Last night we celebrated our one year anniversary by going to a fancy-pants restaurant called the Honuhonu Room. I’m pretty sure honuhonu literally means “fancy pants.” We appreciated an opportunity to dress up and go out, even though the servers earned a pretty low tip (and having worked in the service industry, we are great tippers) and the food was good, but not spectacular.
None of this really mattered for us, though. We sat down to dinner in a U-shaped booth where we sat side by side as the sunset colored the skies above the Harbor. Boats pulled in to dock, cruise ships sailed away, and the mountains in the background turned shades of dusty green. The large glass windows acted as a movie screen to watch the change in the evening as the horizon slowly disappeared…
It really has been a tremendous year.
In one year (immediately following graduation and our engagement), our marriage has consisted of:
- Two months living in Bakersfield, one of which we lived in my parent’s home
- A move to Hawaii (involving culture adjustment, making new friends, and missing home)
- Learning how to work together, be married, and figure out how to run a Jr. High ministry
- A promotion to co-Directors of Student Ministries where we now have to figure out how to be married and run both Jr. High and High School ministries. Phew.
- A rambunctious puppy who currently likes to run vicious laps around the cottage when we say “Come”
As we sat and talked last night, I thought about this year and how marriage was different than I expected. I never knew a human relationship could be so rich and intimate. In the beginning of our marriage, we were thrilled at “being married” and the newness of living together. After moving to Hawaii we learned how to make a home together – learned that JD is really anal about how things should go in the kitchen, and how I don’t really care. A few months after arguing, I finally figured out that since I don’t care – I can just do things his way. We learned that I have a great fear of debt and often send so much money to our credit card companies that we have to eat Top Ramen for weeks at a time.
These past months, however, have been the greatest. Going out last night reminded me that fancy dinners and dressing up don’t make a great marriage. The everyday choice of surrender and love make a great marriage. We enjoy each other as we work in the kitchen, clean the house, watch Scrubs or Friends or the Office, take Rowdy for a walk, go to the beach, grab coffee, work together in our office. Intimacy grows in the mundane, and is expressed greatest in the humility of asking for a favor, or quietly picking up after the other. The intimacy that fabricates every day of our married life becomes exposed and cherished in the special moments – fancy dinner, coffee dates, and candlelight.
I don’t really know what “Paper Anniversary” means – but I do know that we just celebrated one of the richest years of our lives. And I’m really grateful.