Today is our third anniversary. Within the last year, there have been more changes than we could have ever imagined and Sloan's arrival has made our family feel even more complete. Just last week, while I was breast feeding her with Geoffrey by my side and the cats flanking him, I gushed, "there's so much love in this house!" Of course things aren't always that perfect (in fact, that moment was comically far from our new reality), but I'm learning to appreciate the flaws of daily life. We had so much fun writing answers to these questions last year that we decided to do something similar for our third anniversary.
1. What's the one thing that will always cheer the other person up?
Emily: Making plans. G's a pretty chill, happy guy so on the rare occasion that he's in a bad mood, he's very solution oriented and likes to take action. That could be as simple as ordering in a good dinner (he's always down for Bludso's), watching one of our favorite go-to movies or hanging out with friends.
Geoffrey: Easy, candy. If she's having a rough day, or just in a foul mood, I can bring out a bag of sour gummy candy (almost any kind) and she'll immediately lighten up. Not saying it's an automatic cure-all, but it's definitely the first step in cheering her up.
2. What has three years of marriage taught you?
E: The importance of always supporting each other. While I was pregnant, G went out of his way to ensure that I felt as good as possible. He told me how pretty I was (even though I didn't believe him at times), massaged my feet at night and patiently listened while I told him all of the things I was most nervous about. It made me realize that as strong as I am on my own, I'm the best version of myself when I have his support.
G: I don't know if it's the three years of marriage, seven years of living together, or two-plus years of being co-workers, but the most important lesson I've learned is that compromise is essential. Neither of us are always correct, but understanding her opinion and taking consideration of her feelings about an issue has helped temper my reaction to challenges. I don't feel like I'm giving in, but rather we're coming to a mutually respected decision.
3. How has Sloan changed how you view each other?
E: Sloan brings out qualities in G that I hadn't seen a lot of and it's made me love him even more. He's absurdly sweet with her and it's nice to see him from this entirely new perspective. Fatherhood looks good on him and I love catching glimpses of him when we're out and about - he looks so proud and handsome when he's pushing her in the stroller.
G: I knew Em would be a great mother, but the most impressive aspect about her now is how she's reduced a lot of her personal anxieties after giving birth. She's written about dealing with anxiety before, and I would have thought bringing home a baby could possibly increase some of those feelings, but it's actually been the opposite. Her energy and focus is so connected to Sloan, that I feel she simply doesn't allow/have the time to let the anxiety take hold. Seeing how confident and calm she is with our daughter is amazing and is something I love and admire.
4. What's the one thing you wished the other person liked more?
E: Eating in bed. It's pretty much my favorite indulgence ever - having either breakfast in bed or dessert at night. But I always make such a mess (last time I managed to somehow dunk my hair into my coffee and drag it across the bedspread), that it's now off limits.
G: I'm basically a geek and love all things sci-fi/fantasy/etc. She's been very supportive in partaking in certain movies and books, but I know it's a real stretch for her. The one saving grace is that she has a massive thing for Chris Hemsworth, so getting her to see 'The Avengers' is an easy sell.
5. What phrase/sentence does the other person use most often?
E: "I just sent you an interesting article." My dad is constantly emailing me links and my grandpa used to send me newspaper clippings, so it's only natural that I married a guy who does the same.
G: "The thing is...." It starts almost every conversation.
6. What are the biggest changes you've seen in yourself?
E: I feel much more sure of myself. I used to have more time to obsess over every little thing, whether it was business related or an insecurity I had about my body. After having Sloan, my perspective has shifted so that I focus on the things that really matter, which has also helped decrease my anxiety.
G: Oddly, I've been more conscience of my own feelings this past year, whereas I typically ignore or suppress my emotions because I think, " I don't have to time to feel x." Seeing Em go through her pregnancy/birth has helped shift my perception of my own role and has made me more connected emotionally.
7. What makes you laugh the hardest?
E: Anything done in an accent, his impressions of me and when he helps Sloan "dance."
G: Em does this falsetto voice for the cats (and Sloan) that sounds like Susan Boyle singing with a Hispanic accent. It's so weird and over-pronounced that it's almost too embarrassing to laugh at it, but it always kills me.
8. What's one habit the other person has that drives you nuts?
E: He never wraps up food properly before putting it back in the pantry. I always know if G was the last to have cereal or crackers since they'll be really stale the next time I reach for them.
G: Whenever she washes her hair, she combs it and leaves this massive clump of hair on the edge of the shower. She has every intention of throwing it out, but I think it's been taken care of once or twice in the past few years. It's pretty gross.
9. Any weird things that bother the other person?E: G hates the sound of apples being eaten, when he spills something on himself (or maybe it's weird that I'm fine walking around like a total slob?), Matchbox 20 (which pains my high school self) and gets offended when raisins are added to any food.
G: Em doesn't like a single drop of water to touch her skin, unless she intended to get wet. If I wash my hands, dry them off, but have a tiny bit of moisture on me, the moment I come into contact with her, you would have thought I slapped her with a cold, dead fish.
10. Any bucket list items for year 4?
E: I'd like to go on vacation as a family. Our parent friends who have older kids always tell us to travel while she's still a baby and relatively easy (minus that whole sleeping-through-the-night thing). I'm certainly intimidated by the idea of carting along all of her stuff, but I think the more we travel with her, the better she'll be about being away from home.
G: I want to take an international trip. We loved our honeymoon and had planned on going to Japan for my last birthday, but the timing didn't work out, so I'd love to figure out a way to get there soon.
Photographs by Max Wanger
P.P.S. What we did for our first anniversary.