Marriage,  Military and Veteran Life

One Year! (Our First Anniversary)

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I’ve been a wifey for a year now. Tomorrow is our first anniversary!

It’s weird to me…(I know, a strange way to begin a blog post about an anniversary)…but it’s true. Because I don’t feel like I’ve been married for a whole year. Russ and I have spent 4 months and 22 days of that year together. I guess it’s good in a way because our “newlywed bliss” gets to last longer and start all over again when he comes home.

Sometimes I don’t feel married. Sometimes its like I’m living in this foggy dream…an unrealistic/fake life that is unfortunately very real. Another way I describe it is that my life is a movie on pause, or maybe a commercial break would be more accurate! Often I have caught myself saying something like, “Russ and I were married for 4 months before he deployed…” and then I have to catch myself and remind myself that our marriage didn’t stop when he deployed. I’ve also caught myself saying that I’m a “single Army wife” (lol meaning not an “Army wife with kids”).

This has been a very good year, a very long year, and a very difficult year. The first few months were blissful, but heart-wrenching. Starting a marriage is a difficult thing, especially when you have two people as starkly different as Russ and I, and especially when those two people have never spent more than 21 days together. Add that to stress of an impending deployment, and it’s a wonder that we survived! But on the other hand, they were so amazingly wonderful! It was like a four-month long honeymoon.

Okay, I’m sorry I don’t mean this blog post to sound depressing. So, in retrospect, I can see a few things that I remember to help me get through these strange times and feelings.

1) I’m so thankful we were prepared. Russell’s decision to join the Army and his decision to marry me were co-dependent and simultaneous. While now, we both look at it quite differently than we did 2 years ago, at the time, I knew I would be “married to the military.” I knew when I said “I love you” the first time that at least the next six years of my life, of our life, would be controlled by an uncontrollable entity much bigger than I could even imagine at the time. I made the decision willingly and knowledgeably. Within a month, before Russ even was sworn in, I was learning all the acronyms,  reading the books, and surfing the message boards.

I remember specifically sitting at a Panera bread on April 15, 2007, reading message board posts about EXTENSIONS! A group of women were all talking about how their 12 months just turned into 15. I sat there and cried…I was so scared…I didn’t know how I could do it.

But I knew Russ was worth it.

I can look back over the last two years, and I can honestly say that, while there have been unexpected challenges, for the most part, I can’t say “I had no idea it would be this hard!” I am so thankful for the books, the websites, the plethora of resources available to young, naive, ignorant Army wives and girlfriends (like me) that prepared me, trained me, and set me up to survive anything the Army could throw at me.

2) I’m so thankful for my husband. Russ is one amazing man. I’m so thankful that he is in my life. He’s loving and takes such good care of me. He’s funny and great for a warm conversation. He’s active and pushes me to try new things and new experiences. Yeah, this list could totally go on and on and on…

3) I’m so thankful for our love story. I will probably never stop saying this, but if you haven’t read our love story, READ IT!!! Please!!! Our God is a God of such miracles. Whenever I’m upset, hurt, or in doubt that I’m in the right place, or with the right person, I remember one thing: March 8th!!! March 8th is our love story in a magical nutshell. March 8th is my rainbow, my reminder of God’s Divine orchestration of bringing Russ and I together…a reminder that He is in total control of our life, and that He will see us through any trial, any fight, or any Army deployment!

So, how are Russ and I celebrating this momentous occasion in our life? Well, I had the WONDERFUL gift of being able to talk to Russ for…well not sure how long for but probably close to about an hour and a half. We had such a relaxed and sweet conversation, ranging from everything to brains, babies, moving, jobs, and of course…ROSES!!!

While I was ON the phone with Russ, the doorbell rang and I had 2 dozen roses delivered to my door! Happy anniversary to us! My hubby is SUCH a sweetie!

first anniversary

first anniversary

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