Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Four years

It's a tidy chunk of time. 

Four years of high school. Four years of college. We look at these four-year spans and neatly wrap them up, setting them aside to fondly look back on in scrapbooks and at reunions. When we began high school, time seemed to drag on, and GPAs and who-asked-who to the dance took on a large amount of importance. When we walked across the stage at graduation, we knew that we had changed, but we may have felt rather similar to the chubby-faced fourteen-year-olds who had walked into the school just a few years earlier. We went off to college, and suddenly, our worldview expanded. Suddenly, no one cared about what had happened in high school, or what our grades had been, or if we had belonged to the National Honor Society. And these four years flew by, until we found ourselves with a degree in hand and a daunting world of responsibilities. 

Last week, my husband and I celebrated four years of marriage. As I look back on this time, I realize that it is not easily summarized and packaged like four years of high school, or even four years of college. 

Strains of "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" drifted out of my laptop and across the living room of our new house. Our toddler happily asleep, my husband held my hands, whirling me around the room. 

1, 2, rock step, 1, 2, rock step.

Four years ago, we danced to this song at our wedding reception. With youthful exuberance, we spun and grinned. We were a pair of baby-faced twenty-year-olds, excited to embark on the adventure of marriage. On that day, I never imagined what the next four years would involve, and how I would change.

There were late nights of homework as we pushed through college together. There were walks to Kroger in the hot Ohio summer when our only car got totaled just before we celebrated our one-year-anniversary. There were the cold nights over Christmas break when we'd bundle up and sit in our car with a laptop on the edge of campus, so that we could use the Internet connection to watch a show together. There were the difficult conversations we had as we sought to create appropriate boundaries so that we could put our marriage first. There was the laughter and playfulness of of walks in the park and of me trying to learn how to throw a Frisbee. There was the joy of receiving the Eucharist as a married couple, and the grace of praying in Adoration together. There was the intensity of prayer and discernment as we figured out where God wanted us after graduation. There was the thrill of moving to a new state, finding an apartment, and starting a new job. There was the joy of discovering that my body carried a new, tiny life. There was the thrill of taking childbirth classes, giving birth, and learning together as parents. Life has been so full and so wonderful. 
My husband planned out this delicious anniversary dinner!
I think I'm much more compassionate now than I was four years ago. More understanding and better at calmly listening and explaining myself. While I still struggle with making mountains out of molehills, I'm a lot better at putting things into perspective and letting go of the little inconveniences that crop up. I'm better at communicating with my husband about issues large and small. My consumption of cereal has increased tremendously, and now I find myself thrilled to watch hours of The Office with my husband (which I never would have imagined wanting to do four years ago. Or even one year ago). I even found myself spending one recent Sunday afternoon screaming at my computer and running around the house like a maniac while watching my husband compete in SSBM Doubles Top 8 at a large Smash tournament (he got fifth! I'm so very proud of him). 

These past four years have been so beautiful, and it's hard to believe everything that God has packed into them. I'm thrilled to see what He has in store for us in the years to come! 


  1. Congratulations! That's a lot of life in 4 years. Thanks for sharing stories of the journey! May God continue to bless your marriage and draw you closer to Him and each other.

    1. Thank you so much, Lianna! I would love to make a post sometime about our discernment-years ago, I talked very generally about some of it on the blog (like the perks of being "poor college students" while married), but I don't think I ever got into the nitty gritty. Thank you so much for the idea!

  2. Also, would you be open to posting about how you and your husband met and discerned to get married while still in college? I think it's fascinating that you made that choice!

  3. Happy 4 years! It's kind of amazing how much life can change--I look back on our marriage and see how so many different traditions have begun and later ended...usually due to moving somewhere new. We celebrated our 4th anniversary in China--considering that when we got married, living in China together was not even on our radar...that's a bit surprising.

  4. Congrats!! It sounds like God has blessed you abundantly these past four years!

    1. Thank you so much, Elisabeth! Yes, that He has :)