Two years ago today, the world shut down. This was incredibly challenging and sad and I cried for like 9 weeks, not sure if any of us would survive. I changed my sheets when I got overheated making pancakes, all so I could die in clean sheets. I didn’t cook much and decided to make breakfast for my roommates, but also I have hypo-thedias, a disease I made up when I was 4 years old, and sometimes it causes me to get overheated (dramatic). 

Before March 11th, I was everywhere all the time. When Walter and I started dating months prior, I would constantly be busy. I worked 4 jobs and jumped from friend to friend, hanging out, making plans, and filling my life with nonstop “stuff”. We spent some of our dates watching TV, while I did data entry and checked emails for my different jobs. One of our dates was at Palmetto Bluff so I could lead worship. Most of our dates I would end by me trying to break up with him with a subtle “I just feel like we’re different”, to which he would reply “I know, isn’t that great.” My friends and family LOVED him. He is everything I ever needed. 

But then suddenly, I didn’t have 100 places to be and I had no jobs. I had puzzles to do and breads to make. And a relationship to build. 

When we think about our short season of dating and engagement (15 months?), a bulk of it was spent getting to know each other in my living room. He met my parents with gloves on and a mask, outside, 6 feet apart. He met my friends on zoom. I took a hand sanitizer bath before walking into his parent’s home the first time I met them. He won my roommates over with Chick-fil-A. Especially in the early days, when I was furloughed and Hallie and I were cutting each piece of shrimp into fours because we would have to make the food last. And realistically, he won my heart in prayer. Ok. Prayer and Chick-fil-A. 

We spent two weeks quarantining from each other in the early days, when your germ squad could be the people you lived with. He suggested maybe we should pray together. “Ew, cheesy. No thanks, ok maybe. Yeah let’s do it. Ugh why is that such a great idea? I should have thought of it. Bet we make it a week. This is stupid. And cool. Is he cooler than I am?” 

We didn’t make it a week. We made it a rhythm. We prayed each night. On the phone, when we were in person. In a text, if one of us fell asleep. We shared a lot in prayer. And it lasted more than a week or two. It has lasted all into our marriage. And I truly do think God shifted our hearts. Fine, God shifted my heart because I am difficult and immovable and very stubborn. 

In fall of 2020, Walter faked me out in what I like to call “engagement chicken”. It is where you suggest he should make a bunch of fake dates and propose at one of them since you make all of the plans and this way you won’t figure it out. Clearly, he would propose on the first one, so as not to have to make as many plans. I rented a dress from Madewell. It was very cute. He picked up my favorite food, pub subs, and brought me to Wesley Gardens.

We went to the gazebo at sunset, it was a King tide, which is very full and beautiful and provided the most perfect weather. He dropped a chip on the ground and then got back up because he was not going to propose at Wesley Gardens on a Friday night. I cried and went to Trader Joes the next day and drowned my sorrows in gyoza and orange chicken from the frozen food aisle. 

He proposed the following day and it was so beautiful and my friends all got together for the first time in eight months and it was so fun and we were definitely all 6 feet apart and we air high-fived in celebration. I christened that dock with my tears. Tears of grief and healing and now, celebration. 

We got married a year ago. Well, a year ago tomorrow. 

Our friends and family did everything. EVERYTHING. 

They sang songs and pieced together my Sam’s club flowers and set up tables and chairs and bought me underwear because I forgot to pack underwear and they. did. everything.

One friend and former pastor said beautiful words and told us how to be married while another former pastor gave us communion and made me hiccup sob in front of all of our friends and family.

My dad’s band sang all of the best dance songs and we danced until they picked me up and put me on the golf cart to try and get me to leave my own party, which is the dumbest thing. But honestly, if the band kept playing, I would probably still be there “Brown Eyed Girl”ing my heart out.  

It was the best group project we could ever been a part of. 

We got married outside because events were still not happening, but you could have them outside. Everyone said what if it rains, but I make a living telling people “it probably won’t rain” and “there’s not going to be a more perfect day”. 

And there wasn’t a more perfect day. 

Lots of people say their wedding is the best day of their lives. I am sure they’re right. I waited so long to find a human to spend my days with and the last 364 have been the best. 

Year one has been full of beauty and changes and challenges. We changed churches and bought a car and got possums and fleas. And that was just the first month. 

We made new friends and made a home where we would invite new friends and old friends over to feed them food and then they would have us come over for food. Year one involved a lot of food.

Tomorrow is March 12th. It is our one year anniversary and it will be 30 degrees and raining.

I used to wonder if God really liked me enough to let me spend my life with someone and now I know He loves me enough to allow me to have the memory of a perfect day to kick off starting that life. I am just so grateful.

Cheers to Year One.

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3 thoughts on “Year One (and the story before)

  1. ohmygoshijustloveyousostupidmuch. If you could peek into my heart right now, it looks a lot like that first sentence. And it’s real real loud. This is precious. Happy Anniversary, sweet friends.

    Tonight, Joe and I are going on a double date with Josh and his girlfriend, Saige, to see The Batman so she and I can swoon over Robert Pattinson. We couldn’t be more different, but she and I connect better than expected.

    Love you. Mean it.

    Thanks,

    Julie

    *RE Appraisals, Inc.*

    Julie Pecenka

    P.O. Box 1422

    Richmond Hill, GA 31324

    Office 912-727-4855

    Cell. 912-663-3924

  2. You are amazing… and you and Walter together are awesome! Beautifully written.. Perhaps a blog is in your future..”My Life and marriage with Dogs!” Just a thought! Love you guys! Happy Anniversary!❤🎶🎉🥂

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