What Made the First Year of Marriage Hard

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One Year.

Wow. At this time last year I was curling my hair, painting my nails, and silently stressing that I just wanted to hurry up and walk down that aisle. Now I’m sitting in our quiet little cabin, typing away, smiling at the man of my dreams who just made me lunch. We officially made it to our one year anniversary.

Marriage, Doing my hair for the wedding

A lot has happened in this year. We experienced a ton of firsts, two big moves, a battle with bed bugs and a college graduation.

I’m sure most people were a little skeptical when they found out Casey and I were getting married two weeks before my senior year of college. Who does that? Will she flunk her classes? Don’t they know that’s going to make their first year of marriage super hard?

Guess what? It didn’t. People asked me all year, “Is it hard to be in college and married?” My answer was always the same, “School is hard. Being married is great!”

Church Wedding, at the altar

You see, the hard part of our first year of marriage was dragging my butt to class, working 20+ hours a week, writing papers, taking tests, reading the gazillions of pages that English majors are supposed to read (and confession: usually Sparknote). The other difficult part of that year was being an adult: paying bills, doing taxes (I’ve blocked that month from my memory), remembering to grocery shop, budgeting, keeping the house clean and buying gas. But those were things I would have done whether or not I tied the knot at 21.

What wasn’t hard was coming to home to my best friend every night, having a helping hand to do the laundry, and a cheerleader every time I claimed I was ready to drop out. It wasn’t hard to dream of our future together or always have a date to every dance. It wasn’t hard to sleep in on Saturdays, eat waffles and binge watch Parks and Rec when I should have been doing homework.

Wedding on the Pond

I’m not going to pretend like applying to graduate school and college, budgeting for our upcoming year abroad and making big-kid decisions wasn’t challenging and extremely stressful at times. It was. But having a life partner by my side who promised me “for better or for worse” made all those times far more bearable.

The most beautiful thing I learned from my first year of marriage is that I’m no longer facing life’s challenges alone. I’m part of a life-long team where we support one another even when it’s hard and even when we don’t want to. We move to Scotland in just over two weeks and that’s terrifying and exciting all at the same time. I guarantee we will have some tough, home-sick, why-did-we-do-this moments. But I also know that going to see Paris and Rome, hiking in the Scottish highlands and making a new home in a new city will be so much better because I’m doing it with my teammate, my best friend, my number one fan and my biggest support.

As one sweet lady at church said to me yesterday: “One year down. 75 to go.”

Sparkler exit at wedding


P.S. The pictures above are from our wedding taken by Elena Creed. The ones below (and the feature image) of our one-year-anniversary shoot, taken today by my adorable brother Jonathan. Might as well wear the dress again!

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