Happy New Year everyone! It’s time for my annual marriage review post because tomorrow is my 5 year wedding anniversary.
Wow. 5 years. What a journey.
There is so much I want to say, especially about this past year. Coincidentally I started my blog the same year we got married and so I’ve been recapping each year of my marriage on here. I’m so glad I started this little tradition because I can look back and remember things I totally forgot and see the progression of our life together.
During our first year of marriage, we were living in Virginia. I was in graduate school and the hubs was working three hours from me in Richmond. It was very hard on our marriage to do that long distance in the early months. We did not live together until we got married, which I know is unusual these days and probably for good reason because the adjustment to living together was challenging too. The year ended on a high note though when we found out the hubs got accepted to medical school in November. The only catch was that medical school was several thousand miles away on a small island called Grenada…
During our second year of marriage, we spent time long distance again, as I finished my master’s degree in history and hubs went ahead and moved to Grenada. I graduated in May and moved to Grenada in August. I had a lot of unusual experiences during my early months in Grenada, including a very harrowing experience of getting sucked into a flash flood in the Grenadian rainforest. Hubs finished the year strong, completing the first year of a 5 year MPH/MD program and earning his masters degree in public health.
This is the year we really got cracking on our finances. My blog finally started to become profitable. We paid off all of our credit card debt after some not so great money moments, and I got a job teaching English at the university in Grenada. That job would finally push us into a comfortable financial position, one that we had never before experienced. Hubs finished his first year of medical school (or his second year of his 5 year program.)
Our 4th year of marriage was definitely full of highs and lows. Hubs endured some ultra challenging semesters in school and prevailed. It was very high stress and sometimes we’d go weeks without having a normal conversation. Mid year my blog started to make me more income than my day job, and I decided to make a plan to become self employed by the end of the year. I worked harder than I ever thought possible. Literally every minute of my day was spent working between my day job and my blog, but I saved $20,000, was able to send the hubs to India for three weeks as a study abroad trip, and of course, we found out toward the end of the year that not only were we pregnant, but we were pregnant with twins.
All of this bring us to this year….
- On January 1, I finally became self employed after years of side hustling.
- We started the year living in Louisiana, experiencing all the adjustments that came from leaving our island home.
- Our dog Julep miraculously turned 5 years old despite her constant attempts to eat things she shouldn’t.
- We hosted two of hubs’ friends in our home, and all 3 of them spend the first three months of the year studying all day long for a massively important exam called the Step 1. Hubs took the Step 1 in March and 10 days later….
- Our twins were born!
- The most difficult days of our entire life, not just our year, were the two weeks our children spent in the NICU. We don’t actually think many of our family members or friends fully understood just how much that impacted us, but it’s something we would never wish on any parent ever.
- One week after we brought our babies home, we found out we had 16 days to move to New Jersey so hubs could start his 3rd year of medical school. Needless to say, with very, very tiny babies at home, we were stressed to the max trying to figure out where we were going to live and how we were going to travel up here.
- After overnighting a $6,500 check to our new landlord, an amount we diligently saved the year before, we made it to New Jersey on a Saturday and on Monday, hubs began his Internal Medicine rotation. He then went through rotations in Pediatrics, Ob/Gyn, and Psychiatry. Despite the immense demands on his time at home, he did well in school and made me very proud.
- Because of their difficult start, I was so, so proud to breastfeed my twins for 4.5 months. I still miss it!
- We paid our credit cards off in full every month and did not dip into our emergency fund, even when we had to make $700 repairs on our car.
- I wrote my first viral blog post ever. It was shared over 44,000 times and liked more than 225,000 times. Because of it, I was interviewed by Huffington Post Live. This interview was the first time I stepped in another room and let someone else watch the babies.
- I brought the principal balance on my student loan down $1,000.
- The number one thing we argued about was chores. You’ll notice this is true in every single marriage review post. I do have hopes for 2015 though as we have now instituted chore check lists to deal with this issue! It only took 5 years to figure that out. 🙂
- We raised two children for 9+ months! Our son started crawling a few days before Christmas. They are both flourishing and doing well.
- 2014 is definitely the year of sleep deprivation, which does crazy things to you. It’s true what they say – the first few months of your children’s life are designed so that both you and they forget it. 😉
- We certainly had our fair share of arguments, terrible moments, and very high stress in 2014, but we also had moments of pure joy, happiness, and love.
- Looking back, I think I have had more moments where I actually felt happiness this year than all of the years of my life put together. Even though 2014 was hard in many respects, I do think our children have really strengthened our marriage. Sure, kids add a big stress to marriage but at the same time they are very unifying too. I know some of this sounds contradictory, but I find that life is incredibly complex and when you live a very full life, this is even more true.
Overall, I’m happy to have survived 2014. It’s a year the hubs and I will never forget, one we will look back on and say wow, we did that! and it will always be the year that our beautiful children, the true lights of our lives, were born.
On a personal note, I love you hubs. I proud of us for everything we’ve been through in the last 5 years – all of the moves, all of the school, all of the challenges and all of the triumphs. Here’s to many, many more…
Thank you everyone for being a part of this journey.