Tomorrow marks 5 years ago that I married my best friend. It really doesn’t feel that long; in fact, we’ve been together almost 13 years and I just kind of feel like he’s always been here. Our marriage has been a roller coaster of ups and downs; but then again, whose isn’t? We’ve been through so much in these 5 short years, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. John is my hero, my best friend, my greatest support, and an amazing father to Allison. Today I’m thinking back to each year of our married life and the major events we experienced.
This was probably one of the roughest starts to a marriage. Just two months after the wedding, John’s grandfather, who lived in New York, had an accident and unexpectedly passed away. Here we were, as newlyweds, driving 8 hours to say goodbye to someone who had just been down to see us get married. I truly wasn’t expecting to deal with grief so early on, but we got through it.
Then in December, just a week before Christmas, John’s job let go of a handful of people, including himself. Not only did we lose a family member, we were now down to one income (and a small one at that, as a massage therapist building my business). Seriously? As if we weren’t stressed enough! It was around this time that I got more into couponing, to try to get groceries with just my cash tips while John searched for a job. Merry Christmas to us!
John went almost 4 months without a job. In April, he met with a company for an interview, and on his way home he got a call from them offering him a contract position. I’ll never forget it; he stopped by the clinic before my next appointment and told me about it, and I said “Cool, so what will you be doing?” “I’ll be testing breast pumps.” WHAT. It was the most surreal thing I’ve heard, and I couldn’t help but burst into laughter. But, he took the job because hey, it was money and it was partially in his field (Engineer). Each contract lasted about 3 months, and at the end of those 3 months, he’d always thankfully get it extended.
In February of 2013 we found out I was pregnant with Allison, and in April John was offered a full-time position! (Doing something besides testing breast pumps, haha) The next 9 months were spent preparing for a baby; saving money, turning our catch-all room into a nursery, and reading books in an attempt to learn how to parent. We ended up missing our cousin’s wedding in New York, with it being on the 11th and my due date being on the 9th. (Sorry about the timing!)
13 days after my due date, Allison Claire was born at a whopping 10 pounds and changed our lives forever. Our patience was tested to its limits, we became exhausted, but most importantly, we learned to work together to make sure this tiny human had a great life.
In February, with Allison being almost 4 months old, we took a 16-hour road trip to Florida to surprise his grandmother for her birthday. (Just gotta say, I love this picture. The drool hanging down just makes it.) If you’ve never traveled with an almost newborn, don’t. At least, not unless you know what you’re doing, which we didn’t. She screamed the entire way down, and I’m not even kidding. She cried, we cried, it was just an awful drive. However, once we were there, it went great! We learned a lot about how to comfort each other in the midst of screaming babies.
We weren’t able to do a whole lot, but we had a great time and definitely want to go back. Next time, we’re bringing movies. Lots and lots of movies.
Our next big trip was back to New York in July to visit the above cousins and the rest of John’s family. That went SO much better, again, because we brought movies. Allison was about 18 months old around this time and so she was able to enjoy a whole lot more. If you’ve never visited the Strong Museum of Play, I highly recommend it. We spent about 2 hours in there and didn’t even get through the entire thing, but Allison had a blast, especially going grocery shopping in the mini Wegmans.
She also got to visit the zoo for the first time, which she loved. Perhaps a trip to our local zoo is in order this year.
Those are the major milestones we passed these last 5 years. Some were good, some were rough, but the important thing is that we got through it together. I’m excited to see what 2016 and beyond has in store for us! I love you, John!