The big 0-5. It is really hard to believe that five years ago we were getting married. My, how time flies.
Year 1 - We finally got married! We moved into our first home together – our one bedroom, 800 sq foot apartment in Franklin. Waking up together was a blast and the excitement of brushing our teeth together every night before we went to bed was too much to contain ;) Being married and living together wasn’t too much of an adjustment… probably because of the pre-marital planning we did together. We had decided to get our financial act together and continued to pay off our debts.
Year 2 – Still having fun being married and enjoying what life and God had for us. We officially started our photography business and Zach went into it full time while I (Jody) still had a day job. We started to realize very quickly how much work having a legit photography business was and how much time it tried to take from us. Officially debt free and began saving for a home. Impactful marriage book this year – Love & Respect.
Year 3 – This is the year we were just trying to keep our heads above water. Business was flourishing, but our own marriage was suffering. We had two desks set up in our one bedroom apartment in our living room. Began to feel more like business partners than marriage & life partners. Something had to go. We were on a fast track to saving for our new home but weren’t quite ready yet to buy. We made two big changes – 1) Jody quits her day job and 2) we move into a two bedroom apartment with the 2nd room as our office. We re-prioritized life and made sure that we were tending to things in the order that sanity and the Lord calls for – God, Marriage, THEN our business.
Year 4 – This year, we started to realize that no marriage is perfect (as much as we hoped that ours would be) and knew that we needed to pay some serious attention to where we were going as a team, and how we were going to get there together. We started to realize that being married for four years had not solved every problem that we had, but there were now new problems that we had to deal with in both our personal lives, and in our business. We knew that the business needed to be scaled back so that we could spend more time working on and enjoying our life together, and we needed to spend less time working. We also wanted to be a bigger part of other people’s lives, and we could not do that shooting 30+ weddings a year. We wanted to be able to not only connect to friends, but also to other small business owners that were struggling in their businesses and in their walks with God, and help them in any way we could. Year 4 was a year that was really built on faith. We had to trust God that if we scaled back and did half as many weddings, that he would provide for us like He had in the past, and that He would honor that step of faith and make our marriage stronger if we committed to working on it harder than ever. We are blessed to be able to say that those things happened! Not by anything that we did, but because we stepped out in faith, did what we knew was right, and God delivered like He always does! …We also have to mention that it was this year that we added to our family. After much leg-pulling, we both agreed to getting a cat! Kitty Starbucks officially became a part of our family :)
Year 5 - And here we are – our most recent year of marriage. One of the biggest things we did this year was buy a home! This was a huge dream come true for us. We both have never cared too much about the car we drive or having the coolest gadgets. We have always been very un-interested in “keeping up with the Jones,” as they say, and feeling pressure to have what other people in our position have. We want what we do financially to go against the norm and want to be way better at saving and giving then we are with spending. But, the one thing we did want to have was a nice home. Our reason for wanting the home that we have, is we both grew up not having a lot, but knew how many amazing God moments can happen around a kitchen table or in a place where people feel really comfortable and safe. We saved for 4 and a half years to be able to buy this place (the right way) and want more than anything to make it not only a place for us to connect with each other, but for us to connect with others. We have had more amazing conversations and more people come and be a part of our lives in our home in the last 9 months, then we had in 4 years at our apartment. It has been an amazing blessing to not just have a house, but to have a home. Home to us is a place of peace, a place where we can listen and love people and a place that us and others feel safe and secure. That seems to be the theme for year 5 with our home and with our marriage … Marriage book for this year- Love and War. We also made another addition to our family this year in the most recent week, who we have yet to officially share about yet… :)
Year 6 and beyond – We have no idea what is in store the coming years, but we are more determined than ever to continue to seek the Lord and what He has for us, and to keep our marriage the main priority, and then maybe even bring some little Zach and Jodys into the picture :)
Below we wanted to share with you the video we put together for our guests five years ago at our wedding reception. It’s fun to look back on our lives as individuals and then as a couple! Who knew back then that this is where we would be now. So crazy!
Here’s to many more years!
For those of you married, please feel free to share with the rest of us the wisdom you have learned over the years!