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Welcome to the first post in our Love and Marriage Series! I am so excited about this. If you missed my post last week about it, you can click here for all the deets.
So, today's topic is kind of an introduction. We're each going to be telling you about ourselves and our marriages, so you know where we are coming from in future posts. To make it easy for you to visit everyone's blogs, just click the name of the blog you'd like to visit next. Shay, Lindsey, Megan, Jenn and Mandy.
Chris and I met in 2001, when I was a senior in high school and he was a junior. I'm 3 months older than he is and he loves to tell people I'm a cradle robber! Goofball. Anyway, we met in math class. He was a popular basketball player and I was a shy, quiet, new girl from California. Math is by far and away my worst subject. I was and am HORRIBLE at it and he often helped me out. We were just acquaintances really. We didn't travel in the same circles and I didn't have many friends who were juniors, so the only time we ever talked was in class.
Fast forward two years. I had just broken up with my boyfriend. My best friend decided to "take me out to dinner" which I thought meant that she and I were going to dinner. What it really meant was, "I'm calling a bunch of people and a huge group of us will be going to dinner." I knew NO ONE. I was irritated at her because here I was, fresh off a breakup and I didn't want to go out with a ton of people I didn't know. Shy, remember?! Anyway, Chris was there. He was sitting across from me and I kept thinking, "boy, you look familiar!" So, in the middle of dinner, I'm staring at him, trying to place him and I shout, "I used to cheat off of you in math class!"
Way to make an impression.
He stared at me blankly for a second then started laughing. It took him a minute to place me because in high school I wore sweatshirts, jeans, sneakers and ponytails everyday, like it was a uniform. After high school (and breaking up with my jerk of an ex) I came out of my shell. I did my hair and makeup everyday, wore cute clothes, and just generally felt better about myself. So he didn't recognize the no longer plain jane in front of him.
I guess you could say it was love at second sight, because from that moment on, we were inseparable. He came to church with me, ate meals with my family, hung out with my friends, etc. And then...he moved.
We decided to pursue a long distance relationship (he was 2.5 hours away). We visited each other every weekend and eventually he moved back. A few months later, we got engaged.
We got married in our church which requires premarital counseling. If you aren't married, I want to implore you to do this, whether or not it's required where you get married. You can really learn a lot about yourself and how you perceive things in your relationship, as well as how your future spouse perceives things.
Chris and I learned that we are great communicators with one another. We were the only people who ever scored a 100% on communication on the test our counselor gave us! We just love to talk. We also had a chance to talk about our "big concerns."
I have to interrupt myself here because I was just talking to Chris about this the other day. I told him I remember that his chief complaint at the time with me was that I harped on his old man driving style (like doing 60mph on the freeway), but I couldn't remember what my problem with him was. He reminded me it was deer hunting! I had totally forgotten all about that. I used to get so mad because his dad would want him to go deer hunting with him and he would get mad at me because I would tell him he drove like an old man!
Anyway, the point is, premarital counseling is great, and I really recommend everyone doing it. You can learn your strengths and weaknesses and how they will affect your relationship. You can even learn positive ways to argue, and how to communicate during an argument. It was there, while meeting with our counselor, that we found out that our state offers something called a "covenant marriage." The big thing about having a covenant marriage is that is requires counseling before you will be granted a divorce, should you seek one. We didn't have any plans on ever getting a divorce (and still don't) but we thought this was a great idea. Side-note:If you live in Arkansas and want to change your marriage to a covenant marriage, you can!
Marriage is something that is so important to me. I knew I choose the right one when I found Chris. When we met I was way low on self-confidence and he built me up. He told me everyday, and still does, how beautiful, smart and important to him I am. We encourage each other and push each other and want the best for one another. We put each other first. I was listening to a sermon online recently that talked about marriage. The pastor asked, "do you treat your marriage as a contract, where you are looking out for number one? Or, do you treat it as a commitment to one another, putting your spouse ahead of yourself?"
Now, Chris and I have been married for 7.5 years and have two amazing kids. We are also trying to adopt, which I'm sure I'll touch on later in the series. You can catch up on our adoption journey by starting in this post and then clicking "adoption" in the tags below it to see the rest of them. We've had our highs and lows, and learned a lot in the past 9 years of being together.
Marriage is work. Hard work. It's not always glamourous, and sometimes it's not even fun. We get angry. We fight. We get our feelings hurt. But we've learned how to get past those things, how to fix problems. I originally wanted to do this series because sometimes the blogosphere only shows you the perfect parts of our lives. I think that can set people up for failure, because no ones life is perfect. And no one is perfect. My life isn't, and I'm not. But I'm hoping that I've learned some things along the way that I can share with you. I hope that when my friends and I post each week that something we say will be a blessing in your life.
Thank you for joining us on this journey. If you'd like to participate along with us, please feel free! We have a linky for you - just share your link so we can all check out your posts!