One of the first guest bloggers I contacted was Lauren from The Little Things We Do. I love her blog and wish we could be real life friends (I have confidence Jus & Lauren's husband, Craig would get along well too-haha).
How old are you and Craig?
I'm 25 and Craig's 24. Yep. I like younger men. I said it.
What are your occupations?
I am a Preschool Teacher in a 3-4 year old class at a Child Development Center in Portland. Craig is currently a mechanic specializing in "fine European automobiles" and working at his dad's auto repair shop. But he's not really a mechanic. He's got a Bachelor's in Business Management. Too bad our economy sucks and there aren't any great jobs out there.
How did you meet?
In the 4th grade. Craig was best friends with my younger brother. He used to come over and hang out after church. I thought he was super annoying. Eventually over time we grew on each other...through being forced to spend time together on snowboarding trips with our families (who were good friends). We started dating when I was a Senior in high school. We were just babies back then!
(Note from Cole: Lauren & Craig's full love story was posted on my teacups in peony last month and you should definitely check it out.)
How did you get engaged?
I'm actually going to blog about this soon because our "togetherness" anniversary is coming up next week and that was the day Craig proposed, so I won't tell too many details. The basic gist was that we went to the beach for the day to celebrate our dating anniversary and I thought there was no way he'd propose on our anniversary because that's just way too cliche...which is exactly why he picked that day...just to throw me off. We hung out at all the cheesy beach shops and then went to a "nice" dinner later where Craig had failed to get reservations and ended up eating at a place that was akin to a retirement home. We were the most dressed up ones there. Awesome. Then we went down to the beach and sang songs by a bonfire while Craig played his guitar. All of the sudden he started singing a song he'd written for me. I cried. Then he did the whole spiel, but I didn't even realize he was proposing until he specifically said "Will you marry me?". Oh man. I'm a little slow on the uptake. Needless to say, I said yes :).
Tell us about your wedding day (not necessarily elements but feelings too)
Our wedding day was pretty much like being on a love Vallium. I'm totally a Type A person and had planned every last detail to a "T," so I knew that I was for sure going to be a crazy bridezilla on my wedding day. The surprising this is...I wasn't. I was just so completely and blissfully happy that nothing could ruin the day...not even when we showed up and the people setting up the hall read the floor plan wrong and set everything up backwards. Friends, family and even my photographer just stepped in and moved everything where it was supposed to go. Then my flowers showed up and they had these weird red berries in them even though I specifically said "NO RED...anywhere!" (due to the fact that I didn't want any Christmas connotations associated with our December wedding). No worries, the bridesmaids just picked them out. Then the heel of my perfectly chosen, white satin, peep-toe wedding shoes snapped off just as I was walking out to see Craig for the first time. No problem. I just switched into a pair of white Vans. Love Vallium people... I'm telling you. Big, stupid, goofy grin all day long. I didn't care about anything else besides the fact that I was marrying my very best friend.
"Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained." -C.S. Lewis
What's the toughest part of being in a committed relationship?
Putting aside selfishness. I'm super selfish. Craig's super selfish. We like to do things our own way. It's hard giving in sometimes, but it's always better when we give up our stubbornness because then we usually find a way to meet halfway.
What is the best part?
Getting to do life with my best friend. Knowing that he's mind forever. Knowing that I have a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold, an ear to listen, and even just someone to laugh and be silly with. Oh...and I always have a date to those awkward functions that no one wants to go to alone!
What is the best day you and Craig have had together?
I don't know if I can name any single day. We have a lot of fun days together. Obviously our wedding day ranks high up on the list, but I think we have the best times just doing everyday things together. One really fun time we had together was the drive back from our honeymoon in Whistler B.C. Craig was tired so I had to keep him awake. I made up rap names for us (his was C. Flat and mine was Sweet-n-Lo) and made up dorky rap songs and basically engaged him with random silliness. It was a lot of fun...especially because we were still just getting used to being married and it sort of just felt like playing house. I can't really explain it, cause it doesn't sound super exciting, but it was a really happy memory for me.
What makes you different from other couples?
When I asked Craig this he said "We're better looking." Ha! But seriously, I would say that we're real. We don't candy coat things. Which is kinda funny because I am a total peace maker and I candy coat everything with everyone else...but not with Craig. We're sometimes brutally honest with each other, and we fight sometimes, but we do it quickly. Sometimes it catches people off guard because they're not used to so much honesty, and they think we've got "marital problems"...but we don't. We just don't wasted time bottling.
What is the most essential element of making it?
God. Without him, I couldn't possibly love Craig some days...and vice versa...I'm not always a peach myself (shocking...I know). Also, realistic expectations. You can't go in expecting perfection. It's just not going to happen. if you think it's going to be perfect, you're only going to experience frustration. I'm not saying that you should "just aim low." I think marriage is a study in how to be constantly working toward making your relationship better...but also being happy with where you're at in the moment.
What is your favorite thing to do together?
We're kind of boring. Our favorite thing to do together is cuddling up on the couch watching TV (or a movie) with some takeout. Maybe dull for some, but perfectly lovely for us. We also love eating good food together :).
Do you have a song?
I don't think we really have "a song." I always think of Craig when I hear Red Hot Chili Peppers songs though, because his voice sort of sounds like Anthony Kiedis' when he sings...although obviously not as good or we'd have a lot more money. Edwin McCain's "I'll Be" maybe, because we danced to it outside Craig's car on an old country road under the stars back in the day.
What are your hopes for the future?
I hope we get jobs we love. I hope we can have children that love us and love Jesus. I hope that we can travel some before we have said children. I hope we keep having fun with each other. I hope we fall more and more in love each day and one day have the kind of marriage that people can look up to.
Anything else the world needs to know about love?
Love is a decision. It's something you have to choose to do each and every day. Sometimes you'll feel head-over-heels in it, but other times it's just flat out hard. It's highs, lows and lots of in-betweens. It's putting aside selfishness in order to be the best you can for the other person.