August 2nd, 2013 I was a very excited bride-to-be. I remember the details of that day very clearly. Our wedding was truly everything I could’ve ever wanted! The entire wedding just felt like a dream come true.
It’s been one year since we walked down the aisle and vowed in front of God and our loved ones to stand by each other as husband and wife for the rest of our lives.
How do you even begin to put into words what the time in between those two events entails? I don’t really think it’s possible. Married life is incredible and this past year has just been full of blessings!
Marriage teaches you a lot. It teaches you a lot about yourself & about your spouse.
Here are a few things I’ve learned over the past year:
- Your spouse should be someone you truly admire.
I look up to and admire my husband more than I ever realized was possible. There are so many character traits I see in him daily that I pray God will help me to improve upon in my own life. Gus and I dated for four years before we got married and although I saw several of these traits in his life throughout the time we dated, when you live with someone and see those admirable traits on a daily basis it’s pretty phenomenal. Don’t get me wrong – he’s not perfect (and he’d be the first one to tell you that) but he is really a great example to me. I admire his patience. I admire the way he trusts God fully and doesn’t worry. (If you know me at all you know that I’m such a worrier – good thing God gave me a husband who isn’t like me in that area!) I admire his love for other people and the way he talks so highly of others rather than gossiping about them or judging them. I could go on and on. I’m just grateful to be married to a man who is such a great example to me and whose life challenges me to be a better person.
- No matter how long you’ve known someone, there is always more to learn.
Because we’ve known each other for so long, it’s been really amazing to see how far we’ve both come in the years we’ve been a part of each other’s lives. When we first met, we were both punk high schoolers who really didn’t have our priorities straight. It’s been really great even over this past year to see how God has changed us and helped us both fit into the roles as husband and wife. There are little things I’ve learned about Gus (and am still learning) that I really didn’t know until we were married. For example, he’s extremely OCD. He loves having a clean house – and when I say clean I don’t just mean having clutter put away – I mean CLEAN: spotless, swept, mopped, vacuumed, dusted, etc. Right when we finish dinner, before he does anything else, he likes to clean the dishes and put them away ASAP. I wasn’t raised that way. Don’t get me wrong – we weren’t slobs at all – but our house was lived in and we liked it that way. That’s been an adjustment. (But I mean hey, it’s not bad – I have a husband who likes a clean house and who likes to clean – I’m not complaining!)
- Opposites do attract.
Gus and I are opposites in so many ways. It’s really comical, actually. Thankfully, we had several years to realize this fact, and we were pretty well-prepared for it and what it would entail. Even in little ways we’re opposite. Gus is the youngest of 9 siblings. I am the oldest of 2. Let me tell you, having the “oldest vs. youngest” mentality actually works out pretty well in our case! Also – Gus is not a planner and is a very “go with the flow” type of person. I, on the other hand, am a total Type A personality who needs everything planned out to the very last detail. Gus despises making lists and I literally write a to-do list every day & have a planner so I can organize my everyday life. But it works. If Gus had married a girl who was just like him, it would have probably been chaos. If I had married a man who was just like me, we would have stressed each other out so much and it would have probably been terrible. Even though we are complete opposites, it totally works & I wouldn’t want it any other way.
- The first year doesn’t have to be the hardest.
When you get married, people have a lot of advice to offer. Some of that advice has been extremely helpful – some of it I honestly could’ve done without. Several people warned us that the first year would be the hardest and that adjusting to married life would be very difficult. Gus and I really appreciated this piece of advice and we were prepared for a difficult year full of adjustments and arguments. I can honestly say that this past year has been amazing from start to finish. Gus and I have talked several times throughout the year about how the first year of marriage was actually a lot easier and a lot more fun that we even anticipated. Don’t get me wrong – I’m NOT saying that marriage is easy – you’re a flawed human living with another flawed human and you’re going to have your difficult days and moments. However, when you love someone so much and you strive to have God as the center of your marriage- it works. Overall, we’ve had it really great over this past year. The hardest part for us of the first year was probably adjusting to Gus working the night shift and balancing that with me being in school all day during the week. That was rough just trying to find time to spend together but we made it work, and now we’ll make it work adding a little baby into the mix.
- Getting married young doesn’t mean you’re putting your life on hold.
When we got engaged in August of 2012, several people had comments about how young I was. I had several people actually ask me “Isn’t there still so much you want to do with your life?” Then there were those comments like “Wow, you’re really young to be getting married. Are you sure you’re both ready?” I tried to take those comments with a grain of salt, but honestly sometimes they really got to me. Some people were acting as though getting married meant that we were putting the rest of our goals and ambitions on hold. In reality, by finding and marrying that person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with, you’re already in the process of making dreams and goals come true. Yes, there were still things we wanted to do with our lives. When we got engaged I still had other passions and dreams I still wanted to pursue. When we got married we knew that we would both continue to pursue the goals and plans God had for our lives. Getting married young doesn’t mean you have to put your life on hold. It just means you have the opportunity to pursue those passions and dreams with your best friend by your side every step of the way and there is nothing I would want more than that.
- Your five-year plan might not go as planned – and that’s okay!
If you know me, you know I’m a planner and I definitely had a “five-year plan” for our lives. I was going to graduate with my nursing degree, get a job as a nurse, go back to school to get my Masters degree, and maybe start having kids 4-5 years down the road. Well, actually God’s plan for our lives was a whole lot different than what we had imagined. We found out we were pregnant in December and let’s just say my five-year plan was demolished. (And now I’m 100% okay with it). I’ve learned this year that although it’s wise to have a general plan and an idea of what you want for your future, ultimately I’m not the one in control. Gus and I never thought that we’d be expecting a baby within our first year of marriage! It’s funny because now, it’s hard to picture our lives any differently!
I could add so much more to this list but these are just some of the things I’ve learned this past year. I know when the years begin to add up, it will be difficult to remember these things I’ve learned. I wanted to write a post about it so I can look back and remember how I felt as a “newly-married woman.” We’re still newlyweds, right? When do we have to give up that title?
Thank you, Gus for an amazing first year of marriage. I’m so blessed to have you as a husband & you are going to make one incredible daddy to our little girl. (IF SHE EVER GETS HERE!)