Two weeks after getting married, Tom and I moved 600 miles from everything and everyone we’d ever known. One day we were living a life full of friends and family and jobs. The next we were driving a U-Haul, stuffed with every single one of our possessions and towing our tiny red Yaris, toward a place we’d never been to, only knew one person, and had no jobs lined up. I’d been very resistant to the idea, doing everything I could to convince Tom and myself that we should stay put. A mixture of wise counsel, prayer, and gut told us that wasn’t the best option. So away we went, with no money, no real plans, and just enough blind optimism to push us forward.

After my mom and best friend helped us unpack our hand me down furniture and find the nearest Target, they got on a plane to fly back to the home we’d left behind. We had a month before Tom started school. We planned to spend the time finding jobs and exploring our new city. In reality we both ended up finding jobs miraculously fast that wouldn’t start until the following month, and we realized that our Florida blood was way too thin to do much exploring in a North Carolina December. That month that once seemed like it was destined to be packed full with applications, interviews, and exciting nights out as a newly married couple was turning into something very different.

In my memory those days are marked by the gloomy cold weather that turned our windows gray and seeped in the cracks of our door frames. More importantly though, my memories from that month are dripping with the sweetness of being still with my new husband. We spent our days eating turkey sandwiches and soup, both drenched in hot sauce. We huddled under my purple heated blanket and watched hours of Grey’s Anatomy. Mornings were slow and lazy as we looked at each other with the complete amazement that a couple of clueless fifteen year olds had somehow grown up and gotten married.

It was before work consumed our schedules or friends were a reality. There were no babies needing our attention or money to be stressed over (because we just didn’t  have any). Fights hadn’t been had yet, hurtful words hadn’t clouded our views of each other. It was one sweet month in our newly wed bubble before the reality of stress and responsibility forced its way in. I fought against moving away, but looking back I know it was the best possible thing we could have done. That time, wrapped up in the warmth of blankets and soup and our brand new marriage was exactly what we needed to unite us against all the pressures that were headed our way.

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