Previous installments were 3 Months Into Marriage: Finding Our Rhythm as a Couple, 6 Months Into Marriage: Creating Overlap, 9 Months Into Marriage: Cultivating Laughter, 1 Year Into Marriage: Messy But Beautiful, 1.5 Years Into Marriage: Adventuring Forward, 2 Years Into Marriage: Normal and Natural, and 3 Years Into Marriage: “Us.”
A couple of weeks ago, on July 31st, Riley and I celebrated our four year wedding anniversary! We exchanged cards, he bought me flowers, and we went out to our favorite restaurant for dinner. It was such a special day, especially with our baby girl wiggling around in my swollen belly.
Our marriage has been through a lot from our last anniversary to this one. We’ve navigated truly difficult circumstances–from having a hard time getting pregnant to major shifts in both of our businesses to big changes within our church community to the painful reality of aging grandparents.
There has been a necessity to lean on each other in the past year unlike any other year together. Riley supported me as I found a therapist and got the help I needed sailing the rocky waters of negative pregnancy tests and feeling like my community was pulled out from under me. He completely held our family together during my first trimester (and beyond) of all-emcompassing nausea/”morning” sickness, working all day and then doing all of the cooking, cleaning, laundry, bill-paying, errands, and yard work at home.
And I did my best to support him too. He began to take on more and more responsibility at work over the past 12 months, which sometimes left him more exhausted and stressed than usual. I did what I could to make our home a safe haven for him to unwind. Furthermore, in many ways, Riley still acts as “the man of the house” in his nuclear family (his father unfortunately passed away of cancer nearly two decades ago), and I make the conscious effort to support him as he supports, helps, and shows up for his mom and sisters.
When I walked down the aisle, I had no idea how deeply connected and intimately intertwined my heart could be to another person’s. Of course we were head-over-heels in love on that late July day, but a holy intimacy and sacred connection has formed between us over the past four years–and especially in the last year–that I’m not exactly sure how to describe.
I am whole on my own and Riley is whole on his own–but we are so much better together. Life is so much better together. The significance of that statement is not lost on me. Thank you Jesus.
This year, 2019, has brought with it renewed joy, peace, and laughter. There’s a precious new life growing inside of me that puts every unfavorable situation and circumstance into perspective. It’s like February through September of this year are one giant Christmas Eve–full of anticipation and excitement for our daughter’s arrival in late October.
Both Riley and I agree that one of the greatest gifts our parents gave us was the unshakable knowledge that our moms and dads both loved and liked each other. It is our deep hope that our little girl will one day say the same about us. That through the love we know in Christ, we will continue to love one another well and invest in our marriage relationship, and in turn, give her the gift of two parents who thoroughly like and deeply love one another.
Here’s to us, my Riley–to another year of learning together, journeying together, loving together. I’d choose you again and again.
// If you’d like to see what our wedding day was like four years ago, here is our wedding film. Enjoy!
Related: 3 Months Into Marriage: Finding Our Rhythm as a Couple, 6 Months Into Marriage: Creating Overlap, 9 Months Into Marriage: Cultivating Laughter, 1 Year Into Marriage: Messy But Beautiful, 1.5 Years Into Marriage: Adventuring Forward, 2 Years Into Marriage: Normal and Natural, and 3 Years Into Marriage: “Us.” To view all of my wedding and marriage posts, click here.
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