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I'm Ali Rae and I love building brands.
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Five years have passed so quickly. I really do feel like yesterday I was in the shoes of all of my brides making so many decisions, planning our perfect day, and praying it didn’t rain because we didn’t have a backup plan…just a whole lotta faith that the day would be beautiful!
Once I start thinking about each of those years though, I can’t help but think about how much life we have lived in those five years, both together and apart. In a nutshell, we have done four moves to three different homes, have raised two dogs who are still rambunctious, adventurous puppies at heart, endured two deployments, countless trainings, battled infertility, and after what felt like forever, had our sweet baby girl.
Sometimes I jokingly say that we live more life in one year than some couples do in a lifetime. Life as a military spouse keeps you on your toes. Many couples move once, maybe twice in their lifetimes and say that it was one of the largest challenges they face with their spouse. That’s what we do every two to three years! I’m not saying that to make us sound like the martyrs or that our marriage is so much more difficult than anyone else’s. I am saying that our lifestyle allows us to appreciate the time we have together though!
Last anniversary was spent apart, so this anniversary was really special! Reunited and we got to celebrate with Huxley! We decided to be tourists in our own town. Call me crazy, but I grew up in central Virginia and had been to DC plenty of times, even lived in Quantico for our first year of marriage, but I had never seen the White House! I can finally cross that off my bucket list!
We saw so many monuments—the White House, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial (from afar). Huxley was a trooper the whole day, fighting a nap until the very end of our grand tour. Then Caleb’s sister, Saige, joined us for the second half of our day at the National Harbor.
Since the traffic was ridiculous (it was Friday at 4pm heading south out of DC…surprise, surprise!), we decided to stop at the National Harbor and enjoy a trip on the Ferris wheel. Funny story—Caleb had promised me that he would take me to the National Harbor years ago…like back when we were still dating and running the roads from Blacksburg to Annapolis every weekend. I passed it all the time and thought it would be so quaint and romantic. Even during the year we lived in Quantico, we still never made it. Finally, on our fifth anniversary, we made it to the National Harbor and I got my ride on the Ferris wheel!
On Saturday, Caleb and I returned to DC while Huxley was in the caring arms of Saige. We enjoyed some time to ourselves on a rooftop pool sipping frozen cocktails before making our way to dinner at the Capitol Grille, just a couple blocks from the nation’s Capitol building. I kid you not, we each had THE most delicious steak I have ever eaten. And the Brussel sprouts…oh my goodness—to DIE FOR!
Of course we don’t have any pictures from the rooftop pool or dinner when we were dressed nicely (hair done, no spit up) because, well, that would just be too nice! But my goodness, we certainly did enjoy ourselves this anniversary we were so lucky to spend together!
The Jefferson Memorial
The Vietnam War Memorial
World War II Memorial
Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, & Tidal Basin
The White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
The National Harbor
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