December 31st not only marks the end of 2017, but it's also mine and Ben's 2nd wedding anniversary! Needless to say, we feel very reflective during this time since we're celebrating both the end of a calendar year and another year of marriage. We really love that our wedding anniversary closes out the year because anything that happened in 2017 was undoubtedly our second year of marriage so it's easy to keep track (kind of convenient, right?) Not to mention, we always get the day off after our anniversary which is why having a holiday wedding is seriously underrated!
Although it seems like many people thought 2017 was a dumpster fire (I guess even I get a little stressed thinking about what happened politically this year...) Ben and I have referred to 2017 as our "year of travel." During these 365 days, we squeezed in visits to Singapore, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, the United States, Tokyo, Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto. That totaled out to 14 flights and roughly 29,309 miles travelled!!! I don't think we meant to go overboard with going abroad, but once we got the travel bug we just couldn't stop. We also realized that it's critical we take advantage of these cheap flights to Asian cities while we can. In fact, Ben and I just planned a trip to Hong Kong for MLK weekend to celebrate our anniversary (we obviously can't travel on our actual anniversary since New Years=crazy crowds and expensive flights/lodging.)
Although Ben and I absolutely love exploring and bopping around from city to city, we've got a totally different mind set for 2018: "save dat money"!!! (Refer to Lil Dicky's song by the same name for reference/our inspiration.) We're PCSing *hopefully* in early 2019 so we want to feel overly prepared financially when the time for our big move comes. I will also need to stop working at some point this year - ya know, gotta plan an across the world move - so my salary and 401k will be sadly missed.
If I had to describe 2017 solely in terms of mine and Ben's second year of marriage it would be "growth." After being together for 6+ years, Ben and I are now just feeling like we're finally functioning adults who've got a firm grasp on our finances, our personal lives, home life, work life, marriage, you name it. Yes, I realize how surprising that might sound since we were mature enough to take the plunge and get married, however, since we were just 22 and 24 years old there was definitely still room for development.
On a side note, one of the greatest things I've found about getting married so young (I'm not condoning this to anyone, just making a personal observation) is that Ben and I have not only gotten to grow up together, but we've also gotten to develop our living habits and behaviors together. We literally had to learn this whole "adulting" thing side-by-side from day one (we didn't even live together before we got married) which has made combining lives a virtually seamless transition.
I've heard people say before that the first few years of marriage are difficult, but truthfully I've found that my life has never been easier, better, more productive, and happier than these past two years as Ben's wife. We always joke that when you marry your best friend the "honeymoon phase" never dies... Yes, that's SO CHEESY and I hate us too for saying it but there is a lot of truth in it! Even though many people might consider our two year anniversary to be the end of the newlywed phase, I'm pretty sure we'll be juuuuust fine.
Our last month of 2017 was absolutely jam packed with craziness. We had the Marine Ball, Ben's Battalion's Christmas party, Ben's birthday, five holiday parties, and finished it all off with Christmas and New Years. I love December's nonstop excitement, but now I'm ready to slow things down and take the beginning of 2018 nice and easy.
Below are just some random photos we've collected over the past few weeks...
Hope you all enjoyed your holidays and HAPPY 2018!!!!!!!
We're Kara and Ben, a Marine Corps family currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Enjoy our adventures, travels, photos, thoughts, and life together halfway around the world!
You May Enjoy Reading...