It's been a couple of months since I've posted and it has not been a quiet couple of months. Our first holiday season as husband and wife was full of new memories, little surprises, and tons of family. We started our season with Thanksgiving dinner with Brian's family. It was a sweet holiday with family and good food, if a little different than I'm used to. It was my first holiday without my parents (they were out of town visiting my brothers) and I missed them. Missed them as I haven't had to before. It was a moment of clarity for me. I was married. Part of my own family now. I cried a little, thinking about the transition I had gone through without it completely registering. I don't think many nearly married or newly married couples think about everything that changes. At least not down to the little details, like celebrating holidays differently, maybe without certain people who are always present. It was an eye opener for me, a little bittersweet.
Right after Christmas my sweet husband gave into my love of a real Christmas tree. My family did not do the plastic tree. Every year we would go pick out our tree together, bring it home and decorate it, usually with a Christmas movie playing in the background. It's always been one of my favorite traditions. Brian's parents like the no-hassle plastic trees, which I may one day give into, but part of me just couldn't handle that change. So, we went to pick out our Christmas tree, piney fresh scent and sticky sap included, brought it home and decorated it. It was a safety blanket in a month of changes.
The week before Christmas we took our first real road trip together. We drove from our home in Florida, up to North Carolina (day stop here for a quick break in a cozy cabin), then to Michigan (to visit my brothers, their families and my grandpa), then an adventurous stay in Chicago, Illinois. Before we left I was told by others that it would be the real test to see if we could get along. I guess it's because you spend a good 40 hours in the car together traveling that far. We've traveled with together before on trips with our parents, one even when Brian and I were flying home from Michigan while my parents stayed there and we missed our plane. Through times like that I can see where couples could fall apart and start fighting, but during those moments, without fail, one of us is able to stay calm while the other falls apart. Moments where you could so easily fall apart too but you are given the grace to hold it together and pull your spouse through the rough moment with you. So, I guess we pass the test that others gave us. Not because we have anything extra in our back pockets that magically heal the rough patches. We have all of the same issues other couples have. The only thing thing different is that our foundation is set in God.
On our vacation, we enjoyed our mini romantic getaway in the North Carolina mountains. We immersed ourselves in family in Michigan, which included time spent just hanging on the couch, which is my favorite. There is nothing like getting that time together now that we live 1,500 miles away from each other. We gave gifts, ate a lot of good food and just loved being together. Brian and I took a special trip to see one of my old childhood homes, treat my brother Sean to dinner and give him his presents, and to visit my brother Matt, who left this world too soon. When you only get a few days to be with family a year, you just want to make every moment count. On our way back down to Florida, we stopped in Chicago for a day to experience somewhere new together. A little thing like finding our way through a foreign place together was a great memory to have. We had so much fun together.
We got back home in time to celebrate Christmas with our parents and together in our own home. Brian made it a very special Christmas morning and wrote riddles for me to solve to find my next present. He spoils me! I'm a very lucky wife.
So, these last couple of months have been filled with so many new memories, travels together, family, friends, my graduation for my Bachelor's degree, birthdays, dinners, and so much more. What's even better is being able to look forward and see so many great things ahead of us. God has blessed us so very much. Much more than we deserve.