Yesterday, Nick and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary. He cooked a nice meal and we spent the night reflecting on our highs and lows from the past year. We’re low-key like that. Sorry I don’t have pictures from an exotic vacation to share. You’ll have to head over to another blog for that!
One of the things I love about our marriage is how interconnected it is with some of my closest friendships. My friends have played a key role in our journey as a couple, and it’s something that I will treasure for the duration of our marriage (which better be forever).
Little known fact: Mil knew I was getting engaged months before I did. After about a year of dating, Nick and I started talking about marriage. Of course in classic Julia/Nick style, I was thinking about something happening in three-five years, while he was thinking about something happening in the much more immediate future. Unbeknownst to me, he reached out to Mil on Facebook and asked for her help finding the perfect engagement ring. Since I’d never fantasized about my dream ring, they had very little to work from. They went back and forth looking at different designs and then magically sent each other the same ring. The same ring! I still love thinking about it today. It’s a wonderful thing when your husband-to-be and your bestie get together to plan your future happiness.
Once the ring was designed and purchased, Nick popped the actual question while we were on a couples trip to Charleston with my good friend Veronica and her fiancé Alex. I had no idea it was coming. All I knew was that I wanted to spend as much time with Veronica as humanly possible. Nick proposed during sunrise on the first morning of the trip, and almost immediately after saying “yes,” I dive-bombed into Veronica and Alex’s bed. I may have been screaming at the top of my lungs. Poor Alex. I forced Nick to let Veronica come with us on a romantic walk on the beach, followed by a celebratory breakfast feast. We spent the rest of the weekend goofy with joy. And while I would have originally thought I would want to celebrate our decision privately, it was actually so much better have a girlfriend to share in my excitement. Veronica and I both took a similar path finding our life partners, so it felt right having her there to see things come full circle.
Balancing both romantic love and platonic love can be tricky. Everyone says all the time that “marriage takes work,” which is without a doubt true. But, I think less often we acknowledge that strong friendships require work as well. Maintaining meaningful longterm friendships requires making extra effort to stay close despite miles of distance, and having to work through rough patches. It can be a lot of work, and I’ve seen many female friendships shift after husbands and babies come into the picture. No one is necessarily to blame. We get put into tough situations where there’s just not enough of us to go around, so we have to make hard choices.
I feel lucky that so far I haven’t had to choose between one or the other – my husband or my friends. My husband understands how important my friendships are to me and has intentionally made them a part of our story. I’m also lucky to have friends that are unbelievably supportive of me and my relationship with my husband. They are invested in our success and having that support makes all the difference.
So this year and every year, as I reflect on our marriage, I will be thinking not just about my husband, but about everyone else who has helped support and strengthen our relationship.