11 Things I Didn’t Expect in Our First Year of Marriage

A year ago today, my new husband and I were plopped on the couch with a bottle of wine, dazed in a delirious combination of bliss and exhaustion from Wedding Week. Today we’re doing the same thing –  same couch, same fur child nestling her way in between us – the only difference is that we’re nearly 2,000 miles away.

2,000 miles from all the family and friends who spoiled us with love this time last year. Exhausted from a blissful weekend of hiking and wine tasting. Caught between feelings of missing our home city and loving our new scenic state.

Certainly, we never would have guessed a year ago that things would be so different.

11 Things I Didn't Expect in my First Year of Marriage

our first year of marriage

As newlyweds, people ask you how it feels. What’s changed, they want to know. Kyle and I never really knew how to answer that. For a long time, being married felt the same as being engaged (without all of the wedding-planning madness).

Now that a year has passed, I can see just how much things have changed since we clinked our wine glasses on the golf course. Here are 11 things I didn’t expect in our first year of marriage.

I Didn’t Know to Expect When We Got Married…

1. That I’d be in identity limbo

Getting married brought on all kinds of interesting identity concepts. Changing your last name is not only quite the legal process, but mentally it felt like I was disconnecting from the Chalkey side. I resolved to keep writing under my maiden name, which only confuses the legal process more, but now I’ve got the best of both worlds.

Now as a Barichello, I get the pleasure of spelling out my new last name, sounding it out for people, and correcting it on medical forms. Ah, married bliss!

Yet, I find that identifying myself as a wife is much more pleasant to me than the term “fiance.” The word “wife” itself sounds like a promise, a responsible role to fill, and I love it. Not to mention, calling Kyle my husband makes me feel more adult-ish than I ever have!

2. That I had married a blogger

When Kyle asked me to marry him, I knew I was marrying someone far different from me. I knew I wasn’t marrying a writer and that we wouldn’t be hanging out in cafes together writing for hours on end. I never would have guessed he’d want any part of the writing life.

And then he started a blog. Not just a public rant of his thoughts, but a well-developed website and carefully formulated posts that went out three times a week. I’m amazed by how much work he has put into it, often times showing me up in my own blogging productivity.

Our mornings went from quiet time – me reading and Kyle watching Sports Center – to fueled brainstorming sessions of us both working on our blogs together. His blog has been a way for him to share all he knows and cares about in the world of fitness, nutrition and mindset. (Check out his latest post on why you should ditch the scale, it was the final push I needed to break up with it once and for all!)

Now, we frequently enjoy cafe writing dates together 🙂

3. We’d become an aunt and uncle

Well, I suppose we found out the night of our wedding that this would be a possibility, (way to go, Nick and Shan!), and 9 months later little Noah made us an aunt and uncle. He’s been warming our hearts ever since, even if mostly through FaceTime now.

First year of marriage
A first in our relationship, seeing Kyle hold a baby!

4. We’d sell our house

Our first house was the perfect Kyle-and-Michelle-and-Yoshi home. It was simple, perfectly located, and required no major decorating from me. We saw ourselves living there for plenty of years to come.

But things change 🙂

our first year of marriage

5. My taste buds would change

Somehow in the last year, my husband has gotten me to like mustard, brussel sprouts and sauerkraut, all things I heavily despised and now crave at every meal. How does this happen?

6. Kyle would become a master of fermentation

The DIY man that he is, Kyle started making his own sauerkraut and kombucha this year. Maybe he is finally so fed up with my wacky gut that he’s taking matters in his own hands, but he’s doing a darn good job of it! We’ve got mint, blueberry ginger and grapefruit kombucha flavors in the fridge right now, and they’re so refreshing!


7. We’d spend more on groceries for 2 people than some couples pay for rent

We are the Barichellos, and we have a grocery problem. We’ve always valued healthy, quality food even if it’s pricey, but some good hard looks at our grocery bills over the past few months have been eye-opening. We’re determined, however, to figure out how to eat healthy on a budget. Stay tuned with the blog to see how we tackle it!

8. We’d be living in Arizona

This major life change came out of the blue, just like the vacation that brought us out here initially. Moving has brought a mixture of challenges and blessings, all of which I feel have strengthened our marriage. We’ve drastically changed our environment – replacing corn fields with cactuses (cactii?) and temperamental skies with everlasting sunshine – but the weird things that make us us have traveled the distance.

new house first year of marriage

9. That I’d ever enjoy hiking

When Kyle married me, he also knew he was marrying someone far different from him. My princess self has never been a fan of the outdoors and all it brings – bugs, allergies, extreme hot or cold temperatures, sneaky creatures (we’ve seen 3 snakes already). And don’t get me wrong, there have been some hikes that were not my cup of tea. But I love the mental space hiking gives me to brainstorm and reflect, and now I find it to be an essential part of my work life!

hiking in Arizona

10. That Kyle would sit through a dance musical for me

Derek and Julianne Hough dance tour…best birthday present ever.

11. How important it is not to take our marriage for granted.

If we’ve learned anything in our first year of marriage, it’s that we’re extremely fortunate to have each other. Kyle is much more to me than a husband – he’s my life coach, business coach, therapist, chef, chauffeur, seamstress, repairman, vacation planner, accountant, and my dog’s father. He is a lot of things to me, but most importantly, he’s a friend who I can trust, who I truly enjoy exploring life with, who challenges me to reach new heights as a person and a writer.

husband and wife

We’ve got one year down and a lifetime to go. With all that has changed in our first year as a married couple, I’m excited to see what this post will entail a year from now. More Yoshi’s? Actual human babies? (I wouldn’t get your hopes up yet, Mom and Mom-in-Law.) Reduced grocery bill?

Whatever it be, if we’re sitting on the couch, wine in hand and Yoshi in between us, talking about all kinds of Kyle-and-Michelle things, life will be good.

Thanks to all of our friends and family who helped celebrate our wedding and support us in our marriage. We love you!

Any marriage advice beyond the first year? I’d love to hear it! Leave a comment below or post it on the Naturally Ever After Facebook Page!

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