Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Why We Fit

We just returned from a Thomas family reunion (Will's parents, bro's & sis's) on Lake Powell, where we all camped out on a beach in the hot sun (or stayed on the houseboat) for a week.  The kids made sand castles, swam, and we had family dinners.  I for one, laid on the beach in the shade a lot and watched my two boys enjoy themselves.

Part of the fun of getting together with family members you don't see very often, is getting to know what everyone has been up to.  

On one of the last evenings at the beach, some of us stayed up around the campfire and talked about marriage, relationships, work, and all that gushy stuff.  Will and I sort of stepped into the whole conversation a bit late, so when we sat down we were the next ones up in the hot seat.

Some of the questions we were asked were "How long did you guys date before you got married?", "Who wears the pants in your relationship?", "What are your fights about?", and "Will you're pretty stubborn, do you find it hard to compromise?".  I have to say these were not easy questions to answer, but on the other hand so simple.

To answer:
- We dated for 18 months before getting married
- No one person wears the pants, but things are pretty equal between us in our marriage.
- Our fights are usually about Mayonnaise vs. Miracle Whip
- And Will compromises more than you would think. He actually sacrifices a LOT to make me happy. That is his #1 goal - truly.

I'm not sure if our answers were not juicy enough and they wanted more, but then the question came up "But you guys are so different.  How do you make it work?"  That wasn't the exact question, but it was kind of insinuated.

The next day, as I was hanging out on the beach, someone said to me that they were so surprised what a great camper I had been that week.  I was a bit confused, and asked "What do you mean?".  She said "Well I always pictured you as such a girly-girl, that I had no idea you were such a good outdoorsy camper."

Later that day, another family member said almost the same thing to me!  Okay, now I was actually really surprised.  It's funny when one person says it, but when two or more people make the observation...then I start getting a bit worried.  And the 2nd person said, "Well, I guess it's just that I don't know you very well - I just always see you as glamorous and girly."

So I was telling Will about this later that day, and he laughed too.  Both about the comments about us being so different, and the ones about me surprising people that I was so outdoorsy.  He said "We are like twins!  We are so alike it's crazy."

So anyway, this got me thinking...about how we all know our own siblings pretty well, but do we really know their spouses?  Our in-laws?  I've been married to Will for 7 and 1/2 years now (including dating we've been together for 9 years) and I guess I still have some socializing to do within our family.  Honestly, we are all so spread out across the country we don't get to see each other very often.  Our blogs are about our kids, or our careers, or what we did last weekend....but never about US on a personal level.

So I thought I would write a little bit about myself and perhaps you will then be able to see why Will and I fit so well together. :)  

1.  I have been camping since I was like 5 years old.  All of my family vacations growing up were either always camping or boating.  I can remember two vacations that were not camping - one was in a beach house on the Oregon Coast, and the other was Disneyland when I was 21 years old and home from college for the summer.  No joke.  I didn't go to Disneyland until I was 21.

2.  I grew up either in a beach house or on a boat.  The ocean is a huge part of my childhood.  I can name pretty much all beach critters and I am not afraid to dig holes and pick up crabs.

3.  I grew up with 3 brothers and played in the dirt.

Also made backyard swimming pools out of dinghies.

4.  My mom made matching dresses for her and I, and I dreaded wearing them. Haha. Sorry mom.

5.  My grandparents were avid outdoors people and backpackers, and my brothers and I would spend summers hiking, camping, and backpacking with them in Eastern Oregon. Winters were spent snowmobiling with them.

6. I have an adopted brother, Shaun (far left).  He was our cousin until at the age of 8, my parents adopted him and he's been our brother ever since. He is estranged from our family now, from his own reasons, so that is why he is never really in photos anymore.

7.  The first high school dance I ever went to was Tolo, and it was with my best guy friend, David Evans. My mom sewed my dress.  I had super curly hair in high school.

8.  When I was younger, I loved animals and horses. I would bring stray cats home and feed them, and cuddle any animals I could.  My parents let me take riding lessons for a while, and I begged them almost every day to buy me a horse. Never got one though.

9.  Our boys (Preston and Taylor) look a lot like me when I was little....

10. I graduated high school when I was 17, and performed a piano solo at the graduation ceremony. The wind blew my music off the piano.  I was always competing with one other girl in my school for "most talented" in the yearbook, and she always won. She had red hair too.

11.  I was the only 2nd grader in the 6th grade orchestra, and I was the concert master.

12.  I hiked, skied, camped, and did a lot of adventures in college....

(I have been skiing since I was 14 years old.) 

13.  I didn't have my first "real" boyfriend or kiss until I was 21. This was him. He kissed me at midnight on New Years Eve after we'd already been "boyfriend/girlfriend" for 2 weeks.  My first thought was "This is what I've been waiting for?" and didn't think kissing was all that great until I met the 2nd guy I kissed. Later. (Will was "lucky #7", as he likes to call himself).

14.  This is the first picture that Will ever saw of me (we met online). I still have the pink JCrew sweater.

15.  These are photos that perked his interest in me, that were also on my online profile.

16.  Our first date was....

17.  We both enjoy similar tastes in music, and Will also plays the piano in case you didn't know. 

18.  I have 3 brothers and a dad who like to be outdoorsy. I grew up wishing I could be a boy like them sometimes....

19.  But I'm also girly because I had a mother who insisted on me "being a lady".

Although, sometimes I really did not want to be a lady.... :)

20.  I am a very determined person, and when I say I am going to do something - I do it.  I am very self-motivated and never think that my dreams or goals are unattainable.  I often think about them until I come up of ways to make them happen through lots of ingenuity and creativity.  

So there you have it - a little bit about me and what makes me ME.  

Will and I fit well together because we have a lot of common similarities and interests, but our personalities are also different enough that we balance each other out.

I'm feisty < He's calm.
I'm a fighter < He won't fight with me (he's a lover)
He's not good at expressing his feelings < I'm good at getting him to talk about his feelings
He's stubborn < I'm not.
He's patient < I've learned patience through him.
I like to spend money < He likes to save money (it balances out somewhere in the middle)
I love chocolately desserts < he likes fruity desserts (we never have to share lol)

Our commonalities are simple:

We both like to be around our own family (the four of us) and would rather be no where else most of the time.
We both love the northwest and where we live.
We both support each other in our hobbies, goals, and dreams.
We both love the outdoors.
I'm an overachiever < He's an overachiever
We both like peace in our home and don't allow yelling from anyone.  Not saying it doesn't happen, but we strive to keep it out of our home.
We both love to snuggle.
We both love to talk about our days with each other, and also talk about our children together.
We both hate shopping in malls.
We both strive to put family first.

So anyway.  I hope that helps you get to know ME a little bit better and why I am the way that I am, and also why Will and I love each other and fit together so well. :)  Feel free to copy my idea and post your own blog so I can get to know you better too!


Sandy said...

I guess I've always knew you like outdoorsy stuff but it was fun to see all your pictures. I think you're a perfect match for Will and he for you. I love how you support each other's dreams.

Carolyn said...

Fun walk down Memory Lane. We had some great times while you kids were growing up......I miss them. I'm just glad that you don't live too far away, so we can still do a few things together.

Kate said...

I LOVE this! Great idea to post about you. I learned a lot! Guess I never thought of you as "girly" but not as outdoorsy as you obviously are. This is wonderful! I really admire your wonderful marriage and family :)

Saving Grace said...

I think I fell asleep early that night because I don't remember that conversation. It's fun to read about your adventures.

The Thomas Family said...

So fun to read. Thanks for sharing. It was fun spending time with you all. Your kids really do look a lot like you as a kid. Loved the pictures!