Celebrating 10 Years…

by Cate on May 31, 2008

Today is our anniversary. Ten years. 10 years!  As my parents are celebrating their 39th anniversary this year, my Mom tells me to talk to her when we’ve been married as long as they have.  Nearly 40 years is quite an accomplishment, but in this day and age, when getting a divorce sometimes seems as simple as ordering off a restaurant menu, sad as it is to say, ten years is an accomplishment all its own. 

Sometimes it’s seems like just yesterday that we walked down the aisle and said our vows in front of our family and friends.  I can remember the details so clearly (and the color pink played a part even back then!).  But other times, it seems like that was a lifetime ago … two apartments, three houses, two kids, five dogs, and six cats ago.  It’s amazing how much can happen in the span of ten years, but sometimes it’s like everything changes and nothing changes.  Although I think I’m definitely a very different person than that day ten years ago, very many pieces of me are still exactly the same.   After reflecting on a few weddings we’ve been to recently, I wonder what I’d tell myself then, knowing what I know now, if I could…

1.  When you register for things, really think about what you’ll use.  Ten years later, I have yet to use my wedding china.  I’m so afraid of breaking it, a fear that has only worsened with young kids now in the picture. 

2.  Enjoy time together before kids come along.  We totally did this.  We were married for just over four years before Nicholas arrived, and definitely had our share of fun.  Looking back on it, I wonder what we did with all our free time!

3.  Don’t be in a rush to buy your first house.  When you buy your first home, make sure it’s the right decision for all the right reasons.  Our first home was definitely a mistake.  We bought the house about an hour away from where we lived and worked, and our friends and family, but we bought it there because the area was less expensive and our money went further there.  On the day we closed on the house, I cried all the way home.  And they weren’t happy tears.  While financially, it might have been a good decision, for us, being further away from friends and family and everything we had grown to know and love wasn’t.  A year and a half later, the house was sold and we were onto our second.  That time, we were way more careful about the neighborhood and proximity to what was important to us.  Had I the chance to do it again, I would have waited a year or two, saved more money, and done it right the first time.

4.  Remember the little things that your significant other likes.  Honestly, it sounds commonplace, but it’s so easy to forget, and, admittedly, I’m just as guilty as the next person.  The Husband delights in telling people, “When we were dating, I’d come over and Cate would have homemade salsa and chips waiting for me.  I miss that.”  I try and still do little things here and there, whether it’s making his favorite chicken recipe or remembering to keep his hair gel or go-to Colombian coffee stocked, but you know as well as I do, that it is all too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day drudgery and sometimes forget the little things.  Don’t.

5.  Indulge the quirks.  They ain’t going anywhere.  The Husband will tell you that I have a lot of quirks.  I like to get the mail first.  The Tivo on the bedroom tv is mine and I use it so much that the numbers on the remote have worn off.  I can’t stand someone sleeping on my side of the bed.  I have a ridiculous amount of pillows on the bed (comes from needing to sit up to work on the laptop late at night).  I like to fill up my cup to the top with ice and then add Diet Coke.  I can’t stand coffee or tea.  I roll my eyes.  A lot.  (And now, so does Nicholas).  Those quirks are just the tip of the iceberg, and he certainly has his own.  But as frustrating and maddening as they might be sometimes, that’s what makes me, me and him, him.  Remember that.

6.  Choose your battles.  It’s a refrain I use often with Nicholas.  I am not going to fight about every little thing.  Some things just aren’t worth it.  Last week, I told him that from now on, as long as I didn’t find food in his room, he was allowed to keep it as he wanted; I wouldn’t say anything about it being messy.  The other day I went in there to make sure he was getting ready for school and I stopped when I saw a bunch of things on the floor.  I didn’t say anything, but he looked at me and said, “Remember, Mama, you said you weren’t going to say anything. Don’t even roll your eyes or make that sound.”  You know, that tsk tsk sound that Moms do so well.  He’s right, and I didn’t.  Truth be told, he’s actually kept it neater since I told him my lips were zipped.  Arguing with Nicholas about how he keeps his room just isn’t a battle I want to fight.  I had a messy room growing up, so apparently it’s genetic.  I choose my battles.  Same goes with marriage.  Choose what’s important to you, and how important, and stand your ground for it.  The rest of it?  Be like a duck and let it roll off you.  Everyone will be happier for it.

So, looking back, would I do it all over again, knowing what I know now?  Absolutely.  Would I change anything?  Of course I would.  A million things.  But then where would the growth be?  The challenge?  The fun?  The journey?  We don’t have all the answers going into anything, and we don’t have them going out either.  That being said, it’s been one heckuva ride so far, I can’t wait to see where it takes us next.  Happy Anniversary honey!  Love you.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Mrs Ergül May 31, 2008 at 9:43 am

It’s so sweet reading this post because 10 years of happenings isn’t all that easy to remember. And thank you for such useful and meaningful reminders on maintaining a wonderful marriage. It makes a lot of sense. My husband and I have been married for 9 months and time really flies. I can’t wait to reach our own 10th anniversary mark.

Congratulations to you & your husband for making it so far together! And may many more 10 years befall :)


Kris May 31, 2008 at 3:12 pm

Happy Anniversary!

I laughed when reading about your quirks! I also like to get the mail first, me and only me sleeps on my side of the bed that has about 6 pillows, and I also require tons of ice with my diet coke w/lime. I will hit my 15 anniversary next week – time sure flies!

Wishing you many more happy, wonderful years together!


Faith Kramer May 31, 2008 at 3:31 pm

Congrats on 10 years.
I’ll be married 25 years in August and I can only think of 1 thing to add to your list: Speak up when something is bothering you, don’t suffer in silence or make him guess. Communication is key.


claire May 31, 2008 at 7:09 pm

Congratulations on your anniversary! My parents will celebrate 32 years this year and I am so blessed to have seen their example of a good marriage. I think a lot of your suggestions, they followed…and they are good suggestions. I’ll try and keep them in mind! Enjoy celebrating and best wished for many more years!


Ed Tep June 1, 2008 at 3:43 am

Cate – Happy anniversary to you and your husband! And best wishes for many more happy memories.


Sarah June 1, 2008 at 9:54 am

Cate, where were you four years ago when I was getting married and rushing to buy that first time? Great tips! Everyone getting married should read these . . .

Happy 10th to you and the Husband!


Nosaby June 1, 2008 at 10:31 pm

Congrats on 10 years! You are so right about quirks! I always say that I knew who my husband was when I married him, so I can’t expect him to act differently now. No matter how much some of his stuff bugs me.


chris June 2, 2008 at 8:09 am

ahhh yes. i remember it like it was yesterday. it was a very special day and i am so glad i was a part of it. seeing the apartments, houses, animals and of course the children ( cant wait to meet M). Love to both of you. chris :)


The Neighbor Husband June 2, 2008 at 10:34 am

Don’t forget the back rub’s for the husband. Time does pass quickly. I was going over your list and I was putting it in my order of importance. I’ll share it with you this upcoming weekend.


darla June 2, 2008 at 6:36 pm

Ten years and you have all these words of wisdom? Gimme a break. As you said, in this day and age where divorce is as common as ordering off of a menu, ten years is a drop in the bucket.

BTW….Your husband was married before. How many years did that marriage last?


The Neighor (wife) June 3, 2008 at 9:04 am

Happy Anniversary!


Patsy June 3, 2008 at 10:23 am

Happy Anniversary (a little late, but the wish is still there!)!! I love how you shared advice that would have been helpful if you’d known it sooner! I’ve got a few of those as well! LOL!


The Neighor (wife) June 3, 2008 at 1:52 pm

Huh? Darla 10 years nowadays is a lot, sad as it is.


The Neighbor Husband June 3, 2008 at 1:58 pm


I think 10 years is a fairly long time to invest in anything. After reading your post, I need to ask you as your post does imply you speak from experience. Do your views on marriage change after 20 to 100 plus years. I am in the 10 year range and I would like to think I could give some very good advice on the subject. I would love to hear your thoughts. I realize that the age in which people get married would also change the views etc….. but I am still curious. Your post is very thought provoking as I wonder if advice or “words of wisdom” from say a 50+ year couple would be more of planning for the future advice. Just some food for thought. Please advise :)


jancd June 3, 2008 at 2:24 pm

Is Darla a friend?

Ten years is a wonderful accomplishment. My husband and I celebrated our 34th this year and our daughters are celebrating their 9th and 4th.

It takes work and laughter, but it is so worth it. Jancd


Sarah June 3, 2008 at 2:43 pm

I hate to stir the pot . . .

(Can you hear the but coming?)

But, Darla, you say:

>in this day and age where divorce is as common as ordering off of a menu, ten years is a drop in the bucket

That contradicts itself in so many ways — if divorce is COMMON, how can 10 years be “a drop in the bucket”? After all, that phrase means that it’s insignificant — in an age of divorce, 10 years is indeed significant.


Cate June 3, 2008 at 3:17 pm

Thanks all for the good wishes! :)

Chris – it seems it’s high time for you to come back down for a visit. ;) If not for us, at least to see the littllest one. ;)

Jancd – no, don’t know Darla.

The Neighbor Husband – you guys and your back rubs!


Lauren June 3, 2008 at 8:32 pm

Congratulations!! What wonderful timing – I am getting married in 11 days and I am definitely taking your advice to heart!!!

Side note: we didn’t register for china (much to my fiance’s grandmother’s chagrin) and instead registered for one set of all-purpose heavy-duty dishes and one set of beautiful (yet dishwasher-safe) dishes for special occasions.


maria v June 4, 2008 at 1:18 am

Happy anniversary Cate, I’ve been married almost 9 years, and yes, it is an achievement these days with the growing divorce rates. My advice is not to register for anything, and to keep the knick knacks you had before you got married – then buy things as you need them. You’ll appreciate them more.


darla June 6, 2008 at 7:53 pm

Dear Neighbor Husband,
I love you what you wrote…. “Your post is very thought provoking as I wonder if advice or “words of wisdom” from say a 50+ year couple would be more of planning for the future advice.” No, it’s not planning for the future, but hindsight speaking from experience…nearly 40 yrs. worth.

Yes, indeed, in answer to your question, one’s view on marriage changes year after year….or day after day for that matter. A good marriage, or any relationship for that matter, is a (daily) work in progress. I found it amusing that Cate would profess to know, in her 6 stated subjects, what it takes to ensure a good marriage after 10 years…..especially being married to someone who already had a failed marriage.

BTW jancd, not everyone who responds is a friend to the blogger.


Cate June 6, 2008 at 9:41 pm

Darla, I did not “profess to know… “what it takes to ensure a good marriage after 10 years.” Quite the contrary. I merely shared some general tips that we have discovered along the way of our own 10-year journey. Each and every relationship is different, and what works for some might not work for others. Simple as that. Congrats to you and your 40 years – here’s to another 40. :)


Sarah June 6, 2008 at 11:29 pm


If you read the post — read the words used in the post — you would know that these were words of advice that Cate would have told herself. How dare you poo-poo on her experiences, however short compared to yours? Who are you to say that your 40 years are more important than Cate’s 10? She might be sharing the advice she would have given herself — but it’s her advice to herself. If the rest of us can take something from it, great . . . Obviously, you cannot. But that doesn’t negate her personal experience.


The Neighbor Husband June 7, 2008 at 8:24 am

Happy Saturday to all,
Everyone’s thoughts and opinions are great to read but they are just that thoughts and opinions. After reading the initial posts earlier in the week I just thought it would be really interesting to read the words of wisdom or advice from another person who has different views on the matter. Cate, Darla and Sarah have a great weekend and we will revisit this subject every five years to see if the views have changed:)


darla June 8, 2008 at 7:10 pm

Dear Cate et al,
Truly sorry if I offended you. Indeed, ten years of happily wedded bliss is certainly something to be proud of (especially in this day and age) even if every day wasn’t so happy and blissful (and, c’mon, you know they weren’t!!).

I truly enjoy your blog, have gotten some fabulous advice and recipes, and think your children are adorable. I didn’t mean to sound like an old sourpuss….please forgive me. I hope the next 40+ years of your marriage are as wonderful as the past 10. xoxoxoxDarla


Cate O'Malley June 9, 2008 at 10:14 pm

Thanks, Darla. :)


Ashley June 11, 2008 at 10:18 pm

awww! what a great post! CONGRATS on your decade of happiness, and thanks for sharing the things you’ve learned. :)


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