I’ve been wanting to write about our amazing Anniversary Weekend, but somehow I find myself collapsed into bed each night, starting another day, then collapsing again. As refreshing as it was to put a little time lapse on mommy-ing for a couple days, it was sweet to be back at it again on Monday. The fondness that comes with absence was strong that day for all of us. The rest of the week has been a bit more like “normal”, and I’ve felt a tad overwhelmed by the constancy of motherhood. My little baby Betty is officially a one-year-old and woke up one morning acting like one! She climbs the stairs like it’s her job, and pulls open cupboards and doors, happily exploring anything and everything with her sweet little hands. She loves to stand on her tippy toes and laugh out-loud. She has the roar of a little lion that can rise to the top of seven voices. She can then just as quickly be quiet and politely sign for “more please” at meal times, delicately touching her little fingers together with both hands. Daily, I wonder how such a voice can come out of such a tiny girl.
Our weekend away was water to my parched soul. After Matt’s mom picked up the kids, we were going to meet at home. A little accidental locking of his keys in his truck didn’t damper our spirits for a great weekend. We started with dinner at Bonefish Grill, which was yum times ten. Then it was off to a mysterious place for dessert. We pulled into a favorite coffee shop called Burlap & Bean and enjoyed huge mugs of fabulous coffee, dessert, and a live concert by a local artist. It was Simon & Garfunkle meets the Beetles with a tad bit of original funk to round it all out. We loved it.
The next morning we had breakfast at the Classic Diner, which many friends have told us about. It was super classy and delicious.
I loved the mirror in the bathroom!
We took our time meandering before taking a run/jog/walk through Valley Forge. I regret not wearing my camera around my neck, as akward as it might have been. The day was breathtakingly beautiful and felt like May, not January. I almost feel like summer really should be in a few weeks because of the seasonal jet lag that day gave me. It was glorious. We jogged, explored iron canons, peeked in the windows of some old houses, and hiked across fields to find shortcuts on the way back. I felt like I was twenty again, getting to know this cute guy that I hoped I would marry one day… then I basked in the joy that we already were married. It is heaven to be filled with such love.
My phone was a little less awkward to carry, and shot this fun picture… the only one of the two of us from the weekend.
After Valley Forge, we trekked to the grocery store and enjoyed the indulgence of shopping for one meal in mind. We went home and cooked and cleaned for our fancy dinner with friends. I had my camera out and ready to shoot, but never touched it all night long. Everything from the cheese and olives to the mushroom caps was delightful, but were mere highlights to the main event: friendship. We basked in the joy of God’s faithfulness in our lives and the lives of each couple with us.
We taped questions underneath each plate which that person had to answer. I think the question that sticks with me the most is, “What hardship has strengthened your marriage the most?” As I reflect back on ten years I remember a lot. The worst and yet best times have been the times when God’s strength was made perfect in our weakness. Those dark tunnels of financial destitution, spiritual drought, and physical suffering have brought the most blessing.
This week I’ve come face-to-face with one of those past trials. Though Matthew feels pretty well, it’s obvious the Wegener’s disease is rearing its ugly head again. His eyes look sick and I think it’s more difficult for me than for him sometimes. But I know it isn’t easy for him to face this reality again. On Friday he goes in for his first round of four infusions that will hopefully shock his immune system into doing something else with itself instead of attack his sinuses. I despise Wegener’s disease and every disease on this earth that reminds us of our imperfection and humanness. I hate the way disease alters our bodies from how God intended them to be. Sometimes I’m tired of being strong, which is when I realize that’s a good thing. I am so very weak, and I feel God’s strength welling up inside of me to carry me through this step. He gives me enough strength to hold my husband’s hand through sickness and health. I have faith that God hasn’t changed and He will do great things through this trial. Thanks for praying!