1 Year Anniversary

At an Army event, a rare glimpse of Ed all dressed up.

At an Army event, a rare glimpse of Ed all dressed up.

It seems only fitting that since this blog was started in preparation for our wedding, that I would post something celebrating that particular day in history.  It was hard for me to write this post, I feel there were many directions I could go as I reflected on my first full year as a married woman.  So, I’m giving myself permission, (hopefully I have yours too!) to re-visit first-year-of-marriage themes in the future, and will talk more specifically about our anniversary in this post.  So here we go….

Working on your marriage starts by working on you. If there is one thing I have learned in this first year of marriage, it is that being partnered with someone brings out your very best or your very worst qualities on any given day. I have also learned that the more I focus on what I need from my spouse, the less happy I am. Instead I am learning to find my contentment and my happiness in my relationship with God and myself. Then anything I get from my spouse is a bonus!

Especially on our anniversary I had to really wrestle with the

I love you!

I love you!

expectation of getting something from my spouse. We as a society have made a gift giving occasion out of just about anything. Now if you like to give gifts, or you like to get gifts there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Gift giving is a tried-and-true way of showing affection. However it is not the only way to show affection and the lack of gift giving or dinner reservations should not reflect on the health and wellness of a relationship. This was very hard for me to accept at first because I spend too much time on Facebook, seeing all the status updates from my friends who would receive roses, a card and dinner at the nearest steakhouse for any and all special occasions. Through much conversation I have learned how my spouse feels he is able to show love to me, and in his mind it looks very different than the typical Kay Jewelry commercial.

So I had to decide if I was going to be okay with that, or make myself miserable by comparing our relationship and my spouse’s love-overtures to every other 20-something married couple in our non-denominational Christian-ease hipster society. So in honor of my spouse, who does love me devotedly, here are some ways he shows me his love all the time not just on special occasions, (he does these of his own volition btw!):

  •  Paying the bills
  •  Doing the dishes
  •  Putting my health first
  •  Working me out at the gym
  •  Serenading me
  •  Dancing with me
  •  Laughing when I spend too much money
  •  Complementing me profusely when I roll out of bed in the mornings
  •  Keeping himself informed, in-shape, and spiritually growing

How did we actually spend our anniversary?  Well, my maid of honor was in town, so my bride-groom took us to the gun-range to teach us how to shoot.  (He loved teaching us, and apparently I’m a pretty good shot.)  Then, the MOH took us to lunch before heading to the airport.  Good food, lots of laughs, and reflections on life made for a lovely time.  Finally alone, my hubby and I spent some time kanoodling, cleaning, and wrapped up the day with a trip to the movies.  Dracula Untold is not really romantic, but prompted interesting discussion about love, sacrifice, good, and evil.  All in all, a pretty good day for Team RZ – I felt connected to my husband, gained fresh insight and understanding, and learned something new with him.  Isn’t that what marriage is all about?

Happy hubby, happy life!

Happy wedding day!

Getting back to my previous point about working on the self, some days it is a struggle to find my peace and happiness and contentment apart from the person that I have to do life with, however I also know that I can be demanding, selfish, prideful, needy, achievement-oriented, and by turns over emotional, or not in touch with my emotions at all.  That’s why I feel that prayer and meditation, (journaling for me), is even MORE essential when it comes to marriage vs all the other things we spend time stressing about.  After all, your marriage is the commitment that affects you each and every day, and will be with you until the day you die.  It can be, and should be, the most life-altering decision you make.  What is more worthy of your time and consideration?  After all, by calling on the Big Guy’s help, and working through your baggage SO THAT your marriage becomes healthier…you are really doing yourself a favor.

We are big fans of affirmations. We really appreciate when the other takes notice of something that we’ve done or something great about us in general. We try and make it a practice to affirm each other each night before we say prayers and go to bed. Some nights it is easier to come up with something than others but the practice of doing so forces us to look for the best in each other even if it’s been a hard day.

The #1 thing that I’ve learned about marriage is that every day is a choice. You may fall in love but deciding to stay there is made up of little choices each and every day. I can either choose to withdraw when I’m upset and pout, or I can lean into our relationship. I can try to understand the other point of view, I can opt to compromise. Obviously I don’t do it right 90 percent of the time, but with a lot of grace, forgiveness, and God’s help we’ve made it this far, and are looking forward to the rest of Forever.

Taking the Leap

It's scary to jump off that step and not have firm ground underneath..will he catch me?

It’s scary to jump off that step and not have firm ground underneath..will he catch me?

There is something specific about resting in the arms of the person who has vowed to spend the rest of their life with you.  It is so comforting, it leaves the mind free of fears, and open to dream.  What is it about marriage that makes us so united, how is it different than really super committed dating?  I think it’s the leap.

When you get married, you don’t get to watch the movie of your life together play out in front of you and then decide, “yes, I’d like to have that. ”  We can never know what life holds in store for us alone, and even less so once joined with a partner who brings their own qualities, ideas and dreams into the equation.  Yet for those who are willing, the actual act of saying those vows is taking a leap of faith together, into a new life that is unknown…. The unknown is always scary, but like skydiving, going to war, or getting through college, there are adventurers in life that bond 2 people just because they got though it together.

I think the leap of marriage is in itself a bonding experience that helps you to face the scary unknowns.  When life gets tough, or throws you a curve, the hope is that you will be strong enough to look back to your wedding day and say, “we took that leap together, we are floating through thin air with each other, together we can find firm ground again.”

What about kids?  To have, adopt, what if we can't...

What about kids? To have, adopt, what if we can’t…

There will be other leaps throughout life that continue to bond you if you let them…but they can also tear you apart.  It is our choices in these situations, our ability to put the others needs first while still expressing our own, to be slow to anger and quick to forgive, that determines whether you will be glued tighter on the other side. Leaping into having kids together – another act of faith.  Taking a jump to move to a new place that your spouse feels better about than you do.  Re-arranging your career to make room for your partner, your family.  What about that leap into a crazy vacation that seems totally impractical but is probably exactly what you both need?

Yes, experiences are what unite people, and marriage is the first of many leaps of faith that can build a life un-imagined.  Here’s to love, and here’s to leaping.

Exactly 1 Month!

Hello fine friends and guests!  I realized today, much to my amazement, that exactly 1 month from today, October 2, it will be our Wedding Day!!!!  Yikes!  Am I  ready to actually be married?  November 2 is right around the corner and will mark the culmination of these last 8 weeks of intentional – somewhat frantic – preparation.  This wedding season itself feels like a sprint, and just basic training for the marathon ahead.

Tonight, I was trying to get out a few last invitations and was literally going cross-eyed after a day of work, wedding, and work-out.  The good news is this: I have an amazing support team.  “Team RZ” may most often refer to just Ed and myself, but the truth is it takes a few other people to keep our heads on straight.  I’m so lucky to have my girls around me, seriously the best bridesmaids ever!  Plus our stylist, even my all-enduring mother.  They let me vent about my day, celebrate my successes, and brush my failures away with a sweep of their love.

For example, I’ve been quite worried about who would take my apartment…today one of the girls made an offer to take it herself!  What a relief that would be.  My coordinator/friend offered to take the rest of the invites off my hands – thank goodness, and my maid of honor brings me Starbucks even when I don’t ask.  My sister-in-law sat with me via phone and helped me put together my registry, and my long-distance-bestie has spent hours assuring me that I’m doing a great job at life in general.  Ha!  What would I do without these fine ladies?  And my dear mother…for all the stress and angst I cause her, she is faithfully organizing, crafting, hosting, and networking to pull everything together.  I certainly have learned from her over the years!

Tomorrow I fly to Florida to see Ed one last time…and the next time we’re together, we will be pledging our lives to each other!!!  It is still amazing to me that 2 people can be so in love that all the little messes of life don’t really matter as long as you have each other.  I can’t wait to see him, meet our new dog, and dream about the future….

Image

What God has joined together, let no man tear asunder.

I realized this today:  Because God put us together in the first place that fateful day last September…how could we do anything but trust Him with what’s next? 

Peace and good night faithful friends.  May angels guard you til the morning,  (or something Shakespeare said)

From the Groom

She's barefoot, He's snacking...only 3 months into it.

She’s barefoot, He’s snacking…only 3 months into it.

The World we live in is very large.  It’s abundance of life and beauty leaves us all in awe.  Everyday we are blessed with the freedom to journey in it.  In this grand journey we pursue a multitude of different things, some power, some wealth and some fame.  Of all these things, we as humans pursue and convert, nothing in this world is more important or valuable than the grandest prize of all, Love.

From the days of the Greek city states, where the beauty of Helen launched a 1000 ships, to the spark I felt when I first laid eyes on Morgen Reynolds, Love has proven time and time again to be the most powerful force in the universe.  With all that said, it should be no shock that once I was presented with just a mere taste of that precious commodity, I jumped at the opportunity to thoroughly explore it.

Mo and Ed in Colorado

Colorado, his family, 1 year later

So now here we are, a year later looking back on the path we have forged together, realizing we have not only bettered each other’s mind and character but also our heart and soul.  We have captured that mystic creature, sought after by many, and plan to do nothing short of spending the rest of our lives cherishing it as it grows and spreads in our lasting commitment together.

I love you Morgen Lee Reynolds, and may God continue to bless our union and those around us!

Welcome to the Wedding…

Face your fears...I rode the Ferris wheel!

The blushing bride…

You’ve found it!  The official site for all the adventures and details surrounding the wedding to commemorate the beginning of Morgen and Edward’s life together.  We are so excited to start our marriage, we know there will be ups and downs, but that is how God grows and teaches us.  Whether or not you are able to attend the event itself, we hope you will continue to be a part of our lives, and walk along the road with us.  Thank you!

The dashing groom...

The dashing groom…

(enjoy poking around the site, there are all kinds photos and details so that you can enjoy this experience.  God has so blessed us, we want our wedding to be a blessing to you!)