May 27, 2012

1000 Gifts: 241-260

-The Thirteenth Installment of 1000 Gifts-
241.  iTunes Movie Rentals
242.  Short Layovers
243.  Family Weddings
244.  "Welcome Home" Flowers
245.  Ibuprofen
246.  Soft pretzels
247.  A cancelled softball game and an evening home with my man
248.  When the goal is reached
249.  My students
250.  Half-days at work
251.  Golfing with my dad
252.  Orange Juice
253.  The support of family
254.  Stadium Lights
255.  Game Nights
256.  Good lumbar support on a long roadtrip
257.  Giving gifts
258.  Family reunions
259.  Books on tape
260.  Book Club

May 9, 2012

Wearing White

If there's one thing that I love to do, it's celebrate.  Whether it's big milestones or small victories: Life should be celebrated.  On Monday evening, we had the opportunity to celebrate a special milestone in Cole's schooling: his White Coat Ceremony.
In Optometry school, the first two years are strictly didactic with no direct patient contact (all procedures are practiced on fellow students, willing volunteers, and a somewhat reluctant wife). At the end of the second year, students receive their White Coat, signaling the passage between the didactic portion of their education into the clinical portion of their education.
It was such a special ceremony.  And, it was so exciting to see my husband honored for his hard work and so very excited to begin seeing patients.
Cole's dad attended the same school over 25 years ago.  There is one particular professor that has now taught my father-in-law, my brother-in-law, and now my husband.  So we had to take a picture.
It was so special to share this day with our families.  Both sets of parents were present, and my grandparents drove down from Olympia.
My heart was filled to overflowing.  From where I sat in the audience, flanked on either side by my mothers, I was certain my heart would explode.  I beamed with pride to see Cole don his coat, my heart quickening in anticipation of what the next two years hold for him.
This man has worked so hard and so faithfully for the last two years.  I am thrilled to see him step into his new role with his patients.

After the ceremony, we hosted a small reception at our place. And, there was food.  Because, really, what's a celebration without food?!

Millions of thanks to all of our family members who made the trip and to those who sent such thoughtful cards, gifts, thoughts, phone calls, and messages.  Your support means the world to us.

And to my sweet husband, I couldn't be more impressed by you and by all of your hard work! Two years down, two yet to go!  I'm so proud of you.

May 6, 2012


On July 28, 2010, we arrived in town with our car packed full and our eyes set forward.  We were beginning our new adventure.  With 18 days of marriage under our belt, we moved in and began to settle into our new life here.  And it was fun.

We loved exploring this new place, we loved living blocks away from Cole's brother and his wife, we loved our cute little apartment, we loved our proximity to the Oregon Coast, we loved it all.

Then, I got a job, Cole started school, and it wasn't long before the newness had begun to wear off, replaced by the reality of the work that lay ahead.  Homesickness came in overwhelming waves, and the neverending rain mirrored the feeling in my heart.  I was ready to be done with this place.

Slowly, and without warning, I grew more and more discontent with life as it was; and spent too much time wishing to fast-forward through our four years in grad school. I thought often about what life would be like once we were done and had moved closer to family.  I imagined nights that didn't include homework and weekends free from exam prep.  The longer I stared into the future, the harder it became to face the present.

There were moments, oh, were there moments!  Moments when the sun would finally come out from hiding and everything glistened.  Moments when we could spontaneously pack up and head to the beach for a weekend.  Moments spent walking hand in hand through our beautiful neighborhood.   Moments in my office when I'd look at my students and wonder how I would ever say goodbye.  Moments when I wondered how I'd move away from this church family.

It was in those moments that my heart began to change.

I wish I could say that - after praying to be content in our circumstance - my heart changed immediately.  Unfortunately, this contentment-seeking, joy-choosing process has been a slow one.  And one that, I fear, may near completion a little too late (at least in regards to our time here).

You see, today marks the One Year mark before we move away, move on to the next chapter in this story. 365 days to make the most of the time we have here.  52 weeks to cram in as much time as we can with these people we've grown to love.  12 months to drink deep the blessings.  1 year to figure out how to say goodbye.  And, I already feel the time slipping through my fingers.

Somewhere along the way, and seemingly without my notice, my stubborn, "I-don't-want-to-be-here," dug-in heels have transformed into roots, fiercely driving their way into the soil here.  It's going to be really tough to uproot them.

Hold on, heart.

May 1, 2012

1000 Gifts: 221 - 240

                    -The Twelfth Installment of 1000 Gifts-

221.  Nail polish remover
222.  2 quiet hours of reading
223.  Sunshine on a Saturday
224.  Inquisitive 2nd Graders
225.  A visit from my mother-in-law
226.  Coming home to a home-cooked meal
227.  Hitting "Submit"
228.  A reorganized closet
229.  Palm Trees
230.  An observant shuttle driver, making sure I made it home safely
231.  Honest discussions after church
232.  Exchanges that don't require a receipt
233.  Puttanesca
234.  A morning phone call from my mom
235.  Dinner date with Dani
236.  Free movies
237.  A long run with new friends
238.  Sunburn in April
239.  Filtered water
240.  Tornado Shelters

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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