Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Decade as Mrs. Stillwell

On Friday, Nathan and I celebrated 10 years of marriage! It really feels like we have been married longer than that, but I guess that is because we have been together almost 18 years. A while back I wanted to plan a trip to celebrate our anniversary. Well, Nathan didn't seem too excited or interested in any of my ideas - so after a while I just gave up on going anywhere and told him to plan something if he wanted and I was fine with doing anything but I wanted to do something since it was our 10 year anniversary this time. So, he planned a day date for us. We went to Conway and started with lunch at one of my favorites T.G.I. Fridays. Then we went shopping at some of my favorite places - Target and TJ Maxx :) After that we went to the movies and watched Neighbors 2 - which was pretty funny :) We then wanted to go to an outdoor store and found a place called Wilkinsons - we fell in love with that store! It had some of the best stuff and the prices were not too bad either. Then it was off to play some glow in the dark putt-putt golf where I beat Nathan by 17 - his putt-putt game is not that strong and I got 2 hole-in-ones! Then we wanted to check out a restaurant called Eat My Catfish. We had heard it was good. It wasn't bad - I wouldn't mind going back to try it again. Then we decided it was time to head home to the kids. It was nice to get home to them already fed and bathed so I just got to read them stories and put them in bed. It was a great way to spend my 10 year anniversary - just getting to spend the entire day having fun with Nathan.

We have changed a lot in the last 10 years, but also stayed the same. We still like doing the same things we used to do, we just enjoy them more when we get to do them because now we need to get a babysitter to do them. I told Nathan that  our first 10 years was so full of change - with a new (to us) house and becoming parents. I figure the next 10 years will be more growth with what we now have than change - but God may be laughing at me on that one :)

On our anniversary I shared 10 things I have learned about our marriage. I will share them again here since they pretty much sum it all up:

1. You can show love with food. Nathan will cook me food to show me he loves me. I don't cook to show Nathan I love him.
2. Being able to hold hands and pray with your spouse is one of the best feelings in the world.
3. Some things you have to chose to give up in order to stay married. For example: canoeing together. We can either canoe together, or stay married, but not both.
4. If I get a voicemail from Nathan, I know that 90% of the time the message is him singing or rapping to me.
5. I am constantly paranoid my butt is about to be slapped when I am standing at the counter. And usually it is.
6. When you are with someone for 18 years they know EXACTLY how to push your buttons. And will. (See #5 for an example)
7. Things like infertility, sick kids, and finances can destroy a marriage, if you let it. We have seasoned a few storms.
8. Things are not always going to be great in a marriage - even if they seem fine on the internet. Beware of those that want to hear about the bad parts.
9. You can share the best memories together but each remember it going down differently. For the record, I have never pooped in the bathtub or brought my own salad dressing to a restaurant - no matter what Nathan says.
10. There is so much more forgiveness and grace in marriage than anyone ever tells you.

These 10 years have been full of so much laughter, smiles, excitement, tears, and most importantly love. Here is to the next 10!

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