Today is our wedding anniversary. Paul and I have been married for 9 years. The traditional gift for this year is willow, but we ended up getting each other almost the same gifts.
My gift to him was a photo, from a map of where we met. His gift to me was a huge frame containing a photo from our wedding day.
I still remember our wedding day. We got married in Burford, a picturesque village in the Cotswolds. We hired out a very small hotel, The Bay Tree Hotel, and had the whole shebang there. Service, photos, reception, party. It had been raining most of the morning, but the sun came out for the photos in the afternoon. It was lovely to have family there. Most of my family in Northern Ireland flew over for the event, and I am so glad they did. It is the last time I have seen most of them. It was a good day, a lovely reception, with delectable food, and an awesome party. Our first dance song was 'Good Riddance' by Green Day. An odd choice perhaps, but the lyrics are very fitting. We hear it quite a lot on the radio here in the States.
Marriage is funny. You always hear about statistics about so and so marriages end in divorce etc. My parents are divorced, Paul's parents have been together for about 30+ years. I hope our marriage lasts as long as theirs. Marriage is not easy, you have to compromise. Particularly when kids come along. When I met Paul, and until the kids came along, Paul had a couple of 'toy' cars. These were awesome, but a huge financial drain. Before Oliver was born, he got rid of them.
Probably the biggest difficulty in our married life together has been money. We have had some real downs in this department, but have managed to pull through by scrimping, cutting costs, borrowing from family (thank you!) and trying not to live beyond our means. This was particularly hard in the UK, where the cost of everything just seems to be on an upward trend, constantly. We have been very lucky to have had lots of good friends, and family, who have given or loaned, or bought things for the kids. A lot of people still do. Again, thank you.
Having children has reaffirmed our relationship, having more than one has certainly showed how much we rely on each other, and work as a team. For us, it is for the best. Quite often on the weekend, Paul will amuse the boys while I catch up on things (usually sleep). I look after most of the house and school side of family life, whereas he deals with money and garden work. A fair compromise I feel!
I am grateful to Paul for having got himself a career in the UK, which gave us an opportunity to move here. Being away from extended family has only cemented the bond we have, and made us much closer, and even more reliant on each other. We function better together than apart, and I look forward to enjoying at least the next nine years of our lives together.
What ever the world may throw at us......