29 June 2012

Happily Ever After with Kristen

Well, HELLO friends of The Charming Blog! 

I'm Kristen and I blog over at Confessions of a Graphic Design Student. I am so excited to be here to talk to you about being a newlywed... a topic I have never actually blogged about. Can you believe I've been married almost 6 years and I've never done a single wedding themed post? I mean, what kind of blogger am I? 

Me as a bride....  and yes, I wore white flip flops!

When Amy asked me to talk about looking back on being a newlywed, sharing some tips, lessons, and discoveries in that first year... I had to chuckle.  I'm probably the last person to give tips... but I sure do have lessons!

The story unfolds at the ripe age of 18 when Josh proposed after 1.5 years of dating.
At the time, I was thinking, "OMG YESSSS!!!! :'D"
And now? I think, "What in the HELL were we thinking???"

Honestly, I have no idea. All we knew is that we loved each other and we wanted to be together forever. As confident as we were in our relationship, we didn't have the slightest clue what we were in for. After 8 months of planning our summer backyard wedding we officially agreed to be each other's ball and chain as the sun set on August 19th, 2006. 

Now we could finally start our lives full of blissful happiness!

Erm... wrong.

Just one year in, we were already fighting so bad we would toss around the "Divorce" card. Sounds harsh, but here are the lessons I've learned as we decided to stick together through it all... 

 They will see the REAL you. Not the you you were when you were dating... I'm talking about the no make up, messy hair, farting, burping, puking, nose running, bloated, bitchy, morning breath, food in your teeth, silly, crazy, psychotic YOU. Oh and you'll see that side of him too. If you still love each other after all of that gets exposed, you're good to move to the next level.

Some days you'll want to. Something will come up, like, "WTF why is my car getting repossessed? Didn't you pay the damn bill?!" If things get bad, you may feel inclined to start throwing punches. Punch the wall instead. Holes in the wall are a good sign you are passionate about each other.

Other days you want to spend it wrapped in each others arms whispering, "I love you," all night and wonder how you could ever be without the other. Say it often. 

Even though you'll bicker over almost everything, make sure it ends with laughter and a kiss, and not one of you sleeping on the couch. 

Some days you'll take him for granted, as he will you. You'll do the dishes 5 times in a row and wonder when the heck he's going to stop playing Diablo and help clean a fork. When that happens, promptly think of all the times he's mowed the lawn while you sat inside painting your toenails. 

As you move forward together, you are each growing independently as your own person, trying to reach your own goals and dreams and learning more about yourself and who you are every day. Realize this... you will BOTH change... the important thing is to grow together. Accept each other for who they are and not who you want them to be.

Mistakes will be made, your patience will be tested, and at the very core will be your ability to apologize and forgive. It takes selflessness... something that I still haven't mastered. 

Believe in yourselves and your marriage. Believe that, despite the divorce rate in this country, you will still be holding hands when you're old and gray. Don't let doubt sink in. Whenever you think the grass is greener somewhere else, just remember...

I think St. Augustine explains love and marriage best:
Love is a temporary madness,it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides.
And when it subsides you have to make a decision.
You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together
that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.
Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement,
it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away,
and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground,
and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches,
they find that they are one tree and not two.
When I look back on that year, we were still in our volcano eruption phase. We were having fun playing house, and then reality hit. We could have walked away from each other multiple times, but we decided to stay. To persevere. To give our love a fighting chance to prove that it's real... more real than either of us could have imagined.

I don't know anyone with a perfect marriage or relationship. We're human- we're all a certain shade of crazy. I think when we get married we have these expectations of all that it's "supposed" to be. We try to create a picture perfect image through our blogs, photography, nicely decorated homes... whatever. But inside, we know no matter how much polish, it will never be perfect. 

I think the secret is letting go of those expectations and making up your own... being OK with the pictures crooked on the wall, or the toilet seat up, or burning the grilled cheese. Not freaking out over little things or judging each other for their faults. Accepting the weirdness, the abnormal, the silly. Accept it all. This is life! It's not going to be the fairytale Disney had you believing...

Embrace the imperfections and it will be even better. 
I promise.


  1. What a great post! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Aww this post is so cute! What wonderful advice:)

  3. Kristen: Awesome post. I just love that you wore flippy floppies to your wedding! Haha, that's awesome. You totally rocked them.

    And Amy: I looove Kristen, she's just precious, isn't she?

  4. So well said and written. Great post, Kristen! And I appreciate that you're honest about your experience getting married so young.

  5. This was beautiful, Kristen. I nodded along to so many of those things! Marriage is not always smooching & cuddling. It's a choice. And it seems for you (& I) a choice that we made long before we really knew what the heck we were doing. Thanks for this honest post, you are amazing & brave!

  6. Dang girl...you're such a good writer! And I love these tips. In the book the 5 love languages it says that the "in love" stage can last up to 2 years, but you will always move past that. That's when you find real love. I'm so glad that there are still people out there that get to the real love stage. I enjoyed reading a bit about your marriage. :)

  7. Awww! This is such a TRUE post!! I Love it!

  8. Okay, seriously, I love this! The boyfriend and I are moving in together and I'm sure this would help! Love the quote from St Augustine.

    Oh and that flipflop peeking under your dress is priceless! :)

    I'm having a $20 Gift Card Giveaway on my blog, check it out if you're interested. :)

  9. Love this! Thanks for being so honest and not only talking about all the good times but also the challenges of relationships. If more people were so open about what actually happens in a marriage maybe that divorce rate would go down, great post! :)

  10. Great post Kristen! What great honest insight into what makes a great, lasting marriage!

    xo Kayla

  11. I love the post Kristen! Such a great post full of lessons :) I can relate with all of them!

  12. Thanks for all the great feedback guys... I hoped others would identify with me and not think I'm crazy, even though I kind of am! haha us married bloggers gotta tell it like it is! :)


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