September 5, 2018
Kristy & Travis
We are Kristy and Travis Visscher.
We have been each other’s better halves for what seems like an eternity.
Honestly, we’ve been happily loving on each other for 12 years now and have been married for four. We currently live in Country Victoria (where Kristy grew up), after recently relocating from Sydney. We live with our two human babies Banjo and Roo, and our two fur babies Kendrick and Clooney. Trav works all over Australia in Hotel Construction and Kristy as well as being a full time stay at home Mum, is currently just about to launch her photography business, Kinship by Kristy.
1. TELL US YOUR SIMPLE LOVE STORY
TV & KV: We met at a mutual friend’s 21st birthday party, it was kind of a set up. Travis, always the gentleman, asked for Kristy’s phone number just before wanting to leave – Kristy obliged with her phone number and a cheeky pash. Over the course of the next three months Travis persisted with tins of Milo (Kristy’s weakness) and cute dates in his Volkswagon Beetle. Kristy was eventually swayed and they become official not too long after. After a year or so, Travis decided he wanted to go traveling alone. Kristy wasn’t fond of this idea and proceeded to make his entire year of saving for the trip a living hell. Trav eventually buckled and we made the decision to travel together, spending close to a year working and partying from Canada to Panama. After returning from that trip with our relationship better than ever, we both knew at that point it was a ‘forever’ deal (although it took a good few years to gather “Kristy taste in ring” kind of money) before the proposal. We got hitched in the Yarra Valley, a giant love party with our closest friends and family. Kristy is hanging to renew our vows so she can do it all again. Travis is a traditionalist when it comes to these things and thinks we should only marry once.
2. DESCRIBE ONE WAY YOU EACH INTENTIONALLY GROW YOUR LOVE?
TV: Time is pretty sparse as I have to travel a fair bit, so when I’m home I make decent coffee regularly and on demand, meals of a higher caliber than Kristy is accustomed and generally try to pull my weight to lighten her load. If I am not around to enjoy the morning coffee, I will prep what I can and leave a little note to Kris for the day.
KV: To be honest, since the birth of our second son in January and with Travis now working away for most of the week it does make it a bit more tricky to prioritise our love. Roo has just gone seven months and we have finally started to find our feet in our marriage a little more again. Some small things I have done lately to help intentionally grow our love is:
When Travis has the boys by himself (recently I had my first girls night in a very long time!), I hid handwritten letters of encouragement hidden in places I know he will be with the boys.
Another thing I have done this week (I wasn’t going to mention this, but what the heck) is:
Travis normally takes the boys to his parent’s place (around the corner) every Saturday morning for a couple of hours so that I can get some work done on my business alone. This week however, while Trav was at his parent’s with Banj and Roo I sent him a sneaky text, it read ‘Hey babe, I think you forgot a bottle for Roo, or some other excuse and you need to come back here for 10mins… and maybe we can, you know, spend some quality time *insert winkyface.* So that’s what Trav did, he told his Dad he forgot Banjo’s favourite snacks, left the kids with him and darted home to me for 15 mins.
I wasn’t sure I should mention this but it really did add a good amount of excitement into our day and weekend, and it has pushed me to do cheeky things like that a little more often for Trav!
The other important one to mention is that I have recently also organised with my Mum to have the boys for us every Friday for a couple of hours (between feeds), so that we can spend one on one time together. Sometimes we use this time to smash some delicious brunch and talk about nothing important, sometimes we redo the budget and sometimes we go for a hike. It’s just important, good quality time that sets us up for the coming week apart.
3. YOU GUYS HAVE RECENTLY DONE THE BIG MOVE FROM SYDNEY TO MELBOURNE, YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS IS TAKING OFF, AND YOU ADDED BEAUTIFUL ROO TO YOUR CLAN JUST MONTHS AGO; HOW DO YOU GUYS MAINTAIN BALANCE BETWEEN BEING HUSBAND/WIFE AMONGST ALL OF THESE AMAZING THINGS?
TV & KV: If we are real here, balance has been pretty non-existent. In saying that, it has been one of the best years of our lives. We moved from Sydney to Melbourne this time last year, Banjo had just turned one and I was nine weeks pregnant with Roo. Before Roo was born people started to book me for Birth and Family Photography, which really ignited my drive to start up my business. I always knew I wanted to start a photography business when we got home (but probably not until Roo was one), but as the ball started rolling a little earlier than anticipated I wanted to make sure I caught the ride of referrals, so decided to get a crack-on with organising it all. Roo came along at the end of January and since around March I have been working hard on getting the business set up and more importantly we have all been adjusting to life as a family of four – and life has never been better, but it has been a big adjustment for sure!
More recently, we feel like we are again starting to regain some sort of control of our own lives. We are creating time for us and have starting to put our marriage back to the forefront. We have created specific times each week for all of the certain tasks that need to be done. Monday-Thursday is my time with the boys and they are my 100% focus. This is when Travis focusses heavily on work, it’s a hard sacrifice for him to be away so he works long days to make it worthwhile. This is also when he can exercise or do things just for him, he then returns home late Thursday night and we get some time alone together each Friday. Saturday morning I get a few hours by myself to work on the business and Sunday is family day. If Travis wants to play golf or catch up with a mate down here (which of course he does need that sometimes!) we try to slot it in on a Sunday morning, We have lots of time together as a family between these moments, but these moments have been created to help us have ‘quality’ time each week, not just ‘getting by’ time.
Before we created this schedule I found myself trying to do everything during the week, then feeling like I was failing at everything because I couldn’t give any one task my entire focus! The boys wouldn’t have my full attention because I would be trying to work (and oh man, did that kill me) the house would start to get messy and that also killed me. To then not being able to concentrate properly to get my business going as quickly as I wanted (because dah, you have two small children who need you) led me to feel frustrated and deflated for poor Trav when he would come home.
So for us, a little flexible schedule has helped balance all things life immensely.
4. SHARE YOUR MOST RECENT, OR FAVOURITE GO-TO DATE
TV: Kristy and I used to have a killer date night routine (pre babies and pre pretty much all responsibility). Every Thursday night we would go to a fave restaurant, order a bottle of Pino and just hang. Good times. We knew at the time that that wouldn’t last forever so we really soaked it up. Now with the boys around, dinner dates are on hiatus. Fridays are date day/ date hour or two if we can. We fit in what time will allow, but it is always best if we can get a little hike in and good coffee. If you can catch a theme, coffee is a priority around here.
KV: With two little boys, day time dates are certainly our thing now. Both Travis and I love to exercise, so my favourite dates with Trav are in the fresh air on a hike or at the beach. Recently, on one of our Friday dates, we drove to Mt Cannibal, hiked, chatted (held hands OMG!) and then stopped at Little Miss Hangry, a lovely little breakfast joint in Garfield, on our way back home. These are my favourite dates. Fresh air, exercise, coffee and sunshine. These little things are a little bit harder to access everyday at the moment but I know i can always count on Friday to grab some of them and bring ‘us’ back to us.
5. SHARE YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE TO KEEP A MARRIAGE THRIVING
TV: A few years ago, a family member shared with us their advice for a successful long term relationship that really stuck with us. That was to put each other first, because when the kids have grown up and moved out, you’ll be left alone with the person you started out with. As new parents, I wouldn’t say that we’ve stuck to that to the letter, but I’d say it has moulded some of our decisions.
Working away for most of the week means that Kristy has to carry the load of the family, day and night, on her own, all the while building her business and making sure the house doesn’t burn to the ground – I don’t know how she does it. Being conscious of each others positions, appreciating each other and spending as much time together (with wine) seems to be a pretty good recipe.
KV: Not that we are experts by any means… but so far, I think the most important aspect that I have learnt to remember in our marriage is that coffee, wine and tequila are life.
OK, honestly I’ve learnt that it’s not always going to be Easy Street and you won’t always feel ‘loved up’. There will be moments where you need to put real, honest effort in to help your love grow together, as you both grow as individuals. There are be peaks, WONDERFUL high peaks but also troughs. The troughs mightn’t be anything obvious, but if you let them go unaddressed they slowly erode, wearing away and straining at your relationship.
We need to work together through the troughs to climb to the peaks again. Having children has taught me that I, personally, need to really nurture and put conscious, constant effort into my relationship with Travis as the quality time together doesn’t come as easily as it did before Banjo and Roo. I’m so grateful to have such a wonderful, loving, supporting husband in Travis, who backs me a million times over, every day of the week. He is the backbone in our family and I never thought it would be possible to love him more now than I did on our wedding day – but I truly do.