August 2, 2014

365 Days

I’m a sentimental fool. I have always been one who loves to celebrate anniversaries and who has a strange penchant for remembering (and therefore celebrating!) random dates. Anniversaries of our first date, anniversaries of our first kiss, anniversaries of the day we met… you get the point. It is fun, it’s weird, it’s just who I am. I also find myself often reflecting aloud with Cole, “Do you remember what we were doing a year ago right now?” With these last few years chock full of change, it is fun to remember and reflect on how much can change in a year.  For example, on our wedding anniversary this year, we were marveling at the fact that we spent last year’s anniversary in Hawai’i watching a tropical storm buffet a beach full of palm trees while crew teams raced the waves in the distance. We’ve looked back and marveled at how our family has changed in a year – new babies, new cousins… all sorts of new additions.

This penchant for remembering is all well and good and actually kind of fun for things like that. Then, July 22, 2013, happened. And sometimes, that same penchant for remembering is not such a blessing.
My grandmother went in for a routine surgery from which she never recovered.  And thus began a two week flurry of emails, texts, phone calls and tears. And then, one year ago today, my grandmother's faith became sight, and the heavenly chorus gained one heck of an alto.

So, these last ten days have been full of very hard “Do you remember what we were doing a year ago today?”s. They are full of memories of uncertainty, fear, deep sadness, and long, dark nights. It amazes me how all the feelings can come flooding back without a moment’s notice. Grief is a funny, fickle thing.

We've now lived 365 days without Grandma. The gravity of it all is sometimes so overwhelming. I’m still not used to Grandpa arriving for dinner solo. I’m still not used to receiving mail signed only by Grandpa. I still have “Gma & Gpa B” programmed in my phone and my heart does weird flip-flop things when I see it pop up on my caller ID.  I can still occasionally smell her perfume in their house. Even after 365 days, I’m still not used to life without her.

I suppose such is the process of grief.  I have heard it said that the hole in your heart left by the absence of a loved one does not shrink with time; rather your heart grows with time to where the hole is still very present and certainly no smaller, but it no longer feels so big, so consuming, so cavernous – slowly dwarfed by the passage of time, the presence of life.  They say the first year is the hardest. (Whoever ‘they’ is) And this year has, in so many ways, been so very hard. There is so much that has happened in my life that I wish desperately to share with her. And, in many ways, I still can’t quite believe that she’s gone.

I suppose it will get easier as time continues to go by, though I’m not sure I want it to. In a way, the pain of grief still feels like a way to hang on to her, to make it feel like she’s not really gone. Though we do not grieve as those who have no hope, we still grieve. It’s hard to believe that it has already been a year and it’s hard to believe that it has only been a year and it’s hard to believe that we have so many more years to live without her. So tonight, I’m going to pour myself a glass of Chardonnay, splash two ice cubes in it, and sit at the piano and remember her incredible, beautiful life and the blessing it was to bear witness to it for nearly 25 years.

August 2nd will never be the same and I will never be the same.

July 24, 2014

Seasons

I have ten minutes left in the morning before I have to dash out the door and head to work. He’s sitting on the couch reading a commentary (probably on Romans), his empty cereal bowl rests on the coffee table in front of him and the fresh scent of his cologne hangs in the air. I could empty the dishwasher or double check my inbox one more time or fold that last bit of laundry; but, instead, I find that open spot next to him on the couch and settle in. His hand finds mine and he tells me about how he’s been praying for me and how he’s so glad he married me and all I feel is wonder.  Wonder and gratitude. What outrageous Grace is this that I can call him mine. 

In what very little I know of marriage, having only lived it for four years thus far, it seems that marriages often go through seasons of change. For us, there have been seasons of inexplicable conflict, quick criticism, irritability, and general frustration. (Most often due to my selfishness) And there have been seasons of equally inexplicable peace and oneness, ridiculous fun and laughter, passionate love, and sweet, sweet friendship…  Most of the time this whole thing is really easy, and sometimes it is really hard and always it is really, really worth it.

I know a time will come when other distractions - in the form of heavier workloads, busier schedules or perhaps even diapers - will plunge us into new seasons of spread-thinness and exhaustion and leave little time for quiet mornings on the couch holding hands. So today, I am thankful for this season. For the respite and the shoring up of resources and the mysterious oneness that marriage brings. For the man whose hand I hold and whose prayers I hear whispered in the early mornings and whose warmth I find in the late nights. I’m thankful for the Grace that holds us together on the days when everything else seems to be trying to tear us apart. And I am so, so thankful that I am his.

July 17, 2014

Bursting

Two months ago today, my husband walked up the steps and across the Pacific-black-and-red platform to accept his diploma and doctoral hood.  It was a hot, humid day in May when, surrounded by my family and his, I watched my husband finish his journey as a student and step into his new role as Doctor. (I only cried a little) Four years, three major Boards exams, four different preceptorships, and countless hours upon hours of studying later… we’re done. This post has surely been a long time coming, but – as it is wont to do – life inevitably hit “fast-forward” the moment he crossed the platform. And here we are, two months later.

Dr. Cole Boboth. I could not be more proud. “Proud” even seems the wrong word. I suppose it would be more accurate to say that I could not be more honored. I feel so honored to have been the one chosen to stand on the sidelines of this journey of his, cheering him on and watching him excel and grow into one incredible doctor.  Guys, can I just tell you about my husband for a second?

Here’s the deal: Optometry school ain’t no joke. It’s four intense years of studying, dilating, refracting, studying, testing, and studying and studying and studying. It’s a lot of material and a lot of work; and it takes a lot of time. And you know what? He’s done. We’re done. And through it all, Cole maintained the most incredible attitude and balanced his roles as husband and student with amazing grace.

It certainly was not easy, no. However, in the midst of the late nights and the big tests and the multiple relocations, these four years have been a phenomenal display of God’s faithfulness and grace in our lives.  I want to sit here and spill ALL.THE.WORDS. about how amazing my husband is and how hard he’s worked and how sacrificially he’s loved me and how proud I am to call him mine – but if we’ve learned one thing over these last four years at all, it’s that it was never about Cole in the first place. Granted, Cole worked his hiney off and I am humbled and grateful beyond words at how God has blessed Cole’s hard work; but even then, it’s not about that.

These four years have been so, so sweet and so, so hard.  They have been years of God wrenching from my hands plans that I’ve held too tightly – only to be replaced with plans far better than we could have dreamed up.  They have been years of late nights riddled with anxiety, as God gently put His finger on places in my heart over which I warred for total control. They have been years of discomfort, as we struggled to find our place and establish friendships in a new city – and then, as we had to say goodbye to those friends who had become family. They have been years of selfishness, frustration, and sanctification, and God (oftentimes through my husband) graciously reminded me that all is grace. They have been years of ridiculous laughter and hormonal tears and so many more games of “Four on a Couch” than we can count. They have been the very best four years of my life, spent by the side of my very favorite person. And I am so stinkin’ grateful.

This journey has been so long and so very short. And here we are at its end – a teensy bit travel-weary, a little overwhelmed, and so, so, so very grateful for the way in which we’ve seen God work in our lives through it all.  And now we stand at the beginning of our next adventure – excited for what’s to come and eager to trace the faithfulness of our Father in the journey.

June 1, 2014

Spring Update

Somehow, I blinked and nearly half of the year has passed. The newness and hope of a new year still seems fresh to me, and yet, January 1st was ages ago. This year. Sheesh. It's been pretty crazy so far; and I feel like I'm always playing catch-up.  So, here's a brief snippet of what we've been up to:

We celebrated the New Year with our family in Colorado while we were there for Cole's third rotation. Oh man, Colorado just might have stolen my heart.  Our time there was so sweet, so refreshing and, in many ways, so healing.  We lived with Cole's aunt, uncle, and cousins - and it was wonderful.  I didn't work while we were there and spent many long mornings over coffee talking with Cole's aunt and cousin. I read a ton and cooked a lot and spent a lot of time with Cole's family who loved us unreservedly and extremely generously.  Our time in Colorado was so, so precious. I could go on and on, but words just can't capture the sweetness of that season. Needless to say, it was super hard to leave.

In mid-February, we roadtripped back to central Washington where we lived with Cole's parents during his last rotation - and where, consequently, we'll be to stay.  Cole enjoyed his final rotation immensely and I enjoyed spending time with my wonderful mother- and sister-in-law.  And, we both appreciated being just three hours away from Portland and three hours away from Spokane - two cities that house so many people we love.  It has also been so nice knowing that we are here to stay. After a year of moving, I'm excited to start putting down roots, and I couldn't be more thrilled to be living so close to family.  In March, I started working at a local grant writing company and have enjoyed the opportunity to stretch and grow and learn something new.  (and to get to write!)

Nearly a month ago, the house we've spent over a year planning was finally finished and we were able to move in.  With the help of a lot of friends and family, we have slowly unpacked boxes (some that haven't been unpacked in over 4 years!) and have started to settle in. I've loved making it "home;" and I still can't believe that we get to live there.

And two weeks ago, my husband walked across the stage, received his doctoral hood, was handed his diploma, and officially finished optometry school.  I could not be more proud of this man and his incredible work ethic and discipline.

As we reflect over the last five months, I am so humbled and in awe of God's faithfulness, grace, and utter generosity.  Despite the darker moments where my faith was lacking, He has continued to shower us with far more grace than we could ever deserve. Grace in the waiting, grace in the disappointment, and grace in the provision.

And we're looking ahead to a ridiculously busy summer.  Hold on tight, it's gonna get crazy.

Just Us

We will also remind you that this is just a BLOG…just the highlights. We don’t sit around happily smiling for pictures all day long. Our life is far from perfect: we are imperfect people serving a perfect God. We do strive to glorify God, but we fail miserably and find comfort in knowing that our debts have been paid and we have been set free.

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