Wednesday, December 31, 2014

God, Thank you for 2014.

Two thousand & fourteen.

The year that I was definitely not looking forward to,
 the year that I was dreading.
The year that the military would take my Husband away from me on a long deployment. 
The year that I thought would be so lonely and sad.
 Definitely sad.

I remember coming back from our Christmas trip to Costa Rica last year dreading December 31, 2013---
knowing that the new year was fast approaching.
Knowing that all I wanted to do was keep on making memories as newlyweds.
But the clock kept ticking, the hours kept changing. 
And then the night where everyone watched the ball drop, Scott and I went to bed early.  

January 2014 was amazing.
The budget completely out the window, money not an issue.
I didn't want to waste any time with my Husband, constantly thinking of new memories to make. 
We went on dates, cuddled on the couch, talked for hours.
Celebrated his birthday in Myrtle Beach, baked him a delicious cake. All knowing that the time was passing by us, and quite honestly, faster than I even imagined.  

And then, February arrived. 
If anyone knows me--I am a HUGE birthday girl. 
I love everything about February, especially since it has Valentines Day&my birthday in the same month. 
I love the countdown.
I love being spoiled during this month. I love the surprises. 
I love that it's a month about love and laughter.
But this February was different.
This February meant something I wasn't ready to experience. 
This February meant love, tears, & heartbreak.
H E A P S of heartbreak.
This February meant my sweet Husband was leaving me.
There wasn't a countdown to my birthday, there was a countdown to the day I had to drop him off. Then the countdown to the approximate time he'd be back.
That cold, February day was marked by tears, lasts, & longing.

But do you want to know the beauty that came from that awful day? Family and friends came to me, showering me with love and prayers.
There were a lot of firsts, dimming the sadness of the lasts.
God created beauty out of the year that I had thought was going to be dark and lonely. 
God helped me become more independent, 
helped me be where I need to be, and reminded me each and every day that I was definitely NOT alone.

After a few adventures&new friendships, I headed to Utah in March.
This time was colored with family, new opportunities,
and some MUCH needed hugs.
I worked as a substitute teacher while I was in Utah and fell in love with teaching elemantary kids. I was able to give my sister a sweet sixteenth party, and send her off to prom in my prom dress. Spend time with my best friends, and send one of them off to her adventure in Thailand.  Was able to celebrate my Daddy's fiftieth birthday and shower him with love. I was able to have many mommy-daughter dates. I was able to spend time with my brother and get to know his now beautiful wife and adorable son. Made many memories with my Grandparents. Was able to spend time with my Grandma B, and be with my family when she passed away. I was able to spend time on my mountains and take in every thing around me. I was finally able to have the girls nights I was craving. Helped my Mom and her friend with their girls bible study and hang out with the crazy youth group. Was able to be a bridesmaid to my bestie Allyson, when she committed her life to her beloved AND join the wifey club! I was able to go on our family river trip to celebrate my Grandparents' FIFTIETH YEAR anniversary. I was also blessed to be able to be a sponsor at CIY with the youth group and spend quality time with my sister.  

When July came around, I had a million new lasting memories of the past four months. But the adventures didn't stop there. My sister flew back to North Carolina to stay with me for a month, to help the time without Scott fly by. But little did we know, the exact same time Scott was being told that he was going to be sent home from his deployment early due to his back injury. So literally three days after my sister and I landed, we headed back to the airport to pick up the sweet, handsome Husband I missed with every single breath. The month that was supposed to be just with my sister, turned into some major bonding time with my sister, Scott, & I. We went to Virginia to surprise his Mama, had a blast in Wilmington, New Bern, &Myrtle Beach, SC, and explored South Port. When it was time to send my sister back, we were in Raleigh making last minute memories before we were in the airport saying our "see you laters."  

August-now... has continued to be an adventure of learning more about each other, reintegration, &taking in the little moments that last a lifetime. Between staying home, our favorite trips to Wilmington, Greensboro with family, Charlotte football games, our perfect trip to Asheville and the Biltmore house--It was definitely time that I got blessed with Scott, since he came home early.

Our trip to Utah felt actually like a vacation and not just a trip home. Family, work, memories, our mountains, Thanksgiving, early Christmas, Holly Days, double dates, my Brother's WEDDING. Much needed time with my family, especially since Scott hadn't been home since our wedding in 2013. 

The rest of December was full of Christmas magic. Scott&I found our FIRST Christmas tree and all of our ornaments. We spent a whole day dancing around the house as we decorated everything and hung our lights. Winter WonderlandThen we celebrated Jesus' birthday with Scott's mama and sister in Virginia and had a really good time. Scott and I have been blessed by being able to spend Christmas together since we have been married, and I definitely know not to take it for granted. 

So, as I look back to myself when 2013 was ending I had no idea of the miracles 2014 would unfold. 
   I had no idea that there would be many first, with what I thought would only be lasts. 
I had no idea that God would use me to touch people's lives through this season of my life.
I had no idea that when I imagined 2014, I only imagined tears and not the laughter that helped paint each and every day. 
 Thank you, God, for teaching me so many things through this year.
Thank you, God, for being with Scott&sending him home safe and sound.
Thank you, God, for helping me understand that I was never alone.
Thank you, God, for sending my family&friends to cover me with love, laughter, and prayers.
God, thank you for 2014. 
Without the hesitation that I had last year, 
BRING ON 2015.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A month of a F U L L heart!

There was this time in October that my cute mom&I had a brilliant conversation. She was telling me how excited she was for S&I to fly out for Thanksgiving and my brothers wedding---but then asked me why we didn't think about flying me out early. Duh! I'm not working and I very well could have. Well...We pulled some strings and made it work. But the best part?! It was a COMPLETE SURPRISE to everyone! Including my daddy! 


So my mom picked me up at the airport with my Grandma, who was very surprised to find out they were picking me up. That night we had a family dinner and I was able to surprise every single person, one by one.
 One great surprise! 

Now onto pictures throughout the month. 
I went with my mom to pick up my sister and her cute friends from Sadies--and possibly had a little more fun with them while we were there. 

Played with this silly NEPHEW of mine.. 
Oh how I miss him so much!

Attended a few parties, Garrett's "ugly" sweater party being one of them. Disclaimer: I didn't pack an ugly sweater, so I created my own last minute. (:

After almost two weeks of working (yay for working on vacation, right?!) and being around family/friends.. it was time to pick up the HUBBY

Scott hasn't been able to make it back to Utah since we were married. So I was bound to make it an amazing trip for the Hubs. 
Oh how we have missed our Mountains, with the added bonus with them covered in a perfect blanket of snow. 

I was able to spend a few hours with my best friend before we went to pick up Scott, and then headed over to dinner. We had dinner with  Scott's uncles family & a few of our amazingly amazing friends! 

Seriously, Kohen was Scott's little buddy from the very get go. 
We had a lot of fun helping my brother set up house for his future bride! 

Thanksgiving was an incredible {FULL} day. 
We started the day with a friend's turkey trot--Mallow included. BEST way to start out the holiday where you then stuff your face with amazingly delicious, heartfelt-made food. Makes you feel a littttttle bit better about your love for Thanksgiving food.

After our trot, we had Thanksgiving lunch with my Dad's family. 
This was the first time the Hubs and I have celebrated Thanksgiving together in Vernal, so it was such a treat to be able to be with my family for one of my favorite holidays. After lunch, we went over to  a friends house for a whole table full of homemade desserts. 
Oh the decisions.
Then we went back to my parents' house for an early Christmas party with my Mom's family. (There might have been some naps before the party started... *cough cough* Daddy and Scott.
So we passed around presents to a poem and had quite a few laughs. This part of our Christmas parties is a new tradition, so it was really fun. 

 "King" Bompa.

Friday after Thanksgiving=HOLLIDAYS!!
But what did that mean to my Husband who has never experienced the awesomeness? Nothing. Haha He ended up ditching me for a hunting trip. But this goose hunting trip seriously has been talked about for weeks since. Really. 
{He might just be the cuttttttest hunter, ever.}

While the boys were playing, the girls went to Santa's Workshop. 
A ton of booths set up for our perusal.
And then spent some MORE time with the nephew, I can't seem to ever get enough. And started getting ready for the annual Hollydays sensation. 
For those of you who have no idea about this part of Vernal, it really is the best. It is a community wide celebration, roads shut down, covered in all things Christmas. From Trees for Charity, to roasting marshmallows&hot chocolate, to camel&carriage rides, to flame throwers, etc. It really is awesome! 

We met up with my family and had a carriage ride. Then the cutest grandparents took Kohen so we could have a triple date. 

Hollydays&great Mexican food + Dennis the Menace movie. 

My favorite Hollydays picture to date! 

 Oh, and a Canadian Grinch. 
Can't forget her!

Next was the annual Bowden tree cutting tradition.
Add in a little early Christmas present from the parents...
A new gun! 
Thanks again Mom&Dad!!!

Scott got to pick out my family's tree for us--since we couldn't take it back with us... *sniff sniff*

Our family keeps growing and growing.
Even got Mallow&Bandit in the picture.

THEN--- A bachelorette party for our new (!!!) sister.

 So, Scott's cute grandparents live in the wonderful (eh ha) city of Vegas. We decided we could definitely make a trip there to see them.
They are definitely worth 16 hours of driving for 36 hours of seeing them! 
We went up to the High Roller-awesome by the way!

I might just be a tiny bit bitter at the fact that my Sister and Mother are going to Paris this next year.. without me.
So HA-- I made it first! ;)
 Scott&I took advantage of an evening in Vegas and took me out on a date. 
Sweetest, most adorable guy!
Of course we people watched, how can you not?! All those..crazies!
And shopped. And possibly had a delicious margarita slushy, and stopped in Paris for this tasty dessert.
Isn't it so pretty?!
Mom&Sis, told you I made it first-- I even had a dessert from Paris. 
 Our time with his Grandparents flew by way too quickly. But I am so glad that we were able to make the trip. 
On the way to Vegas, Scott made me listen to rock the ENTIRE time. On the way back, I kind of took a little more control on music... and was a bit silly some of the time. 

 More Bowden traditions. Decorating our huge tree!

Rehearsal dinner--- it's real people!
My brother really did marry this cute girl.
Made her my sister.. and gave me a nephew to love both for forever!

Can I get a huge AWEEEE for this moment of Scott&Kohen.
I might be a litttttle baby crazy and canNOT wait to watch S be an amazing daddy!

DECEMBER 6, 2014.
The day my little brother said "I do" to the woman of his dreams, Kristin. 
The day my brother became a daddy to Kohen.
The day he started a life with his new family.
The day where I gained an amazing new sister and the most adorable nephew.
The day where I took this groomsman home with me! 

I can't wait to see more pictures from the wedding, and I will dedicate a mushy-gushy wedding post all about them! Stay tuned.
Best friend came to witness "our" little brother getting married. So nice to have more time with her!
Ps. We are back to being that blonde&brunette haired best friends.
Here's to almost TWENTY-TWO years of friendship! 
 Okay, for reals. Look at this precious moment. 
A moment that will forever stay in my heart was graciously caught on film. Thank you photographer. 
I will always remember Kohen at his parents' wedding--
that dashing young man at two years old. 
Plus, Scott&I were able to watch him that night, and of course, spoil him with love!

My two forever best friends. 

 GUYS! My Cambodian sister came to Vernal while I was there.
Only by God's design. Love you Theara! I can't wait until I will be able to make my way back to Cambodia and visit YOU!
 While she was here, we had a Cambodian night with our team. Our team member, Luke, is moving his family from Oregon to Cambodia to be missionaries. {Pray for them} They came through Vernal, again by God's design, while I was there. 
Bragging on my God.  

And then it was time to leave. As much as I love life out in NC, nothing will replace our home in Utah. I'm so glad that we were able to spend the precious time we were able to.
Thanksgiving, Early Christmas, Wedding, plus too many more memories to count.
Scott giving Mallow a new hair do.

Consoling Bandit, I'm pretty sure he loves Mallow more than us..put together!

We were able to spend the night at my favorite couples' house, Cole&Kayla. She already had a date planned for us, Gardener Village&Scott's favorite sushi restaurant. So much fun hanging out with these two, and thank you again so much for letting us stay. 
I just missed my old room there too much not to stay.;)

And a little bit of life since Utah?
Mallow LOVES these horns. 
Every single one.

Our great friend, Ramon, left for his deployment. He is actually going on the same MUE that Scott was on, which is pretty cool. 
Please keep these men and women in your prayers, along with their families at home.
Deployments are hard, but prayers and having support helps immensely. 

Our sweet nephew needs to come stay here.

Beg your mom and dad to send you in a Christmas package. 
Address to Aunt Kassi&Uncle Sott. 
I love you!

 And last, but certainly not least, 
Scott and I have always been able to take little tasks and create them to become great dates. 
Decorating Christmas was definitely not an exception.
Last Christmas we were in Costa Rica {Let's go back gang!} so we didn't really decorate before we left. So we didn't  have a tree or many ornaments. Well this year, we found the best fake tree in the world! {I haven't had a fake tree since I was little, but I LOVE ours.}
We found our tree, went crazy in the ornament aisle, and set it all up right away. Scott then decorated our house, inside&out, with Christmas lights... Viola! Perfect Christmas decorations.

You might really catch either of us just staring at our tree.. it's just mesmerizing. 

One of our new traditions is that we decided that we are going to start collecting ornaments from places we have been or has meaning to us. So far, we have ornaments from my childhood; pictures from our proposal, engagement, wedding, pre-deployment, and post-deployment; a wedding ornament I made from our wedding invitation; the Biltmore House; Scott's work; and ornaments we found last year at a boutique here. Now off to our next adventure, Christmas in Virginia!

With all of this talk about Christmas decorations, the real reason for celebrating Christmas comes down to having a "stable" background. 
Jesus' birth is the reason to celebrate.
Our Savior was born to save us, so that we could go to Heaven through Him. 

Thank you God for sending Your Son for me.  

Merry Christmas everyone,
Love the Cummings

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