Our Family Turns 8! A Family Anniversary Tradition

Four days past my due date, we fully anticipated we’d be spending our anniversary eating our takeout of choice in pajamas and snuggling a newborn, all while reminiscing over the last 8 years of marriage.

Turns out, this baby has other ideas and we found ourselves without plans and without a babysitter on our anniversary. We thought about still going with takeout and maybe a movie once the kids were in bed but then a friend mentioned at the pool how they always celebrate with a family birthday party.

A family birthday party! How fun is that idea? I love thinking of an anniversary as more than just a reminder of your wedding, but as an anniversary of the beginning of your family.

I had no balloons, no cake, and absolutely no desire to cook so we headed out to a cute restaurant/ ice cream parlor for our family birthday celebration. We got there at 5pm, before just about any other diners on a Tuesday night and ordered burgers and fries while talking about our favorite things about our family.

The list included:

  • dance parties
  • making cookies
  • being helpful (Lincoln’s contribution)

I reminisced about my favorite 8 things we’ve done as a family since we got married … I can’t remember them all 24 hours later but here were a few, in no particular order

  1. Adding Lincoln to our family
  2. Adding Adelaide to our family
  3. Living on HBS campus for the last two years
  4. Our kid-free trip to Greece
  5. That last minute cruise we went on back in 2014
  6. Buying + selling our home in Ohio (both pretty miraculous experiences)

Last year I put on a little red dress and met Ben downtown after a day of work for a candlelit Italian dinner. This year dinner involved a lot less adult conversation and a shared Sundae covered in M&Ms. We sang “Happy Birthday” very quietly in our red booth and asked a stranger to snap these family pictures on our way back to the car.

This year looks VERY different than last year but they were both great…. great enough that next year I think we’ll do both; a grown-up only date the weekend before or after and another family birthday on our actual anniversary.

Here’s to finding new traditions (that require little to no prep) and celebrating the things that mean the most.

P.S. 8 years of marriage! It is a bit hard to wrap my head around. I’d still pick him and this life 8 years later, and I think that says something. I love him differently than I did 8 years ago, deeper and with less reservation, knowing more imperfections and showing plenty more myself. Living + committing to someone brings out the best and the worst in me (why is it that those we love the most often get the brunt of our stress or struggles or hormones? ;)… and I’m grateful for someone who knows me best and loves me still, for someone who challenges me and accepts me where I’m at. And mostly, right now, at 5 days past due, I’m grateful for someone who is so adored by our two kids. This new baby is lucky to be coming to a family where Ben is the dad.


Past anniversary posts:

  • first wedding anniversary (with some pictures from our wedding)
  • our first anniversary dinner date (a few months late because Ben had poison oak the night of our actual anniversary and I made pesto pasta and we ate off our wedding china at home)
  • 2nd anniversary photoshoot in downtown Cincinnati with a few words (I still LOVE that first picture)
  • 2nd anniversary post and the second part of our photoshoot 
  • “What was I thinking?” a 3rd anniversary post 
  • our 4th anniversary weekend (and our first with kids – a little lower key than usual) 
  • some notes on being married for 4 years
  • 5th anniversary date, just six weeks after adelaide was born 
  • some words for our seventh anniversary (and photos I love from Mykonos)

(apparently I didn’t document our sixth anniversary …but we did move into our new apartment on campus the night before our sixth anniversary and celebrated that Sunday morning with costco cinnamon rolls and our first Sunday in our new congregation)

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