The first year of marriage sucks.
Okay, maybe that's a strong word....But it's tough, you guys.
At least it was for us.
We didn't live together before we were married. We didn't share a bank account or loads of laundry or yard work duties.
There was no "honeymoon stage..." unless by "honeymoon stage," people actually meant the "I-really-married-this person?" stage (only kidding, kind of...)
|Circa 2004 when I met this cute pizza delivery driver during my part-time job at the pizza joint. Our first date? You guessed it: Pizza. (We were cool like that...)|
Marriage is full of ups and downs. Some seasons are smooth sailing, others are in a pit of fire.
Infertility was tough on us. We shared tears, got angry and asked a lot of hard questions. But we held hands as we walked through the lowest of lows together.
Adopting Olivia and then adopting Kendra 18-months later have been some of the greatest joys we've experienced...
The trials and tribulations we've survived have not only made us stronger, but they've made the happy moments even more meaningful.
Marriage is a roller coaster, and we've learned that if we can't always enjoy the ride itself, we should at least appreciate who we're sitting next to.
Marriage isn't about you -- it's about the person you LOVE.
Being married is about loving your spouse just as they are.
Yes, that means I love my husband even when he doesn't do things my way.
Sure, he may fold the towels differently than I do or be more meticulous about yard work than I am...but I love him.
And I think when we love people as they are, we receive even more love and respect in return.
Those Happy Hours with girlfriends and tee-times after work with the gang have been replaced with home improvement projects and vacation-planning with your spouse.
Sure, you'll still have a chance to meet up with your friends (and it's healthy to maintain those relationships, too!)...but after you get married, you start to forget what life was like before having your best friend by your side all the time.
Truth be told: I wouldn't have it any other way!
5. Never underestimate the importance of showing up.
Particularly when I was in TV and Chris was a police officer, we had a hard time making our marriage a priority.
Because our jobs and work schedules were so demanding, we learned early on -- we need to be present with one another.
We implemented a house rule: Shut off your phone at dinner.
Make eye contact and talk.
Show up for your spouse not only by being physically present, but emotionally present as well.
6. Remember to go on dates.
With two kiddos in tow, we have a lot of excuses to not go out on dates: Tracking down a babysitter, money, lack of sleep...you name it.
But read this: It is so important to date your spouse.
If you're not able to head downtown for dinner or a movie, pick up a bottle of wine, bouquet of flowers, 6-pack of whatever floats your spouse's fancy and SURPRISE YOUR LOVE.
Grab a movie from Redbox and share a bowl of buttery popcorn on the couch after the kids go to bed.
We've learned it's important to enjoy each other's company...our dates may just look a lil' different (i.e. sweat pants!) than they did 10 years ago.
7. Lean on each other.
Be your spouse's advocate, supporter and cheerleader.
And when the valleys are low, be honest with one another. Lean on each other for encouragement and don't give up.
How lucky I am to call you mine!
Thank you for loving me in big ways, even when it's not easy.
Cheers to many years ahead -- may we continue to find joy in this journey together...
What Love Looks Like With 2 Kids and 1 On The Way
30 Lessons in 30 Years