If you saw our last couple of blogs you would know that last week was our anniversary! First we posted a little story of us” then a NYC blog post containing a bunch of images of NYC where we spent our weekend. The day before our actual anniversary, we had a photo session of our own photographed by the amazingly talented Matt Ramos. Since we don’t really have anything fantastic and big from our wedding to hang on our wall since photography has evolved so much, we decided this would be the perfect opportunity to do a sort of “do-over”! Matt really outdid himself and I had a REALLY hard time choosing what to put on the blog!
We started off the evening getting ready of course. The fantabulous Destiny (Nvious Hair) did my hair and make-up while Matt and his awesome crew took some detail shots.
Then I met Chris at the City Hall because even though he saw me done up, we wanted to do a “first look” with my dress for some excitement! Then after Chris got to turn around to see me, he reached in his pocket and pulled out a box. Obviously it wasn’t a proposal, but it was a beautiful necklace that he bought me for our anniversary!
The said necklace (image taken by me actually!)
And then the session continued… (and I must mention how I love that I can wear 4 inch heels and still be quite a bit shorter than Chris!)
And for fun I did a side-by-side comparison using one of our wedding photos and one from our session. What a HUGE difference a decade makes- physically, mentally and in pretty much every other way possible. (especially the technology!)
Thank you Destiny for the AMAZING hair and make-up and of course Matt for such insanely awesome photographs. We now have a very difficult decision to make on which of these will be canvases! Originally we only wanted one large canvas, but I don’t think I can limit to only that!
Chris and I had the best weekend ever! If you saw the last post (basically a “Story of Us”), you saw that we celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. We began our anniversary “festivities” on Thursday with our photoshoot with the amazing talented Matt Ramos! We will be doing a blog of that session some time soon. Then on Friday, our actual anniversary, we took a train to New York City. The ride there was actually really great and the scenery of the Hudson was beautiful. When we got to and then left Penn Station, we quickly realized how unbelievably humid it was. We may not live in the city, but we are New Yorkers and knew rain was inevitable but it held out for most of the day! We walked to our hotel (we stayed at The Roosevelt Hotel which was about 13 blocks from Penn Station. (FYI, it hurts carrying a big heavy bag that far!) We checked in, got situated and were eager to get moving! We had lunch at Cosi’s which was right across the street. We then grabbed our camera and headed down to Times Square which was only a few blocks from our hotel. Needless to say it was packed but we loved all of the action and stimulation. Chris and I had only been to NYC once or twice when we were younger and it was so much more enjoyable to us now. We could really soak things in and have a great time.
We decided after a suggestion from a friend to go to Discovery Times Square museum (that would be the building with the car coming out of it!) and see the Pompeii exhibit. It was pretty amazing.
After the museum and some walking around, we took a cab down to the financial district to see the World Trade Center area where they are currently under construction building the new WTC called “One World Trade Center”. We walked some more until we came across Battery Park where they now have the mangled sculpture that used to be in front of the WTC. I actually have a picture of the same sculpture from when I visited the WTC before 9/11. I will write a little more about that on the 10th anniversary of that devastating day.
We took a cab back to our hotel to change because it started raining pretty hard before we got to the WTC site and despite having umbrellas (they were terrible umbrellas!) we were wet and wanted to dress up for dinner. We headed back to the financial district where Delmonico’s is located (no camera with us so we didn’t take any pictures of it. ) and had an AMAZING dinner! The restaurant itself is beautiful inside with a perfect ambiance for what I wanted. I originally wanted to eat somewhere on rooftop, but since it was raining, that just wouldn’t have worked!! I had lobster and Chris had Filet Mignon. They were both fantastic but I have to say that the steak (I had a taste) was EXTRAORDINARY!! (By the way, it is NOT the same Delmonico’s as the one in Albany) When dinner was over, we headed back again to the hotel to get in less fancy clothes and planned to go up to the rooftop lounge that was on our hotel. I don’t know if it was due to the rain but they were closed and I was SO disappointed. This was one of the things I looked forward to the most. Chris and I decided to go walk around again and he got some fantastic night time shots of Times Square and the outside of the Radio City Music Hall area. After that, we just started walking in a random direction when I basically said “lets just go back to downtown Manhattan and figure something out”. We caught yet another cab and he actually picked a great spot for us to get out and take pictures at. He was a super cool guy who took us to a few different spots and waited while we did that. Then we saw an ad in the cab TV about the Empire State Observatory being open until 2am (that made us so excited!) and since it was already almost 11pm, we decided it was the PERFECT way to end the night. We got there and went up to the 86th floor and it was so unbelieveably awesome! Being up there at night was truly incredible. Chris took tons of pictures. The rooftop lounge being closed ended up being the best thing ever.
The Empire State Building was fairly close to our hotel so when we were asked by a guy driving a Pedi Cab (or bike cab) if we’d like a ride, we figured hey, might as well try everything!!! It was cool being in the road but not in a car. Chris got some cool shots on that too. We gave the guy lots of props because not only are NYC streets hard to drive anything on, but this guy and others doing what he does have to bicycle hundreds of pounds around!! When we got to the hotel, we took a picture of him lol.
The next day we went to breakfast at our hotel which was really nice but definitely the most expensive breakfast we’ve ever had! We walked around some more because there are just so many blocks that you can’t even see it all even within a small radius just in one day! We didn’t have our camera and wouldn’t you know, we look over a few feet away from us and see Anderson Cooper talking to a nun while trying to catch a cab! We got back to the hotel and checked out and decided that even though walking 13 blocks with a heavy bag sucked, we loved walking around NYC too much to miss out on one last walk. We got some pizza and then headed over to wait for the train. Below is Penn Station and then a few shots taken from the trainIn a blink of an eye it was all over, but SO very memorable and we certainly had the time of our lives. We can’t wait to go back with the kids!
Of our marriage that is! Today marks our 10 year wedding anniversary! I typically don’t write such (very) personal posts, but it’s a milestone and we are real people so here’s a fairly detailed story of us!! (we’d be here for days or even weeks if I got too detailed! Plus you probably wouldn’t believe half of it anyways!!) I hope that the bits of our story may give others some hope of marriage survival (:
Some quirky little info about us- Chris is one day older than I am. We lived within a mile of each other most of our lives. (we did not go to the same schools except for elementary for a short time because he literally lived next door to my elementary school. He went to a private school after.) He was on my dad’s baseball team from about ages 11-12 in which he says is some of his best childhood memories. (Wee-Man’s Baseball- I’m sure the Amsterdamians remember that!) I was always at all the games and practices with my sister and I spent a lot of time chasing her around (and Chris vividly remembers this!) and getting candy from the ice cream truck. Which reminds me- remember these lollipops? I loved them!! Chris was a pitcher and I remember watching him a lot because I was somehow intrigued with how people pitched! My dad brought Chris home sometimes so we were both in the same car- obviously not knowing we’d be married some day! He says he thought I was pretty! He says it was the time stood still and girl walking in slow motion kind of thing (: He moved to California with his mom for a little bit at age 13 (glad he never stayed!) and then bagged our groceries about 3 years later at Price Chopper. Chris still remembers the details of what my dad bought and how they needed to be bagged! (I actually applied to that job, but went across the street the Hannaford instead for some reason- but I did work there a few years later) We knew and hung out with a lot of the same people (and at a lot of the same places) including my best friend since kindergarten. (Well, Amsterdam IS a very small town, you know!) From 2 years up to a few months before we started dating, I used to see him drive by my (then) apartment to go to his best friends house that lived in the same apartment complex as I did in the set of apartments right next to mine (as well as play football in the field!) as I stared out my window wondering what the heck was going to happen with my life, because I was very depressed at where it was and he was at that same place in his life. We were both in downward spirals of our young lives at the time with what were essentially self-destructive behaviors and I know that we really needed each other. Our paths have crossed (and bumped!) hundreds of times throughout our lives. I’m glad we finally got the chance to stop and really notice- and while we were still so young (:
When we started dating, it was right away, literally, that we realized how unbelievably compatible we were. We were also both so awkward and weird (and kind of shy!), but not around each other. Well, we were still weird, but it was “normal” for us!! Chris always said “it’s like we skipped the getting-to-know-you-part”. We could be ourselves around each other immediately. At that time, Chris had never been in a serious or long relationship before and certainly never had even close to an emotional connection to anyone. My longest “relationship” (quotations because I use that term loosely!) was about a few years while I was in and immediately out of high school. The first half of this “relationship” was during a major (let’s just say rebellious!) stage of my life, and the second half I was MISERABLE, but was too young, dumb and immature to think I deserved better. Luckily I smartened up pretty quickly because then there was Chris who was pretty much waiting for me, and right under my nose for a long time! He was there at the absolute BIGGEST pivotal moment of my life. It was also great that my parents loved him (and both remembered him from the baseball days). They never liked anyone else I had introduced them too! We moved in together very early on, but we connected on levels I didn’t think was even possible. I never understood the whole “he/she is my best friend” until Chris. We were so compatible and had so much fun together. We got engaged 11 years ago on June 16, 2000 at age 21 (on a whim! Though we did talk about it a little for a while beforehand) and after a year of planning, we got married the following year. I didn’t realize it at the time, but Chris was actually not ready to settle down, not even with me. He was just far too immature and had no idea what he wanted in life (even though he thought he did), and I was too immature to not see everything as sunshine and roses! Plus we were both pretty much “emotionally challenged” for lack of better words so getting “close” to people, any person, was difficult for us on top of everything else!! But he knew there was something so special about us with our extreme compatibility, how perfect we were as best friends and how not only had he finally connected with someone, but connected on a level he didn’t know was possible. (and if you knew how truly odd we both are, you would know having such a compatibility is miraculous!) So we’re both glad he took the chance and came along for the ride! We had a lot of ups and downs throughout our relationship- and far too many downs. We had more experiences in our first 5 years than most people have in a lifetime. Although we didn’t argue much, we also had many reasons that we could have broken up over, or said “this is just too much work”. But we didn’t and our love grew to to the mature love it is today and not only do we know each other so overwhelmingly well it’s often scary, we are also so much more in love than we were when we got married. We have so much more care, admiration and respect. Relationships almost always begin as obsession and infatuation until time and experiences develops it to mature love. This is why love and lust are so easily mistaken. You don’t realize this until the true, mature love takes shape. If we didn’t have SO much in common as we do, and the compatibility we do, I don’t think we ever would have made it. I know opposites attract, and some defy odds, but I often think about how much more difficult or even impossible that would have made things. This past year has been a tremendous growth for both of us- as individuals and as a couple. We have truly grown up together as we are overall completely different people that we were when our life together began. COMPLETELY. Though Chris’ transformation is much more drastic!! We have truly begun a new chapter in our life and although we both spent a lot of time in the beginning wishing the other was this or that during those immature times, we love, appreciate and are completely content with one another now. Learning about each other in the beginning was easy and happened fast. We no longer need to learn about each other because not only did we learn everything there was to know in the beginning (and through the years I think we’ve learned TOO much lol), but most of what we are now, is what we became together through years of experiences and maturity. One thing that has kept us going strong when all things seemed to be against us staying together is of course the very similar personalities, have the same interests and goals, can engage in long conversations about many things and are the most perfect best friends who have been able to laugh together no matter how hard times have gotten. In fact, we both totally act like kids (LOTS of goofiness and spontaneity) and I wouldn’t have it any other way! If you are friends with either of us on facebook and have seen any old pics, old videos, or Chris’ crazy updates, you have gotten a taste of it!!! Though old pics and updates are nothing compared to the hilarious stories I could tell! Maybe I’ll write about them in my memoirs!
It’s very hard to get past that point where you go from loving everything about that person, to letting the negatives outweigh the positives and let them take over. That is THE most difficult part but if you learn how to focus on the good, choose your battles, let things roll off of your back, and remember why you fell in love back when it was so easy to, you can get through it all. Also take time for yourselves. We let a lot of years go by without doing that and we make sure we do that now. We make a huge point of having “us” time while spicing things up. (: And don’t forget to laugh. Chris and I spend pretty much all day everyday together and we don’t drive each other crazy. (usually!) And we still laugh every. single. day.
Stay tuned for another blog containing images from our photo shoot yesterday with the amazing Matt Ramos! Even though when we got married, everything was just how I wanted it, (all I really cared about was having purple and butterflies and I had to order everything from catalogs because I didn’t even have a computer when we first got engaged!! Imagine that now?!) I would change so much now about the wedding itself. We didn’t have many choices in photography at the time, everything was traditional, but since we were young and years away from being photographers, I’m not so sure we would have cared anyways?! We at least wanted to do an anniversary session so we can finally have that big beautiful canvas (plus more!) on our walls!!
Here are just a few old images of us to end this post (: We weren’t photographers at the time and had an often overexposing film point and shoot camera at the time, so don’t judge the lack of photography skills!! Engagement pictures were done at Sears. (*hangs head in shame) And FYI, Chris absolutely HATES that picture!!! Then there are a couple of our wedding pictures of course!
I don’t necessarily believe that everything happens for a reason, because there sure are a lot of things we could do without (for us personally and in general) but sometimes things can work out so perfectly that it certainly seems like the stars are aligned. It’s been a crazy journey, hardly even summed up in this little post! (even though it seems like a book!) Happy Anniversary to the only guy on the planet I want to spend the rest of my life with!
If you want to go back in time with me and hear some songs from 10+ years ago, visit my playlist! It’s got songs from 10 years ago and a few prior from the time of our dating and engagement. Some of the songs I forgot about until I did my research! I do not necessarily like all of the songs (like any boy band ones!), but added them for nostalgic reasons!! http://www.playlist.com/playlist/22040089867
Here’s a slideshow I made with some of our wedding pictures we to end this post!