It’s so hard to believe that tomorrow will be my first anniversary. One year… wow. It has really flown by. So much has happened.
This time a year ago, I was waiting for texts and phone calls from friends and family as they arrived in Texas. There was also a pretty bad tornado that ripped through the city that I was married in the day before our wedding. The saying “rain on your wedding day is good luck” seemed to apply, but what does a tornado get you?
My husband first proposed at the end of August. We started planning our ‘dream’ wedding. We wanted to head back to NC, to the mountains, where it really all started for us. Ideally, I wanted to go back to where he first told me he loved me and get married there. It was a special place on the Blue Ridge Parkway, a place called Beacon Heights. He was so serious that day… Haha, I had no idea he was going to tell me that. I had been wanting to say it for a few weeks, but I didn’t want to be the first to say it.
But we agreed that we both wanted to get married in NC and not Tx. We thought sometime in May of 2016 would be good, so we started looking at venues, planning themes and what not, and I started the hunt for my dress. But towards the end of October, I found out I was 4 weeks pregnant (oops) and we agreed that the wedding needed to be moved up. Way up. After telling our family and very close friends, we began planning a rushed wedding for December of that year.
At the time, I was working a full-time job and just hitting all those ‘fun’ parts of your first trimester of pregnancy (morning sickness, exhaustion, hormonal changes, swelling, etc…) and planning a wedding just couldn’t get done. We tried looking at venues we liked, but my father having some issues of his own both mentally and physically, demanded that we get married at a place of his choosing because of his ‘allergies’. So we finally gave in and began planning around that. It was difficult with everything. Trying to coordinate anything was proving too hard for me. So once my mother began talking to me again (she didn’t for a while because she was upset that I was pregnant. She didn’t acknowledge the pregnancy until after we were married…. fun stuff. Kept asking where she went wrong) she offered to plan the wedding. At this point, I agreed. She began contacting everyone: florists, decorators, the hotel it was being hosted at and so on and so forth. She asked me a few questions here at there about colors and food we liked and didn’t like, but that was about it. The morning of the dress rehearsal was the first me and my fiancé had seen anything. It was great! Much better then we thought it would be. My mother knows how to plan a wedding! And we were married by the afternoon of the 27th.
Then started the really fun part. Marriage and planning for parenthood.
Now, I know that may have come off as less then excited. It shouldn’t have, because I was on cloud 9. I was married to my best friend, my soulmate, and as we said “done with Dunn” (my maiden name) and I was officially an Armstrong. I was part of a family that I had come to love very much over a short period of time and was completely ready to learn how to have siblings. That being said, it didn’t exactly go that way as I’ve stated in other posts. It’s not perfect. It still isn’t after a year, but my husband and I are hoping that over time I will be fully accepted in to the family and things from this last year will remain in the past. I loved that I had gained 5 siblings and 4 brothers, plus in-laws, and over 15 nieces and nephews! I was “Aunt Ruth” and a younger and older sister. I was ecstatic! Still am! 😉
But my husband and I soon discovered that our living styles were… well, different. Learning to live with each other for the first few months was…. I’m just going to be honest, it was a nightmare. I was in to my second trimester of pregnancy too, so I had weird periods of emotional instability. My husband is a very neat person. I’m not. I’m not dirty. To me there is a big difference between dirty and messy. I am… messy. I know how to clean, I just don’t like to clean. I treat animals like family members. My husband very much doesn’t. He eats full meals. I’m just with cereal for dinner. And so on and so forth. We each had a very different way of doing things and a completely different way of thinking. Those things don’t really come out until you are living with someone. You think you know everything about someone before you get married. Honestly, it’s probably good that you don’t know everything before that. It’s a new adventure and learning experience for both of you.
Despite all that, some fights and tears, we did try very hard to live by the verse “Don’t let the sun set on your anger” and after giving each other some or a peace offering, we would always sit down and talk things out. That has been such a blessing to us. I came from a background where speaking about my feelings wasn’t allowed. My husband found early on in our relationship that it was hard for me to find my voice and say how I was really feeling. I’ve grown so much over the course of our relationship and he has helped aid me in my healing journey. Communication is very important to us.
We took several trips over this last year, both in state and out. We took birthing classes. Those were fun. He was there every step of the way during my pregnancy, with a foot rub or cold washcloth on the back of my neck, or running out to the walgreens down the street at 11pm for some ginger ale and tums when my nausea was really bad. I loved being able to be there for him as well… He doesn’t let on most of the time what he is feeling. He likes being reserved, but I truly appreciate those times when he leans on me. When he hits rock bottom and comes to me for comfort. Whether by just asking to sit with me or if he needs to break down. Those moments are precious. When we spoke our vows, “for better or for worse”, the worse moments and sometimes the most important. It’s not always going to be sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes you are going to have yelling fights, sometimes someone is going to sleep on the couch or leave to have some peace, sometimes someone is going to sob in to the others arms. But don’t hold on to the anger. Being able to come together with my husband at the end of it and talk it out, apologize and be forgiven and being able to forgive are so important.
Once our daughter was born in July, things really changed. We had to make all of these decisions and choices for us and for her. It was hard. And stressful. We were seeking help from anyone who could offer advice or assistance. I hit some really bad postpartum depression at one point. But we got through it.
I know I’ve gone in to a lot. Hell, I’ve writing over 1300 words! But this last year has taught me so much. About myself, about my husband, about life. Being married to this man… I am so blessed. He has become my rock. He is my best friend. Some days we are just goofy and joke around like two best friends instead of a married couple. Small food fights are had or we text silly faces/emojis to each other throughout the day. Sometimes he will be working upstairs and I’ll call up to him that I miss him, and he will say he misses me too, but keep working. We don’t have to be around each other every minute, but we like to let each other know we are thinking about them.
I can’t wait to see what this next year brings for us. I can’t wait for this next year with my family.