Together

Together

Sometimes if seems Husband and I live in a sort of in-between world… I suppose it’s because we are essentially eclectic. We have a large library and love to read, but also a large DVD collection. I knit, but I also design websites. Husband loves surfing, and classical music. Our music a range from Ella Fitzgerald to She & Him. Our home is a mix of antiques and modern. Our life a combination of vintage and contemporary.

And the contradictions don’t end there.

Together, we are learning who we are. And we don’t want to be confined to a specific box, always defined in a certain way, always expected to make certain decisions. We want to be who we were made to be, with all the complications and contradictions that come with being human.

For Husband, part of that is although he often loves the “finer” things in life, he also loves to sink his hands into the soil and grow things. As a chef, he appreciates the effort that goes into tasty food and he’s willing to put in the time, sweat and tears to grow his own.

I’ve been known to get dirty myself, but I’m more of an animal person. I could spend hours in a barn–riding, cleaning stalls, bathing horses, fixing fences, and stacking hay. I’ve worked with everything from a zebra to our favorite mutt, and owned pets ranging from ducks to sugar gliders. I love it all.

But things are different now than they were just three years ago–we’re married. Which means that while we maintain our own identities and loves and passions, we’re also a team and we’re developing an identity of us. We are learning to be a part of one another. And that means he helps me clean stalls in a pinch, and I sink my hands in the soil for planting and harvesting.

Officially, Spring has arrived, although it seems Winter is intent on keeping a firm grip on our weather as long as possible this year. But one of these days we’ll wake up and it will be a beautiful 65*. So this past weekend we were planting potatoes and harvesting carrots. It’s not my passion, but it is Husband’s. (And I do love to eat those freshly grown foods that taste oh-so-good.)

Seed potatoes

So I spent the time on my hands and knees in our over-sized vegetable garden in the chilly end-of-winter weather. I dug holes in the rich earth and plopped seed potatoes in each, carefully covering them and hoping the weather will be just right this year to grow these little ones into the delicious roots we’ll eat down the road.

Planting potatoes.

Sunset in the garden.

Meanwhile, it was time to pull the carrots. We’ve been eating them fresh all winter, but we wanted to get the last of them out of the ground before Spring hits full force and they lose their flavor. We ended up with three tubs full, some really sizable, others perfectly tender and delicious, and still more bite-sized. Nothing will go to waste.

Tricolor carrots.

Small carrots.

The largest and smallest we cleaned and cut for our own use. We vacuum pack them and throw them in the freezer for oven roasting. The least desirable, we give to a friend for juicing. The best, sweetest ones we’ll sell to a local restaurant.

Even though this organic side of things isn’t my passion, I am so appreciative of the richness it adds to our life. I think that may be one of the sweetest things about marriage–the fusion of different passions, different personalities, different views into one exciting, abundant life. One we want to be courageous enough to live to its fullest each and every day. This week that meant working the soil. Next week it will be something else entirely.

And I couldn’t be more grateful.

Two wonderful years

Two wonderful years

Dinner together

Three years ago this very week I went kayaking with a new friend. Two years ago today, I married him. You can read a little more about how that all evolved here.

Husband and I have had a beautiful two years of marriage–I find it impossible to sum it up in a single post. Over the past two years we have been stretched, we have grown individually and in unity, we have learned ever more what it means to put Christ at the center of our marriage, and we have learned to put our trust ever more in God to see us through struggles.

I can only pray for many, many more years of growing and changing and learning together.

In honor of what we consider a sacred commitment to each other and our Lord, we have taken every opportunity over the past week to celebrate, remember and simply be together…

Rose petals

Second anniversary

Flowers from husband

More flowers from Husband

Breakfast together

Last year we headed to the mountains to go camping, this year we stuck closer to home, spending a little time in historic Smithfield, Va.

Smithfield Station

Long walks with Husband

Kayaking together

A country sunset bike ride.

Delicious baked apple and ice cream.

A souvenir plaque from Smithfield adorns our bedroom.

The culmination of an era… (aka preparing for graduation)

The culmination of an era… (aka preparing for graduation)

It’s hard to even grasp how much has changed since I first arrived at Regent University to start my graduate school career. Sure, I expected to be starting a new life, in a new place, making new friends, and having new adventures.

But it never once crossed my mind that I would end up…well, married.

It probably should have. After all, during one visit to the area with a friend a few weeks before moving here, she told me that I should find a “surfer boy” to marry. Apparently she’s more prophetic than I give her credit for.

surfing

Husband surfing

I came to Virginia Beach following the road I thought lay before me. Graduate school. But somehow I didn’t see all the twists and turns that road would take before I reached my destination. I didn’t know that my degree would take me three years to complete instead of two. I didn’t know I would meet and marry Husband. I didn’t know I would be offered my dream job.

I didn’t see all the blessings that were coming, but I’ve done my best to flex with every curve and embrace every change.

It’s funny how that happens. How we make a plan and set out on our way just to find that our path changes, sometimes we’re derailed, sometimes just gently nudged to take a different road. Sometimes its just circumstances out of our control. Sometimes its so clearly the Lord.

“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9

And I’m so glad he does.

Us

Sometimes life has a way of changing us. Three years ago I was just turning 23. I had plans and dreams. I wanted to live in Africa for a year or two. I’d thought about joining the Peace Corps. I had never even been on a date, marriage was the farthest thing from my mind. I just wanted to truly LIVE my life, not just muddle through.

Now my goals are different–not better or worse, just different. Husband and I talk about buying a house…after being a gypsy for the better part of five years, something like buying a house is a huge change for me. But it’s good too.

Not everything has changed though. I still dream of going to Africa, maybe next year. I still want to learn French, publish a book, and travel the world. I still want to live every moment of my life to its fullest.

Sunrise over Virginia Beach.

Saturday morning I graduate. I close this chapter of my life and start a new one. And I wonder, what will be written on those pages?

Celebrating our first year

It’s hard to believe that a full year has passed since my wedding. Sure, some things have become utterly comfortable—wearing two rings on my left ring finger, sharing a bed with a boy who rolls around in his sleep, the smell of coffee in the morning, etc.

Yet it still somehow feels like the wedding was just yesterday.

We watched the movie Julie & Julia last night. It was a film we saw almost two years ago in the theater, before we even started dating. That night Bob slyly talked me into going to dinner, coffee, and a movie with him. We were the only two people in the theater and he talked through the whole movie—all about French cooking and how awful it is.

I didn’t get to really watch the movie itself until last night. I liked it =).

Things I love about our marriage:
• Living with my best friend
• Doing yard work together
• Holding hands while we walk the dog
• Picking pumpkins on a chilly Sunday =)
• The little gifts and “I love yous”
• Pausing to slow dance in the kitchen to Miles Davis’ It Never Entered My Mind whenever it comes up in the iPod playlist
• Weekly date night
• Weekly day of rest together
• Planning for our future, even if it does include budgeting
• Encouragement
• Nesting—I’ve always been a “nester” (since I was about 3 years old), now I have someone to do it with and for
• Camping together on the living room floor because the bedroom is filled with paint fumes
• Driving 3.5 hours to the mountains just to cut down a Christmas tree
• Eating breakfast together every morning
• Adventure
• Opportunity
• Life

There are so many more things that I could add to this list. I love the small things, the little moments, creating traditions, forging through life together, and having many adventures.

Here’s to another year of adventure!