On Love, Learning and Marriage. (Ilocos Photodiary)

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”– Mignon McLaughlin

Last week, my husband, Paolo and I celebrated our second year wedding anniversary. If you follow me on Instagram or on Facebook, I'm sure you've seen our romantic photos taken during our trip to Ilocos. So here I am, writing on my blog, planning to share to you my thoughts, learnings and realization in our two years of marriage while sharing you the photos captured during our trip in Ilocos
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Calesa Tour in Heritage Village, Vigan Ilocos Sur
Reality Bites
Marriage isn't a piece of cake. The saying is true, real life happens after the wedding bells. Despite the fact that Paolo and I have been together for 9 years prior to our wedding day, there were things that we discovered about each other. Habits, values, beliefs, attitudes that came out the moment we lived in the same house. Were they surprising? Yes.  Did it affect how we look at each other? A bit, but those things that we learned about each other made us appreciate, understand and love our differences, making us right for each other. 
Hidden Garden, Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Here Comes the Baby
So you get married, build a family then pursue dreams together. You can imagine our happiness the moment we learned that we were pregnant with Leon a couple of weeks after the wedding. It was one of the greatest news we ever received. We were floating in cloud nine. We were happy. We were excited. 
Our happiness overflowed when Leon came out. The product of our love, our bundle of joy. He is the best thing that ever happened to us. It made us fall in love with each other even more. Having a baby was like heaven, but entailed a struggle that all first time parents will ever experience. 

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Bantay Church Bell Tower, Vigan, Ilocos Sur
The (post partum) Struggle... is Real
I never thought post partum depression is real until I experienced it first hand. No, it wasn't the worst kind of depression but there were issues that came out after giving birth. There were physical, hormonal changes, the pressure of hands on parenting, stress from relatives that took a toll on me and affected me emotionally. I felt alone. Little did I know that my husband was also experiencing the pressure brought about his new role in life. Our intimacy became less. Fights became frequent. Self esteem was affected.

Marcos Museum & Mausoleum in Batac, Ilocos Norte
Paoay Church, Laoag Ilocos Norte

Just a Phase
You'll never know you're ready unless your in that situation. Parenting for the first time was a huge struggle but it was a challenge that felt really good. Paolo and I learned a lot of things about each other, learned skills, attitudes we never knew existed before. Parenthood transformed us to matured, responsible individuals. It made us hate each other, but love each other more. First year of having a baby was a year of overflowing happiness, a year of adjustments, a year of differences, a year of learning, a year of discovery. It made us love each other more.
Sand Dunes, Laoag, Ilocos Norte
The Romance Continues
Since Leon came earlier than planned (we planned to enjoy a year together first before having a baby), we had to put our planned (honeymoon) trips on hold. For the first two years, we had to focus on my (very sensitive) pregnancy and nurturing our first born. Now that Leon is bigger and has trusted caretakers (his grandparents from both sides), we are now starting to make time for each other, hence our anniversary trip to Ilocos last APEC week.
Sinking Bell Tower, Laoag, Ilocos Norte

Bangui Windmills, Ilocos Norte
Time is Gold
For the first time in two years, we finally had our quality time together. It was like having the honeymoon we never had after our wedding. Although we missed our first born during our Ilocos trip, it was a refreshing experience for us. We finally had the time to talk to each other, had the time to bond over Calesa ride, had the time go to an adventure in sand dunes, swam in the beach and be together together. It was a beautiful trip. We felt like youngsters who met 11 years ago and fell in love.

Patapat Viaduct, Pagudpud Ilocos Norte
Keep the Love Alive
To keep the fire burning, we promised to each other that we will make this anniversary trip a yearly thing. Aside from that, we would try to go to more random dates together and even go on family trips. Challenges may come to us but one things is for sure, our love for each other will be stronger than anything else. 
Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
This post is a bit emotional but I hope this could inspire love birds out there. Marriage is not easy. Building a family is a challenge. It is a one of a kind adventure went riding with the person you most love.

Hope you like my post! Til my next blog entry


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