Welcome from SCL

If you’re reading this right now you probably found our blog through the guest post I wrote on Jon Acuff’s uber-popular blog about Christians and the hilarious (and true) stuff they immerse themselves in.

We actually ended this blog about a month ago after posting every day for a year. Those 365 days represented the first twelve months of our marriage and we walked (and sometimes crawled) through joyous occasions like, well, like getting married and not so joyous occasions like the time I tried to watch the World Cup in the middle of our honeymoon.

Since the blog has ended we’ve both moved on to pursue other projects. I run an Oklahoma State sports blog and Jen is perfecting the ever-evolving world of craft she lives in.

Running this blog was a lot of fun. Writing about marriage, having an online community, and sharing in the glorious treasure that is our Lord were the best first blogging experience we could have ever had. It was time to move on to other pursuits though. I sent Acuff that guest post some five months or so ago when we were in the thick of writing on here but since he probably has a stack of guest posts ten feet high I think he was just now getting around to posting.

So thank you for visiting and sorry we don’t have more to show you! Also, thank you for reading my excerpt on Stuff Christians Like, and if you want to read about our story (the secret engagement portion of it anyway) in full you can do so here.

A Final Letter. Or Two or Three.

Dear marriage-

Sometimes you’re like another human being in our lives. One day you’re fun and silly, the next you’re confusing us with your seriousness, and some days we’re not sure what you’re feeling at all. But we all live under this roof together and try to make it all work: love and friendship and passion and grace and all our paperback books. We weren’t quite sure about this “two become one” thing initially, but the longer we battle through these things, the more we start to look like one another. And more like the one who created us all. I think we’ll keep meeting every day, but go easy on us for the next few decades. Life is about to get really interesting.

Dear Kyle-

Thanks for making me do difficult things, even when I don’t feel like it. You know that I struggle with being consistent in anything, but you’ve taught me nothing since I met you if not that discipline is the key to any success. You are the most disciplined person I know, which is mostly good, but sad when I want to play and you have to write. It makes me feel like a puppy and like you’re an old lazy dog, so confused by my scampers and hops but still focused on what you’re doing. Thanks for putting up with me and carrying dragging me through so many things. I have nothing but faith in you.

Jen

Dear Jen-

Thank you for carrying me when I needed it and loving me when I didn’t want it. This last year with you has been spectacular, the full physical manifestation of all my hopes and fears and dreams about relationship between two people. Living together has been tough at times and not very much fun at others, but I wouldn’t trade it for easy, I wouldn’t trade it for frictionless or less complex either. It’s been worthy and I think when you get married that’s really all you can ask for. Just think, only 49 (or so) more years. Most of which will be filled with other little people who further complicate our lives.

Always,
Kyle

Dear readers –

This blog would be little more than the working out of our relationship in the abyss of the internet without you guys coming to our site every day. Sometimes that was scary but we were always grateful for your feedback, your thoughts, your (sometimes spirited) opinions, and your love. And on love, writing on this blog every day has been a labor of such. We went through phases: first we loved it, then we loathed it, then we didn’t know what to do with it, then we loved it again, then it was time for it to end, and now we’re here.

I’m not sure it ever grew into what we wanted but that’s okay because we loved it for what it was. And we’re hopeful that it was something to you: encouragement, inspiration, hope, anything really, anything that moved your soul closer to the Lord and farther away from the things of this world. I think we’ll probably be around in some form or fashion in the coming months. We aren’t sure quite yet what our next project will be but we’ll alert our Twitter followers as soon as we know. If you aren’t following yet you can do so here. Thanks for reading- we hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have.

-Kyle and Jen

What’s in a Year?

Somehow I’ve managed to live my life in one year increments. Ever since high school, there’s either been a job change, a house change, or a change in marital status right around once a year. I think it has something to do with the structure of academic semesters and summer holidays, but breaking yourself of that pattern as an adult can be quite difficult. I call it the one year itch, Kyle calls it baffling, but my desire for something new is satiated in semi-major life changes every 365 days or so. And yet I sit here in our little apartment and feel nothing major occurring within my heart or outside of it. After completing a full year of blogging once a day, we’ve both started to wonder what the next year will hold. It’s funny how there have been days I haven’t been able to think of a single thing to write, and now I’m inundated with enough ideas to fill up a month’s worth of posts. My darling journal will finally see some action once again. Or at least more action than the scotch taped pictures I find from catalogs to fill its pages.

I know I said back in January that Genesis and I were finished with our meet and greets, but I’ve started a one year bible reading plan. Two people inspired me in this recently- Chelsea is on track with day 140 something and Nathan is in the second year of his one year plan. I figure that I’ll either succeed or I’ll fail, but I’ll just push through, even if it takes me three years. The fact that I’m already on day 8 offers me a little encouragement, plus it’s been really fun. Come on bible, let’s focus.

The husband has started a blog project in the world of sports, and even though it’s not an every day project, he ends up blogging sometimes 2-3 times a day. This, as we’ve discussed, will either be a two year fun project or someone will eventually pay him money to do it. It’s unfortunate for him, but I’m not the type of wife who can be patient for more than two years while her husband works a part-time job without getting paid for it. I might not even be that patient if he was getting paid for it, but that’s really just showing you too much of my heart.

Sometimes we want to do things like open a snow cone stand (Dallas has a shocking lack of them) or spend all our savings on a mobile living space and travel the country (that’s only me) or start our own businesses or write a book or move to another country just for fun and blog about it as though everyone wants to read it. But for now, our hearts are rather settled on taking it easy and figuring things out one day at a time. Maybe living life one year at a time has decided it isn’t for me.

Or maybe it will just become a two year itch.

Photo Attribution

Three Things I’ve Learned

Today’s post: Three things I’ve learned after one year of marriage.

1. Even if husbands are clean before marriage, they won’t necessarily be clean after.

This is not a knock on my husband- he does a pretty good job most of the time. But one of the most surprising things about marriage for me was that his side of the bedroom looks nothing like his room did when we were dating. Maybe it’s because he finally has someone to clean up after him, though sometimes I’m tempted to leave that pile of clothes and see how high it can get before he takes initiative. I’ve said a lot of prayers while doing dishes after he’s used the kitchen. Marriage is a great adventure in sanctification.

2. Marriage is a great adventure in sanctification.

This has been huge. As a young woman, I could barely understand my own emotions before I added those of a whole other person. Under the same roof, mind you. It’s not really twice the emotional rollercoaster like you think it would be- it’s really four times harder. I can’t imagine what it will be like to have teenagers if God takes us that far, but maybe that’s why they start off really sweet and grow into their emotions- so you can slowly prepare for the disaster at the end. All that to say, marriage definitely reminds you that you’re not the only one on this earth. Sometimes rudely, usually abrasively, but rarely in a kind and loving way.

3. Life shared with someone you love is much sweeter than living it alone.

This is not a stab at singleness. I loved being single more than most people I know, and God will sanctify and purify you in his own way if that’s where he is leading you. But there’s something about always having someone to come home to- someone who knows your craziest thoughts and dreams and the darkest parts of your heart, but loves you anyway. Someone to laugh with and cry to and be silly with. And someone to protect you and love you through all of life’s battles.

And these are just a few things after year one. We have so far to go.

On Scheduling

I’ve come to the conclusion that the majority of our disagreements are Jen’s fault the result of each of us impeding on the other’s time.

Oh you have softball tonight? Well I wanted to go out to eat instead.
You’re going antiquing this weekend? I was going to work on my web site.
We’re going to your family’s house again?!

It’s just one of the many ways our personal selfishness is revealed through marriage.

I don’t really think there’s a fix to this problem or a tried-and-true remedy for the ailment of feeling lonely all the time, but here’s what Jen and I decided on…

As most of you know, I’ve been rather busy running my OSU web site (it’s a second job really) and because of this our time together is sporadic at best. So we walked through my weekly schedule, hour by hour (literally), and blocked off time that’s just Kyle and Jen time. No writing, no reading, just being with each other and cultivating relationship.

And it’s been outstanding – to be intentional with your time to grow in the Lord with your spouse.

Of course we’re also only on day 2 so get back to me in a week, we’ll probably be in the midst of another Zeb incident.

Our Memorial Day Weekend

Two lessons from our holiday weekend:

1. You can make a game out of anything.

Sometimes I’m a total girl. There are times when I don’t feel like getting my hair wet or playing in the dirt, but then there are times when I’m just as competitive as my husband. These times usually come during ridiculous games that take no athletic ability and I think I actually have a chance to beat him. Example? Let’s stand on the side of the pool while someone throws us a ball and we try to catch it for points. Or let’s take a golf tee to the bottom of the pool and jump on it when it floats to the top. For points, of course. I still rarely win, but the trophy is tantalizingly close. And so we play.

2. Road trips, even short ones, provide the best conversation.

I know part of it is the fact that we don’t have as much technology at hand while driving, but it also helps that neither of us has the chance to wander off or be distracted by anything else. I’ve decided over the last year that if you’re feeling distant from your spouse, it’s probably time for a road trip. No radio, no phones, just you. And whatever conversation comes up.

What did you do for the holiday weekend?

A Memorial

As our Memorial Day tribute, let me introduce you to (or reacquaint you with) the greatest rendetion of the U.S. National Anthem that’s ever been performed. My favorite part is at 3:03 when she gives this look off to the side that basically says “that’s the best pre-Super Bowl performance anyone’s ever given.”

Don’t forget to call your grandparents, parents, siblings, and friends today to thank them.

Sunday Letter

Husband! It’s 11am and I still haven’t posted the letter for today. I think the fact that we’re getting closer to the end of our blogdom creeps us further and further back on our post times. Remember when we used to write the night before and autopost at 1:30 am? That was really cute.

Somehow I think that when you see something coming to completion, you tend to sit back and enjoy seeing everything you’ve done up to that point. All the work we did to gain one another’s affections in courtship provided great pleasure at the beginning of marriage, making it seem an almost effortless existence in the new world we were taking on. I really think, though, that a year is probably the limit on riding that out, perhaps bringing us to the end of what they call the honeymoon stage. I’m not sure at what point we no longer fall under the “newlywed” category, but I think it might have something to do with realizing that marriage isn’t actually quite as easy as it seemed during the first few months.

I’m trying to weigh this realization with the fact that so many people say the first year is the most difficult. On the one hand, we can’t ride the courtship wave much longer, but if this was the most difficult year, I can’t really imagine how great the rest of the years will be. Something in me wonders if “the first year is the hardest” was a line spoken once as a conversation starter that accidentally caught on with all of society. That’s where conversation starters will get you. Remember this.

I’ve been thinking about all the things we were doing at this time last year; running around making last minute purchases, packing for the honeymoon, trying to keep our families quiet until the last minute. There was so much expectation and excitement in my heart, and though it’s much different now, the expectation still resides there, looking forward to year two and all the rest that will follow. I know things are starting to look the same every day, but I’m praying for fresh eyes daily, that we would never take these times together for granted.

Clear eyes and full hearts and such.

Catch ya in the pool. Please wear sunscreen today. Our marriage will last a lot longer.

-Your bride