Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sleep and the First Year of Marriage

Here's a hilarious picture of my chubby little boy! He's not really this chubby but he was making a funny face at me.

Well the day started out wonderfully, I awoke seal like noises coming from the cradle. Barclay sucks furiously at his arm when he's hungry and it sounds just like a seal. I like waking up to that much better than waking up to crying. Anyhow, I sat up in bed and realized it was almost 7 am and Barclay had only woken up once in the night! Praise the Lord! I can definitely do this! I don't know if it was the fact that we put him to be at almost ten thirty because we were at a friends house, or if it is that he's been sleeping in his car seat (to prepare for sleeping in Boston), or maybe it is just time for this little guy to sleep longer. Either way I was so happy!

I had a dentist appointment this morning and I wasn't looking forward to it. Let's just say with all the puking from the pregnancy and my lack of time and also lack of good brain power, flossing and sometimes even brushing is not my priority. I had everything ready. Baby clean and dressed and fed, me clean and dressed and fed. Baby in the car seat, mother on the way to the dentist to watch him. Everything was ready and...I cannot find my keys! I don't think there is anything more frustrating that not being able to find your keys! I turned the house upside down, while Barclay is screaming. I finally called my dentist in tears to tell them I wouldn't be there in the next minute. Sadly, that is an appointment we still have to pay for:-( After searching my house for another thirty minutes, Noah calls to let me know that he accidentally picked them up and he had them thirty minutes away. My whole day was thrown off, not to mention the good feelings from a pretty restful night.

Ok back to being happy:-)

Does anyone out there have any advise about things to help a baby in the plane? I know their ears must hurt from the pressure. Although having flown 15 hours to Korea when I was 32 weeks pregnant, probably will make him feel more at home.

I wanted to write a little post about marriage. I have a lot of friends getting married or newly married and I just wanted to write a little encouragement out for them.

I've been married for almost 4 years. I got married at 19, when I was halfway done with college. I remember back to preparing for the wedding and the NEGATIVITY that I felt from almost everyone (Christians included) about marriage. How discouraging! Not only were people warning me because of my young age, but people that I loved and admired were telling me, "The first year is so hard", and "Things are not always going to be romantic." What bride who has hopes of a blissful married life wants to hear such negativity? I was so discouraged as a bride and basically just focused my eyes on Noah and ignored the "advice". I'm not saying I thought our relationship would never change, that we would still kiss for hours and write love notes all the time. I knew things would change, and I also knew not to think it was going to fix all my woes of a single girl. But I was so discouraged that before I even got married, I felt people were feeling sorry for me and my doomed life. People said, "You're so young and you have so much life to live." My response, "Oh, I never thought that you stopped living when you got married."
People would say, "Don't you want to see the world? Don't you want to travel and be free?" To that I say, "Why can't you travel and see the world with someone?". All I knew is my life would be better with Noah. Not perfect, but better. I was right. And let me tell you, Noah and I have done our share of traveling!

Noah and I are the oldest in our families. Aka known as the STUBBORN ones. We also come from broken families which is another "strike" against us. Not to mention I was young. We came at the marriage determined to make it. We got marriage counseling for about a year before we got married. That marriage counseling led me to get personal counseling too. After just a few months of marriage, we decided that we still had so much to work through. So we went back to marriage counseling and here we are several years later, still in marriage counseling.

I remember telling a friend that I was going to go to marriage counseling that day. Her eyes got big and she said, "Why? What's wrong? Only people who want to get divorced go to marriage counseling." I was so shocked at the attitude and told her gently, "Actually, it's the people who want to stay married that go to marriage counseling".

I have found that to be the attitude of MANY people. I am so blessed to have a husband that even with all his faults, cares enough about me and our marriage that he wants to work through it. And even with all my faults (and there are A LOT), he loves me.

I don't think marriage counseling is for everyone, and I don't think that it is a fix all for a marriage. I think some people do just fine talking through things by themselves. Noah and I need a mediator. We are passionate fighters that are stubborn and we have had a lot of heartache in our lives. Marriage counseling is fun for us, we enjoy it, and it works for us.

I saw my love change as soon as I got married. Not in a bad way, but in a healthy, beautiful way. I no longer saw Noah as the perfect, gentleman, doting lover. I saw him as a deep, caring, hard working, romantic, broken man. Every time we had fights, the fact that he cared enough to sit down with me to hold and talk through things made me love him DEEPER. So yes, love does change, and some might see it as a negative change (not as much pursuing and wooing), but it changes into something that if appreciate can be the deepest, loveliest blessing.

I'm not saying that sometimes I don't just want a love letter that spills his guts about is love for me, because I do. And I do get that sometimes. I'm just saying that you are trading one joy for another joy.

As I said before, it bothers me that people told me as a young bride that the first year was the hardest. No one wants to hear that. It doesn't have to be true. I found that the first TWO years were the hardest, for me.

One day I found myself so discouraged. I felt like in order to have a sweet relationship with eachother, Noah and I had to work so hard. We are complete opposites and learning to communicate with eachother took so much effort. I was thinking, how can I do this for another fifty years? I'm going to be exhausted. Then it hit me, we were doing the hard work. We were putting effort and time into learning to communicate and love eachother. But just like starting to run or learning a new hobby or job. You do a lot of work up front and then it becomes like second nature. I realized that all the work we were doing those first two years, was going to pay off for the next fifty! Of course I realize that you don't just "get" something and then never have to work at it again, but it is getting easier and easier. I feel like newlyweds should be told that there is some initial work that has to be done in order to figure eachother out. Whether you do it the first year or after five years of marriage, it does need to be done.

You are living with someone who grew up differently than you, who loves differently than you. Just like you would have to learn about a roommate or a sibling in order to live harmoniously. You have to learn to live in harmony with your spouse.

So all you newlyweds out there, or brides and grooms to be, please don't be discouraged before it even begins. Know that your first year is going to be filled with some of the sweetest memories of your life, some of the funniest stories of your life, and some of the biggest lessons learned.

I am by no means the lady with the perfect marriage. I think Noah and I fight more than most people because of our personalities. But coming from several years of valuable lessons learned, encouraging progress, and the sweetest romantic times of my life, I just wanted to encourage others that disagreements are necessary in figuring out how to live with and love each other.

Some day I'll post about some of our hillarious (yes I said hillarious) arguments that make me laugh now. Think pink cake...


  1. hmm. not sure since i've never taken a baby on a plane. i've heard that a little age-appropriate medicine can knock 'em out. some parents seem to be against "drugging" the little one, but being stuck in a flying hunk of metal with popping ears deserves a dab of rum if you ask me! =)

    we're excited to have you here!

  2. I had the same experience when I was preparing to get married at age 19. I'm glad that I didn't listen to all the negative comments because I love being married and wouldn't change the timing one bit! We're coming up on our 5th anniversary and it has definitely gotten better since the first couple years.

  3. This is actually Olivia...I can't figure out why it automatically signed in as Rich, my husband. Oh, well.

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