The past few months have been an absolute whirlwind. A new marriage, lots and lots of birthdays and anniversaries, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, a dance event, a skiing trip in Colorado, huge amounts of interpersonal drama, and new jobs for both Michael and myself have proven to be just about all that I can handle.
It is ironic that, although I have been writing more than I ever have in my entire life, I think it’s the longest I’ve been silent on this blog since I started it. Most of my time lately has been taken up writing for my new blog, forgingsignificance.com. Right after the wedding I spent several weeks working on some quillwork for an artists’ market at my church, but since about mid-December I have officially taken the plunge and started working full-time toward becoming a freelance writer.
Since then, my days have consisted of lots of website tweaking and beating the pavement trying to submit articles to other sites. I’ve consistently written at least twice a week on my own blog for several months now, as well as already had 3 articles accepted in other places. Sometimes it’s frustrating and feels like I’m not making any progress; but then I remind myself that I’ve really only been at this a few weeks, and that helps puts things into perspective for me.
This post is just a brief summary, both for your sakes and mine, of what I’ve been doing the past few months. Hopefully I’ll be able to write more regularly on here now that I’m in the swing of things :).
Michael and I had the opportunity to go visit my New Jersey grandparents in October, just a few weeks after we were married. I was so grateful that Michael had the chance to meet them both, but especially my grandfather, as he ended up passing away just a few weeks later. We all miss him a lot. He left quite a legacy.
I was able to do a few fall-specific things, like carve a pumpkin with Michael, meet my friend Sarah in Ellijay for their Apple Festival, and go to the Perry fair with my mom and younger siblings. That was a really fun afternoon. Perry is about half-way between Atlanta and Albany, so we met in the middle and made a day trip of it. It’s hard to develop a relationship with your siblings when you live far away and they can’t drive and don’t have cell phones, so I’m always grateful for the opportunities that we do get.
I once again hosted a Christmas party this year, except this time I did 3 days in a row of Christmas parties! We took this idea from a friend, and the thought was to try to incorporate as many people as possible, while also making an effort to focus on different aspects of the Christmas season. So the first night was “celebrating friends,” which was basically my normal Christmas party. I made dinner, we played games, decorated gingerbread cookies, etc. One of the games was a new one – I wrapped little treats in saran wrap and made people unwrap the ball with oven mitts on. It was actually a lot more fun than I expected! You can read more about that here.
The other 2 nights were “celebrating others” and “celebrating God,” where we wrote letters to troops and did a lessons and carols service, respectively. We had almost a completely different group every night, and it was really a lot of fun! I was definitely tired by the end of day 3, though :).
One of the highlights of the last few months was New Year’s Eve. Michael and I spontaneously decided to go to Birmingham for the night. And it was really so much fun! We hung out, played games, watched the ball drop, and enjoyed a great breakfast the next morning with people we love. Nothing different from what usually happens when I go to Birmingham for NYE, but considering how much drama has been swirling around Michael and I lately, it was a welcome and much-needed respite. You can read more about that trip here.
I also really enjoyed my birthday celebration a few days later. It was a pretty low-key affair, but I was surrounded by some of my favorite people in the world (including my mother-in-law, who had just had knee surgery and could hardly walk! It really meant a lot that she made the effort to come out. I have great in-laws). We had a potluck dinner and then went to downtown Atlanta to see the Christmas lights in Centennial Park. The lights were gorgeous, and we even got a funnel cake! I suppose that was my pseudo birthday cake, haha.
Several of my friends also brought gifts to the potluck, and as I opened them, I was overwhelmed by just how thoughtful they all were. These people who had come to celebrate me together really cared about me. I know it seems silly, as most people would say it’s obvious that I’m cared about…but when it feels like you’re being surrounded by selfish emotional drama on all sides, it’s easy to lose sight of that fact. It was a wonderful night to be reminded that I’m cared for.
We went on a ski trip 2 weekends ago – Michael’s first time! It was bitterly cold, but a lot of fun. Even though I’ve been skiing several times before, I actually ended up being a lot more sore than he was. I think I was so scared from how fast I thought I was going that every muscle in my entire body ended up tensing up, lol. But we both made it through the day in one piece, so I count that as a victory! 🙂
All that aside, Michael and I have been trying to focus on taking care of ourselves and getting into a regular schedule. We’ve become connected with a small group at church that focuses on outreach to internationals in Atlanta. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know them. I’ve also started part-time work teaching a beginner ESL class twice a week. It’s quite a challenge when you have Spanish, Chinese, AND Russian speakers, and there’s no telling how many people will actually show up!
Now that things are starting to calm down a bit, I’m hoping to be able to update both blogs. But for the most regular updates, be sure to head over to my new site (forgingsignificance.com) and sign up for my newsletter! I always post there on Mondays and Wednesdays.