"called to build the kingdom first through the romance and adventure of our home..."


Post 65 | January 365

"I know what we were trying to stand for,
and what I believe we did stand for:
the possibility that among the worlds wars and sufferings
two people could love each other for a long time,
until death and beyond, and could make a place for each other
that would be a part of their love..."
(Wendell Berry) 

One of my life verses is Zechariah 4:10. "Do not despise the days of small things..." As I was taking time to reflect and regroup at the New Year, I realized one of the cluttered drawers in my heart was "It's All Going SO Fast." Summer is turning one in a few weeks, schooling options for Roo are in our vernacular, we're celebrating five years of marriage this year. "If the first half-a-decade went so quickly, it will be ten years even sooner... These decades will really start to pile up and whiz past us, won't they? Someday we're going to wake up with life behind us and these are the parts of our history we're going to reminisce about. 'Remember when they were babies?' 'Remember that first year you did music?' 'Remember when we were twenty-something?'"

The early years of anything are so documentable. All the firsts! First date, first kiss, first "I love you," ring, showers, wedding, first house, first... but the dozenenth, the hundredth, the thousandath... they go fast and sure get fuzzy. I've seen a number of people do 365 self-portraits/pictures of their kids/photo-challenges, and decided this would be the year for 365 Days of Us. In some ways there are few things more self-absorbed, "millennial," and potentially show-off-y than taking and sharing a selfie of "me and my love!" but, as in all things, the motive can make or break it. And this little project was just the plan my heart craved to somehow strive to recall, cherish, and build as time picks up pace. It is simple but fond.

We added to it a little question for each other, and we've done it almost every night before bed: what are three things that warmed your heart today? ("You were so patient and cute making cookies with Rowdy. I kept looking over and it made me so happy to see you two over there." Things like that...) I've laughed SO hard at some of his answers, gotten misty at some, surprised by a few, and "could have guessed that" on others. But it's been very sweet and anchoring to say out loud every day. I'm grateful that brief seconds of "smile... snap!" and a few minute conversation can help me connect to the now in the way it has.

The days of small things. The days of not-firsts. The days piled onto days on days, yet paused.

(A few things of note as we complete Month One:

  • We realized Caleb wears the same hat, the same way, a LOT. Haha! He wears it for work so the sweat doesn't get in his eyes... but we decided he at least needs a few other hat options. Working on that ;)
  • Already we succumbed to laying in bed and saying "Oh shoot! We didn't take a picture today!"... so there are a lot of us in that moment. Which is fine! But now that we're in the habit of doing this every day, we have some ideas of how to be a little more creative and intentional. To be continued...
  • Six of the 31 days I actually "got ready"/did my make-up... and I'm pleasantly surprised at how happy I am with that. The majority of these are "me in my own face" which really is how I am most of the time, but I often didn't want pictures taken then. Or at least that was my mental excuse for not being in more pictures. But I already love this January Set, even the less-than-flattering and imperfect pictures. It feels right and how I want to remember myself: in this range of naked-faced to all-done-up and everything in between. That's me! So no more excuses, self!)

 | JANUARY 365 |

  • WEEK ONE MEMORIES / La La Land for a New Years Day date / Sleeping off the busyness of work and holidays / Getting settled into our new (and most favorite) AirBNB / Seeing Caleb's extended family and brother on vacation a few times / Getting exciting work news for Caleb / Gym together! Trying to start the new year out right

WEEK TWO MEMORIES / NYC Getaway with the babies / Hosting and enjoying our dear Ahlgren Friends / Beach, Pool, Late Nights, Good Talks, Laughter, Work-Out Challenges, Kids at Play

  • WEEK THREE MEMORIES / Pizza + Grocery Shopping all together (and just being so happy... and then urgently needing toilets) / Finally pulling the trigger and spending my hoarded gift cards on much-researched skin care and beauty items. (And Caleb being so excited/watching YouTube tutorials/reading reviews with me) / Spending the weekend at my dad's for the children's Gasparilla event / Three Years Since Losing Mom / Taking Gram and my sisters to see La La Land.

WEEK FOUR (and change) MEMORIES / Zillow Zillow Zillow Craigslist Zillow / Going to apartment and house showings / Figuring out our lives on the highway and in Five Guys and... anywhere else! / Family Day in Plant City / FINALLY getting the kid's passport applications turned in (pain. in. the. rear.) / Airport drop-offs and pick-ups and lots of texts and FaceTimes while Caleb worked in Mexico / Rowdy yelling from his carseat "Guys! You aren't listening to me! You're just kissing!"