We needed this trip so badly. With Tyler's homework schedule, work, and moving, we desperately just needed to get away and reconnect. There is nothing I love more than six hours in the car with Tyler to just talk. And sing. Lots of car singing. (Poor guy. It usually ends up looking a lot like this. Start at 1:33)
We kayaked, hit up weekend happy hour, napped, stopped by the Barton Springs food trucks, and had the best Ikea trip to date. Lists are a must people!
I remember my first night in our first apartment. It was only a few weeks until our wedding day, and I slept on a twin sized air mattress in the corner. The room felt so big and empty. Not at all home-like. But now we're leaving, and this is the first home we've created together. For us. 2610 Milwaukee will always be our first home.
I remember painting the ugly taupe walls white the week before our wedding. And realizing in hindsight what a foolish but good decision that was. We hated the painting, but never regretted it. Oh, and cheap paint? It is cheap for a reason.
This is where we returned after our honeymoon. The giant welcome home sign that my parents hung - the grill waiting for Tyler to discover. We were couch-less for a week and boy, are couches an awesome thing to own.
This is where our first real fight happened. And our second fight, and third fight, and every fight for a year. This is where I learned how hard and good marriage is. How good Tyler is at humility.
This is where Tyler studied for the MCAT and the GRE. Where I started quilting and studied Zumba moves. Where he played video games and I read silently next to him.
I learned to decorate in this apartment. I started from scratch - with 624 square feet to work with - and made a home. I hung a gallery wall, hung curtains, arranged bookshelves, and stacked towels.
I learned to cook for two in this apartment. Chicken parmesan, roast, lasagna for company - always lasagna for company. One minute microwave cake late at night and cinnamon rolls on holiday mornings. Coffee and lattes and hot tea and milk and the perfect sweet tea - all drunk from yellow glasses I've collected through the years, finally put to use.
I learned to share here. To compromise on thermostat temperature. To delegate household chores I hogged for myself. We learned how to live weekends here. To sleep in and then work all day. To have pizza/movie nights and share margaritas.
And Christmas. This is the first place we celebrated Christmas together. Our tiny twinkling tree in front of the window, Christmas cookies in the oven. Tyler's first time watching It's a Wonderful Life, and wrapped presents under the tree. Our first snow day, and New Years Eve on the back patio, just the two of us, ringing in the new year - how I secretly wanted it to be when we left the party early.
And spring! And evening walks around the old golf course behind us, and dips in the pool, and grilling in the tiny backyard. I loved reading my Bible each morning on the couch, the mornings growing brighter and brighter, as Tyler slept in the bedroom. I loved that view out the window, the silence in the air, and sharp warmth of the coffee.
I grew closer to God and closer to Tyler in this tiny house and I can't help but be a bit sad to see it go. There is still some work to do, repainting, cleaning, a few pictures still on the walls - but an era in our life seems over. The first year has passed and passed so quickly. And our tiny 27A apartment was so good to us then.
Change is coming.
I can feel it.
There is obvious change, like our mailing address and the place we lay our head each night. But I know that more will change. These next two years will be refining, building us for wherever God chooses to take us next. We have no idea what life will look like when Tyler graduates, but I am so excited.
I've seen firsthand how God provides. I've witnessed how he blesses those who ask for His help, and continually seek His favor. I think tithing plays a huge roll in this. When we married, Tyler and I agreed that no matter how much money we had, we would always tithe. We would choose to put God first with our money ... His money.
I don't look at tithing like a transaction, put money in - blessings come out. I see it as worship. As faith. We give because we have faith that God will provide. Even when we have enough money each month, tithing is a reminder that we are not in control. That our financial situation can change at any minute.
But, God. Always God.
I look around the rooms of our new apartment and I just think, "God did this." When I show our apartment to friends, they must think I'm a grinning lunatic, proud of us living in this tiny apartment, in charge of 42 rowdy college boys. But it's because I am so overwhelmed at how God chose to provide for us in this season of life.
And I know that change is coming. He is changing my heart.
June brought their first anniversary, 365 days of being together.
She loved the dinner date.
He picked mini-golf.
Icees were had, Target was perused.
Study, study, study, was the theme of the month.
She watched the entire 4th season of Gilmore Girls while quilting.
And is moving on to season 5... for the third time.
He pretends that he doesn't like it.
They are days away from moving into their new apartment/job.
She has been savoring morning moments before the packing begins.
He is so ready to have an office of his own.
They spent all day Saturday painting, and it went down much smoother than the last time they painted...
He likes the darker mint in the bedroom.
This new phase of life will be so different, but so good.