Jeff and I, we’re “doers.”  Jeff way more so than I; I have no trouble being lazy and enjoying an evening on the couch watching TV.  Jeff, not so much.  During this first year of marriage, we have tried to be very intentional about commitments we make, wanting to make our marriage the first priority.  We feel (and so many others have attested to this) that this first year is quite a pivotal year.  This is the year to create good habits and break the old.  We’re trying not to let little things slip away from us, because years down the road we do not want either one of us harboring bitterness or feeling hurt or neglected because of something that was never addressed.

This is not easy.

However, it has beautiful results.  And we have a few commitments – – weekly Bible study, church, daily YMCA visits, etc.  But because of our limited commitments, our calendar tends to have some open days, which allows us to do some pretty cool things at the last minute or spontaneously.

Last Wednesday, Jeff’s Mom and Dad and little brother, Patrick, came up to Nashville to go to the zoo.  Jeff was able to join them, and then they all came back to the apartment.  When I got home from work, I quickly made some spaghetti, green beans and garlic bread.  I was a bit nervous, because I’ve barely cooked for anyone other than Jeff.  I’ve done lots of baking, but not nearly as much cooking.  However, I got lots of compliments, and nothing was burnt.  As an added bonus, I also grabbed Jeff’s favorite desert ever – – tied with my chocolate chip cookies, of course – – Betty Crocker Triple Chunk BrowniesFyi:  The Chocolate Chunk is practically the same thing.  Just as good and chocolaty!

These things are Heaven in a little red box.  We discovered them on our honeymoon.  We made them like the second day we were there, and Jeff continued to eat them every morning for breakfast… well maybe only for the next morning or two – – they went very quickly.  They are so chocked full of flavor and have chunks of melted chocolate in them… divine!

Anyway, so that was desert.  We also watched Shrek the Third, at Patrick’s request, and had some laughs before they headed back to Alabama.  It was a great visit, and we’ll be seeing them again in a few weeks on Thanksgiving Day.

Then, Friday we went to see Madagascar 2.  I’ve heard some ok reviews, even the hubby was somewhat pleased (and he really did not like the first one!).  But I was way too distracted with a rowdy bunch of teenagers who kept talking, walking through the theater and throwing popcorn at us!  I complained to the manager, but even he was only a few years their senior, so nothing ever came of it.  Ugh!

Saturday I spent the morning celebrating the upcoming marriage of a young lady from church.  The ladies from our church throw beautiful showers, both bridal and baby, and this one was no exception.  Then I was off to a college homecoming basketball game to support a dear dear friend.  Her husband unexpectedly passed away this summer, and he was a very influential person in a sport at this college, and he was being inducted into the hall of fame. 

This woman has been an amazing witness in my life.  Her love and compassion is contagious.  I am so moved, encouraged and challenged by her testimony and how she is living her life.  And she always has such wisdom to offer when we talk!  I would not have missed this for anything.

After she accepted the award on his behalf, she had those of us who came out to the game come over for a bonfire.  I picked up Jeff on the way, and we headed out to the country – – now there’s something we don’t experience much anymore now that we live down here.  It was chilly, but such a great time!  There was a bonfire, amazing food and great fellowship.  We even finished the night off with hot chocolate and smores.  I was a happy camper!

If it’s one thing I’ve learned from this friend, it’s that life is too precious.  People always say (I might even be guilty of saying it myself) to not sweat the small stuff and to not make mountains out of molehills… but it has never meant more and been so significant to me until having walked life out with this friend.  I have been guilty before, of passing on hanging out with friends because I just didn’t feel like it, of picking a silly little fight with Jeff, or not appreciating my life but instead taking it and Jeff for granted.  And I’m so glad that I have someone like this friend, or even Jeff, who is all about ceasing life.  Because it helps me appreciate the small things, it helps me get excited about a cold evening outside by the fire, and it helps me have a heart that cares more and can be empathetic towards others, not just sympathetic. 

So get out there!  Celebrate your life!  Love on the ones around you, do not take them for granted.  Be thankful for the blessings in your life, even the small stuff you may over look.  And spend time with the people you love and care about!  Say yes if you have the time… even if it’s cold.  Let the in-laws come over, even if your house isn’t picked up.  And eat a bite of those triple chunk brownies!  You won’t regret it. 🙂


**Disclaimer:  Not responsible for any activity that you attempted because of this advice, if it was done out of pure stupidity 🙂 , if you gained a few pounds because you did not enjoy that chocolate in moderation, or if you are over-committing yourself because you are not being reasonable with your time.**