A proud supporter of books, headbands and polka dots, Anastasiya (or Annie as she’s sometimes called) describes herself as “the woman, the wife, the mother, and everything in between.” Her blog, Anniemotion, is where she shares adventures about her children, lifestyle advice, recipes and reviews. This month for ‘Your Stories,’ we get to know a bit about Annie and her husband Byren, and what they value most about their relationship.
How long have you been together?
Byren and I have been together for almost seven years and married for almost five.
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
We have two boys; our oldest, nicknamed Monster, is turning five and our baby, nicknamed Gremlin, will be 17 months old.
How did having children change/affect your relationship?
We used to have a busy social life. Also with my husband coaching Rugby, our weekends were always packed with games. Since having kids, I cannot go with to each of his games as our kids are extremely busy and I wouldn’t be there for the actual event. We do get to spend less time with each other as well; we both work full time and after the boys have gone to bed, we only get about an hour or so of each other’s time. My priorities changed drastically after welcoming kids and sometimes I do feel like I leave my husband for sloppy seconds when it comes to my attention.
How did you first meet?
We were introduced to each other through Byren’s cousin. At first I had no interest in him and he even slightly irritated me with his personality of being all macho and “I’m the man”. I’ve never been attracted to men who oversold themselves and wanted to play King. After the first night we met, those were the feelings from my side. We met again a week later on New Year’s Eve and things just went well from there on. We got to learn a little more about each other and the attraction sparked.
What was it about your partner that you were first attracted to?
His sense of humour. He just knows how to make me laugh, even when I’m mad at him. Apart from that, his mind. He has a very wide general knowledge and there’s never a dull moment when he shares info with me. Always educational and insightful.
What was the proposal like?
Byren didn’t do a huge over-the-top proposal. That is also partially my fault. He bought me an engagement ring a few months before planning to propose. We were visiting his parents one day, and his mom and I were flipping through a jewellery catalogue and she pointed out some Pink Diamond rings. Little did we both know that that was the ring Byren had bought me so he had to return it back to the manufacturers. The weekend of my birthday in November, he was leaving for Zambia for a weekend team building event. He arranged that friends of ours would take me out for dinner so I wouldn’t have to be alone. I later found out that he was in fact not going anywhere but arranged all this to pitch at the restaurant and surprise me with a proposal. The plan fell through as the friend’s kids were sick and they had to cancel our plans. As the whole thing just unravelled, he proposed to me in our home, alone with no one around which made it feel that it was our moment and no one really needed to witness it. He didn’t have a ring on him; he told me to choose my own instead and explained why. 🙂
What has been one of your most romantic moments together?
On our first year wedding anniversary, I wasn’t allowed to know where he was taking me for the night. Instead he left me clues a week before the date that I had to figure out. It only took me three clues out of seven to unravel the surprise which he was pretty bummed about as he had already created all the clues I was supposed to receive. We spent our evening at a little French Bistro with the best food I had ever eaten. We even had to dress up for the evening as it was a fancy place so we both felt a little out of place. It will be one of the moments I will remember for the rest of my life.
What funny quirks does your partner have?
He has a naughty smile; this smile always gives him away when he’s busy being untruthful. When I ask him “did you eat the last piece of my chocolate?” or “did you leave this here?” he might reply with a simple no and then give a specific smile, and I know it was him. I’m going to have my hands full as our boys also have the same smile.
What is your idea of the ‘perfect relationship’?
My idea of a perfect relationship isn’t based on who is more important in the relationship or who carries more responsibilities. We are equals and we treat each other as such. We support each other’s dreams and encourage each other to work harder and do better. We uplift each other and we don’t turn away when things start falling out of place. For us, it’s also not about the quantity of time we spend together, but the quality of that time.
“For us, it’s also not about the quantity of time we spend together, but the quality of that time.”
Visit Annie’s blog: www.anniemotion.co.za.