When I got married I thought, I hope I have what it takes to do this thing called marriage successfully. That was in 2003. I am so happy to say that I think Matt and I have an amazing marriage 8 1/2 years into this journey and every year it gets stronger. That is a rarity in our culture. Marriages fall apart for so many different reasons, and don’t get me wrong, we have our issues. Boy do we ever! If we didn’t have issues, I think that would probably mean we weren’t facing reality and actually working on our weaknesses. In today’s blog post I want to share one of our keys to success – having fun together!
Fast forward to November 15, 2007. A beautiful baby girl named Lily Catherine entered our lives and turned it upside down. We were in love with this little baby who cried and left us not knowing what to do, kept us up at night until the dark circles under our eyes matched the color of the midnight sky, pooped all the time, wanted to eat around the clock, and that was about it. But somehow we were head over heels for this little babe. Having a baby certainly changed our marriage and made it so that we had to work harder to build our relationship. As Lily grew, we realized that she was a very easy going child. Now at 4 years old she just wants to have long conversations about what she is thinking and feeling (yes, that is already happening!) and snuggle with her mom and dad.
Lily added a new element of busyness to our lives, but on January 15, 2010, Calvin Matthew entered our lives and all of a sudden the busyness factor grew exponentially. We learned why other parents told us that the transition from 1 child to 2 is difficult. Now we had a toddler and a newborn to take care of and somehow we were also supposed to have this happy marriage together. Now Calvin is almost 2 and has so much energy he could light up an entire city if there were a black out. All of this is to say that life has gotten busier than ever and Matt and I have to prioritize our marriage and intentionally plan time together as a couple and as a family.
One of our keys to success is making sure we are always having fun times and making adventurous memories together. In our 8 1/2 years of marriage we have had many fantastic vacations from cruises around the Caribbean, sunbathing in Cancun (well lets be honest – I was laying in the sun reading books while Matt was bored and waiting for the next fun thing to do!), wine tasting in Sonoma & Napa Valley and driving highway 1 along the northern coast of California in a convertible, zip lining through the jungles of Costa Rica, camping on the Straits of Mackinaw, a road trip through the western half of the United States, and more. In fact, we got engaged on top of Table Mountain in Capetown, South Africa. Are we rich? Far from it. Most of the time we have to sacrifice for months before a trip by not spending any extra money anywhere so that we can make it happen. My parents taught me that making memories is more fun than letting money collect in bank accounts until I’m old and can’t even do any of these fun adventures in life. I’m sure the accountants out there will completely disagree with me on this!
Now that we have children, we want to include this same way of fun adventurous living into our family life. Our biggest adventure together thus far has been that we moved across the country 8 months ago to Denver. Now we live on the edge of the Rocky Mountains and have so many new places to explore! Yesterday is a classic example of a family fun day in the Gravelle household. We went to the Christmas wonderland at the mall (that was mostly for my enjoyment!) and then we took our kids to Toy Story on Ice and finished the day with 35 acres of Christmas lights at the Denver Zoo.
Life is so busy and in our family we always want to be intentional with balancing the work with fun times!
What are you doing in your marriage or family life to make sure that you are actually enjoying life? Go ahead and leave a comment below telling all of us what your adventures have included!
Here is a rare family picture of us a little while ago at a ski resort in Beaver Creek, Colorado. I am always taking the photos, so we hardly have any family pictures together! Some nice lady snapped a picture for us.
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