10 Things I Learned in Year 1 of Marriage

(And jeez, there’s probably a lot more than 10)

Bowman Wedding-Ceremony-0248.jpg

 

I became motivated to write this post because of Savannah Locke  who is JUST the most precious human and amazing writer. I follow her on Instagram and she gave a little “here’s what I learned in year 1 of marriage” snip-bit.

 

Thus I became inspired.

 

Marriage is funny. Year one has been dramatically different and better than I thought it’d be.

 

#1. If you think you have inside jokes with your significant other now… just wait till you get married. 

OH MY HEAVENS.

The amount of inside jokes Noah and I have now is one of my favorite things. The amount of times we have gotten in extremely goofy moods and laughed until tears have streamed down our faces is way more than I can count.

I love that we have learned how to communicate with just one word or one weird look. There are moments where I can figure out exactly what he’s thinking by his facial expressions in a situation.

One time, we were watching a movie with friends, and Bill Murray showed up on screen. Simultaneously, we both looked at each other and said in unison “BILL FREAKING MURRAY” and then died laughing.

The best.

 

#2. You will never stop learning about each other. 

On the flip side of communicating with one word or one look, there are also things that still completely catch me off guard about Noah.

We still have to overly communicate things at times. I can’t always figure out what’s going on in his head.

I’ve had to learn how to ask really good questions and which questions he NEEDS to be asked.

For the most part, I understand broad overviews of how he thinks. But there are also times where I have to have him explain it to me so I can understand his interactions and reactions in certain situations.

Lately, he’s been really into the idea of going bow-fishing. I have no clue where this came from. But I’m still learning about him!

 

#3. Saving sex for marriage was SO worth it. 

I will never be able to talk about that enough.

Having boundaries and guarding purity and honoring it for marriage has made everything so much more worth it.

Honestly, we could both preach on this for hours.

If you want a more in-depth discussion or if you’re in a relationship where you’re having trouble being envisioned for that, I would love to spill my guts about how worth it is on this side of marriage.

 

#4. Yes, you are going to have fights. 

And yes, many times they’re going to be either about 1) really stupid things or 2) really intimate, vulnerable things that you’ve never had a conversation with anyone else about.

These fights are SOOO good. I’ve never left one of these fights NOT feeling closer to Noah.

Here’s the key to fighting well:

  1. Get it all out. Don’t do the whole “I’m just going to pout and not tell you what’s really going on with me” thing. That’s dumb. Stop it.
  2. Admit when you’re being a butt head. If about halfway through the argument, you realize you were completely in the wrong and that guilty feeling starts to creep in? Yea.. don’t ignore it. Get to apologizing. And admit you’re being a butt head. Then your spouse can agree with you and say “Yes, you are being a butt head” and you can laugh about it.
  3. NEVER reject a hug when they want to hug it out. Always at least end things with a big ginormous hug. You won’t regret it.

 

#5. Married life is amazing. But single life had its perks too. 

For so long in my single years, I had moments where I was really convinced that married life had to be better and that single life was the worst.

If only I was married… I would think.

I’m confident that Paul knew exactly what he was writing at the beginning of 1 Corinthians 7.

Neither one is better than the other. I think there is a season for EVERYTHING. I think God writes stories in a million different ways.

Getting married to Noah and being his wife was and IS the best thing for me. Of that, I am convinced.

But between singleness and marriage… they can’t even be compared.

As a married woman, I get to sleep in a bed with a really hot guy (heyooo) every night. I get to always come home to someone. I have someone to process things with and someone who loves me REALLY well and shows me/tells me often.

As a single woman though, I had a lot of freedom in making decisions that I don’t necessarily have now. My choices and my actions didn’t affect a ton of people. In fact… it mainly just affected me. Move wherever and whenever I want? Sure! Go on a really long trip just for fun? Go for it! Completely change career paths? WHY NOT!?

They both have their benefits.

If you’re single and have the desire to get married, I would encourage and exhort you to savor your single years. They will be much shorter than your married years. Don’t get so caught up in the longing for a different season that you miss the current one. 

 

#6. If you were one of those people who joked to your friends who were getting married that they were going to get pregnant in their first year of marriage, God will laugh and make you that person instead. 

Lololololol

We got pregnant almost exactly 6 months into marriage. And I regret every time I joked with anyone about how I hoped they would get pregnant quickly.

3 more months till Bradley Grace Bowman makes her appearance.

 

#7. It’s okay to learn to be dependent.

Hear me out on this one.

I prided myself on my independence in singleness, dating and even engagement.

I was always told that being dependent is a bad thing.

And yes, in a way, it is.

But in marriage, learning how to become one with your spouse and learning to let them affect you is a HUGE process.

It’s also safe. SO incredibly safe.

For the first 3 months of marriage, I was so confused and angry about how easily Noah could affect me on the other side of marriage. Becoming his wife allowed him to have access to deep places in my heart that no one else on Earth had. And it felt so uncomfortable and vulnerable.

And I felt like I had to guard and protect and hold myself together… to keep myself unaffected by him.

But that’s not what a healthy marriage is.

I’m SUPPOSED to be one with him. I’m supposed to be affected by him.

Just let go. Learn how to depend on each other and let the other person affect you.

 

 

#8. Spending time with God is just as important as it’s always been. 

It never stops being important. It’s just as necessary to hear from God and have intimacy with Him on the other side of marriage.

I need Him now just like I’ve always needed Him.

 

#9. You have to be more intentional to get quality time with friends. 

I’m still learning this one.

But really, if you stop being intentional with your community and your friends who are both single and married, then friendships will dwindle and fade.

It is SO easy to get caught up in your little “marriage bubble”.

Don’t fall into the trap!

Make it a priority for both you and your spouse to schedule consistent time with groups of people and intentional times with members of the same sex.

Friendships are still important! Don’t let them fall through cracks.

 

#10. Marriage does not always have to be hard. 

It really doesn’t.

It can be the most fun, life-giving, wonderful thing. And if it’s not, get prayer! Talk to people! Get quality time with other couples and have them help you with your conflicts.

I have loved realizing that Noah is my #1 fan and the best teammate I will ever have. Doing things TOGETHER is far better than trying to operate in our individual strengths independently.

 

LET’S GO, YEAR 2!

I Hate Disharmony

unnamed-3.jpg

I hate disharmony.

I absolutely hate it.

It makes me squirm; makes my skin crawl like someone just ran their nails along a chalkboard.

If I feel like something is “off” between myself and someone else… I cannot rest. I cannot sit still or feel peaceful or move on until I find out what it is that is wrong.

I have to ask if “we” are okay.

 

And this. This is what I’m left feeling constantly about our country and our nation.

 

I want to shout “ARE WE OKAY!?”

 

We have forgotten how to TRY to understand each other.

We keep insisting that “If that isn’t true for me personally, it’s not true at all.” And so we slander the person who expresses how they feel, insisting that they are an idiot for thinking the way they do.

Racism. Oppression. Political opinions left and right.

I have never been a minority. I have never felt ostracized because of my race or even my religion. Even as a woman, I have never felt blatantly oppressed in my country. I haven’t been abused. I have never felt afraid that I will lose my job or not be able to pay rent. I have never felt at risk of being deported from my country or kicked out on account of my religion.

Those have never been my realities.

But that doesn’t mean those things don’t exist.

And I won’t shun the people who have experienced them or tell them they’re wrong for speaking out about their experiences. I won’t hate the person who supports a different politician than me because of something that is a reality to them that I have never experienced myself. 

We must put aside our privilege and learn to listen. We must learn to have conversations and say, “Why do you feel that way? Tell me about your experience. What is it that I’m missing? What do you think needs to change?”

And this goes both ways. Conservatives toward liberals. Liberals toward conservatives.

“What about our culture makes you feel as if women do not have rights? What has been your personal experience?”

“Why do you believe that banning refugees from entering our country is the right decision? What experiences do you have that make you feel this way?”

This doesn’t mean we have one conversation and immediately agree with each other. This doesn’t mean we switch sides or drop our convictions. This just means we at least UNDERSTAND where the other person is coming from. And why they feel the way they feel. This means we put down our pitch-forks.

We must stop the anger and the hate; the rioting and the name-calling; the alienating and isolating.

 

We have completely abandoned the idea that everyone is free to vocalize how they FEEL and what their experience has been.

 

We MUST realize that we’re all living in the exact same world. Yet we all view it completely differently. I will not view the world in the same way that an African-American man does. Nor will I view the world in the same way that a Syrian refugee does.

 

Our experiences aren’t wrong or right. They are just our experiences. And we must seek to understand one another’s experiences in order to understand where people’s convictions and beliefs come from.

The point is not a unity in conviction. The point is a unity in understanding. 

On the Gilmore Girls Revival

I’ve never written a “review” blog on anything; movie, book, tv series… nothin.

 

But the Gilmore Girl Revival has caused so much pent up angst within me that I have to spill out all of my opinions in one place.

so *SPOILERS AHEAD* – please stop reading if you haven’t finished the show and would like to remain clueless.

 

Let me start by saying:

 

The Gilmore Girls revival was a ginormous disappointment. 

Gilmore-Girls-A-Year-In-The-Life.jpg

I didn’t realize how strongly I felt this until I started reflecting and processing what actually happened in the show.

 

I watched the original Gilmore Girls on a regular basis when it aired in the 2000’s. I kept up with the in’s and out’s of the Gilmore lifestyle; I cried when hearts were broken; I celebrated when characters matured and made courageous life decisions.

 

You might be thinking right now that I’m way too emotionally invested in this show. Quite honestly, it had all been put on the back burner until news about this revival aired. I love a good story. I love good character development. And Gilmore Girls has always provided me with characters I can root for.

 

But this revival was a huge disservice to two characters that I love deeply.

88ae753e547eb63a22907050278d72ec.jpeg

For starters, Lorelai was minimized to an immature 50-year-old who still lives with her boyfriend after 9+ years with no logical explanation. 

No “I still have trust issues and I can’t marry him.”

No “I just like dating instead of being married.”

No “I just don’t want to get married.”

Nothing.

There was no explanation for their relationship.

It was as if Luke and Lorelai simply were put on hold for 9 years, fast forwarded to the future, and pressed play right when the viewers tuned in on November 25. There was no depth, maturity, or even chemistry anymore.

Good relationships come through having hard conversations and working through insecurities and weaknesses. Yet here, our two characters still lied to each other about their vulnerabilities. And after 9 years, Lorelai didn’t hesitate hiding from her “partner” that she was going to therapy. Why would that be something to hide from someone you’re sharing life with? Why not walk through the difficult and hardships of life together? Why didn’t we see Luke mourning with Lorelai about her father’s death? Helping her process her grief?

Somewhere over these 9 years, Lorelai Gilmore tried to remain the 30-something mother to a teenager that she had always been. But as viewers, we were longing to see maturity. We wondered what Lorelai in this stage of life might look like. How her and Luke’s relationship might have grown and weathered. Yet she tried to remain who she used to be trapped in her 48-year-old body.

 

It was as if Amy Sherman-Palladino had waited all these years to show us the wedding. But viewers weren’t on edge waiting for the wedding. We knew/hoped that it had happened over these 9 years. We hoped to catch glimpses of it during flashbacks. Mostly, we were anticipating to walk into the middle of a long-fought-for marriage. And we were short-handed something that could have been amazing.

rory-1480094204.jpg

Rory exchanged her years of independence and knowledge, leadership and growth, for dumb decisions that were better suited for a girl in the early 20’s. 

No part of Rory Gilmore’s story belonged to a woman in her 30’s. Let alone, a Rory Gilmore in her 30’s.

I’m all for people not having their lives together yet. That’s perfectly fine to not have it together.

But for the love of everything, make good decisions.

Sleeping with a guy who’s engaged and not showing any remorse about it? Never mind the fact that he seems perfectly fine with sleeping with you and hiding it from his fiancé and has absolutely no intention of breaking up with her. Also he doesn’t even try to hide answering your 2 am phone calls with her in the bed next to him. Blech.

Not to mention, you’re still dating some rando whose name you don’t even remember (and have been for 2 years) and can’t find the “time” or decency in yourself to have a 60 second phone call to break up with him?

Oh and while you’re doing this, have a random one-night-stand with a guy from ComiCon?

Also crash on multiple people’s couches, refuse to have a real job, and oh yea, never buy underwear for an entire year.

These are small, pretty basic, and OBVIOUS decisions that most humans would have a correct response to.

Yet here, our beloved and brilliant Yale-graduated Rory can’t seem to make the right one.

 

This isn’t rocket-science. This is “how to be a mature adult 101”. And the Rory I left back in 2007 was smarter than that. 

Heck she rejected a proposal post-college (a proposal that I know many women would’ve accepted) because she was too goal-oriented. It was the wiser decision for her. She was a freakin genius in 2007.

Apparently in 9 years, you can lose every bit of wisdom you’ve ever had.

 

Bottom line: WHAT THE HECK DID YOU DO TO OUR RORY GILMORE, AMY SHERMAN-PALLADINO!?!

 

Emily Gilmore was the one redeeming quality of the revival. Her character development and maturity was everything faithful viewers had always hoped for. And her life post-Richard is what everyone hopes their life would look like if, God-forbid, their spouse passed away. It was inspiring and hopeful.

She grew. She mourned. She matured. She laughed. She found a life she loved. It was beautiful.

 

 

Gilmore Girls in the early 2000’s had no idea why it was wonderful and loved. It did whatever the heck it wanted and marched to the beat of its own drum, horribly getting cancelled in 2007.

Apparently in the 9 years that followed, however, it read up on itself. It made a list of everything that everyone loved and when the time came for the Revival, said “LET’S BE SURE TO INCLUDE EVERYTHING EVERYONE IN THE WHOLE WORLD LOVED x 1000!”

It’s why the whole thing felt so sporadic and jumpy and random (Hello, Stars Hollow musical? Like, what the actual heck did this add to the plot? How about some character development, folks?)

gilmoregirls_final4words.png

I don’t like the conclusion that everything has come “full circle” with Rory being pregnant. That thought makes me believe that Amy Sherman-Palladino didn’t believe in more for her Gilmore daughter than to repeat her mother’s mistakes. This makes me think that ASP believes that history will always repeat itself, no matter what.

And I trust don’t believe that’s what ASP wanted for her characters.

The only thing that has made me feel the slightest bit resolved is believing that Gilmore Girls the tv show is the tv version of Rory’s book. And therefore, we’re only supposed to know as much as the book knows.

 

 

Rant over.

On Promises Fulfilled

I avoided writing for all of engagement.

It might’ve been the chaos and busyness of everything. It might’ve been because I had absolutely no clue how to process through engagement – so I just threw myself into wedding planning.

Maybe it was some other reason. I’m not sure.

 

But on April 2nd, we got married. And I’m ready to talk to about it 🙂

12512736_10206334791077928_6977515734202861103_n

 

It was the dreamiest and most perfect day of my entire life.

I don’t say that to be dramatic. Seriously. It was the absolute best day of my life. It was exactly everything I wanted it to be and more. There is nothing I would change about that weekend or that day.

We kept pausing that Sunday after the wedding, overcome with how blissful and overwhelmed we felt. It was by far the happiest day of our lives. So many people worked together to pull it off and we are so grateful for every single one of them.

 

Engagement, however, was not the most blissful time of my life.

Engagement was filled with tears and processing through every single bit of fear I had in my body. New fears of intimacy and commitment overwhelmed me. Noah dealt with many days (and nights) of me shutting down, confused about my own emotions, and quite frankly, terrified of marriage.

The thought that kept going through my head was “There’s no way out. Once I’m in this, I’m totally stuck. There’s no way out.” 

And that thought was terrifying.

 

This was the first time I had chosen a relationship that was going to last for the rest of my life,  no matter what. 

 

To bring light to the season of engagement, in case you are engaged or in case you plan to be engaged and deal with this too, let me just tell you…

I thought about calling off the wedding more than once. 

Not because of anything Noah ever did. And not because of any legitimate fight we ever had. But simply because I was overwhelmed with fear, sometimes that manifest itself in what I thought was legitimate logic.

 

Thoughts like “He doesn’t know the ways to romance me perfectly” or “Is he ever going to learn how to communicate better?” or even “Our story doesn’t look like theirs and they’re so in love and confident about marrying each other and I’m just scared. Is this okay?!” 

 

I found flaws in everything. Every little thing that came up was a “make or break” for me.

 

But time and time again I would go to Jesus and community and they would both remind me of the Truth: That Noah was the best for me. That he loved me better than anyone. And that I loved Noah.

There are moments where you need those around you to bring you back to the Truth, even if it becomes repetitive. And even if it seems like common sense. 

 

The truth is that I dealt with fear all the way up to wedding week.

Throughout our entire dating relationship and even to engagement, I never felt I heard God say “Noah is the one. Marry him.” I always felt like He gave me the freedom to choose him and didn’t give me many directional words about our relationship.

I wondered if I should’ve heard “Noah is the one.”; wondered if that was the tell-tale sign of how you know if you should marry someone; wrestled with this fear time and time again that maybe this was wrong.

 

But I decided to move forward afraid. Even if I didn’t have a “Thus sayeth the Lord.” 

 

And then wedding day came. In fact, about two weeks before wedding day, I felt my heart begin to shift. I consistently started praying that I would feel everything – that I would be totally aware of what a big fulfillment this was. And I felt fear begin to disintegrate. 

 

That day was so peaceful yet I was filled with nerves and excitement. It all felt so surreal.

This was my wedding day. The day I’ve been dreaming of for years. This was it.

 

And then suddenly 5:00 was here.

And as we waited to be lined up and begin walking down, I started crying and laughing hysterically. And I couldn’t stop.

This was it. This was the moment we had been praying for. As I walked towards the doors, my dad squeezed my hand. And I couldn’t contain the emotions I felt.

Gratitude. Thankfulness. Love. Overwhelming joy. All of it.

12321441_992493450799023_7244701825412034736_n

And I saw him.

Everyone else disappeared around me and I saw him at the end of the aisle. Crying. Grinning like a fool. And I was overwhelmed.

He was it. There was no doubt in my mind. He was my husband. He was the man God had promised for me, exactly and specifically. It was Noah. 

When I got to the end of the aisle, we were both overcome with such joy. I kept staring at him and all I could think was “Wow. You’re him! YOU’RE HIM! I can’t believe you’re him! I can’t believe I get to marry you. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe you’re him.” I literally only thought those thoughts for the entire ceremony.

And this overwhelming wave of the fulfillment of a promise filled me when we were pronounced man and wife. There was no doubt and no more fear. Noah was more than I asked for. He was more than I imagined he would be. He was the answer to a 7 year promise. He was the exact fulfillment that God said he would be.

12974411_10206357571407422_1488221703641034461_n.jpg

Marriage is a dream.

I can’t explain it more than that and I don’t care if this is just the honeymoon phase.

But I feel more alive as a wife, specifically as Noah’s wife, than I ever have before. Despite the unfamiliarity of learning to live with a boy (lol) and adjusting to life as a married couple, there is still this place of familiarity and safety.

 

Nothing is a make or break anymore.

He is my partner and best friend. And it is the most blissful feeling to have someone know you better than anyone else. 

 

I’m more in love with him now than ever before.

 

I think I had to choose him, you know? I had to do it all afraid only on faith and hoping that I wasn’t wrong about this being it. Because the revelation that he WAS it came at the absolute most perfect time.

 

I was made to be his wife. I really was. And he was made to be my husband. Undoubtedly.

12931175_10206329136656571_9221200969905152056_n.jpg