Sunday, July 26, 2009

Two things...

Two things I’ve observed, pondered and confirmed this weekend. Tan legs really do look better. And my husband seems to know what I need before I do.

My girlfriends and I used to say “tan fat is skinny fat.” You know what I’m talking about. You just somehow seem to feel long and lean when you’ve got a little color on you. It means you’ve been outside, active, alive! Now I never really jumped on the bandwagon of, let’s see how dark it’s humanly possible for me to get. I like to stay in my natural range. Which thanks to a little Native American blood on my Mama’s side, it’s quite easy for me to become a walking Coppertone commercial. But after a job and a hobby that kept me under the sun for more than 200 days out of the year, sunscreen was a necessity not a suggestion. But after beach trips and weekends on the lake, even SPF 50 can’t keep away the tell-tale tan lines. So all that to say, as I got up and slipped on a tank top and shorts this morning I actually noticed my legs. A feature that has never been a favorite of mine, becomes a little more tolerable in the summer :)

As for number 2…

I’ve noticed that in my older days (I’ll be over a quarter of a century this August!), I’m a lot less spontaneous then I thought I once was. Maybe I’ve never been spontaneous. But simply that my life as a traveling college student seemed to be a string of random events, when in actuality I did everything I had dreamed and planned I would do. Therefore, it doesn’t really count as being spontaneous. And now that I’ve (sigh) joined the world of Monday through Friday, 8 to 5 routine, it feels like my days of backpacking weeks at a time, driving across the country and deciding to “swing” by on a whim and visit my friends in Montana, are farther and farther behind me. It’s very easy for me to slip in to comfort, schedule and routine, to come home in the evenings and be done. PJ’s on, legs propped up, glass of wine poured. But Steven will come in, leashes in hand and the dogs dancing around him ready for a walk and I’ll sigh and say I’m too tired and I had a tough workout on my lunch break and I’m just dead on my feet. He doesn’t push me, doesn’t beg, just gives me a kiss and says they’ll be back and heads out. Usually he barely makes it to the garage before I don’t want to be left out and I throw on some shoes, run down to meet him and take a leash and we go. And wouldn’t you know, an unpleasant day that I had decided to accept is long forgotten. We enjoy a twilight walk with no distractions. Talking about our dreams for the future or nothing at all, laughing at our dogs and stretching our legs. Even though deciding to take an evening walk seems minor, it can shift everything inside me to something more pleasant and peaceful.

Sometimes it’s a Saturday. After a long, rough week at work and a Friday night of a little too much wine and he wants to take the bikes out. No baby, I just don’t feel like it. No guilt from him, no pestering, he just kisses me on the head and says he’ll only be gone for a bit. Again, 2.7 seconds and I jump up, run to my room, throw on some shoes and race to meet him outside. And wouldn’t you know, it’ll be my favorite part of the day and I’ll be so thankful I didn’t lie around wasting my few precious days of free time (now I am by no means implying that lying around does not serve its purpose and have it’s appropriate time!) But I remember how much I love being active and outside. I feel alive and clear, I live for it. But funny, that my husband ends up taking me back in that direction. I think he sees what it does inside of me, what it does for my soul. He reminds me what makes me happy. Just another reason why I love him so and a reminder of how beautiful marriage is meant to be.

Here's some pictures from our weekend. Friday night we took the Jeep out and went for a ride and I took some pictures of downtown Rome at twilight. Saturday we took the boat out on the lake and then took an evening bike ride, and today we went out on the River. Oh how I wish Monday would never come...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Yay for HOPE!

So, as pointed out by my dear sista friend Rach... It's time for a new post.

Hope. That pretty much sums up my overall feeling over the last week or so. And for someone who has a tendency to be a little dramatic, I relish the moments when I allow myself to simply love living my life and look forward to the future. I just feel like I'm on the verge of something. Something new, something exciting. The best part is that I know this next step and all steps beyond, will include holding my husband's hand. And that fills me with such a deep satisfaction. I'm hoping these feelings are a sign that I'm learning to close the gap between the extremes of my emotions, and stay happy in the middle :)

I know this post is very short, but sometimes less is more!

"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

~Howard Thurman

I will leave you with some pictures from our long weekend at Litchfield Beach with Leah, Britt, and Maeve.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


The wedding post...

The day I was dreaming of my whole life, planning for an entire year, and soaking up every second for the 24 hours that it lasted. It truly was nothing short of perfect. God is good. And on May 9th He most definitely rained down His joy, His love, His peace and His presence. It was everything I had imagined and so much more. It was a confirmation of the love I have been receiving my entire life. From my family, my good friends, and now my new husband, and my God. He reminded Steven and I that day of how blessed we are and the incredible blessings that we have to look forward too. A humbling experience to say the least.

I would like to find other words to describe the day, but I just keep coming back to, well, perfect! From the horses, to the exquisite barn, the Mac & Cheese to the bio degradable and recylced cups and dinnerware. From tromping down a dirt road in my boots, to the homemade bouquets of wildflowers and weeds. From taking a ride on a hundred year old carriage, to knowing that Grandpa Grant, Grandma Dunagan, and Pop were there with me standing under that tree while I said my vows. From Dr. Coates peaceful spirit, to the beautiful earthy soul of Suzy (the owner and coordinator of Neverland Farm). From leaning on Papa to steady me down the aisle, to having Steven look at me after the ceremony and say "I feel it, I feel whole now." From my Grandma Grant's chair breaking (she was fine, she laughed and yes I obviously come by it naturally!) to my dress ripping from dancing so much to Thunderbolt Patterson's fantastic recreations of Bob Dylan, Allman Brothers and Grateful Dead, to name a few. From dancing with my daddy, to being dipped by my new husband. From watching my sister hold my flower girl, to watching my mother shine. From my little brother dancing and showing off his adorable fiance, to Steven dancing with his little sister who is now mine as well. From taking in the view of God's breath taking land, to looking at my husband and having to catch my breath. From my little cousins calling me a beautiful princess, to receiving hugs from friends and family who have prayed for me and watched me grow up. From smiling so much my cheeks hurt, to running through the sparklers 3 times, just because we could. From dancing with my best friends as if no one was watching, to twirling in my dress as if the world was watching. From feeling like there is no way I could possibly love Steven any more than I do, to the beautiful realization that this is only the beginning and I will actually learn to love him even more.

Those are just a few of the moments that still dance through my head, and will for a long time. And those are the best memories! The kind that no matter where you are or who you're with, you can't help but smile to yourself and be filled with joy all over again. If wealth was measured by those, I would be set for life!

Normally I would say that pictures can't do it justice. But with Kyle Hale taking the pictures, he has recreated the day perfectly, in pictures I will cherish for the rest of my life!

Have you ever been a part of a fairytale? I have...

Papa, you will always be the first man I ever loved and the one who showed me how I deserve to be treated. Mama, daily I think of your service and the many sacrifices you've made for me. Thank you both from the bottom of my heart for your unconditional love and for the most perfect day of my life.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Love lessons with a bit of travel.

Steven had some work that took him to Nashville, TN for the weekend. He left on Thursday and I drove up after work on Friday to tag along. We had a blast. Although it was definitely the kind of heat where it forces you to ask yourself, "Why do I live in the South?" We spent the whole weekend, site-seeing, honky tonkin and eating incredible food. Below are some pictures from our walk around town (I tried to at least condense some into a collage :)

We also had our first big fight as a married couple...

But the good kind. The kind that afterwards makes you fall in love even more :) I honestly have so much to learn about truly becoming one with another person. My husband is my first serious relationship, so before him the only person that was witness to all of my frustrations or disappointments or moments of wanting isolation, or my roller coaster emotions...was me. And now, I have this man who simply wants to be with me and love me and make me happy and take care of me and wants to be a part of me. And some thing that I admire so much about him and hope it will rub off on me, is his ability to separate situations from emotions. I never feel like he is angry at me, no matter what kind of day he's had or what he's had to deal with, it's clear to me that I am not what he's angry about. He deals with the actual situation.

Yet, I constantly struggle with being able to pinpoint what I'm actually frustrated about. And unfortunately Steven sometimes becomes a target for that frustration. Because he's this constant strength to my frazzled restlessness. I forget that things that I dealt with in the privacy of my own world, now effect and are in view of someone else. And it's not fair to him. Because he is never the cause of my anger, he just often gets tangled up in how I deal with it. I'm not proud of this, but it is something that I'm trying to be conscious of and work at every day. It's a habit I think a lot of people have, but one that can be changed. A Buddhist monk and author, Thich Nhat Hanh, says:

"In taking good care of yourself, you take good care of your beloved one. Self-love is the foundation for your capacity to love the other person. If you don't take good care of yourself, if you are not happy, if you are not peaceful, you cannot make the other person happy. You cannot help the other person; you cannot love. Your capacity for loving another person depends entirely on your capacity for loving yourself, for taking care of yourself."

Those words absolutely hit me to the core. Steven can not make me happy. And he knows that and has expressed that too me. He wants to see me happy and be a part of that. And that's what I owe him. If I'm not happy in my job, I need to change that. If I'm not feeding myself spiritually, I need to seek that out. Because it's not just how I treat him that defines our marriage, it's also how I treat myself. I want to replace self-doubt and insecurity with peace and joy, but I have to make that choice and that effort. For my sake and because that is what I want to give my husband. I am blessed beyond belief, and yet it is so easy for me to fall prey to my own mind of imagined thoughts of despair. And I hate that. I enjoy the company of my husband too much, and I enjoy my own company too much to not live every moment of my life full of love and excitement and aware of how wonderful my life truly is.

But like I said, amongst the life lessons, we also had an incredible time together :) So here are some of the pictures from our trip:

The view from our room...

One of the BEAUTIFUL restaurants...

My favorite company to keep :)

The city.

Heading out of town, we stopped at the Nashville Farmer's Market and brought home some goodies!

And of course a quick swing through Chattanooga.

Love, Lindsey