Four Years


I can’t believe that tomorrow is our four year wedding anniversary. Anel and I got married at a relatively young age (I was 27 and he was 26!) four years ago in Newport, RI. While I want to say that it gets easier as time goes by, that would be a lie. This year has been the hardest one not only of our marriage but of our entire relationship.

We have lived through so many awful times in our year-long fertility struggle, but the fact that our marriage is not only alive and kicking but flourishing today is sometimes mind-boggling. In last year’s post, we both excitedly said that we we couldn’t wait to start a family in the next year… but it’s now here and we’re still without one.

I’m now fairly sure that if we could get through this (although we’re still going through it), we can get through anything together. So here’s hoping that the next year brings more joy than tears, no matter what shakes out.

Anel and I are both going to answer the same questions we answered last year to see if anything has changed (hint: it has!).


What have you learned about marriage over the last four year?

Julia: It’s a full time job. People say marriage is hard for a reason but, like with any job, if you put in the time and effort to perfect it, the rewards are worth it. We are constantly doing things to improve our relationship and sometimes have to have the same conversation about something that is bothering one of us every single month… but instead of getting frustrated, we grow as a couple each and every time.

Anel: You have to be on the same team no matter what. Julia would always say this in our first few years of marriage but now, after the year we had, I understand what she means. But compromise and communication are the most important factors in a happy marriage. And it’s not always easy to be good at both.

Wedding Silhouette

What is one thing that pushes the other person’s buttons?

Julia: When I get too controlling which is pretty often. Being controlled is Anel’s worst nightmare. I’ve made great strides in the last year to be less controlling and he’s made great strides to tell me (calmly) when I’m doing it again.

Anel: When I get distracted from the task at hand and forget to do something she asked me to do. I’ve started writing things down to prevent that. She also hates when I check my phone at dinner.

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 2.45.58 PM

What do you love most about the other person?

Julia: His never-ending support of everything I do. He was the first one to push me to quit my job to blog full time despite the fact that our income would be cut in half and he’s in the process of starting his own business. He cared more about my health and happiness than the money which makes me feel incredibly lucky.

Anel: I love her drive to be successful in everything that she does. It’s inspiring to see. I love her smile and uncontrollable laughter, how much she cares about Boots, and how she really cares about every meal she cooks for us. Most of all I love the support she offers in all of my adventures… even if I want to do something ridiculous like buy a compound bow. (Julia’s note: True story, he recently bought an effing compound bow. Why? No idea.)

Wedding Socks

How do you make the other person laugh?

Julia: When I think something is really funny, I have this breathy uncontrollable laugh. Anel thinks that is the funniest thing in the world and then he can’t stop laughing either. It’s a cycle of hysteria that can last for quite a while!

Anel: When I make up my own words to songs or just in general. And she thinks my dance moves are hilarious but they’re actually not a joke.


What do you still want to work on as husband/wife?

Julia: Nothing, I’m perfect… just kidding! I need to work on being less controlling.

Anel: My focus this year is to be more patient and try not to get frustrated about the little things that don’t matter. I can have a short fuse but am working on changing that.


What makes you a good husband/wife?

Julia: I said this last year but it’s the best answer. I love to take care of people including my husband. I love making him a meal that he loves or doing something cute like buying him a new shirt or making him his favorite drink so when he comes home from work he has a little surprise.

Anel: I’m a good listener and am always there for her no matter what she is going through. I’m also thoughtful and try to anticipate what she might want before she says it out loud.


What is one thing you want to do together in year five of marriage?

Julia: Obviously first and foremost I want us to procreate already! That is our number one goal (again) this year, and although we’ll be focusing on it quite a bit, I also want to make sure that we take the time to appreciate each other and spend time enjoying each other’s company without worrying too much about our future.

Anel: Of course I want us to become parents this year. Julia is going to be an amazing mom and I can’t wait to see that happen for her and for us.


Marriage is a beautiful thing but it takes work! For all you married folks out there, share your marriage advice below. We can all benefit to see how other people do things well.

View all posts in:

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Ashley F said:

    I loved reading this! I’m not anywhere close to getting married, but this was so sweet to read!

    Ashley //

    9.1.16 · Reply
  2. Ashley Vickney said:

    What a sweet read! I’m engaged, and my fiance and I just moved in together. Some days are a struggle, but I love being with him! (Also your wedding looked amazing)

    9.1.16 · Reply
  3. Love this post + you two!! Happy anniversary – here’s to all that will come in your next year (lots of good things I have a feeling… ;))

    9.1.16 · Reply
  4. Caitlin said:

    Happy anniversary!! I wish you both a happy year together!

    My wedding is only a month and a half away (ahh!), and I love reading reflections like this on married life. It’s so great to read what other couples our age have learned so far. <3

    9.1.16 · Reply
  5. Caitlin said:

    Happy Anniversary! I can relate to your fertility struggles so much. While I haven’t actually gotten pregnant yet, my husband and I are coming up on 1 full year of “trying” It’s been a long, rough year for us filled with ups and downs, but we’re finally seeking help. Best of luck to you!

    9.1.16 · Reply
  6. Salley Burkett Thompson said:

    Congratulations on 4 years of marriage! My husband and I had our 7 year anniversary this year and, despite the challenges, it gets sweeter every year (even if it doesn’t get any easier). Best wishes to you as you embark on year 5!

    9.1.16 · Reply
  7. Dana Mannarino said:

    Happy Anniversary! Such a great milestone and I loved reading both of your responses — also thought it was THE cutest how he loves your uncontrollable laughter!

    Pink Champagne Problems

    9.1.16 · Reply
  8. Lauren said:

    i love the honesty and openness of this post. It is really wonderful for you to admit that marriage is not an easy walk in the park and that true love needs to be worked on and grown through the years. Love this!

    9.1.16 · Reply
  9. Happy anniversary and I hope you have a great trip! Can’t wait to see your photos from my city and see where you decide to go!

    9.1.16 · Reply
  10. CelebratingthisLife said:

    Happy anniversary! My hubby and I are coming up on anniversary number 13 (still can’t believe how quickly that went by) and I have to say my advice is to always make time for one another. Not just lovey-dovey time, friend time. You really have to like a person and their interests to stay together so long! xx Rox-Anne,

    9.1.16 · Reply
  11. Julie said:

    Hi Julia! First of all happy anniversary to you both. Every anniversary is an achievement and something you should both be proud. It’s always so much easier to give up and head straight for separation. Getting married is the easy bit, staying together and making your marriage work is a totally different business. I have been married for 9 years to my husband and I can confirm it’s really hard work. What keeps me going, apart from our 3 amazing children who we love so much, is the fact that we share the same values and deeply care about each other. Until I believe in that, I will keep working on our marriage. Obviously when you become parents you have a really really good reason to want to stick to the same partner but having kids also bring a different range of challenge (less time for each other as husband and wife). This year, my resolution is to try to make time more regularly for us to go out as a couple and appreciate more of each other’s company. On a daily basis, I am like you, I like to prepare nice meals for my husband, I often bake with the kids and will regularity put in a box a few of our cakes for his afternoon ‘cup of tea (I know….so British;) in a box, I will email him little videos of the kids and pics of them. I know that always cheer him up. Also I try to make sure that I listen to him every evening telling me about his day. We always make time to have diner together and chat. Woah, sorry that was a quite a long comment – I might have got carried away;) Hope next year you can share with us another great (and hopefully full of good news) anniversary decrief. Hugs from London, Julie xx

    9.1.16 · Reply
  12. Erica Rae said:

    Love this! Happy early anniversary! I feel what you’re going through ….not exactly because our struggle is secondary infertility after 2 kids. But i’ve been struggling for 6 years now with it. I pray you will become parents very soon. It’s the hardest job but the biggest blessing!

    Random…..but my 8 year old daughters crush at school is named Anel hahah!

    9.1.16 · Reply
  13. Happy Anniversary!! This post is so honest and I love seeing the personal side of your marriage. Thank you so much for sharing!!
    xx Tess | Sequins are the New Black

    9.1.16 · Reply
  14. Mary Fremeau said:

    Happy 4th anniversary! Sending prayers your way that you will be parents soon.

    9.1.16 · Reply
  15. Beautiful images, I love how you both seem to have such a great understanding and outlook on marriage.

    9.3.16 · Reply
  16. How exciting 🙂 your dress is absolutely amazing. It’s like my dream wedding dress! Happy anniversary !! xo Hannah

    9.3.16 · Reply
  17. Katie said:

    Happy anniversary and congrats to you and Anel on 4 years, so exciting!


    9.3.16 · Reply
  18. Christine said:

    Happy Anniversary! I found this post so relatable. My husband I will be celebrating our 4 year wedding anniversary in a few weeks as well. Similar to you and Anel we were both 26 when we got married. We bought our first house last year and this year we’re hoping to start our family.

    9.4.16 · Reply
  19. Katie Hilferty said:

    Happy Anniversary! My husband and I are coming up on our second wedding anniversary next week, and we just had our first child 3+ weeks ago. It definitely has tested our marriage learning to accommodate this new, needy person in our lives. Middle of the night feedings, crying that won’t stop, a baby that won’t sleep… while I wouldn’t trade her for the world, I do envy your ability to spend quality time with your spouse. Treasure it! Before you know it, you will be a mom zombie like me 🙂

    PS I have PCOS and we also had difficulty getting pregnant. Two things that worked for us were Pregnitude (an over the counter supplement that improves the quality of your eggs) and an HSG test. Good luck!

    9.6.16 · Reply
  20. Linda said:

    Love what you two have to say after four years. You guys have what it takes. I predict. A fabulous year for you both.

    9.11.16 · Reply