When I (Courtney) started this blog, the most frequent question I received from my friends and family was,
You’re only going to be newlyweds for one year, when are you going to change your blog’s name?
While they raised a valid point, my answer today is the same as it was a year ago when I married my husband. Being newlyweds is, for us, a state of mind – something no calendar year can contradict.
Now that we (Forrest & Courtney) have spent our first 12 months together as husband and wife, we have come to the realization that what made us “newlyweds” this past year wasn’t solely based on the fact that we were beginning our life together. It is much more than that, and we want everyone who reads this to know that those “first year feelings” don’t have to expire on your one year anniversary.
Do we know everything about marriage? No. Have we gone through all of the hurdles and obstacles that other young couples have? Not all of them. And we know we aren’t perfect.
What we do know is that we love staying newlyweds at heart, and we want to share how it works for us:
Intentional Time Together
When we took the now-infamous love languages quiz during our premarital counseling, we discovered that quality time scored very high for the both of us…we weren’t all that surprised. We love being together, perhaps a side-effect of dating apart for so long!
What intentional time means for us changes day to day. On days where we seem to both have jam-packed schedules, we make sure to utilize the leftover moments between work, responsibilities, and errands the best we can. That means breakfast together if at all possible, followed by a quick devotional. It also can look like time spent talking in bed about our days, what we’re reading, working on, or what our worries are. We make sure to really listen to each other and take this time seriously, and often end this time in prayer.
When we feel we have more time on our hands, it means dates – both out on the town and in our own home. Some of our best dinner dates occur seated at our kitchen table. It’s more affordable, more interactive, and you don’t have to tip 🙂
I (Courtney) clearly remember the first Sunday that Forrest played drums for the worship team at our new church. In between songs, as announcements were being made, we caught one another’s gaze for a few seconds and shared a little smile. I thought he looked cute, and he knew it.
It is just one of these million little looks, moments, and inside jokes that we’ve created over the past year. It is something we read about during our engagement, and have fully seen the positive impact it carries in our relationship.
It’s a look of intimacy, both physical and emotional.
“That look” can be what makes Courtney feel comfortable in a place where she may not know a lot of people. It also helps Forrest feel refreshed during a tiring day, or encouraged when he feels down. Sometimes, it’s all we need to know we’re understood by our spouse. It’s an unspoken, almost unquantifiable piece of our marriage and we love it.
The Little Things
Our first year of marriage had some BIG memories, events, and milestones – but it’s been the little things that hold us together.
When we say “little things,” we are talking about small little acts of kindness that are intentional effort to make your spouse smile and feel loved. For us, these can include:
- Short loves notes left around the house for them to stumble upon.
- Handwritten cards for no reason at all other than to remind them of how you feel.
- Doing a chore or task around the house without being asked because you know they’ll appreciate it.
- Picking out a little prize or treat for your spouse that you know they will love. This doesn’t mean spend a lot of money. A coffee or a candle normally does the trick!
- Handmade crafts and gifts are an easy way to say I Love You without spending any money, and they almost always mean the most.
- Spontaneous mini-dates have been known to occur from time to time. It can just be going a little bit out of your way on a drive home from the grocery store. 10 minutes getting a latte or an ice cream together can turn any bad day into a great one.
Time in the Kitchen
Of course, we couldn’t share our thoughts on staying newlyweds forever without mentioning the most used room of our home: the kitchen.
If you haven’t already started cooking together, we strongly encourage you to do so. By prioritizing dinner time in our daily routine, we’ve probably spent up to 1/4 of our first 365 days as a married couple creating tasty meals (or else it seems like it)!
Besides the practical benefits of cooking as a couple, the shared pride and enjoyment of tasting the first bite together of a tasty meal is an unbeatable feeling. Cooking has created countless memories and anecdotes – not to mention skill sets!
Time in the kitchen is time well spent, and we have completely fallen in love with it.
We know we don’t have it all together, and we never plan to. What we do know is that we love our marriage with Christ as our center, our third strand. We also know that we are passionate about marriage, and want to help young couples just like us if at all possible.
As much as we never want to admit it, our flaws come out on a daily basis and can trip us up. But, by participating in the “newlywed attributes” mentioned above, these times never seem to cause any problems. We have enjoyed being newlyweds this past year, and we don’t plan on stopping.
The name of the blog won’t change, because we’ll always be striving to be newlyweds at heart, forever.
Thanks for reading,