So, here’s the deal.

I’m learning a lesson. A big one. And it’s calllllled…..

CONTENTMENT.

Sigh. This is probably the hardest lesson I’ve had to learn in awhile… and I’m actually relearning it, just in a different area of life. Last time I learned it was last summer when Aaron gallivanted off to Korea and the Army just.. left me here. So, I became content in my jobs, and living alone, and taking care of, well, everything. And I did it well.

Now the tables have turned a little bit. I have my husband with me, every day, every night and that in itself is pretty amazing. I mean, have you tried living the same zip code, much less the same house with your spouse before?? It rocks. I love that we can eat meals together almost all the time, and workout together, and all those other married things. Just sayin’…

But then there’s this part of me, that’s actually a really big part of me, that I can’t shake. It’s the part of Elizabeth that seems to only be happy when she has a title outside of “Wife” and is bringing home some bacon. Heck, it doesn’t need to be a lot of bacon, but some. And she also has to be doing something creative or worthwhile, preferably something that has to do with what she paid $50,000 to learn about… She has to be productive about 110% of the time, or otherwise feels like a failure.

I’ve had my ups and downs over the past couple weeks. Guess what? The grass isn’t any greener down here. I’ve felt guilty for racking up all this debt in a freaking private university education just to sweep the floor or wash a few dishes. I should be out there in the world, making money to pay off my debt.

However, my husband is the greatest gift ever. He doesn’t see it that way at all, and he encourages me to do whatever I want. If I work, fine. If not, fine. He reminds me daily that we worked hard to be able to live (not just survive) on one income… I have to remember that. WE worked hard. We BOTH worked hard. When we got married, everything became ours,  even our debt.

I had an interview earlier this week for a job I was actually on the fence about. I didn’t get it, and I was honestly a little relieved. It just didn’t feel right. Last night I filled out some more applications, including Sylvan, Starbucks and other jobs at a school district (clerical and aide jobs). I don’t feel an overwhelming need to teach full-time and have my own classroom, but I do feel a need to teach in some capacity. It is what I was made to do, I believe.

Aaron asked me if I could do anything, what would I do? I said that I would be a mom; however, I know it’s not the proper time yet.

Today I got a call from Sylvan. I have an interview tomorrow, and I would love to work for them again. The schedule is flexible and part-time if I want it to be.

A few things keep going through my head…

“God delights in exalting our inability.” ~David Platt

“God equips the called.” (Not sure who said it.)

The book of Ecclesiates… that all the toil under the sun is meaningless.. what really matters in eternity?

The thing is, I have to learn this lesson soon. I can’t move forward in life until I can be content with what I have right now. Life is too short, people are too precious, the weight of eternity is too great, for me to be whining about a perceived problem that I’ve created all on my own. So, here it is: No More Pity Parties for Elizabeth. I’m really really rreeaallllyyy gonna try. And pray. Maybe you should check in on my husband at some point soon…

Who knows what I will do in El Paso, but I do know one thing. At my funeral, my loved ones aren’t going to be standing around telling each other about that one time I didn’t work full-time and make such-and-such salary. They will talk about what kind of person I was.. my character, how I treated people, how I loved Jesus, how I nurtured my children and served my husband. Those are the things that matter.

I’m loving this place.

And so is he…

handsum kitteh.

Luthor was quite lethargic for the first week we were in the house. Rightfully so, since it doesn’t get below 80-85° during the day with the swamp cooler. A couple days ago, he became much more active.

Our House.

Friday we finally received our household goods. I was, however, very disappointed that my mirror was broken, and not just cracked. Broken. It was from my grandparents, which they had received for their wedding in 1952. I about cried when the movers unwrapped it. We had a few other damages as well, but nothing that can’t be fixed. I was bummed about the mirror for most of the day, and then I snapped out of it. We have so many nice things that people have just given to us. Seriously, we wouldn’t have any furniture if people hadn’t been so generous.

The house is slowly coming together… you can check out pictures here. I am in love with the kitchen.. it’s big, airy and has the perfect mix of antiques, florals, and modern technology (i.e. my KitchenAid mixer!). We haven’t gone out to eat since last Monday for Aaron’s (27th) birthday.

Today I got the rest of my clothes unpacked and into the closet and dresser. The only rooms we have to finish are the living room, office and spare room. Aaron gets all of his things from Korea tomorrow, so he’ll be able to set up his desktop in the office. I will refrain from posting pictures until everything else is done. 🙂

This weekend has been both productive and relaxing. Aaron dumped out our recycling bin, which had a ton of garbage and naaasssty water and gunk. Seriously, how hard is it to put trash in the, ya know, trash can?! YUCK. Now we can use our recycling can.

As you know if you’ve been a reader for long (or just for this entry…) that my writing tends to be verbose. Here’s a bulleted list of things I love so far about El Paso…

  • The weather. The heat really isn’t so bad, and July is the hottest month. I love having close to no humidity.
  • The blend of cultures. You hear a mix of English and Spanish everywhere.
  • Our church. Spirit-filled, vibrant, and led by an awesome pastor. We have been blessed to have had three churches like this (First Assembly, Stone Creek and Faith).
  • Running at night. I might have done this in Peoria if Aaron had been with me. We went last night, unplanned, at dusk and got some amazing views of the storms and lightning on the mountains!
  • Living with my husband. ‘Nuff said. It’s so rewarding to be a wife of a godly man.

This is Life.

I guess, all in all, I feel like this is what life is supposed to be like. Do you ever have those moments when you feel all of a sudden intensely happy? I had one of those this afternoon… I realize all the blessings I’ve been given, including my husband and our situation. Life doesn’t always make me want to jump up and down with happiness, but I am thankful for everything we go through.

Being Challenged.

The past few weeks, Pastor Lee has been talking about becoming desperate for the divine, taking up our crosses, and following Jesus. I’d like to think I’ve been doing that, but when I worry about jobs and money and deployments and… this earthly stuff… my trust wanes, and I become anxious and irritable. This, friends, is not what God intends for us.

I am going to really try to evaluate things in my life that matter for eternity’s sake, and things that don’t. It’s challenging, and I challenge you to do it as well.

Who needs furniture when you have love?

Well, friends, I do. Our household goods were supposed to arrive last Friday, but because of delays, it won’t be here until tomorrow. Good thing I called because I wouldn’t have known about the delay! I pushed about getting it delivered Friday.. they wanted to wait until next Wednesday. Uh, no thanks.

We started off sleeping on an air mattress, and then it got a leak, so we’ve been sleeping on the floor for a few nights now. It’s actually better than the air mattress, which is weird. We have a cooler that I sit on a lot to eat and such, and lots of counter space in the kitchen. So, it works for now.

Saturday, the day after we got the house, we headed out to the trails at Franklin Mountains State Park and did a two-hour hike. Here’s the elevation profile from the Garmin (oh, how I love that thing!)…

total elevation change: +/- 1300 ft.

The hike was awesome. We followed a trail called West Cottonwood, and then turned to come back on a different trail I believe. We followed the directions of a volunteer we met along the way. We found our way to a ridge where we had amazing views of all of El Paso, east and west. Pictures don’t do it justice.

view as we began our hike
on the ridge

Earlier this week, we went out for a short run around the neighborhood. I’m having a hard time keeping a decent pace (10:00/mile) in the arid environment. I know it takes time to adjust. During our run, this little girl joined us for a bit and insisted on coming inside the house. Alas, we could not take her in. 😉

running buddy

Isn’t she cute? We heard a “clack clack clack” of paws and looked behind us to see her trotting to catch up with us. She didn’t bark, didn’t charge or anything aggressive. Eventually she left.

I have curtains up in the living room and kitchen now.. I will wait to post pictures until the house is set up. But, here’s the view from our front window. I met the lady across the street and the neighborhood seems like a nice part of town.

See the mountains? Yeeeaaahh. Pretty.

We’ve been trying to eat healthy.. this was our dinner from last night, plus watermelon. Yum.

whole wheat noodles w/ veggies and chicken, corn on the cob

To conclude, this week in general has been frustrating… no furniture, only one car (at least our drive to post is only 10-15 minutes), endless waiting around in offices and such to get things taken care of (Tricare, vehicle registration, etc).  However, I have a job interview on Tuesday! I will keep you updated.

I’m excited about meeting new friends… I had coffee with a fellow Army wife on Monday. We’ve discovered the brand new fitness center on post, which is free. There are 60 treadmills, tons of bikes, ellipticals, weight machines, and an indoor track! Can’t wait to do some speedwork. I’m very happy that I’ve gained only 2 pounds in the past month; with all the eating out and stress of moving, that’s not too bad. I can’t wait to sign up and train for a race or two…

Look, it’s sunny today!

And so was yesterday, and the day before that…

We have had some crazy weather, though, this week. A couple nights ago we were on our way to the outlet mall (um, yes please! Old Navy, Gap, Coach, Fossil, etc) and it started pouring. People immediately slow down to about 20 MPH on the highway. In Illinois, we’d think this is crazy. It’s just rain, right? Well, kind of. Here the oil is never washed off the roads, so the oil and water mix and it’s a perfect recipe for an accident, or hydroplaning. Thank goodness neither of those happened to us.

It was perfect weather at the outlet mall (on the west side of town) and on our way back, we witnessed some pretty cool views of the sky.

view from the outlet mall

rainbow!

I needed the sight of the rainbow… Wednesday was a tough day for me, in general. I needed a physical reminder that the Lord takes care of everything in His time, and that our marriage is to show HIS glory, not our own. It won’t always be easy. Sometimes I get a half-empty mentality and I think it’ll never be easy. But it all is worth it… the separation, adjustment to being together again, and whatever happens in the future.

First impressions

It feels like we’ve been here for at least a week, but as I look at my [empty] calendar, I see it’s been only five days. Today has been an unexpected lazy day since they released Aaron this morning after formation. It’s also been a much-needed lazy day. In the past three weeks, we’ve had maybe two of these.

Here are some observations I’d like to make about El Paso, some first impressions, if you will…

  • It’s hot. Like, 95-101° for the high. However, it’s not humid. The relative humidity is usually around 20% or lower and decreases throughout the day. The weather in the past 24 hours or so has been a little different… it rained last night and it was only 81° until about lunch time. It felt, well, cool. However, I’m thirsty all the time. Water, water, water.
  • People actually go the speed limit. On I-10 through town, the speed limit is only 60, and guess what? People go 60-65, not the crazed 80-85 in a 55 like through Chicagoland. It’s strange, people not riding your butt or cutting you off, and if they do they apologize by a wave of the hand.  I’ve heard it’s a $500 fine for driving and texting. I’m doing my best to not drive like an Illinoisan, especially on post. Traffic violations on a military installation are not cheap.
  • There are soooo many “left turn only” and “right turn only” lanes… you’re just driving along and then you find you need to get over to the center lane to avoid turning unexpectedly. It seems even people with Texas plates have to change lanes quickly sometimes.
  • I found this out today: El Paso was ranked the safest city with the lowest crime rate in cities with a population over 500,000. How about that? I’m not sure why… maybe it’s because in this state, you just don’t know who’s packin’, so you just don’t mess with people. Or maybe that with all the violence in Juárez, law enforcement is that much more diligent.
  • The interstate around the city doesn’t have cloverleaf ramps… there are one-way roads that run along the interstate, and if you need to go the other way, they provide a u-turn only lane that goes under the interstate. Pretty cool.
  • So many people are bilingual. We went to Joann Fabrics today and the cashier spoke perfect Spanish and perfect English with no accent in either language. It’s crazy that I spent four years and thousands of dollars learning a language when I could have just come down here and learned it for free.
  • People don’t seem to care which language you speak, or if you speak both. They just go with the flow. Our waiter last night at Applebee’s helped us in English, but spoke Spanish with the two little old ladies sitting across from us. It seems in Illinois, there’s a much more harsh expectation. I heard about it every day in my classroom, “Mrs W., why do we even need to learn Spanish? We’re in America.. shouldn’t everyone speak English?”
    • Well, regardless of one’s political stance on that, the fact is that people speak Spanish. Lots of people. The cultures here are so intertwined and have been for so long, that you just go with the flow. It’s refreshing. I know that if I started speaking Spanish, I wouldn’t feel ridiculed for pronouncing something wrong or saying the wrong word. They would do their best to understand me, just as I do my best to understand people who try speaking English when it’s not their first language.
  • Gas is cheaper down here, especially on post. Yesterday, I filled up my tank for about $44, at $3.26 per gallon. Awesome. I love the benefits of being military.

Here are a couple pictures… today for lunch we stopped by this German café and bakery… yum. For two lunches (included a sandwich, side salad and drink) and four pastries (we got those for later), it was only $20. It is called Pascuale Bakery, but used to be Peter’s German Café and Bakery, started by a German soldier who relocated to the El Paso/Juaréz area.

one of the cases
menu
aaron got the bratwurst sandwich + caesar salad, i got the caprese sandwich + garden salad... apple soda to drink!

So far, I like it here. In the past five days, I’ve learned where the basics are and how to get there. I’ve learned what gates are open all the time, and which are closed on weekends. I love the [mostly] seamless mix of culture and language… I’m eager to brush up on my español.

Friday we get keys to move into our house. We are also supposed to get our HHG (household goods) from Illinois. I cannot wait to make this place our home! Our home. It’s about time.

I have applied for a couple jobs.. one for the education office on post and one for a clerical position in an elementary school within a very short walking distance from the house. Thursday I go to take the clerical test and finish up my application. Either job would be awesome because since we have one car, I could take Aaron to work and then go work on post (or vice versa), or with the other job he can take the car and I can walk to work.

If it crosses your mind, please pray for continued patience and peace for me, and for this transition. It’s been great most of the time, but we have our moments. 😉

Only two days??

We can’t believe it’s only been two days since we arrived in El Paso. So much has happened already! Aaron goes to work tomorrow for inprocessing. For those of you who don’t speak “Army” (sometimes I wish I didn’t!) that means that he’s getting acclimated to this post and will be learning more of what he’ll be doing while he’s here. Not to mention attending tons of briefs with a lot of useless information.. a lot of hurry up and wait.

I have driven everywhere we’ve gone. Aaron doesn’t care when I drive, normally, as long as I don’t try to kill us. Or maybe he sends us into oncoming traffic… yeah. That happened when on our way to church today. “If you swing out wide, you could make a left here and turn around.” Yeeeaaahhh. Okay. Or not.

So. We went to church this morning at Harvest Christian Center, which is an Assemblies of God church. I had been listening to the podcasts and doing research on this and other churches before we got here. We really enjoyed it and will probably be returning next week. People were very friendly and welcoming, and we met the pastor, his wife, and his daughter, who leads worship with a baby grand. The message was great… he spoke on 2 Chronicles 20 and standing strong through hard times. He also shared a very poignant story from Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala (pastor of Brooklyn Tabernacle). I read the book last year and loved it.

After the service was over (it lasted about an hour and a half) we got coffee at their coffee bar and sat down for a few minutes. Silly us… we got hot coffee when it was probably over 90* out by that point!

We went on post because Aaron needed to get new rank insignia for his uniform and PC (stands for patrol cap… no more berets.. yay!. We wandered around the mall there.. looks brand new. We got lunch at Subway and ate the rest of it tonight for dinner.

———————

We came back to take a nap and for the life of me I could not fall asleep. I got on the computer and had a slight freakout about finding a job. I know, I know. Take it easy, Elizabeth. I’m still getting paid through August. And technically, I don’t need to work… but I want to. But I’m picky. I want a “normal” job, no retail, no food, no weekends or evenings (the only exception is Starbucks, naturally). I’ve looked a lot of places… school districts aren’t hiring for Spanish right now, or even aides, and it will cost around $500 to get certified in this state. I’ve looked at places like Sylvan… not hiring.  I have applied for a job on post, so we’ll see if that turns out.

Big sigh. I honestly don’t have an inkling right now what I should be doing, besides being a wife. I’ve been a “single” wife for two years to my “single” husband, so maybe it’s about time I focus on us and our house (but no kids!!).

I don’t know. I’ve been praying about it for awhile, and I got nothin’. Patience is not my strong suit… maybe it’s time I make it my strong suit.

I do know, however, that I need to spend more time in prayer, and more time studying the Word. I can be a judgmental person, and irritable, and rash, and impatient. I need to work on that.

I think I’ll start with that.

Gira de El Paso

Today was a very productive and busy day… needless to say, we have a decent idea of where major things are around here, excluding downtown.

First, we went on a run at Ascarate Park. Parks in Illinois have a lot, like, a lot of green. Not so much here. We ran on the trail around the lake, which seems to be roughly 1.5 miles.

The lake at Ascarate Park

We came back to the hotel to shower, eat breakfast and get ready to go see a house. It was the first house we viewed, and we made a decision before going that if it was what we wanted at a decent price, then we would go for it. We had viewed it on the approved housing site the Army provides, and we really liked what we saw.

We were the first to view it this morning, and while we were there a couple other people came to see it, too. It’s a great house, about 1200 square feet, with three bedrooms and two baths. The kitchen is huge, with a window over the sink into the backyard, lots of counter space, and every appliance we were looking for. There’s also a laundry/utility room off the kitchen with washer and dryer hookups. The three bedrooms are a decent size, and the master is very large. It looks like it was two rooms at one point. There is a full bath from the hallway and off the master bedroom is a bathroom with a shower.

The backyard has a large tree (yes, in El Paso!) , a patio and even a grill. It’s all fenced in, too.  There is no garage, but we have space for two vehicles, I think.

We told the property manager that we were very interested and she directed us to fill out the application at the office. We found our way to the office, and filled out the application. The receptionist ran it through, and as she was showing it to the owner, the other man who was looking at the house walked into the office. The owner chuckled and told him that “he lost”. We got it! We paid our deposit today and he said he will have the house ready by Friday. It’s perfect, because that’s when our goods are supposed to get here. Our rent will be a fourth of our take-home pay, and that’s just Aaron’s income right now. Dave Ramsey would be proud!

After visiting the leasing office, we went into post so Aaron could begin inprocessing. He went and filled out some paperwork, which surprisingly didn’t take too long, and we drove around post. After we [finally] found our way out (the gates we wanted to go through were closed, and the map that we have sucks) we drove past the house again and around the neighborhood. That was a huge deal to us when looking at the house because I want to feel safe if he deploys, and when I run.

Transmountain Road is only a little north of where the house is, so we took that and saw some amazing views. The road goes through the Franklin Mountains.

going up the mountain
coming down the mountain.. el paso in the distance
dust devil!

We drove back east towards El Paso and stopped at the mall. We didn’t buy anything, but just walked around and looked at all the stores that we don’t have back in Illinois except for a few hours away (Forever 21, Coach, Guess, Michael Kors). Not that I would really shop at any of those except for Forever 21, but it’s cool to know they’re here.

one of the malls here!

We made the mistake of checking out Peter Piper Pizza for dinner.. we walked out right away because it’s like Chuck E Cheese. Uhhh, no thank you. So we went to the Pizza Hut right next to the hotel.

As far as eating goes, it’s difficult to eat healthy all the time. All we have is a microwave and fridge until Friday. We’ve been getting water to drink (my mouth feels dry alllll the time it seems) and not getting appetizers or dessert. We’ve also been working out everyday. I can’t wait to move in so I can start cooking with our GAS stove! I hate hate hate electric stoves and if I can help it, will never use one again.

We also went to Target and wandered around the home section to get some ideas of things we need and want. We’ll be making that list tonight!

Today was a great day. We are now relaxing in our room and will be attending church in the morning. The events with the house today reiterated to me for the millionth time that God really is in the details, and He truly does go before us.

I’m definitely more excited today about what the Lord has for us here in the coming months (and maybe years…).

Well, it’s a dry heat.

Really. The heat isn’t that bad. We’ve been in El Paso for about two hours… and it’s not so awful. At least not humid! Oklahoma was waaayy worse.

We have been up the last two mornings to work out… go us! Before we left for El Paso this morning, we also went to the botanical gardens in Albuquerque. Very pretty.

We got to our hotel, right off I-10, and got settled in our room. It’s a nice room with a microwave and fridge, and good thing because we don’t know how long we’ll be staying here. We already have a few appointments to see houses over the next few days. We drove past one today and it was in the ghe-ttttt-o. Well, what I perceived to be the ghetto. Just not a very safe-looking place. I hope not all of El Paso is like this.

We can literally see Mexico from the view in our hotel room. We saw exits for Juarez, and lots of Mexican license plates. Being a Spanish major, this was fascinating to me. I’ve never been to Mexico. I know, I know, bad bad Spanish teacher. (Honestly, I’m not sure if we’re even allowed to go right now because of the military.)

We’re sitting at about 4,000 feet and it’s really not all desert-ish. There are trees and a little grass… the Rio Grande is, like, right there. We actually crossed it a couple times today on our way from Albuquerque.

I had a little freak-out this morning… or maybe I’ve  had a lot of little freak-outs over the span of our trip. I’m in a new place, and know virtually no one except my husband and a couple Army wives. So many people are fluent in English and Spanish, and I’m the gringa from up North who doesn’t remember slang from my first semester at Bradley….

All these doubts and fears could really run me over and cause so much anxiety, but I just have to go with the flow. I won’t know where to go or what to do but that’s okay. That’s what it’s like to live in a brand new place. It’s exciting because guess what: My husband and I actually get to live. Together. For longer than three weeks at a time. Really?! This shall be interesting….

at the botanical gardens in Albuquerque this morning

 

yeah, so there's mexico, waaaayyy beyond.

 

relaxing side by side... finally here!

 

kitteh's relaxing too.

The Fourth of July Blur!

Wowzers. The weekend of the Fourth of July. I’m posting now from our hotel room in Oklahoma City. After roughly ten hours of driving, we’re safe and sound for the night. Because of all the commotion in the past few days, I wasn’t too keen on blogging tonight, but as Aaron reminded me, the longer I wait, the harder it will be to remember everything. Here goes…

The movers came on Friday and packed everything up. Well, mostly everything. It was strange at first, seeing them touching all of our things, but then I got quite used to it and decided it was nice that we barely had to lift a finger!

sleeping arrangement from friday until last night.. ugh. kitteh not included.
box of silverware they forgot to pack.. in their defense the drawer didn't look like a drawer.
corner of crappola #1
corner of crappola #2

Friday night we went out to eat with my family (Mom, Dad, sisters Emily and Leah and Leah’s awesome boyfriend Tim) at Chili’s. The “children” then went across the street to get coffee… duh!

Saturday we saw my grandparents and then went to my in-laws for swimming and dinner.

Sunday morning we went to church at Faith for the last time for a long time. Pastor Rick, his wife Leigh Ann and lots of people prayed over us, and then we went to the all-church picnic and were able to visit awhile. We will miss our church family!

Sunday afternoon we got together with a good friend, Mila, and she took some pictures for us in the Pekin Park. We hadn’t had pictures done in almost two years, and we wanted some taken at one of our favorite spots in Illinois before we departed. Here are a few…

Sunday evening after we got pictures taken, we went over to my cousin Bryan’s house and had dinner with him, his wife Michelle (who has become a great friend and older sister to  me!) and this cute little Miss Thang…

me and my "niece" adeline (my cousin's daughter)

Monday was so much fun! We went to my in-laws’ house to swim, relax, and then go out to the fireworks. I definitely got some sun and had a great time with family. All four boys were together this weekend! Too bad I didn’t get a picture of that. Now you have to see our mugs again. 😉

After hanging out at the house, we went to the place at the park they had staked out since the morning. I never really went to the fireworks until we started dating. Last year Aaron missed them; the year before, we spent the Fourth at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona.

riding on a sweet trike aaron's uncle brought
mean faces! rhianna and uncle aaron
our niece rhianna! handstand!
squinting at the sun but oh so cute! our niece zaia

Speaking of this little girl, we were all up early Tuesday morning and on our way to the Children’s Hospital for Zaia’s open heart surgery to correct her sub-aortic stenosis. The surgery went perfectly (as I knew it would!), and we’ve been getting updates today from my sister-in-law and her mom, Anessa. Zaia no longer has a heart murmur! So glad we were able to be there. We didn’t get to see her awake before we had to leave, but I still gave her a kiss! God is truly our Jehovah Raphe, our Healer.

While she was in surgery, we ran around Peoria to get a few errands completed. Last evening, we went over to my sister’s new house in Farmington. She and her boyfriend, Tim, moved in a couple weeks ago and have made the place look fantastic! I should have taken pictures. Emily came over, too, and we had a nice time just relaxing after a long and stressful day.

I was up at 4:30 this morning.. I just couldn’t sleep any longer. Our goal was to get out the door by 6AM, onto Starbucks, and on the road. We had a long day ahead of us, as we were planning on driving about 700 miles from Peoria to Oklahoma City.

whoops! one beer left, guess it needs to be drank. don't worry, elizabeth was driving!
all loaded up!
backseat.. yeah. kitteh's in there.

We got everything, I mean evvveryythinng out of the apartment. We were 30 miles out and realized that we hadn’t dropped the keys and check off at the office… whoops! We had to drive back and drop them off. So we did, and were behind schedule about an hour and a half. After I stopped freaking out and realized the world wasn’t ending, all was well.

bye bye Peoria!

Annnddd.. we’re cozy in our hotel room in the OKC, like I said. No major incidents, no major scares. We stopped in Springfield, MO, for Arby’s and man did it taste good. Aaron drove the rest of the way.  Luthor did great, even after the sedative wore off. I think he slept most of the time.

It’s still hard to believe that…

  • 1) we’re in Oklahoma. Where the wind…. (you know the rest).
  • 2) the interstates in this state are great… very clean and well-kept.
  • 3) we will be in Albuquerque tomorrow!
  • 4) we get to actually live together. Craziness!

Please pray for safe traveling and good weather. I will post later with a blog of our trip! Thanks for reading; I love sharing mundane fun all things that happen in my life and it’s a pleasure to share it with you!

Eight years ago…

…we started dating. It was at the park, after a walk around the lagoon, something we did all the time.

I had to ask you, “So, am I officially taken then?” and you told me yes.

We said that if our relationship at any time was not headed for marriage, then we needed to break it off. Neither one of us were willing to date just to date.

Just short of five long years later, we got married. We made our mistakes, went through more long distance than we ever signed up for.. not knowing we had a long distance marriage ahead of us.

I think that night we already loved each other, and we knew.

We knew that we would have to go through tough times if it really was all worth it.

And oh my, it’s been worth it.

You lay next to me, sleeping, while I am awake contemplating this in this empty apartment.

Looking at your face right now and knowing that you’re mine, I’d say it’s all been more than worth it.

I love you, Aaron. Happy eight years.