Imprinting the memories and renewing the vows

September 15, 2012 Katja Presnal

I was right the night we met when I felt deeply inside of me that it was the defining moment and my life was changing forever, and there was an International Love Story of Our Times in the making. It IS the love story of our times, and to me it even beats the Nicholas Sparks novels.

(Read The moment I saw him… and He got me before hello.. if you missed them)

If I was writing a press release of our love at first sight, I’d add a testimonial.

It truly was love at first sight, something that I had never seen before and to be honest, not ever since. The change what happened in you within a short time was amazing too.

said the gorgeous Finnish friend Jaana, who now believes in love at first sight forever.

I’d be lying if I said it has been easy, “not easy” is a very understated expression when it comes to our love story of 15 years.

It’s a fairytale with a handsome helicopter pilot who goes from war zone to saving lives on the mountains to lead an international team supporting a helicopter purchase of a foreign government, and a Nordic go-getter who turns a small online store into a success with a little ladybug luck and a help from Tom Cruise and Oprah and turns something called social media, not even heard of just a few years before, into a career.

It includes so many addresses that their friends’ address books have been filled several times under the letter P.

The story includes sorrow, sadness, close to death encounter, losing babies, losing dogs, and fearing we will lose each others. I call it the dark side of happiness. It’s real life, and even the magic of our love couldn’t shield us from it all.

I despise the thought of a boring life, and I much rather get the lowest of the lows if I also get the highest of the highs. Life happens to everyone, reality hits, no matter what zip code we live in. The real struggle though isn’t the hits we get, it’s what we decide to do after we’ve been hit. While I was taught when I was a child to always turn the other cheek, and humility, taking the high road, and things like silencing yourself before you say anything you might regret later is needed, there are also moments in life you have to fight it to the end. And never-ever turn your other cheek.

Relationships, even the most magical ones, take a lot of work, and at times we’ve been very lazy, and we’ve been busy chasing other dreams, and we’ve been selfish and trusting that what we have is so strong that life could never knock it down. It’s not that simple, and after years of trying to find balance between our careers, between parenting and between who we are as people, I think we are finally getting it. We get that it IS the fairytale of happily ever after, but it doesn’t just happen, we have to make it happen.

For years we have been nomads, moving from country to country, from state to state, and the only thing constant in our life has been our family. It’s like our family is the foundation of life, and we are rooted to each others, not to a physical location. Now we have realized that we need to foster the foundation even more to keep us soaring and more importantly, give a foundation of life to our children.

This weekend we are doing a trip to Frankfurt, Germany, where we met exactly 15 years ago. It’s like our way of renewing our vows to each others, like a pilgrim trip to our holy place where it all started.

We have been talking about going back and taking the kids, but to me this is much more than just a trip. We’ve been in 7 different countries just this year, and it’s not the excitement of traveling, it’s the significance of this trip. It’s about celebrating us, and our family, and sharing the story of us with our children who now are old enough to understand.

Ever since we decided go, and started looking for hotels, talking about places to go, and looking at the maps, it’s been such a flashback of memories and feelings, and in an odd way as we are planning the trip, I am now falling in love again and again with my husband. It’s odd to even think of going back in time, you remember how you felt in those moments, yet now when many moons and sun circles later, you know each others, many of those moments in time are even more significant than you thought back then.

Part of me wants to write down our trials and errors and the beautiful story of ours and the journey we are on. I think we have done many things right, just judging by where we stand today together, after 15 years, and looking at our amazing children and what kind of people we have been able to produce. I think family and relationships are the essence of living life to the fullest, and part of me wants to share our story.

It’s easy to write, it’s like my fingers are flying on my keyboard, yet it’s difficult to share, it’s private, and I have already said more than I should. But maybe, maybe by sharing my story I will inspire someone to take a new look at their own relationship, and see why completely crazy things like extempore 15-year-anniversary trips to Germany are absolutely the smartest thing you can do for your relationship.

I once pitched a book idea to a book agent, and said I wanted to write our story, she said everyone thinks their story is The Story and rolled her eyes. But I don’t know, maybe I should just do it, write it as a family history. Believe it or not, but that’s what my grandmother did, she wrote a family history book, starting all the way what she knew about her grandparents. She started her book when she was I think in her late 60s, and never got to finish it.

I shouldn’t wait for that long, because every story, is The Story when it comes to your family. How are you leaving your family stories and legacy behind you? And what do you think? Should I keep writing My Story?

PS. Next week I’ll share what actually happened this weekend when we went back to Frankfurt after all of these years!

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Katja Presnal

Katja Presnal shows how to live Nordic inspired life to the fullest and plan your dream life. Katja owns Presnal5 strategic marketing intelligence agency and wants to help marketing professionals to combine a dream career and dream life via freelance work.Katja is an award-winning marketing strategist, and a well-known speaker. Katja has lived in five different countries, and seven states in the USA. Her three children were all born in different countries within three years. When not working or jet-setting the world, Katja is at home cooking big family dinners.She has been featured in NY Times, Glamour, Redbook, Fodor's, Forbes and Woman's Day magazines among many other national and international publications and written for MTV3 and Lifetime TV networks.

Comments (2)

  1. Naomi

    I love the idea of reconnecting with purpose, surrounded by your family and bringing your sense of home with you. Relationships are never easy, I think everyone has issues that they don’t bring to the surface even to each other. Knowing what you want and making it happen is the bravest thing you could possibly do. I am so impressed with the certainty you had even in the beginning! Life is what you make it and yours will be beautiful and filled with excitement always.

    Happy Anniversary to you and Matt. And to your whole family, who share your love.

    • Enjoy Life Oils

      Thank you Naomi. We really felt we needed this trip for us as a couple and us as a family. It was great to go back and relive all of those moments, a lot of memories surfaced that we had forgotten.

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