Wednesday, September 11, 2013
personal // our first anniversary
We can now say that we have been married for a year!! And, secretly, we love being able to finally describe our marriage in terms of "years" instead of "months." :) (We also have now, over this year, come to the complete understanding that once you get married you speak in terms of "we" in every single sentence you say.)
What an exciting year it has been for us! We immediately started off working full-time, travelling every weekend and meeting with people to share about our ministry any free minute we had. Since then, we've completed endless preparations for moving internationally, moved, ended our jobs, packed all of our belongings away in storage, studied for using a new language.... the list goes on and on! It has been a BUSY YEAR to say the least! And in the midst of all of this, we have also spent a year learning about marriage and learning even more about each other than we did before. We both would say, without a doubt, that marriage has been the most wonderful experience we've ever had, and that we would never trade being able to go through every. single. step. of this process together.
Though at this point August 4, 2012 feels like absolutely forever ago to us, it feels incredible to be able to look back on that day and that time in our relationship, and have our wedding day somehow mean even more now than it did then. Jamey loves to pick on me, that I grinned from ear to ear that day but did not shed a tear. He of course did, almost before I even came down the aisle, but I didn't. I wasn't really a crier then. But boy have a figured out what real-emotion-that-brings-you-to-both-happy-and-sad-and-every-emotion-in-between is over this past year! I have been known to let myself cry over all of those really real emotions now, and when we re-watched our wedding video and looked through our beautiful wedding photos, I cried a bucket full. You can imagine Jamey's response: "You cry now at the video and not on the actual day?!" :)
We were also very blessed to get to take a long weekend mini trip to celebrate our anniversary! First, we drove down at night to Gaitlinburg, TN, did a little grocery shopping, and got out early the next day! We spent the first part of the morning in Pigeon Forge at the Old Mill, and exploring through a LOT of gorgeous pottery made locally. (I personally just couldn't get enough of it, but for Jamey it all started to blend together!). We then took a drive through the Great Smoky Mountains, stopping for a precious little picnic by this incredible stream (see picture below), to look at the great views at the overlooks, and to do the hike up to Clingman's Dome, the highest point in the Smokies. Unfortunately, it was beautiful and sunny the whole way up and then at the top it was incredibly foggy!! We could not see a THING! Just look at the picture of Jamey and I... can you see any beautiful mountain ranges or treetops? I don't think so! Hopefully one day we'll get to do it again to see the beauty. :) We spent that night exploring through Gaitlinburg, and then got up really early the next morning to make sure we fit in a little bit more adventure in Gaitlinburg before heading on.
That morning, we had an awesome time ziplining for the first time ever, and we were so glad that we got to go for the first time in the tree canopy of the Smokies in the cool early morning! We then drove through the 8 mile long local crafters and artisans loop in Gaitlinburg and stopped at several of the shops. Our favorite thing to do in any new place we're visiting is to find something that we really love that is unique to that place, and the local artisan loop was definitely that for us in Gaitlinburg! After visiting it, we had to bring home a jar of one of the many, many kinds of homemade jam we sampled!
About lunch time, we got on the road headed to Asheville, NC, and boy, was it one of the most beautiful drives! We equipped that beautiful drive with the Garth Brooks Ultimate Hits cds and it was perfect. First stop in Asheville was to check into our adorable little bed & breakfast that Jamey surprised me with. We then went to explore downtown Asheville and ended up finding what now stands as our new favorite restaurant EVER! We are not exaggerating even one little bit when we say that eating dinner at Tupelo Honey Cafe was one of the best meals we've ever had! If you ever get the chance to go there in Asheville or even one of their other locations throughout the South, please do yourself a favor and do it. We're talking about amazing New South style cooking with the freshest farm ingredients. Allow us to tease you with the picture below of that ginormous fluffy biscuit with homemade blueberry preserves... I've never had a better biscuit. Never!
On our last day of the trip, we spent almost the whole day at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. We had heard a lot about the Biltmore, but we were hoping it lived up to all the hype. Well it did and more! We were absolutely blown away by every single detail of the gorgeous estate, and tried to see as much of it as we could while we were there, though you could easily spend multiple days exploring it all. Besides the estate, what we also found to be incredible is just how knowledgeable and enthusiastic every employee that we came across was, from the hosts inside right down to the clerk in the gift store; and trust me, we had a lot of questions! There is no doubt that we will be back someday... and hopefully some year at Christmas time!
Right after our day and dinner at the Biltmore Estate, we headed back into downtown Asheville to see a stage production of Steel Magnolias at one of the oldest community theatres in the nation. Having my degree in Theatre Arts, I was absolutely thrilled about this surprise from my dear husband! Since we've been too busy to see any plays over this year, Jamey took this opportunity to fill that desire he knows is in my heart! Thank you, honey!
Now on to the second exciting year of marriage... moving internationally & entering the mission field!