christine clling

6 Years of Marriage

Last week I was just so tired and let the dishes sit for many days. Since Reed is working AND redoing our whole house, I was planning on doing them. I came home one night and he was just finishing up the entire sink of dishes, with a joyful attitude on top of it. He said “I didn’t want you to have to do them.” I about cried, because I definitely deserved to have to do the dishes. Marriage was created to reflect and be an image of Jesus’ love and sacrifice for us, and Reed has shown me more about Christ’s love for me through our marriage than anyone else in my life. He continually puts me first, considers me first, and sacrifices his time and energy for me, just as Jesus did for us. Through seemingly little things like doing the dishes for me (a utility sink full, in the spider infested basement corner, btw), he reminds me that Jesus loves me even more and gave up even more for me. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy” (Eph 5:25-26)

My favorite thing about our marriage is our friendship. I know that I have someone who will always stand by me, believe the best in me, encourage me, and want to be with me. I wanted to put together a post to reflect on some of the big things we’ve done together, and things we’ve gone through in our six years.

Reed says he saw me from across the room and knew he was going to marry me. We met at a church I was visiting for my college ministry, and he introduced himself to the group I was with.  He had just gotten in a four wheeling accident so his right hand was broken, and I still remember having to shake his left hand when he introduced himself to me. When I left, he also left and “followed” me. We were driving on a two-laned road, and there were no other cars on it. At a red light, he pulled next to me in his jacked up truck and asked me “how old are you?” (I look young for my age; he says he wanted to make sure I was an adult. Not creepy sounding at all right?). I am not tolerant of strange men following me, asking me my age, or jacked up trucks, but I was immediately comfortable with him. TWO MORE red lights and questions later, and we drove separate ways.

Reed got my number from a mutual friend and we went on our first date two days later. We went on a walk, sat on a ski lift (pictured -> ), went to each others apartments and met roommates, went to a rock quarry, rented The Notebook from Blockbuster and watched it in a piano room at my college’s campus, laid on the hood of my car and looked at stars, and laid in the back of his truck and looked at stars. It (innocently!) lasted for 16 hours, and I got home at 6 am. We have been together ever since.

We were inseparable after our first date, and knew right away we wanted to get married. On April 5, 2012, Reed brought me up the North Shore after class to a beautiful overlook and had a picnic ready for us. I knew something was up because he couldn’t stop smiling and didn’t want to eat, which is very unusual for him. He had hardly eaten anything when he asked me to go walk with him to the top of the overlook. When we were getting closer he told me to race him, and when we got up there we were looking over Lake Superior, and he told me to turn around and he was on one knee and he had spray painted “Will you marry me Meagan?” on the cliff behind him. I said, “yes”, of course, and we spent the rest of the night telling our family and friends!

We started planning our wedding right after we got engaged, and planned it all while we were still in school. We got married after being engaged for four and a half months, on August 18, 2012. We had our wedding at  Hermantown Community Church, and had our reception at the Ballroom at UMD.

We took a two week road trip (perks of getting married in college: time!) before school started again and stayed in a condo on South Beach in Miami that my uncle graciously gifted us. We road tripped through Savannah, Charleston, and southern plantations and started off our marriage with many adventures including a hurricane, feeling like we were going to get swept away in a flash flood while driving, and being given a free 100$ river boat cruise.

Us in Zion National Park on the left, and Arches NP on the right.

We were both in our last year of college during our first year of marriage, and I highly recommend it, even though everyone seems to say not to do it. We got to spend all our time together, do homework together, and even save money on tuition because we were married! We went on 4 road trips from Maine to San Diego just in our first year of marriage.

In San Diego we wore sombreros, held parrots, drank the best root beer we’ve ever found, and watched the sunset on the beach. Reed went surfing in ~57 degree water for the first time because he just couldn’t not. You can also see the exact moment he pet a seal. Look at the joy on his face. Not pictured is the literal seal police yelling at him for touching it.

 How do we save money traveling? By bringing a cooler and making sandwiches (so many sandwiches) on the trunk of our car. Also, look at the joy on Reed’s face as he’s climbing Angel’s Landing in Zion NP. There’s a 2000 ft cliff on the other side of those chains. My face was not as joyful.

Below you can see reed’s fancy windswept hairstyle, on top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.

Cape Cod. We kind of stumbled on this and it ended up being one of our favorite parts of the trip. Someone couldn’t bring their chairs with them any longer so they have them to us, and we sat in the warm blue water all day. We still have those green chairs, and they’re rusted now from the salt water.


We went to Glacier National Park for our first anniversary. You can see reed petting a mountain squirrel sitting on his lap and him jumping over the rapids of an icy mountain river. (No, I wasn’t excited about that). This is the trip where we saw a grizzly bear like 25 feet in front of us in the middle of a 12 mile alpine hike.

Joshua Tree National Park. A favorite. (Actually we love them all. I couldn’t pick a favorite. Or maybe its Zion. Or Glacier)

More Zion. This time we hiked to Observation Point. So many cool views and hikes in this park.


Below are a few pictures from our second anniversary. 

Reed got hired on as a conductor, and then later as an engineer, for CN railroad. We spent 11 weeks that year living in a hotel in Chicago while he was going through the training. Those are some of my favorite memories.

After college, we had a huge amount of student debt so we prayed for a well paying job. Reed got a job on the railroad, which is great for paying off debt but terrible if you want to ever see each other. We payed off 65K in less than two years but hardly did anything else during that time.

In January 2015, we found out I was pregnant and Reed worked on finding another job, because we couldn’t keep his job on the railroad and have a family. He quit in 2016 and started his own business with his brother, Discount Duluth. In 2016 we bought a house and completely renovated it. In December 2017 we had our second baby, Sophia. 

And when we bought our first house.

Our fourth anniversary:

We went on a family trip to the Lutsen Mountains in the fall. We rode the gondola and got the most incredible views. I highly recommend going there. The picture of Maren in the bathroom is when she had a blowout on our trip and we didn’t have wipes and the only store in town didn’t have any so I had to change her in the bathroom with paper towels.

We went on our first trip as a family to Arizona. Maren loved the plane ride and I loved the cactuses.

Becoming a family of four.

Our favorite year of marriage so far was our first, and our least favorite was our third. Here is a short summary of our six years and one word or phrase I think describes each year:

1. ‘Fun’. We went on a two week road trip honeymoon, and four more road trips by our first anniversary. We had a blast going on short trips, camping, making our first home together, and living together for the first time.
2. ‘Waiting’. We graduated from college and didn’t have much direction or clear vision for our lives (surprise). We decided to pursue Reed getting hired on the railroad. We waited for a position to open, waited for temporary jobs, waited for rejected applications; we waited nine months to get hired.
3. ‘Hard Work’. Reed worked so hard this year. I stayed home and did the hard work of being pregnant (not sarcastic). Reed was almost killed in a bridge fire on my birthday while I was 5 months pregnant.
4. ‘Transition to Family’ Maren was born, & I was recovering from PPD/PPA. We transitioned well to being a family of 3. We outgrew our 1 bedroom apartment, bought and renovated an old house. We paid off 65K in student loans (we still have more left) during the time on the railroad, but couldn’t stay any longer. Reed started a business with his brother.
5. ‘Peaks & Valleys’. We moved into our new house. Reed and I grew more comfortable sharing hard things together. Owning a new business is inconsistent and income is unreliable. Reed always worked hard and God always provided enough to somehow pay the bills. I found out I was pregnant again.
6. ‘Adults’ Sophia was born. I finally felt like an adult this year. I think the second baby did it. I don’t know why it took so long. We started renovating our new house.

Our favorite thing we’ve done together during our marriage so far is build unity as husband as wife, and now begin to build unity as a family. Our oldest is old enough to start enjoying traditions and fun things with us, and we’re so excited to do those together and grow closer as a family.

August 19, 2018


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