Tag Archives: anniversary

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Commitment?

Today is October 31st. Lots of people believe today is the best day to dress up in funny clothes, confront their fears, and have a lot of fun doing it.

Here in Australia, it’s the middle of Spring. The days are long and lovely, the sun is shining, and it’s hard to imagine ghosts or goblins hiding behind the garden beds in flower. But that doesn’t mean we can’t share in the fun.

Eight years ago today, I dressed up in my own once-in-a-lifetime costume, and did the scariest thing I could think of.

I got married.

Today is our 8th Wedding Anniversary. It’s the 12th Anniversary of us making the choice to move from friends to lovers, and the 13th Anniversary (give or take a few weeks) of our meeting and falling into a deep and immediate friendship. It’s a special day. Not just because it’s another anniversary — more proof that we’re getting older and (hopefully) wiser — but because the last couple of years has been really hard work.

About eighteen months ago, not long after Little Brother was born and while I was struggling emotionally with the reality of having two children in the house, my husband was diagnosed with depression. In some ways, it made things easier. He began treatment and we could both finally understand why everything had been so difficult for what seemed like forever. But in other ways, it made things more difficult. It made things real.

Emotions flew back and forth like petals in a hurricane. Love. Anger. Frustration. Guilt. The occasional moment of intense dislike and regret.

There have been good times. There have been bad times. But, most of all, there have been times. Because no matter how hard it’s been on both of us, no matter how much we’ve struggled, we’ve always remembered the love that we felt on that day eight years ago, and we’ve fought and struggled to find those feelings within ourselves. No matter how many times we’ve each thought about walking out, calling it quits, or deciding that this marriage thing is all too freaking hard, we haven’t done it. We remembered the friendship that came before and after the love, and we remembered the many, many reasons we decided to tie our fates together for eternity.

Eight years ago, at 9:00am on the 31st of October 2004, our lives were entwined during a handfasting ceremony on the top of the mountain. Harp music played while the celebrant called to the earth, water, wind and fire to bless our union. Our hands were fastened with rope of braided white and gold to ensure our lasting love and friendship. Vows were said, rings were exchanged, and toasts were made.

And now, after all the trials and tribulations of the last two years, we’ve refound the solid love and friendship that was always lurking under the surface of our harried, hurried, stress-filled lives. For the first time in a long, long while I look at my husband and I breathe a sigh of happiness and thank the Gods we found each other.

And so, to my husband and the world, I repeat the vow I made all those years ago.

Destiny has made our paths to cross. Today, I make the choice to entwine my heart and spirit with yours for all eternity. In our life together, I pledge to respect and honour you. I will support you always, as friend, lover and confidante. I will share your hopes and help to make your dreams come true. I will stand by you in the good times and the bad. I will cherish and protect you always.

I love you.

Do you have any special anniversary traditions?

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Monday’s Top 5

I was fortunate to have my sister visiting for a few days this week, which was an absolute blast. Much food and beer was consumed, and very little sleep was had. The only downside to her visit was that when I logged on to the internet this morning for the first time in five days, I had 179 unread items in Google Reader.

Yes, 179.

The smart thing to do would have been to mark them all as read. But if I’d done that, how could I have provided my wonderful readers with this week’s Top 5 list? Ah, the sacrifices we make…

The majority of writing-related posts this week were about NaNoWriMo in one way or another (either “I Quit”, “I’m behind”, or “I love this, I’m so far ahead, I’m so awesome!”). I really wanted to find something a bit different, though. Those people doing NaNo are probably too busy to be reading extra blogs, and those who aren’t are probably sick of reading about it.

So the first writing post this week is one by Jami Gold titled What Makes a Story Feel Unrealistic, where she explores some of the potential pitfalls in helping your readers suspend their disbelief.

Ever feel like Writer’s Block is hovering just around the corner, just waiting for you? Then check out this hilarious post on Peas and Cougars.

Laura Stanfill shares some interesting and clever tidbits about the Oregon Zoo’s penguins and their #OccupyPolarBears demands.

In a change of pace, Tricia from Critters and Crayons guest posts on Twinisms with What My Kids Taught Me About Leading. This is an absolutely amazing post, full of honesty and compassion. Tricia discusses the Decision Matrix she used to make the decision to move from being a woman in the military to a working mother, and then a Stay At Home Mum, and reflects on the things she’s learned about leadership since her children were born.

Finally, Chris White has a beautiful post celebrating his second wedding anniversary, where he leads the reader through the journey of him meeting his wife, and why he’s now A Changed Man. Happy Anniversary, Chris and Heidi.

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Surprise! Happy whatever. Goodnight.

I got quite a giggle out of reading Kim Pugliano’s recent post where she complains about her partner’s tendency to leap out and scare her at irregular intervals. It got me thinking about my own relationship, and the fact that I’m the one who tends to do the scaring. I’m the one hiding behind the door, holding my breath to stop from giggling, while I wait for poor, unsuspecting Husband to walk past so I can leap out at him. I’m the one hiding behind 4-year-old Big Brother’s bed so I can launch an unsuspected tickle-attack on him. But, on the other side of the coin, I’m the one who organises surprises.

Once, I organised to surprise Husband with a few days at a resort. I dropped Big Brother at his Nana’s house, and told Husband that Nana had specifically requested some time with her grandson. Then I sent Husband to the shop for something trivial, quickly packed our bags, stowed them in the boot of the car, and waited for him to come home. Once he was there, I suggested that, since we were child-free, we go for a nice long drive. The resort-island can only be reached by ferry, and you check-in at the ferry terminal on the mainland. Husband had no idea what was happening until I told the attendant that we were booked in for three days. The smile on his face was priceless.

Another time, he’d been feeling a bit low, so I decided to surprise him with a 10-day, all-expenses paid tour of Tasmania. I secretly met with a friend of his, and the two of us worked out a tour and suitable dates. Then I booked and paid for my husband’s trip, and his friend booked to go on the same trip. The plan was to wait until the day before he was due to leave, and then give him all of his travel documents, and en envelope full of spending money. Sadly, he changed jobs and I had to confess to the surprise a few months in advance (so he could book leave), but he was still stoked.

But not all of my “surprises” have worked out quite so well. In fact, we have a legendary tale that we call: The Worst Anniversary Surprise Ever. Ever. (Yes, it needs to be said twice.)

It was our second anniversary, back when Husband was really still Boyfriend, and we were happily living in sin. We’d planned to do something nice to celebrate, but at the last minute, I was asked to go away for work. It was a great opportunity, and it didn’t seem prudent to turn it down. So, after much discussion, I decided to say yes to my career calling.

The workplace was about an hour and a half from home, and I was set up in a dodgy hotel for two weeks. The night of our anniversary rolled around, and it just happened that we finished work at 4:00pm.

“Hey!” I thought to myself. “If I leave now, I could be home by 5:30! Then we could go out for dinner, I could sleep there, and as long as I leave by 5:30 in the morning, I can be back in time for work tomorrow.”

Awesome idea, right. Awesomely awesome. But, of course, it wouldn’t be nearly so amazing if I called and gave Boyfriend/Husband notice that I was coming. I wanted to surprise him.

So I drove home. The traffic meant that I didn’t actually get there until almost 6:00. Then I hesitated outside the front door. Husband wouldn’t be expecting me… If I just walked into the house, he might think I was a robber and bash me over the head. So I knocked.

Husband opened the door. His eyes widened, and he looked around in horror. “Jo!” he said. “What are you doing here? I haven’t cleaned up.”

Not to be dissuaded, I smiled and said, “Happy anniversary! I’m here to take you out to dinner.”

He was thrilled, and I went inside to find that he was right. He hadn’t cleaned up. There were discarded take-out containers everywhere. But that didn’t matter. The important thing was that I was home. Of course, the second most important thing was that I hadn’t booked a restaurant.

Husband went to have a shower and get ready, and I frantically flicked through the phone book, looking for a restaurant where we could get a table at super-late notice. I found one located on the waterfront about half an hour away. (In the opposite direction to where I was working. Take note. This will be important later.) Their latest seating time (on a Wednesday night) was 7:00pm. I promised we’d be there, and hung up. Job done.

Then I started thinking… “You know, if we’re driving all the way up there, maybe we should stay the night. There’s bound to be a nice bed and breakfast nearby.”

So I flipped through the phone book again, and called around until I found a little B&B that had a room vacant. Check-in was by 7:00pm. I booked the room, hung up, and felt pleased with myself. Then I raced into the bedroom, packed an overnight back for us, stashed it in the car, and waited for Husband to be ready.

It was 6:30 when we left home. My plan was to head to the B&B, pick up the key and drop off our bag, then head straight to the restaurant. Of course, I didn’t tell Husband any of this. That would ruin the surprise.

We chatted happily until we reached the waterfront, and then I followed the directions I’d been given by the B&B and found… nothing. Huh. Must have followed the directions wrong. I went back to the beginning and tried again. Nothing. Damn it, I couldn’t find the stupid B&B. It was after 7:00, and I had no idea where it was, and back in those days I didn’t have a mobile phone, let alone mobile internet.

So I gave up. I’d ditch the overnight stay, and we’d just go to the restaurant. So I drove along the foreshore, and found… nothing.,

Damn it, how could a restaurant be s o hard to find!

I drove up and down that street half a dozen times to no avail. Husband, in his patient boredom, started reading out signs as we drove past them. Again and again. Suddenly he said the name of the restaurant I was looking for. I hit the brakes. In the middle of the street. “What?!” I demanded.

He repeated the name.

“But that’s the place I’ve been looking for!” I said, as though it was his fault.

He shut up, I parked the car, and we went in. It was 7:20 by this stage. The staff were lovely and let us take our seats. Then they asked for our orders. We ordered drinks and meals, and I explained to Husband that I’d been looking for the B&B but couldn’t find it. Then I had a Stupid Idea.

“I know. You have a drink, and I’ll dash out and try again.”

Off I went, abandoning Husband, alone, in a restaurant on our anniversary. I drove up and down for ten minutes, and then gave up. I went back empty-handed, just in time for our meals to be brought out. I had a drink, we ate, and talked for a few minutes, and then the waitress, who’d overheard our conversation, brought out a map. She knew where the B&B was, and showed me how to get there. So I quickly finished my dinner, ordered dessert, and then abandoned Husband again.

I arrived at the B&B at about 8:00, and was able to check-in and get the key. (The lady said she had a “feeling” I’d be along.) Then I dashed back to the restaurant, just in time for dessert to be delivered.

We ate, talked briefly, and by 8:20 the staff were cleaning up around us and giving us those hints that you get when you’ve overstayed your welcome. So we paid and left.

Back to the B&B. Beautiful room. Huge bed. We’d barely seen each other all evening, so we were ready for…

Who am I kidding?

I was exhausted. We climbed into bed and I was asleep before Husband had even turned off the light. The last thing I remember him telling me was that breakfast was served between 6:00 and 9:00 in the morning.

If you did your maths, you’ll note that I needed to leave by 5:00am to be back to work in time.

Worst anniversary surprise ever. Ever.

Tell me I’m not the only one. Share your surprise-gone-wrong stories!

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