OUR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY - YEAR 1

1 YEAR AGO YESTERDAY, PATRICK AND I SAID "I DO", AND I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW FAST TIME HAS FLOWN BY! IN 365 DAYS, WE HAVE TRAVELED TO MANY PLACES, I HAVE STARTED A NEW CAREER, WE BOUGHT OUR FIRST HOME, AND SO MUCH MORE. 

WE STARTED DATING IN 2007, SO AS OF THE BEGINNING OF MAY, WE HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN TOGETHER FOR 10 YEARS. WHEN I SIT BACK AND REFLECT ON THOSE YEARS, THIS ONE YEAR OF MARRIAGE TOPS THEM ALL. WE HAVE GROWN TOGETHER AND I HAVE LEARNED MANY THINGS NOT ONLY ABOUT MYSELF, BUT ABOUT OUR RELATIONSHIP AND WHAT MARRIAGE MEANS TO US. WE TAKE THE TIME TO WORK ON OUR RELATIONSHIP WHEN WE NEED TO, AND BELOW ARE A FEW AREAS THAT WE PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO:

1. TAKING TIME AS A COUPLE -- EVERYONE IS BUSY! PAT AND I BOTH WORK DAY JOBS, AND I AM THE FIRST TO ADMIT THAT DISCONNECTING FROM EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE IS DIFFICULT. ONCE WE'RE HOME FROM WORK, WE TEND TO WANT TO CHECK EMAILS AND CATCH UP ON THE DAY'S SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS. IT IS IMPORTANT TO US TO TAKE THE TIME TO DISCUSS OUR DAY WITH EACH OTHER, DOWN TO WHAT WE ATE FOR LUNCH, JUST SO WE GET THE DAILY CONNECTION WE NEED AS A COUPLE. WE PUT OUR PHONES DOWN AND TALK THROUGH OUR DAY WITH NO DISTRACTIONS. THIS ALLOWS US TO VENT ABOUT THE NEGATIVES OR CHAT ABOUT THE POSITIVES. 

2. IS IT WORTH IT -- BIG OR SMALL, ALL COUPLES ARGUE. PAT AND I ARE NO EXCEPTION, ESPECIALLY IN THE FIRST YEAR OF MARRIAGE. WE HAVE TAKEN ON MUCH MORE RESPONSIBILITY TOGETHER, SO ARGUMENTS ARISE. MANY TIMES, WE CAN BE IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ARGUMENT AND ALL OF A SUDDEN IT JUST SEEMS DUMB. WHAT ARE WE FIGHTING ABOUT? IS THIS A BIG ENOUGH DEAL TO PUT US BOTH IN A BAD MOOD? MORE TIMES THAN NOT, THE ANSWER IS NO. 

3. COMMUNICATION -- PAT AND I COMMUNICATE VERY WELL, AND ALWAYS HAVE. WE TRY HARD TO LET EACH OTHER FINISH THOUGHTS BEFORE CONTRIBUTING TO THE CONVERSATION, SO THAT WE FULLY LISTEN TO WHAT THE OTHER IS SAYING. THIS WAS ONE OF THE MAIN STRENGTHS WE TOOK FROM OUR PREMARITAL COUNSELING AT WATERMARK CHURCH HERE IN DALLAS (CHECK OUT THEIR PROGRAM HERE!). WE LEARNED THAT WHETHER YOU'RE HAVING A NORMAL CONVERSATION OR YOU'RE HAVING AN ARGUMENT, THE ONLY WAY TO TAKE IN WHAT THE OTHER IS TELLING YOU, IS TO LISTEN. BY LISTENING, YOU'RE ABLE TO GRASP ALL OF WHAT THE OTHER IS TRYING TO SAY. 

4. LETTING YOUR SPOUSE KNOW -- WITH COMMUNICATION COMES CONFRONTATION. IF WE'RE UPSET, WE LET EACH OTHER KNOW. THERE IS NOTHING GOOD ABOUT HOLDING IN A PROBLEM OR ISSUE YOU ARE HAVING. A SPOUSE IS SUPPOSED TO BE THERE TO COMFORT YOU AND TO WORK THROUGH THINGS WITH YOU, SO GETTING THINGS OFF OUR CHEST HAS BEEN A GREAT WAY FOR US TO GET RID OF BUILT UP ISSUES. 

5. NEVER FORGET THE WORDS "I LOVE YOU" -- MY THOUGHTS ON THIS ARE LIKE THEY READ. THE WORDS "I LOVE YOU" ARE SO IMPORTANT IN A MARRIAGE. THEY ARE THE FIRST THING WE TELL EACH OTHER IN THE MORNING AND THE LAST THING WE TELL EACH OTHER WHEN WE GO TO SLEEP. 

PAT AND I ARE IN NO WAY PERFECT AS A COUPLE. WE LOOK FOR HELP FROM OUR PREMARITAL COUNSELING PROGRAM AND CALL ON FRIENDS AND FAMILY FOR HELP WHEN IT'S NEEDED. OUR SUPPORT SYSTEM IS HUGE, AND HAVING THAT MAKES THE HARD TIMES A LITTLE LESS HARD. WE STRIVE DAILY TO GROW IN OUR RELATIONSHIP, AND LIKE ALL GREAT THINGS, WE CAN'T BECOME FULL GROWN IN ONE DAY. EVERYTHING TAKES TIME, AND I THINK THAT'S THE JOY IN BEING MARRIED TO SOMEONE YOU TRULY LOVE. IT'S GROWING THROUGH THE EASY TIMES, AND GROWING MORE THROUGH THE HARD TIMES. 

FOR YEAR 2 -- I CAN ONLY HOPE IT IS AS AMAZING AS YEAR 1 HAS BEEN. WE ARE CONTINUING TO GET SETTLED INTO OUR HOME, WE HAVE MADE SOME NEW FRIENDS RECENTLY THAT I LOVE GETTING TO KNOW, AND WE HAVE SOME CLOSE FRIENDS JOINING US IN THE MARRIED CIRCLE THIS YEAR. I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT OTHER SURPRISES YEAR 2 HAS IN STORE. 

WHAT DO YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE DO TO GROW AS A COUPLE? I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! EMAIL ME OR COMMENT BELOW!

READY OR NOT, YEAR 2, HERE WE COME! CHEERS TO LOVE!