Thursday, July 28, 2011

She Got Married, Too: Jessica

I love reading about other couples. I love getting a
sneak peak into their lives and seeing how they make their situation work. Some would say that I'm nosy. Which I'm fine with. Because enough people were open enough to take me up on this guest poster series and answer with honesty, heart, and humor.
Enjoy :)

Names: Jessica & Mike

Ages: Both 25

We live in: a suburb outside Chicago

Do you blog? (Where can we find you?) About what?
You can find me at Faith Permeating Life. A lot of my posts are advice-giving and advice-seeking about making marriage work and just being happy with life as a 20-something, whether it’s around money issues, sex, work, or friendships. I am Catholic, but I’m not your typical “Catholic blogger” because I write more often about areas where I disagree with the Church (mostly around gay rights and sexuality) than where I agree. I’m also following Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project for 2011, so I post updates on that once a month.

What do YOU do?
I work at a college where I design surveys, analyze data, run focus groups, manage student course evaluations, and otherwise try to make sure our students are getting what they pay for. I also have a side job editing manuscripts for aspiring authors. And another one reviewing resumes and cover letters for job seekers. I’m trying to put all of my experience to good use :)
What does HE do?
Mike just got a job as a restaurant manager and I am super-proud of him! He graduated with his master's degree in social work over a year ago and just had rotten luck finding a job. He has been involved in food service since high school but wanted to move into management if he was going to stay with it. This new job sounds wonderful and I think he will be very happy

How long have you been married?
It will be two years in August.

What holds the two of you together?
There’s a whole blog’s worth of answers to that question! Here are some: respect, trust, good communication, balance, laughter and shared values, and complementary strengths. Also, since we put pretty strict boundaries on our physical intimacy during the time we were dating, we had almost five years to really get to know each other through conversation and doing fun things together, which I think gave us a strong base for marriage.

What do you argue about the most?
Because we have such open and honest communication, we rarely fight about the typical things (money, sex, etc.). We are most likely to argue about communication itself; e.g., “You sound like you’re mocking me,” “Don’t get so defensive,” or “Stop giving me advice, I just want you to listen.” We inevitably end every argument by immediately going back over it to figure out where the miscommunication happened or how one of us could have rephrased something so it was less attacking. I guess that’s what happens when a communication major (me) marries a psychology major (him)!

Do you have kids? If not, are you planning on them anytime soon?
Not yet! We want to adopt a big family eventually, but that requires saving up a lot of money, so it will depend on when Mike finds work. Also, a lot of adoption agencies require you to be married at least three years, and I think right around then we’ll both be ready for kids, emotionally if not financially.

What is your favorite way to spend a weekend together?
We love to do projects together. My husband is a big-ideas man and I am more detail-oriented, so he comes up with an idea and I help us create a plan to make it happen. One project (see the picture!) that has been in the works almost as long as we’ve been married is our four-piece artwork that will eventually say, “Love is a collaborative work of art” (taken from the book Metaphors We Live By). It’s supposed to represent things that we like to do together. “Love” is a photo collage of four cities where we have family (Chicago, Buffalo, Seattle, and Columbus). “Is” is made out of pieces from various board games. “A” is a leaf because we like to take walks outside. The rest is a giant Scrabble board that is just missing the letters, which we’re still working on.

Who cooks the most?
Mike. He is an excellent cook. I’m happy to leave that up to him, and he’s happy to leave our finances up to me. It works :)

Who cleans the most?
Mike does the dishes every night and is more likely to vacuum than I am. I keep things organized and am more likely to go around and pick up stray clothes and papers. We live in a small apartment, so there’s not a lot to clean, fortunately.

What was the biggest shocker of married life?
That there wasn’t one. I’d spent my whole life hearing that shortly after you get married, the “honeymoon phase” ends and reality comes crashing in. I think because we spent so much time really getting to know each other inside and outside before marriage, there wasn’t much to be surprised about by the time we got married. I wrote about that here in a very long post shortly after we got married, and nothing’s really changed since then.

What is the most difficult part of married life?
Carving out time for myself without feeling guilty; making time for Mike amidst work, errands, chores, appointments, and the like. Just time, in general.

Where do you see yourselves in five years?
We want to move to Washington State within five years, so I’m trying to get enough experience under my belt that I can get an equivalent job out there. With any luck, we’ll be living out there and will have adopted at least one child, and we’ll be looking at possible choices for land to build the house we’re designing.

If you could give an engaged couple any advice (assuming they asked for it), what would it be?
Regarding planning a wedding, I wrote a post about what I think is important to focus on.
Regarding marriage, let go of the things that don’t matter, and talk out the rest. Fight fair. Don’t expect your spouse to read your mind. Say “I love you” as often as possible.

*I will admit that I initially did not run over to read Jessica's blog because she had told me she was semi-anonymous and didn't share pictures of themselves. Perhaps that's a bit juvenile of me, but it's the truth- I love seeing the face behind the words when it comes to blogging. Her blog is well-written and you'll find very little fluff over there. She is passionate about her life, values, and her most definitely shines through in her blog. Grab a cup of coffee and go take a's worth it!*

**Also, thank you if you've continued to read all the way to this point! Please take a second and consider voting in my poll at the top of the blog on the left hand side. The question is, 'Which DIY post would you most like to see? (beer/bread/cabinetry makeover) Thanks, all! **


  1. I just stopped by Jessica's blog the other day and spent at least an hour reading it! Totally up my alley.

    Also, totally laughed when I read that they argue more about communication than anything else-- us too! We're all geeks, I guess : )

    p.s. Emma, just voted for all three options in your poll. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful; I want to see all of them!

  2. Really enjoyed Jessica's blog! Thanks for sharing.


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