6 Things We’ve Learned in the First 6 Months of Marriage

It is hard to believe that it has been 6 months since we got married, and yet, there are days I wonder how it has ONLY been 6 months.

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Photo by: April Teceno Photography

A lot has happened in these past 6 months. It has involved moving to a new state, setting up house, church hunting, acclimating a grumpy cat, sickness, trips, work, snow, movies, food, tears, laughter, school, many plane tickets, bills…you get the idea. To say it has been a full 6 months would be an understatement. Through it all, though, we’re 1) still happily married and 2) learned a lot about each other and what married life is really like. Here are 6 lessons compiled by G and I that we’ve learned these past months.

  1. Support each other’s hobbies--Read this also as take some alone time. We love spending time with each other and have a lot of the same interests, BUT we both really enjoy doing things alone. You can find G playing games on the computer some evenings while I knit or watch a baking show. Just because we are newlyweds, does not mean 24/7 together is goals. Garrett Note: Doing our own things while sitting on the couch together is way better than the bachelor days when it was just me. 
  2. If you want things done a certain way, do it yourself–A week into living together, we found out that there were things we did differently like loading the dishwasher and cooking. I’ll be honest, it caused a few spats. What we realized, (coined by Garrett) is that if it is that big of a deal to do it your way, then do it yourself. You’ll quickly find out what really matters. He washes dishes and I fold clothes now.
  3. Pillow control–I’m a girl. As a girl, I like decorative pillows on my couches and beds. Garrett is a dude. As a dude, he finds additional decorative pillows pointless and annoying. Garrett Note: Extra pillows look great on the couch until I want to sit there, then they just end up as decorative floor pillows. Lesson learned: control the urge to buy even more decorative pillows and guys, tolerate a few.
  4. Leave expectations at the altar–Expectations are pretty tricky and a lesson that we are still working on. It is natural to come into a marriage with expectations for the other person or for the marriage as a whole. However, that isn’t always fair or realistic. We are learning to check our expectations and make expectations as a team. Marriage is a game of who can give to the other the most.
  5. 70/30, the split of the closet–I know this one seems obvious, but I honestly had every intention of an optimistic 50/50 split and a realistic 60/40 split. No matter how hard I tried, it didn’t work. Garrett Note: I couldn’t believe it…. she just kept moving in more boxes of  things.
  6. Decorations are give and take–Maybe I’m unique in that I got a husband that has a decent amount of opinions when it comes to decorating. Regardless, I was a little surprised. We had to come to several agreements, and it was a definite give and take situation. For example, G finally agreed to get rid of the worn out, plaid, fraternity house couches (Garrett Note: If you’re reading this, sorry Colin). We went shopping together and chose couches that both of us liked. I finally agreed to hang a 5 foot metal green dinosaur (thanks Chris Garrett Note: Chris, I love you man!) in the house. It now hangs in the guest bathroom with its head peeping in the shower.

There have been plenty of other lessons learned like don’t buy peas for dinner and when the cat is bad, she’s my cat, not our cat, but at least I can say that it’s his fish when the tank needs cleaning. Some lessons have been fun, while others have been frustrating, but they’ve all made us grow together.

So, here is to 6 months of marriage. Let’s see what lessons are yet to be learned.

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Livestock Lesson–What Picking Out a Show Pig Teaches a Kid

Once again, there are pigs in the building…or barn that is. We picked up two gilts from See Farms, and are so excited. I mean just look at that face!

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Picking out livestock is always a learning experience. As the boys have gotten older, I have tried to give them more responsibilities with their show animals. So, this year, I decided to give them a little more freedom in picking out their show pigs. I had already picked the two I thought were the best, but I told them they could look around and see if there was something they liked better.

They’d stare at the pen full of pigs, and discuss between themselves what they thought. Then, they’d point out one to me. I always ask them why. Why that one? Shrugged shoulders and “I don’t knows” are not an option. They also know that the pigs color or cute factor doesn’t qualify as a solid reason either. After they give me their reasons, I’ll say what I think. They also made sure to get Garrett and Dr. See’s opinion as well. We would all point out different pros and cons to the various pigs.

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After much deliberation, they decided to go with the two pigs I had originally picked out, but they had reasons for picking them now too.dsc_0922

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When we got home, they asked me questions about the good and bad parts of their pigs. I love that they are asking questions, and growing in their skills, knowledge, and responsibilities. They are doing more chores than ever, and make an effort to research about their projects.

They haven’t mastered it all yet, but I love how they are always looking to learn more. Showing livestock isn’t just about the ribbons; it’s about the lessons. Even if they don’t judge livestock in the future, they have learned to analyze a situation, reasearch, ask questions, and seek advice. And, that I think is more important than picking a good pig to win (although we are confident that we picked some good ones).

Most livestock lessons don’t happen in the ring. They happen beforehand…in the barns and homes of the stock show families. Those lessons made me into who I am today, and they continue to impact kids all over.

I can’t wait to see what lessons they boys will learn with their new pigs–Violet and Chickadee.

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