Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Life Happened...


After my last got a little crazy. 
I had a wonderful time with Joel. I  continued to enjoy a few weeks of bike riding, farmer's market adventures, and general summer merriment. Two weeks later, my dad had a really serious stroke (my blogging went here to his caring bridge site instead of my usual blog). We had been out on a bike ride when things just went sour. Two nights in Ames hospitals then a life flight to the Neuro ICU in Iowa City had us pretty shaken up. 

Life stood still. It was like watching from a distance while another family went through chaos and terror -- but it wasn't someone else. It was me. And my family. All of the little things I had been so worried about before - traveling, missing friends, wondering if Joel was going to propose - they seemed so trivial. We trucked on...making trips to Iowa City until my dad got released from their Neuro ICU then back to Ames to see him enter inpatient rehab at the hospital. He stayed in inpatient care for a little over a month. We visited frequently to chat and encourage him as he started the journey to recovery. 

Two weeks after my dad's stroke, Joel proposed. 

The back story is that Joel had set up a time to have dinner with my parents and ask permission to marry me. The dinner never happened because the date that was set was just days after my dad's stroke. Joel loved me and my family well through that trial. He listened, served. and represented what a Godly man he is. 

My mom and dad encouraged Joel to still propose, even though my dad was still in the hospital recovering. They didn't want my dad's health to be a barrier to something wonderful happening. 

August 10th, I said yes to Joel's proposal. We settled on a winter wedding date and started planning for a December wedding. 

In that 4 month span, I gained 3 more nieces and a nephew. Ha - my sister in law had twin girls the last week of August, then she and my brother's adoption waiting game finally came to an end. 

I spent a month and a half living up in Ames with my dad while my mom was out of the country. My mom was in the Congo with my brother trying to get his two kids' adoption documents finalized so they could come home. A process we initially guessed to take a few weeks turned into 40 days of praying, waiting, and trusting God to move. 

I flew out to the East Coast to present an Account Review for the main account I work on the first week of October. It was a great opportunity to stretch my comfort level and strengthen my analytic portfolio. I was terrified, but it went really well (better than I expected!). 

Joel and I made it through another turnaround for his work. I saw another great friend get married -- Amy and Dan are on the left. They got married in November. Amy and I work together -- we had a great time planning winter weddings concurrently. I've been so encouraged by her. 

Our whirlwind 4 month engagement passed (rather quickly!!), and we got married December 14th. Highlights of the day were sunshine, a bit of snow falling, my dad being able to walk me down the aisle, my brother performing the wedding ceremony, and the 16 piece live band at the reception. 

(wedding pics by Libby Asay Studios)

THEN Joel and I went on a honeymoon to Punta Cana. 
Went straight from our honeymoon to Christmas in Iowa with my family. 
THEN drove up I-35 to our new house in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 
We've spend the past few weeks getting our house to feel more like a home. It finally does. 

My life is full. Gloriously full.