Remembering My Wedding Day (Getting Ready)

I’ve mentioned a couple times here that I had gotten the amazing chance to photograph my first wedding for a long-time friend of mine. Well, the big day has finally come and gone! Last Friday consisted of me taking the day off work, sleeping in, not being able to sit still for the next three hours after waking up, and finally making my way into the mountains to the wedding venue with Ryan, my trusted second shooter. Guys, I can see why husband and wife teams seem to have the most fun together. I’m so glad he was able and willing to help me.

The whole experience brought me right back to our own wedding day. As we watched the chaos last weekend of wedding party and family arriving hours before the ceremony, trying to help set up and get ready for photos, I remembered our own frantic gathering of picture frames and table numbers and seating charts and guest books and all of my outfit accessories. And when the next morning I began going through the photos I took, I found myself also going back through the photos taken of my wedding, by the amazing Sweet William Photography. (And I’ve decided, after now having done a wedding myself, that Will is probably a wizard. He is so. good.) The memories just kept pouring in.

Getting ready.

I woke up long before I wanted to on my wedding day. As much as I tried to will myself back to sleep for another couple of hours, it was not going to happen. I dragged myself out of bed and made my way to the kitchen, my stomach a knot of nerves. To-dos were still streaming through my head. After my mom took the time to make eggs for breakfast, and we had the chance to sit around the table and eat with our family staying with us, we all got to work on throwing the rest of the wedding together. My mom made my wedding cake, so she had tending to that to do, while everyone else began getting the arch decorated with flowers and I set forth on printing out our seating charts and getting photos in their frames. I hit panic mode when I couldn’t find the prints for a good several minutes, and when it reached 12:30 and I told my maid of honor I hadn’t even had the opportunity to shower yet, she was a doll and ordered me to do so.

Getting ready.

After that, the house entered a state of greater chaos as more family and my bridal party began to arrive little bits at a time, though every one of them was as helpful as could be. One of my bridesmaids, Madison, called me as she was heading over and asked if I wanted her to pick me up something to eat on her way. “I’m not really hungry,” I told her. “I had eggs earlier.” Apparently, I can’t eat when I’m nervous. But that Madison, she kept prying until I conceded to having a mini mac and cheese. Good thing I have friends who know what’s best for me when I can’t think.

Getting ready.

This luck became even more apparent when it came time for us to make our way to the wedding venue. It was greatly disorienting leaving the house not carrying a thing, while my beloved bridesmaids all made sure to pack up all of the decorations along with my dress and veil. And my shoes, which I totally would have forgotten if it weren’t for my maid of honor. Point two for her. Point three goes to her, too, for calling me on our way to make sure I’d remembered to bring my birth control. I hadn’t.

As seems to be the theme for weddings everywhere, we were running late getting to the venue and starting the photos. At one point, I had two people working on my hair and one person doing my makeup, as I sat there trembling that we wouldn’t have time to get all the photos in, or that one of our vendors wouldn’t show up (which is a whole other story I may get to in some other post), or that the rest of the family would for some reason or another not arrive in time for photos beforehand. Yes, I think I’d classify myself as a worrier.

Getting ready.

We did, in fact, start the ceremony late, but it was no fault of our own, and frankly by that point I wasn’t even remotely keeping track of the time.

You know what’s funny? If I didn’t have the memories associated with the craziness of this day, I’d look at these photos and think everything looked so put together. So Pinterest worthy. I guess that’s the beauty of a great wedding photographer. They capture the best, the beautiful. Thank you always to the amazing Sweet William Photography!

The story of our wedding is to be continued (as I tend to babble on a bit)…

love always, Delia

One Year of Marriage: In Review

first year of marriage - photos

Well, Saturday Ryan and I celebrated our one year anniversary. I have been struggling a bit to keep up with big updates such as this, but what can you do sometimes?

We didn’t do anything crazy to celebrate. We slept in, I made French toast, we took Wally to the dog park, went to the mall and got my ring cleaned, had a nice, fancy dinner, and a movie in with our wedding cake, which my mom expertly wrapped and kept in the freezer the past 12 months.

I like things that way. Sometimes leaving the day somewhat up to chance makes it that much sweeter. Plus, doing that left me with some more time to think about this first year as husband and wife, and all the things we have done together. And isn’t that kind of the point?

Here’s a little summary of our first year that we came up with as we munched on cinnamon French toast:

summary of first year marriage

Oh, and then of course there’s the hundreds of photos and good times with friends. We are so blessed. A little taste above :)

love always, Delia

How Having Had a Long Distance Relationship Affects Our Marriage

signing marriage license

As you may or may not know, Ryan and I met when we were fourteen and fifteen years old, began officially dating when we were sixteen years old, and embarked on a three and a half year long distance relationship when I left for college at eighteen.

My memory of the night I told him I’d be going to college in California remains fresh. We were sitting side by side at a booth at Mimi’s Café. When I told him I’d sent in my acceptance letter, I began to cry, and he hugged me and assured me we would figure it all out. Our waiter seemed oblivious to the severity of our embraced conversation.

The memory of saying goodbye at the end of the summer remains even fresher. It does not seem five years ago that I left him alone in his driveway, about to venture alone into on the great unknown of college in Los Angeles. And yet, those years, and plenty more hellos and goodbyes, passed, and here we are, together under one roof and bound together in matrimony.

Ryan's airplane selfie

We have gone weeks at a time without being able to see each other. We have spent many Valentine’s Days, Halloweens, and birthdays apart. We have gone out with friends in our own separate cities, agonizingly aware of the missing company of one another. We have spent countless hours on Skype and phone calls. We have had extended conversations over text, and we have had miscommunications over text. We have argued over not getting to talk enough. We have each pondered whether it was all worth it.

And it was. The loneliness, frustration, and miscommunication faded away when we were able to be together again, even if only for a weekend. Our time apart was a challenge, but our time together was precious and easy. It kept us going through the darker times.

We’ve had countless people comment on how amazing it is that we were able to stay together for the three and a half years of our long distance relationship. While I can appreciate what they’re saying, knowing first-hand just how much it sucks not being in the same city as my significant other, I feel that most of these people don’t fully take into consideration how much growing and strengthening our relationship underwent because of the long distance.

Three things you’ll learn (or at least, I did) when my relationship became long distance:

  • The first thing you learn when in a long distance relationship is that communication is the most important element in a relationship. Miscommunication can lead to stupid fights, and stupid fights can feel like the end of the world when you’re not able to resolve them in person. Your words mean everything when you can’t physically be there for someone. You must use them wisely.
  • The next thing you learn is that quality time becomes your top priority. When you have an opportunity to spend time with your significant other at last, that is all that matters. You’re going to want to soak up every possible hour of every day you have to spend with them, because you know that this is not permanent.
  • Another thing that is a really, really big deal is trust. I’ve known many people try a long distance relationship and drive themselves crazy with mistrust. Those horrible thoughts will always fleet through your mind: “He’s not texting me back. What if he’s ignoring me?” or “She went out to a party with her friends last night. What if there was another guy?” You have to learn to push these thoughts from your mind and place all your faith in the person you love.

I could go on, but this post is getting long as it is.

Communication, quality time, and trust. Sounds like good preparation for marriage, no? We will carry these values for the rest of our lives together. Now, we have time and physical touch back on our side, but the lessons from the past years have not faded. I often find myself in deep awe that this life we live now is really real; we share the same bed, the same closet, the same food, the same weekend plans—how incredible is that? And how incredible that it feels so incredible? Sometimes I even feel myself still stuck in the long distance mentality that makes me greedy for time with Ryan. It is as if there will never be enough time together to make up for our lost time. That is something for me to work on, but at the same time, missing my husband by the end of my work day isn’t such a bad thing.

I always tell people to give a long distance relationship a chance. If it’s not going to work out, then it’s not going to work out. But why cut something off for a silly thing like distance, especially in this age of texting and Skype and unlimited minutes, when it could be something really great? I take pride in our accomplishment of staying together through the distance. What started out as a possible reason to break up at the end of high school ended up becoming one of the strongest bonds to unite us in our marriage, and while I would love the opportunity to re-live those years in the same city, I wouldn’t want to give up the stronger people we’ve become, together and individually.

Crossroads

holding the final pieces of the puzzle in our hands

It seems that time is winding closer and closer to the anniversary of one particularly important day in my life. And no, I don’t mean the anniversary of being hired as an official employee at the Press, though that is another mile marker I’ve recently passed.

My one year anniversary of being married to Ryan is just two short weeks away, and I find myself quite often musing about that life I was living in the time leading up to our wedding day. The monsoons have arrived in Albuquerque, and I am brought back to the memories of packing up my room and moving my things across town in the rain and into our apartment a week before the wedding. As the thunder booms and the giant rain droplets pound down for just a few minutes at a time, I’m reminded of when it did the exact same one year ago, as I stood in an empty apartment kitchen and unpacked the brand new dishes and appliances my mom bought for us. I think of my parents losing power for four days that weekend before the wedding, and each day praying for, at the very least, clear skies between 4 and 7 pm on August 2.

Now I have no such worries. The skies are free to rain any time and any day of the week, and I will welcome the drenching with open arms. I still have other worries for the future, as I always will, but I smile thinking of the monumental crossroads I stood at one year ago in comparison to the new, yet just as important, ones that I stand at today.

While at this time last year I was in the midst of starting a new job, finding an apartment, finalizing the last possible details of my wedding, and preparing for a life together with Ryan, these days I find myself in the midst of beginning yet another new chapter in my publishing career, anticipating Ryan’s official completion of his college career (as of this Thursday!), waiting to see where he’ll end up getting a job, making moves with my photography, and becoming newly inspired in my writing, thanks to the creative writing workshop I had the opportunity to attend this past weekend (but more on that in another post.)

It’s comforting to know that everything and still nothing has changed. Life was, is, and always will be busy, and it has turned out beautifully alright since last year’s crossroads; I’m soothed by the notion that the same will be true yet another year from now.

love always, Delia

A Letter to Myself Graduating High School

Dear Delia,

You’re graduating high school very soon, and I’ve been thinking about you a lot.

graduating high school sweethearts

You’re about to go through more changes in your life than you ever imagined. Over the next five years, you’re going to enter adulthood, but trust me when I say, you’re never really going to feel like an adult. I’m not even sure adulthood is a real thing. We’re all just big pretenders, so don’t worry if you constantly just feel like you’re faking it. You’re not alone.

The world is a scary place, college is a big deal, and you’re right to worry about it all. You’re going to learn what it’s like to live states away from your parents, your best friends, your boyfriend, your dog, your cat, and your green chile. You’re going to face living in a new place with all new people. You’re going to get your first (and last) C on a paper, and it’s going to feel like your high school grades were all a lie.

You’re going to cry a lot the first few months that you’re gone. It’s going to feel like your whole world has lost its color and begun to implode. You’re going to wonder if your relationship will survive the distance. You’re going to fight with your best friend because everything is changing and you won’t understand why. You’re going to try and socialize, but it’s going to be hard because everyone wants to socialize with alcohol, and not only do you not want to partake, but you’re also just socially introverted and awkward. And in time, you’ll come to embrace that.

awkward selfie

But the next five years are going to go by faster than you think they are right now. You’re going to blink and find yourself at your first high school reunion, surrounded by your former classmates who all still look the same, but older, and with a bit more life experience written in their faces and voices. And you’re going to realize that that’s how you are now, too: basically the same, but older—and, yes, wiser.

You’re still going to love Friends and One Tree Hill as much as you do right now. In fact, at times, bingeing on those DVDs is going to feel like it’s saving your life. You’re still going to have the same best friends you have right now, and those best friends are all going to stand beside you at your wedding, just like you’d always hoped. You’re also going to make new friends, and find the best dance and creative writing communities you’ll ever experience.

Hyper Xpressions dance crew

Yes, the three and a half years of long distance through college are going to suck. But they’re going to be worth it, because they’re going to teach you about true communication, they’re going to teach you that you can survive by yourself if you have to, and they’re going to prove to you that surviving the distance can be done. So don’t believe what anyone else tries to tell you.

Ryan surprising me with proposal at LACMA

I’ll let you in on a little secret: that painful distance is going to end with a surprise proposal that will make you think you’re living in a fairy tale, and less than a year later you’re going to be the wife to your very best friend. If that’s not worth everything, I don’t know what is.

winning--just married.

And as for that world beyond college you constantly dream about? It is everything and nothing like you’d imagine. It is expensive and complicated and weird and unpredictable and freeing, and like with college, you’ll be ready for it, even though it won’t feel like you will.

Enjoy the ride.

Love,

Yourself in 5 years

Spouseless for a Week: Lessons Learned

Last week, Ryan was out of town, vacationing with his parents as they got settled with a new home in Seattle. Thus, I was on my own for the week, something I have never quite experienced. I mean, I lived alone in a single dorm room for the latter half of college, but I feel like that doesn’t completely count. How can it count when I had a meal plan on campus, communal bathrooms, and friends living within a 30 second to 2 minute walk away? This was an entirely different beast. I was going from sharing my little apartment with my husband to cooking, eating, watching tv, and sleeping alone. There are definitely lessons to be learned when this type of thing comes your way.

concerned-texts-because-spouseless

Texts from friends, clearly thinking of me in my time of need.

Thus, I bring you the list of…

Top 12 Things You’ll Learn When You’re Spouseless for a Week
  1. Cooking will feel pointless, and getting takeout alone conspicuous.
  2. Going to sleep without a kiss good night and waking up without worrying about waking your spouse up will mess with your sleep patterns a little bit.
  3. Even with the banging and yelling of your obnoxious neighbors, your apartment will feel too still and too quiet to think.
  4. You’ll need the tv or music on pretty consistently to drown out the stillness and the quiet.
  5. You’ll spend the entire week watching 80s dance movies and catching up on the current season of The Voice.
  6. You’ll play a lot of country music. Because you can.
  7. For a while, you’ll dread the flashbacks to the era of long distance. After a couple of days, you’ll think how silly that was; he’s coming home in four days, after all. Then Friday will come and you’ll remember how lame you are when you hole up completely alone at home instead of holing up alone with your spouse.
  8. You’ll appreciate your spouse that much more, because you’ll realize how lucky you are to find someone to be lame and anti-social with.
  9. The mess of one person is half the mess of two people. (I know, so obvious. But whatever, it’s astonishing to come home to the exact same amount of dirty dishes as there were before you left.)
  10. There will not be someone to come home to and complain about the busy workday and rush hour traffic with.
  11. There will not be someone to baby you when you get a headache. You’ll have to get the ibuprofen yourself, and put yourself to bed.
  12. Alone time can be pretty cool, and getting to play Couch Commando and head DJ for a week straight can go to your head, but the little everyday moments you get to experience with your spouse are priceless.

Bonus points if you can spot the Clueless reference. Have you been caught spouseless? What has alone time taught you?

love always, Delia

It’s a love story v.2 // that time when my husband and I weren’t dating

it's a love story

It’s been awhile since my first installment for this supposed-to-be series, when I talked about how I met my husband when I was fourteen. I did get some really positive feedback from the first one, so I’m sorry to all those I’ve made wait this long for the second chapter! To those newcomers, hope you enjoy following along, and don’t get too sick from the sap :)

I couldn’t have known what an impression I made on Ryan the night we met. I could barely believe that a boy, moreover the boy I had picked out as cutest in the crowd, had given me the attention he had. Ryan tells me that he remembers seeing me in my cat outfit that night and thinking I was the most beautiful girl he’d seen. He tells me that that night, he vowed to himself that one day he would make me his.

He eventually did, but there was work to be had. A few weeks passed by and we advanced from talking over MySpace to talking on the phone. I learned that he used to date my friend Aspen, the hostess of the Halloween party where we met. I learned that the relationship had ended badly, but somehow they were now on okay terms. I learned that his favorite color was orange and his favorite band Led Zeppelin, and he learned that my favorite color is blue and my favorite band the Goo Goo Dolls. A little over a month later, he invited me to his best friend’s birthday party.

At that party, I had my first real surge of bravery regarding any crush on a boy. I made the bold move to lean on his leg as the whole party was watching a movie in his friend’s living room. I know. Truly brave of fifteen-year old me. I think maybe my heart stopped for a second, but I’m not sure.

After that, things pretty much fizzled for a while, though. He liked the single life, I think. He started dating someone else, then I started dating someone else. It seemed like we had maybe forgotten about each other. But then new developments started popping up. I saw him again at another of Aspen’s parties, and as we reconnected I realized that I secretly hoped he was jealous that I had a boyfriend. A month or two later, things seemed to be going a bit downhill with my boyfriend, and I ran into Ryan again. I was with a friend of mine who happened to hang out with Ryan’s two best friends a lot. The three of them dropped by our school to see the two of us after our track practice. My friend told me beforehand that they were coming by, and that Ryan wanted to see me. She told me that Ryan asked about me a lot, and that he said he thought I was really pretty. I imagine I blushed deeply at that. The idea that he still liked me made my heart beat kind of funny. I wondered if that could mean I still liked him, too.

It should have been pretty clear to me that day that it was true; I did still like him. But it was several weeks before my relationship finally ended, and I felt emboldened to follow his bid to call him up. I was a stubborn, loyal girlfriend—though I knew I probably had feelings for him, I had a relationship to uphold, and was not going to just call him up any time, like he often told me I could do. When the boyfriend didn’t return my calls for a week and then broke up with me via AIM, though, I threw all cares out the window; I called Ryan a few days later.

Then, he called me the next day. I called him the day after. And he called me the day after that.

This time, seven months later, the calls did not stop. Though I had thought initially that I was just calling him out of my neediness, rebounding from my break-up, that notion was quickly swept aside. He gathered my shattered confidence from being dumped, my doubts about young love, about true love, and put me back together that summer. The rest of the road before becoming “official” was a windy one, to be sure, but it’s our road and I wouldn’t change it. But more on that next time ;)

love always, Delia

It’s a love story // I met my husband when I was 14.

I promised that I would delve into some personal stories on the blog, so here goes! Introducing my new series,

it's a love story

The night I met Ryan was the night of my first high school party. It was Halloween in 2005, just before my 15th birthday. I spent the earlier part of the evening getting dressed in my black leotard, tights, and skirt ensemble, complete with some ears and a tail for what I hoped was a just-sexy-enough black cat costume. (Which in hindsight was probably pretty conservative, seeing as my dad let me leave the house, and I was never that scandalous anyway.)

I was nervous. Though I didn’t know I would be meeting the boy I would end up marrying, I was fully aware that this was the first social event I would be attending as a high schooler. And I knew that probably, most of the people there would already know each other, because most of my classmates had begun their years at our school in sixth grade. Meanwhile, I didn’t know the majority of those people who knew each other. It’s the shy introvert’s nightmare.

But I was also kind of excited. After all, Aspen had invited me. And another new friend of mine who was also a new student at our school could be my new person buddy. And it was my first “real” high school party.

So I showed up pretending to exude confidence in my little black outfit. And I stared about the room at all of the unfamiliar faces smiling behind costumes. I noticed one boy in particular amongst the crowd. My first image of him remains so clear in my memory now, and yet, for some reason I couldn’t tell you what exactly his costume was. He wore some sort of long, blonde wig, along with a white sleeveless shirt and jean jacket. But I don’t really remember seeing anything other than his big brown eyes and toned arms shown off out of the sleeveless shirt.

I watched him from across the crowded room. I overheard him flirting with a few girls, one of whom being my fellow new student companion.

But the night went on, and I was able to lose myself enough to dance freely in the dark, party-lit room full of strangers with my new friends. I danced and laughed and danced some more, and at some point I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around to face the big brown eyes I’d been watching from a distance. “Do you want to dance?” he asked. It was the first time a boy had ever asked that of me.

Of course, there being no other answer, I said yes. And as we danced, I wondered what might become of this. Would he try to kiss me? Would I let him? Would this become into anything? Or would this just become the most G-rated of all one night stands—a good story to tell friends about the cute boy I danced with that one time? I could have had no idea.

He didn’t try to kiss me—which was frankly a relief, since being a never-been-kissed fourteen year old, I would have had no idea what to make of it. But he did ask me for my name.

“Delia,” I said.

“I’m Ryan,” he said. Then he asked for my phone number.

I panicked. I’d never been asked that before. Does it show desperation if you give a guy your phone number? What if he’d take that as me being an easy catch and he never called? What if he did call and my dad answered? Even back then, I thought too much.

So I told him I didn’t give out my phone number. But I did tell him that he should find me on MySpace. (Oh, the time of MySpace.)

He proceeded to make sure that he knew exactly how to spell my name so that he could find me. His friend who was with him at the party likes repeating this part of the story: “D-E-L-I-A. D-E-L-I-A. Ben, don’t let me forget. D-E-L-I-A,” Ryan supposedly chanted to him after I left.

Don’t worry. He didn’t forget.

to be continued…

From engaged to six months married in the blink of an eye.

Barnas Kearney Wedding

Well, it’s officially been 6 months since Ryan and I got married! I can’t believe that half a year has already passed. So much has happened, and yet it somehow feels like it was just last month.

There is a period of adjustment that comes with any large life-changing event—graduations, moving to a different city, changing jobs, etc.—but the one that accompanies getting married is special. Obviously, one reason is that getting married is a permanent life change, one that is really only topped with having a child. However, another reason I’ve realized is that in the months before a wedding, you become so enveloped in planning the event that going back to a more everyday, non-planning routine can feel like a major change in and of itself. Let alone adjusting to a routine married to your significant other.

I look back to what my life was this time last year, and there is just about nothing that is the same now as it was then. Last February, I was getting fitted into the most beautiful white dress I’ll ever wear and frantically trying to decide details about the wedding location, while mapping out the wedding week with my maid of honor. I had three sets of to-do lists, all having to do with the wedding, which I cross-referenced with each other and pored over for hours at a time. (I told you, I’m a little OCD with my lists.) I was also waking up in my childhood bed, in the bedroom I grew up in, and eating breakfast with my parents before hopping off to either of my two part time jobs. I was letting them know when I’d be back home, and trying to come in quietly so as not to wake anyone up late at night. Now, I wake up next to my husband, make us breakfast (and lunch, and dinner), we make what plans we want without having to consult anyone else, and my time spent with my parents is planned out in advance.

wedding books

Stacks of books like this used to be my life.

That’s a big change in lifestyle in a short period of time. But the biggest adjustments I felt I faced soon after the wedding were the simpler things. For instance, I used to have my dad’s company every early morning before work, so when the days came where I would have to wake up and get ready quietly by myself, I was a bit nostalgic for the younger times. And, of course, as I’ve talked a bit about in my earlier post on how “married life” is, there were the adjustments to no longer having my mom be the primary homemaker (thanks, Mom!)

All things considered, though, I’ve adjusted to the little life Ryan and I have begun to live together. Before we got married I was a little concerned about what living with a boy (gasp!) might be like, or whether we might tire of spending so much time together in close quarters, but neither of these things have occupied my worries since. It is a strange feeling having lives quite separate from our parents now, but it’s exciting at the same time. I’m anxious to see how the second half of our first year together will go! I’ll try to keep a running update for anyone interested :)

To any readers, what things did you learn or face in the first few months after your wedding?

How is married life? – the impossible question

Since getting married three months ago, one of the most popular questions of me is, “How is married life?” This question is one that always makes me a little giddy, but at the same time a bit befuddled.

Befuddled? Well, it’s kind of a difficult question to answer, when I think about it. For one, not much as far as my relationship has seemed to change, except that now we live together and have earned the titles of husband and wife. The simplest and most immediate answer that I can and often do give, is that married life is fantastic. I wake up every day next to the boy I fell in love with when I was fifteen years old. I miss him every day I have to spend at work. We watch sitcoms together every evening from the comfort of our own couch, in our own living room, in our own apartment. I make him dinner, and he fixes my computer.

But that’s not all that life has held since I got married, and I think most people would be skeptical of me if I tried to argue that it was. So what else could I tell someone who asks the inevitable, “How is married life?” For me, getting married has entailed the additional life steps of moving out and living independently from my parents. On top of that, only a couple weeks before the wedding I began my first full-time, real-life, pertinent-to-my-college-major job. Thus, “married life” for me is waking up Monday through Friday at 6:30 in the morning, driving in rush hour traffic back and forth from the office, sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day, watching what seems like half my paycheck disappear to taxes and benefits, paying for rent, utilities, food, internet, and a wild assortment of other things you never think about when you’re dependent on your parents, cooking dinner, keeping our place clean, and collapsing into bed by 10:30. It’s all very adult. It’s not quite what you imagine life to be when you’re still living in your childhood bedroom and planning for the seemingly distant future. But it’s still pretty great, once you get past all the disappearing money and lack of free time.

It’s like the saying goes, “It’s the simple things in life.” Or something like that. It’s having our own couch and living room, where we can do what we want and not worry about interruptions. It’s spending weekends in their entirety together, from morning to night, and not having to worry about driving across town to see each other (not to mention traveling 850 miles to see each other as in our long-distance years). It’s buying the groceries I prefer and making what I feel like eating for dinner. It’s experimenting with recipes. It’s watching the sun rise from my living room in the morning. It’s staring at our framed wedding photos lining our walls.

The simple things. They’re actually the most notable about my newly “married life.” But since I can’t go into such detail during small talk, here is where I can really lay it out, even trying to understand for myself what “married life” really means.

I guess it means all of the above. It may also mean dealing with my husband leaving his wet towel on the bed after he showers, and forgetting food on the counter that should be put away. Perhaps also my leaving cabinets open and the both of us allowing our dirty clothes to pile up until it drives one of us crazy. Even further, it’s balancing family time with our time, and putting in the effort to be social, when we often just feel like holing up together like hermits.

But really, it’s all pretty awesome. Perhaps the next time someone asks me how “married life” is, I’ll say, how is it to live with your best friend? Daily chats, comfortable silence, sometimes irksome, most times a party, blasting music, fighting over the remote? It’s just like that. But better.