I received a complimentary product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.
10 years y’all. Grant and I got married 10 years ago on May 23rd, and I still remember it like it was yesterday. The wind rustling through the trees and the beautiful mountains of Virginia looking over us, as we recited our vows to 100 of our closet family and friends. Then the real adventure began. We packed up our bags, said goodbye to our tiny Upper West Side apt in NY, and made our way to La La Land. How in the world did two kids from Houston end up in NYC and LA, you ask? It’s been a long road, and why it meant so much to me to partner with Mapiful to personify these past 10 years of marriage. You may remember that I designed our first “Houston” Mapiful a couple of months back, and we loved it so much that I just had to go back and design our “New York” and “Los Angeles” Mapifuls to complete our love story.
Reflecting on a Decade of Marriage with Mapiful
Because I’m a sucker for nostalgia, I absolutely love that we now have our complete Mapiful set for each city we’ve lived in together. We decided to hang them in our living room since we had the perfect long wall – you may remember from my last “living room revamp” post. Every time I walk by them I’m reminded of just how far we’ve come, since they represent more than just places on a map. I love that Mapiful let’s you customize the design and text exactly the way you want them to look. If you’ve always wanted to create a unique poster to commemorate a special place in your heart, then I definitely encourage you to go to Mapiful.com and use discount code “cammeomurray10” for 10% off (valid until June 30th). Since we got these right before our 10-year anniversary, I’ve decided to share some of the moments that brought us full circle and back to Houston where our love story began…
We actually met 15 years ago this summer through friends who still swear to this day that we had to have met before then. I mean how on earth are you both friends with the same family, play sports with their two sets of twins (yep, you heard that right) for years, go to college and even room with one of them, and then claim to “not only have never met each other,” but to never have even heard the other’s name uttered, until now. It was the truth, and I can prove it. Because on that fateful night before we met, Grant heard my name for the first time and said he envisioned some little Polynesian chick “Kamayo” would come walking through the door 😉 Needless to say when we finally did meet – it was like all the stars aligned. We spent the following weeks falling deeply in love amidst grief and anxiety that came with losing my father just days after our first date. I also had just graduated college (Grant is 5 years older), and I was desperately trying to find my place in the world. Through all this, he never left my side once.
It was one of those unique times in life where the usual luxury of “taking it slow” and getting to know each other over time just didn’t apply. We used to lay in bed talking about what we wanted out of life and asking the tough questions that nobody likes to bring up, at least not until you’re well into a relationship. But that wasn’t Grant’s style, and to be honest, it was a breath of fresh air. Especially after coming off a relationship with someone 7 years my senior who didn’t know what he was doing with his life 5 min from now, let alone 5 years, and commitment & intimacy might as well have been a foreign language. So we both admitted to always wanting to live in NYC and LA, no matter how hard it would be to leave our families here in Houston or how many people told us we were crazy for even thinking about it. For people like us – that just made us more determined to make it a reality. So we both got jobs and lived what might possibly be the three wildest years of our lives smack dab in the middle of NYC. We may have lasted even longer had it not been for the exorbitant cost of living. As much of a pain in the arse it’s like living there – we have some of our fondest memories with our dog Marley and getting engaged that neither one of us would change for the world.
But Los Angeles was calling, and we answered by driving a U HAUL cross country as fast as we could, barely looking back. Almost immediately, we knew were were home. We made it that way for 7 years – 5 years longer than either of us expected. The pace of life, beyond gorgeous weather, and sweet friends we made along the way, made leaving probably the hardest life decision we’ve had to make. If there’s one thing we’ve learned though – when something doesn’t feel right anymore, there’s just no sense in forcing it. We hated to go, but I’d become unhappy having to work so many hours as a new mom, and Grant’s career prospects had slowly petered out to the point where we no longer could afford to live even the simplest of lives. So we packed up our 1 BR apt and moved home to live with family in Houston until we got back on our feet again. It’s a humbling experience moving back home after living in two of the largest, most exciting cities in the U.S. – but it was just what we needed to ground ourselves and find our true purpose for not only our future, but our kid’s now. Then a funny thing happened – we realized that opportunity doesn’t always happen when and where you expect it to. In the three years we’ve been back home – we’ve experience more fulfilling success in our careers and personal lives than ever before. So it may have taken us 10 years. 10 years of moving back and forth. 10 years of marriage and growing together. 10 years of going from two to four. But if I could redo those 10 years over again, I’d do them over just the same because it’s brought us closer and more committed to our marriage and life together. And that I will always, always be grateful for.