A Cake From New York

Today marks 7 years of marriage for Sarah and I! Even though we have been together for over a decade, it still feels like yesterday that we fell in love. 

I’ve written other sappy posts about my best friend, so I’ll keep it short and summarize our relationship by saying this: 

We have been through it all. Thick and thin. For richer and poorer. We have come so far in life together and we will only go farther. Together we will conquer our hopes, dreams and maybe the world. I love you Sarah Elizabeth Newton!

Now let’s talk about the title of this post. A Cake From New York. 

I work with some amazing people, one being Nancy Bryant, who I have talked about before. She has become a great friend and my “mom” while I am at work. She makes sure I am fed and always has candy around for me I need to stress eat. 🙂 

Another, who I won’t name just incase they are apart of the witness protection program, recently started at my company and is all around a nice guy. Now I don’t know much about him nor does he know much about me, but he still took it upon himself, in cahoots with Nancy, to make our wedding anniversary special. 

Though I don’t know much about him I do know he has an affinity for sweets. This is one subject that he and I can agree on. One day I was raving about a bakery in Cincinnati and he mentioned a really good him in New York where he is from. He went on to say that when his parent visit they typically bring him something from there and when they come next he will make sure to let me try something. Uhhhh. Sign me up. 

Little did I know that this “something for you to try” would end up being a gorgeously decorated cake for Sarah and I! 

Almond buttercream icing covered a moist yellow cake. Talk about salivating. This thing was amazing. 

I still do not know all of the details but I do know that two very thoughtful people took time out of their busy lives to make our anniversary special. For that I am very grateful!

See Sarah, we can have our cake and eat it too!


The 50/50 Rule

Nothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes are uncertain. People are irrational.

-Hugh Mackay

I don’t know everything about relationships, nor do I claim to be an expert, but I like to think that I do have some things figured out – and relationships are one of them. I also don’t sit behind my keyboard thinking I do relationships perfectly. I mess up. We all do. The money is when you can find value in those imperfect moments. The thought process that I am about to introduce can be applied to any type of relationship, but I will focus on one between a married couple.
I also must preface this post by admitting that I didn’t just wake up and have this concept figured out. A very good friend told Sarah and I this once, and it has stuck ever since!

OK… * drum roll * here it is: 

Relationships can be 80/20. They can be 70/30. Hell at times they can be 90/10. But what they can’t be is 100/0, nor can they be anything other than 50/50 for very long. 

Let me unpack this, ok? There are going to be times when a party in the relationship needs to be weak and not carry their weight. Thus, there are times when the other party is going to have to carry all of the weight! That. Is. Ok. What is NOT ok is when one member of the relationship is forced to ALWAYS carry all of the weight. 

Like the moon, relationships will wane and wax, but they must always become whole again for things to work out!

Like I said this concept can be applied to any type of relationship. Take a platonic friendship for example. Let’s imagine that you are the friend that always invites the other person to do things, or always initiates the conversation. You are giving 100%. The other person rarely accepts, and sometimes doesn’t even answer! They are giving 0%. Zilch. Notta. Nothing. 

I bet Mr. 100 sure feels pretty shitty. This type of relationship will never work. Eventually Mr. 100 will give up and move on. 

I’ll also bet that it didn’t take you long to imagine yourself as Mr. 100. I’ll raise my bet by saying that you could also play the role of Mr. Zero. We all do it. 

Now Sarah and I are more than friends so let’s get back to that. 

There has been plenty of times when one of us is weak and has to be carried by the other. There are also times when we are both weak and are just barely holding each other up. 

Again – That. Is. Ok. 

The scales of a relationship can tip in anyone favor periodically, as long as they come back to center eventually. 

Now don’t be fooled into thinking that Sarah and I are just the perfect couple and have it all figured out. Hell. No. 

But as I said in the beginning – The money is when you can find value in those imperfect moments. Those moments of weakness. Those moments when you have to carry your partner through hell, holding on to the thought that they would do the same for you. 

Till death do us part

Last night I had the privilege to watch a dear friend of mine marry her best friend. They say rain on your wedding day is good luck so I think they will be alright. 🙂

Despite the rain, love prevailed and their little ceremony was moved inside. Surrounded by their family and close friends, Lisa and Scott said “I do” and sealed their fate with a kiss. 

Seeing the love in their eyes, reminded me of my own wedding where I too married my best friend. 

Sarah and I will be married for 7 years this year. Wow! It seems like only yesterday people were saying we were crazy for getting married so young – oh wait… that was yesterday! Many people criticized us for tying the knot so young but what they didn’t seem to understand was this: Though we were young, our relationship was strong – and thankfully so as our relationship and marriage would be tested over and over and over again. 

Let’s go back in time a little bit. 

Test 1:

 Sarah’s grandma passed away. This was the first big thing we had to deal with as a couple. We weren’t married yet so the boundaries of “what do I do” had not been laid. I struggled with being there for her and being there too much. We found a rhythm and it carried us through our first test. 

Test 2:

 Sarah and I both got laid off. We lost our apartment. We lost our car. 

You’d think we would have had enough, right? Wrong!

Test 3:

1.5 years after the passing of her grandma, Sarah’s uncle suddenly passed of a pulmonary embolism. He died exactly 1 month before we were married. When we cleaned out his apartment we found our invite in his mailbox. He hadn’t even received it yet.

Even after three very trying events our love endured. Yes we fought. Yes we screamed and cried. But we endured and grew stronger. 

God must have known that we needed this strength for what was about to come. 

Test 4:

1.5 years after the passing of Sarah’s uncle, her dad died. This was a very trying time in our marriage and for Sarah in general. There was no way we were going to get through this. But we did. We cried and mourned, but because of his death we were able to make a choice. A choice that would alter the course of our lives. 

Test 5:

 Less than a year after her dad died we moved to Ft. Wayne, Indiana. I said that his death allowed us to make a choice because if he would have still been alive we would have never moved. On December 30th we packed the uhaul (yes my brother was there!) and moved our lives to Ft. Wayne. This giant leap was huge. We were leaving family, friends and my job. All I can say is this: Thank God We Did It! FW turned out to be just what we needed. I finally finished my associates degree, Sarah lost 110lbs, we made so many new friends, Sarah discovered her dream to be a nurse and we made so many memories. All by ourselves. Being away from the shroud of death that Ohio seemed to have was exactly what God ordered. I could go on and on and FW so look for a blog post all about it later!

Now let’s fast forward to our current test:

About a month ago Sarah had a break down and admitted that she didn’t think she could work full time and succeed at school. So what did I do? I prayed. Boy did he answer!

I’ve written about this before but the decision was made for Sarah to quit and for us to move into a small apartment in Newark. The numbers were crunched and we agreed that though it would be tight – we could do it. 

So here we are. Doing it. Almost a month in our new place and settling into our new normal. Has it been easy? Hell no. But we have been through so much worse. 

So how did we get through all of this? Being so young and enduring so many struggles. Why didn’t we just give up?

I’d like to say that Sarah feels the same way so here it goes:

Because we are best friends. We are soul mates. Our love can and will endure all. We fight…hard, but we love harder. We know everything about each other. We read each other’s minds. We are one. 

We have been through so much that now when something happens we just look at each other and say “we will figure it out.” 

And figure it out we do.

If you married your best friend or perhaps you are still dating your best friend – hold on to them. Love and cherish them. Something’s can be replaced – they cannot.