Marriage: 6 More Things That Surprised Me

6 More Things that Surprised Me About Marraige

Last night I got deep into the sentimentals when I thought about the most amazing bachelorette party my sister threw for me. A year ago yesterday we were partying at a bookstore in Asheville, the most unique place to throw a bachelorette party, but perfectly me. It really was the perfect way to start off wedding week, so I am feeling ALL the feels and remembering all the great mems.

To commemorate anniversary week, I am sharing all things wedding this week. Six months ago I shared 6 things that surprised me about marriage. Mr. M and I can hardly believe we’ve been calling each other husband and wife for a whole year. I can honestly say that our first year of marriage has been BETTER than our years of dating.

We Fight Less Now That We’re Married

Mr. M and I had a couple mentor us our first year of dating. They encouraged us to be as open and honest in our communication as we could be, and so we did that. And we fought. . . a lot. I’m sure it was a culmination of things – being in college, being in grad school, and trying to communicate through two different perspectives and ideals made for a rough and rocky beginning. However, I am so thankful we learned how to communicate early on in our dating period, because that has carried on into marriage.

It also helped that we had the “newlywed” conversations before we were even engaged. We talked about our dating history, our future, whether we wanted kids, where our hearts aligned with what ministries, etc. After a counseling session during our engagement, we talked about how difficult it would be had we not discussed all the necessary deep aspects of marriage beforehand, but because we were equipped with the knowledge and communication, it made our first year of marriage easier than our years of dating. (Being free to make out all we want helps to.)

How Busy We Can Be

When I dreamt of marriage as a single lady, I thought we would spend every night entangled in each other’s arms. And while we do that some times, half the time we collapse onto the couch with Netflix. Mr. M and I try to stay intentional with our date nights, but there have definitely been seasons over the last year where it has been a leftovers and Netflix night. With our work schedules + our social calendar, we stay pretty busy. Thank goodness we are both extroverts.

How Much I Love my In-Laws

This is not as much of a surprise as it something I’m incredibly thankful for. Before I met Mr. M, I worried that one day I wouldn’t love my in-laws. I am incredibly close with my parents, and my parents’ parents – both sets of my grandparents – are best friends.  I always hoped that my husband’s parents and my parents would be best friends. Proximity is not on our side with this one, but my family and Mr. M’s family love each other, and we have even celebrated Thanksgiving together for the past two years. It’s been the best. It is a great feeling to honestly say that I love my in-laws like I do my own parents.

Marrying into another culture can be scary on the forefront, especially when it involves relationships with the parents. Having my mother and father in law and entire M clan embrace me and teach me their customs has been amazing.

6 More Things that Surprised Me About Marriage

How Many Adventures We’ve Been On

Mr. M and I want to avoid the stigma of being a boring married couple. And while we definitely have our introverted – be in bed by 10pm nights, we have had so many adventures this year.This summer I did a mini travel series on the blog, because there has not been one month since we got married (or even engaged!) where Mr. M and I have stayed in one place. It has been exhausting and a great adventure. How do we do it? Basically we have friends all over the country + air bnb’s are my jam.

The New Dreams We Share

Couples always talk about how fun it is to dream together, and it’s true! I love having a marriage partner who pushes me to dream, and dreams alongside me. We both passionate about our own things, but they often align with each other which makes the dreaming process fun. Mr. M is a big scale dreamer, and I’m more realistic, so he challenges me and pushes me to open my mind to bigger dreams. It’s scary as all get out.

How Deep Our Love Goes

If Mr. M and I have learned to love each other more deeply in year one, I can’t imagine what it will look like when we have children, and go through different seasons of life together. While I try to stay light hearted on the blog, there have definitely been unique challenges Mr. M and I face. Rather than look at these challenges as obstacles, we have used them to draw closer to each other and the Lord. Mr. M always reminds me that we are on the same time.

6 More Things that Surprised Me About Marriage

 

 

What was once Illegal

hugs and lattes

Pai and I enjoyed a leisurely brunch (at 2pm. . .) since I had the day off. Before I started dating Pai, I didn’t give Martin Luther King a lot of thought. I studied slavery throughout the colonization of America up until the Civil War and read all about the Civil Rights movement growing up in school, but none of it resonated with me as much because I grew up an upper-middle class white girl. To me, MLK was a just great guy who brought to our attention the horrors of racial inequality and racism.

In the middle of college I started dating Pai. I had always been attracted to men with darker skin. I’m not 100% sure why, but maybe it was because Will Smith swooned my eleven year old heart as I watched reruns of Fresh Prince of Belair until the wee hours of the morning.

Pai is a sociologist, so he studies why people act the way they do, and lets me peek into his mind as he unpacks his thoughts and theories.

One afternoon before we were officially “dating” he and I went on a run together through downtown. We walked the last mile back to my car hand in hand. It was the first and last time I felt people staring as they passed us. I had lots of different thoughts running through my mind.

What are people thinking when they pass us? 

Is it okay for us to be doing this in somewhat-rural East Tennessee?

What if someone gets angry and runs up on the sidewalk?

Ok. . .  that last one was dramatic, but I often think of worst case scenarios. I decided right then and there that I wasn’t going to pay attention to the looks we would get when we are together. I’m sure I’ll have to re-remind myself of this one day when I’m alone at the grocery store with my adorable caramel skinned babies.

As Pai prayed for brunch today, he thanked God for Martin Luther King and the path he foraged for people in the United States. 60 years ago, it would have been illegal for Pai and I to be together. It would have been wrong for us to go to the same restroom, or even drink out of the same drinking fountain. I can safely say that it was quite safe to drink after him. And kiss him. (But only for me. No one else is allowed to kiss him.)

MLK Day used to just be a day that enabled me to enjoy a long weekend. Nowadays I am thankful for the sacrifice Martin Luther King made along with his family and the countless of civil rights activitsts that stood by his side.

My heart breaks for all of the racial inequality and the whispers of pain that still course throughout the American community because of the injustices of racism that are still obvious today.

As white Americans, we don’t want to say, “We don’t see color.” Color is important. We want to embrace each other’s heritage. We want to celebrate the differences in culture, differences in skin tone, and differences in the way we communicate.

Color is important.

Love is important.

Nayyirah Waheed

#NOTEngagementPictures

A year ago yesterday I was thinking, what perfect outfit says: I think you’re cute and I like you and I really like you, but I need this to look like I didn’t stress and analyze what is the perfect first coffee date? I went with a silver flats, a jeans, gray cardigan, and a pink v-neck which I sweat through profusely, but you didn’t need to know about that or the fact I couldn’t even eat and felt nauseous until this handsome guy picked me up outside my dorm for coffee.
Is this a date? If he pays it’s a date. Does he want to get to know me because he finds me intriguing, or because he thinks I’m hot? Does he want to date me, or does he just think I’m a really cool gal?
It turns out he found me to be a really cool gal, intriguing, hot, fun, and he wanted to date me. But we didn’t “Date” until 2 months later. . . even though he definitely bought me lattes and donuts 😉
We spent the afternoon at a coffee shop and walking around town. I was awkward and kept looking at his plaid shirt instead of making eye contact, he was charming and bought my coffee (so it was definitely a date). 
I guess the rest is history. . . 🙂
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One day in January my sister lovingly took and edited a bajillion pictures of Pai and me. We posed and smiled and made sure that I didn’t have my purity ring (which I keep on my left finger) on my hand in any of the hand shots – BECAUSE THESE ARE NOT ENGAGEMENT PICTURES. These are purely photos that are not from a blurry iPhone that capture the expression of our love. 
Thank you for letting to puke our mushy gushy love on my blog. 

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Reasons why my Netflix viewing declined

No, this is not about the minor freak out I had Thursday afternoon when Netflix decided to shut down watch instantly and I thought I had lost Grey’s forever. I was going to write a strongly worded open letter, but then I realized they were having technical difficulties and decided to give them grace after sending out a few whiny tweets.

 

This is about the time when it took me two months to get through two seasons of Grey’s Anatomy rather than two weeks. I have good excuses, too. One of them was that I have been extremely busy with school.

 

And this is the other reason:

 

 

Friends, meet my guy. His name is Pai. (Pronounced like pie. As in: I like chocolate pie.)

A relationship shouldn’t be something that is hard to blog about, but for me it is. A good friend of mine pointed out the reason why, though. She said “Your blog is not very frequently serious, and this is a serious topic to you” and she’s right. I have no idea how to put the last few months into words. For someone who journals and blogs almost daily, this is something I treasure more in my heart rather than on a page.
Last semester I was not at all in a place where I was shining the light of Christ into the lives of other people, and I knew that I was a hot mess. I started going to a different church than the one I previously had been going to. In the Sunday School class, there was this really handsome guy who always said deep and profound things. I didn’t know him very well, but I could see love and Christ overflowing out of his life. I told Chels “I am in no place to date anyone right now. But if I did, I would want to go out with him. Seriously, I wouldn’t hate it if he invited me to go get coffee or something.” Chels encouraged me to ask him out for coffee to get to know him just on a friends basis, but I thought that was too forward and I knew that if I got to know him I would most definitely want to be more than friends.
Fast forward to this semester and I am in a much better place. Christmas break must have worked wonders for me. I was making smarter decisions and getting more involved with my church’s college ministry. I also found myself randomly thinking of this cute guy in my class every now and then. Usually it was on long runs when I was composing funny tweets in my head. One time I came up with a tweet and I thought “I bet he’ll favorite that tweet” and sure enough he did. That’s how I knew he wanted me. Just kidding.
One Saturday afternoon he messaged me on Facebook and asked for my number and we started texting. He asked me what I was doing with my Saturday night and I made myself sound like the damsel in distress I was: “Oh you know, just binge-watching Netflix.” He invited me to a bonfire at a mutual friend’s house. I did not say “Ohh well I don’t want to be an inconvenience,” I did not make him beg, I did not play games. I wanted to hang out with this guy so I just did the mature thing and said Yep, I want to go. The next weekend he asked me out for coffee to get to know each other. A week later, he told me he was interested in getting to know me and pursue me. After that, we spent several days a week with each other, and I started to move from admiring him and respecting him to liking him and developing more of an interest to wishing he would just kiss me already. (which he did, and I didn’t even have to pretend to fiddle with my keys!)

Anyway, he wanted me to meet his family first, and I wanted him to talk to my dad before we moved forward. After Pai met my dad, Pai said “you know we’re still not dating, right?” and I said I knew but I was frustrated. In my mind, we had been dating since the first coffee date a few months back. We were exclusively going out with each other and he was paying for my food consistently. We were totally dating.

The next day I texted a friend of ours and told him I was being really impatient, which was true. I woke up last Thursday on the completely wrong side of the bed. I hated everyone, my coffee made me sick to my stomach, which made me hate everyone even more. Thursday night, Pai said he had something for me. He picked me up and we drove down to the soccer fields where he used to be a soccer superstar back when he was in school. We talked for a few minutes and then he gave me a letter. I read the sweetest and most genuine words any guy has ever written to me. Then at the end of the letter, there was this:

 We didn’t have a pen, so naturally I sliced my finger open and signed it with blood.
Kidding. I said yes of course I would be his girlfriend.

He was dropping me off and we were doing the thing that couples normally do before they say goodbye, shake hands in a professional fashion, when this guy walks up to us and says “Oh! I didn’t know you two were a thing.” . . . “Yeah, we are.” . . . “So, you’re like official?” More awkward silence . . . “Yeah, just now actually.” . . . “NO WAY!” then he proceeds to take out the his phone and snap a picture, forever capturing the moment.

Because we aren’t awkward at all or anything. 

So yeah, I am a taken woman now. I’m sure I’ll talk about him more in the coming days because he takes me on some pretty epic adventures.

This is the first time I have ever been in a healthy, Christ-centered relationship. While he pursues my heart, he also is actively pursuing God’s heart, and encouraging me to draw closer to Christ. He has such an amazing heart for people. It’s amazing to watch him interact with others, because Christ’s love just pours out of him and into the lives of every one he comes in contact with. Words are definitely his gift. He has a talent for speaking God’s Word and encouragement into the lives of others in a down to earth non-judgmental way. It’s also impossible to be grumpy around him, unless of course it’s 1 am and you’re really tired and he won’t let you lay your head on the bench because surprise! You’re an adult and you have to sit up like an adult when you’re with company (not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything.) We laugh a lot a lot, and I think he has the most beautiful smile.

Chels recently informed me that I lost my privilege to make fun of all the sick, disgusting, love-stricken couples we see, because sadly, I have become one of them. Don’t worry, though. We both recognize that we are in the cupcake stage, and sometimes we realize that we’re being gross. And even though I get embarrassed, sometimes I don’t care. Unless we get called out for [me] being too giggly. Then I get embarrassed and laugh even more.

Isn’t he so handsome though?! 😀

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