On June 20th, The Professor and I celebrated 1 year of wedded
chaos bliss. We just so happened to be on vacation #2 for our anniversary and we were able to celebrate with both of our families. We headed north to Indiana to stay with my parents for a week in June and my parents hosted a cookout for us to celebrate.
It’s where we got engaged
The Professor’s parents and my sister and her boyfriend came to celebrate too. We most definitely did not save the top layer of our wedding cake (it was just too darn delicious), but our bakery made us a 1-year cake so we sort-of participated in the tradition of eating our wedding cake on our first anniversary.
The traditional gift for the first year of marriage is paper (or clocks, apparently). The Professor got me a gift certificate (printed on paper :)) for Stitch Fix (another blog post coming soon!) and I got him tickets to an LCFC game (printed on paper :)).
1. Time flies when your having fun (and arguing over toothpaste).
I honestly think this was the fastest year of my life. The two years we were engaged time seemed to move backwards, but this last year FLEW by. It might have had something to do with the fact that we were busing buying a house and starting new jobs, but there wasn’t a lot of down time. The Professor and I sit down some weekends and remind ourselves to slow down and just enjoy ‘being married people.’ During our Engaged Encounter weekend, we learned about couch time. The couple leading our retreat recommended that we find (at least) 15 quiet minuted every day to talk to each other – no distractions. Couch time is 15 uninterrupted minutes of talking to each other. You can talk about things you did that day, events that are coming up, to-do list reminders…whatever you need to talk about, as long as your talking. We didn’t do it enough in our first year, so we’re making it a point in year two.
Here’s a FREE piece of advice (in addition to the 3 tidbits you thought you were getting). Buy two tubes of toothpaste and only use the tube with your name on it. You never have to worry about someone gunking up the lid (Justin) or leaving the lid off altogether (Kimberly).
2. Two people go through a lot of toilet paper (and laundry detergent and everything else)
It’s amazing how quickly we go through household supplies. If we had a Costco nearby, I’d be their #1 customer. [PS Do you know how much good toilet paper costs? We only use the bathroom at home on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday (kidding…or am I?).] These items add up quick, which leads me to the actual advice part of this conversation: Make a budget and stick to it! We’ve been using the envelope system since we moved in together and it has really helped us stay on track with our spending (so that we’ll have enough toilet paper). One thing I’ve heard (and read on the internet), is that money always seems to be a point of contention and leads to fighting in the first year.We made sure our goals were aligned upfront so there there would be less arguing along the way (trust me, things can get pretty heated when we’re trying to decide which restaurant to spend our “eating out money” each month!).
3. Make time for date nights (and spend some time alone)
In February (7 months into this whole married thing), we decided we would do one big date night every month. The Professor planned our dates in February and April. I planned our dates in March, June, & July. May slipped through the cracks, but The Professor is already planning our August date. There’s nothing wrong with spending Saturday night in sweatpants binge watching The Office on Netflix, but sometime’s it’s nice to go out on the town. We’ve both enjoyed planning dates and being surprised on dates over the last few months.
We’ve also both really enjoyed our “alone time” throughout the last year. The Professor took a trip with his bro-friends in January and I took a trip with my college roommates at the end of June. I think it’s really important to keep your own identity and be able to spend time doing things YOU enjoy by YOURSELF. I don’t always mean skipping town with your girls, either. Sometimes it’s nice to just hang out in the basement and read while The Professor is upstairs watching TV or take a long walk around the neighborhood to relax.
So there you have it. Some very important advice from a marriage expert 😉