A few nights ago, Nason did something very sweet.  He came home with flowers and wine, then grilled a couple of steaks and made dinner.  I tried to help several times, but every time I would ask if he needed help, he kicked me out of the kitchen.  Even though it drove me crazy a little, I loved it.  It was so romantic, and made me feel very special and loved.

I think that little gestures like that are what truly define a marriage.  Don’t get me wrong, I love it when he sweeps me off my feet with a surprise road trip or a date, but it’s the little things and kind words that happen between the big events.  A love letter is wonderful, but I still tell Nason every day that I love him.  And, dates are nice (when we have the extra money) but so is snuggling up on the couch with a movie.  I guess what I’m trying to say is all of those great little moments in our marriage make something truly beautiful in a big picture sort of way, and the bigger things we do for each other only enrich the love we already have.  He makes me feel special all the time, and that is something pretty cool.

Advertisements

I was almost late to class today.  I didn’t oversleep, nor was I stuck in traffic.  I was rushed to get to school today because I spent time with my husband.

The mornings at our home usually consist of us waking up at different times and going about our business, separate from one another.  Before we head off to our days, we simply leave with a hug and a kiss and a “have a good day, love you.”  While most mornings it makes sense (typically I wake up either earlier or later than Nason, depending on my schedule that day), it is lonely sometimes.  Often I wish we could just spend the whole morning together, like we became accustomed to doing on Wednesdays this summer.  I miss that.

So this morning he blew off his bike ride and I sacrificed my leisurely morning routine to lay in bed together and hang out.  We talked and cuddled, and just enjoyed being together for about 40 minutes.  That is, before I looked at the clock and realized that I was probably going to be late.  After that we lapsed back into the routine.  But that short time…well, it was the perfect start to the day. 

I sincerely wish we could start all of our days like that.  Someday we probably will.  But until then, I’ll take what I can get.  Because when we get it, it’s wonderful.

On this date last year, I got a pedicure, went shopping, stuffed homemade cookies into little bags (36 dozen cookies, take that Martha Stewart!) and went to my wedding rehearsal and dinner.  That’s right, that would make tomorrow our anniversary!

It’s a little crazy to think that Nason and I have been married for a year.  It still seems fun and fresh.  Every day with him is a new adventure.  It’s been a year of happiness, a few arguments, lots of change and, above all, lots of love.  I am so happy that God brought such a loving, sweet, selfless man into my life.  He’s my best friend and constant partner in crime.  Our life is filled with service, pranks, wrestling, hiking, laughter, and growth.  We get each other, even though we’re pretty different, and yet we’re always learning about each other.  I think it’s more fun like that.

I know that this is a short post today, but I’ll just leave you with this: This past year has been absolutely wonderful, even when it’s been difficult.  We are both in love, and we will see many more anniversaries after this one.  The first is special, but it certainly will not be the last!

PS: I will not be able to post again until Monday, since we will be out of town to celebrate.

A few months ago, when we initially started looking at houses, Nason and I made a big and risky decision-we started putting my paycheck into savings and began to live solely off of his.  Now, we did not make that much money to begin with, but we still made enough to get what we needed and then some.  We lived well within our means, and so we were pretty comfortable.  However, when we made our decision, that meant losing a third of our budget every two weeks (Nason makes more an hour and works more hours, so he makes about twice as much as me).  This meant we had to drastically alter our lifestyle.  We stopped going to the movies, and we rarely eat at restaurants, and we started (occasionally) using our credit cards to carry us over until the next paycheck.  Now, we really live paycheck to paycheck, and sometimes it’s tough.

But, even though it’s difficult, it has actually been beneficial in so many ways.  We communicate more about our finances than we did before.  We are less wasteful, and we are smarter shoppers because we have to be.  Despite taking such a cut in our budget, we are still debt free, and I do not see that changing anytime soon.  And our savings account looks fantastic.  Even though we occasionally use money from savings on projects such as our garden or the trip we are taking this weekend, we consistently put more money in than we are taking out, so our savings account has been steadily growing, which was the initial idea.

Honestly?  I think we have more fun now than we did before.  While we do not go out on dates as often as we used to, we like to go hiking, or spend fun nights at home.  We have two Nerf dart pistols, and we will run around the house shooting each other.  Our life is quieter now, and I like it.

This is our good life-while we are pretty poor, we are incredibly happy, and I honestly think that we are better with our finances now than before.  Having to handle our money differently has led us to be more responsible with what we have, and we are better stewards for it.  Even though our lifestyle has changed, our level of happiness is still the same, if not higher.  That is what the good life should be, right?  I think so.

“You’re married???”

“Yep.”

“Wait, to who?”

“To Nason (I point out Nason)”

“But…you’re married!”

“…Yeah…”

“How old are you?”

“21”

“Oh my goodness!  How old is he?”

“21”

“Oh my goodness!”

That is how the conversation went last night with two newer Middle School students.  Though they made me laugh, they didn’t surprise me.  This conversation is really nothing new in my life.  I have been having it with people for the last year and a half, since Nason and I first got engaged. 

We’ve been married almost a year, and yes, we’re both 21.  Married life is something we are both happily adjusted to by now, so it always throws me a little when people are surprised by our relationship.  I actually had a few people who told me it was a bad idea to get married at 20.  Fortunately, I did not heed their advice, and a year later I am extremely happy.

Here’s the way I see it (and I say this all the time): it doesn’t matter if you are 18 or 30 or even 65 when you meet the one you’re supposed to be with.  When it happens it happens, and there’s not much you can do about it.  For me, it happened at 18.  I was not going to wait longer than I had to in order to marry him; I think if we had been financially stable a year before that we would have married at 19!  As it happened, we dated for two years, and we got married on the second anniversary of our first date.  We did everything right-we were both abstinent, we went to premarital counseling, and we made sure that we has everything in order before I walked down that aisle.  We were intentional about our relationship long before Nason proposed, deciding we were going to gear it towards marriage before we had been together for even 6 months.

I know that it’s uncommon for people my age to be married.  Most of my friends are not (some are), and that’s okay.  They simply have not found ‘the one’ yet.  For us, it was different, but that’s okay too.  Though it’s not common, it’s not a cause for concern, at least in our case.  Nason and I are in it for the long haul.  We knew exactly what we were getting ourselves into when we said “I do.”

Last night Nason and I got the keys to our house.  We were at a barbeque when we got the phone call from the owner, so we went over shortly afterwards, retrieved the key from its hiding place and went inside.

The house was so different from the last time we were there.  It was empty and quiet and dark, unlike the walk through when it was full of people and life.  Aided just by a flashlight, we did our own walk through, unaccompanied by our real estate agent, or the owner, or our parents.  It was just us and the house.

It’s kind of funny to think that we’ll be living there by the end of next week.  The place needs cleaning, but we can do that easily.  We have a list of projects to be done to the house, projects like tiling and painting and building.  But I’m looking forward to it all, because those are the things that will make it ours. 

That knowledge brings a funny feeling.  It’s like the key made it all real.  Before that key, the whole arrangement was all talk and emails.  But now, we have something tangible.  That key means something more than all the discussions and paperwork.  It means that empty house will be ours, and we’ll fill it with our things and our people, and we’ll have a life there.

Tonight, when he comes home from work, Nason and I are going over to that empty house to begin cleaning.  We’re taking the first steps towards making that house our home.  For now, the house is empty, just waiting for life to come and fill it again.  It’s exciting to know that it’ll be us to fill it.

On days when I work at night (or not at all) and Nason does not work something magical happens.  We have a morning together.  This is a rarity in our marriage, since we both have jobs and during the week he wakes up for work, and I either wake up for work or school.  This summer is the first time we’ve attempted to synchronize one of our days off, and I must say I’m looking forward to it.

So mornings are a special treat for us.  We get to wake up together and relax, cuddling or talking.  We used to go out to breakfast, since we currently live close to a breakfast place, but money is a little tight and so we’ve been staying in, making breakfast together, which I think is sweeter.  Typically we’ll stay in and watch a movie, or we’ll go and run errands.  It’s a great way to start the day.

We also feel better in the mornings.  We’re not drained from our day, and we don’t stagger in.  We talk more in the morning, we have Nerf dart wars more in the morning, and we are both more affectionate in the morning.  It’s wonderful.

Today Nason is at a CPR/First Aid course, and so we don’t get a morning today.  While I’m a little disappointed, it’s okay.  Next week our days off together start, and I can’t wait.  Then the magic will reappear, only this time it will continue all day.

Challenge: Spend a morning with the people you love.  Go out to breakfast, or watch an early movie, or go swimming or hiking.  Enjoy it!