…so of course we went to the best seafood restaurant on the Patuxent River.
The week leading up to this weekend was long for both Brian and me. Extended hours at work with new projects and "school" with fast-approaching deadlines meant that we didn't see much of each other. While we wanted to see family, we also wanted to collapse in front of the TV, or maybe just sleep for a few days! That is not how real life works, though. :) Saturday was full of chores and errands. The funny thing about that was, once the house was clean, the fridge full, and the dog walked, I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders and I once again had the energy and desire to give back to other people. And that's good because we had big Sunday plans!
Don't blink! Our trip to Florida was 53 hours long – including flights. Our goal for this trip was to decide (once and for all) if West Coast FL was a viable long-term plan for us or not. The two of us kept going back and forth about the pros and cons; we took FL off the table and put it back on several times without having any weighted deciding factor. By visiting, we would be able to see industry opportunities, look at neighborhoods in our budget range, and see what traffic and locals were really like.
Source: A Brief History of the Great War / Carlton J.H. Hayes, 1920
This week marked the centennial of one of the most consequential events of the 20th century: the United States of America, under President Woodrow Wilson and with the vote of the U.S. Congress, solemnly entered the Great War.
Different parts of the country produce different naturally-occurring events to signify the passing of time. The Midwest has harvest time. Boston has the changing of the leaves. Florida has the arrival of the manatees. DC has cherry blossoms. We Washingtonians anticipate and marvel in the short window of pink blossoms softening this hard city. We recount our days by referencing these delicate petals. I remember this time last year: Justice Scalia passed away, the unusually warm winter made the cherry trees bloom early, and Brian started a new job.
Merry Christmas from the Smith household!
Saturday night the Newsboys were in town. The last time I saw them in concert was Christmas 2006 in Beijing. It was an emotional time back then, because that concert was the first one the Chinese government allowed the Newsboys (an overtly Christian band) to perform in China, and I got to be there. It was also emotional because that concert was my last night in Beijing.
I am so pleased to show off the new addition to our photo wall! A friend of ours creates custom frames using invitations and other design elements from a specific event, like our wedding. I'm thrilled with how it turned out. It fits our design esthetic beautifully. And beyond that, it's a visible reminder that God can restore memories and make what was tough, beautiful again. Let me tell you what I mean.
God answered one of our prayers today. I didn't even recognize it as an answered prayer until relaying what happened to Brian, and he reminded me of what's been on our hearts the last few days. The prayer is simple. We've been asking God to provide the means for us to ease others' suffering. Life is really tough; people need help and they need hope.
Justice Antonin Scalia was one of our country's last true constitutionalists. He left in his wake a legacy of justice, godliness, and greatness, and his passing creates a tremendous gap in the conservative movement, the nation itself and, most notably, the Supreme Court.
I have come to the conclusion that I can't manhandle life. I cannot force ducks into a row. This is a rather new concept for me, though it seems like general common sense.