Today we are celebrating six years of marriage. Tonight we plan on celebrating our family's "birthday" with the kids, going to dinner and doing something fun. This weekend we have plans for just the two of us. We are excited to celebrate our marriage by spending quality time with our little family and with each other. In honor of the occasion, I decided to share a few of my most favorite memories from our time together.
The way that our relationship started was a little non traditional, so there's a bit of debate about what our first date really was. Our first official planned and paid for date is one that I'll always remember though! Joe had a dinner planned with some of his friends from work, to celebrate him being home from his mission and returning to work at Target. They were both dating someone so he invited me to be his date. He asked me to join him a couple of weeks before the actual night, a week or so into our relationship, and I was excited.
We drove half an hour to get to the restaurant and talked the whole way. When we got there, there was a wait, so we stood around chatting with his friends. It was fun to get to know that side of him and hear stories from before I knew him and from a different part of his life. I don't remember a lot more from the night, but I do remember sitting next to each other at the table and holding hands while we ate. Although we were with a group and talking to them most of the time, I remember that we had a few of our own intimate little conversations off to the side. I can also tell you what we both ate that night, mostly because Joe taught me what a few of the ingredients meant in Spanish.
After our dinner, we went back to Joe's parent's house and cuddled while we watched a movie. It was a night devoid of homework (those were the best ones) and one that I would like to relive for a date night in the future. I'll just need to look the night up in my journal so I can remember what the movie was that we watched and a few other minor details of the night.
Life was hectic while Joe and I were engaged. On nights when he worked late, we talked on the phone after he got home but didn't get to see each other. He was also working to build his new lawn care business and I was knee deep in my second semester of college. It never felt like we got to spend much time together and when we did, we were busy planning our life together or working on our own individual projects. Looking back, I realize that was silly because compared to some other phases of our life, we had a lot of time together that we probably took for granted.
One particular night, I remember that I was so excited to spend time with Joe. I'd probably finished my homework and we had plans to hang out and make our time truly quality. When Joe called me to say that he needed to drive to Spanish Fork to look at an aerator that he was going to purchase for his business, I was disappointed and a little frustrated. Before my emotions got the better of me, he interrupted to tell me that he was going to invite me to drive down with him, if I wanted to come.
I don't remember what we talked about on our drive, and I remember sitting in the truck for quite a while on my own while he tested out the machine and purchased it. But I remember that sitting next to him in his truck, holding hands and talking while we drove the hour there and the hour back was just what I needed at the time. It was really simple, but it's a night that I will always remember.
When I graduated from college, after six years of work, spanning the entire length of mine and Joe's relationship, Joe surprised me with a two night getaway to our favorite place. He had a limo pick us up and drive us to dinner then up to the hotel where my parents met us with my car so that we'd have a way to get around over the weekend. He'd arranged for someone to take care of Bensen, my church calling to be taken care of and had honestly thought of everything. We spent two days relaxing and just enjoying our time together without adult responsibilities or the looming deadlines of homework hanging over my head. It was amazing and a weekend that I will remember forever! I wrote all about it on the blog after it happened, but unfortunately, because of a glitch, that blog post got overwritten by something else... I need to sit down and write about it again because it was a weekend to remember and one that I want to tell our kids about in the future.
When I started dating Joe, he and his family would always talk about The Spaghetti Factory. I had never been, and it was something that Joe always talked about introducing me to. It has become a significant place for our relationship and I honestly didn't realize how much of a part it's played in some of our bigger moments until now.
Our first Valentine's Day as a couple, the week before we got engaged, Joe surprised me with a dinner date to The Spaghetti Factory. It was my first time going and it definitely didn't disappoint. The atmosphere was perfect and the food was delicious. I didn't have a hard time enjoying my meal which is surprising because I thought Joe was going to propose to me that night and couldn't stop thinking about it the entire time. You can read that story here.
One of the other times that we went to The Spaghetti Factory was a few weeks after Bensen was born. It was our first baby free date night as new parents. My mother-in-law had called that day and said that we should have her tend the baby while Joe took me on a date for Mother's Day. She really just wanted to spend some time with our sweet little man, but I wasn't going to say no to a baby free date night. I don't remember much more about the night, but I do remember loving that quality time spent with my husband.
Our most recent visit to The Spaghetti Factory was while Emmy was in the hospital. I'd planned a surprise get away for the weekend after Emmy made her appearance, and that getaway obviously had to be cancelled when she came early. We asked my mom to keep Bensen over night, since she'd already been planning on it, and we got out of the hospital to spend some time together. After dinner, we went back to Emmy's room to help with her cares (feeding, diaper change, etc.) and then we got to go home together. Those three weeks were long and we rarely got much time together, so being able to enjoy a leisurely dinner, spend time late at night with our daughter and get home from the hospital at the same time was huge.
Speaking of our time in the NICU with Emmy, that was and will always be one of my favorite times in our life. A couple of months ago, I shared why I miss our time in the NICU (special care nursery) and that still holds true today. Those three weeks challenged us, tried us, brought us together, made us stronger and taught us what was really important. I will always be grateful for that time that we had to learn and grow as a couple and a family.
This isn't a "moment" but more of a thing. Both Joe and I have had multiple side hustles throughout the course of our relationship. Joe was in the process of starting his lawn care business when we were engaged, I dove into the blogging world a couple of years into our marriage, Joe started another little venture around the same time, I've just recently started a new website for local date night activities and Joe has a few other ideas in mind for businesses he'd like to go into.
I love the way that we support each other. I text Joe every time I have a little victory or something exciting happens with my blogs and he always responds enthusiastically with something like, "Yeah girl!". He always shares my work on social media and doesn't hesitate to share my blogging business with people that we come in contact with. I look forward to hearing Joe's ideas for growing his lawn care business even more, and we love to look at the numbers together each month and compare them to years past.
Happy anniversary to us!