Friday, June 12, 2009

Celebrating an Anniversary: Quality Time

Just the other day, I opened the fridge to find an anniversary card curiously propped up against the milk.  The front of the envelope read, "My Girl."  After eight years, my heart still flutters when I read that, especially now that I have to compete with an irresistibly cute toddler.  

When it comes to celebrating anniversaries, my husband and I don't buy each other extravagant gifts.  Instead, we do two things: spend quality time together over a delicious meal (that someone else has prepared) and support Hallmark.  

Last Tuesday night we celebrated at an Italian restaurant. We nestled into a corner table and gorged ourselves with antipasto, spinach salad with bacon and mushrooms (and you know how I feel about bacon), homemade pasta with ricotta and bechamel, and chicken parmigiana smothered in cheese.  Italians know how to do it right!  And they always send me home with leftovers. 

The conversation during our date was light and fun, even superficial at times.  But all the while, I felt a deep sense of connectedness.  It's easy after eight years to say, "Oh, we don't need to go on a date.  We know that we love each other.  Been there, done that."  But for me, it matters that we spend this quality time together, even if there are moments where we sit in silence, stuffing our faces.  

A few years ago, someone offered me this simple advice on marriage: "Nurture your love like you would a baby."  It stuck with me.  Babies need nourishment and attention to survive and thrive.  So do our marriages.  I'm no expert on relationships, but it makes sense to me that we need to "feed" our marriages and take care of them, especially when we feel pulled in so many different directions.    

After eight years, Tim and I laugh about each other's quirks and finish each other's sentences. We still fail miserably when it comes to managing household tasks, but at least that means we're lucky enough to have a roof over our heads.  Our marriage isn't perfect, but it's ours.  And I wouldn't want it any other way.  


Sarah Morris said...

I think that taking time out with the people that you love only supports us in doing what we do, whatever we do, better. I look forward to those few minutes before turning out the light every day. They are the moments that are just ours. And a few Italian dinners sprinkled in don't hurt. :)

Mark said...

What's great about quality time like this, MJ, is that it is invariably ... "best for the children!" It's hard to beat and neglect our kids when we're feeling well-cared for and we're caring well for each other. Nice.

Allison said...

Sounds like you had a fantastic anniversary! Still can't believe it has been 8 years!

Can't wait to see you in about a month!

ChefDruck said...

I so agree with you. It is so important to take the time to nurture your marriage. We do date night every weekend and now that we have 3 kids, it's often the only time that we can have a conversation without interruption. I look forward to those nights when I can fully focus on my husband.

"Mike" said...

Your comments make me smile. I always knew you'd be perfect for each other!!! Happy Anniversary! "Mike"