The 10 year anniversary trip that just wasn’t in the cards

My husband and I went to the same high school.  He was the hippie looking dude with long hair who was two years older than me that I admired from afar, and I vividly remember meeting him for the first time at a party the summer before my sophomore year.  I remember what I said to him, his reaction, how it was one of those perfect August nights when you catch a whiff of Fall in the air, all of it.  I’m sure he remembers none of this.  If you would have told me then (in 1995) that I would marry that boy 12 years later and we would eventually have four children, I probably would have spit out the Zima I was illegally imbibing. (NOTE: I DO NOT CONDONE UNDERAGE DRINKING. Sometimes we do dumb stuff when we’re teenagers.  I’m just telling the story.) Nothing ever came of that encounter.  He graduated from high school, went to college and I never saw him again. Until…

2003.  I was living in our hometown during one of my many breaks from college, trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, and he was home on Spring Break from law school.  I walked into a local bar (legally, this time) with a group of friends and immediately spotted him at the bar.  I swear our eyes connected for a minute, like, “I remember you!” One of my guy friends who knew him was talking to him at the bar, so I made up some silly excuse to insert myself into their conversation. One thing led to another, and we ended up talking at the bar all night.  The rest is history.

A first date, a long distance relationship, cohabitating, a move to New York City, a proposal, an engagement, a wedding, our first home, our first baby, then babybabybaby… that’s kind of how our relationship progressed over the course of 14 years. FOURTEEN YEARS.  That sounds like an eternity, doesn’t it?  But it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long.

We’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. There are times when marriage is super challenging, especially when you add babies to the mix.  There are times when you’re too exhausted to have a meaningful conversation or even feign interest in hearing about the other person’s day.  There are times when stupid little things like his laundry always being inside out make you want to scream because your laundry load has quadrupled since having babies and AS IF you have the time to flip all his laundry the right way when you just changed three diapers and have to clean vomit off the rug (#hormones).  There are times when all you desperately want is a few minutes to be alone.  But, we’ve been lucky enough to have built a solid foundation over the years to get us through any rough patches we may have encountered (or have yet to encounter).  We’re invested in one another. We love each other.  We’re a united team dedicated to make it work and live our best life as a family.

So you’re probably wondering where the whole title of this post fits in.  I’m getting there. I just felt like I had to give a little background, which was probably a total snoozefest for most of you.  You know how some people can’t stand listening to other people talk about the dream they had last night?  I’m sure people probably feel the same way about love stories too.  But hey, I just laid it all out there.  So, yeah, title of this post.  We’re celebrating our ten year wedding anniversary in just a couple weeks, but it’s something that kind of snuck up on us, you know, being busy with life and four boys and all.  I think one day we kinda looked over at each other and were like, “Holy shit, is this our ten year?!”  It’s not something we have planned for, despite the conversation we had while on our honeymoon in Mexico that went something like this:

“This place is so amazing.  Ten days here is not enough.”

“We’ll totally come back.”

“Let’s come back for our ten year anniversary!”

“Done.  Another Pacifico, please!”

Do you think we booked flights or the same hotel? Sadly, no.

I have a dirty little secret to admit: we’ve never spent a night alone in the eight years since having children. Never gone away just the two of us.  I know that probably sounds pretty depressing and I know it’s important to continue to work on your relationship as husband and wife, but I have a serious thing about leaving the kids.  My husband does too, although probably not to the extreme that I do.  Part of it is because one of our sons has a nut allergy, and so the thought of leaving him with someone scares the shit out of me, to be honest. Also, I am kind of deathly afraid of flying, so I can find any excuse in the book to avoid it.  So instead, I plan on meeting my husband in the city after he’s done with work on the night of our anniversary for a tour of some of our old apartments and haunts.  A ten year anniversary trip down memory lane, if you will.  I can’t think of a better way to celebrate.

So does it make me a little sad that we didn’t follow through on our promise to return to paradise for our ten year anniversary and that we won’t get to enjoy a few days alone together where we dipped our toes in the ocean for the first time as husband and wife?  Yeah, it totally does, but I’m also happy celebrating this milestone in simple ways.  We don’t need to be fussed over, showered with gifts or flown to our honeymoon spot to know we have something kinda special. And maybe one night soon we’ll escape to the city for a full night away. Baby steps.


27 thoughts on “The 10 year anniversary trip that just wasn’t in the cards

  1. Absolutely enjoyed reading this! Truth is I don’t think you over tell stories when you are writing on your blog, & marriage is hard work specially with babies. Ten years is a long time specially 4 kids later, but it’s life, probably the most meaningful one we can all experience and get to live! I think at the end of the day is what we make out of it, so we can look back and remember the beautiful memories that outshine the rough days.

  2. I have the same dirty secret. We have been married for 8 years anf have three children and have never left the kids (unless you count me being in the hospital birthing a baby). So right there with you. I dream of a night in a hotel just us and sleep 😂😂😂😂 and maybe that day will come but for now…..We are okay😘

    1. Glad I’m not the only one! I figure one day we’ll have plenty of opportunities for nights away, but for now, we’re ok with things.

  3. Happiest ten year anniversary I’m sure it’s going to have some kind of yummy dinner and cold beer, so cheers to you guys & many more!

  4. My husband and I just celebrated our 10 year anniversary last week! We don’t have any children, but we celebrated in a similar way to your plan by visiting our old neighborhood and going to some of our favorite places. It couldn’t have been any better. Congrats on your anniversary, and have fun!

  5. We (mostly I) cannot leave our kids either! My husband has an awful habit of throwing his dirty clothes right next to his basket. I always joke that he got so close…this time! 🙂 How I wish there was a visual for your husband with long hair. Ha! Happy anniversary!

  6. Omigod I love this! My husband and I celebrated our 11 year anniversary this summer, we have a 5 year old and 11 month old and the only time we’ve been away over night was when I was at the hospital birthing the second one (I mean, there was room service). I have friends with kids that take vacations alone out of state and abroad but the thought of doing something like that gives me a panic attack! A couple of years ago we moved to my hometown and my parents are the only people I trust to babysit… we are just now getting into a routine of actually going out on dinner dates, pretty wild! And we were so adventurous in our 20s🤔 So yeah….baby steps.

    1. We didn’t use a babysitter until my oldest was four, so I totally understand! I’m always slightly jealous of people who get away, but I just feel like I would be worrying the whole time. We’ll get there eventually!

  7. I love hearing other people’s love stories! Maybe I’m weird 💁. But, my husband & I had a trip booked for our 15 year Anniversary last year & I canceled it a couple of months before (yep, had to pay a penalty…ugh). But, it was a mixture of leaving the kids & spending all of that money that left me feeling like the timing wasn’t right. I had zero regrets. I know the time will come when we will travel together. But for now a simple dinner out sounds amazing. #simplefolks

  8. Sarah,
    We are the same age and I met my first husband in High School way back in 1995. Our first “real” date was James and the Giant Peach movie..haha! We would have been married 17 years in June. He passed away suddenly in 2008. I enjoyed this post so much and I also enjoy your “real” posts on IG. I am so glad the blog is back 🙂

    1. What a great first date! I’m so, so sorry to hear about your loss. Thank you for the reminder to appreciate even the silly annoying things like inside out laundry because nothing is guaranteed in this life. Big hugs to you.

  9. Sarah- I loved reading this!…this was a feel good real life story!! Also your sence of humor is 😂 Really like your blog and glad it’s back 👍🏼

  10. Definitely get the nut allergy thing! Plus kind of afraid anyone left with my four might lose it. Have a hard time holding it together myself sometimes! Date night does the job for now. We love going out after they are in bed for the night 🙂

  11. Loving your blog and writing style. Like you and your husband, we have also never spent a night away from the kids (ages 7,5 and 2) and probably won’t until the littlest is much older. I’m way too anxious and riddled with guilt. We should also probably work on us more but have been getting better at it. Dates are key even if it means alone time at the house after everyone is asleep! Marriage is so f**ing hard but if we can perservere past the baby and small children years I think we will conquer the toughest times. Happy Anniversary!

  12. I LOVE this! Granted I’ve only been married almost 2 years (been together for 12) and have a 1 year old son, all the time our families and friends are like “you guys need to go out/get away” and we’re both like “nah we’re good!” Of course I enjoy my random solo errands and naptimes, and getting out of the house for a few hours during the week for work but we love being home and together with our boy! Thankyou for touching on this, I love your blog!
    Best, Kara

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