04.28.14 [one year anniversary]

I've been married to Jacob for one year. I was given a lot of advice when we were wed on Sunday, April 28, 2013.

This advice was written down and given to me by the friends and family that surrounded us on our wedding day. I think about these a lot, if only to chuckle about the inordinate amount of pop culture quotes on that list of advice.

It's fairly easy to apply some of that advice when you love somebody. Serving each other is both intentional and habitual simultaneously. The fights are uncomfortable but resolved quickly. I've eaten plenty of crow and apologized on more than one account. We haven't gotten a dog yet but we're thinking on it.

This was the strangest piece of "wisdom" passed on to me. The 28th of each month kept going by, pushing us closer to our first anniversary and every 28th I thought,

"How did I escape the first year omen?"

Was this supposed to be tough? New, uneasy, life-changing - sure. But this was not difficult.

I was jittery before we got married. I should clarify - I did not have cold feetI was absolutely sure about marrying Jacob but if there's one thing that invades my bliss, it's anxiety.

Honeymoons are a great concept but it's a bit daunting to have a week-long sleepover with a boy who is suddenly your husband, in an unfamiliar place, in a dream-like state. I was prepared to be really uncomfortable in New York City.

In a way, it was. But in every other way, it was the best affirmation that God gave me a really great man who was now my husband. And it didn't stop when the honeymoon was over and real life resumed.

ONE | He supports your dreams, even when you're not sure what your dream is.

We bought a house just before we got married. Buying a house and getting married are two of the most stressful things to experience, so, why not do both in the same month. Jacob spear-headed the house hunt while I focused on the wedding day. He found the agent, narrowed down the houses, got us a loan.

And as we looked at each house, one of the main criteria he'd repeat was,

I didn't have to secure a spot to create in; he was always ensuring and assuring me I would always have one.

For years, I wanted to be a children's book illustrator. I don't have that dream anymore, and I've yet to have a new one to replace it.

TWO | He gives your interests weight & importance.

Four years ago when we first started dating, he listened to Michael Buble for me and took me to his concert. He's a fan of Buble now but not so much back then. He took me to Broadway musicals and bought me Edward Gorey books,

listened to me rave about art history and supported my bad coffee habits.

The man's heart longs for Montana. Wide open spaces, towering mountains, endless stars, and nature as far as the eyes can see.

When discussing a honeymoon locale, he forewent his desire for wide open spaces and brought me to New York City instead - a place that I had always wanted to visit.

THREE | He loves your through your lowest lows.

I have this heart issue that often causes insomnia and escalates my anxiety. I do my best to control it, but once you've gone without good sleep for a while, despair sets in. When I'm despairing at 4am, exhausted and panicking, he's held me and prayed over me.

And I thank God because,

Anxiety deadens my sensibility and electrocutes my nerves, strangling my prayers and enveloping me. I can depend on Jacob to pray on my behalf and remind me there's hope and peace when everything looks gray.

And when the dust settles, I remember who I am, what I have, and that I am dearly loved.

FOUR | He listens to God's voice.

And then he texted that they needed someone to teach art there and "you should pray about coming."

I was not as convinced as he was when it came to spending two weeks in the Czech Republic teaching English and art lessons.

Jacob did not hesitate. He saw a need, he had the skills - decision made.

Our lives have been irrevocably altered by our times spent with Czechs and the Prague City Team. It's a dreamy city. At 1100 years old, it emanates nostalgia and familiarity, even if you are stepping foot on the cobblestone for the first time.

It has been called the Golden City, Mother of Cities, and the

What strikes me most about Prague can be seen from the top of it.

There must be a place in heaven that resembles it. It leaves me awestruck every time I meet it.

We do not go just for the city - it is merely the scene for the introduction and the farewell. Our time is spent in a smaller town, out in the countryside, in the mountains.

Now this is the backdrop of memories spent: singing songs, performing skits, playing games, drawing, teaching and learning with some of the smartest, most talented people I've yet to meet.

I'm not being romantic when I say I have been altered. I've gotten to know my husband so much more through serving God together and facing challenges as a pair.

Three years later and we're preparing for the fourth summer trip to the Czech Republic, with Jacob leading this year.

I'm thankful he was listening.

FIVE | He makes you laugh until you're red in the face.

I think a sense of humor is necessary to survive. Taking anything too seriously is dreadful. Dreadful!

Jacob sees the importance in this and makes me giggle until my sides are sore.

Some of his finest quips generally involve profanity which only makes me laugh harder. 

Sometimes when he's burping, he'll say words at the same time which always has me in stitches.

The way to my heart is puns. He knows this.

Jacob is clever and quick-witted which makes debating with him all the more difficult.

Thank God he's ticklish so I can win sometimes.

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Jacob made the first year of marriage so simple.

I'm thankful for the easy gait at the beginning - it has rooted us closer together and closer to Christ to prepare for harder times ahead.

Here's to another year of adventure, dear, and many more after that.

Love you.