His crazy sense of humor keeps me on my toes - Kemi Macaulay-Newman

Kemi Macaulay-Newman, the founder of 9jamom.com, has known her husband Uche Newman for almost 7years now having dated him for about 3years before they got married. She says, "It just hit me we've actually spent all 3 anniversaries - the most recent one; another road trip to Myrtle Beach, SC. - with our son, lol! OK, next one has to be alone, geez!" With this, I wanted to know how this affected their relationship as a married couple. Enjoy Kemi's marriage avowals below;

How did you meet your husband?
I was in MD for my Masters program and attended a Nigerian Independence Day party with a friend in DC where we met. We ended up being really good friends, and then more :)

How long have you been married?
3 years +

How did your husband propose?
Always said I wanted a unique proposal and I must say he did a great job! We had talked about getting married so I knew he would propose at some point but I didn't know when but I always thought he'd do it when I visited in MD, not while he was visiting CA.

It's really difficult to surprise me because I almost always figure it out but this time, I was truly surprised...
Uche insisted on having my car for the day even though I didn't understand why he absolutely needed to go to the gym on the day I had to go down to San Francisco for a meeting… he won, (only because he was visiting) and I had the pleasure of a very long ride from San Jose to SF on Cal train (total commute was close to 3hours).

After a long day and even longer time commuting, I was so ready to go off on him if he was even a minute late in picking me up. He met me at the station holding a sign but I was too tired to entertain the goofiness that I walked right past him without reading it but stopped when the guy behind him asked if I planned on answering…

Puzzled, I looked back, read the sign and slowly took in the "Will you marry me?" I still thought it was all a joke so I walked out to the front of the station (I was really slow that day, and if you know Uche, his jokes - which I thought this was - can be pretty elaborate). It finally sunk in when he got on one knee outside the station and whipped out the black box…after a little silence, at which point he was probably starting to worry about my answer, I said yes which was followed by hooting and blaring horns from the cars picking up passengers and passers-by...

What is your favorite part about being married to your husband?

Being best friends - we can talk about any and everything, which isn’t always the case with a lot of marriages. And his crazy sense of humor that only gets better with time, and always keeps me on my toes.

What is the hardest part about being married?

We're both strong-willed so when we disagree about something, it really takes divine intervention to find a middle ground ;). And the little things seem much bigger when you're under the same roof - I can never remember where I put my car keys compared to how disciplined he is about leaving his in the same place. He always seems to prefer to leave his shoes smack in the middle of the entryway despite the shoe bench.

Do you have a child?

How has this affected your marriage and how do you cope? 

Tremendously! OMG, where do I start? Hubby and I had a long distance relationship for more than 2 years after I moved back to CA so I was really looking forward to being able to settle into living together and some serious couple runs - travel, short trips, nights out etc etc. Since our adorable little one was a honeymoon baby, we didn't really get that time - we had to adjust to living with each other and a baby at the same time.

Having a baby has definitely changed how much time we can spend hanging out or doing activities on a whim (we both love adventures and spontaneous trips). Also it's too easy to focus only on the baby and forget about the relationship between the parents. One of the things we've done is to set a deliberate budget for a babysitter - can be expensive but we'd rather sacrifice other things - a strong 'us' is totally worth it so we make sure we get out and have some 'us' time at least 1-2 times a month (no, not a weekly date night as recommended because that would kill the bank). And when family is around, we take advantage of it.

Before we got married, we always said we never wanted having children to put an end to having fun so we plan a lot of family trips and take our son along for the ride - we've celebrated two anniversaries with him in tow: the first a road trip to Vancouver (he was 3months) and last year's indoor rock climbing; we simply took turns watching him ;)

One other thing we do is to factor in time where we each get "alone" space - so he might take our son to a bounce gym or somewhere else for a couple of hours so I can chill at home, or stay home while I hang out with girlfriends or a run to my favorite place – Barnes & Nobles ;). And I do the same.

What do you think is the “key” to a successful marriage? 
Communication and the commitment to "work" at having a successful marriage; we are both from broken homes and going into this knew we'd have to work even harder to create that example we never had. Also, not having seen a happy marriage first hand means having to work harder to balance projecting the different "ideals" we've mapped out over time, hence the reason why it's important to talk, talk, talk....