Oh, the newlywed life. You hear about it growing up a little but when you're engaged, the idea of it hits in full force. Most people talk about how much fighting happens in the first year of marriage as two people try to link their lives together for the first time. A few will tell you how exciting it is to finally be together, and how much of a blessing it is to be married.
Everybody's experience is different, but our first year together was thankfully marked by happiness and excitement, with just a few fights thrown in there for good measure. It's nearly impossible to have major life changes without conflict, but I do not believe that newlyweds are doomed to a full year of nonstop fighting.
The first 6 months we were married, we were blissfully busy spending time just with each other. Those are some of the sweetest moments I can remember (and I talked a little about that last week). That fall, Nathan started working on his master's degree in acoustics through Penn State. It completely changed our lives in a lot of ways. The little time he did not have to spend studying at night and on the weekends we tried to fill with activities, but he was often too tired to participate.
Those were some hard and lonely months for me. I am not someone who loves being by myself, so it was difficult to adjust. Because I had spent the first few months building mainly our relationship (which I do not regret!) I did not have a wide friendship base to call when I was spending too much time by myself.
Thankfully, we had planned our honeymoon for that fall and we took a week-long trip to Disney World - I had never been, and he was dying to go back! That was a blast and the week we got home I drove to Waynesboro and picked up the little furball cockapoo that we now know as Lilo. She was my companion on nights where Nathan studied through dinner until we both went to bed, and she kept me company throughout.
There's a lot I could say about our first year together, but I want to be transparent about the hard things you might face in your first year - or in the years thereafter - before I wrap up the post. The most difficult things for me were:
-Moving away from my parents, which was shocking. I was raised to be independent and had never had trouble leaving before, but after we were married I cried every time we drove away from their house. I wasn't sad about where I was going, but it was hard to realize it was the end of one era and the beginning of the next.
-Starting a full time job was a shock to the system. I had worked before, but the realization of working every single day for the rest of my life hit me pretty hard, and I struggled with it. Thankfully, I enjoyed my job - it could've been much worse!
-Finances. So typical, but Nathan and I have always had trouble seeing eye-to-eye. I'm a saver to the point of being cheap, and he has trouble getting something out of his head to buy once he sees it. Neither of us were wrong or unwise, we just had trouble agreeing.
-Little day-to-day things, like laundry, tripped us up. We each did our thing a certain way, and didn't even realize that anyone would do it differently! This caused a few arguments but also a lot of laughter as we figured all these things out.
And that is how our first year together went! It was a hard time in some ways, but one that I would never trade for anything. The second year of marriage - perhaps our easiest year ever - will be the topic next week!
Each week I'm including some pictures of the first few years we were together. They aren't professional or perfect, but I cherish them so much, just looking back at the people we used to be.
10 Things You Didn't Know about Nathan
10 Things You Didn't Know about Me
Before We Met
How We Met
The First Date
The Struggles of Dating
How We Fell in Love
Our Wedding Day
The First Few Months
This one was from my brother's wedding...many thanks to Lori Hedrick Photography!