When our depravity meets His divinity, it is a beautiful collision.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Air Force: Year One!

On this morning last year, I woke up for the last time (for a while, anyway) with my husband. We got dressed. I swear my legs wouldn't work. In one way I wanted the morning to last forever, but at the same time I wanted the next 6 months to fly. What an awful push and pull of emotions.

We left and went to eat breakfast at IHOP. I kept most of my tears in because I knew I had to be strong. He was the one walking into the unknown. We talked about the future and some about the past. I mostly stared at him because I couldn't believe it was really happening. After we ate I drove him to his recruiter's office, we hugged for a few minutes, shared a kiss, and he walked away.

That was it. There was nothing glamorous about the situation. There was no one last long kiss goodbye in the sunset. There was no soft music in the background. There was nothing but me watching my best friend walk away like he would be back tomorrow. Never have I felt so much pain and emotion all at once. I drove away as quickly as I could. Emptiness. It was almost like I felt nothing, and that is the worst feeling of all. Driving down the road, with no thought in my mind, the tears came. How in the world would I get through this? How does life happen without the one person that makes life?

I made it home, to my parent's house where I would live for the next six months of my life, and I got into bed. I was hoping that I could sleep away the hurt, or at least sleep away the thoughts racing in my mind.

I think about this day last year and it still makes me sad. The feelings and emotions were so strong. I didn't want them there. I didn't want to be sad, but I couldn't make it go away. Isn't that the worst? When something you don't want has taken over, yet nothing can be done to change the situation.

Now, fast forward life for 2 months and we had gotten past one big hurdle. Eight weeks, a handful of letters from him and a letter a day to him, a phone call every week or two if we were lucky, and we made it through. I still can't accurately describe the emotions of my first moment seeing him again. Sheer joy. Ecstatic. Elated. Jumping up and down. Nope, none of it describes the way I felt. Not enough, anyway.

 What a sweet time in my life. So much love and pride all wrapped up into one moment. My husband not only made it through basic training, but he made it out on top. I knew he was awesome, but...did he really accomplish that much???

One of the reasons that I can look back on that time and smile is because we came out on the other side and I saw a completely different side of myself, my husband, and my Jesus. I was strong. Stronger than I ever imagined I could be. No, not physical strength, but a toughness of the heart that let me know I could handle anything with the help of God. I had no choice but to see the faithfulness of God. He took a situation that I just knew I couldn't handle and he made me better because of it.

One year after that awful emotional day, I sit at my computer in my new home and I am happy. Truly. Sure, my husband works long hours sometimes. Today he started 12 hour shifts. He will be doing this for the next week or more. We'll only get 2 or 3 hours together every evening until this is over. BUT...2 or 3 hours is so much better than what we had last year at this time.

Isn't this what life is all about? Looking at my situation and seeing that it could always be worse. I try to look at where I am each day, and if I have things to complain about I remember a time that was worse. I give my thanks to the Air Force for teaching me this valuable lesson. 

Today, I am so very thankful for the Air Force. For what it has taught us, for how it has changed us, and for how it has made us better. I have no idea where we will end up in the next 5 years. Will we continue the Air Force life or will God have new plans for us? I have no idea, but I do know that God will take care of us.

Where do I want to be in 5 years? It doesn't matter, as long as I've got my man by my side and enough money to survive. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Freedom in Living Each Moment

Has it really been 7 months since I last posted? Back in February I thought April would never arrive, much less September. What a crazy ride this has been.

In just over 2 weeks we will hit the one year mark in Chris's Air Force career. Last year at this time I was dreading each new day, as it was a day closer to loneliness. Today I'm loving each new day as a brand new opportunity to love life and take in every moment.

Chris flew home from California on March 31. I can't remember exactly how it all happened, but his flight was late maybe? I think I've blocked out that memory just because I was so frustrated and wanted him home. I sat at the airport for hours that night just waiting, but everything...and I mean EVERYTHING, was forgotten the second I saw him walking down to meet me. I remember telling all of the other people waiting for their loved ones that my husband was coming home after 6 months away. I was so proud. After Chris and I hugged and kissed I looked around and realized that everyone was watching us. I was slightly embarrassed, but I was loving it. 

Two weeks later we moved to Shreveport on April 24, Chris's birthday. I knew I would love being with Chris again, but I never expected to settle in so quickly, make friends so quickly, and love this place so quickly. Sure, I'd love to travel the world and see new places, but for now, I'm loving every second at Barksdale AFB.

A few weeks after moving to Shreveport, we celebrated my college graduation. Even though I haven't been able to use my degree in journalism yet, I am so proud of the fact that I have that degree. The 5 year road to that degree was not easy, but it sure did have it's fun moments. 

In May we took a trip to Dallas to celebrate Memorial Day. Chris had his first 4 day weekend. I had no idea then how much we would grow to LOVE those weekends. We found delicious places to eat, went to the zoo, and simply took time to soak in each others company. It was a beautiful time.

We celebrated Independence Day together with friends. We spent the evening grilling, eating, and hanging out, and then went to watch fireworks at the Boardwalk. We saw a movie after that, and it was the first time that I truly realized how much God has blessed us by placing us here and placing these friends in our lives.

This summer, between Chris working and my attempt at job hunting, we just took time to live. It's the first time that we've ever had a couple that we truly just connect with. We've spent hours outside playing volleyball, throwing a frisbee, playing video games, getting Sonic drinks, watching movies, laughing...the list goes on. It's the small moments in life that remind me how God has a hand in every detail.

In August we took another weekend trip to Dallas, but this time with Kelsey and Alan. I wish I had video footage of that whole weekend. My husband is so silly and it's one thing that I absolutely love about him. I'm glad that my friends feel the same way. He acted like a fool. I guess we all did. We went to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor and spent a hot and sweaty day waiting in long lines for water slides. Fun, but definitely not the best part of the weekend. We went to the Dallas Museum of Art, and for once in my life, I told myself that I didn't care how unsophisticated we all probably looked and sounded like. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate art, but some stuff is just funny. 

And I'll never forget walking along and hearing my husband whisper, "Did you see WHO that was?" Of course I didn't. I have this horrible habit of not looking at people that I walk by. Chris walked up to the nearest security guard and said, "Was that...." She said, "Yep, it sure was!" I was still clueless, but it was Jon Voigt! That's right. Angelina Jolie's dad. The man that I see on Bill O'Reilly all the time (I made sure to tell him that). The dad from National Treasure. A real live celebrity. We were all starstruck. My husband, who always swore he would never do this, walked up to the man and asked for a photo. I had such a hard time keeping it together. You would swear we were 12 years old in 1998 meeting Hanson for the first time. It was madness. Just one of the sweet moments from the weekend.

On August 30 we celebrated our 2 year anniversary. In a way, it's hard to believe it's been 2 years, but on the other hand, I feel like my life has always included Chris. This summer marks 6 years of knowing and loving Chris.

Last weekend we traveled to Hot Springs, Ar, stayed in a cabin for two nights, and had a blast. Our cabin was super sweet. It was in the middle of a horse pasture. Yes, horses walked up to our back porch every night looking for food. On Saturday morning we went horseback riding up a mountain. It was an incredible experience. After the horseback ride we went on a 7 mile hike up Sunset Trail to Music Mountain. The names sound like they are straight from a game of Candyland. The hike was definitely not as easy as Candyland. I had to take breaks. Lots of breaks. I wish those breaks included meeting Queen Frostine, or I would have even settled for falling into Molasses Swamp. But, nope, we just had our Camelbacks filled with water and felt so hardcore. We found cool rocks to bring home with us. We had sweat dripping down our backs. Lots of it. We made it to the top, gazed off of the mountaintop and made the trek back down. We drove home on Sunday wishing that we could drop everything, move to the wilderness, and live off of the land. I think everyone needs moments like that every now and then. It was a feeling of true freedom.

Today, life is back to normal. I'm sitting at home, hoping, praying, wishing for a job, and Chris is working hard in the hot sun. Actually, today it's beautiful outside. The first breath of fall is in the air. It feels oh so good. I've got Derek Webb playing on iTunes. I've got my dreams. I've got faith in the fact that God knows my every step. He knows exactly where I'll be next year at this time. Hopefully wherever that is it includes my handsome husband, super sweet kitties, and maybe, just maybe, a sweet baby. 

But, for today, for right now, I'm happy. I'm loved.

This is the beautiful collision.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ask me anything you want!

Go ahead. Ask me anything. :)


Things that you may or may not already know about me

1. I love candy. Chocolate is good, but it's not what I consider candy. I'm talking about the gets stuck in your teeth, sugary-goodness kind. Airheads, Laffy Taffy, Now and Laters, Skittles, Starbursts...yummmmm!

2. I'm a pretty laid back person. I typically don't get overly excited or extremely depressed. Sometimes it comes off the wrong way and people will think that I'm not excited about something that I should be excited about, but it's not that...I just don't show it well. However, when my husband graduated BMT, I showed excitement like never before. I never thought I'd the the kind of girl to jump up and down, but I did!

3. To go along with the previous one, I have a VERY hard time hiding the emotions on my face. If I'm not happy, I can't hide it. If I think you're an idiot, I will have a really hard time not giving you the, "You're an idiot" face. Just ask my husband. ;)

4. I really like meat so I don't think I could ever be a vegetarian (even though I love veggies, too), however, if I had to choose only one meat to eat for the rest of my life it would be BACON! I really love bacon. It has the ability to enhance any meal.

5. I have a secret obsession with Beyonce and Justin Timberlake. This is really strange for me because I typically like mellow stuff like John Mayer or Jack Johnson. I've suppressed my obsession for a long time and I've never bought their CDs, but when a song comes on the radio I know all of the words and I can't help grooving along with it. 

6. I love to give people gifts. It makes me happy to cheer a friend up, even if the gift was extremely cheap.

7. Cold weather is not my friend.

8. I have 6 siblings and so does my husband. Our children will have tons of aunts, uncles, and cousins and I absolutely LOVE that.

9. If I had all of the money in the world I would travel to every country. I am fascinated by new places and people. 

10. I love airports and airplanes. There is just something about them that makes me feel good. 

11. I'm terrible at keeping up with long distance friends, but only because I hate talking on the phone. This has been a hard adjustment for me with my husband being in Tech School.

12. I don't like groups of people. I would much rather one-on-one friend time over a large group. Less is more in this instance.

13. I really like the color of my hair and I hope I have at least one baby with dark hair. I always thought I'd fall in love with a man who has dark hair, but as I stated in the previous post, you absolutely cannot help who you're attracted to. And my husband is a hunk!

14. I'm not a very motivated person. I have struggled to finish college (in 5 years), but not because I'm not intelligent enough. It's because I'm not motivated enough. 

15. I am not a feminist. I truly do love cooking, cleaning, taking care of babies, loving my husband, crafty things, etc. This doesn't mean that I'm against women in the workplace, I'm simply saying that I love all of my wifely duties and I would be completely content with staying home to raise my babies.

16. I really like movies, but I'm not a movie buff at all. In fact, I can see a movie and if you ask me two months later what it was about, I probably won't remember. The movie has to have a profound impact on me for me to remember it well.

17. I can't sing, but I really wish I could because I love it. Music is my escape. I can't remember what a movie was about, but I can remember most of the lyrics to a song after only hearing it a handful of times.

18. I was never allowed to watch the Simpson's growing up, therefore I hate them now. Ironically, I have gone to the post office twice in the past several months to get stamps and the only kind that they have are the Simpson's. Fabulous. 

19. I care a little too much about what others think of me. I'm always paranoid that someone in my family or my husband's family is mad at me. It's silly, and I know it is, but sometimes the feeling is inescapable.

20. I'm graduating with a degree in journalism in May, but I don't really want to write for a newspaper. I enjoy creative writing much more than news writing, and I really love to edit.

21. Call me an underachiever, but all I've ever really wanted in life was to be married to the man of my dreams and to have babies. I've got the first part taken care of...

22. On our honeymoon, we rented tubes to float down the Guadalupe River. I had an allergic reaction to the tube and the sun burned me to the point of having blisters and purpleish skin (oh, and scabs on the backs of my arms and legs where the tube touched me). We also missed the exit because the owner of the tube place was an idiot so we were out in the sun much longer than we should have been and my husband had to drag me in the tube, plus his tube, plus another tube with an ice chest, back up stream. I cried the whole way back up stream. This was on day 3 of our week long honeymoon. Needless to say, we need a do-over. 

23. I really really really want to go on a cruise.

24. I hate to exercise. It's another one of those things that I have no motivation for. Thankfully, I've never really had to exercise, but I'm afraid that when I have kids it will all be downhill from there.  I'm pretty sure that I'm going to need to find some inner strength and start exercising!

25. I only have a few people that I am really close to, therefore, I am extremely attached to them. I do not easily bare my soul, but these people know me well. My husband knows me best, and my sisters are tied for second. :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What I've learned in my 22 years... (In no particular order)

1. Time never passes as quickly as I'd like. That is, unless I'm having fun. Then time flies. 

2. Never assume that you know exactly what it's like until you dive in and experience it for yourself. My biggest problem with accepting the military was because of this. I thought I knew all about it, when I really had no idea. 

3. I don't enjoy labels. I'm not a republican or a democrat. I just believe what I believe and know my position on certain topics. Same goes for religion. I don't enjoy denominations, I just know that I love Jesus and that he saved me. 

4. I am much happier when I don't worry about what others think of me.

5. Everyone will let you down at some point. It's ok. 

6. Life is about trial and error. If I mess it up, I can fix it. If I can't fix it, I can learn to live with it. 

7. Babies and puppies. It's where happiness lies. 

8. You absolutely can't help who you're attracted to. Love does not lie in appearance, but the heart. 

9. Having a schedule is wonderful, but spontaneity is better.

10. I do not have to have what everyone else has. It will not make me happy.

11. Never burn bridges. You never know when you'll cross paths with that person again. 

12. Words of affirmation mean the world to me. I always assume that it does the same for everyone else. 

13. I will always have differing opinions with someone. It's not the end of the world and it's ok to tell them that.

14. Friends come and go, but family is always around and ready to love.

15. Being married really is just as wonderful as I always dreamed. 

16. Me and cold medicine...we are not friends. 

17. Writing frees my soul.

18. Every country and every land is beautiful in its own way. Sometimes beauty lies within the unseen. 

19. My sisters have taught me most of what I know.

20. Life is as good or as bad as you make it. It's how I choose to look at every situation that makes all of the difference in the world.

21. Math and Science do not mix well with English, Grammar, or Writing. It's true.

22. My husband loves me more than any other woman in the entire world. I can be confident in this. 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

We'll keep marching on

Some days all you can do is just keep marching on. 

I know this first hand.

Some days getting out of bed is tough.

I do it anyway.

Some days I feel nothing.

I just put one foot in front of the other and keep marching on. 

Love is a funny thing...especially when you love someone you can't be with. I wake up some days with no motivation and no reason to get going, other than making it through the day and onto the next. And the next. And the next. Until April 1, when I'll be with my husband again.

When Chris was in Basic Training I counted down the days. 

Day 1, 55 to go. 

Right, right, right, right, left. Right, right, right, right, left. Right, right, right, right, left. We're marching on. We're marching on.

Day 12, 44 to go.

Right, right, right, right, left. Right, right, right, right, left. Right, right, right, right, left. We're marching on. We're marching on.

Day 45, 11 to go.

Right, right, right, right, left. Right, right, right, right, left. Right, right, right, right, left. We're marching on. We're marching on.

I praise God every day that we made it through those 56 days, but I still find myself putting one foot in front of the other and just making it through the day. 

OneRepublic has a song that I recently found that I absolutely love called "Marching On". 

For this dance we move with each other
There ain't no other step
Than one foot
Right in front of the other

There's so many wars we fought
There's so many things we're not
But with what we have
I promise you that
We're marching on
We're marching on  

We've got 55 days to go until this is over. Some days it feels like we've gone to war. We fight so hard to make it through. Sometimes we struggle to to keep our heads above the water.
This experience has taught us so much. I've found more strength in myself than I ever imagined. When days get tough I'll just keep telling myself to keep marching on...

Right, right, right, right, left. Right, right, right, right, left. Right, right, right, right, left. We're marching on. We're marching on.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Five and a half years behind us and a lifetime to go

Here is a glance back on the last five and a half years with Mr. Hudson in my life. 



We met in 2004 at the age of 16 while working at a summer camp. It was love at first sight on his part, not so much on mine. He was persistent, though. He pursued me until I gave in, but it definitely didn't take long for me to realize that he was the love of my life. 

These pictures are from that summer. We were young. We were free. We were loving every minute of life. 


All of the summer staffers at camp decided to sneak out and have a night of fun with golf carts, flashlights, scary basements, graveyards, and so much more that I will never divulge for the wonderful world wide web to read. Let's just say...we were never caught!


One year later, in 2005, was my graduation from high school. I'm still amazed at how young and small we were! This was a happy time in my life and I was happy to share it with my sweetheart.


Summer of 2005 after my 5 week mission trip to Thailand. We spent a few days with my family at my Uncle's cabin. My sister snapped this candid shot where we were supposed to have our serious faces, but of course, I couldn't hold it together!


One year later, in 2006, was his high school graduation. He had shaved his head a few months before and his hair was still in the process of growing out. :)


The Natchitoches Christmas Festival in 2007, just a few months before our engagement.


March 17, 2008. The day Chris asked me to marry him! 


Our wedding day on August 30, 2008. I married the most wonderful man on earth. My prince!




New Years Eve 2009 at my brother's house. Marriage is a beautiful thing. :)

Our first Valentine's Day as a married couple! We spent the weekend in New Orleans and had SO MUCH FUN!


Summer picnic, 2009. This was just a few months before Chris left for BMT.


Celebrating one beautiful year of marriage! August 2009 in Biloxi, MS.


Saying goodbye for a while. Air Force going away party, September 2009.


BMT graduation in November 2009. A very, very happy time in life. 


Christmas Exodus...my love was home for two weeks!!! 

Looking back on the past five and a half years is always exciting, but it's even more exciting to know that we've got the rest of our lives to love and fully live!  


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