But last week, we tried to make the most of his grueling schedule and our limited together-time and headed off to a restaurant that is special for us. We held our rehearsal dinner at a place called The Barn Door. Maybe not the kind of location most would consider wedding rehearsal "elegant" - but Todd and I are more low-key and it suited us well. I still remember that night - we all dressed in camo and had cut-outs of deer on the tables as decorations. Clearly, it was Todd-themed and casual - and I loved it. We gathered our closest friends and family and we gave words and gifts to the people that meant the most to us and listened to their hearts for us too. It was a sweet night I will treasure for always. Going there to celebrate year seven of marriage just felt right.
We dined over some juicy steaks and reflected on the year behind us. We thought about the special moments it held, how my pregnancy and Jacob and the North Dakota job changed so much for us. How different life felt one year down the road from our last anniversary and that being parents of two feels much, much different than being parents of just one.
In some ways the last year flew by. And in others, the days were hard and long and struggle-filled. And yet we looked at each other across the table and decided that the other was still the person that we wanted to do life with.
We talked about our hopes, our goals for the future - what we might like to see for year ten and where we might be three years from now. We dreamed about a summer vacation next year, perhaps to Michigan to finally spend time with our much-missed friends there.
But we caught ourselves dreaming. About moving to New Braunfels (where we attend church and practically spend all our free time at now) at some point, about jobs, about things we wanted to do with our boys, about how we wanted to purpose to live in certain places, about adding on to our family later on. Dreaming has never been something that has come easy for us. We've usually been so discouraged by life and how things never work out and more often than not, we would sit and complain or talk about how life seems to work out for everyone else we knew and throw ourselves a pity-party. True story.
And even though we could easily add North Dakota to the list of things that didn't work out, that whole story has really done something in us. We have become dreamers.
If year six was the year that God rescued us and held us together....year seven was the year he expanded our hearts and gave us the room to dream.
It is fun to wonder what might become of all of the dreaming. Especially those that He has planted in our hearts....