Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Twelve Years

This year has brought its share of difficulties. A miscarriage. Potty training a toddler. Daniel working longer hours than either of us like. 

In the midst of those harder days I have been thinking back to when we were first dating. As a starry-eyed young couple in love, we never considered the hard things the future might hold.

Daniel and I started dating in college. We were both 20. Many of our dates were spent laying under the stars sharing our hopes and dreams with each other. 

Never once during those conversations did we discuss the possibility of moving to new places where we didn't know anyone, family problems, hospital stays, unemployment, living in 2 different states (Daniel in TN and me in NC for 5 months)living in a camper, living in hotels, miscarriage, working extremely long hours, or the myriad number of difficult things you go through as you grow up and navigate married life. We had no idea what the future held.

Maybe the reason you don't consider the hard experiences that lie ahead is that no one would ever move forward with their lives if they knew how challenging it might be. If you really knew the difficulties, would you have enough trust in your partner to wade those deep waters together? I think marriage is about literally taking the plunge into the unknown and holding on tightly no matter what.

On the flip side, while we hoped and dreamed about good things in our lives, I don't think we could ever comprehend the good things that we have been able to experience together like the joy of becoming parents, the places we would go, or the things we could accomplish when we work together. 

Our lives are full of mountains and valleys and I am so thankful to have a partner on this journey, through the good and the bad.

We have been tremendously blessed, even in the hard times.
5th Anniversary  |  6th Anniversary  |  7th Anniversary  |  8th Anniversary  |  9th Anniversary
10th Anniversary  |  11th Anniversary

Monday, December 15, 2014


As of Saturday morning, all of our siblings are now officially graduated from college with bachelor degrees.

Emily, the youngest of all of the siblings, finished up her Business degree, Suma Cum Laude. 

And she did it while working a full time job during the day and taking all of her classes at night.

We are so proud of her accomplishment and the fact that she has worked so hard to put herself through school in a non traditional way.

After watching graduation (Jack sat through the entire thing, as he did for Emily's Associates degree ceremony two years ago), we went to celebrate at Carrabba's. 

This should be the last of the graduations we attend for awhile!

Congratulations Emily!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Traditions: Tree Decorating 2014

Saturday afternoon and evening were spent decorating our Christmas trees. First came our real tree with the Gingerbread Cookie Ornaments and white sparkle lights. Jack was pumped about this experience. Though he was disappointed that we didn't have a star for the top (we do now).

I turned on the Christmas music and we added our cookie ornaments to the tree. We strategically moved Jack around the tree since he was inclined to hang everything in clumps together.

I'm not sure what he liked more: hanging the ornaments or eating the cookies (I'll get to that later).

After our tree was decorated, we took a break before heading out to the local seafood market to grab dinner. A sampler platter for me and Daniel and salmon for Jack hit the spot.

After we had our fill of seafood, we headed home to decorate tree #2.

Our little fake tree was purchased in 2002 when we were first married. The tree skirt was actually used in our wedding. I think the tree cost us $10 at Big Lots and it has great sentimental value for us. 

For a brief moment last week, we couldn't find the tree and we were both a little sad to think that it might have gotten lost in our last move. Thankfully Daniel found it.

The ornaments on this tree are really special to us.

They include old ornaments from our childhoods, gifted ornaments from our wedding, and ornaments we have collected on every trip we have taken over the last 12 years. 

They also include ornaments that belong to Jack. A whole smorgasbord of memories can be found on our little fake tree.

One other tradition we typically do when we decorate our tree is to drink my special decadent hot chocolate, while watching a Christmas movie. This year we let Jack watch a Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas and while drinking the special hot chocolate (for him I blended it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and skipped the kahlua!).

Now back to the cookies... while I finished making the hot chocolate that Daniel and I were going to drink, Jack came up to me and said that his mouth was yucky. He had dark brown stuff in his teeth that wouldn't wipe off and I couldn't figure out what was in his mouth.

After consulting with Daniel, we realized he had asked Daniel to eat a cookie and Daniel said yes. Unfortunately the "cookie" in question was a cinnamon applesauce cookie ornament that was 3 years old...

I hurried Jack upstairs to the bathroom to brush the remnants out of his teeth and off his tongue. He seemed fine so I had him drink a bunch of water. Thankfully he didn't have an adverse reaction to eating the ornament.

While I took care of brushing Jack's teeth out, the rest of the hot chocolate for me and Daniel burned. So much for enjoying it with our tree decorating! The whole decorating mood was killed a bit after that, but Jack still enjoyed hanging all of the ornaments.

Sometimes things go how you want them to, sometimes they don't. Such is life. But we will probably always remember how Jack ate a cookie that wasn't a cookie!
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