Eight years of marriage. I can not even fathom being married for eight years. Truthfully I barely remember a time before Jared. Who the hell did I tell everything to before him. Who did I complain to? Sometimes are relationship seems so new. Sometimes it seems like we were married as teenagers and been together since the dawn of time.
Jared and I started dating in high school. I was a freshman, he was a Junior. It was December. I had a big crush on him. We had gym class together. He was older, tall and one of the starting five on the basketball team. All a fourteen year old girl could ask for right? Our romance begun on a three way phone call that went a little like a friends boyfriend called me, put me on the spot and asked if I liked Jared. Not knowing he was on the call I replied “yes”. In comes Jared and disconnect goes the friends sneaky boyfriend. I would like to say those years of dating through high school was all sunshine and rainbows. I mean it sounds real nice and all. “I married my high school sweetheart” is one of my favorite lines to use. It just has a certain hallmark ring to it but in reality dating through high school is one of the most grueling, difficult, stressful things in the world. SO MUCH DRAMA. Mostly because you are teenagers surrounded by other teenagers. I’m sure know one is holding their breathe on this one but we made it through! Lots of three hour breakups and dramatic tears later we have the embarrassing memories and the sweet experience. I wouldn’t change it. I’ve had the privilege of loving this man since I was fourteen years old. We became adults together, we very much shaped each other into who we are.
Most people probably think we actually did get married as “kids” but at the time we had already been together over five years. I was twenty and Jared Twenty-two. He proposed on April Fools Day simply because he planned to do it on Friday and it just so happened to be April 1st. I told him if he was kidding I was going to kick him in the nuts. It was as magical as I thought our proposal would be. Threats and all. Our relationship had always been pretty simple. I like simple. Don’t get me wrong he will be the first to tell anyone I am spoiled but not by things like an over the top engagement. That is just not Jared. His laid back personality is one of my favorite things about him. Especially since I am completely high strung almost all the time.
We were married August 4th 2012 at a beautiful church in our hometown surrounded by the people we loved most. It is so funny the amount of people that told us we were “too young”. I can’t help but to roll my eyes. Getting married young is not for everyone just like getting married period is not for everyone. We still had our fun. We drunk, danced, partied, bar-hopped, tailgated, took weekend trips to Nashville. We lived our 20’s, we just did it together with rings on our fingers.
We had so much fun those first five years. We had stress too. My mom got really sick. She got better. I looked for my fist job in a salon, found a job, started building a business. He went through pharmacy school, graduated, started his career. We took a few good trips together with are last before we wanted to start trying to have a family being Disney World. That whole year before we made the decision to start there was a lot of I was ready, he wasn’t, then he was, then I wasn’t. We basically agreed when we had the fever at the same time and couldn’t shake it we would start. Knowing we wanted to enjoy our last vacation with just the two of us we made the decision to start trying once we got home and wouldn’t you know it at the most magical place on earth magic happened and I got pregnant at Disney world. Lol I can’t wait to embarrass the life out of Miles one day by saying that. We were so fortunate not to struggle. Not to stress. I prayed to be a mother one day. To give this man I loved for so long a child. I had the same thought most women my age had “what if I can’t”. Through out pregnancy I worried so much how a child would change our marriage. It had just been the two of us for five years. We waited for the perfect time to be financially and emotionally stable. But I am going to tell you a secret. No matter how stable you think you are, no matter how perfect you think the timing is. Having kids will change your marriage. It is up to you and your spouse how you let it change. You either embrace the changes and grow with the changing times or get left behind. The biggest adjustment in our marriage was going from a married couple to a married couple with a child and if that wasn’t challenging enough we had our two kids twenty months apart.
The last two and a half years since becoming parents have been the most stressful in our marriage. The most stressful but without a doubt the best most magical years yet. I watched the once seventeen year old boy I loved become a father, I watched him balance not only being a husband but a provider and father and most days doing it flawlessly. I forget to tell him that. I forget in the muck of life to tell him how wonderful and appreciated he is. It is easy to not take time for each other when there seems to be no time left to give.
We bought a King bed and bedroom set for our mutual anniversary gift. We went alone, just the two of us to browse. It was so strange for us not to have the boys in the back seat. They are always with us. We work and we want to be with them every second we can. But those couple hours alone was so nice, we talked uninterrupted, gossiped, laughed. It was simple. I don’t have the secret to marriage or how we have managed to make it work all these years but I do know simplicity has always been a part of our relationship. We are honest. If I am pissed off I tell him and he does the same. If I am upset or stressed I don’t expect him to read my mind. I tell him. Jared will put me in my place before anyone. He knows me better than I know myself. He is my very best friend. I hope in forty years when we are celebrating another anniversary I hope our love is just a simple as a conversation. Some gossip & laughs. My best advice is to enjoy the simple and slow moments that can be few and far between, take time to talk but also take time to listen. Share your good days and your bad days. Always say I love you.