Today marks three years that I have been able to call James my husband. There are a lot of things that I still do not know at all about marriage or him or love. But three years in, here is what I know.
I know that eating ice cream on the couch in sweatpants is totally a date, so is grocery shopping at 11 pm.
I know that sometimes I will cry about my clothes and he will not understand, and he knows to just back away slowly.
I know that it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love me just because he leaves his shoes in the middle of the floor.
I know that, while I can survive on variations of exactly the same thing, for every meal, for all of time, he cannot.
I know that I become a fire breathing, flesh-eating, dragon-beast-woman when I go too long between meals, and James knows to ignore what Hangry Hannah declares about the state of the universe.
I know that we thought we knew what those vows meant when we said them, and we did, and we didn’t, and we are learning a little more about it every day.
I know that he likes logical solutions when there is a problem, and he knows that I absolutely do not want any logic introduced into whatever CRISIS I am confronting until after I have finished spazzing out over it.
I know that I have never laughed more than in these past three years.
I know that I have cried so many big tears about so many little things, but about big things too.
I know that we went into this thinking that “I love you” was the most important thing to say on a regular basis, but we’ve learned that “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you” are right up there at the top too.
I know that he can’t satisfy every relationship need I have, and I still need my girlfriends, and he still needs his guy friends, and sometimes I just want to be by myself, and that’s ok.
I know that sometimes we both look around and think this isn’t what I signed up for, but we stick with it anyways, because that’s what marriage is.
I know that sometimes we have “off” days, but I know not to be scared like I used to be, because the glorious thing about commitment is that off days don’t matter, don’t put your relationship in danger. You just go to bed, and start over the next day.
I know that there are sports happening throughout the entire year, and he is into all of them in their time.
I know that we have managed to end almost every single day praying together, even when oceans and states and time zones separated us. And I know that this is a constant in our days, anchoring our marriage.
I know that sometimes we can’t stop talking, and other times we have said all the things we have to say, but that’s ok, because we will find more things the next day.
I know that early-married life is a constant tension, a pull between desperately wanting the next stage of babies and houses and longevity, and deeply wanting for this freedom and bliss and the endless possibilities to last forever.
I know that there are so many different types of successful marriages, and ours doesn’t have to look like any other, and theirs won’t look much like ours.
I know that love doesn’t pay the bills, or do the dishes, or figure out the insurance paperwork, but it does make those things a little more bearable.
I know that marriage is fun and tiring and exciting and mundane all at once.
I know that I still really know nothing, and I’m thrilled that I have the rest of my life to learn more about marriage to this man.
PS: I also know that I am still really happy that we had Whitney Neal take our wedding photos. She is the best of the best, and I will forever and always have a total girl crush on her.