Although Karl and I were married in April of 2006, it was August before we were actually living in the same city (I still had a few months to serve in the Air Force before I could move out to Alabama, where he was living, so we continued our long-distance marathon for a while). So, although we officially celebrated our one year anniversary in April, this month marks one year of actually sharing a house together.

I have to admit, this has been an adjustment for me. I'd lived the last four years completely on my own, the sole decision maker when it came to where things go, what to buy, whether to make the bed or not, and how to order my life. In many ways, I still am - Karl doesn't seem to really notice clutter or mess unless it somehow disrupts his life ("Where are all the coffee mugs? Aren't there any clean coffee mugs?") - but it's gotten much more complicated now that there's this OTHER PERSON in my home messing things up and leaving clothes and papers everywhere. I've had to adjust some standards, and learn to give him space to let things pile - the reason our spare bedroom is commonly known as "Karl's Cave". One of his quirkier tendencies is to leave almost all the kitchen cabinets open after he's been in there. I'm not sure what the reasoning is for this, but I can always tell if he's been in there before me. It bothered me a little until I heard a great word of advice: whenever I see those open cabinets (or the socks on the bedroom floor, or papers laid out over every flat surface) I just use it to remind myself how glad I am to have this man in my world, and to be building a home with him. All those annoying things are really just signs marking his presence in my life, and reminding me to say a little prayer thanking God for my cabinet-opening man.

In the last year we've had six different mailing addresses between the two of us, made it through an extremely tough move without the help of any friendly government-contracted moving men (a first for me), started new jobs, began putting down tiny roots in our new state, helped each other with frustrations and disappointments and successes, and learned a lot about communication and cooperation. Now I can't imagine my life without him, and I'm so excited to see what the next years bring! Happy one year TOGETHER, Karl.

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