So this post has no pictures and is long so brace yourselves:)
I want to keep this blog "real". I want this blog to be a place for me to keep memories. Which for me pictures do a lot of talking and will help me remember. But at the same time pictures can be misleading for others who look at them. Others don't see the argument had before the picture was taken, you don't see the "I am frustrated" looks...cause in pictures you smile, of course. And it can look like everything is perfect.
I have always thought it would be fun to start a blog. I absolutely love looking at other blogs. There are so many (especially the ones listed under the "blogs i love" tab) that i enjoy reading daily. I am encouraged by them and their authors. Most are funny and give me a laugh. Some have such fun ideas that I want to try! And most keep it very real. They are themselves. They show the good times but also are not afraid to share struggles. I want to do that very same thing with mine.
As I thought about starting this blog, I definitely struggled with do I really want to? Because sometimes blogs and facebook and instagram can make it seem like everything is perfect. Like I said, all you see is the picture and you cannot see all the emotions behind it. I worried about how to keep this blog real. Does that mean writing a post every time Rob and I get in a argument? No because that sure would be a lot of posts:) Do I write a post every time I feel sad? Every time I am angry? Frustrated? Annoyed? Because that would be keeping it real, right? But no, I knew that was not what I had to do. I came to the conclusion that I would start this blog...because I wanted to and I knew I would enjoy doing it. I hoped it would be fun for others to read. Encourage others. And I would keep it real.
And that is exactly what I am trying to do. So with that said, I thought I would share our story of living overseas and how we got here. Share some real life and real emotions, be real...
When Robert and I first met, I knew from the beginning he wanted to continue to play basketball after college and he had the hope of continuing to play overseas. When we started to get serious, I remember Rob coming back to Lubbock after visiting his parents. We had the "conversation". He said his Dad had asked if I would be willing to move across the world with Robert. So we talked about it and of course I said YES! (kinda sounds like a proposal, huh?:))
I had all these wonderful visions of what living "overseas" would look like.
So Robert went first. We got engaged in April 2012 (plan on sharing that story soon!), he graduated in May and then in early August we found out he would be leaving for Poland! Such a bittersweet moment. One I will never forget. So excited for this opportunity for him but also so sad that we would have to be apart and do the long, long distance thing for nine month. For me, that seemed like forever.
During those months apart, we grew and learned more than we ever imagined. We were counting down the days until we saw each other again. I thought quite a lot about men and women in the military and how they have to leave their loved ones for much longer and on much different terms. How they are so brave. And how I had nothing to complain about. I could do this long distance thing! And we did. Of course their were lots and lots of tears (well my tears, Rob is not much of a crier:)). But God showed us why this time apart was so special for our relationship. We fell even more madly in love. You see, we were just able to talk. As all those in long distance relationships do. We could not just enjoy being with one another. We couldn't watch a movie together and snuggle. We couldn't sit at Barnes and Noble and just read together. Being together now meant...we talked. And did we ever. We grew closer not only to one another but also to God. It made us appreciate each other so much more and cherish the moments we have together.
Then in May of 2013 Rob was back home (we did get to see each other over Christmas when I got to visit him, he was in the Czech Republic at that time)! After many tears and stressful conversations though I might add. For a while it looked like Rob would not be back in the States until June, about a week before our wedding. Oh man was I a diva about that. I just wanted him home! I wanted to be in his arms again. Robert made it back by the end of May, just in time to see me graduate! What a glorious reunion! And then June 15, 2013 we became husband and wife!
During the summer (this past summer) we lived in our first apartment together in Lubbock. Enjoyed time with family and friends, and I was able to work as a RN at Covenant Hospital over the summer. All while waiting to hear where we would be headed.
Then in early August we found out our new home would be here, Nuremberg, Germany! And that Rob would leave in four days. Ha! He packed fast and we enjoyed Lubbock together for a few more days. Robert left and I stayed to finish my time at work. Then, 3 weeks later I was on my way to a new country and far away from friends and family. Another bittersweet moment.
I was so excited to start this adventure with my husband! But also very sad to leave loved ones. We knew this is where God wanted us and we were all in, but it sure came with many emotions. Rob obviously had experienced it. I had not. And we had never experienced it together...married. We had no idea what to expect but were giddy about this opportunity.
So now we have been here for about 2 months. What we have discussed and dreamed about for a long time...is here. We are living it. And it is everything we thought and nothing we thought:)
We are far away from family and friends. Which is very hard at times because we miss them. We miss family dinners, we miss spending time with close friends, we are sad we have to miss seeing my little siblings grow up, sad we can't see Pat (Rob's brother) play football, sad we cant be there for my brother's first year of college. We miss our amazing parents and dear friends. So yes we have many sad moments. BUT God has definitely blessed our time here. And given us a lot more happy moments than sad.
We get to spend a lot of time together. We eat three meals together a day, we go to sleep together, wake up together...we spend most of the day together. Just Robert and I. And I will say it had been wonderful and we are so grateful for this time. We know this situation is very rare, and once his career in basketball is over, all this abundant time we get to spend every day together will not be near as much. We are very aware of that and really trying to cherish this special time. Yes all this time together means annoying each other a little, arguing a little more, we become a little more "petty". Rob can you not chew so loud? Will you please not toot in bed...Bailley? hehe. So we are in the process of learning to enjoy each others "quirks" :) This is all a learning experience. I have cried, I have yelled, I have given the silent treatment...I am learning. I am learning to be the wife God has called me to be.
I get bored, without a job. And get grumpy about that some. Sounds crazy, I know. So then realize again, this is a unique time. I need to enjoy this time. And instead of being bored be productive. Work on my relationship with God, have quiet time daily, cook meals for my husband, workout, work on being the Proverbs 31 wife...enjoy that I have time to really focus on these things. Not to complain.
So is living overseas everything I imagined it to be? No. Which is such a good thing. Is it fun? Absolutely! But not always easy. I am learning so much from this experience. I miss home. I miss my family, my friends. I get frustrated not being able to understand what people are saying, trying to communicate. I am tired of trying to parallel park. I worry about taking time off from my job. We miss our church home. Those silly negatives that creep into my selfish head. And then I stop and enjoy...I am growing closer to my husband. I am seeing parts of the world I have always dreamt of seeing. I am making new friends. I am grateful for all the open arms of welcome from people here. Their generosity and kindness. I am loving seeing the seasons change here. I am enjoying and cherishing the beauty around us, of where we are at. The beauty of this time Rob and I have together. The downs are petty and silly and will seem stupid and crazy to most, but I am a very imperfect human and that is how I feel at times. Then God shows me all the good and the bads drift away. I am reminded to be grateful and not selfish and petty. And remind myself to look at he positives in life. To use this time to enjoy, to love on Rob, to work daily to have God in the center of our relationship, to share the light and love of Jesus with others and to enjoy each moment God blesses us with.
So to end this ramble:) I love living overseas with my husband, exploring and enjoying this adventure together. We are so so grateful for this opportunity and this special time in life. Yes, at times it is hard. Yes we bicker, we cry, we miss home, we frustrate one another...but we are growing! Growing closer to one another, closer to our God and we are learning to cherish life and every moment we get here on this earth, wherever that is.