This thing came and went and I never mentioned it on here: Our one year anniversary! We celebrated up in Vermont (where we were skiing with my family) by going to an amazing and romantic dinner and reflecting on the past year together. How time has flown! Since we got married last December we have turned our apartment into a cozy home, made so many new friends, started new jobs, and grown immensely as a couple. John and I spent some time talking about some things that we have learned in our first year of marriage and I wanted to share a few here.
- Keeping score is poisonous. There is a temptation when you live with your partner to keep score ie. being acutely aware of how many times one has done the laundry vs the other, who takes the dog out more, who has been messier, etc. Over the past year we have been working hard to call each other out lovingly on this, and communicate through the issues rather than letting resentment fester. The quicker we nip this attitude in the bud, the less likely we are to bicker.
- Balance a budget one month at a time, but be frugal 24/7. (John is way better than I am at this.)
- We each have our own unique set of expectations for everything. It has been fascinating to see how many things we naturally approach differently, whether from the way we grew up, or just because. It has been crucial to take time to talk through certain things, like holidays, in order to understand what is important to each other and how we can honor that.
- Taking time for ourselves and being rooted in Jesus allows us to focus on serving each other. Conversely, when we haven't been spending enough time with Him we tend to shift more into the "keeping score" attitude.
- Things that seem small can make a huge impact on your day and time together. For John, it means the world to him to come home to a clean house. For me, I love when he makes dinner or folds the laundry.
- Expect curveballs from the military. They aren't always bad, but they will come. Be patient, embrace silver linings, and roll with it.
- Routine is important. Over the past year our schedules have changed hugely from week to week. Having certain routines has helped us to stay in sync, feel balanced, and spend time with each other. We started running together this year and we also instated things like taking an hour each Sunday to tackle housework together. In the mornings John typically makes breakfast, and I make the coffee. At night, whoever doesn't cook does the dishes, and vice versa.
- Marriage is an exercise in grace. In the past year John has seen me more broken and ugly than he ever did while we were dating, and I him. It just happens. Time after time, though, his forgiveness has awed me and shown me Jesus. Honesty: There are times when I have been nasty, and I can't believe it when he assures me that he forgives me. Each time he shows me grace, though, it feels like our relationship gets a little deeper and more intimate.
These things don't even fully scratch the surface of all that we have learned about each other and about marriage in the past year. Also, we are still so new at this. I am certain we absolutely do not have it all figured out, but of this I am also sure: I love John (so, so, so imperfectly) more than I did a year ago, and through this covenant we, despite our sin, are being drawn, day by day, closer to Jesus.
Happy Anniversary JB! You are the one my heart loves.
(Movie by Boston Wedding Films)
P.S. I haven't written one for the past few months, but I have gotten really positive feedback about our marriage updates (sort of the Richey version of "life lately" that chronicled our first year) so I am going to continue them as we move into our second year! Lots of big stuff coming up this year including John's selection (where he learns what aircraft he will fly) and our first big move. Stay tuned!