Chapter 1 - Dating
Chapter 2 - Engagement
Chapter 3 - Wedding
The wedding was behind us and we were off to begin our lives together. I admit that at first it took some getting used to. Not only were we actually alone together for the first time but we were 100% in charge of our own decisions. Even though Peter had lived outside his home for two years of college and I was working and had lived in our condo the last couple months before our wedding, the safety net of our families was now gone. We had to make it or break it on our own as two young newlyweds!
But first we were off to have a whole lot of fun at our favorite place for our honeymoon! We had an amazing view and some fun surprises waiting for us in our room! We had such a great time in Disneyland and between getting engaged there and honeymooning there, there's good reason the place is near and dear to our hearts! We were so happy and so in love, just as a honeymoon should be!
1st return photo at the engagement spot as two newly married 20 year old's!
After a fabulous honeymoon away, it was time to come home and really start back to life. We started with another easy week as we opened presents, organized the house, I took care of all the legalities of my name change and just had fun before I had to head back to work.
But then it was back to reality. I went back to work full time, Peter worked full time for the remainder of the summer at his internship before heading back to school for his junior year. He began balancing a 30 hour a week job and a full school schedule, while taking a couple classes at community college too so he could get enough credits for the CPA exam after graduating. We knew we would be busy and have to work hard to make things work out in that phase of life, and we were doing just that!
I think one of the most surprising aspects of new marriage for me was how quickly after becoming a wife that I wanted to add to our family. We knew a family was in our future and Peter knew it was a high priority for me. I wanted to be a stay at home mom, and we knew it would be several years away as our top priority in those first two years was getting Peter through college. I knew this in my head, but something about becoming our own little family instantly made me want to expand ours. It was probably a natural desire but one that I struggled to control. I knew we needed to wait but that didn't stop the longing and looking back 10 years, I know that created far more sadness for me and frustration for my husband than we needed to endure.
I also remember a silly struggle, in wanting to be the perfect wife. That was a role I would have to grow into, and I am still trying to become. There was a lot of trial and error in the early days with figuring out how to keep the home spic and span while often working long hours of overtime. Trying to cook perfect meals when I was just learning the basics still. I still have much to learn, so maybe I will reach that higher degree at 20 years of marriage. It all takes some time to figure out and I should have been more patient with myself.
Another silly adjustment I remember is how I preferred to sleep in until all hours on the weekend. During the week I had to get up at 4:30 in the morning and I saw nothing wrong with sleeping until noon on the weekends. I worked hard and went without sleep during the week, so the weekend was my chance to catch up. I work best with 10 plus hours of sleep on board. So I had images of sleeping in and cuddling until all hours of the morning together. Peter however, doesn't need all that many hours of sleep at night. He's good to go with 6 or 7 hours. He literally could not even comprehend how a person could need to sleep that long. I remember at first Peter tried to stay in bed until I woke up but after he'd been awake for hours while I was still sound asleep he gave up. The image in our minds wasn't quite reality. We had to adjust to the fact that we just had different needs. At this point it has worked well into my favor as he gets up with the kids on the weekends and I get to sleep in!
In the midst of all we had going on I think we had a very smooth transition to married life. Yes, we had some adjustments as I would imagine is very typical for most married couple. We were still in a new stage of getting to know each other but those early days were still really good days!
Before long, we were off on our first anniversary trip! Peter had completed his junior year and the end of school was actually in site! We decided to celebrate the occasion by driving down to Southern Oregon for a few days. Visiting the Redwood Forest, and Crater Lake, along with spending a few days in Gold Beach. It was a fun and relaxing time away as it usually is when we get away together!
For some reason, this beach holds special significance for me. I don't remember many specifics but I remember spending hours out on the secluded beach, talking through some of the hard things in our first year, discussing our future plans and starting our second year off fresh! Year 1 was a year of growth and adjustment to build on in our marriage. It was a good year!