Tomorrow is the official 11 month mark for Alex and I's marriage. Just yesterday he commented about how exactly 11 months ago we were enjoying an evening with family and friends at Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar in Lafayette, followed by Cajun dancing lessons and a night filled with shenanigans (cue bachelor/ette party memories). The following night, we enjoyed a delicious Cajun dinner at Prejean's Restaurant, and the night after that, well...you know. So much greatness packed into one extended weekend!
In honor of this Thanksgiving holiday, I thought it was appropriate to make a quick list of 11 (for 11 months) things I'm thankful for in this first year of marriage.
1. Alex - Do I really even have to explain this one? Without him, this list wouldn't exist! Really though, it's been a fun year, all the way from opening gifts and putting together our house, to repairing what seems like monthly fix-it's around said house, to finally spending holidays together. He's a good one and I'll leave it at that.
2. Our Home - I mentioned this above, but I'll expand on it. Since we didn't live together (or even in the same state, for that matter), it's been a special experience to build our home together. It's the perfect size for us, and nestled in a quaint little neighborhood with just the right amount of space for our trio of furbabies. Regardless of where we settle or how many times we move between now and then, our first home will always hold special memories for us.
3. Our Jobs - I whine about these a lot, but ultimately we are really very blessed in this department. Alex is one of the youngest in his position for comparable programs across the country, and I am SO proud of him for working his tail off to make that happen (while moving across the country for me, I might add). In my heart I dream about the day where I can stay home with a growing family, but in the meantime, I have landed not one but two (think my previous job in AR) jobs I once only dreamed of. It's fun to work for an organization that has been in my life for nearly 20 years, and we are very blessed to have the resources to live comfortably at such a young age.
4. Proximity - Again, after spending two years (the entirety of our pre-marriage relationship) doing the long distance thing, it is soooooooooooooooo nice to be past that season of our lives. Seeing each other almost daily, enjoying meals together, and just sharing our lives in person is a-mazing. In this category, I include the joys of proximity to my family. Living where we do now has cut my travel time to home in half, and as a result we have been able to see my family on a much more regular basis.
5. Furbabies - Animals are really not "my thing," especially dogs...but I did inherit a "stepdog" when we got married. Including my beta fish and the two kittens we adopted in April, these days our "wee" count is up to four. The wees, as we call them, provide daily entertainment as well as that always-appreciated unconditional love. In this next year, we hope to grow the family even more with another wee...of the human variety, that is.
6. Photos/Video - Thanks to our photographer and videographer, we have some awesome footage from our wedding season. It's pretty incredible to look back over everything and relish in those moments we shared with our closest family and friends. Sometimes we find ourselves watching video footage on repeat for an entire evening. And you know what, I'm not embarrassed to admit that either.
7. Visitors - Expanding on another topic mentioned previously, but I'm going with it. Since we have so few friends in Monroe, having visitors is very special for us. Mad props to my parents for visiting several times, as well as Dawn and Jen/Logan. We love our house (see above, lol) and enjoy hosting others; unfortunately, we don't get to do that on a regular basis so come visit us, people!
8. Travel - Alex and I both travel for work regularly, but it's not the same as when we are able to travel together. In this year, we have visited his family in North Carolina twice with another trip in the works for Christmas. We went to Dallas in June, and if all goes well, we'll be back there again next weekend to visit Dawn. Now that a bowl game for ULM is out, we're also looking at doing a road trip through western NC and TN or GA for our anniversary. We definitely have the travel bug and I hope it stays that way!
9. Mexican food - Random, and just a little silly, but it's kind of ridiculous how often Alex and I eat Mexican food of some variety. Tortillas heated with shredded cheese (we call them "quesadillas"), enchiladas, fajitas, chips and guac...the whole deal. We are Mexican-eating machines! So maybe I need to branch out a little, but hey, it works.
10. Smart phones - It seems I was the last person on the planet to get a smart phone, but I totally love having one now. More specifically, I love the android platform and Google Play is so easy to navigate. Of course, we all need to take a break every now and again but I am definitely grateful for finally having an accurate built-in GPS system, and picture messaging has officially taken me out of the dark ages.
11. Blogging - These days, blogging gets me really excited. It's a slow process for me but I am really interested in soaking up all there is to know about graphic design, building a page, and increasing marketability/readership. I won't claim to be the next big thing, but I would like to continue learning an toying around with all things blog-related. It's really become a fun hobby for me and I hope to keep it up for many years to come.
Okay, so much for a "quick" list...sorry about that. I really should quit pretending that I'll ever be able to write concisely. Ah well. In any case, ya'll eat a lot, pray a lot, and make a lot of memories as you enjoy this turkey day.