9/3/17 : One Year (Engagement) Anniversary

A year ago today was easily one of the best days of my entire life. I had my dreams of how I would ask Morgan, some more elaborate and spectacular than others. I think the most ridiculous pipe dream of a proposal was a flash mob in the street in front of the Disney castle at Magic Kingdom with Cinderella escorting her to the top of the tower where Tinkerbell flies out of. I'd be waiting there with a Mickey Mouse Ring Pop. 

Ultimately, I just wanted to surprise Morgan. We had talked enough about it that I knew I had to do it sooner than later because otherwise she'd start being on high-alert. Here's a few things to know about our engagement story. 

1) When Morgan and I first started getting to know each other, we began creating a list of things that we wanted to experience together. It was silly things like watching a certain movie that was important to one of us, or a fun road trip to our grandparents house. The reason this list is important is because something Morgan added to the list made me aware that she was interested in me: romantic, truck-bed stargazing. We checked many items off the list, but truck-bed stargazing never got checked off, even 3 years into dating.

2) Morgan is very allergic to peanut butter, but she loves almond butter.

3) Morgan spent a year in Africa as a student missionary right in the middle of our relationship and the relationships she made while there are some of the most special relationships I think she will ever have. She LOVES those kids from that orphanage. 

4) Morgan loves family. 

5) When I asked Morgan to be my girlfriend, I wrote a song to sing that ends with "Will you be my girrrrllll....friend." 

Here's the story!

So I used my album release party as a reason to get my family in town without raising any suspicion. I "impulse" bought a constellation projector, and my roommate conveniently left his Ford Ranger at our apartment. So I convinced Morgan to go truck-bed stargazing with me in a good friend's garage/shed. I remember on the way there Morgan realized that I didn't have a power cord for the projector. I don't know how I changed the subject, but I got sweaty with anxiety while I distracted her. 

We laid "under the stars" for about 15 minutes, and then I stumbled around in the dark trying to find a switch for some Christmas lights that my friends had left out after a "photoshoot or something...." I brought Morgan over there, turned on the lights and there was a TV on a stand there, where she watched this video. 

 

Then, this happened. 

"Is this REAL?!"

"Is this REAL?!"

After she said yes, I went over and opened the garage door which had BOTH of our families on the other side. We all had a grand time together, eating smores and ice cream!

That's the story of one of my happiest moments I've ever experienced in my entire life. Now we're married, and it's still awesome. 

8/18/17 : White Coat Ceremony

First of all, I missed a day again. If you want to know why, read my blog from last Friday as it still applies to yesterday. I just straight crashed on the couch last night WAY earlier than I usually go to bed. I'm starting off the day with some much needed rest though!

Yesterday was the last day of Morgan's new student orientation into the doctoral program of Occupational Therapy at Creighton University. I'm so excited for her, but I know she's super nervous about it all, especially certain classes like neuro-anatomy. 

On the last day, they do the Ceremony of Professionalism... which most other places just call a white coat ceremony I think? There were about 350 other new students starting either Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, or Pharmacy, and they each had their names read as they put on a fancy little white coat. 

The OT's were first, and Morgan was in the second row, so it started off with a bang, and then I played some games on my phone or made jokes with her dad for an hour. Shockingly, only like 5 students got any kind of cheer or applause from their families in the audience... people were WAY too serious. I guess that's why they call it a professionalism ceremony? 

Anyways, here are some photos. The clearer ones are from Dave (Morgan's dad) on his Samsung,  which I'm sure he'd be happy for me to share with you. The others were very kindly taken for us by a friend I ran into randomly that was on the other side of the auditorium from us. Thanks Chelsea!

I'm proud of my wife! She's gonna make an awesome OT in 3 years, so watch out. 

8/17/17 : A Home

I remember the first time I prepared to live "on my own". It was a few weeks before college, and my mom took me to Target to try to help me get the right things to make my dorm room feel cozy. She tried convincing me that pillows and comforters that matched my dishtowels would be a good idea. So I went red and black with everything to match the Union College Warriors, the basketball team I hoped to soon be playing for. 

I'm thinking back to then because it was pretty much exactly 7 years ago that I was moving into the dorms, exploring my freedom, and going out on my home. It was also pretty much the last time I truly lived in my own "home". Ever since then I have lived in a shared, strangely decorated dorm room (because I wouldn't let me mom help for real), I spent a year in Australia, then I moved back, new dorm room with less stuff in it, then an empty dorm room while student teaching before going back and finishing up at Union in an apartment with my buddy Curt. 

The next couple years I spent living with a combination of Curt, his brother Dan, their cousin Jake, my cousin Zach, and Jake's brother Brett. It was a blast! I love all of those guys, and they were amazing roommates. However, as you can imagine, rooming with 2-3 college guys lends itself more towards a living space than it does a home. 

Now here I am, a couple months into marriage, and my wife knows how to make a home. I remember going furniture shopping with her the first time and it was TOUGH. I didn't understand why little knick-knacks were important for decorating. I couldn't tell the difference between all the different gray upholstered chairs. Now, when I look around the different rooms in our house, everything makes sense. She is extremely particular about each item and where it goes, how its positioned, and while I used to think I cared, I've learned that the only thing I really care about is that she feels supported to do her thing. 

Because its amazing. Whether she wants the white, fluffy pillows or blush dresser drawers with crystal knobs, I don't care because when I come home, I instantly relax. She has made our house into a home.

Maybe the difference is ambiguous to you, or your definition of the terms house and home are different from mine. If so, let me explain. When I used to live in an apartment with my dudes, I didn't necessarily look forward to spending time there. I mainly just looked forward to my bed after long travels and many different hotels, and a routine filled with familiarity. NOW, I literally can't wait to go home after work. I enjoy waking up and in every single room there are several places that I am comfortable sitting, working, reading, watching tv, drinking coffee, and playing keyboard! I constantly want to have people over to host and entertain them, because I want them to experience the same carefree relaxation in a cozy environment that I get to experience daily. I used to only want to have people over if my roommates weren't using the tv. 

Since I work at a university I have been watching freshmen moving in all week, carrying mini-fridges up stairs after shopping at Target for various necessities. I think back to when I left my childhood home and I praise God for all the experiences I've had ever since... but I am especially grateful for Him giving me a super sexy roommate and our very own home.