Monday, July 10, 2017

When Two Become One

Now that school is out for summer, you'd expect nothing less than a barrage of pictures of what our summer has been about up to this point. We've still celebrated in it's usual fashion of ice cream consumption and lake swimming but the pictures won't necessarily accompany each one of those. You'll just have to take my word for it. :) Our usual summer camping adventures may be on the back-burner until later this summer, or even until next year... thus is the factual status of a continual transitional move. We've been plenty busy since the final school bell of 2017 at Legacy rang, but until I get to the scrolling of photos, I decided to pause to briefly talk about this little thing called marriage. 

And I thought it most appropriate since Andy and I recently celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary as Mr. & Mrs. 

15 years married to my best friend....
In putting the discussion about marriage as the starting point to this particular posting, well, I can't honestly say as though it's a little thing at all. It's a rather big thing that I sadly find being attacked more and more these days. Attacked more and more intently and with greater force. And it's apparently a hot-topic that isn't desperately void of being talked about on internet search engines or any other type of online outlet. Just the other day, I decided to do a 5-minute scroll down the Facebook news feed with a purposeful focus to count the articles, & the like, dealing with marriage alone. 

23. Yup. Twenty. Three marriage-related articles/ads/posts by 'famous people' (however you may define famous, Christian or non)/news releases/etc. 

That's a lot for only scrolling 5 minutes. I know, I'm now adding to that number but apparently this hot-topic is one that can't be ignored. It's needing to be discussed. And the more I've learned and gleaned from varied conversations with friends, family, etc.  it's wanted to be discussed! 

15 years. (insert a wide-eyed, giddy-joy-filled facial expression as I say it again...)  15!!  

June 22, 2017--more in love with AAA than that beautiful day 15 years ago!! 
15 years is a pretty significant amount of time to experience life together. And within those years a lot of life can be lived to be experienced! I know some of you that are reading this are saying, "only 15?? Try 50 years!" And then there are a great number of others that say "holy moly...15...we're only 5 years in and I thought we've already lived a lot of life!" And you're right. You most certainly have! Keep on living!!
Enjoying a (double) date night on Lake Minnetonka!

Facebook photos of a perceived perfection are a downfall. In every realm. But it kinda hit me after my latest "15-year anniversary" picture post when I was told verbatim that "you two, your marriage is simply, purely perfect!" Wow! Flattering to say the least. Gulp. A false reality. Don't get me wrong, I'm crazy head-over-heels in love with this hottie-hubby that's by my side. But nobody (self included) posts anything on "Fakebook" other than the smiling, happy-go-lucky, family faces! And, get ready for it.....our marriage isn't always 'purely perfect'!! Oh sure we have simple days. And we have perfect days. And often we do have those 'simply, purely perfect' days! But behind the picturesque photos, the sappy status updates, even those heartfelt, heartwarming things said right here on this very blog that you may have read the past 6 years, are two very 'real' people who are selfish to their inner being but have committed to making this marriage thrive as we do and give our very best in keeping Christ at the center core of it all. He is the cross between us. 

Never a dull moment! Hey...just keepin it real folks ;)
For the two of us, this year, unlike any other wedded year to date, as we look back on all that's happened and what we've been through, has been a year to test exactly what this Anderson marriage is made of and WHO this marriage is built upon. We've entered into and are still beginning to make our way through another new season. Sometimes, those new seasons we find ourselves in are just not as predictable as seasonal calendar months. Very often seasons run together--sprummer, sprinter, falling, winning, sumwin...you see where I'm going with that nonsense. Yet, truth be told that's very often how seasons play out. It's in those unpredictable times, those unforseen blizzards and unwarned flash-floods that will test a marriage to it's greatest depths. Seasons aren't always universally or locally the same either--while it's a quiet rain shower at one house, just down the road it's a complete downpour coupled with blinding lightning and deafening thunder. And with a side order of hail. But weathering the season together, taking shelter alongside one another, with an umbrella of forgiveness and grace and a heavy coat of loving one another just as Christ loved the church....well, that's what has got us through some pretty dense patchy fog a time or two as we continue to weather this new season of life we are living. No doubt with a swift kick in the pants from above at times to lay aside our selfish agenda. But always together. Side by side. Hand in hand.

Joyful Noise 2017!!

No. We don't have it "all together all of the time." 

Yes. Our marriage is all about give & take and selflessly seeking the betterment of one another, however that might look in any given season. 

It's being one another's biggest fan in the pursuits of life. As a wife, it's letting my hubby lead and expecting Godly leadership from him while I have the privilege of submissively being his helpmate alongside him. (and please don't shy away from that word "submission"...it's been perceived & taught negatively, and incorrectly, for far too long. Study it and see the beauty that comes from it!!) 

It's not only showing up but also being a part of your spouse's events/accomplishments/etc. and cheering them on. Meet them on their turf. It's intentionally praying for him/her. It's actually asking how you can be intentionally praying for him/her. It's continuing to date however many years later. 
           (*I always say that I'm married to Andy, but I get to date him forever* Yes please!)
It's taking risks. It's trusting. It's saying and showing that 'I always got your back'. It's never speaking negatively of each other in public. It's selflessly loving each other and knowing exactly what that looks like. It's laughter at it's best. It's vulnerable tears at it's worst (and also best!). It's always growing. It's forever deepening. 

It's never perfection. That perfect marriage will happen when Christ returns for His bride. But still strive for it. Expect those perfect moments. Take pictures of them when they come and sometimes, often times, purposely forget the phone so you can completely enjoy the perfect company of the one you are united to. It does a marriage good. :) 

We tried to make semi-serious faces...impossible with continual laughs...

And now, because you're so used to seeing a collage of pictures from this crazy fam of five whenever I post something, I'd hate to disappoint. ;) So in good ol' fashioned FFof5 updating, here are your summer scenes & happenins thus far!! I'll do my best at labeling so they make sense somewhat!!!

Btw.... the hubs has done a summer video (only part one...haha!) so that will be released in due time. But for now, scroll on through the Anderson busy-but-oh-so-fun-MN-summer happenings!

Day in Duluth! (this place never gets old....)
Daddy & Mason--hand in hand
Shores of Lake Superior!
SO FUN having mom and dad here from NV!! 
our 3 handsome gents!
Canaan Park in Duluth never gets old--love watching the ships in the harbor! 
Mason and Nanny :) 
Happy 12th Birthday Austin!!!!!!! #sohandsome #thatsmyboy
Crazy cousin bday fun!
Happy Birthday to you....Happy Birthday dear Austin....
So special to celebrate with BOTH sets of Grandparents!! 
Settled in for a fun weekend of baseball. Mid-season tournament!! (Carson's team--Andover Gold!)

Catcher Carson...
...who did a great job!

The team prays before every game--coach led and player led! LOVE IT!!


Sawing batta!!!! Woohoo #6!!
Onto the Championship game!!

National Anthem
CHAMPIONS!! Way to go Andover Gold! :)
Such a united team

Legacy boys--#teammates
So fun having mom and dad be a part of it all!

Breakfast with Pap on the deck!

Relaxing in the front yard :)

We weren't planning on going to Joyful Noise--but Carson won tickets!!!!

Joyful Noise 2017!! A steamy hot day but so worth it!

Singing along with Tauren Wells
our umbrella shade from the hot sun

Bouncy house craze!! (Mason and Carson off to the races...)

Austin and buddies
Carson with his bud Kyle

And then there's Mason--shaking hands with a Switchfoot guitarist :)
Ready for some Switchfoot!! These 2 boys know how to 'rock it'!  ;) 

Switchfoot takes the stage!
The Hintons are here!!!!! 
Mason & Joey
Carson & Joey

Fun day at Como Zoo with the cousins!
Hanging out with this lil fella
game time in the garage...
...and in the house! #bellyachinglaughter
Uncle Andy giving rides :)

Austin helping PJ into the hammock
Friends reunited!! And we still know how to do those 2am mornings...hahaha!
love these ladies

Crazy fun!
Meeting baby Stella!!
she has the BEST facial expressions :)

Nevada boys--still the best of friends

Loved seeing the Stameys!! Short but sweet visit :)

Mason with his buddy Timmy! Sleepover! :)

Mason's first week at Bible camp!

He had a great week!! :)

Mason and Granpda--ridin' time! (the boys were fishing in Canada for the week!)

Enjoying some ice cream before fireworks!
4th of July with this handsome fella!

My handsome fishermen!! Sneak peek at their week in Canada :)
Catcher Mason!
Mason's biggest fans! :)

It's outta here! Way to go #2!

Great season Mason!! Andover Red-#1 in their division!

And there you have it. 

A little marriage chat with a hopeful word or two of encouragement and the beginnings of an Anderson summer spent in Minnesota as residents, not vacationers. 

15 years baby!! :) #forevermyguy
Stay tuned for another round of photo ops as we head west and other unforeseen updates as God continues to lead this fam of five--- but until then, pray for your marriage. Pray for your spouse. DATE that best friend who's by your lifelong side. And enjoy the brilliantly warm yellow rays of a summer beaming down. Onward to more summer fun!!

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