Tonight at midnight marks exactly 5 weeks until I am done with my undergraduate classes. To say it has been a crazy journey would be an understatement. The last 4 years have been nothing but a blur of life, love, heartache, happiness, friendships, changes and May 5 will be the cap to this crazy story we have been writing together.
But today as I sat at my desk flipping through our senior class photos I realized something….
The people in this picture are my family.
"We came from very different lives. You may ask what brought us together. What made us a family is this: we were the children who didn’t want to stop playing." -Gabrielle Davison
We have had our ups and downs over the last four years. Each one has gone through things that have defined them as individuals and as members of our family. But looking at their faces I can tell you exactly what impact each of them has had on my life…
Jared - my big brother, my protector, my biggest critic and my biggest fan. I couldn’t imagine a day of my life without you in it. Thanks for picking on me…
Tianna - The constant in the midst of the change. My friend. My Confidant. My inspiration to do more, to be more.
Beka - my sister. My friend. The one I know will always be there. No matter the distance. No matter the time. You will always be my other half.
Gabrielle - the one that inspired me to search for myself and find out who I really am.
Ash - My constant search for originality comes from you. The one whose vast talents amazes me each and every day.
Kristen - You are my hero. How you do all that you do amazes me every day. I aspire to be half the woman and mother that you are.
Erica - You taught me that sometimes you just have to laugh. No matter the circumstance, something about life is beautiful.
Esther - Being yourself is nothing to be ashamed of. Being you is more than enough.
We have become something so unique and so powerful. We have learned to tell a story that is irreplaceable. We have experienced so many firsts together as well as a number of lasts. We brought about change in each other. We encouraged each other. We beat the snot out of each other…
And that is what makes them my family. They have lived this life with me and no matter where we go in this world and what it is that we become, this will always be home. These people… they will always feel right. Because home is where your heart is. And these people have every ounce of my heart. Until the day that I die, I will always know that I belonged somewhere. That I truly had something special.
Thanks for an amazing ride guys. I owe so much of who I am to you… Here’s to the rest of our lives…
Okay so its been like 60 days, but it has seriously been forever since I have posted anything relevant that is going on in my life. Aside from pictures of things that are extremely inspiring and I love and will probably put in my soon to be permanent home, I have said nothing. Now do not take this as I have had nothing to say. Because I have. I have actually started several posts and then stopped. Backspaced. And hit cancel. I have simply chosen to be quiet. Which, isnt always a new thing for me. But this time it was done purposely. I have been learning to listen. I have been learning to process. To take things in and make them into whatever God intended for them to be for me… So here… in somewhat of a nutshell what I have been thinking about in the last one hundred something days…
Im planning a wedding. Its fun. We have established this fact. I am loving every moment of the girlyness and the magic. But preparing for marriage is so much more than that. It is a constant marathon of decisions about life… where we are going to live, where I am going to work, where we are going to spend what holidays, how vacation time will work, what he will call my parents, what I will call his parents, marriage licenses, future plans, birth control options, when we are going to start having kids… and thats just one night’s conversations. Its been hard, but so good. We are learning how to do life together. For all you people out there that are reading this and you aren’t married or close to being so, remember this statement when you get to where I am right now. Stop stressing and just do life together.
On Valentines Day, Nic treated me to an amazing evening out. He took me to dinner at this fabulous little place we found off of Granby Street downtown and then, like the wonderful selfless fiancee that he is, took me to see The Vow. Now before you all judge me for my chick flick obsession, another discussion for another time, hear me out on this one. This movie changed everything about the way I look at love and how we should live our lives… and thus begins my rant…
I want to live a life with color in it. I want our home to be full of life and love. I want people to walk into our home and know that there is more love in our marriage than one household can contain. I want to know that every day I live is filled with moments. Moments of impact. Because those moments are what define our lives. They are what cause it to ebb and flow and move from one thing to the next. Without moments we simply exist. And faster than we realize those moments can be taken from us. Without any warning at all. I dont want to waste my moments. I want every day of my life to be full of those moments that take your breath away. I want Nic to always know that our lives are full of the color that makes life worth living. I want to always protect his heart and for him to know that I will do everything in my power to give him those moments of impact. So that one day, if things get hard, and we feel like we have nothing else to hold on to, we can remind each other of those moments. The moments when we felt so alive that we could explode. The moments when we knew that we were created for each other. The moments when the smallest thing can make the biggest difference. Those are the moments I will remind him of. So that he always knows that he is safe. Thats the beauty of moments. They live on far longer than memories do. We dont always remember things, but we remember feelings. We have moments that will always be ours. Moments of impact…
I am currently curled up in my bed in Pittsburgh with about a million blankets, my stuffed nemo from Nic, and You’ve Got Mail playing in the background. My at home usuals. Im here for a little under two weeks to get some much needed wedding planning done, and to help put together one my best friend’s bridal shower next weekend. I cannot even believe how fast this is all happening. But I am so excited to see what the next 5 months of my life will hold. Its going to be an intense time, but so sweet at the same time. This growing up stuff is hard. but it is so beautiful. Im looking forward to my next one hundred something days.
I cant guarantee when my next series of thoughts will explode on paper or when God will speak in his silent gentle way, but I do know I will talk when that time comes. So until then…
Im just one step closer to tomorrow.
Signed, sincerely, me.
This weekend I had the amazing opportunity of experiencing my first Morris Family holiday. Nic and I began our journey early Thursday morning and made the 8 hour trek to Bluffton, South Carolina. We met up with his mom and sister and then proceeded to eat the most amazing pizza from the Mellow Mushroom. After about 5 hours with our feet on solid ground, we loaded up the Morris Mobile with 4 suitcases a few pillows and a mountain of presents and began what would be the next 18 hours in the car. We took turns driving through the night and arrived in Memphis at about 8:30 am. I was blessed to meet the cutest Grandma in the world before continuing our journey on to the the little town of Benton, Arkansas. I got to see where Nic became who Nic is. I saw where he grew up, tasted the milkshakes from his favorite dairy bar, saw the park where he played, and met his two oldest sisters and his brother in law Patrick, who might be some of the greatest people I have ever met. We then added two more cars to our journey and made an extra hour and some odd minutes trip to the top of Mount Petit Jean where a cabin in middle of nowhere would become our Holiday home for the next four days. Now as awesome as that all may sound, I am not a nature girl. The woods gross me out. Bugs make me crawl. I am not a huge fan of a lack of cell phone reception. And I am just plain and simple, a city girl. But that cabin became home for the short time we were there. It was filled with everything that a home needs. Too many people, way too much food, a Christmas tree with all the charm of the family that put it together, and more love than you could ever imagine. We covered all of the holidays in one shot this year and that was more than amazing. Saturday we ate one of the best Thanksgiving dinners I have ever had followed by the never ending game of Catch Phrase. (Literally. It never ended. By the time we stopped playing all 20 of us(Nic’s uncle Mike and Ant Vickey as well as their kids came up for the day on Saturday) in that room had every word choice memorized.) Sunday was the big event. It was Christmas morning in the Homesteader cabin. Nic and I might have been as loud as we could in an effort to wake up the rest of the family and let them know that Santa had been there. We then opened presents for the next few hours and just enjoyed being able to give into one another’s lives. That afternoon was made the hike the Cedar Falls. I, the girl who despises nature, made a hike up a mountain to see one of the greatest waterfalls I have ever seen. It was so amazing to take in. Our God creates some of the coolest mental pictures for us to take in and hold on to for a while. My spiderman of a fiancee and my equally as daring almost brother in-law climbed over everything and slid down everything and made an interesting form of breath holding competition for Jessica and I, but it was a great family moment. We have a picture of that one. Then that night we all got things together for the big departure the next day and then just sat and talked and took in the moment. Made a mental picture of what life was like right then. And for me, I thought of how different next year’s Morris family Holiday will look. Next year I will actually be a Morris.
The amount of laughter, tears, joy, thankfulness and just enjoying being a kid that happened over the last four days was more than overwhelming. All in a good way. This was a weekend of growing, stretching, and learning. It was getting just another glimpse of who God is. I spent this weekend with my future in-laws but it honestly felt as if I spent it with my own family. The love of Jesus is so evident in every one of those people and i could not be more grateful for their taking me in and making me feel as if I have always been a part of the family. They are who my parents have been praying into my life since I was a little girl and it might be the most amazing experience i have ever had to see something that has been prayed for for that long come to pass. God is so cool like that. He creates something so real that we can hardly contain the joy that it creates within us.
So this morning I woke up in Arkansas, but Im going to bed in Pennsylvania, but I am going to bed thankful. Thankful for life. and for love. And for a family, or families, that love me unconditionally and accept for me for who I am. Not who I am becoming or what I used to be, but for who I am right now in this moment. Someone who enjoys tearing through wrapping paper and exploding in the same fashion that I have since i was a little kid. Someone who loves to be quiet and just take things in. Someone who really does have a lot to say it just sometimes takes a little effort to get it to come out. But I am who I am and it is the most amazing feeling in the world to be loved for that very reason. Tonight I go to sleep with a heart that is full and a mind that is full of memories that will never fade… This morning LIT… tonight PIT.
Im just another step closer to tomorrow.
Signed, sincerely, me.
So I was looking through my wedding photographers blog today, (Sam Hughes Photography… he is wonderful. go look him up) and there was a wedding featured on there where all of her bridesmaids signed the bottom of her shoes with well wishes and inside jokes and lots of love and fun. I really kind of like that idea. They wrote things that they wanted for the bride on her big day. I think I just might borrow that idea. That makes those shoes just a little more special. But here is the thing. Ive got ceremony shoes and reception shoes… so which pair to sign? But I also have 8 bridesmaids plus 3 junior bridesmaids and a flower girl. I could split them in half. Yes. Yes I could split them in half and have well wishes on all my shoes. I will have to ponder this….