anniversaries

Fifty-Two Weeks of Adventure # 24: Anniversaries and Love Motels

On Saturday my husband and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. I’ve been waiting for years to feel like a grown up. I kept thinking I would feel like one when I moved away from home, when I graduated from college, when I got married, when I got my first “real” job, when I moved across the world. But I have to confess that I’m often amazed that other people seem to think of me as an adult. Cause I just don’t see it most of the time. 🙂 I thought that perhaps a five-year wedding anniversary would be the kind of milestone that made me feel grown up. And I admit that this made me feel a little old. But then I ate nachos for dinner. So not really all that grown up.

Speaking of not grown up...these guys were just chilling on their stilts.

Speaking of not grown up…these guys were just chilling on their stilts.

For our anniversary, we spent the night in Busan, our favorite city in Korea. We stayed in a love motel near Haeundae Beach, one of Busan’s most popular areas. “Love motels” are a very common form of accommodation in Korea. As the name suggests, they are motels specifically marketed as places for couples to tryst. In Korea, most people marry in their late twenties to early thirties and people live with their parents until they get married, which means there aren’t a lot of options for couples to spend time together. Additionally, Korean families often sleep together in the same room, so even a married couple with a few young children might utilize a love motel for some alone time. Actually I’ve heard that a few years ago, there was some sort of law that required businesses to close mid-afternoon one day per week so that people would be encouraged to make more babies. There is something of a population crisis in Korea where the average family has only have one child, two maximum, which means they aren’t replacing themselves and the population is in decline. So the government invented a way to encouraged people to spend more “quality time” with their spouses. As far as I know, this is no longer in effect.

Some motels are themed and have interesting decor and others are essentially just like small mid-range hotels that happen to provide you with condoms. It may sound sketchy, but the love motels are often cleaner and nicer than hostels and are much more affordable than fancy hotels. The one we stayed at this time wasn’t themed, but it did have mirrors all over the place, including the ceiling. It also had a lovely bathtub which was easily my favorite part of the room since we don’t have a tub or even a proper shower in our apartment. (Like many Korean apartments, we simply have a “wet room” where our shower head is attached to the sink and you just stand in the middle of the bathroom to shower with no curtains or anything).

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It was pretty overcast the entire time we were in Busan, so while we spent a bit of time walking along the beach, the views weren’t the best we’ve seen. We did have a nice dinner in a restaurant near the beach that’s known for it’s Western menu where we had BBQ chicken sliders and a giant plate of nachos. Nothing gourmet, but certainly some comfort food.

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We tried so hard to selfie, but we weren't very good at it...

We tried so hard to selfie, but we weren’t very good at it…

This guy right here = most wonderful man in the world.

This guy right here = most wonderful man in the world. Also, so handsome!

It’s hard to believe we’ve been married for five years, but when we reflect on all that we’ve done and seen and the ways that we’ve changed and grown we have been amazed. I am beyond blessed to be married to such a kind, patient man who makes me laugh every day. We are as crazy about each other as we were when we were 19 and I never want to take that for granted. I’ve written a bit about my thoughts on marriage and why I think ours works so beautifully well, but I am still overwhelmed by the gift that it is and I’m pretty much fine with owning the fact that I have the most wonderful husband in the world. I am so humbled that he chose me and that he chooses me still, every single day.

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If you have an adventure to share, add your link to the link-up by clicking the button below. You can participate in all of the adventures or you can just do a few – no pressure. If you missed last week’s adventure about the MERS scare in Korea you can find it here. And if you are new to my Fifty-Two Weeks of Adventure project you can find out more about it here.

Mysteries and Miracles

This post is a little behind because our anniversary was last week, but I didn’t want to let a couple of days keep me from saying it. Since I already posted a few months ago about how I suck at marriage, I’ll keep this one short and sweet.  PS – If you came over from Relevant and you are looking for my response to your responses to my article, you can read that here.

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Do you remember our first Valentine’s Day, Love? When we’d been dating a grand total of 11 days? You met me in the lobby of my dorm and we walked together through the snow to the Starbucks in downtown Wheaton. You gave me a single red rose because you couldn’t afford the whole dozen. I gave you a card, simple and sweet, something about how much I liked being around you. You drank hot chocolate (because you hadn’t learned to like coffee yet) and I had some festive holiday drink (probably a peppermint mocha) and we sat by the window and talked about how happy we were to just be together. Somewhere on the way home, my phone fell out of my pocket and was swallowed by a snowdrift, never to be seen again. You walked me back to my dorm and awkwardly hugged me good-bye because you hadn’t even kissed me yet.

And here we are seven years, three major moves, six jobs and two cats later – on the other side of the world from where we began. Loving more fiercely, more deeply, more deliberately than we could have imagined.

Last night I dreamed we had a baby. A baby girl with a soft peach-fuzz head made just for kissing. I can remember her weight in my arms and the smell of her skin like honey and cream. I woke up sad because she wasn’t real. But she reminded me of something. She reminded me that there are mysteries and miracles still ahead for us, Love. That the honeymoon may officially be over, but ordinary life is still heavy with wonder.

In the heat of these summer evenings, we lay on our backs across our bed, fan churning full-blast, carefully arranging ourselves so that our sticky limbs don’t touch. We look up at the ceiling and whisper out loud the names of the places we hope to see and of the children we hope to love. We map out a dozen possible futures and describe the kind of people we hope to be and the dreams we hope to accomplish. We exhale prayers and breathe in hope. And with these words we build a life.