Monday, January 27, 2014

2014 NYR

                    This is a photo of Fran and Anna a few days before New Years,
ice skating in downtown Greenville.  Since Abby moved there,
getting to know Greenville has been such a delight.

 This New Year was a particularly special one as we had some of Fran's family over and ended up playing a hilarious game of pictionary and charades, making it a very merry, if not a slightly jet-lagged crowd. It ended with a midnight run-about in the yard with 3- foot long sparklers that kept shooting off at dangerous angles.

My 2013 New Year's Resolutions basically flew out the window once I became engaged.  I should have revised them. I only accomplished a few.  I did read 30 books and saw some of the North East of England. I think I'm most proud of learning how to drive a stick shift in the UK and passing my theory test.  I'm almost there to getting my license! I did rest a little from 'work', but that was mostly in the form of having consecutive chest infections this past fall. We attended one dance class in the Dominican Republic. We did not attend a festival, but we did go to our fall gig-of-the-year up in Edinburgh. I didn't learn how to draw or play the voilin.  I had no desire to read Tin Tin or attend evensong consecutively, and fell shockingly sparse in my correspondence. *ahem* *cough* read: changed addresses twice. 

My goals this year I'm sure will be vastly different from what I actually accomplish, and that is what I find so difficult about New Year's resolutions.  They often don't encompass what all you actually did in that year. I found last year a stretching year.  This year I want to rest.  I want to say 'no' often. I want to focus on my research.  I want to learn how to garden and grow things in our backyard. I want to be a better owner to my bunnies.  I want to make our house just wonderful.  I want to find storage space for all our odd and ends.  I want to get rid of more of our possessions and focus on living simply.  I want to paint and to be rid of our boxes on the floor.  I want to eat well.  I want milk delivered to our doorstep.  I want to read for pleasure again.  I want to hike the trails behind our house.  I want to have people over for Sunday lunches.  I want to savor my issues of Garden & Gun and Southern Living.

But despite all these desires, on New Year's eve, I only wrote down three wishes for 2014. 

1. To get married 
2. To stay married
3. To work on my PhD 

Keeping ambition at bay. xo


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Life so far

Why, hello! It's been a while.

In Greenville, a new city I've grown to love

A rare quiet moment

On the steps outside our rehearsal dinner

How to eat friend chicken, part one

On honeymoon in Punta Cana!

Flying home

I realize I don't blog when I'm super stressed, and most of 2013 was just that: super stress.  But some wonderful things have happened.  I moved my things into our new little home in mid-December and then promptly flew home.  I finally was home to plan my wedding and being there in person made it so much easier! And of course I got to see my family which was just lovely.  While Christmas did happen, the build up seemed mostly to the wedding, and it was wonderful to be surrounded by a community who loved me and my family.  The first Sunday I was back home, my arrival and wedding received a shout-out in church! I don't remember sleeping much. I remember being stressed until Fran arrived and going on really long runs in the morning with my dog.  The more people arrived to celebrate the wedding the more fun it suddenly became.  Here were people I loved and hardly ever get to see! And some had come from ever so far.

My wedding was a blur and we went on a lovely honeymoon to the Dominican Republic, which Fran kept a surprise until we were sat eating our wedding breakfast. When we returned, we packed up our gifts and headed back to England, and since we've been in Durham, we've been slowly recovering from jet lag, slowly unpacking, and slowly inventing storage space in our tiny house.  I'm enjoying being married so much more than I thought I would.  I hated being engaged.  I was constantly stressed and thought marriage would be just like that, but somehow worse because you just couldn't leave. But it's not. I've been surprised at how very natural it feels. And then there are mornings like today, when I dug my heels into the bed and refused to get up, and Fran comes along, shoves a coffee into my hand and drags me with him out the front door.  I'm surprised by the constant immediacy of grace.

Mereda shared with me a quote from G.K. Chesterton, and this is exactly how I've been feeling this week:

"It may be conceded to the mathematician that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one.”

With much more soon, and lots of photos.