Love and Marriage Archive

Nine is Fine

by Alison Friedman in Love and Marriage

Poor Bryan has Mother’s Day, our wedding anniversary, and my birthday all within three weeks of each other and while I don’t usually get hung up on elaborate plans or gifts, the man did well this year.

We try not to give in too much to commercial holidays, but I woke up on Mother’s Day to an email with a message that I’d been gifted with a BirchBox subscription. I’ve never had one of those subscription boxes before, so this was a super fun surprise and my box came in the mail a few days later. I thought it was super thoughtful of him to think of ways I’d enjoy being pampered every month, and it’s truly the gift that keeps on giving. The dude wins. I win. Everyone wins.

Just prior to Mother’s Day, Bryan also suggested we spend a night at The Four Seasons in our town for a little staycation. It really is a magical place and I love every minute I’ve ever spent there. We had a one-night babymoon there when I was pregnant with Madelyn and I’ve enjoyed many spa and pool days with both Bryan and girlfriends, but being on that property never gets old. But, it’s no secret that it’s not a cheap night away, so when Bryan came up with the idea, I kind of brushed it off and avoided being gung-ho about it because I’m usually too practical, but he was serious and who am I to argue with a man on a mission?

So imagine my surprise when I came home during the afternoon on May 25th, our actual anniversary, and Bryan executed a mini scavenger hunt that had me end up in our coat closet to see a long-time coveted Roomba! While I’ve been eyeing a Roomba for years, I wasn’t actually expecting to receive one for our anniversary! The epitome of romance, I tell you. I joked that it was even better than when Bryan Mackenzie gave Annie Banks a blender as a wedding gift in “Father of the Bride” (weird/exciting fact: a week later, I would be sitting DIRECTLY next to the Bryan Mackenzie actor, George Newbern, at the Pantages theater to see “Book of Mormon.” We literally rubbed elbows. I couldn’t wipe a smile off my face for the 3 hours we were there together. He thought the smiles were from the show. If only he knew the depths of my adoration).

So this Roomba, yeah, it’s amazing. Princeton is not much of a fan, but I do love how it just knows what to do and does a great job cleaning both my wood floors and carpeting. I totally don’t understand how it works, but I’ve decided to let go and just let it do its thing. I spent about 45 minutes watching it go around my floors and got super aggravated when it missed things, but I think it was being sassy about me micromanaging, so I gave up and when I returned, all the small papers, crumbs, and Playdough specks were gone. My advice to potential Roomba-ers: Just trust in the robot.

I cooked us dinner on our anniversary because we knew we’d be going out over the holiday weekend during our getaway. After dinner, we sat down to show the girls our wedding video and they got a kick out of recognizing people they know. We loved reliving our special day and telling Madelyn and Arielle about it. I got an idea to see if my dress still fit so I escaped upstairs to pull out my dress that’s in a bin under our bed. For the last few years, the dress barely went over my waist and there was no way I could zip it up. But this year, other than the gigantic spaces in the sculpted chest area of the dress due to some major shrinkage of my upper body (thanks, Arielle!), I was able to pull up the dress AND zip it up, and the dress fit like a glove (thanks, tummy tuck doctors and Pilates instructor!). So, that was exciting. It was even more exciting to play in the dress and dance with the girls at my side.

Madelyn asked me if my parents paid for my dress and I said yes. She said that she wants to wear my wedding dress to her wedding and wants to pay for the wedding herself “because I don’t want you to spend your money on my wedding. It’s your money. You should keep it.” I like the way this girl is thinking, but something tells me she’ll change her mind. Plus, it would make me all sentimental and happy to pay for her wedding someday. {Future Alison yells at Current Alison through the screen for being such a sucker.}

The next day, we went to the Four Seasons and marveled about the room. So fancy! We are Marriott people because of Bryan’s business travel and we collect some good frequent stay points, so a hotel that takes it to the next level is pretty special. We received chocolate covered strawberries for our anniversary and they were the best. I was giddy. Bryan was giddy. Life was good. Even though it was a little cloudy, it was still not-too-cold and not-too-warm outside so we spent a day out at the pool, ate yummy food on lounge chairs, and I got a facial while Bryan read a book.

We closed down the pool and got changed for our evening at the hotel. We could’ve easily left the property, but we figured we’d really take ourselves off the grid and just stay at the hotel for the evening. After all, the place is like Disneyland for grown ups.

We began our evening with wine flights of ros├ęs and reds in the wine bar. Things got blurry for me real fast. Lightweight problems. Dinner was after. We walked down the hall and had the best seat in the house. I think it tasted good. I don’t really know. Sometimes when you have a lot of wine, your senses go kaput. Or maybe that’s just me? I don’t know. But our super friendly server brought us an anniversary dessert, so the Four Seasons wins in anniversary acknowledgement. “Happy anniversary. Congrats on being legally bound to someone for a significant amount of time. Here, have dessert and fatten yourself up since your looks don’t matter anymore anyway.” I mean, they didn’t say that, but actions speak louder and all that. We gobbled it up of course. My wine mouth had fizzled so my senses were back. All desserts are yummy when there’s a miniature chocolate square on top that has “Happy Anniversary” printed on it and background designed with gold flecks.

We found ourselves in the bar after dinner, listening to live music and people watching. We spent about an hour in there and thought we should head up to bed, but we still had full bellies and wanted to walk a bit more, so we wandered and explored parts of the hotel we hadn’t seen before. We were tired, but we didn’t want the night to end so early. We stumbled across an arcade with free play games. We quickly woke up. Bryan showed off his old school moves on an equally old school Ninja Turtles game and he made fun of me for the total body experience that is playing Mario Bros on an old arcade machine (does anyone else lean right when directing the joystick?). This was the best entertainment of the evening.

We called it a night around midnight and enjoyed the royal treatment of our hotel room. Robes and all. Sweet dreams were easily attained. Waking up to zero responsibilities was refreshing. Our girls are amazing and sleep late on the weekends, so we normally don’t wake up before 9 when we are home with them, but vacation life takes it to a whole new level, and we had another day ahead of us at the pool, so resort living was a dreamy escape.

Dips in the pool, more yummy food, pampering treatment from the pool deck staff (tray passed cups of ice cream balls, samples of smoothies, and thorough sunglass cleaning? A girl could get used to this) — it was another special day together, getting spoiled. Celebrating our 9 years of married life with 30 hours of “just us” time was the best idea Bryan ever came up with. Well, after gifting me a Roomba.

I feel like the luckiest girl to have a husband who encourages us to take time out for ourselves — individually and as a couple — and treats our relationship with care and love. Nine years of marriage is still young compared to many couples we know and look up to, but our nine years have been filled to the brim with memories and accomplishments. Thousands of hours of binge-watched television, hundreds of musicals we’ve seen and performed, handfuls of states traveled, months of Dodgers games attended, six jobs between us, two homes, two daughters, one game show, one dog… I love the life we’ve built and it all adds up to the fact that we keep seeking adventures that result in unique experiences I don’t think either of us would ever enjoy without the other by our side.