The Marriage Chronicles: Year One

Our Wedding Day

My goodness, it was hard to choose just a few photos from that amazing day. I remember feeling so peaceful and happy. I just couldn’t stop smiling (except when I was holding back tears). I look through our wedding photos every month or so, and every time I realize that I’ve spent over half an hour lost in memories and my cheeks hurt from grinning ear to ear. Never have I felt such palpable, unadulterated joy. Our friends, family and awesome God poured out so much love for us, and I will be forever grateful. Plus, I mean, look at that groom. *swoon*

 

FEBRUARY

Carmel, Monterey, Cambria & San Luis Obispo, California

California’s Central Coast was a bucket list trip for both of us, and we loved every minute. Driving along Highway 1 in a Mustang convertible as ecstatic newlyweds can’t really be beat, in my opinion. We ate what was– without a doubt–the best meal of our lives at La Bicyclette in downtown Carmel. We whale watched in Monterey Bay. (Thanks Jake & Jenna!) Hundreds of dolphins greeted us and we saw a few rare February humpbacks. There had been a mudslide that wiped out a bridge leading into Big Sur, so we encountered our first obstacle of married life (hah) and had to skip our Big Sur hotel and head straight to Cambria. (We’ll be back for you, Big Sur!) The whole trip was an absolute dream, but after a week of staring at the Pacific Ocean, it was time to head back to reality.

 

MARCH

March felt like a blur–settling into our house on base in Del Rio, unpacking (and more unpacking), making new friends, and figuring out my day to day life in our little border town. For about two weeks, I was a bit lost, just trying to get my head above water and process this huge transition. Once I did, Del Rio began to feel more and more like home. (The vineyards above are  located in old town Del Rio, the site of my very first–very tipsy–spouse social 😉 ) Plus, I had an amazing husband who helped me every step of the way. After a year and a half of long distance, we were finally together and that was the most wonderful part. We also took a trip to Fredericksburg with our best friends, went back to Houston for our nephew Owen’s baptism, and saw Willie Nelson at the rodeo!

 

APRIL

The month of Ralph.

I’d told Scott that I wanted to wait at least six months to get a dog, to give us time to settle in and relax into married life. Then he went on his first cross-country flight since we got married, and I spent a solo weekend in Del Rio with a house that was far too quiet. Upon Scott’s arrival home, I announced that we should, in fact, get a dog. For a couple of weeks, we contemplated rescuing a dog from the local shelter or finding a Golden Retriever through a breeder, but none of our options felt right. Until one day, that fluffy white dog popped up on a local Facebook post, and we were instantly in love. We “fostered” for a little while, but I knew the minute he came home that he wasn’t going anywhere. Ralph (named after Ralph Waldo Emerson) has truly been one of the best parts of our first year together. We spent many an April evening taking him for walks, teaching him commands and how to behave on a leash. We have more photos of him than we do of each other, and he’s definitely a sweet but very spoiled pup.

 

MAY

We traveled to Houston with Ralph for the first time (our nephew Jack adores him) and then my parents came for a quick trip to visit Del Rio. We managed to snag a couple of rooms at the historic Indian Lodge in the Davis Mountains for Memorial Day Weekend. We hiked a gorgeous trail, searched for restaurants in the sparse West Texas landscape, and stargazed late into the night. I’d love to go back again in the spring–this time we’re packing enough food!

 

JUNE

I remember June very simply. Lemon squares on a Sunday afternoon. Waffles for dinner. Barefoot in the backyard, working in the garden. Catching a movie and rolling the windows down for Ralph. We celebrated Father’s Day with our dads and even caught an Astros game. I have so few photos from June because we didn’t travel very much, but it might have been my favorite month of all. We soaked in the warm weather and took it easy.

 

JULY

July began with a bittersweet gathering for Scott’s stepdad, John, who tragically passed away just a few weeks before we got married. We traveled to Houston for a tribute to his amazing life, and we were glad to have almost the whole family there to celebrate what a faithful, inspiring man he was. We stopped in to see my family, too, and I snapped that photo of Scott and Baby Owen (heart eyes). Two of our great friends Josh and Cristina got married in San Antonio, and we took the opportunity to have brunch at The Guenther House, as always. At the end of the month, I traveled to New York to see my three favorite Longhorns, and we all had an absolute blast catching up and exploring the city together.

 

AUGUST

Scott turned 25, that youngster. We celebrated with a homemade dinner, Star Wars gear, and Gwen’s chocolate sheet cake, of course. I played in my first Crud tournament (an Air Force bar game) with some great ladies–and fierce competitors. We didn’t win, but we’ll definitely be back for revenge in the spring. A few weeks later, Scott and I flew to Kansas City and saw a total solar eclipse! Plus we ate some world-class BBQ, toured the national World War I museum (my favorite part), and spent a lovely evening at a Royals game. A long weekend for the books.

 

SEPTEMBER

Wow–September was busier than I remember. We made another trip to Houston (Jack discovered Scott’s dad’s awesome pool), went bowling with some great friends in Del Rio, and flew to Washington DC to visit the East Coast Hartsfield crew. The boys saw Steve Martin for Scott’s dad’s birthday, and we all spent a wonderful weekend playing board games, driving through the mountains, walking the National Mall, and sipping wine at a lovely vineyard. At the end of the month, Scott’s class of students awarded him Best Assigned Instructor Pilot! Proud Air Force wife, right here.

 

OCTOBER

We made our final trip to the lake for the year. Ralph decided he likes the water, but we have to get in with him. Go figure. We attempted Whole 30 but failed triumphantly after 7 days when we both felt like we weren’t enjoying life on a silly diet. I made an apple pie and we never looked back. Halloween was happily overshadowed by the Astros competing in the World Series! We had a few trick-or-treaters I wasn’t prepared for. (Um, the Astros were playing.) Luckily I had baked some fresh chocolate chip cookies, so we handed those out–and became a pretty popular house. 😉 Looking back, October was the blissful calm before the storm of Christmas tree farm preparation and the holidays.

 

NOVEMBER

 THE ASTROS WON THE WORLD SERIES! We set out our Del Rio Christmas decorations early, knowing we needed to enjoy them before things got crazy with Christmas tree farming. I left for Houston a week before Thanksgiving to help out, and Scott joined us for the holiday weekend. My dad taught him how to drive the Farmall tractors the night before our biggest day of the season. Scott had to go back to Del Rio after a few days, and I turned 26 later that week. I celebrated with the family and then with Scott when I (eventually) came home in December. (Check out our Spring Creek Growers Astros tree!)

 

DECEMBER

Another whirlwind month. I hosted the spouse book club at our house and Scott pulled off an awesome squadron Christmas party, margaritas included. Then we met Baby Warren Hartsfield for the first time at his baptism! We spent an unexpected week in Waco with a visit to the Silos–and a pair of cupcakes–and finally a week with our family in Houston. Scott and the rest of the men on my side of the family drove to Pin Tail Lodge for their annual duck hunt. We rang in the New Year in Buda with Scott’s family as we prepared for Scott’s mom’s wedding to her fiance, Tim!

 

JANUARY

We spent New Year’s Day celebrating Heather and Tim’s wedding. A few days later, I came down with a terrible cold. The photo of Scott in our bedroom was taken when he wanted to eat dinner together, but I didn’t have the energy to get out of bed. Ever the problem-solver, that one. Luckily, I recovered in time for our trip to Savannah for a friend’s wedding. We barely made it (delayed flights are the worst) and danced the night away with amazing friends. The next day, we explored downtown Savannah with the group, and then drove to Charleston– my dream destination. On a very cold morning, we took a walking tour with a photographer and learned the city’s amazing history. We spent a few magical days eating, drinking, and wandering the cobblestone streets. After more delayed flights, we finally arrived home. But wait–yet another journey awaited us–this time to Dallas to visit the besties. Upon our return, a little hilarity ensued with Monroe the cat.

 

FEBRUARY

A date night spent painting, getting a jump start on our spring garden, puppy-sitting, and a few Lenten sacrifices (sleeping in for me, soda for him). We’re celebrating our first anniversary this weekend at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort in Bastrop. I cannot believe a year has already passed since our wedding day, but after taking this little trip down memory lane, I realize how happy we’ve been, simply filled to the brim with a quiet, overwhelming joy. I’m thankful every single day that I get to spend my life with this man. He is a blessing that I never forget to count.

 

So, without further ado, cheers to one year down and many more to come. I love you, sweetheart.

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