When I "met" Joe in October 2010, I was two months into my first semester of college. The first time that we hung out, just the two of us, we watched a movie while I did my homework and then we went on a long walk around town and watched funny YouTube videos together afterward. The majority of the time that we spent together, I was doing homework. My schooling has been a huge part of our relationship! In the five years and six months that we've been together, I've only taken one semester off of school, and that was the summer that we bought and renovated our home. As I've gotten closer and closer to graduation, Joe has frequently commented that he doesn't know me without homework and school. Just like when he changed jobs in September and I said that I'd never known him without retail work hours. As chapters come to an end and new ones start, you have the opportunity to make changes in your marriage and your life!
This new chapter of our lives is providing us with an opportunity to initiate change in our marriage. No longer am I staying up late to get homework done after I get home from a long day of work and class. The world is our oyster!!! ...well, the evenings after work are at least... and we can do with them whatever we choose. Earlier this year, I was asked what mine and Joe's hobbies are as a couple, and I laughed and said, "we don't have time for hobbies". But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that we do have hobbies and things that we've always done together as a couple. From the beginning of our relationship, we've always loved to go on long, late night walks together and end up at the park talking on the swings. Going out to dinner or just to grab dessert is something that we do often, and it's honestly where most of our "fun money" goes. When we bought our house two years ago, we spent a lot of time renovating and decorating together and have found that working as a team to turn our house into a home is something that we find really rewarding! And over the last few years, we've come to love making meals on our grill or in the smoker. There are so many things that we love to do together, and we have the potential to discover more hobbies as we find more time to spend together and our financial situation allows us to experience more.
Looking forward to the rest of this year, we don't have many big plans, but we have fun ones! We plan to work on our yard and increase the curb appeal of our home while continuing to decorate and finish rooms inside. We want to experiment more with our meat smoker and enjoy a lot of dinners from the grill. Walks around the nature reserve by our house and playing outside as a family every night while watching Bensen explore his world and experience so many new things will bring us so much joy as a couple. Family time is high on our list of priorities because we have no excuses not to spend quality time making memories together, and because we are still working, we have to make the most of the time that we can spend together every single night. I get excited thinking about our future and all of the traditions that we can start now that Bensen is old enough to appreciate them and I have time to carry them out.
Of course, we still have our own individual plans and goals. I'm planning to replace my Netflix binges with a few good books; I reserved a couple at the library this weekend to get me started. I'll still enjoy my non-fiction family, marriage and parenting books, but now that I'm done with school and homework, I want to get back to my bookworm ways. I also hope to find time every day to sit down at my piano and sing, and maybe start to take the occasional voice lesson again. Decorating our home, cooking homemade meals and planning fun family activities are all things that I'm excited to have more time for. Joe is spending a lot of time building his business this summer and is hoping to complete a few projects in our yard as well.
Probably the biggest adventure that we have planned for the remainder of 2016 is the growth of our family. SURPRISE!!!! We're adding another little munchkin to our family this fall! I said that I wanted 2016 to be a year for memories, and memories definitely have been and will be made!