Monday, December 2, 2013

Full of thanks and ripe with love...

Do you remember your first holiday as a married couple? The joy and warmth in your heart knowing you not only share a home with your best friend, but that you have someone to hold and cherish with each coming holiday and momentous event. Ryan and I have come to appreciate the simpleness of being together. When 1,000 miles separated us before, we don't take it lightly that we don't have to wait months at a time to see each other. We simply roll over and say good morning :)
As a half a year has passed already we are most certainly counting our blessings, down to the very joy of sharing a meal. We experienced two Thanksgivings this year and did our best not to allow gluttony and food comas to overtake us. The weather brought a nice chill and a few freezing nights, but overall the weather is very mild.

Something I am proud to announce is that Ryan and I completed our first 5k. You might be wondering what our time was, and well, I'm embarrassed to say I got a side stitch not even a mile into it and had to walk partially... so with that said, we'll try for a better time next time. Although Ryan's brother Lance smoked us; he was there along with Kristina and Cole to cheer us on to the finish line.

Sooo, what happened to that nifty kite of ours? It flew, it fell, it broke. It was a fine piece of craftsmanship on Ryan's part, however, with a vital piece missing (a tail to keep it balanced) it flew to the ground one too many times until the wooden dowel supports snapped. It could've been avoided, but overall, still pretty cool to say we built our own kite. So we made the most of our time at the lakefront that morning and hung out with the Mercier's 3 (soon to be 4!). 

A few successful new recipes to add to my repertoire this month! Andrea's  (from Kesslers) famous Apple Crisp was delish and yum, especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream paired with it. A scrumptious breakfast or tea time snack of Pomegranate Scones was a big hit with Ryan. I was a newb and completely new to french onion soup and did my best to recreate a classic.And lastly, Stuffed Eggplant, just a enough flavor and fun to make a cute little dinner for the two of us. 

We were blessed to have the entire week of Thanksgiving to spend with each other. We rode bikes on the Trace to burn off all the food we ate and visited the Audubon Zoo where Ryan hadn't been since he was a kid. Some of the quintessential memories for Ryan was the taffy cart and the goliath oak tree he and his brother would climb as kids.

A few other excursions of ours was trying our hand at pole fishing on the lakefront. That was an epic fail. Later Ryan walked out the end of the wave breaker, and it made for an awesome shot! Our day was redeemed :) We went for breakfast at the quaint 'Broken Egg' Cafe in Mandeville, which filled us to the brim! And although we only came for tear down, the annual Servolution outreach with local churches in Hammond was an amazing success. There were 2,400 free hot meals served and many lives impacted all in the name of the Lord!

 Our dear friends Jason and Sarah got married this month! We are incredibly happy for this couple. Consequently we are even more excited because they are now our new neighbors just a few buildings away! They had the most precious wedding ever. Everything from the unique rustic venue to touching ceremony, their marriage is a beautiful thing to witness. Even with the rain that came that day, nothing was going to ruin the beauty of two of them in love.  Ryan was honored to stand in the wedding, and we had a great time dancing the night away and seeing the two of them off!

We could not contain our excitement!

(They've officially joined the married club!)

In a coffee lover's world, there is a never ending search for the perfect cup of coffee, and by golly, I think we found it. The Aeropress. Don't knock it til you try it. And along with the Aeropress, we wanted to step it up a notch and see if we could turn this awesome coffee into a latte. So we purchased the AeroLatte, a small aerating device that gives amazing froth to simple coffee drinks. It's awesome! I feel like I'm giving a commercial for these items, but I promise you they aren't large investments and make great stocking stuffers for the coffee fanatic in your life.

In our great anticipation of Christmas, we made the most of our week together and got our 1st Christmas tree!!! It's cute and perfect! And we added a few other Christmas touches to the apartment to make it twinkle a bit. Ryan and I had a great time decorating the tree and putting on some ornaments from my childhood. We're officially ready for Christmas!!

To tell you all the lessons we've learned thus far, would take too long, as everyday is truly a learning experience. We've learned patience and reverence, honesty and balance, give and take, push and shove (just kidding)... we've learned how to say sorry sooner, and forgive more. We've laughed so much, and cried a bit too, but our eyes are looking forward. To say we are done learning these lessons is far from the truth, but with God's help everyday is a step in the right direction. We want to finish out this year strong, and dream big for 2014. In looking forward, we are currently praying in a new job for me. I have decided to forgo my job as a nanny in order to obtain a job that would afford growth and promotion in administration. And with God all things are possible. Pray for my peace in waiting, seeking, and applying. I know God has the perfect job set aside for me, and I will not hesitate to ask and knock on heaven's door for it.

Words can't express how much we are looking forward to Christmas in Wisconsin. 7 days of wintery goodness with family and friends, and enjoying the company and quality time of those we love. 21 days to go! So close!

Audrey & Ryan

P.S. For those of you that might still be wondering, we replaced Ryan's ring, and I gave him a stearn warning that the next one will be out of a cracker jack box if he loses this