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a 7 Years of Marriage Geeklist
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"Compared to You, I'm just a nighlight, against the blazing Son." --Jimmy Needham
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Inspired solely by this fantastic geeklist

My husband is
United States
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, but he's only on here to rate games.

We met in 2007, oddly enough, at my own birthday party. I had recently moved West and while making new friends, found out I shared a birthday with another guy in a young adult group. The two of us had a joint birthday party that year, and my future husband came as his guest. We ran into each other a few times after that, but it wasn't until we both got involved in a weekly soccer group the following summer (2008) that we took notice of each other. We began dating that Fall, got engaged near Easter 2009, and married that October.

 


We couldn't do it in one day, so we instead spent the past week playing the following in honor of our marriage.
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1. Board Game: Silverton [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:1477]
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"Compared to You, I'm just a nighlight, against the blazing Son." --Jimmy Needham
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year 1: new jobs; new house; first pregnancy - yay!

I was hired onto a higher paying, stressful job just before our wedding, with a start date just after our honeymoon; he got his job offer call for a new job while we were on our honeymoon. He had begun college the semester before we got married, and this schooling would last for the next 6 years while he worked full-time. My income went to saving up for a down payment on a house, which we got about six months into our marriage. I quit shortly thereafter to work on fixing up our fixer-upper house (and... we're still working on it...). Soon after I quit, we were lucky to get pregnant, without medical help.

This was our year of happiness, date nights, dinners for two, things going well, weekend trips, etc.

In terms of gaming, I'd played Catan for years with my sister, and as a couple, we'd been introduced to Ticket to Ride and Carcassonne. We had some standard games (Sorry, Risk, etc) when we got married, and I ended up ordering Silverton for our 1st married Christmas. It was this game that got us into board games as a hobby. We spent a lot of hours playing it that first year of marriage (when my husband was not doing homework), so this is a nostalgia play. We've still never even played with the train engines - one day we'll play the whole game...

Silverton
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2. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:341]
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"Compared to You, I'm just a nighlight, against the blazing Son." --Jimmy Needham
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year 2: lost our unborn baby. A few months later, the stress (terror!) of pregnancy after a loss.

Shadows over Camelot
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3. Board Game: Age of War [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1522]
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"Compared to You, I'm just a nighlight, against the blazing Son." --Jimmy Needham
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year 3: birth of our oldest living child; 3rd pregnancy; join BGG

My son was a textbook high needs baby.* While awake, he spent more time awake screaming/crying than not during his first 13 months, and after that, it still wasn't much better. It was isolating (you can't take screaming babies anywhere, really). It was exhausting changing diapers 19 times/day, doing 15 feeds/day, getting up more times a night than I can remember (sleep through the night? What do they mean by that?), never being able to put him down without a screaming fit...

However, we had always wanted more than one child, and wanted our son to have the gift of a sibling. Add Mommy's ticking clock to the experience of our son as a difficult baby, and we decided to get babyhood out of the way as quickly as possible. He was 5 months old when we got pregnant again without medical assistance.

So, yes, this year was a hard one. I felt like I was constantly at war with my super fussy, high needs baby. Our doctor did not know why he cried so, and this was before we knew about Asperger's or had even heard about sensory processing disorder - those came later. Back then, all I knew was my son was NOT like any of the other babies I knew, and there was nothing I could do to change that. Today, I feel like I would have felt less at war with my son's screaming had I known then what I know now about him, but that's hindsight.

Age of War

*for those lucky enough not to know what a high needs baby is:
http://www.thefussybabysite.com/blog/why-its-not-just-colic-...
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4. Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:264]
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"Compared to You, I'm just a nighlight, against the blazing Son." --Jimmy Needham
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year 4: birth of middle child

Going off what a friend of mine has said, you really don't get to KNOW your spouse until it's 2 or 3 a.m., a baby's crying, and the toddler just woke up screaming. So, so true. You cannot put yourself first; you've got to learn to truly work together as a team. This year was crazy, but it further strengthened our young marriage.

My husband took Spring semester off with the birth of our second living child. He was colicky and a poor sleeper, but certainly not the same level of high needs as our 1 year old during that time. Mad props to my amazing husband, who became much more involved in baby rearing (not for lack of trying with our elder son - the younger son simply allowed Daddy to help more), and was a HUGE blessing during night-time wakes.

I remember a repetitive cycle while my husband was at work: I would sit in a rocker feeding the baby while my toddler sat at my feet screaming and crying - usually the entire time, or most of it. When it was time to burp the baby, I could then pick up the toddler. I would then rock, sing to, and pat both kids together, one on each shoulder. The baby would fall asleep for his nap; the toddler took 30-45 minutes to calm down, then either cuddled or napped while the baby slept. Once baby awoke, it was a short period of play time on the floor, changing diapers, feeding the toddler, then repeat. Fun times...

This year of our marriage was one of putting out fires as a team.

Flash Point Fire Rescue
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5. Board Game: Mastermind [Average Rating:5.50 Overall Rank:15121]
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year 5: pregnancy #4; my brother's sudden death

The good news came about midway through this year of marriage. While I would have been happy raising two little boys, part of me really, really, really still wanted to have a girl. My husband came from a large family, and had always wanted a large family, up until we had our high needs baby. When our younger boy was almost a year old, we both decided to be open to life again. We got pregnant on our first try, yet again without medical help, and 14 weeks in, found out that we'd been blessed with not only one little girl, but TWO little girls (no, twins do not run in my family). This was a super exciting time for our growing family.

The bad news of the year came that June when my only brother died during a diabetic coma at age 39. He had switched jobs, and his new job had a 3 month waiting period for medical insurance. He ran out of insulin, dying on a Sunday. His new medical insurance would have kicked in the next day, on Monday, and he had already scheduled a doctor's appointment for that Monday morning. His body ran out of time. Anyway, after 19 years of marriage, he'd divorced the year before his death; after his death, my former sister-in-law decided she was done with his family. So, that year I lost my brother unnecessarily, as well as my relationship with my 13 year old niece/goddaughter.

In honor of growing up playing a lot of board games together with my older brother, I chose to commemorate this year of marriage with a game of

Mastermind
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6. Board Game: Parade [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:707]
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"Compared to You, I'm just a nighlight, against the blazing Son." --Jimmy Needham
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year 6: twins born a few days after 5th wedding anniversary

This year, my husband took off two semesters to help with the twins. He also had some health problems sorted out. I had my 3rd round of postpartum depression. I introduced the world of board games to my older sons, and began a geeklist to keep of track of their journey into gaming.

My runner-up for this year was Too Many Cooks, in honor of all the friends, family, and church members who generously brought us dinners during the first few months of twin babyhood. My husband thought that Parade was a better one to commemorate this year, and I agree. It was never-ending parade of diapering 4 kids, washing/sterilizing/prepping bottles, nursing and bottle-feeding babies, feeding toddlers, naps for babies, daily naps for toddlers, cleaning spit-up, changing clothes, laundry, hanging diapers to dry, visitors coming and going for the first few months, doctor appointments, burping two babies, bathing toddlers, bathing babies, nighttime feeds for the babies, nighttime waking for the toddlers, soothing babies, soothing toddlers, jackets/shoes/seat belt buckles for four kids to ride in the new-to-us van, etc. The various needs of our children just kept marching before us, one after another, and we had to pick which one/ones we were going to take on at different moments.

Parade
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7. Board Game: Ora et Labora [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:95]
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year 7: BGG.con; husband finishes college and joins BGG

I was awarded a W&G Crazy Love scholarship to BGG.con (my first convention!). A month after that trip, I began a monthly game night for a small group of ladies. My husband went back to college for his final year of college while working full-time. The kids began to get a bit older, but it was still a super insane year, and a lot of work for us both (plus homework for him). We were working to get through the rough times, knowing things were soon going to get better.

This May, my husband finished his bachelor's degree. HUGE blessing. Plus, after the kids go to bed, several nights a week now, we get to game! Yay! This summer, we began a weekly family game night, playing those Haba "My Very First" games, with our excited toddler girls sitting in our laps and our cheerful sons happy to play any game together with everyone. My husband began a weekly Skype video game night with a couple of other guys, and humored me by creating a BGG account to rate games in our collection.

The past few months have been full of family dinners, family trips to the park/museum/aquarium/mountains, etc. Daddy's back, with no college hanging over our heads - yay! We upped our family prayer in our daily routine (a must for me in terms of making it through the day with sanity), and by the end of this year of marriage, we were praying 5 times/day with the kids most days (plus our personal prayer time). Yes, our family life is a lot of work, but it's finally starting to feel like it has a nice rhythm, with a good deal of joy mixed in.

Prayer and work

Ora et Labora
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8. Board Game: Kingdom of Solomon [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:2265]
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"Compared to You, I'm just a nighlight, against the blazing Son." --Jimmy Needham
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years 8 and following: looking forward to less chaos, and spending time as a family

My husband's done with college, and we no longer have any babies in the house. We both are looking forward to years of growing together as a couple while our young children grow up. We are so, so fortunate. Thank You, God, for this marriage!

"King Solomon presided over a golden age of peace and prosperity in ancient Israel."

Kingdom of Solomon

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