A Weekend on Samsø

Another Big Event of the summer has passed–Andreas’s and my fifth anniversary!  To think that it was five years ago we held our gummi bear wedding is almost ludicrous, but there it is!

I had originally thought I would plan our anniversary weekend (it fell on a Saturday this year–what luck!) but one day, Andreas told me that he rather had an idea, and not to plan anything.  So we arranged for Theo to spend the whole weekend (two nights!) with his aunt, uncle, and cousins, and we took off on Friday morning to an unknown-to-me destination!

I knew that we had to be wherever it was at a certain time, so I had an inkling that it might be a ferry–and it was!  My First Ferry Ride!  It was so exciting, driving through the countryside, only guessing at where we were headed, with three entire toddler-free days ahead of us.  Enough to make anyone giddy and newly in love!

The ferry ride was windy but really lots of fun–and heading up on deck with some coffee was just the thing to stave off the nigglings of seasickness.

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The ferry was headed to Samsø, a cute little island between Zealand and Jutland, north of Fyn, and apparently quite the tourist destination–and no wonder!  The landscape was amazing, thatched roofed cottages everywhere, and no shortage of Danish charm.

I didn’t get nearly as many pictures of the beautiful flowers (and lots of roses!) that were everywhere, but how cute is that flower tree in front of that house?!

It was so fun to be lovebirds again, and we took lots more selfies together, which I’ll spare you 😉  There was a lot of rambling on the hills, trying to skip stones, and driving from darling town to darling town, stopping in shops, flea markets, and little farmer stands along the way.  Idyllic x20.

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The best part of it all was being able to do exactly as we pleased without planning outings around a naptime, or anxiously pulling small hands away from the many, many breakable objects in the cute, tiny shops.  We went out for a (I was going to say “late” dinner, but it was at seven pm :P) dinner for our anniversary at a place called “The Pearl” which was really lovely.  Especially for me, as I ordered butter-fried fish which came with a bowl of browned butter on the side! We even got fancy dessert, and really delicious sparkling cider!

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Andreas served as primary photographer (and I get the job as multiple-photo-deleter).

All in all, it was a superb trip, only made better by the fact that it was a surprise.  Even the ferry ride home wasn’t all sad, as by that time I missed Theodore something fierce, and was so excited to bring him home again.

I don’t know if we’ll ever top this, but really, we don’t need to–as long as we get to do it all over again!

Three

Three years ago right now, Andreas and I were out doing this:blog3 (3)

 

We were giddy and nervous, but mostly not nervous at all.  Getting married, to us, was like brushing your teeth before you go to bed–it was the only sensible thing to do.  But if you had to stand up and brush your teeth in front of friends and family, I’m sure you’d have a bit of awkward nerves, too.  And it showed.  We forgot which song we were supposed to walk out into the ceremony to, so we waited–huddled together around the corner through the whole song, wondering, second-guessing, almost-walking-out-but-then-at-the-last-minute-staying-put.  And then the song started again and we realized “yup, that was supposed to be it.” and we came out.

But that’s not all.  The evening before the wedding, we held a quick dress rehearsal.  We chose who would read what, when, and we called it a day–only Andreas’s sister hadn’t been there, and we’d chosen her and her husband to read something, and then quite completely forgotten to tell them.  So, in the middle of the ceremony, suddenly nothing was happening.  Andreas, looking embarrassed, got up from his groom’s chair, walked over to his sister in the middle of the audience, and handed her a reading which she, very sportlingly, read on the spot.  We signed our names, were pronounced, and very nearly forgot to exchange rings.  Then off we trotted, under an (indoor) rain of rice.

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And now we’re here.

It’s been three years, and they haven’t been without challenges.  I thought living in Waukegan was a challenge.  And then I thought having to live apart after only having been married a few months was a challenge.  And then I moved halfway around the world, and I thought that was a challenge.  Then came the empty months waiting, the visa things, and trying to get used to expat life, and that was a challenge.  And then came moving to Denmark, learning Danish, and building our “real” life together, and that was a challenge.  And then came Theo and blew everything else out of the water.

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It’s been three years, but especially during this last one, we’ve gotten to really see what our marriage is made out of, and guys, it’s good stuff.  It’s patience and trust, and never giving up.  It’s loyalty and silliness, and two player games.  It’s compromise, attention, and saying a million thank yous.

I’m about to get real gushy, so I’ll rein myself in a little bit here, but you know what I’m talking about.  Sleep deprivation and stress doesn’t bring out the best in anyone (although if I’m wrong, and it does, that person would be the most awesome parent in the world), and we’ve had a lot of that in the past year.  But quite honestly, working together through what it has brought out, has pulled more strongly together than anything ever has before.

Three years ago, I was the same in love as I am today.  I’m not going to say that I’m more in love because I remember that day, and that 22-year-old girl that I was, and that love I had, and it was every bit as big as the love I have today.  But, the more time goes by, the better life gets, because my life can only be improved by spending more and more of it Andreas.  At every anniversary, a small part of me feels triumph–another month/year under my belt, another happy gem to add to my collection.

After this last year, we’ve seen more and uglier facets of each other than we have before, and we’ve accepted each one helping each other polish the parts that we knew needed polishing.  And in some way, I’m happier now, knowing that Andreas has seen all those parts of me that aren’t the best, and knowing that Andreas loves me anyway.

So, we’re ready for year four.

 

Just before we settle down for our cozy anniversary movie night

Just before we settle down for our cozy anniversary movie night

 

Anniversary Post Part 2

Yesterday I did a sort of look-back-over-the-year anniversary post, and while those were things I definitely wanted to say, I also wanted to do something a little more light-hearted!  I also wanted to share some pictures from the wedding last year, and a bit about what we did to celebrate.

As per usual, I made Andreas a little gift:

The short one’s me.

Even though our anniversary wasn’t until Monday, we decided to celebrate early and have a picnic in the park on Saturday.  We found a perfect little secluded corner, the weather was perfect, and we bathed in the sun (and sunscreen) for the first time this summer.  We also got to watch some fearless goose-families who surrounded us while grazing.

Our first wedding anniversary was celebrated in the same spirit as our wedding was a year ago–calm, laid-back, and not a huge deal (at least that’s how I remember it…)  I love going back and looking at all the pictures from that day, and I thought I’d share some (maybe a lot) here.  You might notice that my family isn’t in any of the pictures. Don’t worry, they haven’t shunned me for marrying a Dane!  My family is very spread out, and I knew from the beginning that no matter where we got married, most if not all of my family wouldn’t be able to come.  I wasn’t sad that nobody could make it, but I do remember feeling a bit sad that nobody there was there for only me.  Still, knowing I had my family’s support and love from far away meant a lot, and our wedding day was really perfect.

I didn’t pick necessarily the *best* photos to post here, but some of the ones that capture what I remember most about the day, or that mean the most to me.

Me playing Fruit Slice while the girls did my hair

Just after being pronounced husband and wife

My mother-in-law made the wedding cake, a friend of hers, a retired chef, made the dinner, I crocheted little flowers for the favors, my friends who came early helped pick out the flowers, candles, and tablecloths.  We spent time together folding the napkins, sorting bags of gummi bears into individual colors, and making cupcakes.  It felt intimate and cozy, and was practically stress-free.  In fact, I think that the moment that I felt the most anxiety that day was when Andreas and I were waiting together to come out for the ceremony, and we couldn’t tell if our entrance song or the “sitting-down-time” song was playing.  For the record, it was our entrance song, and we were a good 3 minutes late to our own ceremony.

It’s nice to remember how excited I was to have the words “my husband” roll off my tongue, and how giddy and happy I was to start our life together.  In the midst of the worry and stress of everyday (and not so everyday) life, it’s a good reminder of how very worth it this will be.

Anniversary Post Part 1

So, apparently it’s been 366 days since Andreas and I got married.  Like with everything else, it seems like it was a much shorter time ago…and much longer.  The past year has seen a series of highs and lows, and by the looks of things, the next year will be more difficult, if anything.

But despite all of the visa issues, the six big moves, two months spent apart, and more mood swings than I care to admit, we are more in love than we were a year ago.  I always thought that was just…something that people say, a cliché that you feel obliged to announce every few years, but suddenly, I get it.  I loved Andreas on our wedding day, as much as I could love him.  But now, after a year of tests, trials, and getting through them all together, I know that I can trust him to stand by me through times when almost nothing is easy.  I know we can find ways to comfort each other when things start to fall apart, and that while we wait for a home to call our own, wherever we are together is home for now.

Andreas and I had a long-distance relationship for almost three years, and people used to comment on how difficult that must be.  To tell the truth, it was difficult, but I wouldn’t say it was very difficult.  We both knew what we were holding out for, and since I was in school, I was so busy I hardly had time to miss Andreas.

The truth is that even though school was stressful, balancing classes, work, and a social life (yup, it’s true, I once had one of those!), the year after I graduated was far more stressful.   I am just so grateful that we could be together through everything, and so happy that we’ve learned even more about each other in the past year.  Andreas has witnessed me at my worst and still managed encouraging words.  I’ve learned how happy just doing small favors for someone else can make me.  We’ve learned together how important compromise is, and how to get through a thousand “we’ll see”s without losing all of our patience.

I wouldn’t wish an international relationship on anyone, really.  It’s been really difficult, scary at times, and the most frustrating thing I’ve dealt with.  However, I also know that the difficulties have made us more determined as a couple, and when we’ve gotten through them and finally get to be settled, we will appreciate it more and have a stronger relationship as a couple after everything we’ve been through together.

Even though we’re still in the middle of the up-hill road towards being a comfortably settled family, I try to remember that I have what I had wanted every day that we were apart.  I get to see Andreas at the end of every day, even if it is only a few hours after work before he has to go to bed.  I never sleep alone. As taxing as the waiting and guessing can be, I can always be sure that love is the one thing I’ll never be left waiting for.

This post is one of the most difficult things I’ve written, and is definitely not one of the best.  I’m finding it harder than I imagined to seek out the right words, the right phrases, to say everything I want to say without sounding too treacly.  I’ve learned so much in the past year, and despite many things being difficult, I’m glad I got to experience it, and wouldn’t want to do it with or for anyone but Andreas.  I know our challenging days are far from over, and I am just constantly grateful that I have Andreas to help me face them.