This past Thursday marked four years of marriage for me and Nicholas. Every year since our wedding, I've written a little post with a snapshot of our life together, using the anniversary as a time stamp. As in any marriage, we have our fair share of ups and downs, but what I can say most assuredly is its been a really good year. I went through and pulled out photos of us from the last year together, just for fun. And life with Nicholas has been especially fun as of late. Speaking of which, what I want to remember about marriage right now:

  • Smoothies every day
  • He thinks I look cute in a headlamp
  • Lots of talk of plans for the future
  • Our 3-4 years running morning routine of PB oatmeal and aeropress coffee
  • We (still) love our Tuesday routine with his meeting and my trip to the coffee shop
  • Re-watching Downton Abbey with teary eyes (which, apparently we did at this time last year)
  • Dates at coffee shops
  • goofy sing-a-longs (usually with Christmas music) that are so ridiculous and will never be witnessed by another soul
  • Simple dinners, like cheesy chicken and rice
  • Apple slices and peanut butter
  • We both love the scent of the tangerine lotion I apply before going to sleep
  • Fika together or evening tea on a regular basis
  • He always wants to kiss me after I apply lip balm so he can steal some of it
  • Our trip to the coast, to get away together
  • Going out for anniversary burgers, with fries and a milkshake to share
  • How he always calls me "cutie" with day-old hair, curly from being worn up in a bun

I've been reminiscing about "us" in 2010, carefully. (I want to be careful to not over-indulge nostalgia, as that's a tendency of mine). But there is something so sweet about a "forgotten memory" that randomly comes to mind, fresh as a the day it happened. It's like that moment was tucked away, deep in my brain, waiting for something in my current life to nudge it to my recollection. I think of Nicholas and I walking to the Horticulture Park to star gaze and how he let me wear his wool socks and he carried me all the way home because the grass was crunchy with frost. I remember being in his dorm room, listening to Bon Iver's Re: stacks on repeat, not wanting to say goodbye as we parted for a break from school. The lyrics were still so fresh, "it's the sound of the unlocking and the lift away. Your love will be safe with me."

Of course, the Nicholas and Andrea of 2010 were still us, just younger. And yet, after seven years, four of which we've been married, I think about and talk about love differently. While it's been a fun year for us, I notice the parts of sacrificial love especially, me for him, him for me. I think of when I had really bad stomach pain and he cleaned the kitchen, brought me a heat pack and tucked the quilt around my shoulders. I think of always making his cup of coffee before making one for me. I think of writing a note to him and knitting him socks. How he'll carry me to bed if I fall asleep on the couch. 

I carry with me all these little moments, the ones that happened in 2010, the ones that happened yesterday, and the ones that will happen. 

I have this person, my person with whom to do it all.  And what a gift he is to me! Every day, an opportunity to love better. And to think that God's had (far more than) a hand in how this marriage has shaped us and grown us and led us to rejoice in His work in our lives. I love this quote from Spurgeon:

Cheerful holiness is the most forcible of sermons, but the Lord must give it to you. Seek it this morning before you go out into the world. When it is the Lord's work in which we rejoice, we need not be afraid of being too glad."

C.H. Spurgeon

There is joy in routine and joy in sacrifice and joy in learning how to best love each other and certainly joy in our marriage reflecting the marriage of Christ and the the church. As seasons of life change, the one who made us never does. 

P.S.-- if you're curious, here are my previous anniversary posts and our love story in two parts: