All Things Wedding (past and present)

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I don’t know if it is pregnancy hormones making me more sentimental or simply a desire to remind myself that I didn’t always have a pregnant bump to dress around, but I have been browsing our wedding photos a lot lately. I love reliving the happiness of that October day three-and-a-half years ago. I love thinking about our future kids looking through our photos and thinking that mom and dad looked so young.

For our wedding, I wore my mom’s dress from the 80s (slightly altered). I wasn’t planning on wearing it until I tried it on. After I tried it on, though, I knew I wouldn’t need to try on any other dress! With all the wedding options out there, sometimes I wonder if I would do anything differently today. But I don’t think I would. Of all the beautiful weddings we could have created, ours was perfect for us.

moms wedding dress double

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Continue reading “All Things Wedding (past and present)”

How It Ended

It began with a doubt: a doubt that maybe he was the wrong one—that maybe the right one was that guy I see every week but never talk to. But that was a fleeting thought. I forgot about it, actually. I forgot about it while I walked around D.C. with him and had a constant stream of dialogue floating through my head—like subtitles to a foreign film. And walking and chatting with this guy was foreign—exciting, in a new way. I didn’t even notice the subtitles.

Until it ended, that is. When the break up happened, a state of mourning ensued, and a few weeks passed. I was feeling better, which surprised me. I thought it would take much longer to feel okay. And then that other guy I saw every week began speaking to me. Long talks in the form of written words followed, and then came the hanging out.


We went on a long walk through D.C., and there was so much between us that the subtitles were non-existent. For some reason, they weren’t needed. And I noticed. I wondered why I didn’t feel the need for inner dialogue. Why wasn’t I having a conversation with myself in my head like “normal”? It took time, but eventually I knew that the end of the subtitles was significant. With him, I wasn’t aware of myself. I didn’t have to be because I was that comfortable. That was noticeable. And different. 

And with the disappearance of the commentary, I knew that there would be no more wondering, no more waiting, no more worrying about meeting the right one. Just like that, all of my doubts, all of the analyzing: it ended.

 

good marriage advice

Well, we are back at our apartment a little earlier than expected thanks to Sandy. 
But whoever said sitting in front of the TV watching the weather 
radar map is not the most romantic way to spend 
your first anniversary was so…wrong. 
 
We did have a fun short trip which I will talk about later, but for now, 
I want to stick with this whole romantic theme, and share some surprising 
marriage advice that has come in handy our first year.

And no, I am not in the business of dishing out marriage advice now
that our marriage is coming out of infancy. Did you think I was about to tell
you how to have a good marriage? I kind of hope you did. For just a second, at least. 

But no, this is someone else’s advice.
 
For one of my bridal showers, the hostesses collected everyone’s best 
marriage advice on little index cards for me to take home with me. I loved 
reading what all my friends wrote, but there was one card that stuck out to me. 
It said, “no attacks, no defense, no retreats”.
 
When I first read it, it didn’t strike me as anything profound. But, shortly after 
we were married, Eric and I were in the car, and he said something to me that 
automatically made me defensive. I opened my mouth to speak, and then that 
index card came into my mind, and it suddenly made sense: 
we are on the same team–I can’t think of a less-cheesy way to say it than 
that–and it has stuck with me. 
 
For the first time in my life, it really did hit me that I am not looking out 
for my own interests first and foremost anymore
Certainly not easy or natural, but worth aiming for. 
 
I think of those words a lot (it applies to so many situations!) 
and they help remind me that I should be actively seeking his 
good–because in the end, it is for our good. 
 
Isn’t it funny how sometimes the most obvious advice is what we need to hear? 
I am thankful for the reminder the writer of that index card has given to me, 
and I hope I get better sticking to it over the years. 
 
What words have stuck with you about marriage? Care to share? 
Some other words that surprised us: “your wedding ceremony/reception will go 
by in the blink of an eye. Make an effort to remember all the details.” 
We found that to be so true. Scarily true.
 
And speaking of time flying by, I can’t believe these pictures were taken one year ago. 
 
 
Okay, before nostalgia takes over completely, I’m back to cozying up 
on the couch while watching weathermen preach the end of the world.
If you are in the area, stay safe and dry!

Marriage- some thoughts six months in

 

This month, Eric and I will have been married six months. What the whaaaaat? I have no idea how that happened. Well, actually I do but I just can’t believe it has been six months. But then I also can’t believe we haven’t been married forever.

 

Wait…once I used to not know he existed? It’s true. I have to remind myself of that.

 

Today I was thinking, as I sometimes do, and chatting with a friend, as I also sometimes do, about marriage and this Eat Pray Love syndrome that seems to be consuming our society (or possibly Generation Y??). I just coined the term Eat Pray Love syndrome so let me explain:

You know the book/movie, Eat Pray Love? It really troubles me.

And by that I mean it gets my blood boiling. I know its “the thing” to seek out one’s happiness like it is the most important thing on earth, but that is not what marriage is, and the illogical-ness of it gets me every time.

 

Don’t get me wrong. Happiness is great and it should be pursued…but not to the extent that your own happiness is more important than the happiness of others.

Marriage is far from a perfect endeavor. Namely, because two selfish people are trying to become one. It’s not easy. Marriage is a magnifying glass for all the not-so-great-things you try to hide from yourself, and others. It can be frightening at times.

But whatever happened to the idea that working toward selflessness is a good thing? And that self-sacrifice is a noble state of being?

I don’t like the whole Eat Pray Love idea that you deserve the best–that you are entitled to it. “The best” is ideal, sure, I guess. But what the heck is “the best” and will anyone in such a state of mind EVER find it? And the ironic thing about it is that this so-called perfect relationship usually just means a selfish girl is looking for someone utterly un-selfish to treat her like she is perfect.

That’s not what we humans need: someone to tell us we are perfect. It’s nice over candle-light, sure. But life is usually a little more perplexing than a walk on the beach.

I know in this day and age, we really don’t like dealing with consequences, and we don’t like working for things. We are not taught the value of working through a tough marriage even when things are bad. You know, the whole sickness and in health thing.

Sometimes I get caught up in the trend of wondering if I am in the best possible place at work. Is it “me”? Am I truly happy with my job? Am I just doing it because it is safe? Should I be taking more risks? Is there something out there better for me? I do that in a lot of areas in my life.

I wonder if there is something better.

And it is exhausting if carried on for more than a few minutes.

But I don’t do that in my marriage. And I never will. It is a very comforting thought to me that divorce is not an option for Eric and I. I am not comforted because I think marriage will always be bliss and happiness, because I know that won’t always be the case–but because I know we will be enduring trials together–without worrying about the worst.

I know that people get divorces for really good reasons. And that is not what I am talking about.

But I am wondering if the people who leave their spouses just to see what else is out there…if they are really missing out on all the goodness. If maybe the secret they are looking for is simply valuing marriage for marriage’s sake, and resolving to make it work. Hard work typically pays off.

My mind is free from marriage stress because Eric and I made a vow before God. It binds us, but it is so liberating. It is liberating knowing I don’t have to worry about whether or not this marriage is “right” for me. The rightness is in the promise. I can relax and do the hard work, if that makes sense, because I know I am working for something that is not all about me. Because after all, selfishness is exhausting.

(pictures from our honeymoon-Charleston, South Carolina)