How our anniversary dinner echoed our life together

We recently celebrated our 11th anniversary and I made arrangements for us to go to d’lish, an amazing little place here in Edmonton on 124th Street, who promised me they’d make our evening special.

Though we were excited by all the choices on the menu, we decided to take the Faith Taste – which is a five course journey through the chef’s mind.  You place your faith in the chef’s hands, and they surprise you with five courses of food that eventually round out what this great restaurant is all about.  We liked the sense of adventure that came with it, and we had fantastic babysitters with no time limit which left us with an entire evening to enjoy each other and our food.

As we finished our evening and went for a walk, my wife mentioned something to me.  It was a very brief comment, but it was so deep and delicious that it wouldn’t stop ringing in my ears, long after our conversation ended.  To be honest, I couldn’t sleep because it was so insightful, and so perfectly reflective of why I have always been crazy about her.  She sees things in life, digests them, and says things about them that catch my attention and hold it – forever.  She’ll often say but a word or two, yet I sometimes, such as this time, lose sleep over it.

My wife said: “Isn’t it funny how our dinner was so much like our life together?”

Wow.  Just wow.  I wouldn’t have thought of it, nor would I be writing this without that one sentence my wife spoke.  Mind you, as I look back on my writings here, I realize that stands true for the vast majority of what I’ve written.  That woman can’t help but make me whole.

So, on to the remarkable parallels between our amazing Faith Taste anniversary dinner experience and our 13 years of being together, 11 of them married.

The first step was to put our faith in the chef – you don’t know what’s coming out of that kitchen, and being German, I don’t deal well with giving up control.  I didn’t quite descend into the depths of hand-wringing and the gnashing of teeth, but I was less comfortable with this concept than one might think.  Much like starting a relationship together, you need to put your faith in whatever you believe in – fate, God, luck, each other and maybe a combination of these – once you’ve started down the road together, you have no choice but to continue forward and have faith.

The next part – after you’ve committed to this Faith Taste concept, or a relationship together, you realize you have no idea what’s coming.  Out of that kitchen, or down the road of life.  When it comes to our anniversary dinner, I can honestly say we loved it – the one slight exception was the entree course which wasn’t Aimie’s favorite.  Other than that, we loved it.  What about the courses that our life together has served up for us?  We have loved almost every one of them, but there have been a few along the way that didn’t agree with us.  I’d say when Aimie’s mom and I both were diagnosed with cancer within a few months of each other, only 2 months before our wedding – I wouldn’t order that particular course again.  When we spend a week in the hospital with Amalie – three separate times – because she wasn’t able to breathe, I believe I speak for my wife and I when I say we’d pass on that course.

The one thing I can say about the courses in our life together that weren’t our favorites is this – although I might not want to consume them again, I am grateful for the experience and for what we learned from them.

But what about the rest of the courses?  The delicacies that life has served up are innumerable, and I can only sit back and count my blessings on a daily basis.  Being able to welcome three children into this world and being given the opportunity to have an impact on those lives – I couldn’t imagine living without that course.  Falling deeper and deeper in love with my wife, my dream girl, is something between an entree I couldn’t do without and a daily garnish on every course my life serves up.

How about variety?  Our Faith Taste adventure had tons of it.  Beautiful colors, delectable smells, contrasts in presentation and in taste – even in temperatures, and incredible ingredients.  We loved the effort that the restaurant put into our evening.  When it comes to our life together, I’ve seen the exact same amount of variety.  We’ve been able to live in different parts of our city, in different houses.  I’ve been able to make my way through a number of jobs, mostly at my own pace, and all more rewarding than the last.  Our kids are all very different from each other – each one is a different flavour of personality, needs and wants.  We’ve been able to introduce each other to our old friends and we’ve been able to connect to new friends along the way – and with these we are able to enjoy such a variety of great people we can call our friends, and we’re able to enjoy a variety of things we have in common.

When we embarked on our Faith Taste journey, we tried to guess what was coming.  We didn’t really know what to expect, but we thought we had an idea – we talked about it, and said, well, we’ll likely get a salad in some shape or form.  Similarly, when we started off down this road together, we often talked and said, well, we’ll likely build a house together and we’ll likely have kids together.  But we never knew what to expect.  And when the amazing combination of beet salads made it’s way to our table, we were surprised and delighted.  Just as when we first met Abigail, and then Amalie and lastly Andon, we were also surprised and delighted – even though we didn’t know what life would serve up for us.

Speaking of great surprises, we had the pleasure of seeing our friend, Jen Banks (@JenBanksYEG), at d’lish that night.  And Jen was kind enough to introduce me to two lovely and amazing women in their own right, Natasha (@naturalurbanmom) and Tanis (the @redneckmommy).

Thanks, d’lish, for helping us make our anniversary dinner a memorable one.  We loved the food, we loved the suggestions, we loved the service.  I want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to embark on that Faith Taste journey – and since hearing that one sentence my wife said, reminding me of our own Faith journey together.  We left happy and satisfied and wanting more – a wonderful reflection of our life together.  You guys are awesome, you kept your promise to make the experience a great one and we’ll certainly be back – soon!

UPDATE: d’lish is long gone from the Edmonton restaurant scene, but hey, I still feel the same way about my wife. So that’s good, right?

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