596

25 years.

this man I’ve now been married to for 596 days is now 25 years old {& counting}.
a 1991 quarter
a membership to our local COMMUNITY SUPPORTED BREWING  ( yep, if your thinking ‘is that like a CSA but for beer?’ yes yes it is) 
a surprise party complete with loved ones present and piƱatas 
These were some of the sweet ways Greg was celebrated as he stepped full force into the 25th year!
– but of course i have to celebrate you now through writing. just a thing or 25 or two of a handful of things I adore about you- 
you are 1 of the most loyal people I know 
your 2 types of laughter ( hearty & high pitched)

3 year old Greg loved PB & J even while potty training 

4 a novice brewer you sure are talented

5 million times I’ll say or do the wrong or annoying or hurtful thing, & 50 million times more you’ll lovingly tell my why that’s a no go & forgive me 
being 6 feet Five inches isn’t TOO tall, it’s just more to love 

7 years ago we met & I hadn’t a clue, but you did.
you’ve probably 8 your weight in chocolate cake with peanut butter icing 
9” you’re inclined to say to anything out of your comfort zone , but you’ve grown you’re daring…you bravely get out of that comfort zone and you thrive !
that smirk of yours is a perfect 10
11 days spent in my parents motherland, you met with excitement lovingkindness & left with so much compassion and understanding.
12 months in a year & in each one your focused and driven. Despite the different seasons that cross our paths and what we’re met with each month I know you’re paying attention, 365 days of the year ( or in this case 366 )I can rely on you 
13 year old Greg may not have been this way but you’re commitment to hygiene is so attractive . It shows me you value yourself by taking care of that temple God gave you by keeping it clean & don’t get me started on that Calvin Klein cologne you wear!
14 different countries I’ve been to & you make sure we explore more together , thank you for loving me so well by encouraging my love for travel 
15,000 different rock and roll songs ( probably much more that that huh shows how much I know) and you know them all by name artist and release date. You’re a fountain of knowledge, detail oriented and excel in getting stuff done .
you loved every part of hearing about my sweet 16, but the best part was you didn’t make fun of but you actually enjoyed the sound of my voice singing to Jesus 
* although I must say hearing YOU sing is one of my favorite things * 
1776 the Declaration of Independence was signed, you’re my history buff & I love being taught by you. You make a great historian because you’re an incredible story teller.
18 years old you were when you got your first tattoo ” when the stars begin to fall” you say it’s because it brings back sweet memories of going to ABR concerts and that those lyrics were your all time favorite. When I see your tattoos I’m reminded that as much of a planner you are ( which I love ) you’re also sentimental  & treasure sweet memories with people you love . You treasure good memories with great people and have no regrets for tattoos, thank you . It teaches me to not take decisions like what to order at a restaurant so seriously.
1991 you were born. I know you had no control over that , but thankful for that year & that you’re here.
20/20 vision. I envy it. I admire it. Our kids stand a chance. #thisisnotanannouncement
210 south prince has become more than just your work place , but where your worldview has expanded. You are growing their both as a professional and a follower of Jesus as you learn to continually believe in and fight for people as Jesus would.
at 22 years old you & I got to graduate college together where we met, CUM LAUDE! The beginning of many accomplishments together. Thanks for being brilliant and encouraging me in that final stretch of FINALS.
at 23 you committed to us by choosing in to I DO every day
24 puppies wouldn’t be enough for you, because you are gentle& carinhoso, you have so much love to give , you’re a big sap ( hope you don’t mind me putting your secret out ) I LOVE the way you take care of & care so much for the humans ( and obvi animals EVEN CATS ) in your life so much 
25 years of life Jesus gave you so far, and you love HIM. I always say you’re not a cookie cutter Christian, but you’re real Greg . That’s probably my favorite thing about you , you are authentic in this world full of facades you’re angry when you’re angry annoyed when you’re annoyed and loving always. You remind me of Jesus because of your authenticity.
Te amo morzinho 
My prayer is that with each passing day you would enjoy all these aspects that make you you.
That you would discover more of what you love who you are and believe in yourself the way Jesus does.
Proud to be your esposašŸ˜˜

583

The night is always darkest before the dawn. 

When I think about death and dying and losing the people I love on this earth,
I think about Victor Hugo and his words that the night is always darkest before the dawn.
 How can there be any shred of light ?How does the sunrise even after the darkest nights?

Marriage is a gift that I’ve been privileged to experience and today I saw how marriage could glorify Christ for a lifetime. Today we celebrated the life of Gregs grandfather Dean who unexpectedly passed.
Within this past week of 
sobbing 
grieving 
remembering 
I I thought about this notion of the night is always darkest before the dawn these past few days Greggin I feel like it’s just a bad dream but every day we wake up and it’s still a reality.
A marriage is a gift and marriage is work and marriage is beautiful and I wasn’t
 really raised with grandfathers so Marrying in & instantly getting two very present grandfathers who took me in as their own & loved the Lord was a pretty sweet gig.
Losing people you love is hard and painful.
Seeing the people you love mourn and suffer because of the loss of someone they loved much more than you did aches and breaks you.
CS Lewis says ” To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
The reality  is we hurt because we’ve loved.
 and I thank God every day that Greg & i  choose to love each other.
I know that one day I will lose him or he will lose me but the joy there is in loving another, & being loved by another is indeed one of the greatest things one will ever learn.
I write because that’s my therapy 
I write because it helps me process 
I write because this family has become my Family .
& when they rejoice I rejoice and when they suffer I suffer they truly have become my people.
I write because not only was I experiencing a grandpa for the first time but I was witnessing a beautiful showcase of how a Christian marriage of 50 years that thrived, served each other & others, traveled to all 7 continents and 100+ countries and raised a loving family. In so many ways Greg reminds me of his grandpa (and I’m just as crazy as his grandma) so we always kind of knew we were going to make it when we were dating, because the way they interact is the way that we interact, so it brought us hope.
And now as we lay in bed on day #583 of this journey of marriage … 
we hurt,
 we grieve,
we sob, 
& share a laugh in memory of this loving man who was Gregs grandfather. 
DEAN STOLTZ
We hold each other close as we wipe away the tears,allowing our dog+cat to snuggle with us, wrapping ourselves in our comforters & reveling in the arms of THE  COMFORTER 
We lay here praying for his grandma + mom especially, then all others follow suit.
 the night is always darkest before dawn.
Some days of grieving seem darker than others, 
some days seem like the sun will never rise, but sure enough even on the darkest nights… the sun rises.
 sorrow lasts for a night 
but joy comes in the morning 
his mercies are new every morning.
When everything seems so dark , the dawn in only moments away.
Greg always jokes that he wishes he could skip the parenting thing, & go right to being the grandpa.
my prayer is that Greg would be even just a fraction of the blessing and reflection of Christ strong gentle generous love towards his grandkids, children, friends and family as Dean was. 
my prayer is for unity peace and comfort for Gregs entire family, for healthy grieving & processing.
And that even on the darkest nights,that they would remember there is dawn, just moments away.
Thankful I will always be for the life you’ve lived and the impact you’ve had on my husband and this family I married into. 
Eta saudade vovo Dean Stoltz, te vejo no ceu louvando nosso Senhor.

a month in the life: MARCH (570


FEELING : at home in this house!!! 

LEARNING : how to be homeowners, and all the work + fun that goes along with that !
PRACTICING : keeping things in their place…. I’d say practice makes perfect but if you know me at all you’d know…I’ve been practicing that one for 24 years,& am still working on it hahaha
MASTERING : list making. 
For odds & ends to keep this house running smoothly,safely, ( Home Depot /Lowes), & homey ( Stauffers,& HomeGoods)! 
EATING : stroganoffe e arroz, & chocolate e vino for dessert . 
+ some good grub in town since this week is Lancaster city’s restaurant week woop-woop

+Shady Maple for Gregs 25th Birthday & seeing what all the PA hype is about 
 
LISTENING: to Jesus Culture and filling our home with power, prayers, & peace !
PLAYING : foosball and beating Greg on the reg

FINISHING : unpacking these last few boxes
 
READING : “The Poor Will Be Glad” 
WATCHING : Fuller House with Greg tonight because we just got our wifi installed, hopefully not in one sitting but who knows.
WEARING : spring & summer clothes and  storing our fall &winter wardrobe away tchau tchau
WORKING : out , by going up and down these stairs constantly finding a million little things that need put away 
WALKING : Lady in the park adjacent to our house .

TRAVELING : to Virginia to visit our favorite Sylvesters for Easter 

DESIRING : quality people to do life with (aka friends /community )

CELEBRATING : our housewarming party in just 11 days !!!!