Image

Hey September

Is it just me or are the days going by faster? It seems as though I blinked and August was over. Growing up in Chicago, I always got the “je ne sais quoi” feeling inside of my being when September rolled around. September marked the beginning of fall…one of my favorite seasons in Chicago because of the crispness in the air, vibrant colors of the trees as they change and leaves fall, the beginning of the school year, and the coziness factor. Here in Texas, it’s still HOT. The temperatures are expected to be in the mid nineties at least for this upcoming week. Believe me, I’m ready for the eighties and it doesn’t help that we got a small taste of a cool front last week with the rain. Now, it’s back to being what it usually is… HOT. We probably won’t get a break until October.

My body still craves everything that comes with fall in Chicago despite living in Texas for 25 years. September is a bittersweet month for me because not only is it my wedding anniversary month and the month I moved to Texas, but it’s also the month I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma – Breast cancer. I wrote a little about the “bitter” 5 years ago, in the post Oh September. I wrote it months after losing my mom and a year after my diagnosis.

Every September since my diagnosis, I navigate the joy of celebrating another anniversary with my husband, Bryan, the memories of living in Texas since the day after our wedding, along with the sheer fear of hearing those words from my doctor for the first time (you have breast cancer) and the anxiety of doing my annual mammogram at the end of the month. I can say that with each year that passes, the bitter is less bitter. It’s not necessarily that time heals all wounds because losing my mom is like a wound that will never be healed. However, it hurts less and acceptance settles in more with each year.

I need to give myself credit for making many strides over the years. January 2022 made 5 years of being cancer free. It’s been over a year since I started taking intravenous mediation to prepare my body for a hysterectomy. And it’s been 8 months since my hysterectomy surgery.

This September, I’m choosing to focus on new possibilities and opportunities, gratitude for my blessings, contentment, cooler temperatures on the horizon, and personal growth.

What are you looking forward to this September?

Image

What 23 years of marriage looks like

Last weekend, my husband, Bryan, and I celebrated our 23 year wedding anniversary with a bang! Rather than do what we’ve normally done, which is go out to dinner, we actually stayed at a very nice, hotel in town for the weekend. It was an amazing experience. My greatest pleasure was watching Bryan ENJOY himself that weekend.

Bryan in the DREAMY restroom at the Fairmont Hotel, Austin, TX, 9/19/2020. LPC

This was a first and we both agreed that we will prioritize getting away every year from now on, even if it’s a local getaway. In fact, we’ve been thinking of an excuse for another getaway. His birthday is coming up in December. 😁

I can’t speak for all marriages, but it’s really easy to become complacent and take each other for granted. In one of our pastor’s sermons, he talked about how it’s the “little foxes” that build up, sneak up on you, and can harm your relationship. Complacency and familiarity are little foxes.

You’ve got to MAKE time to celebrate the milestones at least, but it will only enhance your relationship to acknowledge the seemingly small every day things. Life is filled with the every day things.

Since COVID-19, I’ve seen hints of people on social media complaining about being confined with their spouses and have seen (not read) articles on how to manage being in close quarters with your partner. Although 2020 has been a tragic year for many, and we still have a few months to go, it’s been a blessing for Bryan and I to spend so much time together. It’s been a blessing for our whole family.

This is not to say there aren’t frustrating times. We still bicker about insignificant stuff, but we’ve gotten better at stopping ourselves from going down a unwanted road because we’re focused on the big picture. Bryan recently adopted a strategy of saying how much he loves me when I’m annoying him. It’s effective in that it STOPS ME in my tracks.

Twenty three years is the life of a whole adult person. Bryan and I have experienced so much in that time. The best thing is that it doesn’t feel like 23 years. Our love for each other has grown exponentially. We have always enjoyed each other’s company. We respect each other tremendously. We support each other.

In 23 years, we’ve: *Moved and set up a life in Texas *Advanced our education *Increased our faith in God *Grown spiritually *Joined two different churches (at different times) *Built two houses (new house is in process) *Lived in 3 different residences *Had two beautiful children *Been hired at several organizations *Had several surgeries each *Have been diagnosed with chronic, life changing illnesses *Have been each other’s caregiver *Supported each other through the loss of close family relationships *Traveled locally to various Texas cities & visited our hometown of Chicago many times

These are just the main milestones I can think of at this time. I’ll probably add more throughout the week.

Though you didn’t ask, the best advise I will provide on marriage is to choose your partner wisely from the beginning. I realize there’s not much you can do about that if you missed this mark and are in the marriage. However, if you’re not married yet, this one is for you. Then, commit to the relationship beyond any other commitment you could ever make. That commitment will see you through a multitude of circumstances. Don’t take your partner for granted and celebrate your relationship regularly.

Complimentary champagne at the Fulton 9/20/2020. LPC
Fairmont Hotel corner suite on the 14th floor. LPC