3 Lessons in 3 Years

Five years ago, a girl stood in her apartment bathroom. She contemplated leaving her hair curly instead of straight and changed her top at least five times. I hate first dates, she thought. They’re so awkward, even when you’re already friends.

Scooping up her phone, purse and keys, she headed downstairs. There he was, in the silver Durango, waiting for her. Her heart skipped a beat. They went to dinner, rode the ferris wheel at Scheels and went to a horrible Angelina Jolie action movie (but then again, aren’t they all?). They laughed and talked with ease. Well maybe first dates really aren’t so bad, she thought.

Little did she know, that would be her last first date. Two years later, on July 10, 2010, the same girl stood in front of a mirror, smoothing out her beautiful white dress as her mother adjusted her veil. “Do I look okay?” she asked. “You’re beautiful,” her mother replied.

She took a deep breath and entered the church. And there he was, waiting for her.

Tomorrow, it will be three years since I walked down the aisle to Adam. Three years since we became our own little family of three. Since then, there have been many joys, a few tears, tons of laughter, moments that have brought us to our knees in prayer and memories that I’ll cherish forever. Along the road to building a life together, I’ve learned three important lessons:

1. Remember to choose your battles. As much as I detest tripping over his shoes as I come in the front door or how he leaves the dish rag scrunched up on the sink when it’s still wet, these are small things in the grand scheme of life. After all, none of us is perfect (though I come pretty close in my completely humble opinion) and we each have our own eccentricities.

2. Remember those heart skip moments. When we were first dating, my heart would skip a beat when Adam called or texted. Today, our conversations typically go something like, “Did you clean the bathroom yet?” or “What’s for dinner?”. So we make it a priority to have time to recreate those heart skip moments and remember why we’re in this thing for the long haul. We surprise each other with little things, like flowers (obviously for Adam) or our favorite dessert (no, we still don’t share well). We also have date night once a week. Sometimes it’s planned and sometimes it’s spontaneous, like when we showed up for Adam’s volleyball game on Sunday to realize that it was cancelled … after we’d already ordered beer.

3. Remember that love, compassion and laughter are powerful things. Our marriage hasn’t always been easy. We’ve suffered through all the newlywed growing pains (living with a boy is a true test in patience) and have dealt with some pretty big trials in just three years. Yet through it all, we have learned the power of compassion and kindness, even when you don’t feel like rising above and being the bigger person.We have learned that laughter lights up even the darkest corners and allows us to be ourselves, in all our crazy silliness (80s rock dance party anyone?). And we have learned that love always wins. It’s what keeps us together, walking side by side, through this thing called life.


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