Last we left off, we were hours into our lives as a married couple and heading off for our honeymoon. We enjoyed a week at Excellence Resort Play Mujeres near Cancun and soon were on a plane back to ATL, then back to our apartment in Nashville.
Traditionally they say the first year of marriage is the hardest. After the wedding day/honeymoon adrenaline wears off and you find yourself alone with this person you've been dating for so long and all of their quirky habits, large shoe collections, interior decorating opinions, etc. Luckily, we found the transition to be pretty smooth as we'd been living in the same apartment for over a year. Due to some crazy circumstances we actually shared a three bedroom apartment with my parents for nine months and then moved into our own apartment six months before the wedding. We got all of the opposite sex awkwardness out of the way and enjoyed coming home to our co-decorated apartment full of wedding presents. We immediately set forth tearing open packages and stacking gift cards. Thanks amazing family and friends!
Things weren't all rainbows and butterflies though, after only two months of marriage we faced our first major sickness: Mono. Soon after returning to work I started to display flu-like symptoms. I didn't have insurance and the "spouse plan" through Allie's work coverage hadn't kicked in yet so I was stuck going to minute clinic after minute clinic trying to get the right prescription. Some drugs made me break out and some were making me nauseous, but none were solving the issue. Finally, a nurse practitioner friend of Allie's agreed to give me a test for mono and brought light to my sickness. She reasoned that I had likely eaten some bad fruit in Mexico and brought mono home with me. Over the next month I spent very little energy traveling from bed, to couch, to different bed, to bathroom, to bed and could do very little else. I did grow a sweet sickness beard! It got so bad at one point that Allie became really fearful for my health and her own mental well-being as she was both working and playing caretaker. She enlisted my mom's help who drove up from AL to offer services like chicken noodle soup making, hydration management, and couch cohabilitation. I watched the entire Breaking Bad series and finally made a miracoulous steroid enabled recovery.
One of the truly tough things we faced in our first year and still face today are holidays. Our family is all over the place. We have family in AL, TN, OH, VA, and SC which makes spending holidays with everyone impossible. While dating we always spent holidays separate with our respective families, but once we were married we promised to always be at least with each other on holidays. Christmas was truly tough for Allie that year because it was the first in her entire life that she'd be away from her parents. They have many fun traditions that she would be missing out on. The Strouse family tried to incorporate some of those traditions, like eating at Japanese steakhouse on Christmas eve, into our typical holiday schedule which I know really helped....but it was still a tough learning curve that we are still working to figure out as we establish our own traditions.
We know a little bit about alot of things, but one thing we know nothing about is repairing cars. We were lucky enough to start our marriage with two fully paid-off cars, but that doesn't mean everything was right under the hood.... Auburn was set to play at the GA Dome in ATL the weekend of our first anniversary and we were super excited to meet up with the Butterworth's for a weekend of tailgating, Auburn football, and ATL sightseeing. We started our drive through rural TN after work and about halfway through our trip, in the middle of nowhere, the temperature gauge started going beserk and smoke was pouring from the hood. Of course, all of the garages were closed for the night but somehow we stumbled onto a Pep-Boys that was still open. They took a look under the hood, told us what they thought it be, and then informed us that they are unable to do repairs. They only sell parts not put them in. They had a "mobile" mechanic on speed dial who pulled up in the parking lot, repaired our car with parts bought inside, swiped our credit card for payment using Square, and within a few miniutes we were on our way. Not sure if those Pep-boys workers got a kickback from the mechanic, but we didn't care. We were on our way to celebrate our first anniversary!
Next week we will talk year two and a cross country move. Stay tuned!
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