Tuesday, August 2, 2011

525,600 Minutes

A year has come and gone since this new chapter in our lives started. On July 30, Skylar and I celebrated our first anniversary, but we'll get to the celebration part in another post. For now, I want to talk about the last year. People say that the first year of marriage is the hardest. I can't honestly say since we've only been through the first year, but I can say it's had its ups and downs. For some reason, newlyweds here in Utah all claim it's been the easiest, best year of their lives. I think they live in La-La Land. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for this past year, but it definitely came with its challenges. Here's a quick recap:

July: Got married in the Dallas Temple - on July 30th...I think. I ALWAYS think it was the 31st for some reason.

August: Quick honeymoon in San Antonio. Moved to Utah, stopping to see the Grand Canyon on the way. Moved into our awesome, ghetto section of a 110 year old house, sharing a very thin bedroom wall with a couple of single girls in the next apartment over. We had a lot of fun with that. School started the end of August. Skylar took a couple online classes. I got a job in payroll on campus. Skylar started trying to get a branch of Billy Ellis Roofing going up here.

September: Nothing of consequence happened. Or maybe it did, but I don't remember. Uh oh.

October: My poor, faithful Edward (my car I've had since the beginning of college) started having problems. It was our only form of transportation and we spent THOUSANDS of dollars on him for one thing after another, only to never get him fully fixed. At least he kept running though.

November: Went to LAS VEGAS for Thanksgiving since it's only a 6 hour drive (as opposed to the 24 hours to Texas). Saw the Blue Man Group and fell in love with them. Seriously. Got in a car accident in poor Edward on that trip.

December: Billy Ellis Roofing and Skylar decided it would be best for everyone if he broke off and started his own company which meant great opportunity for growth, but no more financial security. I had to quit my job in payroll at the end of the semester due to schedule conflicts in the following semester. Skylar finished his online classes. I made awesome grades that fall! AND we got to go back home for a couple weeks around Christmas.

January: Got my old job back at the MTC (where I worked for 3 years before my mission). Started classes again and a week into the semester had a complete break down (which nearly resulted in us packing up and moving back to Texas). Made the decision to switch my major from Physiology and Developmental Biology to Public Health. Skylar began taking necessary steps to start a new company. Tristan (Skylar's younger brother) moved up to Utah and started living with us. He had to sleep on an air mattress that was too small for him. Poor guy.

February: Again, nothing of consequence. Just the stresses of a new company.

March: The challenges of a new company became more and more apparent. It was rough. We made the decision that we hated Provo and would move as soon as possible. Skylar's mom got really sick and was admitted to the hospital. It was just the beginning.

April: New company challenges persisted, and worsened. I was still crazy stressed over life and money and it took its toll on all of us. Many arguments took place, but much learning and growth happened because of it. Skylar and Tristan made a trip to Texas to see their mom while I finished the semester, packed and moved our apartment. I survived, but I certainly didn't thrive. I made the move to Sandy and Tristan moved into his own place at the end of the month. I decided to only go to school part time and work full time to be more supportive of Skylar. I started my Epidemiology class for the short spring term.

May: Skylar's mom passed away on May 1, shortly after they discovered she had cancer all throughout her body. We all made a short trip Texas for the service. Skylar's company faced pretty severe challenges so Skylar and Tristan headed out to Kansas to work in storm-damaged areas. That was just the beginning of many long months of him being gone. I started work at Hobby Lobby as a customer service manager and also started trainings for RISE, my other job working with disabled kiddos.

June: Skylar bounced between Kansas and Texas, only to settle in Kansas until the fall. I worked 2 jobs, finished my epidemiology class and started another public health class, and stayed pretty crazy busy.

July: I continued being super busy and Skylar continued working in Kansas. We gradually began to get the hang of how to effectively communicate over long distance which was CRUCIAL. I flew out to visit him over our anniversary.

Without going into the nitty-gritty, I'll just say that I'm extremely grateful for the lessons this past year brought us, and I'm extremely grateful this past year is over. I wouldn't trade it, but I also wouldn't want to relive it.

I've been thinking about what other people say about their wedding day. A few key phrases people like to use are: "It was the happiest day of my life." "It was perfect, everything I'd always imagined." "I was so nervous that morning." "I'm so glad we decided to keep with the traditions."

It's funny, I feel completely opposite about that day....in just about every respect. 1) The day we got married was great because we FINALLY (after many years of waiting) got to be together in every sense of the word - forever. Sure it was a super happy day, but it was only the beginning. I've already had happier days than that and I'll continue to have happier days. 2) I hadn't been dreaming about this day all my life. In fact, I didn't even really want to plan it. I pretty much tried to turn as much over to my mom(s) and sisters as I could. I'm grateful they wanted to do it. 3) I wasn't at all nervous that morning. I woke up at 4:30 after only about an hour of sleep because of an interesting night before with my grandmother, got myself ready, then drove myself over to pick up Skylar so we could grab some chick-fil-a for breakfast and head to the temple together. A little out of the ordinary, but it worked for us. We actually were a little surprised at how NON-nervous we both were. There was just a feeling of peace - which was good because my family ended up being an hour late. That kind of stress probably would have killed most other brides. 4) We didn't do the traditional wedding garb. We had a backyard barbeque for the reception where Skylar wore khakis and I wore a sun dress. We had a variety of cakes from Costco and we karaoked while kids swam. It was totally laid back and I loved it.

Our wedding day fit us and it was great, but I'm glad weddings are only for a day and marriages are (or can be) forever. That's what it's all about, folks.


  1. That is a really good post Leighann. You really have good insight and perspective on everything. I'm sorry that you've had so much to deal with and hope that this next year is easier, and congrats on hitting the year mark!

  2. Brandi, how are you friends with Veronica? You're always so NICE! Ha ha. I like to pretend that I have more wisdom and insight than I actually do ;)

  3. Just out of curiosity, is the 110 year old house-cum-apartments on 4th East? We lived in one similar for our first apartment. Apparently it was the house of a US Senator back in the day. It only caught on fire once while we were there.