It's 6am. I shouldn't be awake. The funny thing about the last leg of pregnancy: you don't sleep.
So what do I do when I can't sleep and baby is kicking me in the ribs...
A little warning about this blog post...it's one of those self-realization/reflection posts. It might be kind of weird. It might make you sort of uncomfortable. It's nice and mushy. Ok you've been warned.
Lately I've been on a blogging binge. I love following people's blogs. If you are my friend and you have a blog, I've probably read most (or all) of your posts.
Recently I've been reading a lot of my newly-married friend's blogs. I love seeing newly weds and hearing about how happy they are and about everything they are learning in their new married lives.
It's caused me to reflect back onto the time when Kyle and I were first married, and how much we have grown.
When I was first married, I was in bliss. I thought nothing could ever go wrong. I found my very best friend and we always were having so much fun together.
Then the honeymoon phase wore off, and the mundane life of school and work was my reality.
I was kind of shocked that the "magic" of marriage was already gone. How was I supposed to be married for years and years if it wasn't going to be magical!? (gasp)
I also found myself going through a bit of an identity crisis. I had known myself for the last 22 years as Lauren Moody, a single girl trying to figure out who I was and what life was all about. By the time I met Kyle, I felt like I had finally found out who I was and I was completely comfortable with myself. That's probably why I felt so comfortable getting married in the first place.
After getting married, I was now Lauren Richardson, and I felt like I didn't know who I was anymore. I felt like I lost everything I once knew about myself. For some reason being married made me feel like I couldn't be me anymore.
This weird transition phase of mine probably drove Kyle crazy, but thankfully I married the MOST patient, loving man on the face of the planet.
When I was first married, I thought that Kyle and I would agree on everything. In the honeymoon phase, it felt like we were one person, and everything in life seemed to be of the same opinion between the both of us. I slowly figured out that this was not true...Kyle and I weren't into all of the same things. We liked different food, we liked different hobbies. We thought about life differently. This was an absolute shocking discovery for me (I mean come on...shouldn't your husband totally be into shopping and crafting just like you?!?)
To illustrate this: I have a somewhat amusing story to share.
Imagine our newly married selves in our first tiny kitchen together. Being the awesome wife that I was, I asked Kyle if he'd like me to make him a turkey sandwich. Kyle being the hungry man that he is, answered SURE!
As I started to make the sandwich, I did my usual routine. I got out two slices of bread, put mayo on one side, and as I started to put mustard on the other side...
Kyle: "I don't like mustard"
Me"What do you mean...you don't like mustard. I'm making a turkey sandwich. All turkey sandwiches have mustard on them"
Kyle: "Well I don't like mustard on my turkey sandwich. I don't even put mayo on it"
Me: *totally confused* "Well how do YOU make your turkey sandwiches?"
Kyle: "With BBQ sauce"
Me: *shock and disgust*
As we had more and more of these experiences, I slowly started to figure out that I wasn't married to another Lauren Richardson, I was married to a Kyle Richardson...a totally amazing man that wasn't into the same things I was. And the more of these experiences we had like this, the more I grew to love my husband's unique traits.
As I grew to learn more about Kyle, I actually grew to learn more about myself. I found myself being ok with doing the things I like by myself or with friends and without Kyle. Kyle was ok doing his hobbies by himself and not with me. Just because we liked doing different things sometimes didn't mean we didn't love each other!
(and when we would teach each other of our hobbies...we not only learned a lot about our spouse...but we had a whole lot of fun as well)
The more I learned this fact, the more I became comfortable in my newly-married identity. I was still the same Lauren as I was before...I just had this new awesome partner in crime that I got to share my experiences with. I became comfortable with myself again, and found that I had grown to love marriage even more than I thought I could.
Our first year of marriage was filled with so many important lessons, and so much love. I couldn't have asked for a better husband. I grew to love him even more through all of the identity-crisis moments I was having. It's kind of amazing that two unique people can come together and have such a fun marriage.
Now Kyle and I are coming to the end of our second year of marriage, and what a completely different year it has been. For the majority of this year, I've been pregnant with our first child. I've grown to love my husband even more through this experience. Watching him prepare to be a father has been one of the most sacred, fulfilling experiences of my life. Watching him care for me as I struggle with my new, changing body has been something I'll never forget.
As I reflect back on this year of marriage, I've noticed that we have gotten a lot more comfortable with each other, and we've gotten so much better at communicating (even though we hardly see each other with our work schedules). I've learned that when I completely put his needs before my own, our home is such a happy place. I've learned so much more about what it takes to care for a household and a husband. I've learned to take advantage of the times we spend together, because they seem to be getting fewer and far between the farther along we progress in life.
I've learned that if you continue to learn about each other in marriage, the more you grow to love the person that you've committed yourself to for eternity.
The end of our year #2 will bring a completely new identity change...being parents. I'm very excited to see the new things we will learn about each other, our marriage, and our life.
I can be pretty sentimental at 6am can't I?