7 Years a Wife

Some husbands are showy romantics, showering their wives with flowers, gifts and public expressions of their love.

My husband isn’t one of them, but after seven years of marriage, I’ve come to recognise his expressions of love in the little things.

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Like checking it’s okay before saying “yes” to any kind of sporting.

Like offering a shoulder rub when he sees I’m sore.

Like asking me every morning how I slept.

Like taking the boys outside to play so I can have five minutes of peace to serve up dinner, or wipe down the table.

Like not being offended when I re-load the dishwasher.

Like saying “yes” to us getting a kitten, even though he doesn’t like cats.

And like the simple touch on my hips when he gets home from work every day, which always distracts me from whatever the boys were arguing about before he walked in the door.

Seven marvellous, adventure-filled years
x x x x x x x

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FIVE

Today is our fifth wedding anniversary.

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So much has happened in those five years. We’ve travelled to 15 different countries, moved back to New Zealand from England, bought two houses, and welcomed two awesome little boys into our family. We’ve eaten at a Michelin-Star restaurant, learned how to hang wallpaper, and spent the past 1826 days loving each other as best we can.

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And every one of those 1826 days, I’ve pinched myself because I still can’t quite believe how lucky I am xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

(Photos by Sinead Jenkins Photography)

This Time Last Year…

…I was 37 weeks pregnant, enjoying a farewell lunch for a lovely friend, finding myself full after two slices of pizza.

…baby had gone from 4/5 engaged (the way he’d been for weeeeeeks), to 0/5 engaged and had turned posterior.

…the sciatic nerve pain I’d been plagued with for weeks had abated, and I felt comfortable for the first time in months.

…I believed this baby was still weeks away from being born.

Bahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Babies are tricky like that.

37 weeks pregnant

Also? My hair was looking awesome, I must say.

This is the photo I posted on Facebook mere hours before the first contraction. A very dear friend had posted a photo of herself at 40 weeks two days prior, and her baby boy was born just hours later. That’s the key, people! Facebook has the power to bring on labour.

Not really. Don’t come back and yell at me coz you tried it and it didn’t work, Melissa, Sophie or Talia ;o)

Dressing for Date Night

Last week, Tall and I celebrated four years of marriage with a lovely home-cooked meal, followed the next evening with dinner out.

It was our first proper date since before Pickle was born…when we went out for our third wedding anniversary. It’s a sad state of affairs, especially when we’re lucky enough to have babysitters (ie: my parents) living five minutes away, but when you’re breastfeeding an unpredictable little person, date nights become something of a distant memory.

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BEFORE

I spoke to my sister the afternoon of our date, and she asked if I was going to wear a skirt. I hadn’t decided, but told her I’d definitely wear heels.

I ended up wearing both.

I even managed to straighten my hair (and realise how desperately I need a trim), put on a bit of make up, and pull together a pretty acceptable outfit in a short period of time (because of course, that was the night Pickle decided not to be asleep by 7pm, and I was still shushing him in his room twenty minutes before our 8pm reservation).

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AFTER

Tall complimented me and told me I looked “very nice”, which I gladly accepted…but he was outdone by Tiny, whose eyes widened when I entered the lounge, where he gasped, “Look at YOU, mummy!”

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Heels…little ones, but still heels

I almost cried…but that would have made my mascara run, and we really had to leave. Not even three, and he already knows how to make the ladies swoon!

Outfit Details:
Dress: Doll House
Shoes: Platino
Bracelet: Esteem Jeweellery
Earrings: Etsy
Rings: wedding band and engagment ring from England

(I wore the same jewellery the day we were married…and for two out of our four anniversaries, I’ve also worn my bridal underwear. The two I haven’t…I was pregnant!)

Linking up at Kelly’s, the new home of

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A Love Story: today

(Start with A Love Story: in the beginning, A Love Story: the dating game and A Love Story: tomorrow)

As I slowly opened one eye and peered around me, my stomach started to tingle. I fumbled for my mobile phone. 6.23am. I sat up with a jolt, a grin spreading across my face. I’m getting married today!

I said a silent good morning to my husband-to-be, and briefly wondered how he’d slept, knowing that the answer was likely to be similar to my own: brokenly.

When I heard my niece and nephew in the kitchen above, I stretched langourously, rolled out of bed and tried to wipe the smile from my face as I went up the stairs.

In the kitchen I was greeted by a chorus of “Good mornings!” and as we all sat down for breakfast, those little butterflies started flexing and fluttering their wings in my stomach, energised by the sunny glow radiating from my heart.

Wedding1Two hours before the ceremony was to start, my mother, still in her dressing gown, was sitting at the sewing machine, finishing my dress. Armed with a needle and thread, my sister, my best friend and I took turns hand-sewing little tucks in the outer layer of the skirt. The photographer commented that she’d never seen a bride looking so calm and serene with an unfinished dress just two hours before getting married.

I laughed and said, with extreme confidence, “It’ll get finished. I’m getting married today.” I felt calm. I would have walked down that aisle in a paper bag if I’d had to; nothing was stopping me from getting married.

Finally in my dress, veil securely fastened, I grinned at my dad, and clambered into the waiting car. My stomach was in knots, but I chatted away with our driver about his car, about the weather, our travels, everything but the wedding.

Wedding2As I heard the opening bars of The Lark Ascending, I suddenly felt nervous for the first time. But I was impatient, too: impatient to walk across that grass to where he was waiting for me, impatient to say “I do”, impatient to be married.

I watched as my girls crossed the grass, and instead of waiting for my favourite part of the music to begin, I suddenly urged my dad on. “I want to go now!” I whispered to him urgently. He patted my hand and held me back a moment longer, and then we were walking past the trees, across the grass, past friends and family, to where Tall stood, smiling nervously as I approached.

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It drizzled at some point, but I didn’t really notice. My heels got stuck in the grass, but I knew my dress would hide it. I didn’t wait for Tall to repeat the vows before jumping in with my response.

There were probably a thousand other things that weren’t quite right, but I didn’t care. We were married.

And it was a perfect, perfect day.

Angela&Guy462~~~~~~~~~
Happy fourth anniversary to my wonderful husband.
Thank you for that perfect day, for all the days since, and all the days to come

xxxx

(Photos by Sinead Jenkins Photography, 2009)

A Love Story: tomorrow

(Read A Love Story: in the beginning and A Love Story: the dating game first!)

Tall’s mum came towards me holding a long velvet box. She asked if we could have little chat, and I nervously agreed, wondering if she was about to tell me that I couldn’t marry her son. Then she handed me the box, watched while I opened it, and told me the story behind the gold watch chain inside. Tall had been left a gold pocket watch by his great-great-grandfather, as they shared the same birth date, and the chain was to pass from his mum to his wife. I’d heard the story before, but to have my future mother-in-law passing the chain on to me that night was very special indeed. To know that Tall knew in those early days of us dating that I would be the recipient of that chain…well…that always gave me the chills.

When Tall and I said goodbye, I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer. I clung to him, wishing time would stop for just a moment, just for us, right here, right now.

He gently pulled himself away and stared down at me with a bemused look on his face. “Why are you crying?” He asked. “We’re getting married tomorrow!”

“I know!” I sobbed. “It’s just…I don’t want you to go…and I’m tired and I’m sure there’s something I’ve forgotten to do…”

Tall pulled me back towards him, smoothed my hair with his hand and firmly whispered, “Everything is done. I’ve got to go, but I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?”

I sniffed in response, and escaped down the stairs to dry my tears while my fiancé – nearly husband – left for dinner with his family.

In the spare room of my parents’ house, my brother’s old room, the room we’d been staying in since arriving back in Dunedin two weeks ago, I sat in silence, hiccuping away the tears and sniffing into a tissue. I thought of everything we’d managed to get done in the short time we’d been home, and the sudden realisation hit that it had all come down to this one day – no longer months or weeks away, but tomorrow.

I looked at the pile of socks, boxer shorts and tees strewn on the floor on his side of the bed. I smiled.

Tomorrow.

(Read part four here)

Tomorrow, that mess of laundry would be my future, my forever.

A Love Story: the dating game

(If you missed the first installment, here’s A Love Story: in the beginning)

He nonchalantly invited me to his work “art exhibition”. “As friends,” he insisted. “Because that’s what we are right now.” He was treading carefully, slowly; I’d been single only a matter of days.

He picked me up, ushered me into the exhibition, nervously introduced me to his flatmates and friends, some of whom I’d met before. His best mate grinned cheekily at me, and gave me a “I’ve heard all about you” kind of look.

Wandering around the art, I asked if he’d submitted anything. He pointed out a great photo of the sun setting on Stewart Island, and said there was another piece around somewhere, but I’d have to find it. When I did, I couldn’t stop laughing, and he was relieved.

“I was waiting to see if you’d find it funny or not before admitting it was mine,” he confessed. It seemed I’d passed the first test.

After the exhibition, we went for a coffee at a local cafe. We talked, almost non-stop, about ourselves, our families, our lives. When he told me that his parents were “pretty awesome” and that he was “lucky”, my heart danced just a little.

We ordered second coffees, at 10.30pm. We were both stalling, not wanting the evening to end. He protested when I paid for them but I insisted. “This is what friends do.” And when he dropped me home, we hugged, like friends do, but there was a pause, as though we were both wondering where we were headed next.

At 3am, I was lying in bed, wide awake, buzzing from too much caffeine, and thoughts of the night. My mobile phone beeped. “I had a really great time tonight,” he’d messaged. I grinned. “Me too!” I replied.

And so we were dating.

We went to movies and out for dinner. He paid for everything, insisted on it. Having spent the past three-and-a-half years with someone who refused to spend their own money but didn’t hesitate to spend mine, this was a refreshing change. We would talk for hours, about what we wanted our futures to hold. We promised to travel together, and we discussed children.

One night he suddenly told me that his mother wouldn’t like me. I was shocked. “Um…why?” I asked, not sure I wanted to hear the answer. “Because she’ll have to give you the watch chain,” he replied. “Huh?” I was confused. “Nevermind,” he said dismissively. “More wine?”

One night, as he dropped me home, he asked if something was wrong. I’d been quiet all evening. “I’m just sad about how angry and upset she is about us seeing each other,” I said sadly. “I never meant to hurt her, and now she won’t even speak to me.”

“Do you want us to stop seeing each other then?” he asked in an incredibly neutral voice. I couldn’t look at him while I tried to form my thoughts into words. “It isn’t fair that she’s not happy,” I began carefully. “But it wouldn’t be fair to me to stop doing something that makes me happy…so I’m going to be selfish for once, and maybe I’ll be sorry forever, but that’s okay, because right now, I’m choosing to be happy.”

He took my hand and smiled, relieved. “But promise me that if you’re ever not happy, you’ll tell me.”

I promised, even though I knew there was no need. I knew that a moment like that would never come.

(Read part three here)