Today, April 27th, marks one year since Kurt and I were married and sealed in the Los Angeles LDS Temple. We cannot believe it’s already been a year! During this time, we have been able to share so much love and so many memories. We have had incredible experiences in the last year, and we are so excited that we get to spend so many more together.
I have learned much more about myself this year than I have in my entire lifetime. I even took 2 Marriage Prep classes at BYU and although they taught me so much, they didn’t nearly teach me as well as actual marriage has. I have grown and progressed in ways I didn’t know I could. My husband and my marriage have made me such a better person, and I am so grateful for Kurt and the relationship he and I have. Here are a list of 10 things I have learned (and relearned) since I got married.
1. Appreciate the Everyday.
Being engaged to the love of my life & being in a long distance relationship/engagement meant that when we were together, we went on a lot of fancy and spectacular dates. Once marriage comes, one realizes that you don’t always have the time or the means to plan these spectacular dates. Do not get me wrong, my husband has spoiled me in our first year of marriage, but we do not have fancy dates everyday. We have had to learn to love our everyday lives and appreciate them as well as loving our everyday selves (not just our dressed-up-fancy-for-a-date selves). That means through all the homework, unmade beds, laundry, dirty dishes, taking out the trash, grocery shopping, and doing the everyday routine, we still love each other.
2. Attend the temple, and attend often.
I keep a journal and write down all the timess Kurt and I have been to the temple, and things that we have learned while being there. Between April 24, 2013 (when I went to the temple for the first time) and April 26, 2014 (my friend, McKenzie’s wedding), Kurt and I have been to the temple 17 times. We are so unbelievably blessed because of the temple and the covenants we made when we are there. We are constantly reminded that we are not only together for time, but for eternity as well. I am such a lucky girl to be with Kurt forever. Our lives continue to get better and our spirituality continues to grow as we make a habit of going to the temple.
3. Say, “I’m sorry” and mean it.
It is not Kurt’s responsibility to always apologize if we have an arguement or disagreement. I’m not always right. I am frequently wrong, and I cannot count the number of times I have needed to say, “I’m sorry.” Saying that not only helps heal the wounds I might have created in my marriage, but it always makes me feel better knowing that I can admit that I am wrong and I can learn from that experience and improve. I know I am not perfect, and my husband is also acutely aware of that, but he still loves me just the same, if not more. Saying, “I’m sorry” is a way of showing love and care for someone you have wronged. Again, I’m not perfect at this, and I know I will be saying this hundreds of more times in the years to come.
4. There is a purpose behind the trials we face, but we do not have to face them alone.
Even with all of our hard work, we still have trials. My trials are no longer just my own, but they are my husbands, and same goes for his trials. We are given trials individually and as a family. I am so grateful that I have a husband who is willing to work through the trials of life along side me. Not only do I have my husband, but I have learned to rely so much more upon the Lord. He has all the answers, and although I don’t know them all, and may never know them all, I have faith that there is a way to learn and grow from the trials we have.
5. Family Home Evening is still important when there is only 2 of you.
Family Home Evening is a time where families gather together (usually on Monday nights) and spend time growing closer together as a family and drawing closer to each other and The Lord spiritually. Usually we songs, pray, have a lesson, and participate in an activity together. Kurt and I love having Family Home Evening together, because it’s time we have put aside from our busy week to spend time together and draw closer to our Heavenly Father and learn from the gospel of Jesus Christ. We then do something fun after, such as: get ice cream, go mini golfing, watch a movie, go out to dinner, spend time with friends, etc. We love it, and can’t wait for the day when our Family Home Evenings consist of 3 family members instead of 2! (No, there are no hidden messages in this…we still are a family of 2) 😉
6. You cannot make assumptions in marriage.
You can’t just assume that your spouse knows you are grateful/annoyed/upset/frustrated/tired/hungry/busy etc. You must tell them. You know the whole, “Well if he knew me like he should, he would know that I’m _______.” False. You also can’t assume that your spouse knows what you would like help with, and when. Do you think your husband is going to volunteer to do laundry every single week (Wow…points for your hubby if he does)? Or do you think your wife is going to volunteer to do the dishes every day right after dinner, no ifs, ands, or buts about it (Congratulations of being the World’s Best Wife if this is you)? And if your husband/wife does do these things, do they know that you are grateful for it?
7. Express gratitude.
Show your appreciation for the love of your life! They married you, flaws and all. That’s definitely something that I am grateful for. Also, express gratitude not only for your spouse, but for the things you have, the things you’ve experienced, and everything else in life. Gratitude brings happiness. Who wouldn’t want the love of their life to be a happy person and who wouldn’t want happiness in their marriage? A grateful heart is a loving and happy heart. Same goes for people, same goes for marriage.
8. Put away anything that has a screen.
Kurt and I love watching movies together, watching our favorite television shows and sharing our favorite YouTube videos. We also love playing games on our phones and playing with our iPad. But sometimes we just need to put all of it away and be together. We don’t want to get to know what’s going on on Facebook more than we want to get to know what is going on with each other. Unplugging and disconnecting from our electronics helps us with spending that quality time together that has really strengthened our relationship.
9. There’s more than one right way to do things.
My way isn’t the only right way, and Kurt’s way isn’t the only right way either. I’ve also come to the conclusion that when a couple fights, a lot of the time they end up arguing about right, but different, ways to do something, or they are actually fighting trying to make the same point. I’ve come to learn that there are thousands of ways someone can load the dishwasher, fold the laundry, squeeze toothpaste out of the tube, and organize the pantry. There are a million different ways to clean and equal amount of ways to cook chicken. But they are all right and you just have to accept that. The sooner you learn that, the happier you will be.
10. Compromise, and be happy about it.
As much as I love it when Kurt does something that I want to do, it’s immediately not fun when I can tell he doesn’t want to do it. Same goes for me. As much as I love it when Kurt asks if he can change the channel from Say Yes To The Dress to the Miami Heat basketball game and I say yes, if I really don’t mean it and get unhappy about it, it doesn’t make Kurt happy and it’s not even worth watching his favorite basketball team play. I’ve watched so many basketball games with Kurt that I have learned to enjoy watching them with him. I’m sure he’s still not super stoked when I want him to watch Say Yes To The Dress or Project Runway with me, but he does it with a smile on his face and I can’t help but love him more for it. Now, TV shows are just one of the billions of examples I could come up with. But the lesson is just the same, when you make the choice to compromise and are happy about it, you both will love each other more. You may even learn to love something you didn’t love before.
All in all, these 365 days of marriage have been the best 365 days of my life. Kurt and I have loved growing and progressing both individually and as a couple. Not only have we grown closer to each other, but we have grown closer to our Heavenly Father, and are so excited for the blessings that he has in store for us. We are very grateful, thankful, and happy people, and we know that with each passing year we will become more grateful, more thankful, happier, and more in love than the year before.
One year down, eternity to go!
Here’s a couple pictures to flash back to our wonderful wedding last year.