As crazy as it seems, Dan and I have been married for a whole year already! We celebrated with a great day of just spending time together. I woke up to him gifts for me. He decided it would be fun to try and follow the "traditional" anniversary gifts, and this year's is paper. He got me three new books (I have been out of new ones for too long!) and a framed poem that he wrote me. It was really special. From there we hung out and took Willow to a park near by our house that takes you along the Mississippi. It was a beautiful day and we had a great time. We came home and enjoyed beer from my sister (thanks Kris!) and watched the Twins game. We cooked a great meal together of beef and garlic mashed potatoes. After dinner, Dan surprised me with a bottle of champagne. He and my dad went shopping to find the one we had on our wedding night, but couldn't find it, so my dad helped him find the one we shared with my family the night we got engaged! It was really sweet and thoughtful. We settled down to drink the champagne and eat our wedding cake as we watched the video of our wedding ceremony. It's amazing to think of how far we've come in this first year. It has been a wild ride, but I am so thankful for Dan and all that he adds to my life. I can't wait to see what God has in store for us next year!
- There is no substitute for forgiveness. You don't just need to forgive the big things, but the little things are just as important. In fact, they are probably more important because they happen all the time. Being a kind, compassionate, forgiving spouse is important whether you are forgiving them for not telling you they invited people over for dinner and forgot to tell you or whether they just forgot to throw their socks in the hamper.
- You're going to fight. It happens. No two people can live together forever and not have disagreements. For us, it's been all about allowing the other to say what they're feeling (in a calm way) and for us not react poorly and try to "win". If we can both say what we need to and have the other really listen then the fight never escalates. And don't forget about that forgiveness thing when you're done!
- It's way different than you see in the movies or on TV. WAY different! It is, however, the best thing in the world. Don't let the media make you think you're doing it wrong or try to conform to make it seem like it does on TV. It isn't, and it shouldn't be. Trust me, though. It is so much better!!
- Go out of your way. Sure, it's great to be surprised with a puppy, but you can't do those things on a weekly/monthly basis. If you go out of your way to buy them something extra special to take in their lunch (100 calorie packs of Cheetos work great if your husband is anything like mine!) so they know you are thinking about them, it can mean just as much.
- Yes, you will fight, and yes, you will have amazing moments together, but almost all of marriage is spent in the middle, doing the stupid day to day stuff like paying bills and walking the dog. One of the most important things I've learned is to be a good companion during the mundane and not always be trying to create a real high or a real low. Some of the most special moments in our marriage have been well placed hugs or an "I love you". Just take care of each other and do what you can to help each other out.
- You can't be a perfect husband/wife. There's only One who is perfect, and as long as He's in the middle, you'll be just fine.