Today marks our fifth wedding anniversary! Man, does time fly by! To celebrate, we thought it would be fun to do a Q&A to share a little bit more about the two of us (from the other’s perspective!), so we had a neutral third party come up with the questions and we both answered them separately. I was giggling when I finally read Thomas’s answers last night because in a few of the questions, we mentioned the same or opposite things. I swear we had no idea what the other person was writing! We’re celebrating this evening with a date night after work, but in the meantime, here’s what we had to say about each other after five years of marriage…
Wedding Anniversary Q&A:
What is one quality in Julia/Thomas that you discovered during marriage and grew to love?
Thomas: I didn’t know how much of a “Boss Lady” Julia would become. When we were dating in college, I was the one who was always focused on school and business — I used to tutor her in business and math classes. Since getting married and growing our business together, I’m amazed everyday by the ways that she’s grown as a “Boss Lady”. Julia knows what she wants and she stops at nothing to get there.
Julia: One of my favorite qualities of his, and one that I really admire, is his passion for teaching others. He really finds so much joy in sharing what he’s learned or what he knows to help others understand it too. And it’s not just a one-word answer or a brief explanation, he’ll go out of his way to make it a priority- whether that be for family, friends or strangers.
What is your biggest pet peeve about Julia/Thomas?
Thomas: Julia is a neat freak (her answer to this question is probably that I’m a slob) which typically there’s nothing wrong with, but most times she’s cleaned up the kitchen while I’m still in the middle of cooking. Somehow, she gets set in a cleaning autopilot mode and she doesn’t even notice I’m still cooking.
Julia: He is THE messiest chef (but he makes up for it with some pretty damn good food!). I try and clean up after him while he’s cooking, which really annoys him. I’ve learned to just let him do his thing in the kitchen, but it does drive me nuts that he leaves every door and cabinet open in the process, along with all of the ingredients spilled out everywhere. He’s always said that if he were to start a cooking blog it would be called, A Delicious Mess.
What is one skill Julia/Thomas has that you don’t excel in?
Thomas: Julia is a finisher. When Julia sets her mind to do something, it gets done. It doesn’t matter if takes until 2 or 3 am, she won’t leave something 50% completed. It’s a skill I’ve always admired about her.
Julia: He remembers everything. He’s a wealth of knowledge and random facts, hence why he loves Jeopardy. I think he remembers every single thing he’s learned in Science, Math and History from pre-k to college. I’m pretty much the opposite. I get 99% of facts wrong in the stories I tell or repeat.
What does Julia/Thomas do that makes you feel better after a bad day?
Thomas: Well she doesn’t cook but she always encourages me to order “pancakes for the table” as we like to call it.
Julia: Thomas is the best at calming me down and making me feel good. He does my absolute favorite thing which is “tickle” me- either my back or arm or leg. I go into a trance state, like a bunny on its back.
What is something only you know about Julia/Thomas?
Thomas: You probably know already that Julia loves tickles. Tickle her back, her feet, give her tickles and she’ll love you for it. What you probably didn’t know is that she’s a self sleep tickler. Some nights she’ll be dead asleep and she’ll raise one arm straight up in the air as she tickles her own arm with the biggest smile on her face — if only she would tickle herself when awake.
Julia: He makes amazing nicknames for everyone. I think every single person we’re friends with has some sort of strange nickname that he’s made up. He probably has 10 for me…that I won’t even get into!
What is one of your funniest travel moments together?
Thomas: Julia doesn’t take no for an answer and she’s pretty great at finding a solution to our problems. Getting into a full restaurant without a reservation? Easy. Bad weather spoil our plans for the day? No problem, she’ll make new ones. But there’s one instance during our travels that comes to mind where she tried every trick in the book and still got told no.
We were at Ashford Castle in Ireland, a gorgeous estate that has two separate areas for lodging: the castle or the lodge. We had to book the lodge as there were no more rooms available in the castle. As guests, we were allowed anywhere on the property except for inside the castle. That’s ok, we would just show ourselves in and act like we were meant to be there. The only thing stopping us? The kindest 80ish year old man you’ll ever meet standing guard making sure no one entered that wasn’t allowed to.
As Julia tries to walk into the castle:
80 year old guard: “Excuse me only guests are allowed inside. Are you staying at the castle?”
Julia: “We are staying at the lodge. Can we come in and look at the castle?”
Guard: “No I’m afraid not.”
J: “We can’t even take a look?”
Guard: “Em, No.”
J: “Is there a restaurant?”
J: “Well then we will go have tea in the restaurant.”
Guard: “No, I’m afraid you can’t do that.”
J: “I can’t even take a little peak inside?”
J: “So there’s not a single scenario in which I can go inside?”
Guard: “No, I’m sorry.”
J: “What if I just run passed you?”
She tried every trick in the book with no luck.
Julia: In hindsight it’s funny and one that we always laugh about now, but in the moment…let’s just say we weren’t laughing (well, I was but Thomas was not!). We were visiting Avignon for the first time a few summers ago, and since it’s a walled city, the driving can be really confusing and difficult, as many of the streets you can’t drive down. But on top of that, the month of July is an annual arts festival, so you’re technically not allowed to drive into the city. But regardless of that fact, before arriving, our hotel (La Mirande), repeatedly told us that we actually could drive into the city to get to the hotel, but we had to follow the exact path from a pdf they emailed us.
The moment we arrived to the city is when it all started to fall apart. We drove in at the wrong entrance and right away realized we were definitely not in the right spot, as we were driving down the main street where ALL of the festival was happening. We were the only car and people were looking at us like we were nuts. Immediately Thomas started profusely sweating and panicking. There were a lot of “f” bombs dropped, as we slowly inched our car behind a crowd of hundreds of people. We literally had no idea what to do. We were driving a Volvo station wagon, which was really long and difficult to maneuver through the tiny narrow streets. After about 30 minutes of pure melt-down, we found an alley to drive down (I’m pretty sure we were going the wrong way) and got to a spot to pull the car over. On a map, the hotel wasn’t far, but because of the small one way streets, it was impossible to get the car there. At that point, I got out of the car and ran to the hotel to ask them for help.
When they saw where the car was, they couldn’t believe how we got there! We all started laughing hysterically when we were telling them the process that we took. Needless to say, we both needed a strong cocktail when we got back to the hotel.
When we visited Avignon last month, Thomas was having serious PTSD and refused to drive into the city.
What is one thing Julia/Thomas can do that always makes you laugh?
Thomas: She can tell a story or try to, at least. While we spend almost all of our time together, our versions of the same story often diverge far away from each other’s. The problem is we have different recollections of the past. I tend to remember the exact facts, while Julia remembers “loose details” and the feelings of the moment. Anytime Julia tells a story it almost always ends in laughs.
Julia: He’s always making me laugh because he’s such a goof and cracks jokes all day long. But anytime he does a Kramer impersonation, I die laughing. Or anytime he dances!
What movie best sums up Julia/Thomas? If you had to pick one actress to play her/him in a movie who would that be?
Thomas: Under the Tuscan Sun comes to mind, aside from the life change in the movie that triggers her trip to Tuscany, I can definitely see Julia (and myself) finding a diamond in the rough of a house in Tuscany and turning it around. All while traveling around Italy and cooking delicious food. The obvious choice to play Julia would be Emma Watson, but I think only Diane Keaton can capture Julia’s character.
Julia: Paul Rudd would definitely play him in a movie! The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, just because they are his favorite movies of all time and make me think of him (he made me watch all of them in one day when we were first dating!).
What does Julia’s/Thomas’s dream day look like?
Thomas: It all starts with waking up in Paris at the Ritz Paris in the Windsor Suite where I surprise her with breakfast in bed and a few gifts, including a gorgeous dress to enjoy the day in — maybe this Valentino or this Lela Rose for dinner. The day would be spent walking around the city followed by a casual lunch outside at a cafe as we enjoy our meal, sip rosé and people watch. In the evening, we’d find a rooftop bar to enjoy a bellini (her favorite drink) and watch the sunset immediately followed by a romantic dinner with a view of the Eiffel Tower.
Julia: He would want to be somewhere with beautiful landscapes, like Alaska or Ireland (let’s pick Ireland since the golf is good) with his best friends. He would start the day off with breakfast burritos and huevos rancheros, then play a round of golf. In this dream scenario, I would be really good at golf, too (he’s been trying to teach me for years), and we would be killing it together. Mexican food and beer for lunch followed by another round of golf. Some sort of physical activity, like hiking, where he could also watch wildlife. The day would end with more Mexican food, some scotch and cigars.
What is a story Julia/Thomas shares with a new person and you never want to hear them tell it again?
Thomas: You haven’t met Julia unless she’s told you about when she was in 4H as a kid and she entered her pet store bought bunny, Roxy, into the rabbit competition. Roxy was disqualified because she didn’t have a tail and she wasn’t a purebred. Julia was devastated, but her spirits did pick up when she and Roxy won first place in the costume competition where she dressed Roxy in one of her American Girl Doll outfits. She tells the story so often that I’ll get direct messages from followers (or friends) anytime they find a cute bunny.
Julia: Thomas LOVES to tell people that I’m really bad at tennis. Which in fact, I am NOT! There were a couple of times we played in SF where I wasn’t on my A-game and he is solely basing his opinion on those few times. We finally started playing here and there when we’re on vacation or traveling somewhere warm, in which he could barely keep up with me. He’s is just now admitting to people that he might have been wrong…