Last Sunday in church, the sermon was about how we are to be thankful for everything and in everything. So, I am really going to take that to heart today! I am thankful for a wonderful husband who loves me no matter what my mood is and supports me in meeting all my goals. He is more selfless than I ever realized. I need to be more like that. I am thankful for my mom who has always been there for me and stood by me. She taught me how to love others by making me always feel loved. That is a priceless gift that I will never forget. I am thankful for all my friend and family members. I know that someone has always "got my back." I have so many great people in my life. I know I am never alone. I am thankful for the United States Army, even though it is forcing a separation for Mike and me. That is a hard one for me to say, but I know it's true. It is giving Mike an opportunity to further himself and to find fulfillment in a career. It will allow us to be settled financially and have a family. I am thankful for my job. I am blessed to not dread going to work everyday. I know I am helping children and there's nothing better than that. My job also allows me to live comfortably and not "need" anything. But, most of all I am thankful for GOD. He has given me all the other things I am thankful for. He sees me worthy of having all these blessings. I know He won't give us more than we can handle, so I am thankful I can realized how blessed I have been in my life. I hope everyone will take the time to count their blessings today. I am going to spend the day remembering all I am thankful for.
We have been taking a class at our new church for the last 9 weeks. It is called "Growing a Healthy Marriage." It has been one of the best things we have done since we moved here. There were ten wonderful couples in our class. At the beginning we had to take a Couple's Check-Up. This showed us our strengths and weaknesses as a couple based on how each of us viewed things. We have spent the classes working through each aspect of this check-up like communication, conflict management, finance, family, etc.... This class has been so reassuring to me because it showed that we are just like a lot of other couples. Our biggest problems have been our differences in communication. We don't really "fight" or have disagreements. We just aren't always on the same wavelength when trying to communicate. Since we realized this, we have made an effort to work on our communication skills. It has really paid off. We are communicating with each other better than ever! We are not perfect by any means, but we are working on it.
Tonight was the last night of class. One of the pastors came in to lead all the participating couples in reaffirming their vows. I felt like we were back on June 23, 2007 and saying those vows for the first time. The words were the same. We looked at each other the same. I got all teary-eyed the same. I feel all refreshed and totally blessed to have such an amazing husband that supports me in anything I do. I wish I could be half as good to him as he is to me. I'm going to work on that! I know that God will lead me through the difficult times (aka: separation) we have ahead. But, now I will have the memories of us saying our vows to each other....twice. That is completely priceless. I am so thankful God has brought this amazing man into my life and I pray that I never forget how lucky I am.
We have about 5 weeks until Christmas and I'm not getting even a little excited. That is totally unusual for because I am always so anxious to decorate and get our trees up. This year I'm just not feeling it. Maybe it's because Christmas comes earlier and earlier every year. I couldn't believe it when I started seeing Christmas lights up and turned on the first week in November. An apartment complex down the street was already all lit up, as well as several sorority houses on campus that I have to go by to get to class. I am even getting annoyed when people write on Facebook about having their decorations and trees up. For crying out loud, it's not even Thanksgiving!!!! What happened to being Thankful? Is everything so commercialized, that we have to skip over this holiday that is about being with family and counting your blessings?
I've decided to not even think about Christmas until after next Thursday. I want to enjoy my holiday. We will be traveling to Chicago with Mike and my mom. Since my Granddad passed away in 2004, Mom and I have been going to spend the holiday with our extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, etc in the Chicago area. Mike's brother, Matt, also lives in Chicago so hopefully we can spend time with him, too. Maybe after being able to enjoy family, I will get in the Christmas spirit. I'm really hoping I will find a cure to my "Scrooge"ness next Friday. We are going to the Museum of Science and Industry. They have annual Christmas Around the World festival, where trees are decorated by various ethnic communities. I'm hoping to return home refreshed and in the holiday spirit. There is always hope, right? I welcome any other suggestion on how to return to my normal Christmas-loving self!!!
I finally decided to jump on board and start blogging. I guess it is a good way to keep everyone up to date with what is going on in our lives. We made the big move from Greenbrier to Fayetteville at the end of July. We have been here almost 4 months now and really enjoy living up here. There is so much to do an not enough time to get it done in. I desperately miss so many people from back home, but am doing my best to stay in touch, usually through facebook. But hey, it's better than nothing. :) I am almost through my first semester at the University of Arkansas. I must say it is the most challenging thing I have ever done. The classes here are much more difficult than anything I took at UCA. I guess there is a big difference between research institutions and non-research institutions. I really enjoy it though. I am going to end up getting a second master's degree because of all the classes I need. Then, I will get a specialist and finally my doctorate. I also love my job in Springdale. I haven't been this happy teaching since I first started. I am in a great environment with kids who really need me. Mike applied for many teaching jobs without finding success at landing one. After much soul-searching and praying, he has joined the Army National Guard. He is an Officer Candidate and will be leaving for OCS (Officer Candidate School) in January. This will be a very trying time for the both of us. Beginning January 4, he will be stationed at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock. Then, on January 22, he will be at Fort McClellan in Alabama until March 20. We have never been apart for more than a few days, so I know these two months will be difficult, especially with the limited communication we will have. So, we will definitely be needing prayers! I am so very proud of him, though. He has already served six years in the Air National Guard, but felt very strongly that this is the right move for us as a family, and for him as an American.