September 3rd was our 3 year anniversary!! So why am I posting about our anniversary when it was weeks ago?? Because John's surprises for me (in lieu of our anniversary) are happening now!
3 years ago...
I can't believe it's been 3 years- it feels so close and so far all at once! I can honestly say that in the last 3 years, we've really gotten much closer and our love has grown stronger!! Before finding John, I had always longed to be put on a pedestal by my spouse and once I became a Christian I realized that I desired sacrificial love as Jesus displays. I think our relationship is full of self-sacrifice for the happiness of the other. Many a night have I stayed up, giving back rubs and head scratches when all I really want to do is go to sleep!! But John's purr's make it all worth it. And for our anniversary, John surprised me 2 fold.
First, he arranged a photo shoot with a girl that I had wanted to hire for family pictures. I had mentioned it to John while Riley was still in utero and he discouraged me saying that we are capable of taking pictures (this is the endearing frugal side of my husband). So the splurge to get some GOOD pictures taken was such a wonderful surprise that I welled up with tears when he let me in on the secret! (The previewed pics are displayed but I'll be getting many more and will post some in the future!)
Secondly, John purchased VIP concert tickets to a girl band that I love- Barlow Girl! They are an edgy Christian group who's message I can really connect with. So the concert was last Sunday night and it was our first outing without Riley!!! Though it was hard to leave him home, we had some really great friends from church who were willing to give us the night out and watch him! (Thanks Jim, Tiff and Emily!!) Though John listens to Barlow Girl's music on Air1, they definitely aren't his favorite and once we got to the concert, I realized even more how sacrificially he was giving for me! The demographics at the concert was pretty much 90% young (between ages 7 and 17) girls with very shrill and screechy screams!! I don't know if anyone has been to a concert filled with mostly young girls but I compare it to an NKOTB concert I went to when I was in that age- probably 13 at the time and I was one of those schreaky young ladies!! It's actually deafening-- John felt that his ears had to have been bleeding on the way home from the concert! Other than the ear discomfort, the concert was awesome! The message: Be yourself and don't ever be afraid to stand up for what you know is right- even if it's not "popular" or the way of the world!! These girls have vowed to purity. To them this means that they will not "date" a man until it is the man they marry! They develop friendships which enables them to determine if this guy is "The guy" or not. So there are 3 sisters in the band- ages 28, 26, and 23- all of whom have not kissed or even held hands with a boy! Extreme? Maybe. But I absolutely have the utmost respect and awe for them and their conquest! This is just one example where they've resisted doing what "everyone else is doing" in spite of enormous pressures they may have felt because of what they believe in! There are so many aspects of my life that I have given in to peer pressure, social acceptance and the ways of the world to do something that is less than what I had aimed for! It's tough but I'm inspired!
Holy Cow... our dog is cool! I know I've posted on him diving before, but you've never seen it this way! Our friends let us borrow their underwater camera so we were able to capture this rare footage! Seriously... have you ever seen a dog pull these stunts???
The last two weeks or so, we've been getting smiles out of Riley. At first we were convinced it was just gas, but as it continued we're thinking otherwise.. Could they be intentional? Daddy is especially great at eliciting smiles! Whether they are intentional or not, it sure makes us smile from ear to ear when ever his face lights up!
A night at the speakeasy- which by the way, I had no idea what that meant since I am as far from a history buff as possible. Long story short: John's squadron gets tasked 2x a year to work the races at PIR (Phoenix International Raceway) as a fundraiser. Well everyone hates it... So they were throwing ideas out for alternative ways to make money and ultimately decided to just charge each of the pilots a fee (yup- making it not a fund raiser at all, but more a mandatory tax) but John had the idea to at least make it fun and feel like more than just a tax. So he and a co-planner put together Speakeasy Night. Girls for a night were flappers as the men sat back in their secret, smoke filled rooms (They rented fog machines) playing Texas Hold'em. The guys did a great job and everyone seemed to have a good time!
Our little family took Riley on his first road trip as we traveled to Flagstaff for an extended weekend stay. John first tried to sell it as an anniversary get away (our 3 year anniversary was September 3rd), but when we wanted to avoid the expensive lodging costs and decided to bunk up with family, it became apparent that it was more of a hunting outing than a romantic get away. Well, our celebratory weekend is coming... We're now holding out till Grandma W gets here so she can spend some one on one with Riley- thus giving John and I some one on one as well! Anywho- we got to Flag on Friday evening. John would play mountain man in the early am (4:30am-ish) and every evening, looking for his prize buck... Well, not knowing the lay of the land or having any familiarity really, it was more like guess work. But none the less, he saw many of God's creatures... just couldn't shoot them since they were of the female variety and his tag was only good for the males.
While he was out in the wilderness, I spent time with his aunt, uncle, cousins and even second cousin(?)! We happened to catch the Rt. 66 Car show as it passed through town on Saturday. We scoped all the old, yet beautifully restored cars- although John was disappointed at the lack of Mopar showing.
One of John's fellow pilot friends from Korea is now out of the military and living in Flagstaff so I got to sit down with her and her new baby (7 months) and do tea. It was nice to get to know her better since John has nothing but great things to say about her. John even got to join our little girl pow-wow the following day. I had a stranger take a picture, but apparently the auto feature is too complex.. Just kidding. I should have put the flash up.
I got to break out some of the 0-3 month clothes for cooler weather. Since Riley is such a big boy, and growing quickly (he's over 10 lbs already) I am happy to get him into the adorable outfits before he's outgrown them!
After about 10 days following the birth of Riley, my mom headed back home to Texas. What a blessing it was to have her here to keep me company, help with all the house stuff (dishes, laundry, etc.), teach me the art of being a mommy and reminisce of days gone by when Trav and I were babies. She did get off relatively easy when it came to being our family chef- since our church family really took care of us, bringing us delicious, home cooked meals every day for the first week and some! None-the-less... our time spent with Noni was wonderful and we are so thankful for the opportunity!! Love you!
Riley's first bath
Noni you are special Your love knows no bounds A room takes special warmth whenever you’re around You think I’m cute and talented and maybe even wise But I know that's why all grandparents see though loving eyes Every day with you is precious I’m so grateful for the time Of all the grandparents in the world I’m thankful that you're mine