Each event deserves its own EPIC narrative to preserve the moment in history. But as they've happened all at once - I'm too busy (or tired, or distracted, or keeping up with Samuel...or whatever the case may be) to possibly create a worthy record.
And so, rather than the excitement of multiple new entries during crazy life season, I find instead several incomplete What Might Have Beens" decaying in my draft box. Therefore, in effort to reclaim this lonely blog, and cease becoming Further Behind, I am letting go of all the Might Have Beens (comforting myself with the knowledge of the post dating feature that might be employed Some Day).
Now for recent Headline News in our little family, so we can get on with posting Future Fun.
Samuel Turns ONE
On July 29th. That happened. My baby turned one. It was a grueling week of reliving the trauma of that same week a year ago. It was an incredible, joyful, emotional day of treasuring and celebrating Samuel's birth, and life...and remembering the fear of losing Kent, and being thankful all over again for his life. Samuel's first year was full and long - and did not fly by. It was a good year - but it was a looooong year. Perhaps because he has yet to sleep through one night (or even close to it) so I've been mostly awake for a long, long time. But I'm loving the one year old stage. It's by far my favorite age, and I don't (yet) miss the earlier, harder stages AT ALL, but cherish soaking up every moment of this curly headed, passionate boys life.
1 Year Stats: Samuel went from 8lbs 3 oz to almost 26 pounds in his first year. He weighed 22 lbs at 6 months, so we rarely saw the same clothes fit twice the first half of his life. His travel log boasted 16 flights and 5 countries. He had more incredible moments and experiences than all the journals we attempt to keep for him could contain - and we couldn't be more thankful for this passionate, charming, observant, one of a kind little man.
Paying rent for empty space has never been high on our financial priority list. We moved out of our apartment in Granbury at the end of February before an upcoming trip overseas. Four countries and two months of leading groups to Israel (and preparing for future trips) later...we were back in the States. But without a place to land.
We planned to find a new rental immediately upon our return, but an inviting job opportunity cost us a month of time in limbo as we stayed open to possibilities. It turned out to be a better option to continue the work we have been involved with for the last couple of years - so we were back to considering where we would live. For lodging in June and July, we played the back and forth game between parents homes and the odd hotel before finally moving into our own home in Abilene at the end of July. We had literally lived out of a suitcase and on the road for over 4 months. With a baby in tow.
The first night in our own space I ceremonially dumped our suitcase out in a confused pile in the middle of the bedroom - just to say as quickly as possible that WE WEREN'T LIVING OUT OF A SUITCASE ANYMORE!!! The mess bothered me, and we don't own a dresser so it went back into that suitcase shortly thereafter...but it was different. We were home.
It was to be a temporary space for only 6 weeks until we moved into something more permanent but I've learned to seize any moments of constancy however fleeting it may be by conventional standards. (In the same hotel more than two nights? UNPACK! Fill the drawers! Get organized!!) I'm glad I did, because plans changed (as ours too often do) and we are staying in this location longer than anticipated. Though slightly disappointed that the other space didn't work out, it was wonderful not to spend last week moving, and to know that we get to call this space home for the indefinite future. We'll be traveling all of October and we are already so thankful knowing we have a space to come home to. A welcome gift of consistency in this ever changing life of ours.
Geoff's grandmother passed away recently, leaving his dad as the oldest surviving person from the Carroll side of the family. That's quite a dramatic thing when you're only 60. Donnie may be the oldest living Carroll, but as he said "I've done my part for the future." All 7 of his kids and their families were able to come, along with many others, as we said goodbye to his mom. It was a somber reflection on the past, but a beautiful reminder of heritage and legacy. I was overwhelmed yet again by the strength of character in my father in law. He's more than remarkable. As are the children he and his equally remarkable bride have raised.
9 Years Old - Happy Anniversary
Geoff and I turn 9 tomorrow. 9 years married as one. September 30, 2006 seems a long time ago. The years have been rich and full and I am so thankful for the adventures and life we have experienced together. I would never have imagined so incredible a life, with so perfect a partner. Not that either of us are perfect. Marriage is so often a gift of learning to be refined, in sacrifice to each other, and in loving each other even when there are so many reasons not to. But he has been perfect in these respects because he keeps loving me even when I give him plenty of reasons not to. And that shows me truly what love is, and I am so thankful for him and the life we live together. Here's to chasing the fullness of life and love for the rest of our lifetimes!
We are heading out again on Thursday for another round of travel. Two back to back trips - on completely opposite sides of the world. Which means we will spend our anniversary packing and finalizing plans. Ah, the romance of life on the go. But I love it. Almost always.
Geoff had an opporutnity to teach for a week in Kona, Hawaii, the week before we were scheduled to lead another study group to Israel. And you don't say no when people invite you to teach about your favorite subjects (Genesis, Exodus, and Job on this occasion for Geoff), on a gorgeous island, that your wife happened to live on after college. A place where many friends you long to see and introduce your son to happen to live. You just don't. So we didn't. Which means...we're flying to Hawaii on October 1. We return to Abilene October 10. And we leave for Israel on October 13. That's right. We'll have approximately 60 hours on the ground between getting back from the middle of the Pacific, before crossing the Atlantic. Then we'll be doing what we love most, leading another study trip in Israel with a group we are SUPER excited about, and returning to Abilene on October 31. So, we'll be traveling a little bit in October.