Happily Married After…What Now?!

The older I get the more I’m in awe (and disbelief) that Kristofer and I met and got married fresh out of university, just 22 and 24, and really with zero clue how much WORK marriage actually was πŸ˜¬πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

When I think back to the marriage prep course our church had us do, I laugh now with understanding.

One day, all of these couples that had been married for MANY years sat down and talked with us and gave us advice and answered our questions about what we thought marriage would be like …

All of them kept saying honestly β€œmarriage is a lot of work” … and β€œyou have to be willing to put in the work” …

πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜sure …we thought …

To us β€œwork” meant obscure concepts like scheduling date nights, having different parenting styles and making the budget balance …

We had no idea that the same person you could love so deeply that you wanted to spend eternity with, could also be the same person to drive you to the edge of sanity and reason … and that on occasion you’d have to repeat to yourself as you watched him sleep that no, it wasn’t ok to put a pillow over his face (TOTALLY JOKING) πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Or that you could have beautiful stolen moments like dancing in the kitchen to your favourite song years down the road, that could take you back to memories of when you dated πŸ’•and then in the same night watch as he plays a video game on his phone oblivious while you run around trying to make dinner, help the kids with homework, answer the phone and let the dog out in between shooting murderous glances in his direction πŸ˜‚

TRUST ME, I know these feelings have been mutual at points … #imnoangelπŸ˜‡πŸ˜ˆ

The truth is, though, those couples who spoke to us, knew what they were talking about.

Marriage is a πŸ’© LOAD of work.

You have to work to get along.
You have to learn to be a team.
You have taxes and bills and responsibilities and careers and a home to take care of while learning about each other and trying to coexist!

And then to make things EXTRA FUN πŸ‘ you toss tiny humans, hormones, sleepless nights, and poopy diapers into the mix to see if your marriage can go through it’s own version of Survivor and come out victorious β˜ οΈπŸ˜Ή

We have most certainly had some MASSIVE ups and downs in this marriage. πŸ’

Peaks and valleysπŸ” like any great romance… but I think the secret for us 12 Years later is that IN SPITE of every one of those setbacks, trials and obstacles, we STILL choose each other to fall in love with, over and over again, every single day πŸ’•

A couple years ago I wrote an β€œopen letter” to Kristofer on our 10th anniversary… here we are, a couple years later so I thought I’d do it again with a few tweaksΒ πŸ’œ

Dear Kristofer :
In some ways our wedding 12 years ago seems like a million lifetimes ago, and in other ways I remember parts of it in perfect detail like it was yesterday…

At 22 and 24, we thought we were adults but we know now we were just oversized kids who thought we knew it all …

The night before our wedding my bridesmaids stayed over with me at my parents’ place … they were all asleep by 10:30 as I sat awake, staring at the ceiling, too nervous to sleep … letting my brain run wild with all the white noise that surrounds weddings … I have no idea when I finally drifted off to sleep, but it was long after everyone else….

The next morning started out rainy and foggy and I thought my worst nightmare of a rainy wedding day was going to come true…

But by the time the girls and I left the hair salon the sun was shining bright and the skies had cleared … and the weather was perfect …

I ate lunch with my mom and bridesmaids that day; my favourite 22 year old meal : chicken fingers and pub fries πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Maybe it was the greasy food, maybe it was nerves, maybe reality sunk in… but once I put my dress on and it zipped up (squeezing like gowns always do), I needed all the pepto bismol and stomach medsπŸ˜‚πŸ€’

We hopped in the limo for the short drive to the church and I got to watch the last of the guests filing into the church while my baby (not babies anymore) cousins, handed out programs for the ceremony …

As I walked up to the church I heard the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard singing and I realized it was the first time I had actually heard your cousin Emily sing πŸŽΆ… it was heavenly …and a good distraction …

Because as I walked in the side door I was told I had to “hide” in the tiny little room at the back of the church as my bridesmaids walked up the aisle one by one … (having been a bridesmaid many times now, I know how awful that feels lol. Sorry ladies)

So all that was left was me and my dad.

Dressed up in what he called his “James Bond” suit … a dad and his little girl …

And I’m not gonna lie … he asked me if I wanted to run when he saw the nervousness on my face … “the limo’s right there” he said …

But I looked at him and said, “nah, come on, let’s do this…”

The walk down the aisle is a blur …
The ceremony’s a blur (minus a slip up of yours where you said “infidelity” πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ– my friends still remind me of this lol) and a nice surprise of my cousin traveling from across Canada to surprise me by being there

We had the limo stop on our way to the reception at the farm I grew up on and I got my picture taken with “Silver” the old maple tree in the front of our farm that I lovingly named and played around, waited by for the bus and dreamed beside as a kid …

Then we saw everyone.
We divided and conquered — taking on opposite sides of the room of 220+ people to make sure we said hello and that everyone had lots of wine, beer and cocktails πŸ·

You made a beautiful speech to me that I wish I could rewatch but our volunteer cinematographer forgot to press record πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜‚

I had a meltdown in the bathroom with my best friend as the stress of a very emotional, exhausting and overwhelming day caught up to me. But she hugged me. Held my giant gown and veil for me like a rockstar and calmed me down.

I barely remember the drive back to the hotel later that night but I remember it being the first time we had silence in so many hours and the first time we could really talk and soak up the fact that we were now MARRIED πŸ’πŸ˜±

Holy crap.

I’ll condense the part where we came home the next day to our new home to find our “friends” had lovingly trashed it by putting shredded paper EVERYWHERE… putting our living room furniture in our dining room, canned goods in random spots, etc … πŸ€£

But that was our beginning…

The beginning of learning what it’s like to live together.
Learning each other’s habits (good AND annoying πŸ˜‚)…
Learning how to fight fairly and get over the s$&@ that really doesn’t matter …

Over 12 years we’ve gone through a lot.

Amazing stuff like two babies, moving into our dream home, adding furry members to our family, taking vacations and making beautiful memories …

And the not so amazing stuff like switching jobs, losing family members & furry friends, going through our own emergency pregnancy loss, having a chronically ill kiddo and the regular stress of trying to live up to an ideal of two parents working (me now from home Hurray!), being the perfect couple and the perfect parents.

We’ve learned a lot.
We’ve struggled a lot.

And here we are.

It’s not easy. It’s not always happy. It’s certainly not always pretty.
But boy am I glad we’re both as stubborn as we are to get through some of the stuff we have β€οΈβ€οΈ

Happy 12th anniversary to the best πŸ•Ί dancer, and the guy who is perfect (for me)!

Even on the days we drive each other crazy, I wouldn’t want to be on this ride with anyone else.

Your wife

Hope you enjoyed a little piece of our story (the good and the ugly lol)! If you’re married and working through the rollercoaster ups and downs of every day, I tip my hat to you. It’s not easy…but really, is anything worth having in life easy?

Published by Lindsay Fortney

Hi and thanks for stopping by!! I'm Lindsay ... boy mom of 2 πŸ’™πŸ’™, wife for 12 years, lover of animals, sports and a hot mess girl boss just trying to enjoy life one day at a time πŸ’œπŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ I aspire to be organized -- I have grand plans on this that are mainly stuck on my Pinterest boardsπŸ˜‚ I'm a retired realtor, certified fitness and nutrition expert and on my own journey to a happier, healthier, simplified life πŸ’• A couple of years ago I was 5 years into the hustle and bustle of a demanding real estate career. I was tired, carrying around an extra 50lbs (mostly in my midsection) and didn't even have the energy to play with my little boys -- when I started cropping myself out of vacation photos I knew enough was enough 🚫 Bad food choices were my thing : I celebrated with it. I comforted myself with it. I was in and out of drive thrus and missing dinners with my family because I was on the road and suddenly each season I was going up a clothing size πŸ˜” Enter home fitness βœ… My husband works shift, I worked crazy hours and had small kids and I couldn't (and didn't want to) go to a gym or group classes -- home workouts gave me the exercise I needed without sacrificing extra time away from my husband and boys. I learned to eat real foods in proper portions πŸ’š I started to see what my body and my energy levels were SUPPOSED to feel like !! A journey to changing my body completely had begun. Inches lost, dress sizes down, clearer skin, control over my cravings ... food has become fuel, exercise has become something my body now craves. My anxiety levels dropped massively. My moods levelled out. My patience and energy levels with my family picked up! I've been blessed to help SO MANY women in the past 3.5 years achieve this for themselves as well - confidence, empowerment, a fire inside them is reignited as I've helped them take back the power of their own health πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ’– Thank you for reading this far -- sharing this journey, this new found passion... it makes my eyes light up when I talk about it (and sometimes I can't stop πŸ˜‚) My time, my accountability groups, and guidance are always 100% free -- so reach out and let's get you back on a path to self confidence, positivity, passion and energy-- you deserve to feel like the best version of YOU

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