1 Year {What I've Learned, Part I}

Thank you so much for your comments this week, as they have helped me to reflect on the past year! As I began answering them, I realized that had fairly lengthy responses to some of them. So today, I'll answer a few questions, and I'll be answering a couple next week as well. 

How did you know you would marry Matt after such a short time?
Matt and I dated, got engaged, planned a wedding, and got married within exactly 5 months of meeting. Yes, it is fast. And unconventional in today's world. You can read more of our story here. I knew I wanted to marry Matt within a week of our first date. I knew that was God's plan for us a couple of months later when Matt proposed.

By the end of our first date, which was basically an entire day, I knew these things:

1. Matt loves Jesus with all his heart.
2. Family is very important to him.
3. He has a heart for people, for loving and serving them.
4. I enjoyed being around him immensely.

While making the decision to marry someone is not this simple, these 4 things were an answer to many prayers and enough information that I was willing to get to know him more, even if that meant he was moving away in about a month.

This photo was taken on our first date at the Cherry Blossom Festival in DC.
Is there anything you would have done differently on your big day?
If we had been engaged for longer than three months, I would have loved to add more DIY elements. For instance, making pretty centerpieces would have been really fun! With a limited amount of time, I chose to arrange simple pillar candles on mirrors.

What was your favorite memory from your wedding day?
Can I have two?? My favorite moment of the ceremony was walking down the aisle, looking Matt in the eye, and realizing that most of our family and friends from different stages of life were in the same place at the same time, which will probably never happen again! My favorite memory of the reception was the moment the dance floor opened. We played Dance Until The World Ends by Brittany Spears because we had listened to it in the car on our first date. Matt, his roommate, and his (now) wife were all dancing to this song, while I just sat awkwardly in the front seat... Dancing the entire night was a blast!

Sunset Hills Vineyard in Purcellville, VA
How do you keep your relationship fun once you've gotten into a routine of living together?
Matt and I are best friends but have pretty different interests :). Matt could watch a movie every night, while I can hardly keep my eyes open for 30 minutes. I love to walk around and window shop, and Matt couldn't care less about wandering stores - he is on a mission when he shops! So we've had to really try to find a few things that we both enjoy together. Both of us love food. One of our favorite things is going out and trying a new restaurant, and once we find some we like, we tend to go there often! We also like going on walks together. We end up talking more if we're walking than when we're just sitting on the couch trying to think of things to talk about. For us, finding mutual interests has been integral to continuing to grow our friendship and have fun together. I'd say that taking interest in the other person's hobbies even if they are not our personal favorite thing to do has been equally important. For example, Matt certainly does not sit around and craft with me, but he will ask about what I'm working on and compliment my results. And for a month, we played a video game together for an hour every Saturday.

"Date night" is another fun thing we do together. We try to set aside one night each week to focus on each other, whether that means going out on a date or staying in and watching a movie together. Honestly, the majority of nights this first year have been spent together, apart from Matt traveling for work or the occasional couple hours we will spend with a friend. However, we decided it was important to make "date night" a routine now since a growing family will demand more divided attention down the road. So each week, we designate a date night and try to make it a little more special than the other nights of the week. I know it is something we will grow to treasure later on!

Even though we've been together most nights, we don't always want to do the same thing. We recently set up an area in our apartment where Matt can work/play games on his computer and I can craft/blog. Our desks are set up back to back so we can talk and enjoy each other while still working on our own hobbies. We spend a lot of time here on Saturdays when we aren't out doing something.

Finally, I just have to say that our days now are way more fun than the first few months of marriage! Yes, it exciting figuring out how to live together, but it is also a challenge! Everyone brings preconceived notions of how living together works, who will have certain responsibilities, how much time will be spent face to face, etc. And figuring all of that out takes some time. Once we were in more of a routine, I think we both were more relaxed and able to just enjoy each other :). Overall, as time passes, we seem to appreciate and enjoy each other more and more. It's so much fun being married to my best friend!

I'm so sorry that I didn't get to all of your questions today. I'll answer the next two questions early next week:
What is your favorite part of marriage?
What has God taught you more about himself in the past year?
+, Lauren Aiken

1 comment:

  1. I love this post!!! I can't wait for next weeks!!!!