Year 1. Amazing.

So this is Gabe - and I am hijacking the blog because, well, this is as good occasion as any. Today is my and Mary's 1 year anniversary.  As she and I were talking about it today we realized something: it was a wonderfully amazing, fun year.

As many of you can probably attest, so many people told us before we were married that "The first year is the hardest" or "Just make it through your first year and you'll be fine" or "Good luck with the first year!" or something else of that nature.  It had me thinking that, boy, this first year of marriage will be a real doozy.

This year certainly had its challenges for us.  Since we did not live together before we were married, we had to adjust with how each other worked and lived. Who would do the laundry? (her, since i struggle with the 'delicates' situation apparently), who would clean? (mostly me, since, well, who likes cleaning?), and so forth.  We had to get used to how we communicate with each other, and how to really love each other like we need it. And we realize we still have a lot of learning to do.

But what we found out is that this first year of marriage was truly awesome.  We've loved this year and realized it's been mostly a breeze!  And I think it's been so great is because we truly deeply love each other.  Mary constantly puts my needs before her own and longs to serve me in everything.  And I do the same for her - or at least try to.  And that, I think, plays a HUGE part in making a marriage work - sacrificial love on both sides.

At the end of year 1 we realize that our love has only grown for each other during the course of this year.  And that is a beautiful thing.

So if you are engaged - don't worry!  The first year will be a breeze if you just simply love each other to the core - willing to do anything for the other. Don't listen to the naysayers. Go into it eager to love that person, and you'll be grand.

And if you are married - congrats to you!  We have such a high regard for marriage and deeply respect the commitment and sacredness of it all, especially now that we find ourselves in that covenant.

And if you are single - embrace it! Embrace all the joys and the hardships of it all, knowing that our experiences are what shape us and make us wise if we let them.

My experience being married is that I must be among luckiest guys on earth, because I am married to one amazing woman. She's made me a better person. Here's to more years for us all...

Below are some shots from the wedding and honeymoon...