Friday night, Jeremy and I celebrated our date night at Brasserie in the Central West End. It was so much fun! His boss surprised us with a fancy bottle of champagne too. (It was delish!) This whole endeavor made Jeremy and I realize that we are horrid students of our city! There is a very long list of restaurants we have never been to; a problem we intend to rectify as soon as possible. When I asked for recommendations for excellent restaurants on Facebook, I had almost 20 sent to me! I think I had heard of 3. My friend Michelle sent me this link of the 40 Best Restaurants in St. Louis and it was immensely helpful.
We enjoyed our dinner immensely; boeuf bourguignon for Jeremy and baked chicken with wild mushrooms for me. His was better, but mine was pretty awesome! We had a delicious cheese plate (full of cheeses we could neither pronounce or ever heard of) to start with. It came with roasted grapes (um, yum!) and some raisin chutney. For dessert, creme brulee and chocolate mousse! And coffee of course. The creme brulee was just ok in my estimation. I’ve had MUCH better. It tasted overcooked to me. (What a snob I am!)
Afterwords, we were trying to decide what to do. We considered a movie but felt that was too cliche. So we opted for the Chinese Lantern Festival at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Win! It was quite funny actually, we realized as we were walking around that we had our wedding photos taken at the Gardens on our wedding day! HA! So there we were, in the same spot we had been 10 years prior. I took a picture of the spot we stood, but didn’t think to have someone else take a picture of us in that spot. (I did mention the champagne, right?) The Festival displays were beautiful and the evening was so nice weather-wise too. A refreshing break from the triple digit temps we have had lately.
This was also the first night I left Cecelia! AH! Thankfully, she is a compliant little angel and she was all too happy to take a bottle. We tried a bottle for the first time on July 14. I’m noting that mostly for myself. She’s the best baby!
This Friday, Jeremy and I will celebrate 10 years of marriage! I know a lot of my friends’ blogs have discussed love frequently of late, but hey, I can’t not mention 10 years! In fact, I’ll just mention my friend Nicole’s blog post about dating her husband this year and my friend Kelli’s blog post about her 12 year anniversary (and her celebration of subsequent anniversaries) and tell you that they make some excellent points about love and marriage.
I can’t help but think of the vacation we had planned to go on with our best friends, the Metcalfe’s to celebrate these 10 years. We wanted it to be BIG! I could have been cruising the Carribean this summer with my love…but we have Cecelia instead. Despite my sadness at just a date night instead of vacation, I am extremely grateful for our daughter. God knew we needed her even when we didn’t. She is such a blessing. She’s worth the loss of my cruise and much more. I know there will be time for cruising later.
On Sunday this past weekend, Jeremy and I were invited to a discussion panel of military families for the topic of Reintegration after deployment. We were the husband/wife, soldier/spouse with kiddos perspective on things. Many times people asked us a question about how we handled certain issues that popped up and our answer was based off an explanation of how we do things in our marriage. Explaining the way we work as a couple was actually really encouraging to us and reminded me so much how blessed we have been to receive such excellent counseling and examples in our lives of what a good marriage looks like and how it works. (I know it’s nerdy, but at the bottom of this post are some of my favorite books on marriage.)
After the meeting, a lady came up to me and asked me a weird question. She asked, “What percentage do each of you give in your marriage? How do you split things up?” I said to her, “100-100. Because it takes both of us giving 100% to be successful in our marriage. We both are all in.” She was taken aback by my comment. The look on her face told me she had never heard that perspective before. (That or she just thought that I suck at math…which, I do.) Another lady at the meeting told me that she and her husband just celebrated 41 years of marriage in June. I rejoiced with her. Because you know what? It IS something to celebrate. Especially today in this world where it seems like everyone is struggling so hard in their marriages.
I’m not saying that Jeremy and I are perfect or that we have it all together. But I am saying we are blessed to have the tools to struggle well together. Ultimately, that is a gigantic chunk of marriage. It will always be a struggle because we are both imperfect beings attempting to live in the same home and striving towards things in our life equipped with different strengths and weaknesses and bents. We aren’t always going to get it right, but if we can at least struggle well together and fight for our marriage and our relationship, then we win!
Our big anniversary has made me pensive. It has made me think about the legacy we are building in our home and the example we are setting to our boys (and eventually to Cecelia too). I have a joke that I tease Jeremy about often. I tell him that I do certain things and teach our boys those same things “for their wives someday”. I know it sounds funny, but I truly do think about those women and soon I’ll think about the man who will be in my daughter’s life. I want my kids to choose a spouse with wisdom, but even more so I want them to be a good spouse. I know that starts with Jeremy and I and what we show our boys and Cecelia right now.
I also know that when our little birdies do finally fly away, I want to be in a place to bless them and send them off with great joy. I want to be able to eagerly turn to Jeremy and relish our new relationship afresh. I want to rejoice in our marriage then as I do now.
So, we celebrate. This is a season of our life where the day-to-day is a crazy mixed up bag of tricks. We laugh so much and we move so fast. I’ve been advised to drink deeply of these moments and cherish them close to my heart. I love to watch my husband as a Dad, as a man working so hard for his family. We have a lot of fun around here and that’s important. Not just for us to have fun altogether, but for Jeremy and I to even have fun alone. We have newly been talking about going to six flags for a “day-time date” and getting a sitter or even just doing a St. Louis themed day date around town one Saturday without the kiddos. We want to make memories of just us together too. And we all need a new and fresh supply of inside jokes to have together.
Here’s to the next 10 years Jeremy Nevil! May Jesus continue to bind our hearts together more and more as we grow each day. I love you!
My Favorite Books on Marriage:
Love and War by Jon and Stasi Eldredge
Intimate Allies by Dan Allender
Love and Respect by Emerson Eggrichs