Have I ever told ya’ll that I love weddings…like a lot! When my parents owned their wedding business, I would help out on the weekends that I was in town, and more often than not, I had never even met the couple. But that didn’t stop me from crying like a fool and making a blubbering mess of myself. There’s just something so sacred and beautiful about marriage!
Of course we live in a Pinterest-crazed society where we get so busy planning a wedding that we forget to prepare for a marriage. Don’t worry…I’m not getting on that soapbox today because I am too excited about celebrating a very special couple this upcoming weekend!!!
I’ve said before that you’ll never find me blogging about marriage tips cause Heaven knows I don’t have any business giving martial advice since I have the patience of a toddler waiting on milk. I actually thought about writing a sappy post about the things I wished I had known before getting married, but some things are just sweeter when experienced first hand...or something like that. Ha!
How about nine martial observations for nine years of matrimony...
9 - Honeymoon(ish) Babies Happen...So Practice Caution. Don’t believe me, please allow me to introduce you to my little, blonde “Exhibit A.” Turns out the doctors were wrong, and we were indeed able to get pregnant...and at record breaking speed. We married in October and found out that our little bundle of shock was on the way in December. It’s a great story, really. There were tears galore and not the good kind (at first) and four different pregnancy tests because we were certain that they were all wrong. They weren’t. I’d love for you to read about that fun little surprise here. So, honeymoon babies happen, but what a great adventure and beautiful blessing.
8 - Travel Together...As Often As Possible And As Far As Possible. We were in the process of planning a trip to Europe when that little bundle of shock (mentioned above) made his way into our lives. Obviously, we did the responsible thing and cancelled our trip. Right then and there, we made a promise to take a trip together every year no matter what, and in 100% honesty, it’s the best thing we’ve ever done for our marriage. Since Scotland was out, we went to Atlanta for our first anniversary and I will never forget it because we spent most of our time in bed. SLEEPING, ya’ll!!! Goodness, what did you think I was going to say? SLEEPING because had a six week old bundle of shock waiting for us back home. Anyway, we look forward to our trips so, so much and have the best tradition of getting an ornament for our Christmas tree each year to remember all of our adventures!
7 - Enjoy Each Other's Activities...Or At Least Pretend To. That first anniversary was spent in Atlanta where I saw my first Braves game. When I married Eric, I had been to maybe three baseball games in my entire life...true story. I mean, I called the umpires referees for goodness sake! But I was young and in love and more than happy to accompany my man on his quest to hit up some MLB Fields. So far I’ve checked off the Reds, Braves, and Rays with the Dodgers and Angels coming up next year. I realize my exposure is weak, but keep in mind, that you’re talking to someone who didn’t know there was a difference between a strike, ball and foul. In my defense, the whole thing about the first two fouls being a strike is a little confusing at first. Turns out, baseball is kinda fun and I’m quite enthusiastic about the sport now...just ask the other Pee Wee moms in our league...
6 -Competition Is A Good Thing...Most Of The Time. While we’re on the subject of enthusiasm and sportsmanship, just be aware of the potential for it to get a little out of hand from time to time. I accidentally had this happen at a Pee Wee baseball game, but it’s all water under the bridge now. So is the very first fight we ever had as a couple. It was also over a game, Phase 10. We used to not play games together because it never ended in a love fest, but recently we have been able to keep it civil while we play Rummy, Yahtzee, and Farkle. I guess it’s a sign that our relationship is maturing. This competitive streak has been passed on to our children, so Family Game Night is considered a “character building opportunity” in our home. I’m convinced we’re going to be a very virtuous couple by the time our 20th anniversary rolls around.
5 - Mornings Are The Worst...Need I Say More? Since we’re already talking about our less than glamorous moments, let’s go ahead and address the elephant in the room...mornings! Adding fuel to the fire is the whole cliche that “opposites attract.” I wake up in Mary Poppins mode while everyone else in my home is more along the lines of Chucky. There’s whining and crying and eye rolling and that’s just from Marry Poppins. I’ve learned that the best thing way to address these pre-dawn differences is to avoid speaking. If you must communicate, I think it’s advisable to become an expert with the phrase, “I’m Sorry.” I’m sorry I used my “outside” voice when you asked for a different flavored poptart. I’m sorry I threw that shoe at your head; it just slipped out of my hand. I’m sorry I used that ugly word instead of your name. Take it from me, “I’m sorry” will become an important part of your vocabulary, especially during the morning hours.
4 - Have a Sense of Humor...Preferably Of A Similar Nature The fact that Eric and I can laugh about our morning chaos makes me love the man even more...most days. Shared humor also comes in handy when your husband plays practical jokes on you. Like when he puts rocks in your pillowcase when you get up to pee in the middle of the night, or when he puts clear tape on the spray nozzle of the sink so that it will squirt you when you turn on the water, or when he prank calls you like you’re still a middle schooler. I act annoyed, but it cracks me up every single time. I also love having “inside jokes” with my hubby. I can’t share them with you because if I did they wouldn’t inside jokes anymore. Plus, my grandmothers read this blog. It’s just fun to be able to cast each other knowing glances when certain things come up in regular conversation. We “get” each other.
the time he thought he was texting my brother about the new, spacious Dick’s Sporting Good in town...except it was my mom. I’ll let you figure that one out on your own. Good times, ya’ll!
2 - Fake It Till You Make It...Or Something Like That Have you ever heard the quote that says something along the lines of “every expert was once a beginner?” It’s true. None of us know what we’re doing in adulthood, and marriage is no exclusion. I’m the worst cook on the planet, and while I have never faked it in that area, Eric might have pretended to like a meal or too. Now he just cooks or helps me add a little flavor to my dish. Bringing a baby home from the hospital...no clue! Parenting...we’re a work in progress. I mean, the first time we cleaned up puke, we were a mess figuratively and literally. Now we rock it. One person tends to the kid while the other starts the sheets in the laundry and cleans up the yuck. It’s not about having it all together, but learning it together along the way.
1 - Don't Be Afraid Of A Good Fight...Cause Some Things Are Worth Fighting For Since, I’m getting sappy, why not dive in head first. Not everything in life will go as you planned. There will setbacks, disappointments, tears and pain. It’s only natural to feel the emotions that are associated with those losses, but don’t let those seasons break you. Instead, embrace the fight. Fight for yourself. Fight for each other. Fight for your marriage. Fight for your dreams. Fight for your family. Fight with everything you have in you. And when you think you’ve run out of fight...keeping fighting anyway. Because what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger, and there is nothing better than knowing that you’ve stuck it out through the hard parts of life. Together. Through infertility or surprise pregnancy. From dollar menu date nights to fabulous vacations. From sports cars to mini vans. In sickness and in health. Through joy and heartache. The new city, the new job, the new home, the new dreams, the new you. Fight for it because some things are worth fight for and I can’t think of anything more deserving than sacred blessing of marriage.