Tomorrow is our 8 year Anniversary. To celebrate, we did a fun questionnaire addressing everything from parenting struggles in marriage to our favorite meals we’ve ever shared.
1. Whats your favorite part about being married to O/Jill?
J: I knew from our very first date (Uno’s. Chicago. 2009.) that I wanted to marry this man. He’s the most selfless, genuine, thoughtful person I’ve ever met and walks more closely with the Lord than anyone I’ve ever known. He is so gracious and forgiving and thoughtful and serving and many other words that can be summed up in this: he’s the best. On top of that, he’s just a wonderful dad and is the “fun one” for sure, which God knew our babes needed.
…plus I love being able to share a bed with him for the rest of my life
O: I don’t have to cook my own dinner : ) But also, she is a fighter. A reluctant fighter, very reluctant, but a fighter nonetheless. And an elite fighter at that.
2.In your eyes, what has been O/Jill’s greatest accomplishment in the past year?
J: The past 365 days have been our most challenging by a landslide. Watching O navigate a new job and ultimately, that new job dissolving reminded me of all those things I forget live inside him. That stretch of months brought out a vulnerability and fragility in him that I don’t see often and I know how uncomfortable those emotions were for him. His devotion to the truth in the Word over the “facts” of his feelings this year was a gift to me.
O: Her ability to endure and thrive in the midst of continuous and incessant adversity. She has had everything including the kitchen sink and the kitchen it was in thrown at her and she continues to be awesome.
3. What does he/she do that always makes you laugh?
J: If you know O, you know his humor is dry and his wit is quick. He makes me laugh all.the.time.
O: Whenever she is missing something, it somehow, one way or another ends up under her butt. Just hilarious.
4.If O/Jill could only watch 4 movies for the rest of their life, what would they be?
J: He would choose-in no particular order- Love Jones, Captain America 2, Superman 2, Meet Joe Black…and anything with Leonardo DiCaprio
O: It’s complicated, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve got mail, Father of the bride
5. And 5 Shows?
J: His would be: The Cosby Show, The Wire, Parenthood, Naruto and Bleach
O: Hers would be Parks and Rec, Friends, The Office, Great British Baking Championship, Top Chef
6. What are the other’s top 5 favorite meals you’ve shared together?
J: Hmm. This is hard since O became vegan four years ago. I’d guess Pizza at La Foccocia in Rome, Pizza at Dar Poeta in Rome, Pear Ravioli from 4 Leoni in Florence, Ribs and Barbeque from Four Rivers in South Florida and Capri Cake in Capri.
O: Icing on the Cake in Los Gatos, Gracias Madre meal in L.A, La Foccocia Pizza in Italy, Pear Pasta at 4 Leoni, the steak at Fearings in Dallas
7. How has parenting changed your relationship?
J: We had a few rough months in there. Parenting has such enormous effects on your time that inevitably, there is a shift in you. Re-establishing priorities took a bit of time after each baby and especially after our miscarriage with our third. We have to be more intentional with our time and energy, being careful not to pour all of it into our kids leaving nothing left for one another. It also brings such a greater sense of connection as we seek to be on the same page while teaching and raising up our littles in the way of the Lord. It’s enhanced and enriched our marriage so much.
O: It’s made us have to communicate more to understand one another. Though at our core we want the same things, we come at them from opposite ends of the spectrum. It’s harder just to going along with things because even though we want the same thing for our kids the how it happens is so different that it can cause a lot of problems. Here is we’re are communication and prayer comes in to save the day.
8. What is a guaranteed way to cheer the other up?
J: Food is always a winner. If he’s had a rough day, I scrap my original dinner plans and plan to have (vegan) burger night instead with all the fixins. He’s working on his sweet tooth, but a fresh batch of cookies tends to get the job done too. He always needs time set apart in prayer when he’s in a funk and a good video game will do the trick as a last dash effort.
O: Bring home something pretty: flowers, food, Magnolia Magazine
9. How do you keep from prioritizing the kids over your marriage?
J: I spoke to this a little bit before but if I’m not intentionally setting aside time devoted to our marriage, it will just not happen. Meeting weekly on Monday nights to check in and get on the same page and pray together is really important to us. Regular date nights or date days, boundaries when it comes to work on the laptop or in my sketchbook and getting in bed at the same time is crucial for us, too. We realize it’s not the same as our newlywed days when our free time could all be spent one-on-one together, but still seeking to have fun with each other, talk about whatever is on our heart and listen intently makes a big difference.
O: Make a concerted and constant effort to put her needs before my own as well as the kids’ needs. I try to start with the scenario that makes her comfortable and then insert the kids into that scenario and then find the scenario within that scenario that makes it best for them. Doesn’t always work out out how I want it to, but that’s ok. I’m better at being selfless than Jill (he put a wink emoji…but that’s not gonna happen.)
10. What is the best piece of advice you’ve received about marriage?
J: Marriage isn’t about your own happiness. Loving others as yourself feels even more important in the husband, wife relationship. That and stay friends that pursue liking each other as much as your pursue loving each other.
O: Do the work. Marriage is about oneness. If you’re not working to be one you’re headed towards being 2, which for the husband means sacrifice, sacrifice, and sacrifice. Did I say sacrifice?
11. What intentional change did you make in the past year that had the biggest impact?
J: Implementing a routine of Monday night Meetings no matter what. Also, hiring a sitter to come one day a week so I could get work done rather than spending every evening working (that was a terrible habit that lasted too long. Sorry, love.)
O: Working to be more compassion and sensitive in order to be more understanding. I’m not a feeler, so showing empathy is a challenge for me. Really being conscious and intentional to lead with compassion has made all the difference in understanding Jill, and others in general
12. How is he/she most opposite from you?
J: He is the most cool, even-keel person alive. I am not. Not even a little bit. His answer for everything is to trust in the Lord. One time before we met, he was on a plane that he was certain was going to crash. What did he do? Lay back and fell asleep. He said “what could I do at that point? I had no control! Might as well just sleep.”
If you’re wondering what I would have done in that situation, the answer would be 1. hyperventilate 2. pass out from chest palpitations 3. call everyone i know 4. pray out loud until I lost my voice.
O: I am a thinker: rational / logic
She is a feeler / emoter.
13. What is your favorite memory from your wedding day?
J: O requested that we didn’t see each other for the ENTIRE week before our wedding. Not even a peek. He had been growing his beard out for months and at that point he looked exactly like how I envision Moses in my head. It was intense. We took turns at our rehearsal dinner- I did the first shift, he did the second- and his brother stood in for him during the rehearsal and told him what he needed to know. By the end of that emotional week, seeing him standing by the alter clean shaven and beaming and crying (which hadn’t ever happened since he was a kid!) was overwhelming. It was so moving and powerful and I’ll never forget it.
O: How beautiful Jill looked. Perfection perfected.
In that order. For me the wedding day was the manifestation of the decision I made 2 years prior. More important to me than the wedding day was the moment I heard it in my heart that Jill was the girl I wanted to marry.
14. Whet is your funniest travel memory?
J: I think it has to be when O rented a stick-shift car in St. Tropez on accident. He had only driven a stick one time in college and came downstairs from the car rental place to tell me “Sorry it’s taking so long, I was finished but I got to the car and realized it’s a stick. I’m gonna head back in there and ask for a different one. That would have been awful!!!” He came back about 10 minutes later looking horrified and said “they’re closed. The lights are off and everyone’s gone. Its 2:15!!!” I was doubled over laughing. It was the most hilarious thing I’d ever heard. What kind of place closes at 2:15 in the afternoon? And how did they possibly shut that place down so fast? It took us a full half hour to put the car in reverse since all the instructions and the screen in the car were in French. We stalled no less than 40 times driving to our hotel on the coast. When we finally handed the car off to the valet, we actually kissed the ground.
And O wrote his favorite travel memory because I typed it wrong:
O: Bora Bora has to be my favorite place on this planet. Though I’ve only been there once, it’s one of those places you keep sacred in order to keep it sacred. So thankful that we got to spend a week there. Full of fun, adventure, great food and rest. Jill was a G in that she watched my favorite show of all time (the Wire) during the trip. All the cool points.
15. What is your biggest pet peeve about Jill/O?
J: He’s really worked on his chewing/slurping since we first met, but sometimes it still creeps in and drives me crazy.
O: She starts things with an intense emotional passion that she may not always finish. Oh and she’s got some slobbish ways. Sorry, Love but it’s true- love you!
We had so much fun with this. Eight years tomorrow and while many things continue to change, the most important things stay the same: there’s no one else on the planet I’d rather go through this life with. It is the joy of my life joy to serve and love and parent with him. I’m looking forward to year 9 in which I’ll work on that “slobbish ways” thing. Sorry, love.