Chanukah 2010

We celebrated Chanukah for the first time this year. I was going to write a long long loooonnnnggg story about our personal journey to this holiday. It’s 4 pages long. I’ve been writing it all week. I might share it in the future. For now I’ll share some of  the memories of our first Chanukah. We danced, we sang, we played dreidel (wishing I would’ve taken pictures of us playing!) and had 8 VERY crazy nights of cherished memories.

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Emily took the picture of me and Jeff. 🙂

Taken from my 4 page, maybe-one-day-blog post:

As we celebrate our first Chanukah, my heart is full of love for our whole church family. Who, even though we are 3,000 miles apart, will always be considered family and dear to our hearts. You all showed us so much genuine love and kindness. I know that without all of you being the awesome yous you are, we never would’ve known how wonderful is it to be a part of the Body. We love you guys! We are also grateful to our families for being so loving and supportive as we followed our hearts and beliefs. You may not have always agreed with our decisions, but you’ve always been there for us…..as is not always the case with many families. We realize how lucky we are. We love you all so much!

The Day I Married My Best Friend

Jeff and I were married on August 24, 2004. We eloped….after 1 month & 1 day of dating 🙂 We were sitting at the beach one night watching the lightning on the water and he said, “Wouldn’t it be cool to get married in the keys?”.

We were hitched a week later!

We were going to get married on the 23rd, but then we were told that we had to take a 3 hour marriage course or wait three days. We chose the marriage course. We were counseled on the morning of the 24th and @ 7:30 p.m. we were married!

The only witnesses we had were a friend of mine and her boyfriend. She took the pictures and he took the video. We HAD to have proof! I called her last-minute and asked if she could take pictures. So thankful for her! Now I wish we would’ve had a picture taken with them. Dang!

Jeff bought my bouquet a couple of hours before our wedding. It took us a week to plan our wedding and it only cost us $1,000.  We were married on Longboat Key at The Colony Beach and Tennis Resort. The Colony was where we had our first date.

We thought we would have to get married in the rain, as it had stormed on and off all day. Just before the ceremony, the sky opened up and we had a beautiful beach wedding.

The pastor had this tradition for ceremonies performed on the beach. To have the couple each take a handful of sand and pour it into a glass or container…a symbol of us becoming one. We forgot to bring something, so he asked for a wine glass from the restaurant. We still have the glass and sand and my bouquet.

We were not pregnant, just in LOVE!

And the adventure begins….

My husband and I decided a year ago that we wanted to build a house and live in the mountains. We thought Tennessee would be a lovely place to do that. HA!…we were so far off the map. After researching and exploring different places, we were pointed towards a small town in northwest Idaho. In May of 2010, we visited that town and fell in love. 6 months later, we packed up our junk and moved out west!

We are still trying to adjust. We moved 3,000 miles across the country to a smaller house. We are in a different time zone….3 hours behind what we are used to. And it has snowed since the day we got here on November 17th. That is probably our biggest adjustment so far, the snow. Our lives before were go go go. Gotta go here, gotta do that, just gotta do something to keep up with the craziness. Life was hectic. Here? It feels like someone hit the breaks…hard. We’ve gone from 60 to 0 in .6 seconds and I think I cracked my head on the windshield! I never thought it would be so hard to adjust to a slower paced life. Usually, it seems to be the other way around.

I am impressed with our children. They don’t miss a beat. They love the snow, love their new life, and I love that they are enjoying this new chapter in our lives. So far we have been sledding and have had a few snowball fights. These are the most exciting things that we’ve done and it has really been exciting! I forgot how much happier life is when you get out there and just live life. Stop worrying about what anyone else thinks and just go with it. Something my husband has tried to teach me these past 6 years. Funny it takes my 4 & 5 year olds, on a sled, to teach me that. 🙂

I really love it here. I miss our family and friends, but I really feel like this is where we are meant to be, at least for now. Our next step is to buy a property and build our dream home. We have plans to have a garden and farm animals. Our goal is to be off the grid, self-sufficient. We have no plans to hide out in our house, of course. We want our kids (and us) interacting with the outside world and we would love to explore more of the west coast. But we would love to have a place that is ours, a paradise we can call our own. Yes, living in northern Idaho can be a dream come true. Visit, you’ll see.

Finally, my first blog post! It’s taken me a week to write it. Hopefully, it won’t take me so long to write more and I’ll have exciting things to share.
So….WELCOME! 🙂