Last year on Valentine's Day, Luis surprised me with a trip to Venice.
This year, Elliot surprised me by waking up at 5 in the morning. He just wanted to make sure he got to spend the most amount of time possible with his Mama on his first Valentine's Day.
He must really love me.
Eli and I celebrated with lunch with my dad, my very first Valentine.
No, I'm not feeding Eli there, that would just be weird to take a picture at that moment. He was sleeping and I had him covered.
We had dinner with my in-laws that night and then finally got to celebrate with Luis on Friday.
We enjoyed some fun family time in the afternoon and then dropped the babe off with his uncle while we went on a date later in the night.
Over dinner, Luis and I were recalling last year's Valentine's and how much has changed since then. Funny enough, I was pregnant with the little man when we went to Venice but had no idea.
Even crazier, at that time we thought we might be moving to New York but at the last minute the whole deal fell through leaving us instead thinking that perhaps Luis' career was over.
And now here we are, living in Jersey, Luis playing with the NY Red Bulls, with a 4-month-old bundle of chubby joy in our lives.
So much has changed in such a short amount time. It was only a year ago, and yet it feels like five. How does time do that? Feel just like yesterday and at the same time, forever and a day ago.
|Nothing beats an AZ sunset|
We could have never predicted all that happened last year. From my dad's cancer, to getting pregnant, to moving from Germany back to the States, to a summer of unemployment (and living at home, uninsured while pregnant!) where we just about gave up on Luis playing soccer ever again, to my sister getting married, to the unexpected offer from New York, to the even more unexpected opportunity for Luis to actually play, and of course the birth of our son, we've experienced a lot of ups and downs.
It was certainly a year we wouldn't want to relive, but it's also one we wouldn't change a thing about. Every heartache and joy carried with it great blessing that drew us closer together, grew our faith, showed us God's goodness and changed us for the better.
As I write this, I can't help but wonder what I will be reflecting on next Valentine's Day. It's easy to sit here and plan what I think our life will look like, but if I've learned anything in the last two years it's that life is unpredictable, and I cannot even begin to try to imagine God's plans for us. My mind is too finite; limited by my inability to see beyond what I already know to exist in our lives.
Anything I could dream up pales in comparison to what He has in store for us. He's proven that over and over in our short 3, almost 4 years of marriage. His ways really are better than mine. When I look back over the last few years and I weigh it against what we thought we wanted for our life, I see that what God actually brought, every valley He brought us through, was far greater than anything we had, or could have ever fashioned in our minds.
And so, I continue on this year without any expectations, but rather with open eyes and a willing heart to do anything and go anywhere He calls us to, so that next Valentine's Day, I can once again sit and be amazed at all that God did over the course of just one short year.
Happy (late) Valentine's Day everyone!