Post-Vacation Let Down

It seems after a particularly amazing portion of life there is always a little dip in the road, a little adjustment period.  We got back from our anniversary trip on Monday, and to be honest, Monday was a bit of a downer.  So much to unpack and clean, so much laundry and re-adjusting, and kids sad because they missed Grandma, and me sad because we left my phone behind (yes, really).  There was also a little bit of envy in our hearts after traveling around, viewing all those big, beautiful Amish farms that represent a huge part of our family dream.

But you know what?  Tuesday, we put that behind us, took some of the lessons we learned over our weekend away, and hit the ground running, and it has been a good week since then.  The Amish are weird, doubtless, and perhaps cult-like, but I can’t help thinking, when I look at their lives, that they get a lot right.  Their sense of family and community that creates both a network of help and resources as well as a system for maintaining accountability; their ingenuity and hard work; their discipline and order; their integrated farming techniques…. I could go on.  Jordan and I learned so much, just from driving and walking around in the hills of Amish country, observing and discussing what we saw.  No single field was devoted to exclusively one crop.  No home was unkempt.  No garden had weeds.  The big white houses – tho plain – were surrounded by impressive landscaping, including play sets and beautiful flower and vegetable gardens and mini-orchards.  Almost every farm had another small house for the grandparents living close by on the same property.  Children of all ages worked and played on the farms.  It was an example of hard work and team playing at it’s finest, and we both came away inspired to keep striving for our goals, together.

As a couple, it was refreshing to have three whole days to simply talk.  We decided that a key for our family will be “business meetings” in which Jordan and I (and eventually the kids a little bit) discuss goals for the week/day, financial matters and anything else we both need to be aware of.  We also decided to take our gardening to another level of seriousness, and in consequence, we spent this morning staking tomatoes and doing some much needed weeding.

I love vacations, but real life is great too!

4 years!

Today we celebrate 4 years of marriage!  All I can think of to say is corny and predictable, like “I love him so much more now than when we married!” or, “I can’t believe it’s been four years!” so I will keep those comments to myself for now, but, seriously?!  4 years?!  Wow.

We are celebrating with a compromise, as all good marriages should incorporate compromise 🙂  Year 1, our oldest baby was 2 weeks old, so we ate sushi and stared adoringly at our offspring.  Year 2, our firstborn was a year old and I was 8 months pregnant with #2 (I know…they are close…God has impeccable timing!) and we went on a weekend “camping trip”.  At 8 months pregnant.  With no tent.  Or sleeping bag.  Or air mattress.  Also, we went fishing until 2 in the morning when exhaustion, mosquito bites and nausea forced me to walk away from the cat-fish head-lopping-off party that was taking place (Jordan was lopping heads, I was holding the flashlight and dry-heaving to the side) and insist on laying down.  With bugs.  Crawling everywhere….Ah, it was a night to remember!  And having to get up twice to use the bathroom in an infested little outhouse hiding in the woods surrounded by creepy noises and weeds….I ended up sleeping on the front seat of the car for the only couple of hours that I actually slept, and I don’t have any idea how I managed it, as big as I was.

Year 3….. this is bad, but I don’t remember.  We obviously didn’t do much.  I may have made cheesecake with a heart shaped swirl of raspberry in the center???  And also, I was pregnant and experiencing morning sickness.

So this year?  We are leaving our two oldest with the Grandparents and going to stay in a cabin that my family used to visit in Amish Country, Ohio for three days.  We will sleep in beds!  But have no electricity.  We will enjoy the outdoors!  And also have a haven of refuge from the bugs.  We will NOT catfish.  Sorry… But there will be free amazing donuts every morning, and just US (plus Baby Michael) and nothing to do, and no cell phone going off, and TIME, and we are both very excited to do this!  We are looking forward to this little trip, but more than that, we are looking forward to what the future holds for our marriage.  God has blessed us so much with things and each other, but I think most of all with the lessons He teaches us through our relationship, and I know there are many more.  We are just beginning to understand what true love is all about, and we are a little afraid but very determined to chase it down and live it out in our marriage.

Honestly, marriage entails so much more than I could have dreamed.  Maybe this isn’t true for everyone (although I suspect it is), but a good relationship is HARD WORK.  I don’t say this because we are ‘struggling’.  I say this because, even on the good days, the amazing, wow, we have this thing down days, it is still hard work.  Just this morning a beautiful little time of fellowship and exercise together ended in ugliness and hurt feelings and miscommunication and I stormed away to cry in my bedroom.  Sin creeps in so quickly and so often, it can be easy to just accept it as normal and move on.  This morning I wanted to harbor my hurt feelings and keep my pride in tact, but the right thing to do (and the hard thing) was to work it out.  I have a husband who hates discord and came to me before I humbled myself enough to go to him, but the long and the short of it is, it took effort from the both of us to lay aside the pride, make the apologies, re-communicate and really listen.  That little 30 minute episode is just one of hundreds of lessons learned and re-learned in our four years of marriage so far.  I feel like we are just beginning.

So anyway…this year, year 4, we have 3 kids, 5 jobs, owned 2 houses, 5 vehicles, and  I will not mention how many burnt meals.  I don’t remember.

Happy 4 years and going on forever, to us!