This week Matt & I made a trip down to Montgomery to work on our rent house and see our wonderful friends. The nice thing about the rent house is that some of our good friends live in it, so we can stay with them, which is cheap & makes it easy to work on the house. The not-so-nice thing is it's the house that we used to live in, which I love. And it reminds me that I currently own a house that I don't live in, while paying rent to live in an apartment, but I digress.
Back to the point. Our original plan was to spend a lot of the time working on the house, although Matt was still going to have to do real work (for the job that actually pays his salary). Well, he ended up with a short business trip to El Paso in the middle of the week, so I have been doing most of the work myself. I'm not complaining, because I love doing house projects! It's so much fun. Plus, I feel really accomplished & tough when I know how to do things that most girls don't know how to do. And I like going to Lowe's. So this week I have taken off the front door, sanded it, painted it, and put it back up, changed an electrical outlet, and painted the guest bath, which also involved taking down light fixtures, towel racks, etc., and sanding the walls. I'm about to head back to Lowe's to buy a new light fixture for the kitchen, since the old one is currently on the blink (quite literally, it flickers on and off when it's on.) The only thing I've had to have Matty do is remove the toilet tank & mirror (which were too heavy because I'm not very strong) and paint around the ceiling (because I'm not very tall & didn't have a ladder that would fit in the bathroom). Overall, I'm quite proud of what I have accomplished! Thanks Dad & Matt for teaching me how to do home improvement projects!
This week was our 6th anniversary & my 31st birthday! Yesterday, I found a picture frame with a saying on it that I hope describes mine & Matt's life. It says, "Happiness is not a destination, it's a way of life." Reading that quote got me to thinking: if Matt and I were waiting to make it to a certain "destination" in life for happiness, we most likely wouldn't have shared the happiness that we have over the last 6 years. When we moved to Alabama 6 years ago, we fully intended to stay there for the 3 years of law school & then move back to Texas. In our minds, Matt would graduate, get a good job in the Dallas area and that would be that. Boy were we surprised when we realized that God had other plans in store. I'm so glad that we were able to trust in God's plan for our lives & go with the flow. We never would have thought we would live in Chicago, California, & for a 2nd time in Alabama! And I'm sure we wouldn't have known how many wonderful friends & blessings we would find along the way. If we had waited to find happiness in Dallas, we would have been waiting much longer than expected. Thankfully, I feel like we have "lived in the moment," and found happiness all along the way. Now, I'm not saying that every moment has been perfect, or that I was always "happy" every day. According to Matt, I was pretty grumpy when we lived in California. But I really did try to find the joy in every situation, and I think Matt has done the same. Even California provided me with blessings by giving me some special time to spend with Regina, Chris, Caleb & Aidan, and giving us the chance to connect with a wonderful Christian family. I truly believe that what we imagine and plan for our lives will always fall short of what God will do in our lives if we step out of the way and let him. So just remember, don't wait for a certain future "destination" to find joy & happiness in your life. Live in the moment & try to find joy in the everyday blessings that God grants, no matter where you are in life.
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." -Eph 3:20-21
While flying to California last week, I had a few observations while on the plane... 1. (this was actually before I got on the plane) When planning to get on an airplane, it's a good idea to bring your ID. Otherwise, you'll have to make your cousins that went out of their way to bring you to the airport turn around and take you home & back to the airport again. 2. Mr. Seat Partner, do you really need 2 vodka tonics on a flight that's only 1 hour 20 min? 3. Airplane bathrooms are tiny & the power of the toilet flusher is frightening. 4. I could never be a flight attendant. I would most likely puke on the passengers. 5. Dear people that insist on getting up when you're supposed to be sitting down, SIT DOWN! You're making us late. 6. To my new seat partner, since you already smell like alcohol, I'm pretty sure ordering more alcohol will not make it easier to complete your crossword puzzle. (An hour later) maybe I was wrong. You seem to be doing pretty well. 7. Why does the lady across the aisle think she needs to loudly share her medical history with the stranger sitting next to her? Her seat partner & everyone else around her clearly do not want to hear. 8. Flying makes me dizzy. 9. I'm thankful to be flying to California instead of driving. 10. I'm glad Southwest let me choose my seat...I like the front of the plane for an easy escape!
Obviously, I was somewhat bored on my flight. The dizziness was interfering with reading & the loud talking lady could be heard over the music from my iPod! Thankfully, the flight was pretty good overall & I made it safely to LA!
I'm in Los Angeles hanging out with these kids this week...
We're having lots of fun so far! We've been to the park, played games, watched movies, and painted a dining room (well, their mom & I painted the dining room)...and it's only Monday! We still have 4 days of fun ahead of us!
Well, the last few weeks have been very busy & I just haven't gotten around to posting anything. Mostly because I keep forgetting to take my camera (Matt gets irritated that I always forget it!), and I really don't like blogging without pictures. But, I can probably steal a couple of pictures from Facebook to liven up this post a bit!
May was quite the busy month for us. It started out with a girl's weekend in Dallas, with 2 different parties. First, we had a party for my aunt Robbie. She has been going through a terribly tough divorce for the past 2 years, so her daughter (my cousin, Brook) planned a special night for her. It was a time to celebrate her & to remind her how amazing and wonderful she truly is. The girls spent the next day hanging out in Dallas, and then Saturday night was my cousin Amber's bachelorette party. The weekend was a great time to hang out with the family & just relax. Matt was on a business trip to Chicago, so he missed out on all the girlie festivities...I'm sure he was heartbroken!
The next weekend was Amber's wedding, so we headed up to Norman for that. It was a great wedding at Thunderbird Chapel in Norman. The setting was gorgeous! The chapel is in the middle of trees, with glass windows all around. A beautiful place to have a wedding. Despite the pouring rain that morning, the evening turned out perfectly. Here's a pic of Amber, Brook & Adam and Aliyah (ring bearer & flower girl):
For Memorial Day weekend, we made the 10 hour trek up to Kirksville, Mo for Matt's cousin Hayley's wedding. She was a beautiful bride, and it was fun to spend some time with his family. Brook & I became cupcake decorating master's as we helped Aunt Elaine decorate 300 cupcakes! Here's a picture of the happy couple-Hayley & Derek Rouse:
I always love family time, so it was nice to have 3 weekends in a row to celebrate special occasions with our families! Although the wedding month is over, our traveling hasn't settled down just yet. June seems to be even busier, with Matt going on multiple business trips, our 6th anniversary, and a trip to Los Angeles and Alabama in the near future!
This year seems to be flying by...it seems like just yesterday that we were packing up our things and moving from California! Matt's job is going well. Although this month is busy with business trips, he doesn't work nearly as much as he did at KPMG. Which is good, considering he was generally working 80 hour weeks out there! He seems to be much less stressed, and I think he really enjoys his work, so that makes me happy! As for me, the job market for teachers is looking pretty bleak for the upcoming year. I have my teaching certification, but so far there are no openings posted for elementary positions. Luckily, I'm still doing the online teaching, which keeps me pretty busy! Not having a full time job has also given me the chance to spend some time with family & help out with some things that I wouldn't have been able to do otherwise. In the last few months, I was able to spend several days in Oklahoma City with Jen, helping her out with the girls when she was sick, help Brook cook & decorate for the party weekend, accompany my mom & brother to some doctor's appointments, and just spend time with the family. It's so nice to finally be close enough (and to not have to have a full time job) to be able to do those things. I'm so thankful that Matt is understanding of the difficult job market (they weren't even hiring subs in California or Texas) & that God has blessed him with a job that allows me some flexibility on the job front.
As far as Dallas goes, we are getting settled in here, although I think all the traveling prevents us from really feeling like it's "home" yet. The few weekends that we have been in town we have enjoyed exploring the city & trying out different churches. We loved our congregation in California so much that we are finding it hard to find a place here that we love just as much. But, our search will continue...as soon as we are home on a weekend! I think our biggest struggle comes from not knowing where we will get a house. There are so many suburbs, neighborhoods, etc. to check out, and DFW is so big, that it's hard to choose a congregation until you know where you're going to live (long term). So, we have found a congregation near our apartment that we will probably call "home" until we buy a house (which will probably be January of next year, when our lease is up). Moving & making a transition to get settled into a new place can be pretty challenging, but we still manage to have fun along the way. Every city that we have lived in has given us new opportunities, but also new challenges. So, we'll hang in there & keep working to make Dallas feel like home.