Posted by: griswoldfun | May 29, 2009

A look back (a long and rambling reflection on my first year of marriage)

A couple of times these past few days I have caught myself staring at my engagement / wedding ring after the sparkle has caught my attention. I was even sitting at my parents house over Memorial Day weekend and the sparkle even caught my sisters eye as she reached over and grabbed my hand to comment on them.  I can’t believe that we are almost at our one year anniversary!!   And as it approaches I can’t help but look back at the past year and mentally shout and exclaim “We did it! We have been married one year! Wahoo!!!” Okay, so sometimes I have even shouted it outloud 🙂  I had heard that the first year of marriage was tough… yet that was through books and movies and tv. None of my married girlfriends ever told me, “Hey, it will be rough but you will be fine” (in my mom’s defense…she probably did say something only I wasn’t listening).  I was with my college girlfriends in March and I asked them about that.  I don’t know if it was because they were all married 4 – 5 years before me and had forgotten? Or if it was because none of us are in the same city and weren’t around each other during any of our wedding planning days or first years of marriage. But I brought it up on that trip – I had wondered if I was the only one who would say that first year was tough.  They reassured me that I wasn’t alone and I left from that trip feeling much better that I was okay and not a total failure in adapting to marriage and figuring it all out.  So, in an effort to remember this past year and for any other newlywed  / soon-to-be married gal, let me just be the one to say – “The first year of marriage is tough”.  I don’t know about years 2+, but this first year has been interesting and this is my attempt to put it in writing why it has been interesting for us.  It’s not that it is tough getting used to sharing a closet and a bathroom with a boy (well, that is tough, but you expect it and deal with it and laugh about it).  It’s tough figuring out how to go from a “me” and “you” to a permanent “we” in the span of a short wedding ceremony.  And why that “we” is so much different than the dating “we”.  It’s figuring out how to balance work and family and friends and needing alone time and needing time with your spouse.  It’s figuring out laundry and chores – ‘cause while it was cute to “help” with laundry or unload the dishwasher while dating – I found it gets old fast after marriage.  It’s learning that communication is the key… and learning that you can’t learn that overnight or become a good communicator just because you want to be. It’s having the same communication issues over and over and over again and working on them over and over and over again.  It’s sharing a bed with someone you are angry with but love so much at the same time.  It’s going from a one bedroom apartment to a 3 bedroom house that seems so big and troublesome to keep clean to sometimes thinking it is not big enough for two people.  Figuring out daily routines and how to be the best wife for Mr. G and  that this is about OUR marriage and what works for US… not the rest of the world. Some of this has been fun to deal with…. Some of it hasn’t been so much fun.  But I wouldn’t trade any of that – it’s what’s made our first year. As I think about it – I would trade one thing and that is the fact that  when we have a “tift” I get very, very worked up over whatever minor thing is going on and that is all I see – I don’t see all the good that we have, just the negative. But I do always know that there is way more good than bad and it saddens me when I can never see it when I am upset.   So, for Mr. G, in honor of all that is good, here is my rambling list of this past year’s good GREAT that will be remembered for our first year of marriage! (if the four of you reading have made it this far… wow!)

We got married!!  I could stop right there since I figured we wouldn’t get married till I was 60!  A surprise honeymoon trip to Key West.  You reminding me of how relaxed we were in Key West and asking that I remember that in the years to come when tough decisions / conversations came up.  Babysitting our young friends overnight the first weekend we were married – we thought we would wear them out but they wore us out!  An entire week at the lake where we were able to wake up and put on our swimsuits and walk down to the boat and hang with our friends all day.  You turned 34 and all you wanted was ice cream every night for a week.  A trip to meet up with you in Canada where the two guys from Hooters took pity on me when the flight was cancelled and help me get to you in one piece.  And then missing our connecting flight home from Chicago and spending the craziest day in the airport – that is where you really learned why I always have a book  as you took care of getting us home while I calmly followed you from gate to gate reading.  College friends came in to visit for a lake trip.  We were given a gift subscription to Net Flix as a ‘thank you’ after that trip – best gift ever!!!  We ended up giving it to all our siblings for Christmas and they loved it (and us) too.  Missed Jamie’s “Pink Party” to celebrate the completion of chemo and her cancer anniversary but pranked her with that stinkin’ donkey at that last chemo treatment (She has that???)  You bought us matching KState sweatshirts – this tickled me so much!  We saw KState whoop up on A&M and learned just how nice those Aggies are.  Spent our first Thanksgiving together with my family as you know how much the ranch means to me.  Jamie had two additional surgeries and you helped me through both – I never realized how stressful they were on me and thereby us until the last one was over and done with.  Thank you for being there for me through all of that.  We went to Kansas for Christmas with snow on the drive up (this year we are leaving earlier in the day so we don’t have to drive in the dark with the snow falling on us!).  We thought we were so smart to stop in OKC at Braums for a bathroom break and ice cream – big mistake because that is when I discovered their Peppermint Ice Cream!  Your obsession with LED Christmas lights kicked into full force and thus we deemed ourselves the “Griswold’s” of the neighborhood.  Another spring camping trip to the Ranch where I was afraid I was going to blow away in the wind and we schemed to set my sister up with someone (I think she owes us a batch of cookies?? Although she really did that all on her own!). Hauled the boat up to Arkansas and had a blast and even though you were white knuckled on those hilly roads.   I turned 29 and shortly thereafter started finding grey hair.   I stressed and you listened / laughed.  Crawfish three times!! We (I) developed a love of Diet Dr. Peppers with vanilla from Sonic – love “Happy Hour”! I went to Arkansas twice without you to visit my friends who all decided to pop out babies in the last year and you did some work travel and a trip to Noel and Vegas without me.  Enjoyed the time apart, but happy to come “home” to you.  You have been the best “test kitchen” a wanna be cook could ever have and more than willing to try anything I come up with.  We are surviving in a crazy economy.  You changed teams at work and we both had stress over that but got through it.  I am extremely thankful for your friends who were there to help listen when I didn’t know the inner workings of your company as well. I have watched you pick up that role for a dear friend going through something bigger.   We have amazing friends located all over and they have been wonderful to us in so many ways.  We are extremely blessed!  And we have been able to laugh together  – a lot – and I’ve shed a few tears… and  you feed me M&Ms when I was too cranky for my own good.  And finally, we heard a married couple look at each other and say “You’re stuck with me” which to us seemed to equate into “laugh with me”.  I think that sums it up… laughter and a shared belief in God who works all things for His glory.  I love you and I’m thankful that I get to be stuck with you.  XXXOOOOxxxooOOXXoxoxXXXOOOxxoo



  1. What a wonderful “Ode to First Year”! So sorry for not warning you better about the first year. Mine was super tough, so I should have been super eager to share how super worth it it all is (as you have obviously found out). I be sure and warn you about the first weeks of baby life:)

  2. If you had really been warned, would you have been brave enough to take the “I do” plunge. And how wonderful to make it through to this side of the first year and be able to write such a wonderful “Ode” as Mel called it. Besides, we REALLY wanted CHRIS in the family…

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