A Snapshot of Our First Year of Marriage

A-snapshot-of-our-first-year-of-marriage

My husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary this week. I feel like I was just telling y’all about my first 2 months of marriage and what all I had learned so far. A lot has changed since then, but truly this first year has flown by so quickly and I can’t believe how hard we’ve loved and how much we both have grown in just 365 days. Since this post would be forever long if I tried to tell y’all all about it, here’s a quick snapshot.

a-snapshot-of-our-first-year-of-marriage-newlyweds

Shows we watched:

  • Girls
  • Prison Break
  • Silicon Valley
  • Fixer Upper
  • Designated Survivor
  • 13 Reasons Why

a-snapshot-of-our-first-year-of-marriage-anniversary

Things we did:

  • Honeymooned in Jamaica
  • Moved in together
  • Threw lots of wedding and baby showers
  • Became an aunt & uncle!
  • Enjoyed dinners with friends
  • Endured my first real surgery
  • Bought a new truck for Bryan
  • Paid off a good bit of debt
  • Built things together
  • Fought over silly things, like where to eat
  • Binged on Roku
  • Loved hard EVERY day

a-snapshot-of-our-first-year-of-marriage-photos

Restaurants we loved:

  • Pizza Central
  • Eli’s American
  • Wifesaver
  • Miyabi Jr.
  • Twisted Burrito (him more so than me)

a-snapshot-of-our-first-year-of-marriage-love

Gifts we gave:

  • Nikes
  • Love notes
  • Kate Spade purses
  • Sweetart jelly beans
  • Twizzlers
  • Flowers
  • Golf clubs
  • Breakfast
  • Gift cards
  • Writing desk
  • Handmade kitchen table
  • Jackets
  • Trips

a-snapshot-of-our-first-year-of-marriage-wedding

Traditions we created:

  • Sponsoring a Christmas tree angel
  • Picking out a real Christmas tree
  • Friday night couple dinners
  • Movie night

a-snapshot-of-our-first-year-of-marriage-husband-and-wife

Meals we ate… a lot:

  • Taco soup
  • Chili
  • Spaghetti
  • Chicken and broccoli

a-snapshot-of-our-first-year-of-marriage-couple

Meals we failed at:

  • Bryan’s teriyaki chicken and fried rice (he should leave the Asian stuff to me, right?) 🙂
  • Anna’s barbecue chicken baked potatoes

a-snapshot-of-our-first-year-of-marriage-engagement-photos

Things we learned:

  • How to help each other through the grief of losing a loved one
  • How to compromise (well… still sorta working on this one, haha)
  • Couple poses for professional photos
  • How each of us cleans differently and how to meet in the middle on it
  • The pros & cons of non-stick pans
  • How fighting feels different when you’re married
  • A million other little things

a-snapshot-of-our-first-year-of-marriage-shoot

There’s no good way to sum it up… but if I tried in one sentence, I’d say the first year of marriage is… an emotional overload, the best feeling, lots of adjustment, tons of compromise, sometimes hard, sometimes fun, sometimes very adult-ish, so exciting… but overall, homey and happy.

Thanks for coming along for this first-year-of-marriage ride, I’m excited to see what unfolds in year 2.

I’d love to hear from other newlyweds (although I know I’m technically not still a newlywed lol). What was your first year of marriage like?

C’est la ive,

Anna

Photo credit to the wonderful Georgie at Sundaze Photography

 

Advertisements

Planning a Honeymoon or Vacation? Travel Review of Montego Bay, Jamaica

Planning-a-honeymoon-or-vacation-travel-review-of-montego-bay-jamaica

Back in April of last year when I got married, I wasn’t really blogging much. I’m so sad about this because blogging about wedding planning and the like would have been so much fun, but nonetheless, I didn’t get to tell you guys all about our travels to Montego Bay, Jamaica and all of the fun we had honeymooning. Our anniversary is coming up in just a few months and as we are planning our anniversary trip, I find myself reminiscing on that beautiful week in Montego Bay full of sunny days, sites to see, the yummiest local rum and love overload.

A ton of my friends are getting married this year, while others are just looking for their next vacation destination… so I thought it’d be the perfect time to tell you guys about all of the fun there is to be had in Jamaica.

Traveling To & From

planning-a-honeymoon-or-vacation-travel-review-of-montego-bay-jamaica-flight

As much as I enjoy flying, and riding the bus to your resort can be a good chance to sight see, you don’t want to spend all of your time traveling, when you can be enjoying. A few of my friends went on honeymoons where the flight was a little long, and then they had to ride a bus for an hour or so before they made it to their resort. :/ Flying into Montego Bay was a breeze. The flight itself was about 2 1/2 hours and we landed so close to the resort that you could see the people on the beach as we were making our descent. We then hopped on our transfer bus and were at our resort within 10 – 15 minutes. Not to mention, the drive was through town, rather than back roads, so we got to see some of the local culture on our way in.

planning-a-honeymoon-or-vacation-travel-review-of-montego-bay-jamaica-flight-beach

 

Where to Stay

planning-a-honeymoon-or-vacation-travel-review-of-montego-bay-jamaica-secrets-wild-orchid

Once you go all-inclusive, you can’t go back (or you wish you didn’t have to). There’s nothing better than arriving at your resort and not having to pay another penny the entire time you’re there. There are tons of beautiful, all-inclusive resorts (I highly suggest adult-only resorts) in Montego Bay such as multiple Sandals locations, the Iberostar, etc., but we stayed at Secrets Wild Orchid and absolutely adored it.

planning-a-honeymoon-or-vacation-travel-review-of-montego-bay-jamaica-things-to-do

The cuisine was amazing… like so amazing that I gained 8 pounds during our trip. The breakfast buffet is to die for. There are 8 delicious restaurants for dinner ranging from Jamaican to Japanese to French and you can eat ice cream pretty much 24/7. Although we chose to also add in some excursions, the resort had tons of water sports for us to do and we had the best time snorkeling and kayaking.

planning-a-honeymoon-or-vacation-travel-review-of-montego-bay-jamaica-snorkeling

The nightlife and entertainment were some of my favorite parts. I never knew I could be so in love with Bob Marley, but once you listen to his songs for a week, you go back to the good ole USA feeling pretty mellowed out and happy. We saw tons of local bands, acrobats, musicians, etc. Not to mention, the club is also lots of fun. I’ve never seen so many pretty shots and bartending performances in my life. We only made it to the club one night though because well.. all-inclusive means all-inclusive and your girl can’t hang.

planning-a-honeymoon-or-vacation-travel-review-of-montego-bay-jamaica-nightlife-bands

Our room was beautiful and so was the view. I think I could have stayed there for like three more weeks at least.

*One note – (& I think it’s this way in lots of honeymoon suites) The bathroom is completely open to the bedroom, so you’re like hello… happy 1st day of marriage, now I have to go #2… like right here, with you in the room, sorry.

planning-a-honeymoon-or-vacation-travel-review-of-montego-bay-jamaica-secrets-resort

 

Things to Do

My husband and I left the resort two days out of our trip. The resort had lots to do, but we’re just not lie-around-all-day-at-the-resort kind of people, at some point we get stir crazy, plus we like to see the sites. Our first day out on the town, we went shopping, which I have to say, I don’t suggest. I, myself, love shopping and I loved getting to see the city and the locals, BUT it was so overwhelming. Getting pulled into dark back rooms by myself and having jewelry put all over me that of course I couldn’t say “no” to just isn’t my favorite thing to do. However, we did get some neat items to bring home like rum cake, rum, a painting by a local artist, some little Jamaican carvings and lots of t-shirts (my favorite).

planning-a-honeymoon-or-vacation-travel-review-of-montego-bay-jamaica-shopping

The second excursion we went on is a must-do if you go anywhere near Montego Bay. I had just finished watching a season of The Bachelor not long before we planned our trip and was so jealous of their rafting date in Jamaica that Bryan and I had to go on a rafting trip of our own.

planning-a-honeymoon-or-vacation-travel-review-of-montego-bay-jamaica-the-bachelor.jpg

Ben & Caila river rafting on ABC’s The Bachelor

We rafted down the Martha Brae and I ate up every second. You have a guide who paddles you down the river and tells you all about the history of the area. It’s so beautiful and we got to stop by a river side shack to grab me a coconut full of rum. Even the ride to and from the location was fun because we got to see the homes in the hillsides and pet goats grazing in the yards.

planning-a-honeymoon-or-vacation-travel-review-of-montego-bay-jamaica-rafting-the-martha-brae

I have a long list of places I want to visit, so we won’t be making it back to Jamaica this year, but I highly suggest it! Bryan and I had the best time, ate the best food and honestly, didn’t want to leave.

Have any questions about Montego Bay? Ask me – I’d love to help you plan your trip!

 

Safe travels mon!

C’est la vie,

Anna

 

What Happened When My Husband Went on a Bachelor Trip

what-happened-when-my-husband-went-on-a-bachelor-trip.png

The term “bachelor trip” brings up a lot of things for a lot of people. For some people it brings up thoughts of late nights at the bar, strippers and lap dances. For others, it’s something simple like a round of golf. Either way, there are a lot of mixed emotions about bachelor and bachelorette trips.

For my own wedding, my husband and I were really leery about the whole thing. Not that we were worried that each other would do something to mess up our relationship, but more so the stigma around the whole thing just gave us both anxiety. I mean there we were… feeling so in love and getting ready to commit our lives to each other, but first, we had to have our “last fling before the ring” and go out to celebrate our last days as “single” people (despite the fact we hadn’t been single for 10+ years). Nonetheless, we went on our trips, had a good time with our friends and our wedding went off without a hitch.

what-happened-when-my-husband-went-on-a-bachleor-trip-my-bachelorette-trip.jpg

Fast forward to this weekend. My husband was invited on a bachelor trip for one of his very good friends who is getting married in a couple of weeks. He was going with a group of guys who in past years has had their fair share of fun (he has too at times). So had this come up a few years ago, I would have been stressed out of my mind. Every one has different feelings on this subject as well… but strippers and strip clubs are a no-go for me. It’s not something I tolerate or accept from my husband and unless he’d like to see me up on a pole naked for a bunch of guys, he doesn’t need to see some other girl doing it. *Side note: this is my own personal opinion, for some couples this is no big deal, but for us, it is.

We aren’t foolish high school or college kids anymore though, sowing our wild oats and desperate to seem cool to our friends. I was so not worried about my husband going on this trip that I actually forgot it was coming up until the day or so before he was leaving. The best part of this whole situation though, is what happened when my husband went on this trip.

The night before he left he came to me to let me know he had learned that the cabin they were staying in would have no cell service, but would have a land line. I appreciated that and felt fine about it, but instead he pulled out his phone and suggested we both download a video chat app to use on wifi (the loser no longer has an iphone lol, so facetime wasn’t an option). I kind of gave him a funny look and said, I don’t have to be able to video chat you, we can just talk on the land line when you’re there and I’ll be fine, but he downloaded it anyway… that way I could reach him whether he was at the cabin or the restaurant or casino and so I wouldn’t have to worry or not be able to get a hold of him. Swoon.

what-happened-when-my-husband-went-on-a-bachelor-trip-swoon

Then… without me prompting him, he took an extra step to let me know that he was about 99% sure that there would be no strippers involved, but just in case, if there were, he’d have no problem leaving. Y’all.. I always assumed he would have my best interest at heart, but I also know how hard it would be to tell your friends you’re not going to do what they all are and walk away, so I couldn’t help but feel so treasured and loved in this moment.

So, he went… and I missed him, but it was such a good thing. He got to be up in the wilderness and spend time at the casino, both things that he loves, all while getting to spend some much needed time with the guys. As for me, I had some much needed sleepovers with my best friend and my sisters, ate lots of yummy food, got to spend time with my niece and just do fun girl things. Not to mention, I didn’t have to worry once.

What-happened-when-my-husband-went-on-a-bachelor-trip Amber Phinisee Photography

We were both so busy that it went by in a flash and we were really happy with each other when he returned home. So basically… what happened when my husband went on a bachelor trip is that he took the time to remind me just how much he loves me, even though he didn’t have to. The trust that we have in each other was reinforced and I felt just how much he values you me as his best friend and wife.

He’s going to be so embarrassed about this blog post, but I was so taken back by this whole situation and this display of love that I had to write about it. Guys… take note. Be understanding, be loving, be trustworthy and sometimes put your wife before yourself. It pays off… trust me. 😉

C’est la vie,

Anna

 

Save

10 Things You Should Do Before Becoming Mr. & Mrs.

10-things-you-should-do-before-becoming-mr-and-mrs.png

A lot of times when we think about getting married, our sole focus is the wedding. That’s not to say that’s all we care about, but I’m guilty myself of spending the months leading up to my big day focusing on every little detail of my wedding rather than every little detail of my marriage. Now looking back, there’s a lot of things I did that I’m glad about and there’s other things, I wish I would have taken the time to do before tying the knot. There’s no 100% right way to do a relationship or wedding or marriage, but there are some things you can do in preparation to make being newlyweds a lot easier.

1. Pre-marital counseling

10-things-you-should-do-before-becoming-mr-and-mrs-pre-marital-counseling

This is something that Bryan and I dreaded and thought was totally unnecessary. I mean… we were choosing to get married, not fighting, so why did we need to go to counseling? Luckily, my pastor required it in order for us to get married, because it ended up being such a good thing for us. It helped with conflict resolution, it distracted us from the stress of wedding planning and brought to light things we hadn’t thought about. For example, my dad worked shift work when I was a child and every time he would leave for work, he would come by to each of us (my mom, me and my 3 sisters) and kiss us on the head and tell us he loved us. I had always assumed when my husband left for work or got home from work, first thing he’d do is come tell me he loved me and kiss me. This came up in counseling and it was so funny how foreign that was to Bryan. He has grown up being a lot less affectionate than me and my family, so it was good for him to know what I expected and now…every day I get lots of hugs and kisses before and after work.

2. Make a budget

10-things-you-should-do-before-becoming-mr-and-mrs-save-money

This one is not fun.. and I think in a lot of my posts, especially What I’ve Learned in My 1st 2 Months of Marriage, I talk about just how not fun and not sexy finances can be. But, creating a budget beforehand allows you guys to reasonably be able to expect what sort of expenses you will have each month, what disposable income, what you can save, etc. Nothing will be a surprise because you’ve already planned for it and it will help you to prepare yourself for when your finances merge.

3. Discuss debt

10-things-you-should-do-before-becoming-mr-and-mrs-discuss-debt.jpg

This will likely be covered in your “make a budget” conversation, but debt can definitely be a Debbie downer on a new marriage. I was so stressed to tell my husband what debt I had that I was adding to his plate, but talking about it before the wedding made a huge difference. If you think about the average American couple, it’s likely that they both have student loans.. if not additional credit cards or medical expenses. Talking this through allows you guys to figure out how you’re going to go about paying it off and how aggressive you can be in doing that. Eventually, the hope is to become debt free, right? But that takes some conscious planning and effort to get there.

4. Fart & talk about your period in front of your man at least one time

10-things-you-should-do-before-becoming-mr-and-mrs-farts-and-period.jpg

This sounds funny, but I’m serious. My husband and I dated for over 10 years before getting married and I could count the number of times I had farted in front of him on one hand. I am a girl with stomach issues, so this was no easy task and moving in together was going to be even more difficult. You don’t want to be uncomfortable living with someone, so get it over with, see how they react and live a normal, healthy, tooting lifestyle. haha! Also, yes, bring up your period and in a normal manner. It’s not gross, it’s not bad and he needs to be cool with it if he wants to have any pretty babies.

5. Set expectations for what life after the wedding looks like

10-things-you-should-do-before-becoming-mr-and-mrs-life-after-marriage.jpg

This is especially important if you and your spouse have not lived together prior before getting married. My husband and I didn’t and it has been really fun growing together, building our home together and learning even more about each other than we knew before, but that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare a little better. Talk about what your daily routines look like, how you do the dishes (this has been an issue for me and Bryan, lol), what cleaning happens when, how to divide up the cooking for the week, etc. It’s also good to talk about how weekends will be spent, what hobbies are important to be done on your own and how it will work having friends over to your shared home. It will help you to avoid any let downs, some arguments and give you a clearer picture of the marriage, rather than just the wedding.

6. Go grocery shopping together

10-things-you-should-do-before-becoming-mr-and-mrs-grocery-shopping-together.jpeg

As much as I thought I knew everything about my husband, moving in with him made me realize I didn’t really know what he liked to eat from the grocery store. I went the first time just to find out that he hates all of my organic/natural meats, he hates skim milk, he hates granola bars, he doesn’t drink coffee k-cups, etc. The list goes on and on. We’re still working on this because any time he goes to the store I don’t want anything he buys and vice versa, but if you work on this ahead of time, you can have a better idea of how to build a grocery list that covers both of your needs and makes sure each of you has food you enjoy in your home.

7. Start saving money

10-things-you-should-do-before-becoming-mr-and-mrs-saving-money

This one is hard… especially if you’re paying for a lot of things yourself for the wedding, but saving money ahead of time will make living life and saving money once you’re married a lot easier. It’s important to have an emergency fund tucked away for when the car breaks down or the air conditioning goes out or you have a medical emergency. We follow Dave Ramsey with this and try to keep about $1000 set away where it’s difficult to get to. But you also want to save for a down payment on a house in the future, for a car when you need it, just to have money saved in general. Don’t wait until you’re married, moved in together and have additional expenses. Save as much as you can as soon as you can.

8. Start focusing on making decisions based on “we” instead of “me”

10-things-you-should-do-before-becoming-mr-and-mrs-we-instead-of-me.jpg

This is a major shift that occurs when you get married. When you’re making plans for the weekend, you often have to think about if you and your husband already have plans. When you’re choosing whether to take a new job in another city, you have to also think about how this will affect your husband and your marriage. One of the most difficult is making plans for the holidays and figuring out when you’re going to spend time with whose family. It’s the same for him… he has to think about whether he wants to go to the football game or be there for your little sister’s cross country meet. Marriage is all about compromise and selflessness, so start trying to get in that mindset.

9. Work on positive conflict resolution skills

10-things-you-should-do-before-becoming-mr-and-mrs-positive-conflict-resolution-skills.jpg

You might think fighting and knockdown drag outs are cute in your “passionate” relationship with your boyfriend, but they’re not so cute in a marriage. Yelling and getting angry often don’t lead to any good results. Although it’s comical in shows and movies, having your husband sleep on the couch really is not a good solution. Start talking through how you want to resolve conflict… how you’ll talk it through instead of yelling it out. How you’ll avoid saying terrible things you can’t take back that will forever exist inside your marriage… how it’s okay to sometimes need a break for a couple of hours to cool down before you discuss it again. Being newlyweds is really fun and there isn’t a ton of fighting, don’t get me wrong, but there will be some as you navigate this transitional period in your life and how you handle it can really set the tone for your relationship.

10. Don’t compare your soon-to-be marriage to anyone else’s

10-things-you-should-do-before-becoming-mr-and-mrs-dont-compre-with-other-couples.jpeg

My husband actually told me to add this one to the list. What works for one couple doesn’t work for another. Our parents both have totally different marriages and ours is even different than theirs. Some things are more important to other couples than to you and everyone has different guidelines and expectations. If you’re trying to constantly keep up with other marriages or always overanalyzing yours, it’s not going to succeed. Same for your wedding on some level. You may not have $200,000 to spend on a wedding or you may have to pay for it all yourself and as long as it’s a special day between you and your husband, surrounded by your family and friends and you get some pictures (always have to get some pictures) 🙂 it’s going to be great and so will your marriage.

Becoming Mr. & Mrs. is more than just planning a beautiful wedding and saying “I do”. Here’s to all of my future bridey friends out there… I wish you the best of luck and I hope that this list helps you feel a little more prepared for your life as husband and wife! 🙂

C’est la vie,

Anna

20 Ways My Soulmate and I are Complete Opposites and Why That’s Okay

opposite soulmate (1).png

When looking for love, you always hear that you should find someone you are compatible with and someone you share interests with. We stress the importance of being alike… liking the same things, enjoying the same things, etc. Many times I’ve heard friends who really like a guy decide it’s just not going to work because they’re so different from each other. While yes, you want to make sure you can get along and cohabitate with your significant other, sometimes being different can be really beautiful. I can honestly say my husband is my soulmate and we couldn’t be more different. Literally, here’s 20 ways we are complete opposites.

1. He loves hunting, I cry when I run over a baby squirrel

2. He’s a staunch Republican, I refuse to identify with a political party

3. He loves trying new foods, I prefer the tried and true approach

4. He grew up with all brothers, I grew up with all sisters

5. He goes to bed early, I love staying up late

6. He loves documentaries, I like fictional series

7. He’s quiet and reserved, I’m talkative and outgoing

8. He holds in emotion, I show my feelings all over my face

9. He grocery shops for cheap bargain food, I prefer quality brands and organic

10. He’s always hot, I’m always cold

11. He loves small towns, I love big cities

12. He loves country music, I’m a mainstream, top 40 kind of girl

13. He loves whole milk, I only drink skim

14. He has a black lab, I have a less than 5 pound Chihuahua

15. He likes comfortable and casual, I love dress up affairs

16. He has a ton of common sense, I’m more book smart

17. He tends to live life as it comes, I worry, overanalyze and plan to the max

18. He loves to cook, I love ordering in

19. He cleans quickly, I clean thoroughly

20. He shows love through service, I show love through touch and words of affirmation

11048615_10153668278830821_4211320487602979477_o

Phew… what a list! We are incredibly different, but it works. You know why? Being different pushes us to be better. Having different political beliefs forces us to do more research and to better understand our stance so we can argue it out. His love to cook keeps me from eating out too much. My book smarts work well for finances and leases and marriage paperwork, while his common sense and handy skills are helpful with road trips and home maintenance. We complement each other really well and it makes our relationship so much more fun. I’m not saying everyone should date their opposite… it’s not for everyone, but don’t rule a potential future lover out just because they’re different than you. That could be the one thing that makes them truly perfect for you.

They say opposites attract, sometimes… they also fall in love.

C’est la vie,

Anna

 

5 Things Your Husband Hates to Hear

25 things in 25 years (1).png

I love my husband, but I know there are a few things I say that he absolutely dreads hearing. I can almost guarantee that I’ll hear moaning and groaning or even a little fit pitching in these situations. Here are the five things your husband hates to hear.

  1. I don’t know where I want to eat. 

husbandhateblog4

Good Lord! Who knew a phrase could be so offensive? I truly think the restaurant choosing process causes the majority of the fights in our relationship. I’m not indecisive about everything in life, but one thing I have a hard time deciding is where to eat. It doesn’t matter if I’m by myself even… sometimes I just can’t decide what I’m craving. What’s worse is when he finally picks somewhere and I’m like… well, no, I don’t know what I want, but I don’t want that. Nothing makes him mad more quickly.

 

2. I just need to run a couple of errands.

husbandhateblog5

When my husband is in the car with me and hears me utter this phrase, he immediately acts like the walls are closing in. He looks like a child who’s about to pitch a fit because they don’t want to go to school. Immediately, I hear how a of couple of errands aren’t just a couple of errands and how we’re going to be shopping forever. I’ve learned quickly, it’s better just to take him home and go out on my own because otherwise, he makes me feel rushed the entire time. What can I say though? Any time he says we need to stop in Lowe’s really quickly, my heart sinks too!

 

3. You’re tired already?

husbandhateblog3

I know I mentioned this before in my post about what I’ve learned in my first 2 months of marriage, but my husband and I are on completely different sleep schedules and after talking to a bunch of other couples, I’ve realized a lot of people have this issue. I have always been a night owl and he’s always been an early bird and despite how much we try to compromise on this, there are plenty of nights that he is dog tired and I’m ready to go. When I’m ready to go out and hang out with people or when we’ve just started a movie and I hear him utter the dreadful phrase “I’m tired”, he prepares to hear me say the dreaded “you’re tired already?” which sometimes gets us in a little funk before bed, but we’re working on it.. that’s all we can do, right?

 

4. I think I’m pms-ing. 

husbandhateblog2

In this moment, I don’t think he knows what to do. Not that pms-ing is an excuse for anything, but he does know to expect a little more mood swinging, crying more easily and me eating us out of house and home when this time strikes. I’m lucky that I have a husband who will run to the store to get ice cream and laugh with me when I can’t figure out why I’m crying so hard over a movie, but I can tell he feels a little nervous as soon as I say this phrase… he never knows what’s coming next.

 

5. Let’s take a selfie.

husbandhateblog1

I’m giggling to myself just thinking about my husband’s reaction whenever I pull out my phone and ask him to take our picture. There is nothing he hates more than to be seen by other people taking a selfie. First, he moans and groans. Then, he agrees to do it, but takes it really quickly with some funny looking, half smile where we’re not centered and it’s overall just an ugly picture. So, of course, I ask him to retake it, which further frustrates him.

So there you have it, the five things your husband hates to hear. Got some goodies I forgot? Share them with me, I’ll have to test them out. 😉

C’est la vie,

Anna

 

What I’ve Learned in My First 2 Months of Marriage

2 months of marriage.png

I feel like I just got married yesterday…like forreal, but I look at the calendar and realize that I have already been married for two months and in thinking about it, I realize that a lot of things have happened in these last 60+ days. They say the first year of marriage is the hardest, so I know there is still a lot of unknowns, but here is what I have learned so far.

husband blog

  • I got REALLY lucky.

I mean I knew I loved my husband before I married him, but I had no idea how lucky I was going to be to have him as a husband. We had never lived together, so I was nervous about how that would pan out. I mean we had spent the night together plenty of times… but what I had gathered from those times was a) he was really messy (his bathroom and bedroom were a little scary), b) he went to bed really early and c) he likes to sleep with the air turned WAY down… like Antarctica kind of cold. I had no idea though that when we moved in together, things would be a lot different. He cooks… and really well! There’s no way to know if he cooks so often because he loves to… or just because he doesn’t want to eat what I cook, but either way, he cooks! When I come home from work and dinner is ready it is the best feeling and the days that I do cook, he eats whatever it is with a smile.

I’m not saying he’s perfect, but he is pretty dang amazing. For example, he doesn’t flinch when I say I need to use our $1500 emergency fund we haven’t quite gotten together because my dog is sick. He has taken over saying the blessing before dinner even though I know he feels awkward every time and he has carried me through some hard times. He knows just when to sit quietly and hold me when I cry over bad news and how to console me when I wake up after nightmare. Did I mention he cleans? Yes ladies, it’s true! We equally divide the chores and knowing I have someone to help out with everything makes doing chores way less daunting.

husband blog 2

  • Compromise is key.

It sounds cliché, but it’s true. Moving in together you learn that you both have a different way of doing things and like things done differently, and if you don’t find a happy medium, it can lead to some major fights. For example, my husband doesn’t feel the need to rinse the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher and puts the utensils in facing upward (aka if you grab a knife it could cut you). At first, this drove me crazy and I would nag him about it (among other things we do differently), but have recently realized this is counterproductive. I should have been letting him know how much I appreciate him doing the dishes and cleaning our home clean rather than knit-picking him. There have been a few things I haven’t been so good about compromising on (i.e. him leaving the toilet seat up), but all in all, we’re both trying to give a little. This is also true with things you just don’t think about, like the fact that I like my home to be warm and cozy, while he is hot-natured and likes the house cool or that I like to go to bed around midnight and he’d prefer to go to bed at 8 pm. We try to meet in the middle and it seems to work a lot better than being stubborn and unwilling to give a little.

husband blog 3

  • Coming home to your husband is the best ever.

It really is. Honestly, it’s kind of similar to coming home to your family after school. Someone is so happy to see you, give you a kiss and ask how your day was. You get into a routine of finishing up cooking dinner, eating together and either watching the new season of Bloodline or reading while he works out in the garage. It is so comforting to know when you get home all of the stress from work is gone and you can just cuddle with the hubby.

husband blog 4

  • Finances are the least sexy thing on planet Earth.

Really though… one of the last things you want to think about during your engagement is how finances will work out with your new spouse. Budgets, spreadsheets, savings accounts, student loan bills, etc. = not sexy. There’s nothing that can get you both in a worse mood than trying to figure out whose paycheck will cover which bill and realizing that the new cutest clothes and playing golf every weekend just don’t have a place in the budget. This is something we’re working at and will have to continue to work at for probably forever because it seems there’s no 100% right way to do it. Every married couple I’ve talked to has a different method, so we’re doing what we can to listen to some of the things Dave Ramsey has to say while not totally ruining our lives. At the end of the day though, we consider ourselves lucky that we’re able to pay our bills and live comfortably enough. Hopefully, these Dave Ramsey tips will eventually get us to the point where we can have a lot of fun, but for now we chalk this up to being “fun” first few years of marriage memories and a good reason to have “fun” together after we get too tired to keep looking at our list of bills. 😉

husband blog 5

  • Sometimes calling a truce is the only thing to do.

I have always been someone who wants to talk it out and resolve it, but I’ve also been someone who thinks they’re right more times than I really am. I have fought my husband to exhaustion in past years, but I’m quickly learning that doesn’t work so well when you live together. It’s not like you can get in a screaming match, get in your car and go home to cool off… you are home and he’s there! I’m not someone who believes in someone sleeping on the couch. Not to say we both haven’t threatened it before, but we eventually end up crawling back into the bed to spoon and silently say “sorry”. My husband and I disagree on a lot, so sometimes we just have to realize we’re not going to agree and call a truce. This is something we were taught in our pre-marital counseling and it was a really great lesson for both of us.

husband blog 6

  • Having other couple friends is so fun.

It’s weird, you wouldn’t think your friends being single or in a relationship would make a difference, but it does. Of course we both have single friends who we LOVE and love to be around, but sometimes couples are just easier. A lot of times I want to spend time with my husband, but not be lazy at home watching movies all night (although I do love to do this sometimes), so it’s really nice to be able to call up one of our couple friends to go get dinner or to grab drinks. I’ve come to realize almost every Friday night, we’re both like, “what do you want to do tonight” and then like “well let me see what [insert all of our couple friends’ names] are up to.”

husband blog 7

  • We are polar opposites.

Okay, I guess I kind of already knew this before we got married. It’s something that always made me nervous about us, but truly I think it’s why I love him so much. However, sometimes it’s not always easy. Even basic things like our groceries can be a struggle… I like skim milk, he likes whole. I like organic chips and produce, natural meat and name brand cereal. He’s happy with off-brand chips, cheap lunch meat and anything and everything not low fat or low sodium. Our political beliefs are also starkly different and although it leads to arguments sometimes, it actually makes me do more research and consider issues more strongly than I would have before. As much as our differences mean potential for fights galore, they also make life interesting. Plus, when it comes to the things that really matter (our religious beliefs, our moral values, our loyalty and respect for one another, etc.) we are completely in-tune.

husband blog 8

  • Pooping is funny.

Who knew pooping would be such a funny and awkward thing? We both knew we did it and we’ve talked about it before, but the second we walked into our honeymoon suite and saw that the bathroom was completely open to the bedroom, I went into panic mode. We are slowly becoming more and more comfortable, but how comfortable is too comfortable… I mean you still want things to be sexy, right? We do funny things like he always seems to go to the guest bathroom and leave the exhaust fan on a long time, while I turn on the shower and the fan and hide away in our master bathroom. We did have a weird moment the other day though where I was talking to him on the toilet and we both realized I was going #2… things got a little weird, haha!

husband blog 9

  • Changing your name is hard/awkward.

Call me lazy, but I still haven’t legally changed my name… I mean Facebook official is pretty legit in itself, right? As much as I love my husband, I myself, was pretty reluctant about changing my name anyway, but it’s a lot of work. You have to contact all of these different organizations and pay different fees, plus you already have a ton to do with joining your bank accounts, getting on the same cell phone plan, car insurance, and on and on and on. The hardest part though is saying it! I have been trying to keep both last names, but do you know what a mouthful it is to introduce myself as “Anna Mullikin Freeman” every time? I think people seriously thing I’m trying to say a funny tongue twister or something. Then if I say, “Hi, I’m Anna Mullikin” I feel guilty like I’m not proud of my new marriage and if I say “Hi, I’m Anna Freeman” I’m like what? That sounds weird. The worst is when I’m meeting a new client and can’t decide which way to go and sound either like I have a stutter or don’t know my name. It’s so awkward. I’m sure this is another thing that gets better with time, but two months in, it still is so weird.

husband blog 10

  • As soon as you think you’ve escaped all of the “so, when are you getting married?” questions, the “so, when are you having kids?” comments swoop in like guerilla warfare.

If any of you remember, I hated being asked when I was getting engaged/married. I was so glad when the time came that I got engaged and people would just ask about the wedding that was already set in stone and that I was excited to talk about, but low and behold, the day the knot was tied the baby questions flared up like a bad case of gonorrhea (not that I would know). I know people are just excited about our lives and living in the South especially, people think you should get married and have babies, but man, that life is not for me… not just yet, at least. Unless an oopsy happens, I plan to wait at least five years before procreating. There are so many things that Bryan and I want to do and that’s just not how we want to start out our marriage. Despite people’s good intentions, I don’t think they realize how much pressure it puts on you and truthfully, how annoying it is. So PSA: We don’t plan to have kids for a while. K? Thanks!

husband blog 11

  • We still have a lot to learn. 

This is probably the biggest thing I have learned so far. After pre-marital counseling, we were like “yeah, we’ve got this marriage thing”, but HA! that’s funny. We’ve learned so much in the first two months, I can only imagine what we’ll learn year after year. I’ll probably look back at this post five years from now and laugh at what I thought I knew. We can’t anticipate what will lie ahead, but we can trust that we chose to make our vows for a reason and we love each other more than anything and because of that, we’ll make it out okay.

Any marriage veterans out there that have advice for us? I welcome any and all help navigating this new relationship! 🙂

C’est la vie,

Anna

5 Tips for Having a Stress-Free Wedding

stress free

That sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? Stress-free wedding? Okay, so it’s probably not possible to completely avoid all stress during the wedding planning process, but from one bride to another, take my advice, it can be so much better than you think.

My wedding planning process personally was hard. There were long, grueling nights, almost panic attack levels of stress and drama (which is the worst). People tried to warn me, but having been a past event planner I figured I had this one in the bag.

I’m only about two months removed from the whole hysteria that wedding planning can induce, but I am seeing things a whole lot clearer now. That being said, here are a few tips to help you out along the way.

1.Don’t allow too many cooks in the kitchen.

Everyone wants to help out with your wedding. Similarly, everyone has an opinion. It can be hard and feelings might get hurt, but you don’t need to invite everyone to everything. There’s no need for your mom, your sisters, your aunt, all of your bridesmaids, your grandma, your mother-in-law, etc. to come when you try on dresses. Chances are picking out your dress won’t be this fairy tale “I tried on the first one and cried because I knew it was the one” experience. Not to say some brides don’t have this luck (there are ones out there) and I kind of hate you for it. If you’re like me, you’ll have to go from shop to shop trying on dress after dress wondering how the heck you’re going to be able to pick one dress that will be your only wedding dress. You’ll feel overwhelmed and if you have a ton of people there, all of their opinions will impact you, possibly pushing you to choose the wrong dress or making you feel bad about a dress you truly love. This also goes for florist meetings, make-up trials, venue visits, etc. I suggest picking three people or less that fit each outing. If you know your maid of honor is a fashion guru, your sister is your go-to girl and your mom keeps you level headed, they should probably accompany you to your dress shopping trials. You can always invite everyone else once you’ve picked out your dress and are trying it on for the first time.

bridesmaids

2. Pick a good group of bridesmaids.

Here, I got really lucky. I chose my three sisters, my best friend from college, my best friend from the real world, two of my favorite people from my past job and three of my good friends from my college sorority. They had me covered! From planning bridal showers to delivering work pick me ups filled with a cute new hat, gift card to my fave boutique and alcohol, to planning a kick-ass weekend in Nashville for my bachelorette party, they really made sure my engagement was one for the books. Although they may have gotten tired of hearing me talk about wedding stuff, they never acted like it. They were just as excited as I was to hear about decorations, honeymoon plans and how much weight I was losing. They were my support system and I can’t thank them enough.

3. Choose a venue that’s credible and more than just a venue.

The worst part of my wedding planning process was the venue. Where I live there are not a ton of options for weddings and everywhere that’s worth booking has been used by every other person I know. Therefore, I spent weeks upon weeks looking in a one hour radius of my hometown for the perfect wedding venue. I found a beautiful outdoor/indoor venue exactly an hour away on the way to Atlanta, which was perfect since I still had friends in Atlanta and Athens. I went to visit and instantly fell in love. I told myself it was a good deal because it came with tables, chairs and linens, plus overnight housing for the wedding party. Not to mention, I didn’t know anyone in the world who had had their wedding there. It wasn’t until after I booked my venue and put down my deposit that I started to see bad reviews. People complaining about lack of communication, the facility being in bad shape, etc. I spoke with the owners and they assured me that my wedding would be just fine. Over the next few months, I could never get in touch with them and to make a long story short, the venue was in complete disarray when we arrived. The groomsmen had to do landscaping the day of the wedding, they forgot we booked the rehearsal area so there was no power or lighting and after it all, they wrongly withheld our deposit. I swear I got ulcers just dealing with this place and had I picked a reputable venue that was tried and true, that came with a wedding coordinator, tables, linens, set up, preferred vendors, etc. my life would have been ten times easier.

wedding blog

4. Spend money on a good photographer.

This was something I knew was going to be a priority for me from day one. She was
actually the first vendor I picked. For me, if you don’t take pictures at an event, it never happened, so I was determined to have the most beautiful pictures I could imagine. A good photographer knows how to direct you, which pictures to get ensuring they don’t miss any important moments, how not to over-edit and over-filter and also how to make you look  your best. They know how to work within a timeline and keep everyone on track. I know too many brides who skimped here and will forever regret it. This is a once in a lifetime moment and you spend so much time, energy and money on it… you might as well have killer pictures to remember it by!

5. Set boundaries from day one.

This tip is SO important. I’ve never really been a pushover, but for some reason your wedding makes you feel like a bug constantly being squashed. All your life,  you’ve imagined what you want this day to look like and feel like, but no one else knows your vision. If you don’t (politely) set boundaries from the beginning with overly opinionated friends, your wedding planner, your mother-in-law, even your mom, they can often overstep without realizing. In an attempt not to be a bridezilla or hurt anyone’s feelings, you’ll often concede and end up being unhappy about the end result. If you’re like me, you’ll allow it to bottle up and right before the wedding it will all come out in a big mess. Not only does it put a damper on your day and the way you remember your wedding and engagement, but also, it taints that relationship and forces the person you blow up on to remember the wedding in a bad light as well. Plus, after the wedding it definitely leaves for some awkwardness.

There are a million other tips I could give you from choosing a good band, to finding a way to relax on your big day and pushing yourself to do a boudoir shoot, but these are definitely my top 5. After all is said and done, I look back on my engagement and have such great memories. I spent so much time with my mom and my sisters that I hadn’t while away at school. I reconnected with my best friends, some of which I hadn’t seen in a while and for one whole day, I felt like the most special person in the world; getting to celebrate with the man I find to be the most special person in the world.

Enjoy it. It goes by way quicker than you think. But hey, you’ll only have every night slumber parties, movie dates, cooking together and marital bliss to look forward to after, right? 🙂

C’est la vie,

Anna

In case you need wedding inspiration, I’ll dish to you the vendors I used. 

Venue: Bridge View Barn (not that I would recommend it)

Photography: Amber Phinisee

Hair: Kristen Troxel & the team at Studio 285

Makeup: Intensify by Patience

Cake: Lil’ Dutch Bakery

Florals: Christy Cozart

Dresses: Elegant Bridals

Tuxes: Simon’s Formal Wear Augusta

Videography: Cinema Weddings Our Wedding Video! 🙂

Vintage Furniture: Southern Vintage

Band: MOODY

Lighting & Event Rentals: Goodwin Events

 

10 Thoughts You Have When Watching OITNB With Your Boyfriend

OITNB

With Orange is the New Black season 3 being released on Netflix this week, it seems the perfect time to reflect on 10 thoughts we’ve all had while watching one of our fave shows with our significant others. You have to admit, OITNB is the perfect combination of drama, laughs and…. uncomfortable moments. I mean any time a movie or show has an incessant amount of nudity and sexual encounters it feels a little awkward, but this is a different story. Here’s ten thoughts I’ve had while watching OITNB with the boo.

1. I wonder what he thinks about these girls not knowing they have a pee hole. Did he know girls have a pee hole? oitnb 2

2. Sophia, the transgender is super hot. I wonder if he thinks she’s super hot. I wonder if he can tell she was a man.

3. Oooh that girl just busted up that other girl, does he look like he’s cringing as much as I am?

4. There are a ton of naked girls, but who cares if he sees them all, they’re not hot. Oh wait, she has amazing boobs… look away!

5. Ew, did that girl really put a dirty tampon on her cafeteria tray? He looks like he’s going to hurl. oitnb 3

6. Every time they say Poussey I laugh. I hope he’s as immature about this as me.

7. He looks super uncomfortable when this girl is talking about “taking her shits”, does he realize all girls have poop issues?

8. Bahaha Larry and his dad are in a gay, naked bathhouse. Now he gets to feel as awkward as I do throughout the whole show. oitnb 4

9. Oh, yep, that girl is pleasuring herself. What awkward conversation can we make to pass the moment?

10. Wow, lots of girl on girl action. Wait, there’s more. Oh and they’re hooking up and so are they and so are they. Seriously, how long can we awkwardly look around the room without missing the show?

Maybe the rest of you aren’t as awkward as I am (I mean count how many times I said “awkward” in one post) and it won’t by any means keep me from binge watching the show with my boyfriend, but I don’t think I’ve ever blushed watching TV as much as I do while watching OITNB. Do y’all feel the same?

oitnb 5

C’est la vie,

Anna

The Dreaded Question…”So When Are You Getting Engaged?”

proposals

Now, let me start off by noting that I really don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. The people who ask me (which is almost everyone) have the best intentions. They want to make conversation, be invested in my life and are oh so sweet, but sometimes I just want to pull my hair out when I get asked “so, where’s the ring?”

Because I’ve been with my boyfriend since age 14, I live in the South and I’ve been working in my career for almost two years, it just seems to make sense to people. They don’t understand what the hold up is. I know I’m not the only girl who’s dealing with this… actually it may be just as bad for the guys, but please people, stop asking!

I really think in this day and age, people aren’t seeing marriage as the end all, be all. Of course, we want to find a soulmate and have them around for life, but there’s plenty of time. It’s not like when our parents were our age and got married in their early twenties, just to turn around and have children a year or so after. We all have big ambitions and dreams and at this point they take precedence. Some people still choose to marry early and for them I’m happy that they are achieving what fulfills them, but it’s not for me.

I love my boyfriend and am completely content with where I am. As I grow up, I’m finding that many people, years older than me, are in happy relationships, but don’t feel the need to get married yet. Why is there so much pressure? I hear that in other parts of the country, it’s not the same. Here in the South though, people think that if someone’s the right one for you, you marry them. I’ve actually had someone go as far before as saying, “I can tell he’s not the one for you”. It was in one of my first conversations with the person and I barely had said two sentences in regards to my relationship. It all hinged on the fact that I mentioned we weren’t quite ready for marriage. I couldn’t believe the audacity of that person to tell me that. It’s not that he’s not the one. If he were to ask me today to marry him, I could in full confidence say “yes”, but I’d also probably say I want a pretty lengthy engagement because I’m just not ready.

I still want to move to new cities, try a few jobs and save up money so I can have the wedding that I want. Not to mention, having tried these things, I will be content when the time comes and being a good wife and mother will become one of my top priorities. My best friend is getting married in May and I think it took her getting engaged and me seeing everything for real for it to hit me that I’m not ready. I used to think I was and she actually is. She graduated from college before me and both of them are in a more prepared, better place in life for it. But, when her and her fiance recently came to town, it really freaked me out. After they left, I felt crazy, but I just sat and cried with my boyfriend freaking out about how I’m not ready to grow up that much, how I am not mature enough to be a good wife and how there’s so many things I want to do. Being the soulmate that I love, he just held me and told me he knew I felt that way and that’s why he hasn’t asked yet.

I think as girls we need to empower ourselves. If being married and being a wife is your life goal, be the best wife and mom you can be, but if your goal is to make it big, climb up a company, reinvent yourself, whatever, do it. Don’t put a timeline on your relationship and expect it to be like anyone else’s. There’s nothing wrong with not planning your life around marriage and by waiting. There’s no reason to push yourself into it and have it result in a divorce years down the road because you just weren’t ready. We’re a different generation and I think we each need to decide how we want our lives to play out and do it our own way. Who agrees?

C’est la vie,

Anna