I have been following a lot of new blogs lately and have noticed the trend through the spring and summer (when a lot of weddings are held) of anniversary posts. Initially, when I started blogging I was super concerned about fitting into a niche. I was only going to post home design/renovation posts and maybe a few life posts on the side. We have had a super busy summer and our funds (especially after Camp’s tooth debacle) are on the low side. So naturally, there hasn’t been a lot going on in the home renovation market at our house (except starting our bathroom reno!). Our first anniversary flashed by back in May and I felt like we didn’t really sit and reminisce. After seeing a ton of other bloggers post about their anniversaries I decided to take a go and am excited to have this annual post. I can’t wait until we have been married 5, then 10, and 20+ years and be able to look back at all the reflections of each year being married!
This will be a post on our first year of being married – if you are interested in some wedding posts shoot me a message! I have held off but I’m up for writing a few if there is interest!
We got married on Memorial Day weekend in 2016 on May 28. I was so nervous about the weather and the spot where our ceremony was supposed to be held actually ended up being underwater when we arrived! Thanks to a ton of help from family and friend (a special thank you to my Aunt Robin and Uncle Jeff – our hosts!) we got the crew rallied together, set up some tents, and made it all work! It was such an awesome day and I truly wouldn’t change anything for the world.
After the wedding we waited a week to go on our honeymoon, moved in together (our first time living together), and then went to one of my bridesmaid’s weddings the weekend following ours. We had planned a double honeymoon with them so at around midnight at their reception we sped off to the airport to catch our flight to Mexico. Mexico was a dream and our resort was fantastic – it probably ruined all future all inclusive resorts for us since it was so nice.
After we arrived back home, JR had to work for 15 days straight (he was on a 7 days on/7 days off night-shift schedule then.) It was sort of a downer to have an exciting 3 weeks and then come home to being alone for 2 weeks. I really embraced my new wife role and spent my evenings packing his lunches along with sweet notes from his new “WIFE!” After the two long weeks he got back into his regular schedule but it was still hard having a husband you only see every other week. I can’t even contemplate how women whose husbands travel a lot or are deployed feel.
In July, I decided to switch jobs and started working at an art gallery in Lincoln. It was a good change of pace that brought some new challenges. I realized how much I actually missed my commute (30 minutes at my old job) and enjoyed a new work environment and experience. We settled into a routine and started really adjusting to our new life as a married couple. That summer we started a farmer’s market booth selling yard games (R.I.P. Happy Camper Woodworks), went on a second honeymoon to Colorado (highly recommend), bought an old 2005 Land Rover for $5k (nightmare – don’t recommend), and had a ton of fun with friends and family.
In September we joined a small group at our church and met Mycah and Jarrett. Being the “group leaders” we were in charge of scheduling our meeting day and landed on Wednesday nights. We had also recently “cut the cord” and no longer had DVR and realized our favorite show, SURVIVOR™, was on Wednesday nights as well and without DVR we would have to watch it live with an antenna. We felt so silly asking the group if we could change the night to Tuesday. When we told Mycah and Jarrett why they informed us Jarrett had a SURVIVOR™ themed birthday party as a kid and they were currently watching throwback seasons on Hulu. Uhhhh…did we just become best friends???
So then started our weekly routine of SURVIVOR™ watch parties every Wednesday. They also have two pups, Pasta and Yogi, so Camp got in a weekly playdate with his new friends. Weirdest part about all of this….When we initially met for our small group the first time we got everyone’s address and phone numbers. Mycah and Jarrett only lived 8 houses down from us! Talk about a small world!
It probably seems weird I’m writing so much about another couple in our anniversary post but we became such fast friends and they are the first couple we really became friends with as a couple ourselves. (Not more so JR’s friend or my friend)
So here is my little note to them: Thank you guys for being such great friends to us. We are sad we live so far away now but we will always have Jesus and SURVIVOR™ to bond us together. (Jarrett you are probably dying at my use of the ™ sign by now.) Thanks for being there for us during some not so fun times and big life changes. You are always such a faith-filled source of support and always show nothing but love. We love you guys!
If you are a young couple and adjusting to married life I highly recommend joining a small group at your church. Lincoln Berean (our church in Lincoln) has such great system for small groups (shout out to Barb for being awesome at what she does!) If you are from a small church without small groups or in between churches I would definitely check them out. It is such a great place for faith-based friendships and an outlet where you can really share and create a church family.
We got through the SURVIVOR™ finale (last time I swear!) and during the month of December we had some big news to share with our family and friends. JR had sort of off the cuff applied for a job in Kansas City and ended up receiving an offer! We had been living in the house I had bought in college (I was super attached to that house) so we had to decide if we were up for selling it, moving, and taking on the new adventure. We had talked about moving somewhere else for a long time even before we were married and decided to go for it. Both our families reacted differently and were somewhat sad and excited but we knew all the reactions came out of a place of love and wanting us to be close to them. It was a really hard decision but also exciting at the same time.
We ended up getting our Lincoln home under contract and purchasing a Kansas City home all in the week before Christmas. I do not recommend selling a house in December – talk about stressful! JR moved in with a college buddy (thanks Chet!) after the new year and I finished up my job at the art gallery through the month of January. Being apart for a month was a bummer but after we moved JR would be back to working 8-5! The first time in our married life we would have the same schedule. We got the house all packed up thanks to the help of some family and friends and two U-hauls later we were on the road!
We drove to Kansas City, signed the papers for the new house, and started unpacking. It ended up being an unexpected 70 degrees on January 30! We lucked out for a day of moving. Our friends in Kansas City all rallied together to get everything moved in and we had a pizza party that night in our new house! We budgeted for me to take the month off (I didn’t even job search) and spent the month of February unpacking, getting settled, and navigating through our new city. I also started a few renovation projects, the first being the master bathroom and decided to really give blogging a go. I started my blog way back in October 2016 but really dropped the ball on being consistent. I like to think of this as my first post and my official “blog anniversary” date (February 7, 2017.)
I also helped my mom with a few work projects for her company (where my old job was before the art gallery) and ended up getting a job offer from her to work remotely from Kansas City as a marketing director/conference planner in a similar role that I had before. Working for family can be really tough and my best advice is to have some pretty candid conversations about boundaries and expectations before you take on any new roles. We have a much better work and personal relationship now and I honestly am so lucky and grateful to work with my mom everyday for the company she built! My first official day was March 1, 2017.
Since March you have all been pretty up to date with our lives via this blog. We did a bunch of renovation projects, had some fun stories, and went on a few fun trips (including a third and final honeymoon to Palm Springs a week before our first anniversary – some would call it a first anniversary trip!) We love living in Kansas City and our first year of being married was definitely an exciting one.
For us, being married is definitely different than dating. We learned to manage our finances together (so far we have paid off $52,038.39 of debt!), take care of a household (dishes and laundry being our too big negotiations), bought and sold houses, and learned how to communicate and challenge each other to grow and be better servants of Christ. I really do understand what people say when they say they love their spouse more and more each day. JR is such an amazing guy and I am so blessed I get to have him as my husband! I can’t wait to see what the next year brings. If it is anything like the past 79 days then we are for sure in for a wild ride!
My advice for those who are recently married and those with upcoming fall weddings is to invest wholeheartedly in your future spouse. If you build your marriage with Christ at the center you are setting yourself up on a great foundation. Always communicate your feelings, don’t be afraid to share when you are hurt, and be their biggest cheerleader (because I’m sure they are yours!)
Here’s to ONE YEAR!
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