Saturday, January 01, 2005

Hello, 2005!

Good day & welcome to 2005 at MLCotW!

This past year has been one of much change, adjustment & growth. As 2004 began, T & I were still in different timezones (I'm sure she got tired of me asking her what the future was like, but she never let on. Such a good wife!). She moved out of her apartment & back into the familiar walls of her childhood home in February. Moving back in with your parents after being on your own for the past fifteen years is indeed a strange adjustment, as T found out. They all survived, though, and it gave them a few months to spend together before -

The Wedding

It was a beautiful, perfect labor of love. It was everything a wedding should be. To all of our beloved friends and family who helped with the festivities - thank you and bless you. Without you, well, we would still be married…but the journey there would not have been so memorable.

After a short honeymoon in Hot Springs, the less pleasant (but memorable, nonetheless) journey to California in a U-Haul with T's car in tow began. A thousand-plus miles, six new u-haul tires, one new car tire, one very questionable motel, more k-rails than we ever knew existed, an unfortunate right turn in a parking lot & subsequent drive through a field & enough gasoline bought to theoretically travel to the moon and back - we arrived home.

That was 8 months ago & we are still in a state of transition. Leaving home was harder than T had ever imagined it would be. However, she has resolved to look at California as one big adventure. It's strange for her to be so close to so many famous places and points of interest (some of which has been new to me, too). We’ve already discovered the breathtaking beauty of Santa Barbara, the eccentric streets of Hollyweird, the sunset on the Santa Monica pier, and the hills of San Diego. Unfortunately, we’ve also discovered the indescribable poverty of Tijuana, the equally foul-smelling Rosarito, and the daily mayhem of the parking lot we so lovingly call the freeways of California. She's added a few new California words to her lexicon: smog (aka chewable air), CRV (a tax they put on every canned or bottled drink to "encourage" recycling), swamp cooler (something that few from the South have ever heard of, much less have any use for), & probably the most famous of words known to native Cali's - no, not "face-lift" - EARTHQUAKE! T's also getting used to the ridiculously high cost of living out here. Slowly. Baby steps, Loyal Readers, baby steps.

The Insta-Family (Just add water!) that we've become has been both a challenge and a blessing. The Boy's a wonderful child, but like every other ten year old to ever walk the earth, he has his moments. We simply can't wait for the teen years to arrive. No, really, we just can', nevermind. Even I can't maintain that level of denial. Pray for us.

On Labor Day, we were blessed to have one of T's friends come and stay with us for a few days. It was so really good for T to have a familiar face around. We explored the streets of Hollywood (& I had my little geekout) & the splendor of Beverly Hills. We’re all trying to forget Mexico, though. It seems the further we go into the country, the worse it gets. I think I now understand why people go there & then promptly get drunk.

We celebrated our first Thanksgiving together as a couple & hosted the shindig at our home. Everything was perfect, &, with the help of T's mom (Thank goodness for flat rate long distance plans!), it all went off without a hitch.

At the beginning of December, we flew back to Arkansas for the first time since the wedding. Seeing T's dad running towards us with his arms thrown wide open at the airport & giving us a hug that I was sure would seperate my head from my shoulders was something we'll never forget. She's really missed home & this trip was as much about her morale as it was about making a new holiday for Hallmark to sully. That weekend, her (well mine, too, now) entire family descended her mom and dad’s house for the first annual “Thanksmas.” It was a celebration of family and friends. We got to see her brother & sister-in-law's newest addition to their family for the first time. For being almost two months early, nearly all the preemie troubles seem to be subsiding. Their older son is enjoying being a big brother. We also travelled to see T's sister & brother-in-law's new home (which, according to my sister-in-law, is just down the street from where our home will be when we move out there). They finally have a house big enough to hold all six (!) of them. Unfortunately, we arrived there at night, so I didn't get to see much of the town. I did get to see the illustrous "Kum & Go", which - contrary to what the name implies (you perverts) - is actually a quickie mart.

Now that I look at it, the adjective "quickie" doesn't make it sound any better.

On that note, we say “adios” to 2004 and “hola” to 2005. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you. And give you peace. And be gracious unto to you all.

PS - I just couldn't forget to mention, either, two friends that I made over this past year, via MLCotW - ETS & Amy. Thank you both for filling in when I've been gone, leaving me the keys to your castles when you've been away (& letting me keep them even when you're there) & for just being all around nifty friends.

I'll raise a couple of T's pan cookies & a glass of milk in your honor, ladies!

*Note - This is what you could call T & my first writing collaboration. Most of this came from her Holiday update letter sent out to friends & family. A few modifications from me turned it into what it is on the site.