2nd Anniversary Lessons
I received an overwhelming response on Instagram to share more of my personal life, so I thought it was fitting to write my first personal blog post on my two year wedding anniversary! Here goes nothing...
Even though Josh (my husband) and I didn’t know one another long before he proposed and getting married, our relationship has been full of “real life stuff,” as I call it...family passing away, moving, jobs, graduate school and me having health issues, all on top of being long distance. There wasn’t really a honeymoon phase in our relationship. Juggling weird schedules, distance, school and work schedules was part of our relationship from day one. I am thankful for it in odd ways, but it sure did make things tough and I found myself envious of those who had the "normal" dating and engagement experience. With all that in mind, I want to share three big lessons of I’ve learned in the last two years of marriage. Believe me, there are more, but I'm holding back!
Marriage is A LOT of work!
This might initially sound odd, but think about it...like any relationship, you have conflict, highs and lows. In marriage you have more because that person knows you better than anyone else and you spend the majority of your time together!
Experiencing dating and being engaged in different cities provided initial insight into this reality, but it hit hard once we got married. Less than two months into being married, Josh was given a new position at work with MUCH more responsibility, stress and longer hours. I never knew when he would get home and he often left the house at or before 6 AM. When he was home, he was doing grad school and a zombie. Long story short, we had to work through how to connect and grow in our relationship. This isn't something we've mastered by any means. We are still navigating my travel schedule in my photography business and grad school is still a reality. I really believe doing long distance from day one prepared us to communicate well and often. Words are all of you have.
I truly believe that if we aren’t moving forward in our marriage towards, we’re digressing. It takes daily discipline and work to actively connect and grow individually and together.
Marriage is truly the most special and unique relationship, this side of heaven.
Josh is my best friend, hands down! There is no one else in the world that cares or understands me more than him...except maybe for my best friend Katie. More on that in a minute! We met later in life and married when I was 29, close to 30 (you know how old I am now...insert emoji covering it's face). Experiencing life and my 20s alone gave me a much deeper appreciation for marriage and our relationship. Yes, I take our marriage for granted at times like anyone else, but am so thankful for the constant laughter, adventures, trials and joys we get to share. He makes me laugh like no other and is the best support system I could ask for! He is one of the main reasons I started M+C.
I believe the journey of being single in my 20s and wanting to find "the one" lends a different perspective when photographing weddings. It certainly makes me value the covenant we made, along each and every story I am privileged to capture. I cry at 99% of the weddings I photograph because of this. Marriage is messy, but beautiful!
You still need girlfriends!
Regardless of what all the single ladies out there think, your husband won’t meet every relational void! He won't understand when a another girl hurts your feelings or the need to be known. You still need girlfriends!
When we got married and I moved from Austin, TX to Enid, OK. I found myself in the middle of NOWHERE...google it and you’ll see! I made every effort to form relationships and find community, but I wasn’t successful. It was a difficult time where friends and community were absent, no matter the efforts I made. It certainly made me appreciate my close friends that even though they lived across the country, I held tight to those friends. We had experienced many years and seasons of life together. They truly knew me. I felt known and loved by them. I can't tell you how much time I spent on the phone and FaceTime talking to these friends while living in OK. Thank goodness for technology!
While we have moved and are starting over again in a more familiar part of the country, friends and community are still something I crave. We all need people in our lives, especially those that can ask the hard questions, hold us accountable for our actions, laugh through the tears and give a hug when it's needed. Friends are invaluable!
I don't know about you, but I don’t want a good marriage. I want a great marriage. My dad always said that growing up and now I get it. I've never been one for settling and especially not now.
My maid of honor included the below Shauna Niequist quote in her speech at our wedding and my heart still resonates with every word….
"Today is about the promise of the future and all the great moments of the past and, indeed, this beautiful present where you stand together, surrounded by people who love you and who are praying that your marriage is one of the great ones. It could be, you know, if you work hard and forgive often, and get over yourself and your selfishness over and over again. It could be one of the stories people tell, when they want to believe in love’s power and life’s richness. It could be one that your children and grandchildren tell each other, praying that someday they’ll have a love like yours…
Make your love story one worth telling. Make it one worth living, every day, as long as you both shall live."
Below are a few of my favorite photos from the past two years. PC is below!