One Incredible Year

If Anthony and I have a theme song for our first year of marriage, hands down it would have to be ‘Hold On” by Michael Buble. Here are the Lyrics:

Hold On, Michael Buble
Didn’t they always say we were the lucky ones?
I guess that we were once, babe, we were once,
But luck will leave you cursed, it is a faithless friend,
And in the end, when life has got you down,
You’ve got someone here that you can wrap your arms around.

So hold on to me tight,
Hold on to me tonight.
We are stronger here together,
Than we could ever be alone.
So hold on to me,
Don’t you ever let me go.

There’s a thousand ways for things to fall apart,
But it’s no ones fault, no it’s not our fault.
Maybe all the plans we made might not work out,
But I have no doubt, even though it’s hard to see.
I’ve got faith in us, and I believe in you and me.

So hold on to me tight.
Hold on, I promise it will be alright.
Cuz it’s you and me together,
And baby all we’ve got is time.
So hold on to me,
Hold on to me tonight.

There’s so many dreams that we have given up.
But take a look at all we’ve got,
And with this kind of love,
And what we’ve got here is enough.

So hold on to me tight.
Hold on, I promise it will be alright.
Cuz we are stronger here together,
Than we could ever be alone.
Just hold on to me,
Don’t you ever let me go.
Hold on to me, it’s gonna be alright.
Hold on to me tonight.

They always say, we were the lucky ones.

On the day I was released from the hospital, Anthony was the one who went and got the car. I was not ready to go home. I was not ready to leave my precious baby behind. It didn’t matter that I’d just held her hand. It didn’t matter that I’d be back that night. It didn’t matter that I was feeling better. At that moment I felt like the worst mother on earth – I was going home when she couldn’t. And I just couldn’t stop crying. After my mother and my nurse had helped me into the front passenger seat, telling me over and over again that I would be OK (when all I could do was nod my head at them through the tears) my amazing husband came through for me, once again. He had cued up the CD player to play this song on the ride home. It started playing the moment the passenger door closed. He took my hand before we drove off and he never once let go of it the whole ride home. He sang this song to me and he let me cry my heart out in that passenger seat. And when we made it the 4.4 miles to our front door, he kissed the hand that he had yet to let go of, looked me straight in my tear-stained face and promised me that no matter what happened, we were in this together and everything was going to be alright.

I have to be honest and say that it was not the first time in our 1 year of marriage that he has made this promise to me.

When Anthony and I were married last summer, all I could think about was how wonderful and easy our life together would be. And for the most part, that is pretty dead on. It is easy to love him. It is easy to be loved by him. It is wonderful to hear his voice on the phone or see him when I wake up in the morning. Our day-in and day-out is pretty much that: wonderful and easy. But as anyone who has survived a successful marriage (and I’m talking 20, 30, 40 years or more, not just one!) will tell you that marriage is far from easy. I always thought they meant that things like communication, finances, intimacy issues, the dreaded “In-laws”… you know, the “tough stuff”…were what made marriage hard. But I’ve come to find over our one humble year together that no, that is NOT what the seasoned vets are talking about. They are talking about life in general. It isn’t easy.

Our wedding was wonderful. One of the absolute best days of my life thus far. And our honeymoon was one that several people in my life still envy (and I’m ok with that). It truly was the trip of a lifetime. But once that whole fairytale aura wore off and reality set in, we started to learn what “tough” was. I had been laid off. We lived in southern California. We had an apartment (and all the bills that go with it), 2 SUV’s (with large gas tanks), 2 Smart phones, student loans and a DVR. We learned quickly that it is not cheap to live comfortably around here. So I started pounding the pavement… hard. In 1 month’s time I had been offered and completed 7 (count them… 7!) FINAL interviews. Meaning it came down to me and one other person every time. And every time I was told I was liked and was a good fit, and yadda-yadda-yadda, but the point was that I didn’t have the same amount of experience as the other guy, so sorry but we can’t offer you the job. I was getting so angry. So frustrated. I knew I could dance circles around some of these “more experienced” bozos if someone would just give me a stinking chance to try! And I was about to give up and go work at McDonalds just to have a paycheck.

And then, Anthony showed me, once again, how good it feels when someone has your back. He told me not to worry. At least we could pay for rent and food and gas for one car. If we needed to, we’d make do. But he told me he had faith in me and my abilities and that I’d get a job soon. He suggested that maybe I needed to look outside my field for now, just so we can get by and then we’ll work on finding me a job at a University when the economy got its ass in gear (yes, he did actually say that). For the first time in our marriage he had to look me in the eye and promise that everything would be alright.

I broadened my search, landed 2 final interviews and got offered both jobs. While both were over a $20,000 drop in salary annually, I was finally the one beating everyone else out in the experience field. And even with the pay cut, we had more than enough to get by. So at almost a year later, I’m still the Office Manager at Charming Pet Products because the economy still hasn’t gotten it together. But at least Anthony was right – we were fine.

Then came October. Jen confession #63. Every year that I get a flu shot, I get the flu. End of story. So, several years ago, I stopped getting the flu shot and have been flu free ever since. That is, until this past year. And of course it is this past year that we’ve had one of the deadliest flu epidemics in decades… H1N1 reared its ugly little head. Yes friends, in October of 2009 I contracted swine flu. Yuck.

This flu is gross. Because not only is it your usual fever, achy body, runny nose, over-all-feeling-like-crap, you add a cough and congestion element in that is nothing less than repulsive. It no longer “feels like crap.” It “feels like death.” And only because it makes you feel like you should be balled up in the fetal position and want your mommy like there is no tomorrow, does it doubly suck that it is as contagious as it is.

At a mere 3 months of marriage, Anthony and I couldn’t share a bed. Actually, we couldn’t share ANYTHING. For three weeks it was as if we were living two totally separate lives. Anthony slept on the futon in the living room and used the guest bathroom as his own. He took care of the dog, the cleaning, the cooking, the laundry, and anything else that needed to get done while I wasted away on our bed. I felt so helpless and like I was a burden. I couldn’t do anything for myself and even if I could I wasn’t allowed to touch anything. And I couldn’t even HUG my husband! Otherwise he’d catch it, too. Boo. At one point I got so upset with the whole situation that I kind of had a melt down. It was a  combination of crappy feeling and high emotions. And to make it all better, Anthony pulled a “No-No,” wrapped his arms around me, kissed my forehead, and promised me everything would be alright. He calmed me down, promptly took a VERY hot shower, and went back to his futon. About a week later, I was cleared to go back to work. Anthony never caught it.

The rest of ’09 passed in a blissfully uneventful way. We spent our first holidays together with our families. We did Thanksgiving with my family in Carson City, NV. We had a blast, adding Anthony to our family traditions. And it snowed!!! Christmas was our usual crazy schedule of getting every last family member within driving distance in on the fun. We got to decorate our apartment for Christmas, and we got a real Christmas tree. We were able to give each other our gifts in our own living room, and were just so thankful for everything we had.

We made our trip up north for the annual Greenia Family New Years Eve party. We had been “trying” to start our family for less than 3 months, and as we reached the New Year, I just KNEW I was pregnant. That, of course, was the great news. The bad news was that as 2010 started, so did my morning sickness. By the end of January (about 6 weeks in) I was so sick that my doctor felt it necessary to prescribe medication to help me through my first trimester. While I know I didn’t have it anywhere near as badly as some of the horror stories I’ve heard, I didn’t get off easy either. And on more than one hormone induced meltdown after vomiting more than I thought humanly possible, Anthony had to help me through it and promise me everything would be alright.

You know the rest – My pregnancy was amazing for the short period of time we could keep it going. And when Abigail came 16 weeks early, Anthony promised that everything would be alright – this time not because it knew it would be, but because both of us needed to believe it would be. We ended up promising this to each other several times in that first week she was with us.

Our Anniversary came and went. We love that our Anniversary always includes a holiday!! And Fireworks!! It was a great day that we spent together doing many of our favorite things. We also had a dinner/movie date which was awesome! And we stayed a little longer than normal for our 2 daily visits with Abby – because we could.

I know that every good wife will argue that they have the best husband around. And who am I to deny them? But I will say that after the amazing and highly eventful year we’ve had to start off our marriage with, Anthony pretty much takes the cake as far as #1 husbands go. I know that he’d say that I’m the #1 wife too. And that is simply because we believe it. There is NO ONE else that can make this work the way he has for me, and I for him. We are a solid team.

The best line in that song is the one that goes, “We are stronger here together than we could ever be alone.” And for us, it is our #1 truth. If Anthony and I have learned nothing else this year, it is that we are a force to be reckoned with when we stand together as one. And I’ve said it before and I’ll say it another gazillion times – I would not have come through the birth of our daughter anywhere near as well as I did if it weren’t for him. He keeps me safe. He keeps me SANE!!! He’s got my back. And he means it when he promises that everything will be alright.

Cheers to us, Ant! Happy first anniversary with many, many more to come. I can’t wait for the stories we’ll be able to tell. I love you!

-Jen

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5 thoughts on “One Incredible Year

  1. Meagan says:

    Can you please tell me when you first book comes out, ill proof read it, becasue I love reading your blogs, your amazing Jen and of course I knew Anth would make a perfect husband becasue he is a perfect friend! I love you both well all three!!!

  2. Happy Anniversary!

    Never heard that song before. But I love the lyrics! I know larry and I can relate to that as well.

    Also got to say that I love that you call your Anthony, Ant! lol We call ours that as well.

    Hows little Abby doing?

  3. Kathy says:

    What an amazing story of an amazing couple. Of course, since we’ve known Ant for quite some time, his actions don’t surprise me at all. 🙂 The both of you are so blessed, may God continue to bless your family.

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