ONE YEAR! Can not believe how quickly that went by -- what a whirlwind of a wonderful year being married to my best friend. We jammed as much as humanly possible into year one -- we honeymooned in Thailand, bought & completely renovated our first home together, vacationed in Croatia & Paris & made this little thing called Heather Etheridge Photography official. Whew!
To reflect on the last 365 days, we decided to (separately) answer some questions about our first year as Mr. & Mrs.:
1. What's the best thing about being married?
H: Living together, hands down. There's nothing better than curling up on the couch together at the end of every day.
N: Home-cooked suppers and always having someone to hang-out with.
2. If you could re-live any day from this year, what would it be?
H: Gosh there are so many. I think my very favorite day was one from our Croatia trip -- we boated to multiple islands around Hvar & ended the day with one of the best meals I've ever had. It was just a perfect, sunshiny happy day -- the kind that make you go "is this real life?"
N: While putting H through a complete home renovation, I could see she was getting worn down, so we planned an impromptu vacation to Croatia. Other than our wedding day (if that is an option) I'd most want to re-live the day that we spent all day on the water -- exploring small island paradises and drinking native wine. It was a well-needed and deserved day and one where we were able to fully relax for the first time in a long time.
3. What's something you learned about Nathan / Heather this year?
H: I've always known Nathan was smart & hardworking, but he's REALLY smart & hardworking & proved that to me over & over again this year. Also, I'm pretty sure he's mildly ADD because he can not multitask to save his life.
N: Heather is hard-working, dedicated and a complete perfectionist. I see that much more now that we are married and live together. She works two jobs and is constantly on the clock. She is not satisfied until everything is up to her standards and the best it can possibly be.
4. What's the most annoying thing Nathan / Heather does?
H: Nathan will get a song stuck in his head & then he'll choose one line that he doesn't know the actual lyrics to & sing that line over & over & over again UNTIL I LOSE IT.
N: Heather needs constant temperature satisfaction. She'll go from turning the air on 68 to cranking the heat to 74 to turning the fan on to double blanket-ing - ALL IN THE SAME AFTERNOON.
5. What's your biggest learning from your first year of marriage?
H: Don't take the little things for granted. A "thank you" goes a really long way -- even if it's just for taking out the trash or making the bed. Expect less & give more.
N: You have to be selfless and think of each other as one. We are no longer individuals and my previous hopes, dreams and desires are now our hopes, dreams and desires.
6. What has brought you closer together this year?
H: I'm a firm believer that if you can completely renovate a home together, you can make it through anything. Because it's not for the faint of heart.
N: The renovation. No question. It was the one of the most difficult things I can imagine two newlyweds going through. There was nothing like living out of a suitcase for 5 months and the amount of effort and time it took to build our first home together. Sitting in our living room answering these questions I'm still amazed looking around at the nest we have created.
7. What's something Nathan / Heather can always do to make you laugh?
H: He'll mock me in his "Heather" voice, responding to things he says like he thinks I would. I start laughing & literally can't stop. That & diving on the bed belly-flop style every night. Gets me every time (until our bed collapses).
N: There are so many things Heather does that makes me laugh. She loves mimicking me and it always makes me laugh -- whether it's imitating my voice and acting like a boy or if it's her repeating some of the ridiculous things I say/do.
8. What's your favorite memory of this year together?
H: After our wedding day, it would have to be renovating our home together -- the day we finally got to move in, in particular. After working our butts off for MONTHS & living in hotels / AirBnBs, it was pretty surreal to look around and say "we did this!". I still feel that way almost every day.
N: First meal together in first home together (delivered pizza, girl scout cookies and champagne). it was the culmination of so much hard work, vision and determination. We were finally at home and able to begin our lives together.
I can't wait to see what year two has in store for us! But for today, we'll be re-reciting our vows, exchanging paper gifts, drinking champagne from our toasting flutes, eating year-old cake, looking at wedding pictures & watching our wedding video on repeat (which I've watched an embarrassing amount of times this year.....& cried every. single. time.). Happy one year, Nate! I love you more.