Just like that it’s been another week, and I missed Thursday’s post yet again. I just can’t keep up for some reason this month. I think it has something to do with having a ton more projects/work plus an upcoming trip to plan and prepare for (more on that super soon!).
1. The snow came and it was real this time. I know I mentioned a bit of winter weather last week and for many parts of the country having snow two weeks in a row is not quite newsworthy. In Raleigh, it feels more like the world is coming to an end. Schools have been out for almost a full two weeks, the grocery stores have no bread and time stops. I have photographic evidence…(unfortunately for me, I really was out of groceries the night before the storm hit).
2. Travel is amazing. The problem with travel (or beauty of it), is that it never feels like you can do it enough. This week we hosted another couchsurfer who had done plenty of travel as she is a video producer with National Geographic. You couldn’t help but get a little wanderlust while talking to her. So often I think we feel our lives are “set” in the path we’re going but then when you re-assess, some of those constraints and plans are not as restrictive as you think. I love that about travel. It forces you out of routine and opens up a new world of thoughts and possibilities.
3. I think that possibly, maybe I’m falling for you… Remember that song by Landon Pigg? It came out a little after we met. The very first time we met was at a Battle of the Bands (sounds epic, right?). But the second time we met it was at a coffee shop. From there on out, we continued to get to know each other and later fall in love as the hubby worked in four different coffee shops over the course of several years. Each had their moments, but that first coffee shop will always remain special to us. So many memories were shared there, conversations had for the very first time and hours of me sitting, just watching as he worked behind the bar. Last night there was a latte art competition at our favorite local coffee shop in Raleigh, and he threw his hat in the ring. Nerves may have gotten the best of that latte, but I had the best seat in the house just reminiscing about years ago.
And then, he made this video of the night. Because he’s amazing. And his current career path has a lot more video in it. Can you find us in it?
Thanksgiving is often a great time of gratitude and spending time with family. It can be a time of reflection. For me, it’s also an opportunity to think back to past thanksgivings to see where we’ve been and remember all the sweet memories we’ve been blessed with. Here’s a glimpse at the past five years of celebrating thanksgiving –
2007:The now hubby became the “Let’s be ‘it’s complicated’ on Facebook” boyfriend after a Walmart feast of chicken fettuccine and pumpkin pie with friends. In some ways, it was when our relationship really began.
2008: Following Thanksgiving with my family we agreed to a sleepless night of cheering on mall shoppers and handing out coffee as temporary employees of Rockin’ Shoppin’ Eve. Young and poor, we were thrilled to walk away with $175 at the end of the night but the ridiculous time spent together is what made it all worthwhile.
2009: I ate Shepherd’s pie and spent the weekend in Ireland with a close friend while on break from studying abroad in Greece.
2010: Our first married Thanksgiving started out a little rocky as we dealt with work stress but ended up being a great time in Dubuque with family and friends. We even had the chance to be tourists for the day in Galena and bought the earrings I am wearing today.
2011: In an unexpected turn of events, our family all seemed to make out of town plans that we couldn’t join in on, so we were adopted in for Thanksgiving with dear family friends. Later, we joined the crowd and good friends from out-of-town for some early morning shopping.
These remind me how blessed we are. The good friends we have. The opportunities we’ve had. The family and adopted families who love us. The start and continuation of our relationship. This year is a notably different Thanksgiving, as its spent in a new state, but still another reminder of the many provisions and blessings we’ve been given.
I’ve been fortunate to have visited several places around the world. In most of these places, I’ve picked up a piece of jewelry. It’s not a given or an absolute, but I like the idea of having a little reminder of the place around my neck or on my finger. Just last week I started to think of what my “Iowa” jewelry would be. Trust me, I have random earrings from Target and impulse buys that resulted in a few necklaces, but I really wanted something that would be a little reminder of home.
I thought maybe in the next month we could be on the hunt to purchase this “perfect piece” when I realized that I already had it. Six months ago, we found this ring in a pawn shop. The hubby and I love to go to antique shops and thrift stores to look around. It’s like visiting a museum that I can take home if I so choose. It reminds me of a past I never knew and the items within carry all sorts of stories of their own. Sometimes you have to wade through a lot of junk to find the good stuff, but it’s so interesting when you do.
While I do not know the story of this ring before I owned it, I know the story it has with me. It wasn’t just any pawn shop (and for the record, we frequent antique shops far more than pawn shops). This was the one on Ingersoll in Des Moines. More importantly, this is the first place the hubby and I ever went together. It’s a bit of a strange story, and we weren’t dating, but were rather resisting the idea at the time. I’d never been to a pawn shop before and didn’t particularly have interest in it then either. He looked at instruments as I sat patiently waiting to go. It’s not exactly the kind of place you take a girl for a first date, but in all fairness, it wasn’t really a date. Just the same, it’s one of the first memories of being together. Right after Christmas this year, we were with friends and stopped in again. Gravitating to the jewelry, I found this ring and the hubby insisted we should get it (after a little cleaning). I considered it my “New Year’s ring” and wore it to the party that week where we celebrated with a bunch of friends and danced in the new year.
Now, this is not about placing value on worldly things. Its worth is ultimately insignificant but what matters more is what it reminds me of. My husband. Our friends. Our first “date.” Our home state. The end of one thing and the start of another.