Friday is our five-year anniversary and more than a few things have changed in the past year: our infant turned into a toddler, our company continued to grow and evolve, and we traveled to two new countries together (Japan and France). Even though we're spending the majority of the week apart—I'm in New York for work while G is home with Sloan—we thought it would be fun to answer a questionnaire, as we do each year (though G has something up his sleeve so we can celebrate together when I'm back). Leslie sent us each a list of questions that address our insights, goals, and favorite memories from five years of marriage, then compiled them here. We haven't seen the other's answer, until now:
1. What’s one completely surprising new thing you learned about each other in the past year?
Emily: That we can change the way we approach difficult situations. Whenever I used to get upset about something, G would always try to find a solution and start suggesting a million ideas to try and alleviate my stress. But after years of trying to "fix" certain things, he now simply listens, which is what I really need. Beyond the fact that it's nice just having him to bounce ideas off of without feeling the need to immediately take action, it inspires me to continue to work on things as well.
G: After being together for almost ten years (we dated for several years before getting married), there are few things that would actually surprise me at this point, but I do love how we've embraced parenthood, without compromising our personal relationship. We've actively made an effort to carve out time for dates and trips that don't include Sloan, to maintain a balance of romance and parental responsibilities.
2. What’s your favorite part about being married to the other?
Emily: That we still truly love experiencing things together. If I've eaten a great meal, watched an interesting documentary, or heard a funny joke, it's always G that I want to share it with.
G: Nothing is stale or boring. While we can often predict how the other will react to a certain situation, I never lose the spark of excitement when we do something together.
3. Biggest pet peeve about the other currently?
Emily: All of the biking gear that's constantly arriving to our home (a hobby G took up not too long ago). You'd think cycling would require just a bike and a helmet, but the amount of little gadgets, apparel, special snacks, and apps it requires is kind of nuts.
G: She's taken over both sides of our bathroom counter, so my sink now resembles the perfume section of Sephora.
4. Favorite little thing the other regularly does?
Emily: G will often turn our heated mattress pads on (they sit beneath our sheets and are the best invention, ever) in the winter months, which is such a nice surprise since it's something I always forget to do.
G: Em will spontaneously bake something special for me. The fact that she loves to bake makes it a win-win, but I always appreciate how she gets excited to surprise me with something delicious.
5. How have you been balancing work life and personal life lately?
Emily: Working with G is one of the best things and most difficult parts about running a business. There's nobody I trust more and want by my side, but it also means that we spend a lot of time together and the line where work begins and ends can start to blur. Over the past year, we've become better at communicating. G and I have never been big fighters by any means, but we've gotten even better at addressing and squashing disagreements that would have evolved into larger arguments in years past.
G: Considering we're constantly juggling our business/family/personal lives, the lines of communication can get blurry, misconstrued, and reactive. Over the past year, we've made huge improvements in how we listen to each other, appreciate different perspectives, and react without judgement. Life is a continual work in progress, but we feel empowered with how we've addressed some of our varied challenges and with the direction we're headed.
6. What dish do you always request the other cook?
Emily: G's chicken wings. Duh.
G: I love her bolognese and it's always a special night when she makes it.
7. Are there any things you don't see eye to eye on (big and small)?
Emily: How we pack luggage. G practically color-coordinates his suitcase, whereas I haphazardly toss all of my belongings into one messy heap.
G: How the cats act around the house. She thinks they can do no wrong, but the scratched curtains and occasional spraying says otherwise.
8. When you think back on your wedding from five years ago, what's the one thing you remember most vividly?
Emily: How happy we were. We couldn't stop giggling before the ceremony. We were taking pictures and trying to look into each other's eyes, but were so giddy that we could hardly pay attention.
G: I still vividly remember the way she looked when I turned around to see her for the first time. I've never seen a more beautiful woman.
9. What do you hope to accomplish together in the coming year?
Emily: To continue to make our family a priority and incorporate Sloan more into our lives. Since she goes to bed so early (7pm), at times it feels like our evenings are segmented between before and after she goes to bed. But I hope it will become more and more seamless—that we'll eat dinner all together (instead of feeding her and then eating something different on our own), listen to music we all want to hear (i.e. not only The Lion King), and take advantage of our outdoor space.
G: I've been thinking more and more about having another child. We're not set either way, but considering Sloan is starting preschool in the next few months, it may be a nice transition time.
10. What’s a guaranteed way to make the other happy after a terrible day?
Emily: Take-out Chinese or pizza and a comedy we've seen a million times.
G: Gummies and a dirty martini.
11. In your eyes, what is the other’s greatest accomplishment this year?
Emily: I feel like G's grown a lot this past year. I think the most impressive thing, however, is how he's taken ownership of a new project that's been in the works for years (and launches later this month).
G: Even though she had an amazing time, I know traveling to Japan wasn't the easiest task for Em. I'm so appreciative that she rescheduled this trip, which was supposed to happen two years ago, despite less-than-ideal timing.
12. Favorite outfit the other wears?
Emily: Cotton t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers with messy(ish) hair and scruff. Luckily this is what he wears most days of the week.
G: I love her in a form fitting dress. She doesn't wear them often, but it's my favorite look on her.
13. What was your first impression of the other's personality and is it true today?
Emily: That G was funny and sharp. And yes, more so than ever.
G: She's reserved, but caring, both of which are more true than ever.
14. What is your favorite memory together (excluding Sloan's birth and your wedding)?
Emily: The night we got engaged. I just remember feeling so elated and lucky that he chose me.
G: The first night of our honeymoon. We were jet lagged from our overnight flight into Rome and as we entered our hotel room, they brought up an amazing cheese pizza, which we devoured like a pack of jackals, then crashed into the bed and slept for 10 hours. It's nothing grand, but I remember feeling so happy and content.
15. What is your favorite way to spend time together, just the two of you?
Emily: Once you have a kid, going on dates feels like a luxury, which is kind of fun. Sometimes when G's driving us to dinner and we're dressed up, I almost find myself feeling slightly giddy—it's as if we're newly dating again.
G: Probably dining out, it gives us the opportunity to try new or favorite dishes, while not being on parent duty.
16. What is the other most passionate about?
Emily: Our family. Followed closely by listening to Howard Stern.
G: Our family (cats included).
17. Biggest sacrifice the other has made for you?
Emily: G has always been so supportive of Cupcakes and Cashmere, even before I had any readers. He would be the one taking pictures of me on the weekend, helping fix any technological errors, and offering advice any time he could. The brand is such a big part of our lives and is so interwoven with everything that we do that he sacrifices time, energy, and even our privacy to a certain extent because of it.
G: She replaced vodka with gin. That was almost a deal breaker, but she saw the light.
18. What is one way you most differ from the other?
Emily: G is really logical and approaches everything from a sensible point of view. I typically react emotionally and only eventually see the more rational side of things.
G: Em is a super empath. I don't share that gene.
19. How has Sloan changed your relationship as a couple?
Emily: It's funny—before we were married, I didn't think things would change all that much once we became husband and wife. But I was wrong. I felt so much stronger as a unit and loved knowing he's my family. I didn't think that bond could strengthen even more, but it did once Sloan arrived. G and I are even more connected and aligned with what truly matters, and that's brought us even closer together.
G: Sloan has brought us closer together, while also inspiring us to adjust how we treat each other. Being a role model is something we take seriously, so our behavior in front of her is less reactionary and more considered.
20. Most important pieces of advice for a successful relationship?
Emily: Respect each other, express your love in a variety of ways, do sweet things for each other, feel gratitude, and show appreciation.
G: I think I've mentioned this in previous posts, but listening is the most important skill in life. Not just hearing, which is a passive action, but truly listening and comprehending what the other person is saying. You don't necessarily have to agree, but the meaning behind what the other is saying is often lost in a wave of shared emotions, which further complicates a discussion. Before you speak, listen and if you don't understand, ask for clarity, then respond.