Saturday, November 29, 2008

Turkey and More!

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Wards had a wonderful Thanksgiving...our first one as a married couple! We spent a pretty fabulous day with my dad, stepmom, stepdad, and siblings on a farm out in Pennsylvania. Despite a few wrong turns on the way out there (courtesy of me) we got there and had plenty of time to enjoy everything. My sisters cooked an amazing meal and it was really special to be there with all of them. It's the first time I ever remember spending Thanksgiving with my siblings and it was so great. I think one of my favorite moments of the day was when we went around the circle and all said what we're thankful for, and my little brother was thankful for "Star Wars Guys." Haha, little kids are too cute. Geoff got to chop some wood and we both got to ride horses! It was one of my favorite Thanksgivings ever. Geoff had a really great time as well, which was fun for me to see. It's one thing to hang out with each others families because we have to, and quite another to truly enjoy it. But Geoff said it was one of the best Thanksgiving days he's ever had, too!

There was one gap in the day, which was not having my mom there. And she's pretty much the most special person ever...because she spent her whole Thanksgiving being completely selfless and spending the day visiting relatives and friends in the hospital. I love my mom. I hope one day I can be as giving as she is, and be willing to put so many other people before myself on a daily basis. I'm hoping some of her has rubbed off on me already and that more continues to.

Life has been busy and different for us lately. We're still not good at not seeing each other and it's hard to adjust to our new busy life. Work has also gotten busier for both of us (especially poor Geoff--he worked a fourteen hour shift on black friday!!) but we're excited for Christmas. Hopefully this week we'll be getting our first Christmas tree and get to decorate together. I can't wait!

The biggest thing I'm thankful for this year is my husband, who continues to amaze me with how much and how well he loves me. Whether it's cute little things like going to get my favorite frozen yogurt or bigger things like knowing just how to encourage me on a bad day, or going out of his way to serve me even when it means sacrifice; he loves me in a million ways that surprise me every day. We also have both been so blessed in the past few weeks to develop a really amazing group of friends. We've been lucky to have a lot of good friends, and even a lot of couple friends, but now we've sort of morphed into a few couples that get along phenomenally well, are all Christians, all have the same sense of humor and have an absolute blast together. It's been a prayer of ours since before we even got married and it's really cool to see how God has seen fit to answer that prayer.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Yeah, so it's officially holiday in retail. Geoff worked a lovely 14 hour shift at the mall on Saturday, and I currently have piles of merchandise taller than I am in the back room of my store. (Luckily, I also have an assistant who is a lot taller than me at my store. Most of my days are spent saying, "Booker? Can you come get something for me?" "Um...Booker? Can you lift this box up there?" and my favorite, "Booker?? Can you open this apple juice?" He's big and tall. Kind of the opposite of me, which is why we're a great team. He puts things on shelves; I whine about them being too high. It's awesome.)
Both of us are already tired and slightly overwhelmed by everything to be done in the coming weeks but we're pushing through. Over dinner tonight, we both realized how stressed out we were getting and were able to encourage each other to push through! I'm so proud of my sweet husband--besides working crazy long shifts every day, he's also done an amazing job lately of managing his time so that he gets his homework done, goes to class, and STILL makes spending time with me and helping me with things a big priority. Friday night we got all dressed up and he took me out to our special restaurant (we went to Charthouse when we got engaged and for our one year dating anniversary) and it was so wonderful. Then this morning, he snuck in the bathroom during my shower, took my towel, put it in the dryer for me and brought it back all warm and toasty cuz he knew I was cold! He's been a wonderful husband, even when he's tired, and even when his wife is melting a bit...
November is typically a difficult month for me--or at least it has been for the past few years. November 10th marks the death of my cousin Brandon in 2005, and yesterday marked one year since my friend Dave died. Remembering Brandon was really great--it was the first anniversary that I've spent thinking of the time he was alive instead of replaying the days right after he died. Remembering Dave has been a little more difficult--if you think of it, please pray for his family. Dave died last year the day after Thanksgiving, and his birthday is also in a few days. His family will be having an extremely difficult holiday.
All in all life at the Wards is still wonderful--Geoff and I are falling more in love every day, and while that sounds cliche, it's totally true. We honestly find ourselves looking at each other sometimes and realize that we love each other more than the day before. We are continuing to find more ways to show that to each other, which for us is the happiest part of being married. Life is busy and a little stressful right now, but we're so blessed to have each other--and we try to never let each other forget!

Saturday, November 15, 2008 got insane pretty quickly here at the Wards....

Geoff began school a few weeks ago, and I'm still in my training class, which now puts one of us out the house 4 nights a week. Combine that with another night for small group, a daily trip to the gym, a few hang outs with friends, a week of house sitting, and the beginning of holiday life in retail and you're left with 2 very sleepy people. We also miss each other a lot, since we haven't gotten to spend much solid, uninterrupted time together lately. Luckily, next week settles down a tiny bit, we're back in our own house and not running back and forth when we were house sitting. And both of us are REALLY looking forward to Thanksgiving this year--for the first time I can ever remember, I'll be spending Thanksgiving with my Dad and stepmom and siblings. Plus, we get to go to a farm and ride horses (which Geoff is thrilled about.) It's going to be a really great day.

I've discovered in the past few weeks what I think people mean when they say "the first year is the hardest." I don't think it's true. But I do think that the hardest part is learning how to establish ourselves as our own family graciously, firmly, and without causing tension. Holiday family issues are difficult, perhaps even more so when everyone lives close together, and mine are even more complicated because of step parents, a sick grandmother, etc. It's going to be hard for Geoff and I to come up with a way to be fair, have fun, and enjoy the day fully with both our families. While I'm confident this will happen, I also know it will be trial and error. And perhaps this year will be error. But I hope not!

Work is going so well for me right now. I LOVE my staff. They are amazing and work so well together and are an amazing support for me as a new manager. It's been getting way busier already which is great.

I was really planning on typing more but I got too sleepy. Time to throw on some crock pot oatmeal for the morning and wait for hubby to come home from work...