Setting the Scene...

Today is a day I dream about every year. The air is crisp (think 65), the sky is blue (think not a cloud in sight), school is just around the corner (think Tuesday), college football has begun (think Game Day on ESPN), I have an apple spice cake in the oven (think of Heavenly smells), my coffee is steaming (think french vanilla), all my windows are open (think gentle breeze), and Travis and I are home (think picture perfect). Yes, today is officially the start of Fall in the Armstrong house. All of our favorite things are happening and later today, I'm going to start pulling out my fall decorations to make the transition complete.

It's funny how I'm able to simply let summer go, considering we certainly don't get a long one here in Minnesota. When it rolls around every year, I'm always grateful for the warm temperatures, for the opportunity to wear shorts and flip flops, and for the stretch of sunny days. But now that I'm back in the midwest, I'm just as ready for it to go again and for a new season to rush in. There's just something about starting a "new thing." Letting go of the past, starting over again, making new choices, growing in different ways, it's all part of the package. I think I love it so much because it's also so reflective of our walk with Christ.

"See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you."
Isaiah 42:9

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:22-23

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
2 Corinthians 5:17

I love that the Lord is all about the "new thing." He has no desire to live in old ways, to dwell on former things, we do that. He is ready with new mercies everyday to usher us out of the old and into the new. It's an amazing benefit of knowing Jesus. We do not have to beat ourselves up over an old mistake and live with the shame and guilt it brings. He is ready and willing to lavish his forgiveness on us, after we have sincerely acknowledged our mistake, and to help us start over with a "new thing!" I've been reflecting on that this morning and just thanking Him for that blessing.

I don't know what your summer brought you, maybe it was a great one, but maybe it wasn't. Maybe it was full of victory or maybe it was a struggle through the valley of defeat. Regardless of how it was, it's time to do a "new thing!" Today is a new day, September is a new month, and Fall is a new season. I hope that you can find some peace in letting the old thing go, and living in the new thing.

Travis took his Mom to the airport this morning and we're looking at a great weekend ahead. We had such a great time with his Mom, just catching up, eating out, shopping, and being together. Don't they look so much alike? We LOVE to have family visit and this was no different. Ryley is so sad this morning because his "Grandma Pam" is gone...He's been following her around all week! I think now he's ready for a "new thing" too!

This weekend will be a nice one, our last rest before fall kick-off begins at Church. We've still got lots to do to pull it off, but I know it will get done. I can't wait to get to know the new 7th graders and to welcome back the 8th graders. It's fun to see how much these kids will change from the beginning of the year to the end. We're always amazed at how little they'll seem now and how old they'll seem in May! We've also got a crop of new leaders this year that we are excited about. God has really blessed us with some solid people who love junior high students...that's a rare thing to find!

I hope your Saturday is full of things you love. We are reveling in ours and so grateful for the "new things" ahead. Have a blessed day!


Saturday Night Date Night

My cousin Brian and his wife Rhonda

Travy and I outside of the Metro Dome

We had such a fun night on Saturday night. Friends of ours gave us 4 free tickets to the Vikings/Steelers Pre-season game at the Metro Dome. I had never been to an NFL game before, so I was very excited because I love football! I will say that I love college football more than NFL however. Of course Travis was thrilled to go too! We called my cousin Brian and Rhonda and asked if they wanted to go and we had such a fun time!! I did have to call my Dad and explain that I was not going to be cheering for the Vikings or lending my fan support their way! We are Packer fans at my parents house and to cheer for the Vikings would almost be considered a sin!! Of course these days I'm still mad at the Packers, but that doesn't matter when it comes to the Vikings. So don't worry Dad! I had a great time but I didn't pass for a Viking's fan!!


Post #250

First things first, "I officially apologize for my LAME-O blogging as of late." I know, I's been bad. I blame it on lots of things, however none more so than my worthless internet provider. I have vowed tonight, in the presence of my husband, to call tomorrow and find a better provider. Of course that should be exciting, since that will no doubt fix my many, many internet frustrations lately, however I have held off for one simple reason: I don't want to pay for better internet! We already pay for a wireless server and clearly we have gotten our money's is CHEAP and thus so is the reliability. I don't know why I expected more, I just hoped it would surprise me I guess. Now I realize that I'm going to have to fork more money over in order to have the speed and reliability I want, which frankly, bugs me! I'm of the opinion that in today's society, where you CANNOT live without high speed internet, it should be FREE! I know that's a totally ridiculous statement, given that our world totally and completely revolves around money, but I'm still entitled to my opinion and that's what I think. Give the people what they deserve and find other ways to rip us off! Sorry, I digress...Anyway,I have officially "had it" and will now begin the search for something faster that won't make me vomit when the bill arrives. A tall order I'm sure.

So, as you can see, that's probably the biggest reason I've been so absent on here, but not the only. I've also been busy, burned out, and in need of an internet break. It's been good for me I think. Although I LOVE to blog and I LOVE my friends in the blog world, it is amazing how much time one can spend sitting in front of a computer! I have felt very convicted about that and have really tried to keep that in check over the last few months. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don't, but alas, I'm trying. I also blame my absence on the fact that summer is almost over and part of me is totally wrapped up in the lazy days of nice weather, which is a rarity in Minnesota! I'm so ready for school to be back in session and fall to begin, that I'm sure I'll have a fresh sense of purpose when September rolls around, but until then, I'm soaking up what little summer we have left and the warm temperatures that will soon be on their way.

Travis and I are getting ready for a visit from His Mom this weekend and we are working hard to get the student ministry spaces ready for fall kick-off. It seems even in our "down time," we are still very busy with something. Student ministries seems to revolve so heavily on the school year that if feels like we are always trying to beat the calendar to capitalize on the start of school, the breaks, the holidays, and the time-off. I know we'll get our "to-do" list done by kickoff, but right now I'm not sure how! Also, if you could see my house right now and know that my Mother-in-law is coming, you'd be wondering why I'm sitting at the computer! But tonight I guess I'm just checking in to say "hi" to my friends...I've missed you and hope to get back to faithful posts soon! Speaking of posts, when I logged in to write this, I noticed that the number of posts my blog contains so far is 249...which makes this one, #250. I'm not sure it's worthy of such distinction, but regardless, I thought I'd at least mention it! Hard to believe that I've written something on here 250 times and even harder to believe that you're still reading! Hope you have a great Friday tomorrow!!


For Lack of a Better Idea...

My friend Faith recently did this on her blog and I told her I was going to steal it! She said that was ok! You can only answer with one word (which I can't promise), so here goes:

where is your cell phone? living room

your significant other? wonderful

your hair? bed-head

your mother? funny

your father? sweet

your favorite thing? date night

your dream last night? crazy

your favorite drink? coffee

your dream/goal? business owner

the room you’re in? balcony

your hobby? scrap-booking

your fear? bankruptcy!! (Seriously that is my fear, but don't worry, we're not in danger of it!)

where do you want to be in 6 years? home

what you’re not? brave

muffins? chocolate chip

one of your wish list items? ocean-front condo (in Naples, preferably!)

where you grew up? Iowa

last thing you did? devotions

favorite gadget? computer

your pets? adorable!!

your computer? mac

your mood? joyful

missing someone? yes

your car? perfect

favorite store? Target

like someone? yes

your favorite color? brown

last time you laughed? yesterday (watched Dan in Real Life with Travis last night...hilarious!)

last time you cried? yesterday (Michael Phelps and his Mom being interviewed, too much!)

So there you go! Now you know almost nothing more than you already did! Happy Monday morning!


Exciting Days at Grace

I realized today that I've not mentioned something that has been a great part of our lives recently...We have a new Senior Pastor! Our church has been without the leadership of a Senior Pastor for a little over a year now, so you can imagine that we are all very excited to welcome that leadership again! Of course as the wife of a Youth Pastor, this decision greatly affects our life and more specifically, Travis' job. I've been through these kind of searches before, but always as the member of a congregation not a staff wife.

We have been faithfully praying for the Lord to bring us the right man and to work out the details for Travis and the rest of the staff. There's always a time of transition when a new leader arrives and our staff has been through so much of that lately, I just kept asking the Lord to "make it smooth and natural." I'm happy to say that He has answered us and brought someone we are very thrilled about. Travy left this morning for a weekend Pastor/Elder retreat, where they'll get a chance to cement those relationships as leaders and catch the new vision that Pastor Troy has for them. I think Travy was so excited to go, he nearly sprang out of bed this morning to get up and get ready!!

So, of course that means I am once again a ministry widow, but not for long. He'll be back on Saturday afternoon. I've got some things to do this afternoon and dinner with a girlfriend, so my day is looking fun too! Yesterday I wasn't feeling great, but today seems to be better. This is the end of my "vacation week" as my little guys will be back from Myrtle Beach this weekend and I'll be back at work again. It's been nice to get a break and to sleep in everyday this week, but I miss them too so I'll be happy to play with them and hear all about the beach! I don't think I shared this story on my blog, but Finn ran into a baseboard on the corner of a wall 2 weeks before they left and had to get 7 staples in his head...yes, STAPLES. He looked like Frankenstein for a few days with the grossest staple mark on his head! Praise God that didn't happen while I was watching them, he was with his Mom. Anyway, he had to get them out the day before they left but he wasn't going to be able to swim, which they were worried about since they were going to the beach. I'm sure he waded in the water but he couldn't submerge his head. Isn't that sad? I'm hoping they had a great week despite that. Only 2 more weeks left here until school starts!

Well, I believe I'm going to take advantage of this beautiful weather and take Ryley on a much deserved walk. He'll be thrilled when I put my shoes on, he always knows what that means! It is gorgeous outside, in the 70's with a nice breeze and lots of sunshine. For some reason, I'm kind of over summer and ready for the fall to get here. I just have that fall bug lately! Hope your Friday is a great one!


Summer Days

What a week we are having! I think it's safe to say that we have Olympic fever right now, watching the games every night has become our routine! We are both amazed at Micheal Phelps...he is like a swimming machine and we've been really wrapped up in the gymnastics drama on both the men and women's team. Very competitive, but it kills me how many of these athletes fold under the pressure. I don't know what the deal was last night, but so many of those guys kept falling off stuff in the all-around competition. Crazy! They train their butts off, I bet they are so mad at themselves for that! We also love watching the men's and women's volleyball, indoor and outdoor. The level of competition is crazy good. One thing I wish I could see however, is our men's basketball team. I haven't figured out their schedule yet, so I'm hoping to catch them soon. They are winning I know, but I really would like to see a game. I'll probably have to set the DVR to get it!

I would like you to know that my hives are officially gone, thank you very much Benedryl. I do believe it was caused by those darn rugs, but regardless, I am now able to be outside again and do not look like I have the chicken pox! Two things to be thankful for. Speaking of outside, we are having the most amazing weather lately, it is sunny, breezy and about 70. Can you spell PERFECT??? I have all my windows open and the most gentle breeze is blowing in...I love it!

I wanted to share a picture with you of what's in my freezer. Because it's summer, I have an extra excuse to buy loads of ice-cream and recently I have fallen in love with all products by "Skinny Cow." Somehow, the "skinny cow" people have managed to strike gold by coming up with low fat desserts that don't taste like low fat desserts! I don't know how they do it, but I'm glad they do. I am LOVING these little fudge dippers and of course all things mint! The Haagen Dazs box in the background is NOT low fat, but so worth the calories! It just feels like summer is quickly slipping away and soon fall will be here. I think I'm just trying to preserve these August days and squeeze some joy out of them!! And nothing brings me joy right now like ice-cream!! What about you? What's your favorite summer indulgence?


The Packers, The Olympics, and Hives

I'm sure you're wondering what those three things have in common?? Well, they have all three dominated my week. Some of it good, most of it bad. Here's the recap:

I spent the first several days completely mad at the Packers over the Brett Favre fiasco. I CANNOT believe they traded him and treated him as if he wasn't the MAIN reason the Packers have been anything for the last 10 years. I am not happy that Brett followed very poor advice and "retired" in March when everyone knows that was way too soon after the season to make a decision, but regardless, he is a legend in the Packer organization and we all know he's still got years of playing left in WHY OH WHY would you try to buy him out and then TRADE HIM??? I can't even think about it or I get all mad again. Let me just say this, as much as it pains me to see Brett Favre in a JET's uniform, I hope to the Heavens that he leads them to the playoffs and that the Packer's go nowhere. It would serve them right. Much to the dismay of my Father and sister, I am shifting my allegience from this point on to my husband's beloved Cowboys. I'm sorry Dad. It had to be done.

Of course the Olympics also began this weekend and Travis and I could not be happier! We had some friends over last night to watch the opening ceremony with us, which was AMAZING! Did you see it? It's no wonder everything is made in China, they created a show unlike any other, with so many tricks and special effects we were blown away. And then we agreed that whoever the next country is to host the Olympics, they must be crying today. How you would ever top that I don't know. We decided that we also loved the outfits the Americans wore in the parade of nations. Ralph Lauren designed the look to present our athletes as "statesmen" and I think he pulled if off. We certainly looked better than some of the other countries, who looked like a combination of space aliens and tribal dancers. Not good. Now if only someone from the Ryder Cup would pay attention and get Ralph on the phone for our next uniforms. Heaven only knows they have no where to go but up!! We will be happily watching all kinds of events, starting tonight with our friends Kristian and Emily. Go Team USA!!

On a sad note however, if you read about the murder of an american in Beijing, that man is from Minnesota and I used to work at his store. His name is Todd Bachman and he and his family own the largest floral chain in Minnesota and I worked for them as a floral designer shortly after we moved here. I met him once and shook his hand as someone introduced me, but he certainly doesn't know me. I feel so badly for his family, especially his youngest daughter who witnessed the murder and now his wife who is in critical condition. It appears to be a random act of violence, which just makes it all the worse. So senseless and cruel. If you think of it, pray for the Bachman's. Todd and his wife were brutally attacked and now their three daughters are left to tend to their injured Mom and bring back their Dad's body. I read that they are on their way to Beijing now.

And finally, hives. Friday morning I broke out in hives. I have no idea why, but now I am covered in tiny, red, itchy bumps that are driving me crazy!! I have them on my arms, legs, neck, and chest. And did I mention that they ITCH LIKE CRAZY?? I'm taking benedryl, trying to relieve the discomfort, but it's not making any dramatic improvements so far. I've been racking my brain trying to think of how I might have gotten them or what I could be suddenly allergic to and so far I'm running out of things to blame. It may have something to do with several jute rugs I brought from Pier One, but that's my only real suspicion so far. Let me just say that hives in the summer are not cool. They are totally aggravated by heat, so when I shower I look like a chicken pox victim and I can't bear to step outside for the same reason. As you can imagine, that makes for an exciting weekend! I'm praying that the benedryl in my system will eventually kick in and overcome these nasty things, but it certainly isn't happening fast enough! For now, I'm doing everything in my power to stay distracted and NOT SCRATCH EVERY ITCH!!! I'll keep you posted on how that turns out. Because I realize you're dying to know.

So that's it, that's my week in a nutshell. Thrilling, I'm sure!

The Melting Pot

In honor of Kelly, I'm sharing pictures with you from our anniversary dinner this week, because it was AMAZING!! We love The Melting Pot restaurant and were thrilled to discover one in downtown Minneapolis when we moved here. We had one in Florida that we loved and one in Asheville, North Carolina that we also loved. We have spent several anniversaries eating there, so we thought that was a good choice for #5! We always get the biggest dinner option for 2, which includes a cheese fondue, salads, main course fondue, and dessert fondue. Oh yes, it's divine. I love it because it takes about 2 hours for your meal, which is great for a slow eater like me! I never get full because I have time to digest in between bites! It was a fun night and we were quite satisfied when we left...if you ever have a chance to do dinner at The Melting Pot, we highly recommend it! Save it for a special occasion though because it's expensive. Lucky for us we had a great coupon in our entertainment book! Gotta love when that happens!

Happy 5th Anniversary to us!

Dessert fondue, always our favorite! This time we chose the traditional milk chocolate with crunchy peanut butter to dip everything in...amazing!!!

I of course made Travis wait to begin so I could take a picture! After 5 years of dealing with me and my camera, he's always a good sport!

We chose the fusion meal, which was a combo of seafood, filet, chicken and pork. It was SOOOO good.

Look at that Lobster Tail! That was definitely our favorite was very fresh and yummy.


Picture Update

I have several pictures from last week that I didn't have time to post or couldn't get uploaded because of our unreliable internet signal, so I thought I would just do a large picture post today from Dunn Bros. Coffee Shop, while I have some strong wi-fi! Travis and I are just chillin today, which is so great! I LOVE having him home again, although last night I told him he was really hogging the bed and the covers! I think I may have gotten used to having my big bed all to myself!! I can't help the habits I pick up while he is away...anyway, we are going out tonight to celebrate our anniversary, so we're starving ourselves for a big meal! After his bout with illness in Peru, I think he's ready for it!

I'm so happy to have this guy home!! He has been missed by both Ryley and I!

We took Ryley out yesterday and sat behind our condo while he played in the woods and chewed on sticks!

The view of the woods behind our place, we're so glad to have this for Ryley's sake!

These are two of my favorite guys in my life!!

I was so happy yesterday, I couldn't contain my grin all day!!

I took my parents to centennial lakes, where we walked around the lake and got smoothies from Jamba Juice on a perfect evening!

My Mom and I in front of one of the gazebos

My Dad and I sat down by the water and watched the ducks swim and the fish jump for bread

For our anniversary, my parents surprised me with this coffee maker that we have wanted for awhile! My Mom got it a few years ago, and it has transformed her coffee experience! She is quite the coffee lover and she has now converted many of us to this incredibly easy and great coffee maker.

You can buy lots of different kinds of coffees,teas and hot chocolate for this and each cup is ready in like 30 seconds! You can't beat that! I was excited to show this to Travis when he got home...he has wanted one for a long time!


And all is right with the world again...

He's home!! Safely home! I am thrilled and overjoyed to be home this afternoon with Travis. I don't know who squealed more when he walked in the door, me or Ryley! God was very faithful to us and kept Travis well on his flight home, after a rough few days at the end of the week...the antibiotic and the iv drip on Friday seemed to do the trick.

We are very grateful for an incredible trip, Travis has only just begun to tell me about it, but already I am amazed at what the Lord did in Lima. As I was driving to the airport this morning to pick him up, I was very caught up in the emotion of wanting to see Travis again, after only 10 days...I tried to imagine how the Lord must have felt this week, knowing that He called over 5.000 Peruvians into His Kingdom, through the efforts of all those who were on the trip. Because they obediently went, He used them mightily to accomplish His will and now 5.000+ people will one day meet their Savior, overwhelmed with emotion, at the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. Some had never even heard His name before this week, others had resisted Him for one reason or another, but now their names are sealed in the Lamb's Book of Life, never to fall out of the grip of Jesus.

Lord you are so good!!


Another Anniversary for the Scrapbooks!

***Update*** I got to skype with Travis this morning (thank you Lord!!) who told me just how sick he was yesterday! Apparently it was much worse than I thought and he had to get an IV put in last night! Poor Guy! He said he is feeling much better today, but I'm asking you to pray hard with me tonight as they will be flying all night long on a red-eye. They leave Lima at 12:00am and will get into Minneapolis on Sunday morning at 11:00ish. Just hoping and praying that he is well on the flight! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Less than 24 hours to go...I can do that!!

I wanted to thank you for your kind comments today, wishing both of us a happy anniversary. It's been a great day, although a long-distance one. I didn't get to talk to Trav on skype this morning, but I did get a wonderfully sweet email later in the day from him. Turns out my poor husband was unable to get online this morning to chat because he, like many other people on this trip, has a case of "Montezuma's revenge." What, might you ask, is that? Well, according to wikipedia, it is a nasty case of traveler's diarrhea. Yes, Happy Anniversary indeed! This one will just go down in the scrapbook as another wild one! My poor husband was in some pain today and not able to be far from a bathroom at all times...sounds like a lovely day to celebrate huh? At least I felt better about missing our chat this morning but then I felt worse because I know he is miserable. I'm hoping and praying that God will grant him the mercy to get ride of this before he gets on a plane tomorrow night! I can think of nothing worse than diarrhea on a plane! I will stop this sad tale at that because I've actually got more to say, and none of it involves bowel movements! But still, you have to admit that this just continues our streak of bad things happening on our anniversary!

I'm quite proud of us actually, 5 years is a milestone in this culture and we have just achieved it! And can I add that we've achieved it happily, without giving up, and yet without the easiest ride? In these last 5 years we have truly laughed liked crazy, made some wild memories, grown up as people (and as a couple), experienced heartache, clung to one another, and trusted the Lord to lead us along the way. It's been a great 5 years.

I realize this next statement might sound odd, or even depressing, but lately I've had an epiphany that has truly transformed my thinking and helped give me a little more perspective in certain situations, when previously I lacked any. Here's the statement: If this whole thing (our lives and our marriage) ended today, I can say with all my heart that I am grateful for the chances we took, for the joy we had, for the mistakes we made, and for the lessons we learned. I wouldn't change much about what we've done in the last 5 years and I want so badly to know that I could have it all taken away from me and still be grateful for the life we lived. I certainly DO NOT want my husband or my marriage taken from me, but I do want to feel that I have no regrets about how we spent our time. Well, maybe not NO regret, but LITTLE regret!

I read something in a devotional book in April, that really challenged me to not get so focused on what I don't have, that I miss all that I do have. In other words, I have been inspired to make an effort each day to be thankful for this season. I want to be thankful for the blessings God has so graciously given me, and there are many! Lately I've just forced myself to stop and literally look around me and take in what I've been given. It's so overwhelming when I stop and consider this life God has laid out for me. I can always make a list of things I want or even things I think I need, but rarely do I stop and make a list of things I already have. I would never suggest that Travis and I have always made the best choices or done the wisest thing, but sometimes I'm grateful that we haven't gotten caught up in being so "responsible" that we never take a vacation or have a nice dinner or buy something we really like. I love that I have thousands of pictures from all kinds of experiences we've had in the last 5 years. I love that we've lived in 3 states and 4 homes, and we have memories from each place. It can be so overrated to have a great portfolio and no debt, but yet no life or no marriage. I wouldn't trade the fun we've had for stock options any day!! Now of course we've been paying the price for debt we brought into our marriage and I certainly have a reformed opinion on that, but you know, life is too short to spend all of it worrying about money! I want to live life and "live it abundantly!" Jesus has truly made that possible.

One of my favorite sayings, from one of my favorite authors (Beth Moore) is "There ain't no high like the Most High!" I totally agree! The ride we've had wouldn't be half of what it's been without knowing Christ and following Christ. He has been the adventure of our marriage and I pray that He will always continue to be. He's also been the glue that has bonded us together on hard days and easier ones. Sometimes people tell me, "You're so lucky to have found a husband like Travis, he must be so easy to be married to." I used to get totally bugged by that, because that statement always assumed that our marriage and happiness wasn't based on any hard work on my part or divine intervention, but just "luck." Now I will agree that my husband is the amazing love of my life that he looks to be, and often he is very, very easy to live with. BUT, he is human too and so am I. And sometimes, we just downright irritate each other and we have to ask the Lord for the grace to love and forgive each other because nothing in us is able to. Trust me, we've had our moments when we're just plain sinful and ugly to be with. We've both said things we didn't mean and we've held some bitterness in our hearts that we were never intended to carry. And those things hurt our marriage. But, we serve a God who lays down the ultimate example for us and loves us even before we loved Him, who forgives us without condition, and who always wants restoration in our relationship with Him. If it weren't for our faith and belief in God, and our desire to honor Him and obey Him in all areas of our life, including our marriage, we probably wouldn't be celebrating 5 years today. In fact, I'm sure we would have run when it got tough, or quit when we were angry, or given up when we didn't have anything left. But, by the absolute grace of God, we didn't.

So, today we celebrate a fantastically full 5 years. It's not been perfect, but it's been honest. It's not always happy, but it's right. It's not nearly as God-honoring as we'd like it, but it's a work in progress. I love what we started on this night, in Naples, Florida, 5 years ago. At this very minute, I was the brand new Mrs. Travis Armstrong and I was dancing with my handsome new groom, mesmerized by his blue eyes and in love from my the top of my head to the bottom of my toe. It's nice to know that some things really haven't changed in 5 years...

5 Years Ago Today

Five years ago today, I woke up with butterflies in my stomach, and an excitement I could hardly contain. I remember walking around my apartment with a surreal joy in my heart, looking at all my wedding stuff, realizing today was the day I was going to get to wear it! I also remember feeling like I was going to throw up!! God gave us a gorgeous, South Florida day and I can say that we both agree, we had an amazing wedding day. It was better than what we dreamed of. So many of our precious friends and family made the long trip to Naples to celebrate with us and we were overjoyed!

This morning I am shocked at how quickly time has come and gone. Five years of marriage seemed to happen in the blink of an eye! I'm not exactly sure where time went, but I do know that these last five years have been the best five years of my life so far. I love Travis more than I'm capable of and I have loved this incredible ride we've been on. I'm waiting on here this morning for a skype date, so I can tell him that, but so far no luck...the good news is that we had already planned to not be able to talk today, so if we are able to make it happen, it will only be icing on the cake! A few years ago I was in a bad car accident on our anniversary, while Travis was at camp; last year the 35W bridge collapsed in Minneapolis; and this year my husband is in Peru...I've learned not to expect much on the day of our anniversary!! We've made plans to celebrate later, after he's home, so although it's our anniversary today, it doesn't really feel like it when I can't see or talk to my husband!! I was laughing with my friend Greta last night, and we agreed that I should make myself a candlelight dinner tonight! Just me and Ryley! I think this day calls for that, don't you?

If I was able to talk to Travis this morning, I would tell him that I love him, I'm so thankful for him, and I can't wait for the next 55 years of marriage with him!! Happy Friday and Happy August!!