Christmas card, blog post, who knows the difference anyway?

It has been a few weeks since my last post, and I have had a lot of time to think about what I want to write next.

The Christmas season is upon us and so is the snow–heavy snow–in Colorado Springs, where I live as well as back home in Kansas City. This is really my first year with not much of a holiday break. Yes, I get to go home for the holidays and I am so blessed to have time off, and I know there will be years to come when I won’t have time off or get to see family. However, it’s still a bit odd being at work this morning seeing Facebook posts of Christmas-breaks-past and knowing this time last year I was sleeping in, planning on nothing but a noon breakfast, light yoga and online shopping.

I say this often in my posts, but a lot has happened this past year. One new thing is that my husband has taken to reading my blogs. He has shrewdly pointed out, “You really just live in your own world, don’t you?” as well as, “You don’t really ever mention me in your blogs.”

Well, I don’t think that second part is terribly true… but perhaps I should take time to dedicate this post to him, us, and the little family we have created here in Colorado Springs (especially because I included no letter with our Christmas card, oops).

December 19, 2015 I was at my in-laws house, in mine and Alex’s bed with Quincy (Alex’s dog), sending a snap chat to Alex. He was going to be home in two days and being on my last college Christmas break ever, with all of this free time seemed useless without Alex being present. I said so in my snap chat. I missed him so much. Even as I type this and think back on that memory, I feel a familiar swell of longing and emotion right in my chest.

December 21st, 2015 Alex flies in from Mississippi and I am at the MCI airport with his brother and parents. I’m watching him come off the plane through the glass at the terminal. Every anxious feeling, every bit of longing I felt crescendos as Alex gets closer. There are so many hugs and so much happiness to have him home. That night there is late night whispering and warmth in our bed. Everything seems perfect.

December 23rd, 2015, 9:27 AM we get up at a good time in the morning. I lay in bed and watch Alex get dressed for a run with his brother. I’m still half asleep but there is a certain excitement about the day to come. I get up in a hurry, knowing Alex will be back soon from his run. In the living room, Donna is already awake and having coffee. I make breakfast–scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, warm bagels, blueberry coffee. Alex stands behind me while I cook, massaging my shoulders and chatting with me. It was the best way to wake up.

December 23rd, 2015, 1:15 PM Alex asks what I want to do that day. I really need to wash my car. I need to vacuum it, and de-clutter the mess that grew in my back seat during finals week. Erika comes with us to the car wash and all three of us get my little Prius squeaky clean. I buy an air freshener that smells like one of Alex’s favorite scents, vanilla. Alex, Erika and I agreed smelled kind of bad. We made our way to Zona Rosa and it started to pour down rain. By the time we made it to The Big Biscuit parking lot the rain had finished. Erika and I got Starbucks and Alex did some shopping of his own.

December 23rd, 5:37 PM I am in the bathroom getting ready for a special date. Alex says it’s a surprise and has me close my eyes. Once we get there he leads me, eyes still closed, to my favorite Indian restaurant, Swagat. This is where Alex and I had one of our first dates in High School. It was delicious.

December 23rd, 6:54 PM we pay the bill for dinner and Alex asks if I want to walk around Zona and see the lights and Christmas tree. I agree, surprised that he wouldn’t want to go back to the warm car immediately. We walk for a bit and then… I see not far from us, a bright red coat and a grey head that looks suspiciously like my Gram. Then I see a brown hat, and a brown jacket on a man that looks like my dad. Then I turn and Alex, my everything, is on one knee and looking more nervous and handsome than I’ve ever seen him.

March 19, 2016, 7:30 AM I’m in the bathroom in the hotel room on base putting makeup on and curling my hair for the last time as a single woman. Alex left to get us breakfast, but all I want is an iced coffee. It’s my turn to be nervous. It’s just me getting ready–there’s no team of bridesmaids and mothers or thick clouds of hair spray and chatter. It looks freezing outside, but I’m burning up. Once I’m ready, I’ve slipped into royal blue pumps and my white dress. Alex is waiting in the warm car. He smiles at me and hands me my coffee. I just hold it as if it’s an ornament as we drive to America the Beautiful park, holding hands, nervous silence filling the car.

March 19, 2016, 10:23 AM Alex and I are in shocked hysterics as we drive back to our hotel room. We are married and neither one of us can really believe it.

May 5, 2016 Alex and I walk into our first house together. My house key is pressed in my hand as we tour our empty house. It’s just us now in Colorado, in a house with no furniture or dishes or pots and pans. We blow up the air mattress that night and look up at the white walls and ceiling above us. I go to sleep reveling in the fact that I will never have to sleep without him next to me.

May 19, 2016 Alex and I see Navi at the Pueblo Humane Society for the first time. We know instantly that she is our dog, and she knows we are her people. We get home with Navi, and all of her things we bought at Petco. We have a dog before any of our furniture or belongings have arrived. It’s a great day.

July 1, 2016 My dad comes to visit for the first time with my sister Erika. They meet Navi and we have a great weekend of swimming, eating BBQ from Bubba’s and celebrating the fourth of July. We go to Manitou and shop, we take the cog rail up to the top of the mountain and look down at the whole city. We watch fireworks that night and spend the rest of the evening hanging out until my dad leaves the next morning.

September 19, 2016 we celebrate Alex’s 22nd birthday with Donna and Mike and Alex’s grandparents. We have a wonderful weekend with family and relaxation. It’s great to see my in-laws again and I could tell Alex has missed his parents a lot.

November 24, 2016 Alex and I hosted our first thanksgiving as a married couple. We had a full house of friends, family, dogs and fun. Not to mention, left overs that lasted us for two weeks.

Now for this month, December, Alex and I have both been counting down the days until we go home to Kansas City and celebrate not only Christmas but 10 months of marriage. I think the two of us have been doing a lot of reflecting on how our relationship has grown since we got engaged. There were times when we were stressed, times when we saw the best and worst in each other. There have been times when married life is boring, and times of excitement. At the end of the day I always know I can tell Alex anything. Most days I look forward to telling him about my day and hearing about his. When people ask me how long I think I’ll be married (what kind of question is that anyway?) I always tell them, “hopefully forever.”

Let them scoff if they want. I love my husband.

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