Sunday, March 1, 2015

Our NEW Schedule!

Dear friends,

This post has been a long time coming, and I'm so very happy to be sharing it with you.  I'll provide some back story in a moment, but right now, I'd like to tell you that next Monday will be Bryant's first day at his NEW JOB!!!

As many of you know, he had been looking for a new position (preferably with a new company) since before he met me.  The main reason, at that point, being the schedule (he was working 5:30 p.m. - 6:00 a.m. four days a week).  Granted, it wasn't a very aggressive search before I came into the picture, but with a new reason to be available during the day and on weekends, his efforts increased during our engagement...but to no avail.

As you also may know, we went ahead with plans (i.e. getting moving to KC...him keeping his current position...), even though his schedule wasn't ideal.  His diligent, persistent search continued as we began our married life together.

I always knew what his schedule was and some of the challenges that came with it, but I didn't fully understand it till I was living it.  I won't bore you with mundane details of our daily in-and-outs, but in a nutshell: we had about 2-3 waking hours together each working day - and usually the beginning of his day was the middle of my day, which was also hard to get used to.  The schedule was further complicated by him being "asked" to work on weekends with only a day or two's notice.  AND, from about a week before Christmas up to only a couple weeks ago, his schedule changed on almost a weekly basis, and he was working 6-7 days a week, anywhere from 8 to 12+ hour shifts.  Vacation days were basically prohibited and sick days were frowned upon.


I know there are people who work/live with similar (or worse) schedules and have for years.  Some prefer it, but others don't have a choice, and my heart goes out to them.  I don't mean to be dramatic or throw a pity party, but suffice it to say, the "work schedule thing" didn't make the "getting used to marriage thing" any easier.  That said, I can't say enough how much I appreciate Bryant's hard and consistent work in such a draining and not-uplifting position...and with so little complaining.  He recognized how hard it was on me, even if I wasn't the one spending 12 hours at work, and always made sure to put my needs first and make what little time we had together count.

We had been praying daily for a daytime position, period, and maybe with a good company and other perks...and that's exactly what we got!  The offer came on Bryant's birthday, no less!  He was as excited as I think I've ever seen him (remember - I didn't see him before our wedding ☺) to go to work the night he put in his two weeks - haha!  It's their loss, for sure, but he will be taking the skills he's gained while there to bigger and much better places...starting next week.  ☺

Our sincere thanks go out to many of you for your prayers, listening ears, flexibility, and support through the last few (and/or many) months.  God is good, and He absolutely works all thing out for the good of those who love Him and in His perfect time.

We have learned a lot through this first leg (or few steps) of our journey.  From now on, we will be forever thankful for quiet evenings together, same bedtimes, free weekends, and lunch breaks at noon instead of 11:00 p.m.  We will make the most of our time, using it to strengthen our marriage, build and grow other relationships, help others, and enjoy the blessings of each day.

This occasion definitely called for celebratory balloons!

Praising the Lord,

Favorites of the day:
my awesome husband
our bread machine
new hobbies
this awesome new phone case I received as a sweet, thoughtful gift:

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Our Honeymoon

I keep promises, friends. So, belated as it is, here is a glimpse at our amazing honeymoon!   It was a welcome and necessary getaway after the craziness of pre-wedding/moving/marriage, and we were so thankful to have the opportunity to take such a lovely trip.

This post will be mostly pictures - haven't done one of those in a while.  I'll give commentary, periodically, but feel free to ask any questions I don't answer.  Thanks in advance for your patience with the pictures as they take their own sweet time to load. ☺

Bon voyage!

We spent our first night at the Rogers House Bed & Breakfast.
It was such a cute, quaint place to be - definitely worth checking out if you ever need a place to stay in Lincoln.

The next afternoon and evening were spent at the stunning Magnolia Hotel in Omaha.  We explored the premises a bit, and found their beautiful courtyard (as well as the "milk and cookies" happy hour!).
Room service = yum.
Complimentary honeymoon treat.  ☺
And we're off!

I don't know if I've ever explained Bryant's ring...?  That's my fingerprint engraved on there!  He picked it out himself. ☺
I've always loved Mad Libs - how perfect were there "Just Married" ones for our honeymoon trip?!
We had to document the plastic knives at the steakhouse restaurant in the airport.  Ha!

Goodbye, Texas...
...hello, Mexico!

We stayed at the all-inclusive Riu Hotel & Resort in Cancun.
The view from our balcony!
Every. Day.
Our first wildlife spotting!
Little tiny palm trees! ☺
The buffet was unbelievable.  So much food...such variety and quantity!  And such amazing presentation!
There were people from all over the world at our resort, so food was labeled in a variety of languages.  Apparently, "hot dog" is pretty universal.  Call me a creeper, but one of the most fascinating things, for me, was to watch other people eat.  It's so interesting to see what they chose to eat and how they ate it, depending on their home country!
In addition to the buffet, there were three different "sit down" restaurants.  We tried each one, but I didn't catch pictures of everything.  Here's our meal at the Japanese restaurant:
We like to think that symbol means "congratulations," or something...
Fried ice cream!  Surprisingly similar to the fried shrimp... ☺
And these pics are from the Steakhouse restaurant (real knives at this one...):

How fun to get all gussied up and just walk to dinner each night...along the beach, no less!

One morning, we got up super early to watch the sun rise.  We almost went back to bed when we realized it was raining outside...
We stuck it out, though, and are so glad we did!  (Thank goodness for bottomless coffee drinks, though...)  We basically had the place to ourselves for a few hours that morning.

One of our days was spent on Isle Mujures, an island off the coast of Cancun.
The boat we took over was affiliated with the "dolphin experience."  Though we didn't swim with dolphins, I'd say we still had the experience of a lifetime! ☺
They served us breakfast on the boat on the way there!
Totally worth the wind.
Seriously couldn't get over the water.
That's the boat we rode over on.  We took a bigger one on the way back.

Snorkeling!  Didn't take an underwater camera, but we saw some pretty cool things down there!
Does it get much better?
We took a long walk along the shore and were literally the only ones on that part of the island for an hour or so.  Such valuable time to just be together and take in beautiful scenery!
That's Cancun on the horizon.
We pretended we could pick out our hotel in the line-up.
Lots of wildlife sightings on this day!
He stopped to pose for this picture, and it doesn't do him justice - he was huge!
This was the floor throughout most of the little resort area that was our "home base" for the day.
We took some time to explore the island, do a little shopping (took advantage of the "honeymooners!" discount), and take in the sights, tastes, and sounds of a new place.
ALL the wristbands!
Got to enjoy a sunset from the water on the boat ride back - hooray!

The resort's entertainment staff was phenomenal.  Different activities and shows every night - and they were all so fun!
He almost won the tournament!
Karaoke!  I even got asked back the next night!
Hooray for endless food and any time of day or night!
Moonlit walk along the beach: check.
We were there on Halloween and Dia de los Muertos.  It was so fun and interesting to see the decorations and festivities!

So glad to have been there...
...but not so glad to leave!
Bryant got a kick out of this sign in the Dallas airport.
We made an extended honeymoon trip to the new IKEA store here in KC.  Found a new entertainment center to take home and assemble together!

So, there you have it!  Thanks for reminiscing with us - it was a great trip.

Hope this finds you well and as warm as possible.


Favorites of the day:
fresh-baked-anything smell (right now, brownies)
my sweet husband
the fact that my brother is ENGAGED!!!