Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The 7-Year Itch

I'm sure the title of the blog post could raise a few eyebrows to those who know me well. Ryan and I will be celebrating our 7th (!!!) Anniversary in about 2 weeks. Which is really hard to believe.

Over the past few months, I have been asked about "The 7 year itch". To be honest, I wasn't really familiar with that. So I did a little googling.

What is the 7 year itch? Well, besides a movie from 1955. It is a phenomenon that occurs in many marriages.

Scenario #1: The couple has raised 1-2 children through the sleepless and stressful infancy years. They reach 7 years of marriage, and they have lost touch with their bond. And they get the itch to seek other things, lifestyles, or in some cases, relationships.

Scenario #2: The couple have spent enough time together that they realize they are not excited about their partner anymore. A philosopher once said that the human develops in "7 year cycles". These changes/cycles can be mental, emotion, and physical. And that evolvement can turn into changing into a person who doesn't want to be married to the person they fell in love with 7 years ago.

Obviously Scenario #1 does not apply to us. We don't have children yet.

Scenario #2 could apply to us. We have both changed dramatically over 7 years. Sometimes when I look back who what I was doing and how I looked at life 7 years ago, I scratch my head.

But I can assure you all that we are NOT experiencing the "7 year itch" some speak of or ask about.

In fact, I am confidently say that I am at least 10 TIMES more in love with and crazy about Ryan that I was 7 years ago. And here are a few things I've reflected upon over the past few weeks, that I think contribute to that. So here are my thoughts and these are a few pieces of advise I would give to any newlyweds preparing to get married:

-Nothing has been constant the past 7 years, except for our commitment to each other. -
  • We have both changed careers multiple times. 
  • Ryan has made 4 temporary out-of-state moves during our marriage. 
  • We have had some major life changes occur (especially over the past year).
  • There is no desire to go seek something new. Sometimes I dream about a life where we get to eat dinner together every night of the week. 
  • But that's not our life. And I'm okay with it.
  • No 2 weeks in our life look the same. 
  • The erratic lifestyle has taught me to really cherish the evenings/weekends/days we get together. 2. We are the only family each other has in Tucson. This is a tough reality to face - but it is the truth. We lean on each other when times are tough, we need advice about what to do/say next, and when we need to celebrate happiness and now holidays.
-In our early years of marriage -- I was so new to AZ that I didn't have many close girlfriends here.
  •  So when we got into a fight, I didn't have anyone to go to and vent to. 
  • That situation taught me to respect our marriage - and fix things immediately and move on. Not gossip about it
  • We girls love our gossip
-I have my hobbies: running and cooking. Ryan has his hobbies: woodworking and hunting. And we have OUR hobbies: hiking, traveling, and cooking together. I think it is so important to have those 3 different entities. 

-We are up front about our finances. 
  • Fact: finances can cause a lot of tension in relationships. 
  • From day 1, Ryan and I have worked out a budget that makes both of us happy. 
  • We both have had to make mini compromises.
  • We keep each other in "check". (ie: "You're buying another woodsaw?" or "How many sundresses do have you bought this summer?")
-We have kept God in our marriage. We pray for each other. We pray together. We talk about our spirituality - and it something we enjoy discussing and sometimes even bantering about. Ryan is very scientific, and it takes him a lot to really believe something. You could tell me that it's raining lemon drops, and I'd probably believe you. So those different beliefs have kept us on our toes over the years

-And finally - we are brutally incredibly honest with each other. Someone has to keep you in check of your behavior, your goals, and your lifestyle. We point out to each other if we are slacking at something in life or having a bad attitude towards something. And we genuinely compliment each other every single day. 

This is not a post saying these 7 items are what every relationship should incorporate to equal happiness. But it is what worked for us!! I cannot wait to see what the next 7 years brings. I hope it doesn't go quite as fast. But I assume it will - since every year seems to go faster! 

What advice would you give newlyweds preparing to get married? 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Getting To Know Me Through 17 Questions

Happy Monday! And Happy last week of July. Normal parts of the country are morning this. I am celebrating. It is so. Freaking. Hot. Especially since the jist of our weekend was spent outdoor cutting down cacti/brush and painting/building furniture!

Since I've last been on here - we have moved. And have we ever been busy!! But we are absolutely loving the new nest!! More to come on that. In the meantime, to "warm" myself back up to blogging - I'm joining in on this fun little post.

Getting To Know Me Through 17 Questions, which I borrowed from my sister Lisa.

1. What brings your the greatest joy?
I'd have to say being outdoors in nature. Especially with Ryan. And spending time with my family.

2. What are your vices?
Cheese and crackers - especially sharp cheddar. That is my go-to snack. And now that I work at home, I'm guilty of just having that for lunch sometimes. Which is terrible! I used to pack healthy salads - but now it's so easy to just slice a few pieces of cheese, have an apple, and pick away while I work.

There could be worse vices, however.

3. What is on your nightstand.
Just my glasses. Ever since we had our house on the market - and our rule was to have no thing on the counters....I am a little anal about having NOTHING on the counters/nightstand if possible!

4. What is your secret talent? 
Playing the xylophone? That is the only one I can think of. I did a solo my senior year on it - and felt pretty awesome.

5. What is your greatest indulgence? 
Starbucks. I get it about 1-2 times/week. But I only do it if I'm reached a certain benchmark the day before at work and on the way home from my run.

6. What should everyone try at least once in their life?
I know I couldn't get many to do this. But I say a backpacking trip. It's very humbling to realize you are responsible for all the work behind all your resources - and your whole life is carried on your back. You also feel so immersed in nature. I always return from a backpacking trip feeling incredibly refreshed and grateful.

7. What makes you laugh?
A lot of things. I would say I probably laugh about something every hour of the day! If you can't laugh at yourself and the things around you, life would get pretty heavy sometimes.

8. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I worked as a hotel maid for 2 weeks. It was the worst job of my life. Worst 2 weeks of my life. And I like cleaning!

9. What is on your bucket list?
Doing a mission trip in India. Why India? It's a long story - but I learned about a village that really touched my heart when I was at church a few years ago. If I can't make India work - then I will go anywhere.

10. What is on your feet right now? 
My old pair of Mizunos, as I'm getting ready to head to the gym for spin class soon!

11. How did you make your 1st dollar?
Babysitting. At age 10. That is insane when I think about it!

12. What superstition do you believe in?
I don't believe in any superstitions.

13. What items in your closet do you wear the most?
This time of year - shorts from Old Navy and a matching tank top from Target (I have quite the collection). We are on like a 40-day streak of +100 degrees, and I don't have to wear real clothes to work anymore! :)

But I refuse to wear PJ's or workout clothes while I'm working. Because I don't want to become a slob.

14. What is the best gift you've ever received?
That is tough! I am surrounded by so many loving and gracious people in my life - I've received a lot of great gifts. I'd have to say the one that takes the cake is Last year Ryan's Anniversary gift to me was a 1 hour facial, 1 hour massage, and a scuba excusion. One of my favorite days ever!!!! And it was all a surprise :)

15. What is on your liquor shelf?
I'd say we have a pretty much full-stocked bar since we like to entertain. But what we have accessible is vodka for me and Jack Daniels for Ryan - as those are our drinks of choice ;). I'm not a big hard-liquor drinker, however.

16. What is on your kitchen counter?
Coffee pot, banana "rack", coffee cannister, knife block, and a bowl of apples/lemons/limes. I try to keep as little as possible on the counters so it's easier to clean.

17. What would you never leave home without? 
Phone and a big bottle of water.