Do you know how much I love you?

This past weekend Tim and I celebrated 2 months of marriage. This was the poem that I wrote especially for Tim and was read out during our ceremony.

Enjoy

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A poem for Tim, by Jody

Do you know how much I love you? To the moon and back, And the stars beyond and everywhere in between

Do you know why I love you? Your smile lights my heart, Your voice calms my fears, You are my joy, my strength and everything in between

Do you know when I love you? As the rains fall down, when the cold winds blow, when there’s sunshine and shadow and everywhere in between

Do you know what I love? You, my dearest one, my answer to prayer, you are my all and everything in between

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The grass is always greener

Sometimes I forget that I’m married. I don’t forget that I have Tim in my life but when someone calls me Mrs or there is mention that I am a wife then it can take me by surprise. They are titles that I’m not used to yet.

I think part of this is because I was a single girl for so long. Being 30 and single was a turning point for me. When I was 21 (and foolish) I made a list of things I wanted to do before I turned 30. On that list was ‘get married’ – somehow I’d got it stuck in my head that you should be married by 30.

So as the deadline was approaching and I was very much still single I started to freak out ever so slightly. Questions started tumbling through my head….what is wrong with me? am I unattractive? am I too set in my ways? am I too picky?

I always said, and still believe, that you can lead a fulfilling life no matter what your relationship status is. I was determined to make the most of it no matter what but sometimes I wondered what it would be like to have that special someone.

To be honest I couldn’t imagine anyone ever wanting to spend the rest of their life with me, but part of my heart hoped and prayed I would be proved wrong.

I could go on to say that it happened for me and so it will happen for you (if it hasn’t already) but what I want to tell you instead is that the grass is always greener.

I would be out with a group of girlfriends and see a couple having what looked like a romantic dinner and my heart would go ‘awwweee’. Or I’d be off on an overseas adventure and think how lovely it would be if it was a honeymoon. Or…I could recall a million other thoughts here.

Not that long ago one of my girlfriends said she wasn’t sure if she wanted to go camping with our group of friends as she thought it might be all couples. That stopped me and I thought…ooh I don’t want to go either and then I remembered I was one of those couples!

Even on my beloved honeymoon I saw a group of 4 girls waiting to catch the plane home. My heart leapt and I thought oh how lovely to be on holidays with your friends.

So I’ve been the single girl dreaming of a man and I’ve been the newlywed dreaming of friends. I wasn’t unhappy in either situation but it just goes to show we always look at something we don’t have and long for it.

Marriage is awesome and I’d totally recommend it but having a group of friends is totally awesome too.

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Its our thing

One piece of marriage advice I got was that we needed to find a common interest. This might have come my way since my husband and I are very different. He’s from the country and claims I’m a city girl. I used to be a strict vegetarian and Tim eats meat with every meal (ok not breakfast, well not everyday). He likes heavy metal and I like pop. He says potato, I say potarto….ok you get what I mean.

We’re different. But its never been that big of a deal, we compromise. For example after me watching about 10 of his movies we were in the cinema for that Adam Sandler one, “Grown Ups” and by then I’d had enough. So Tim gives in and announces next time he’s taking me to a ‘chick flick’. I’m not game to admit which one we actually watched but it was good.

It works for us, but having a common interest is good too and we’ve found one!

A few days ago I was kind of bagging my husbands interest in ebay. I have to admit that ever since we got guitar hero with the drums and the microphone, there hasn’t been a day it hasn’t been played.

Its actually something we like to do together. Tim plays the guitar (as he’s the hero and I can’t even play the stupid thing) and I like to sing. So we have a band. It’s now our thing.

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Nothing exciting happens on Wednesday

Its Wednesday. And nothing exciting ever seems to happen on a Wednesday. Its very different to Monday. Monday gets a lot of attention but people generally hate it. It was on a monday that my husband and I faced our first real fight since getting married.

Some how it came up out of nowhere for us. Everything is normal and them BAM! You’re in opposite sides of the ring putting your boxing gloves on, throwing verbal punches. It spirals down and down until you wonder how you’re going to bring it back.

I think a lot of people get to this place and don’t know what to do. We get hurt and so we want to hurt in return. Accusations are flying while mercy and love and compassion are pushed down. No place for those things here. But someone has to compromise. Someone has to take the first step to make things right. Someone has to let go.

In these moments no one wants to be the person to make the first move back to reality. We both feel justified in our argument and we both want to be proved right. And here a choice is made. Either I put myself first or I put my marriage first.

Our culture is all about putting ourself first…I wonder if this has something to do with our high divorce rate?

One of my mentors said to me, just after I got engaged, how he made an agreement with his wife. Their agreement was this – divorce was never to be mentioned. I spoke to Tim about it and we made the same agreement, we want our marriage to be forever and we agree to face whatever obstacle comes our way (I do recognise its easy to say that now before the obstacles actually come).

So when that argument erupted and neither of us wanted to back down, it would be so easy to say – this is too hard. I don’t want to do this anymore….after all that’s the biggest punch that can be thrown.

Instead, we stopped, we looked at what was good for our marriage. And then we realised we were both wrong!

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Rules for dating

There’s a saying which goes, “A good man is hard to find” but I think its even harder to find a patient man. A few years ago my friend JR graciously told me I needed a patient man. I felt a bit miffed about that….was I that hard to get on with? Whether I am or not I can’t decide but I did start to think about the value of a patient man.

Years before that 2 of my closest male friends and I had made a list of rules for dating. We referred to it as the three S’s:

Rule 1: No Settling for second best

Rule 2: No Soppiness (this was for one of the boys in particular who was very good at putting on the sad puppy dog eyes and we, his friends, thought it didn’t help the cause)

Rule 3: No Second chances.

We all broke the rules overtime and jokingly attributed our dating failures to not keeping them.

Looking back on the rules the only good one in there is about not settling for second best. Relationships are hard under the best circumstances so if you’re not with someone who you think the world of, you better back out.

Now that I’m married and committed to a forever, if Tim and I had a rule about no second chances there would be no ‘us’ already. Marriage is all about second chances. I continually stuff up and do things that are:

a) thoughtless

b) hurtful

c) stupid

d) all of the above.

That is why I’m thankful that JR was brave enough to tell me I needed a patient man. I’m even more thankful that I actually found a good, patient man. Someone who would acknowledge my faults and who would patiently help me become a better person and give me 2nd, 3rd, 4th….chances. If you’re looking for that special one, add ‘patient’ to the list of must have’s!

Now somehow I need to become more patient…is there a set of rules for that?

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I’m for teacups

I recently discovered the delights of ebay….I know I know I’m behind the times. But how awesome is that site?! I first went on there after my uncle told me how he got such a great deal on a dining room table. I wanted a new table too, so off I went, joined ebay and scoured the site for something perfect.

It wasn’t long and I was falling in love again. Lovely little french provincial table. It had style, it had flair and it was a bargain! woo hoo! The bidding began and ebay quickly told me I was the highest bidder. I started day dreaming about sitting at that table surrounded by family. This was the table I’d have lovely dinner parties on, my kids would grow up doing their homework here and then one day it would have to retire but my heart would be filled with precious memories all around this table.

Ok so I have a tendency to get carried away. My dream was soon shattered…I didn’t realise someone could outbid you in the last 30 seconds. And outbid you by a mere $5.00. Oh how I loathed ebay. For 2 weeks I refused to even look at it again.

But then I returned and found some delightful tea cups and a purchase was made. I was successful and my love affair began all over again.

I have noticed something funny about ebay buying – the difference between what I like and what my husband likes. I’m for teacups and Tim’s for guitar hero. Do they ever grow up? Or should I see this as a sign that my husbands already preparing for our kids by storing toys?

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My ebay finds

Change in the air

I cut my hair. I feel very much like the typical newlywed. Brides grow and grow their hair until they delight in the thought of the end of the honeymoon just so they can cut their hair off. Ok so I wasn’t quite that bad but I was keen for the cut and a change.

Its like there was something in the air…..normally its love but this time it was change. All of a sudden I was buying fabric off the internet, researching places where I could learn to sew, and getting super excited over my new yellow cushions (I tell you they are divine though). Here’s a photo of the pattern:

I used to get excited over restaurants and international holidays and Tiffany earrings. Is this what being married is all about? Being interested in stuff that reminds me of my Nanna? Has something switched in my brain?

The short answer is yes! Something has switched in my brain and its telling me to nest. To make my house a cute little home. A sanctuary. A haven.

But I refuse to give up an interest in Tiffany earrings.

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Playing well with others

I lived by myself before I got married, having just moved to a new city, not knowing anyone and to be honest, over the sharehouse situation, I got my own place. I had spent the 12 years before that with a variety of housemates some delightful, some bizarre and some plain crazy.

Being a girl with traditional values, Tim and I didn’t move in together until we were married. This is one of the things that scared me. Well scared is probably too strong a word but I worried how we would get along. Afterall I’m an only child who never had to share toys let alone a bedroom…would I ‘play well with others’?

I really was in denial about this aspect of getting married. I wanted Tim to move in…just didn’t want to give up my style and my extra room in the wardrobe. Well the style thing is easy as Tim lets me do whatever I like. But it all became apparent when we were back from the honeymoon that things were going to have to change. And by ‘things’ I mean me.

It all started with “where am I going to put my clothes?” Valid question I suppose but do they really need to go in my wardrobe? Wouldn’t it be much nicer in the spare room, where you could have lots of room? I didn’t say that out loud by the way. Instead I started to cull. I went through all my clothes, got rid of the ones I haven’t worn in years and put things like snow jackets in one of those fantastic space bags. And voila there was room. A whole cupboard of room.

I think I was worried that by getting married I would have to let go of a little bit of me. That I was no longer Jody, but Jody & Tim. But what I am is both. This marriage thing is not going to work unless I continue to be me. I can’t give up who I am to make an ‘us’. The ‘us’ works best when we are still two individuals who have our own opinions and do our own things and have our own friends….and our own room in the wardrobe.

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The Vision

Surely you’ve noticed how just about all romantic movies end with either the couple finally getting together or getting married. Its seems like there is a Hollywood formula that goes something like this – couple meet, they fall in love at first sight which means the rest of the movie is about trials they face and how they eventually overcome them. Or they hate each other at first sight which means the rest of the move is about them being forced into spending time together, dating other people and then finally realising that they should be together and are now in love. And then the movie stops.

Happily ever after seems to stop when you get married. But what happens in the happily ever after? Sex and the City, the first movie, tried to answer that question but what it really did was follow the original formula. Carrie and Big are finally together and now they’re getting married….but Big stands her up at the altar and then they face a number of trials until they get back together again and the movie ends with them getting married.

Bridget Jones Diary – Edge of Reason, follows a similar line. Bridget and Mark Darcy are in love and together but then get pulled apart, they face a number of trials before getting back together at the end.

So what does the happily ever after bit actually look like? Maybe its too boring to show BUT having just got married not long ago I’m going to make a diary about what being married is actually like.

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