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.

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?

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

Anniversary Plots

The idea of an anniversary makes me really nervous. Sort of like birthdays and Christmas, there’s so much expectation tied to it, which usually makes me clam up and fail. I’ve already got a project in the works for our anniversary, but here are some things I would love to do if I still needed ideas. Maybe I’ll use these for year two.

1. Take a trip.

Everyone knows how badly I want to purchase an Airstream, but did I tell you about the time I thought the husband bought us one as a surprise? Another story for a later time…

This is actually something we’re doing this year (thanks to the husband’s secret planning skills), but it’s only going to be a short weekend trip. The idea of flying anywhere for a short period overwhelms me, not to mention the price of flights is extraordinary right now. So we’re taking a short road trip to a secret destination, which will be more fun and less overwhelming than a big trip anywhere else.

2. Host a party.

via a cup of jo

This is something I really want to do, but I’m not sure where we’d fit all the people we’d want to invite to our tiny little apartment. Maybe if God blesses us with a house and a big back yard, we can try this on anniversary number 5. I love the idea of having some close friends over for dinner to celebrate another year of our love. Check out the links below for some free photo booth templates from the fabulous Jordan Ferney. She has the best party ideas.

via oh happy day

3. Make a photo montage.

With all the technology available these days, you can make any type of photo book or collage by just uploading some favorite photos to the website of your choice. Even if you’re not picture people, you can gather enough pictures over the last year to make something pretty memorable. Even if you have to include things like this:

What are some creative things you’ve done to commemorate an anniversary or special occasion?

Photo Attribution

Lessons in Travel

Four things I learned from traveling to the OC this weekend:

1. Always remove towel remnants and sand from your lens before shooting photos.

2. Not many people know the gospel. It’s really easy for us to forget that when we spend our weeks doing the same things over and over; work, home, church, play. We gather with the same people, who, for all intents and purposes, are exactly like us. But getting out sometimes makes you realize how close people are to finding Jesus. They’re reading books on Philosophy and worshipping the freedom they find in music and believing that there’s a higher power of some kind. They’re really just almost there.

3. Everyone I talked to who lives in the OC has lived there for their entire life. What’s interesting is that they’re praised for it because it’s a beautiful place to be, yet those who stay in their hometown in the plains are considered incompetent hicks. A strange imbalance, I dare say.

4. Husbands are pretty good at keeping things in order while you’re traveling, even if it’s cleaned up right at the last minute. Even after he forgot to crate the dog he was sitting and it chewed my art supplies into tiny pieces, the rest of the house looked great. There was no major harm done, plus I think I’m getting a leg up on the dog debate. Lost art supplies scores me at least ten votes toward the future of canines in this family.

Also, here’s a picture of one of the families I camera stalked at the beach. (Yes, there were several, and none of them were American.) This one was taken right after this elderly man was swept under by a wave. I’ve never seen anyone so excited to be in the ocean before.

What have you learned from your travels?

A Travel Companion

This weekend, thanks to a very gracious and thoughtful friend, I’m flying to California to spend four days reading and lounging and taking in the salty-aired world that is Laguna Beach. I’ve used the same overnight bag now for nearly five years, and the zipper has reached it’s last zipper leg. I still use it for car trips, but having all my personals fall out on other passengers during flight sounds less than appealing. So what else is there to do but dream of having new luggage?

Unlike the husband, I have the uncanny ability to store about 3-4 nights worth of goodies into one overnight bag. Here, some I would purchase if I had the extra money saved.

From JCrew

Two things: 1) I’ve been very into navy and white lately. Such classic colors. And 2) who knew JCrew carried luggage? Yes, please.

Hartmann Wings

This one is on sale for only $475, but I’m totally in love with the design here.

Gucci "Wholesale"

And a final one with the tacky plastic still on its handles from an online “wholesaler” website. Because let’s be honest- none of us are buying the real thing. If you are I’m not judging you, but the fakes look just as great.

Happy travels to all- where are you traveling this month?

A Contrast of Centuries

Recently a friend said to me, “I have to confess that I really love reading your blog, mostly because it helps me realize that I’m not completely crazy.” And isn’t that what friendship is all about? You find people who are rather similar to you, mostly because you’re encouraged to find that insanity dwells in us all. I’m not the only wife who has cried over a failed lobster night, nor will I be the last.

Sometimes I find solace in the written word, and while it should be the holy Bible, this week it manifests itself in a work of fiction that has been a source of giggles and encouragement to me in the last 11 months. Though its pages reflect the early 1800’s, the content is quite similar to today. It simply goes to show that we have been the same for all of eternity; ladies, let the crazy live on. Here, a contrast of my heart and another 200 years earlier.

I’ll just say it: sometimes the blog gets in the way of our marriage. Yes, I am so excited that Kyle is doing what he loves and having a great time with it, but sometimes I hand him his dinner plate and expect to sit at the table, only to watch him take it directly to the computer, put on his headphones, and eat there. To be fair, that only happened once. You can all imagine why.

February 16, 1837
Our honeymoon ends today. There hasn’t been quite as much honey in it as I expected. I supposed that Ernest would be at home every evening, at least, and that he would read aloud, and have me play and sing, and that we should have delightful times together. But now he has got me he seems satisfied and goes about his business as if he had been married a hundred years.

Even as I write these things, I feel rather ridiculous, but such is the heart of a woman. Sometimes Kyle and I have discussions on how I don’t necessarily have to hang out with him all the time, but I just want him to want to hang out with me. If you’re a man, go back, try to process that, and then give up.

Then in the evening he goes and sits in his office and studies; I don’t mean every minute, but he certainly spends hours there. Today I got a letter from Mother, which made me cry at once. He came and embraced me and I told him I was lonely and hadn’t been used to spending my evenings all by myself.
“You must get some of your friends to come see you,” he said.
“I don’t want friends,” I sobbed. “I want you.”
“Yes, darling; why didn’t you tell me sooner? Of course I will stay with you if you wish it.”
“If that is your only reason, I am sure I don’t want you.”
He looked puzzled.

I’m sure no one else has ever had these conversations, just me and little Katherine. My heart immediately wonders if I am being unreasonable and selfish, but I just can’t help but feel these things. I often think back to our dating relationship and think about all the letters we wrote one another, all the nights we spent talking over coffee, on walks, listening to music. And in my head, nothing should have changed, though I know this life is always evolving.

Am I unreasonable and childish? What is married life? An occasional meeting, a kiss here and a caress there? Or is it the sacred union of the twain who walk together side by side, knowing each other’s joys and sorrows and going Heavenward hand in hand?

And thus wages the battle between the poetic souls of women and the practical hearts of men. It must happen, I suppose, in order to get anything done and maintain all the order in the universe. Otherwise the world would run completely out of coffee and paper, and no one wants to live in a world like that.

Three Pictures from the Weekend

Babies, babies everywhere. I think we probably know about 25 people who are set to give birth this year, and this weekend produced two babies within our circles. This one I get to post because we’re related, whether he likes it or not. He belongs to my cousin and his beautiful wife- I can’t wait to meet him and whisper in his ear that he’s got it really good and to enjoy life while he can. That’s my favorite thing to do with babies. Welcome to the world, little Logan David. Being alive is hard sometimes, but we’re cheering for you.

This weekend, I sewed a dress. It had pockets and sleeves and it almost has a zipper, which makes me so giddy I can hardly stand up straight. I’m on the last page of instructions, and while the pieces don’t match up the way they should, I will not be deterred. I had only two goals in mind when starting this project: 1) Don’t spill anything on it and 2) finish. So far, so good.

Last night we had a smorgasbord of raw and roasted veggies for dinner including our favorite summer snack: salsa. It’s a very secret recipe that’s only secret because it changes every time we make it. Last night we used tomatoes, carrots, bell pepper, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper. Chop, chop, chop. I see this in our future every day until all the vegetables dry up for the winter.

What’s a moment from the weekend you wish you would have captured in film?