First Wedding Anniversary

First Anniversary

First Anniversary

First Anniversary

This past Sunday, Jamal and I celebrated one year of marriage. Besides not being able to truly believe an entire year had passed since September 13, 2014 (where did the time go? Can anyone remember what happened in March? Wasn’t it just June?) the day was a delight. We treated ourselves to a super indulgent brunch overlooking Rittenhouse Square, with a mimosa for me and a bloody mary for him, and way, way too much food, and then we went home and put on sweatpants and lazed about in a food coma for the rest of the afternoon. Marriage! The traditional first anniversary present is paper, so I got Jamal Rick Steves’ Spain 2016 guidebook, which he flipped through that day, every so often stopping to say, “Happy anniversary! I’m so full!” My mommom made a sweet point: going out to dinner is routine, but going out to breakfast is rare and special. (It’s even more special when there is a chocolate fountain involved.)

First Anniversary

So, to reflect on these past 12 months: We went to Athens and Santorini for our honeymoon! We went to Italy and Paris this spring! I left my job of the last four and a half years for something that would finally make me happy. Jamal continued to travel like a maniac, darting and zig-zagging across the country nearly every week. It was a big first year, with the requisite ups and downs. I wouldn’t say that marriage is hard, or that our first year of marriage was hard, because really, when you’ve been dating for four years and living together for three, what else is there to adjust to once you put a ring on it? But it wasn’t always smooth going; Jamal and I each had a hard year (for reasons that were independent of each other), which caused some strain. We figured out late in the game that rather than turning on each other, we should turn towards each other for support. And nearly all of that strain was eliminated the day I changed jobs. I can’t tell you what a difference it’s made in my mental (and marital) health.

And now, to look forward: We have a trip to Spain scheduled for next April-May! I’m turning the big 3-0! Jamal has some big career wins in the foreseeable future (which, bien sûr, comes with more travel). Other than that, the 2nd year is our oyster. What’s not on the agenda? A baby. Seriously, guys, what is with people asking when you’re going to start having a kids? It’s like the moment our officiant pronounced us husband & wife, the badgering started. Jamal and I have always agreed that, if we’re going to have one at all, it is going to be just the one. Une. Uno. But right now, we don’t know if even une bébé is in the cards; it’s certainly not on the table in the next few years. A few months ago, apropos of nothing, Jamal said to me, “You know, if we didn’t have a kid, we would have so much more money and time to travel.” But when people ask us (and seriously, we get asked this all the time), “When will you have a baby??”, “Are you guys going to have a baby soon??” and we say, “Not anytime soon, and maybe not at all,” (or, as Jamal responded when his best friend asked a few weeks ago, “Nah, we’re going to go on vacation instead.” <3 <3 <3) it's invariably met with a smug, "Oh, you'll change your mind." Maybe we will, and maybe we won't. Frankly, Fitz is enough of a handful to deter us from voluntarily saddling ourselves with a human baby. We each have too many personal goals we want to achieve (I need to finish this novel!) and countries we want to visit (we’re already planning for 2017. Japan? Scandinavia? Scotland?) still. So our second year will be filled with many exciting things, but a baby ain’t one of ’em. (Apologies to our parents.)

Happy first anniversary, Jamal! I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.

24 thoughts on “First Wedding Anniversary

  1. YES. I am with you about this whole baby business. Shawn and I decided way before we got married that children are just not part of the plan for us. Yet, people still tell us all the time that we will change our minds… (The best response we’ve gotten so far though? “HA! Hahaha! PLAN?! Ha!”) Nope. Nada. Not sorry. No kids on the way for this lady. We have two cats that are in constant toddler-stage… I can barely handle changing the litter box, so a diaper?! Ha!!! Plus, I don’t know about you, but my husband is and forever will be one giant goofy child, so that’s more than enough for me. Jamal is definitely on to something with this whole “more money for traveling” business…..

    I’ve been reflecting on marriage lately, since our 2-year anniversary is quickly approaching (What?!). When people used to ask me how it is being married, I would always respond that it was no different than our relationship prior to marriage. But now, I have a different answer. The relationship itself hasn’t really changed, but my mentality towards it has. I am much more self-aware now, and much more in tune with how to keep things going along smoothly. Just more awareness about everything in general. It’s easy to just skip along blindly and still be happy, but each year I find myself being more conscious of my own actions and how they affect him, or us. It’s a tough thing to put into words… but the mental shift has been rewarding.

    1. Happy almost-anniversary! Jamal and I had obviously talked about children before we were married, and we’d always agreed that one was the max, if it were to happen at all. But suddenly, one seems like a commitment we don’t need to make in order to feel fulfilled or happy. Everyone gets to make their own choices! Children are one of those things people love sticking their noses in other people’s business about, from questions about whether you’re going to have them to later on down the line when they judge other people’s parenting choices. Oy. I commend you guys for knowing what you want and being on the same page about it. I know more than a few couples where that isn’t the case, unfortunately.

      I totally agree with you about the mental shift. That didn’t really hit me until right around our anniversary, but it’s now a really conscious issue. I guess because we lived together before we were married, it was easy to think, “Oh, nothing has really changed!” but it really has! It is hard to articulate, but I do get it. xoxo

  2. Happy Anniversary to both of you silly kids! You’re like two peas in a pod. Speaking of a pea in a pod, they make lovely maternity wear. Oh for heavens sake! I’m still getting used to “Erin will be 29 this year” and you’re all ready with the 3-0. As late in life as I had you, you have a lot more time to decide. No need to apologize. NO, I don’t intend to stop nagging…….

    1. Didn’t Pea in the Pod on Walnut close? And anyway, I’m not willing to bid adieu to my pointy hip bones anytime soon. Or seeing my feet. Oh my god, can you imagine how much chubbier my cankles would get if I were to get pregnant? That alone should deter you! Haha. And I don’t think you’ll stop nagging. What kind of Jewish mother would you be if you did? ;) xo

    1. Thank you, darling girl! And congratulations on your newest addition! I need to get better about answering comments in a more timely manner. In the time it’s taken me to respond to this one, you brought a new life into the world! ;) xo

  3. Happy anniversary you two! And that’s what my mother’s go to line is “oh, you’ll change your mind.” Hope you enjoy waiting mom. You two take all the time you want to do whatever you’d like :)

    1. Haha, oh moms! It’s clearly a universal issue that spans cultures, continents, and plausibility ;) xo

  4. I hope you had a lovely anniversary, sounds like you did. So glad I was able to share such an amazing day with you. Nice to see some pictures again. Nice to see that you are both enjoying your lives and each others company. You have a furbaby for now and thats perfectly ok! Plus you like to sleep and that won’t happen much with a baby.
    Love you!

    1. I was honored beyond belief to have you as part of that day! You were a goddess (as usual) and I am so lucky to have you! And yeah, Fitz is enough of a handful that kids would just be next to impossible to juggle, haha. You know me, I need my sleep ;) Love you so much! xoxo

  5. Happy Anniversary! I wish there was just an opt-out button or eject seat for those conversations. Must we all have to answer?? Every time? I’m not married but can imagine once my boyfriend and I tie the knot that the questions will come. We are not sure when/if we will want kids, but it won’t be ANY time soon. I’m basically dreading what you are describing because I know it will be my life someday. Enjoy travels and ignore baby talk! :)

    1. Haha an eject button would be so amazing. “NOPE BYE” whenever someone starts. I am sending you lots and lots of strength for when the questions start rolling in for you and your boyfriend! It’s such an odd question, too, when you think about it. People feel like they have a right to know if you’re having unprotected sex! Um, last I checked that topic was not casual dinner conversation?? Haha. Here’s to traveling and setting our own rules! xo

  6. Yay!! Happy anniversary!!!

    Other people can be very annoying with the types of questions they ask. I’m sure I’ve asked my share of questions that made people’s blood boil. Which is not to say that you’re at the stage with the question — doesn’t seem like it’s reached those levels (yet?). If it’s at all reassuring, they probably wouldn’t be asking that question if they didn’t think you two were compatible and seemed very happy together and assume children to be the next step you’ll take. Even so, I wish pleasantries didn’t take so long to adjust to the times.

    1. Thank you, S!

      Haha, no we are not at blood-boiling levels just yet, it’s only been a year (though my father-in-law at our wedding did grab the mic and ask that we have a long life full of happiness and lots and lots of babies, and I was like, dude, it’s been an hour!). I do understand that the questions and nagging comes from a place of happiness from other people, but I think this Buzzfeed article really sums up my feelings on the whole thing: (I know. Buzzfeed, of all places!). xo

  7. Gosh, that DID go quickly- I remember swooning over your dress on Whatsap (nerd alert) and here it is, a year later?! Felicitations a vous deux, vraiment!

    Also I’m just going to say it: kids are the worst. Travel, freedom, money, laughter, spontaneity…SEX…these are all things my friends with kids lament losing. I’m firmly in the no kids, ever, camp. I think it takes a certain type of person to chose logic over hormone-induced biological impulse, too. As soon as you post a bump pic, I’m outta here. I kid! I kid!

    ..or DO I? Ha!

    1. Ha! I totally sent you a selfie that day, didn’t I? Merci merciiii. And kids ARE kind of the worst. I love other people’s kids, but mainly because they are other people’s kids and I therefore get to leave whenever I’ve had enough and go back to my quiet house where I am free to do whatever I want, haha. Jamal has to potentially take a day trip to London next week (just to meet a client! for lunch!) and I’m seriously considering hopping on the plane with him. You know, things we couldn’t even consider if we had un bébé.

      And please, do you think I’m the type to post a shot of me cradling my uterus? Gag. xoxo

  8. I read this in my inbox and have been meaning to come back to comment – happy anniversary! Brunch together sounds too perfect. I am so happy for you and cheers to the next year! xo

  9. Joyeux Anniversaire!! Vous avez raison, profitez l’un de l’autre, voyager me semble très important pour une jeune couple! L’enfant vendra plus tard ou pas! xoxo

  10. Merci, mon cœur! Voyager est très très important dans ma vie. Mon père n’a pas voyagé et il le regrettait. Je ne veux pas la meme experience! Paris, Espana, et quelque part nouveau chaque annee! :) xoxo

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