2013 ended with our little family of two sitting down to review the many blessed and special times of the year together. Having just flown in from a whirlwind 10 day visit to southern California, where we visited with family and helped put together a sweet wedding celebration for dearest friends of ours, we rested on New Year’s Eve at home.
We sat on our new (and surprisingly well-loved shag rug), on the floor of the living room/dining room/office of our cozy and tiny first apartment together and counted our blessings, naming them one by one. A couple of weeks ago, over dinner at the Rainforest Cafe and the glares of a giant hairy gorilla overseeing our table and roaring mechanically every 15 minutes, we reminisced over the many special dates and unplanned adventures we had and thus began our happy review of the year.
I have to confess, though, that while I was sitting there listening to my dear B earnestly telling me all that he could remember, which were so sweet and moving, I was silently going through a list of parallel difficulties and challenges that had dotted the year. We had gone through long work days, job challenges, scraping ends together, usual adjustments that go with the first year of marriage, family aches and deaths, moving to a new area. But, when I zoom out and look at the overall year, I have to admit that I don’t really see all of that, for they aren’t really the highlights.
B and I practiced in 2013 to put a lot of our trust in God, which is really a life-long practice that is far from easy to advance in. Besides the day-to-to-day, in 2013, I largely neglected Where the BlueBoots Go and funneled my creative juices into a larger project: our wedding. We planned our wedding with much help and outpouring from a faithful bunch, got to know some new friends who would later become our neighbors, got married and went on a super awesome surprise honeymoon to Australia ( I never thought I’d go that far away), and returned back to real life, to graduate school and work. I opened an online store, inspireebys, which you can check out on Etsy and Facebook. and published a photography portfolio – both of which are two personal “life” goals. We saw our nephew grow up into a cheeky little one year old, I reconnected with a cousin, and gradually my heart warmed and softened in appreciation for all the new family added. We visited Montreal, New York, Maine, Connecticut, and New Hampshire by car and my little car hit 14,000 miles on the odometer, and counting. We saw the Lion King on Broadway. My closest sister in soul and spirit found and fell in love with the love of her life, bravely moved to the opposite coast, and got married 6 months after I did, and just like that – 2013 had come and gone. Her bridal shower, hosted at her friend’s home, was beautiful, adorned with lovebird decorations (can you spot them all?) and a tear fest – we all love her much!
There are many photographed memories I’d like to share – so, do forgive me for the belated sharing. Amber Shomo at ForeverCandid Photography and her second shooter Stephanie, did a phenomenal job capturing so many special moments that we enjoy sharing with others or else, just tearing up over every now and again. She features our wedding in a two-part series on her blog. Didn’t she do a beautiful job?
2014 doesn’t hold resolutions or promises (to break). It does, however, hold opportunities for growth. We recently heard some overflowing of what some friends enjoyed from a Christian conference they attended this winter, and I was reminded how important it is for us to be “faithful in the small things.” I don’t fully comprehend what this is, but to live a life full of meaning, greater than ourselves, all our little attitudes, thoughts, inner dealings are all weighty and frame our character as well as our capacity to be humble, Christ-bearing and Christ-expressing, and living with a spirit of a servant in humility rather than a King in our personal palace. I also grasped another small but hefty point concerning marriage that is useful for newlyweds such as ourselves. Although many people pray for a good marriage, and ask to not have a bad marriage, both good and bad marriages have things in common. The one thing that separates and distinguishes a good from a bad marriage is if a couple is a GRACE couple. That is, do they take every opportunity to be a minister, a distributor, of grace to one another, in word and deed? Or, are selfish or snappy words exchanged and then regretted shortly thereafter? It’s all a learning, and as hard as it is to say sorry and mean it, it is important to keep a short account and wash offenses away so that together, B and I can be not a GREAT couple, but a GRACE couple. I’d like to be known as such a GRACE couple!
There are other aspirations and goals on the roster, including making the transition from PhD student to PhD Candidate (I’ll be studying for this in the next month with the intent to pass it this month), planning a trip to take B to Paris whenever we can next afford to, continuing the Hymn-a-Day series on this blog, more fearless cooking experiments, spending more time with friends and fostering and cultivating new friendships. It’s also about time to throw out the cute animals calendar of 2013, however hard it may be to part with the fuzzy cute ones, and hunt for a new one to replace it, pinned to our adorable DIY fabric bulletin board (DIY post forthcoming!).
From our home to yours, I hope you have a safe, warm, and blessed beginning to the new year. One of B and I’s mottos is “it’s better together,” so a hearty thank you to my readers who have been with us here since BlueBoots started adventuring 4 years ago! Happy 4th Birthday Where the BlueBoots Go!
Here’s to 2014. Cheers.