I know it sounds cliche to say that as the years roll by I fall more in love with my husband, but it really is true. We're approaching year 5 in March 2014. Since becoming parents 2 1/2 years ago, our relationship has changed dramatically. While some grow apart, I think I've realized more and more why we're supposed to be together forever. That's not to say that our marriage is not without challenges, but each day we're learning more about how to make our marriage work. I think the hardest part is putting our marriage first, but we're slowly learning.
1. We both love old homes.
We've been talking about moving in four or five years to a bigger home, possibly a two-story home (if we can afford it). We really love living in Plano, so we'd likely stay in this area maybe within our neighborhood. Our house was built in 1973, so it's definitely seasoned. We love that. Our home has so much character. I also like that there is only one other look-alike house in our neighborhood. We've been driving around looking at neighborhoods, and I think we were both relieved that neither one of us wanted a "new" house (something built in the last 15 years) or to try to build a house (not that we could afford to anyways).
2. We both love the terrible-twos.
The terrible twos are terrible most days, but it's because there is a lot of learning going on. Learning on our part and Joely's. We love watching him learn something or figure out something. We love watching him attempt to be independent. This really is a magical age.
3. We believe in relevant consequences.
Last night we went to dinner at my cousin's house. We both felt a sense of relief in learning that she and her husband do not spank their son. I always thought spanking was the norm and that you weren't a good parent unless you spanked. Recently, Murad and I realized that spanking didn't work with Joel (we rarely did it. I think only when he did something dangerous). In fact, we realized that Joely responded better to different consequences. Time-out has been such a blessing to us. Joely actually likes time-outs because he can remove himself from the stressor or distraction, he comes back refreshed and ready to play. Also, Joely really understands verbal communication, and can read non-verbal cues very well. Today, he just started saying "sorry" when he does something wrong. More importantly, we don't want Joely to ever fear us. We want him to come to us if he's in trouble. We also want to show him that just like we expect him to respect us, we respect him as well. We are his parents and he is our child, but we can still show mutual respect.
4. We love discounts.
I think most people like to brag about how much money they spend on things. We like to brag about how much money we save. If you come to our home you'll see very few "new" items. We do that we because we like recycled and repurposed furniture. It makes our house feel like a home. It also feels good to say that we bought a "brand new chaise lounge from our neighbors for $50," or "I got this Nike outfit for Joel for $12 instead of $50."
5. We realize we're works in progress.
We're still learning how to be adults. We're still navigating this world in which we live. We make mistakes daily. Big mistakes. Small mistakes. We're learning how to manage our money better (funny how more money really does create more problems!) Saving more, etc. We're learning how to parent as well. Fortunately, we try to laugh as we go through life together.
6. We've learned to lean on each other.
I think now more than ever we reflect on our vows. We've learned to support each other through the hard times and what support really is. Each day we learn something new and it brings us a little closer to each other.