The Sister Speaks (About Being Married)

Last week I asked my sister to guest blog on MC.  She’s actually a really great writer and her perspectives on life, marriage, love, and family are so fresh and relatable that I thought you all would appreciate them, too.  Ginny and her husband, John Michael, were married last April (see posts about her wedding here, here, here, here, and here) and since then have been living in southern Virginia where he was transferred through his job.  It looks like they’ll be moving again somewhere this summer, but that is all up in the air right now.  What I’ve loved about watching the first year of their marriage is how much they lean on each other for support through uncertain times, but at the same time they have both stayed true to who they are as individuals.  I think that’s a lesson that any married couple needs to learn and I’m so proud of them for learning it this early in their marriage.

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Hello. I’m Kate’s sister, Ginny. She’s spoken about me from time to time on here so I feel as though we’re already dear friends. Or dear imaginary friends as Kate would say.

I was asked to write a guest post this week. And, as much as I love the idea of the spotlight, I hurriedly agreed. But then I sat down to write and nothing came to mind. I don’t live an extraordinary life. And I don’t do extraordinary things. And then I took a minute to appreciate the fact that Katie can write on this blog every day with entertaining and witty content about her ordinary day-to-day life. That sister of mine has talent, I tell ya. So, I thought I’d tell you a bit about my first year as a newlywed.

My lovah, John Michael, and I were betrothed last April in what I’d like to think of as the most beautiful wedding of all times. (We should go ahead and establish that I’m not modest.)

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We had moved in together the year before, shortly after our engagement. John Michael’s job had just decided to relocate him to a small town nestled in the hills of the Appalachians to build a hospital for two years (he’s a general contractor). Being completely in love and willing to do anything to avoid a five hour gap in our relationship, I didn’t hesitate to move with him. In a span of exactly two weeks (the only notice we had to make the decisions!), I quit my beloved job, packed up our stuff and headed for the hills – literally.

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The first year in the small town was so wonderful and so awful all at the same time. The move was wonderful because when we left Atlanta we left all these unnecessary distractions. We no longer had to feel guilty about spending a night at home together instead of out at the latest hot spot with our friends. And we really were able to concentrate on each other and grow and settle into our relationship. I love the time we’ve been able to spend together here.

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The hardest part of the move however, has been finding me again. We moved here for John Michael’s job. The only people we knew in this town were John Michael’s co-workers. And John Michael was the only one contributing financially. I’d always been such an independent person in Atlanta – successful job, lots of friends – but here I was without any of those things to call my own.

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But that’s the greatest thing about marriage – you’re never really alone. John Michael never once felt as if I was being selfish or unreasonable (though at times I probably was). He worked just as hard, sometimes harder, than me to carve out a life for myself. We joined a social group so I could find some friends for myself. From that wonderful group, I was able to find a job that I love. And now I’m contributing financially to our lives and I like that feeling. I even started my own company with Mary Kay so that I could always have my own business venture, no matter where we may move next.

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So often in the first few years of marriage the €˜me’ gets lost in the €˜we’. And to a great extent it should. You’re no longer living for yourself, but as a couple. But, I’ve found that just because your priority is your marriage doesn’t mean that you have to neglect to find happiness for yourself.

John Michael and I have another great move coming up in the next few months. And, like our last move, we aren’t sure when or where we’ll be going next. But, because we’ve spent our first year of marriage establishing ourselves – both individually and together – I know the next adventure will be just as great€¦. though I’d like to request somewhere without the snow.

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28 Thoughts to “The Sister Speaks (About Being Married)”

  1. From one fellow Mary Kay sister to another – nice to meet you, Ginny! And best of luck to you in the new move!

  2. Ashley

    Thanks, Ginny! You’re a terrific writer and it’s been great to hear your perspective on marriage. I’ll definitely be buying some Mary Kay from you soon!

  3. Jamie

    How convenient that you guest blogged with a link to your Mark Kay site!! I was coming to MC to find it so I could buy some satin lips. The site was having difficulties, but I will be placing an order today. Good luck with the next move!

  4. Bridget

    Ginny! Is that you running the Nike Women’s Marathon (and Half-Marathon)? I ran that in 2009, also with Team in Training! Did you run that one?

  5. You guys are a lovely couple. Best wishes for a long, healthy partnership.

  6. Amy

    Well said, Ginny 🙂 One of the aspects of marriage that I have been happily surprised about is how my husband and I have been able to keep our individual identities, while still growing together. You two are a beautiful couple, and I wish you much love, laughter & happiness in the coming years!

  7. That’s so very true – it’s easy to get lost when roles change a bit. I stopped working in November to stay home with our baby and it’s been quite the change. There are days when I feel a bit lost but for the most part it’s been great and I’m glad for the opportunity. That said, a key part in this whole thing has been my husband’s understanding and support – I wouldn’t be able to do it with him.

  8. Good luck on the next move. It sounds like you both will do great no matter where you end up!

  9. My husband and I have been married for six months, and we relocated about an hour away from our families one month after our wedding. It was my first time ever being away from my parents (I attended an awesome liberal arts college just 20 minutes away from home). Despite the fact that I was starting a new adventure in graduate school and my husband had found a fulfilling new job, I definitely struggled to find myself again after the move (even though we were really moving for me – at first – until my husband found his job).

    It’s been a long process to feel at home in a place without my favorite restaurants, my parents, my extended family and my friends, but it’s been WONDERFUL to develop a feeling of home with my new husband.

    Thanks for sharing, Ginny!

  10. Great perspective and great attitude Ginny. I hope your next move goes as well.

  11. My husband’s medical training has meant two moves already and possibly two more in the future… So I really empathize with that feeling of losing yourself. But I love how you said that you are never really alone – it’s so true! Glad that you found a great job and support system, and that you have your husband with you no matter what!

  12. Sounds like the two of you are off to a fantastic start!! Nice to meet you Ginny!

  13. Nikki

    Thanks for the post, Ginny! I cannot wait to see where your next move is, and I hope to see some more guest posts from you in the future!

  14. Hi, Ginny! Thanks so much for sharing your perspective on your first year of marriage (BTW, according to your wedding photos, your big day was REALLY fabulous!). Within the next couple of years, I know that my boyfriend and I are probably going to get engaged, married, and be forced to relocate due to careers. He and I are from the same hometown, so it’ll be interesting to go somewhere we’ve never been before and carve out a life for ourselves. It’s really encouraging to know that you can go through those kinds of changes so quickly–and be ok throughout the process.

  15. I am sure your sister can show you a thing or two about making a big move (it’s tough!) but you won’t be doing it alone! Good luck!

  16. claire

    Hi Ginny, thanks for such a lovely, well considered post! My husband and I were married last April as well, also in what I would like to think of as the most beautiful wedding ever – lol! This last year (and it has almost been a year – yikes!) has been such a rollercoaster with everything outside of ‘us’ changing so quickly – it feels as though we’ve just been holding on to each other to stand still in the surf. But through all that though, we’ve managed to hold onto that ‘me’ – the sense of self that you talk about – and I think that’s so important. We’re still individuals, but together we make something so much stronger.
    Thanks again, Ginny!

  17. Sumer

    Ginny, you’re such a good writer. Don’t leave us though. Any chance at all you guys will stay?

  18. Allyson

    What small town did you live in? I am from the Asheville area. Just curious!

  19. Chloe

    What kind of social groups did y’all join? My husband and I have been married 3 months, starting our lives again in a new city, and so badly want to meet people!

  20. So nice to hear from you, Ginny! This is wonderful advice for a newly married couple–whether there’s a move to a new city on the horizon or not. John Michael sounds like a wonderful husband, and you are one lucky lady to call him yours! P.S. The tutu you gave Gracie for Christmas was too cute!

  21. Heather M

    My husband and I have made a couple of international moves and a few ‘job’ moves. We’ve grown stronger together for it. The price of a UK and USA person marrying — one of us is always without our immediate family there. So you come to really appreciate your spouse. I’ve loved every minute that we have been together and how we have re-defined our lives together. I have been very blessed to have someone who wants to grow with me and who is supportive and encouraging. I would not change my life.

  22. I really enjoyed your post:) good luck with the next move:)

  23. Amy

    Hi Ginny! I love the way in all photos of you, you are just so sunny and smiley. It doesn’t surprise me how amazingly you’ve handled a move and the first year of marriage. Thanks for sharing your life with all of us crazy, imaginary online people 🙂

  24. Margaret

    Oh my gosh, I ran the Nike Women’s Marathon with TNT in 2008 and the half there in 2009. Such a great experience!

  25. Ginny

    Thanks guys for all the great feedback! I’m glad others can relate. There were a few questions which I hope I can answer… 1) Yes, I ran the Nike Woman’s Half Marathon in San Fran in 2008 with Team in Training. It was an AWESOME experience 2) We live in the Tri-Cities area (Kingsport, Johnson City, Bristol) 3) And, I bought Gracie Tutu outfit from TheBump.com – i just couldn’t resist!

  26. Tressa

    You are right, Ginny, your wedding was beautiful!!! Good luck with your next move! I love it when Katie writes about you two. Awesome job with the 3D ultasound!! Proud of you on that one 😉

  27. amanda

    Ahhh! So glad to hear you love your job…we love you too. You have been the perfect addition to our Corporate family.

  28. SO GLAD to hear about Ginny’s marriage! I love reading about her! Ginny- congrats 🙂 and so happy that you’re so upbeat about everything.

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