This summer started with our second anniversary and ended with our first anniversary. How about that?
May 27th marked two years of marriage and August 8th marked one year in California, and we’ve certainly tried to enjoy each day in between.
Back in May, Kyle and I commemorated year #2 by hopping on Highway 1 up to Santa Barbara, where we strolled a 1786 Catholic Mission hosting a sidewalk art festival and wandered in and out of restaurants and wine tasting bars, eventually making it to the ocean shore. We had a fabulous day. Inevitably the memories surfaced from first floating down Highway 1 in our rental car, dizzied with newlywed excitement, the June breeze perfectly cued every time we stepped out of the car to enjoy the California coast. That was over two years ago, on our honeymoon, just a few hours north of where we live today.
I remember casually tossing phrases into conversation on our honeymoon like, “Wouldn’t it be amazing to actually live here, 365 days of the year? This state has it all…”
As luck would have it, now we’ve truly lived here 365 days a year!
The most recent 60 or so days here have been full…
Kyle is currently hunkered down to write several final papers for his two summer classes, The Art of Evangelism and Old Testament, both of which were taught by outstanding professors. At the end of June, Kyle was best man for his brother Tyler’s wedding in St. Louis, and in July I co-hosted a baby shower for my good friend Kathryn and initiated a ‘Christmas in July’ party for my department at work. The first few days in August we traveled to Yosemite National Park for a weekend backpacking adventure with our Swiss Fuller friends Sabine and Dario. I began a weekly Saturday position at the Adult Day Center of a local homeless service provider in Pasadena.
Just this past holiday weekend we made it down to La Jolla for the day, an expensive San Diego suburb, where we mostly enjoyed the free, clean beach and charming farmers market (ok, the farmers market was not free–we succumbed to a melt-in-your-mouth tub of California dates before we got out of there).
All these occasions and milestones cause me to reflect on how far God has brought us since our first drive on ‘the’ Highway 210 into Pasadena a year ago:
- We both looked for jobs and heard what the other desired so deeply in a career. Kyle landed in some really rewarding part-time positions this year, and I landed at a company that has proven to be a God-given fit so far.
- We both walked through the process of choosing and being chosen by friends, which can be a beautifully raw process. Just a year later, we’re rich in new confidants and mentors, family away from family so to speak, even as we stay in touch with many from back home.
- We held each other when we were homesick, and held each other back when we (most often me) wanted to go on lavish Cali dates we couldn’t afford. (Side note: California seems to have an hourly rate on their weather and accessible-everything. It’s daunting to be residents on one and a half salaries while in grad school, and remains one of our biggest sources of strain, but God has provided so much, and more).
- I supported Kyle as he labored away in year one of grad school, wrestled through some really pivotal questions, and humbly succeeded in ways big and small. Kyle supported me as I labored away at Russ Reid, wrestled through questions about my career and giftedness, and humbly tackled whatever the task at hand with eagerness to learn.
In fact, these things have carried us seamlessly into year three. And year two. Ah, you get the picture.
Here’s to our second California fall, when it’s still 92 degrees but hey, the Pumpkin Spice Latte is back at Starbucks!