugh together!
- Singing songs – Dean and I enjoy singing together on roadtrips. On one such roadtrip, we decided to listen to the song “What’s This?” from The Nightmare Before Christmas over and over again until we had memorized it and could sing it the whole way through. I still know all the lyrics and it has become a sentimental song for us. Another time Dean recorded us singing along to the Pentatonix version of “Sleigh Ride” and then put that recording on a mix cd he made me for my birthday – it was a sweet and funny surprise.
Not My Style
Dean has gotten me to appreciate some of his hobbies and interests over time. Some I have been more reluctant to get into, but we have found many more things that we both enjoy than I would have expected. Here are a few examples:
- Video Game Music – about 5 years ago (ish), Dean and I went to Austin for a Zelda symphony… like the video game Zelda. I had never really played Zelda growing up, but it was fun and I genuinely enjoyed getting to hear the music. Since then, Dean has gotten me into other video game soundtracks such as Trine 2, Final Fantasy XV, and Journey. I love listening to the music because it reminds me of Dean and also is actually very good music!
- More video games – speaking of video games… Dean has wanted me to watch or play many video games with him over the years. One that I was extremely surprised that I enjoyed watching was “The Last of Us” (basically a zombie apocalypse game). It’s actually a great story that unfolds and is more than just watching zombies getting killed, although that is a big part of it, too.
- Television shows – Dean and I are kind of homebodies, and our date nights a lot of times are at home on the couch watching Netflix. A few shows that I would probably never have chosen to watch but that Dean got me into are “Full-metal Alchemist,” “The West Wing,” and a Japanese show, “Good Morning Call.”
- Podcasts – I really am not a podcast person, at all. I just never have time to listen to them despite knowing there are some really good ones out there. Well, Dean has insisted over the years that I need to listen to certain episodes, and I’m always really glad I took the time to do so. Many great episodes have come from “The Liturgists” – I’ve mentioned them in another blog post and they really do have some awesome episodes!
There are many things I never would have done without encouragement from Dean – I would have never had the courage to believe in myself enough to do them. I’m thankful for a person who pushes me to be better, even when I don’t want to be, and for someone who believes in me more than I sometimes believe in myself.
- Counseling – Dean was really the catalyst for us to start going to marriage counseling. I was definitely very stubborn about this issue and admit that I took a while to convince to do it. And it is one of the things I have been so grateful that we took the time to do for our marriage. I have learned to not be ashamed of needing to see a counselor, and I’ve learned that most marriages could use a good dose of therapy at different points in time. I’m thankful for a partner who cares about our marriage and wants to make it work.
- Career changes – the past two years included a lot of changes for me career-wise. I quit work for a year to be a stay at home mom – and I know I wouldn’t have been able to do it without support and encouragement from Dean. Then when I decided I wanted to go back to work full-time, I accepted a job that was a big change from my previous elementary teacher days. And there have been moments I have doubted that I could do it. But Dean was always there encouraging and supporting me in these moments. When I got the opportunity to go to grad school again, even though we both knew it would be hard with our work schedules and 1 year old son, Dean encouraged me to go for it. And Dean has given me so much grace on the days when I am stressed and tired.
- Spiritual Issues – Dean is a person I’m able to be totally and completely honest with, without fear of being judged or made fun of. I’ve been able to talk to Dean about doubts, fears, and struggles that I have in my spiritual life, and it is so necessary to have someone you can be authentic with and feel safe enough to talk with about these things. I can show Dean my true self, which many times is very selfish and mean, and Dean is patient with me and forgives me when I choose to not be very Christ-like. He encourages me to be stronger spiritually and again I’m so thankful for that in my spouse.
Happy anniversary, Dean! Here’s to lots more new and fun experiences together!