This past year I have had a lot of time on my hands to develop skills I thought I never would have been interested in. I’ve come to find that I really love to bake (although our current house in California doesn’t have a dishwasher, which makes it more of a chore). Cookies are my absolute favorite to make because of their simplicity and deliciousness. I have made French macarons twice now, so they of course are far from perfect, being a tricky cookie to master. Yesterday, I made chocolate macaron cookies filled with a dark chocolate ganache. I couldn’t help but share the product of my labor!
Exactly one year ago today, Pat and I said our goodbyes to friends and family back home and began our venture to Texas where Pat would begin his Air Force Career. At the time, it was the hardest mountain I had ever climbed. I couldn’t imagine how in the world I was going to cope because I didn’t feel prepared for such a drastic change. Yet, here I am today. I survived and have grown in areas that I would have resisted had I never been drawn from the comfort and safety of my home and family. There’s something empowering about withstanding something you once thought you couldn’t possibly endure, knowing that God is always there to strengthen you when the road looks rough and treacherous, knowing that He has blessed you with a spirit of stubborn perseverance and the right people to make the journey if not easier, at least better.
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
I think a big part of growing is learning to not run away from a challenge. I remember how much fear and heartache I experienced in the days and weeks leading up to our “goodbye,” and I realize now that it was probably made worse because I was resisting, rather than embracing the changes ahead of me. Looking to the future, I see even bigger, more challenging obstacles that are ahead; Pat deploying next year, living and managing our household alone, going back to school, having children someday, and many other things. I wonder, “How am I supposed to manage that?” and God gently reminds me that He has already brought me through many things I thought would be too hard, things I thought I couldn’t handle. It’s a process, but I’m learning to accept that being stretched thin isn’t all bad – I like that God is shaping me to be a strong, independent woman with skills, knowledge, and experiences I never could have dreamed up for myself.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”
Greetings to our cherished friends and family members! This has been an extraordinary year of “firsts” for Patrick and me. I had originally wanted to share these stories in a Christmas newsletter, but time got away from me over the holidays. In just two months, Patrick and I will be leaving San Angelo and embarking on our new journey in California. Reminiscing about the past year gives me an overwhelming feeling of joy and peace – the past year has been filled with many blessings and wonderful new experiences and friends, so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to share it with friends and family who read my blog.
Starting 2014 as a newly engaged couple was very exciting for both of us. Wedding planning dominated our conversations with friends and family (I’m sure, to Patrick’s delight), as well as talk of our future together. The following months were abuzz with activity and somewhat stressful, full of checklists and deadlines and decisions to be made (I’m great at those). I have to thank every person who came into contact with me during those months, whether you offered me encouragement, help, advice, love, or simply tolerated me when I was short tempered and rude, I couldn’t have survived without your support. In February, I made my last visit to Colorado before Patrick’s graduation. We had engagement photos taken on Valentine’s Day at the Academy and Garden of the Gods, and then we went to the mountains for the weekend. Colorado will always hold a special place in my heart. I immediately fell in love with the great open skies, the pine and aspen trees, the mountains, and the great, rugged wilderness that makes you feel small and inferior, but at the same time on top of the world, a conqueror. Patrick and I fell in love during those trips to Colorado Springs, Breckenridge, Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Frisco. It was extra special going back to make memories as his fiancé, memories that we will lovingly remember for the rest of our lives.
A lot has been going on since last I posted here. We have made new friends, settled on a church to go to, attended a small group, I took a tennis class on base with a friend, I flew home for my 23rd birthday, I’ve applied for jobs (without much luck), we celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday and Thursday, we finally bought a vacuum, and we’re talking about getting a puppy. The biggest news of all, however, is that we know where we are headed after Pat is finished with his training! We are headed to Beale AFB in northern California! We couldn’t be more excited. It’s close enough to home for friends and family to visit, it’s a beautiful area with lots of outdoor recreational possibilities (unlike San Angelo), and we have heard from so many friends in the Air Force that it’s an amazing base. I am so proud of Pat for receiving one of his top choices, and couldn’t be happier that he got his “dream job.” I absolutely cannot wait to be back in the Pacific Northwest, nestled between national forests, mountains, and lakes, with the coast only a few hours away. It’ll be refreshing to be somewhere more familiar with so many possibilities for adventure and exploration.
Click the map to enlarge.
One of my favorite things about being married is finally being able to set up my own home with my husband. When I stop to think about it, it’s pretty overwhelming how much even a family of two needs to have a functional household. We have a gigantic mental list (that keeps growing) of things we will “eventually need to acquire” as finances allow – things that most people don’t even think about, or things we took for granted in our parent’s homes. I really miss having access to my dad’s commercial color copier, but that’s beside the point. Anyway, it’s been a little exciting seeing our very own apartment transform from empty space, to boxes stacked three or four high and two or three deep, to loads and loads of dishes to wash and find places for, to random piles and stacks of things with empty boxes and loose paper strewn all over, to somewhat of a semblance of tidiness and organization. It’s still a work in progress, and because of our lack of furniture and wall decor, the place is still kind of an eyesore, but there are little details here and there that I love, and many things I wanted to show my friends and family (that care) back home. So, without further ado, here is a sort of photo “tour” of our apartment!
June 15, 2014 was the day I married my best friend, a newly commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Air Force, and the love of my life. The days leading up to our wedding were a whirlwind–busy, hectic, and incredibly stressful, and not just for me, but I was feeling particularly anxious because I knew it would be the day that forever changed my life. It was the day that marked the “goodbye” to life as I knew it, and a part of me felt like the changes that would soon occur were too great to bear – leaving my home of twenty-two years, saying goodbye to my friends and family, the job I loved, my church, my ministry and musical outlet, my beloved horse, our pets, and beautiful Washington State. I wondered how anyone ever left the love and familiarity of their parent’s home, because it seemed like an overwhelming task looming on the horizon. Even though I knew that marrying Patrick would result in a future far from anything I would have dreamed for myself, I also experienced an immense peace and comfort knowing that I was making a good decision. I knew that even though marrying him would be the cause of upheaval and major life changes, my friendship and deep bond with my husband was also the reason I knew I would be able to endure it. I knew in my heart, with Christ as the cornerstone in our marriage, that we would be able to weather whatever was to come.