Tag Archives: anniversary

Hitting Refresh on Your Marriage

Four Year AnniversaryThis year for our four year anniversary, we went to the ever-so popular Dubach, La. If you’re not from around here, you won’t understand that and if you are, you’ll say whyyyy just like everyone else. Dubach is a pretty small town just 50+ miles from Monroe and is unlikely be a place where someone would choose to celebrate their anniversary. However, there’s a good reason we did and we’re happy about it.

When planning for our anniversary, we considered going several fun places near and far. We talked about returning to some of our favorites like Nashville or Kansas City. If you remember, we were in the throes of trying to get back into our home in July, so an “adventure” was really the last thing we needed. The last several months had been some of the most stressful times we’d experienced together and we were both mentally and physically exhausted. As a matter of fact, we’d had zero quality time together in months because all of our spare time had been spent talking about insurance or paint colors. Remember, this wasn’t us building our dream home that we’d planned for years for. This was us trying to get our home back after unexpected tragedy. We’d experienced loss, anger, frustration, confusion, helplessness, and a host of other emotions that one doesn’t welcome into their life willingly. It goes without saying that our marriage and relationship had been pushed to new limits and tested in new ways.

As our anniversary approached, we discussed what we needed most. First, we needed to celebrate that we’d made it this far…mainly through the last four months. Secondly, and most importantly, we needed to take a time out, reconnect, spend some quality time together, and remember WHY we chose to take this journey together. Without a doubt, we needed a break from our current reality and to spend some time nurturing our marriage.Cabin in the WoodsHitting Refresh on Your MarriageLuckily, I remembered stumbling across this wonderful little cabin in the woods of Dubach and knew it was where we needed to go. We didn’t need to travel for miles and miles and add new experiences to our passport. We needed to go somewhere simple where we basically did nothing. And to make this cabin even more of a done-deal, it had NO cell service and NO internet service. Sign. me. up.

We arrived at our little cabin on Thursday and took a look around. It was raining and the owner called to let us know that the creek running in front of the cabin sometimes rises into the yard. We’d also seen a “high water” sign on the drive in, less than a mile from cabin. I almost aborted the mission! High water was what we were trying to escape!! We stuck it out and I trusted that we would be just fine tucked away in our little cabin. Talk about irony though…Hitting Refresh on Your MarriageHitting Refresh on Your MarriageHitting Refresh on Your MarriageWhen we first walked in, I fell in love immediately. The living and kitchen areas were decorated with an eclectic charm that made my heart sing. You knew that every piece in this cabin had some message accompanying it or some story to tell. It was quaint and cozy and just the place you’d want to be curled up at on a rainy day. Did I mention that I found my favorite dishes ever there?? So beautiful.Hitting Refresh on Your MarriageHitting Refresh on Your MarriageHitting Refresh on Your MarriageRight off the kitchen was the owner’s art studio. It was basically the room of my dreams and solidified the fact that I wanted to create a creative space of my own at home. The host invites you to bring your own supplies and use the room, though I could have just sat in there for hours dreaming of the beautiful things that had come and left that room.Hitting Refresh on Your MarriageThe front portion of the cabin was definitely my favorite, though those flowing white curtains, overlooking the woods (rainy woods in our case) in the bedroom were incredibly relaxing. I’ll admit it, naps were taken. In addition to the design and collection of fascinating things, the cabin offered a serene environment that was both inspiring and relaxing, a feat that can sometimes be difficult to accomplish.Hitting Refresh on Your MarriageThe night of our anniversary, we drive into Ruston for dinner at Beau Vines, one of our favorite restaurants. The hostess so kindly took our picture because I have a photo from the night of every anniversary so far and I intend to keep that up. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend the steak medallions and the TKO if your a spirits drinkers. Although, everything there is delicious.

For the remainder of the trip, we stayed in our pajamas and I wore lots of flannel. We cozied up, read books, played board games, listened to CDs on the old CD player, ate junk food, and talked. We had conversation after conversation, like we hadn’t done in months or maybe even years. The day we left, I felt like this trip might have truly been a turning point in our marriage. We reconnected. We identified some bad habits we’d established (cell phones) and made some plans for doing better. We discussed what we wanted our lives and relationship to look like and made plans for realizing those goals. I personally felt so much more at peace and happy after unplugging and getting back to the basics for just a few days.

If you’re struggling with your marriage or relationship in some way, I highly recommend a trip of the sort. Unplug from technology altogether and actually talk for days on end. Talk about what you enjoy doing together and make plans to do more of it. Talk about your goals and dreams. And if need be, hash out some of those lingering struggles that seem to constantly resurface. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day and not nurture your relationships. People always say “marriage takes work” and a retreat of this sort can be part of that work. When you strip away the daily routines, and more importantly technology, you are forced to put some effort and energy into your relationship. You both probably need to rejuvenate and learning to do that together can be very powerful. If you’re not used to this sort of time together, it will undoubtedly feel odd at first. You might not know what to say or do. Just give it some time and let the awkwardness pass. That silent time
is usually when one or both of us would grab our phones and browse something meaningless. Without that crutch, we talked more and did more for our marriage than we had all year. Now, we’re considering doing something like this every year on our anniversary instead of adventure seeking. If you need the boost, I highly encourage a few days locked away somewhere quiet and most definitely without phones/technology.Hitting Refresh on Your MarriageHitting Refresh on Your MarriageHitting Refresh on Your MarriageWhile in Lincoln Parish, we also visited Mitcham’s Peach Orchard. We got soft-serve peach ice cream and stocked up on loads of peach this and that. It was a great little stop before settling in to the cabin.

I think back on these few days at the cabin with such fondness. It was incredibly relaxing and I was so grateful to get quality, uninterrupted time with my husband, especially after what we’d just been through. I think back on that little cabin often and would highly recommend a stay there to anyone. It’s a great place for a work retreat, to focus on creative work or reach some sort of deadline, or for just getting away for a bit. You can book a stay through AirBnb and if you do, be sure to tell her the Petruses sent you!

Anyone know where we should go next year??

Four Years!

Wedding PhotoThe hubby and ITwo years Happy Three Years!Today is our FOUR YEAR wedding anniversary. I can honestly say that this third year that we’re wrapping up has been one of the toughest yet. Along with some bold business moves allowing Matthew to come work with me full time, our home also flooded. That alone, has tried and tested us more than you could ever imagine. Without a doubt, our marriage and our relationship will be stronger because of it, and I’m certain that we’ll see more tough times along the way. Looking back on the last several months, I feel pretty certain that I couldn’t have tackled this struggle with anyone else. Even when we disagree (and by disagree, I mean stand firmly on the POLAR OPPOSITE ends of a spectrum), we still make an awesome team.

Usually, we try to take big adventures and explore new territories when we travel. Instead, this year, we’re going to unplug. We’re going somewhere quiet where there’s nothing to explore or rush off to. We’re going to rest, relax, and rejuvenate after the tough 5 months we’ve had. After all, we’re going to need some energy to finish this fight!

The photos above are from our wedding shoot, first, second, and third anniversaries. If you’d like to see what we did on these anniversaries, click the corresponding numbers. Here are anniversaries 1 / 2 / 3!

Happy Three Years!

Happy Three Years!Yesterday was my frieniversary. Today is my three year wedding anniversary! There are anniversaries to be celebrated all around!

It simultaneously feels like yesterday and a thousand years ago that Matthew and I began this journey. We’ve done so many things in three short years.

We’ve bought a house.
Two cars.
Went to nursing school.
Sold a business.
Opened another business.
Dealt with cancer.
Traveled a bunch, thankfully.
Plus, a million and one other things that haven’t been blogged about.

Looking back on these last three years, I can only imagine what the next three hold. I think that the quality that I’m most thankful for in Matthew is his desire to dream with me. In past relationships I always felt a bit held back. Instead, Matthew likes to dream and set big goals just like I do. We have big plans for our life together, and Matthew is able to identify the small steps we need to take to make them a reality. He gets just as excited about new opportunities as I do, and he completely supports my ideas and dreams. I don’t think I could live the caliber of life that I’m living without him by my side. He supports and encourages me, and most importantly, picks me up and pushes me forward when I feel defeated. With this in mind, I just can’t even imagine what all we’ll do next. It has been a productive three years. Here’s to a lifetime more of big ideas and even bigger plans!

I love you, Matthew Petrus.

In case you’re interested:
How we met and our proposal story.

Our Two Year Anniversary

Two Year AnniversaryMatthew and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary last week. I’d love to tell you that we celebrated with a romantic getaway for two to an exotic island. Sorry, it’s not that glamorous. Instead, we spent our second anniversary MOVING. 

We did make sure to wrap up in time to have a nice dinner together though. (Somehow I managed to make it from moving attire to anniversary-date-night attire in a pretty short amount of time.) The traditional gift for a second anniversary is cotton. We decided to cheat a little and have dinner at a local restaurant, Cotton, instead of purchasing something. After all, the chance to sit and eat something other than delivery pizza on the floor (moving is tough on meal time), was way more valuable to us than anything we could have purchased. 
Two Year Anniversary
Cheers to two years with this amazing man! You can read about our first anniversary here. I went back and read the story of how we met and our proposal. Such fun memories! You can also get some highlights from our first two years in the archives. Here’s to year number three! Something tells me that it’ll be full of house projects…

One Wonderful Year.

Obviously, this post is more than a tad late. Please forgive me?? Matthew and I celebrated our one year anniversary on July 28, 2013. Yay!! I wanted to be sure that such a special occasion didn’t pass without celebrating, but it was such a busy time for the both of us, so we had to get creative.Our original plan was to go out of town for the weekend or maybe to the family’s lake house, but we ultimately decided to stay home.When trying to think of ways to celebrate locally, we decided to spend a day touring our town. “Tour your town” initiatives are nothing new, but we haven’t had a chance to do a lot of these things together. I’m pretty familiar with our local landscape from my time at the Convention & Visitors Bureau, but I haven’t been to many places recently, and Matthew is new to many of them.

The hubby and I

Since we decided to stay in town, we took the weekend off and spent Saturday hitting up some of our local gems. Matthew grilled us the most delicious BBQ chicken for lunch, and then we began our day at the Biedenharn Museum & Gardens. We frequent the gardens for the Moonlit Garden events,  but I hadn’t had a chance to take Matthew through the Coke Museum or to tour the Biedenharn home. I think he really enjoyed learning some of the history. Plus, a stroll hand-in-hand through those beautiful gardens is always nice. It was my favorite soda jerk’s last day at the museum, so I was thrilled to get to see him “perform” one last time. (By the way, that’s not a derogatory term…that’s what they’re called!)
Coke truckSoda JerkNext, we went down the street to the Masur Museum of Art. The current exhibit was on computer aided art, which was fascinating. There was even a section on video games with a station to play for a bit. Playing video games in an art museum? Of course! There were videos, recordings, printouts, framed java script, and all sorts of computer generated art. My favorite from this collection was huge quilts with blocks of hundreds and hundreds and quotes from researchers. I found it fascinating! I loved how it drew light to the possible invalidity of things media credit to unattributed “experts.” “Experts say, Pamela Petrus is the most talented and amazing woman in the world.” See how this works? Although, I do like where these experts were headed. 🙂

Masur Museum of Art

Experts say...After the museum, I begged to go to the zoo. Matthew wasn’t quite as excited about this idea, but he obliged. We stumbled upon an abandoned wheelchair, and my comedian husband exclaimed, “It’s a miracle!” I’m laughing now just thinking about it again. He’s a funny one, Mr. Petrus.
flamingosWe ended the day by grabbing some Johnny’s pizza and heading to the Downtown Cinema for an outdoor showing of Star Wars: The Emperor Strikes Back…complete with snow cones, of course! To most, this probably sounds like a boring, uneventful anniversary, but to two more-than-busy individuals, this laid back Saturday together was amazing. We seldom have time to spend an easy going, unscheduled day together, so this anniversary weekend was more than welcomed.
johnny's pizzasnow cones - yum!In other anniversary news: year-old, frozen cake is disgusting!  I don’t know who created this tradition,  but I wish it could have been a more tasty experience! Matthew said all along that it was a little silly, but I insisted we try. Needless to say, we settled with celebratory ice cream instead.What sorts of things have you done to celebrate an anniversary? Please share!

Read about our story here: meeting in a hardware store and the proposal.

Our One Year Anniversary

Wedding photoWedding PhotoWedding PhotoWedding PhotoWedding PhotoOn this day one year ago, I married my best friend. What a rewarding year it has been! We’ve laughed. We’ve cried. (Well, I’ve cried.) But most importantly, our relationship has grown stronger with each passing day. I’m going to share more about our story this week, but in honor of this special day, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite wedding photos by the amazing Rusted Spoon Photography. Here’s to another wonderful year learning and growing with my favorite man!

Read how our story began here! Part 2 coming this week!