7 Things I’ve Learned in 7 Years of Marriage (updated)

Ten years ago today Michelle and I stood before family and friends and committed to being life partners. It’s hard to believe how much time has passed and yet, there’s always a newness in our relationship as we keep working on being better individuals, and working through challenges to grow closer and stronger as a couple.

3 years ago I wrote this post and upon revisiting it, a lot of the things I wrote still hold true. But to mark this anniversary I also wanted to add 3 new things I’ve learned from our 10 years of marriage. Here’s the original post with some new thoughts: Continue reading “7 Things I’ve Learned in 7 Years of Marriage (updated)”

The Ever Changing Value of Stuff…

In the last 9 years I have moved 10 times (twice with Michelle) and so you probably see why I think I am an expert on the subject. But moving has really only helped me downsize from the amount of stuff I use to have (which, If you can imagine was way more things before Michelle and I got married). The real credit has to go to Michelle who will ask me how much I value or care about certain things. She helps me to be more intentional about what I keep and it has brought up some pretty difficult situations and decisions.  Most of the time I’m not even aware of a lot of the “things” I do own until we uncover it through cleaning and preparing for our moves. Items that I’ve been holding onto for the potential time that I might actually need it. For example, I have a basketball. Do I play basketball? No. Do I wish I played more basketball? Sure. Do I really need a basketball? (I wait a couple of seconds, go back and forth with the thought) Maybe?

Life happens. As we change, our stuff in a way changes too, at least the way we value and think about our stuff. My mom and I were cleaning her house (on a recent visit back home) and I was trying to help her sort through our family’s “treasure” (a little bit of everything). It was interesting as we went back and forth between what was truly important and what was just another “thing”. My mom did make an interesting observation though and said that if the house were to flood and everything was ruined, she probably wouldn’t need to replace any of it. I was proud of her for that. It’s not that the stuff she owned wasn’t important, it’s just that it wasn’t so important that she couldn’t continue to live life and move on. All that stuff she figured wasn’t really worth it. This was great for me to understand because I really enjoyed my snowboard gear (although I don’t care to go up anymore) and my DVD collection (down from over 100 to 48). I still enjoy movies, but thanks to Netflix, I don’t have to physically own them. Most of the stuff I have isn’t that great unless there’s someone to share with anyways. I know it’s sappy but we were meant for relationship (no matter how introverted you are) and that’s the “stuff” that really matters…

BTW: This is also a shameless plug to tell you that Michelle and I are selling somethings so if you are interested, let us know (we make great deals for friends and friends of friends). We don’t really care about how much we make, but that we are getting rid of things we don’t need anymore. Maybe you might need 48 dvds??? 🙂

45 DVDs and 3 Blu-rays. See the following link for more details: http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/emd/1840081201.html

21″ Widescreen Samsung Computer Monitor (with DVD and Video game, Component cable Hookups): Actual pictures below.

Our ridiculously big Coffee Table (just ridiculously too big for our apartment)

My lightly used snowboard gear (1-2 seasons of use) – http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/spo/1840078477.html

Let us know if you want anything 🙂

A Toast…

I’m back. After taking a hiatus and feeling a bit silly for being self-conscious for what I assume is random babbling, I have decided that there are things I want to share and that people have a choice to like it, hate it, or not even read it, so why should I care that much. Thanks T for inspiring me to share…

Photo by the Avenna Studios

Michelle and I recently celebrated our two year anniversary(!!) and this summer, a lot of amazing friends are getting married so as you can imagine, I’ve been thinking and reflecting a lot about love and relationships. This is my toast to them…

First of all, I want to tell you both how much Michelle and I love you and will be there when you call, email, tweet, or facebook. Some days, it might take a bit to respond, but we will be there to support you, not just today, but for all the days of your lives together in thought and in prayer.

I wanted to share with you two thoughts- well, really hopes- from my extensive two years of marital experience, wisdom that I hope will be a blessing to you in your marriage. (And please know that I really believe that in all things in life, you discover so much on your own).

The first thing I hope for you is that you live your lives with intentionality. Be intentional. Do what is right, not always what is easy. Lower the toilet seat down for her. Talk about issues that are difficult to talk about instead of easily walking away. Protect your time as a couple and figure out for yourselves what it means to be a couple. Forgive each other for inevitable hurt and sadness you will cause each other. Take time to enjoy each other.

We can easily fall into patterns, belief systems where we feel trapped in a relationship, trapped in regimen and routine, not taking full advantage of the gift of what love really is: freedom. The wedding day is a celebration of your intentional choice to live together, to love each other.

Love is choice. Choose to love. You cannot force anyone to love you and you cannot force yourself to love them. You can choose to love each other. From personal experience, we must also respect each other’s freedom and ability to choose, especially your spouse’s. You must intentionally protect their right to make their own choice for their life and trust that they are considering how their choices impact you, and I hope they will trust you in the same way. Choose to be there for each other. Choose to bring the truth of what you really feel and think to conversations (this one is very important in Michelle and I’s relationship) and choose to learn more about each other and what is important to each other. Remember, no one is forcing you to get married, you are choosing to get married.

Michelle and I hope you have laughter and grace (and plenty of babies or puppies). We hope you know that your family and friends love you both and are cheering for you, thinking and praying for you no matter where life may take you and whatever you may do.

May you live life intentionally and may you choose to love each other every day….

Here’s to the beautiful newly wed couple. Cheers! Banzai! And as Grandpa Shigeme would say, “Now suck’em up” 🙂

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