Sadie Robertson Reveals the Surprising (and Sweet) Thing She Learned About Her Husband in Their First Year of Marriage

It's been one year since Sadie Robertson tied the knot with Christian Huff, and she couldn't be more "thankful" to be doing life with her best friend.

"I am so thankful. I am so thankful we got married when we did. Little did we know what was to come. But very grateful for Nov. 25 last year," Robertson tells PEOPLE.

On Nov. 25, 2019, the couple tied the knot in front of more than 600 guests on her family’s Louisiana farm. Following the nuptials, when Robertson, 23, and Huff, 22, exchanged both personal and traditional vows, the bride and groom joined her parents, Willie and Korie Robertson, family and friends at an outdoor reception.

Since saying "I do," it's been a whirlwind 12 months for the Duck Dynasty star and Huff, including him graduating from college, them learning that they have a baby on the way, and her battling COVID-19 while pregnant. In early November, Robertson revealed that she is expecting a baby girl — exciting news that came one month after she announced her pregnancy.

"It’s been wild! Yes, it’s been crazy. Me and Christian got married last year, first of all, that was before COVID happened. So COVID happened, which changed the whole world. We were in Auburn while Christian was finishing school and then we moved because school got canceled. Moved back to Louisiana and then a few months later found out we were pregnant, so it’s been a whirlwind," says Robertson.

While reflecting on their past year of marriage, Robertson shared the sweet thing that "really surprised" her about Huff: how good of a friend he is.

"Christian and I were talking about so many questions when we had our anniversary, like, ‘What surprised us about each other? What did we not expect?’ and all these things. And honestly, I think with Christian, what really has surprised me, what I didn’t even notice was just how great of a friend he would be," she says.

"I know he was my best friend and you say that, you’re like, ‘Oh, they’re my best friend.’ But truly like stepping into that role and just always being a friend, always being there, always being by my side, always making me laugh, always being that strength. And I’m really grateful to look back at a year and say, ‘You’re such a good friend,’ " she shares.

Robertson continues: "I think, you know, whenever you go to marry someone or you hope to marry someone, like, you think of all these things that you wish for and you think of all these things that you want, but you can’t even fully guess what God can really give you and what God can really provide through a person who’s pursuing him to pursue you. And that’s really special."

During her battle with COVID-19, which Robertson previously described as "a dark sickness," the Dancing with the Stars alumna got to witness Huff's care and selflessness in action.

"I’ve been pleasantly surprised, not surprised because he always was, but in a good way of just how our friendship could be," says Robertson. "Like on the days that you have COVID or the days that I literally threw up every morning for eight weeks straight and he was there holding my hair. It’s those things that surprised me in the best way."

For single women who are hopeful of finding love, Robertson advises: "Actually date somebody who is a good friend."

"I always encourage girls, when girls say, ‘Oh, but they’re my best friend. I can’t break up with them.’ But they don’t treat them like a friend at all and they’re harsh and they’re manipulative and they’re hurtful. I’m like, ‘That’s not your best friend. If you had a girl best friend who treated you like that, you would never talk to her again. Like, actually date somebody who is a good friend,’" she says.

For Robertson and Huff's one-year anniversary, the couple enjoyed a romantic evening at a hotel by the sea.

"It was so pretty, right on the beach. So we had a really great anniversary. It was so fun. Just like sitting by the beach talking about life and how much has happened this year," she recalls. "It’s just really cool to reflect on the past before we keep moving forward. It was such a special night."

With Christmas just a few weeks away, the parents-to-be are looking forward to celebrating the holidays with family.

"Normally my family, we go pretty all out. We have some crazy traditions, but this is my first year that I’ll actually be spending it with Christian’s family, which I’m really excited about. Part of marriage, we gotta change up the holidays, we gotta share. So I’m really pumped. It’s gonna be fun!" she says.

Adds Robertson: "It’s funny, my family, of course, there’s six kids and three of us are married and two have babies, so there are so many people — it’s just a tornado. And then Christian’s family, he just has one brother and they are the sweetest, just calm, so it’s gonna be a little bit different, the scene this year, than my traditional years past. But I’m very excited. And then we’re gonna still get to spend some of the holidays with my family too and just some of the fun things that we do together. But this year will be with the Huffs and I’m very excited."

The Live author has also partnered with World Vision this holiday season, an organization she's passionate about and has been a long-time supporter of.

In partnership with World Vision, the mom-to-be designed a handcrafted gift, a “Circle of Hope” wraparound ring, for the humanitarian agency's gift catalog. The adjustable, gold-toned brass ring is made by women artisans in India who receive fair wages, business development training, a safe work environment and opportunities to build long-term business relationships in their communities.

With a $50 donation to the World Vision Fund — which helps people rebuild in the wake of disasters and empowers entire communities to lift themselves out of poverty — the ring is free.

"I love World Vision," says Robertson, who sponsors two children —"one is in Bangladesh and one is in Zambia" — through the organization. "They just stand for so many amazing things and my family always tries to get behind people who are doing good things."

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