Monday, August 26, 2013

Hard things make you stronger...right?

This is a post that I couldn't publish until now for safety reasons--we didn't want the entire world to know I was living by myself for the summer.

May 11, 2013:
Today I took my sweet husband to the airport.  We both cried in anticipation of the moment we would say goodbye... for a while.  It was one of the hardest things, if not THE hardest thing, I have ever done.  Knowing that it will be three months before we sleep next to each other in our bed.  Knowing it will be three months before we walk to the grocery store for "date-night" treats.  Knowing it will be three months before we set up the air mattress in the family room and cuddle while watching one of our favorite TV shows.  Three months before he'll drop me off for work in the morning, or yell "CHOD" (my nick-name) out the window when he picks me up at the end of the day--not caring that everyone can hear.  Three months until he'll be back in Indiana in my arms.

We second guessed this decision so many times, but it just kept making sense and feeling right.  Matt has a great opportunity to work as a summer associate for a law firm in Salt Lake City this summer.  I have a great job that I love and that provides great benefits.  As difficult as this is, it will make it possible for us to finish paying for IVF so that we can help bring our little ones to our family.  We know that when we hold that little baby in our arms, all the waiting, aching, yearning, tears, hard work, and sacrifice will be more than worth it.  So many people have sacrificed on our behalf already, now it's our turn to sacrifice in a big way.  Thankfully we know the Lord has a plan for us that is better than any plan we have for ourselves.  We are clearly in very capable hands and know that he'll bless us immensely while we're apart.

Matt with all of his luggage at the Chicago, Midway airport on May 11, 2013

Thankfully, I was able to go and visit him a couple times (see 1st Utah Trip and 2nd Utah Trip) and spend a whole month in Utah (post coming :)) while working remotely.  I'm positive I would have ended up quitting my job to be with him if it weren't for these tender mercies that allowed us to be together and break up the summer a bit.  We were so grateful for our cell phones and Skype through all of this.  Sending picture messages to each other throughout the day made it seem like we weren't so far away.

Here are a few of my favorites:

"Thumbs up for your first day!" --Steph

"Just chillin' in the conference room." --Matt

"The lilacs outside our apartment are blooming!" --Steph

"Don't worry--my boyfriend will keep me company while you're away. :)" --Steph
Yes, I do have this sticker pinned up at my desk.  Don't worry, I have a picture of Matt too. ;)

"Here's my office." --Matt

"Wearing your favorite shirt today!" --Steph

Matt sent this text in response to me asking what he was wearing that day--I just wanted to make sure he was navigating his wardrobe alright without me. :)  Looking good!

"Hmm... something is missing..." --Steph
(We each have an extra blanket that we put on our side of the bed to sleep at night--It looked so weird without his!)

"Wow, it's such a cool morning--so bright, but cloudy." --Steph

"Trax has a funny smell." --Matt
"Take a picture so I can see what you mean." --Steph

"Here is the skirt I made! :)" --Steph  
(Don't mind the dusty mirror)

"12 baby ducks! :)" --Matt

"The giraffe misses you." --Steph

"Just riding trax...again." --Matt

"The ladybug hooded towel I made for Stacie!  I hope she loves it! :)" --Steph

"New headband! :)" - Steph

 "Great day downtown!" -Matt

"My yummy dinner!" -Steph

"Ashtyn and Blakeley getting ready for cake." -Matt

"Packing to come see YOU!" -Steph (May 29, 2013)

"Double rainbow--but you probably can't see the second one." -Matt

This one came from my sister-in-law Stephie Lynne: "Matt spent forever sitting in the driveway with Chase, explaining how the sun works.  Cutest thing.  He is going to be such a good dad. :)"

And, we both found ways to stay busy while we were apart.

I got a fun care package from my friend Katie--some of it seems pretty random, but she had a cute letter that explained why she included each of the items.  She's so thoughtful.

And, I watched all the TV shows Matt would hate and ate the foods he doesn't like, like guacamole. :)

Matt worked (obviously), went golfing, played with family, and went on a fishing trip with his mission buddies.

That smile melts my heart. :)

August 23, 2013:
 He's HOME!!!  Our time apart was so, so hard, but we also had some amazing time together in Utah and I feel like it went by really quickly (now that it's over ;)).  One thing is for sure, being apart from each other really helps you to appreciate the little things that you love about your spouse.  And, we have vowed to NEVER live apart again.  We have too much fun together.  Even though we wouldn't do it again, I'm glad we did it.  Matt had a great experience working for that law firm in Salt Lake--he learned a lot and made some great connections.  And, I overcame my fear of being home sleeping with a gun under my pillow. :)  What would I ever do without this guy??  I am the luckiest.

Oh, and I should mention that Matt GOT A JOB OFFER at the firm where he worked this summer!  So we'll be moving back to Salt Lake City, Utah in May 2014!!!  If we could pick anywhere in the world for him to work, it would be this firm.  He loved his time there this summer.  The work environment and the people there are awesome.  The required billable hours are also significantly lower than other firms in the area so it's very family friendly.  We feel so incredibly blessed, especially in this job market, to not have to stress about continuing the job search through his last year of law school.  We know the Lord is watching out for us.


Marie said...

Only a guy could pack 3 months worth of stuff in two suitcases :) Congrats on the job offer, that is so great for both of you! Our future destination is still very much up in the air...

Kandace said...

Yay! I'm so impressed. You did it! And congratulations on the job offer!

Bryan and Sarah said...

Congratulations to Matt on the job offer! I loved seeing the pictures you sent to each other. You are so cute Stephanie! You and Matt are two of the nicest people that I know and I love reading up on your adventures!

Katie George said...

Haha! I love the pictures you guys sent each other. I can't believe you made it through the whole summer, but you did it!

Abby said...

Yay for job offers! Congrats on getting to come back!