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.

4 Things I Learned from Doing Marriage Project

It seems daunting in retrospect – every day for a year you have to put at least some sort of thought, feeling, idea, or personal belief out there for all the world (hypothetically) to see. It was fun at the beginning, then it got difficult, then it got easy, then we almost gave up, then we loved it again, and…well…it was a lot like a relationship.

Here are four things I learned from writing on this blog for the last year:

1. Writing is believing – There are times, and some of you probably know where I’m coming from, that I would start writing about a topic and I really didn’t know which side of the fence I was going to land on until I typed the last sentence. So I think that means I learned that I process the world through writing about it. And to that end…

2. I’m very thankful to Mr. Gutenberg – For setting in motion a 5-century long series of events that would, for the time being, culminate in my leaning back in a desk chair hammering away on a wireless keyboard at this post. Writing the 200,000 words or so we’ve written would have been a lot less enjoyable by hand.

3. Have a plan – We went into this without a plan to speak of. I really didn’t know what we were going to do or how it was going to end up or who would read it. Because of that it never turned into what I think it could have (and maybe should have) but…

4. Doing something > not doing something – I can’t even comprehend how much we’ve learned, how much I’ve learned about each other, about writing, about the blog world, about other writers, and about the Lord. So even though I would deem our endeavor mildly unsuccessful in terms of end result, the journey of actually consistently doing something for 365 straight days was an absolute experience.

We’ll be back for more over the next 9 days and have a farewell post next weekend so don’t go away yet. And thank you, as always, to all of our readers, we’ve had a terribly fantastic time interacting with you and learning from you for the past 12 months.

Sunday Letter

Dear husband,

Thank you for my new phone. This game where I yell out, “Whose number is this?” and you use the search feature to check my Google contacts is pretty fun. Maybe eventually I’ll put them all back in my phone, but for now I’m really enjoying the guessing game behind it all. I’m still not sure where we got the idea to switch phone companies, sell our old phones, change our minds, and switch back, but it’s been a good week for life lessons. I’m sorry you have to wait until November to get a new one, but by then you can tell me about all the new bells and whistles and fancies it has, and I’ll pretend to be jealous. I’m still not sure what higher power kept you from taking this phone yourself and giving me the less desirable one; that’s something I would have thought even Jesus himself wouldn’t have been able to overcome in you. Thanks for being selfless.

I still can’t believe that Zeb and I had the whole night to ourselves this week. I could have sworn you were going to be home for my fancy dinner, but it was sort of fun to eat it all myself. Thanks for bringing the Sonic drink at midnight as a peace offering. I’m not even sad that it kept me up until 4am- it was worth every drink. For our next fancy dinner I think we’ll just have salmon. Unless you’re up for cooking the lobsters.

I had so much fun with you last night. Thanks for cooking fajitas and taking me for ice cream while we listened to Robert Johnson and the sound of planes landing so close by. It was just the perfect mingling of two separate centuries, mixed together with all our thoughts and the faint scent of mint chocolate chip.

Cheers to being your bride-

Jen

Happy Birthday

Dear husband-

Today you are 26. It’s still very strange to me that you’ll always be younger than me, but this is the one sport in which I’m better than you. That is if you consider birthday having a sport, which I do. I’m sorry for the two failed attempts at gifts this year, though it was fun to tell you about them and really fun to plan you a Masters Preview picnic instead. The only snafu in this plan happened when my debit card was denied at the grocery store, though my text of, “Are we having financial difficulties!?!” was met with the confident answer that you simply had to move some funds around. I’m still not quite sure what this means, but hopefully we have a secret stash of a million dollars wherefrom you pull extra cash when I take a cooking class or go overboard on my fabric budget.

The pimento cheese sandwiches and domestic light beer with chocolate chip cookies were the best ways I knew to say I loved you this year. I know our trip in April is what you’re looking forward to most, and I still feel a little guilty about my promise to buy you a new Masters polo during our year of thrift store only shopping. I think we made up for it by promising to get rid of two older things in your closet, but this year will be forever tainted by the pastel mass of cotton soon to grace your closet shelves. We are becoming weak.

Today, more than our wedding day, I love who you are, admire your discipline, respect your convictions, and have even more fun with you that when our love was just beginning. Thanks for making marriage easy most days and challenging me to be better at everything.

You are my sunshine.

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One Guy’s View of St. Valentine

I’ve had it in the back of my mind for some time now that our first married Valentine’s was fast approaching. Of this I was blatantly reminded yesterday when I got this text from one of my friends: “first V-Day as a married couple bro…don’t blow it.”

I responded: “I already did, I have no plan.”

That’s kind of true and kind of not. We are going to see some very strange indie film at a place called the Texas Theater and there will be a few other surprises for Jen that I can’t reveal right now (imagine that, me holding a surprise). But for now I leave you with my three rules every guy (married or not) must follow in relation to February 14…

  1. The phrase “soo, do we do Valentine’s or not?” is not a good one to utter on February 13th. Show some leadership, either do it or don’t do it but don’t shirk the responsibility on her. [dropping head slowly in shame]
  2. She can see right through “hey, let’s do Tuesday this year, it’s going to be wayyy too crowded to go out on Monday” because your basketball team is playing on Big Monday. I’m looking at you Kansas and Kansas State fans.
  3. Those $500 earrings you just got her? Yeah, great idea in theory but this is a marathon not a sprint. She’s going to expect you to play topper every year and go beyond something you’re not financially capable of going beyond. I say start out with $5 Chick-Fil-A coupons and work your way up from there.

(The photo attribution actually belongs to Jen and her handmade valentine party on a card. Her love for me can be summed up in 20 cents worth of yarn and twigs and glue. True love, baby. True love.)

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Sunday Letters- Things That Make Me Brave

Generally our Sunday letters will be to one another, but today I’m rather inspired by some others. My family came to town last night which is almost as rare as my husband eating sushi. That is to say, it doesn’t happen very often. Neither activity is disliked by the participator, but unfortunately for me, they only come along every so often. We took the opportunity to visit the Dallas Gift Market (thanks, Mom!), eat dinner, and see True Grit. I must admit that this was mostly decided based on my dad’s pleas, but knowing that the only movie we’d ever seen as a family in theaters was Seabiscuit, I knew we needed to go.

The movie itself is pretty inspiring- I love the idea of being out on the open range, outlaws abounding, gun in tow. Maybe it’s because I’m from Oklahoma. But watching a 14 year old girl avenge her father’s death with a fierce heart and a sharp tongue? All the better.

As she sets out to find her father’s killer- against the will of the marshall and behind her mother’s back- she writes this letter to her mother:

Dearest Mother- I am about to embark on a great adventure. Or dare I call it a mission, lest any of us rest easy ere Papa’s death is avenged? My investigations in Fort Smith lead me to believe that Tom Chaney can be found and brought to justice, and I have made arrangements to that end. I will return to you once I have seen them properly carried through. But do not worry on my account. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil. The author of all things watches over me. And I have a fine horse. Kiss little Frankie for me and pinch Violet’s cheek. I am off for the Choctaw Nation.

From here, greatness ensues and she is more brave than I would ever be unless I were fighting in hand-to-hand combat for my family or my God. Those things would make me instantly brave.

And a copy of a letter that has long been posted on my inspiration board at home:

Dear Pastor,
You should only be opening this letter in the event of my death. When God calls there are no regrets. I tried to share my heart with you as much as possible, my heart for the nations. I wasn’t called to a place; I was called to Him. To obey was my objective, to suffer was expected, His glory my reward, His glory my reward. The missionary heart cares more than some think is wise, risks more than some think is safe, dreams more than some think is practical, expects more than some think is possible. I was called not to comfort or to success but to obedience. There is no joy outside of knowing Jesus and serving him. I love you and my church family.

In His care,
Salaam,
Karen

-Karen Watson, 1973-2004, Mission worker killed by terrorists in Iraq

Yes, these things make me brave.

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The Man I Married

As great as my husband is, life doesn’t really offer many opportunities to brag about him in front of other people. So when we had a friend come stay with us this past weekend and he asked whether or not I would ever start my own blog, I knew this was my chance.

You see, what Kyle says about me is true, though not only in the world of crafting. I’m not quite sure what I’m lacking, but I know it’s something very key to being successful in a business or a blog. I’m the reason we have piles of magazine clippings that will never be organized and a kitchen that will remain 90% painted until we move out. My brain is constantly churning, but focusing that energy is like inventing the atom bomb all over again. If I were to set out on my own, I’d definitely need him there to push me and keep me focused. The reason Our Marriage Project works? Because he keeps me on task and sometimes ties me to the desk chair until I produce a post. Besides the fact that it’s physically impossible, I just don’t like the idea of tying myself up in one particular thing. Call it immaturity, lack of discipline, or just general zooiness; I don’t naturally have everything it takes, but Kyle knows how to bring it out in me.

I was in the middle of bragging on my husband, speaking each word with genuine adoration, when I looked over at him. At that moment, his moment to shine, he had a cup hanging out of his mouth. Not as in he was taking a drink, but he was biting the lip of a cup, hands free, so it protruded outward from his face.

You can only imagine the amount of pride I had at that moment. It provided a good laugh, but sometimes marriage makes a fool out of you. As soon as you think you’ve got your spouse figured out, they do things that resemble a 6 year old. And then there are days when you’re the 6 year old and you’re more confused than anyone.

To my God-fearing, book-reading, cup-eating husband: thanks for bringing out the best in me. If the cup starts to leave a crease on your forehead, we’ll be forced to work on your table manners. Until then, shine on.

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Photo Attribution

The First Snowfall and a First Baby

This was one of those weekends. It was one that starts out with so much free time ahead of you that you think it can never end, and then it does. And you look back and wonder why it had to go so fast. We shopped, we ate, we played tennis, we read books, and we gave the apartment the best deep cleaning it’s seen since we moved in. And then it snowed.

There’s something about the first snow of the winter. It somehow makes the cold more bearable, even when you’ve only had 1.5 days of air under 40 degrees. Yes, we’re really thankful that winters here are mild, and I kissed Kyle three times today for not moving us to Minnesota. Then we played the accent game and batted around different versions of “Minnesota… Minnesota… Minnesota…” I won of course, because I practice accents all the time when talking to the sister. When you can’t quite find the words to express how much you love someone, accents will often do the trick.

Aaaaand the baby isn’t ours (gotcha!), but a huge congrats to Jason and Angie who are having this little peanut today. Cheers to bitty munchkins and crossed fingers for short labors!

Has it snowed yet where you live?

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