We're starting a new series today, and I am so excited to share this first post with you! Rachel is both incredibly smart and ridiculously witty, so I have no doubt you'll enjoy the way she shares her life with us as much as I do. :)
Hello, all! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rachel, and I was Jordan’s college roommate! I married my husband, Taylor, in May 2012. As a semi-newlywed, Jordan asked me to write a guest blog about some of the things I’ve learned in my brief experience as a wife. So here they are!
1.We’re a team, and sometimes that means one of us has to contribute way more than the other in order to get everything done.
When we first got married, I was a stay-at-home wife for three months before starting grad school at the University of Tulsa. Naturally, I did a lot of work around the house during that time, because it made sense for me to do that while Taylor was at work all day. Once school started, though, I was putting in 80+ hours per week on school and had little time or energy to cook or clean or do anything to keep the Savage home afloat.
Honestly, I felt like I was completely failing as a wife and that Taylor would be frustrated with this new burden of housework. He rolled with the punches like a champion, though. I will never forget coming home at 8:30 one night during my first week of class and finding him in the middle of a homecooked meal! (I am so sorry I underestimated you, Taylor!).
2. Root for each other’s football teams. Seriously, it will make your Saturdays much more pleasant. I’m learning to love burnt orange, and Taylor wears America’s brightest orange with pride.
3. It’s okay to have dates in your own house. Put your phones and your laptops and your tablets and your carrier pigeons away and just enjoy each other’s company. Conversation is underrated, so sometimes just making time for conversation means so much more than planning an elaborate and expensive evening out of the house.
4. Dogs are the best thing that will ever happen to you. That’s science.
Taylor and I adopted Scout, our 90-pound Golden Retriever, two months after we got married. Then seven months later, fate brought Boo to my office and it was love at first cuddle. Not only are these girls a constant joyful presence in our home, but they force us to do more than just sit and watch TV when we get home from work/class. We get out and walk, we take them to the lake – heck, we even took them to the public pool once for an event!
Seriously, it is hard to stay mad at your spouse for very long with these sweet babies bounding around and making you laugh. I wouldn’t trade them for the world!
5. If your spouse hates a chore and you don’t, that should become your chore. This seems so obvious, but it actually requires some communication. If Taylor and I were both responsible for mowing the lawn, we would live in a jungle because I’m not touching that. If we split grocery duty, our fridge would be forever bare because Taylor would get lost in the depth of Reasor’s and never return. The sooner you learn to intentionally split these duties instead of passive aggressively holding out on doing the dishes until your spouse caves and does them first, the happier you will be.
6. Blending habits is hard. Apparently it’s not customary in Man World to hang up your towel after you shower. Or to load the dishwasher the “right” way. Or to, you know, throw your half-empty Dr. Pepper cans away. At first, all of these Man World habits made me want to pull my hair out. At some point during the last few months (this lesson took a while to learn), I started to realize that as long as the dishes get done, it does not matter how Taylor loads the dishwasher. The thing to focus on is that I have a husband who loads the dishwasher at all, and that is a Christmas miracle in and of itself.
7. Be one another’s cheerleader at all times.
Taylor is probably the most modest person I have ever met. He will never, ever brag on himself, which means it is my job to let the world know how awesome he is at everything he does. Hilarious? Absolutely. The best new hire Phillips 66 has ever had? That’s the word on the street. A loving husband and father of two adorable dogchildren? Check.
I completed my first half marathon in November, and Taylor stood in the 20 degree weather for two hours to literally be my cheerleader. He is awesome.
Sometimes things aren’t so rosy, though. And it’s even more important to cheerlead during those moments. When he doesn’t get that promotion or when I am disappointed in an exam grade, it is so important to continue to encourage and affirm each other.
8. Marriage has helped me learn who I am. As cliché as it may be, Taylor is truly the first person I have been able to completely be myself around. This was not an intentional thing, but the comfort level associated with marrying Taylor has created an atmosphere in my home of open dialogue and silly songs 24/7, and I love it.
9. It’s okay to do things alone. As I type this, Taylor is in the other room playing Call of Duty on Xbox Live with his buddies, and I’m watching a basketball game that he has no interest in. And our marriage isn’t crumbling.
When we first got married, this would have been a signal that something was wrong. Now it’s just the way two introverts make time for themselves.
10. Make memories on purpose. Before getting married, Taylor and I lived 300 miles apart. We saw each other about once a month, so naturally we couldn’t really get into a rut with how we spent our time. Marriage is different, though. Because we do all of life’s mundane tasks together – brushing our teeth, doing laundry, taking the trash out, and so on – it’s really easy to forget to be intentional about making memories.
Taylor and I have played with monkeys, jumped off a waterfall, been front row at Bruno Mars (Thanks, Phillips 66, for the free concert!), been on College Gameday, dressed Scout up in a pair of jeans for no reason, had a fun weekend getaway in Kansas City, and the list goes on. I’m looking forward to making 70 more years of memories with this guy!