So Christmas has passed and the trees that stood so festive in our living room corners are now being tossed back into storage-- their 6 weeks of glory is quickly coming to an end. As Christmas is probably the most commercialized (and my personal favorite) time of year, here now lies the Season of Slightly Less Than Holidays. Sure, Easter has a powerful meaning and history, but where on God's green earth did we think of plastic eggs and man-sized rabbits in overalls? And don't even get me started on Valentine's Day, aha.
But before we step fully into that forsaken time, we still have Christmas' awkward cousin: New Years. Filled with life goals, second chances and new gym memberships, the beginning of January signifies a (sometimes short-lived) brand-new start.
Personally, I think New Year’s is a little over-hyped and our neighbors are already pretty annoying without the (extra) booze. I also go to bed early because I’m a grandma and I got stuff to do in the morning.
However, I really do value the reflecting we all seem to do on the year we are leaving behind. It inspires hope, while also respecting our and affirming our journey. I like that.
Take note at the purple things in this post (graphics, highlighted text, etc). These are the moments Michael and I have looked back on and felt the power of God's provision and/or timing throughout the year.
So, without further a due, here’s a sneak-peak into the year that changed everything:
Ironically enough, I started 2018 in the same place I'm ending it, in my home state of Washington. But at this point last year, I hadn't graduated college yet, and I wasn't married (or even engaged). I was Meliah Michael, still dreaming about this future.
Despite all thee craziness that life throws, it always seems to bring me back here. Renewal. Resolution. Peace. It’s all here. Front-loading these words are, of course, the existence of pain, conflict and anxiety, which can also be found here. But how fitting it is to start back where we began, with every new lesson learned behind us.
- Did I go to many classes? Absolutely not.
- Do I recommend planning for a wedding this way? Probably not.
- Do I regret it? Lol no way, boo. No.
I graduated! And watched it from the comfort of not-on-Liberty-University's-campus-during-a-rainstorm, surrounded by my fiance, his sister Henrietta, my dad, Nana and Granny. It was pretty great. (I later suited up for a different *indoor* ceremony, but truth be told, I like the one in my PJs best)
I said yes to the dress! I had found an "almost perfect" dress in VA, but due to the cost and timing of shipping, I decided against it last minute. But by the time we visited Celestial Bridal, the first shop we visited in Spokane, and I slipped into the first gown, I knew I made the right decision. The dress I wore on our wedding day had never even been tried on by any other girl, and fit me with very few alterations.
"It fits like the perfect glove" - Celestial Bridal Staff.
(note : my face in the picture with the flowers is evidence of deep, confusing, but happy emotions. not sad ones ;) )
Wedding planning & applying for jobs, etc. etc. etc. etc.
We bought a giant cauldron and planned, cooked and shared our PNG "mumu", a traditional meal of celebration, with close friends and family staying in the area before the wedding.
For the next few days, we moved into our apartment and spent as much time as we could with our PNG family. After a beautiful, but brief stay, the Apas were returning home to Papua New Guinea. We said goodbye to them in the same airport we so happily welcomed them in just 2 weeks earlier.
Michael & I made our first attempt to "officially" begin our honeymoon. In proper Meliah-fashion however, I had one of those holy-crap-I-forgot-to-pick-up-medicine moments, and despite our Flash-like attempt to retrieve it from the pharmacy and make it back in time, we missed the plane by less than five minutes. (*pause for effect*)
We got our itinerary changed to the next day with a longer flight plan, but thankfully at no extra cost.
When we finally landed in Lynchburg, it was a mad dash (and squeeze) to pack up everything. We only had whatever we could make of a 2008 Nissan Sentra with two adults up front and the same number of cats in a crate in the back. Fitting 2 apartments-worth of memories just wasn't possible and to this day, we are realizing how little we brought back.
If you were paying close attention, we were set back 3 days from our original plan. But I am telling you, God works in amazing ways because we would be driving through Sturgis, South Dakota just three days after their week-long, larger-than-life "Sturgis Rally", a motorcycle convention that brings over 500,000 people flooding into the exact tiny town we were travelling through.
We never would have been able to get the help we needed, or the space to breathe to figure out next steps, if we would have gotten there one day earlier.
Here's how we divided up our #honeytrip:
Went on the best surprise coffee date ever and the summer happenings finally sunk in. We also talked about what we wanted our future to look like objectively, and we made some hard, but really beneficial decisions.
We got Penny fixed. (Of course, she needed it, but we are also excited to have our two fur babies taken care of, so when we can afford to adopt Frito, we know they will be safe, too)
...Well, that probably took ten thousand years to read. Aha. Sorry. But thanks for making it through! Hope you enjoyed a little glimpse into our 2018 and what we hope to accomplish in 2019.
And again, for everyone who took part (behind the scenes or front and center), in making 2018 our best year yet!
May your year bring you light, love and long-lasting new beginnings.
PS: I almost included some of our goals for 2019. Would you be interested in a separate post on resolutions?