Thoughts By Natalie

4 Years of Marriage


Today is our 4 year wedding anniversary. It’s wild to think that we’ve been together for the same amount of time we went to high school. And college, for that matter. Four years is both a long time and no time at all. We are for sure out of the newlywed stage, but still very much in the early marriage phase. It’s fun to have a good chunk of years under our belt, but know that we have SO MANY more ahead of us to grow closer, make memories and know each other more deeply.

For our first anniversary, we hopped on a plane and spent the weekend in Vegas. So young and carefree. For our second anniversary, we flew out to Oahu to explore the island and also spend time with dear friends who had moved there for a season of their lives. For our third anniversary, we drove to Santa Barbara and decided it was also our babymoon.

While we spent the first three years on our own—traveling, going out to eat, binge-watching Netflix on the weekends—this past year has been very focused on the third member of our family: baby Jack. Even the fact that our anniversary trip was also a babymoon is a testament to the ways that marriage changes when kids enter the picture. No longer is it all about the two of us. It’s us, plus one tiny human who we love so much our hearts feel like they’re going to burst. And while we loved each other first, we have to be intentional to make marriage a priority while raising a child.

Shortly after Jack was born, when we were constantly changing diapers, lacking any kind of consistent sleep and feeling disconnected as a couple overall, we implemented what I call “3 things for your marriage.” Basically, after Jack went to sleep one night we asked each other to pick three things for each other to focus on in our marriage—three things that really mattered to us and made us feel loved by the other. We check in on how we’re doing with those things every month or so, and truly it’s been a wonderful way to love each other during this new season of parenthood.

I know our marriage will continue to change as time goes on and Jack grows up (and especially if we ever decide to add another kid to the mix). Each year there will be new joys, jokes, challenges and lessons. We’ll be tempted to make Jack the center of our attention, but continue to strive for balance between being loving, supportive parents and being good, intentional spouses. Each year it will get harder and also much better, I’m sure of it. Good marriages are a funny paradox like that, aren’t they?

For today, though, it’s our anniversary. And we are going on a real date. Because when it’s your anniversary and you have a baby and your best friend offers to come over and babysit for free, you say YES, PLEASE. Cheers to 4 years!

Photos by Brett & Emily Photographers

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  • Kim
    April 16, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Happy Anniversary friends! Congratulations on 4 beautiful years and a beautiful baby boy.

  • Maria
    April 16, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Congratulations :)

  • Allie Marie Smith
    April 16, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Happy Anniversary you two. You special day was beautiful.