Mr. Mister had already owned a home. It was a tiny house by the railroad tracks in my hometown. He bought it from an old couple who were moving into a retirement home. He paid a WHOPPING $19,000 for that little 850 square foot home. And after the wedding, I moved in.
As a wedding present, Mister had his brother, a contractor, come in and replace the countertops and sink, plus add a dishwasher. It was a complete and total shock to me, and I was THRILLED to not have to hand wash every dish we used!
Additionally, his mom spent the week we were gone on vacation unpacking my boxes. We literally came "home" to a new house. Gone were half of his things and in their place were my decorations and furniture. It was an amazing feat and I remember well the admiration and appreciation I felt. We were able to open our gifts and settle into life as a married couple.
I loved that little house! It had one bedroom, but the one car garage had been converted to a second bedroom which was larger than the first, but across the house and down a few steps. It held the washer and dryer, too! And our office on one end! It was a tiny house, packed full of 2 homes (we were 25 and 26, established in careers already). Yes, that house was good.
I've always been amazed by people who talk about the magical first year of their marriage. What? You got along and had googly eyes for each other for a year?? REALLY? Yah, ours was NOT the happy first year. Because along with the joy of owning our own apartment on land, we were desperately trying to figure out how to be married. We had both come from broken homes and hadn't obviously seen a healthy way to fight modeled for us. So we came at each other with vengeance when we argued. Who could yell louder? THAT would be the winner. Because we NEEDED a winner in our fights. SOMEONE had to come out on top.
Yep, that's how we approached our first year of marriage. It was ugly and bittersweet. But we were determined to make it work. And so we plugged along.
Those first few months were a whirlwind of settling, arguing, and dreaming. We dreamed a lot about what would come of our lives together. Mister had a hard time imagining us sitting on the porch sipping tea in our 80's. And when he couldn't imagine it, I began to wonder if we'd make it there. We were struggling. But we both loved Jesus. And we both wanted to be married for a lifetime to one person. So we started dreaming together.
At that time, I was a teacher and he worked for a homebuilder. So it was a natural thing to dream of building our first home. And only 3 months into our marriage, we were breaking ground on our first home. Well, really, our second home, but we thought of this as our first house we created together.
We worked really well together when it came to finishing touches on that house. It all came together just as we dreamed. And one year later, we were moving! Time for our new lives to begin. The place where we wouldn't have reason to not get along. We both knew I was the winner of all good fights. Or wait, was it him? Was he the winner? Let's duke it out to see who wins the "winner of all fights" title......
And just like that, we were in house #2...
(We lived in house #1 for 13 months.)