What We Learned in Our Third Year of Marriage

 July 4, 2015. Photo by Alex Perry.

July 4, 2015. Photo by Alex Perry.

Three years into marriage and I'm very happy to report: we still like each other! What's more, we still love each other.

And thank heavens, because it's been a big year of multiple changes. Many happening toward the book end of my son's first birthday. Over the course of one year we have learned how: 

1. To keep a tiny human being whom we both love with all of our heart alive, fed, nourished and (save for moments those ever-loving teeth are cutting in) happy.

2. To spend every waking hour of a three-month maternity leave together.

3. To transition to my going back to work full time. 

4. How to support each other when our dreams are staggered–we got Gordon through his final year of his master's degree and our little family watched him cross the graduation platform. His diploma came in the mail this week, and it's such a sweet symbol of how we both pushed through a lot of difficulty to get him through those credits. Let's just say that learning the Greek language destroys all semblance of having fun and/or a social life.

5. To take multiple weekend trips to Richmond, the Outer Banks, Washington D.C., without having to make what should be a two-hour trip a five-hour trip with multiple stops for feedings in the car. The notion of traveling with a toddler doesn't seem as anxiety ridden or, really impossible, like it did even a few months ago. All of the gadgets and gizmos a-plenty it takes to take a baby anywhere comes by instinct now rather than by a checked and re-checked list.

6. How to support each other when our careers change–Gordon this year transitioned out of his Navy Reserves duty and into a full-fledge civilian life. I think it finally hit us when our pastor asked all active-duty service people and their families to stand during our Memorial Day service. We sat while a good portion of the rest of the room stood for the first time; we turned and blinked at each other in that moment. When he turned in his military ID card it wasn't "goodbye" it was "see you later." But it was an end of an era for certain.

7. To save a comfortable amount of funds for a rainy day and our future. This likely happened because we had to learn how to date each other without going out on dates. Meaning, we saved a lot of cash by not going on whimsical dinners out to restaurants with rooftop bars and twinkle lights on a random Tuesday evening. However, those moments where we do get to shuffle away together are even more treasured. 

8. To take steps toward a healthier lifestyle together. Whether it's via a friendly competition through 30 dollar knock-off Fitbit trackers I got for us (that work great, by the way!) or by holding each other accountable to dinners with more veggies, fewer carbs, and deciding that eating a whole pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream several times a week really isn't how the Lord intended us to consume this miracle creation...

9. To slow down and dance in the kitchen together. Enough said there, I think. When life gets too fast to catch up on the heart matters, slow down and dance.

10. Continued to learn to argue and listen well: we're here to learn, to love and to refined by our own imperfections and how they impact others. We are not here to be perfect or to take the easy road.  

And I'm glad we're on the road through year four together.

Brett Tubbs