Sometimes there are moments so insignificant and wonderful that I take a picture.
Hoping to catch that feeling of bathwater running late in the evening and the smell of lavender and no lights on but here.
That Sunday afternoon lethargy with his head on my lap, ear buds in, reading while it rains outside and washes the failures of another week.
The time I wanted ice cream and he was hungry for Mexican food, but he pulled into exactly the right store and got me a waffle cone.
Trying to explain what ‘dabbing‘ is and why he should never do it in public and please stop dancing around like that because I can’t stop laughing.
So instead, the pictures are in my head. Blurry and ridiculous and they’re getting fuzzier all the time. But I won’t stop trying to pause and appreciate the moment for just exactly how precious it is.
Today marks six months since Wesley and I promised to have and to hold until we kicked the bucket. I thought to mark the occasion I would offer my list of ten helpful survival tips for road trips, errands, or pretty much anytime we get in the car on a weekend.
- Make sure your phone is charged. One car charger is all very well, but if you set off somewhere on foot, you’ll want healthy battery life in case of
posting on Instagram emergency.
- In a similar vein, take the camera. That way you can fight over who gets to take the pictures and get video footage of anything that moves.
- Follow the GPS. Even if it appears to be taking you the wrong way, it actually knows what it is talking about 99.99% of the time. Wagnon Mountain Rd. might sound innocent enough, but after dark? (Click to 6:02)
- Bring a book. Always, always, always. In fact, I often bring two. A book and a blanket can make the car a private little library retreat when you’re waiting in the Auto-zone parking lot.
- Nothing will make everyone crankier than being hungry. Correction. Nothing will make me crankier than being hungry. For everyone’s safety, bring snacks. (So many snacks.)
- And for the husband, bring an entire thermos or two of water. This is not a joke. It will all get gulped down and eliminates the small bottles kicking around underfoot.
- Since this is Alabama, I’ve also learned to bring an extra coat, sweater, shorts, hat, rubber boots and honestly, a bathing suit would also be wise. You may never know what will become weather appropriate before the day is done.
- Add two extra hours onto the GPS estimated time of arrival. This machine generated guess does not include stopping at friend’s houses to look at lawn machinery, long conversations with various old men, or retracing your steps to take a picture.
- Pandora. Playlists are life when you’re stuck in the car. This also provides an appropriate context in which to disagree on the musical tastes of your spouse. Fight fair though and take turns in choosing the artist.
- Buckle up and be prepared to commentate on anything, everyone and everywhere you pass, explore, walk under, or listen to. Sharing new things is one of the sweetest perks of marrying your friend. In these first months together we’ve started our own repertoire of family stories and as the future unrolls we already find ourselves saying, do you remember when?
It’s been a wild ride so far, Wesley. Here’s to 6 months times 120 more!
We don’t do speed in this family. When we try, it always ends badly.
So we stick to slow, curious, low expectation days of adventure.
It’s the reason we spend a day in the city, and use all seven hours to scour one block. First a city park, watching fish, and then a brewery.
We discovered mutual friends with the people around us and then ordered sushi burritos on the other side of the parking lot.
We heard about a food truck man’s cross country road trip and bought two alligator sausages.
At a coffee bar we learned that they’re inventing new brews all the time, and as the sun set we finally pulled out the GPS and found our way away.
Away from our little afternoon neighbourhood. We’ll miss you Avondale!
trip for a truck and time to spare
means buying clothes for the first time in 4 months
two hours from home means making things worth your while
the beach means flip flops
the flip flop store means someone’s aunt and her gumbo
gumbo and shrimp at a fish shack
means a nightcap down the road
full bellies and sleep eye means the call of a hotel
and hotels on the beach mean a morning of sun and waffles
and new clothes to change into the next morning.
The Lord loves us in the little things and this weekend, there was abundance.
Keys, glasses, purse, papers and waiting by the door. Ready to go, until he decides to make coffee, and then I get hungry. He’s in the bathroom and then when he comes out I’m changing my clothes again.
Purpose on most days, and especially Saturdays, is in short supply.
But purpose to love? Purpose to laugh?
That is piled up, shaken down and running over.
I never thought marriage was a joke, or a picnic, or any other thing that people warn you against with a smirk and knowing nod.
We’re born skeptics, carefully bracing for the kick of hurt that always seems to come when things get too happy.
What I didn’t expect was the joy of friendship and the comfort of that person who God gave you for better or worse.
And we were also born to believe that God does not give us a spirit of fear, but one of faith.
So standing there again, we purpose to keep drawing love from Him and to share it with each other.
When a wild good chase takes you two hours away in the shape of a lemony truck, you certainly, certainly make lemonade.
To walk around where the cool kids are; by their bars, on their paths. Eating nachos and beer cheese, cinnamon rolls and coffee in the dark.
Singing take it to the limit….one more time. Trying to stay awake, and not for a minute, forgetting what happiness is.
Not the most important thing, but nothing to take for granted.
Far from home, but home (thank the Lord). And another night to share.
When we received our wedding photos, we poured wine, sat down on the only piece of furniture in the apartment, and talked our way through the entire album.
Pictures call back the memories like nothing else can, and at a picture of the nieces, I cried because their faces were too much happiness at once.
We remembered how the moment before we became man and wife, we both saw a rooster scratching around outside the window, and smiled at each other.
When the first flower girl came down the stairs and how we all started to cry, and Wesley gave her thumbs up.
I remember looking out over the people who’d traveled to be there, and seeing the peace in my parent’s face. Hearing the tears of my bridesmaid.
How the sight of my own pies astonished me, and I couldn’t stop thanking the kitchen crew, and Erik for his emergency doughnut run.
We remembered the constant gratitude in our hearts that day, to all the people who gave their most precious thing…time…to be with us. And how generous our families were in the months leading up to that day.
We remembered the emotions of each speech, and how people’s words played in our head throughout the honeymoon. During that transition, they worked as a reminder of what we’d been given and how much love is before and behind.
And we remembered our first moments of the reality sinking down to our toes. That the wait was over…and we got to go home together for the rest of our lives.