Last week we celebrated the four year anniversary of our wedding. Needless to say, with a baby it looked a bit different than in years past. But that life change also gave us a sweet new perspective to consider how far we’ve come. In keeping with blog tradition, we answered a few questions separately about married life, parenthood, and changes we’ve seen in the other person. Enjoy! xx
where did you imagine you’d be after four years of marriage and have those expectations been met?
L: before we were married i imagined we’d maybe be living on the west coast or have spent a year abroad. but, after our wedding, once jobs and a mortgage set in, those thoughts became less of a reality. i soon began to hope that we’d be in a similar position to where we are now. we’ve been able to move into a house where the neighborhood is sweet and location perfectly accessible. topping that off we’re a pretty #blessed bunch with two cats, a precious baby boy, and my family close by.
E: well we had originally planned to wait 5 years after getting married to have kids, so at this point we’re ahead of schedule. I also didn’t expect us to own a home yet, thinking we would love the condo life with an infant for a while before needing to move. altogether I think these four years have far exceeded my/our expectations and couldn’t imagine life with out Colton.
how do you prioritize your marriage while having an all-consuming newborn?
L: this one is tough, no question. E has super long hours at work so any time he does have off we want to spend as a whole family. but when Colton goes down for a nap or we’re out on walks, E + i make sure to be intentional with one another. whether that’s asking direct questions, catching up on funny stories for the week, or dreaming up things in our future it allows us to feel like a couple again, instead of stumbling-through-newborn-fog parents.
E: prioritizing our marriage comes in small ways I think. calling leslie every day at lunch to check in and get a feel for how each others days are going goes a long way. while he’s napping, making sure we spend quality time talking/filling each other in on where we are and making sure we’re still on the same page. it’s hard with my work schedule and being away so much, so finding time to communicate is always important.
what is your favorite change you’ve seen in each other since becoming parents?
L: E is such a humble person and always has been. he’ll downplay his amazing qualities or be bashful about compliments. but ever since Colton was born, i’ve seen him take incredible pride in our son. it’s not in any sort of a flaunting way; rather it’s a quiet confidence that we made him, he’s ours, and we’re pretty darn happy about it.
E: it’s remarkable to see your spouse take on a new role in a relationship. being able to watch Leslie as a mother has allowed me to see her embody the word “selflessness” in a whole new way.
how has the mental picture of your ‘future family’ evolved or changed now that baby Colton is here?
L: uhm, i wanted four kids and now the thought of doing pregnancy + labor all over again kind of gives me the willies. but i’m pretty sure that will fade over time (right?!). other than that it’s strange to be talking or thinking in concrete terms now. whether it’s school, living close to family, building a strong friend network, etc., we now have a third human to consider. plus, imagining him with siblings seems near impossible–my heart is just about maxed out right now.
E: my mental timeline of having more kids has definitely been pushed up. usually I’m the one needing to be brought up to speed on major decisions, and now I’ve already been planning and talking about wanting to have another baby. seriously. let’s just say Leslie may not be ready just yet 🙂
how do you give each other constructive criticism while handling Colton?
L: i think i’m still learning this one. i spend the dominant amount of time with Colton so it’s easy for me to assume my way is right. instead, i have to sit back and realize E has a totally different + valid perspective on parenting him. sure, i can tell him what new tricks Colton has whipped out or activities he’s currently enjoying. however, i can’t nitpick their interactions or direct that relationship. it’s going to develop beautifully on its own.
E: I’d say I don’t really give criticism to leslie regarding Colton, rather I’m usually the one reassuring her everything is fine and that he is healthy.
when you think back on your wedding from four years ago, what’s one moment you vividly remember?
L: oh boy, i’d have to say our first dance. this was something i’d been self-conscious about the entire time of planning our wedding. i always felt it was the point in the reception that everyone dreaded–kind of awkward, having 150 sets of eyes on two people in an abandoned dance floor. but i could not have been more wrong. we danced to Ben Folds, ‘The Luckiest.’ E was whispering the lyrics in my ear (heart-melting, in case you haven’t heard it before), we pulled out a few spin moves to crowd applause, and the minutes flew by sans awkwardness.
E: it may sound cliche but truly the most memorable moment from our wedding was seeing Leslie walk down the aisle towards me in her wedding dress. I’ll never forget that moment and how absolutely beautiful she looked.
what’s one surprising thing you’ve learned about the other person since having Colton?
L: E’s patience has limits (sorry, honey). up until this point i’ve absolutely never been the patient one in our relationship. i’m prone to impulse decisions and wanting instant gratification. but it turns out that when E can’t always fix the problem (i.e. nurse or be ‘mom’), i might have a leg up in the patience department.
E: Leslie has a surprising amount of noises she can make to get Colton to laugh and it’s quite impressive!
advice for spending four years with someone?
L: communication + grace. i can’t begin to tell you how many times we’ve wrestled with and through these two things. for communications sake, very early on in our relationship, we made the “talk it out” pact. we agreed to never just throw our hands in the air in the middle of an argument; instead we’d push through to the point where we could at least understand the other person’s perspective. and the grace portion? well, that’s a daily practice that doesn’t always come joyfully, but wow is it necessary!
E: start healthy relational habits early on, so that eventually they become second nature. life only gets busier and harder to incorporate new things into daily life, so sooner the better.
photos by Brynna Grae Photography