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It dawned on me during dinner with my parents the other night that this will be my last Christmas as just Erin Walker. Next year I will be not only Erin Walker-Rutherford, but a wife and partner to Joe. I’m not going to lie. I was a bit sad. Weird right? Or maybe not.

Future bedroom – with 5 initials of course via Shelter.

The truth is I am THRILLED to be engaged to the love of my life (I realize how blessed I am to have found him too!). But what most wedding blogs won’t tell you, is that marriage is not only a joining together – but a leaving behind. In school we study about the successful transition from different stages in a person’s life. Welp. Your 20s are allllll about defining your own role as an independent from your family, while also balancing the desire to build lasting and meaningful relationships with others – including a possible spouse. There are two sides to this coin my friends.

On one side, I have “me” and “my family.” On the other, I have “we” and “our family.” It’s more than just a change in pronouns, but a change in thinking too. And it’s ok for it to be hard to make the switch. I guess that is why Joe’s church insists on a minimum one year engagement (which we are fudging by one month – but oh well, we got their blessing). And while we have meetings with the Deacon, our sponsor couple, communication classes/retreat, and family planning courses to take – I’m kinda glad for this kind of preparation. My answer to Joe – a resounding, “YES!,” was the easy part. Now comes to tough stuff. The good stuff. The building of our life together.

So while I’m thinking about color choices, and helping Joe understand the complexity of planning a wedding (like what our first dance will be and where we should secure room blocks) – I’m also keeping a keen eye out for the steps and plans for the marriage part too.

And while I will certainly share my observations – some of it will remain personal and private. But in the end, I will be proud to add that 5th name because it will mean I am ready to be the “me” in the “we.”

Gratefully,

The Soon-to-be EJSW-R

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