Keeping It Real

A New Decade – Part Two

My life from 2010 to now has been quite the roller coaster. As I wrote in my last blog, I successfully completed college and started my career. It took me to places I never thought I would ever be. One of the constants throughout this decade, though, has been my relationship with my husband. We started this decade together and will finish it together. Today’s blog – part two – is dedicated to our relationship.

When I said I would be writing three blogs, I thought I would combine the story of Ken and I with my friendships. I realized as I started writing this blog, though, that our love story deserved its own chapter. So stay tuned over the next few days for TWO more blogs about this decade: one dedicated to the friendships that have come and gone, and the ones that have stayed constant, and the last one about my running.

Kenny & Megs

I started off the decade as Ken’s girlfriend. I was still in college, and although there had been a lot of talk about getting engaged, he hadn’t popped the question yet. I was fairly certain he wanted to marry me – I accidentally figured out that he bought an engagement ring for me around my 21st birthday. That was 2 years before, in 2008, and he hung onto it for that whole dang time.

At almost every event I thought for sure “This is it!” I thought he would propose when we went to Chicago in 2009. Nope. Thought maybe it would happen that year at Christmas. Sure didn’t. Valentine’s Day? Nada. Looking back now it seems silly that I was in such a rush, but I just think about the movie When Harry Met Sally and how Harry says to Sally: “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” I always loved that movie and especially that quote.

The time finally came on a trip to Cedar Point. There were several moments during the trip that Ken ALMOST popped the question, but it wasn’t until a rainy, lazy day when we were in our hotel room that he proposed. Quite honestly I don’t remember exactly what he said… something about not wanting anything to change and wanting to be with me for the rest of his life. I was so caught off guard that he had to ask me if I was saying yes… yes! Of course it was a yes!

We kept the news to ourselves for a couple of days – I did sneakily tell one of my best friends, Jacklyn, as soon as it happened and made her promise to act surprised when I told her later. We enjoyed the park the next day in better weather and then when we left to head home we started calling our family and friends to tell them the news. Everyone was so excited for us and we certainly heard a lot of “It’s about time!” and “Finally!” There was also a lot of “So when’s the wedding?” To which we replied, “DUDE. We just got engaged! Let us enjoy it!”

And we did. We enjoyed being engaged for 2+ years before our wedding. I had my dietetic internship and since we were paying for our own wedding we needed to save the money to have the dang thing. Throughout the two years our plans changed several times. The theme, the color, the location, type of ceremony, etc. In the end it all came together and it was absolutely beautiful, and apparently it was a heck of a lot of fun.

On September 22, 2012 we became Mr. & Mrs. Hammis surrounded by our friends and family. We had 7 bridesmaids and 7 groomsmen, which was A LOT. We had over 100 people at our reception. We had a Big Band that was made up of an amazing group of musicians – some that had played together, some meeting each other for the first time. We had a DJ – a friend of my sister – who emceed the event and then played dance music after the big band wrapped it up. We called our wedding the “We’re In This Together Tour” after one of our favorite bands, Nine Inch Nails. Our DJ even played the song as our bridal party entrance into the reception, complete with fog machines. We had a bridal party slow dance to “Beyond the Gray Sky” by 311, Ken and I had our first dance to “Faithfully” by Journey, and the rest of the night was full of music, dancing, fun and laughter. It was everything that we had hoped and dreamed it would be.

We celebrated our 7 year anniversary this year. Throughout this decade there have been some really great ups and some really tough downs. What you see on social media is usually a highlight real – know that our marriage is a lot of work. My best friend recently shared a post her friend put up about working at relationships and I loved what she said. When people say relationships or marriages are work, a lot of people have a negative reaction to that. We think of work as something that is an obligation, something that we don’t necessarily want to do, something that is tough. But it is really work like when we put in the hours and miles of training for a marathon. It is work that makes us feel good. Some days it is hard to get going and you want to give up, but most of the time it is very fulfilling. And you don’t stop when you reach a goal, you keep going. That’s what marriage is like – it is work that you love and enjoy. Work that shapes who you are.

What keeps us going is that we have so much fun together. Some days are pretty mundane. There’s periods of time because of our jobs that we are like two ships passing in the night. But those fun times are what move us from day to day and keep our love alive. In 2018 we went to Mackinaw Island, it was my first time ever going there. That trip was a really big deal for us. We got away from everything and enjoyed being in each other’s company. We enjoyed it so much we wanted to go again two weeks later! But we waited until the next year, and now plan on going every year in the spring and fall as a tradition.

If you had asked 2010 me about my relationship over the next decade, I probably would have a lot different outlook on how it would be now. For instance back then I probably would have expected we would have children. We don’t, and at this moment don’t plan to ever have children, but both of us are open to it if either of us decide it is what we want. I would have never predicted some of the darkest things we have been through. I would have never wished those things upon us. But they did make us stronger… and here we are, 13 years together, 7 of those married. And our relationship just gets better and better each and every year.

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