Shawn Johnson East on Her 'Stressful' First Year of Marriage – and How They're Now 'More in Love Than Ever'

"It's been the craziest year of our lives," Shawn Johnson East tells PEOPLE

It’s been one year since Shawn Johnson East tied the knot with NFL husband Andrew East on a private farm in rural Franklin, Tennessee, and the couple has already been through their fair share of ups and downs.

“It’s been the craziest year of our lives,” Johnson East, 25, tells PEOPLE. “One day doesn’t look like the next for us!”

PEOPLE got an exclusive sneak peek at the couple’s intimate, rustic nuptials last April, but Johnson East says the morning after the “best day of her life” she had to hop on a 6 a.m. flight with her new hubby to start their life together in Oakland, when East was signed to the Raiders.

“We lived out of a Hampton Inn for four months and we cooked from our hotel room and found our way around Oakland while he was training for the Raiders,” she says. “A few months later, I flew to Rio to cover the Olympics as a commentator.”


The Olympic gold medalist then went on a countrywide tour with Team USA. In total, the newlyweds spent more time apart than with each other in their first year of their marriage.

“It was a long few months, we went through hard things,” she says. “He got cut from the NFL and tried out for another team, we were both going through stressful times in life.”

Despite their rocky start, the couple is “happier and more in love than ever.” They now live together in Nashville and celebrated their one year anniversary earlier this week.

“I love him more every single day,” says Johnson East. “The first year is the hardest and best year of your life!”

For the occasion, the pair worked with New York jewelry designer Lindsey Scoggins to create a custom ring for Johnson East.

“We talked about how she and Andrew met and the path they’d been on until anniversary,” Scoggins tells PEOPLE. “So I came up with a few designs based on the fact that he asked her out so many times and all of their experiences during their first year of marriage. ”

WATCH: Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson Opens Up About Her Walk Down the Aisle!

Says Johnson East of the diamond and sapphire ring: “It’s absolutely beautiful, I think it’s a stunning ring.”

Shawn Johnson East and Andrew East Designer Notes

Johnson East says she wears the ring on her right hand – and seeing the band reminds her of her love for East.

“Even when we’re apart, now we’re together,” she says. “We designed it together.”

Now that their crazy lives have settled down a bit, the couple enjoys traveling together, cooking (grilling, specifically, she says) and binge-watching Game of Thrones.

“I still can’t believe I’m married to my best friend,” says Johnson East. “It’s a comfort to be able to come home to him when we are together and to go through life together.”

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