It’s so weird to me that our wedding day was thirteen years ago! We were such babies when we got married-I was only 23 and he was 22. Crazy to think how young we were. Now at our age, 22 and 23 seems so young to us! But you know what-we had it all figured out at that age, and just knew what we wanted-why wait?!
To celebrate our anniversary, we thought it would be fun to do a little Q&A on the blog, and believe it or not, we actually got enough questions-HA!
Are you both originally from York, PA?
Rebecca: Nope! I grew up in Hollidaysburg, PA (home of the Slinky!). My family still lives there!
Ryan: I grew up in Jarrettsville, MD. Rebecca and I were living in Towson, MD after college and wanted to purchase a home, but the cost of living was more expensive in Maryland, so we decided to look over the MD line into PA and just commute for work. We moved here to York in 2005 with the intention of only staying for a couple of years and then moving back to Maryland. Fast forward 13 years later and we are pretty well established here!
You’re always laughing-how important is that to your marriage?
Rebecca: Extremely! I think Ryan is hysterical (I think together we are SO funny!) so I love that he makes me laugh until my belly hurts. We have the same sense of humor so that helps. I will say though that he knows when to stop. There are times where I am just not in the mood and he knows!
Ryan: I think it’s very important because why wouldn’t it be? We are always laughing-it’s comforting sometimes, especially if you can laugh a little during a crappy situation. It lightens the mood.
If you could replay any date or vacation what would it be and why?
Rebecca and Ryan: This was a no brainer for us. The summer of 2011, right before we opened out custard shop (that stayed open for 2 years and was the worst 2 years ever) we took a little trip just the two of us to this little resort in Playa Mujeres called La Amada- it has since changed names and is now called The Beloved.
I’m not sure if it has expanded since then, but at the time it was such a small resort with not a lot to do and it was perfect for us. We just lounged by the pool all day (at the most there were 12 people at the pool one day), took a mojito making class, ate great food. We aren’t jet setters, so we usually don’t like to go back to places we have visited-we like to try new destinations, but this is one place we would go back to in a heartbeat.
I swear it’s the only vacation I came home from fully relaxed!
If you could plan a dream date for one another what would it be (money is not an option).
Rebecca: Ryan is an avid golfer, so I would love to take him to the PGA. Either that, or take him to see an Arsenal soccer game. We would obviously have to fly there, so we would make a whole adventure out of it!
Ryan: Oh this is a no brainer. We would go to New York City. We would take the train up, spend the day in the city doing some shopping, have a nice meal and then see a Broadway show in the evening, then cap the night off with dessert on a rooftop.
What are some things that each of you did when you were dating that you thought were cute (like little quirks or habits) that now annoy the crap out of you?
Rebecca: HAHA! He is LOUD yawner. Like it’s a production. He can’t just yawn and leave it at that. There is volume to them, bass behind them, a beginning, middle and end. (it’s also how he blows his nose and sneezes)
Ryan: This is hard, because we didn’t traditionally date, because we were in college. We just hung out a lot. I mean I guess I thought she kept her room umkempt because she was in college and didn’t care, but it’s kind of spilled over into life. And that’s just the way it is-it’s kind of stressful and I don’t get stressed out very often.
Worst pet peeve?
Rebecca: He is a thrower awayer. Like even the girls know he has tendencies to just throw things away before asking if it can be tossed. Can’t tell you how many times the girls and I have rolled our eyes at him because he threw away something that shouldn’t have been. He also chooses to tidy up at the most inopportune times. I can’t tell you how many times over the years I have had to say “now is not the time to be cleaning the kitchen island-we are literally leaving!”
Ryan: This kind of goes along with the last question but it’s more so her shoes. She has a thousand pair and they all don’t go in the same spot in the shoe department of her closet. There are some here, some there, in the garage, over with the kids shoes. On the steps. Even the vacuum pushes them out of the way (we have a robot vacuum).
What was your experience meeting each other’s families for the first time?
Rebecca: I come from a large family that is pretty affectionate. Hugs, kisses and I love you’s all around. So when I met Ryan’s family it was an adjustment that they weren’t the affectionate type. Very welcoming, kind and friendly, and we all got along immediately but no hugs hello or goodbye like I was used to. He also comes from a small family-also an adjustment.
It was interesting for me before we met, because Ryan had pointed me out to them, so they knew what I looked like but I didn’t know them. So every soccer game of Ryan’s that I went to, I tried to figure out who they were!
I am happy to report though, that I have rubbed off on them over the last 18 years, and there are now hugs, kisses and I love you’s all around with the Wattenschaidt clan!
Ryan: Ummm. I think it was a little overwhelming at first because I went to her house over Christmas break and I didn’t just meet her parents and brother, I met the WHOLE Italian/Irish clan. Coming from a family that is not really large and overly affectionate it was a lot to take in. Obviously they were all very welcoming but being hugged by cousin, after cousin, after aunt, after uncle was a lot to take in. And there were hugs when you got there, and hugs when you left. It took me out of my social comfort zone. I reach my yearly hug quota within an hour (LOL). But overall it was a great experience!
How do you keep the fun and friendship going in your marriage?
Rebecca: I think it’s important to honor each others hobbies and interests. Pay attention to what they like, talk to them about it, ask questions, encourage them. As parents, its easy to just talk about our girls, so we try to make it a point to talk about things that friends would chat about (even if it doesn’t interest me, like sports).
Ryan: It’s not always easy. You have to be able to leave work at work if you can so the stress of work doesn’t interfere with your personal life. You have to make time for each other and you have to make sure that each other has time for themselves.
How often do you do date nights?
Rebecca: Probably not as often as we should, but I would say once a month. What has been a blessing, is that I have off on Monday’s and Ryan works from home for most of the day, so we try to grab lunch together, or catch up on our show during the day while the girls are at school. That one on one time is so nice and refreshing. Other than our typical Monday though, I would say a true date night is once a month!
Ryan: It depends on what is going on. We try to maybe do it once a month, but we also do day dates now that Rebecca has Monday’s off and I work from home.
How did having children change your relationship/Does marriage get better or different as the kids get older?
Rebecca: I feel like we could dedicate a whole blog post to this. Having children 100% changes your relationship. It’s up to you how it changes it. I will say the first 2 years of Ella’s life was the worst of our marriage. In full transparency, it definitely got to the point where our marriage was in shambles and I was ready to give up.
The thing about having children is that you forget about yourself and your spouse because it’s all about baby. You don’t make your marriage a priority-it’s so easy to do that because you are concerned with sleep schedules, when was the last time the baby pooped, their first steps, first words, all of the above.
Thankfully, I married a man who doesn’t give up easily. It was a lot of work, a ton of mess ups on my part, and a lot of shifting focus to each other. We learned, kind of the hard way, that marriage is work. You have got to put in the time, effort and energy into each other.
One thing that we do now, is just do check in’s with each other. It’s literally as simple as one of us saying “are we good?” Really-that’s it. It just let’s the other know that we are paying attention, making sure all is good. Most of the time the answer is yes, but every once in a while there is a “you know, when was the last time we kissed good night?” or ” we’ve been on our phones too much lately at night.”
Marriage definitely gets better and different as the kids get older. There are different challenges that we haven’t faced, but there is also little snippets of freedom here and there. We find ourselves cozied on the couch while the girls are playing together in the basement or in their bedrooms together. They don’t need or want us to play with them all the time so we get some time to just sit.
Ryan: I think having children turns your marriage upside down-that’s not a bad thing. You have to figure out how to parent and still make sure your spouse is taken care of. It’s easy to forget that.
I think marriage gets better and different. Obviously there’s more and different challenges with your kids but you should be handling them together. Seeing how your kids succeed based on the decisions you make together as parents is a reflection of your marriage (my opinion).
And as the kids get busier with things you get creative in finding ways to carve out a few minutes for each other, which can be exciting because it’s different than the norm.
What is one thing he does that always makes you laugh or puts you in a good mood?
Rebecca: Such a good question! I feel like it has evolved over the years. When we were younger (and didn’t have a mortgage lol) it was little gifts. Now though, it’s his dumb dad jokes and silly made up songs. He can make a song up about anything-it’s so dumb its funny! Also, he is the best dad joke teller there is. They are so ridiculous and total eye rollers but I can’t help but laugh at them!
If you get in a disagreement who makes peace first?
Rebecca: I would say Ryan. I don’t necessarily hold grudges, but I am also not quick to let go. I will say we don’t disagree too often or really have any arguments (we do get on each other’s nerves though, and that is always evident to each other lol).
Ryan: Probably me. We don’t have a lot of disagreements. There’s not much to elaborate on- we just don’t have a lot and I don’t like disagreements so I prefer a quick resolution.
If you go on a date, who pays?
Rebecca: When we were dating Ryan always paid. Now that we are married, all money is shared (we have joint everything) so technically we both pay! He still gets his wallet and his money/card out, but since it’s our money we both pay. Although I will say, financially I don’t bring much into the family, so in a way it’s kind of his money-LOL!
Ryan: When we were dating, before we got married, I always paid. I don’t know if that’s customary now or not but that’s the way it always was!