It’s funny how time goes by so fast as you get older. Today I had a morning photo shoot for a new fitness program I’m launching so I wasn’t looking at my phone. After I finished and sat my ass on the couch since my sciatica is BARKING lately, Brian asked if I had seen our friend Dale’s group text yet. I said no and went to grab my phone, and Brian said, “Wait wait wait!!” He asked me to stand up and I quickly refused because getting off the couch is now a tremendous feat, and I told him to sit next to me. He took me in his arms and said, “Happy anniversary, babe.” We both forgot our anniversary and Dale was the only one who remembered. Dale wasn’t even at our wedding, he’s just a good person who remembers things (or at least writes things down like a smart human). Most of our anniversaries are thought out in some way, whether we go to dinner or take a trip somewhere. But this year is different. Very different.

  1. Life sure changes. When Brian and I met, I told him I didn’t want to have children and he had to be ok with that if we wanted to move forward in our relationship. He agreed and I felt that same way for all our years together while dating and the first few years of marriage. But last year something changed. We tried getting pregnant on and off for a while then BOOM, life REALLY changed one morning. And since November it’s been changing every single day. Then come July, life will be forever different. Change is hard, but change is sure beautiful.
  2. But…marriage isn’t always beautiful. Even though Brian and I are in a really wonderful time in marriage, earlier this year was hard. And it was scary. It was the first time I really wasn’t sure if our marriage would work out. I struggled with the thought of losing our marriage, losing a best friend, losing a family…it was all so scary and so hard. But honesty and communication got us through, and kept us growing. And now that we are on the other side, I’m so grateful for going through that because our communication has improved so much from of it.
  3. Growth is amazing to watch. In the 10 years Brian and I have been together, I’ve never seen him grow so much as a person as he has in this past year. Something has shifted in him and he’s become more curious, more open, and more excited for life. After he went through a tough year and a half trying to figure out what he wanted to do for a career next, he took a chance, is growing a new business, all while working on himself. He wakes up early every morning to meditate, read, and often sit in our sauna. He’s hungry to learn, hungry to grow, and hungry to be a better person, husband, and someday father. I feel so lucky to have married a man that has grown into such a beautiful person, but more so, I feel lucky to be married to a man who wants to constantly evolve and get better in every way possible.
  4. We can get through extremely challenging things together. When Jackson became paralyzed in November, our world was flipped upside down. Not only was I in the roughest stage of early pregnancy (extreme insomnia paired with nausea), but Jackson needed physical therapy 3x/week, multiple vet appointments, his bladder expressed 5x/day, and physical therapy at home 3x/day. It was a really tough time for us as a family, but also for me and Brian as a married couple. He was beyond worried for me and I was beyond worried for Jackson. And getting through that together, along with losing Jackson, pulled us apart and pulled us together all at the same time. It was an eye opening experience that taught us so so much, and it really felt like it prepped us for parenthood, in a way.
  5. Like every year, therapy makes a huge difference. I started to go to therapy a couple years ago, but I ended up finding a new therapist this year and I’m so thankful for her. She’s helped me work through struggles with family, pain in times of stress, and she helped me dig deeper into what was happening when Brian and I were struggling. She helped me communicate more, question things, and grow. Therapy has been a key feature in my growth with Brian.
  6. Ask for what you need. During this pregnancy, I’ve needed more help. And I’ve needed more support. I went from a woman who did everything on her own to a woman who needed help getting off the couch. Instead of hoping he will do something, like cook dinner or do laundry or take something to the post office for me, I simply ask. And I ask him to be more gentle with me. Pregnancy is hard and a man will never know exactly what that feels like, but they can be supportive…they just don’t always know how and in what way. Me simply asking has made all the difference in our relationship and happiness.
  7. Support play time. I’ve talked about this in past posts, but I’m extremely supportive of Brian’s hobbies. Golf is really important to him so I support him when it comes to him meeting up with friends for a round, or going on a trip for golf, or working with him golf coach. Golf makes him happy and I want him to feel that happiness as often as possible. I know that will have to shift a bit when we have children, but since we have a great support network, I hope to continue to support him to golf as often as possible while he supports my own happiness and play time.
  8. Doing more things together. Since Brian quit his 9-5 job a couple years ago, we are finally able to do more things together. And a lot of that has been time on vacation together, getting away to places that make us feel alive. In the last year, we went to Hawaii, Tulum, Puerto Rico, Lake Austin, Utah, Costa Rica, and we will soon go to Cabo. But since trips won’t be as easy to take soon, I’m hoping to find new things to do together that we both love. This is a definite work-in-progress since we both have different interests while living in a place like Colorado (we are both are water people…who don’t live hear water). Since I’ve become a more flexible person (another work-in-progress), we are doing more things together, but I definitely hope to find even more.
  9. Home is great for certain seasons. We are people who don’t see a house as a forever-home. And because of this, we are ready for a new home. We’ve been in our current house for over 2 years and we are ready for another change…but our bank account isn’t. We are ready to be out of Denver and into nature, and a lot of this feel for change has come from our growth, but also for what we want for our daughter. And once we find (and can afford) our next home, I’m sure that will change a few years after that. The biggest thing is that we are on the same page with knowing that moving to different spots will most likely be part of our future, even if that means leaving Colorado someday.
  10. We love each other deeply. Six years of marriage is pretty incredible in my eyes, simply because of the amount of growth we have both had in that timeframe. I love Brian more than the day I met him, more than I even did last year. I respect him in so many ways that I didn’t feel before. And that’s simply because we both have grown together and not given up each other. We are COMPLETELY different people from when we met him 2012 and I’m so glad we’ve been able to evolve with each other and come from a place of respect and admiration with each other. Marriage is not easy and it can be pretty messy, but he has taught me that it’s worth it.

It’s been a wild ride with this guy, but I’m one year more in love with him and I absolutely cannot wait to fall even deeper in love with him when I see him fall for our little girl. Cheers to a year filled with our biggest changes yet!

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  1. Julie says:

    Juli, wonderful, reflective post! I’m a long-time reader and have enjoyed watching your journey. I’m really impressed by you and your growth (and Brian’s). Thank you for sharing it with us. And I LOVE seeing the pic of you with Brian-you are a beautiful couple! So sweet.
    Take good care of yourself, you’re doing great with the pregnancy 💕

    1. juli says:

      you are so incredibly sweet, thank you for the love Julie!

  2. Kari says:

    I love #9. We aren’t into the forever home concept either. In fact, 3 years ago we built a new home in Arkansas and in 2 weeks we’re moving to Boston and into an apartment. We’re up for a new adventure- even if that does mean that we don’t own a home for a period of time. Happy anniversary!!

  3. Stef says:

    Hi Juli! I look forward to reading this post each year. Thank you for always sharing your so gifts and reflections with us. I am curious if you’d be willing to, at some point, touch on the hardships you and your husband went through. Obviously I know this is personal so I don’t meant sharing the nitty gritty. I just mean sharing the topics- such as finances, etc and how you worked on your marriage together. I know you talked about communication which I know is huge and wondering if you could share some pointers. Thanks!!!

    1. Stef says:

      *i meant thanks for always sharing your insights and reflections with us! Gotta love typos!

  4. Victoria says:

    Always love reading these! My anniversary is today (also six years) we’ve followed similar stories – destination wedding, etc I always love your recaps and love you for always sharing your life with us. It helps so much to feel what I’m going through is similar to others! Happy Anniversary!

    1. juli says:

      thanks Victoria!! and happy anniversary to you guys!!