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I can hardly believe it's been a year already. The days simply flew by. I can say I am more in love with G than the day I married him, and I know him better now than I did then. I'm sure he would say the same. Marriage is the best, hardest, most intimate relationship I've ever had the honor of being in, and while the road hasn't always been smooth, it's always been good, and it's always been worth it.

Even though we're just a year in, and in so many ways I still feel like a newly wed, there are a few things I've learned, and would love to share with you, Reader. So here they are:

5 Things I Learned My First Year of Marriage

1. Your vows mean something

On our wedding day, the vows were not something either of us took lightly. We were promising forever to each other. But, on that day, with excitement and love running high, the "sickness" and "for worse" seem so far away. Then somewhere during that first year, life hits. Things get hard. You face difficulties. Trials. Hardships. And guess what? You promised to face them together. Side by side. As a team. When you face those dark realities and have to choose to be patient, loving, supportive, and positive as the world seems like it's caving in... your vows come back to you. Those words come back to you. And it's choosing to stay and love through the "sickness" and the "worse" that makes a marriage have substance.

2. Make time for each other.

You live in the same home, and that makes it easy to start to ignore each other. To come home tired and want to do nothing more than sit on the sofa for the 10 minutes you stay up before you decided to go to bed, sleep, and repeat. It's vital to choose to step away from work, step away from friends, and invest in each other. A relationship needs time and space to grow; a marriage especially so.

That being, said....

3. you still need your girls.

Your husband is an amazing man, and he loves you with all he is. But he isn't, and can't, be everything. You still need your girls. Don't stop investing in those relationships. They've loved you through good, bad, and ugly, and you'll have plenty more of all three coming your way in the future. Keep those relationships healthy, and remember to let them know how much you love them (Morgan, Jules, Megan, Kandyce and Janell! You still rock my socks!)

4. Be on each other's side. always.

It's not always easy. You can feel hurt, frustrated, or even just plain like the other person is wrong. But guess what? That guy is on your side, and he's your biggest fan. He loves you and wants the best for you in ways no one else can. He's your other half, and you're his. Build him up, support him, love him and encourage him. You have a place in his life that no one else has, and more power to support or destroy than anyone else. So build your man up. Support him. Love on him. Because he's worth all of it.

5. Keep Christ at the center.

Like I said, marriage is the best, hardest thing I've ever done, and I don't know how we could do it without Christ at the center. In the darkness, He's the light that guides us closer together. In the good times, He reminds us of the joy and intimacy we have in our relationship. G and I would say, without a doubt, that Christ at the center is the reason we can love each other so completely and so well. He's why we grow together through the hard times instead of apart, and shows us how to really love.

So there you have it! Five things I learned my first year of marriage. I am so grateful for G and the ways he loves me, and can't wait to spend the rest of our lives learning to love one another better. Happy Anniversary, Baby!

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