10 Things I've Learned in Our First Year of Marriage

1. Make plans and throw them out the window.
For example: the much longer, less ideal labor we experienced last week and celebrating our first anniversary in sweatpants and a newborn baby for a shirt.

2. Consider his dreams and chase them together.
Daniel is GREAT at this--he's always encouraging me in my goals and offering to help in any way he can.  Without him, this blog and photo business wouldn't exist--he constantly reminds me to keep a "What's the worst that could happen?" attitude about putting myself out there, which isn't always in my nature.  He has no interest in writing or photography, but because he has an interest in me, he invests himself in it and cheers me on.

3. Take opportunities to miss each other.
Daniel and I spent a few nights/weekends apart this past year when one of us was traveling for work.  Even though there are many nights we don't even touch (hey, I've been pregnant all year and not always feeling super cuddly), I found it incredibly hard to fall asleep without him. At the beginning of the year I'd try to talk myself out of missing him--"Married or not, I'm still an independent woman!" Blah blah blah. I eventually realized giving in to pining after my husband made me stop, reflect, and appreciate him and our life together so that when we saw each other again I was excited and affectionate rather than coldly self-sufficient. 

4. Kiss hello and goodbye.
Every morning when Daniel leaves he leans over our bed to kiss me. He's had a crazy busy year at work and could easily let that consume him, but this small gesture makes me feel like he's still mindful of putting me first.  Because of that, I try to be downstairs and undistracted when he gets home so I can open my arms and ears to show appreciation for his work ethic and that I missed him throughout the day.

5. Throw away your expectations.
This one. This one is my struggle.  Daniel could book us a trip around the world for my birthday, but if I was hoping for fresh flowers, I'd act disappointed.  Get rid of your rule book on how your spouse should love/surprise you and just be together.  If he does something out of the ordinary to express his love, great! If not, don't punish him--instead, appreciate how he takes care of you on a daily basis and keep his love languages in mind, too.  He might be putting in more effort than you realize.

6. Keep learning.
You may live together, but you don't know all there is to know about your spouse. Don't let yourself get bored, because there's no reason to--ask lots of questions and try new things together.  Lately Daniel and I have been doing a lot more childhood storytelling--having Edie here and dreaming about experiences we'd like to give her is making us reflect a lot. And it's fun! I love learning about the experiences that made my husband the man he is.

7. Hug/kiss/touch after an argument.
You may not want to (I usually don't), but it works--I promise.

8. Be needy.
Everyone likes to feel like an expert on something, I think.  Don't try to do something your spouse is better at by yourself.  I don't know how many times Daniel has asked me, "Why didn't you ask for my help?"  after I failed at a project.  We all want to feel needed, and working on something together reminds us that we're on the same team.

9. Budget for the unexpected.
Again--a baby, for example. Or your kitchen plumbing getting backed up two days before your due date.

10. Remember who made your spouse.
Before you let yourself think your husband is pretty much the worst/most annoying human being on the planet (I mean, how dare he leave a few pieces of cereal in the sink? He obviously did it just to show how little he appreciates you cleaning the kitchen when he was at work!), remember whose he is and the vows you made between the three of you.  Is it worth it?

Cheers to year two and fighting to keep the newlywed feelings alive! 


First Anniversary Idea: Plant A Tree

Last weekend Daniel and I explored the most wonderful local nursery, Westwood Gardens, in search of the perfect anniversary tree.  We're just looking for now, but it was a fantastic fall-feeling day and the Japanese Maples were turning all kinds of beautiful colors--it was awesome.  

When I was trying to come up with a gift idea under the paper theme for our first anniversary, I immediately thought I might need to put a little spin on it to make it something Daniel might really enjoy.  Guys just don't like pretty Rifle Paper Co notebooks and stationary like we do.  :)

After visiting this nursery without him, I decided to clue Daniel in on what I was thinking so I could know what kind of tree he'd like and where he might want to put it before I went about digging a big ol' hole in our yard.  We decided to go look together. 

I'm not sure if and when we'll purchase a tree, but our trip to Westwood Gardens made for a lovely little afternoon date! I got a little distracted by all the pretty succulents. Can you blame me?

Happy gifting, lovebirds!


Pumpkin Patch Date

This weekend Daniel and I made a little early trip to the pumpkin patch since we have no idea when the babe will make her appearance.  I'm kind of obsessed with fall and was hoping to find daddy, mommy, and baby pumpkins for our front porch, but the selection was pretty slim.  We made the best of it, though--it was fun enough putting on a dress and getting out with my husband, especially now that the weather is getting a little nicer!

Hahaha. What. A. Trooper. ^^

Happy fall, friends!


16 Weeks Bumpdate

My bump started to round out a little this week.  It's still low, but my growing belly is finally starting to make me believe I'm pregnant.  It's so crazy to watch your body change without having any control over it!  

I've been in Tulsa all weekend for a couple of photoshoots, so I haven't had the chance to drive Daniel crazy with the fact that we've been married for SIX MONTHS as of yesterday! So I suppose I'll annoy him on here by saying what a dream it is to be his wife.  He has worked so hard the past six months to balance his new job, his new marriage, his new house, and the news of his unexpected quick jump into fatherhood.  Daniel really is the best person I know, and I'm so happy to be standing beside him for all the crazy months and years to come.


Baby Size: Beefsteak tomato! Babe can see light now.

Gender: Three weeks until we find out!

Weight Gain: One pound. Movin' on up.

Symptoms: Sweet cravings. Feeling great!

Exercise: I can see my belly when I look down at my feet while running, which is new and weird. But I'm still doing the same stuff!

Cravings: All the sweet things.  Ice cream all day every day.

Have the best week, friends!