Below are fifty-five things I have learned during this first year. Some are fun and silly while others are more serious; each have helped make me into the woman I am today. I look forward to seeing who I will be next year and the year after that. God bless each of you as you read this — may it inspire, humor and bless you in your own adventures!
1. Marriage, in God’s will, is one of His greatest, most kind, gifts to mankind
2. Breakfast doesn’t make itself
3. But real men make breakfast (thank you, Dalton! xoxoxo!)
4. Marriage really does take a lot of work
5. And patience
6. And grace
7. Grocery shopping with Dalton is a real treat (I had always imagined I’d shop alone as my dad never went with us. 🙂
8. You really can live (well!) on one income
9. When buying furniture it is far better to wait for the right style, price and time than jumping into a bargain you’ll regret later
10. Babies aren’t just made
11. But contentment in the waiting will make you (and your spouse) grow closer to each other and the Lord
12. Homesickness is inevitable
13. And it is okay
14. But when homesickness sweeps over you, don’t run home. Run to your beloved and share your heart. You’ll grow through it.
15. Arguments will happen (even when you’re the perfect couple!)
16. But most of the arguments will be based on miscommunication
17. Your spouse cannot read your mind and he shouldn’t have to
18. Going on a date can be as simple as walking through the mall together … the time together is oh, so priceless!
19. Husbands love to have their jokes laughed at … but they want you to be real! 😉
20. Dalton cannot stand popping knuckles … if I pop them while he sleeps he hears it and gives a little grunt of disapproval 😀
21. Being your mate’s biggest fan and advocate is *so* important. Criticizing him or allowing others to criticize him is a big no-no and a trust breaker. I learned this the hard way. Always, be on your mate’s team … you’ll never regret having their trust!
22. Being thrifty can be really fun
23. But sometimes going cheap is not worth it (like buying cheap toilet paper which rips … du du duuuuuum!)
24. The first few months of marriage will probably be a little tight in the budget … but don’t fret! In about 3 months you’ll have the budget set, utilities scheduled, and furnishings furnished and you can begin to relax.
25. Husbands want to know if they’re “getting fat ” sometimes … and they want an honest answer
26. Celebrating “month-a-versaries” is really fun!!
27. Riding the bus is actually … really easy
28. Decorations can be bought little by little each year. Our Christmas tree was given to us and our ornaments were made from a package of potpourri … but it was truly beautiful and definitely “us.” I’ve found it far more satisfying to stay within budget and buy a little to set up home then go into debt (or over budget).
29. But remember, the budget isn’t meant to be a hateful, slave master constantly whipping your backs. If you find that you can agree that the purchase is necessary then go for it! 🙂
30. Tubs need to be scrubbed every few months … otherwise
they get this gross ring around the edge and your sister will have to scrub it when she comes to visit they get gross.
31. Your Momma is really, really going to miss you (and you her). Bless her, call her, text her, send letter to her … do all that you can to make this transition easier for the dear woman who has loved you all your life. I wish I had done more of this in the beginning!!
32. A man who makes you coffee is a man worth keeping!!
33. Men like kindness (imagine that!). But really, it’s true. Sometimes new wives tend to allow familiarity to become an excuse for complacency breeding selfishness and thoughtlessness. From my extensive studies, men don’t respond very well to those traits; however, give them a dose of kindness and suddenly you’re a princess who does everything right! 😉
34. You could complain or you could swallow that complaint. The choice is yours.
35. Not being honest about your feelings is a lie. Period.
36. Dalton is genuinely impressed and happy when I give myself over to my “creative juices.” His support for my little creations and writing has been such a blessing!
37. Strep throat can be incredibly costly
38. Sleeping during the night is far better than sleeping in the day. When we were first married, D worked the morning shift (11 pm – 7 am). It was a fun adventure, but we were sure glad when he was able to get a swing shift instead (1 pm – 9 pm). We loved not having to sleep in the daytime!
39. Keeping house is a lot of fun … especially after you get into the swing of things
40. A good man will eat a lot of icky meals (including leftovers!)
41. Friendly neighbors are a real blessing
42. Lovemaking is so much better than what you thought it would be as a single person
43. Pursuing a relationship with your in-laws (or in-loves as I like to say!) is super important and super rewarding
44. Pregnancy tests are super expensive
45. And getting a negative reading can be devastating
46. Bacon is a financial treat you should partake in once in a while
47. Praying together every day is a investment for eternity and well worth the time
48. Saying “I’m sorry; do you forgive me?” is one of the greatest phrases of all time and a great healer. Use it often.
49. Contentment is a choice … even after you have everything you ever wanted (a husband who loves you, a home of your own …) you’ll still have to choose to be content.
50. Being married to you best friend is the best thing that could ever happen. He will hold you when you cry, laugh when you laugh, and bless your every moment.
51. Marriage (and all that comes with it) will affect your hormones and you’ll feel a little “out of control” for a while. It’s okay and I’m pretty convinced it happens to us all. Give yourself grace, plenty of rest, and good, nutrient rich meals and you’ll survive. 🙂
52. God will never fail to meet His children’s needs. I have learned this over and over again this year — our God is good and loving!
53. Finding an apartment with a good landlord and without any broken windows is a huge blessing
54. Not eating sugar/wheat really does make me feel better
55. A man who points you to Christ, encourages you to look up, and prays for you is worth the world and rare
I really couldn’t be any happier than I am right now. Dalton and I are so blessed — we’ve learned a lot since we said “I do” last year on March 7th. We’ve stumbled, bickered and felt lost. But we have grown, bonded, and found hope in God’s leading. I know we wouldn’t trade what we have for the world.
Happy anniversary, D! May we have 70 more!
Were there any points you could relate with or that surprised you? Feel free to bring up your thoughts!!
With love, coffee, and a one year old marriage!