by Heather Nelson
181 days ago, I officially became a DeJong.
I didn’t know six months ago what time would bring Brandon and me. In October, Covid-19 numbers were rising (again) and I — and probably many others — feared another shutdown. He and I held our breath hoping our wedding wouldn’t turn into a “super-spreader” event. And the 2020 Election loomed — it was only weeks following our wedding.
We’ve survived what the universe has thrown our way, and we’re stronger people because of it. We’ve worked through any challenges or setbacks together.
Planning a wedding during a pandemic gave me new perspective. Instead of worrying about small details, I decided what mattered was our union. I stressed less about the perfect decor, the cake, the music, what the weather would be like…
I learned to let go of the things that were out of my control.
Sure, my granny wouldn’t be there to hear our “I Dos.” Wedding festivities might become smaller. Would we have to postpone? Would guests from out of town be able to safely travel? The unknowns were paralyzing at times.
But Brandon and I decided nothing — not even Covid — could stop us from celebrating and sharing our day with loved ones.
And we did. Everything about the day was perfect…so perfect that I’m certain my grandmas — yes, both of them — divinely interfered.
Now, I truly understand the advice, “Enjoy the wedding planning, the celebrations. The day will go by fast.”
I often reminisce on that day — the joy of knowing everyone I loved was able to share my favorite memories.
Post-wedding, it’s common to hear the question: “So, how’s married life?”
I don’t always have the best answer because being married to your best friend seems unreal. (Plus, Brandon and I already knew what it was like to live under the same roof.)
There are a few things that Brandon and I have done to make our (first six months of) marriage successful.
- “Date” each other. We set aside time to spend uninterrupted time together. Sometimes it’s dinner and dessert. Sometimes it’s a movie night. Sometimes we clean and have deep life conversations together.
- Make time for yourself. There are many nights when I’m caught up in a book and Brandon’s deep into a video game. It’s equally important for you to spend time apart as it is for you to spend time together. It’s OK to be your own person.
- Little acts of kindness go a long way. Brandon knows that sometimes I’m overwhelmed by completing small tasks — cleaning up the kitchen, folding laundry, you name it… Numerous times, I’ve come home from work exhausted with zero intention of peeling myself from the couch — those are the nights I come a spotless kitchen or a tidied living room. Honestly, no gift is better.
- Teamwork makes the dream work. Cliche? Of course. True? Heck yes. Brandon and I work great as a team. Sometimes he’s the one giving me a pep talk — and other times it’s me leading the pack. One thing that’s certain: we work well together. The most mundane tasks are easier with a great partner.
- Enjoy each other’s company. We do our best to communicate — even if we have an argument. We know when our partner needs a laugh, a hug, or sometimes to cry it out (me). I think we do a damn good job of appreciating each other and cherishing our time as a couple.
Of course, I don’t have all of the answers. I’m no expert on love and relationships; I know what works for me. Brandon and I communicate well, but we also know how to annoy each other.
All this considered — 181 days post-“I Do” — I wouldn’t change a thing.