Terrific Broth

The life of two scientists, creating a small home, in big mountains

Tag: Relationships (Page 1 of 2)

Happy anniversary


It has been solid three years since hubby and I tied the knot. Our marriage has been the easiest part of our lives. We are still like best friends and love hanging out with each other. So it has been really, really fun.

We are happy. But I never thought about a recipe for happy marriage, until I was asked at a bachelorette/bridal party. Our good friend, a super cute and fun girl was getting married and she was pretty anxious. All of the people in the room ensured her that it would be “just the same” so “there is nothing to worry about”. But I was like “well it was very different for me”, followed by – after a gasp from the bride-to-be of course – “but good different”. Then we started talking about what would be “good different” and forced me to think harder about my own experience. What makes a good marriage? And what is the difference distinguish a happy marriage from a happy relationship?

First, what makes a happy marriage? Before we got married, I never thought it was necessary. We lived together for a couple years, we adopted a dog together, we do not have extended family nearby, so I thought one piece of paper would not make any difference. That is why we opted out wedding/reception all together and tied the knot in city hall then went for pancakes. We got our wedding bands off Ebay for $20 a pop, and hubby did not forget to throw in a handy “buy one get one 50%” coupon to make the whole purchase $30. LOL. We only had his mom besides us when we signed the paper and honestly, my MIL was not a big fan with this whole arrangement AT ALL. But looking back, HOW I got married made me happier than the FACT I got married, because we were in complete agreement with each other, and we made it so easy for each other. Shared value like this IS the foundation of a happy marriage, and I’d say that until you find someone who shares the same value as yours, do not settle. It sounds harsh yet what gives you headaches during a relationship will likely to continue to give you headaches later in marriage, regardless if it is a habit, an idea, or a way of life. And to be able to completely relax next to your spouse is very very important in day-to-day life.

That being said, we let small differences go. No one can marry their twins. What is important to align with each other is ideology or value, not habits. Hubby is a night owl and I like to go to bed no late than 10 pm. It used to create fraction because I could not fall asleep alone. But we made it work by him tucking me in. We also grow up on very different food, so more often than not, we eat different dinners. But these do not bother us anymore, because the priority is to make life under this roof, with each other, the most relaxing moments in each other’s life. “As long as you are with me, you can be 100% yourself”.

Well at this point, I have to admit that we had it easy because we have no kids. So we do not have to sacrifice as much. However, I know couple with kids and more reasonable they treat each other, more confident and well-behaved their kids are. We have dogs and I was so surprised that how much my girl understands the difference between us discussing and arguing. We can be talking about politics and really challenge each other and raise our voices to the point our upstairs neighbor thought we were fighting, and our pit bull just curls up next to my feet snoring. But if we were ever angry at each other, even we talked in regular voice, she would get nervous and jump on us constantly to …I do not know what she tries to accomplish honestly, because it looks like a dog park fight. So I am sure children sense the bond between parents too and will be greatly influenced.

Let one be is not always easy. But it is essential to make a marriage from a good relationship. I lived by myself most of my life and definitely have micromanage issues. if I ever had a child I would totally be one of these helicopter parents and produce the most anxious off-springs. And I did nag hubby a lot BEFORE we got married. But I make a conscious decision when we got married to let him be, because you can force yourself to compromise in a relationship, but not all your life to please your spouse. So unless he is endanger himself, I do not make a peep. I just do not be part of it. I say “endanger himself” like he is challenging himself constantly, that is not true. The fact is that he just acts irrational sometimes (like a normal guy), and kicks it up a notch when he is with his guy friends. LOL. But hey, he probably thinks it is equally irrational to get a pedicure with wine and chatting with girlfriends for a whole day until getting a sore throat, but he let me be, so we are good.

Last but not least – Have fun together!  The best part of marriage to me is to earn a life-time-long friend. So really explore your common interests and go on new adventures together. And make time for that, because day-to-day life often does not allow you relax enough to enjoy each other’s company. We like to go out for a drink, like one beer, just so we are at a different location from home. We also go on vacations as frequent as we can. That is the time we really talk about our hopes and dreams and we have made important life decisions during trips. Life is one’s playground, and marriage should not be the call to go home, but put another friend besides you in the sandbox.

So hang loose big boy, we dreamed big for this coming year and I cannot wait to start a new adventure with you.

You’ll Know. :)

How do you know that he is the one? 

It was my two-year wedding anniversary last Saturday. We celebrated by reserving time for ourselves separately in the morning (me: Yoga and gardening; him: sleeping), then checked out a couple dining options TOGETHER which we always wanted to try. In the evening, I set up some string lights in our living room and we talked. We talked about our childhood, our dreams and what we want to do for the whole evening. It was truly the best night I could ask for. The whole time I kept thinking how lucky I was to be with him, then the next morning I read this post.

It could not have been better speaking of my minds even if I had done it myself. Here is a short list:

We laughed at each other’s jokes.
It was a choice.
It felt inevitable.
We became a team.
He made everything better.
It was never a question.
I couldn’t imagine my life without him.
He was the nicest.

I met my hubby when I was still in a relationship. It was pretty committed but did not feel right from the beginning. I made a mistake staying in it thinking that I could work on it. Then I met hubby. He was not the “type” I imaged myself falling love with, And I honestly had never thought about dating a foreigner before. But here he came, speaking English and thought Chinese food was no more than orange chicken, made me feel like relaxed from the first minute. With him I always felt comfortable, energetic and happy. On top of that, he smelt very good to me. 🙂

It felt inevitable, so I made my choice and stayed with him. It was not an easy choice, and it did hurt some people and created inconvenience, but I am glad I did – I just could not image being apart with him. And I guess only marrying to him can make it work.

Looking back, what did he have to make me feel that close to him? One thing I was, and am still impressed by him is that he is very nice, very considerate, and very very generous. It is easy to say someone is a “nice” guy. But in real life, it takes a lot to be nice. That means you have to be compassionate, then being considerate, then actually putting other people ahead of yourself, then act on it. I only knew a few people will go out of their way helping people, and seeing the whole group’s benefit as their own. Hubby is one of them. I thought I was nice before knowing him, but boy I learned soooo much from just watching him everyday!

Hubby is an introvert, a creative, thinking type of introvert. He is very smart, very knowledgeable, but only speaks about 1/10 of what he knows. Almost everyone in my family is an extrovert. I hate to admit but I probably act like 120% of what I know. So someone like him was really impressive to me. I had to read more, listen more, think more to be able to even understand him. It definitely changed my learning pattern for better.

We were friends for a few years first. Even there was mutual attraction at the beginning, we did not rush into anything but supported each other in a great deal the first a few years being in school together. It was tough for him first, then me, then him again, so I think we became a great team and colleague as the foundation of our romance, At the end of third year, we are inseparable to the point that we were almost family. Then we started dating really really carefully to not ruin what we have built. Gladly it worked out until today.

Now looking back, I guess we are qualified as “love at first site” and “it was never a question”. We knew all these time that there was something non-replaceable between us. Even we did not realize, we just know.

Our Sweet and Small Wedding

One of my favorite blog, A Cup of Jo, recently posted the sweetest small wedding ever. It reminded me so much about our wedding almost two years ago. I am a sucker for low-key and small weddings – they are so personal and intimate and holds the best memory over years. They can be done tastefully on a low budget and with minimal stress.

Our wedding anniversary is two weeks away from today. As much as I loved this man enough to marry him two years ago, my love and respect to him still grew everyday thereafter. In this spirit, I would like to devote today’s posts to look back on our wedding. It was so simple and sweet and stress-free – just an amazing experience we had with each other. Every minutes of the memory I had of that day is the smile on hubby’s face and the happiness in his eyes.

Lots of our friend got married in the past a few years and all of them had traditional, big weddings that involves a year or two of planning. Reception halls, catering, big dress, flowers, photographer, bridemaids, and several parties leading to eventually the big party. The idea of having all the family and good friends celebrating with us sounded nice, but it was not an option for us because both of our families are overseas, and even more complicated – in different countries. All my families except my sister lived in China, and all hubby’s family members lived in Poland, except his mother who was in NYC. We also recently moved to NC from California. So all our good friends were in California. No matter where we planned to have our wedding, we would have to fly the other two parties overseas. And unfortunately, as Polish and Chinese citizens, none of our family members can get into U.S. nor the other country without visa. And, most of family members only speak their native language.

Some of our friends are also immigrants. Their way of dealing with the same problem is to have two weddings, one with each family in their home country/location. The wedding couple and their parents are the one who fly around. This made wedding planning very difficult because the weddings are not taken place in the city their live. And there are two parties to pay for. Only thinking about these made us feel stressed, Therefore we decided  – we are not having a wedding at all!

We decided to get married in courthouse and to invite no guest. We wanted just us. We wanted to be able to be silly and focus on each other. We also did not want to spend any money on the wedding or to have any pressure to entertain anyone else except each other.

We decided to tell all the friends afterwards, but we called our family first. All our families were amazingly supportive. Except hubby’s mom who really wanted to be here with us, none of our family insisted to present at our wedding. All the sudden we were able to plan any wedding we wanted. So … we sat down and planned it in one evening!

Every decision became so easy when there were only two people to satisfy. And it was so amazing to find out that we were so aligned together. When? Quickly. It was June and hubby’s 31st birthday was in a month – let us do it the last day in his 30. Where? Court house of course. We live in NC where everyone gets married in churches and there was no available options for atheists except courthouse. How much time off? His birthday was Friday so we decided to take Thursday off for the wedding and his birthday off so we could have a four-day weekend. (I actually went to work on Friday so hubby could hang out with his mom, our only guest by themselves.) Rings? We are both strongly against diamond industry so we went on Ebay and picked out two black tungsten carbide bands for $30 (including free shipping!). We also did not want to “kill flowers” on our wedding day so we ordered a small artificial bouquet off Ebay as well. Clothing? Hubby had one set of nice suits and tie and shoes that was purchased from his cousin’s wedding a few years ago. And I had a pair of bridesmaid shoes that had some heels. So within one hour we had everything we needed except my dress and photographer. It felt incredible – like we fell in love all over again and the connection between us was the very reason we wanted to marry each other. 🙂

The following week we got the paperwork during lunch break and I got my dress from Macy’s for $80. We had nothing to do for the wedding except waiting for it to happen and it was actually hard to wait for that day! The morning of our wedding day my mother-in-law and I went to a hair salon to blow dry our hair. We did not say anything about the wedding until we got there and everyone in the store got so excited and did our makeup for free! It felt crazy and wild that no one knew except our parents and my sister haha. After getting our hair done, my mother-in-law and I stood outside of the store waiting for hubby to pick up up to the courthouse. We started joking that he could have run away with our dogs and could have reached Virginia by then and we just started laughing so hard. Hubby was so scared to see us laughing by the curb with tears running down our makeup and wild hair all over our face. We told him the joke then we all started giggling in the car while driving to the courthouse it almost felt like a prank. LOL.

We also brought our dog to the wedding – one we wanted her to be in our photoshoot after the wedding and two she has bad separation anxiety we just did not want to go home to shredded pillows. Of course she had to wait in the car when we were in the court house. Hubby was so worried that she was gonna got too hot in the car. So we left the car running and locked, ran into the court and hubby was like “our dog was in the car please marry us quickly”. The judge was so not prepared for such request so he married us the most simple form possible which took like two minutes. Haha. It was so down-to-the-earth and this was exactly the man I wanted to marry!

After a quick exchanging of “I do” and the rings we went to a nearby lake and took some photos as a family. During the photoshoot we called our family overseas and got big congrats from them. Then we went to our favorite brunch place in town and ate huge pancakes as the only meal of the day then went home and napped for a couple hours – something we loved to do on weekends – it was such a perfect day and the best part is that we were just so us.

I often hear people ask married couple ” what would you do differently if you got married again?” I guess if I had the choice I would like to had my parents at the wedding, so we could have had some nice family photo together and I am sure that my mom would have loved that. It was also a perfect opportunity for our parents to meet each other – something which is still yet to happen! But other than that I would totally have it done exactly the same way if I had the change to re-live my wedding day.

If you have had your wedding, how did you plan your wedding and what was the best part of it? If your wedding day is still yet to come, how do you want it to be?

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