This post is a little overdue, but Grant and I celebrated our first anniversary last month on November 11! Even as I type this, it’s still hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that we have been husband and wife for an entire year. There is so much buildup and celebratory events during the engagement period, that I expected life to slow down after the actual wedding. But thinking back over the past year, it’s been incredible to reflect on everything we’ve experienced and accomplished together in such a short time. Here are some of our favorite parts of the past year:
- Honeymoon: We obviously have to start with our amazing honeymoon trip to Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla (read our full review here)! The beginning of our journey as a married couple and the perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy after the whirlwind of wedding week. This was the longest trip that Grant and I had taken with just the two of us, so it was really nice to truly enjoy making our own plans or just having no plans at all. While our wedding was so amazing and we loved being surrounded by our families and friends, we both needed this time together to start our marriage with the focus on our new family of two. If you’re on the fence about having a honeymoon right after your wedding or waiting a few months, I would highly recommend at least taking a few days right after the wedding for that mental and physical rest after the wedding and use that time to celebrate with your new spouse.
- Apartment Living and Buying a Home: This one is two-part because I truly believe that we gained something from both of our living situations. Before we got married, Grant and I knew that we would need to spend at least a little time in an apartment to save money for a house down payment. Luckily, we found a great location and knowing that the apartment was only temporary, it served us well for the 10+ months we lived there. We learned how to live with each other in a pretty small space, but it was where we made our first home together. Granted, when the AC and fridge started having issues, we were definitely glad to be moving out! I would put the whole home buying process about on par with the excitement and stress of wedding planning, but both turn out to be completely worth it. After almost a year of apartment living, I know we have a new appreciation for the space we have in our house and really understand the hard work and discipline it took to officially sign all of the papers and get the keys. (Check out our full home buying post here)
- Establishing a Routine: As silly as this one sounds, it’s been really nice to establish new routines that work for us in our marriage. In college, we had to manage a long distance relationship and didn’t live with each other in Atlanta until after we got married, so we always had to plan our time wisely. Now, it’s great to be in the same place, but we both leave the house super early and only have a few hours together in the evenings during the work week, so you have to make the most of your time. When Grant isn’t traveling for work, we both try to get to the gym for some “me time” after work, and then I get dinner started when I get home. Eating at home has saved us so much money and given us better quality time together, and we save our eating out for the weekends when we can actually enjoy and appreciate it. It’s been a balancing act with work, home, and family events, but continuing to have open communication has really helped us prioritize.
- New Experiences: 2018 has been quite a year for us so far! We have gotten the chance to travel (with more ahead!), we’ve gone to numerous Broadway shows, tried new restaurants, volunteered at charity events, became an aunt and uncle, and spent time with the ones we love. I’m sure I’ve said it before, but Grant and I both know that enjoying experiences is more fulfilling to us than having stuff. Which is probably why we still haven’t prioritized buying dining room furniture…but that’s a whole other story! And while I haven’t kept up with writing as much as I’d hoped, it’s been a fun journey to document some of our first year through this blog.
- Excitement for What’s Ahead: While I’ve been trying to ground myself in the present and enjoy life as it happens now, there’s something to be said about the anticipation and excitement around something you are looking forward to. Especially at this time of year with the holidays and new year, it’s hard not to be excited! I love that our anniversary will kick off this wonderful season each year. But even during the everyday weeks, it’s nice to have something to look forward to as a couple. Whether it’s the tickets we bought for a show at the Fox four months in advance or something as little as our Friday night date nights, you learn to celebrate both the big and the small. Just because you are married doesn’t mean you stop dating your spouse – there are even more opportunities to do something new together and continue learning more from and about one another.
So thank you to all of you that have followed along with us so far this year! It has certainly been a packed year, and it’s hard to think how 2019 and year 2 of marriage can top this one. Be sure to follow along our Instagram for more posts and photos – www.instagram.com/TheLocalBells