I'll say it up front, ...Year Two was easy in comparison to the first.
Probably our only "issue" was the Volkswagen bug equipped with a very loud muffler that left our apartment complex at 5:30 a.m. every morning.
I take that back. I do remember one evening arguing with Brian about something with a financial tone. I said to him, "I feel married! And I don't WANT to feel MARRIED!" To me (based on television and my parents' marriages), "feeling married" had always kind of meant arguing with each other or being unhappy in marriage. Because things had been so sweet between us for so long and now we were having to act like grown-ups, it wasn't so easy anymore. I always knew that a good marriage was going to involve having to "work at it" but the "working at it" was new for us. Other than a spat during our first year about a video game and how he wasn't listening to my suggestions (HA! hysterical!), we hadn't fought at all - not even when we had been dating or engaged. But we worked it out and talked through it and I didn't mind "feeling married" anymore.
We both gained about 10 more pounds that year, in addition to the 10 we'd put on the year before. Fat and Happy! Just kidding! Especially considering I weighed a scrawny 98 pounds the night we got married! Twenty more pounds was right about where I should have been ...give or take 5 pounds.
I give credit to those extra pounds to Southside Baptist Church and covered dish lunches in the Fellowship Hall. When we moved back to Georgia from Tennessee we had started going to that itty bitty church where his parents had been involved for decades. We were both in the 20+ person choir, Brian was teaching a Sunday School class for the "youth group" - which consisted of his two younger cousins and occasionally 2 or 3 other kids, we were helping with AWANAs on Wednesday nights, Brian was on a praise team and leading the worship every now and then and he was appointed as a deacon that year. Yeah. It was a bit much. Actually, it was A LOT much. And it all burned me out pretty quickly. Once, when they had asked him to "step up" and become Sunday School Director, I said to him (perhaps in a fit of rage), "What NEXT?! Are you going to become the preacher too?!"
****In fact, ignore the first sentence of this post!****
It wasn't easy for this social butterfly to be a member of a church where 85% of the members were over age 55. I needed friends to relate to who were my age in similar circumstances. It was definitely a source of tension between us.
But Brian started making good money (for us and for his employer) and we were traveling quite a bit and moved out of the apartment to rent a little house closer to Brian's office. I think in that second year we went to Pensacola, Florida, to Amelia Island and to Michigan with my mom to see my family and friends up there. The traveling kept me distracted and we were having a blast going and seeing new places.
I was also distracted with changing jobs (began working part-time at Clayton State University) and started going back part-time to college that year. We were doing too much.
And it was after that trip to Michigan that we both suddenly got "baby fever". In the fall that year we decided it was time to start trying to get pregnant. Well, that was fun! ......... Until I realized that maybe it didn't just happen because you had decided it was time for it to happen. I think I fully expected to be pregnant within a couple of months by our second anniversary.
But our second anniversary came and went.
What did we learn during our second year?:
- Issues will arise - Be honest and open with each other. Talk it through and listen and try to be understanding.
- Take things slow - Just because you're young and don't have any kids doesn't mean that you should be volunteering or filling every waking minute of your time - even to something beneficial. Leave time for the two of you.
- Go! - Before you have children! RUN! Get out of that house before it's too late! See things you haven't seen before and marvel at the wonder of it all together.
- Look ahead - As in...when you're at the beginning of a pot luck dinner line and your plate is still empty don't load up with the first few things you see! There might be sweet potato casserole at the end!