Marriage is Ugly 

After being married for a year, I can say this: it rocks. 

You’re probably scratching your head because I usually use my blog as a format to complain and do Internet eye rolls. But today I’m just gonna be 1) sappy and 2) kinda salty. Anything new? (….nope) 

In the past few days, I’ve seen like 50 million Facebook posts and shared articles about how marriage is “ugly”. How it’s not cuddling in bed or making dinner every night. How instead it’s about slamming doors and harsh words. It’s about fighting and stolen covers. 

The whole point of the particular post I’ve seen is to shed light on the “reality” of relationships and marriage. That even though it sucks to fight and eat quick cheap meals and to have the covers stolen, it’s worth it because you love each other. 

…..okay. Sure. Give me bunches of negatives and say “but you love each other, so it’s worth it!” Right. That totally makes me think differently about relationships and marriage. Like maybe it’s not worth it.

 Instead, let me shed a little personal light on the subject of marriage. 

Marriage isn’t always easy. Most of the time? For us, yeah. But everyone is different. We fight, too. I slam doors and get angry that he didn’t get the oil changed like I’d asked 50 times. He gets moody and pouts about me being upset. You can’t help arguing. You can’t make everything perfect. Why? We’re human. 

But marriage=work. Why do we cuddle in bed before peacefully falling asleep? Because we choose to. We don’t go to bed angry. Why is there always dinner on the table or leftovers being rewarmed? Because I put that work in. Why is the house relatively clean, but always picked up? Because we work on it throughout the week. Why are we happy even when we’re mad? Because we work on it! 

This generation is all about instant gratification, and that doesn’t happen with marriages. The idea that your marriage should be all the stupid “goals 😍❤️” without you putting in work is laughable. Arguments are inevitable. Disagreements happen. Days are busy. 

But that doesn’t mean you get to go to bed angrily and say “well, that’s just how marriage is”. No it’s not. 

Marriage is waking up with my best friend everyday and grumbling about how early it is. Marriage is playing with the dog outside. Marriage is cooking dinner and snuggling on the couch. Marriage is “Netflix and chill” where sometimes you actually watch Netflix. (Sometimes. 😎) 

And it’s only that way because we’ve decided it should be. We’ve worked at it. We’ve said this is the way we want our marriage to be, and made it happen. 

Marriage isn’t ugly, millenials. Marriage just redefines your idea of beauty. Put in some work. 

Xoxo, 

Em. 

Photo credits to Katelyn Gebhard Photography 

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365 Days of Legal Bliss…kinda. 

It’s December 20! Which means it’s our anniversary. So holla to us 🤘🏻 

No, we aren’t doing anything. He’s going to work. I’m babysitting during the day. He’ll come home, I’m going to cook dinner. And then he’s going to tell me about his day, we’re going to shower and go lay in bed or snuggle on the couch, and just be. 

We’ve been together for almost 6 years. This whole anniversary thing isn’t new, even if we’ve survived a year of marriage and 7 months of cohabitation. But here’s our take on it: we don’t make any one day more special or extra than others. Sure, maybe I’m cooking steaks tomorrow instead of chicken, and maybe we’ll reminisce a little. But tomorrow is just day 365 in our innumerable journey. 

365 days ago, I was in a hotel room with my bridesmaids, giddy. I don’t know what he was doing. Probably still sleeping, if we’re being honest. I was rushing around, forgetting things, shaving my legs (finally…I’d kinda been hibernating), and just in general being a mess. 

365 days ago, I was laughing and crying and wondering, “how did we finally get here?” Because since I was 14 years old, this was the end game. All throughout high school he’d told me, “I’m going to marry you.” (Which, so you know, is actually pretty terrifying when you’ve only known this guy for a few months!) And a year ago, we reached endgame. Then a whole new game started. 

365 days ago, I was standing behind my best friends with my hand in my dad’s, certain I was going to throw up. I have been blessed with some wonderful people. Stewart and Grace told me, “don’t worry. If you trip, we’ve all decided to throw ourselves to the floor with you!” 

And just like that, walking down a both impossibly long and impossibly short aisle, a chapter of my life closed. A new page opened and it’s currently got 365 days worth of scratch outs and x’s and mess-ups. 

365 days ago, I promised my ups, downs, and all the in betweens to my best friend. I promised to pray unceasingly for him and us, and go always keep the center of our marriage on the Word. I’d like to think I’ve kept those promises. 

It’s just another notch in our storybook. But let me tell you, this past year has been rough. 

December 20: hey we got hitched! 

December 24: honeymoons over. 

February 11: deployment begins. 

February-July: minimal communication, HUGE phone bills ($700 at one point), two jobs, oh goody someone stole the debit card, is deployment ever ending, I hate the corps, everything sucks, I’m dying. 

July 4: cross country move with me, my stepdad and the dog! Two days, four states, two hotels and a lot of miles. 

July 6: move in day! I moved into my very first home with the help of some of my most important people, I slept on the floor with my stepdad and dog, and also- Sonic was the very first meal ever had in our house. On the floor. 

July 10: my mom was the last to leave me. We got to the airport and she left, and if I said I didn’t cry all the way home I’d be a liar. 

July-September: sunshine. Misery. Trying to figure out how to be happy in a place I know absolutely nothing about. Making friends and sleeping on the couch because my bed was still too empty. 

September 12: probably the happiest day of my life, to date. It’s just such an overwhelming feeling when deployment finally ends. It means that, at least for now, there’s no more empty bed. There’s no more lonely. There’s no more empty feeling. 

September-currently: doing life with my best friend. We are living the life we’ve dreamed of together for such a long time. 

Yes, he drives me nuts. I swear, just because you put your shoes under the couch, doesn’t mean I can’t see them. I’m sure I drive him nuts. I mean, I don’t know how, but I’m sure it happens. But it’s not as hard as I thought it’d be. It’s definitely apparent a man lives in our house. (I was very alarmed by the fact that it felt like he didn’t belong here when I first moved in. But trust me, between cammies all over the house or boots in the hall, I know he lives here now ☺️) 

365 days, and about 220 of them were spent apart. You think you and your spouse’s arguments are bad? Try arguing when you’re 5,000+ miles apart, through staticky phone lines, and timed phone calls. It’s awful. 

If our first year of marriage has taught me anything, it’s to simply enjoying being. I take joy in cooking dinner every night, and in the way we walk around Walmart or Target on Saturday nights when we’re bored. I find happiness in our routine. I love spending each day with my best friend. 

365 days later, and I find I only love you more. I love the way you snore, and the way a sleepy hand finds it’s way to mine in the dark. I love your soul and everything else about you. 

365 days down, all the rest to go. 

Xoxo, 

Em. 

P. S. here’s some pics of my wedding bc I’m literally obsessed with my husband 💕

Merry Christmas, internet. 

‘Twas the night before Thursday, and all through the house, only one creature was stirring, clicking the mouse. The stocking were hung on a wall with great care, in hopes the wife would fill them with more than just air. The {fur}children were nestled snug in their beds, while visions of rawhides and catnip pranced through their heads.

I know, I know. Be amazed at my poetry prowess. (Insert sleepy eye roll here) In truth, though, it’s Wednesday night, just a mere 11 days from Christmas, and while the husband and dog and kitty are snoring, I’m making sandwiches for tomorrow’s lunch because it’s range week (PBJs if anyone was curious), wrapping a few more presents, and am generally just doing things I should’ve done during the day, but didn’t, because….well, because I didn’t want to, that’s why. 

I love Christmas. Everyone who knows me knows that Christmas has always thrown up in my house just days after Thanksgiving, and maybe a few days earlier this year ☺️, and Christmas music has been playing for several months now. #sorrynotsorry 

But as I’m doing busy tasks around the house while my little family sleeps, I’m struck a little dumb. It’s my first Christmas away from all my family. And I know I should be real melancholy about it, right? Don’t take this the wrong way, fam…but I’m still very happy. 
I miss having tons of people eat the bajillions of cookies I bake, and having gazillions of people to give them to, because you know I can’t eat them all. (Or shouldn’t.) I miss my parents, and my siblings. I miss my best friend. I keep looking back and reminiscing on all the Christmas traditions my families have had. 

At my grandparents, we always read the Christmas story out of the Bible on Christmas morning. We assigned a “Santa” who passed out all the presents. At my mama’s, we picked out a new Christmas book every year, and read it on Christmas Eve. (Every year or so, my sister and I convinced my mom to let us open one present on Christmas Eve, too.) 

It’s funny how my mom won’t read my Christmas story this year. I won’t get to be Santa at my Mom and Big Dad’s. I don’t get to traipse through the Festival of Lights in Hopkins Park, sisters in tow, Texas flags made out of Christmas lights shining bright and independent. 

Sure, husband and I drove through neighborhoods to look at other people’s Christmas lights. I’m going to buy a Christmas book to read to Luke and Eastwood on Christmas Eve because that’s what good {fur}mamas do. I’ll read the Christmas story from the Bible Christmas morning, to remind my little family what Christmas is really about. But I’ll be doing it without my mama, without my siblings and the horde of cousins I have, without my dad and my grandparents. 

It’s been a little over half a year since I struck out on my own, waiting on deployment to end. And that half a year has been tumultuous. It has seen tears of infinite joy, & infinite sadness. It has heard slammed doors and angry hangups. It has seen tearful phone calls with my best friend at 2 am because I miss home, and I miss her so much. It has seen laugher and happiness, and our first home has been filled with love and light, sadness and anger, too. 

We added to our little family a cat who is more dog than feline. He’s a jolly little guy who follows me around, mewling pathetically until I sit down to snuggle him. Our spare room has plans to not be a spare, God willing. We have made this place that isn’t our favorite, still the place we end the day with joyous hearts. 

And just 11 days before Christmas, 6 days from our 1 year anniversary as a married couple, I am reminded of what Christmas is about: not just Jesus and the salvation of us crappy humans, but also the love and joy we can bring each other. I’m not perfect. Some days, I lay in bed all day, too emotionally tired to move. I don’t cook dinner every night, and I forget to turn the Keurig off when I’m done with it. My husband isn’t perfect. He forgets the tasks I’ve asked him to do. He never replaces the bag in the trash can unless I hand it to him. He doesn’t like to eat the vegetables I make (when I cook dinner).

But you know what? 

I am smart. I know how to budget groceries and make sure the bills get paid. I can cook, and attempt to at least 4 nights a week. My house stays relatively clean (at least the downstairs). And my husband? Not perfect, but still probably better than I deserve. He takes care of me on the days I find I couldn’t get out of bed. He switches the laundry over whenever he sees it needs to be. He cleans the entire kitchen while I shower just so I don’t have to. 

We are two imperfect beings trying to make our way in the world, without leaving too dark a stain, with God lighting a path unto our feet. Sometimes I trip, and he rights me. Sometimes he stumbles, but I help him back up. 

This Christmas, I am graced with a wonderful husband, a moody old man of a dog, a sweet kitty who likes to use knife fingers and his little shark mouth to show his love, and a Savior who never falters in His love for all of us. 

This Christmas, far away from all I’ve ever known, I am graced with the opportunity to carry on and create traditions that will last my family for many more generations. 

This Christmas, like every other Christmas, is not about what is under the tree. It isn’t about the money that was spent on stocking stuffers. It’s not even about us. It’s about something bigger than us. It’s about love, and joy, and peace. It’s about knowing that the Great I Am has my family in His hands, and knowing that He isn’t letting go anytime soon. 

This Christmas is about growth and change, and about roots and endurance. 

What’s this Christmas about for you? 

Merry Christmas from us to y’all. 

Xoxo, 

Em.