Straight to True North

Happily Seven Years After

Seven years and three kids later, I’m more thankful than ever that I said, “I do” at the altar. For all my imagining and dreaming, I couldn’t have come up with the life I have now—it’s so much better.

We unexpectedly got pregnant before I left for Mauritius last year before our sixth anniversary. Bruce has been a jolly “bonus baby”. It took me the full nine months to truly believe that we were having our third. We’ve had a lot of help before and after the pregnancy, and Kadie and Vi have taken up their duties as big sisters very well. Jennilyn has reached new heights of being a mother of three.

Since we couldn’t fit three car seats in our Mazda 626 sedan, we purchased a minivan. It’s been great to be able to carpool with friends and our kids. Better for the environment and better companionship during longer drives. My favorite feature of the minivan is the “sports mode,” which is a fancy name for automatic and manual transmission engine. Perhaps the “sports” moniker helps the husband not feel so domesticated—I have no idea.

Jenni and I did a series of photographs highlighting aspects of our married life, called “Mr and Mrs Lim”. Sadly, we were too busy to fulfill the weekly schedule for the year, but we enjoyed what we did photograph about our married life—which, in turn, helped fill out this year’s anniversary slideshow.

What were we busy with? Well, besides preparing for Bruce, I was project lead for a major website redesign at my job. It was the first time where I had a difficult time leaving work at work. There were a lot of stresses and I’m very grateful for Jennilyn’s support during the project. It was the largest project I worked on and led. The website has been so much easier to maintain and develop for since.

Speaking of my job, Vernier celebrated their 30th anniversary with a weekend at the beach for all their employees. We invited Tracy along so that she could babysit Kadie and Vi when we went to the formal party. We had a great time enjoying the resort and the beach. Kadie and Vi asks us occasionally when we can stay a night at the beach again.

On the dancing side of things, we got out to dance whenever we could before Bruce arrived. Even after Bruce was born, we made it out on a rare occasion. We got much of our dance fix from the sidelines with the kids. So You Think You Can Dance has allowed us to stay interested in dance and introduced us to great new music.

We were able to attend BridgeTown Swing for the weekend. It was great to be out on the dance floor and reunite with friends. And I always enjoy volunteering as the event photographer.

Our photography side job slowed significantly last year, part of it is by our own choosing. We had a difficult time balancing the time between all our priorities, so we scaled back the number of jobs we did. And fewer requests came to us. Still, of the jobs we did, we had a blast working on family and baby portraits.

I experimented with timelapse photography with my iPod touch during Thanksgiving and enjoyed creating them. I made one for Christmas tree trimming, Christmas dinner, and putting together a new computer at work. It’s a pretty simple process with fun results.

It has become increasingly challenging to carve out time for each other. But we found ways to steal moments between laundry, washing dishes, breaking up sister fights, and other day-to-day routines. We started reading books to each other (still working on our first, Jurassic Park), massaging each other while watching The Daily Show, Colbert Report, or Day9, and exercising. It has been great revisiting a marriage book to remind us how to have fun besides watching movies. We canceled our Netflix subscription shortly before Bruce was born so that we could focus on activities that encouraged us to talk with each other or learn something new together.

I make no pretense that raising kids is not straining on a marriage. It is an investment I couldn’t imagine not making. Our kids bring us much joy and teach us innocence, creativity, and openness that we may have forgotten while “growing up”. My thanks to our parents who love our kids and give us a much needed break regularly so that we can rejuvenate our marriage at least once a month.

God reminded me this week of an error in my thinking before I got married. I had the view that marriage was a milestone in life—something that could be thought of as a checkbox on the to-do list of life. Marriage, I learned instead, is a life-long pursuit and journey, where two people commit to loving each other to the maximum extent two people can love.

I’m honored and humbled that I got a great catch like Jennilyn. I am living my dream of a happily ever after—one year at a time.

Here’s our seventh year anniversary slideshow. Song credit to Peter Hollens, singing a cover to Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up”.

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2 replies on “Happily Seven Years After”

Hi Guys! Just stopping by your blog to see how you’ve been doing. This is such a beautiful tribute to your seven years of marriage. We really enjoyed reading it and watching the slideshow. Your epiphany at the end of the page reminded me of our wedding vows when Vinh said that love is a lifelong journey. I can’t remember the rest but it’s recorded in the video somewhere. Our two year anniversary is coming up in 4 days and we realize that was the last time we saw you both. Glad to see you both are doing so well and Congratulations on the new one!! He is a cutie! We hope to meet him in person someday.

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