Wednesday, October 23, 2013

2 years and 1 week, aka anniversary recap

I last left off mentioning our 2 year anniversary celebration plans, so here's the recap from a fabulous weekend:

On Friday, we headed to The Optimist for a 9:45pm dinner reservation, which was so worth the wait. The menu is centered around seafood (my favorite!) and is absolutely delicious. Fun fact: The Optimist was featured on the cover of September's Bon Appetit magazine as one of America's best new restaurants, and I can say that I agree!

On Saturday, we headed to our favorite donut shop, Revolution Doughnuts. They have the most scrumptious gluten free donuts on the weekends, and I love their coffee. John always gets a least 3 different donuts (non gluten free), such as the nutella-filled one, caramel and bacon, or raspberry.

We clearly love donuts, since I just made some gluten free ones for us recently. (FYI they are so good you'd never guess they were g.f.) AND I got John this cookbook as part of his gift. (The gift includes that I'll be doing the baking too! First up to try is the Raspberry White Chocolate Doughnuts recipe.)

The donuts I made a couple of weekends ago:
Double chocolate espresso (with Christmas sprinkles since that's all I had!)

We then drove to Calloway Gardens for a day of biking in the beautiful weather. Neither of us had been to Calloway, and it was a perfect afternoon of exploring the gardens, biking, and stopping for a picnic. They also had topiaries of college mascots in honor of football season, but sadly no Vandy Commodore!

View from our lunch spot
Tackling the Georgia bulldog 

That evening we had a bonfire with friends in our neighborhood and roasted s'mores.

On Sunday, John had planned for us to explore the Atlanta Botanical Gardens but we ended up wanting to rest since we were tired from all of the biking the day before. So we're going to postpone that gift for another weekend. Instead we went for a walk around Grant Park and threw the football and frisbee.

Tuesday was our 2 year anniversary! Many of you probably saw this picture on Facebook, but it's too good not to include here too. I couldn't have imagined that'd I'd be marrying John if you asked me at 9th grade homecoming. And yet now he's my best friend and love of my life; so very thankful for these past two years of marriage...

John and I exchanged letters (our tradition for holidays), and I made him a crossword puzzle to solve as part of my gift to him. The clues were inside jokes or memories from our years of friendship, dating, and marriage. It was really fun watching him solve it and remembering so many good times!

And yet this past year of marriage has been memorable perhaps more for what we've learned during trials. I think it's often our nature to forget the depth of our pain and despair during afflictions. It's easier to feel in control when we gloss over the hardships. Either I trick myself into thinking that I am to applaud for emerging from trials or I don't want to remember that adversity can overwhelm me.

So though our anniversary certainly was an exciting time of celebration, I also don't want to fall into the common social media trap of only presenting the glamourous parts of life.

What this past year has shown me, however, is the growth that happens during difficult times. Through John's health issues (which he's fully healed but still undiagnosed), my anemia, making difficult decisions to postpone trips, and trying to be patient while growing my business, God is shaping us for His purposes.

And I am so grateful for a best friend-husband that journeys through the ups and downs with me. Together we have learned the importance of rest and what it means to abide. It is through experiencing these seasons together that we rejoice in triumphs and are beginning to learn what it means to dig in and welcome growth during unexpected difficulties.

John proposed after we'd been canoeing in the Florida summer, midday heat. One thing he said to me was that he wanted us to enter into our engagement real - sweat and all - because we'd be doing all of life together, not just the dolled up and glamorous parts. How thankful I am for a husband who desires to "be in the arena" of life with me because it makes our victories in Christ so much sweeter.


  1. Beautifully written, Steph. Love you both---sweating alongside you!!

    1. And so blessed to have family alongside of us!! Love you!