D I S C L A I M E R // I originally wrote this last May! I'm not sure why it never got posted, SO I thought, "better late than never!" Since we've now been married for nearly a year and a half, I'll be sharing a second post soon!

Elisha and I have been married for 6 months now. It's weird because it seems strange to think it's already been that long, and yet it seems so natural that it feels like it's been years. Marriage has been exactly what I thought it would be and nothing at all what I thought it would be. There are so many things that people tell you to "prepare" you for the life change that's going to take place, but it's one of those "you had to be there" kind of things. You honestly don't understand marriage until you're in it, because there's really nothing that it can be equated to. It's beautiful and it's hard and it's worth it. Being married to Elisha has not only changed "us" together, but individually we have grown. It's incredible.

So, I know I'm not an expert, but I thought it would be fun to keep a log of what I learn along this journey of marriage. I look forward to being able to share this list with my someday daughter and even looking back myself and laughing at what I thought was important and what actually still matters.

Build each other up. Who doesn't love to be told how awesome they are?? Just because you're married and you know your spouse loves you and they know you love them, doesn't mean you should stop saying it or showing it. Remind them of why you first fell in love with them, tell them something new that you love about them and basically make them feel like they're the world's greatest husband/wife. When I support and encourage Elisha, I can see him light up (and visa versa). Equally important, is to not ( I mean ever) tear them down (especially in front of other people). There's playful fun and there's just plain mean. Don't be mean, cause then you hurt the one you love and that ultimately hurts you and then your marriage. Just be nice, even when it's tough. 

Together is better; alone is okay. Elisha and I love love to be together - watching tv, going shopping, eating out, you name it, we love doing it together. With that being said, we also really enjoy being alone. For me, I'm naturally very introverted, so alone time equals peace, relaxation and refueling. I need to be alone with my thoughts sometimes because it's healthy and let's be honest, it's in everyone's best interest. So we both made an agreement that being alone was okay. Elisha will go workout and I'll hangout at home, or run some errands. Saturday mornings I wake up early, go sit in the living room eating waffles and watching TV with Gretch. You don't have to do everything together. Alone is okay too.

Agree to disagree. This one was something that I knew going into this thing, but not something I looked forward to (who would?). The cool thing about dating is you can disagree and then go to your separate homes, think about it and then call each other and makeup. When you're married, there's no going to your separate place, you're like, stuck with each other. ha. It's incredible because Elisha and I have had a few disagreements and I've found myself thinking one of two things "I can either share my feelings, listen to what he has to say and come to an agreement, or we can awkwardly not talk to each other while we both go about our business in our home". Always go with the first y'all. Because ultimately, a disagreement is just an opportunity. An opportunity to show grace and forgiveness, to get to know your spouse more by understanding their feelings, and to voice your thoughts and opinions (both of your voices matter). I have weirdly enjoyed our disagreements because once we hug it out and come to an agreement, I leave feeling loved and understood. Oddly enough, they bring us closer together. So don't disagree for no reason, but don't flee from conversation.

The little things sometimes make the biggest impact. One of Elisha's love languages is words of affirmation, which is great cause I love telling him how much I love him! Since I leave to work before him, I like to leave a little note on his desk for him to read later that day. They aren't long, but remind him of why I love him, and all that good stuff. It's a small thing, but it's something he can look forward to. Elisha does freelance work, so he's able to work from home most of the time. Because he's home more than I am, he will do things like make the bed, do the laundry, or pick up around the home - all things I hugely appreciate! There are three things he does that make me feel so loved, and are probably the smallest things, and something he didn't even know was such a big deal until I told him a few weeks ago. Since I wake up so early, I usually fall asleep on the couch (oops), but without fail, he'll wake me when it's time to head to bed, he'll plug in my phone to my charger, make sure I have water by my bed and remind me to take my glasses off. I'm a grown woman so I know I can do all of those things on my own but the fact that he does them, makes me feel loved and taken care of. Don't forget the little things!

There's more, but lets be honest, you're probably done with this post. So, lets table this and come back to it. I love being married. It's fun and it's work and it's perfect and it's tough, and I'm glad I get to go through it with my best friend.

xo. mel