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On this day two years ago, Evan and I stood in Times Square for ten hours sans food, a bathroom or a sitting break. But it was worth it. We watched the ball drop mere feet in front of us and kissed at midnight under the neon lights of Broadway-show billboards and the downpour of confetti.

On this day one year ago, we quite literally went down to a little white church where we said “I do” and kissed in front of our families and closest friends on the day that started the rest of our lives.

Today, we are working.

We have joked about how much pressure New Year’s Eve 2012 has on it’s back for us – the past two years have been so huge, we weren’t sure how we could possibly top it.

Turns out our normal is pretty fun, too.

I don’t know exactly what we’ll end up doing tonight, but I’m pretty sure it will be lovely. I’m so happy to celebrate our very first anniversary. Even if we’re celebrating on the couch with a calzone and alternating episodes of The Walking Dead and Parenthood.

This is my life. And I kind of love it.

And for your enjoyment, we put together a little vlog in honor of our anniversary. We answered the same set of questions, and didn’t see each others’ answers until we revealed them on video. It’s kind of boring, but you can see me make really weird faces. You’re welcome.

Also, the audio messes up and doesn’t sync with the video a couple times. I tried literally for hours to fix this, and did the best I can with my limited iMovie knowledge. Basically: deal with it. xo

Posts through the past year of marriage:

Engagement

First Week-ish

Month Four

Meet My Husband

Month Seven

Month Ten

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It’s funny how time changes people. Gray hair, wrinkles, mall-walking. It must be crazy to spend fifty, sixty years with the same person and see all the different stages of their life and how they adapt to each one.

We’ve been married for not quite a year, and – boy – has this man evolved.

Yeah, he gets better looking each year, becomes a bit more compassionate and slower to anger. He’s a better person than who I met five years ago, sure.

But I’m not going there today.

See, five years ago when I met Evan, he was a collar-popping, boat-shoe-wearing, pea-coat kind of guy. He had better style than me.

Okay, that’s not even possible. But whatever.

Dude was preppy business, and it was all I could do not to tie a sweater around my shoulders and invite him to tea at the country club after a leisurely match of tennis.

But in the last 10 months, something happened.

Change.

And not the kind that you get after breaking a twenty on a Chai Tea Latte at Starbucks which you put in a jar on your dresser until it’s full and then you cash it in for a new Burberry scarf for your husband. Why not? BECAUSE HE WON’T WEAR IT.

I am not bitter. Anyway.

Change. It happened. And I blame my brother.

My brother, Jared, is a good ol’ boy from the country, who prefers a freezing cold morning in his treestand over, well, just about anything.

Also, he wears camo.

And while I certainly agree with “to each his own,” I do not feel it applies to my husband.

Especially when camo is involved.

My brother and my husband have been working together for over a year now, and they have influenced each other’s interests, even if unconsciously.

Jared has become more aware of current political happenings. You will now regularly find him in the shop with his earbuds plugged in, listening to Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh.

And Evan? Well, he is now a hunter of deer.

Welcome to the family.

I don’t really mind the hunting part because, honestly, I really like deer meat. Unless it’s Bambi, and then my emotional self simply cannot deal with that.

And the camo? I understand it’s necessary to blend in with your surroundings if you want that prized buck.

But this morning, the day after the day that marks our 10 months of marital bliss, I find my husband wearing … sigh … a camouflage sweatshirt. At work. Not in the woods trying to kill a deer that will inevitably be mounted above my fireplace.

If only it stopped there. There are currently bottles of descenting shampoo, conditioner, bodywash and deoderant all over my bathroom.

We are officially redneck.

So, here we are, five years in love, and almost a year into being Mr. & Mrs., and we’re already experiencing change.

I want to hate it. I really do. But even in camo, this guy is smokin’.

Besides, the preppy isn’t completely gone (this was just a few months ago).

So, as long as I’m never asked to put on that horrendous fabric, I think I’m more than okay with being married to a country man.

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Each month, I could re-post the exact same blog with an updated title (On Month Three, On Month Six, etc.), and it would still be pretty accurate. (See the First Nine Days here, and Month Four here.)

This past month, we have still consumed our beloved Giovanni’s calzone approximately once a week (approximately, because there may or may not have been a week where we had three two).

We have still watched Wheel of Fortune almost every weekday evening, and I, of course, have still solved the puzzles first.

We have still been all “get out of my face before I punch you.” At least a couple times.

But this past month has been a tad bit busier than the previous Months of Marriage.

On the Fourth of July, we watched fireworks in the park from the back of my Mountaineer.

We finally found good homes for Wolfie and Hope, whom we inherited with our house. Hope’s new owner has since given me a (nice) lecture on the sugars and fats in dog treats.

Okay, lady. My dogs eat bologna and calzone crusts and cake icing. Leave me alone. 

A few days later, we left for Topsail Beach with the kids and Evan’s family, where I did nothing but lay on the beach for 8 hours a day and got un-Caucasianly tan and everyone thought it would be hilarious to make fun of me.

I stared at the beach and read A LOT, while Evan played PS3 with his brothers and the kids watched eleventy-billion movies. It’s funny how we each have different interpretations of relaxation.

And, thank God, I finally had an orangeade from Andy’s.

The next week was preparation for my Mom’s birthday party, where Evan was the perfect husband, picking up, setting up and returning the tables and chairs.

And last week, we bonded over politics. We (mostly, Evan) have shared countless stories we’ve read about the cray things going on politically, economically, socially and morally in our country. We’ve laughed, scoffed and shuddered at the sheer stupidity and inequality of our government.

And then, when I posted the blog with my political opinion, Evan was offended by some of the comments and tweets directed toward me personally, but I assured him they were harmless.

It’s a good feeling knowing my husband has my back.

Over the weekend, we finally visited the new non-profit farmer’s-market-esque shop in town, The Wild Ramp, where we bought some locally grown produce and pork loin.

And I didn’t take a picture.

We’ve also been taking evening walks with the dogs and kids almost every single day after dinner, which is so refreshing. The weather is starting to cool off in the evenings, and it’s lovely (yes, lovely) to stroll with my husband BFF through town, talking and laughing and, once, getting caught in the rain.

Yesterday, we even saw SpiderMan at the Rose Garden. I was a little frightened.

Month Seven has been pretty perfect, even in non-Facebook-Representative / Real-Life standards. And next month? Well, it’s going to be pretty exciting. After being together for almost five years, we’re flying together for the first time.

I’m looking forward to that as a potential blog post.

 

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In the past 120-ish days, we have…

… dozed off to the lullaby of barking dogs almost every single night.

… contemplated sending said dogs to a farm.

… argued incessantly over who is worse of a person: Don or Betty Draper.

… learned if we can’t say something nice, to not say anything at all. Even if it takes a couple days.

… both had dental surgery (weird, right?).

… wistfully daydreamed about winning the lottery and what we would do.

… realized that’s never going to happen, and painted the kitchen from pink (I do not lie) to Oatmeal.

… opened our not-ready-for-anyone-to-see-yet home two weekends in a row to houseguests – and had a good time.

… said mean things.

… said, “I’m sorry.”

… cried over home videos of the kids as itty bittys.

… agreed we need to savor these moments more.

… not always liked each other, but showed love every single day.

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I sometimes randomly come across my wedding DVD (even after strategically hiding it in places where I do not typically look so as to avoid this), and I can’t help but pop it in my computer and watch the tragic event unfold. So was the case tonight.

Looking back, I don’t understand how I didn’t see that day what is so incredibly clear from the camera lens. Sure, I looked relatively happy (and pretty, if I might say so), but I think I was the only one.

I don’t know that I ever saw X smile once while being filmed. And, of course, I’ll never forget walking down the aisle and watching him scan the sanctuary, my bridesmaids … everyone but me. Shouldn’t this have been a big, red flag?

This is typical in life … well, in mine, anyway. When I want something, I make it seem like the greatest thing, no matter the reality.

Example: I bought my Land Rover Discovery although it not only looked like a piece of crap, but expelled oil, didn’t have a passenger-side mirror, was keyed on both sides – oh, and required premium gas even during a recession. But I had a Rover. Needless to say, the thing died and I sold it for half of my investment less than a year later. It was a waste of my time and money that could have been prevented had I listened to what my father told me.

Oh, how familiar that is.

Had I listened to what not only my father told me, but also my friends, family, coworkers, and people I didn’t even know, I would not have wasted over $20K (okay, my parents) on a wedding, although beautiful, that really meant nothing.

I can’t say that I really have regrets. Yes, not going through with the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever attended (’tis true) would have saved me and many others many a crying morning/afternoon/day/night. But at the same time, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I wouldn’t have learned the lessons I needed to understand the situation I’m in. If I didn’t have to fall out of love, I wouldn’t know how to love with everything I have. For that, I am truly grateful.

Surely, I will make many more mistakes in my life. Some I will not be proud of, but will certainly make me a stronger person. I’m not perfect, never will be, never have been, never want to be. But I can say with full conviction that I am a changed woman, and I know what I want. I have what I want (for the most part).

That beautiful Spring day four years ago that I thought would define the rest of my life actually only created a foundation for who I would become.

In the words of the queen, “Now I’m stronger than yesterday. Now it’s nothing but my way. My loneliness ain’t killin’ me no more. I AM stronger.” (Britney Spears)

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