This past year has been the fastest of my life so far. On Sunday, Daniel and I will celebrate our first wedding anniversary. Last night we flipped through the professional photos that I finally had printed just last week, looking back on our wedding day; it’s hard to believe that a whole twelve months, a whole four seasons, a whole year has passed since then.
I can’t even say that we have yet been able to settle into a routine, exactly, as husband and wife. For the first few months, Daniel had his summer vacation from grad school. Caroline still lived in our second bedroom. In September Daniel’s classes started back up again, including a required internship that got off to a rocky start but eventually settled down with the help of quite a bit of prayer. With a full class and work schedule again, Daniel was exhausted. I became pregnant with the precious little one that we are still waiting to meet. We started teaching a sixth grade religious education class at our parish.
We helped Caroline move out in October, emptying the second bedroom which would very quickly be filled with tools, painting projects, boxes of stuff to be taken to Goodwill, and out-of-season clothing. We got used to living together, alone. I spent a couple of months battling nausea while working overtime and commuting, now without a carpool buddy. We purchased a new-to-us car for Daniel. Projects were begun and completed around the house. We celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas together, with a lovely fir tree that we chose and cut down ourselves. My belly slowly grew. We paid down some debt. I switched to part-time work. My belly continued to grow, and doctor’s appointments became more frequent. I quit my job to be better able to rest and prepare for the baby. The second bedroom was emptied for a second time, and is now waiting to be filled with the furniture and other items that will allow it to live up to its new name: “the nursery.” Daniel finished his internship and his classes for the semester, leaving just one measly credit in order to graduate with his MA in Clinical Psychology, which he will do with a quick summer course.
Throughout all of this, Daniel helped me to deal with my stresses and I helped him to deal with his. We argued over whose turn it was to wash the dishes and for who knows how many other stupid reasons. We made up, always before falling asleep at night. We rented countless movies from Redbox (not really countless, but who feels like counting?) We laughed. A lot. Thank God for our ability to be silly together and make each other laugh—usually, no matter what. We also prayed. For our families, for each other, for the new family God is using us to grow. And we held hands. We held hands in the car, we held hands in church, we held hands at the mall, and we held hands while we watched our child dancing around on the ultrasound screen. Holding hands is such a simple yet profound act. It means that whatever it is you’re doing, you’re doing it together. It’s a lingering sign of affection and love that doesn’t interrupt daily life, but fits into it perfectly (unless of course you happen to need both hands for whatever you are doing). We held hands a lot.
There you have a whirlwind tour of our first year living the sacrament of marriage, plenty of which you have already heard about as you journeyed through this first year with us through my blog.
The transition to married life was not all that difficult for us. There were of course some things that we had to work out and get accustomed to, but the big things that most couples have to deal with upon getting married were not so hard for us. For a few years before our wedding, we were already consulting each other and coming to agreements on how we would spend our own money, and we already spent nearly all of our free time together. Agreeing about time and money makes things a lot easier. I think that marrying relatively young helped in this respect; we didn’t begin separate adult lives before becoming one, rather we became one just as we were beginning our adult lives.
People in love often talk about “declaring from the mountaintops” their feelings for someone. Well, this is my mountaintop, and I would now like to take this opportunity to thank my husband for this past year.
God gave me such an incredible gift in Daniel, one that He has continued to give me anew every one of these past 365 days. Daniel is by far the best man that I have ever known: the most generous, the most forgiving, the hardest working, the most caring, the most sincere, and the most loving. He fills my life with so much joy and laughter, and I am honored by his patient, understanding, unreserved, and constant love for me. He helps me to be a better person, and I love him for that, among so many other reasons. He is going to be the best daddy to our child, and I am so looking forward to getting to know him in that new role in just a few weeks. May God give me the grace to love him more perfectly throughout this next year and every year of our life together.
I love you, Daniel. Happy Anniversary!