4 years ago today, I made one of the greatest decisions of my life (second to following Jesus) to marry my best friend and the love of my life. It is so crazy to think that 4 years have already gone by, and that we've shared so many experiences together, but it is so exciting to know that we have a lifetime of adventures and memories ahead of us to be made together.
According to the world wide web, the most common traditional 4th anniversary present is fruit or flowers, and while I would love either or a combination of both of those, my sweet husband probably could not care less. So instead, I thought it would be special to share 10 things my husband has taught me in the first 4 years of our marriage:
1. Who is in the Philadelphia Eagles division, aka the NFC East.
Ryan was born near Philadelphia, and during his family's time there, they became big Eagles fans. My family didn't really affiliate themselves with any sports teams growing up, so by marriage and by default, I became an Eagles fan. I have seen many games in the first four years of our marriage, from the comfort of our own home, to various bars and restaurants, to their home field at Lincoln Financial field in Philly, and have since learned the Eagles are a part of the National Football Conference (NFC) East, alongside their rivals: the Dallas Cowboys, the Washington Redskins, and the New York Giants. Fun fact: The Eagles are currently ranked #1 in the NFC east. *Shameless plug*
2. What a designated hitter is, and when they do and don't play.
This has been a recent development, as the Houston Astros (another of Ryan's teams) are playing in the World Series for the first time since 2005. I have heard this baseball term before, but didn't know what it really meant (as there are way too many games for me to follow and keep up with). How I understood his thorough explanation is, basically, different rules can apply in the different leagues, and in the Astros' league, the team can select a "designated hitter" to bat for the pitcher in his place. However, this rule doesn't apply in the Dodgers' league, so there you will see the team's pitcher at bat as well. Who knew?!
3. How to wakeboard (and wakesurf).
Before I got married, I never attempted any sort of water sports, nor did I really have any motivation or access to attempt the. Since we've been married and have lived in Austin, we have had more opportunities to be out on the water and go boating with friends and family. Being the active guy he is, he had to do something other than just boating, so he purchased a wakeboard, started practicing, and has gotten pretty good. Ryan then taught me how to wakeboard about 2 years ago when we visited the Ozarks with his family. I can proudly say that I now know how to get up and ride on the wakeboard, and have since learned how to wakesurf as well. Not gonna lie, it makes you feel pretty cool. *Insert sunglass emoji*
4. How to play disc golf.
Disc golf, or frisbee golf, was one activity Ryan introduced me to while we were in college, and one that we continued to play after we got married and moved to Austin. As I mentioned, he is a very active guy, and it was important for us to have a few different activities we could do together and that I wouldn't hate. This low-intensity sport is easy to learn, and great to play with just two people especially when the weather is nice! You may be surprised to find where the nearest disc golf course is in your city!
5. How to budget and spend your money wisely.
This was a hard lesson for me to learn, especially at the beginning of our marriage. In my younger years, I never really understood or appreciated the value of money or why it was necessary to have a budget. In college, I was the worst at over-drafting. Thankfully, my sweet husband learned this from a very early age and has helped instill these values in me over time. At first, I didn't understand why I couldn't just buy everything I saw at Target, or why I suddenly felt guilty when I did--like I needed to hide my purchases from my husband, but setting a monthly budget has allowed us to save and accomplish different dreams many young people aren't able to do. This has also allowed me to practically stop impulse buying, and only purchase or save for things I really want and won't regret having purchased a few weeks or months later.
6. How to care for your vehicle and why it's important.
This was another hard earned lesson. I never neglected my vehicle, or kept it in bad shape, but I didn't realize the importance of resale value and how caring for your things, including your vehicle, will not only make them last longer, but also will help them to maintain their value over time. Now, I take it in for routine maintenance on time, and don't procrastinate until the last second, I keep it clean inside and out, and don't let the gas tank run almost empty every time.
7. How to pick your battles.
In every relationship, you know what things are worth fighting for or about, and what things aren't. My husband is very patient and very calm, and while I may "complain" about silly little things from time to time (or daily), he continuously shows me grace and does not fight or argue with me about trivial things.
8. How to leave work at work, and why it's okay not to talk about it.
Ladies, this is something we all struggle with. We love to come home and talk about all the events of our day, and to vent when we feel like it's necessary. Sometimes it is, but in my marriage I have also learned that it's okay to leave work at work. It's okay to leave the drama, the stress, the urgency at the door and simply focus on what, and who, is truly important in life.
9. Not everyone is a handyman, but man is it handy to have one!
I am so thankful to have married a man who is super handy and can quickly and easily repair things when they're broken, and can build just about anything from blanket ladders, to coffee tables, to dining tables with love. I know that not everyone has learned these skills, but it sure is handy to have them!
10. How to love selflessly and unconditionally, like Jesus loves.
Ryan, thank you for showing me grace, mercy, and unconditional love on a daily basis. I know I am not without my many quirks and flaws, but you still choose to love me and support me on a daily basis. I am so thankful for you, and pray that our love will display the gospel to those around us in a real way every day of our lives.