Sunday, September 16, 2012

First trip home as a married woman

What an interesting and amazing experience to travel "home" as a married woman! A lot has happened in the past week and I am trying to process it all.

I left my husband at our home. We have been married for a mere three months (4 months on Tuesday). Before we were married we lived an hour away and would see each other on the weekends and sometimes through the week. I was more sad than I expected. I thought I would feel like I did when I would fly home when we were engaged. This time was different.

Home was refreshing, relaxing and calming. I left all my work and school stressors in NC. I wanted my trip home to be a trip that would energize me and renew my spirit so I would come back to NC ready for the last push until graduation. I got to thinking I want to create a space in our home that provides rest and relaxation for myself, my husband and our loved ones that come to visit. This got me thinking about what it is at my parents' home that provides that for me. Consequently, I saw a piece on The Today Show about The Happiness Project and Happiness at Home, two books by Gretchen Rubin.

What is it that makes me happy?
My husband
Exercising and having me time to think listen to music and process life
My Hanover friend
Feeling loved
Sitting on the beach and relaxing listening to the ocean

A theme in the above items is "me" time. I call the shots, I determine the mood, I renew my spirit and soul.

When I am engrossed in school work, I often put my needs second, third, even tenth on the list. This is often why I long for trips home or to the beach. These moments allow me to reflect on my life and the moments that have occurred between trips home. I am able to process and be grateful for my husband and our life in NC.

Although it was difficult leaving my home it was needed for me to renew and recharge my spirit.

My goal over the next few months left in 2012 is to strive to take time for myself and continue to make our home a place where we can renew and refresh our spirits.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

Recently, I had to visit our neighbors to pick up some mail.  Our neighbors, Shirley and Frank, are so sweet!  I knocked on the door and they gave me my mail, and instantly invited me in.  I sat and chatted with them for a good 30 minutes before heading home.  Something Shirley said really stuck with me.  She said, "Keep a journal of your marriage and life together, and label your pictures."

I had been feeling like summer was over, and I have experienced 3 months of marriage without realizing it has flown by.  I have been feeling like I wanted to slow things down and enjoy my life with John.  Shirley, gave me the best piece of advice at the perfect moment.  Funny how God puts people and experiences in your life right when you need them.

Over Labor Day weekend, John and I decided to get away.  I wanted to go on a mini vacation before I left for Indianapolis to visit friends and family.  I stressed and stressed about if I was making the right decision with my thesis defense coming up and the money it would cost for a crappy hotel room and food. My wheels started turning.

I could find a cheap hotel that would allow us to bring Missy, I would pack Pumpkin bread for breakfasts, and snacks so we could go without eating lunch.  I booked the hotel on Thursday and was packed easily by Friday morning.

John surprised me by coming home early because he had cancelled tennis practice.  We loaded up the car, box fan and all and headed to Topsail Beach.  I didn't mention to John that the last room available for dogs had 2 double bed until we were already on the road.  He thought it was funny and said Missy could have her own bed.

After a short hour and a half drive we were miles away, just the two of us.  I felt like it was a second honeymoon.  I was able to relax, feel the wind, and the warmth around me.  I have to constantly remind myself to breathe and experience the moment instead of rushing through to the next big thing.  We walked to the nearest restaurant (1 of 3 in Topsail Beach) for some pizza and a celebratory beer.  John and I were celebrating his first full week of teaching at a new school, and celebrating 1 year since John asked me to marry him.

After a relaxing dinner with lots of laughter about nothing and everything, we walked the short block from our hotel to the beach so I could hear and see the ocean.  It was absolutely beautiful with the moonlight hitting the waves as they were crashing in. John and I sat side by side, as I was overcome with immense gratitude.  I was so grateful that John got a new job, grateful that we were married, and grateful for the life God has provided for us.
This picture does not even do it justice, how beautiful the ocean was.  It is moments like this where I am reminded that God is greater than anything I am struggling with.

John and I just relaxed that evening and spent the rest of the weekend enjoying each other and the beach. Although I became anxious about my upcoming presentation near the end of the weekend, I was constantly reminded of what a wonderful man I had married.  I honestly don't know what I would do without John by my side. He provides so much strength and support that I didn't even realize was missing from my life.  The entire weekend, we just kept looking at each other saying I am so glad we are married, I'm so glad you are my husband, I'm so glad you are my wife.

So I have made a resolution to write more about our lives.  I want our children and grandchildren to be able to look back at our lives.  I would love to have more information about my grandparents relationship, and my parents relationship before my sister and me.  Shirley and Frank are onto something, and I think I should be hanging out with them more.

Love this instagram picture!  It looks like it is straight out of a 1970s photo album from my parents.

Two double beds!

Missy loved the beach and the wind from the upcoming storm.

Have you ever seen a cloud like this?

The picture of us during the summer.  I want a picture of us during each season of our first year of marriage.

The view from our room
A huge storm was brewing, and we barely made it back after getting ice cream from a run down putt putt.